Social Media

  1. Facebook’s new facial recognition efforts help blind users know exactly who’s in photos

    19 Dec 2017 ...  

    Facebook's new facial recognition efforts help blind users know exactly who's in photos

    Facebook is working to make its platform even more accessible for blind users and people with low vision.

    In a series of updates announced Tuesday, the company revealed that it will begin using its already-existing face recognition technology to identify people in photographs for Facebook users with screen readers.

    Facebook’s director of applied machine learning, Joaquin Candela, wrote in a blog post that the new feature will use face recognition alongside the platform’s automatic alt-text tool, which launched in 2016.

    Using artificial intelligence and the same face recognition technology that makes suggestions during the tagging process, the alt-text tool describes scenery, objects, animals, and people in photographs to those with vision loss. Prior to 2016, users could only hover their cursor over an image and simply hear the term “photo.” However, the alt-text tool was limited to sharing the number of people present in the photo, rather than their identities.

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  2. A totally doable, not so intimidating self-care survival guide to 2018

    16 Dec 2017 ...  

    A totally doable, not so intimidating self-care survival guide to 2018

    Every editorial product is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our journalism.

    After an October week from hell — when allegations against Harvey Weinstein first began to unravel, Donald Trump threatened to take aid away from Puerto Rico, women boycotted Twitter, and historic wildfires destroyed California — I splurged on a large Blue Raspberry Icee and sat alone in a 12:15 p.m. Saturday showing of Marshall. I turned my phone all the way off, and over the course of the next two hours I ugly cried in the dark.

    Afterwards, I drove to a bookstore and spent $82.47. I went home, applied a face mask and collapsed onto my bed, escaping into the pages of one of my new books for hours. I met my friend for dinner, cherished every single bite of a cheeseburger, rushed back to my pillow, and fell asleep before watching re-runs of The Mindy Project.

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  3. Facebook made a game with Porgs and that’s really all you need to know

    16 Dec 2017 ...  

    Facebook made a game with Porgs and that's really all you need to know

    If there’s one thing we should all be able to agree on about The Last Jedi it’s most definitely the Porgs. 

    Now, Facebook is helping you relive all the best Porg moments from The Last Jedi and then some, thanks to the social network’s new Porg Invasiongame. 

    Playable on Facebook’s app and website, as well as Messenger, the adorable — and spoiler-free — game puts you on board the Millennium Falcon as it’s quickly being overrun by Porgs. Switch off between BB-8, who must frantically snatch each critter out of the air, and Chewie, who has to fix the destruction the Porgs leave behind.

    Facebook made a game with Porgs and that's really all you need to know

    Facebook made a game with Porgs and that's really all you need to know

    If you can keep the Porgs at bay and fix the damage before the time is up, then you can advance to the next level. 

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  4. Facebook on how it affects your mental health: It’s you, not them

    15 Dec 2017 ...  

    Facebook on how it affects your mental health: It's you, not them

    Facebook is a symbol of one of the great debates of the 21st century: Is social media a gift to humanity, or is it a curse that drives us further apart and deeper into our own ideological echo chambers? 

    There is no simple answer to that question, which is why it frequently becomes a cultural obsession as it did this week, when a recent video surfaced of a former Facebook executive decrying the negative effects of social media. 

    Now Facebook is joining the conversation with a lengthy blog post about its efforts to understand how the social media platform affects users’ well-being. The bottom line is that whether or not social media makes us miserable seems to depend on how we use it, say Facebook’s David Ginsberg, director of research, and Moira Burke, a research scientist. 

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  5. Help your business grow with help from social media tool SMhack

    14 Dec 2017 ...  

    Help your business grow with help from social media tool SMhack

    Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

    Social media is a great way to reach potential customers and engage an audience. But it can also be insanely complicated. Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, there are too many platforms and not enough time. But there’s a great social media engagement tool that can help you keep everything under control: SMhack. 

    SMhack brings all your social media interactions to a single place so you can engage audiences, publish content, analyze results, and track your competitors like a pro. It has important functions like reply, retweet, and DM built in to help streamline your workflow and also lets you schedule posts for later so you don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to post something crucial. SMhack is also great for collaboration because it lets you add and assign user roles to individual team members.

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  6. Facebook responds to criticism that the network is ‘destroying how society works’

    13 Dec 2017 ...  

    Facebook responds to criticism that the network is 'destroying how society works'

    In an unexpected move, Facebook PR just pushed back against criticism after a former executive’s critical words of the company affecting our behavior and society spread this week.

    “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works,” said Chamath Palihapitiya, who joined Facebook in 2007 and served as its vice president for user growth. 

    The comments were made on Nov. 13 but a video of him speaking at Stanford Graduate School of Business circulated after The Verge shared it on Monday, nearly a month after the event. 

    Facebook released a statement in response on Tuesday, where they highlighted the fact Palihapitiya has not worked at the company for more than six years.

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  7. The Pope has way too much faith in the way we use social media

    13 Dec 2017 ...  

    The Pope has way too much faith in the way we use social media

    Pope Francis had some wild optimism to share with Twitter timelines on Tuesday. 

    He celebrated the fifth anniversary of his Twitter account with a tweet, thanking his followers for their support. But then he threw in an interesting line, that places entirely too much faith in the people who use social media—and in the most loving of ways, people called him out for it. 

    “Thank you for following @Pontifex which turns five years old today,” he, or someone in the Vatican, tweeted. “May social media always be spaces that are rich in humanity!”

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  8. Former Facebook exec says network is ‘destroying how society works’

    11 Dec 2017 ...  

    “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.” 

    That was the tagline for The Social Network, the film about creating Facebook, and it’s only become more relevant as the social network has grown to more than 2 billion people. Those “few enemies” are former Facebook executives, people who helped build the tech giant. 

    “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works,” said Chamath Palihapitiya, who joined Facebook in 2007 and served as its vice president for user growth. He was referring to the iconic “like” button and other reactions we have while browsing News Feed. 

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  9. This was the year we turned on social media

    09 Dec 2017 ...  

    This was the year we turned on social media

    With each passing day comes yet another reason to question the notion that the long arc of the universe bends toward justice. However, this year, in particular, has made it resoundingly clear that — regardless of the direction of that arc — the process by which it bends manifests with stuttering jolts and fits. Things seem one way to many people, until, for whatever reason, all of the sudden everyone realizes they’re not. 

    It is a similar reckoning that has befallen the do-no-wrong darling of the tech industry: social media. Long heralded by its profits as a digital panacea for our fractured world, services like Facebook and Twitter have instead come to both represent and fuel our darker natures. 

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  10. Here’s what Facebook’s Australian users talked about the most in 2017

    06 Dec 2017 ...  

    Here's what Facebook's Australian users talked about the most in 2017

    It’s no secret that the conversations we have on Facebook are often different to ones we have on other social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram.

    That’s evident in Facebook’s data about the most-talked about topics in Australia for 2017, with women, sport and music leading the charge.

    “This year, International Women’s Day was the most talked about topic on the platform, with conversation driven by the Women’s March, which ranked in the top ten global list, as well as the #metoo movement,” Mia Garlick, Facebook’s director of policy for Australia and New Zealand, said in a statement.

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  11. Aussies on Twitter this year cared most about politics, marriage equality and of course, BTS

    05 Dec 2017 ...  

    Aussies on Twitter this year cared most about politics, marriage equality and of course, BTS

    Turns out 2017 ended up being a good year for fans of K-Pop and marriage equality.

    Twitter has released its Australian year in review, revealing what the country’s users have been talking about.

    Unsurprisingly, the country’s vote to allow LGBTQ couples to marry was among the most discussed topics on the platform. The hashtag #marriageequality, ranked second behind #auspol (short for Australian politics) in Twitter’s top list.

    The country’s most retweeted post was one by Australian Marriage Equality on Nov. 15, which came shortly following the announcement that a majority of the country had voted yes.

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  12. My ‘trickle down economics’ tweet went crazy viral and here’s a play-by-play

    03 Dec 2017 ...  

    My 'trickle down economics' tweet went crazy viral and here's a play-by-play

    I’ve tweeted over 60,000 times, but I’d never seen anything like this. 

    As of this writing, one of my tweets has collected 100,000 likes and over 42,000 retweets, and counting. All in less than 24 hours. 

    The tweet is not extraordinary. It’s a simple pictograph, a sort of word illustration, that offers my perspective on one particularly pervasive piece of economic theory.   

    Trickle Down Economics
    Trickle Down Economic
    Trickle Down Economi
    Trickle Down Econom
    Trickle Down Econo
    Trickle Down Econ
    Trickle Down Eco
    Trickle Down Ec
    Trickle Down E
    Trickle Dow
    Trickle Do
    Trickle D
    Trickl
    Trick

    — Lance Ulanoff (@LanceUlanoff) December 2, 2017

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  13. James Comey throws shade at Flynn and Trump with first Instagram post

    02 Dec 2017 ...  

    James Comey throws shade at Flynn and Trump with first Instagram post

    As hellfire prepares to rain down on the White House, former FBI Director James Comey is chillin’, you know, just getting his Instagram on.

    After news broke that Trump’s former national security advisor Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contact with Russia, Comey responded by posting his first Instagram and trolling the men with a biblical verse about justice.

    “‘But justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream’ Amos 5:24,” Comey captioned a photo of Great Falls Park in Virginia, one which he’s shared on social media before.

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  14. Reddit found this dude’s stolen car in a matter of hours

    01 Dec 2017 ...  

    Getting your car stolen is one of the worst things, but finding it can be MUCH easier than it was a decade ago.

    Over Thanksgiving week, Sebastiaan de With, a freelance designer and photographer, got his Land Rover Defender stolen in the San Francisco Bay Area, after just having purchased it a little over a year ago.

    Desperate to find any help in locating his car, de With decided to post about it on Twitter and Reddit, asking people to contact him if they happen to see it.

    “I thought it’d be pointless to post it, but on the other hand, I really wanted to find my car,” de With told the SF Gate. “They’re extremely hard cars to find in the U.S., and I was waiting on an appraiser to come around to get full coverage, full-value insurance. So it being gone meant I had absolutely nothing, not even a claim payout.”

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  15. U.S. tourists arrested for baring their butts outside a Thai temple for Instagram

    01 Dec 2017 ...  

    U.S. tourists arrested for baring their butts outside a Thai temple for Instagram

    It’s all fun and games on Instagram until you post a partially naked photo of yourself in front of a sacred Thai temple and get arrested.

    That’s how the saying goes, at least for U.S. tourists and Instagram stars Joseph and Travis Dasilva, who were arrested in Thailand on Tuesday and charged with public indecency after snapping a photo of their bare bums in front of Bangkok’s famous Wat Arun temple.

    As The Bangkok Post noted, immigration police apprehended the 38-year-old U.S. citizens at Don Mueang airport on warrants pertaining to the revealing pictures on their Instagram account, “Traveling Butts,” which soon went viral after being posted.

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  16. Here’s a $30 tool that uses competitor data to improve your social media game

    01 Dec 2017 ...  

    Here's a $30 tool that uses competitor data to improve your social media game

    Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

    Social media is an integral component to any marketing strategy. Or it should be. Knowing your way around Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms isn’t just a perk anymore — it’s a must. And to be at the top of your game, you need to know what your competitors are up to.

    Enter Social Insider, a tool used by more than 4,000 companies, including Blitzmetrics, Skyscanner, and Vice. Social Insider lets you see your competitors’ posts, content performance, engagement metrics, audience growth, boosted posts, hashtags, and more — making it easier for you to see what works and what doesn’t.

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  17. China is deleting posts about a kindergarten allegedly abusing its toddlers

    30 Nov 2017 ...  

    China is deleting posts about a kindergarten allegedly abusing its toddlers

    As anger swells around a Chinese kindergarten accused of abusing its toddlers, online discussion about the topic has been systematically deleted.

    Earlier this week, the RYB Education New World kindergarten in Beijing was accused of feeding drugs to toddlers, and injecting them with unknown substances.

    Outside of Beijing, the group runs over 500 kindergartens in China. 

    Parents have started protesting and circulating alleged photos of abuse online.

    But comments and posts about the topic are disappearing on Chinese social media, which the state monitors and scrubs of objectionable content regularly.

    A search for “RYB kindergarten,” which in Chinese is known as “红黄蓝 (Red Yellow Blue)”, showed that people were actively sharing and clicking on posts about the kindergarten, yet the comment sections were curiously silent — a sign that comments had been deleted.

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  18. Man who deactivated Trump’s Twitter account thought it wouldn’t actually work

    30 Nov 2017 ...  

    Man who deactivated Trump's Twitter account thought it wouldn't actually work

    The identity of the Twitter employee who briefly deactivated Donald Trump’s Twitter account is no longer a secret.

    The former Twitter employee has finally come forward to share his perspective on what happened that day. Speaking to TechCrunch, Bahtiyar Duysak, who worked as a contractor at Twitter’s San Francisco HQ, says he now thinks his actions were a “mistake.” 

    More surprising, though, he says he didn’t think his actions would actually result in Trump’s account being deactivated.

    While Duysak, a German national, doesn’t offer much explanation about why he chose to remove the account in the final minutes of his job at Twitter, he apparently thought Trump’s twitter was “was essentially protected from being deactivated over Terms of Service violations.”

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  19. Instagram is testing a bunch of new features, including GIF search for Stories

    30 Nov 2017 ...  

    Instagram is testing a bunch of new features, including GIF search for Stories

    We may have just gotten an early look at a ton of new Instagram features.

    Instagram has been busy testing several new features, including a “close friends” feature, GIF search, and the ability to follow specific hashtags the way you’d follow an account, according to the tech site The Next Web.

    One of the most interesting features the website found was something called “close friends,” which will allow users to share posts with only a small group of their closest friends. This appears to be an extension of the “favorites” feature the app began testing earlier this year.

    Originally created in response to the “finsta”phenomenon — users creating a separate stealth Instagram account for only close friends — favorites was billed as a way for people to maintain the ability to share with small groups of friends without having to juggle multiple accounts. 

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  20. Facebook’s AI suicide prevention tool can save lives, but the company won’t say how it works

    28 Nov 2017 ...  

    Facebook's AI suicide prevention tool can save lives, but the company won't say how it works

    For many people who’ve dedicated their lives to preventing suicide, social media posts can be a precious dataset that contains hints about what people say and do before they attempt suicide.  

    In the past few years, researchers have built algorithms to learn which words and emoji are associated with suicidal thoughts. They’ve even used social media posts to retrospectively predict the suicide deaths of certain Facebook users. 

    Now Facebook itself has rolled out new artificial intelligence that can proactively identify heightened suicide risk and alert a team of human reviewers who are trained to reach out to a user contemplating fatal self-harm. 

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