Welcome to Episode #11 of Seriously Social News for Friday, 22nd February 2013.
Security and privacy are the main topic of today’s Seriously Social News, that and the end of the universe. We cover Facebook protecting its teenage users with Graph Search, Burger King and Jeep’s Twitter accounts hacked, Twitter potentially adding a kind of EdgeRank score to its Tweets as well as launching a new service that allows 3rd party providers to manage adverts. If that wasn’t enough, we cover the new research that suggests that our Universe could be swallowed up by an alternate one.
Seriously Social News is a short weekly round up on all that is new in the world of social media, the internet and technology. With so much happening in the world of social media and technology, it’s difficult to keep up with the latest news that affects you.
Some weeks back, Facebook announced a new tool called Graph Search which allows users to search Facebook’s Open Graph data in real time using natural language. The new search feature is incredibly powerful in that it can return the huge amount of information stored by Facebook. However this can cause a problem for us all– as it potentially opens up all our public data to a wider audience. A rather unsettling article from Gizmodo outlines this very well with examples of people liking inappropriate things (in some cases unintentionally) and appearing in Facebook’s Graph Search. It’s best to make sure you are ready for Graph Search and perform a security and privacy audit on your personal profile–particularly your likes. Of particular concern was how people under the age of 18 were going to appear in Graph Search results. In a bid to make Graph Search safe for teenage Facebook users, Facebook will usually only return search results on a person between the age of 13 and 17 to their friends or friends of friends. Facebook have confirmed that this will also be the case in Graph Search results.
- Facebook Outlines Steps To Make Graph Search Safe For Teen Users (All Facebook)
- Facebook will only show results of Graph Searches for users under 18 to other minors (The Next Web)
- How Graph Search Works for Young People (Facebook Safety Blog)
Burger King & Jeep Twitter Account Hacked
It’s not that long ago that HMV’s Twitter account was hacked, and now two more high profile accounts have since had security breaches. On Monday this week, Burger King’s Twitter account was hacked and the name, profile photo and background image changed to McDonalds as well as updates stating that Burger King had been sold to McDonalds because “The Whopper flopped”. Some time later, Twitter was able to suspend the account and Burger King were able to get their hands back on the account but only after the damage has been done. The following day, on Tuesday, the official Jeep Twitter account was hacked supposedly by the same people behind the Burger King hack. All these attacks are highly embarrassing for Twitter who have been doing their best to woo the big brands and businesses.
It is currently far too easy to get hacked using sophisticated phishing techniques which can harvest your Twitter username and password. It’s definitely a good idea to make sure you have a good strong password for your Twitter account and one that is different to your email password, but even if you do, your strong password can still be harvested by a phishing attack. Twitter are supposedly working on security features including multi factor authentication and they’ve just announced that they will be using a new technology called DMARC to make it more difficult for anyone to spoof a twitter.com email adress. Multi factor authentication is already a feature on Facebook, Google and apps such as Mail Chimp and you may already use it to access your bank account online. The great thing about it is that if your password is stolen, a hacker still cannot access your account as they need a special code which is generated by your smartphone, tablet or other device. As well as this, Twitter could do with allowing administrative options for accounts so that different people can access a Twitter account with different permission levels. This is absolutely crucial for brands and medium to large businesses to manage their security. For now, the only option is to use a tool such as Hootsuite that allows the management of one Twitter account within a team.
- Burger King’s woes continue after Twitter account gets hacked (The Guardian)
- Burger King’s tweets fried after hijackers pimp Big Macs (The Register)
- Hacked Burger King account embarrasses brand-friendly Twitter (The Verge)
- The Super Easy Way Twitter Could Make All This Account Hacking Stop (Gizmodo)
- Don’t Get Caught in Shallow Waters; Protect Yourself from Phishers (iag.me)
- 10 Tips to Make Your Computer More Secure (iag.me)
- Your Password is Not Safe (iag.me)
- Introducing DMARC for Twitter.com emails (Twitter Blog)
EdgeRank for Twitter?
Twitter have announced a few new features of interest to developers but which could have a big impact on all users in the medium term. Each tweet that you post actually has quite a bit of data associated with it in addition to those 140 characters. As well as the tweet itself, the date, time, username, link, photo and geographical information are stored. In the announcement Twitter are adding two new metadata fields– language and filter level. Of particular interest is the filter level as this uses an algorithim to work out the popularity and relevance of a tweet. This can be used by Apps and perhaps Twitter itself in the future to rank tweets in order of what Twitter thinks is important. If this sounds familiar, you’ll probably be thinking of Facebook. Facebook puts the status updates of your friends and pages you like in order of relevance using an algorithm called EdgeRank. This allows Facebook to charge pages to promote their posts to a wider audience by effectively increasing the EdgeRank score for that post. Could this be the beginnings of a kind of EdgeRank for Twitter? Only time will tell.
- Did Twitter just introduce their own version of EdgeRank? (Leaders West)
- Twitter making ‘Top Tweet’ values available to third-party developers (The Verge)
Twitter Launches API for Ads
Twitter is continuing to look at ways to make money. and according to the Guardian it isn’t making very much at the moment. Since Twitter is free to its users it has been looking at following Google’s and Facebook’s footsteps and trying to monetise using advertising. For some time Twitter has been testing various solutions including promoted tweets and accounts. This week Twitter announced the launch of their Twitter Ads API which allow 3rd party applications and partners to manage campaigns as opposed to just using Twitter itself. So far there are 5 big names to sign up as official ad partners- Adobe, Hootsuite, Salesforce, SHIFT, and TBG Digital.
- Twitter releases API for Advertisers, enabling interaction with cross-platform tools (The Verge)
- Twitter Advertising: Announcing Twitter Ads API (Twitter Blog)
- Twitter Launches Ads API, So Marketers Can Run Campaigns Through Adobe, Salesforce, Others (Tech Crunch)
- HootSuite Launches New Integration with Twitter’s Promoted Products (Hootsuite Blog)
Forget Asteroids! Research Suggests Our Universe Could be Swallowed up by an Alternate One
And finally, with the asteroid hitting Russia last week it seems some people have been getting worried about us all being annihilated by a huge asteroid despite a 50m wide one missing us by only 17,000 miles last week. Well, that’s old news, because now according to research at the huge Hadron Collider in Switzerland our universe could be swallowed up by an alternate universe. The bad news is that such an event could happenat any time but the good news is that it’s probably more likely to happen in tens of billions years. According to theoretical physicist Joseph Lykken, the mass of the potentially discovered Higgs particle when taken with information on other subatomic particles suggest that our universe is currently unstable and could be swallowed by another alternate universe. And on that happy note I wish you all a great weekend!
- Will our universe end in a ‘big slurp’? Higgs-like particle suggests it might (Cosmic Log — NBC News)
- Our universe could be swallowed by an alternate one, Higgs research suggests (The Verge)