The social times, they are a-changin’.



Teens have a smart reason for abandoning Facebook and Twitter

“For a few years now, alarms have been sounded in various quarters about Facebook’s teen problem. In 2013, one author explored why teens are tiring of Facebook, and according to Time, more than 11 million young people have fled Facebook since 2011. But many of these articles theorized that teens were moving instead to Instagram (a Facebook-owned property) and other social media platforms. In other words, teen flight was a Facebook problem, not a social media problem”

Why Millennials Have Stopped Loving Facebook

“History can happen in a moment.

One leap beyond the norm, one word beyond the usual, one push of a nuclear button can send humanity soaring — or sinking — in a new direction.

I fear that may have recently happened on social media.

You’ll be wondering what sort of history has been made and why you’ve missed it.

Well, let me tell you that millennials have fallen out of love with Facebook […]

[…] In 2013, teens already declared Facebook was “dead and buried,” according to one piece of research.

The reason? Why, because parents, grandparents and everyone else was on it. Their remedy? Why, Snapchat.

Wait, but could at least some of those teens now be the same millennials still saying the same thing?

Perhaps “social politics” is the same as all other politics. New ideas are very rare.”

Snapchat and Periscope: A Grown-Up’s Guide

“Video-centric social media is all the rage among teens. But there are worthwhile apps for the more mature, too.”

How Facebook Makes Us Dumber

“Why does misinformation spread so quickly on the social media? Why doesn’t it get corrected? When the truth is so easy to find, why do people accept falsehoods?

A new study focusing on Facebook users provides strong evidence that the explanation is confirmation bias: people’s tendency to seek out information that confirms their beliefs, and to ignore contrary information.

Confirmation bias turns out to play a pivotal role in the creation of online echo chambers. This finding bears on a wide range of issues, including the current presidential campaign, the acceptance of conspiracy theories and competing positions in international disputes.

The new study, led by Michela Del Vicario of Italy’s Laboratory of Computational Social Science, explores the behavior of Facebook users from 2010 to 2014. One of the study’s goals was to test a question that continues to be sharply disputed: When people are online, do they encounter opposing views, or do they create the virtual equivalent of gated communities?

Del Vicario and her coauthors explored how Facebook users spread conspiracy theories (using 32 public web pages); science news (using 35 such pages); and “trolls,” which intentionally spread false information (using two web pages). Their data set is massive: It covers all Facebook posts during the five-year period. They explored which Facebook users linked to one or more of the 69 web pages, and whether they learned about those links from their Facebook friends.”

Scary New Ways the Internet Profiles You

“Facebook, Google, and the other Internet titans have ever more sophisticated and intrusive methods of mining your data, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The success of the consumer Internet can be attributed to a simple grand bargain. We’ve been encouraged to search the web, share our lives with friends, and take advantage of all sorts of other free services. In exchange, the Internet titans that provide these services, as well as hundreds of other lesser-known firms, have meticulously tracked our every move in order to bombard us with targeted advertising. Now, this grand bargain is being tested by new attitudes and technologies.

Consumers who were not long ago blithely dismissive of privacy issues are increasingly feeling that they’ve lost control over their personal information. Meanwhile, Internet companies, adtech firms, and data brokers continue to roll out new technologies to build ever more granular profiles of hundreds of millions, if not billions, of consumers. And with next generation of artificial intelligence poised to exploit our data in ways we can’t even imagine, the simple terms of the old agreement seem woefully inadequate.”

Facebook is testing a new browser that will make sure you never leave the app

“It’s worth noting the company has been testing it for at least a couple of months; the earliest mention we can find is around December 4.

Aside from the aesthetic shift, there seem to be a several new features to help it approximate a real browser. Not as if that were a difficult task; the old browser didn’t do much beyond loading the page you wanted to read and following hyperlinks to other sites.

Up top, it looks you can now actually input your own URL should you want to check another page without leaving the Facebook app. You might want to fact-check a detail on an article you read, for instance, or define a word you didn’t understand.

Meanwhile a new bar on the bottom tells you how popular a post is, includes back and forward buttons (finally), lets you bookmark pages, and has a menu button which likely includes a few more features too (unfortunately we can’t access the new browser ourselves yet).”

The evilification of Facebook: Gerd Leonhard about to quit Facebook!

“To me, Facebook has become ‘just marketing’, plain and simple –  and I’m getting tired of it. There’s more to life (professionally and otherwise) than marketing yourself (even as a professional futurist and keynote speaker:) Sure, there’s nothing wrong with ‘using Facebook as marketing’, per se, but at least for me this constant hamster-wheel has taken over way too much of my attention. Technology should not be what we seek but how we seek!  FB is getting very good at making hemselves utterly indispensable as a ‘social marketing’ platform, especially on mobile platforms (which are, of course, the future), and I really don’t like the idea of getting hooked on yet another dominant aggregation platform that I need to feed (the Google keywords game is bad enough). FB’s blend of whacko friend requests, fake profiles and spin-pages, bots that decide what content goes where, and brands doing the most bizarre things to get more ‘likes’ is becoming a bizarre parody of what ‘friendship’ actually means. The bottom line:  Facebook is in the process of creating  a global ‘Social OS’, an artificial intelligence-powered framework for communication that will be more dominant and manipulative than any other media platform we’ve ever known- and ‘human flourishing’ will be an afterthought.”

How Facebook (FB) is Altering Your Mind…

“It’s been called FaceCrack.

Basically, Facebook is to your self worth what drinking a Big Gulp of Coca-Cola is to your blood sugar levels, both short- and long-term, as you will see. Have you experienced this? Facebook brings you up temporarily (wow, isn’t that, and that, and that, and that, and ooooh that… interesting, shocking, stupid, funny, sad, challenging, whatever), and then drops you like a stone almost every time you log out. And the longer you are on, the more self-absorbed and worthless you often feel. Sounds horrible, doesn’t it? Don’t think it’s happening? […]

[…]Using something that you have bad feelings about is a also a drag on your self-esteem. If there was a Like Button on Facebook itself on the internet, people would be “unliking it” in droves.

From the study on Envy and FB mentioned above, the researchers concluded, “From a provider’s perspective, our findings signal that users frequently perceive Facebook as a stressful environment, which may, in the long-run, endanger platform sustainability.”

Networks Without a Cause, A Critique of Social Media

“With the vast majority of Facebook users caught in a frenzy of friending’, ‘liking’ and ‘commenting’, at what point do we pause to grasp the consequences of our info-saturated lives? What compels us to engage so diligently with social networking systems? Networks Without a Cause examines our collective obsession with identity and self-management coupled with the fragmentation and information overload endemic to contemporary online culture.

With a dearth of theory on the social and cultural ramifications of hugely popular online services, Lovink provides a path- breaking critical analysis of our over-hyped, networked world with case studies on search engines, online video, blogging, digital radio, media activism and the WikiLeaks saga. This book offers a powerful message to media practitioners and theorists: let us collectively unleash our critical capacities to influence technology design and workspaces, otherwise we will disappear into the cloud. Probing but never pessimistic, Lovink draws from his long history in media research to offer a critique of the political structures and conceptual powers embedded in the technologies that shape our daily lives.”

The Manipulators: Facebook’s Social Engineering Project by Nicholas Carr

“The Facebook study seemed fated to stir up controversy. Its title reads like a bulletin from a dystopian future: Experimental Evidence of Massive-Scale Emotional Contagion through Social Networks. But when, on June 2, the paper first appeared on the website of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), it drew little notice or comment. It sank quietly into the swamp of academic publishing. That changed abruptly three weeks later, on June 26, when technology reporter Aviva Rutkin posted a brief account of the study on the website of New Scientist magazine. She noted that the research had been run by a Facebook employee, a social psychologist named Adam Kramer who worked in the firm’s large Data Science unit, and that it had involved more than half a million members of the social network. Smelling a scandal, other journalists rushed to the PNAS site to give the paper a look. They discovered that Facebook had not bothered to inform its members about their participation in the experiment, much less ask their consent.”

Facebook is no charity, and the ‘free’ in Free Basics comes at a price

“Who could possibly be against free internet access? This is the question that Mark Zuckerberg asks in a piece for the Times of India in which he claims Facebook’s Free Basics service “protects net neutrality”.

Free Basics is the rebranded, a Facebook operation where by partnering with local telecoms firms in the developing world the firm offers free internet access – limited only to Facebook, Facebook-owned WhatsApp, and a few other carefully selected sites and services.

Zuckerberg was responding to the strong backlash that Free Basics has faced in India, where the country’s Telecom Regulatory Authority recently pulled the plug on the operation while it debates whether telecoms operators should be allowed to offer different services with variable pricing, or whether a principle of network neutrality should be enforced.”

Zygmunt Bauman: “As redes sociais são uma armadilha”

“As redes sociais mudaram a forma como as pessoas protestam e a exigência de transparência. Você é um cético sobre esse “ativismo de sofá” e ressalta que a Internet também nos entorpece com entretenimento barato. Em vez de um instrumento revolucionário, como alguns pensam, as redes sociais são o novo ópio do povo?

  1. A questão da identidade foi transformada de algo preestabelecido em uma tarefa: você tem que criar a sua própria comunidade. Mas não se cria uma comunidade, você tem uma ou não; o que as redes sociais podem gerar é um substituto. A diferença entre a comunidade e a rede é que você pertence à comunidade, mas a rede pertence a você. É possível adicionar e deletar amigos, e controlar as pessoas com quem você se relaciona. Isso faz com que os indivíduos se sintam um pouco melhor, porque a solidão é a grande ameaça nesses tempos individualistas. Mas, nas redes, é tão fácil adicionar e deletar amigos que as habilidades sociais não são necessárias. Elas são desenvolvidas na rua, ou no trabalho, ao encontrar gente com quem se precisa ter uma interação razoável. Aí você tem que enfrentar as dificuldades, se envolver em um diálogo. O papa Francisco, que é um grande homem, ao ser eleito, deu sua primeira entrevista a Eugenio Scalfari, um jornalista italiano que é um ateu autoproclamado. Foi um sinal: o diálogo real não é falar com gente que pensa igual a você. As redes sociais não ensinam a dialogar porque é muito fácil evitar a controvérsia… Muita gente as usa não para unir, não para ampliar seus horizontes, mas ao contrário, para se fechar no que eu chamo de zonas de conforto, onde o único som que escutam é o eco de suas próprias vozes, onde o único que veem são os reflexos de suas próprias caras. As redes são muito úteis, oferecem serviços muito prazerosos, mas são uma armadilha.