Social Media

Social Media for Children’s and Adult Books: Who Posts Where?

17 May 2018

From Publishing Trends:

Look at some of the top authors on Twitter and you’ll see that the list is pretty evenly divided between authors of books for children and adults.  Paulo Coelho weighs in at 12.2 million, followed by JK Rowling at 11.3 million.  Then a steep fall to Anthony Bourdain (6.1) and John Green (5.33), Stephen King (3.52) and Neil Gaiman (2.62), and Chris Colfer (2.52) and Margaret Atwood (1.7).  You get the idea.

Facebook mirrors Twitter in that Coelho is still at the top, but with 20.5 million followers.  Others are closer to parity with their Twitter followers, e.g. Stephen King has five million on Facebook while John Green (who’s on every major platform) has three million-plus on Facebook. James Patterson has a healthy 3.7 million.  Lemony Snicket has a half million under A Series of Unfortunate Events and Rick Riordan has more than three million under Percy Jackson.

Beyond Twitter and Facebook, the numbers are generally much smaller and harder to track.  Still, in conversation with agents, publishers, social media gurus and writers, it’s clear that authors are generally encouraged to embrace one or more social media platform. However, what they really accomplish in promoting themselves differs depending on what their goals and expectations are their level of commitment and skill.

. . . .

Most agree that authors should engage with social media only if they are comfortable. Rachel Fershleiser, HMH Executive Director of Audience Development and Community Engagement, says she’s a “huge believer in authors setting their own boundaries,” both in terms of where to post and what to write about.  She encourages authors to try Instagram, because it’s generally the least contentious, and allows an author to express his or her personality “without the stress” of a network like Twitter. Writers HouseDigital Director Daniel Berkowitz thinks that, for many, how one interacts on social media “almost runs counter to how an author operates.” Authors want their posts to reflect the same level of writing that their books exhibit, and so are anxious about achieving that, especially on “of-the-moment” platforms like Twitter.  In her blog post, So You’re An Author Without a Social Media Presence: Now What?, Jane Friedman warns that, while engaging in social media offers “an opportunity to learn about your readership as well as better establish your platform,” it’s “not necessarily an opportunity to hard sell the book you’re about to release.”

. . . .

Optiq.ly’s Pete McCarthy believes that, done right, social media is “one of the most cost-effective ways” of marketing an author.  He believes middle-grade authors often ignore Goodreads because they forget it’s a good place to meet their readers’ parents.

Link to the rest at Publishing Trends

13 Bookstagram Accounts Every Book Lover Should Follow

15 May 2018

From Paperback Paris:

As much as I hate to admit it, a very good portion of my downtime is committed to looking at bookish things on Instagram. From images of my favorite books to shelfies, book hauls and reading books, I am constantly looking for beautiful images of books. From creative inspiration to recommendations for new books to read, Instagram is a great place to turn for all things book related thanks to the Bookstagram community.

While it’s easy to find book related images on Instagram, the bookish Instagram community is very large. Featuring a wide and varied number of Bookstagrammers, or people who have accounts dedicated to all things book related, Instagram is without a doubt one of the best places to go for book inspiration. While there are hundreds of active accounts that feature stunning book related images, here’s a list of some of the Bookstagram accounts that will appeal to book lovers from all walks of life.

. . . .

5. abookishloveaffair

Bookstagram Accounts
Instagram (@abookishloveaffair)

Fans of YA fantasy, rejoice, for @abookishloveaffair is a dream come true. Featuring simplistic themed snapshots of all of your favorites, including The Raven Cycle and Harry Potter, this Bookstagram account will have you longing to re-read your favorite books.
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6. cosyreads

Bookstagram Accounts
Instagram (@cosyreads)

@cosyreads is one of the most stunning Bookstagram accounts out there. Featuring beloved books of varying genres, these images are enhanced by the use of lights, small props, flowers and ribbons to create breathtakingly inspirational works of art.

The images found on the @cosyreads account will put you in a state of calm while you prepare to read your favorite books, as Mia’s images feature books, candles, coffee and snacks that will transport you to your favorite reading spot.

 

 

Link to the rest at Paperback Paris

 

PG will state the obvious about successful Instagram accounts – they include interesting photographs.

However, while a nice camera is a lot of fun, a cell phone camera and some free or low-cost in-phone post-processing apps can turn the most mundane of photo subjects into a unique visual presence.

PG took photos of some quite mundane features of Casa PG and spend about 10 minutes giving them a grungy look which is quite different from the frequently cute, quaint and craftsy images PG has seen on Instagram (for the record, Casa PG is not at all grungy (other than PG’s desk)).

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Agree to Facebook’s Terms or Don’t Use It

11 May 2018

From The Wall Street Journal:

A pizza shop needs your address to deliver your pizza. A chat app service needs your selfie if you want to send it to friends. But do internet giants like Facebook and Google really need a list of websites you recently visited?

A battle is looming in Europe over what information Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and other companies can demand from you. It boils down to what they really need to know—a debate that could end up in courts for years with the potential to weaken either the European Union’s new data-privacy law or the business models of ad-reliant giants like Facebook and Google.

The EU’s new privacy law, which goes into effect on May 25, forbids companies from forcing users to turn over personal information as a condition of using their services. Does that mean you can simply say, “No, thanks,” to any data collection and still use Facebook? Not exactly.

. . . .

There are many exceptions in which companies can still collect data, such as when that information is necessary to fulfill a contract with you. That has set the stage in Europe for a battle over what is truly necessary, and when consent is “freely given,” regulators and privacy lawyers say.

“The crux of this argument is going to be the legitimacy of the behavioral advertising business model,” said Omer Tene, vice president and chief knowledge officer for the International Association of Privacy Professionals. “Behavioral advertising” is the name for the business, worth tens of billions of dollars a year, that allows companies to show users targeted advertising based on their internet activity.

In recent weeks, Facebook has continued work to comply with the new law—called the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR—in part by asking users in the EU to opt in to being shown targeted advertising using data gathered from their activity, such as web browsing or purchasing information. But when it comes to authorizing Facebook to collect that data, the company now gives users a stark choice: agree to its new terms of service or delete their accounts.

“If you don’t accept these, you can’t continue to use Facebook,” a pop-up says of the company’s terms and conditions.

Facebook says the data it collects is necessary to fulfill its contract with users to provide “a personalized experience.” The company says it offers prominent options to control how that data is used, but that as a data-driven business, it needs to collect information about its users to function.

“There are certain elements of the service which are core to providing it and which people can’t opt out of entirely, like ads,” said Stephen Deadman, Facebook’s global deputy chief privacy officer. “There’s no point in buying a car and then saying you want it without the wheels. You can choose different kinds of wheels, but you need wheels.”

. . . .

Google, for its part, issued a new privacy policy on Friday that outlines how the company collects data about users, including location and data from other apps and sites that use Google services. The company has added new controls, such as the ability to mute an ad that is following a user across the web, and has reorganized existing controls to turn off features like personalized ads, but it isn’t possible to opt out of all data collection.

In the policy, Google justifies much of that data collection under another method in GDPR called “legitimate interest.” Companies’ use of that justification is also likely to spark legal scrutiny, lawyers and privacy experts say.

. . . .

Verizon Communications Inc.’s Oath, which includes Yahoo and AOL, says in its new European privacy policy that if users withdraw their consent to collecting their data—including web-browsing habits or location data—that they “may not have access to all (or any) of our services.”

“Processing of your information for the purposes of personalized content and ads is a necessary part of the services we provide,” the policy explains.

Link to the rest at The Wall Street Journal

As the title of the OP states, you always have the option not to use a service like Facebook if you don’t want the company to gather personal information from the information you make available to them by logging on, posting and/or clicking.

If that’s not an option, Incognito Mode on the Chrome browser provides some limited protection by preventing identifying cookies and autofill details from being saved on your computer/tablet/cell phone, but it doesn’t protect your online history from examination by your internet service provider or prevent third-party groups from tracking your online activity or knowing your geographical location.

The terms of service of browser providers are less than models of clarity. Here’s a link to those for the TOS for Google’s Chrome browser. So you’re clear, there are lots of other TOS provisions that apply to your use of Google’s various other services.

Your privacy rights while in Incognito mode are set forth in a separate document, Google Chrome Privacy Notice. Here’s what it says about Incognito:

You can limit the information Chrome stores on your system by using incognito mode or guest mode. In these modes, Chrome won’t store certain information, such as:

Basic browsing history information like URLs, cached page text, or IP addresses of pages linked from the websites you visit
Snapshots of pages that you visit
Records of your downloads, although the files you download will still be stored elsewhere on your computer or device
How Chrome handles your incognito or guest information
Cookies. Chrome won’t share existing cookies with sites you visit in incognito or guest mode. Sites may deposit new cookies on your system while you are in these modes, but they’ll only be stored and transmitted until you close the last incognito or guest window.

Browser configuration changes. When you make changes to your browser configuration, like bookmarking a web page or changing your settings, this information is saved. These changes are not affected by incognito or guest mode.

Permissions. Permissions you grant in incognito mode are not saved to your existing profile.

Profile information. In incognito mode, you will still have access to information from your existing profile, such as suggestions based on your browsing history and saved passwords, while you are browsing. In guest mode, you can browse without seeing information from any existing profiles.

Regardless of what you might have thought, your identity is definitely not cloaked for Google and others in incognito mode.

Without getting into the weeds, if you want to take a major step toward online privacy, you’ll have to use a non-standard browser and make some significant tradeoffs in the process. Tor is the best-known of these (although it has its own privacy problems and some ISP’s block Tor). Here’s a list of some others.

PG claims no extraordinary knowledge or expertise about online security. He’s happy to learn more from visitors to TPV.

 

 

Reining in Big Data’s Robber Barons

12 April 2018

From The New York Review of Books:

The use of Facebook by Cambridge Analytica to gather data on tens of millions of users is just one of the troubling things to have come to light about Facebook and its effect on social and political life. Yet that story is also, in some respects, a distraction from the bigger issues that stem from the Internet giants’ practices: Google, Facebook, Amazon, and other tech giants have constructed the most extensive and intrusive surveillance apparatus the world has ever seen. And we are the target.

Surveillance capitalism—so named in 2015 by the Harvard academic Shoshana Zuboff—is the business model of the Internet. Built on techniques of information capture and behavior modification, surveillance capitalism came into being when Google’s engineers realized that by tracking what users were typing into their search engine, they could learn to predict what those users wanted. Once they could anticipate what users wanted, they could target them with ads designed to influence those users’ behavior in ways that maximized Google’s revenue.

These days, virtually every aspect of day-to-day life is fed into corporate databases and used to predict and influence all kinds of behavior. Surveillance corporations don’t just respond to consumer wants; they also shape and drive those wants toward their own ends. Usually, that means a click on an advertisement, a visit to a website, or, ultimately, a purchase. To do this, they attempt to take advantage of known shortcuts and biases in human decision-making, called “heuristics.” Often, this means presenting links and other content in such a way as to generate interest, but sometimes, as in the case of so-called “dark patterns”—misselling techniques and tricks to game attention or gain private data—it involves a choice architecture that is patently deceptive.

Continual experimentation helps them refine their ads and prompts. As of 2014, Google, for example, undertook roughly 10,000 experiments per year in its search and ads business, with around 1,000 running at any one time.

. . . .

As a result, if you use a web browser or an app, you are almost certainly the unwitting subject of dozens of psychological experiments that seek to profile your habits and vulnerabilities for the benefit of corporations, every time you use the Internet.

. . . .

One 2013 study by Cambridge University’s Psychometrics Centre showed that, without having any factual information about you, analysis of what you’ve “liked” on Facebook can accurately predict your sexual orientation, your ethnicity, your happiness, your political and religious views, whether your parents are separated, and whether you use drugs. A follow-up study in 2015 found that by analyzing your likes, a computer can be a better judge of your personality traits—such as how artistic, shy, or cooperative you are—than your friends and family are.

Link to the rest at The New York Review of Books

PG has two views on this subject that may conflict with each other.

A. Personalization can help make the internet a much better source of information for a user than it would be without personalization. Google can surface sources that interest PG more effectively because it has adapted to PG’s interests based on his prior searches.

B. The same technology that permits personalization can be used to provide some protection for personal information about a user. If you use the Chrome browser, if you right-click on a link, choosing Incognito Mode will provide you with some (not perfect) protection against third-party tracking. Firefox has a similar setting called Private Browsing.

C. Chrome Privacy Tools

If you are using Chrome, go to chrome://settings/privacy, you can disable a variety of services that can provide means of tracking you as you use your Chrome browser. For an explanation of these settings, you can go here.

If you go to https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/2392709#types, you can see an overview of the data Google collects via Chrome that you can delete and information about how you go about deleting this data.

Google collects lots of information about users through their search activities. DuckDuckGo provides a more private search engine.

D. Third-Party Privacy Information:

Wikipedia has a short entry on Anonymous Browsing at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anonymous_web_browsing together with links to other resources.

PC Magazine has a recent (January, 2018) article about How to Stay Anonymous Online https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2363302,00.asp

Tech Radar has a recent (February, 2018) article about The best free privacy software 2018: top tools for anonymous browsing https://www.techradar.com/news/best-free-privacy-software

The Tech Radar article mentions the Tor browser which is a more secure alternative to Chrome, Firefox, Safari and/or Edge browsers. You can download Tor at no cost  at https://www.torproject.org/

You may find that Tor lacks some convenience features available on Chrome, Firefox, etc. Nothing says you can only install a single browser on your computer or that you must use only a single browser. If you mentally create a low-danger list of websites, you can use your regular browser for those. For high-danger or super-secret online work, you can fire up Tor.

You can even take a Paranoid Personality Quiz – https://psychcentral.com/quizzes/paranoid-quiz/ – and use a browser that’s compatible with your score.

Why April 9 Could Be the Biggest #DeleteFacebook Day in History

6 April 2018

From Inverse:

A huge movement could hit Facebook next Monday. Mike Schroepfer, its chief technology officer, announced on Wednesday that the company will place a link at the top of everyone’s news feed to a privacy tool. This tool will reveal whether a user’s data is embroiled in the Cambridge Analytica scandal — and it could reignite the #DeleteFacebook movement.

The announcement follows CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s promise in a March 21 interview with CNN’s Laurie Segall, when he announced a tool “where anyone can go and see if their data was a part of this.” Around 270,000 people granted permissions to an app created by researcher Aleksandr Kogan called “thisisyourdigitallife,” which promised to provide personality predictions. The app’s data was given to Cambridge Analytica — which violated Facebook’s app policies — and subsequently used to target ads during political campaigns.

. . . .

Monday’s tool could breathe new life into the movement, as the full extent of the scandal grows apparent. Around 82 percent of the 87 million potentially affected users — just over 70 million people — were users based in the U.S. That’s an important figure because that user data was used by President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign team in a technique known as “psychographic modeling.”

Link to the rest at Inverse

PG is no friend of Facebook and, in the wake of the Cambridge Analyitica revelations, has substantially tightened his Facebook settings and downloaded his history from Facebook (pretty boring stuff).

However, the term, “psychographic modeling” has been around for years. PG believes he first heard it a long time ago when he worked for a large advertising agency (J. Walter Thompson for those who care). The agency created psychographic profiles of target audiences for its client’s products based on group interviews of consumers who were part of the target market. Group interviews were a typical part of marketing research at the time and, to the best of PG’s knowledge, still are.

Suffice to say, psychographic modeling didn’t revolutionize the advertising business or massively increase sales of anything. Despite what many believe, the typical US consumer doesn’t become an automaton after hearing an advertising message tailored to his/her particular interests and concerns.

Are viewers of on-line contents entitled to the truth?

5 April 2018

From The IP Kat:

Do the viewers of digital contents have a reasonable expectation for verisimilitude, namely something that has the appearance of truth, in what they observe on-line? I am not referring to the genre of “reality shows”, where this Kat assumes that viewers recognize that “reality” is a relative term, and the ultimate result is fashioned by those who create and produce the program. Rather, I mean a situation where the viewer is attracted to these contents precisely because he or she believes that that they are not being mediated.

. . . .

Consider the story of Amalia Ulman. In connection with the publication of the book, “Excellences & Perfections”, a blog post recently published on cnn.com, written by Alicia Eler and entitled “Amalia Ulman’s Instagram art hoax exposed the flaws in selfie culture”, recalls for us the great stir that Ulman created in 2014 in connection with her presentation of “Excellences & Perfections” on Instagram.

What Ulman, a young artist born in Argentina and having later lived in Spain did, was to present via postings on Instagram, largely through selfies, her life as a young woman ‘on the go’ in Los Angeles. Ulman’s project began innocuously enough, with her first post, which consisted of the phrase “Part I” together with the caption, “Excellences & Perfections”. The post received 28 likes. She went on to recount her day-by-day trials and tribulations, chronicling such things as the trauma of a lost boyfriend, pole-dancing classes, breast-enhancement surgery, posing in skimpy lingerie, escorting, this and more, augmented by emotive textual commentary, all against the background of being an “It girl” in Los Angeles.

In doing so, Ulman was being told that she was destroying her career as a “serious” artist. Au contraire–nearly five months after the first post, Ulman uploaded one last post, consisting of a black and white image of a rose, which was captioned—“The End”. During that time, she had attracted 90,000 avid followers to her Instagram site, enthusiastically waiting for each next installment of her personal saga. Far from destroying her career, she had succeeded in drawing more and more attention to herself.

Except that it was not really her personal story. Soon after her last post, Ulman announced that it had all been one great staged performance. In Ulman’s words—

“Everything was scripted. I spent a month researching the whole thing. There was a beginning, a climax and an end. I dyed my hair. I changed my wardrobe. I was acting: it wasn’t me.”

It was all (or nearly all) either made-up or staged.

. . . .

But when it was all over, and the truth of her project came out, the response to Ulman’s performance took a bifurcated route. On the one hand, the art world saw it as a pioneering form of performance art within the context of social media, so much so that The Telegraphdescribed Ulman, in an article entitled “Is this the first Instagram masterpiece?”, as now being “feted as one of the sensations of contemporary art.”

. . . .

All well and good, no? Not exactly, because while Ulman had become the darling of the world of art commentary, she also became the object of anger among at least some of her Instagram followers. They, having become so invested in Ulman’s Instagram narrative, now felt deceived, like a consumer who becomes an avid fan of a certain brand, only to find out that the branded product is not what it had appeared to be.

. . . .

Surely there was no partnership between Ulman and the on-line viewers of her Instagram performance. Indeed, this was the very point of the project—to gain the audience’s trust and enthusiastic emotive involvement with her largely make-believe narrative, where the final punch line was— “Just kidding”.

In Ulman’s own words—

“The idea was to experiment with fiction online using the language of the internet.”

Which brings this Kat back to a version of his original question. Do users of on-line contents have any legitimate expectation of verisimilitude and, if that expectation is not met, do they have a legitimate claim that they were deceived?

Link to the rest at The IP Kat

PG’s version of the question in the title of the OP and this post: “Do people walking down the street in Manhattan have any legitimate expectation of verisimilitude from the panhandlers who approach them, asking for money?”

He suggests that “online” and “on the street” are equivalent in many more ways than one.

Facebook is making its privacy settings easier to find

2 April 2018

From CNN:

Facebook is rolling out a series of changes to give people better control of their privacy settings and data.

The company’s redesigned security settings let people control what personal information the social network and third-party apps keeps. Facebook used to display security tools and settings across 20 different tabs.

. . . .

Facebook responded to the global outcry after an explosive report that a third-party personality quiz harvested 50 million Facebook profiles. Data company Cambridge Analytica used that information to sway the 2016 presidential election.

The company is also adding two more tools, including a Privacy Shortcuts menu, where people can add two-factor authentication and control the ads they’re served. Facebook’s new “Access Your Information” button allows people to delete anything from their timelines or profiles that they no longer want on Facebook, the company says.

Link to the rest at CNN

Shakespeare’s Twitter Account

2 April 2018
Comments Off on Shakespeare’s Twitter Account

From The Paris Review:

On February 13, just after midnight, the Daily Kerouac Twitter account tweeted, “As I’m writing this, the radio says there’s a foot of snow falling on Long Island.” A Twitter user named Susan replied, “Turn off the radio, go outside and listen to the snow.” As I read the exchange, I happened to be less than a mile from Kerouac’s home in Northport, New York, where, on February 13, it was not snowing. The conversation seemed suspended somewhere between now and the early 1960s, when Kerouac first wrote the lines in a letter to Allen Ginsberg. I couldn’t help but picture some version of Kerouac sitting at his typewriter receiving Susan’s reply on an iPhone. It was a bizarre sensation.

Daily Kerouac is one of several literary tribute Twitter accounts devoted to tweeting quotes from authors. Sometimes these quotes are consecutive sentences from longer works, other times they’re non-sequitur snippets chopped off midsentence. Shakespeare has at least three tribute accounts, the largest of which, @Wwm_Shakespeare, boasts 158,000 followers. The most popular Oscar Wilde account has upward of 160,000 followers while Sylvia Plath has nearly 200,000 and @_harukimurakami clocks in at 235,000. I have a personal fondness for the Frank OHara account. There’s a Virginia Woolf bot that tweets quotes in Korean and a Lovecraft bot that tweets in French.

. . . .

“Form equals function,” as writing professors love to say, and quotes on Twitter function differently than those presented in their intended context. They’re recontextualized on every follower’s unique timeline, bookended by anything from Trump-adjacent catastrophes to celebrity gossip to the everyday minutiae of the people you actually know. In this way, the Twitter timeline is an equalizer.

“Whether you’re following fifty people or a hundred people or even thousands, they all [take up] the same amount of space,” Mark Sample, an associate professor of digital studies at Davidson College who has created a handful of literary Twitter bots, including the aforementioned @WhitmanFML, told me. “So seeing a tweet from Jack Kerouac or Herman Melville makes them feel like they’re personalities as much as anyone else on Twitter.”

As a result of this sense of familiarity and accessibility, users are likely to interact with these long dead literary greats. “I’ve seen people do that with Herman Melville,” Sample tells me. “Obviously [they ask] rhetorical questions; I don’t think they expect an answer, but there’s also something about Twitter itself that makes it easy to do that. It’s easy to reply, it’s low stakes.”

Link to the rest at The Paris Review

PG is endlessly interested in the endless variety of human behavior.

For better or worse, the internet has broadened his understanding of the range of things people do.

A guide to social media for authors

2 April 2018

From Nathan Bransford:

Let me tell you a story about how I joined Twitter.

I didn’t join it at all.

In 2008, someone created a fake profile for me, photo and all, and started tweeting out my blog posts! People were replying to me and everything. Once I got wind of what was happening, I wrested control of the account and I grumpily determined it was time to succumb to that whole social media thing.

So yes. I now have ~99,000 Twitter followers and social media has since become the foundation of my entire career, but I can also relate to the deep reluctance some authors have to engage with social media, especially during a time when some of the social media platforms are in the news for less than savory business practices.

But take it from me: It pays to be active on social media. Even if you don’t want to.

. . . .

“Sure,” you might say, “Someone who had social media foisted upon them involuntarily in 2008 might have benefitted from it, but people like you had a 10 year head start! How could I possibly catch up?”

It’s never too late.

In many ways, social media is still in its infancy and there are always new accounts catching fire and plenty more people who don’t have wildly successful accounts but who benefit from simply being active.

“But wait!!” you might be protesting (I treasure our imaginary conversations), “I’m not a published author. I have nothing of value to tweet about.”

Not true. There are many unpublished authors who gained traction on social media by being super smart and engaging.

Camryn Garrett is Exhibit A. Over the last few years she posted such smart things and engaged with authors in such a genuine way that she was soon on nearly everyone’s radar in the publishing industry. She now has a hot book deal and she’s still a teenager!

. . . .

One of the most under-appreciated elements of being active on social media is that it’s a terrific tool for learning more about the publishing industry.

Follow the agents who represent your favorite books. Follow your favorite authors. Follow publishing experts.  Participate in discussions.

You’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll come across interesting articles about the business and how much you’ll learn through osmosis.

. . . .

You don’t have to join and be active on every social media platform. You’ll likely go crazy if you try to do that, or you might suddenly wake up and find you’ve morphed into a Kardashian.

Instead, focus on the social media platforms you actually enjoy.

. . . .

If you want the pulse of the publishing industry, Twitter is the place to go. It’s where many important conversations are happening, it’s where agents and editors are tweeting their manuscript wish lists, it’s where people get into spectacularly heated arguments that make the War of 1812 look like a stroll through the park.

Link to the rest at Nathan Bransford

Facebook to simplify privacy controls amid anger over breach

30 March 2018

From The Straits Times:

Facebook will roll out a centralised system for its users to control their privacy and security settings in fewer taps following an outcry over the way it has handled personal data.

The system, which will be introduced to Facebook users globally over the coming weeks, will allow people to change their privacy and security settings from one place rather than having to go to roughly 20 separate sections across the social media platform.

The company also announced that it will end its partnerships with several large data brokers which help advertisers target people on the social network.

The world’s largest social media company is under pressure to improve its handling of data after disclosing that information about 50 million Facebook users wrongly ended up in the hands of British political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

The privacy settings will be clustered on a new page from where users can control the personal information the social network keeps on them, such as their political preferences or interests.

They can also download and review a file of data Facebook has collected about them. In addition, Facebook will clarify what types of apps people are currently using and what permissions those apps have to gather their information.

. . . .

“The last week showed how much more work we need to do to enforce our policies, and to help people understand how Facebook works and the choices they have over their data,” Facebook’s chief privacy officer Erin Egan and deputy general counsel Ashlie Beringer said in a statement on Wednesday announcing the new system.

. . . .

“The platform made similar promises many times before,” said Ms Zeynep Tufekci, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina who studies how technology affects society.

She pointed out that in 2010, Mr Zuckerberg said in The Washington Post that Facebook users needed simpler controls over their privacy and had promised then that Facebook would “add privacy controls that are much simpler to use”. Yet, eight years later, the same concerns have resurfaced, she said.

Link to the rest at The Straits Times

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