Facebook lost around 2.8 million U.S. users under 25 last year. 2018 won’t be much better.

The reality: The number of U.S. Facebook users in the 12- to 17-year-old demographic declined by 9.9 percent in 2017, eMarketer found, or about 1.4 million total users. That’s almost three times the decline expected. There were roughly 12.1 million U.S. Facebook users in the 12- to 17-year-old demographic by the end of the year.

Source: Facebook lost around 2.8 million U.S. users under 25 last year. 2018 won’t be much better. – Recode

Facebook’s Filter Bubble Is Getting Worse

It wasn’t only about his News Feed list: He also tried to use the Facebook search function, also to no avail. It wasn’t that there were no posts about how great the Leave victory was. It was that Facebook, having identified him as a Remain voter, just wasn’t allowing him to see them.

Source: Facebook’s Filter Bubble Is Getting Worse

Help, I’m Trapped in Facebook’s Absurd Pseudonym Purgatory

omeone reported my account as pseudonymous, and Facebook kicked me out. To get back in, I must provide various forms of identification proving the authenticity of my username. I’m not going to.

I am one of many casualties of Facebook’s recently rejiggered “authentic name” policy, wherein anonymous users can report a name as fake and trigger a verification process.

Source: Help, I’m Trapped in Facebook’s Absurd Pseudonym Purgatory | WIRED

You get what you pay for.

how Whisper app tracks ‘anonymous’ users

But on Monday – four days after learning the Guardian intended to publish this story – Whisper rewrote its terms of service; they now explicitly permit the company to establish the broad location of people who have disabled the app’s geolocation feature.

Whisper has developed an in-house mapping tool that allows its staff to filter and search GPS data, pinpointing messages to within 500 meters of where they were sent.

via Revealed: how Whisper app tracks ‘anonymous’ users | Technology | The Guardian.

Whisper, which was recently valued at over $200m, has grown rapidly since its launch two years ago. It is among the fleet of confessional apps, such as Secret and Yik Yak, which backers say enable users to be more candid than they are on other social media platforms.

Snapchat Can’t Stop the Parasite Apps That Screw Its Users

In a statement, Snapchat puts the blame on third party applications like Snapsaved.com that use its API to allow Snapchatters to save its disappearing messages on their devices, or worse yet, on a remote server. “We can confirm that Snapchat’s servers were never breached and were not the source of these leaks,” a Snapchat spokesperson writes in a statement. “Snapchatters were allegedly victimized by their use of third-party apps to send and receive Snaps, a practice that we expressly prohibit in our Terms of Use precisely because they compromise our users’ security.”

via Snapchat Can’t Stop the Parasite Apps That Screw Its Users | WIRED.

This should have been obvious from the beginning.  Nothing can stop an end user from taking a screenshot of an incoming photo.  Their “privacy” claim was bogus from the beginning and not sure why anyone took this business model seriously.  More …

But even if Snapchat users’ data was accessed via someone else’s servers, that doesn’t make the breach any less of Snapchat’s problem, says security researcher Adam Caudill. He’s been reverse engineering Snapchat’s API to demonstrate exactly the problem of rogue third party apps for years. “Your average developer can build something in a day’s time that interacts with Snapchat’s API and saves everything that comes through it,” Caudill says. “Quite honestly, I’m surprised this hasn’t happened sooner.”

Data Mining Reveals How The “Down-Vote” Leads To A Vicious Circle Of Negative Feedback

The evidence is that a contributor who is down-voted produces lower quality content in future that is valued even less by others on the network. What’s more, people are more likely to down-vote others after they have been down voted themselves. The result is a vicious spiral of increasingly negative behaviour that is exactly the opposite of the intended effect.

via Data Mining Reveals How The “Down-Vote” Leads To A Vicious Circle Of Negative Feedback — The Physics arXiv Blog — Medium.

Facebook’s so uncool, but it’s morphing into a different beast

Facebook, on the other hand, has become the link with older family, or even older siblings who have gone to university. To prevent overgrazing as others beasts have occupied its terrain, Facebook has to feed off somewhere else. It has thereby evolved into a very different animal.

via Facebook’s so uncool, but it’s morphing into a different beast.

All LinkedIn with Nowhere to Go

On one level, of course, this world of aspirational business affiliation is nothing new. LinkedIn merely digitizes the core, and frequently cruel, paradox of networking events and conferences. You show up at such gatherings because you want to know more important people in your line of work—but the only people mingling are those who, like you, don’t seem to know anyone important. You just end up talking to the sad sacks you already know. From this crushing realization, the paradoxes multiply on up through the social food chain: those who are at the top of the field are at this event only to entice paying attendees, soak up the speaking fees, and slip out the back door after politely declining the modest swag bag. They’re not standing around on garish hotel ballroom carpet with a plastic cup of cheap chardonnay in one hand and a stack of business cards in the other.

via All LinkedIn with Nowhere to Go | Ann Friedman | The Baffler.

In the same vein, actual business acumen and leadership skills usually take a back seat in the LinkedIn system to simple digital renown. Some of the best-known gurus on the site have had the most success in the realm of . . . thinking about stuff.

I Flirt and Tweet. Follow Me at #Socialbot.

For some, the goal is increasing popularity. Last month, computer scientists from the Federal University of Ouro Preto in Brazil revealed that Carina Santos, a much-followed journalist on Twitter, was actually not a real person but a bot that they had created. Based on the circulation of her tweets, a commonly used ranking site, Twitalyzer, ranked Ms. Santos as having more online “influence” than Oprah Winfrey.

via I Flirt and Tweet. Follow Me at #Socialbot. – NYTimes.com.

Socialbots are tapping into an ever-expanding universe of social media. Last year, the number of Twitter accounts topped 500 million. Some researchers estimate that only 35 percent of the average Twitter user’s followers are real people. In fact, more than half of Internet traffic already comes from nonhuman sources like bots or other types of algorithms. Within two years, about 10 percent of the activity occurring on social online networks will be masquerading bots, according to technology researchers.