Archive for the ‘Facebook’ Category

A Vietnamese man has taken the unusual step of posting a picture of his passport on social media after being repeatedly blocked by Facebook.

The unfortunately named Phuc Dat Bich – whose name is actually pronounced Phoo Da Bic – posted the image after the tech giant banned him several times.

The picture, and its accompanying message, has been shared more than 123,000 times.

“I find it highly irritating the fact that nobody seems to believe me when I say that my full legal name is how you see it,” he said.

“I’ve been accused of using a false and misleading name of which I find very offensive.”

He went on to explain that his frustration was due to what he suggested was a lack of understanding in the West for names which appear amusing to some.

“Is it because I’m Asian? Is it?” he asked in the post.

“Having my [Facebook] shut down multiple times and forced to change my name to my ‘real’ name, so just to put it out there. My name.

“Yours sincerely, Phuc Dat Bich”.

It is not the first time Facebook has blocked users from their profile accounts as a result of their name.

Recently, a woman whose first name is Isis said Facebook would not let her sign in – tweeting that the social media site thought she was “a terrorist”.

Isis Anchalee

A man who changed his name to Something Long and Complicated – from William Wood – was blocked in October this year by the site.

Members of the Native American community have also reported having their accounts suspended, as well as members of the drag queen community.

Facebook’s chief product officer, Chris Cox, issued an apology on the site after the latest incident.

The social media giant has an authentic name policy in place to make its users accountable for what they say.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/man-called-phuc-dat-bich-posts-passport-to-facebook-to-prove-his-name-is-real-a6741586.html

Vhris

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In a speech a few weeks ago at Durham Academy, his high-school alma mater, Chris Rosati told students about a sweet dream of his.

He wanted to hijack a Krispy Kreme doughnut delivery truck and, with the cops chasing him, drive around tossing out free confections and cheer. Robin Hood, with baked goods.

The normally jaded teens embraced the idea with such enthusiasm that Rosati – already inclined to mischief – became determined to make it happen.

But every successful dreamer is also a realist, and Rosati knew his chances of getting away with a loaded doughnut truck were pretty slim, especially since he was diagnosed three years ago with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. He can still walk, with assistance, but the degenerative neuromuscular disorder, which is ultimately fatal, has slowed him down.

He would need some help.

Rosati, a self-employed marketing consultant, knew what to do. He set up a Facebook page called A Krispy Kreme Heist, where he described his plan. He solicited “likes,” in the hopes that eventually, Winston-Salem-based Krispy Kreme would hear about it, lend him a truck and driver, and give him some doughnuts to give away.

Since he got sick, he explained, “I’m more open than ever to chasing my dreams … even odd ones like this.”

His story traveled like the scent of Original Glazed hot off the line. Within eight hours, Krispy Kreme corporate officials heard about Rosati’s idea.

“We got in touch with Chris and told him, ‘Don’t steal one of our trucks,’” said Megan Brock, directer of marketing. “We’ll give you the Krispy Kreme Cruiser and a thousand doughnuts.”

The Cruiser is a 1960 Flexible Starliner bus restored and christened last year for the company’s 75th anniversary. Krispy Kreme likes to say it’s one sweet ride that travels the country for promotional events.

Tuesday, its route was chosen by Rosati, who had the driver go to Duke University Medical Center, where he visited a cancer treatment center, a bone marrow transplant facility and the clinic where he gets treatment for his ALS.

After that, it was on to Durham Academy, where 400 high-schoolers had been assembled on the sidewalk without knowing why.

They figured it out when the Cruiser rolled into the parking lot, with its trademark green polka dots and Krispy Kreme bow-tie logo. They screamed and hooted.

“I told y’all to live out your dreams, as dumb as they may be sometimes,” he told the students as he got off the bus.

They would each get a doughnut, he promised, but then he asked a favor. Would some of them take a box, go out into the community and give them away just to see people smile?

“You get 12 chances in that box to make somebody happy,” he said.

Rosati’s wife, Anna, said the couple would use video of the day’s events to inspire others toward random acts of kindness through Rosati’s nonprofit, called Inspire MEdia. Eventually, Anna Rosati said, the couple hope the foundation will be able to help people fund their own uplifting projects.

http://www.journalnow.com/news/state_region/article_8a8f4da8-5fb0-11e3-ad14-001a4bcf6878.html

Thanks to Dr. Goldman for bringing this to the It’s Interesting community.

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A Virginia mother let her 7-year-old son wear a Ku Klux Klan costume this Halloween because, she insisted, it’s a family tradition.

Jessica Black of Craigsville, Va., let her son, Jackson, dress as a Klansman with a floor-length white robe and full-faced white hood, according to local ABC affiliate WHSV. The outfit garnered media attention after a photo of the boy dressed in the KKK regalia was posted to the WHSV Facebook page. When Black was confronted by the news network, she defended her decision.

“My brother has [worn it] when he was in Kindergarten and when he was 13,” Black said. She went on to claim there is nothing wrong with the costume or with the White Supremacist group, which she says still exists in their Virginia town. “It’s supposed to be white with white, black with black, man with woman and all of that. That’s what the KKK stands for.”

Facebook users were not happy about the attire.

“A mini kkk costume??? In our area??? Sounds like something we should ALL be concerned about. #noroomforacistsonthisplanet,” one respondent wrote on the WHSV Facebook page. Another defended the child on the station’s “Daybreak” Facebook page, saying he probably thought it was a ghost costume.

Some users were angry that the town was being criticized for the act of one individual, but others criticized these people for missing the larger point.

“The fact of the matter is that this event could have happened anywhere in the US and you all being more outraged that your town has a bad name than the actual issue at hand is extremely disappointing,” wrote one woman. “A few of you have missed the point completely. Just because we are in a new century does not mean that racism is a thing of the past. Racism is alive and well and if you opened your eyes, you’d see it clearly.”

It’s been quite the Halloween season for offensive costumes. First there was actress Julianne’s Hough’s major mistake of going out in blackface to portray “Orange Is the New Black” character Crazy Eyes. Then, two men thought it would be funny to go out as Trayvon Martin (in blackface) and George Zimmerman. And the latest adult to face backlash on Twitter is the young woman who decided to dress up as a Boston bombing victim.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/04/mom-son-kkk-halloween-costume_n_4212461.html

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A former Marine involuntarily detained for psychiatric evaluation for posting strident anti-government messages on Facebook has received an outpouring of support from people who say authorities are trampling on his First Amendment rights.

Brandon J. Raub, 26, has been in custody since FBI, Secret Service agents and police in Virginia’s Chesterfield County questioned him Thursday evening about what they said were ominous posts talking about a coming revolution. In one message earlier this month according to authorities, Raub wrote: “Sharpen my axe; I’m here to sever heads.”

Police – acting under a state law that allows emergency, temporary psychiatric commitments upon the recommendation of a mental health professional – took Raub to the John Randolph Medical Center in Hopewell. He was not charged with any crime.

A Virginia-based civil liberties group, The Rutherford Institute, dispatched one of its attorneys to the hospital to represent Raub at a hearing Monday. A judge ordered Raub detained for another month, Rutherford executive director John Whitehead said.

“For government officials to not only arrest Brandon Raub for doing nothing more than exercising his First Amendment rights but to actually force him to undergo psychological evaluations and detain him against his will goes against every constitutional principle this country was founded upon,” Whitehead said.

Raub’s mother, Cathleen Thomas, said by telephone that the government had overstepped its bounds.

“The bottom line is his freedom of speech has been violated,” she said.

Thomas said her son, who served tours as a combat engineer in Iraq and Afghanistan, is “concerned about all the wars we’ve experienced” and believes the U.S. government was complicit in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. One of his Facebook posts, she said, pictured the gaping hole in the Pentagon and asked “where’s the plane?”

Whitehead said he found nothing alarming in Raub’s social media commentaries. “The posts I read that supposedly were of concern were libertarian-type posts I see all the time,” he said.

The big concern, Whitehead said, is whether government officials are monitoring citizens’ private Facebook pages and detaining people with whom they disagree.

Dee Rybiski, an FBI spokeswoman in Richmond, said there was no Facebook snooping by her agency.

“We received quite a few complaints about what were perceived as threatening posts,” she said. “Given the circumstances with the things that have gone on in the country with some of these mass shootings, it would be horrible for law enforcement not to pay attention to complaints.”

Whitehead said some of the posts in question were made on a closed Facebook page that Raub had recently created so he questioned whether anyone from the public would have complained about them.

“Support Brandon Raub” Facebook pages have drawn significant interest, and other Internet sites had numerous comments from people outraged by the veteran’s detention.

Raub’s supporters characterized the detention as an arrest, complaining he was handcuffed and whisked away in a police cruiser without being served a warrant or read his rights. But authorities say it wasn’t an arrest because Raub doesn’t face criminal charges.

Col. Thierry Dupuis, the county police chief, said Raub was taken into custody upon the recommendation of mental health crisis intervention workers. He said the action was taken under the state’s emergency custody statute, which allows a magistrate to order the civil detention and psychiatric evaluation of a person who is considered potentially dangerous.

He said Raub was handcuffed because he resisted officers’ attempts to take him into custody.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/21/brandon-j-raub-marine-detained_n_1817484.html

Thanks to Dr. Mike Moore for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

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Research shows a strong association between liking “curly fries” on Facebook and having high IQ.

Every day, millions of people click on Facebook “Like” buttons, boldly declaring their preferences for a variety of things, such as books, movies, and cat videos. But those “likes” may reveal more than they intend, such as sexual orientation, drug use, and religious affiliation, according to a study that analyzed the online behavior of thousands of volunteers.

Your preferences define you. Researchers have known for decades that people’s personal attributes—gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, and personality type—correlate with their choice of products, concepts, and activities. Just consider the different populations at an opera and a NASCAR race. This is why companies are so eager to gather personal information about their consumers: Advertising is far more effective when it is targeted to groups of people who are more likely to be interested in a product. The only aspect that has changed is the increasing proportion of personal information that is available as digital data on the Internet. And Facebook has become a major hub for such data through its like button. A team led by Michal Kosinski, a psychologist at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom as well as at Microsoft Research, wondered just how much people’s likes reveal about them.

The Likes data are public information. The hard part was getting the data on intelligence and other such attributes to compare with the likes. For that, Kosinski and his Cambridge colleague David Stillwell created a Facebook app called myPersonality. After agreeing to volunteer as a research subject, users of the myPersonality app answer survey questions and take a series of psychological tests that measure things such as intelligence, competitiveness, extraversion versus introversion, and general satisfaction with life. Kosinski and Stillwell not only get those data but also data from the user’s Facebook profile and friends network. In return, users get a peek at their own information. More than 4 million people have volunteered already.

The researchers used data from 58,000 U.S.-based myPersonality volunteers to build a statistical model. Then, they used a sample of myPersonality volunteers to test how well the model could predict personal attributes from likes.

Facebook likes are an amazingly good predictor of personal attributes, the team reports online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The most accurate predictions were for gender (93%) and race (95%), as limited to Caucasian versus African American. But people’s likes also predicted far more sensitive personal attributes such as homosexuality (88% for men, 75% for women), religion (82%), political party membership (85%), and even use of cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs (73%, 70%, and 65%, respectively). Many of the likes that had the strongest prediction power make intuitive sense, such as “Jesus” for Christians and “Glee” for gay men. But others were harder to explain, such as the strong association between liking “curly fries” and having high IQ.

“What was traditionally laboriously assessed on an individual basis can be automatically inferred for millions of people without them even noticing,” Kosinski says, “which is both amazing and a bit scary.”

Science NOW contacted Facebook’s in-house social scientists about the work. The study’s results are “hardly surprising,” the company contends in their official response. “On Facebook, people can share the things they like—like bands, brands, sports teams, public figures, etc. By using Login with Facebook on third party sites, people can take their Likes and interests with them around the web—to have more personalized experiences.”

“I am glad that Facebook is aware that likes allow predicting individual traits,” Kosinski says. “I am afraid, however, that users [of Facebook and other online environments] do not realize that by ‘carrying around’ their likes, songs they listen to, Web sites they visit, and other kinds of online behavior, they are exposed to a degree potentially well beyond what they expect or would find comfortable.”

Whether people are comfortable, advertisers are sure to start paying attention to what they like, now that a Rosetta stone exists for translating it into personal data.

http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2013/03/facebook-preferences-predict-per.html

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Death already has a surprisingly vivid presence online. Social media sites are full of improvised memorials and outpourings of grief for loved ones, along with the unintentional mementos the departed leave behind in comments, photo streams and blog posts. Now technology is changing death again, with tools that let you get in one last goodbye after your demise, or even more extensive communications from beyond the grave. People have long left letters for loved ones (and the rare nemesis) with estate lawyers to be delivered after death. But a new crop of startups will handle sending prewritten e-mails and posting to Facebook or Twitter once a person passes. One company is even toying with a service that tweets just like a specific person after they are gone. The field got a boost last week when the plot of a British show “Black Mirror” featured similar tools, inspiring an article by The Guardian.

“It really allows you to be creative and literally extend the personality you had while alive in death,” said James Norris, founder of DeadSocial. “It allows you to be able to say those final goodbyes.”

DeadSocial covers all the post-death social media options, scheduling public Facebook posts, tweets and even LinkedIn posts to go out after someone has died. The free service will publish the text, video or audio messages directly from that person’s social media accounts, or it can send a series of scheduled messages in the future, say on an anniversary or a loved one’s birthday. For now, all DeadSocial messages will be public, but the company plans to add support for private missives in the future.

DeadSocial’s founders consulted with end of life specialists while developing their service. They compare the final result to the physical memory boxes sometimes created by terminally ill parents for their children. The boxes are filled with sentimental objects and memorabilia they want to share.

“It’s not physical, but there are unseen treasures that can be released over time,” Norris said of the posthumous digital messages.
Among the early beta users, Norris observed that younger participants were more likely to make jokes around their own deaths, while people who were slightly older created messages more sincere and emotional. He’s considered the potential for abuse but thinks the public nature of messages will be a deterrent. The site also requires members to pick a trusted executor, and there is a limit of six messages per week.

“I don’t think that somebody would continually be negative and troll from the afterlife,” Norris said optimistically. “Nobody really wants to be remembered as a horrible person.”

The UK-based startup will only guarantee messages scheduled for the next 100 years, but in theory you can schedule them for 400 years, should your descendants be able receive Facebook messages on their Google corneas. The company has only tested DeadSocial with a group of beta members, but it will finally launch the service for the public at the South by Southwest festival in March. Fittingly, the event will take place at the Museum of the Weird.

For those interested in sending more personal messages — confessions of love, apologies, “I told you so,” a map to buried treasure — there’s If I Die. This company will also post a public Facebook message when you die (the message goes up when at least three of your appointed trustees tell the service you’ve died), but it can also send out private messages to specific people over Facebook or via e-mail.

Though If I Die has attracted a number of terminally ill members, the company’s founders think it could be appeal to a much wider audience.

“Somebody that knows he’s about to die gets time to prepare himself; the big challenge is when it happens unexpectedly,” said Erez Rubinstein, a partner at If I Die.

The Israeli site launched in 2011 and already has 200,000 users. Most have opted to leave sentimental goodbyes, and written messages are more common than videos, according the company. So far, the service is entirely free, but it plans to launch premium paid options in the future.

“It’s an era where most of your life and most of your presence is digital, and you want to have some control over it. You want to be in charge of how you are perceived afterward,” Rubinstein said.

A more extreme version of this type of control lies at the heart of _LivesOn, a new project with the catchy tag line “When your heart stops beating, you’ll keep tweeting.”

Still in the early stages, _LivesOn is a Twitter tool in development at Lean Mean Fighting Machine, an advertising agency in the United Kingdom. The agency is partnering with the Queen Mary University to create Twitter accounts that post in the voice of a specific person, even after he or she has died.

When people sign up, the service will monitor their Twitter habits and patterns to learn what types of content they like and, in the future, possibly even learn to mimic their syntax. The tool will collect data and start populating a shadow Twitter account with a daily tweet that the algorithm determines match the person’s habits and interests. They can help train it with feedback and by favoriting tweets.

“It’s meant to be like a twin,” said Dave Bedwood, a partner at Lean Mean Fighting Machine.

In the short term, Bedwood and his team said it will serve as a nice content-recommendation engine. But eventually, in the more distant future, the goal is to have Twitter accounts that can carry on tweeting in the style and voice of the original account.

The people behind the project warn against expecting Twitter feeds fully powered by artificial intelligence, or worrying about Skynet, any time soon.

“People seem to think there’s a button you can press, and we’re going to raise all these people from the dead,” joked Bedwood, who has seen a huge spike in interest in the project over the past week. “People have a real faith in what technology can do.”

Artificial Intelligence is still a long way from being able to simulate a specific individual, but recreating the limited slice of personality reflected in a Twitter feed is an interesting place to start.

The _LivesOn service is hoping to roll out to a limited number of test users at the end of March. As with the other services, _LivesOn will require that members choose an executor. At this point, it’s as much a thought experiment as an attempt to create a usable tool.

All these companies see the potential for technology to change how people think about death. Goodbye messages can help people left behind through the grieving process, but composing them can also be comforting to people who are uncomfortable with or afraid of death.

“We shy away from death. It reaches us before we approach it,” DeadSocial’s Norris said. “We’re using tech to soften the impact that death has and dehumanize it. It allows us to think about death in a more logical way and detach ourselves from it.”

The prospect of artificial intelligence, even in 140-character bursts, can also be comforting to people who see it as a way to live on.

“The afterlife is not a new idea, it’s been around for quite a long time with all the different versions of heaven and hell,” Lean Mean Fighting Machine’s Bedwood said. “To me this isn’t any stranger than any one of those. In fact, it might be less strange.”

http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/22/tech/social-media/death-and-social-media/index.html?hpt=hp_c2

Social Networking Sites May Be Monitored By Security Services

No surprise — those Facebook photos of your friends on vacation or celebrating a birthday party can make you feel lousy.

Facebook is supposed to envelope us in the warm embrace of our social network, and scanning friends’ pages is supposed to make us feel loved, supported and important (at least in the lives of those we like). But skimming through photos of friends’ life successes can trigger feelings of envy, misery and loneliness as well, according to researchers from two German universities. The scientists studied 600 people who logged time on the social network and discovered that one in three felt worse after visiting the site—especially if they viewed vacation photos. Facebook frequenters who spent time on the site without posting their own content were also more likely to feel dissatisfied.

“We were surprised by how many people have a negative experience from Facebook with envy leaving them feeling lonely, frustrated or angry,” study author Hanna Krasnova from the Institute of Information Systems at Berlin’s Humboldt University told Reuters. ”From our observations some of these people will then leave Facebook or at least reduce their use of the site.”

The most common cause of Facebook frustration came from users comparing themselves socially to their peers, while the second most common source of dissatisfaction was “lack of attention” from having fewer comments, likes and general feedback compared to friends.

The study authors note that both men and women feel pressure to portray themselves in the best light to their Facebook friends, but men are more likely to post more self-promotional content in their ”About Me” and “Notes” sections than women, although women are more likely to stress their physical attractiveness and sociability.

The authors write [PDF]

Overall, however, shared content does not have to be “explicitly boastful” for envy feelings to emerge. In fact, a lonely user might envy numerous birthday wishes his more sociable peer receives on his FB Wall. Equally, a friend’s change in the relationship status from “single” to “in a relationship” might cause emotional havoc for someone undergoing a painful breakup.

So far, it seems that the positive effects of being socially connected supersede the negative consequences of feeling inferior or left out by your circle of friends. But the authors suggest that if the hurtful feelings grow, Facebook and other social media may no longer be a fun way to stay connected with friends, but could become just another source of stress for people.

The research will be presented at an information system conference in Germany in February, called the 11th International Conference on Wirtschaftsinformatik.

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2013/01/24/why-facebook-makes-you-feel-bad-about-yourself/#ixzz2J7kynw00