December 30, 2017

Last social media updates of 2017: FCC, Facebook, Google and ITB itself!

Net neutrality: a big blow by US FCC

As was expected, FCC took a decision on December 14 to repeal its earlier policy on net neutrality. What it simply means is that a net provider company in the US will now be free to slow down or kill political views of a type, or fasten a particular news site, or serve some content free without the permission of the user. 

In theory it is no better than North Korea allowing only state-sponsored news in the country because there are now no bounds in the US on internet service providers (ISPs), but things would only as bad as dictated by commercial considerations and political or business pressures.  

It is also apprehended that big companies and innovators will wipe out the smaller ones trying to pose competition to them, just by bribing the ISPs, even buying them out.

Unless the Congress or courts take it down, FCC's ruling prevails and internet is going to be served according to the big ISPs' whims in the US.

ITB has been posting on this important aspect and its latest update was to welcome Indian TRAI's bold decision in favor of a neutral net

Google faces monopoly fine in Europe

Telegraph reports that comparison sites in the EU have been meeting EU's competition commissioner to complain against Google for being unfair with them in showing shopping results on search pages. They plan to formally lodge a complain which, if upheld by the commission, may result in stiff fines on Google, says the report.

Google was earlier fined by the European Union a record 2.4 billion Euro fine for abuse of its dominance. Google has been asked to comply with fair practices and explain how it wants to do so. Google has appealed against the order.

Facebook to penalize soliciting shares, likes etc

Examples of baits to get likes, shares, etc
Facebook has announced that it is going to demote posts that ask for sharing or liking a content, following etc that bait people into taking that action. Such practices artificially raise the content's popularity score. Facebook says, ... we will demote posts that go against one of our key News Feed values — authenticity. Similar to our other recent efforts to demote clickbait headlines and links to low-quality web page experiences, we want to reduce the spread of content that is spammy, sensational, or misleading in order to promote more meaningful and authentic conversations on Facebook.

Facebook now allows you to unfollow somebody temporarily

Facebook has introduced a 'snooze' option when you click on three dots on top of a post. When you snooze a friend, his/ her posts do not show up on your news feed for the next 30 days. You can similarly snooze a page or a group. You can reverse snooze whenever you like and re-snooze if you don't like to see their updates for another 30 days.

This feature was being tested for about two months and is now universally available.

What people searched the most on Google in 2017?

Google says, the following were the most searched terms in 2017:
  • overall: Hurricane Irma
  • people: Matt Lauer
  • consumer tech: IPhone 8
  • elections: French elections
  • sporting event: Wimbledon
  • movies: IT
  • recipe: Chicken breast
You can visit the long list here: Google search trends in 2017

What ITB brought to you in 2017 in social media updates

ITB carried 17 social media and blogging updates in 2017, which included 
  • reports on threats and harm to bloggers and their stories of courage, 
  • WannaCry and NotPetya ransomware attacks, 
  • WikiLeaks telling how US state agencies snoop, 
  • huge Yahoo! and Equifax hacking episodes, 
  • the controversial monkey selfie, 
  • big decisions on net neutrality in the US and India, 
  • use of social media for crimes, 
  • studies on social media's effect on people's well-being, 
  • nations' right or wrong actions against social media, and also 
  • important new features announced by major social platforms.