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Current Events

Facebook is cleaning up fake news. But why?


Since the election, there is a new war in town—the war on fake news. Social media outlets have gained center-stage attention as the mainstream media parades and ridicules Facebook, Twitter and other platforms for not taking a stand on fake news. This same fake news is now being blamed, by some, for swaying voters in a certain direction in this past election.

An example of one of these fake news story headlines read: “FBI AGENT SUSPECTED IN HILLARY EMAIL LEAKS FOUND DEAD IN APPARENT MURDER-SUICIDE.” This one, which appeared on Facebook, was supposedly reported by the Denver Guardian, a newspaper that doesn’t exist. One other fake news story claimed that Pope Francis backed Donald Trump as his candidate and another claimed Hillary Clinton was part of a children’s sex trafficking ring. And the stories keep coming.

These stories were actually believed by some, and here’s the thing—Facebook is not a news agency and never claimed to be. Yet, according to a Pew Research Center Survey, 66% (that’s two-thirds) of Facebook users, get their news from Facebook. Wow! And here is the scarier part—that’s 44% of the American population.

So here’s the thing. Facebook was created (after its expansion) as a social network for friends and family to get together and share photos, have conversations and connect. But, somewhere along the line among the countless photos of food and cat videos, came the meme, a simple photo with added text that turned into another way for people to make jokes, create parody and have fun on Facebook . During elections, memes became a prime way to ridicule political candidates or embrace your own candidate.

Fake photos of candidates saying things they never said were followed up by fake news stories set up to look and feel real. Sure, some of them were produced by people paid by unknown sources to sway voters, and these stories can be considered SPAM and should be removed as unwanted advertising. But, many fake stories are just created for fun by everyday Facebook users. This isn’t a new thing as it’s being happening for years and the problem isn’t that Facebook is allowing these fake news stories to be posted (because they are not a news agency), the problem is that 44% of Americans are getting their news from Facebook and a good percentage of them are believing what they are reading.

Though Facebook should not be a news source, the mainstream media has treated Facebook as a new source often quoting content and directed people to its pages. Sean Hannity of Fox News, for example, cited a fake news story claiming that President Obama deleted endorsements for Hillary Clinton on his Twitter account. Hannity later apologized for the false story.

If Facebook is a social media platform, then why are so many people confusing it with a news agency, including legitimate news agencies? And, if Facebook isn’t a news agency, why is it all of a sudden breaking its back to do something about fake news? Yep, it’s confusing.

There are a few reasons, in my opinion, why this has happened. First, people feel they no longer have a trustworthy place to get their news. After the fall of Jennings, Rather and Brokaw and the dawn of the Internet, impartial news reporting crumbled as well. News anchors now share their opinions and shows like The O’Reilly Factor and The Rachel Maddow Show have become more popular. Cable news networks have spent less time hiding their left-leaning or right-leaning agendas. This has never been more obvious than during this past election when we saw anchors such as CNN’s Anderson Cooper go to extreme lengths to discredit Donald Trump during the debate.

On top of that, we have situations like the one with NBC’s Brian Williams where he claimed a helicopter he was aboard in Iraq in 2003 came under fire. He later admitted that this was not true and was relieved of his job as anchor of their Nightly News broadcast. Recently, it was revealed that a local ABC news affiliate staged a crime scene for the cameras and, of course, we have the Sean Hannity situation I just mentioned on FOX. The bottom line is that anything goes for ratings and egos.

Secondly, major news outlets are finding themselves competing with something else more than ever—time. Internet news platforms care less about getting things correct and care more about getting things first and, unfortunately, this attitude has overflowed to network and cable news who refuse to be beaten out for breaking coverage by the likes of BuzzFeed, Mashable, Digg and others.

Furthermore, people these days don’t want to wait for credibility to be confirmed and, in fact, many Millennials feel 30 seconds is too long to wait for information.

So, people would rather take their chances on places like Facebook for their news because it’s instant, right there, mixed in with everything else, at their fingertips and they apparently believe Facebook to be just as trustworthy as the “biased,” “lying” news agencies people used to rely on. Touché.

Kevin McGuire is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles covering topics in news, politics, health and social media. You can read more of his articles at

Current Events

Is Social Media Ruining Your Life?



danger tablet businessman open hatch road works new technologies

Mixed Emotions

Common Sense Media reported back in November 2015, that teens spend an average of 9 hours a day on their social media accounts. That is more time than they spend with their families, or in school or sleeping. Adults spend about 3 to 4 hours daily on social media accounts, checking updates on accounts like Facebook and Twitter up to 17 times a day.

Though it’s called social media, how social is it really? It’s easy to click a button and send a comment off on social media, but what impact does it have on the receiving end? Teens, especially, have become less connected and in-tune with true emotions. In normal social situations, people converse out loud to each other and can see the emotion reactions their actions and comments have on people they are interacting with. For example, if Joe says in social media, “Anyone who wears red shoes just looks stupid,” sure it may receive some comments, but maybe Mary, who is wearing red shoes, now feels stupid and humiliated and doesn’t comment at all. Joe never has that emotional connect with Mary and may never know that his comments were emotionally hurtful to her. Facial expressions are missing from these virtual conversations. Who know what the future holds with Tweens who may never truly grasp human emotions in the way older adults do.

Google is Your Resume
In the latest edition of the book What Color Is Your Parachute, the author Richard Nelson Bolles explains that in this day and age, how you appear on the internet can be interpreted as who you really are. A virtual resume. So if your Facebook page is full of your political beliefs and your YouTube page full of videos of stupid stunts going wrong, these things could be a reflection of you to potential employers. The book suggest doing a Google search on yourself to see what comes up. Some internet housecleaning may be in order.

I’m at the Pizza Place
Using GeoTags to identify your location can be risky business. By letting people know where you are out for dinner, movies etc. is also letting them know that you are not home. Sure, many of us only have close friends and family connected with us, but say you tag a friend of yours who is with you at the movies. Now, maybe you are letting his business acquaintances know that you are not home. Maybe he doesn’t know them that well. If there is any way this person can find out where you live, you might come home to find valuables missing. Farfetched? “In September 2010, three men burglarized more than 18 homes in the Nashua area of New Hampshire simply by tracking residents’ movements online and, when they were away, broke into their homes and took off with more than $100,000 worth of goods,” as reported on
Also, if you have that ex stalking you, you don’t want them showing up at that restaurant as you are entertaining your new love interest. Right?

A Reward is On the Way

If it sounds too good to be true; it probably is. This old adage applies to social media as well. Messages from people saying that you have won the lottery or claiming some hardship are happening way too often these days. Keep in mind, lottery agencies, banks and credit card agencies will not contact you via email to discuss money won or owed. Always call the agency itself before sending anyone money. Other scams include apartment scams for example, “just send me $800 and I’ll mail you the keys to my beachfront home in Malibu” or promises of romance. “I am a lonely girl from the Philippines, I saw your profile and we have a lot in common! Please send me $1,000 for an airline ticket so we can spend some sexy time together.” Don’t fall for it.

There are so many good things that can come from social media, but like everything in life, there is always a flip side. Take it in moderation and be wary of your actions before you hit the “send” button!

Current Events

FAST takes to social media to drive home its Report Piracy message


Innovative advertising campaign launched on Facebook to drive reports of software misuse
The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) has taken to social media to drive home its message that software misuse does not pay. Building on the success of an initial trial on Facebook earlier this year, the anti-piracy body has launched a range of adverts on the platform and other social media to encourage individuals to report software misuse in their organisation.

The campaign not only aims to drive traffic to the FAST website – and therefore highlight a confidential route for whistle-blowers – but also to raise awareness of the broader issue of software misuse in the office environment.

Alex Hilton, FAST’s CEO, commented: “Software misuse and efforts to secure an unfair trading advantage have become increasingly sophisticated, which means we must continue to evolve our tactics to protect the IP of all software developers, both large and small. We took the decision to launch this latest advertising campaign across Facebook as a direct result of the shift that is taking place in how and where people are consuming media content. This is the first time we have undertaken a campaign on such a scale across social media and the trial results are already highly promising, with a dramatic uplift in web traffic as well as reports coming in to our 100% confidential advice service,”

“Our message is clear: it is not just the software publishers who suffer from software misuse, the corporate user is often left in a precarious position, running the risk of numerous corporate network malware vulnerabilities and with no access to support. The impact on mid-level IT staff should not be dismissed as they fear being implicated together with the End User infringer and feel powerless to protect their reputations if get mixed up in the wrong doing. Our campaign therefore, appeals directly to the person in the IT department being told to ignore flagrant software misuse in the business, through to the office manager who fears for their own position and reputation,” he added.

In 1984 FAST became the UK’s first software anti-piracy organisation to campaign for changes to the copyright law on behalf of the software industry. However, the software and IP landscapes have shifted significantly since the industry body first launched. Over the past 30 years the industry body has launched a number of new educational and whistleblowing initiatives, this being the latest.

Alex Hilton added: “According to the Department for Culture, Media and Sports, in 2012 the Creative Economy accounted for one out of every 12 jobs in the UK and specifically the IT software and computer services sector accounted for the employment of 791,000 people. With such a large UK workforce focused on technology, innovation and services, the number of software development companies has dramatically risen. So our message is not just about individuals protecting their personal reputations, but calling on them to do the right thing for British innovation and British jobs.

“Workers should be aware of their rights when it comes to doing the right thing. You are protected. If you believe that software is being used in the workplace illegally, and in particular, with the knowledge of a manager responsible and/or a Director, then get in touch with FAST to make a report in confidence,” he concluded.

To be protected as a whistle-blower you need to make a ‘qualifying disclosure’. This could be a disclosure about:

criminal offences
failure to comply with a legal obligation
miscarriages of justice
threats to an individual’s health and safety
damage to the environment
a deliberate attempt to cover up any of the above
If you would like to make a report to FAST about an organisation using unlicensed software please use the form at the link below. Please complete as much as you can.

Your contact details are important to allow FAST investigators to contact you should further information be required. Should you have any queries, please e-mail or make a report online at:



About FAST
FAST is a not-for-profit organisation limited by guarantee and wholly owned by its members. It works on many fronts to promote the legitimate use of software and protect its members’ rights through education, enforcement, lobbying and promoting standards and best practice in business.

Current Events

InfoDesk launches Social Media InfoMonitor designed for C-suite


Tarrytown, NY (PRWEB) May 31, 2015

InfoDesk has introduced Social Media InfoMonitor, a turnkey solution that leverages the latest technology and editorial expertise to provide top decision makers with fully curated, insightful reports on trending social media and online media posts. The new Social Media InfoMonitor is designed to help executives stay on top of trending social media news related specifically to their business—with no learning curve.


“Top executives aren’t interested in the latest celebrity gossip,” said Sterling Stites, InfoDesk CEO. “But they do need to know what’s trending about their business, brands and industry, and which company-related news and social posts are getting the most traction online.”

The problem, Stites added, is that most automated social media monitoring solutions provide too much poorly filtered data, not the succinct insight executives are looking for.” “What’s lacking,” he noted, “is the experienced editorial team that InfoDesk employs to hand curate only the most meaningful social media content.”

InfoDesk developed the new Social Media InfoMonitor in response to requests from its Fortune 500 clients who were not satisfied with their current solutions. Stites noted that InfoDesk’s editorial team has been curating InfoMonitor daily news and competitive intelligence briefs for these clients for years. “It only made sense,” he said, “to have our editorial team curate their social media briefs too.”



Stites noted that while InfoDesk is a technology company, over the past decade, InfoDesk has built an impressive editorial team. Tiki Archambeau, a former Dow Jones managed news summary content strategist, heads the team. “When it comes right down to it,” Archambeau said, “there is no substitute for human curation.” He added that InfoDesk’s editorial team is highly experienced and trained to take large amounts of data and distill it into short, easy-to-read executive briefs. “Without redundancy, irrelevant content or spam,” he added.

Furthermore, the social media briefs are easy to use, timesaving and customizable. Because these briefs are created specifically for each client, they can easily be tailored to look any way the client wants and include the specific level of detail they require. “Clients even have the option to double-vet and sign off on each brief before it’s sent,” Archambeau added.

To introduce the new Social Media InfoMonitor, InfoDesk will offer online demos, fact sheets and introductory pricing to qualified prospects. For more information about curated social media briefs, contact info at or call 914.332.5940 (US) or +44 20.8350.3398 (UK).

About InfoDesk

InfoDesk ( is a business intelligence platform that helps organizations manage, deliver and share all of their content resources. For more than 15 years, InfoDesk has helped some of the largest multinational corporations, top government agencies and media companies maximize their information resources. InfoDesk is based in Tarrytown, NY with offices in London and Washington DC.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: