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Twitter launches anti cyberbully policy

April 27, 2015 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Personal Security, Search Clinic, Social Media, Social Networking, Twitter, Uncategorized

Twitter is to launch an anti cyberbully policy to act against violent threats as part of renewed efforts to tackle abuse.

Twitter launches anti cyberbully policyTwitter has acknowledged that its previous rules, which said a threat needed to be “direct” and “specific” to justify its intervention, had been too “narrow”.

The firm will still require a complaint to be made before it blocks an account, but it said it was also attempting to automatically make a wider range of abusive tweets less prominent.

The problem is not limited to Twitter – in March, a study of 1,000 UK-based 13 to 17 year olds by broadband provider Europasat indicated that nearly half of those surveyed had been sent abusive messages over the internet.

In February, Twitter’s chief executive Dick Costolo highlighted the issue when he sent a memo to staff telling them that “we suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years”.

Twitter’s rules now state that it may act after being alerted to tweets that contain “threats of violence against others or promote violence against others”.

Twitter will tell some abusers to verify their phone number and delete several tweets before lifting a temporary ban.

By making its criteria more vague than before, the platform can now intervene if, for example, someone says that a victim ought to be beaten up.

It had previously required the aggressor to have provided specific details, such as the fact they planned to commit the act using a baseball bat at the victim’s place of work, before it would respond.

“Our previous policy was unduly narrow, and limited our ability to act on certain kinds of threatening behaviour,” wrote Shreyas Doshi, Twitter’s director of product management, on the firm’s blog.

“The updated language better describes the range of prohibited content and our intention to act when users step over the line into abuse.”

In addition, Twitter will begin freezing some abusers’ accounts for set amounts of time, allowing those affected to see the remaining duration via its app. Abusers may also be required to verify their phone number and delete all their previous offending tweets in order to get their account unlocked.

The firm said it could use this facility to calm situations in which a person or organisation came under attack from several people at once, where it might not be appropriate to enforce permanent bans on all involved.

While such decisions would be taken by Twitter’s staff, the company said it had also started using software to identify tweets that might be abusive, based on “a wide range of signals and context”.

Such posts will be prevented from appearing in people’s feeds without ever having been checked by a human being. However, they will still show up in searches and remain subject to the existing complaints procedure.

A side-effect of this could be that some abusive tweets become harder to detect.

The UK Safer Internet Centre, which represents a number of campaign bodies, welcomed the move.

“These are really good steps,” said Laura Higgins, the organisation’s online safety operations manager.

“Regrettably some people might fall foul of bad behaviour before Twitter can put some of these safeguards in place, but at least it is always looking for new solutions.”

“In cases when there is massive amounts of abuse and it’s all of a similar theme, I think the new system will be good at picking it up, and that’s great. But it would be good to hear what will happen to that data once Twitter has it.”

The announcements build on other recent changes made by Twitter, including hiring more workers to handle abuse reports and letting third parties flag abuse.

Search Clinic repeats the link to How to Report a Tweet or Direct Message for violations

Computer communication encryptions are a problem for police

March 30, 2015 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Computers, Cyber Security, data security, Social Media, Social Networking, Technology Companies, Telecommunications Companies, Uncategorized

Encrypted communications are the biggest problem for police, says Europol’s police chief.

Computer communication encryptions are a problem for policeThe European police chief says the sophisticated online communications are the biggest problem for security agencies tackling terrorism.

Hidden areas of the internet and encrypted communications make it harder to monitor terror suspects, warns Europol’s Rob Wainwright.

Tech firms should consider the impact sophisticated encryption software has on law enforcement, he said.

There is a significant capability gap that has to change if we’re serious about ensuring the internet isn’t abused and effectively enhancing the terrorist threat.

Mr Wainwright said that in most current investigations the use of encrypted communications was found to be central to the way terrorists operated.

“It’s become perhaps the biggest problem for the police and the security service authorities in dealing with the threats from terrorism,” he explained.

“It’s changed the very nature of counter terrorist work from one that has been traditionally reliant on having good monitoring capability of communications to one that essentially doesn’t provide that anymore.”

Mr Wainwright, whose organisation supports police forces in Europe, said terrorists were exploiting the “dark net”, where users can go online anonymously, away from the gaze of police and security services.

But he is also concerned at moves by companies such as Apple to allow customers to encrypt data on their smartphones.

And the development of heavily encrypted instant messaging apps is another cause for concern, he said. This meant people could send text and voice messages which police found very difficult or impossible to access, he said.

“We are disappointed by the position taken by these tech firms and it only adds to our problems in getting to the communications of the most dangerous people that are abusing the internet.

“Tech firms are doing it, I suppose, because of a commercial imperative driven by what they perceive to be consumer demand for greater privacy of their communications.”

Mr Wainwright acknowledged this was a result of the revelations by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who exposed how security services were conducting widespread surveillance of emails and messages.

He said security agencies now had to work to rebuild trust between technology firms and the authorities.

The extent of the challenge faced by security services is shown in the scale of social media use by IS.

The programme also found evidence that supporters of ISIS are using encrypted sites to radicalise or groom new recruits.

Mr Wainwright revealed that ISIS is believed to have up to 50,000 different Twitter accounts tweeting up to 100,000 messages a day.

Europol is now setting up a European Internet Referral Unit to identify and remove sites being used by terrorist organisations.

Mr Wainwright also says current laws are “deficient” and should be reviewed to ensure security agencies are able to monitor all areas of the online world.

“There is a significant capability gap that has to change if we’re serious about ensuring the internet isn’t abused and effectively enhancing the terrorist threat.

“We have to make sure we reach the right balance by ensuring the fundamental principles of privacy are upheld so there’s a lot of work for legislators and tech firms to do.”

Yahoo reports quarterly revenues increase

January 28, 2013 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Dr Search, internet, Search Clinic, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Results, search engines, Social Media, Uncategorized, Yahoo

Yahoo has reported fourth quarter revenues of £860 million in the fourth quarter, up nearly 2% on the same time a year before.Yahoo reports quarterly revenues increaseA one off accounting charge meant that the fourth quarter net income was £174 million, down by 8% compared to £189 million in the same period 12 months earlier.

In trading in New York the shares in the company gained 4.5%.

About 700 million web surfers visit its website every month, ranking it among the top three in the global industry.

However, it shed more than 1,000 jobs during 2012, and has long been divided over whether it should focus on media content or on tools and technologies.

Chief executive Marissa Mayer was brought in last July from Google to turn the company round, and the latest financial figures are the first full quarter’s under her leadership.

Ms Mayer has been focusing on building better mobile and social networking services.

She said that during the quarter Yahoo made progress “by growing our executive team, signing key partnerships including those with NBC Sports and CBS Television and launching terrific mobile experiences for Yahoo Mail and Flickr”.

Yahoo hired the former Google executive on a pay package of $58 million ( £37 million) which Dr Search thinks is nice work if you can get it.

Facebook announces Graph Search- a social search tools for users

January 11, 2013 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Customer Service, Dr Search, Facebook, internet, Search Clinic, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Results, search engines, Social Media, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Facebook has announced a major addition to its social network – a smart search engine it has called Graph Search.Facebook announces Graph Search- a social search tools for usersThe feature allows users to make “natural” searches of content shared by their friends.

Search terms could include phrases such as “friends who like Star Wars and Harry Potter”.

Founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg insisted it was not a web search, and therefore not a direct challenge to Google- however, it was integrating Microsoft’s Bing search engine for situations when graph search itself could not find answers.

Mr Zuckerberg said he “did not expect” people to start flocking to Facebook to do web search.

“That isn’t the intent,” he said. “But in the event you can’t find what you’re looking for, it’s really nice to have this.”

Earlier speculation had suggested that the world’s biggest social network was about to make a long anticipated foray into Google’s search territory.

“We’re not indexing the web,” explained Mr Zuckerberg at an event at Facebook’s headquarters in California.

“We’re indexing our map of the graph – the graph is really big and its constantly changing.”

In Facebook’s terms, the social graph is the name given to the collective pool of information shared between friends that are connected via the site.

It includes things such as photos, status updates, location data as well as the things they have “liked”.

Until now, Facebook’s search had been highly criticised for being limited and ineffective.

The company’s revamped search was demonstrated to be significantly more powerful. In one demo, Facebook developer Tom Stocky showed a search for queries such as “friends of friends who are single in San Francisco”.

The same technology could be used for recruitment, he suggested, using graph search to find people who fit criteria for certain jobs – as well as mutual connections.

Such queries are a key function of LinkedIn, the current dominant network for establishing professional connections.

“We look at Facebook as a big social database,” said Mr Zuckerberg, adding that social search was Facebook’s “third pillar” and stood beside the news feed and timeline as the foundational elements of the social network.

Perhaps mindful of privacy concerns highlighted by recent misfires on policies for its other services such as Instagram, Facebook stressed that it had put limits on the search system.

Waste management recycling Cheltenham company wins award

November 26, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Customer Service, Dr Search, Messaging, Online Marketing, Search Clinic, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

A Cheltenham waste management recycling company Printwaste has won a prestigueous National Award – the Document Destruction Company of the Year!Waste management recycling Cheltenham company wins awardThe Document Manager Awards has added value to both our image, and industry credibility. To achieve this award shows that our customers recognise the standard of service we are able to offer and differentiates us from the competitors.

Since 2007, the Document Manager Awards has been the UK’s Document and Content Management’s most prestigious, and enjoyable awards evening.

Every year has been a sell-out attracting up to a 200 guests to its black-tie dinner.

The event offers your organisation an unequalled opportunity to imprint its brand and corporate power on the entire senior level of UK document management gathered in one location.

The Document Manager Awards are run by the Document Manager Magazine- which is published bi-monthly and has a circulation of 14,560 in the UK

The total waste management recycling service means you only need to deal with one waste management company. The service is recycling-led and builds in incentives to reduce your business’ general waste. They provide a combination of services, including all of the below:

  •     Confidential waste destruction
  •     Duty of Care compliance
  •     Full management information reporting
  •     General waste disposal
  •     Hazardous waste disposal
  •     Recycling of all materials
  •     Waste audits

You can be assured that Printwaste’s audit will always go the extra mile, to ensure you receive the best possible waste management programme. We understand the need to reduce costs and our job is to achieve best recycling value from your material by reducing your landfill costs.

Since its birth 18 years ago, DM Magazine has covered applications that overlap with its central tenet of Document Management, including Knowledge & Content Management, E-mail, Records and Archive Management, as well as ‘peripheral’ technologies such as security, storage systems and networking.  Included in our broad definition of Document Management would be scanning & imaging, data capture, recognition, archiving and retrieval, workflow & business process automation and intra/internet solutions.   In recent years there has been a shift in emphasis towards Enterprise Content Management, and therefore integration with line-of-business applications, ROI and similar strategic issues are also covered regularly.

Hardware coverage includes document scanners and multifunction devices, as well as other related products such as display technologies, storage devices, network printing solutions etc.  DM also occasionally reviews more peripheral product offerings such as fax servers, email management/archival software etc.

DM includes regular ‘focus’ looks at specific vertical markets where these technologies are having a major impact: foremost among these continue to be government, health, and the finance sector, and we will also feature construction, manufacturing, utilities, distribution, professional services, logistics, education and more.

As with any title in a fast moving IT sector, all planned features are subject to change at short notice, whether due to last-minute withdrawal of an article or just someone pitching us an idea that we can’t resist!  Document Manager welcomes submissions from vendors/PR’s, especially by-lined Opinion articles and case studies/Case Studies. This features list is also available at www.document-manager.com where you can view the full media pack and other information relating to the magazine.

Facebook share of UK social networks declines

January 11, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Facebook, Google, Social Media, Social Networking, Twitter, Uncategorized, Yahoo, YouTube

Facebook’s share of the UK online usage has fallen by more than seven percentage points in the last year- raising concerns that it may have hit saturation point.Facebook share of UK social networks declinesThe social network – which is expected to make an initial public offering (IPO) this year – still attracted significantly more online time than its nearest competitor, accounting for 52.6pc of all visits to social networks in December.

However, Facebook has lost substantial ground since the previous December, when it took a 58.5pc share of the UK’s social networking market, according to data from Experian Hitwise.

It slipped 1.3 percentage points last month alone.

The decline has raised concerns that Facebook is running out of steam in the markets where it is best established, whilst its competitors gain ground.

“Facebook’s growth is levelling out,” said James Murray, market research analyst at Experian. “Because Facebook had such a clear lead, it was always going to be difficult for Facebook to maintain [its position]. It has probably reached near enough its maximum growth.”

The figures will come as a blow to the company, which has been investing heavily in extending its reach and enticing users to click on its adverts, ahead of its long-awaited IPO. Facebook is expected to float with a possible valuation of  £65 billion ($100 billion)- the biggest technology IPO ever.

By contrast, YouTube, the user-generated video site owned by Google, grew its traffic by 45pc last year.

It accounted for just over a quarter of all UK visits to social networks in December, putting it 7.4 percentage points ahead of the previous year.

“We’re expecting video to be even more influential as a marketing channel, and marketers will have to adapt their strategies to incorporate a multi-channel approach in order to secure customers both on and offline,” said Mr Murray.

Twitter and Yahoo! Answers also made gains, but remained tiny by comparison, with 3pc and 2pc of all visits to social networks respectively.

Google’s social network, Google +, did not register in the top 10 most visited social networks at all.

However, Google grew its share of search engine usage market in the UK, edging up from a 91.3pc share of the market to 91.8pc.

Microsoft, its nearest competitor, was a minnow by comparison. Its suite of sites accountted for 3.6pc of all search engine visits in the UK in December, whilst Yahoo!’s popularity for searches fell nearly a percentage point to 2.5pc.

Twitter gets £200 million cash boost

December 28, 2011 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Social Media, Social Networking, Technology Companies, Twitter, Uncategorized

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding Company has announced a £200 million investment in Twitter.Twitter gets £200 million cash boostThe investment follows “several months of negotiations”, a company statement to the Saudi stock exchange said.

The prince, who is one of the world’s richest men, owns stakes in many well-known companies, including News Corporation.

He also has investments in a number of media groups in the Arab world.

“Our investment in Twitter reaffirms our ability in identifying suitable opportunities to invest in promising, high-growth businesses with a global impact,” Prince Alwaleed said.

Western business is lagging behind in social media use

December 23, 2011 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Customer Service, Ecommerce, Social Media, Social Networking, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Western business have been slower at adopting social networks such as Facebook and Twitter than their rivals in developing countries, according to a report by KPMG.Western business is lagging behind in social media useThe report found firms in China, India and Brazil were 20-30% more likely to use social media than companies in developed countries such as the UK.

KPMG surveyed 1,850 managers and 2,016 employees from 10 countries.

On average, it found that 70% of companies now use social media.

“The emerging markets seem to be quickly finding that social networks offer a relatively low-cost opportunity to leapfrog the competition in developed markets,” said Tudor Aw, KPMG’s head of technology, Europe.

“The rapid adoption of social media in emerging market countries may also be attributed to a lower dependence on ‘legacy systems’,” such as email, he added.

The KPMG report also found that many employees are being banned by their employers from using these networks- but that they often use them anyway.

One third of employees surveyed whose firm had blocked access used workarounds to get onto social network sites.

KPMG’s survey found that 98% managers at firms in China and 95% of managers in Brazil said they use social media at least several times a week, compared with 80% of managers in the UK.

Only 48% of UK companies use networks such as Twitter and Facebook to communicate with suppliers, clients and customers.

That compares with 72% in the US and 83% in China.

However, the report found that UK firms had fewer problems using the internet for social purposes compared with their rivals overseas.

Facebook announces revamp of media sharing on security concerns

September 28, 2011 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: data security, Facebook, Online Marketing, Social Media, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Facebook has outlined plans to encourage users to share more of the media they consume – including music and movies with friends- as well as once again changing their users’ security options.Facebook announces revamp of media sharing on security concernsIts founder Mark Zuckerberg also unveiled a dramatic redesign to the website, replacing user profiles with an audio visual timeline of their life.

The updates were revealed at Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference.

A wave of new features in recent weeks have been welcomed by some users and caused annoyance to many others.

Facebook’s latest changes point to a desire to keep users engaged through new features, in the midst of rapid innovation from social networking rivals.

The site’s application platform has been redesigned to allow users to share what they are consuming on streaming music services such as Spotify, and the movie rental site Netflix.

Depending on privacy settings, users will be able to see what friends are doing – for example, playing a song – then listen-in themselves.

Mr Zuckerberg said he wanted to create, what he called, “real time serendipity”.

“Being able to click on someone’s music is a great experience, but knowing you helped a friend discover something new and they liked your taste in music, and that you now have that in common is awesome,” he added.

Facebook said that users would only be able to do as much on the site as its media partners allowed in each country, so free music sharing through streaming apps would only work where that service was already available outside Facebook.

Alongside the deeper integration of media content, the restyling of Facebook’s profile pages is also likely to prove a hot topic among users.

Identities will now be defined through a densely packed vertical timeline of major life events, made up of photos, videos and other items. The level of detail diminishes the further down a reader scrolls.

Profile pages had previously been limited to basic information along with a stream of every single item posted by a user.

Facebook stressed that all of its new offerings could be controlled by members using its recently simplified privacy controls.

In particular, it stressed that timeline items could be modified within the new “activity log”, allowing users to limit who can view certain events from their past.

The updates are expected to start appearing on users’ computers in coming weeks.

Twitter is tracked by hedge fund managers for investment news

September 13, 2011 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Customer Service, Ecommerce, internet, Social Media, Technology Companies, Twitter, Uncategorized

The millions of tweets posted on Twitter are being analysed by hedge fund managers to predict share price patterns.Twitter is tracked by hedge fund managers for investment newsTraders have used an awareness of the population’s collective emotions to predict price movements for years.

However, experts found that the instant nature of Twitter meant that those emotions could be gauged more accurately.

Previously, it had been thought that a drop in the markets led to more negative feelings but it proved to be the other way around.

Analysts at Derwent Capital Markets in Mayfair, central London, have launched a £25m fund that makes its investments by evaluating whether people are generally happy, sad, anxious or tired, because they believe it will predict whether the market will move up or down.

The program was originally designed by Johan Bollen, professor of informatics and computing at Indiana University.

It takes a random 10% of all Twitter feeds and uses two methods to collate the data.

One compares positive with negative comments and the other uses a program designed by Google to define six moods calm, alert, sure, vital, kind and happy.

In a study published last October, Bollen used the social networking site to predict the direction of the movement of the Dow Jones in New York with 87.6% accuracy.

Mr Bollen’s algorithms flag up key emotive words when they appear in a certain order.

He told the Sunday Times: “We recorded the sentiment of the online community, but we couldn’t prove if it was correct. So we looked at the Dow Jones to see if there was a correlation. We believed that if the markets fell, then the mood of people on Twitter would fall.

But we realised it was the other way round — that a drop in the mood or sentiment of the online community would precede a fall in the market. That was a eureka moment.  It meant we could predict the change in the market and that gives you a considerable edge.”

Paul Hawtin, Derwent’s founder and fund manager, has an exclusive contract with Bollen to use his technology.

Mr Hawtin told the newspaper: “Investors have always accepted that markets are driven by sentiment, mainly fear and greed. When people are greedy the markets go up and when they are fearful they go down.

“When sentiment dropped, and people tweeted about feeling tight on money, were worried or anxious, the markets would crash two or three days later.”

It is not the only such tool on the market.

WiseWindow, a data provider in California, boils down the online input of 100m social networking comments every month for its clients.