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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.”

New Twitter popularity chart launched

March 31, 2014 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Customer Service, internet, Search Clinic, Social Media, Twitter, Uncategorized

The music Billboard organisation has announced a new set of music charts based on Twitter data.
New Twitter popularity chart launchedWorking with the social media platform, the Billboard Twitter Real-Time Charts will rank tracks and artists based on Twitter traffic.

Trends will be ranked in real-time over extended periods of time to track the longevity of successful songs and artists’ popularity.

The charts will also highlight the most talked about and shared tracks by new and upcoming acts.

The Twitter Real-Time Charts are set to launch in America over the next fortnight.

Bob Moczydlowsky, Twitter’s head of music, said: “When artists share songs and engage with their audience on Twitter, the buzz they create will now be visible to fans, other musicians and industry decision makers in real-time.”

Katy Perry is currently the most followed musician of Twitter with 51.8 million followers.

Official accounts of Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Rihanna and Justin Timberlake are also in the top 10 most followed users on the site.

Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, which is based on radio play, streaming online, and sales, was recently expanded to include Spotify and YouTube streams.

They also launched an artist chart called Social 50 in 2010, which collects data from social media.

The new chart will be available on Billboard.com and will be shared on their Twitter account @billboard.

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.

How to make money Banners Broker

December 15, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Customer Service, Dr Search, Ecommerce, Facebook, Google, internet, Online Marketing, Pay Per Click Advertising, Search Clinic, Technology Companies, Uncategorized, Website Design

There are a number of ways of making money online- but one BannersBrokers is a pretty unique company.

The usual online business income development process are through advertising and publishing. But BannersBroker have a third method- combining the two processes.

Website Advertiser Publisher Combined
how to make money red-tick red-cross-wrong red-cross-wrong
google logo red-tick red-tick red-cross-wrong
bannersbroker logo red-tick red-tick red-tick

If you have a Facebook account then you don’t get any money when businesses advertise on your pages.

If you have a Google AdSense publishing account on your website then Google only gives you one per cent of the income that they make from your website.

However BannersBroker will give you a massive seventy five per cent of the money that they make when your website promotes their advertising.

All you have to do to get started is to click on the how to make money Banners Broker link

BannersBroker (BB) make money by renting advertising space on publisher sites to you, the members. When you buy a package of space from BB you will share in the profits they make.

Start with the Ad Pub Combo program- please see the red oblong below:online-starting

Then Click on the green getting started button, half way down on the right hand side. This form then appears:

sign-up-formPLEASE NOTE: Please copy and make a note of your username and particularly your password as BB do not seem to send you a confirmation email.

The user name is usually based around your name. It can not be changed in the future, so please make sure that it is memorable to you.

The password should be at least 12 characters long, with CAPITAL and lower case letters and numbers. Special characters are not recognised.

As such it makes sense to create the password in Notepad or a third party program and then copy and paste the password into BannersBroker.

If you own a website that receives a significant amount of traffic, BB can help you grow your business through a new revenue stream. As a BB publisher, your website is included in our database of viable advertising space.

When we make a match, advertisements are placed on your website. For every ad impression generated by your website, you earn a pre-set amount of money. Through our program, BB publishers are able to grow their corporate revenues by taking full advantage of their web traffic.

BB is an online advertising network that manages the sourcing, publishing and performance tracking of ads that make the connection between advertisers and publishers around the world.

We connect advertisers with effective ad space and publishers with the most relevant ads to market on their websites. With an extensive online network consisting of hundreds of thousands of publishers and advertisers from around the world, we help our clients increase sales and earn additional advertising revenue.

If you need some help with building your online business then please click the button NOW:

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EBay pays £1.2m in UK tax on sales of £800 million

October 29, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Amazon, eBay, Ecommerce, Facebook, internet, Online Marketing, Search Clinic, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

eBay has paid just £1.2 million in tax in the UK an investigation has found.EBay pays £1.2m in UK tax on sales of £800 millionThe Sunday Times newspaper said that its tax bill in 2010 comes despite eBay’s UK subsidiaries generating sales of £800 million.

The auction site – which also owns the PayPal payments system – responded that it “complies fully with all applicable tax laws”.

The report comes after coffee giant Starbucks was also accused of paying just £8.6 million in corporation tax in the UK over 14 years.

According to the Sunday Times, eBay had sales of £789 million during 2010 in the UK at its four British subsidiaries.

Using its worldwide profit margin of 23%, it would have made a profit in the UK of £181 million, leading to corporation tax owed of £51 million. Instead, it paid just £1.2m, the report said.

Accounts for one of its units, eBay (UK) Ltd, show that for 2010 – the last year available – it owed tax of £766,000 on profits of £4.4 million.

Other large online international companies have also been accused of avoiding tax in the UK.

Facebook UK paid £238,000 in tax last year, according to its accounts. Its sales were £20.4 million.

Most of the company’s income is believed to be legally going through its European base in Dublin, where corporation tax is lower than in the UK.

And a report in the Guardian in April said that online retailer Amazon had generated sales of more than £7.6 billion in the UK over the past three years but had not paid any corporation tax on the profits from those sales.

Wayne Rooney’s Nike Twitter ad banned by ASA

June 20, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Computers, Customer Service, Ecommerce, Online Marketing, Social Media, Technology Companies, Twitter, Uncategorized

The UK’s Advertising Standards Association (ASA) watchdog has banned a Wayne Rooney Nike Twitter campaign.Wayne Rooney's Nike Twitter ad banned by ASAThe ruling follows tweets by Manchester United footballer Wayne Rooney and his Arsenal rival Jack Wilshere who posted on to Twitter at the request of the sportswear firm.

The Advertising Standards Authority said that the messages did not make clear they were “identifiable as marketing communications”.

It is the first time that the ASA has acted against a Twitter based campaign.

The authority said it had intervened after receiving a single complaint earlier this year about two tweets – one from each of the sportsmen posted to their personal accounts.

Wayne Rooney’s tweet read: “My resolution – to start the year as a champion, and finish it as a champion…#makeitcount gonike.me/makeitcount”.

Jack Wilshere had posted “In 2012, I will come back for my club – and be ready for my country gonike.me/Makeitcount”.

Rooney has close to 4.8 million followers on his account. The offending tweet was posted on 1 January.

The complainant challenged whether the tweets were “obviously identifiable” as adverts.

Nike responded that the presence of its web address alongside a hashtag with its marketing campaign strapline distinguished the tweets from other personal posts by the players. It added that both sportsmen were well known for having being sponsored by the company.

But the ASA said the elements did not make the tweets “obviously identifiable” as adverts, bearing in mind that many Twitter users scroll through a variety of messages at speed. It added that not all of the social network’s users would have been aware of the “make it count” campaign, or the footballers’ relationship with Nike.

It suggested that in future firms should add #ad or some other clear indication that a message had been paid for.

Whilst this action by the ASA does break new ground, the fact that it has only just been announced- some six months after the event indicates that they don’t currently expect to be upholding many social media complaints.

However it does act as a reminder that people and business much take care and not assume that some sort of online impunity exists.

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.

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.

How to make money from online videos

September 26, 2011 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Customer Service, Dr Search, Ecommerce, internet, Online Marketing, Search Clinic, Social Media, Social Networking, Technology Companies, Uncategorized, Video Marketing, YouTube

Online video content creators are now making significant amounts of money from a range of ways.

Since the explosion of streaming video several years ago, hosting sites have become home to a growing numberof video makers attracting devoted followings for everything from music and sketch comedy to make-up tips.

Meanwhile, online video has become a career for thousands of video creators, with some making hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

As online video viewership has grown – YouTube draws 500 million unique visitors each month – marketers hope to take advantage of the dedicated audiences and low barriers to entry.

Video creators in turn are making money from hosting sites such as YouTube, DailyMotion and Blip.tv, which share a portion of the profits derived from video and banner advertisements.

YouTube, for one, has distributed millions of dollars in advertising revenue to its 20,000 most popular amateur producers since 2007.

A still from an episode of Annoying Orange on Blip.tv Blip.tv, which hosts the Annoying Orange comedy show describes its content as “the best in original web series”

“We share millions of dollars with our partners every year,” said Tom Sly, the site’s head of strategic partner development.

The amount advertisers pay varies with the popularity and quality of the videos, with creators receiving as much as $20 (£12.70) per thousand views.

“Across the board we’re seeing those numbers increase as we see higher quality content and the ability to target users so that advertisers have more fine-grained control,” Mr Sly said.

In 2010, the number of YouTube partners making over $1,000 (£600) per month from advertising revenue went up 300%, the company said.

The company declined to release specific figures, but Mr Sly said “hundreds” of video creators make more than $100,000 a year and “thousands” make more than $10,000 a year.

The top performing web shows on Blip.tv are on target to take in more than $1m in advert revenue each, said Eric Mortensen, senior director of programming.

“There are certain class of people, and it’s not that they are rejecting TV, they never even thought to be like TV in the first place,” he said. “And because of that they are doing new and different things and that’s how they end up making money.”

Industry analysts say that online video audiences are loyal and attentive and feel a connection to the creators.

In addition to advert revenue sharing, some video creators make as much as $150,000 a year by cutting sponsorship deals with major companies, said former YouTube executive George Strompolos, founder of Fullscreen, a start-up that aims to facilitate connections between corporate sponsors and video creators.

Aware of the power of recommendations from such seemingly personal relationships, companies like Ford, GE, and Lancome are directly reaching out to video makers to hawk their products.

Online video creators work without the need for teams of agents, managers, markets and developers, Mr Strompolos said.

“Online video tends to be a one-stop shop solution,” Mr Strompolos said.  “You get not only the creative development and the authenticity of voice you’re looking for, but you also get distribution and reach.”

As the online video advertising and merchandising infrastructures become more sophisticated, analysts say more and more people are likely to strike out on their own in web video.

This is becoming the new television- a place where the average person has a much better chance of getting noticed and making money than if they were to go the traditional route via Hollywood.

Alan Lastufka, author of YouTube: An Insider’s Guide to Climbing the Charts, said: “The money may not always be headline-worthy, but it’s enough to quit your day job, stay in the basement on your computer and spend your time connecting with fans.”