8.7 Social Networks

Facebook made lots of headlines a few months ago when people discovered that their news feeds had been manipulated for research purposes. Many people were shocked that they’d been unwitting participants in massive social science studies. But similar research at Facebook has also been used to help the company to determine how to best help customers deal with unwanted posts. This Radiolab program explores the light and dark sides of Facebook’s gigantic social engineering projects.

www.radiolab.org/story/trust-engineers/

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Rumors of a Facebook phone have rattled around the tech world for quite a while. Today Facebook announced not a a phone, but software that can convert many Android phones into Facebook machines. Facebook is available in app form on most smart phones. But the new Facebook Home software will replace the Android home screen with a Facebook-centered home, making it possible for social networkers to keep Facebook at the center of their phone experiences. Will Android phone users click Like?

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2013/04/facebook-android-home-phone/?cid=6882274

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Hashtag 101

January 11, 2013
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When the American Dialect Society named “hashtag” the word of the year, they chose a word that means nothing to millions of people who don’t tweet. If you’re one of those people, this NPR story will help you to understand why so many words these days are preceded by #.

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Crowdsourcing the Car

January 2, 2013
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The Internet naturally lends itself to peer-to-peer communication and commerce. In this short TED talk Robin Chase explains how she’s using technology to make car sharing easy and profitable.

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The Lonely Connected World

October 22, 2012

MIT Professor Sherry Turkle has been studying the human impact of digital technology for decades. In her book Alone Together and in this Fresh Air interview, she talks about how texting and social networking are profoundly changing the way children, teens, and adults live, think, and feel.

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If All Your Friends Were Voting, Would You?

September 14, 2012
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In the U.S., non-voters outnumber Democratic voters and Republican voters combined. What does it take to get those non-voters to realize that democracy is not a spectator sport? A recent study suggests that many of them respond to peer pressure, Facebook-style.

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Sharing is Caring—or Is It?

August 29, 2012
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The concept of sharing is everywhere on the Internet. In this thought-provoking Huffington Post blog post, Bianca Bosker asks whether Facebook and other companies are using the term to manipulate our feelings and extract information from us.

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What Good is Facebook?

August 20, 2012
FacebookStories.com screen

If you’ve ever asked—or been asked—that question, you might be interested in facebookstories.com, a web site designed to provide answers through stories about how Facebook changes lives. This CNet story provides an overview and a link to the site.

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Two Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Facebook

March 9, 2012

Facebook is a complex, ever-changing digital world. No matter how much time you spend there, it seems there’s always more to know about it. For example, did you know that Facebook filters out most of your posts before your friends can see them? Or that Facebook users are, in general, hiding more personal information than […]

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Putting a New Face on Facebook

February 1, 2012
Facebook user's timeline

The world’s biggest social network has a nasty habit of changing its user interface often enough to confuse and anger users all around the world. The latest Facebook iteration, the Timeline. presents your history (and may threaten your privacy) in a whole new way. This Macworld article tells you what you need to know to make the Timeline work for you.

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