Holiday help

This is the last post from iQ for sometime to come. Best wishes to all readers for a safe and happy Christmas and New Year and beyond.

Just a note that if you need support due to online issues, there are a number of avenues you can use:

You can also search the iQ archives for further assistance.

Ellen found your Facebook photos

Further to the You posted that on Facebook? post, Ellen Degeneres has another hilarious installment for viewers.

As per the previous post on Ellen and Facebook photos, it seems that the members of Ellen’s audience have not only forgotten that they were the ones who uploaded the photos to a Facebook account that can be accessed by the general public, but also that Ellen was likely to use their photos on international television.

Loophole opens up Facebook friends list to anyone – even if it’s set to private

Digital Trends recently reported that there is a loophole in Facebook that opens up friends lists to anyone.

 If someone wants to see the friends of a Facebook user who hides their complete friend list from strangers, they can create a new dummy account and send a friend request to that Facebook user. Once the request is sent, even if it is rejected, Facebook will start sending friend suggestions to the dummy account — for users who are already Facebook friends or who have received a friend request from the person in question. In this way, even though there’s no complete friend list, someone looking for more information about a Facebook user will be able to compile at least a robust partial list of their Facebook friends. And while most people aren’t going to bother going out of their way to circumvent settings, the people who will  – malware peddlers, spammers, and stalkers — are exactly the kind of users that people want to avoid when they select tighter privacy settings.

Read the whole article here.

Facebook takes on cyberbullying

Facebook has reacted to the number of teenagers leaving the platform by addressing online bullying. NBC News (USA) explains:

After reports that Facebook is losing teen users, the social network has released a way for parents and children to deal with cyberbullying.

The new step is considered a beneficial but belated one, according to NPR. Facebook’s new Safety Center about bullying is considered a prevention hub with resources for teachers, teens and parents on how to deal with both online and offline bullying. There will also be ways for users to deal offensive posts which mainly consists of engaging the potential cyberbully.

Access Facebook’s new resources on cyberbullying here. Read the whole article here.

Help to clean up your Facebook account

If you feel you might need assistance to clean up your Facebook account, the website Your Dirty Mouth may be of help. Yahoo news reports:

 A new website called Your Dirty Mouth scans through your Facebook history and finds the most profane, controversial Facebook statuses you ever dared to publish.

The site, first spotted by AllFacebook, is not just good insurance for anyone in the job market, or applying to college, as employers and admissions departments are increasingly scrutinising the social media presence of applicants; it’s also a pleasant trip down memory lane, and an intriguing capsule into the shifting ways in which you’ve used Facebook.

Although the reference to college admissions is US based and not really applicable in Australia, it could be a good idea to scan your Facebook history anyway.

It’s complicated by danah boyd

iQ was fortunate enough to hear internationally recognised social media researcher danah boyd speak back in 2012 (click here to access all of iQ’s resources on danah boyd). Now boyd has a book coming out entitled It’s complicated. The blurb from the book (via Amazon) explains what it’s about:

What is new about how teenagers communicate through services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Do social media affect the quality of teens’ lives? In this eye-opening book, youth culture and technology expert danah boyd uncovers some of the major myths regarding teens’ use of social media. She explores tropes about identity, privacy, safety, danger, and bullying. Ultimately, boyd argues that society fails young people when paternalism and protectionism hinder teenagers’ ability to become informed, thoughtful, and engaged citizens through their online interactions. Yet despite an environment of rampant fear-mongering, boyd finds that teens often find ways to engage and to develop a sense of identity.

Boyd’s conclusions are essential reading not only for parents, teachers, and others who work with teens but also for anyone interested in the impact of emerging technologies on society, culture, and commerce in years to come. Offering insights gleaned from more than a decade of original fieldwork interviewing teenagers across the United States, boyd concludes reassuringly that the kids are all right. At the same time, she acknowledges that coming to terms with life in a networked era is not easy or obvious. In a technologically mediated world, life is bound to be complicated.

This is not an advertisement for the book, just a pointer to a resource that many people may find useful. Public libraries may stock this book.

You posted that on Facebook?

Ellen Degeneres has a segment on her show called You posted that on Facebook??

Knowing the names of her audience members, their public Facebook accounts are searched by researchers and the funnier and more questionable photos are then displayed on Ellen’s show. What never fails to amaze me is how embarrassed people are when their photos are displayed publicly. It seems that they’ve forgotten that they were the ones who uploaded the photos to a Facebook account that can be accessed by the general public.

‘Eraser’ law will let Californian kids scrub online past

California Governor Jerry Brown has spoken to Phys.org about the US state passing a law that entitles young adults to delete their online past.

“Kids so often self-reveal before they self-reflect,” James Steyer, founder of Common Sense Media, a  in San Francisco that pushed for the law, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

“Mistakes can stay with teens for life, and their digital footprint can follow them wherever they go.”

But now

social media titans such as Facebook, Twitter and Google [will] let minors scrub their personal online history in the hopes that it might help them avoid personal and work-related problems.

Do you agree with the passing of this law? Do you think it will help young adults or prevent them from learning about the realities of social media?

Read the whole article here.

Facebook hands teenagers a megaphone

Recently ReadWrite published a post explaining that Facebook now

…officially wants teens to overshare as well, in ways that might also make them better fodder for advertising.

Facebook announced today that teenage users can now make their posts public on Facebook. Previously, the social network limited users between the ages of 13 and 17 to distributing posts to their extended network—i.e. friends and friends of friends. Teenage users also now have the option to turn on the “follow” setting for their accounts, letting public updates appear in news feeds.

Read the whole post here.