Social Media Digest: Face-Recognition, Facelifts, Face-offs & Facebook

jpriestley

July 20th, 2012

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Once again we’ve trawled through the social media news over the past week and here, for your reading and enjoyment, are the tasty morsels getting us talking.

1. With the Olympics due to start in just over a week, the International Olympic Committee has finally taken the wraps off a new social media hub, apart from its main website, for athletes and fans to cosy up to one another. It will include integrations with leading social media sites like Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, foursquare and Google+, along with some content created on the site itself. Tech Crunch has some more in-depth information here if you’d like to read up a bit more before the World’s Greatest Sporting Event graces our rain-sodden shores.

2. These days, the word ‘going viral’ is often a good thing. Not so for Facebook. Facebook users are at risk from a new virus which is being spread by emails posing as photo alerts from the social network. The emails look exactly like Facebook’s own messages which are sent to a user’s personal email accounts when they are tagged in a photo. However, instead of the links in the emails leading to the referenced photo, they redirect the victim of the spam campaign to a site which tries to infect the person’s computer with malicious software. A few seconds later the link will redirect the user one more time to Facebook.com. Many people will not have realised that their computer has been infected – but can spot the bogus emails as Facebook is misspelt as ‘Faceboook’. “Be wary of emails claiming to be from Facebook, and saying that you have been tagged in a photograph,” warned Graham Cluley of the British internet security firm Sophos.

3. Facial recognition is still the hot potato it ever was. Facebook’s privacy and policy manager Rob Sherman has been grilled in the US senate about the social networking giant’s use of the technology. Senator Al Franken called a hearing to probe Facebook about its introduction of features such as default tag suggestions in photos and the lack of information about the technology on its site. Sherman was quick to flag that people could opt out of tools such as Facebook’s tag suggestions, but was keen to emphasise that the site as a whole was an “opt-in experience”. “People choose to be on Facebook because they want to share with each other.”

4. LinkedIn unveiled an expected redesign of its home page on Monday, highlighting a cleaner interface and features intended to make updated content easier to find. The new home page defaults to displaying just recommended content in each user’s stream of updates from across his network, the company said in a blog post. Users can opt to see all updates instead. Users can also explore news articles without leaving the home page by setting the stream of updates to display “LinkedIn Today” content. The professional social network, which claims to have 161 million members, has been increasingly focused on bringing more content to its platform.

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