WND’s stunning four-part expose of the dark underbelly of Facebook hit the front page on Sunday night, just ahead of the Internet social media giant’s initial public offering expected to value the company as high as $100 billion.
The introduction to Chelsea Schilling’s shocking expose that should be read by every parent offers the following warning: “This report contains graphic details of sexual abuse of children as it has appeared in numerous locations on Facebook. WND immediately reported images of child pornography and child sexual abuse to the FBI. Censored screenshots published are among the mildest of those found.”
Meanwhile, Facebook is looking at up to a $95-billion-plus valuation. The IPO is predicted to be in the $28 to $35 range, but most are ignoring the lower figure. According to a regulatory filing, Facebook hopes to raise as much as $11.8 billion in its IPO, the highest ever for a Web company.
Irrelevant or spam?
“This comment seems irrelevant or inappropriate and can’t be posted. To avoid having comments blocked, please make sure they contribute to the post in a positive way.” – Facebook
Is Facebook determining what is inappropriate or irrelevant to an FB conversation? Apparently so, according to Robert Scoble, tech start-up enthusiast, who attempted to post a comment on a Facebook post written by a Carnegie Mellon student about the tech blogging scene and received this odd error message.
But according to Facebook, it’s not censorship, it’s spam filters.
Cyber complaint desk
The more people become acquainted with social media, the more effective it will be to tell companies and the government exactly what they like and don’t like about their service or products.
Last week we told you about Gripevine, a new site developed by the musician whose guitar was smashed by careless baggage handlers with United Airlines.
As I wrote, Gripevine is a David-versus-Goliath story about how a guy with a little knowledge of YouTube, some determination and a gripe created a company that provides resolution for customers with a complaint.
This week, we’ve got news of a new app that gives you the ability to complain about your TSA screening. It’s called the “FlyRights” free mobile application, and it was launched by a Sikh advocacy group to give travelers a way to complain immediately to the government if they think they’ve been unfairly treated by airport TSA screeners.
Complainers simply input relevant information, and click on the “report” button. They can also click on the “submit” and “share” buttons to post the complaint on social media.
In a related matter, Facebook users brought public opinion to bear on Spirit Airlines which took a gigantic PR hit last week when the carrier’s CEO refused to back off the airline’s policy of non-refundable tickets. The public relations nightmare began when Spirit refused to refund a 76-year-old Vietnam veteran’s $197 ticket when he was unable to fly due to a diagnosis of terminal cancer. The story went viral on the “Boycott Spirit Airlines” Facebook page, which attracted 21,000 “likes,” thus pressuring the airline to refund the man’s ticket.
All electronic devices must be turned off …
Some time ago I flew from Orlando to New York City beside an off-duty airline pilot. We talked about how the pilots in the cockpit are now using iPads instead of the traditional Jeppesen paper aviation charts. I asked him why pilots at the controls can use the same electronic devices that passengers are told to turn off during flight, lest they interfere with aircraft avionics.
He explained in confidential tones that despite FAA regulations preventing it, the electronic devices do not affect the aircraft, and he surmised that the rule is in place to ensure that passengers pay attention during take-off emergency instructions (they don’t, generally. Look around the next time you fly. The flight attendants are playing to an empty room.) The friendly pilot confided that the rule also was in place to prevent phone conversations from disturbing other passengers.
Last week, a flyer with an iPad got a reprimand letter from the FAA for videotaping birds striking his Delta aircraft as it took off from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
“If these electronics are actually dangerous, the FAA doesn’t need to send me a letter. They should ban them from the airlines,” the flyer said.
Apparently the FAA does not. The offending passenger won’t be fined – but the letter “will be made a matter of record for a period of two years.”
“A record with whom?” asked the frequent flier who is concerned that he’s on some no-fly list. He said the letter “has a lot of Big Brother in it.”
Just the federal government looking out for you and me.
Blogger Doug Ross of DirectorBlue.blogspot was on my radio program last week, telling listeners about a news aggregator he’s designed that scans some 700 center-right blogs and publications for headlines of interest to the conservative moment. It’s called Bad Blue, and the feed is real-time, with constant refreshings.
Doug says it’s the news that the old media doesn’t want you to see, and he’s right. Add Bad Blue to your bookmarked toolbar tabs and visit it – in fact, when you’re tempted to take a peek at what Drudge has up on his page, click on Bad Blue too.
A computer technician who builds, rebuilds and repairs computers says he installs it on every computer he works on. What is it? A free anti-virus software program called Avast. It scans hard drives, e-mails, exe. files and more, blocking viruses and spyware, and best of all it’s free. Of course, more comprehensive versions are available for a fee. But he swears by the free version.
Teachers no longer allowed to “friend” students
A new set of guidelines issued by the New York Education Department prohibits public school teachers from contacting students through personal pages on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Teachers should communicate to their students only through pages set up for classroom use or on professional accounts.
BRAD: Berkeley Ridiculously Automated Dorm. A campus trend? Probably
A computerized system that uses remote appliance control modules, iPad and iPhone apps and voice recognition software controls lighting, music and curtains in a Berkeley college dorm room. Watch this video to see the technology in action, even in “party mode,” with strobe and laser lighting! Even an emergency party button!
Family kidnapped by ninjas – need $ for karate lessons
Thinking of doing an on-line start-up? If so, understand these concepts before taking the plunge.