An analysis of the NSA’s XKeyscore system has revealed that simply visiting the website of the privacy service is enough to get you registered as an “extremist.”
A report by German television found that the NSA’s packet-sniffing targets anyone interested in online privacy — with those outside of the US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand marked down for extra surveillance.
One of Facebook’s team members that helped to run secret psychological experiments on some of its users has now written a note explaining the motivations behind their efforts, adding an apology for how its scientific paper on the research describe their efforts.
In a post on his own Facebook page, the paper’s co-author Adam Kramer stated the company wanted to run these tests because they care about the emotional impact their network has on its users. The company decided to run the experiment in January 2012 on over 600,000 users without their knowledge. Facebook changed those users’ news feeds to highlight either positive or negative posts from their friends.
The results of that experiment were published earlier in June in Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences but came to light this weekend. Some Facebook users have since expressed concerns about how the company conducted these efforts. In his post on Sunday, Kramer wrote:
We felt that it was important to investigate the common worry that seeing friends post positive content leads to people feeling negative or left out. At the same time, we were concerned that exposure to friends’ negativity might lead people to avoid visiting Facebook. We didn’t clearly state our motivations in the paper.
Ultimately, the goal of their efforts in 2012 was to make Facebook a better service for users, according to Kramer, and they created their experiment without any intention to upset anyone. He added:
I can understand why some people have concerns about it, and my coauthors and I are very sorry for the way the paper described the research and any anxiety it caused. In hindsight, the research benefits of the paper may not have justified all of this anxiety.
Kramer hinted that Facebook might change how it conducts this type of research in the future, stating they are “working on improving our internal review practices.” If you feel you simply can’t trust Facebook anymore, there is a way to delete your account from their network.
How do you feel about Kramer’s explanation on these secret experiments that were conducted without the awareness of some Facebook users?
Reddit is officially entering the mobile game, in a post advertising a job, Reddit admins have revealed that the website has finally begun the process of working on their own mobile apps. While there are third party developers in the market already, Reddit will look to come in and take a large slice of the pie away from them with an official offering.
Are you waiting for an official Reddit app to be released instead of using a third party alternative?
Secret, an app which has been making waves in the United States on iOS has now finally expanded to further shores. The UK, Ireland and Australia have now all got the opportunity to get on board and try and application which has taken off in the states and brings anonymous sharing to the masses.
In a world where we are becoming increasingly concerned about who can see what we post online, Secret breaks all the rules and gives us the freedom we yearn for.
People are getting comfortable with social media, comfortable with putting things out in public on the web and comfortable with sharing, well, anything and everything. The big question now though is, ‘are we sharing too much?’ Just what should we not be putting out there in the public domain and is the constant craving people have to share information now going to start affecting their personal and working lives?
Technology is moving fast but is the average user able to keep up?