Tag Archives: Facebook

Facebook or Twitter?

Social media has revolutionized the way we meet and keep in touch with both the people in our lives and  vendors that advertise their products online.

 

Although MySpace came first, the two predominant social networks are Facebook and Twitter. While they both essentially do the same thing, they do it in different ways, and that has helped to make one preferable to some people, though there are also quite a few that regularly use both.

The king of the social networks, Facebook is also the one that really laid the groundwork for social media as we know it. An early version debuted in February 2005, while the version we know now appeared online in September 2006. Twitter preceded it by two months.

 

While Facebook posts had a word limit that was fairly restricted, that has now changed. Thus, if you have a lot to say and don’t want to break it up over multiple posts, Facebook is a better choice than Twitter, which has a 140 character limit.

 

In order to connect with someone on Facebook, you must be approved by that person, unless their account is set to Public, which means anyone can view it at any time. You can follow anyone on Twitter without permission, unless they block you. For those wishing to have more privacy options, Facebook has more settings than Twitter, which only has Private and Public.

 

Facebook uses an algorithm that aims to make the posts you see line up with areas of interest, while Twitter does not, meaning that you will be exposed to a wider variety of information.

 

If your aim is to connect with people you already know, you will find more of them on Facebook as it has the bigger user base.  If you would like to meet new people, and not worry about having the same degree of social connection with them, Twitter is the one for you.

Facebook Joins Google in the Fight Against Online Terrorist Propaganda

Earlier this week, Google announced plans to limit the number of videos on their site used to spread terrorist propaganda and recruit new followers. Facebook has now followed suit with a Online Civil Courage Initiative launched in England, France, and Germany.

While Facebook already takes down content that violates its standards, and will step up those efforts, this plan differs in that it is informational in nature. The goal is to educate organizations on how to spot and respond to material that is extremist.

It is felt that the proliferation of online terrorist videos has been a factor in both encouraging people to join groups like ISIS and carry out attacks for them. While the company’s stance is certainly welcome, it is apparently at least partially the result of prodding. Facebook and other social media sites have been unsuccessfully sued in the past by individuals who feel that they are providing a platform for terrorist groups. Germany now has plans to sue these same companies for not removing such content, though concern has been expressed that this approach strays too far into censorship.

The Online Civil Courage Initiative will use a collaborative approach with users encouraged to head over to the OCCI pages to share ideas. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg issued the following statement on the plan:

“The recent terror attacks in London and Manchester — like violence anywhere — are absolutely heartbreaking. No-one should have to live in fear of terrorism — and we all have a part to play in stopping violent extremism from spreading. We know we have more to do — but through our platform, our partners and our community we will continue to learn to keep violence and extremism off Facebook.”

It seems like a worthy undertaking and a nice extension to their efforts at curtailing the number of online propaganda videos. There is always a fine line between this sort of initiative and the preservation of free speech; hopefully, Facebook will navigate that effectively.