June 9, 2017
Facebook announced this week that they would begin sharing user data with humanitarian organisations during emergency situations. The ‘disaster maps’ would include anonymised data on Facebook users’ locations, movements and status updates, shared with aid groups, like Red Cross and UNICEF, so they can best focus their resources. We can see the huge potential, but it also raises questions about what else Facebook could do with that fine-grained data.
Facebook this week introduced three new tools making it easier for elected representatives to connect with their constituents. Constituent badges allow users to identify themselves as a person living in a certain district, constituent insights allows reps to learn what content is popular in their district, and district targeting gives elected officials the means of gathering feedback from their constituents through Facebook directly. An appropriate update to come out this week!
Trump and Twitter are making headlines again this week. A free-speech institute in the US has demanded that the President unlock certain users from Twitter, on the grounds that he is violating the First Amendment of the Constitution. The users, who were blocked after mocking Trump on twitter, says that the block suppressed speech in a public forum protected by the Constitution. Will this stand up in court? It’s doubtful, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
Mashable this week released an article debating whether or not Twitter users should be able to edit tweets. Released in the wake of Trump’s glorious ‘covfefe’ conundrum, journalist Lance Ulanoff put forward the case: “By not offering us the ability to edit tweets, Twitter is essentially encouraging us to delete the erroneous, inaccurate and embarrassing ones”. But the argument has its obvious flaws… what’s your stance?
LinkedIn has started publishing quarterly reports, providing an overview of the posts that users are engaging with most. The new initiative aims to help members make the best use of the platform, and create content that resonates. You may not be surprised to hear that recruitment-focused content ranks high among LinkedIn members. Check out what else is performing well.
It seems every social media is jumping on the camera-as-a-keyboard bandwagon, and WhatsApp is refusing to get left behind! This week, the messaging app released three new features: filters (allowing users to add one of five filters to their images), albums (when users send more than four photos they will now be grouped as an album) and reply shortcuts (allowing users to reply to a specific message in a thread by swiping on it – handy in those crazily fast-moving group chats).
Facebook has really been doing their bit to support users’ mental health over recent months. This week, that involved the introduction of Woebot on Messenger – an adorable, blue-eyed chatbot who aims to improve users’ moods and alleviate feelings of depression or loneliness. “So here’s how I work, I’m going to ask you about your mood and as I get to know you, I’ll teach you some good stuff,” the chatbot tells users. A great example of the positive potential of AI.
Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra found herself in the midst of a social media controversy this week after posting a series of pouting selfies from the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. The selfies were deemed ‘insensitive’ and ‘attention-seeking’, before being quickly deleted. This isn’t the first time the starlet has been slammed on Twitter – just a week earlier she was shamed for opting to wear a short dress while meeting Indian PM Narendra Modi.
Airbnb Australia has released a simple, yet effective campaign that simultaneously promotes their mantra of ‘belonging’ while making a political statement. The campaign features a number of people holding up their hand, while wearing an incomplete black wedding ring, inscribed with the words ‘Until We All Belong’ – a protest against Australia’s ongoing lack of marriage equality. A powerful statement that works perfectly with Airbnb’s global mantra of fostering acceptance.