Lots of Instagram and Facebook news to share this week (including just how many Canadians were affected by the Cambridge Analytica scandal). We’re also chatting about social media’s potential role in the U.S. visa applications process and Ad Standards Canada’s new influencer disclosure guidelines.
Facebook to fight fake news with author info and publisher context
Facebook’s newest initiative hopes to give readers a wide array of info so they can make their own decisions about misinformation online.
The tool will give readers more context about publications by showing links to their Wikipedia pages, related articles about the same topic, how many times the article has been shared and where, and a button for following the publisher within an “About This Article” button. Facebook will also start to show whether friends have shared the article, and a snapshot of the publisher’s other recent articles.
It’s a move designed to prevent Facebook from being accused of bias or of promoting the spread of fake news, but will it work? Only time will tell!
87 million may have been affected by the Cambridge Analytica leak
Just when we thought the Facebook data hack couldn’t get any worse…
This week, Facebook disclosed that 87 million Facebook users may have been affected by the Cambridge Analytica leak – a leak much bigger than originally estimated.
In a blog post shared by the social network, Facebook’s Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer described how “malicious actors” had abused the app’s search feature to scrape personal info about users. The search tool allowed anyone to look up a user’s public Facebook profile information, including things like gender and birth date, by searching on only the person’s phone number or email address – valuable to bad actors who can use it for everything from identity theft to credit card fraud.
Facebook estimates that over 620,000 Canadians were affected by the data scandal.
Cambridge Analytica backlash proves why owned digital real estate is essential
With the privacy backlash and push to #DeleteFacebook, it’s become clear now more than ever that owned digital real estate is essential.
For example, take a look at Quip – a startup that used Facebook to help build its brand. At the time, building a presence on Facebook was a great decision; a limited amount of funding made it an attractive platform to help grow and expand the Quip brand.
But now that users are rethinking their presence on the app, brands like Quip may also need to consider new streams to connect with target audiences. Yes, your brand does need its own website!
And yet, it’s Snapchat that’s losing celebrities…
I stopped using snap. The update, the constant complaints of people not being able to find me, plus the Rihanna poll…no bueno
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) March 24, 2018
Ad Standards Canada releases influencer disclosure guidelines
Canada’s Ad Standards has released guidelines on influencer disclosure – an industry that has been running largely unchecked until now.
It’s worth noting that while all that’s been released is a draft, it’s a solid starting point with do’s and don’ts that’s reminiscent of what the FTC enforces in the U.S. and something Spodek & Co. has been advocating to our clients.
Here are some of the major points:
- DO disclose at the very beginning of your content
- DO NOT use terms that aren’t #ad or other clear disclosure terms
- DO disclose in the language of your content
- DO NOT opt for Blanket Disclosure
Check out the recommendations in detail here.
Instagram limits API data
Without warning, Instagram has broken many of the unofficial apps built on its platform, resulting in a massive reduction in how much data they can pull from the API. Apps that help users analyze followers or find relevant hashtags are now quickly running into their API limits, leading to broken functionality and some seriously frustrated users.
What’s more confusing is that Instagram is refusing to comment on what’s happening, only confirming that they are no longer accepting submissions of new apps – just as Facebook announced it would following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
While #DeleteFacebook is still making the rounds online, so far subsidiaries like Instagram and WhatsApp have remained safe. Will a lack of communication and fair warning for developers and users alike change that?
Instagram stops support for Apple Watch
And speaking of Instagram, they’re yet another major app that’s announced it’s abandoning Apple Watch.
The Instagram app will disappear from Apple Watch with the next update to the watch’s operating system. Instagram’s action follows other major apps like Slack, Whole Foods, eBay, Amazon and Google Maps.
U.S. may tie social media to visa applications
The current administration has said it wants to start collecting the social media history of nearly everyone seeking a visa to enter the U.S.
The proposal would require most applicants to disclose the details of their social media identities used over the past five years. Currently, officials seek people’s social media handles only if they feel “that such information is required to confirm identity or conduct more rigorous national security vetting”.
The social media platforms covered in the proposal include U.S.-based entities such as Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit and YouTube, as well as overseas platforms such as China’s Sina Weibo and Russia’s VK social network.
— Laura Allen (@LA03) April 3, 2018
— Laura Allen (@LA03) April 4, 2018
Check out the full story for more awesome pics.