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Social Media Challenges Your Business Needs To Overcome

Over the past decade, social media has had a tremendous impact on business. Platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook have transformed the way people communicate and in turn, changed the way businesses communicate with their customers. Social media has become an integral part of customer engagement and many other departments like human resource, sales, product development, and advertising. However, with all the success and achievements brought about by the internet, social media still has some challenges that need to be figured out. There are many reasons why your business can get a loss and to deal with these challenges you need a good strategy that will help you face these challenges effectively.

In this post, we will look at some of these challenges and how you can effectively tackle them so that your business can thrive.

Turning your employees into your brand advocates

Building an online presence requires you to focus on generating awareness and driving organic reach. To be successful in these you need advocates who will support you in your cause. The employees working in your company will come in handy in such cases. In order for this to happen, you can motivate your employees to subscribe to the business page and share updates about the company to generate more followers. They can share this information through blogs, posts, and tweets. It doesn’t matter if your company is big or small, your employees will help eliminate some of the biggest issues facing your company.

Knowing the right social media platform to use

Social media has the widest reach and is the most effective mode of advertising with 90% of people choosing social media to communicate with different brands. 74% of the consumers use various social media platforms to help them make buying decisions meaning that social media is at the forefront of your consumer’s purchasing decisions. With these kinds of statistics, choosing the right social media platforms can be a bit challenging but it all boils down to your audience.

Facebook and Twitter are some of the most popular social media platforms that can give your brand good exposure and give you healthy completion with other brands in the market. Instagram is also another popular platform that has many followers and being active in all these sites is important for your brand to gain more followers. You can also subscribe to auto likes ig on Instagram to help you generate more likes on your brand and gain traffic to your site from curious followers. You also need to find out which sites your target audience actively contributes so that you can reach the right people then spend a good amount of time in exposure and customer engagement.

Developing a good social media strategy

Coming up with a good social media strategy is one of the biggest challenges most businesses face and only a few get the right idea to reap the benefits of social media. You first need to come up with your social media objectives and goals and be very specific so that it can be easier to implement them. Your goals should relate with your wider marketing strategy and business goals but make sure they’re attainable.

The social media strategy will help you to gauge if your business is successful or not. After that choose the right metrics to help you monitor the goals you’ve set and mainly focus your efforts on the leads, impressions, and link clicks. You can do an audit if you have an already established social media presence so that you can gauge your frequency on social media, what is working and what is not and how to improve it. Then you can repeat these audits regularly to assess your performance.

Measuring social media ROI

Social media ROI simply means the amount your business gets back from the money, resources, and effort you invested in social media marketing. Social media ROI is very different from the traditional online marketing because you can’t quantify your posts shared or tweets to the clicks on an ad. It all depends on your business goals and how clearly you’ve defined them. This is where your business strategy will help you to make sure you can quantify your goals. This way you can be able to track your goals with the right tools and you can understand what you’re getting back.

Establishing a humanistic relationship with your audience

Social media is one of the best ways of creating awareness and attracting customers, but you also need to know how to retain them. According to statistics, 86% of social media users follow a brand but 60% of them don’t like a brand with too many promotions. Which means you don’t need to always be selling but focus more on building a humanistic relationship with your audience. Storytelling is one of the easiest ways to build a bond between your audience and your brand.

If you want your customers to be loyal to your brand you need to give them a reason to stick around. With storytelling, you can easily introduce your core values, this way you give potential customers something they can relate with and a reason to stick with your brand. You can publish story-driven and inspirational content that will humanize your brand and that represent your brand’s mission to make it more relatable to your audience. Being responsive is one way of increasing the connection you have with your customers and increasing brand loyalty, but above all giving your brand a human face connects on a level people understand better.

Final word

Above are some of the common challenges your business will face when using social media, but they’re challenges you can overcome. Social media gives you a platform, customer loyalty, and brand awareness but you also need to have a clearly laid out strategy on how to manage your social media platforms. This way you can be able to quantify your returns and identify places that need to be changed.




Increase Spotify Popularity in 2019

 

All the artists who are on Spotify look forward to increase the popularity of their accounts along with time. It can provide them with the opportunity to experience a large number of benefits in the long run as well. If you are planning to increase Spotify popularity, you should take a look at these tips recommended by Socialboss.org. These methods are in a position to deliver positive results to any person, who is interested in increasing the number of Spotify followers.

1) Write long albums along with short songs

When you are creating albums for Spotify, you need to make sure that you are writing long albums, along with short songs. This is one of the most effective methods followed by the popular Spotify artists to end up with positive results. Therefore, you can go ahead and follow this method without keeping any doubts or second thoughts in mind. There is a high demand for the long albums among people in all parts of the world. If you are not convinced, you must go ahead and take a look at the stats. Then you will be able to get a solid understanding about the popularity that they have.

2) Create an impact within the first 30 seconds

From the recent studies, it has been identified that most of the people tend to move away from the songs that they listen within 30 second period. That’s because they use the first 30 seconds to make a decision. Therefore, you should think about creating an impact on the first 30 seconds of the song.

3) Create short songs

If you have been following the trends, you will notice that songs are getting shorter along with time. You should get the most out of this as well. In other words, you need to make sure that your songs are short as much as possible. This will assist you to grab positive results in the long run.

4) Repackage the songs

You will be able to repackage the old songs that you have and upload them to Spotify. Spotify can be considered as a platform, which can deliver the most outstanding results to you in the long run. However, you need to make sure that you are following the appropriate trends. That’s where you can repackage your old songs according to the new trends and end up with positive results.

5) Share on other networks

Last but not least, you can think about sharing the songs of you on other social media networks. Then you will be increasing the overall visibility of your Spotify account. This can eventually assist you to end up with more followers and gain better results on the social media network.




The Solution to Social Media Censorship Is Simple

By Atiller Sulker | Foundation for Economic Education

Individuals from all corners of the political spectrum have been stirred up by the recent bans of various figures including Alex Jones and Louis Farrakhan. Some have praised these bans for providing good constraints on what they deem “fake news” or “hate speech.” Others have attacked these bans for being influenced by nefarious motives that are contra free speech. The debate regarding the extent to which social media sites may regulate speech has been going on for years now. Perhaps it is time for a reassessment.

One of the biggest fallacies people fail to avoid in these debates is that all social media sites are homogenous goods. The successful entrepreneur understands the importance of differentiation in marketing their product, for it is differentiation that allows the entrepreneur to narrow down his market and attract consumers.

Just as in any other market, the social media titans, Facebook and Twitter, have developed very differently from each other, and each has its own distinctive features. Facebook has developed best for allowing like-minded people to connect with each other, while Twitter has become a bully pulpit for various figures in the political and pop culture world.

If we step back and look at the bigger picture, it is a fallacy to paint all social media sites with a broad brush stroke.

It would thus be wrong to compare all social media sites as if they were the same. The various consumer ends each social media site serves to satisfy determines its overall development. Many different factors will influence these ends. Among one of these factors is the extent to which speech is regulated.

If a given social media site aims to assist individuals and firms in networking with each other, they will likely not have any role in the market of sharing controversial opinions. Conversely, the social media platform that aims at giving a voice to those on the fringes of society will likely have no interest in entering the market of business networking. If we step back and look at the bigger picture, it is a fallacy to paint all social media sites with a broad brush stroke. Each one of them serves a unique purpose, and this purpose has a huge impact on how the site will develop in the longer run.

So perhaps the solution does not lie in calling for state interventions and boldly proclaiming that social media sites are ruthless monopolies trampling on free speech.

Perhaps a site like Facebook is not meant for the sharing of controversial opinions or genuinely serious discussions. Perhaps it serves the market of people who want to connect with each other through shared interests and friendly banter. Perhaps the initiation of controversial discussion is irrelevant and disruptive to Facebook’s purpose. Perhaps the sentiments of Farrakhan and Jones don’t fit in the environment Facebook is trying to create.

The market has offered solutions to this already. Where the “networking social media site” is lacking, the “controversial opinion sharing site” will compensate. Gab is a good example of this. The site claims to be a bastion of free speech and individual liberty and has become a platform for many controversial figures who identify with the so-called “far right.” The differentiation of various sites can, of course, be based on different premises. There could perhaps be the “leftist social media site” on the one hand, and the “right-wing social media site” on the other.

By advocating for repercussions for social media platforms that practice censorship, we are merely treating the symptom of a much more fundamental problem, i.e., government intervention. Let the “safe space junkies” and the “rugged individualists” go their separate ways.

Rather, we should be advocating for the splintering of all governmental partnerships with firms such as Facebook, among others. It is these economic interventions that fundamentally stymie voluntary freedom of association and replace it with militant, state-enforced censorship.Those who are truly against censorship will let the market gradually filter it out. One has to support the property rights, and consequently, free speech of his political enemies in order to uphold that of his. Thus we must advocate for a system in which the state doesn’t take sides, nor try to fix the consequences of interventionism through further intervention.

Just as in the physical realm, individuals on the internet associate with whom they have shared interests. Market mechanisms have allowed for the exercising of this freedom of association, and state intervention only blurs the lines. Let the “safe space junkies” and the “rugged individualists” go their separate ways.

About the Author




The Benefits of Social Media For Small Businesses

In the life of a small business, it is always going to be a struggle. You always have something to do, something to remember, something to address. There is a lot to be doing and, with a smaller team and less resources to work with, each individual needs to be able to multi-task and handle several areas at once. It may sound chaotic but, with the right organisation, it can be pulled off. This is the way with a lot of small businesses, having several people who are able to handle different areas of the business and pulling as a team towards success. And when success comes, it is even more satisfying as you have a clearer idea of how the work you have done contributes to your company’s success. Being a small business can be extremely rewarding in this sense; it is very easy to identify the work that you put in and you know that your contribution can play a key part that wouldn’t be so easily identified if you were part of a bigger unit.

Managing this is just one of the major struggles for small businesses but another hugely important one is the struggle to get attention. Small businesses don’t have the financial banking of multi-national corporations and this is most noticeable when it comes to promoting a company and its products and services. In the case of large businesses, they have the financial resources to employ marketing agencies and fund extensive advertising campaigns that can be spread across several different media, such as the Internet, television, radio and billboards. Small businesses on the other hand have to be far more selective about how they go about advertising and promotion. They will have a smaller budget and need to be sure that what they do produce is going to get noticed as the risk of it failing will lead to a financial hit. Because of this, small businesses need to look into all the avenues that are available to them and identify which have the best chances of success and will be the most rewarding.

The rise of social media and its benefits for small businesses

The emergence of social media in recent decades has seen companies latch onto it as they see it as being a good opportunity to spread their message to the billions of people who are already connected to social networks. In addition, social networks do not charge anything if you want to open an account so there are no financial restrictions in place that there would be with other sources. The use of social media by businesses has exploded in recent years and a lot of effort is being put into social media campaigns by companies looking to drum up more attention and business for their brand. Social media also offers small businesses the benefit of being able to combine more than one area into one as a lot of social media users use it to not only get the latest news and updates from companies but also as a way to get in touch and ask for further information, to resolve any problems or make complaints. Social media can also be used to build a closer relationship with your customers as there is a more interactive aspect when compared to other promotional media.

Which social media brand to choose?

Social media has been widely adopted by many companies and it is common for businesses to maintain active accounts on all of the three most popular ones (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). However, if you are a small business and you are wondering where to focus more of your energy in order to have a bigger impact then the research would suggest that the smart money is on Instagram. This is because Instagram has a loyal following of one billion users who are active on a monthly basis while the profile of its users also lends itself favourably to interaction with companies. 80% of its users follow at least one business while 60% have purchased a product they discovered on social media. In addition to this, interaction by its users with companies and brands is far higher than that by users of other social networks. In terms of what you can do, it offers plenty of formats to present content and generate more opportunities for user engagement.

How to make a big impression on Instagram

The key to leaving your mark on Instagram is interacting with its users as this will make your account more popular and, in turn, it will be easier for other users to find it and discover your company and its products and services. To generate interaction, it is recommended to make the most of both general and specific hashtags with your posts while also adding locations to your posts in order to catch the attention of people in specific places. However, if you have a bit of spare money lying around and you want to guarantee engagement then you can always go down the route of paying for Instagram features. There are many options available and there are numerous websites where you get comments on Instagram as well as views, likes and followers. The combination of these different types of features is certain to gain a wider following for your account. This will then lead to more brand recognition and help establish your business, no matter how small, on a stage with one billion viewers that you can share with the biggest companies around.




Recent Music Video Celebrates Great Women in History

By Anouk | Anouk

As so much is controversial in the news these days, it is nice to have something we should all be able to agree about. Music is a type of universal language, and we should all agree that there have been some great women in history. Even if you disagree with their views at times, they were pioneers in their respective fields, and in some way(s) changed history. Why not enjoy this wonderful video with some of the great women in your life.

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield, Massachusetts and New England (USA) & “virtually” the world. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.




SURPRISE YouTube Is In Major Pain After Censoring YouTubers!

By Luke Rudkowski | We Are Change

In the mainstream media’s ongoing efforts to control the publication of so-called “fake news,” Google and YouTube are just some of the companies which have been called upon to assist with policing social media. As with other companies, YouTube and Google use algorithms to do this kind of work, and certain websites which do not pass muster can get “demonetized.” This act of demonetization can cause great hardship on the YouTubers behind these websites.

The following video shows how YouTube’s efforts are not without consequences, as many of the demonetized websites have been so popular – apparently in many cases because the viewers see them as being more truthful than the mainstream alternatives – that YouTube’s revenues are suddenly down nearly 10% – which translates into $70 Billion in total losses for this huge company.

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield, Massachusetts and New England (USA) & “virtually” the world. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.

 




Teenagers, Mental Health, and Social Media

Over the past decade, there has been a troubling rise in the amount of teenagers diagnosed with mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. For example, a recent Johns Hopkins study concluded that the rate of US adolescents suffering from clinical depression increased an astounding 37 percent between 2005 and 2014.

Moreover, an estimated 3 million American adolescents between the age of 12-17 experienced at least one major depressive episode in 2016, according to The National Institute of Mental Health. And this is hardly a trend isolated to the US. One in eight people under the age of 19 in England are living with a mental health disorder, according to 2017 NHS statistics. All of this data indicates that today’s teenagers are dealing with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues more frequently than in the past. So, why is this happening?

Changing experiences

The answer, as always, tends to be a complicated one. First of all, it is important to remember that being a teenager has never been easy, regardless of the time period. Teenage years are an awkward time for many of us. During high school, adolescents are expected to decide on their career path and ultimately the rest of their life, all while growing into their bodies, making friends, and establishing an identity.

So what has changed over the past ten to fifteen years that is causing more and more teenagers to experience mental health problems? Many doctors and treatment centers for teenagers are pointing to a correlation between the rise of social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram and the decline in adolescents’ overall mental health. Let’s take a look at how social media may be impacting the mental health of teenagers.

Cyberbullying

Let’s fact it, teenagers can be cruel to each other. We’ve all experienced it, and if you haven’t, chances are you’ve at least seen it happening to someone else. Bullying and teasing is a common occurrence in high schools everywhere, and these negative interactions often happen outside the classroom as well; bus rides, after school events, and parties are all social situations that can result in bullying.

Up until the advent of the internet and platforms like Facebook, teenagers could at least take a break from the constant social interaction of high school at home. Social media has changed all of that by allowing classmates and peers to interact with each other on a 24/7 basis.

Many teenagers put a lot of stock into their online reputation, whether that be their number of “friends”, likes, followers, etc. This dependence on social media validation also opened the door for rampant cyberbullying to occur. Imagine constantly receiving notifications or alerts about all of the negative remarks being said about you; this is what modern teenagers experiencing online bullying have to deal with.

It’s one thing to hear a ‘he said, she said’ rumor in passing about yourself in the halls between classes or at a party, but social media’s ability to quickly spread hateful comments and rumors has added a new dimension to bullying that older generations simply did not experience.

Constant comparisons

The recent rise of social media “influencers” and celebrities has led to many teenagers feeling like they are unattractive, out of shape, and not as likable in comparison. These influencers are constantly posting images and videos of themselves posing in attractive lighting, looking care free, and in many cases enjoying expensive or fancy food, services, or other products.

Many adolescents, in turn, try and mimic this behavior in an attempt to see their own likes and followers increase. The result is a constant game of one-upmanship on platforms like Instagram, ultimately leading to unrealistic depictions of everyday life that no one can actually live up to.

The importance of communication

It is essential to talk to adolescents about the effect social media may be having on their mental health and self perception, and it’s never too early, or too late, to have that conversation. If you or a loved one is dealing with mental health issues, there are a number of different ways to get help. There are always hotlines available, and numerous treatment centers as well.

While many teenage treatment centers have a reputation for being expensive, that isn’t always the case. Nowadays there are plenty of affordable treatment options; it’s not just lawyers and high end realtors sending their loved ones to seek help from a trained professional.

Image source: 123rf.com




Dr. Mercola: Is It Time to Forget Facebook?

Article Source: Mercola.com

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • As of December 31, 2018, Facebook had 2.32 billion active users around the world, up from 2.27 billion at the end of the third quarter that year. This includes an estimated 83 million fake profiles
  • Your hobbies, habits and preferences are meticulously tracked by the site, and your personal data is then sold to whomever wants access to it — ostensibly for targeted marketing purposes, but there are no safeguards in place to prevent scammers and even political agents from using the data, as detailed in Frontline’s “The Facebook Dilemma”
  • A front-runner to Facebook was a “hot or not” site called FaceMash, where people voted on the attractiveness of Harvard students’ photos — photos Zuckerberg obtained and used without permission
  • Two former Snopes employees quit after discovering Facebook was paying Snopes, and pushing fact-checkers to debunk information that might hurt its advertisers
  • NewsGuard, clearly influenced by Wall Street and indebted to big industries through its funding, is being positioned to eliminate competition, which will allow Big Industry to reign as the leading shaper of public opinion and government health policies

Written by Dr. Joseph Mercola

Despite the controversy swirling around Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg in recent years, the social media platform keeps growing. As of December 31, 2018, Facebook had 2.32 billion active users1 around the world, up from 2.27 billion2 at the end of the third quarter that year.

This does include an estimated 83 million fake profiles,3 though, which is just one of the many hazards of Facebook. It should come as no surprise at this point that Facebook is monetizing your involvement with the site.4 As the saying goes, “There’s no free lunch,” and this certainly applies here.

Facebook Primary ‘Product’ Is You

Your hobbies, habits and preferences are meticulously tracked by the site,5 and your personal data is then sold to whomever wants access to it — ostensibly for targeted marketing purposes, but there are no real safeguards in place to prevent scammers and even political agents from using the data, as detailed in Frontline’s “The Facebook Dilemma,” featured above.

In it, Frontline PBS correspondent James Jacoby investigates Facebook’s influence over the democracy of nations, and the lax privacy parameters that allowed for tens of millions of users’ data to be siphoned off and used in an effort to influence the U.S. elections.

The problem is, Facebook has repeatedly been caught mishandling users’ data and/or lying about its collection practices, and it seems precious little is being done to really correct these shortcomings.

Its entire profit model is based on the selling of personal information that facilitates everything from targeted advertising to targeted fraud. For individuals who start using Facebook at a young age, the lifetime data harvest is likely to be inconceivably large, giving those who buy or otherwise access that information an extraordinarily comprehensive picture of the individual in question.

Facebook even has the ability to access your computer or smartphone’s microphone without your knowledge.6 If you suddenly find yourself on the receiving end of ads for products or services you just spoke about out loud, chances are one or more apps are linked into your microphone and are eavesdropping.

The Origin of Facebook Speaks Volumes

While Zuckerberg insists that Facebook was created “to make the world more open and connected,” and “give people the power to build community,”7 his early foray into social media could hardly be called altruistic.

A front-runner to Facebook was a “hot or not” site called FaceMash,8 where people voted on the attractiveness of Harvard students’ photos — photos which, according to Tech Crunch, were obtained and used without permission.9 As noted in Tech Crunch:10

“Blogging about what you were doing as you did it, you wrote:11 ‘I almost want to put some of these faces next to pictures of some farm animals and have people vote on which is more attractive.’ Just in case there was any doubt as to the ugly nature of your intention.

The seeds of Facebook’s global business were thus sown in a crude and consentless game of clickbait whose idea titillated you so much you thought nothing of breaching security, privacy, copyright and decency norms just to grab a few eyeballs …

[T]he core DNA of Facebook’s business sits in that frat boy discovery where your eureka internet moment was finding you could win the attention jackpot by pitting people against each other.”

Indeed, the Frontline report starts out showing early video footage of Zuckerberg in his first office, complete with a beer keg and graffiti on the walls, talking about the surprising success of his social media platform. At the time, in 2005, Facebook had just hit 3 million users.

The video also shows Zuckerberg giving an early Harvard lecture, in which he states that it’s “more useful to make things happen and apologize later than it is to make sure you dot all your i’s now, and not get stuff done.” As noted by Roger McNamee, an early Facebook investor, it was Zuckerberg’s “renegade philosophy and disrespect for authority that led to the Facebook motto, ‘Move fast and break things.'”

While that motto speaks volumes today, “It wasn’t that they intended to do harm, as much as they were unconcerned about the possibility that harm would result,” McNamee says. Today, one has to wonder whether lack of concern is truly the core problem. Increasingly, it appears Facebook’s leadership know exactly what they’re doing, and the harm — especially the harm they expose users to — appears intentional.

Facebook Fact-Checkers Have Lost Trust in the Site

In a December 2018 article in The Guardian,12 Sam Levin reported that a number of journalists hired as fact-checkers for the site have quit, saying “the company has ignored their concerns and failed to use their expertise to combat misinformation.”

One of them, Brooke Binkowski, told Levin that Facebook is “not taking anything seriously,” and “are more interested in making themselves look good and passing the buck.”13 She also said she “strongly believe[s] that they are spreading fake news on behalf of hostile foreign powers and authoritarian governments as part of their business model.”

Binkowski used to be the managing editor of Snopes, a fact-checking site partnered with Facebook for two years. She has since quit Snopes and started her own fact-checking site. Another Snopes content manager also left the company due to frustrations over Snopes dealings with Facebook, saying she thought Facebook was trying to give the “appearance of trying to prevent damage without actually doing anything.”

She also discovered Snopes was being paid by Facebook, which she felt was “really gross,” as the two companies “have completely different missions.” The fact that Snopes employees are disgusted over Facebook’s apparent disinterest in the facts seems ironic in and of itself, considering Snopes itself has repeatedly come under fire for being ill-equipped to discern facts from lies due to apparent biases.

Most recently, Snopes’ fact-checking of a vaccine injury report by former CBS correspondent Sharyl Attkisson got an “F,” as they were clearly going to great lengths to simply discredit the report and not actually looking at the factual basis behind it.

According to Attkisson, “[T]he Snopes article debunks claims that were never made and uses one-sided references as its sources — other propagandists — without disclosing their vaccine industry ties.”14 The fact of the matter is, Snopes engages in massive censorship of natural health, and promotes industry talking points regardless of what the scientific reality is.

Facebook Accused of Creating Propaganda

Facebook is also accused of hiring Definers Public Affairs, a PR firm whose use of “anti-Semitic narrative to discredit critics” — in this case a group of protesters called Freedom From Facebook — created “the same kind of propaganda fact-checkers regularly debunk.”15

According to The Guardian,16 Facebook’s media partners (about 40 in all, located across the globe) are split in their views about their fact-checking relationship with Facebook. While some believe it’s a positive step, others claim to have:

” … [G]rown increasingly resentful of Facebook, especially following revelations that the company had paid a consulting firm to go after opponents by publicizing their association with billionaire Jewish philanthropist George Soros.

The attacks fed into a well-known conspiracy theory about Soros being the hidden hand behind all manner of liberal causes and global events. It was later revealed that Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer, had directed her staff to research Soros’ financial interests after he publicly criticized the company.

‘Why should we trust Facebook when it’s pushing the same rumors that its own fact-checkers are calling fake news?’ said a current Facebook fact-checker … ‘It’s worth asking how do they treat stories about George Soros on the platform knowing they specifically pay people to try to link political enemies to him?'”

A November 15, 2018, article in Tech Crunch reported on the PR scandal, saying:17

“Facebook is facing calls to conduct an external investigation into its own lobbying and PR activities by an aide to billionaire George Soros …

The call follows an explosive investigation, published yesterday by the New York Times based on interviews with more than 50 sources on the company, which paints an ugly picture of how Facebook’s leadership team responded to growing pressure over election interference … including by engaging an external firm to lobby aggressively on its behalf.”

Facebook leaders deny the allegations — Zuckerberg going so far as to claim he didn’t even know his company was working with Definers, or who had hired them.18 Facebook reportedly severed ties with the PR firm shortly after the publication of The New York Times article.

This call for an investigation into Facebook’s PR activities came on the heels of a call for a privacy audit by the European parliament, following the revelation that Facebook allowed Cambridge Analytica to misuse users’ data in an effort to influence the U.S. presidential election. November 16, 2018, Wired added to the ongoing story, stating:19

“Freedom From Facebook has garnered renewed attention this week, after The New York Times revealed that Facebook employed an opposition firm called Definers to fight the group Definers reportedly urged journalists to find links between Freedom From Facebook and billionaire philanthropist George Soros, a frequent target of far-right, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

That direct connection didn’t materialize. But where Freedom From Facebook did come from — and how Facebook countered it — does illustrate how seemingly grassroots movements in Washington aren’t always what they first appear.”

According to Wired, Freedom From Facebook was the idea of former hedge fund executive David Magerman, who approached the Open Markets Institute, a think tank headed by Barry Lynn, an outspoken critic of monopolies such as Google and Facebook.

The group has also formed coalitions with other progressive groups, including Citizens Against Monopoly (a nonprofit founded by Open Markets Institute), Jewish Voice for Peace and the Communications Workers of America. In all, the Freedom From Facebook coalition now includes a dozen groups, all of which, according to Open Markets Institute director Sarah Miller, “organize around this fundamental principle that Facebook is too powerful.”

Facebook Fact-Checkers Charged With Protecting Views of Advertisers

According to Binkowski, Facebook was also “pushing reporters to prioritize debunking misinformation that affected Facebook advertisers.”20 This comes as no surprise to me, seeing how my site has been on the receiving end of that agenda.

Below is a screenshot of a Facebook post for one of my Splenda articles, which based on “fact-checking” by Snopes was classified as “False,”21 thereby reducing its potential views by an average of 80 percent.22 This despite the fact that I’m reporting published, peer-reviewed science.

NewsGuard — Another Biased Arbiter of Truth

Another fact-checking site that is positioning itself as a global arbiter of credibility is NewsGuard. A recent article23 in Slate highlights the ramifications of getting a poor NewsGuard rating, as the company has partnered with Microsoft to incorporate its ratings as a feature in Microsoft’s Edge browser.

If a user has the setting enabled, each and every search result, plus all media posts in their Facebook and Twitter feeds, will display NewsGuard’s credibility rating of the site in question. NewsGuard has also partnered with the public library system, so that all library computers will display the ratings.

The Daily Mail Online — one of the world’s largest online newspapers — scored just 3 out of 9 possible criteria, earning them a “red” NewsGuard label, which warns readers that “This website generally fails to maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability.”

A spokesman for the Daily Mail said, “We have only very recently become aware of the NewsGuard startup and are in discussions with them to have this egregiously erroneous classification resolved as soon as possible.” As noted by Slate:

“[W]hat does it mean if NewsGuard, or another fledgling credibility-rating project, begins to wield outsize influence over which news organizations garner the most trust on the internet? …

[T]he Mail’s run-in with NewsGuard may presage a new phase: one in which the big tech platforms’ algorithms begin to incorporate measures of a news outlet’s trustworthiness, while a handful of startups and nonprofits vie to be the arbiters behind those ratings.

The trust industry is quietly taking shape. Should we trust it? … It’s … possible to imagine a nightmare scenario in which the ratings authorities become too powerful, their subjective decisions baked into every algorithm and profoundly shaping what people read.

Media companies would try to game the green shields the same way they gamed Facebook’s algorithm — or worse, curry favor or influence behind the scenes.”

The Credibility War — The Latest Attempt to Stifle Big Business Competition

Indeed, I would argue there’s simply no way one can trust any given organization or company to dictate credibility and preside over what’s true and what’s not. There are typically two or more sides to any story, and money can easily tip the scales on which side gets to be “true” and which is deemed “false.”

In the case of NewsGuard, one does not need to have prophetic vision to see the future writing on the wall. All you have to do is take a look at where its funding is coming from, and you’ll realize the organization is ripe with bias already.

Aside from internet giants Microsoft24 and Google — one of the largest monopolies in the world — NewsGuard is backed by companies that are involved in advertising and marketing of pharmaceutical products, cigarettes and unhealthy junk food to kids.25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33 (To learn more, see “The New Plan to Censor Health Websites.”)

Are we really to believe that the profit preferences of such entities will have no influence on NewsGuard’s ratings of individuals, organizations and companies that criticize the safety or effectiveness of those products?

In the final analysis, it appears NewsGuard is just another big business aimed at keeping the chemical, drug and food industries, as well as mainstream media, intact by discrediting and eliminating unwanted competition, which likely includes yours truly and many others who empower you with information that helps you take control of your health.

Is It Time to Forget Facebook? Take the Survey Below and Let Me Know.

Over time, I’ve become increasingly disenchanted with Facebook myself, and I wonder if perhaps I’m doing more harm than good by being a part of it. There’s no denying that by being on Facebook, you’re exposing yourself to privacy intrusions.

Then again, as described by Tech Crunch,34 these intrusions will continue to occur even after you close your Facebook account, and take place even if you never had one in the first place. In the end, it seems the very existence of Facebook is the problem. As Tech Crunch notes, “Essentially, Facebook’s founder is saying that the price for Facebook’s existence is pervasive surveillance of everyone, everywhere, with or without your permission.”

You may want to consider taking a sabbatical from Facebook. According to a recent study35 by researchers at New York University and Stanford, Facebook users report feeling happier and more satisfied with life after leaving the platform for a month. They were also less likely to report feelings of anxietydepression and loneliness — a finding that supports the idea that social media is a poor substitute for actual face-to-face interactions.

Still, I’m seriously considering leaving the platform, and devising other ways to stay in touch with readers. Before I do that, however, I am conducting a survey below to get a feel for what you think about my presence there. Take the survey now to let me know your thoughts.




’10-Year Challenge’ Meme Could Improve Social Algorithms For Facial Recognition

Image Credit: The Mind Unleashed

By Elias Marat | The Mind Unleashed

While the “10-Year Challenge” spreading across social media may appear to be the latest innocuous viral phenomenon, sweeping upwards of 5 million users and multiple celebrities into the challenge, privacy experts and technology analysts are sounding the alarm about the social engineering motives behind the trend.

According to the theory, the meme – which calls for Facebook and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) users to upload a photo of themselves a decade ago alongside their latest photo – was deliberately crafted by Facebook as a means to harvest photos for the sake of improving the social media giant’s facial recognition software and AI machine-learning capabilities, or for Facebook to sell in batches to third-party companies.

The first writer to lay out the theory in detail was Wired Magazine writer Kate O’Neill, whose sarcastic tweet questioning “how all this data could be mined to train facial recognition algorithms on age progression and age recognition” spread like wildfire after it was posted over the weekend.

 

In a subsequent opinion piece for Wired, O’Neill argued:

“Thanks to this meme, there’s now a very large dataset of carefully curated photos of people from roughly 10 years ago and now.

… But even if this particular meme isn’t a case of social engineering, the past few years have been rife with examples of social games and memes designed to extract and collect data. Just think of the mass data extraction of more than 70 million US Facebook users performed by Cambridge Analytica.”

O’Neil added that “we need to approach our interactions with technology mindful of the data we generate and how it can be used at scale.” 

The author isn’t alone in her speculation that the meme’s spread could potentially mask the tech giant’s potentially nefarious motives.

 

 

 




Activists Unite in Houston to Save Independent Media in 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gO9vWhfhvXM

By The Conscious Resistance

Derrick Broze talks with Jason Bassler, co-founder of The Free Thought Project, about ongoing censorship of alternative and independent media and the upcoming (January 12, 2019) United for Common Ground Summit in Houston, Texas.

Can the Independent media be saved in 2019?

The United for Common Ground Summit is the first attempt at bringing together digital activists, journalists, and influencers from around the United States and abroad for a one day event in the Houston, Texas. The independent, or “alternative”, media will partner with veteran activists to brainstorm solutions to combat the 2018 wave of social media censorship. This censorship by online platforms has greatly affected activists and independent journalists efforts to organize and spread awareness.

We seek to unify all truthful, anti-censorship, pro-peace journalists & activists that question the political establishment, both left and right, as well as the corporate media establishment. To be clear, this is not a conference or a festival, but a meeting of the minds to network, strategize and plan how to move forward in an era of social media censorship.

The United for Common Ground Summit was organized by Houston activist and radio show host Derrick Broze and Jason Bassler, co-founder of The Free Thought Project. 

“There has never been a better time for those of us in the alternative media community to put our heads together,” Bassler says. “Censorship is only getting worse but with the right coordination and strategy we can strike back and ensure a sustainable future free from establishment control.”

WHEN: January 12, 2019, 9 am to 4 pm at Talento Bilingüe de Houston (333 South Jensen Dr. Houston, Texas 77003)


The Conscious Resistance Network is an independent media organization focused on empowering individuals through education, philosophy, health, and community organizing. We work to create a world where corporate and state power does not rule over the lives of free human beings.

Find more videos like this at: www.theconsciousresistance.com

Support our work: Patreon.com/DerrickBroze




WATCH: What To Trust in a “Post-Truth” World | Alex Edmans [TED Video]

Source: TED

Watch this fascinating TED video with Alex Edmans discussing what you can trust in a ‘post-truth’ world.

Only if you are truly open to the possibility of being wrong can you ever learn, says researcher Alex Edmans. In an insightful talk, he explores how confirmation bias — the tendency to only accept information that supports your personal beliefs — can lead you astray on social media, in politics and beyond, and offers three practical tools for finding evidence you can actually trust. (Hint: appoint someone to be the devil’s advocate in your life.)




Facebook Applies For Patent On Technology That Identifies Households For Targeted Ads

In Facebook’s patent application, titled “Predicting Household Demographics Based on Image Data,” the company makes very clear the purpose of its new technology. If the patent is granted, and officials at Facebook choose to move forward with the new technology, it would likely be part of a major family-targeting program—one aimed at providing retailers with the data they need to target products that whole families might want to purchase, such as a vacation or a phone package plan.

By Bob Yirka , Tech Xplore

Article source: phys.org

Facebook has applied for a patent on technology the company has developed to collect data on people living in the same household by using photographs and other information stored or posted on the social networking site.

Facebook, like most other social network sites, not only keeps track of posting activity, but uses that data as a way to help sellers target users with ads more likely to get their attention. Now, it appears, engineers at Facebook have developed algorithms that target entire households using information from a variety of sources on the site, including posted pictures.

Such an  could easily use information that is directly posted, such as home address, and names and descriptions of things that people do, along with information collected behind the scenes, such as IP addresses (multiple IP addresses from the same site give an indication of how many people live at a given location). It could also use physical GPS address location information collected from data stored along with digital images that users post from their phones.

The algorithm could also make use of reference data, such as groups of friends or  mentioning attending the same event, or people appearing in photos posted by more than one person—like photos of a child by both a mother and a father. Also, it is likely that the algorithm would make use of keywords that appear in user posts, such as wife, sweetie, honey, etc.—clear indications of a familial relationship.

Read the rest of the article…




Stan Lee, Marvel Comics’ Real-Life Superhero, Dies at 95 (Plus His Top 10 Greatest Comics)

By Mike Barnes | The Hollywood Reporter

The feisty writer, editor and publisher was responsible for such iconic characters as Spider-Man, the X-Men, Thor, Iron Man, Black Panther and the Fantastic Four — ’nuff said.

Stan Lee, the legendary writer, editor and publisher of Marvel Comics whose fantabulous but flawed creations made him a real-life superhero to comic book lovers everywhere, has died. He was 95.

Lee, who began in the business in 1939 and created or co-created Black Panther, Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Mighty Thor, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, Daredevil and Ant-Man, among countless other characters, died early Monday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, a source told The Hollywood Reporter.

Lee’s final few years were tumultuous. After Joan, his wife of 69 years, died in July 2017, he sued executives at POW! Entertainment — a company he founded in 2001 to develop film, TV and video game properties — for $1 billion alleging fraud, then abruptly dropped the suit weeks later. He also sued his ex-business manager and filed for a restraining order against a man who had been handling his affairs. (Lee’s estate is estimated to be worth as much as $70 million.) And in June 2018, it was revealed that the Los Angeles Police Department had been investigating reports of elder abuse against him.

On his own and through his work with frequent artist-writer collaborators Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko (who died in July) and others, Lee catapulted Marvel from a tiny venture into the world’s No. 1 publisher of comic books and, later, a multimedia giant.

In 2009, The Walt Disney Co. bought Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion, and most of the top-grossing superhero films of all time — led by Avengers: Infinity War‘s $2.05 billion worldwide take earlier this year — have featured Marvel characters.

“I used to think what I did was not very important,” he told the Chicago Tribune in April 2014. “People are building bridges and engaging in medical research, and here I was doing stories about fictional people who do extraordinary, crazy things and wear costumes. But I suppose I have come to realize that entertainment is not easily dismissed.”

Lee’s fame and influence as the face and figurehead of Marvel, even in his nonagenarian years, remained considerable.

Beginning in the 1960s, the irrepressible and feisty Lee punched up his Marvel superheroes with personality, not just power. Until then, comic book headliners like those of DC Comics were square and well-adjusted, but his heroes had human foibles and hang-ups; Peter Parker/Spider-Man, for example, fretted about his dandruff and was confused about dating. The evildoers were a mess of psychological complexity.

“His stories taught me that even superheroes like Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk have ego deficiencies and girl problems and do not live in their macho fantasies 24 hours a day,” Gene Simmons of Kiss said in a 1979 interview. “Through the honesty of guys like Spider-Man, I learned about the shades of gray in human nature.”

(Kiss made it to the Marvel pages, and Lee had Simmons bleed into a vat of ink so the publisher could say the issues were printed with his blood.)

The Manhattan-born Lee wrote, art-directed and edited most of Marvel’s series and newspaper strips. He also penned a monthly comics column, “Stan’s Soapbox,” signing off with his signature phrase, “Excelsior!”

His way of doing things at Marvel was to brainstorm a story with an artist, then write a synopsis. After the artist drew the story panels, Lee filled in the word balloons and captions. The process became known as “The Marvel Method.”

Lee collaborated with artist-writer Kirby on the Fantastic Four, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Silver Surfer and X-Men. With artist-writer Ditko he created Spider-Man and the surgeon Doctor Strange, and with artist Bill Everett came up with the blind superhero Daredevil.

Such collaborations sometimes led to credit disputes: Lee and Ditko reportedly engaged in bitter fights, and both receive writing credit on the Spider-Man movies and TV shows. “I don’t want anyone to think I treated Kirby or Ditko unfairly,” he told Playboy magazine in April 2014. “I think we had a wonderful relationship. Their talent was incredible. But the things they wanted weren’t in my power to give them.”

Like any Marvel employee, Lee had no rights to the characters he helped create and received no royalties.

In the 1970s, Lee importantly helped push the boundaries on censorship in comics, delving into serious and topical subject matter in a medium that had become mindless, kid-friendly entertainment.

In 1954, the publication of psychologist Frederic Wertham’s book Seduction of the Innocent had spurred calls for the government to regulate violence, sex, drug use, questioning of public authority figures, etc., in the comics as a way to curtail “juvenile delinquency.” Wary publishers headed that off by forming the Comics Code Authority, a self-censoring body that while avoiding the heavy hand of Washington still wound up neutering adult interest in comics and stereotyping the medium as one only kids would enjoy.

Lee scripted banal scenarios with characters like Nellie the Nurse and Tessie the Typist, but in 1971, he inserted an anti-drug storyline into “The Amazing Spider-Man” in which Peter Parker’s best friend Harry Osborn popped pills. Those issues, which did not carry the CCA “seal of approval” on the covers, became extremely popular, and later, the organization relaxed some of its guidelines.

Born Stanley Martin Lieber on Dec. 28, 1922, he grew up poor in Washington Heights, where his father, a Romanian immigrant, was a dress-cutter. A lover of adventure books and Errol Flynn movies, Lee graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School, joined the WPA Federal Theatre Project, where he appeared in a few stage shows, and wrote obituaries.

In 1939, Lee got a job as a gofer for $8 a week at Marvel predecessor Timely Comics. Two years later, for Kirby and Joe Simon’s Captain America No. 3, he wrote a two-page story titled “The Traitor’s Revenge!” that was used as text filler to qualify the company for the inexpensive magazine mailing rate. He used the pen name Stan Lee.

[Read more here]

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield, Massachusetts and New England (USA) & “virtually” the world. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.




They Want To Kill FREE SPEECH [But We Won’t Let Them]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeIAzl_BpAQ

Source: SGTReport

Facebook is targeting what they deem “fake news” with third party verification, while in the EU the fascist oligarchy in the European Parliament has passed the Copyright Directive with Articles 11 and 13 which are targeted directly at free speech, which fortunately is protected in the United States by the Constitution, and on line by the Fair Use clause. But it’s clear that the NWO would like to kill the internet and cleanse it of free speech because they are losing badly in the public square of ideas. Bill Ottman the CEO of Minds.com joins the SGTReport to discuss.




Facebook Accused of ‘Full-Frontal Suppression of Dissent’ After Independent Media Swept Up in Mass Purge

“Those who demanded Facebook and other Silicon Valley giants censor political content—something they didn’t actually want to do—are finding that content that they themselves support and like end up being repressed,” noted The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald in response to Facebook’s announcement. “That’s what has happened to every censorship advocate in history.” (Photo: Legal Loop)

By Jake Johnson | Common Dreams

The massive shutdown affected many sites devoted to covering war, police brutality, and other issues neglected by the corporate media.

After Facebook announced on Thursday that it shut down and removed hundreds of pages and accounts that it vaguely accused of spreading “spam” and engaging in “inauthentic behavior,” some of the individuals and organizations caught up in the social media behemoth’s dragnet disputed accusations that they were violating the platform’s rules and raised alarm that Facebook is using its enormous power to silence independent political perspectives that run counter to the corporate media’s dominant narratives.

While it is reasonable to assume that some of the more than 800 total pages and accounts shut down by Facebook were engaged in overtly fraudulent behavior—such as the use of fake accounts and bots to generate ad revenue—numerous independent media outlets that cover a wide array of issues say they were swept up in the massive purge despite never using such tactics.

“Facebook has removed the pages of several police accountability/watchdog/critic groups, including Cop Block, the Free Thought Project, and Police the Police,” Washington Post journalist Radley Balko noted in a tweet following Facebook’s announcement. “They’ve also apparently severely restricted activity for the Photography Is Not a Crime page.”

Activist, comedian, and political commentator Lee Camp argued that Facebook’s purge is clear evidence that the “purging of anti-establishment thought is upon us” and described the account shutdowns as “full-frontal suppression of dissent.”

Speaking to journalist Alex Rubinstein after they found out Facebook shut down their pages—some of which had hundreds of thousands of followers—the founders of Police the Police, the Free Thought Project, and other now-shuttered pages denied Facebook’s hazy charge of “fraudulent” activity and accused the company of attempting to suppress dissenting voices that refuse to toe the corporate line.

“Our approach generally is to cover stories and angles that corporate media underreport or misreport and to amplify activist and anti-war voices and stories. All of our content is professionally fact-checked and edited,” said Nicholas Bernabe, founder of The Anti-Media, a self-described “anti-establishment” website whose Facebook page was shut down along with hundreds of others on Thursday. “I can only speculate that these suspensions were a coordinated effort to stifle our message ahead of the coming elections.”

While some of the pages Facebook removed on Thursday were affiliated with right-wing sites that were spreading patently false stories, censorship opponents have long warned of the “slippery slope” of empowering corporate giants to suppress certain kinds of content, given that the suppression almost always expands far beyond the original target.

“Those who demanded Facebook and other Silicon Valley giants censor political content—something they didn’t actually want to do—are finding that content that they themselves support and like end up being repressed,” noted The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald in response to Facebook’s announcement. “That’s what has happened to every censorship advocate in history.”

Though Facebook has yet to release a full list of the pages and accounts it removed, several individuals affected by the purge have taken to other social media platforms to denounce the social media giant for squashing pages that took years to develop.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License