Highway To The Danger Zone: US Airways Accidentally Tweets Nude Image

Just when you think your company is killing it on social media, some fool tweets a picture of a woman pleasuring herself with a model aeroplane. Confused? Read on…

us airways tweet
It’s a big building with patients, but that’s not important right now.

It’s probably fair to say that it’s been a week of mixed results for the social media teams of American Airlines and US Airways.

On Monday, a 14-year-old Dutch girl jokingly sent a tweet to @AmericanAir threatening them with a terror attack. Highly unamused and quite justifiably concerned, the airline simply responded by saying that they’d passed her details onto the FBI. The girl was subsequently arrested by Rotterdam Police later that day.

High-five! Way to go airline social media teams! But then things went a little wrong yesterday…

US Airways (who incidentally merged with American Airlines in December 2013) had social media disaster when one of its employees mistakenly tweeted a decidedly NSFW image to a customer who was trying to lodge a complaint. It took US Airways a good hour to realise their error and delete the tweet, by which time the image had been retweeted hundreds of times.

When US Airways issued an apology, they claimed that the image had been sent to them by another Twitter user, and that it had inadvertently wound up in the response to the complaining customer while they were trying to flag the image as inappropriate. Either way, we’d hate to be the person who hit ‘send’ on that tweet.

Unfortunately, the reality of social media is that by the time any of us realise we’ve posted something we perhaps shouldn’t have, it is often too late, and the item has either been copied, reshared or both. Obviously accidents happen, but in order to minimise this risk, it’s wise to make sure that any staff operating social media channels on behalf of a company are well versed in the best practices.

Recently we put together a white paper that we feel would be helpful to anyone using social media as part of their business, and you can download it for free: Minimising the Legal and Regulatory Risks of Social Media in Business.

14 Year Old Dutch Girl Arrested For ‘Terror Threat’ Tweet To American Airlines

A Dutch teenager has been arrested after jokingly tweeting a terror threat to American Airlines. Unsurprisingly, the airline didn’t see the funny side of it and reported the threatening message to the authorities:

American Air Twitter Threat

The prankster then swiftly backpedaled, claiming that the tweet was said as a joke, before posting a number of further messages lamenting her decision and seeking legal advice. The story soon went viral on Twitter, with @queendemetraiax_ gaining over 3 thousand followers that day. Eventually she deleted all of the tweets, but not before someone was able to Storify them:

Teen Tweets @AmericanAir: “Hello my name’s Ibrahim and I’m from Afghanistan”

However, it would appear that the authorities take these things incredibly seriously, and yesterday it was confirmed by Rotterdam Police that they had arrested the 14-year-old girl:

A spokesperson for the Dutch police told Business Insider, “We’re not in a state that we can communicate any state of charges at this point, we just thought it was necessary to bring this out mostly because of the fact that it caused a great deal of interest on the Internet.”

This isn’t the first time people have found themselves in custody – or even given jail terms – for saying something on social networks, even if in jest. So next time you think you might have something funny to say, just consider the implications of that message being seen or heard by a wider audience than you may have anticipated.

Instagram Outage – How To Download And View Your Photos Offline

Photo sharing site Instagram experienced a period of downtime over the weekend that manifested itself by the app being in a perpetual period of loading the feed, but to no avail. Somewhat predictably, users vented their cynicism and ire on other social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, the latter of course being the owner of Instagram.

A lot of the jokes revolved around not being able to see what everyone was eating, or what the sky looks like, however others offered tongue in cheek suggestions for what might be causing the issue:

Instagram eventually tweeted to acknowledge the problem, identifying it as a feed delivery issue that they were working on fixing. Everything seems to be back to normal, and the outage was indeed a temporary glitch.

However, Saturday’s downtime is yet another example of what can happen when you aren’t the one in possession of your content – the other party can drop the ball and you can’t access it. This isn’t a problem if you back up your content to your own personal data store, and here at SocialSafe we’re immensely proud of the standard of our Instagram backup service.

Not only can you download all your Instagram images, but all of the comments, tags, likes and followers/following are also backed up to your library, which allows you to search across your images and people. What is more, our Instagram Insights give you the chance to examine the popularity of your images, see which filters you use the most, and see which filters perform the best with your followers:

To download your Instagrams (and also backup a number of other social network accounts), get SocialSafe for free and start backing up your memories to a place you own and control.

Do You Know Which Passwords To Change After Heartbleed?

You will no doubt have read or heard an awful lot about the ‘Heartbleed’ security vulnerability affecting a huge number of websites and online services, and you will also have been told to change a lot of your passwords. The problem with doing that right now is that if the services themselves haven’t addressed the OpenSSL issue their end, then your new passwords would be just as at risk as your old passwords.

So the bad news is that you’ll probably have to change your passwords in stages, as each of the services you use gets around to fixing the issue. Thankfully a lot of these sites and services have been notifying their users when they’ve rectified the issue, giving them the all clear to go ahead and change their login information. There are also ways to test a site to see if it has been fixed or is still vulnerable, and our developers have been running checks on some the more commonly used sites and services this morning.

So we’ve got two lists of sites here:

Fixed – these are now safe and you should change these passwords now
Unaffected – these won’t have been affected by the OpenSSL issue. However, if you use the same or similar login credentials to a site that may have been exploited, we’d advise that you change these passwords too.

Fixed (change passwords now):

Adwords
Amazon
BT
Dropbox
ebay.com
econsultancy
Facebook
Gmail
Google+
Instagram
Netbanx
New Relic
PayPal
Play.com
Pocket
Sagepay
Stackexchange
Trello
Unfuddle
YouTube

Unaffected (only change if same/similar details used on a site above):

Adobe CC
Digicert.com
Eurostar
Evernote
Feedly
Freemarket FX
Godatafeed.com
Halifax
Hootsuite
Hotmail/Outlook.com
Innovateuk.org
Invision
LinkedIn
Mailchimp
Moo.com
Names.co
Natwest
Pivotal Tracker
Rapidswitch
Thawte
Twitter
Unbounce
Windows Azure

These lists are by no means exhaustive, but merely some of the more commonly used sites/services, some of which we use here at SocialSafe and had reason to check on today. Obviously if a site or service not appearing on our ‘Fixed’ list subsequently declares that they have fixed the issue, then take their word over ours!

We sincerely hope that none of you are adversely affected by the Heartbleed vulnerability and that you manage to change your passwords with minimal hassle. Please pass this blog post on to friends, family, co-workers and clients, and help spread the word.

- the SocialSafe team

Why SocialSafe Users Are Unaffected By Heartbleed

The Heartbleed security vulnerability  caused by an OpenSSL issue is affecting many websites and web-based services, forcing users to update their login information. Not only is there the hassle of having to change a lot of passwords, but there’s also the fact that if your details were stolen then the thief would have access to the contents of that account, whether it be emails, social networks, or cloud storage.

SocialSafe users will be pleased to know that because they store all of their backed up social network content on their own machines, there is no SocialSafe Heartbleed risk posed by the OpenSSL issue. Unlike other backup services that are web-based and which hold your backed up content and then require you to login to access it, SocialSafe removes this risk by downloading it directly to your computer, giving you control over your content.

Our key mantra here at SocialSafe has always been that it’s your data, and therefore you should be the one to control it. Give a man a fish and you’ll feed him for a day, but give him a net, and he can feed himself permanently. We’ve adopted the same approach. By giving you the tools (SocialSafe) to download and view your social network content, you don’t need to depend on a web-based service to retrieve, stored, and ultimately grant you access to your data.

While Heartbleed is obviously an incredibly serious issue with potentially disastrous consequences, it is also a wake-up call to internet users at large. As long as individuals’ data is scattered across in the web in different places and not under their own control, there will always be an exponential risk associated with storage, access and security.

How Well Do You Know Your Way Around Your Data?

As we continue to make improvements and add new features to SocialSafe, there are more ways to view and do more with the content backed up within your library. We’ve put together a video showing you the main ways to interact with your content and how to find particular items.

While this video is primarily aimed at new users who have just installed SocialSafe for the first time, this video should help anyone that has been with us for a while and who may not have fully explored all of the features of SocialSafe:

We’ll be continuing to make more of these videos over the coming weeks and months, and would really appreciate any feedback you have so that we can make them as helpful as possible to you, the users. Feel free to let us know what you think about the videos, or anything else we do, by contacting us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+.

LinkedIn To Remove ‘Products & Services’ Tab By April 14th 2014

Anyone who runs a LinkedIn Company Page should take note of the fact that the business network has announced it will be retiring the ‘Products & Services’ tab, effective from April 14th 2014. All page owners should have received an email from LinkedIn, but if you haven’t been made aware of the changes, here’s what the network had to say about the removal of the feature:

Linked In Company Pages

While you can back up your LinkedIn profile with SocialSafe, unfortunately the information contained on LinkedIn Company Pages is not available via the network’s API. Therefore it cannot be backed up to your SocialSafe library, nor any other backup service. However, we would always advocate the policy of backing up wherever possible.

So in this instance it might be worth having someone spend a little time perhaps manually copying the content from these pages into a Word document, just so that the information is readily available should an equivalent feature appear at a later date, and so that the initial work that went into creating your Products & Services tab doesn’t all go to waste.

What has your experience of LinkedIn Company Pages been so far? Have they helped provide you with useful information as a consumer or customer? Has having one noticeably improved your company’s social reach? Let us know what you think of LinkedIn Company Pages and share your experiences with others.

VIDEO GUIDE: Using The SocialSafe Journal To Time Travel

Last week we added another video guide to the SocialSafe YouTube Channel, this time giving you a tour of the Journal, showing you how to filter what is displayed, and over what time period:

As you’ll see, we’ve tried to make life easier for you by including some preset date ranges that will allow you to quickly isolate your activities within commonly used time periods. The calendar also gives you complete flexibility over the date, allowing you to select your own start and end points, and therefore customise your own date ranges. You can also jump straight to any single day by clicking on it.

If you want to filter out certain networks, or specific accounts, you can also do this via the top bar. For example you might have a Twitter account that automatically posts many times a day which might overfill the Journal, making it harder to see your Facebook updates. Within the Journal you can simply exclude that Twitter account from the current view. Likewise you can choose to view just one account in isolation when viewing content in the Journal.

You’ll also notice that you can perform a search within your selected date range by selecting ‘Search [keyword or phrase] on this page’. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can always click ‘Search [keyword or phrase] everywhere’, which will revert back to looking at the entire date range of your content. For more on searching social networks, click to see the specific video.

There are plenty of other ways to browse and view your content, but hopefully with the Journal we have created a view that everyone can customise to their own requirements, giving them greater control over how they use their content.

Today Is World Backup Day – Do You Have A Plan For Your Social Content?

Some of you may be aware that today is World Backup Day, and anyone who knows anything about SocialSafe will be fully aware that we are all about backing up content!

People often back up their own machines to an external drive, but what about the content you don’t currently hold yourself? It’s easy to be conscientious when you are the one holding the data, but it’s easy to overlook the things that you take for granted as being safe just because someone else is holding them. The classic example of this is the content from your social networks.

You might be the one who creates the content, but it’s all held by third-parties, so you don’t really have a say in how it’s stored and if they back it up. Unless you take control of your data and download it for yourself…

Your social network content needn’t remain solely online as a sitting duck just waiting to be attacked by any of the multitude of hackers who attempt to compromise social networks with irritating regularity. There are legitimate ways to download your Instagram photos, your Facebook content, your tweets, and a wealth of the other content you create on a daily basis.

SocialSafe is the social media backup tool for anyone that cares about the memories they create and post online, and for anyone that recognises the value in having their own copy of their personal data. To create your own personal backup of your social media content, download SocialSafe now for free, and begin filling your library of you.

World Backup Day comes around but once a year, and the folks at WBD are encouraging people to back up their content today, on March 31st 2014. However, we’d suggest you make a habit of backing up more regularly than once a year!

#NoMakeupSelfie Campaign Raises £8m+, But Some Money Got Lost

Earlier this year social media was maligned for the ease with which it allowed the #neknomination drinking game to spread, and seemingly encourage irresponsible and dangerous acts of rapid intoxication. By being able to tag others in posts, the craze spread incredibly quickly, leading to an enormous number of people posting videos of themselves trying to out-do each other in terms of drinking bravado, sometimes with fatal consequences.

However, the notion of tagging people in posts and asking them to carry out a particular task before passing on the proverbial baton to other friends has taken a benevolent turn. As of last week, women have been posting a #NoMakeupSelfie along with a mobile screenshot of their text donations in aid of Cancer Research UK, and then challenging their female friends to forego their makeup and follow suit by tagging them in the post.

So far the movement has raised over £8m, although not all of the money pledged has ended up going to Cancer Research UK. As messages are relayed many times over, something is bound to get lost in translation. In this case, simply texting the wrong word when making a donation has seen money inadvertently diverted to other causes.

The text keyword for Cancer Research UK is ‘BEAT’, however many people texted the word ‘DONATE’, which is designated solely for the use of Unicef. As a result, Unicef has received over £18,000 worth of ‘accidental’ donations. But the errors didn’t end there…

A number of people also fell foul of their phone’s autocorrect feature, which changed the word ‘BEAT’ to BEAR. They then received thank you messages from the World Wildlife Fund after the word ‘bear’ automatically triggered the initial process for adopting polar bears. However, WWF’s Director of Fundraising – Kerry Blackstock – was quick to allay fears of people being signed up to a longterm commitment:

“Any texts sent to us instead of Cancer Research [UK] would not result in any donations going to help protect polar bears as WWF relies on human operators calling people back to confirm adoptions, so no money would have changed hands.”

But setting aside the minor admin errors made by both man and technology, the whole story is a great example of how significant change can be affected by the use of social media, and how simple it is for acts of good will to gain momentum and a critical mass when people share an idea online. Long may it continue.