Tag Archives: Social Media

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.

SocialSafe White Paper: Minimising the Legal Risks of Social Media in Business

These days a wide range of businesses use social media channels to build better relationships with their customers, employees and other stakeholders. From large consumer brands with millions of Facebook fans to niche B2B companies promoting their services through LinkedIn, social media has transformed the world of marketing.

But as businesses rush to take advantage of this new way of talking to their audiences, the risks are often overlooked. We’ve all seen plenty of examples of social media gaffes from businesses as they try to work out the right way to use these channels, but the bigger danger is that they could find themselves falling foul of the law.

Most businesses are aware of how the law, and industry regulations, affect their traditional communications, but understanding how this applies to social media can be tricky. Worse still, some businesses do things in social media that they would never dream of doing in their other channels, such as republishing copyrighted photographs, or sniping at their competitors, because they imagine that the rules no longer apply.

The technology of social media is developing faster than the law can keep up, so it’s easy to understand how many businesses might become a little lax in their approach. But with a little planning and some common sense policies, you can significantly reduce the level of risk your business is exposed to.

To help with this, we’ve produced a white paper, in collaboration with legal and compliance experts, to give businesses a clearer picture of how things currently stand, and what action they can take to minimise risk.

[Click here to download your free copy]

GUEST BLOG: Social Media and Crime – by Sandra Mills

The following post is a guest blog from Sandra Mills, a freelance write based in Los Angeles. Below, she uses some statistics compiled from sources such as Forbes.com to warn of the dangers surrounding over-sharing on social networks, and what the real-life implications might be if the wrong people are watching.

Social Media and Crime

by Sandra Mills

Social networking might be the way to easily share tidbits of information about your life to the many people in it, but you might be sharing more than you think. Of course you are proud of everything you have accomplished. Great house, nice car and top it all off with a well-deserved vacation. But while you are sharing what you have done there is bound to be a person or two who want what you have without doing all the work. So they take what information you share about your wonderful life and start making plans to “share” it all.

Your innocent post about moving into your home gives someone the details about where it is. And of course you have your work information on several sites so they can figure out your hours. Better yet, they now may know if you take regular business trips or they are counting down the days to your much needed vacation along with you. While you are lounging on the beach the potential for a devastating break-in could be in progress.

The next time you post or add information to social media sites, consider your privacy settings and make sure that they are updated regularly. If you decide to keep your post public, consider how much information you are revealing before you hit post. Your close friends and family just might not be the only people who care what you are doing these days.

The following infographic was brought to you by instantcheckmate.com.

social media crime stats

If you have a post or topic that you think would fit in well on the SocialSafe blog, we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch with us via Facebook, Twitter or by leaving a comment below.

GUEST POST: Cyberbullying, Social Media and Teen Suicides – What is Going On? — by Debbie Harris

We’re going to take a slight break from the norm here and let someone else take the mic for a song…

Debbie Harris is an expert on social media compliance and the law, and she has very kindly allowed us to post this article of hers right here on our blog. Read on…

Cyberbullying, Social Media and Teen Suicides – What is Going On?

by Debbie Harris

This whole issue of cyberbullying seems to be taking on a life of its own.  It is not only here in the United States that these issues are materializing but in countries such as India and Canada, Canada is trying to help the police with combating cyberbullying by giving them more access to combat these problems.  In addition, in Canada the government is also looking for a 24/7 monitoring of social media sites.  This is not just for cyberbullying issues.  Here in the United States a recent suicide of a 12 year old girl in Florida prompted authorities to arrest two girls who were tormenting her.  They are 12 and 14. This begs many questions, not the least of which is whether they should be legally held responsible for Rebecca Sedwick’s death and if so, what should the penalty be?  They are very young and this “criminal” label would be with them forever.  Shouldn’t they learn to understand what the consequences of their actions were to another student?

I am deeply concerned by the statistics that show that teen suicides are at the highest level they have been in six years.  While “bullying” has been around forever, it does appear that cyberbullying takes on a much more insidious role.  This coupled with lack of parental control and/or involvement and not enough education in our schools, leads me to see this as an increasing tragedy for our youth.

I’m not sure why suicide is becoming an increasingly viable option for young people. Something seems inherently wrong with a teenager thinking that suicide is a solution to a problem.

I often advocate that parents not “spy” on their children’s Facebook page, Twitter, etc. and I still do not like the idea of “sneaking” around behind your child’s back.  That being said, kids as young as 5 and 6 are using computers and accessing the Internet – parents must be regulating this behavior much the same as they would what shows are being watched on television.  The National Crime Prevention Council publishes guidelines for parents. Facebook has gotten into the act with their “bullying prevention hub” .

One of the major issues with cyberbullying is the fact that there is no system for verifying people’s identity on social media sites such as Facebook.  There is also no way of preventing kids under 13 from signing up on these sites.  This is where parents and school administrators must work together to bring this subject out in the open.  I am happy to be out there talking to parents, students and school administrators about Flocks.com.  Verification will certainly remove “false” profiles and keep children under the age of 13 off of this growing social media site.

Another thing you can do is install SocialSafe.net on the computer that your child uses. This will download and save everything on their social media sites on that computer. This will give you a record of everything and everyone.  I use it.

While cyberbullying may not be the catalyst for all teenage suicides, it certainly has the potential to prompt a troubled youth to take the most drastic measure possible.  We need to reach our kids and explore why so many are so troubled.  Is it because so many adults are troubled, unhappy, stressed and afraid?  Looking in the mirror may help parents and others get a clearer view of what teenagers they know may be experiencing.  We learn what we see. Teenage years are never easy but technology in all its wonder may be contributing to their sense of alienation much the same as it does to ours at times.  It certainly can contribute to accelerating bullying way beyond the school cafeteria, classroom and schoolyard.

Reach out to our youth.  Volunteer your time.  Be a mentor.  Use social media and even texting to “connect” with them but spend time face to face with them.  Let them know that there is someone they can trust and reach out to if they experience cyberbullying or just need someone to talk to.  As a Rotarian, I am proud to be involved in many of our youth projects and helping to create leaders of the future.  Find a way to give back to our youth, you’ll be glad you did.

If you are an expert in your particular area with regards to the use of social media and would like the opportunity to write an article for this blog, please feel free to get in touch. We’ll never post anything without your permission and will always give you full credit and a link back to your own site.

SocialSafe Funding Round – New Features, New Faces

You may have read reports earlier this week about a recent funding round we completed, so we thought we’d tell you what we’ve got planned for the future.

Firstly, we’re looking to expand the team. You may have also seen that we’re recruiting for an iOS developer, so it doesn’t take a genius to work out that we’re going to be expanding our product offering and creating a mobile version of SocialSafe!

As well as broadening the platforms, we’re also working on improving the app with lots of new features such as Collections, PDF export and additional Insights, and we’re also hard at work adding more networks and increasing the depth of coverage for the networks we already support.

With the recent funding round we also welcome a new member to the SocialSafe family, and that is Microsoft Researcher Emeritus Gordon Bell, who joins us as an investor and advisor. Gordon has long been the pioneer of ‘Life-Logging’ and his vision will be a huge asset to SocialSafe moving forward. His experience in other areas of computing should not be understated either – his work in the ’70s set the bar for computer performance and architecture for many years to come.

We’re really excited about what the future holds for SocialSafe, and we’d love for you to be with us each step of the way. Visit our website to start using SocialSafe for free, and get your whole story from your social networks. For more information about our funding round and our future plans, please take a look at this TechCrunch article from earlier in the week.

VIDEO Guide – Search and Calendar in SocialSafe v6.5.9 Top Bar

Last week we released SocialSafe v6.5.9 which included some changes to the layout of certain features and functions within the app.

The Search and Calendar icons that were previous on the left hand side of the app have now moved to the top bar, and the way that you use them has also changed. We’ve put together a short video showing you how to use the improved Search functionality, and how to use the custom and preset date ranges within the Calendar:

As you’ll see, this makes it really easy to find anything from your social networks, and if you have a vague idea of when something happened but not what it was, you can use the date range to narrow your content view and simply browse until you find what you are looking for.

We hope you like what we’ve done with the SocialSafe top bar, and if you have any suggestions about how we can improve your experience of using SocialSafe, please let us know using our feedback forum.

Biz Stone: ‘Facebook Should Go Freemium’ – Would You Ever Pay?

Biz Stone, one of Twitter’s co-founders, has recently offered his opinion on how Facebook should run its business. Writing on Medium, Stone revealed that he had taken a lengthy break from Facebook, for the most part due to the fact he had become “overwhelmed” by the “thousands of settings, features and choices” continually being added.

On the topic of what he’d recommend Facebook do, the former Twitter man suggested that a paid, premium version for the Facebook die-hards who can afford it, would enrich their user experience by removing the ads and sponsored content.

“In general, the ads on Facebook don’t seem particularly useful or engaging. However, ads on the service are universally tolerated because that’s what makes Facebook free and free is nice.”

You can see his point, although I’m not sure how many people would pay $10 a month (the arbitrary figure Stone attached to paid Facebook usage in his blog  post) just to save some scrolling time.

There comes a point in every consumer/vendor relationship where both parties must agree to a mutually acceptable exchange currency, or the transaction will cease. At the moment, users are happy (although some may not like to admit it – if they’re not, then they wouldn’t still be on Facebook) to pay for their usage of Facebook with their own private information. In turn, Facebook is happy enough to be paid in data by its users, and to then market that fertile selling environment to advertisers who will willingly pay good old-fashioned money for the opportunity to show their products to a mass audience.

Perhaps Biz Stone is looking to the no-so-distant future when users will be happier to pay money for a better experience, with the added kickback of not surrendering their personal data to a third-party. Our data may have been anonymised and only ever viewed by clever algorithms, but accidents happen with databases, and so do orchestrated attacks.

The question then becomes two-fold: are you happy with someone else holding all your personal data to ransom for the advertisers?; and what price would you put on taking control of your content again?

Are you happy to carry on trading your personal data for a free Facebook or if not how much would you pay for the service?

Using Social Media To Breathe Life Into Fictional Characters

We’re all familiar with the concept of following sports people, musicians, political figures and the stars of film and TV on social networks. The 21st century has given us unbridled access to celebrities and people of note in a manner that makes us feel infinitely more connected to our living heroes than we would be say, only 10 years ago.

Looking at the number of followers celebrities accrue on Twitter, it’s little wonder that owners of famous fictitious characters have now started to utilise social networks to post updates from their creations, and allow fans to interact directly with their favourite protagonist/villain.

Croatian author Goran Racic has created an online persona for Thomas Loud, the hero in his latest novel, Loud Evolution. With the aid of Twitter, YouTube and Minecraft, Racic is involving readers on a multitude of levels that can’t be achieved with just a book alone, and will help to bridge the gap between subsequent novels in the Loud series.

Speaking to Mashable, the author explained his reasoning:

“The overall idea is to have a story that’s unfolding in real life… There’s so much technology available for storytelling. It just feels natural to combine everything… The Twitter feed isn’t a direct continuation of the novel, necessarily. It’s just a collection of [Loud]‘s thoughts as he completes different missions and assignments.”

This seems like a great way to engage with readers, and there will be obvious marketing benefits to reap. As a big fan of film and literature, I think the idea of using social media to give audiences an interactive way to delve into a character’s innermost thoughts is a fantastic supplement to the craft laid out on the silver screen or page.

Facebook’s Own Download No Longer Contains Wall Posts

Facebook’s own data download function is coming in for some criticism today, with reports emerging that Wall Posts are no longer part of the download package offered by the social network.

At this point it’s unclear whether this is simply due to a bug within Facebook’s account export mechanism or, down to the fact that Facebook is removing Wall Posts from users’ downloads on purpose. It’s most likely the former, or just a result of Facebook engineers tinkering with the internal workings of  the social network as they test new features and functionality.

We thought we’d try this for ourselves, and our man George can now confirm that there were no Wall Posts within the Facebook archive he’s just downloaded after requesting it earlier today.

It’s more than likely nothing more sinister than a bug, or perhaps the side effect of some other testing going on at Facebook HQ, and hopefully things will be back to normal soon enough. Having said that, if anyone out there wants to lay their hands on their Facebook content right now, SocialSafe gives you more control over your backups.

Wall Posts, Updates, Photos, Messages, Comments, Likes and much more can be downloaded to your own PC/Mac with no need to request the files from Facebook and wait for an email with a link to a .zip file. And with the improvements we’ve made to the Sync Scheduler, you can set SocialSafe to automatically back up new content at any time you choose, and as often as every hour.

Please visit our main site for more information and to download the free trial for PC or Mac.