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Two Facebooks: Liberal v. Conservative

If you sometimes feel like you are living in a completely different world than people who voted for the other candidate in this year’s presidential election, you kind of are. The echo chamber is real.

To illustrate the point, the Wall Street Journal built a “Blue Feed, Red Feed” tool that lets you see, side-by-side, what a liberal and conservative might see on Facebook at any given moment. And it’s striking.

The two feeds might as well exist in alternative universes. When you see them side-by-side, it looks like two uninformed elementary schoolers arguing about whose armpits are smellier.

Now, these feeds are built off of some pretty biased sources, but I definitely recognize some of the liberal-side sites. Although I try to have a balanced news feed, sites like Daily Kos, Salon, and the Daily Show regularly pop up in my own liberal echo chamber. Many of the articles on the conservative side are about things I’ve barely heard of. For example, George Soros is apparently a conservative boogeyman in the same way the Koch brothers are for liberals. Who knew?

I’ve gone through my own Facebook page likes and Twitter follows to try to build a more neutral information stream, and you should, too. Get out of the echo chamber and improve your news diet. It might feel good to hear people

How to Consume a Healthier News Diet (and Why It’s Critical)

On this weekend’s episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver explains that for many Americans, Facebook is their primary source of news. Then he puts this image on the screen:

2016-11-13-john-oliver-trump

That stopped me in my tracks. Of course. Of course your views about the candidates lined up with the headlines you saw every day. Your news diet is just like a regular diet. If you eat lots of junk food, you will probably get fat.

And yes, before you retort that it’s the same as liberals getting their news from the Daily Show and Last Week Tonight, I agree. It’s the same thing (except funnier).

Conservative or liberal, we all need to put some thought into our news diet. For most of us that means adding some balance to the news sources we see in our Facebook or Twitter feeds. And we all need to add a healthy dose of skepticism to our news diets.

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Famous Last … Tweet?

Last words are automatically interesting, but not automatically significant. This goes double or triple for last tweets, since tweeting is rarely the last thing anyone would think to do before expiring. All the same, The Tweet Hereafter archives last tweets of famous people, just in case they are significant, like the last tweet of Oscar Pistorius’s girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, the day before he killed her:

What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow??? #getexcited #ValentinesDay

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The Cops Are Hot on Your Twitter Trail

According to the LA Times, Twitter keeps logs of your “location, IP addresses, search terms, pages visited and also data from when you visit third-party websites with Twitter buttons on them” (emphasis mine). That’s a lot of detail. And Twitter makes it available to the police over 75% of the time the cops ask for it, without a subpoena.

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Who Wants to Get Fired?

Here’s a quick lesson in social networking privacy:

  • Public means anyone can read what you are posting. Like your spouse, the police, your boss, etc. They don’t even have to be a member of the social network in question.
  • Private means that only certain people can read what you are posting. You get to decide who these people are.

WeKnowWhatYou’reDoing.com is a collection of people who don’t seem to understand the difference. Under headings like Who’s taking drugs? and Who wants to get fired? it lists posts to popular social networks that should probably not have been made public.

Why the Hell Are People Posting Pictures of Debit Cards on Twitter?

Twitter account @NeedADebitCard collects pictures of debit and credit cards that people post to Twitter. Seriously? I’m guessing these people aren’t on top of their Facebook privacy settings, either, which makes them sitting ducks for identity thieves.

People, don’t be stupid. If you have to take pictures of your debit and credit cards, put them in the same place you keep your sex tapes.

[via BoingBoing]

Over 70% of Companies Ignore Twitter Complaints

Okay, one last post on customer service by Twitter, and then I’m done. For today, at least. It turns out that while a conspicuous minority of companies are using Twitter to enhance the customer service experience, most remain completely clueless.

Why Customer Service by Twitter Isn’t Working

Despite all the talk about how social media can improve customer service, it really hasn’t. Frank Eliason, the awesome personality behind Comcast’s legendary Twitter presence, @comcastcares, explains why. (Hat tip to Consumerist!)

Twitter Doesn’t Always Get You Better Customer Service

Stories about companies that respond with amazing customer service when you gripe on Twitter have become the stuff of legend, but not all companies are on board. Lawyer and blogger Scott Greenfield, for example, has been complaining about his brand-new broken Kitchen Aid refrigerator for a couple of days, now, and all he’s gotten for a response is a pitiful “we’re looking into this matter.” I’ve tried expressing my frustration with a set of broken Kindles to Amazon’s Twitter account, but haven’t gotten a response at all. Those are just a couple of examples I happen to know of, but I’m sure there are plenty more.
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Debt Collectors Will Hunt You Down On Social Networking Sites

http://flic.kr/p/84VZAr

We found out earlier this year that debt collectors are using social networks to find and harass debtors, but now at least one collections training center is offering a class on using social media in collections, to “maintain a good customer base, keep good paying customers on track, and find and collect from past due customers.” (Debt collectors like to call consumers their “customers” or “clients,” even though they have no business relationship.)

Debt collectors can use social networks to find and communicate with consumers, as long as they make the appropriate disclosures and comply with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. But that doesn’t mean you have to make it easy for them.

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