TIME Social Networking

Mark Zuckerberg Defends Facebook’s ‘Real Name’ Policy

JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg .

“Real name does not mean your legal name," he wrote during a Q&A

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended his company’s “real name” policy against accusations of being discriminatory toward vulnerability communities on Tuesday.

The company’s policy requires users to go by their real names on the social network, which has drawn criticism from transgender people, drag queens, Native Americans, domestic violence survivors and others who say the policy prevents them from being true to their identities and, in some cases, puts them at risk of physical harm offline.

But during a Facebook Q&A with BuzzFeed, Zuckerberg said many critics don’t understand the exact details of Facebook’s requirement, MONEY reports.

“There is some confusion about what our policy actually is,” Zuckerberg wrote. “Real name does not mean your legal name. Your real name is whatever you go by and what your friends call you. If your friends all call you by a nickname and you want to use that name on Facebook, you should be able to do that.

In fact, Zuckerberg said safety is one of the main concerns behind the policy. He wrote that requiring real names makes users less likely to act abusive towards one another and that the policy could prevent users from creating fake profiles to contact and their victims. Still, he acknowledged that Facebook would be taking steps to make sure the site and its policies were inclusive of certain marginalized communities. “We are working on better and more ways for people to show us what their real name is,” he wrote, “so we can both keep this policy which protects so many people in our community while also serving the transgender community.”

[MONEY]

TIME Social Networking

Facebook Can Recognize You Even If You Cover Your Face

Internet Market Considers MIcrosoft Bid for Yahoo
Chris Jackson—Getty Images Facebook logo is reflected in the eye of a girl on February 3, 2008 in London, England.

"People have characteristic aspects, even if you look at them from the back"

Facebook has unveiled a cutting-edge computer vision algorithm that can identify individuals in pictures even if some of those individuals are facing away from the camera, New Scientist reports.

Computer vision algorithms currently suggest tags for photos uploaded to the social network, but the latest exhibition of Facebook’s technology at the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition conference in Boston managed to identify people in 40,000 public Flickr photos with 83% accuracy. Even more uncanny, the algorithm was able to seize on unique identifying traits, such as hairstyles and recurring outfits.

“People have characteristic aspects, even if you look at them from the back,” Facebook’s head of artificial intelligence told New Scientist. “For example, you can recognize Mark Zuckerberg very easily because he always wears a gray T-shirt.”

It isn’t yet clear if the new algorithm will be incorporated into any of Facebook’s products.

Read more at New Scientist.

TIME Social Networking

Facebook Just Solved the Most Annoying Thing About Smartphone Pictures

Facebook

This new standalone app makes sharing group photos a nearly painless process

You know when you pose for a group photo and you have to wait for every friend to take a snap with their own smartphone? Well, wait no longer.

Facebook unveiled a new photo sharing app on Monday that enables users to sync photos with their friends so no one has to flash a frozen grin for minutes while the same shot is taken across half a dozen smartphones.

The standalone app, Moments, uses Facebook’s facial recognition algorithms to identify which friends are captured within the picture frame (the same technology is currently used to suggest tags for photos uploaded to Facebook). The user then is given the option of syncing the photo with the selected friends or sharing it more widely across the social network.

The app was released as a free download in the iTunes and Google Play stores on Monday.

TIME Social Networking

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo Stepping Down

Co-founder Jack Dorsey taking over as interim chief

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is stepping down from his position, the company unexpectedly announced Thursday. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey will serve as interim CEO starting July 1 while the board of directors searches for a successor.

“I am tremendously proud of the Twitter team and all that the team has accomplished together during my six years with the Company,” Costolo said in a public statement. “I am deeply appreciative of the confidence the Board, the management team and the employees have placed in me over the years, and I look forward to supporting Twitter however I can going forward.”

The announcement comes amid mounting pressure from shareholders and activist investors for Twitter to shake up its leadership and start growing revenue and user numbers. Twitter’s stock is up about 7% in after-hours trading Thursday afternoon.

Costolo also posted the news to his Twitter account, welcoming Dorsey into his new role:

TIME Social Networking

Here’s How Pinterest Will Actually Make Money

US-IT-INTERNET-PINTEREST-COMPUTERS-HOBBY
JOSH EDELSON—AFP/Getty Images A Pinterest employee demonstrates their new site features during a Pinterest media event at the company's corporate headquarters in San Francisco, California on April 24, 2014. Pinterest launched a tool to help people quickly sift through the roughly 30 billion 'Pins' on the service's online bulletin boards to find what they like. AFP PHOTO / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

The site's users will be able to click on items to buy or add to their wish lists

A new “buy button” feature could help Pinterest start raking in cash.

The social networking site, which has been working to grow its advertising revenue, on Monday revealed a new developer platform featuring “Action Buttons” that would let Pinterest users buy items or add them to a wish list, according to TechCrunch. After offering vague details about the platform over the past month, Pinterest finally revealed its plan for the buttons at MIT’s Emtech Digital conference in San Francisco earlier this week.

As TechCrunch notes, the new platform will soon allow Pinterest users to click on items on the site—such as food items from a recipe or materials from a craft project—and add them to a virtual shopping cart or to their Amazon Wish List.

Why would Pinterest want to allow these kinds of Action buttons? Because it wants brands of all sorts pouring their wares into its discovery network. If partners can drive more sales through these Action buttons, their availability incentivizes them to create storefronts within Pins of everything they offer. More content keeps more people spending more time on Pinterest. And the startup could also charge partners to amplify the reach of their Action button-augmented Pins by turning them into ads.

In essence, the fewer steps between discovery and purchase, the more Pinterest can fulfill its mission and make a fortune in the process.

Pinterest has gradually looked to expand its potential for profitability since it launched five years ago. The company has had no problem attracting investors, though, as its valuation has grown from about $200 million in 2012 to a reported $11 billion with its latest fundraising round.

Last month, the company launched a handful of new features aimed at boosting advertising revenue to help it compete with rivals like Facebook and Twitter. Those features included animated ads and improvements on how advertisers target Pinterest users, as well as Pinterest’s own in-house creative agency that works with large brands on creating targeted Pins.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME Social Networking

You’re About to Get News on Facebook in a Whole New Way

Facebook Announces New Launcher Service For Android Phones
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images A Facebook employee holds a laptop with a "like" sticker on it during an event at Facebook headquarters during an event at Facebook headquarters on April 4, 2013 in Menlo Park, California.

News outlets will start publishing stories directly to Facebook

Facebook users are no strangers to seeing and sharing news stories in their News Feed, especially on mobile devices. But they’re about to experience them in a whole new way.

The social networking giant will begin publishing articles from nine partner publications directly onto its mobile platform starting Wednesday, the company announced. Instant Articles, as the long-rumored new product is called, will include content from the New York Times, BuzzFeed, NBC, The Guardian, The Atlantic, National Geographic, BBC News, Spiegel and Bild.

“As more people get their news on mobile devices, we want to make the experience faster and richer on Facebook,” product manager Michael Reckhow wrote in an introduction. “People share a lot of articles on Facebook, particularly on our mobile app. To date, however, these stories take an average of eight seconds to load, by far the slowest single content type on Facebook. Instant Articles makes the reading experience as much as ten times faster than standard mobile web articles.”

Facebook says the platform will offer a rich multimedia experience including high-resolution photos and auto-play videos. However, the deal has also raised questions and concerns about whether the new publication method will undercut media partners’ business models.

TIME Social Networking

Here’s What You Can (and Can’t) Post on Facebook

Facebook Removes Feeling Fat
Bloomberg via Getty Images The Facebook Inc. logo is seen on an Apple Inc. iPhone in London, U.K., on May 14, 2012.

It turns out defining nudity is more complicated than you might expect

What constitutes hate speech? When does the portrayal of violence become the glorification of violence? Does a bare buttocks count as nudity? What about if it’s blurred? Thoughtful people may have different answers to these questions. After complaints mounted about unclear policies and inconsistent enforcement, Facebook now has answers for its 1.3 billion users. The company clarified its community standards for posts on the platform in a post Sunday.

“It’s a challenge to maintain one set of standards that meets the needs of a diverse global community,” wrote head of global golicy management Monika Bickert and deputy general counsel Chris Sonderby. “For one thing, people from different backgrounds may have different ideas about what’s appropriate to share.”

So here are a few things you should know:

Nudity

Facebook has never allowed nudity, but users have had difficulty interpreting what that means. Now the company says posts with “genitals or fully exposed buttocks” will be taken down. “Some images” of breasts are restricted if they show a nipple, but photos of women breastfeeding will always be ok.

Hate speech

Hate speech is pretty much always prohibited, unless you’re posting about hate speech to “challenge ideas, institutions, and practices.” If you do plan to post hate speech to educate your friends, make sure to “clearly indicate” that’s your goal or else risk having it taken down. Facebook also allows you to make make humorous posts about hate speech if you want to ridicule it.

Regulated goods (like drugs, alcohol and guns)

Facebook says “unauthorized dealers” cannot buy or sell marijuana and other drugs via the platform, which seems to still leave some ambiguity over who qualifies as authorized. Alcohol and guns are OK to market, but you can’t collect payment via Facebook tools.

Criminal activity

This is a no-brainer. You can’t promote a crime, threaten a public figure or participate in terrorist activity on Facebook. The site will turn you over to the authorities.

Read next: Facebook Is Facing a Massive Lawsuit Over Online Purchases Made by Kids

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Social Networking

Twitter Investigating ISIS-Related Threats Against Employees

Twitter
Leon Neal—AFP/Getty Images File photo dated September 11, 2013 shows the logo of the social networking website 'Twitter' displayed on a computer screen in London.

After Twitter blocked several ISIS-related accounts

Twitter is investigating threats made against its employees by people claiming ties to the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).

A message appeared online Sunday calling on ISIS supporters to kill Twitter employees, apparently in response to the company’s efforts to block ISIS-related accounts.

“You started this failed war,” reads one post in Arabic. “We told you from the beginning it’s not your war, but you didn’t get it and kept closing our accounts on Twitter, but we will soon come back.”

One message singled out Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey in particular, showing an image of crosshairs overlaid on Dorsey’s face. Dorsey is now CEO of mobile payments company Square.

“Our security team is investigating the veracity of these threats with relevant law enforcement officials,” said Twitter spokesman Jim Prosser.

ISIS has often used Twitter and other social media to broadcast its message, publish video of violent acts and recruit new followers. The group has shown a penchant for “gaming” Twitter by using automated accounts to make its online supporter base seem larger than it likely actually is.

Meanwhile, Twitter regularly deletes posts and suspends accounts showing executions or violent actions. The company’s terms of service ban posting “direct, specific threats of violence against others.”

TIME Social Networking

Microsoft’s New App Will Help You Stalk Your Friends

Microsoft

Location markers show who's around the corner in real time

Microsoft is reportedly working on a new app that can track the locations of your friends and family, displaying their movements across a map in real-time.

An early version of People Sense, which was unveiled by the Spanish-language news site Microsoft Place, overlays a select group of friends onto Bing Maps. The app mirrors the layout of Apple’s Find My Friends, which displays friends as roving markers inching through the streets.

But People Sense adds a number of features that makes communication a bit more seamless — tapping one of the markers will give the user options to message, call or pull up driving directions to the person of interest.

No release date has been set for People Sense, which is still under the development name “Buddy Aware.” A video review of the app, provided by Microsoft Place, shows an already robust set of features at work:

Read next: Madonna’s Most Memorable Social Media Moments

TIME Careers & Workplace

These Are the Terrible Mistakes You’re Making in Your Job Search

resume
Getty Images

These common pitfalls can sink your hunt

Job seekers are feeling more confident about the economy and about their prospects, and more of them—especially young adults—report that they’re keeping an eye out for new employment opportunities even if they already have a decent job.

In a new survey, recruiting software company Jobvite finds that 45% of job seekers are satisfied with their current job, but open to jumping ship — and half of currently employed people looking for work characterize their current job as a “stepping stone” or “entry level,” a figure which jumps to more than 70% of job-seekers under the age of 30.

Here’s the rub: These people might not have as much success as they imagine if they engage in some of the behaviors Jobvite’s survey highlights.

Today’s job hunters treat the pursuit of career advancement almost the same way as they would buying something on Amazon, says Jobvite CEO Dan Finnigan.

“It’s almost like purchasing a product online, where the one-click shopping experience is now the norm,” he says. This attitude is especially prevalent among job-seekers under 30, he says. “As millennials especially are working longer hours and leading busier lives, they’re not wasting any time missing out on competitive positions… the tech-savviest ones are leveraging mobile to job hunt when the have the time.”

In addition to the nearly half of job-seekers who say they’ve looked for work in bed, 21% who job-hunt during meetings and the nearly 20% who use bathroom breaks to find a job, almost 10% say they’ve searched for work while out at a bar.

Although searching for jobs on a smartphone makes it easier to check out the options and apply for work anytime and anywhere, happy-hour job-hunting isn’t without risks, Finnigan says. “[It] could put you in a position where you’re more prone to making a careless spelling error or forget a detail in your contact information,” he says. “It’s important to devote full attention during this process of the job search,” a task that’s harder after you’ve had a couple of drinks.

Jobvite also finds that the use of social networks to score job leads is rising. Aside from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, more people looking for work are hitting up Pinterest, Instagram and even Snapchat.

Again, while more avenues should mean a faster route to employment, job-seekers could create roadblocks for themselves if they’re not careful. “Any time you’re interacting with a company on social media, being professional, intelligent and careful is essential,” Finnigan says. While most professionals today treat LinkedIn as an extension of their “work self,” it might take a mental transition to think that way about a more freewheeling site like Snapchat.

And the temptation to exaggerate on social media spills over into people’s employment-related postings. Jobvite finds that 31% percent of job seekers inflate their skills on Twitter, and more than a quarter fabricate references on Facebook.

“People have been inflating and overstating their skills on their resumes for years, so it’s not too surprising — but it’s still a bad idea,” Finnigan says. “In today’s information-heavy age, this practice is even more risky,” he points out. With so much of our lives online today, it’s easier for people — such as hiring managers — to ferret out a fib.

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