Facebook’s Newswire

When there isn’t much happening in SL on the development front, I tend to write about other things that affect our online lives. For me this is a slow news week. So, I bring you: FB Newswire…



While the goals of Facebook and Google are similar, ID’ing and profiling every person on the planet for targeted advertising, their approaches and execution are different. However, I think their successful implementation of products have simpler similarities.

Google+ is dying because it is being forced on people without providing obviously useful benefits to the user. Google Search is a phenomenal success because Google works hard to keep web masters and online advertisers honest and thus make search results useful. Spam or spoof Google Search and you may well find your web sites, every site you own, removed from Google’s database and never seen in Google Search again. I find Google Search results usually spot on. Pretty much the opposite of SL Search.

Facebook has been and remains successful by having provided features and products people can use and enjoy. They have obvious benefits to the user. Now Facebook is adding Newswire, an Internet news verification service. The FB Newswire announcement is here.

You can see it in action here: FB Newswire.

That Facebook is verifying news is interesting. People have pointed out that it places story verification, or at least which stories are verified, in Zuckerberg’s hands. If you pay attention to the news being verified, I suspect you’ll quickly realize it is only a verification something did or didn’t happen and there is little or no verification of details. For instance; the arrival of American troops in Poland and Latvia is verified. No mention that it was only 150 solders, which I think conveys the nature of the deployment.

The idea this will reduce spam and false or fake reports is interesting. Urban Legends and Snopes provide the kind of research and depth needed to recognize spam, spoofs, and propaganda. I’m not sure FB Newswire can fill that role, especially on the later point. But, this is a Twitter world and something faster than Snopes or FactCheck is needed. Time will tell if this works and is useful. Personally, I’ll stick with Drudge Report.

5 thoughts on “Facebook’s Newswire

  1. >> Google+ is dying because it is being forced on people without providing obviously useful benefits to the user. <<

    I don't see how you can say that, Natales . G+ is not forced on people but is constantly growing and building a strong following. I find G+ the most interesting of all the social networks I use, far superior to Facebook in terms of features. It is also the network where I have the largest following, 3800 followers compared to the almost 2000 I have on Twitter or the 1000 and something on Facebook, over a shorter time span compared to the last two. I have lots of benefits in using G+ and judging by what I read many users are happy with it.

    The post on TechCrunch you linked to previously raises some concerns but, frankly, after reading the comments there (which also prove the strong following G+ has) reminded me of the many "SL is dead" posts we have seen through the years. Furthermore, the Techcrunch post hints of an allegedly shift in strategy which has to be proved, and not that the service will close.

    • I say forced because many Google products, including Nexus Android phone, did not fully work as advertised without a Google sign into which a bunch of Google+ stuff is attached. Several Google products create a G+ page whether you want one or not.

      If you are using Google & Google+, these force points are nearly invisible. If you’re not, they are a pain. Chrome users have been objecting to login demands made each time the browser starts if they do not use a Google login. If they do login then they have to deal with Google+ notifications while they browse. These are pretty unobtrusive to the regular G+ user, but to those that have not gotten used to them it is annoying. One of my typical support questions is ‘how do I turn the crap off?’

      Once logged in Google is collecting info on where you browser. Try creating an incognito browser session to effectively kill off tracking cookies. While incognito do a search for products you would not normally look for; guns, tracking devices, male sports wear, ostrich eggs, stuff you never search for… then watch your advertising change in your regular browsing. Some people really work hard to avoid leaving these types of trails. Especially people in repressive countries, think Russa, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran…

      Microsoft is doing the same with Windows 8. If you can get it installed without joining MS Live and creating an account, you have done something. The upgrade to 8.1 is even more devious about trapping customers into the MS system. Your login to your computer and MS Live are the same. That is SUPPOSED to be added protection. How putting your local machines password out in a MS database where MS and NSA can easily get to it is more protection, I don’t understand.

      For some of us, working in the cloud, mobile, and staying on top of events is all much easier when we embrace the tech. But, those concerned about privacy, corporate and government intrusion are freaking out. If you are politically active you know we now have sworn testimony made before congress that the IRS and other government agencies are being weaponized to attack citizens that disagree with the government. So, there is a large population resisting Google, MS, FB, etc. for privacy reasons.

      • I am not objecting to the fact that using their service Google collects data on my activity. I am aware of it and it’s something that I take into account. Admittedly, I was not aware that people are forced to join G+ when using some apps, as it never happened to me. What I object to is this rumor that G+ is dying, which I find greatly exaggerated.

        In the meantime a number of posts have appeared on blogs to debunk that rumor. I find it interesting that the authors complain about the exact same poor practices SL users have complained for years. Not even Google is exempt from bad journalism… 🙂

        • There are more people posting counter point. Still moving 1,000 people off the team…

          But, I have found that image people being moved off are being put on the Android side of imagine sharing. So, they may be contributing to G+ in a different way.

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