Facebook CEO Donates $100 million to Newark’s Troubled School System

Wow. What a way to steal the thunder from the soon to be released movie The Social Network, in which reviewers claim it paints him as a total asshole. I don’t care if he is trying to save his image giving $100 million to the very needy Newark school system is a great move when most of these dudes give their money to some unheard of foundation.

Much Kudos to Mark and I hear the official announcement will be on Oprah tomorrow. And a tremendous shout-out goes to Mayor Corey Booker who is the mastermind behind this and should be our next President once President Obama finishes his two terms.

via Huff Post

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg will donate $100 million to help Newark public schools, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Wall Street Journal writes,

Mr. Zuckerberg is setting up a foundation with $100 million of Facebook stock to be used to improve education in America, with the primary goal of helping Newark.The donation has the potential to be matched by another $100 million that Newark’s mayor, Cory Booker, has been working on raising from private foundations and others. […]

The $200 million that could be raised would amount to over 20% of Newark’s budget of $940 million.


[pic] Twitter launches new Interface

Everyone’s favorite communication device besides Facebook just got an upgrade. Checkout the screenshot below courtesy of Gizmodo with info below:

via Gizmodo

The Twitter app, with its one-column tweet stream, now just got a sidebar with extra information. Now you can see more info, like individual tweets, people’s profiles, videos, photos and various “media” providers that you can see in-line.

Continue reading

New MySpace Profiles? Do You Even Care?

Myspace refuses to die, and they have just rolled out some new features for profiles. Do you guys even care?

via Mashable

Users began noticing the new MySpace profiles today. Sean Percival, MySpace’s vice president of online marketing, tweeted about his updated MySpace profile earlier today.

Here are some of the differences we’ve noticed:

  • A new left-hand navigation: Profile navigation has been condensed into the left hand navigation menu under the profile picture.
  • Focus on the stream: MySpace Stream — the site’s version of the Facebook newsfeed — is the focus of the the new profiles. You can view a user’s recent activity, comment on items and share content with friends.
  • Continue reading

[video] Soldier taunts small Iraqi children asking obscene questions “Are you a gay terrorist?”

This is absolutely terrible that this soldier would say these obscene things to children. And we wonder why these guys wanna kill us?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An Alaska-based soldier is under investigation for a video on his Facebook page that taunts smiling Iraqi children by asking if they’re gay, if they engage in certain sex acts and if they would grow up to be terrorists.

Continue reading

Time Magazine Examines Facebook’s ‘Scary Privacy’

I still beg the question that if you are looking for privacy why would you join a social network? Keyword is social.

via Mashable

Time Magazine’s May 31 issue will hit newsstands with a cover and feature story dedicated to the “scary” side of Facebook.

The cover art pays homage to the Facebook generation with a mosaic of 1,295 Facebook profile photos, accompanied by a blurb from the feature article: “Facebook …and how it’s redefining privacy. With nearly 500 million users, Facebook is connecting us in new (and scary) ways.”

The feature article by Dan Fletcher delves inside Facebook (Facebook) and its methodologies for hooking new users and explores the historical events leading up to present-day privacy concerns around Open Graph and instant personalization.


Facebook ‘Catch Me If You Can’ Fugitive finally caught in UK

I wonder how many updates to his facebook he is going to be doing from inside of a jail cell. Anyway all you facebookers who were enthralled with his ‘catch me if you can’ act should send this guy some money for his lawyer because he definitely is gonna need it.

via Newser

A British burglar who busted out of prison in September and kept a quasi-amusing record of his flight on Facebook has himself been busted by police. As recently as New Year’s Eve, Craig “Lazie” Lynch was in London, and broadcast that fact to his 40,000 friends: He described “watchin the London firework display surrounded by thousands of incompetent pigs. I’m even recorded asking police for directions.”

Continue reading

Facebook’ers Design New VitaminWater Flavor

I guess Thisis50 is up next.

(Newser) – If you’re one of those people who can’t get enough of Facebook, good news is coming to your corner store in March, in the form of VitaminWater’s new flavor. “Connect,” a black cherry-lime concoction, is the result of a contest on the drink’s Facebook page, in which users were asked to design a new flavor. So go ahead, poke your thirst.

Facebook sells out,exposes users after changes to privacy policy

For all you Facebook’ers here is a break down of the new privacy policy.

via Daily Express

As of Wednesday, social networking supremo Facebook unveiled sweeping changes to its privacy options for users. The new privacy controls, particularly the recommended settings, have deployed the social network on the front line of the debate over data protection.

Having told users that the change “makes it easier for people to find and learn about you”, Facebook has effectively opened up the bottomless pit of personal data at their disposal to everyone on the web.

The motivation for this move is primarily to increase traffic to the site from search engines – inspired by growing competition from Twitter (its pages are fully indexed and searchable) – thereby increasing ad revenue.

As of now, when a current users logs on to Facebook they will be greeted by a popup asking them to review and update their privacy settings. Whilst it is relatively easy for users to choose to keep their old settings, it is the new settings recommended by Facebook that have come under close scrutiny.

If a user adopts Facebook’s recommendations then details of the user’s gender, location, friends and family, as well as all posted content and status updates, could be found on search engines like Google or Bing.

This represents a fundamental shift in Facebook’s social media function; instead of disseminating pictures and information amongst a closed social circle it now broadcasts that information to the world.


Facebook + Plus Underage Drinking = Arrested

Yes Big Brother is definitely watching and all you lames posting pics on Facebook thinking they are private are really out of touch. If you are going to commit illegal acts why put them on the internet? SMH.

via Newser

(Newser) – Wisconsin college student Adam Bauer should represent a cautionary tale for Facebook users under 21, or otherwise on the wrong side of the law: be careful what you post, and whom you friend. Shortly after accepting a request from an unfamiliar, “good-looking girl,” Bauer was invited to the local police station—where a cop laid out pictures of him and friends enjoying beers, and charged him with underage drinking.

“I just can’t believe it. I feel like I’m in a science-fiction movie, like they are always watching. When does it end?” Bauer told the LaCrosse Tribune. Added another student busted for boozy photos someone else posted: “I feel like it is a breach of privacy. You feel like you should be able to trust cops.

Myspace and Facebook to join forces?

Wow! This was something a few years ago we would have never thought could be possible. Figures because the newly appointed head of Myspace is an ex-Facebook executive.

Picture 34via Newser

– High-ranking executives at both Facebook and MySpace confirm that the companies are in talks over some sort of content partnership—a development that isn’t a big surprise to at least one observer. Formerly intense competitors in the social-networking sphere, Caroline McCarthy writes, now “Facebook’s the one providing the platform for the content; MySpace is the one providing the content itself.”

While MySpace can boost its claim as “a pop culture hub,” McCarthy adds on CNET, “for Facebook, meanwhile, you could take this as a ‘look, we’ve won’ move. After all, it’s a validation of the power of the social network’s content platform that a company like MySpace—which used to dwarf Facebook in size—would want to use it for distribution.”

HBO pushes film to new heights with Cube Installation

Now I did not know what to expect when I visited the HBO Imagine website but I was knocked off my seat with this new way of storytelling. HBO has created a cube whereas two films, each 2 minutes in length and each played twice successively, on a rotating basis.

The experience is probably the most innovative way to view a movie. Click here to experience the next level in movie making and be sure to post the link on Facebook and get other people to check it out. Below is some more info about the project which will be in the DC area this week.

-5Here is the plot:

Heist: Four disparate scenes culminate, revealing themselves as different facets of a single, intricately orchestrated crime.

The Affair: A husband and wife, their maid and someone’s half-dressed lover are framed from four perspectives, showing the characters in different lights and implying different relationships.

October 8-10: Washington D.C. (Plaza at Adams Morgan)

Creator of ‘Kill Obama’ Poll Is a Kid

Well don’t we think this kinda weird that this kid would create a poll about killing the President? My son does polls on the net about Sponge Bob and his favorite wrestlers. SMH.

via Newser

Picture 41

– The Secret Service has found the mastermind behind the “Should Obama Be Killed?” Facebook poll—and it turns out to be a kid. After a chat with the young perp and the parents, the agency has decided not to press charges, a spokesman said. “This is something we classified as a mistake on the juvenile’s part.” He wouldn’t reveal the juvenile’s name, age, or residence.

Facebook allows you to change your username

via Read Write Web
Picture 56

Last month, Facebook finally announced that they would allow users to pick out custom usernames for use in vanity URLs that read http://www.facebook.com/username. At the time, users were advised to “choose wisely” because the username they selected would be stuck with them for life. That didn’t stop some Facebook users from picking out names that were clearly meant as jokes, // though, including the guy who decided to go with “rickroll” and the other fellow who just kept pressing the letter “a.” We’re not sure if those folks are now having regrets about their choices, but if so, they’ll be happy to know they now have the option to select a username yet again. But only once, says Facebook.

It appears that Facebook has quietly launched a new option in the settings area called “username” where you have the option to change your Facebook username. To find this option, go to “Settings” at the top-right of the Facebook page and then click on “Account Settings.” The second option from the top is “Username.” Press “Change” to enter in your new username and then click “Confirm” when you’re ready to set it.


10 Reasons you know you’re addicted to Twitter

Yes we are addicted. Here is a geat breakdown for all you guys who have virtually become addicted over night to the internet’s hottest social media networking site.

Picture 18via Tara Stiles

10 Reasons you know you’re addicted to Twitter

1. You know what at least 3 people you don’t know had for breakfast.

2. You’re obsessed with how many followers you have or don’t have and possess a master plan for getting your numbers up.

3. You search popular news sites just to link information that makes you look smart.

4. You spend more than 2 minutes planning out the cleverness of each tweet and give yourself a hi-5 when you figure out new ways to shrink words.

5. You’ve got regular Twitter, tweet deck, and twitter mobile for complete uninterrupted professional tweeting.

6. You get in frequent back and forth Twitter arguments over senseless topics that you actually don’t care about. This starts to enter your real life.

7. Twitter is your home page.

8. You paid the Wi-Fi fee on Virgin America so you could get extra cool points by tweeting at 36,000 feet. It’s the new 5 mile high club.

9. You’ve already tweeted about this post.

10. You’ve tweeted at least 3 times before getting to #10.

Texas Lawmakers Crack Down On Fake Online Profiles


via MediaPost

In a move aimed at cracking down on cyerbullying, Texas lawmakers passed a new bill that makes it a crime to impersonate people online.

The new “online harassment” statute makes it a felony to create phony profiles on social networking sites with the intent to “harm, defraud, intimidate, or threaten” others. The statute defines commercial social networking sites broadly, saying they include any sites that allow people to register to communicate with others or create Web pages or profiles. (Email programs and message boards are excluded from the definition.)

The law was sent to the Texas governor for signature last week.

The move comes at a time when fake profiles are increasingly in the news, thanks largely to the relatively new phenomenon of phony Twitter accounts. Last week, it was widely reported that one such account had already led to a lawsuit. In that case, St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa alleged that the parody account infringed his trademark.

The Texas law conceivably addresses those types of profiles on Twitter, although it’s not clear that courts would find that parody creators do so with an intent to “harm” or “intimidate.”

It’s also not certain that the law would hold up in court. Internet law expert Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University, says the Texas law appears problematic for at least two reasons: it singles out social networking sites and bans speech that might be permissible. “The whole social networking exceptionalism is ridiculous,” he says. “There’s no way to distinguish social networking sites from other sites.”

And, he adds, the attempt to ban fake profiles might be unconstitutional because it could end up also criminalizing legitimate speech. “There’s so much potential speech that’s covered by this, it makes me nervous,” he says. Continue reading

Facebook Bombshell Book Due to Cause a Stir

I have read a few articles about this subject and it seems this is the classic American success story. Claw,scratch,lie and steal your way to the top.

Picture 175

via Gawker
Facebook’s creation myth has left the building, or so we hear: Fortune is said to be readying an excerpt of Ben Mezrich‘s tell-all book and movie about the social network. And another publication is, naturally, trying to ruin the scoop.

We hear the New York TimesBrad Stone has been calling around frantically, trying to get hold of a galley himself and spoil Fortune‘s exclusive. And he may well succeed; the writer outed the author of the anonymous Fake Steve Jobs blog last year with help from his sources in the publishing industry. Mezrich’s book is due out July 14.

The media scramble for galleys of Accidental Billionaires just goes to show Facebook remains something of an “it” company in Silicon Valley, even as it grows out of its startup phase and gropes for revenue.

It also proves that respected media outlets have no trouble taking seriously a project created by a busted, fabricating author and adapted for film by would-be crack smuggler, about a money-losing company.

Nor do we, obviously. We’d love to get our hands on said galleys, if only to fact-check them the way we did with Mezrich’s comical book proposal. If you can help, please get in touch.

WTF! South Carolina Politician Says Michelle Obama Is Related To Escaped Gorilla

via Thisis50

A prominent South Carolina Republican killed his Facebook page Sunday after being caught likening the First Lady to an escaped gorilla.
Commenting on a report posted to Facebook about a gorilla escape at a zoo in Columbia, S.C., Friday, longtime GOP activist Rusty DePass wrote, “I’m sure it’s just one of Michelle’s ancestors – probably harmless.”

Busted by South Carolina political blogger Will Folks, DePass told WIS-TV in Columbia, “I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone. The comment was clearly in jest.”

Then he added, “The comment was hers, not mine,” claiming Michelle Obama made a recent remark about humans descending from apes. The Daily News could find no such comment.

“‘Humor’ like this is nothing new for South Carolina Republicans – even as the party claims to be focusing on ‘outreach’ efforts to minorities,” said Folks, a former gubernatorial spokesman and widely read blogger. “The fact that Palmetto [State] Republicans don’t get that this is a serious problem for them baffles us.” Continue reading

MySpace problems may spread to Facebook, Twitter

via Anthony Massucci

Picture 126

MySpace founders have been pushed aside and there is speculation layoffs are coming.

As Facebook and Twitter watch what’s happening at MySpace, they should be worried and heed the warning of potential problems to come. Social-networking sites grow like weeds and, well, die like weeds too.

Twitter is the fastest growing networking site right now. Facebook is number two. MySpace, on the other hand, is seeing its audience decline and may have to fire employees.
When the growth of a social-networking site slows, you don’t need as many workers anymore. If a large corporation buys a smaller company, there’s the danger that the creative input of its founders will no longer be needed. That’s what’s happening at MySpace and it’s bound to happen at Facebook and Twitter down the road.

My Space is preparing to lay off 25 percent or more of its staff, after laying off five percent last year, TechCrunch reported this week. “Like any company with new leadership, Fox Interactive Media is reviewing every aspect of our operations, performance and structure,” Fox Interactive Media spokesman told DailyFinance in an e-mail.

Full Story Here

Coming Soon: Facebook Adds Usernames

by Blaise DiPersia

Picture 97

From the beginning of Facebook, people have used their real names to share and connect with the people they know. This authenticity helps to create a trusted environment because you know the identity of the people and things on Facebook. The one place, though, where your identity wasn’t reflected was in the Web address for your profile or the Facebook Pages you administer. The URL was just a randomly assigned number like “id=592952074.” That soon will change.

We’re planning to offer Facebook usernames to make it easier for people to find and connect with you. When your friends, family members or co-workers visit your profile or Pages on Facebook, they will be able to enter your username as part of the URL in their browser. This way people will have an easy-to-remember way to find you. We expect to offer even more ways to use your Facebook username in the future.

Your new Facebook URL is like your personal destination, or home, on the Web. People can enter a Facebook username as a search term on Facebook or a popular search engine like Google, for example, which will make it much easier for people to find friends with common names. Your username will have the same privacy setting as your profile name in Search, and you can always edit your search privacy settings here.

Starting at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Saturday, June 13, you’ll be able to choose a username on a first-come, first-serve basis for your profile and the Facebook Pages that you administer by visiting www.facebook.com/username/. You’ll also see a notice on your home page with instructions for obtaining your username at that time.

Facebook usernames will be available in basic text forms, and you can only choose a single username for your profile and for each of the Pages that you administer. Your username must be at least five characters in length and only include alphanumeric characters (A-Z, 0-9), or a period or full stop (“.”). While usernames are currently available only for Romanized text, we’re looking at how we might support non-Romanized characters in the future.

Think carefully about the username you choose. Once it’s been selected, you won’t be able to change or transfer it. If you signed up for a Facebook Page after May 31 or a user profile after today at 3 p.m. EDT, you may not be able to sign up for a username immediately because of steps we’ve taken to prevent abuse or “squatting” on names.

Be sure to check out this FAQ for answers to common questions, and if you’re an administrator of Facebook Pages, get more details here. If you want to ensure you keep the rights for a trademark or other protected name, contact us here.

Does Obama Want to Replace Your Facebook Profile with Your Social Security Card?


via AlterNet

Today U.S. President Obama announced plans for a “cyberspace strategy” that includes everything from possible offensive cyberwar strategies to education. It also contains a little-discussed “identity management” plan that makes me wonder if Facebook profiles are about to become the new Social Security cards.

The big news right now is who will be running Obama’s broad new cyberspace programs — in particular, who will manage the cybersecurity and cyberwarfare aspects. Right now, it appears that there will be a “cyberczar” (as yet unchosen) who will report to the National Security Council and National Economic Council (the latter because part of this role will involve bank security). The Pentagon may also be setting up its own cybersecurity division.

These are the immediate issues, but when I read through Obama’s Cyberspace Policy Review (released today with his announcements), I found an odd nugget of information buried at the bottom of his “near-term action plan”: Continue reading

Prepare For The Facebook Vanity URL Landrush


via TechCrunch

Facebook will soon be allowing all users to claim a vanity URL pointing to their regular profile page, we’ve heard from a reliable source. The announcement should come sometime later this week. Afterwards, at a certain date and time, the landrush will begin. Users will be able to grab a vanity URL of their choice.

The Landrush rules will prohibit trademark infringement and a lots of words will be blacklisted, such as generic terms. But for the most part, we hear, users will be able to grab a name that they like.

Facebook has been toying with vanity URLs for some time. URLs for user profiles are currently user id numbers – such as facebook.com/profile.php?id=500065899 (that’s me). In March some Facebook pages started rolling out with vanity URLs, although you must have a business relationship with Facebook (or know someone there) to get one. Facebook.com/techcrunch, for example, links to our TechCrunch page.

The reason they need them – vanity URLs have proven to be a powerful tool on MySpace, Twitter and other services. It’s not just that users like them and it makes telling people your profile name easier. People have also long used MySpace URLs as their online identity. Twitter, more recently, has started to become the online identity provider of choice. Even Google is getting in on the vanity URL game. Facebook doesn’t want to give that up. Continue reading

Could Apple Buy Twitter?

via Gawker

Facebook tried to buy Twitter. Google and Microsoft have been giving the red-hot Internet-messaging startup the eye. But we hear it’s Apple that’s closest to sealing a deal, possibly for as much as $700 million.apple-twitter

A source who’s plugged into the Valley’s deal scene and has been recruited by Apple for a senior position says Apple and Twitter are in serious negotiations, with the goal of unveiling a deal by June 8, when Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference launches in San Jose.

Twitter turned down a $500 million offer in cash and stock from Facebook, in part because Twitter’s investors couldn’t agree on whether Facebook’s stock was worth as much as Facebook said it was. But Apple could easily pay cash. A source familiar with the thinking of Twitter’s board says the company would be hard-pressed to refuse an all-cash offer in the range of $700 million. (Is Twitter really worth that? Since it’s business is nothing but a fantasy at this point, any valuation, high or low, is a matter of make-believe.)

What does Twitter, an adorable but unprofitable startup, have to do with a hardware company like Apple? The iPhone is the obvious driver of the deal: The many iPhone apps like Tweetie that people use to post Twitter messages are hot sellers for Apple. But Apple gets the benefit of Twitter-addicted iPhone users whether or not it owns Twitter. And it seems like an odd cultural fit, since Apple’s hardly known for its Web prowess. That’s where the deal makes a certain amount of sense, if you understand the particular culture of those who work on the Web. Continue reading

Do You Know Anyone Still on Myspace?


via NY Times

The challenge for Owen Van Natta and his boss Jonathan Miller is outlined in an article in Monday’s Times, summarized neatly by this chart showing that the country’s leading social networking service is now losing users. myspace2_190

The article points out that Mr. Van Natta, a former executive of Amazon and Facebook, has only six friends on MySpace. And in my experience in talking to technology executives, journalists and suburban parents, Facebook comes up frequently and MySpace never does. The only exceptions are my friends in the music industry, where every band still seems to have a MySpace page.

Clearly, my social set is hardly representative. ComScore finds MySpace has younger users with lower incomes than Facebook. When I spoke last fall at Ferris State University in western Michigan, a school that focuses on career training, the students I asked were split about evenly between Facebook and MySpace. (No one used Twitter.)

When I reread the article I wrote in 2006 about the high hopes News Corporation had for MySpace, I see a litany of ideas that didn’t pan out. The company wanted to make the site a portal for its own video; Hulu fills that need. It wanted to create a marketplace for person-to-person commerce, a more social eBay. There’s little sign of that outside of some music sales. And it’s not so clear that the site has continued to weave itself into the communications patterns of people.

So let’s bring the Bits readers into a bit of crowdsourced reporting. Do you use MySpace? Do you know anyone who does? Why? Please post your experience in the comments below.

We asked a similar question about AOL in September, and we learned that the service has quite a following, but the biggest reason is that people don’t want to change their e-mail addresses. “Inertia Rocks,” one reader wrote.

Clearly there is some inertia in social networking. You’ll be lonely if you are the first one of your friends to move to a new site (unless you live within 20 miles of University Avenue in Palo Alto, Calif., in which case you might be cool). But MySpace always had a bit of a disco feel to it, and I wonder if it is simply vulnerable to changing fashion. Continue reading

Twitter and “Face Book” Are Older Than the Internet


via Switched

Well, it turns out all these fancy social networking tools we’ve grown to love so much aren’t really all that new. Thanks to projects that have been digitizing newspaper archives, researchers have turned up references to “Face Book” and “Twitter” several decades before the Internet was even a glint in a military scientist’s eye.

An article from the August 24, 1902 edition of the Boston Daily Globe titled, “Face Book The New Fad,” describes a party game in which participants draw caricatures of each other. And a 1942 Washington Post article, titled “Think Before You Twitter,” was all about proper etiquette for small talk.

And it’s not just Web site names that have been circulating forever. William Steig, a children’s book author, was writing stories in what many would recognize as IM and Twitter shorthand back in 1962 (Using “I M 2” instead of “I am too”). There is even a transcription of a speech by Abraham Lincoln that appears to contain an emoticon.

Turns out there really is nothing new in the world. [From: NY Times, Business Insider, andDesign Observer]

“The Alexa Chung Show”: MTV Taps British Model For Show, Will Incorporate Twitter

via Huffington Post

NEW YORK — MTV has been without a show that has defined pop culture since the demise of “Total Request Live” and is betting on a 25-year-old British model who dates a rock star to help fill that void.TV-MTV's Pop Culture

“The Alexa Chung Show” will be a mix of celebrity talk, music and online interaction with viewers. The stakes are high; it’s the most important of nine new series the slumping MTV has in the works. The midday series begins June 15.

MTV‘s viewership for the first three months of 2009 is down 18 percent from the year before. The docu-soap “The Hills” is still popular, and MTV is generating modest heat with the competition “America’s Best Dance Crew,” but it has lacked the daily stop-off point for stars that “TRL” provided before its slow demise and cancellation last November.

At its height, during the ‘N Sync and Britney Spears years, “TRL” set the tone for the music business and drew huge crowds to MTV’s Times Square studio.

Chung, who has been on TV shows since she was 18 and now dates Arctic Monkeys singer Alex Turner, is a fresh face able to relate to both stars and the audience at home, network executives said.

“We just all really fell for her,” said David Sirulnick, MTV’s executive vice president for news and production.

The idea is to introduce Chung’s show at midday for young viewers home for the summer and, if it works out well, move later to an after-school time slot.

Facebook is working with MTV as a partner in the series. MTV wants to use Facebook and Twitter to reach viewers in a way that “TRL” _ which asked viewers to vote on their favorite videos _ could barely touch upon. Continue reading

Dissent Is Dead At Facebook, Employees Complain


via Business Insider

Facebook and CFO Gideon Yu did not part ways because the company needs a CFO with public company experience. A source familiar with Facebook admits that’s just spin.

We don’t know exactly why Facebook and Gideon parted ways, but after talking to several sources inside and outside the company, we believe it basically happened for a reason that contributed to several top executives — specifically including Owen Van Natta and Matt Cohler — quitting the company in the past 13 months.

Mark Zuckerberg no longer tolerates open disagreement or challenging discussion in meetings from his top lieutenants.

“There’s no dissent in meetings,” says a source. “It’s basically like we’re at GM or GE.”

It wasn’t always like that, one of the disgruntled former Facebook employees tells us:

The reason why we were good in the early days was that dissent was allowed and encouraged. That’s the reason you go to a startup. That early team was amazing.

That early team is gone. Many of its members planned to leave eventually, but not as soon as they did. We hear that Matt Cohler, for example, left “several millions” on the table when he quit Facebook to become a Benchmark Capital partner earlier than he planned to.

So what happened? A couple of explanations: Continue reading

Social websites harm children’s brains: Chilling warning to parents from top neuroscientist


via Daily Mail

Social networking websites are causing alarming changes in the brains of young users, an eminent scientist has warned.

Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Bebo are said to shorten attention spans, encourage instant gratification and make young people more self-centred.

The claims from neuroscientist Susan Greenfield will make disturbing reading for the millions whose social lives depend on logging on to their favourite websites each day.

But they will strike a chord with parents and teachers who complain that many youngsters lack the ability to communicate or concentrate away from their screens.

More than 150million use Facebook to keep in touch with friends, share photographs and videos and post regular updates of their movements and thoughts. Continue reading

UPDATE: Facebook backs down on policy changes


via Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Facebook’s efforts to build a business model around its online social network have hit another roadblock, as a backlash by its users forced the company to reverse a new policy.

The dispute involves changes that Facebook had made to its terms of service agreement. Some critics said the changes appeared to give the company a perpetual right to content that users post on the network.

People Against the new Terms of Service, a Facebook group created to oppose the changes, counted more than 88,000 users on Wednesday.

The about-face by Facebook underscores the sensitivity that many consumers have about their personal data, even on sites where they freely share information about their lives with online friends.

And it reflects the challenges facing Facebook as it seeks to squeeze money out of its network of 175 million users and to offset the costs of its rapid growth.

Facebook is quickly burning through its initial funding, said Sanford Bernstein analyst Jeffrey Lindsay. Among other things, the social network needs to pay for the computers and equipment that host its online service around the world.

“That’s real money,” said Lindsay. “They’re realizing that they have to get a business model.” Continue reading

[video] The Truth About Facebook

This is a visual presentation of a story we ran the other day about Facebook acquiring perpetual ownership over everything its users post on its platform. Scary when you think about some of the things I’ve read about people on the ‘Book.  Furthermore this video provides the links that track back the investment money to government agencies whose sole interest is to gather as much information on folks as possible, thus establishing motive for claiming ownership over everything people put on Facebook.  Sh*t, they might actually be responsible for that annoying “25 Things…” viral thread that’s all over Facebook.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Facebook reassures users in wake of service terms change

via Breitbart

Facebook on Monday said it is not usurping users’ content despite changing service terms to claim “perpetual worldwide license” to anything posted at the social-networking website.Facebook Friendly Marketing

Changes to terms of service were necessary to keep in step with how people share pictures, comments and other information in the popular online community, according to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

“We wouldn’t share your information in a way you wouldn’t want,” Zuckerberg said in an online posting addressing concerns.

“The trust you place in us as a safe place to share information is the most important part of what makes Facebook work.”

Under the terms of service, Facebook has rights to freely use anything people add to the website even after members delete material or close accounts.

“It is common language in every website because their cut-throat lawyer says you need to cover yourself,” said Future of Privacy Forum director Jules Polonetsky.

“This doesn’t mean that Facebook can make a mini-series on your life or write a book about you, but they might be able to create a feed that lets your friends on Twitter know what you’re doing. Folks should just calm down.” Continue reading

Facebook’s Value: $3.7 Billion and Dropping

Facebook Friendly Marketing

via Gawker

What’s Facebook really worth? The fast-growing social network is adding to its 150 million users effortlessly. But revenues aren’t growing as easily. And that has Mark Zuckerberg‘s company tied up in legal and financial knots.

Last summer, the company settled a dispute with a rival social network, ConnectU, that dates back to the founding of Facebook in CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room. ConnectU’s lawyers — whom the site’s founders have since fired — revealed that the case was settled for $65 million in a newsletter bragging about their firm’s accomplishments. And now the Associated Press has obtained a court filing which shows the exact breakdown of cash and stock Facebook used to settle the case: $20 million in cash, and 1,253,326 shares of Facebook stock.

That’s no mere detail. ConnectU’s ex-lawyers at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges are pursuing legal action against ConnectU’s founders — Divya Narendra and Olympic-rower twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss — to get them to pay $13 million. In other words, a 20 percent cut of the supposed $65 million settlement. But is the settlement really worth $65 million?

In October 2007, Microsoft paid $35.90 a share for $240 million in Facebook preferred stock, which only garnered it a 1.6 percent stake in the company. Preferred stock, the kind usually purchased by venture capitalists, have more rights and protections than common stock, which is the type owned by founders and issued to employees. And when a company is private, it’s typical for preferred shares to have a higher value than common shares.

ConnectU’s settlement was issued in common shares. And an appraisal Facebook conducted to value the shares it issued to employees valued the company at $3.7 billion, or $8.88 a share — making the stock part of ConnectU’s payment only worth $11 million, and the total $31 million. Continue reading