OKCupid Founder Says Experimenting on Users Is Just “How Websites Work” — But It Doesn’t Have to Be

OKCupid published a pretty fascinating post on its OKTrends blog yesterday. The piece was written by the company’s implausibly monikered co-founder Christian Rudder, and it discussed the recent publicity around Facebook’s grand experiment in influencing the moods of its users by examining how they react to having their news feed filled with largely positive or negative posts. Under the title “We Experiment on Human Beings!,” Rudder wrote that OKCupid had conducted similar studies, including a case in which they provided false matching data to evaluate how important providing users with this information is in their decisions about whether or not to contact (and also maintain conversation) with another user. This was no different, Rudder argued, from what Facebook did, and no different from what a bazillion other sites are constantly doing on an ongoing basis. … Read More

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A Guide to Celebrities Who Are the Absolute Worst On Social Media

Ah, yes, celebrities: they’re just like us. Which means some of them are just as annoying as your aunt on Facebook, as unnecessarily cranky as your old college roommate on Twitter, and as insufferable as your #humblebrag colleague on Instagram. They’re basically The Worst, with the icing on the cake being that they have a built-in web audience since they’re celebrities. Here’s a guide to the worst offenders, from Ted Nugent to Jason Biggs to… Read More

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Watch Walter White’s Facebook Look Back Video

Last week, in honor of its tenth anniversary, Facebook created “look back” videos for every user. Not only do the… Read More

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Ten Years Later, Growing Up on Facebook Is Just Growing Up

As the story goes, “Thefacebook” was started by college sophomore Mark Zuckerberg in his dorm room at Harvard. From Harvard, it spread to other Boston universities, then the Ivy League, then universities nationwide, then high schools. You might have heard of it? It’s now the second most-visited website in the world. Facebook turns ten years old today, which makes it a geezer in the landscape of relevant social networks, an institution that’s stood the test of time in comparison to other internet graveyards. While teenagers may now find the site “boring” and too “adult,” as someone who had an account for the bulk of her adolescence, I’ll forever think of Facebook as my entry into a high-school experience — for better and for worse. … Read More

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Like, Sympathize, But Don’t Hate: How Social Media’s Enforced Positivity Is Making Us Dupes

A couple of years back, we ran a post called “The 10 Things That Are Killing Indie Music in 2011.” It discussed various ways in which the world of indie music could be better, and generated what amounted to a heap of attention for Flavorwire at the time, also stirring a healthy debate in the comments section (all of which sadly got nuked when we switched over to Facebook comments). Inter alia, several commenters took me to task for being “negative,” asking why I didn’t write something positive about the world of music instead of criticizing it. And, y’know, sure, why not? A couple of weeks later, I wrote “10 Things That We Love About Indie Music in 2011.” It generated precisely one-tenth of the traffic the first post did, proving neatly that for all people’s stated good intentions, negative pieces were a whole lot more popular on the Internet than positive ones. Or so it appeared, anyway. … Read More

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Things That Should Be Obvious: Don’t Publish Snuff Photos

It’s no secret that social media presents novel problems of etiquette and appropriate behavior! Every single day I have to restrain myself from making some kind of inappropriate comment on someone’s Facebook wall that might be Internet-funny, but which wouldn’t pair well with that particular person’s sense of humor. As a Canadian, I am spared the horror of Republican relatives posting Birther propaganda, but I have heard tales. And look: we’re all learning. It takes time to learn how to calibrate your trigger finger such that it doesn’t always record your quickest reaction for all to see.

But there’s one rule we thought, until yesterday, might be obvious:

If someone posts a picture that seems to be evidence of a grisly murder to Facebook, don’t share it. … Read More

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Why Is Frank Gehry So Desperate to Align Himself With Facebook?

For a while, rumors have been circulating that Facebook would be relocating from a Midtown Manhattan office at 335 Madison Ave to the downtown tech stead of Silicon Alley. Yesterday, Serkan Piantino, head of Facebook’s New York engineering team, confirmed the news, announcing that they would be taking up 100,000 square feet of space on two floors of an existing building at 770 Broadway. … Read More

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Twitter Reacts to Facebook’s New Graph Search

Earlier today Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the “third pillar” of his social network — a new search tool called Graph Search, which will leverage Facebook’s one billion members’ 240 billion photos and 1 trillion interpersonal connections. “People use search engines to answer questions,” he explains in this in-depth piece on Wired. “But we can answer a set of questions that no one else can really answer. All those other services are indexing primarily public information, and stuff in Facebook isn’t out there in the world — it’s stuff that people share. There’s no real way to cut through the contents of what people are sharing, to fulfill big human needs about discovery, to find people you wouldn’t otherwise be connected with. And we thought we should do something about that. We’re the only service in the world that can do that.”

While we’re still figuring out what exactly this means for your Facebook privacy, let alone the future of sites like Yelp or even Google, we’ve collected some of the best initial tweets in response to the new feature after the jump. Let us know in the comments if you plan to get on the waiting list to give it a try. … Read More

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