Twitter To Join Facebook & RIM for Riot Talks With UK Government
Twitter has confirmed that it will attend a meeting with UK Home Secretary Theresa May and other UK officials about the role social media played in riots earlier this month.
Facebook and BlackBerry-maker RIM confirmed their participation in the meeting last week, but at the time a Twitter spokesperson only said, “We’d be happy to listen.”
After it became clear that some rioters were using social media and BlackBerry messenger to coordinate violence, UK Prime Minister David Cameron told Parliament that the government was examining whether to ban suspected troublemakers in the riot from using social media and other digital communication tools.
“When people are using social media for violence we need to stop them,” he said, to the chagrin of many free speech activists. “So we are working with the police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.”
When Internet access gets shut down in Egypt or far off lands we comment on how wrong this is, and thank our lucky stars that we live in a country where this can’t or won’t ever happen…NOT.
Anonymous (Social Hacking Group) recently attacked B.A.R.T. for doing this very thing. B.A.R.T is the Bay Area Rapid Transit system and after being forewarned that there would be a demonstration relating to a July police shooting. As a preemptive measure B.A.R.T. cut off all cellular traffic inside their facilities and trains. Their justification was that it was done as a safety measure to keep the demonstrators from being able to use their cell/smart phones from coordinating the demonstration.
All politics aside, the pure fact of shutting down the network, created a safety hazard for hundreds if not thousands of customers in that no contact to emergency services. Unless the constitution has changed recently, as American Citizens we do have the right to assemble peacefully.
This incident also brought up another thought that I have been pursuing when it comes to Google Plus and Google’s policy of no anonymous profiles. It’s my belief that one of the driving factors for Google’s decision in this was to stay politically neutral and not provide a vehicle for civil unrest.
One thing is for sure though; the recent action’s in San Francisco has brought this topic out of the dark and into the light.
CNN Article: Little evidence links mob violence to social media
via Androinica by Andrew Kameka on 8/18/11
Had a few things gone differently, you might not be reading this website or arguing if the HTC Sensation or Samsung Galaxy S II is the superior phone. One “yes” in place of a “no” here or there, neither Android nor Google as we know it today would exist.
That’s the lesson learned from In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives. Written by Wired writer Steven Levy, In the Plex is a fascinating look into Google’s transformation from a project by two Stanford graduate students to one of the biggest companies in the world. The book recounts how co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin – with the help of CEO-turned-Chairman Eric Schmidt – took their “data-driven,” view of how technology should affect the world and redefined the way users obtain information.
In the Plex tells Google’s story with information gathered from candid interviews, documents and publications, and an unprecedented level of fly-on-the-wall knowledge that Levy gained after years of dealing with the company as a tech journalist. While working for Wired, Levy was granted long-term access to Google engineers, and observed several team meetings. The book has an incredible level of detail and research that expertly shows how close Google was to being acquired in its earlier years. Somehow, it outlasted the companies that might have bought it and went on to carry out a few acquisitions of its own.
Levy provides insight to how the Brin-Page-Schmidt triumvirate ushered Google through crises like dealing with China’s censor-happy and highly restrictive government. While this and many other major events in Google’s history have been well-documented, few have covered with such length and detail.
For instance, readers learn that Andy Rubin originally wanted a recommendation from Google’s founders as a bargaining chip for negotiations with manufacturers who might be swayed to build Android phones. (Rubin was originally laughed out of the offices of one of today’s most prominent Android manufacturers.) Google instead gave Rubin a glowing recommendation – by buying his company and elevating Google’s mobile presence in the process.
In the Plex briefly touches on Android – even showing how Google’s embrace of it chilled the once warm relationship with Steve Jobs and Apple – but it’s an overall look at Google’s culture, reach, and formative years. Levy does well to show how Google became the corporate giant we know today, and how easily none of that might have happened had a few decisions triggered different outcomes.
While I would have loved to see more attention paid to Android, In the Plex is a fabulous book about Google as a company and self-professed agent of change. Other than visiting the company’s Mountain View headquarters “The Googleplex” on a consistent basis, there’s no better way to gain an understanding of Google.
Personally, I have no problem with this, as I run a blog and write for said blog, so I have always used my real identity. I also think that it is a forgone conclusion that when we use our real identities, we tend to be more thoughtful in our comments. But lets put all that aside.
I don’t think that Google would be taking all of this heat for this reason. So let’s take a trip outside of the box; Could it be possible that Google has global plans for G+ and is planning on staying Politically Neutral?
With all of the recent turmoil in the Middle East of late and seeing that the first thing these regimes do is block Twitter and FaceBook to hamstring their citizens from protesting, maybe Google is taking a different approach by keeping everything open. From a business point of view, I can see some value in staying neutral and providing a communication network that doesn’t appear to be involved with cloak and dagger policies.
I know this is a real reach, but I’m not sure Google would stick with a non-anonymous policy when the community of users would do much of the policing to begin with. But I can see some validity with a company that has world wide interests trying to stay neutral. Google may be learning from FaceBook’s and Twitter’s past woe’s and its own troubles with China and attempting to take some preventive measures in this arena.
Personally, I think I will just sit back; enjoy the ride, and see how it all plays out.
What it may be is a Social Network for Adults!
After having checking out Google Plus for the past three weeks, I have come to the conclusion that Google Plus seems to be attracting a whole different set of demographics. Granted it’s early in the G+ life span to be making snap judgments.
It may be worth looking at FaceBook and its original design concept for this. I’m sure most technology enthusiasts know that ‘The FaceBook’ was a project of Mr. Zuckenberg while in college to expand his friendship circle. The development from that point on has been one of expansion and additions to make the application attractive to other segments of society and of course monetization. In my opinion FaceBook has tried to be everything to everyone.
FaceBook seems to have grown past being a social communication tool to include social gaming, advertising and just about anything under the sun. Google Plus on the other hand seems to be focused on being a superb communication and data exchange platform, by tying existing Google Tools into a unified interface.
I think what may be interesting over the upcoming months is the demographics of who is moving to Google Plus and who is using FaceBook as their primary social network platform. For me this is not a case of which is better but which meets my needs. I will continue to use both of these services, but each one for different groups. I hope both networks do well as competition breeds innovation.
Google very shortly will be discontinuing private profiles and everything will be going public. Of course to use Google+ you need a Google Profile. Its the glue that connects all of the different services.
I had commented to a post concerning this subject and stated that I didnt think Fake Profiles should be allowed. It seems this is a hot button with many.
Google has set up a reporting page that you can reach on a profile in question. It has Fake Profiles broken down as follows:
Thank you for helping Google by reporting content which may be in violation of our Community Standards.
Why are you reporting this profile?
Google Plus; Google’s answer to Social Networking is off to a smoking start. It is estimated that within the first three (3) weeks of release, 20 million users have signed up. Not bad in anyone’s book.
So what is Google Plus (Google+)? I will try to break this down in relating the service with its new names to Google’s existing tools and services.
On a side note many of us who has been using Google have been wondering why its taken so long, since Google has had all of the pieces already developed and it was a matter of bringing them all together into one interface.
The main pieces of Goggle Plus are: Circles, Stream, Huddle, Photos, Profile, and S.
|Buzz||Buzz is easy to relate to Google’s version of Twitter. All articles you share from Google Reader will show up here.|
|Circles||Google Groups – Circles are groups based on any correlation you specify.|
|Huddle||Google Talk – Google Talk for groups. Text, Voice and Video real time communication.|
|Profile||Google Profiles – This is the glue that holds it all together.|
|Stream||Google Groups – What your Circles are talking about. Much the same as the stream you find inside of Google Groups|
|Sparks||Google News Topic Searches.|
|+1||Your hot topics you share|
Out of the box, Google+ offers some very comprehensive communication tools, whether you are using this to communicate with friends and family, or following topic enthusiasts’ to keep up to date on what interests you. Furthermore I have little doubt that this will not be the final release, and more functionality will be forth coming.
One of the nicest features of Plus is the ease at which setting up security is and how granule it is (No More pages and pages of check boxes). The item I really found useful is the ability to view your Profile and Circles as others will see it.
If you are not using Plus and would like to join in on the fun, use the form below and we get you an invite. Looking forward to Plus(ing) with you in Google Land.
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