Spreading the Word!

If you are recently wondering why you are suddenly friends with Roger Rabbit or Scooby Doo on Facebook do not worry, no one has hacked into your account, and your friends are not playing a joke on you. In the past week cartoon characters have invaded the popular social networking website in the honour of charity! These friendly little cartoon profile pictures have not only lightened the mood of the viral world but brought a good cause to the public.

A new Facebook campaign is asking Facebook users to change their profile picture to their favourite childhood cartoon in efforts to raise awareness about violence against children. Child abuse is a very serious social issue and has taken on the technological advancements of Facebook to help raise awareness for their cause. The Campaign to End Violence Against Children using childhood cartoon faces has been in progress over the past few days and ends today December 6th, 2010. The point of the campaign is to create a Facebook without faces, only memories of childhood and innocence should flood the walls of your feed in honor of this cause.

This is just an example of the good that can be done with the use of Facebook as a tool to spread the word. Although skeptics have pointed out so rudely that changing your Facebook profile picture wont end violence against children, it will create awareness, which is the first step to solving a problem. It is important that we look at great campaign examples such as this one to remember the good that Facebook as a social networking site can be used for. After weeding through all the crap, to put it kindly, that fills our Facebook feeds, between the drama, relationship updates, pointless statuses, or those never-ending game posts that wont go away, this is a nice break from the bull.

Remember to use Facebook effectively, although it was built to use as a socializing tool, why can’t we use it to make a difference, spread the word about a great cause and create some social awareness.

So take the time to spread the word today!!

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Koobface: Facebook’s Number One Threat

Ever wonder why you sometimes see friends who has posted the same link on many of their friends walls advocating for a particular company or product? As many of us have already figured out, these users have been hacked by a virus. But with Facebook’s extensive security team and leading innovations, what sort of virus is powerful enough to infiltrates the largest website in history? The answer is Koobface.

Koobface is a virus created by hackers in Russia whose target is social networking websites. Its gets part of its name from it favourite website to infect with its viruses, Facebook. According to an article in the New York Times, Koobface often entices Facebook users by providing a link to a video containing a sexy woman. This seems harmless enough but as the user clicks on the link he or she gives Koobface complete access to their PC and allows the virus to continue to further infect the contacts of that individual. In spite of Facebook’s best efforts, Koobface still actively infiltrates many profiles today. It is usually caught and dismantled in a timely fashion, but no matter how much protective software Facebook creates, Koobface always seem to find its way back in.

The real problem her lies within our laws and regulations on the internet. Since the internet and more specifically, Web 2.0, are relatively new and up coming technologies there have been few laws made that can regulate content. The internet is a vast medium of communication and website such as Facebook that contain over 500 million users worldwide are simply to large to control at this time. Since we have inadequate internet laws especially when dealing with international matters, it allows criminal hackers such as the creators of Koobface who are located in Russia to essentially get away with infecting users worldwide with viruses. The Russians involved in Koobface have made over an estimated 2 million dollars from marketers and advertisers who pay them to promote their brands through hacking.

With no solutions coming in the near future, it is up to the individual user to protect themselves from the threat of viruses. Be smart when surfing Facebook and do not click on any links that are not from a reputable source such as YouTube. Also, when a friends computer is hacked and a link is posted on your wall, do not click it and remove it immediately to ensure other users are not enticed to do so. Lastly, this is just one more reminder of the dangers of using social networking and more specifically, Facebook.

It’s time to start considering if the negative consequences of using Facebook are worth the risk?

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Viral Marketing

Viral marketing has quickly become the new way to market and advertise. Advertising plagues the internet, whether it be annoying pop-ups or side advertising on websites. The most popular place to advertise lately seems to be with the use of social networking websites such as Facebook or Twitter. These social networking sites have been an advertisers dream!

Viral Marketing is FREE marketing and that is what makes it such an advertisers dream. Large companies, massive corporations or small business beginnings, all of them have equal access to success through online viral marketing and advertising. Any individual or company can start their own Viral marketing campaign by starting a Facebook profile or fan page. These fan pages feature the oh so popular ‘like’ button! This gives fans an opportunities to like they’re page as well as share it with their Facebook friends! Facebook has become the new ‘word of mouth’ that advertising thrives on and couldn’t survive without.

Question is now, why even have a marketing team?! It appears that Facebook spread the word for us, without little effort or hardships. The networking site is not only popular as possible, and used by more than 500 million users, but it is easy to access and simple to use! Facebook has become so popular because it is straight forward and easy for its users to understand and use. It does not take a technical savvy person to figure out how to use Facebook, or start their own fan page for their company. No advertising or marketing campaign can survive without the help of the internet, and especially without Facebook and the instant updating Twitter.

With the use of popular networking sites such as Facebook companies are able to access free marketing and advertising and expand their businesses at alarming rates. All it take to be successful is spreading the technological word of text through these free websites. Wanna expand your business, grow your success and have the most popular product on the market than hop on the viral marketing campaign and join the Facebook fandom!!

Facebook, the viral billboard!


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Facebook Used as Spy Tool for Israeli Military

Facebook has been used for a variety of different purposes. For me, as a university student, I use Facebook for a variety of reasons such as entertainment, as a source of information, a way to keep in contact with friends and family, a way to communicate with group members for projects, and much more. These are the typical uses of social networking for my generation across the globe. It is the same for women in Israel; they too post pictures to keep up with friends and find entertainment value is being active users of Facebook. Unfortunately, it is this behaviour that are getting some Israeli women in grave trouble.

The Israeli Military uses Facebook in a very unique way: to spy on and find information about women who claim to be Orthodox Jews. In Israel it is law that both men and women serve time in the Israel Defense Forces. The only way for a healthy and physically abled woman to avoid the draft is by claiming that she is an Orthodox Jew. Since this happens so frequently, the Israeli army has taken to “creeping” Facebook photos to find women engaging in activities that go against the Jewish faith. According to an article in the New York Times, these activities ranges from eating at non-Kosher restaurants and dressing scantily. The Israeli Army event sent out fake invitations to these women to attend a party on a Friday night. Those who RSVP’d, “attending”, were caught. Through this strategy the Israeli military has caught about 1000 women who falsely claimed to be religious in order to dodge the draft.

This story is proof again of the harms that over sharing on the internet can bring. Whether you believe that is right or wrong that these women lie their way out of the military forces, the lesson to be learned is still the same. Revealing too much information on the internet and not having adequate regulated rights to privacy from Facebook itself, countless numbers are people are putting themselves at potential risk for all sorts of negative repercussions that go beyond the imagination. This is an extreme example of what can come of over sharing but nonetheless is still very relevant to society. A lesser form of this can come while applying for jobs, grants, schools, etc. With a simple search many employers can discover what sort of lives their employees lead outside of the workplace. If we aren’t careful, over sharing may eventually be the demise of many careers and in the case of the Israeli women, it can take away the right to freedom.

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Facebook to blame for your Divorce?

An article in The Globe and Mail stated that one in five divorces are a result of Facebook. Could it be that the social networking website encourages extra marital relations. Is Facebook an easy way to cheat on your marital partner? As technology advances in our society our social relationships are struggling to stay above water. Does social networking actually break down our communication instead of making our communication easier or more productive?

It appears that marriages are resulting in divorce after the use of Facebook becomes incriminating on the behalf of married users. Married Facebook users are being caught red handed using their Facebook to interact with others outside of their marriage. With the use of Facebook chat married couples are getting suspicious and checking up on each others chat histories. With such advancements in technology it creates an easy access to our spouses technological communication history with others. These incirminating and or inappropriate Facebook chats are being used as evidence and as grounds or reason for divorce now.

Do easy to operate social networking sites such as Facebook, make it more tempting to cross the lines of marriage, acting as a flirtatious tool to talk to others, and even begin affairs? Facebook is creating an atmosphere that supports infedelity, making cheating easily accessible to married men and women. It appears that the temptation to cheat is just too strong with Facebook.

Just another issue to add to the Facebook “cons”  list. Facebook may not be making communication easier, but actually tearing people apart instead of bringing them together. 

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How do we know if our information on the internet is safe?

On Youtube.com, you can type in Facebook Hacking and hundreds of different videos pop up. This means that anyone is able to figure out how to break internet code now, not just the computer nerds. Everything on the internet is just a click away. Some of the videos show you in depth detail as to how to do it and others tell you to go to their specific website and download their special hardware. Why would Youtube not want to ban behaviour like this? They are basically promoting the idea of identity theft. If Youtube did not host this type of videos, another website would… but it would be harder to find and access. Since Youtube and Facebook are not connected, I suppose Youtube does not see any reason to try and help them with the infringement of privacy on their website.

I personally would not want to hack into someones Facebook account, but I am sure that a lot of people are interested in doing so. Ex boyfriends/ girlfriends, suspicious friends… With the internet being so impersonal, some people do not see hacking as breaking in to their privacy. It is not technically the same as going into someones house and taking their information, but the internet is that much worse because some people have all of their information on the internet. We are becoming so disconnected from one another that we do not see it as being something morally wrong, more like a way to crunch your curiosity. The internet helps give people a boldness that they would never have had before, but since you are hidden behind a computer screen no one thinks that they will receive repercussions or it not being an illegal act.

Facebook, the government and other social sites should look into banning these methods of videos on the internet. It is surprising how many there are that have had the comments sections banned, but not the actual video. How does that make sense? The comments aren’t going to teach you how to hack, the video will. The internet is taking away our privacy, everyone can know what you are up to by looking into your Facebook page, or at least get an idea. People need to start being more careful with what they have on their Facebook page, whether it is private or public because you never know you will want to try and access your information.

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Some people are not meant to use Facebook

On the website oddee.com, they have an article that lists 15 fails people have made on Facebook. Social networking sites are useful to share information with friends, and get pictures posted from the prior night… But some things are not meant to be posted openly on the internet. Here is an example of that;

The problem with Facebook, is some people do not fully understand how the website works, and how their entire Facebook list is able to access the information posted. This girl did not think before she was posting, and for some reason she thought it was only her girlfriends that would see it. It seems as though she didn’t even think about the consequences of her family members reading her status. There is a ‘message’ function for a reason, because not everything needs to be broadcasted to the world. Facebook is a good tool for people who crave attention, because information like that will get peoples attention (not in the right way though).

Young girls do not see the danger in posting status’ like this because they see it as funny and innocent… if this user has a creepy male friend on Facebook and reads this post, he may think he has a chance to get with this girl. You never know who looks at your account on a frequent basis and with so many Facebook friends on your page it is easy to not pay attention to everyone on your list (especially since most people will add anyone who send friend requests when they first get an account). There is such thing as too much, and hopefully the lesson is learned before something traumatic happens.

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