Tag Archive | "spam"

WhatsApp Revises Terms of Service, Privacy Policy; to Test Messages from Businesses

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WhatsApp is becoming more like parent company Facebook, both in terms of privacy and enabling communications between business and users.

The messaging application announced in a blog post that its terms of service and privacy policy have been updated for the first time in four years in order to reflect its acquisition by Facebook in October 2014, as well as recent updates including end-to-end encryption, WhatsApp Calling and its tools for the web and desktop. More details follow:

We’re also updating these documents to make clear that we’ve rolled out end-to-end encryption. When you and the people you message are using the latest version of WhatsApp, your messages are encrypted by default, which means you’re the only people who can read them. Even as we coordinate more with Facebook in the months ahead, your encrypted messages stay private and no one else can read them–not WhatsApp, not Facebook, nor anyone else. We won’t post or share your WhatsApp number with others, including on Facebook, and we still won’t sell, share or give your phone number to advertisers.

But by coordinating more with Facebook, we’ll be able to do things like track basic metrics about how often people use our services and better fight spam on WhatsApp. And by connecting your phone number with Facebook’s systems, Facebook can offer better friend suggestions and show you more relevant ads if you have an account with them. For example, you might see an ad from a company you already work with, rather than one from someone you’ve never heard of. You can learn more, including how to control the use of your data, here.

WhatsApp also said it will begin testing features in the next several months that will allow businesses to communicate with users, adding in its blog post:

People use our app every day to keep in touch with the friends and loved ones who matter to them, and this isn’t changing. But as we announced earlier this year, we want to explore ways for you to communicate with businesses that matter to you, too, while still giving you an experience without third-party banner ads and spam. Whether it’s hearing from your bank about a potentially fraudulent transaction or getting notified by an airline about a delayed flight, many of us get this information elsewhere, including in text messages and phone calls. We want to test these features in the next several months, but need to update our terms and privacy policy to do so.

Readers: What are your thoughts on the changes announced by WhatsApp?

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Twitter: 360,000 Terrorism-Related Accounts Suspended Since Mid-2015

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The war against terrorism is a battle of attrition, and Twitter detailed its small contribution: Some 235,000 accounts have been suspended since February for violating its policies on promotion of violence or terrorism.

This follows the social network’s February announcement of more than 125,000 similar account suspensions, bringing total affected accounts to about 360,000 since the middle of last year.

Twitter provided a progress update on its efforts in a blog post:

Daily suspensions are up more than 80 percent since last year, with spikes in suspensions immediately following terrorist attacks. Our response time for suspending reported accounts, the amount of time these accounts are on Twitter and the number of followers they accumulate have all decreased dramatically.

We have also made progress in disrupting the ability of those suspended to immediately return to the platform. We have expanded the teams that review reports around the clock, along with their tools and language capabilities. We also collaborate with other social platforms, sharing information and best practices for identifying terrorist content.

As we mentioned in February, and other companies and experts have also noted, there is no one “magic algorithm” for identifying terrorist content on the Internet. But we continue to utilize other forms of technology, like proprietary spam-fighting tools, to supplement reports from our users and help identify repeat account abuse. In fact, over the past six months, these tools have helped us to automatically identify more than one-third of the accounts we ultimately suspended for promoting terrorism.

The social network also outlined steps it plans to take in the future:

We will continue to invest in both technology and other resources in the future, and you can expect us to update our progress regularly as part of our Transparency Report beginning in 2017.

In addition to these account suspensions, our global public policy team has expanded its partnerships with organizations working to counter violent extremism online (CVE). We work with respected organizations such as Parle-moi-d’Islam (France), Imams Online (U.K.), Wahid Foundation (Indonesia), The Sawab Center (United Arab Emirates) and True Islam (U.S.) to empower credible non-governmental voices against violent extremism. Over the past six months, we also attended government-convened summits on CVE hosted by the French Interior Ministry and the Indonesian National Counterterrorism Agency.

Finally, we continue to work with law-enforcement entities seeking assistance with investigations to prevent or prosecute terror attacks. Twitter responds to valid legal process issued in compliance with applicable law as explained in our law-enforcement guidelines, and we report on these government requests (in aggregate) twice a year, in our Transparency Report.

Readers: What are your thoughts on Twitter’s counterterrorism efforts?

Pro-ISIS group berates supporters for leaving the 'Twitter battlefield' https://t.co/EsOvJpD9vO pic.twitter.com/6EHCTbZZzX

— Vocativ (@vocativ) July 27, 2016

Global efforts to silence #Daesh online are bearing fruit.#UnitedAgainstDaesh pic.twitter.com/InNXnYUmEj

— مركز صواب (@sawabcenter) July 13, 2016

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Google’s Android Phone app now identifies spam callers

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A Tinder bot scam is promising users Verified accounts

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“Clean Diesel” agency spams Venmo customers for charity donations

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screen shot of phone in hand no blur

Periscope Now Lets Users Moderate Comments During Broadcasts

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Periscope has launched the ability to moderate comments during broadcasts. Now, when users see inappropriate comments, they can flag them as abuse or spam. After they flag a comment, the application will randomly select a few viewers and ask them to vote on whether the comment was spam, abuse or OK. Periscope said the system may also identify “commonly reported phrases.”

Once a vote has taken place, if the majority of voters found the comment offensive, the poster will be notified that their ability to chat in the stream has been temporarily disabled. If the user commits repeat offenses, they’ll be blocked from chatting for the rest of the broadcast. Either way, the original user who reported the commenter will no longer see posts from that user for the rest of the broadcast.

Periscope allows broadcasters to turn off comment moderation for their streams. Users can also opt out so they’re not selected to vote when comments are flagged.

Periscope commented:

There are no silver bullets, but we’re committed to developing tools to keep Periscope a safe and open place for people to connect in real-time. We look forward to working closely with you and everyone else in the community to improve comment moderation.

Readers: What do you think of Periscope’s new comment moderation feature?

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Dissection of a Facebook Spammer and What You Can Learn From It

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Have you seen a rise in sneaky ads on Facebook?

I saw this link bait on Facebook, apparently on a feud between Stephen Curry and LeBron James–two National Basketball Association superstars.

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And it brought me to what looks like ESPN.

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The URL is a bit suspect, but most people won’t notice that, especially in modern browsers.

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Reading the first couple paragraphs of this “article,” I almost believed it was real, but notice the slight awkwardness that’s a dead giveaway of fake article sites.

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This one is well-done, as it isn’t jammed full of spelling mistakes–a telltale sign of the white 18-year-old males who predominantly create these landing pages.

Scroll a bit further into how James supposedly admits that he only used steroids twice and you get links to these substances he allegedly used, then on to spam in its full glory.

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Heck, if LeBron is using it, as “ESPN” is telling me, I might just fall for it–especially if I’m an 18-year-old male myself.

Scroll a bit further and you get a Facebook comments box that looks legit.

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Of course, nothing is clickable, except links to the pills they’re peddling.

And if you click through to the product page, you can see they exposed their affiliate tracking.

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Notice they’re pretty smart about testing their landing page and ad combos–minus the fact that they’re not cloaking their links. Cloaking, for those who don’t play in the affiliate space, is masking your URLs so that competitors and snoops can’t see which affiliate you are, what traffic you’re bidding on and so forth.

This pill company is a Wyoming company filed with a generic registered agent. And it has private registration to try to hide who it is here, too:

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Their privacy policy is a template used by others in this space (they’re called “rebills” or “continuity” products–a euphemism for recurring subscription charges).

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Notice that it is doing this on ESPN, USA Today and all manner of sites.

The reason this works is because of a principle called “implied authority,” exercised in this way:

  • An “article,” not an ad that appears interesting– sports rivalries are hot topics.
  • Posted on an authoritative news site–a fake ESPN, in this case.
  • A gradual progression from sports facts to full-on performance-enhancement claims, normally taking two to three pages to blend smoothly.
  • Fake comments as social proof.

By merely copying the look of ESPN, Facebook or other high-authority websites, parasites can siphon trust.

What amazes me is not that spammers keep doing this (I chatted with one today that has a fake Steph Curry Facebook page and who didn’t see that it was clear infringement/impersonation) or that people still fall for this. I saw another one in the Digital Marketer Facebook group (one of my favorite communities) where this seller of marketing training straight-up ripped off the website (words, colors and all) from digitalmarketer.com.

Rather, gaining authority legitimately is not that much harder. And when you have it done right–via the six phases of personal branding and the sux phases of the Social Amplification Engine–you have sustainable results.

We’ve seen ploys like this since the beginning of Facebook and even since the beginning of search (back in 1999, nearly 20 years ago).

Can you imagine how the new wave of chatbots will create new forms of spam, too?

I’m not worried about spam getting out of control, any more than rain being a nuisance in New York City. Just get an umbrella and make sure to check the weather reports.

Warning: Spam image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Telegram encourages devs to build bots with $1M giveaway

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telegram botprize

Throttle combines all your annoying emails into one daily digest

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What Is Facebook’s Datr Cookie, and Why Does Belgium Want It Gone?

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Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

October 2016
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