Facebook valuation drops $230bn in a single day…

facebook, social network, network

Not sure what your day was like yesterday but I imagine it was better than Mark Zuckerberg’s who managed to lose $29bn of his personal fortune overnight. Facebook has been reeling in recent years from opponents who claim it is helping to undermine democracy, aid genocide and encourage mental health problems. The markets are not known for their morality, instead, the 25% drop in the share price was attributed to slowing user growth and a decline in its ad revenue. …

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Social media transparency data is giving real time insight on party strategy at #GE2019

The upcoming general election is the first general election in the UK where social media companies are publishing transparency data, showing which political advertisements are being displayed on the platforms, who is paying for them, and the amounts being spent. Facebook is, by far, the largest platform for social media political advertisements in the UK. In the first full week of the campaign to the 4th of November, there was £175k of spending on campaign related advertisements on the platform, …

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The NI Department of Justice #EndingTheHarm campaign viewed over a million times on Snapchat in August 2019

Transparency data released this week by ephemeral messaging app Snapchat has shown that the NI Department of Justice #EndingTheHarm campaign made over a million impressions over an 18 day period last month. The campaign, part of the Tackling Paramilitarism programme, made 1,138,048 impressions over the course of the campaign. Of the 15 organizations who had political campaigns on the social network in the UK over the course of 2019 so far, it ranked 8th in terms of impressions behind Police …

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Much to dislike about the 8th referendum campaign

As the campaigns to repeal or retain the 8th Amendment forge ahead, the first major television debate is now in the history books. The “three on three” format, on RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live with audience contributions and boisterous applause throughout, has been criticised for shedding more heat than light. Meanwhile, Google’s late stage decision to call a halt to all online referendum advertisements, no matter who pays for them, has sparked outrage from backers of a No vote, who are …

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The Conservatives have a mountain to climb to challenge Labour’s social media dominance

In the wake of this year’s snap general election, it has become apparent that age, not social class, has become the new fault line in British politics. Analysis published by YouGov highlights the woeful electoral performance by the Conservatives amongst younger voters. Amongst 18 and 19 year old voters at the 2017 general election, Labour were ahead of the Tories by a staggering 47 points (66% to 19%), and were 40 points ahead of the Conservatives with voters in their …

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Lean In Belfast takes centre stage with Sheryl Sandberg

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg was interviewed by Belfast entrepreneur Nuala Murphy at a recent event in the British Library about her Lean In journey and latest book, Option B. “It wasn’t even on my radar that one day I would be interviewing Sheryl Sandberg,” said Nuala. “I always hoped we could ‘bring Sheryl to Belfast’, but I didn’t think she would bring Lean In Belfast to the centre stage at The British Library in London for the first community-led event …

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Fake news didn’t make Trump president – there is just as much junk on the left as the right

As the world reacts to the news that Donald Trump has been elected the 45th President of the United States, the role of social media in general and Facebook in particular has come under close scrutiny for the role it plays in disseminating news and opinion.  Social media is used as a news source by 62% of US adults, and Facebook is by far the most widely used social network, used by over two thirds of the adult population. From …

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Why I don’t Facebook in November: the dignity of the Poppy on social media

First things first, my granda – an unassuming but charming and jovial power station worker living in Derry – joined the ‘Ox and Bucks’ Light Infantry in the late 1930s. He finished his service with five years in a POW camp and went on to become one of the last Dunkirk survivors in Northern Ireland. My granda rarely spoke about the experience. Over the course of decades we found out in scraps that he had picked up some German, that …

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Facebook: A Breeding Ground For Racism

UPDATED In the past twelve months racist attacks in Northern Ireland have increased by 50%. In the early hours of Sunday morning yet another home was attacked in South Belfast – an attack that the PSNI described as a ‘hate crime’. A bottle was thrown and smashed the living room window of a house owned by a Bangladeshi family on Ulsterville Avenue and a car owned by a Kuwaiti family was set alight. The attacks have been widely condemned by …

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“If you ask me one thing I could have done without in the last twelve months it’s social media” Jamie Bryson

photo by Brian O'Neill

I finally listened back to the discussion after December’s Transformative Networks – Social Media, Politics and Protests panel event at UU’s Belfast campus. The audio recording wasn’t particularly clear – a large room with everyone sitting around the edges – so at the time I didn’t upload the entire Q&A session. But some snippets are worth sharing for posterity. Harriet Long commented on the continued usefulness of long-form blogging in the age of micro-blogging: I write a blog which is …

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Does social media have much influence or use in NI politics or protests? #nisocialpol

Researchers Orna Young and Jonny Byrne hosted a panel discussion in the University of Ulster this morning on Transformative Networks – Social Media, Politics and Protests. A panel gave their thoughts and afterwards there was a discussion. In the first part you’ll hear Orna Young introduce the event, followed by Alan Meban and Dave Magee. listen to ‘Part 1 of panel on Social Media, Politics & Protests #nisocialpol @alaninbelfast, @dgmagee ’ on Audioboo The second part covers Harriet Long, Brian …

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@LADFLEG versus #Facebook

Have loyalists finally taken the fun out of Loyalists Against Democracy (LAD)? Here is LAD’s own brief timeline: founded in December 2012 at the height of the flag protests, it was unpublished and then republished in July 2013 in anticipation of further protests. After acquiring 6000 likes, it was then removed from Facebook amid claims of sexual content (LAD claim there has never been any). They then launched LAD 2, getting 3,000 likes in a week and were then unpublished …

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DUP illustrate unionist leadership as #RuthPatterson is in court

Yesterday Ruth Patterson attended court for her Facebook post and provided an interesting piece of optics for the television cameras. In a considered move, a variety of DUP ministers and other public representatives, including Edwin Poots, Sammy Wilson, Jonathan Bell and Guy Spence (to name a few), attended the court hearing or accompanied her to and from the court, clearly with an eye on the cameras. Other unionist glitterati in attendance included Willie Frazer and others taunting Patterson to get …

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‘Dead tree’ columnist stereotypes bloggers as “articulate, intelligent … socially awkward misfits with zero personality”

Allison Morris’ column in Wednesday’s Irish News [paywall] starts with the observation that Twitter and Facebook now give “misogynists, racists, bigots, stalkers and lunatics … a potential global audience”, before taking a pop at bloggers who last got lightly toasted in her February 2012 column. Bloggers and those with a large ‘online presence’ can come across as articulate, intelligent and well informed when reading a post they have spent days obsessing over. However, when you meet them in the real …

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#RuthPatterson: Would I shed a tear, No.

At one level, social media and politicians don’t mix. At another it merely allows them to share their innermost thoughts with us, with the unfortunate effect of making us all stupider by having read them. Yesterday, Ruth Patterson responded to a post from Brian Ulsterman on Facebook as below.                                         [I’ve updated this with the full text and image, I’d originally …

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“It was like Belfast in the 1970s out there”

So far I’ve only found one mention of Belfast (or Northern Ireland) in this morning’s Daily Mail. [free at the airport – don’t judge!] On page 13 a neighbout was describing a Facebook party that had got out of control next door to his house in Essex: It was like Belfast in the 1970s out there. It was terrifying. There were hundreds of people out to cause trouble. 1970s? How out of touch … Maybe GB aren’t paying attention to …

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PSNI told Asda bosses: Don’t remove tributes to sectarian killer

In today’s Irish News*, Connla Young reports that it was the PSNI that advised Asda not to remove tributes to UVF man Billy Hunter from outside their Shore Road store: Seaneen McErlane, a daughter of John’s, says her family have no objections to ordinary tributes and cards left in memory of Hunter. She said she had a “major issue” with Asda and police facilitating “a UVF poppy wreath to remain on their premises for a period of a week”. “This was the …

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Two more convicted of menacing comments on Facebook…

I heard a story recently of someone who took writing “Romani ite domum” on the boards of a building site, every night on his way home from the pub; he was protesting the building of a supermarket on the site of a local cricket pitch. The thing is he was clever enough to publish a witty protest (for those familiar enough with Life of Brian) and not get caught. You could hardly claim that what Matthew McKenna, 20, and Dean …

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Why distinctions between public and private don’t really exist in new media…

Hat tip to Davy Sims on Facebook (who really knows his new media onions)… This clip is from Monday’s Stormont Today, and needs no more introduction from me… Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty