Celebrities Quit Twitter and Facebook for Charity

Lady-Gaga Several megastars including Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and Usher are temporarily quitting Facebook and Twitter to raise money for Grammy winning singer Alicia Keys’ Keep a Child Alive (KCA) charity ahead of the World Aids Day. Keep a Child Alive aids families affected by HIV/AIDs in India and Africa. It has six main treatment sites located in Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, Uganda, Rwanda, and India. Keys is the global ambassador of KCA.

All the participating celebrities have recorded their last tweet and testament. Leigh Blake, the president and co-founder of Keep a Child Alive, explained, “We’re trying to sort of make the remark: ‘Why do we care so much about the death of one celebrity as opposed to millions and millions of people dying in the place that we’re all from?'”

The celebrities will return to the social networks once $1 million has been raised. Lady Gaga is expected to make a significant impact thanks to her massive social base (nearly 24 million Facebook fans and more than 7 million Twitter followers). However, as Keys explained, “It just doesn’t have to be just because you’re a celebrity or something like that. It can be anybody.”

Orkut Underground Community Behind Spamming Facebook

Recently I wrote a post about how a spam had come across where people were told about “Really cool Facebook   revolving images” and to “Checkout 360 rotate effect on images”. The exploit was run through JavaScript which user’s themselves went and posted in their address bar, which then caused their profiles to post on their friends wall with the message.

Orkut Underground Community Facebook Attack

However, the attack was started by an underground community which also has a presence on Facebook (Thanks Tony via Comment). As you can see from the image above, this community is all about business and about a numerous amounts of hacks.

Though the attack was not harmful at all, it was definitely malicious and spread like a malware. Orkut and Facebook are two competing social networking platforms, so it was really not surprising. However, Google does have to rein in such communities and clamp down on them if they want to be really realistic about being competitive.

Quite recently members of 4Chan and Tumblr went after each other and took each other down too, so is rivalry brewing between users who are loyal to a particular website? I think so.

I have contacted both Facebook and Google/Orkut for their response on this, will update this post once they respond.

Update: Google responded back to me and have promised to look into the matter and take appropriate actions. I will update this post when there is more to share.

Email Scams Now Hit Facebook Messaging

launched their new Facebook messaging service with fanfare saying that it would be a great way to communicate with people, with less spam. However, it looks like they still have quite a lot of work to do with fighting spam in Facebook Messaging.

According to a Business Insider writer, his Facebook Email account has already received a spam message where the sender said that he had won some money and in order to get it, he would have to send some personal details along. Such type of spam messages are very common with regular email and are usually marked as spam by services such as and Hotmail.

facebook_email_messaging_spam

However, Facebook messaging is yet to encounter such messages and will have to filter such messages out and mark it as scam. Facebook Email/Messaging is yet in its infancy and not widely used, so they still have a lot of time on hands before a huge number of users begin to use.

Time to start polishing the rough edges then.. I mean spam filters to track such common spam messages. No?

FriendSnaps Creates Posters Out Of Your Facebook Friends Pictures

allows you to connect to your friends, sometimes long lost ones you haven’t met since you left school. However, what if you want to take all the profile pictures of your friends and create a poster with it so that you can hang it on your wall as keep it as a memento?

FriendSnaps Facebook Friends Profile Picutre Poster

FriendSnaps is a new service which will allow you to take the profile pictures of all your friends and create a poster out of it which will then be professionally printed out onto quality glossy paper. All the posters will be printed on A1 size papers.

Using FriendSnaps is pretty easy, just head over to http://www.friendsnaps.com/ and click on the "start making your Facebook poster" link. Once you have done that, choose among the different options available to create a poster and connect FriendSnaps with your Facebook account. FriendSnaps will now automatically fetch the profile pictures of all your friends and then give you options to create a poster out of it.

Pretty simple right, however, the service is not free and you will have to pay £19.99 for creating the poster. I am not sure if this is based on the number of friends you have. Nevertheless a price you have to pay for memory. It would have been good if this service allowed users to chose which friends they want in the poster rather than adding each and everyone too.

FriendSnaps will be launching a similar service for users soon.

20% of Facebook Accounts are Infected?

bitdefender-safegoAccording to BitDefender, 2 out of 10 Facebook Walls (or Newsfeeds) are infected or at risk in some way. In October, BitDefender, a well known anti-virus and security provider, launched a Facebook app called BitDefender safego. Safego scans your Facebook wall posts to determine if there are any links to bad apps or risky links. Here’s a quote from BitDefender:

facebook-infectionBitDefender safego > Since its launch,BitDefender safego has managed to scan 17 million Facebook posts and it has detected infections on the news feeds of around 20% of its users.We are glad we’ve been able to warn our users of these threats and we’ll continue to focus our efforts on adding new security features and increasing our detection rate. Thanks everyone for your feedback and remember: if your friends stay safe, then you’re safe!

In addition to all of Facebook’s privacy problems, everyone should know by now that it’s a huge source of infections for Windows PCs. BitDefender apparently decided that it was time to help warn people about this problem.

The free BitDefender safego app is currently in Beta testing, and you can try it out by visiting the page while logged into Facebook. In addition to the link and app checking abilities of BitDefender safego, it also checks your profile for information that you should not be sharing.

I was fortunate enough to get a clean bill of health from safego, can you say the same thing about your Wall? Give safego a try now to be sure.


Really Cool Facebook Revolving Images Scam

With 500+ million people, 500= millions scams are bound to happen. Another one sleazy scam is now underway and it involves showing people "Really cool Facebook revolving images".

really_cool_revolving_images

The messages is spreading virally and I had to delete around 9 messages from my wall recently. The scam looks to be spreading virally. As always do not click on this link and delete it from your wall if you see it.

P.S. I visited the site in question to see what it had to offer, but it is just a parked page, so nothing to write home about here. Safe Facebooking.

Facebook 360 Rotate Effect Scam

Update: Looks like this scam is spreading differently now. Users are now writing on other people’s walls with the text "Checkout 360 rotate effect on images. MUST SEE http://revolvingimages.info/fb/"

Update 2: This problems seems to be user-initiated where they are enticed to copy and paste some JavaScript into their browser address bar, please do not copy paste any unknown JavaScript in the address bar as it can spread the scam more.

Statistics Is A Joke, Not Reality

Statistics is not only for junkies. It is used by businesses, webmasters, mobile industry and practically everyone who has access to some sort of data, inventory or anything tangible or intangible. However, Statistics in general has been biased towards data one agency has and does not reflect reality in general. I could not think of any industry where statistics was not based on speculation or was based on what one company has to say.

statistics_measuring

In webmaster’s world, Alexa is a base of ranking in many cases. However, Alexa ranking is highly biased. A site which receives 300K page views per month is ranked higher than a site which receives 2 million visits. How is this possible? Because, Alexa uses their own data which is collected through their toolbars and other hidden methods to judge the ranking. If people don’t install a toolbar to visit your website your website will be ranked lower.

This is not a problem, it is a very big problem, because advertisers use this data to judge your site. And it is an irony because it does not in any way display reality.

Today, Hit Wise an analytics company says that 1 in 4 users in US are referred through . This data is not wrong at all, but the bigger question here is how many users in US are being tracked by Hit Wise? It is 1 in 4 or is it 1 in 100? Though these companies make their data public, it is really hard to sit and figure out data from hundreds of sources to put two and two together.

This is why statistics is a funny business. One company will walk up and say Facebook does well. Then a second will come in and say Google does well. Who should we believe in? People have to understand that this data is coming from individual companies which do not have access to more than 10% of the entire data (see I added my own 10% here) and in no way represents what is actually happening in the US or anywhere else.

So What Is The Big Problem?

The big problem in every industry including television is that no one controls a right to ascertain who visits which website or watches which television show. However, no central agency can step in here and assert that they want this data too. This is of course done to protect a user’s privacy. But several individual services/agencies track views across websites. One of the things these services track are referrers which is where this type of data comes from.

So assuming that a company tracks 100 million users a month, they will determine that out of it 30 million came from US and out of it 10 million came from Facebook and then say that 1 in 3 users in US came from Facebook. Now there is no problem in that data, it is only based on the data that company has and not the entire US internet traffic. So saying that 1 in 3 visits came from Facebook is true for that company. However, in a pure statistical view that data is speculation at it’s best when you take the entire traffic into consideration.

Imagine 10 companies have a survey to determine something. Each company can only target 100 people. Each of this company will have something different to report, however, it does not mean that each of these companies are right. However, when you take the data from all these companies and collectively measure it, it will have a true measure of what all of those people wanted.

What Is the Second Big Problem?

The second big problem is that none of the big companies including Google, Facebook or actually make their traffic public. So everything is left to speculation. Considering how many companies run analytics we will always see different results from different companies. If this is not a joke, what is it?

Agreed that we have to use some sort of data to judge popularity of websites and it has been done successfully throughout all these years, but the way we determine it is always based on partial data accumulated by one company or the other, which might be a fraction of the entire industry in general and will never lead to a fair conclusion.

If we need to really determine who is ruling in this industry, let’s just base data on one thing or nothing. There is no point in sitting up every morning to see that one stats company say that this one is the biggest one and then the next morning having to read some other site saying that this is the big one.

Let’s have these statistics company contribute basic data to a central agency/source and then let’s figure that out by adding two and two up. Let’s make this joke some sort of a reality where we can truly measure something rather than having conflicting reports come up everyday.

(Image Credit: http://www.stat.columbia.edu)

Myspace Announces Mashup With Facebook

Whoever would have thought a few years ago that once the most popular social networking site Myspace would have a tie-up with the current social networking site . However, it happened today. Myspace and Facebook have announced a collaboration today where MySpace users can import their Facebook likes and interests to Myspace.

Myspace Facebook Mashup

In a press release by MySpace, they announced a partnership with Facebook which read:

Today, Myspace announced Mashup with Facebook, a new feature that allows Myspace users to easily create a personalized stream of entertainment content. With a simple one-click set-up, the likes and interests of a user’s Facebook profile are ported over to Myspace, enabling a user’s stream to become immediately populated with the entertainment content they already love. Users also have the ability to program their own streams based on recommendations and trending topics bubbling up on Myspace, while also engaging with other fans that share the same interests and passions in music, celebrities, TV, and movies.

According to the new agreement Myspace users will now have the ability to pull their Facebook likes and interests into Myspace allowing Myspace to fill their stream with entertainment content they like. Mashup with Facebook is an opt-in feature that is quick and easy to set up. Users can visit Myspace.com and click on the Mashup with Facebook button to begin.

Myspace will use a users likes and interests data from Facebook to display relevant Myspace topic pages, profiles and videos among other things. The new recommendations will all work in real-time so that users can discover new content quickly.

Myspace will use the Sync with Facebook feature which allows users to sync their Facebook and Myspace profiles to Mashup their data. As weird as it my sound, it looks like Myspace was in desperate need to piggyback on Facebook’s success to keep themselves up and running.

For more information visit the Myspace press release.

Who Checked Your Facebook Profile Scam Underway

Ok, I am not tired of unearthing these scams, including some Pedophile scams unearthed by Clif, but they just don’t go away. A new Facebook scam is now underway, where users are enticed to use a feature to find out who visited their profiles, anyone?

Facebook Profile Visit Scam

As enticing as this feature sounds, it is practically impossible to know such kind of information using apps thanks to the restrictions Facebook has put in. So first of all such apps are a farce, and secondly, they are only interested in luring people into clicking on the link you share and then fooling you into sharing it with your friends too.

These kinds of attacks have been very popular on Facebook to spread links that do nothing. Of course most of these scams do little damage, but it spreads virally thanks to the number of users who use Facebook. The newest scam has a link with the text “Check Who Viewed YoUr Fbook Profile – An Easy App to Check Who Viewed YoUr FaceBook Profile. It Really Words So don’t Wait Check Out Now!”

Facebook Profile Scam

For the record, the screenshot above is filled with references to I am malware site.

Once again, a simple advice to people who use Facebook. Everything that glitters is not gold, likewise, everything with a link and enticing text on Facebook is not real, so stay away from clicking it.

Facebook Email Invites Selling On eBay, Bid’s at $117.50

I knew this was coming, however, it came sooner than I excepted. Invites for the recently launched Facebook email/messaging are selling on eBay. However, if thought that it would not get any takers, there are already 19 bids with the latest one going for $117.50.

Facebook Email Invites Selling on eBay

With more than 23 hours left for the bid to finish, the final price could touch the roof. is going to roll out the service to all users gradually, but till then you will come across several such smart users who will make money of something which is actually free. If you are in a hurry to get an invite, don’t buy it, just learn how you can get a free Facebook email invite for yourself. Patience is a virtue and the invite system is a trap, stay away from it.

Update: The sale does not look as bad it sounds. Entire proceeds of the sale of the Facebook email Invite will be given to a charity called Susan G. Komen for the Cure-Global Headquarters.

(h/t @kwbridge)