This week Wired was leaked the exclusive scoop that the internal Trust and Safety Council at Twitter was looking to make changes after the popular #womenboycotttwitter movement last week. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey seems to confirm this in a series of tweets.
2/ We prioritized this in 2016. We updated our policies and increased the size of our teams. It wasn’t enough.
The list leaked to Wired of posts no longer allowed by Twitter were:
Unwanted sexual advances
Hate symbols and imagery
Tweets that glorify violence
Why it’s hot:
Twitter has a long history of avoiding harassment on its platform. As public outcry starts to grow about the #metoo and #womenboycotttwitter hashtags, Twitter is starting to feel the pressure. Ideally doing the right thing years ago would have been enough to trigger change, instead of a reactive response to public outcry.
Snapchat is introducing Context Cards, a way for users to see reviews and maps of where their friends are checking in. From there you can make reservations or call the retail locations.
Why It’s Hot?
Snapchat kind of exists in a world of its own and anytime it integrates with other apps and plays nice, it’s a boon for marketers. This integration is pretty seamless and seems like a great way to bring in the larger internet snugly into the new “maps” piece of the Snapchat world. I hope Snapchat always sticks to their guns, and keeps their interface contained, as they continue to incorporate into the larger picture.
This is a big one! In the same week that we learn that Russian based operatives bought at 100K worth of targeted ads in the 2016 election, we have new news. We have knocked on Mark Zuckerburg in previous Hot Sauce posts of taking credit for solving the problem he helped create. Facebook is now looking to keep “fake news” from becoming “sponsored fake news” by requiring all ads be truthful, or face expulsion.
Why It’s Hot?
This is hot because its not just a policy per ad but a policy that matches the content breach to the advertiser. Facebook is one upping the policy of not letting pages share links that 3rd party fact checkers have labeled false. Adweek notes that this policy is a “move meant to help prevent Pages from making money off distributing misinformation.” Here at Hot Sauce, we can get down with that!
With data so readily available now-a-days, we’re all data scientists. One Twitter super-sleuth (an anonymous one at that, ironically enough) is using numbers to find paid Russian human trolls feeding a sea of bots!
A pattern you may have noticed: many bot and troll accounts have usernames that end in 8 random digits. pic.twitter.com/54Gc8Jq35L
This account represents a lot of the Kremlin’s interests and is particularly influential on Twitter, pushing out #s that can trend.
Why it’s hot?
I personally think Twitter should be taking a sharper stance on this issue, despite how it might affect its monthly active users, and subsequently… stock price.
These kinds of data experiments allow us to see the universe of the web, shown visually. Yes, these forces can be used by foreign governments, but those same tools can be leveraged by your average joe!
P.S. if you want more ‘fun’ reading, check out this thread as well about user @notmypresident, a “left-leaning” (actually the Kremlin,) human run troll account!
Facebook has actively started removing shares of this article unless they condemn the piece in their post copy. This is a new move by the platform and an interesting one.
Why Its Hot:
Yes, Facebook is fighting hatred. But, Facebook has allowed partisanship to spread in our country and allowed falsehoods to remain that keep people from knowing what is true and false. This is a bit of a bandaid on a bullet hole, but props to Facebook for helping to fix what it helped to break.
It’s interesting how we will all start to take on false equivalency when not everything deserves to be shared.
tfw you built a machine that broke politics but it made you rich so you don't want to admit it https://t.co/kPUmEmQZzE
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote a heartfelt letter detailing her dismay at the infamous Google Memo written by a now-fired Googler who cited bialogical reasons for why there are fewer women and minorities in STEM and tech.
Yesterday, after reading the news, my daughter asked me a question. “Mom, is it true that there are biological reasons why there are fewer women in tech and leadership?”
She notes that:
I thought about the women throughout the tech field who are already dealing with the implicit biases that haunt our industry (which I’ve written about before), now confronting them explicitly.
Why Its Hot:
We’ve spoken about Uber’s “women problem” and its apparent across other fields. I think its just important to talk about diversity and acknowledge the problems that typically aren’t on the surface.
Project Hamilton68 knows what Russia is thinking…by topic trend. The group, taking their name from Alexander Hamilton, known for having written 68 Federalist papers, around the theme of foreign interference, is taking to Twitter to sus out themes among the 600 Russian bots that they have identified.
The Hamilton 68 dashboard, a project with the Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, seeks to expose the effects of online influence networks and inform the public of themes and content being promoted to Americans by foreign powers.
The dashboard illustrates the themes that Vladimir Putin is promoting to Americans in pursuit of his foreign policy objectives–including the break up of the European Union, the dissolution of NATO and the failure of democratic governance in the United States specifically and in the West broadly.
We need tools to defend ourselves from the real fake news. This line of defense is built from the same stuff the bots are built from. We can use data to protect ourselves from whatever other hack related news is in our future.
This is going to have to be a two part-er. My initial Hot Sauce was going to be about how we have started to be warned by the likes of Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk about the dangers of Future AI and how maybe the future is now. I still want to talk about that! Russian Troll bots have built a propaganda machine that has drifted into real life. Machines are starting to affect the way we think and cast a shadow over public opinion when they pose as real people.
But think about how this also affects the day to day jobs of the social team. We do hours of social listening and if bots are being dispatched to mislead the public, we’re marketing to robots too…
Why It’s Hot:
This week Facebook implemented a metadata change that is going to have big effects on our clients organic posts. Facebook is disallowing non-publishers from changing their metadata, to prevent the spread of fake news. While I applaud this effort this change means something for organic publishers. Facebook continues to make changes before telling it’s clients.
There is an exception for link ownership.. so action should be taken for all social accounts to “own” their websites asap. The social team has been burned once again by the team at Facebook.
And you get an update and you get an update and you get an update!
And were you looped in on the new Snap Map?
Why its hot?
Snapchat is looking to find new out of the box ways to use social and to monetize.
I still believe that Snapchat has the most unique way of looking at the internet and 1:1 interactions. They are integrating brands without insisting brands have user profiles and using the full screen in ways that Facebook might be too stuck in its ways to fully realize.
Before this week, you really needed to be in the know to make a snapchat geo-filter. It was not for the newbies among us. You had to visit a separate site, download templates and upload your filter, then have it approved. This week Snapchat added filter creation into its main app interface, with an easy to use self serve function.
I tried it, its easy as pie, but has to fit within tight confines. The filters must be built out at least 3 hours in advance, so my plan to have one for this meeting was out the window…. But here’s what it would have looked like…
Why It’s Hot:
Snapchat is selling direct to consumer. It’s been behind on the income game behind big guys like Facebook and Google. Again Snapchat is reaching out of the box.
Recently Vox came out with an article interviewing Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, author of Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are. Who said that polling that predicted Hillary Clinton’s win might have been up ended if pollsters had been exposed to data from Google.
Stephens did a deep dive into Google Trends under the hypothesis that people lie to pollsters, but they don’t lie to Google. He saw trends in increased searches of racial epithets and analyzed area data to find intent to vote (searching for polling places, researching candidates, etc.)
“There was a darkness and hatred that was hidden from traditional sources,” Stephens-Davidowitz says. “Those searches are hard to reconcile with a society in which racism is a small factor.”
When asked what he sees as his most startling finding…
I’m pretty convinced that the United States has a self-induced abortion crisis right now based on the volume of search inquiries. I was blown away by how frequently people are searching for ways to do abortions themselves now. These searches are concentrated in parts of the country where it’s hard to get an abortion and they rose substantially when it became harder to get an abortion. They’re also, I calculate, missing pregnancies in these states that aren’t showing up in either abortion or birth rates.
Why It’s Hot:
We are at a point of crisis in polling and electoral faith, if we have Google data to help us match results this might restore confidence in our system. This also can help point us to where people are under served or suffering in our country. By keeping anonymity, this lie free data collection keeps users protected but could use data for good…. or bad, I guess.
For anyone who knows me, this information truly hits the sweet spot in my wheelhouse. Now, not everyone is Facebook friends with their state rep like me, fortunately, there’s an app for that… Facebook!
Facebook is looking to dive deeper to connect communities locally.
“Our goal is to help people build the communities they want by making it easier for them to engage and have a voice in government – on a daily basis, not just Election Day”
New features include, constituent badges, so representatives can see that they are a constituent when they interact online, as well as a community tab, so you can see what news stories affect your community and hear about local legislation.
As Russian’s hack our newsfeeds and we all watch the Comey testimony, some of our most important legislation happens right in our backyards. It’s great that for all the global connections that we make, we are starting to see that social media can do a great job connecting communities. Isn’t that what it was originally built for?
In an act of compassion in this data driven world, Twitter announced new data controls, allowing users to customize what data they share with the company and how they are tracked. In their press release yesterday they emphasize:
“Privacy is built into our DNA as a company.”
This is all well and good, but how do you keep a populace from freaking out (let alone opting out) when presented with this pop up upon login.
Additionally Twitter is allowing you to edit your interests in order to serve you better ads… as marketers we search a lot of stuff we’re not interested in.
It’s important that Twitter is taking privacy seriously, its possible they’re committing harder to “don’t be evil” than Google is. But, it’s hard to make this pill go down, maybe they need better marketers, not better data policy.
As we start expressing ourselves online less verbally, the ability to search by emotion is important. This eases our ability to detect sarcasm on social listening and from peer to peer. Adding expressions to our communications helps to clarify meaning. Also it’s fun to search by #poop.
This hot scoop comes to Hot Sauce from the combined minds of the East Social Team email chain (shout out to Gina!)
Tumblr is launching a new platform, Cabana. A new video chatting app:
The app lets up to six people video chat at the same time, but with a twist: Cabana isn’t about just getting together to talk, it’s about getting together to watch YouTube videos.
Why It’s hot:
To me this speaks to my #1 new social media tools rule… bank off of existing behaviorsite. I bet all of you thought to yourself… “yeah, I’d use that” which is why this app is pretty brilliant. You want to create a tool that has utility and is easy to integrate, or what’s the point!
McDonald’s Australia recently launched a new hiring initiative that starts on social.
Aspiring candidates can use a snapchat filter to “try on” the McDonald’s uniform and show off their personality in the 10 second snap. Talk about a Snap judgement…yuck yuck yuck.
Users then send the snap to their prospective employer who can reach out to them with a request for a full application.
Why It’s hot:
In social, we are always telling brands to meet customers where they are, lest they have to convince the user to take two actions, in this case first finding the application and then submitting. By contacting them not only does it broaden the scope of the pool, but hiring managers will get a feel for how an applicant might be in the workplace. Do they seem cheerful? Like they have a good attitude?
Additionally there are small customizations to the filter (the button wears a hat) that shows that Snapchat is amenable to make adjustments for brands. Stand out customer service in a very inflexible medium (in terms of post types).
If you’ve been sentient at all in the last week, you’ve probably already seen how Pepsi and Kendall Jenner teamed up to royally misread millennials, people of color and their allies. Pepsi launched a video that shows Kendall (a white woman) re-making (and displacing) the actions of a young black woman who confronted police last year in Baton Rouge.
They tried to make BLM and civic activism it all about Pepsi and the result was a very “All Lives Matter” final product. This was HUGE misread and co-opt of the black lives matter movement by a brand.
Now I know you’re dying to know “Who is the AOR behind this ad?” Turns out that this was was produced house. Really makes you feel like the agency model is working – we would have NEVER let this fly.
So now that you know why people are mad. Check out some sick burns courtesy of Mashable and my Twitter feed:
Brands want to and should be on the cusp of culture, but they need to read the tone of the discussion and put their money where their mouth is. Starbucks does this well matchinges their cups to the idea of joining together. It’s well branded and natural. Starbucks also provides education for their employees and have built credibility behind their togetherness message.
Ashley Feinberg of Gizmodo.com went on the ultimate social media stalk… and it wasn’t of a long lost friend from high school, or a prospective employer… It was FBI director James Comey.
“Last night, at the Intelligence and National Security Alliance leadership dinner, Comey let slip that he has both a secret Twitter and an Instagram account in the course of relating a quick anecdote about one of his daughters.
What is somewhat surprising, however, is that it only took me about four hours of sleuthing to find Comey’s account, which is not protected.”
She solved this mystery in X steps:
Find clues in Comeys public statements: Comey is followed on instagram by his family memebers
Find family members on Twitter (Comey and his son share two names so this search helped)
5. Where requesting Brien as a friend gave her this:
Confirmed by Comey’s love for theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, who Comey wrote his senior thesis on.
Though the usernames didn’t match on Twitter there were only 7 Reinhold Niebuhrs on Twitter, leaving us with the most “incognito” one…
The article has a deeper breakdown of what Comey follows and RTs. Take a look when you get a chance!
P.S. @ProjectExile7 is now locked by request only 😉
Why it’s hot:
Now for the reference in my title…
As a past community manager, it was my job to stalk potential fans to “surprise and delight.” To be honest, my talent for stalking has taken me far. This example is just a singular example of how easy it is to find out digital details and follow breadcrumbs online. We are leaving behind a footprint with every online move we make and we are all more exposed than we think we are.
This image below contains offensive (since banned) subreddits and how they trend among supporters of certain politicians. It’s fascinating.
“Subreddits dedicated to politics and news are smack in the middle. r/Feminism is on the Sanders/Clinton side of the spectrum, though slightly closer to Clinton, as is r/TheBluePill, a feminist parody of r/TheRedPill; r/BasicIncome (a subreddit advocating for a universal basic income) is also on the liberal side, though slightly closer to Sanders.
And all of those hate-based subreddits? They’re decidedly in r/The_Donald’s corner.”
Why it’s hot:
This logic can be applied as social listening to any group to get to some of the technographic details we are always looking for. It is also a really interesting look at what human insights data can get us.
The Daily Mail is reporting that “a source close to the company said Netflix is working on a technology that allows branch narratives to be controlled from your remote control.”
It’s a choose your own adventure… for your favorite TV shows.
Killgrave has change of heart
Titus Andromidon goes viral
Frank Underwood steps down and donates all his worldly goods to charity.
Why it’s hot:
This is not only a great way to give your audience exactly what it wants, but gives Netflix a greater understanding about its consumers in terms of data. It’s also an out of the box way to do TV that none of its competitors can try.
Netflix has been on the cusp of innovation, allowing downloads outside of wifi, expanding the range of what a streaming content provider is expected to produce. By always adapting to the new media landscape they are almost determining how it rolls out. They don’t let history effect their business, they change the scope of the expectations among their competitive set.
Now you can dance to turn your lights on! Hayo pairs with Nest, Sonos, Hue and lots of other smart devices. It scans a room and allows you to make any household item a button and any movement a cue for your connected device to do what it does best.
Why its hot?
This indiegogo project is right in line with our favorite ‘Hot’ topic, connected homes. As people become more and more familiar with asking Siri for things, telling Alexa what to play — the list goes on and on — our behaviors are modifying. What if the next frontier isn’t speech, it’s movement. This user behavior seems a long way off, but from the video it seems easy to learn. Keep your eyes peeled for the new ways that people will learn to interact with their tech.
Snapchat is applying its famous filters IRL. Snapchat is releasing a new set of lenses that can “identify environmental elements” so we can “layer an object like a blimp in the sky.”
Right now you can tack stickers to moving objects and people in video. There is little information available about the rollout or how the new lenses would look. Are they applicable to different part of scenes or only selected objects. Is this a new expansion on the technology that identifies moving objects?
Why It’s Hot
Snapchat has been first to market with the kinds of augmented reality executions that are easy to use and actually change user behavior. They’ve already trained their users to know how to use this feature should it roll out.
Snapchats biggest win has always been thinking far outside the box and stretching the capacity of what your phone can do. They specialize at matching user behaviors and adding features that align with how people think. The ultimate product UX. Facebook may always be lagging, stealing features one by one. Watch out for that Snap Inc. IPO. 😉
This shows exactly why we need Twitter. Cultural moments can only happen in real time on that platform. No matter how much Facebook tries to poach, a celebrity message with that kind of virality wouldn’t hit newsfeeds until the next morning. Twitter has been having a tough few quarters, but there is a place for the platform in the social ecosystem.
But isn’t it kind of funny that Kanye picked Twitter?
Free Basics, Mark Zuckerberg & Facebook’s free internet service for India has been suspended. The program had been widely criticized, as it gave the poor access to the internet but only through Facebook’s portal. This strategy, called ‘zero rating’ is new to the net neutrality debate. By allowing free or unlimited low priced use of certain services, zero rating biases users twords certain areas of the Internet while cutting them off or discouraging visits to others. T-Mobile has recently come under fire for its unlimited streaming services. Critics say this program is an example of zero rating because the program favors streaming services, Netflix and Hulu.
Both of these programs appeal to users on face value, but on the grander scale, bias the open Internet for or against businesses.
Net neutrality has been a hot topic in our legislature, with different silicon valley businesses falling on either side of the line. Do you think this method keeps internet traffic from being neutral or that the benefit is worth the cost to get over 1 billion Indian citizens online for the first time?
This debate round, Donald Trump took a stand and didn’t stand behind the podium with 7 other candidates rivaling for the GOP nomination in the 2016 presidential race.
But despite his absence, his presence was still felt… on Twitter. Trump was mentioned 20% more often than his closest rival. Trump’s event, held in response, to raise charity funds for veterans took some of the steam out of the #GOPDebate hashtag traffic.
Twitter has a history of influencing elections, or at least calling attention to gaffes, and bringing viral moments top of mind. Last debate sparked the hashtag #NewYorkValues, referring to Ted Cruz’s skewering of Trump and ruffling the feathers of native New Yorkers.
Why it’s hot: Pollsters can get a feel for what the public is thinking even if it doesn’t necessarily reflect the voter base. The momentum online can swing public opinion at a time when voters are trying to figure out where the rest of the party aligns… right before the Iowa caucus.