Posted on June 14, 2018 by staff

The Social Media Briefing: Facebook to ban misleading ads


It’s no secret that Facebook has been trying to get on its users good side since the Cambridge Analytica scandal. This week, the social media giant is trying to pacify users by tightening up its approach to advertising.

In a blog earlier this week the company revealed it’s going to let users review business ads on the network and the rumour is that if they get low reviews they could potentially be booted off.

I can’t deny, this sounds pretty good – a potential silver lining to the Cambridge Analytica scandal is that it’s bending over backwards to get us back on board.

The point is to give businesses with misleading ads a slap on the wrist. They’ll have a chance to mend their ways but if they don’t they could have their ad run reduced or even be kicked off.

Users can leave feedback for their viewed ads under the ‘Ads Activity’ tab.

It sounds like a good way of giving power back to the people but with great power comes great responsibility, so hopefully it won’t turn into a witch-hunt tool for disgruntled customers with unrealistic expectations.

Viacom uses AI to predict social media future

Although social media has been around for years now, it can still feel like a bit of a stab in the dark for businesses who are trying to connect with their audience.

One company that’s shedding some light on the problem is US media company Viacom, which has been using AI to predict what’s going to do well across its platforms.

“We see a lot of inefficiencies in the way things are done,” said Matthew Moocarme, a senior data scientist for the company speaking at the Advertising Research Foundation’s Audience x Science event at the start of the week.

“Right now, the goal of this is to report back on how well we’ve performed [on social].”

Over the last year the company has let its data science team loose on social to gather near-real-time information on how its posts are performing.

Using the insights their system can predict how many social posts it will need to use to hit its targets and what kind will be best across different brands, which include Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central.

Before they went deep on their data the company was using third-party benchmarks to see how well posts were performing which, as anyone who’s tangoed behind the scenes of social knows, often don’t cut it.

The team has been using the insights to figure out key things like when to bring in influencers and whether a post will perform as well as expected, which it can tell within eight hours of publication.

It seems like they might be onto something too, with a recent report from MarketsandMarkets predicting that AI in the social media market will grow from $633.1m in 2018 to an incredible $2,197.1m by 2023.

Facebook swaps Fake News for fresh news

Facebook might have been one of the main perpetrators of spreading fake news in the past but it looks like it’s turning over a new leaf with news that it will be funding its own original news channel.

Coming later this year, viewers can head to the site’s largely ignored Watch channel to see big name hosts like Anderson Cooper deliver the top stories of the day.

The social media giant will pay for the shows’ fresh content, which is to be created by the likes of CNN and ABC, and featured alongside its news feed.

Mark Zuckerberg and his team have dubbed the move an attempt to combat the rise of fake news and improve the quality of the information it’s putting out, but they’re going to have to do a bit more to win back trust before we believe what they put out.

Social media ‘catastrophic’ for teachers

As if teachers didn’t have enough to deal with already, it looks like social media could soon be added to their list of daily stresses.

Scotland’s biggest teaching union the EIS has warned that social media will be “catastrophic” for teachers unless they’re protected from “bullying” parents who use tech to keep tabs on them.

It shared a case where a group of parents tried to get a headteacher fired using a Facebook petition.

Another incredibly awkward example was of a school tweeting a picture from the finish line of a sports race, and an angry parent using it as ‘evidence’ that their child was robbed of the second place medal.

In the end it was decided that the EIS council will give teachers clear guidance on social media and parental engagement, how to manage sticky situations and how the law protects teachers if they do come a-cropper after a social spat.

Social media is great for transparency but it probably shouldn’t be used as an official sporting tool and treated with caution when it comes to pushing people out of a job.

Woman rates friend’s house on social media

Something I’ve found time and again when reading stories about social media is how often they’re both funny and rage-inducing.

This week a story has gone viral about a woman who went to stay at her friend’s house and then rated it on Facebook as if she had stayed at a hotel. What’s worse is that the review was only two stars.

The host posted about finding the Facebook review on Mumsnet and said that even though her friend had invited herself to stay and they had done their best to make it as nice as possible, she’d described the night as “okay”.

She then went on to say breakfast was “underwhelming”, the conversation was “dry” and the wi-fi speed was “poor”.

Apparently she wrote: “The sleigh bed in the guest room was too high and I bumped on the wooden edge so often I have a bruise. The room was too small…All in all I’d give her two stars”.

The host was understandably livid, and posted: “Has she mistaken Facebook for Trip Advisor and my home for a hotel?!”

The icing on the cake is that apparently the friend has already asked to stay again.

Obviously this is only one side of the story and the host doesn’t share the actual post itself. However, even if it’s not true I could definitely see things going this way as people get way too used to sharing every detail of their lives on social media.

The art of social media

Turning our pain into art, digital artist Mike Campau has been making some amazing pictures about social media. These fairly grim-looking pictures are beautiful, but also quite sad – which is actually a pretty good way of summing up most of social media too.