Social Intelligence Stories that Caught Our Attention: Volume Fifteen

Here’s the social intelligence stories that caught our attention across the web the week of the 12th of August.  This week we have social media robbing our rights to change, abusive content, privacy, banning behavioural models, in-flight meal trends and creating insights.


Social Media Must Not Rob Us of the Right to Change Our Minds

Across at The Guardian, Peter Ormerod argues that Twitter users stick to their declared beliefs to avoid charges of hypocrisy – even when they want to change their mind.  Ormerod argues that this behaviour is poisoning our public discourse. For those of us who analyse social media data, it also means that we are not getting the full story, and we are unable to track interpersonal influence and changes in behaviour.

Read the full article here.


The Crackdown on Fake News and Abusive Content

Twitter and Instagram both announced new initiatives to combat the spread of hatred, abuse and fake news. The first steps to making social media a safer place.  For social data analysts, the creation of the new algorithms to identify the content will be of interest.

Read the full article here.


Privacy at Facebook

Facebook has hit the press again over privacy.  First, it was reported that Facebook uses human contractors to transcribe audio messages although the privacy policy makes no clear mention of the fact that actual people might listen to recordings.  Then, Facebook reminds private groups that they are watching. Facebook’s VP of Engineering, Tom Alison outlines some of the steps the company is taking to police bad behaviour in groups, even when they are not visible to the public.

These stories show that all behaviours are being tracked in social media. There’s also a lot of data that analysts cannot access.

Read the human transcribing article here.

Read Tom Alison’s blog post here.


Should We Ban Social Media Companies From Using Users’ Data to Develop Behavioural Influence Techniques

This is a must-read post from Nidhal Guessoum on Arab News where he covers news from a research and innovation summit in Jordan.  The summit had over 1,000 students and 100 scientists who took part in talks, workshops and debates.  The most significant of these was the debate on ‘should we ban social media companies from using users’ data to develop behavioural techniques?’.

The article has the full debated points, but in the end, the vote was 55% for banning Facebook, and 45% against. A very interesting debate, but it’s not just Facebook who created behavioural models, most of the most useful models are actually from academics. So, where does the line on behavioural modelling stop?

Read the full article here.


Social Data and Identifying In-Flight Food Trends

An interesting read on predicting food trends.  Apparently, Zhoug will be the next Sriracha, according to Alon Chen, CEO and co-founder of culinary trend analysis company Tastewise.

Read the full article here.


How to Find Insights

As the people who interpret the signals in social media data, we’re always in search of insights.  But, there’s many a social media research or analyst report that doesn’t actually have any insights in it.  In this article, you’ll find the discussion on finding ‘eureka moments’ from Carla Johnson.

Read the full article here.


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Jillian Ney
Jillian Ney
I'm the founder of The Social Intelligence Lab. I champion the growth of the social intelligence industry by helping the professionals and businesses working in it to access best practice, accredited training and peer networking. After working in the industry for 12 years I believe social intelligence should become a recognised discipline - and, I'm working towards making that a reality. More content by

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