Social Intelligence Stories That Caught Our Attention: Volume Fourteen

Here’s the social intelligence stories that caught our attention across the web the week of the 15th of July.  This week we have missing likes, Facebook research practices, Google Dataset Search, your face, voodoo dolls, and Boris Johnson.


Instagram to Remove Likes and View Counts

After a pilot in Canada, Instagram announced that they plan to extend the test further into Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand.  The resulting reaction to the news was utter meltdown. We’ve probably all hated vanity metrics anyway, and likes were just a nod to a small amount of active involvement with a message (and easily bought). And its not all bad news:

  1.      1. The quality of our posts will no longer be publicly ranked by a metric.
  2.      2. It’s likely to help improve anxiety and mental health issues.
  3.      3. It’s like to change how we view impact with influencers.

Read the full article on mental health here.


Facebook Changes Research Practices

Facebook has recently launched a second attempt at market research initiatives.  This new research programme promised to improve the prior missteps in user safety and data access. The app is available for Android users in the US and India, and is a much-needed upgrade in research scope and legitimacy.  Here’s what’s changed:

  •      1. Transparency
  •      2. Compensation for Participants
  •      3. Keeping Information Safe and Secure

We’ve always wondered whether Facebook really knew the power of the data they hold. Their continual publication of new insights that they have found in their research seemed naïve and did not always adhere to ethics.  For example, their emotional cognition study, the ability to identify sexual orientation or even that they can predict when you will enter or leave a relationship.

Read the full article here.


Google Dataset Search

Google has launched a new search engine for dataset.  The new service called Dataset Search will index the data published online by different institutions, like universities and governments.  These institutions will include metadata tags in their webpages that describe their data, including who created it, when it was published, how it was collected etc. This information will then be indexed by Dataset Search.

Use Dataset Search here.


FaceApp Controversy

FaceApp nearly broke the internet this week. From people sharing their older faces, and the debate surrounding the apps privacy policy.  It seems, that for some, the idea of your face being used as a dataset is too high on the creepiness factor scale.

With some even suggesting that if FaceApp were a test, we would have failed.

Read the full article here.


Ex-Googler and His Voodoo Dolls

Futurism reports on ex-Googler, Tristan Harris weighs in on the creepy hyper-targeted ads for products we were speaking about.  He says that they don’t need to listen to the microphone, it’s that Facebook and Google have collected so much data on you that they have created a “little voodoo doll, avatar-like version” of you which can predict your behaviour.

What do you think, a scary prediction from likes and clicks or someone listening in to your conversations?

Read the full article here.


The Race to Become the UK’s Prime Minister

A nice article from BuzzFeed about Boris Johnson being the favourite for Prime Minister but the online conversation about him being more negative.  People share negative stories about him in big numbers, and the articles that were most widely shared were those that emphasised questions about Johnson’s integrity and track record.

Read the full article here.


Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

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The SI Lab Editor
The SI Lab Editor
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