Wikileaks will remain on Facebook

Monday, December 6, 2010

As Wikileaks abides by the rules, Facebook continues to allow theWikileaks fan page to exist onthe dominant social media site.

Major sites like Amazon and PayPal denying access to the Wikileaks organization bring up the question, who's next?

Facebook will not be one of the companies following suit. "The Wikileaks Facebook fan page does not violate our content standards nor have we encountered any material posted on the page that violates our policies," which was used after in depth research by Marshall Kirkpatrick with ReadWriteWeb's.

While Facebook is keeping Wikileak's Facebook fan page intact, Twitter is not speaking about the removing or keeping Wikileaks on there social media platform. Twitter did say that they are not removing the "trending topics" from their site.

So while the criticism continues to flare about the Wikileaks controversy, the Facebook fan page continues to grow and is close to one million followers.


Facebook to Make More Changes

On Sunday, Facebook released their new design for profile pages. The new pages are designed to let users share more details, with the ability to link them to other users. These changes came about shortly after the release of Facebook's version of e-mail, in an attempt to keep up with the ever-changing social media world.

Stated in an article by The Wall Street Journal, Facebook profile pages will now include everything from where you are from to what classes you took in school to your political affiliations. By doing this, users will be able to find more people to connect with.

Users will still be able to control who sees what on their page, but it may take more tweaking. Pictures will now appear on your profile page, including your top five recent tags. People who are not allowed to see certain pictures won't be able to, and instead will see other pictures.

Starting today, anyone that wants can upgrade to the new profile pages can, and everyone will be changed early next year.

Facebook is trying to keep up with the times, and for the most part people accept the changes. Personally, I do not like these constant changes, and would like the option to stay with my current page view. It seems like by the time I get one thing figured out, they switch it again, and I have to re-learn everything.

I use Facebook for staying in touch with friends, so personally this new feature of connecting with people who have similar interests will not be of great use to me. To connect with people that way, I use Twitter and blogging.

What do you think of the new Facebook features? Will you use them, or do you prefer to keep things as they are?


iTunes Newspaper and Magazine Subscriptions Could Change Media Forever

For a long time, people have been wondering if the internet will take over print media. Now the concern is more with how print media companies are going to make money off their content when people can get the same information for free online.

With the introduction of Apple's new iPad, this question is becoming a bigger concern. People can download content instantly from anywhere, music, movies and virtually anything else.

Currently, print media companies can create their own iTunes apps and upload their content onto them to get people reading it on mobile devices like the iPad and iPhone. According to this article though, there's no real guidance for companies to do this effectively.

There's been recent talk that iTunes will be creating a "Newspaper and Magazine Stand" for the world's biggest companies to sell subscriptions from. While there are already apps such as Pulse and Zinio that provide some content, this would be like a digital news stand for all content.

This could bring about huge changes for print media companies and the way the world consumes their media. These are some changes I could see coming:

1. People would not only have instant access to information online, but using this one app the would know that they were getting credible information

2. Print media companies already have their own website, most including their daily or weekly works, but they would now also manage their app version of their content. This would include adaptions such as more embedded videos and podcasts. According to this article, many newspapers are already willing to do this.

3. It seems that currently most media companies are hesitating to charge for online subscriptions because no one else has done it yet. If iTunes created this app, everyone would upload their content on it and begin charging at the same time, so it would make the transition from print to online easier.

4. There would of course be some problems, such as companies still wanting to reach out to older generations who still prefer print versions.

I think that an official iTunes app for newspapers and magazine subscriptions is a great idea. While it would take a lot of adjusting from companies at first, this is a transition we can't avoid forever.


Checking Sources for Accuracy

In today's world of internet media it is easy to understand how a journalist can stray from a proper source. The problem is that we trust everything we read on the internet.

Why shouldn't we? Who would post something online that isn't correct?

The truth is a lot of people and as journalists it is our job to sift through all the clutter in order to report the cold hard facts.

I recently discovered two articles about this topic at One dealt with a reporter using an anonymous Twitter feed as a source and the other about the misuse of an online press release to cause hype about extraterrestrial life.

The story that was created based on the anonymous Twitter feed dealt with radio shock jock Howard Stern possibly moving his show to iTunes. It was posted by the Star-Ledger, a New Jersey based newspaper.

The article does note that there may be no reason to believe the claim as anyone can say anything on the social media site. This should raise a red flag right away.

Is this even newsworthy if you have to mention that it might not be in your story? The answer here is no and don't waste my time by publishing it.

As for the article dealing with the online press release about NASA finding extraterrestrial life, it shows a blatant disregard for thorough investigative technique.

NASA did release information about their findings about extraterrestrial life. However, it was not that they found life on another planet.

NASA simply released a statement saying that they were going to hold a press conference about their findings. It was independent blogger Jason Kottke that sent this spiraling out of control.

In his blog Kottke uses background information on those that participated in the press conference to create a vague and wild hypothesis.

Herein lies the point, if you have no idea about something don't start making conclusions about it.

As someone who is on a path to journalism as a career i see the importance of checking and double checking sources. It is easy to get lost in the world of online media and choosing a reliable source can become difficult.
However, it is our responsibility as journalists to seek the truth and if we do use a faulty source we have no one to blame but ourselves.

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