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The UK government wants to be a bit more proactive in discussing its strategy to counter the spread of the Islamic State, and is using the @UKAgainstISIL Twitter account to help share that message.
The Foreign Office officially launched the account last Thursday, and will share "updates on the UK government's ongoing work to defeat Isil." The group is sharing updates regarding airstrikes, condemn the Islamic State's activities, and share information on how to defend against the group.
"The government is very well aware of the fact that it doesn't have the ability to say things that will resonate with extremist Islamists," said Charlie Winter, senior researcher at the Quilliam Foundation, in a statement published by The Guardian.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and company have one more reason to be happy: 1 billion users logged into Facebook or sent a message using Messenger in a single day.
To think that 1 in 7 people on the planet used Facebook to share status updates, news stories, and messages in one day is an impressive metric. The No. 1 social media website has around 1.49 billion monthly active users, and a growing number of mobile users - an important market segment for Facebook, which attracts 76 percent of advertising revenue from mobile advertising.
"This was the first time we reached this milestone, and it's just the beginning of connecting the whole world," Zuckerberg said in a blog post. "Our community stands for giving every person a voice, for promoting understanding and for including everyone in the opportunities of our modern world."
After the tragic shooting of Alison Parker and her WDBJ camera operator Adam Ward in Moneta, Virginia, many users took to social media in order to project their concerns, condolences and spread information about the news at hand.
The shooter, Vester Lee Flanagan II, an ex-employee of WDBJ did something most haven't seen before - uploading GoPro videos of the shooting to social media websites and feeds to thousands of viewers and followers, something he was able to do through gaining a following whilst working at WDBJ, as reported by Geek Inspector.
If this wasn't bad enough already, many social media platforms now play videos in your feed automatically, meaning that if you wanted to see this disturbing footage or not, many users running stock settings on their Facebook and Twitter mobile application or desktop browsers were subject to the shooting videos automatically.
Social networking service Twitter has finally removed the 140-character limit in direct messages, so users have the ability to share longer private messages. Direct messages now have a 10,000-character limit per message.
"It's the No. 1 request we get from folks," said Sachin Agarwal, DMs product manager at Twitter, in a statement to The Verge. "They want to be able to say what's on their mind and me themselves."
Twitter hopes the DM change will help the social networking site reach a broader audience, as the company tries to add to its 316 million active monthly users.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently spoke out regarding the Islamic State and other criminal groups using social media.
Speaking directly about the Islamic State, she had this to say: "We have got to shut down their Internet presence, which is posing the principal threat to us," when asked during a stop on her campaign to become president.
"You've got to look carefully at terrorist groups and criminal cartels and other illegal actors to figure out whether they can use the Internet to cause crimes, to cause harm, to wage terrorist attacks and we can't just let that go on unabated," Clinton said.
This Tuesday, Facebook's latest patent was approved, giving this internet giant the ability to judge your friends list through a financial eye. This new ability means that a lender can examine the credit ratings of your Facebook friends in order to judge if you're suitable for a loan or not.
The full text reads: "When an individual applies for a loan, the lender examines the credit ratings of members of the individual's social network who are connected to the individual through authorized nodes. If the average credit rating of these members is at least a minimum credit score, the lender continues to process the loan application. Otherwise, the loan application is rejected."
The approved patent included some other applications as Fortune explains as "filtering out SPAM and helping with search queries," but these are mostly a detraction from the main point.
No one is exactly sure when Facebook will implement this, or even why. But this may make some users re-think the online company in which they keep. There would be nothing worse than being denied for a loan based on your friends poor choices.
The Islamic State has had ups and downs while using social media, finding Twitter, YouTube, and other sites helpful in recruiting new members, sharing propaganda, and intimidating the public. Trying to fight the group has evolved into an international effort, with Europol and the US government looking for ways to crack down on the Islamic State.
"Every targeted country that the Islamic State brags about becomes more resolved to take on the Islamic State," said Max Abrahms, a political science professor at Northeastern University and member of the Council on Foreign Relations, in a statement published by Voice of America.
"While it's true that bragging about the violence over social media can be beneficial in terms of having a recruitment affect, there's also a very substantial attrition effect."
Social media can be an extremely powerful marketing tool used for promotion, and that is evident by the number of celebrities, athletes, and other public figures using Twitter, Facebook, and other networks.
TweakTown recently chatted with Paul Daley, a popular - yet polarizing - English mixed martial arts (MMA) and kickboxing specialist. The fighter, sporting a 37-13-2 MMA record and 20-3 kickboxing record, most recently defeated Dennis Olson during Bellator 140 earlier this month. Daley is quite active on Facebook, sharing news updates about training, upcoming fights, and news that combat sports fans have shaed with him.
"Social media has taught me that it's good to be yourself," Daley told TweakTown. "People have an idea of how a fighter's life is, [but if] they really want to know and follow."
Teenagers on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more than two hours per day are more likely to report higher psychological distress, poor mental health, or suicidal thoughts, according Ottawa Public Health.
Considering the study took a look at all social networking websites, it's a rather frightening revelation - especially with more younger folks logging social media time using their smartphones. They are never really far away from Facebook or Twitter.
Researchers analyzed data from students in seventh grade up to grade 12, with 25 percent reporting at least two hours of daily social networking time. They took a closer look at correlations between the amount of time logged on social media to self-reports of mental health and psychological well-being.
Remember how the Islamic State is using social media in a clever way to recruit members, lure girls away from their homes, and intimidate locals? Well, it looks like a few women in Chechnya have duped the Islamic State for some quick cash.
The unidentified women, currently being investigated for fraud, scammed at least $3,300 from the Islamic State - by promising to head to Syria to join the group. Instead, the women shut down the social media accounts after the money was successfully wired into their accounts.
"I don't recall any precedent like this one in Chechnya, probably because nobody digs deep enough in that direction," said Valery Zolotaryov, a police officer in Chechnya, speaking to a Chechen newspaper. "Anyhow, I don't advise anyone to communicate with dangerous criminals, especially for grabbing quick money."