Forced friendship. A committee of the Arkansas Senate is expected to vote this week on a bill that would allow companies and other organizations responsible for supervising minors to require their employees to include a supervisor or manager in the employees’ list of social media contacts or friends. Specifically, the bill exempts employers at schools, daycares, summer camps and churches from a 2013 Arkansas prohibition on employer social-media-access requests. Purportedly drafted to protect children from sexual predators, the bill passed the Arkansas House of Representatives 91-1. Its detractors—which include the CEO of the non-profit ConnectSafely.org as well as major social media companies—argue that, in addition to compromising employees’ privacy, the bill could actually wind up endangering minors who work in the childcare industry, such summer camp counselors, by enabling their adult supervisors to contact them inappropriately through social media.
A dip in popularity. As we’ve discussed before, a business doesn’t really further its marketing efforts by accumulating Facebook “likes” from anyone other than real patrons who are genuinely capable of and interested in patronizing that establishment. To that end, Facebook has for some time now tried to weed out the likes generated by phony accounts. Now, in the interest of further ensuring a like’s legitimacy (and marketing value), the social media giant will remove from business-page-audience-data any likes generated by accounts that have been manually deactivated or “memorialized” after the account owner has died. (Facebook had already been doing this for personal pages). Just how many likes can a business expect to lose? According to TechCrunch, “it’s all relative to how many Likes you have to begin with. If your page only has a few dozen likes, you might not even lose one; if it has a few million, that slight dip will feel a bit bigger.”
Strippers in a snap. If a social media user is looking for an online platform on which to conduct secretive business, a vanishing messaging app with a feature that allows users to exchange money would be the place to do it. And so, as soon as the increasingly popular Snapchat unveiled a feature allowing users to send each other payments by simply typing a dollar amount into their messages and clicking a green dollar sign button, the platform began to attract people who sell sex and their online patrons. Strippers’ sales of personalized photos, videos, messages and personalized sex shows now account for a small but growing number of Snapchat’s transactions. The company seems to be cracking down on this use of its platform, which is both in violation of its policies and often illegal, by shutting down accounts. Strippers and their fans have found workarounds, however. Some have managed to avoid expulsion by initially connecting on online sex forums and exchanging porn for dollars later, after the buyers have provided their Snapchat usernames to the sellers.