So­cial me­dia mishaps

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TECHNOLOGY - By LEE KAH LENG bytz@thes­tar.com.my

TWIT­TeR users have long been plagued with un­wanted posts and sus­pi­cious links by spam ac­counts but there was al­ways an easy rem­edy at hand. Users could block the ac­counts and that would pre­vent spam­mers from ac­cess­ing their pro­files or posts.

How­ever, on Dec 13 Twit­ter re­placed the block­ing fea­ture with a mute func­tion. The com­pany made the change be­cause it feared that the act of block­ing would in­vite re­tal­i­a­tion from the per­son that was blocked.

This al­lowed ac­counts that were pre­vi­ously blocked to view or tweet at the per­son who blocked him or her but the per­son would be obliv­i­ous to it. Ac­cord­ing to Reuters, Twit­ter CeO Dick Cos­tolo said that the new fea­ture was widely re­quested by the vic­tims of block-abuse.

How­ever, a large part of the Twit­ter com­mu­nity did not take the change well as they deemed it as a breach of pri­vacy, as blocked users could now reac­cess their pro­files. They aired their un­hap­pi­ness on the com­pany’s so­cial net­work with the hash­tag #re­store the block to get Twit­ter to re­store the ser­vice.

And Twit­ter was fast to re­spond — it re­leased a state­ment say­ing that it “never wanted to in­tro­duce fea­tures at the cost of users feel­ing less safe” and re­stored the block­ing ser­vice within 24 hours.

Face­book Home

In April, Face­book in­tro­duced a launcher for An­droid phones called Home which dis­plays the so­cial net­work’s feeds on the smart­phone’s screen. Home ba­si­cally func­tions like other An­droid user-in­ter­face over­lay such as Sam­sung Touchwiz and HTC Sense but it in­te­grates Face­book feeds and posts into home screen.

While this is a great idea, the app has been plagued by bugs and prob­lems from day one which has made it un­pop­u­lar with early adopters.

Till to­day, the app con­tin­ues to re­ceive bad re­views from users.

Face­book a step fur­ther when it worked with HTC to in­tro­duce the first Face­book phone, aptly named the First.

It was re­leased in limited coun­tries and sales were so bad that it was dis­con­tin­ued soon af­ter and we have yet to see a Face­book phone since then.

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