Category Archives: Social Media/Networking

Facebook’s new ‘Town Hall’ feature helps you find and contact your government reps

Source: Sarah Perez, TechCrunch, March 14, 2017

In Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s nearly 6,000-word manifesto published last month, he laid out a number of global ambitions he had for the social network in the days ahead — including one where its users became more “civically-engaged” and voted more often. Now it seems Facebook has taken its first steps toward making that possible, through a new feature it’s calling “Town Hall.”

This latest addition has just popped up on the “More” menu in Facebook’s mobile app, and offers a simple way for users to find and connect with their government representatives on a local, state and federal level…..

Unite – A practical guide for using social media to build groups for action

Source: organized by: Andrea M. Catone, contributing organizations: Pantsuit Republic (Texas), Action Together New Jersey, Stronger Together Western New York, Together We Will USA, FIERCE PA, Internal Resources Team, Molly Grover (formerly with Women for Bernie, now with Save Main Street), Action Together Monmouth County, Ashley Raymond and Anna Dillulio, Action Together Network, Action Together New York Capital Region, Tent State University, 2016

From the summary:
A step by step guide to using social media for grassroots organizing, advice, best practices, checklists, organization models, communication strategies, universal pain points, lessons from trial and error, resources, and guidance.

Why People Quit Their Jobs

Source: Harvard Business Review, September 2016

….Attrition has always been expensive for companies, but in many industries the cost of losing good workers is rising, owing to tight labor markets and the increasingly collaborative nature of jobs. (As work becomes more team-focused, seamlessly plugging in new players is more challenging.) Thus companies are intensifying their efforts to predict which workers are at high risk of leaving so that managers can try to stop them. Tactics range from garden-variety electronic surveillance to sophisticated analyses of employees’ social media lives.

Some of this analytical work is generating fresh insights about what impels employees to quit. In general, people leave their jobs because they don’t like their boss, don’t see opportunities for promotion or growth, or are offered a better gig (and often higher pay); these reasons have held steady for years. New research conducted by CEB, a Washington-based best-practice insight and technology company, looks not just at why workers quit but also at when….

AFSCME’s Social Worker Overload: Digital media stories, union advocacy and neoliberalism

Source: Tara La Rose, Journal of Industrial Relations (JIR), Vol. 58 no. 4, September 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
This article presents a case study analysis of Social Worker Overload, a digital media story created by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and shared publicly using the social media site YouTube. This story uses worker testimonials to present a compelling story about the effects of neoliberalism on social care work in the field of child protection. This story illustrates how the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in Washington State uses ‘evidence based practice’ discourses to limit the forms of knowledge that may be utilized in discussions of work overload and work design within the child protection system. Through the creation and sharing of a digital media story about their experiences, the workers present narratives demonstrating how these and other elements of neoliberalism limit the workers’ capacity to actualize the potential benefits of professional social work. Finally, the analysis considers the process of worker advocacy using digital media practices, highlighting the roll that unions play in facilitating this type of resistance.

The Use of Social Media Policies by US Municipalities

Source: Lamar Vernon Bennett & Aroon Prasad Manoharan, International Journal of Public Administration, Published online: March 31, 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
As the use of social media technologies becomes ever more ingrained in the day-to-day functions of public organizations, it is important to develop relevant social media policies to guide their effective use and enable increasingly transparent engagement with citizens. Analyzing the content of such policies can inform scholars about the intended purpose of government’s use of social media. Hence, to build the foundation for a research agenda focused on the role of policy in government’s ability to effectively engage citizens, this exploratory study first identified 156 US cities with a recognizable social media presence and then employed a content analysis to analyze the key elements of their social media policies. Based on our findings, most cities have integrated social media into daily operations, however, many do not provide effective social media policies to guide such use.

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation and Visualizing Impact, 2016 is a project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Visualizing Impact. It was founded in 2012 by Ramzi Jaber and Jillian C. York, both of whom had begun to notice posts disappearing from their friends’ Facebook pages. seeks to encourage social media companies to operate with greater transparency and accountability toward their users as they make decisions that regulate speech. We’re collecting reports from users in an effort to shine a light on what content is taken down, why companies make certain decisions about content, and how content takedowns are affecting communities of users around the world.
Unfriending Censorship: Insights from four months of crowdsourced data on social media censorship
Source: Jessica Anderson, Matthew Stender, Sarah Myers West, and Jillian C. York,, March 2016

From the summary:
The report draws on data gathered directly from users between November 2015 and March 2016.

We asked users to send us reports when they had their content or accounts taken down on six social media platforms: Facebook, Flickr, Google+, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. We have aggregated and analyzed the collected data across geography, platform, content type, and issue areas to highlight trends in social media censorship. All the information presented here is anonymized, with the exception of case study examples we obtained with prior approval by the user.

Here are some of the highlights:
– This report covers 161 submissions from 26 countries, regarding content in eleven languages.
– Facebook was the most frequently reported platform, and account suspensions were the most reported content type.
– Nudity and false identity were the most frequent reasons given to users for the removal of their content.
– Appeals seem to present a particular challenge. A majority of users (53%) did not appeal the takedown of their content, 50% of whom said they didn’t know how and 41.9% of whom said they didn’t expect a response. In only four cases was content restored, while in 50 the user didn’t get a response.
– We received widespread reports that flagging is being used for censorship: 61.6% believed this was the cause of the content takedown.

Beyond the hashtags: #Ferguson, #Blacklivesmatter, and the online struggle for offline justice

Source: Deen Freelon, Charlton D. McIlwain, and Meredith D. Clark, Center for Media & Social Impact, February 2016

From the summary:
IN 2014, A DEDICATED ACTIVIST MOVEMENT—Black Lives Matter (BLM)—ignited an urgent national conversation about police killings of unarmed Black citizens. Online tools have been anecdotally credited as critical in this effort, but researchers are only beginning to evaluate this claim. This research report examines the movement’s uses of online media in 2014 and 2015. To do so, we analyze three types of data: 40.8 million tweets, over 100,000 web links, and 40 interviews of BLM activists and allies. Most of the report is devoted to detailing our findings, which include:
» Although the #Blacklivesmatter hashtag was created in July 2013, it was rarely used through the summer of 2014 and did not come to signify a movement until the months after the Ferguson protests.
» Social media posts by activists were essential in initially spreading Michael Brown’s story nationally.
» Protesters and their supporters were generally able to circulate their own narratives without relying on mainstream news outlets.
» There are six major communities that consistently discussed police brutality on Twitter in 2014 and 2015: Black Lives Matter, Anonymous/Bipartisan Report, Black Entertainers, Conservatives, Mainstream News, and Young Black Twitter.
» The vast majority of the communities we observed supported justice for the victims and decisively denounced police brutality.
» Black youth discussed police brutality frequently, but in ways that differed substantially from how activists discussed it.
» Evidence that activists succeeded in educating casual observers came in two main forms: expressions of awe and disbelief at the violent police reactions to the Ferguson protests, and conservative admissions of police brutality in the Eric Garner and Walter Scott cases.
» The primary goals of social media use among our interviewees were education, amplification of marginalized voices, and structural police reform.

In our concluding section, we reflect on the practical importance and implications of our findings. We hope this report contributes to the specific conversation about how Black Lives Matter and related movements have used online tools as well as to broader conversations about the general capacity of such tools to facilitate social and political change.

Do They Find You on Facebook? Facebook Profile Picture and Hiring Chances

Source: Stijn Baert, Institute for the Study of Labor, Discussion Paper Series, IZA DP No. 9584, December 2015

From the blog post:
What many have already suspected has now been scientifically proven: Employers are screening job candidates through Facebook. In fact, your Facebook profile picture affects your callback chances about as strongly as the picture on your resume. This is the finding of a new IZA discussion paper by Stijn Baert (Ghent University).

Employers have very limited information when they make their first selection of applicants for their vacancies. A CV and short motivation letter may provide little insight into the personality of the candidates. In contrast, nowadays, the internet offers a lot of information to further refine a first impression. One potential source of information is the social networking website Facebook.

The research team from Ghent University examined on a scientific basis whether employers actually use Facebook during a first screening. They sent fictitious application letters in response to genuine vacancies. Entering the names of these fictitious job candidates in the Facebook search bar or in Google led exclusively to one of four fictitious Facebook profiles controlled by the research team. Only the Facebook profile picture was publicly visible. The four photos used varied in terms of physical attractiveness and apparent personality traits….

Using social media content for screening in recruitment and selection: pros and cons

Source: Debora Jeske, Kenneth S Shultz, Work Employment & Society, Published online before print November 20, 2015
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The article considers the arguments that have been made in defence of social media screening as well as issues that arise and may effectively erode the reliability and utility of such data for employers. First, the authors consider existing legal frameworks and guidelines that are present in the UK and the USA, as well as the subsequent ethical concerns that arise when employers access and use social networking content for employment purposes. Second, several arguments in favour of the use of social networking content are made, each of which is considered from several angles, including concerns about impression management, bias and discrimination, data protection and security. Ultimately, the current state of knowledge does not provide a definite answer as to whether information from social networks is helpful in recruitment and selection.

Words Mean Everything: The National Labor Relations Act and Employer Social Media Policies

Source: Jon D. Bible, Labor Law Journal, Vol. 66 no. 3, Fall 2015
(subscription required)

…To protect their brand, employers have long regulated what employees can say and do and courts have largely given them free rein to do so. Like most employees, moreover, these two worked at-will and thus could be fired for any reason not based on a protected class or in violation of an exception to the at-will doctrine. What the owners overlooked was the fact that the National Labor Relations Act [NLRA or Act] applies to non-union employers like Triple Play; in this respect, they had a lot of company, for many employers are unaware of this. Since it got involved in this area a few years ago, moreover, the National Labor Relations Board [NLRB or Board] has aggressively enforced the right of employees to use social media to discuss, and try to change, their working conditions. Had they known all of this, the owners might have considered whether the Facebook colloquy in which the two employees engaged was protected by the Act, so that discharging them was illegal….