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Facebook Plans for Post-Election Concerns in the US, Explores New Option for Combating Viral Misinformation

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facebook plans for post election concerns in the us explores new option for combating viral misinformation
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2020 has been a year like no other, and we still have a fair way to go in what could become an even more unpredictable roller coaster ride of emotions, issues and challenges.

A key concern in this respect is the upcoming US Election. This week, Joe Biden officially accepted his nomination as the Democratic nominee for the election, pitting him against current US President Donald Trump, in what’s likely to be one of the most divisive and provocative campaigns in history. 

Social media is likely to play a key role in this. After the Trump campaign essentially weaponized social platforms in the 2016 campaign, and foreign actors sought to interfere with the result through mass-manipulation efforts, much focus has been put on how Facebook and Twitter, in particular, will respond to such this time around. Those results have been mixed – and now, as the election draws ever-near, we’re seeing even more initiatives proposed that could have an impact on the eventual election result, or, indeed, its aftermath.

Here’s a look at the latest social platform updates related to the US Presidential Election.

Facebook Considers New Virality Signal in Slowing the Spread of Misinformation

First off, Facebook has this week said that it’s looking at a new way to detect viral misinformation before it gains significant traction by prioritizing reviews of viral content earlier, as it starts to gain momentum.

As reported by Casey Newton in The Interface:

“Facebook already shares information about the virality of new articles on the platform with its fact-checking partners, who use that data to help determine which articles to check first. [A new report] asks whether the company itself might want to set thresholds at which its own teams evaluate the content for community standards. If a video on Facebook gets 5 million views in an hour, shouldn’t someone at Facebook take a look at it?”

Essentially, the proposal, which Newton says Facebook is investigating, would see Facebook using share velocity as a key indicator in determining which posts should be reviewed for potential rule violations, which could stop viral misinformation from gaining mass-traction.

As as example of the problem, a recent video posted by Breitbart, which included a range of ‘health professionals’ criticizing official health advice around COVID-19, was viewed by millions of users on Facebook before the platform took it down. Facebook has been working hard to tackle COVID-19 misinformation, so it was somewhat surprising that the video was able to gain such traction before Facebook moved to address it.

This new proposal would theoretically help, in that it would mean that Facebook, by using share momentum as an indicator, would have reviewed and assessed the content faster, stopping its viral spread.

Which sounds good – but then again, why doesn’t Facebook already do this?

It seems crazy that Facebook, with all of its data and algorithms, all of the technical tools at its disposal, has never once thought to be like: “hey, maybe we should ensure we’re reviewing highly shared stuff before anything else”.

Of course, in reality, it probably has – which then raises the question as to why it wouldn’t have actioned such. Could it be that Facebook would actually prefer not to slow the spread of viral content, which brings more people to the platform, sparks more sharing, boosts engagement, etc.?

Such content is damaging, and it’s good to see Facebook considering more ways to address it. But the proposal itself raises questions about Facebook’s capacity – or willingness – to handle such within its process.

Facebook Explores Measures in Case Trump Disputes Election Result

Another interesting development, as reported by The New York Times, is that Facebook is exploring measures it might take in case President Trump decides not to accept the results of the 2020 election.

Trump, who has repeatedly criticized the integrity of the voting process, has thus far avoided questions about whether he will accept the final result, given his concerns about the poll’s accuracy. Of course, if Trump wins, you can bet that he’ll be more than happy to hug the American flag and accept the praise. But if Trump loses, what then?

Facebook, and other social platforms, are now concerned that they could be used by Trump to spread misinformation about the result, which could lead to civil unrest. 

As per NYT:

Facebook is preparing steps to take should Mr. Trump wrongly claim on the site that he won another four-year term, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Facebook is also working through how it might act if Mr. Trump tries to invalidate the results by declaring that the Postal Service lost mail-in ballots or that other groups meddled with the vote, the people said.” 

One of Facebook’s ideas involves a “kill switch”, which would shut off political advertising after Election Day, thereby reducing the possibility of ads being used at scale to share misleading information about the result.   

Which is interesting, considering that Facebook’s stance right now is that politicians are essentially allowed to spread lies through Facebook ads, as they’re not subjected to fact checks.

So, lies in political ads are not damaging now, but they could be such a concern after the fact that they need to be halted completely?

It seems odd, but it does make some sense. Facebook won’t ban political ads right now, because it believes that doing so would only benefit the big players, while smaller politicians, who can use Facebook’s targeting options to reach more specific audiences at low cost, would lose that opportunity. The same principle applies after the result – the only people who stand to benefit from continuing to advertise after the campaign are the big players who can afford to do so, while smaller politicians will likely have stopped their spend by then.

As such, the move would be in line with Facebook’s broader stance on political advertising – but it does raise some significant concerns about the potential for dispute, and conflict, following the election result.

And while social platforms might be able to limit the reach of such messaging, the fact that this is now a real concern that they are considering is, in itself, a major problem.

As noted, 2020 could get a lot more unpredictable yet.

Trump Bans WeChat

And then there’s the ongoing discussion around the banning of Chinese originated apps, which has been dominated by the proposal to ban TikTok, or see it sold off to a US company.

But another social media-related impact within this is the potential ban of Chinese messaging app WeChat, which is hugely popular among Chinese expats, and would also be subject to a restriction under the Trump administration’s proposals.

WeChat, which has more than a billion active users, plays a key role in connecting many Chinese citizens to various functionalities, including paying bills, buying train tickets, shopping, etc. The app is not as widely used outside of China, though many businesses in many regions do facilitate the use of the app in making payments – and again, many Chinese expats, in particular, stay connected with family through the app.

Yet, even though usage outside China is comparatively low, a ban on the app could have major implications.

A key question right now is whether a ban in the US would mean that Apple and Google would then be disallowed from carrying the app in their global app stores, outside of the U.S. If they can’t, that could make it much harder for WeChat to grow, which would set up a new, and potentially significant dispute between the US and China. 

The Trump administration appears to now be suggesting that any ban would only relate to the US, and that even US owned companies would be able to continue using WeChat outside of America. 

That makes sense, but the expanded impacts of the proposal once again underline the complexity of such moves, and the broad-reaching effects that such decisions can have on how web-based properties work. 

For years we’ve been accelerating towards a more globally connected society, but now it seems we’re pulling back. That could be very difficult to enact, and could, as noted, lead to more global tension.

It’s amazing to consider the significance of the role that social media now plays in our everyday lives, which is represented in updates like these, where social platforms are now central to global political shifts. No one would have predicted such back when we were updating our MySpace ‘Top 8’, but this is where we are, and it’ll be interesting to see how things play out, and what role social platforms play in the next stage.     

Socialmediatoday.com

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12 Proven Methods to Make Money Blogging in 2024

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Make money blogging

 

Make money bloggingThis is a contributed article.

The world of blogging continues to thrive in 2024, offering a compelling avenue for creative minds to share their knowledge, build an audience, and even turn their passion into profit. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or just starting, there are numerous effective strategies to monetize your blog and achieve financial success. Here, we delve into 12 proven methods to make money blogging in 2024:

1. Embrace Niche Expertise:

Standing out in the vast blogosphere requires focus. Carving a niche allows you to cater to a specific audience with targeted content. This not only builds a loyal following but also positions you as an authority in your chosen field. Whether it’s gardening techniques, travel hacking tips, or the intricacies of cryptocurrency, delve deep into a subject you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. Targeted audiences are more receptive to monetization efforts, making them ideal for success.

2. Content is King (and Queen):

High-quality content remains the cornerstone of any successful blog. In 2024, readers crave informative, engaging, and well-written content that solves their problems, answers their questions, or entertains them. Invest time in crafting valuable blog posts, articles, or videos that resonate with your target audience.

  • Focus on evergreen content: Create content that remains relevant for a long time, attracting consistent traffic and boosting your earning potential.
  • Incorporate multimedia: Spice up your content with captivating images, infographics, or even videos to enhance reader engagement and improve SEO.
  • Maintain consistency: Develop a regular publishing schedule to build anticipation and keep your audience coming back for more.

3. The Power of SEO:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ensures your blog ranks high in search engine results for relevant keywords. This increases organic traffic, the lifeblood of any monetization strategy.

  • Keyword research: Use keyword research tools to identify terms your target audience searches for. Strategically incorporate these keywords into your content naturally.
  • Technical SEO: Optimize your blog’s loading speed, mobile responsiveness, and overall technical aspects to improve search engine ranking.
  • Backlink building: Encourage other websites to link back to your content, boosting your blog’s authority in the eyes of search engines.

4. Monetization Magic: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing allows you to earn commissions by promoting other companies’ products or services. When a reader clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you get a commission.

  • Choose relevant affiliates: Promote products or services that align with your niche and resonate with your audience.
  • Transparency is key: Disclose your affiliate relationships clearly to your readers and build trust.
  • Integrate strategically: Don’t just bombard readers with links. Weave affiliate promotions naturally into your content, highlighting the value proposition.

5. Display Advertising: A Classic Approach

Display advertising involves placing banner ads, text ads, or other visual elements on your blog. When a reader clicks on an ad, you earn revenue.

  • Choose reputable ad networks: Partner with established ad networks that offer competitive rates and relevant ads for your audience.
  • Strategic ad placement: Place ads thoughtfully, avoiding an overwhelming experience for readers.
  • Track your performance: Monitor ad clicks and conversions to measure the effectiveness of your ad placements and optimize for better results.

6. Offer Premium Content:

Providing exclusive, in-depth content behind a paywall can generate additional income. This could be premium blog posts, ebooks, online courses, or webinars.

  • Deliver exceptional value: Ensure your premium content offers significant value that justifies the price tag.
  • Multiple pricing options: Consider offering tiered subscription plans to cater to different audience needs and budgets.
  • Promote effectively: Highlight the benefits of your premium content and encourage readers to subscribe.

7. Coaching and Consulting:

Leverage your expertise by offering coaching or consulting services related to your niche. Readers who find your content valuable may be interested in personalized guidance.

  • Position yourself as an expert: Showcase your qualifications, experience, and client testimonials to build trust and establish your credibility.
  • Offer free consultations: Provide a limited free consultation to potential clients, allowing them to experience your expertise firsthand.
  • Develop clear packages: Outline different coaching or consulting packages with varying time commitments and pricing structures.

8. The Power of Community: Online Events and Webinars

Host online events or webinars related to your niche. These events offer valuable content while also providing an opportunity to promote other monetization avenues.

  • Interactive and engaging: Structure your online events to be interactive with polls, Q&A sessions, or live chats. Click here to learn more about image marketing with Q&A sessions and live chats.

9. Embrace the Power of Email Marketing:

Building an email list allows you to foster stronger relationships with your audience and promote your content and offerings directly.

  • Offer valuable incentives: Encourage readers to subscribe by offering exclusive content, discounts, or early access to new products.
  • Segmentation is key: Segment your email list based on reader interests to send targeted campaigns that resonate more effectively.
  • Regular communication: Maintain consistent communication with your subscribers through engaging newsletters or updates.

10. Sell Your Own Products:

Take your expertise to the next level by creating and selling your own products. This could be physical merchandise, digital downloads, or even printables related to your niche.

  • Identify audience needs: Develop products that address the specific needs and desires of your target audience.
  • High-quality offerings: Invest in creating high-quality products that offer exceptional value and user experience.
  • Utilize multiple platforms: Sell your products through your blog, online marketplaces, or even social media platforms.

11. Sponsorships and Brand Collaborations:

Partner with brands or businesses relevant to your niche for sponsored content or collaborations. This can be a lucrative way to leverage your audience and generate income.

  • Maintain editorial control: While working with sponsors, ensure you retain editorial control to maintain your blog’s authenticity and audience trust.
  • Disclosures are essential: Clearly disclose sponsored content to readers, upholding transparency and ethical practices.
  • Align with your niche: Partner with brands that complement your content and resonate with your audience.

12. Freelancing and Paid Writing Opportunities:

Your blog can serve as a springboard for freelance writing opportunities. Showcase your writing skills and expertise through your blog content, attracting potential clients.

  • Target relevant publications: Identify online publications, websites, or magazines related to your niche and pitch your writing services.
  • High-quality samples: Include high-quality blog posts from your site as writing samples when pitching to potential clients.
  • Develop strong writing skills: Continuously hone your writing skills and stay updated on current trends in your niche to deliver exceptional work.

Conclusion:

Building a successful blog that generates income requires dedication, strategic planning, and high-quality content. In today’s digital age, there are numerous opportunities to make money online through blogging. By utilizing a combination of methods such as affiliate marketing, sponsored content, and selling digital products or services, you can leverage your blog’s potential and achieve financial success.

Remember, consistency in posting, engaging with your audience, and staying adaptable to trends are key to thriving in the ever-evolving blogosphere. Embrace new strategies, refine your approaches, and always keep your readers at the forefront of your content creation journey. With dedication and the right approach, your blog has the potential to become a valuable source of income and a platform for sharing your knowledge and passion with the world, making money online while doing what you love.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos



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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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