Facebook unfriending is workplace bullying!

September 26th, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

ABC reports:

The Fair Work Commission has found that a Tasmanian woman was bullied by a work colleague who unfriended her on Facebook after a confrontation in the workplace.

It is part of a wider bullying claim that also allegedly involved hostile behaviour and inappropriate comments.

Rachael Roberts, a Launceston real estate agent, complained to the commission that she was bullied by her colleague Lisa Bird, leaving her with depression and anxiety.

The Facebook incident took place in January this year, after Ms Bird allegedly called Ms Roberts a “naughty little schoolgirl running to the teacher” during an aggressive meeting in the tea room.

Ms Roberts told the commission she left the office crying and when she later checked Facebook to see if Ms Bird has commented on Facebook about the incident, she found that Ms Bird had deleted her as a Facebook friend.

Fair Work Commission deputy president Nicole Wells said in her decision that the unfriending was unreasonable behaviour

If I was Australian, I’d like to unfriend the Fair Work Commission.

The power of social media

August 16th, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

John Key did a video on why he thinks we should change the flag, and rebutting some of the arguments against.

He didn’t do a media release. He didn’t do a speech on it. He merely stuck the video on his facebook page.

It’s had 489,000 direct views of the video, and 1.24 million people have seen the post as it has been shared by 6,206 people to their facebook followers.

That’s a bigger audience that either of the 6 pm TV news bulletins.

A great example of the power of social media. Not only have hundreds of thousands viewed it, but this is not a 30 second soundbite. Half a million people viewed a seven minute long video because they are interested in the issue.

Smart Police work

July 22nd, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Police have been snooping on people’s Facebook profiles, and using the evidence to carry out drug raids.

The monitoring has been exposed by members of a blackmarket Facebook group, who complained of receiving letters out of the blue from police, warning them they were being watched.

One unidentified user received a letter from the Canterbury Organised Crime Squad, dated July 15, warned that their membership of a group suspected to be aiding illegal drug deals had been noticed. 

They might wish to “review” their membership of the group, the letter suggested – and it had a card for a drug abuse helpline stapled to it.

“Police have been monitoring your Facebook profile and established that you are engaged in a Facebook group that actively sells and trades in controlled drugs,” the letter said.

“Committing offences against [drug laws] can lead to penalties, including imprisonment.” 

Police confirmed on Monday that they were monitoring social media pages, and sometimes using the evidence they found to mount raids.

This is smart work by the Police. And it isn’t spying or snooping. If you’re stupid enough to join public groups devoted to criminal activity, you shouldn’t be surprised the Police take an interest.

Not even close

July 3rd, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Prime Minister John Key holds a clear advantage over his rivals on social media heading into September’s general election.

Key has almost three times the followers on his Facebook page and Twitter account than all other party leaders combined. 

His official Twitter feed has 110,000 followers; almost 10 times as many as the next most followed party leader on Twitter – Russel Norman of the Greens with 11,500. 

Labour leader David Cunliffe commands a Twitter audience of 9926. 

How does this compare to other countries? How many Twitter followers per 1,000 populations do the PMs and Opposition Leaders all have. Here’s their followers per 1,000 population:

  1. John Key (NZ) 25.0
  2. Steven Harper (Canada) 13.8
  3. Justin Trudeau (Canada) 11.2
  4. Tony Abbott (Aus) 13.0
  5. David Cameron (UK) 11.1
  6. Eed Miliband (UK) 5.1
  7. Bill Shorten (Aus) 2.8
  8. David Cunliffe (NZ) 2.2

So the NZ PM has twice as many Twitter follows per capita as the Canadian, Australian and UK PMs. And David Cunliffe has fewer followers than any of the other opposition leaders.

On Facebook, Key’s official page has 149,873 likes, while the official pages of all the other party leaders combined have 45,038 followers/likes. 

Interesting the leader with the 2nd most “likes” on Facebook is Winston Peters.

Labour candidates spray paints wrong Facebook address on his van

June 17th, 2014 at 7:09 pm by David Farrar

Matthew Beveridge blogs:

Labour’s candidate for Botany has already been talked about in relation to his social media at least once today. Jami-Lee Ross has also talked about this. However, upon seeing this, I did a little digging to try and find Tofik’s social media accounts. When you search for him on Facebook, the first return that comes up is his personal profile, that is pretty locked down. Normally if you are going to do that, somewhere on that profile, that wasn’t locked down, you would have a link to your page, so people could find it easily. On that note, there was a photo of Tofik’s new campaign van, which had a Facebook logo and address on it.

Great I thought. That will make finding his facebook page easy. So I typed it in,www.facebook.com/Mamedov.Botany But no, it redirects to my timeline. I asked a number of friends to try the link, and it redirects to their timeline as well. So the address that Tofik has printed on the side of his van is incorrect.

I did manage to find his Facebook page in the end, www.facebook.com/pages/TOFIK-Mamedov, which is nothing like what he has written on the side of his van. I am not sure how this could have happened. Surely it would have been checked before sign-writing it on to the side of his van?

I can’t work out how you could possibly spray paint a Facebook address on your van, and not actually have the right address.

Turkish PM also muses about closing down Facebook!

March 13th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has backtracked on a threat to shut down Facebook and YouTube in Turkey.

Erdogan, who is fighting allegations of corruption, said last week that the government was considering steps to prevent secretly wiretapped recordings from being leaked on the internet, including shutting down Facebook and YouTube.

NZ Labour’s progressive ideas are starting to catch on globally!

Pilcher on banning Facebook

February 5th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Pat Pilcher writes in the NZ Herald:

Back in the 70’s Cambodia descended into chaos. This was thanks to the Pol Pot regime, whose crackpot ideologies saw some brutal policies put into practice. The upshot is now well known, many died and Cambodia is recovering.

Sometimes political madness starts from a single crazy idea with little thought given to issues such as feasibility or what the impacts are likely to be.

I raise this because of a bizarre policy idea floated by Labour (who’ve also since stomped the policy out of existence). The proposed policy would have involved a Labour government preventing tax avoiding multinationals from accessing the Internet in New Zealand.

Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple – all banned. Maybe even the NZ Herald and Stuff as their owners are arguably tax avoiding multinationals!

Even though the thought of multinationals setting up shop locally and not paying their fair share strikes me being somewhat repugnant, the proposed policies really gave me pause for thought, leaving me wondering if Labour had really thought through just how it’d work or if they’d finally lost the plot completely.

To be fair, it was probably a brain fart. But what is worrying is they defended the policy for a full 24 hours before ruling it out.

Facebook would also continue to operate Facebook.com anyhow, as it is hosted offshore. Because of this, a Labour government would have to block access to Facebook from within New Zealand. Odds are that any such move would be a double-edged sword for Labour in that most voters would take a particularly dim view of any attempt to block sites such as Facebook.

They’d be slaughtered.

If the whole concept strikes you as being just plain wrong, you’re not alone. Internet New Zealand have also strongly objected, saying that “InternetNZ does not support filtering of the Internet in any kind”.

Absolutely. That’s a slippery slope that ends badly.

Should multinationals begin to leave, the number of skilled jobs is guaranteed to shrink pretty darned quickly. The really crazy thing is that under this scenario, that not much more corporate tax would be paid anyhow.

Worse still, the governments of the nations where these multinationals are headquartered are also likely to be lobbied and could in turn react unfavourably, and this would jeopardise trade.

So there you go. Had Labour actually decided to implement this madness and been elected, we could’ve ended up with unworkable Internet censorship, disgruntled voters, corporate flight, unemployment and deteriorating trade. 

As I said, the amazing thing is it took them more than 60 minutes to disown David Clark’s statement.

Labour says Apple et al plundering NZ economy

January 30th, 2014 at 7:03 am by David Farrar

Labour continue with their jihad against the tech giants. From Hansard yesterday:

Hon DAVID PARKER: … Neither do we think it is fair that some of the multinationals plunder the New Zealand economy—like Google, like Apple, like Facebook—take hundreds of millions of dollars out of the New Zealand economy, compete with New Zealand – based companies, and pay virtually no tax. 

Wow I didn’t know that there were NZ companies competing with Apple, Google and Facebook. Is David Parker saying that Microsoft, Yahoo and Bebo are NZ based companies?

But regardless we can all agree that multinationals who plunder the NZ economy are evil and must be shunned. I await all Labour MPs giving up their iPhones and closing down their Facebook accounts.

As I have often pointed out Fairfax and APN also pay virtually no (income) tax. Will Labour shun these multinationals also?

We in the Labour Party are willing to move on that, but the Government is not because once again it is preferring the interests of the wealthy. It is not willing to take on the multinationals, despite the fact that there is a glaring unfairness there, that they should pay their fair share of tax too, which they do not, and that there are mechanisms that could be used. 

Here’s my challenge to David Parker who wants to be Minister of Finance. It is a very simple challenge. Name these mechanisms that can be used. You don’t even have to name them all. Just name one of them. Just give us one specific example of how they would change the law in a way that would require those companies to pay more tax?

In related news, 3 News reports:

Banning Facebook was an extreme suggestion from Labour Party MP David Clark – and it took party leader David Cunliffe just 24 hours to shut it down.

Mr Cunliffe has now ruled it out completely, but ridicule from the Government still came hard and fast.

Half the population, nearly 2.3 million, are on Facebook, and Mr Cunliffe’s own page has more than 8000 likes.

The social networking website has been accused of avoiding paying its fair share of taxes in New Zealand.

To recoup the cost, yesterday, Labour’s tax spokesman David Clark suggested the Government should “always have in its back pocket the ability to ban websites as an extreme option”.

But Russell Norman says he thinks it is “ridiculous” to consider banning Facebook or any other website.

When the Greens call a Labour policy ridiculous, you know how bad it is.

Labour’s musing on banning Facebook has even gone international, making the International Business Times.

Anyway the next time you see a Labour MP using an iPhone or iPad or Apple laptop, make sure you tell them off for using an evil company that plunders the NZ economy.

Labour jumps the shark

January 28th, 2014 at 8:25 pm by David Farrar

3 News reports:

The Labour Party has put forward a possible solution to force multi-national corporations to pay more tax – ban them from the internet.

It says the Government should first talk with companies like Facebook, but if that doesn’t work it is important to have a backup, something Labour is describing as a credible threat.

Facebook is the world’s largest social network by far, but pays little tax here in New Zealand.

“The Government should always have in its back pocket the ability to ban websites,” says Labour revenue spokesman David Clark.

No they shouldn’t. At all.

But Finance Minister Bill English says “frankly, that sounds nuts”.

“Fine print, he’s going to close down Facebook,” says Prime Minister John Key. “That’ll be interesting.”

Not just Facebook. Labour says Google, Apple and Amazon also don’t pay enough tax, so I presume they are included in the list of sites they might try and ban. Perhaps EBay also?

Why stop there. Fairfax and APN pay no tax, or very little tax, in New Zealand. Maybe Labour will also try and ban the NZ Herald and Stuff websites.

“Paedophile websites are banned the world around,” says Mr Clark.

Oh my God. He is comparing Facebook to paedophile websites. How can anyone think Labour is even close to ready for power, when they come out with this crap.

And as it happens paedophile websites are not banned in NZ. It is illegal to download or upload paedophile images, and browsing such a site may be a criminal offence, but the Government has no power to ban any website.

Putting aside the sheer lunacy of advocating the Government should try and ban Facebook if they don’t pay more tax, isn’t there something deeply malevolent about an aspiring Government making such threats. If you think a company should pay more tax, then you change the law to close down loopholes. But to declare as an MP that you have unilaterally decided Company X should pay more tax, and that you will threaten to ban them from New Zealand unless they voluntarily agree to pay more tax is what you expect from some tin pot third world dictatorship, not a so called serious political party.

Victim blaming and online safety

November 30th, 2013 at 11:00 am by Jadis

Another day of victim blaming:

A blackmaiiler who threatened to publish intimate photos of girls he befriended online says he accepts “90 per cent” of the blame – but says his 11-year-old victim should not have been on Facebook.

“What’s an 11-year-old doing on Facebook when you have to be 13 to be on Facebook?” Brandyn Alan Stewart, 21, said yesterday.

He said he was not blaming the girls but added: “I take 90 per cent of the responsibility, but it takes two as well.”

This was not the first time this creep had been caught doing this and just shows that there are some nasty, predatory people online.

An interesting point to note for parents:

Stewart had posed as a 16-year-old on a Facebook page he created on January 7. By February he had 426 friends – all of them young females.

Putting aside the access age to Facebook (13), where is  the parental supervision?  Many of these girls are minors.  Parents need to take an active interest in their children’s online presence and talk about whether it is a good idea to ‘friend’ people previously unknown to them online.  Check out this video, it is a very powerful demonstration of how our children don’t see online strangers as ‘stranger danger’

Fun on Facebook

June 4th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

On Facebook yesterday:

AM: David farrar is though..Herman Goebles of the National patti.

DPF: If you’re going to compare someone whose relatives were killed by the Nazis to a Nazi, could you at least spell their name right – it is Goebells! And his first name was (Paul) Joseph. Hermann was Goering. He was the plane guy, not the propaganda guy. How depressing that I get compared to a composite Nazi instead of a real one. I blame the education system.

AM: And you are a spelling fascist as well. Just great…you know what you do..use msm to peddle your fascist friends views…

No further comment needed.

IRD confirms the obvious

December 20th, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Hamish Rutherford at Stuff reports:

New Zealand has no power to ensure internet giants like Facebook and Google pay more tax, according to an IRD report.

The new report appears to back Revenue Minister Peter Dunne’s claim that New Zealand cannot solve corporate tax loopholes alone, arguing that even law changes would be overridden by international treaties.

Of course it does. NZ simply has no power to tax overseas corporates. If I buy a book from Amazon, can the Govt force Amazon to pay tax in NZ? Of course not.

The issue of tax rates on international companies, especially in the technology sector, has hit headlines since it emerged Facebook paid less than $14,500 in New Zealand last year, or less than 1 cent for every one of its 2.2 million Kiwi users.

That’s a silly comparison. You don’t tax firms on their number of users. You tax them on their profits. It is even sillier when you consider Facebook does not charge a user fee.

Facebook and Google tax

December 1st, 2012 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Oh dear. I have already blogged on Labour’s release about tax paid by Google and Facebook. But I overlooked they don’t even know the difference between revenue and profits.

David Clark, ironically a former Treasury staffer, said:

“It’s not just Facebook that funnels revenue through its low-tax Irish counterpart. Google New Zealand does it too. That company paid just $109,038 tax on $4,447,898 in revenue. That’s two per cent, way below our 28 per cent corporate rate.

This is as bad a mistake as Andrew Williams one. These are not statements made under pressure, but ones put out proactively by MPs for the media.

So David Clark thinks tax rates are paid on revenue. Sigh. An article in the Herald gives us some facts:

Clark’s comments that Google NZ appeared to have paid only 2 per cent tax last year was “a bit inept” and misleading, Vandenberg added.

“We get mesmerised by sales figures and people get outraged about how much tax companies should be paying but then you come along and apply a little bit of tax law.”

A company was required to pay tax on profit before tax, not on revenue, Vandenberg said.

Financial statements show Google New Zealand’s revenue last year was $4,447,898 but its profit before tax was only $56,803. It paid $109,038 in tax, making a loss of $52,235.

Facebook New Zealand’s financial statements show revenue of $427,967, a taxable profit loss of $66,696, and $14,497 paid in tax. The company ended up with a loss of $81,193.

So in fact Google paid more in tax than they made in profit, for their NZ subsidiary. Clark wasn’t just wrong with his 2% claim – he was massively wrong.

And Facebook NZ made a loss, yet paid tax (as some expenses are not claimable off tax).

Clark said his point yesterday was that companies were sending their revenues out of the country “one way or another”.

Trying to ignore the fact his statement was factually incorrect and bogus.

And Google are not sending any revenues out of the country. This is Labour xenophobia at play. NZ advertisers have decided to advertise with Facebook Ireland. This is no different from an American company hiring a NZ company to do research for it. Is Labour saying that any NZ company that has overseas clients should be forced to pay tax in the country their clients reside in?

He criticised the way Facebook used its Irish operation, which pays just 12.5 per cent tax, to determine revenue and expenses.

“This ensures the company can put most of its revenue through countries with low-tax systems,” he said.

Wah, wah, wah – it isn’t fair.  Of course they choose to operate from a low tax company. This is why low tax countries attract business.

He called for the New Zealand government to work with other major countries, like Australian, to review international tax treaties and create a fairer system.

Yeah, good luck with that. Unless every country in the world signs up – then companies that can be flexible with where they are based will be based where the taxes are lower.

This is like trying to ban countries from offering higher wages, as people may move to a higher wage country.

UPDATE: David Clark has updated his release to remove the references to tax being levied on revenue, not profit.

Will Labour boycott Facebook?

November 30th, 2012 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Ben Chapman-Smith at NZ Herald reports:

Facebook’s “tiny” and “barely believable” tax bill this year makes a mockery of New Zealand’s tax loopholes for multinationals, says the Labour Party.

In a statement entitled “Facebook’s tiny tax bill demands action from Dunne”, Labour’s Revenue spokesperson David Clark said the social media site’s New Zealand arm paid a mere $14,497 last year.

Its tax bill in the 2010 financial year was an even smaller $5238, he said.

“For a company that has 2.2 million users in New Zealand and makes billions worldwide, that’s barely believable.”

Sigh – I thought Labour got the Internet. the Internet does not have boundaries. If NZ advertisers choose to advertise on Facebook, that does not mean Facebook pays tax in New Zealand. Just as if a US client pays me for market research in the United States, I pay tax in New Zealand not the US.

But hey if Labour really thinks that Facebook is a tax evader, then they could just boycott it in protest!

The reality is we are in a world where global Internet companies will of course locate in low tax countries. That is one of the reasons who we should have globally competitive tax rates – both companies and individuals are highly mobile in today’s world.

New Zealand can pass as many laws as we want, but we can’t force global companies to register in New Zealand as taxpayers just because they have NZ customers. What would we do – ban Google and Facebook from being accessible in New Zealand because their advertising revenues are not taxed here?

So what?

November 7th, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

An assistant principal who posted racy photographs of herself on her Facebook profile faces a review by her school’s board of trustees after the images circulated among her students.

Kylie Fullerton, who teaches at Glen Eden Intermediate School in Auckland, is understood to have uploaded a photograph of herself in a red bikini and set it as her main Facebook profile picture.

So what? Lots of NZ women have photos of them in a bikini.

On the same profile the 34-year-old had details about where she worked and another photo of herself in high heels, black lace underwear and a white shirt.

So she had a couple of sexy shots. From the sound of it, they are miles away from indecent. Unless she is accepting friends requests from students on her FB page – I think a non-issue.

Trial by timeline

October 26th, 2012 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Amnesty International has a neat tool called Trial by Timeline. It accesses your Facebook history, interrogates your Facebook friends interactions with you, and works out how many crimes you have committed in other countries.

It says I would have been convicted 1071 times of 13 different crimes in 59 countries.

A very innovate way of making people realise how many rights are lacking in other countries.

I would have been beaten 271 times, tortured 203 times and imprisoned 438 times. Not shot though, which is something. However I would have been lashed 27 times and killed by extremists 342 times (this could still happen in NZ!). Also persecuted 538 times and forced to do something once.

Try it yourself and tell me below how many convictions you would have? The closest so far to me I have seen is 248!


October 16th, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

An Australian muay thai boxing trainer has been barred from his flight home from Singapore after posting a threat on Facebook to hijack and crash the plane.

Queenslander Wayne Avison paid a high price for venting his spleen on social media last month after his flight from Singapore to Bangkok was delayed five hours, causing him to miss a connecting flight to Australia.

Mr Avison complained on his Facebook page on September 25 that the missed flight had left him stranded in Singapore, adding that the airline Scoot had not offered him a night’s accommodation either.

His son replied a short time later: “Well that sucks. Make sure you file a complaint when u get back”.

Mr Avison responded: “I’m going to high-jack the plane on the return flight and crash it … that’ll fix the f…ers”.

The airline, Singapore-based Scoot, cancelled his flight in response, citing concern for the safety of its passengers.

Mr Avison later posted online what he said was the airline’s explanation for barring him: “You have exhibited threatening behaviour thereby posing a serious safety threat to our passengers and cabin crew. We cannot risk such behaviour, as that would be irreconcilable with the airline’s overriding duty to ensuring safety and security of its passengers and crew.”

But Mr Avison posted in reply that the threat was “an obvious joke”, claiming that Scoot had in fact cancelled his flight because of his many complaints about the airline’s poor standard of service.

“I’m Australian and live in Australia, a democratic society, which gives me the right to think, say and write whatever I bloody want!” he wrote. He has not yet deleted the comment about hijacking the plane from his Facebook page, which is publicly viewable.

What an idiot. You do have the right to say and write what you want – but there are consequences.

This case is different to the UK one where a man was prosecuted criminally for a tweet about blowing the airport up, after a cancelled flight meant he didn’t get to see his girlfriend. There the airport did not discover the tweet until a week later, and it was obviously not a threat.

But to write online that you plan to hijack and crash the flight you are waiting to catch – well don’t complain when you don’t get to board.

Facebook hits 1 billion

October 5th, 2012 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

More than a billion people now log into Facebook each month to check up on old friends, tag photos of new ones and post about politics, religion, cats or what their kids are doing.

That’s double the 500 million it hit in July 2010 what now seems like a lifetime but was a little more than two years ago. August 2008 marked another big juncture, 100 million users.

The latest milestone also amounts to nearly half of the world’s roughly 2.5 billion internet users, as measured by the International Telecommunications Union.

I’d say 95% of my friends are on Facebook. It is interesting how Facebook has changed over time. It used to be mainly about the apps, but now is really all about the status updates.

OMG Hawke’s Bay Confessions

September 6th, 2012 at 7:47 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

A Facebook page boasting of sordid sexual exploits, robberies and misadventures has painted Hawke’s Bay as a hotbed of morally questionable behaviour – and home to a good many people with poor spelling and grammar.

OMG Hawke’s Bay Confessions has attracted more than 3000 “likes” in the five days it has been running, as people anonymously reveal their infidelities, boast about where they’ve had sex, and even own up to robbing someone for revenge. …

Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule was appalled at the page.

“I just think it’s rubbish; it’s not worth the stuff it’s written on.”

Napier Mayor Barbara Arnott said it appeared to be a platform for “non-thinking low-lifes” to play out “perverted fantasies”.

She doubted the truthfulness in the posts but worried that the page had the potential to spiral out of control. “It’s anonymous at this stage but it has the potential to be hurtful to individuals.” …

Confession pages exist for other New Zealand towns and cities but pages viewed by The Dominion Post yesterday were not as active or as graphic in detail.

OMG (oh my god) Wellington Confessions has 29 likes and a policy of not posting any secrets about rape, violence or abuse.

Dunedin Confessions, with four likes, states “nothing too cruel will be put up”.

Oh Good God, get over it. For those interested the page is here.

The appalling grammar suggests that it is indeed HB locals using it. Some fine prose examples:

well when i was 15 i went to hawkes bay for my cousins 16th and i was still a virgin, i ended up hooking up with her cousin and cheated on my bf i had been with fr two years ooops and he always said to me that he would wait until i was ready, i guess he just wasnt there when i was ready

Actually that one may be false. Someone still a virgin at 15 in Hawkes’s Bay?

Was at a party once with couple of the boys. Walked into one of the rooms and caught my gfs brother getting sucked off haha. He then looks at me pulls down her pants and tells me to help him out. I thort fuck-it and jumped right in there! He haznt said a word to anyone! Best brother-inlaw in the world right? Haha

His sister may disagree!

Rather than try to close the page down, they should use it as scripts for a soap opera!

Facebook to allow on under 13s

May 22nd, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Social networking giant Facebook looks set to let children under 13 use its site legally, which could attract millions of new users.

The move has been praised by a social media expert who said it would provide new opportunities for businesses looking to engage with a younger audience.

“From that point of view that’s good for us and good for our clients,” Eight80 Social Media director Adam Smith said.

Good God. Well that’s one company I’d never use. Anyone advocating 10 years olds as a business audience.

However, he said it was likely Facebook would put restrictions on what advertising younger users were exposed to. A senior Facebook employee in Britain admitted many under-13s were already using the site.

Head of policy Simon Milner told the Sunday Times there was “reputable evidence” of children under 13 lying about their age to get on to Facebook, some with their parents’ permission or help.

“We have a strict under-13 rule because of legal issues in America, and we apply the same rule all over the world. But a lot of parents are happy their kids are on it,” the Facebook employee said.

Last year’s annual Auckland University schools census, which collects data from more than 20,000 students, showed about 60 per cent of 12-year-olds, 40 per cent of 11-year-olds and about a quarter of 10-year-olds had a Facebook page.

Yep they are on already, by lying about their age. So much better to let them join by stating their true age, and ring-fencing them in a kids area.

MPs Social Media Details

March 27th, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

I’ve compiled a table of Internet and social media contact details for the 121 New Zealand Members of Parliament. This list is intended as a public resource. MPs are welcome, and indeed encouraged, to let me know of any corrections or change, via e-mail.

The table is a permanent page on Kiwiblog.

In terms of the data:

  • The e-mail addresses come from the official parliamentary contact list.
  • The websites come from searching on Google, and my 2011 candidates list.
  • The twitter details come from the @nzparliament twitter list of MPs. Incidentially the @nzparliament account has me blocked for some reason, which is strange. So does Charles Chauvel, but I presume that is because he sulked over something I wrote.
  • The Facebook details come from searching on Facebook. Sometimes there has been more than one page to choose from. Happy to change pages linked to upon request
It great we have so many MPs who make themselves accessible via the Internet. The purpose of the page is to allow people to follow, friend, e-mail and read about MPs they have an interest in.
I considered adding in extra columns for other social media such as Foursquare and Linked In, but don’t think many MPs use them. If there is demand, I could look at adding them in future.
A screenshot of the page is below, but note the actual page with hyperlinks is here.
I don’t have the capability to add on features such as how many followers an MP has on Twitter or friends on Facebook, but someone else might be able to do that, as a few people have said that would be useful.

Results from an informal electoral system survey

November 16th, 2011 at 10:42 am by David Farrar

On Twitter and Facebook I did an informal survey asking people how they will vote in Part B of the Referendum. I did not ask about Part A. The results were:

Twitter Facebook Total Twitter % Facebook % Total %
FPP           4               1       5 10% 3% 7%
PV           2               1       3 5% 3% 4%
SM           8             22     30 21% 63% 41%
STV         25             11     36 64% 31% 49%
        39             35     74 100% 100% 100%

The difference between the Facebook responses and the Twitter responses are interesting. Twitter people went massively for STV while Facebook went massively for SM. Very few people went for FPP or PV. Almost all those who chose FPP said they were doing so tactically as they were MMP supporters, and see FPP as the system least likely to win in 2014 if there is a second referendum.

Some tentative conclusions I draw.

  1. Those on Twitter and Facebook (well those who follow me anyway) are far more politically astute than the general population, as FPP is by far the most popular option with the public who only know FPP and MMP, but very few picked it in this survey.
  2. If one assumes that those who punted for SM tend to be more right leaning, it suggests that people on Twitter are more left-leaning. This reinforces my general impression over a couple of years.
  3. I think those who are of a different political persuasion to each other are generally more willing to engage on Twitter, than on Facebook. You tend to see someone’s Facebook page as “their property” so don’t challenge them as much, while Twitter is seen as basically neutral ground and one gets far more challenging of views.
  4. Most MMP supporters will vote for STV and most MMP opponents will vote for SM, at least amongst the politically aware. This is based on my general knowledge of those who responded. I didn’t ask about Part A as I didn’t want it to turn into a debate on MMP. I may do a later informal survey on Part A.

I’m still amazed that to the best of my knowledge there are no TV debates scheduled on the referendum. Sure there has been the odd segment on Breakfast TV or Close Up where proponents have exchanged views. But I think the referendum deserves the same scrutiny as the election. There should be a 60 to 90 minute debate or debates. I’d do it like a leader’s debates. Have a couple of proponents for keep MMP and change MMP and a panel of journalists questioning them. Pretty much like Radio NZ did it, but you know on TV where you reach massively more viewers.

Fake Facebook Friends

July 28th, 2011 at 10:13 pm by David Farrar

Whale and Cactus have been playing detective and discovered that one of my 1,500 or so “friends” on Facebook is a fake.

This is not surprising. I am sure others are also. My policy for the last couple of years has been to say “yes” to all Facebook friend requests, unless they are a known sociopath etc.

I used to only say yes to people I actually knew, but the hassle of trying to recall had I met someone or not, and potentially offending them by saying no got to much, so I went for an automatic yes policy.

In an ideal world I’d set up a second account, and restrict it to close friends only. Might do that, when I have the time.

An R18 for Facebook

February 9th, 2011 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The SMH reports:

The mother of a 14-year-old girl at the centre of an Australian “sexting” scandal that has seen three boys convicted of underage sex crimes has called for Facebook to be banned for under-18s.

Yeah that will work – try to kick 10 million+ teenagers off Facebook. Good uck with that.

The boys responsible avoided serving jail time after pleading guilty in the Bunbury Children’s Court to raping a girl over 13 and under 16, and are now registered sex offenders despite being aged 15 and 16 themselves.

In court it was revealed the boys had been drinking when they convinced the girl to sneak out on a Friday night, on August 27 last year, and meet them in a local park.

The boys then brought her back to one of the 16-year-olds’ homes where she was plied with vodka and gave the boy oral sex. She then had intercourse with his other two friends in the bedroom. The sexual acts were filmed on a mobile phone and sent to others.

And so we blame Facebook for this? I blame the kids involved – not the Internet or Facebook.

Employer going way too far

February 5th, 2011 at 4:41 pm by David Farrar

The Australian reports:

THE Commonwealth Bank has threatened its employees with disciplinary action, including dismissal, if they do not report criticism of the bank made by others on social media channels, including Facebook.

The Finance Sector Union yesterday demanded the suspension of the bank’s new social media policy, accusing it of trying to restrict freedom of expression.

Bank employees have been told they must immediately notify their manager if they become aware of “inappropriate or disparaging content and information stored or posted by others”, including non-employees, in the “social media environment”.

It says the content may damage the bank and its reputation.

“For example, your friend could post an inappropriate comment about the group on your Facebook page or create a blog about the group,” the policy says.

As well as notifying their manager, employees must assist the bank with any investigation into the material, and its removal.

This goes way way too far, and on this issue I’m all with the union. You absolutely should not slag your employer off on Facebook, but you have no duty at all to report online criticisms of your employer to them. Employees are not the Internet Police in their spare time.

I mean it really is so stupid to be almost laugable – requiring you to nark on your friends if they criticise your employer online.