Social media sites told to simplify their conditions of use.
A committee of MPs has compared deciphering the terms and conditions of social media sites to “engaging with Shakespeare”.
In their report, the MPs stated that the current system left most users oblivious as to how their personal details might be used. In response, the Science and Technology Committee has suggested that the likes of Facebook and Twitter should remove the ‘legalese’ and instead use plain English to avoid any confusion.
In addition, the government is being urged to draw up a new set of standards which all websites and apps dealing in personal data must adhere to – ensuring that users no longer unwittingly sign away its use.
Andrew Miller MP, who chairs the committee, said: “Let’s face it, most people click ‘yes’ to terms and conditions contracts without reading them, because they are often laughably long and written in the kind of legalese you need a law degree from the USA to understand.”
He went on to add: “Socially responsible companies wouldn’t want to bamboozle their users, of course, so we are sure most social media developers will be happy to sign up to the new guidelines on clear communication and informed consent that we are asking the Government to draw up.”.
Fling launched on Android
Last week messaging service Fling launched an Android version of its app.
Fling, which has been described as a modern day equivalent of a message in a bottle, hit the top five apps on the Apple App Store within weeks of launching earlier this year.
Through the app, users send pictures, videos and text messages to up to 50 random users across the world. Recipients can then opt to respond to any flings they like.
No personal details are shared other than usernames and general location – although users can pass on additional information if they wish. Fling has been working on an Android version since its launch, with the announcement of the development made on Twitter last week.
Tumblr and Pinterest are fasted growing social media platforms
In a recent study by Global Web Index, Tumblr and Pinterest have been named the fastest growing platforms in their sector. With Tumblr increasing by 120 % and Pinterest rising by 111% over the last six months, the pair have overtaken Instagram as the fastest growing social media sites.
While still the largest social media services in the world, Facebook is the slowest-growing of the sites surveyed (which included LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Google+) with only 2 % growth in active users.
Twitter Expands Its Anti-Troll Tools
This week Twitter has unveiled a suite of tools that will allow users to flag abusive and inappropriate content in a few simple steps.
With Twitter facing criticism for failing to deal effectively with violent threats and harassment, the new process aims to make it easy for both victims of abuse, and those who witness it, to report it. The updates have been rolled out to a small group of users and are expected to be released widely in the coming weeks.
Snapchat introduces geofilters for everyone
Earlier this year, Snapchat debuted geofilters to a limited amount of users. This week, the hugely popular messaging app is rolling this out to the wider Snapchat community.
To create a geofilter, simply upload and image to Snapchat, setting which geographical location you’d like it to appear. Snapchat then approves the submission, before sharing it with users in that area.
Potentially opening up another revenue stream for the company, the development is sure to be of interest to brands targeting users in a particular location.