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A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 9th December – Grumpy Cat’s fortune & Sony hacking news

Today we look at Grumpy cat’s amassed fortune and more news from the Sony hacking scandal.



You may have heard of Grumpy Cat. If you haven’t, then where on earth have you been?! Grumpy Cat is an online sensation and meme, who according to this latest news has amassed an incredible amount of money. The reported amount that grumpy cat and her owners have made is reported to be in the region of £64 million! Can you believe that? All from an a picture of a cat with a sad face. The cat has now amassed an empire of merchandise, books, and has it’s own holiday film coming out this year.

So the lesson to be learned here is to own a pet with some sort of abnormality and then exploit it for cash. Happy Holidays everyone! But seriously, Grumpy Cat’s owner has been able to quit their waitressing job and now rakes it in. Not bad for posting a picture of a cat online. Good for her.



More news on the Sony Hacking story. An email has been found among the documents leaked that appears to show the threat email that was sent a few days before the hack. The email is written in poor English and shows as unread from the account it was hacked from. Likely because they thought the poorly worded email was some form of spam. I know I get spam emails in broken English everyday.

This is how it read:

“We’ve got great damage by Sony Pictures.

The compensation for it, monetary compensation we want.

Pay the damage, or Sony Pictures will be bombarded as a whole.

You know us very well. We never wait long.

You’d better behave wisely.

From God’sApstls”

There are many who believe that the hack was orchestrated on the behalf of North Korea as a protest to a new Sony film release called ‘The Interview’ in which the plot shows an attempt to kidnap the leader of North Korea.

This new news though, suggests that it has nothing to do with holding the release of the interview but instead shows that the aim is a ransom, so, money.

More here

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by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 28th November – #Putoutyourbats & Facebook privacy

It’s Black Friday and here are today’s Likes and Fails!


#Putoutyourbats ans #Putyourbatsout shows the good side of social media, and it couldn’t have a rrived on a better day because of the chaos that is Black Friday taking up the majority of people’s news feeds.

You may have heard the sad news yesterday that cricketer Philip Hughes sadly lost his life after he was struck on the neck with a fast bowl during a cricket match. Obviously this has shocked not only the cricketing world but also the sports world and really everyone that has heard the story. This newest memorial is a lovely outward showing of grief and remembrance.

Users of social media have been using the hashtags mentioned above to remember Hughes, by taking photographs of them leaving their own cricket bats outside their house, which is a lovely gesture.




Oh Facebook, always making our fails list. This Friday it’s not any different. Recent reports are saying that Facebook could be hacking into people’s phone without their permission, even using the camera to take pictures or record video.

Well, this is concerning. No one in their right mind would want people to secretly spy on them through their phones, who knows what you could be doing. Reporters were alerted to this possible invasion of privacy by MPs, who say that the complicated terms and conditions of the Facebook owned apps are so complicated that users are unaware of what they are allowing the app to do on their phone.

MP Andrew Miller 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. … 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.”

There have now been calls for the government to draw up new guidelines for apps and websites to adhere to, so they explain fully to users how their personal data will be used.

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by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 23rd October – Google USB authentication & Cyber Crime

Good morning, here are today’s Likes and Fails and today we’re looking at Google’s new authentication method and the fact that over half of Brits have been targeted by cyber crime.


usb google key

Google is increasing the ways you can securely log in to your Google account. Previously you could have a 1 step login which is a simple password to login or 2 step authentication which meant after the password was entered that you would either be sent a text with a code or get a code from an app. The 2 step is obviously a lot more secure than a simple password. However this new method Google are offering has taken the security up a notch. Google are providing small USBs for authentication when you log in to a new computer. If you use this version of authentication then there is no need for any code input. The USB also checks that the website is genuine and that it is not a fake front set up for online crime.

There is however a limitation to the USB authentication and that is the fact that it will only work if you are logging in via the Chrome browser. Though the stick will be completely secure from compromise, apart from if the USB is actually stolen from your ownership. It’s not entirely clear who the audience of this key might be, but it’s probably those who want to keep their account secure and who don’t have or are less comfortable with smartphones or mobiles in general. Possibly something that elder people might want.


iphone ios 7 pin code

It has been revealed that in the UK 51% of residents have been targeted by some form of cyber crime. These stats were revealed by the cabinet office as part of ‘Get Safe online’ week 2014. The government report was based on a survey of 2000 people and revealed that the majority of people felt violated by the crimes they had experienced. 53% of those who had experienced the crimes said that they felt that they were as serious as ‘physical world’ crimes. With online life becoming increasingly more prominent in the world, there is definitely a need for clearer laws when it comes to online crimes.

Of those that had been affected 42% said they had since improved the security of their passwords and another 42% say they are now extra vigilant when they are shopping online. With this extra awareness of online crime it is surprising that 54% of people don’t have any sort of protection on their phones like a pin or password. It is improtant that people take online crime seriously and take simple precautions to make sure you are not a target.

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by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 14th October – McDonald’s new campaign & Dropbox ‘hack’

Good Afternoon, here are today’s Likes and Fails!


McDonald’s have started up a new Social Media campaign which aims to answer their customers burning questions about the fast food chain. The use of Social Media has grown exponentially in the last couple of years and it’s now a major way in which companies converse with their customers and so McDonald’s have decided to use that connection to help them truly understand what their customers are interested in. Their Q & A campaign has been run in other companies before, but now running it from their US side, it’s geats a much wider appeal to people online.

One of the first things the company has tackled is what actually goes into their food, which is a long running argument as well as full of it’s own myths. The company found participants on the street who asked their questions, most surrounding whats actually in their food and then in turn, invited cameras into it’s factory which showed how it’s burger patty’s were made.

This is a great campaign which really connects with those who eat or at least interested in McDonald’s and it’s food. I mean personally, I don’t think that what actually does go into the burgers looks all that appetising, but luckily I can’t eat it anyway.


Dropbox the latest victim of hackers and data leaks


Yes this time it’s Dropbox, you would think all of these hackers want fame or notoriety or something. Fresh on the back of ‘The Snappening’ there appears to be a new threat to Dropbox accounts and their users details and passwords. There was a Reddit thread discussing the details of the leak and some users reported that using the details did indeed work on the accounts that they had tried.

The original posting of the leaked details, of which there are reportedly hundreds, said this:

“Here is another batch of Hacked Dropbox accounts from the massive hack of 7,000,000 accounts

To see plenty more, just search on [redacted] for the term Dropbox hack.

More to come, keep showing your support”

Though there is an apparent leak of details Dropbox has said that they were not involved in the leak of data and that any information that has been leaked is from third party services.The guys over at Dropbox have also said that they detected suspicious activity on some accounts a few moths ago and had already performed password resets on those accounts back then.

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by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Monday Round-up – 13th October – 114 yr old joins Facebook, The Snappening & Right to be forgotten in the UK

Here is all the news you may have missed over the weekend from the world of Social Media!

114 Year Old Joins Facebook

anna stoehr

A woman has recently joined Facebook at 133 years of age, though she just had her 114th Birthday this weekend. The woman, Anna Stoehr, had to lie about her age to join the website, she was forced to knock 15 years off of her age and claim that she was 99 years old to join the site. The oldest year of birth that could be selected was 1905, and Anna was born in 1900. She has had a recent interest in technology after she befriended a man who works for the US mobile network Verizon who has been teaching her the ins and outs of modern technology. This man was the same man who just sold a smartphone to her 85 year old son! She now has an iPad which she uses to FaceTime relatives and friends around the world as well as keeping up with them on Facebook!

The Snappening


You’ve probably already heard about the latest photo ‘leak’ scandal, but there have been a few updates since it was first announced. This latest leak concerns Snapchat users and in particular users that have used a third party app called Snap Save. Users that use this third party app which saves Snapchats that they’ve received, are the targets of this hack. Though now there are some claims as to the legitimacy of the leak, with some saying that any of the images they have seen in regard to this hack, of reportedly over 200,000 photos, have been images that have been available on the web for a long period of time. So some are calling it a staged fake leak, which I assume was created with the intention of widespread media coverage, which unsurprisingly worked. Coverage for these supposedly leaked photos was given on the usual suspects, 4Chan, Reddit and AnonIb.

UK is responsible for 1/10 Right to be Forgotten requests


Google has revealed that over one tenth of requests to be forgotten on the search engine comes from the UK. Since the ruling came into effect in May this year, nearly 500,000 links have been removed from search results. Some of those asking for links to be removed are a priest who was accused of sexual assault as well as a media professional who wanted links to some embarrassing articles removed. Some of the largest number of link removals were taken from Facebook with 3,353 and YouTube at 2,392. Probably people trying to forget about all those incredible lip-syncing videos they made when they were internet-naive.

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by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 1st October – Jeff Goldblum Lightbulbs & Snapchat Spam

Here are today’s Likes and Fails with Jeff Goldblum in the greatest lightbulb advert ever, and Snapchat being compromised with spammy weight loss adverts.


Today’s Like is for the greatest advert ever committed to film and the internet. It start Jeff Goldblum as an attractive celebrity with good lighting. Sounds about right, Jeff Goldblum is a fox, everyone already knows that. The strange thing is that he’s advertising lightbulbs, but the advert really works. It’s funny, unrealistic, I mean who thinks that Jeff Goldblum actually looks bad with bad lighting, and it has a tour around Jeff Goldblum’s actual* abode. You get the chance to see his music/hot tub room, along with how he works his lightbulbs, with the help of his lighting servant.

This is seriously the greatest thing I’ve seen on YouTube in quite a while, not just because it stars Jeff Goldblum, but because now I really want to go and buy some of those lightbulbs, so it obviously does what it’s supposed too.

*Probably not his actual abode. 


im not as drunk as ilook

Snapchat have suffered another security breach of sorts, with people being the subject of weight loss spam messages. Some users’ personal accounts have been hijacked to send out the weight loss messages, though Snapchat claims there has been no hack. Users have been affected in several different countries but there is no clear number of how many users have been affected. Snapchat claims that this time the user credentials have been found elsewhere online and are not to do with any sort of hack. In a statement they said, ”We have seen evidence that hackers who have access to a trove of credentials leaked from other websites, have started using them to gain access to Snapchat accounts,”. They have recommended that all users use a complex and difficult to guess password to prevent their accounts being targeted.

At the start of this year Snapchat was compromised with a huge breach of privacy, where over 4 million usernames and phone numbers were leaked from the app and posted online. The site that released them censored the last two digits of the phone numbers as it claimed it was only attempting to show the vulnerability and security flaws of Snapchat, rather than gaining anything from the data leak.


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by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 24th September – Instagram UK Adverts & Emma Watson Website hoax

Here are today’s Likes and Fails. today we’re looking at Instagram’s new UK adverts and the Emma Watson hack website hoax.



The first UK Instagram adverts have started and the brands getting involved include, Channel 4, Rimmel, Estee Lauder, Waitrose, Starbucks and Cadbury. The sponsored posts began to be rolled out yesterday (23rd September), and initially users will only see one sponsored post a day. A choice probably made as to not bombard users and scare them off.

The UK marketing manager of Rimmel has said “Rimmel London and Instagram share a similar ambition to inspire and enable people to express themselves through creativity. Therefore, we have always looked to innovate and test on Instagram. This campaign is a natural evolution of our commitment to our communities and customers in social media, for which we are truly passionate about.”

The posts will be seamlessly added into your usual home feed of photographs and videos, the only difference being that they will have a ‘sponsored’ note written above the image or video. The sponsored adverts have previously been rolled out in America where it included videos and photos, which is the choice an brand will be able to make here before implementing their advert. Look out for them on your feed sometime soon.



Another fail story linked to the celebrity photo hack, this time featuring the lovely Emma Watson. There was recently a website set up which set up a countdown timer which threatened to release Emma Watson’s stolen photographs, though the credibility of the claims were obviously questioned and now, though the countdown was due to end this weekend, it’s already stopped and the site ‘Emmayouarenext’ has been revealed as a hoax. The site now links through to a Social Media Marketing agency which claims to have worked with Rockstar Games and McDonalds. They claim to have put the hoax up in support of getting 4chan removed from the internet as well as in apparent support for Emma Watson and her recent talk about the #HeforShe campaign.

The company has been involved with other hoaxes, another notable one was a countdown website related the the death of Brian on Family Guy. The countdown ended, after promising an announcement from Brian, and simply took you through to a website to ‘#SaveBrian’. The hoax was merely a ploy for advertising gain. The company has also reportedly been known to bot YouTube views too.

So now at least you know that Emma Watson isn’t involved in the celebrity hacking scandal, and you should definitely check out the campaign she has become associated with over the past couple of days following her inspiring UN speech. He For She.

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by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Monday Round-Up – 22nd September – iCloud hack, No Likes Yet, Gmail and Google Plus and Real-time YouTube statistics

Here’s a round-up of some of the news you may have missed over the weekend from the Social Media world.

iCloud hack leaks more celebrity photographs


More celebrities have been targeted in a mass leak of private photos which were hacked from their mobile phones. This time celebrities such as Rihanna and Kim Kardashian have been targeted and their private nude photographs have been shared on sites such as 4chan and Reddit. The hack, widely know online as ‘the fappening’ has targeted hundreds of celebrities and the photos are being slowly released online. Obviously there are ongoing investigations taking place as to how the the photos were acquired as well as who is responsible. It’s bad news for the celebrities involved as if they do manage to get the photos removed they reappear again and again.

It had been speculated that the hack was part of an iCloud leak, which may be responsible for many ofthe leaks, but some have noted that the photographs of Kim Kardashian show a blackberry taking the pictures suggesting that these photos have been acquired over a long period of time and from different hacking attempts as the Kardashian no longer uses a Blackberry phone.

No Likes Yet

social apps

A new site allows users to see all of the Instagram photos that have not received any likes. The site, aggregates all the photographs on Instagram that no-one has liked. The site hopes to help attract likes for all these unloved photographs. It’s also useful in showing you which the sad lonely photographs of yours have no love either, and you can also see which of your friend’s photos have no likes as well. Which means you can be lovely and the first person to like one of their photos. Maybe don’t go too far back in time or you may look like a creeper.

Gmail doesn’t need Google Plus anymore


Google has quietly removed the requirement to have a Google Plus account to use Gmail. The removal of this requirement shows that Google are acknowledging that their social media service isn’t all that popular. So now when you sign up for a new Gmail account there is a ‘no thanks’ option when prompted to sign up for Google Plus. In a statement Google said: “We updated the signup experience in early September. Users can now create a public profile during signup, or later, if and when they share public content for the first time (like a restaurant review, YouTube video or Google+ post).”

YouTube add real-time statistics.

Over the weekend YouTube rolled out a new feature which allows users to view real-time video views data. Minute by minute you can see how many people have been watching your video . In a guide for the new feature it says: “Real-time data is estimated and meant to provide general guidance on potential view activity on your videos. This approximate character of the numbers is also shown in the rounding off to two significant digits.” Also, “The real-time report does not support filtering or further customisation of data. Therefore, the geographic filter, the date picker, the comparison and the download functionalities are disabled in the interface.”


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by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 2nd September – YouTube launched fan funding feature & FBI investigates celebrity nude photo hack

Here are today’s Likes and Fails, we’re taking a look at the new YouTube fan funding service and taking a look at the fact that the FBI are now investigating the celebrity image hack from yesterday.



YouTube has launched their crowd-funding feature that was spoken about earlier in the year. This feature allows fans to fund their favourite channels by donating to the creators in the hope that they will create more videos and content.

Creators up until this point have not been making much money on YouTube, only small amounts from advertising revenue. There had been a secondary funding option from an outside site that many users have been using called Patreon which was not only used for YouTube video creators but for others working in the arts. This generally works as a monthly payment, with people helping ongoing projects from creators.

This new YouTube funding feature allows one off donations, which of course you can do more than once, but this shows it is slightly different to Patreon’s services where you can fund ongoing or singular projects. The choice to donate is shown on YouTube as a little annotation in the top left corner of the video you’re watching, if it’s accepted on that particular channel. If you hover over this icon they it will reveal a banner asking for support. If you click on this banner you’ll be taken to a page or pop-up which will ask how much you wish to donate. You can also donate from a ‘support’ button on a users’ channel page.

The good news for publishers is that this new feature will work on the mobile app as well as in desktop browsers, so people can donate anywhere they watch your videos. Now obviously there has to be a slight catch here, and that is that YouTube will take a cut of what people donate to you, currently about 5%, but it does vary from country to country.

The fan funding feature is currently only available in Australia, Japan, Mexico & United States of America.



I would be surprised if you didn’t ear about the large hack that happened yesterday, well the latest news is that the FBI are involved. In a major violation of privacy, hundreds of intimate and nude photographs of celebrities were stolen after they had been uploaded to Apple’s cloud.

The internet went into a bit of a spiral, with many trying to re post and share the images, but also many speaking out and standing up to the invasion of piracy, stating that it was a violation and people should avoid the images, and think about how they would feel if they were in the same position. The hacker who is still yet to be found, used the forum 4chan to expose his findings.

After reports from the celebrities and their representation to law enforcement, the FBI have been called in to investigate. A statement from the FBI in Los Angeles said: “The FBI is aware of the allegations concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high profile individuals and is addressing the matter,”.

Some of the celebrities involved in the hack have spoken out about the matter, mostly with simple tweets. Kirsten Dunst simply called iCloud a ‘piece of shit’ in emoji form. Whereas Mary Elizabeth Winstead, another actress said that she had taken the pictures in the privacy of her home with her husband years ago. Laying on the guilt for anyone that had seen the images.

I think what we can get out of this is that Apple should really be more clear on their iCloud, because it’s clear that many people don’t know their images are being backed up to the cloud, which is what has lead to this invasion of privacy.

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by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 23rd July – LinkedIn purchase Bizo & #TwitterPurge

Today’s Likes and Fails take a look at LinkedIn’s big company acquisition, and a twitter trend outrage based around new teen horror film The Purge: Anarchy’s original hashtag #TwitterPurge.



LinkedIn have made a big purchase. They’ve decided to add ‘Bizo’ a marketing agency, founded in 2008, to the company, in a deal worth around $175 million to be paid later this year in 90% cash and 10% stocks . It looks as if they are hoping to benefit from Bizo’s B2B expertise and focus it on measuring social advertising programs aimed at the network’s professional audience.

Russell Glass, the co-founder and CEO of Bizo, said: “We have been a LinkedIn partner for a while now and it became clear that our respective missions and cultures are really well aligned. I couldn’t be more thrilled that we are coming together to accelerate our ability to reach professional audiences, nurture prospects, and acquire customers in truly powerful ways.”

This news comes after a year of high profile business acquisitions such as Facebook purchasing WhatsApp and Apple collaborating with Beats by Dre in a whopping $3 billion deal. It seems to be the year of the big company purchase.


A twitter trend sparked outrage the other day when it got into the wrong hands. The trend #Twitterpurge was initially linked to the new teen horror film coming out called The Purge: Anarchy (a sequel to the original The Purge), the idea of the purge in the film is that for one day in the year all crime is legal. Unfortunately some took the trend too far subjecting others to a horrible ‘purge’ by posting images of ex’s in compromising images in an act of ‘revenge porn’.

The trend peaked on the night of the films release,  though after one teenager set up the same date for a #TwitterPurge and suggested people have an ‘anything goes’ attitude to Twitter for one evening, the trend was hijacked by users posting nude photographs of ex’s and sometimes @ing them in the tweet or subtweeting about them. These people are obviously not thinking about how it will affect the lives of the girls they are tweeting about, as we’ve seen before, it can cause humiliation and ruin lives, it can even lead to suicide.

The other grotesque thing is that as this film is aimed at teens, it meant that the hashtag was mainly picked up on by teenagers, which therefore meant that many of the images being posted counted as child pornography. Twitter have been removing accounts as quickly as they can which are associated with the purge trend and are sharing these sort of images. Unfortunately the trend caught on on Facebook and Twitter as well.

Luckily there were a large proportion of users that spoke out about the trend and shared their disgust at the people who felt it necessary to share private images.  Here’s a look at one of the tweets calling out how irresponsible the pure was.


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by Helen Stirling