Read About Us On Twitter

The importance of social media in the internet has increased tremendously the last couple of years. The last two blog stories include interaction between Facebook and bloggers to bring in the Secret Service and protest the continued presence of a poll on Facebook which advocated political violence. At one time links from other blogs was considered a major measure of the success of a blog, but today much of the traffic is generated from social media.

There are services such as Technorati and Google which track links from other blogs (despite problems with both). It is harder to similarly track and publicize links from social media. Facebook is especially difficult since much of Facebook consists of personal pages which are only available to one’s Facebook friends. The Sitemeter shows when someone comes to the blog from Facebook, but I often cannot tell if this is from someone clicking on a link to a blog post on my own Facebook page or from another Facebook user linking here. It is also questionable as to how to handle links from blog aggregators and some types of social media. While it is rare day  that there are not links to Liberal Values on such sites, often they consist only of links and nothing which is quotable.

Twitter provides a better opportunity for tracking and publicizing links from social media. Twitter is open, compared to Facebook comments often only being available to one’s friends. The brief comments from Twitter in response to a blog post are worth adding to a blog discussion.

I’m still experimenting with ways to incorporate posts on Twitter about blog posts here into the blog. In some cases but not others, comments on Twitter generate a trackback which I’ve already been posting. Over the weekend I’ve added a couple of other features. On the left sidebar I have added a RSS feed of the most recent comments fromTwitter which the feed picks up.

There is also an additional link following this feed which goes to a page at Twisty. This page gives a historical listing of comments about blog posts which appeared on Twitter, ranking by number of entries. The page also lists those who have commented on Liberal Values the most on Twitter. Showing the variety of topics discussed here, the highest number is from someone posting as healthreformusa. Next on the list is drwhonews. Others in the list is film maker and Huffington Post blogger Lee Stranahan and writer Martin Bosworth, who also blogs at Huffington Post.

I’m just beginning to look into integrating material from Twitter. While there might turn out to be other sites I am not yet aware of, Twisty does look like a useful site. The link in the sidebar does seem to give the most information, but I also found that I receive a different list if I do a search simply for “liberalvaluesblog.” While I haven’t linked to this search on the sidebar I cannot resist adding a link here because the first entry about Liberal Values is a simple comment saying, “This guy is good.” How can I question whether Twitter provides comments which are of value?

Threatening Facebook Poll Now Covered By Media

The Facebook poll I mentioned earlier which asked, “should Obama be killed?” is now being covered by the mainstream media. AP reports:

The poll, posted Saturday on Facebook, was taken off the popular social networking site quickly after company officials were alerted to its existence. But, like any threat against the president, Secret Service agents are taking no chances.

“We are aware of it and we will take the appropriate investigative steps,” said Darrin Blackford, a Secret Service spokesman. “We take of these things seriously.”

Of course those of us following this on Facebook and the blogs know that Facebook was  slow to remove the poll despite numerous complaints about it.  Most likely the poll was put up by a harmless nut, but the Secret Service is right to take it seriously pending an investigation. Nuts are not always harmless.

Facebook Poll: “Should Obama Be Killed?”


The big controversy on Facebook this morning was over the above poll which asked “should Obama be killed?” There were conflicting reports as to whether it was posted last night or earlier in the weekend, with many on Facebook questioning why it wasn’t taken down. Some have commented that people such as Glenn Beck have created the atmosphere which has led to such polls being posted while others noted that right wing polls have frequently been posted on Facebook, such as one questioning the existence of the Holocaust.

Many people have reported complaining about the poll to Facebook, along with reporting this to the Secret Service and the Cybercrimes division of the FBI. The poll was ultimately taken down around 1:00 E.S.T. The entire issue went down the memory hole on Facebook as comments linking to the poll were also removed. This morning other polls went up regarding people’s opinions of the poll and what should be done to the person who posted the original poll. These are also going down the memory hole with the one I posted on my Facebook page (along with subsequent discussion) also disappearing.

While much of the discussion of the issue has disappeared from Facebook with the removal of these polls, it has attracted attention in the blogosphere. The first mention I have seen of this was in this diary at Daily Kos.

Update: Greg Sargent has more:

The Secret Service is investigating the circumstances surrounding an eye-opening Facebook poll that asked whether Obama should be assassinated, a Secret Service spokesman confirms to us.

“We are taking the appropriate investigative steps,” the spokesman, Ed Donovan, told our reporter, Amanda Erickson. “We are aware of it.”

The poll asked: “Should Obama be killed?” It offered four choices: No, Maybe, Yes, and Yes if he cuts my health care.

The poll, of course, is only the latest example of the sort of viral incitement to violence that flares up when the sparks of anti-Obama hatred are fed oxygen by the bellows of the Internets. While anyone can put up such a poll, this kind of stuff is a sign of the moment — as David Kurtz put it, it’s akin to graffiti on the virtual wall of our times.

According to a source, the Secret Service has contacted Facebook and asked them to take the poll down. And, indeed, it’s already down.

Update II: The mainstream media is now covering the story.

Update III: A poll regarding how Facebook should respond to this problem is now back up. I had linked to it earlier and the link vanished, but has now returned.