Social Media Newsfeed: Facebook Sandy Hook Pages | Viddy Layoffs

By Tim Sohn 

Click here to receive the Morning Social Media Newsfeed via email.


Facebook To Remove Exploitative Sandy Hook Tribute Pages (AllFacebook)
Not long after the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., several people set up tribute pages on Facebook to encourage donations to help affected families. Some did so out of the kindness of their hearts, while some were just trying to cash in. Facebook has agreed to take down Sandy Hook tribute pages that people feel exist solely to exploit the tragedy. The Connecticut Post The decision came 48 hours after the publication of a Hearst Connecticut Newspapers report illuminating the proliferation of dozens of unauthorized tributes to the victims, many of them giving the appearance that they were created by loved ones or friends. Some solicited donations in the names of victims, while others had been hijacked by so-called truthers who claim the worst elementary school shooting in U.S. history was a hoax. The Huffington Post Connecticut lawmakers submitted a formal letter on Monday alerting the social media giant to the pages’ exploitive nature. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, and Rep. Elizabeth Etsy, all D-Conn., said in the letter that several fraudulent, unofficial pages containing messages asking for money, as well as posts that harassed the Newtown shooting victims’ families, were in direct violation of Facebook’s user policies. The Verge The mother of Sandy Hook teacher Victoria Soto, whose death has spawned a huge number of unofficial memorials, told the Greenwich Time earlier this week that she’d attempted to get pages removed to no avail. “I understand some people have good intentions [and] some people say she is a public figure,” she said, “but, to me, she is my daughter that was put in this awful position… and she would not want people making pages in her name.” Reuters Facebook, in a statement, said it had devised a new process with dedicated staff to respond to user complaints related to Sandy Hook, in the wake of the December shooting. “For the past few months, our rapid response team has acted swiftly to remove inappropriate materials flagged by the foundation and the families,” Facebook said. “We will continue to be vigilant.”

Social Video Startup Viddy Lays Off a Third of its Staff (VentureBeat)
Social video startup Viddy has certainly seen better days. Viddy is apparently planning to reduce its operations and marketing work force by cutting 12 positions (or a third of its total employees), reports TechCrunch. TechCrunch Viddy claims that its core engineering team is still in place. The cuts come after the departure of CEO and co-founder Brett O’Brien. Los Angeles Times The company’s board issued a statement Monday saying it had slashed the workforce to cut costs. “As the board continues to review Viddy’s business, we’ve identified specific ways to streamline costs which include eliminating some positions,” the board’s statement said. “These changes will allow the Viddy team to be focused on bringing the most innovative and engaging social mobile video product to market.”

YouTube Readies Android App for Paid Channel Subscriptions (SocialTimes)
Last month, AdAge reported that YouTube is preparing to introduce paid subscriptions on select channels in the coming months, and the latest YouTube Android app update seems to confirm that paid subscriptions are, indeed, on the way. According to the Android Police, the latest Android YouTube app update includes a couple lines of code that they say “basically confirms the service is on its way.” The code includes the text, “You can only subscribe to this paid channel on your computer,” and “You can only unsubscribe from this paid channel on your computer.”


Lawrence, Clooney Were Oscars Best Dressed, Says Facebook (Mashable)
Facebook teamed up with InStyle, creating a Red Carpet Talk Meter, to measure just who everyone was buzzing about and found out which star deserved Best Dressed of the 85th Academy Awards. Check out the findings, and see more results at InStyle.

Cardinals Not Allowed to Tweet During Conclave (AllTwitter)
Catholic News reports that the College of Cardinals includes at least nine active tweeters. And “[f]rom the moment they enter the Sistine Chapel to cast their ballots, they will be forbidden access to their accounts along with all other forms of communication with the outside world.”

LinkedIn’s Next Target: Yammer, Salesforce Chatter? (CNET)
LinkedIn is chewing over a product that would help facilitate private communication for enterprises and allow staffers to better benefit from their rolodex on the professional network. The vast majority of sharing on LinkedIn happens in public, chief executive Jeff Weiner said Monday during an appearance at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media, & Telecom Conference. So, to create value for enterprises, the one area where the healthy company is admittedly lacking, LinkedIn needs to think about creating private-sharing tools that work behind the firewall, he said.


WATCH: Mediabistro’s Post-Oscars Google+ Hangout (
GalleyCat’s Jason Boog, TVNewser’s Alex Weprin, FishbowlLA’s Richard Horgan, GoldDerby editor Tom O’Neil and KCRW’s “The Business” producer Darby Maloney discussed their favorite Oscars moments of the night, why ratings were up and the social side of the broadcast on Monday.

Gizmodo Boss Joe Brown Goes (Back) to Wired (AllThingsD)
Wired, the Conde Nast tech title, continues an overhaul that began last fall: Joe Brown, the top editor at Gawker Media’s Gizmodo tech site, is joining up. Brown will be Wired’s “New York editor,” a new role that will have him weighing in on the brand’s magazine, tablet edition and website.

Twitter-Challenger Inches Toward the Mainstream with Free took another step toward becoming a serious competitor for Twitter by rolling out a free membership program. The membership is available to those invited by paying members. (An individual membership costs $36 a year.)