Facebook Roundup: White House, Insider Trading, Intifada, Jive, MTV, HipHop, Fish and Baseball

Facebook Sets Sights on Obama Aide Gibbs – Former Obama White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is in talks to work for Facebook to help manage the company’s communications ahead of the rumored 2012 public offering. [Image Via Pete Souza]

Insider Trading Scandal Led to Termination of Facebook Employee – Michael Brown, former corporate development manager for Facebook, abruptly left the company after it was discovered he had engaged in insider trading, reported TechCrunch. Brown purchased Facebook stock on secondary markets, reportedly in September according to TechCrunch, which counts as grounds for immediate termination.

Facebook Grapples With Israel-Palestine Conflict – Facebook recently removed a Page supporting the Third Palestinian Intifada with more than 340,000 Likes after comments devolved into direct calls for violence. This is an example of Facebook’s growing struggle to figure out how to deal with discussions of conflict and controversial political views. Now, an American activist is suing Facebook for $1 billion for not removing the Page fast enough. It needs to balance freedom of speech, human rights, and staying business-friendly.

Jive Software Announces Board Appointments – Jive Software announced new members new joing its board of directors this week, including:Jonathan Heiliger who is the VP of technical operations at Facebook, Charles Robel, former COB of McAfee, David DeWalt who is president of McAfee, and Sundar Pichai who is VP of product management at Google. The company counts Sequoia and Kleiner Perkins as investors, and with the addition of these board seats, Jive Software has amassed a pretty impressive set of advisors.

Facebook Featured on MTV Show “Diary” – Facebook was featured in a half-hour show called “Diary” which included interviews with CEO Mark Zuckerberg and a Facebook engineer. The show presented a very positive impression of the company.

Ifeelgoods Wins Web 2.0 Expo ShowcaseIfeelgoods won the Web 2.0 Expo Startup Showcase this week. The company is a marketing service provider that allows clients to rewards their users with Facebook Credits for performing certain actions. The company has done work with 1800 Flowers and recently signed with Netflix.

Facebook’s HipHop Conversion Very Efficient – Facebook’s Engineering Team wrote a note this week about exactly how efficient the HipHop conversion in early 2010 was for the company, allowing them to reduce average CPU usage by more than 50%.

Facebook Helps Fish Scientists Identify Species – Facebook was at the center of an interesting success story of ichthyologists, or fish scientists, who were able to identify more than 5,000 specimens from Guyana in a week with the help of the social network. Basically, the scientists were in a time crunch to identify these specimens and in 24 hours were able to do 90% of the job with Facebook. Most of those helping out had a Ph.D. in ichthyology.

Facebook and Baseball – Facebook’s data and science team culled some interesting information from baseball fans’ status updates and profiles. Less than 50% of any baseball team’s fans were female. Baseball fans have higher than average numbers of friends, averaging 300, even though the Dodgers and Angels have the least number of friends while the Athletics and Nationals have the highest number of friends.

Cross-town rivalries such as the Dodgers/Angels don’t break friendships. And the Phillies have the most devoted team, which is to say the most fans not fans of any other team. Interesting, but there are many confounding variables here. Take the cross-town rivalries: it’s obvious that users who live in the same city would be more likely to be friends. When it comes to baseball fans being friendly, any user with Likes is a more engaged Facebook user, so it’s natural for them to have more Facebook friends.