Friday Download: Snap launches a new hardware line and we explore what not to do when you face a data breach…

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for big tech companies (more of that later), but Twitter has been revelling in glory after its latest Transparency Report suggested the company has been successfully weeding out terrorism from its network.

Twitter claims there’s been a big decline in the proportion of pro-terrorism accounts being reported over the past six months, and whilst it’s not entirely clear how these accounts were identified (a spokesperson said something about abusive behaviour), it’s a win for a platform trying to regain user growth and retention, as well as keep advertisers happy.

What comes next for social media publishers in terms of regulation and transparency is slightly less clear. With Facebook handing over thousands of Russia-linked adverts run during the 2016 US presidential campaign, and calls for increasing transparency in political campaigning in the UK, it’s clear that with great power comes great responsibility.


After hackers broke into credit rating firm Equifax’s servers and stole 143m customers’ personal information, the company (despite our Digital Download, America’s Edition providing some solid advice) responded in a way that confused us all.

They set up a website, separate from, where victims had to enter even more personal information. It looked like a scam, and unsurprisingly someone cloned the site using a similar URL. The two sites, the real and the fake, looked the same to the casual observer. In fact, they were so easily confused that Equifax itself couldn’t tell the difference and, on Twitter, the company was directing those concerned about the data breach to the copycat site instead of their own. Yes, really.

Thankfully, the fake site was created by a security researcher more interested in calling out Equifax for their incompetence than stealing the personal information of unsuspecting victims. So, believe it or not, the situation could have been much worse for Equifax and its customers. Key learnings? We’d start with not putting your security incident website on a domain that looks like a scam, and do take a look at your sign-off protocols for social media content.
“Surely”, Silicon Valley cried in 2014/15, “nobody will ever return to grasp the poisoned chalice of wearable recording tech?” after the Google Glass debacle. “Hold my beer”, replied Snap, as it announced its new hardware line – connected sunglasses with 10s recording capability.

It’s been almost a year since the launch of “Spectacles” (clever name, right), and while Snapchat itself has used the recording capacity in producing content for social campaigns, this summer saw several companies dip their toes in the identifiable circular video format. First Brawny Paper Towels launched their “once a mother, always a giant” campaign with adorable toddler’s eye views. More recently, Burger King (for National Cheeseburger Day) and Sainsbury’s adverts have taken advantage of the platform and its new format.
Having seen Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs adopt Snapchat for various objectives, and with Spectacles now on sale in Europe, the different perspectives afforded by the wearable recording device could well offer a creative avenue to organisations looking to vary their online video output.

  • Facebook and Twitter trolls could be banned from voting  [TELEGRAPH]
  • Snapchat blocks Al Jazeera in Saudi Arabia – [BBC]
  • Facebook Enabled Advertisers to Reach ‘Jew Haters’ – [PROPUBLICA]
  • You can now launch the Instagram app directly from Facebook – [TECH CRUNCH]



Awwww together now…

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