Reflecting on the state of social media on the Isle of Man

Photograph of Social Media Club dinnerAs a small island, separated from the mainland but connected to the world, the development of social media has been an interesting story.

Whilst social media had been adopted as the platform of choice for younger generations, companies were keen on understanding how to reach these demographics on their own platform and how to continue with a positive engagement. The Social Media Club was developed as a way to develop ideas and promote best practice across the social media world.

As part of this, the island’s Social Media Club met every month, ranging in number from 4 to 20 and always promoted interesting discussions, particularly with social media hitting the news for topics such as bullying, privacy and the corporate movements of the new burgeoning tech sector.

We had some successes, introducing users and companies to social media. We also had two successful Twestival events which only ceased due to the organisers’ bizarre brand-grab, raising one of the largest amounts across the world per-capita.

Where has the island come since?

Perhaps we can claim the island has reached a level of adoption which suggests maturity gained through usage, experience and even groups such as the Social Media Club lunches.

Inevitably, marketing companies have adopted the paradigm, specialising in results-based marketing and avoiding the broadcast or fire-and-forget method of reaching out to customers that may otherwise be used.

Manx Radio recently started reading out contributions from social media on their Mandate show, providing an additional channel to contribute to live shows other than the email and telephone older generations may be used to. (It’s interesting that email is now seen as an archaic medium for newer generations.) You get a better class of mental on Twitter!

Even the Isle of Man Government have jumped on, with differing levels of success and engagement according to the topic and department. Between engaging with users as tax payers and delicately straddling the line of individual privacy and the professionalism of the department, it’s been refreshing to see a little bit more transparency.

Further signs of maturity on the island is the consideration of the effect of social media on the island’s unnaturally small juries. Chris Robertshaw has embarked on an exercise of determining whether enough people are in the juries and how the judiciary will mitigate against influence from what is a tightly bound island community online.

In reflection, we remain a separated island but are very much more connected.


Isle of Man Social Media Club: December 2013 Third Thursday

The Isle of Man Social Media Club Third Thursday lunch/dinner is a regular and informal gathering of people from a variety of disciplines, including marketing, PR and IT. This month, we’ll be meeting on Thursday 19th December at Jabberwocky.

We’ve been able to chat around a variety of topics related to social media, such as ethics, legislation, policing and more fun aspects of various social media platforms. Whilst we are all probably used to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, we’re always keen to learn about new platforms and trends you may have spotted.

Jabberwock logo

Following our vote for a change of venue, the consensus points us to Jabberwocky, on Duke Street in Douglas (that’s the end of Strand Street, across from the pedestrian lights). Jabberwocky have a friendly team and have a good quality lunchtime menu with Bagels, Jacket Potatoes, Wraps and daily specials. They are also social media savvy, with a Facebook and Twitter presence.

Hope you can make it. If you can, help us plan numbers by giving us a shout in the comments …

Twitter aggregation and some statistics

I know some of you noticed a slight bug in the Taggloo site for the last month or so. Due to Twitter changing the API that I used to extract #Gaelg Twitter content, the Twitter aggregation hasn’t been working for a while.

Upon further investigation, this needed some fairly extensive refactoring. I had been relying quite heavily on the particular format that the data was previously published in. This was great as I could pretty much use the same code for blogs and YouTube, too. Unfortunately, Twitter were keen on developers using the full API and as such I have had to rewrite large portions of the community content aggregation code.

Alas, this has taken longer than I had hoped. As some of you will know, I’ve had good cause to be distracted lately. However, some discipline and Diet Coke has enabled me to fix the problem. Taggloo is now collecting Twitter content once again!

As a small apology, I thought I’d share some statistics with you:

  • Twitter contributes over 97% of aggregated community content.
  • Since May 2011, over 2,000 Tweets with #Manx #Gaelg content have been aggregated. Most of which has been within the current calendar year.
  • We’ve been trying to encourage users to show their support of the language in social media, which has been shown to be successful, with a significant increase in content aggregated since March this year.
  • Saving users’ blushes, it is obvious some users have contributed real value to the community, with the top 10 Twitter users (excluding bots) posting over 50% of #Manx #Gaelg tweets!
Chart showing Community Content Items aggregated over time

Community Content Items aggregated over time

Remember, tweet in Manx using the #Manx #Gaelg hash tags and contribute to the island’s heritage in modern media whilst building an even stronger Manx dictionary within Taggloo.

#Manx #Gaelg – now on Facebook

Hopefully you’ll have already read my previous post about using social media to reflect the increasingly vibrant nature of the Manx Gaelic language and cultural identity. Shortly after which, Facebook joined both Twitter and Instagram by adding support for hashtags too.

Whilst I’m sure the two aren’t related, this provides us with a further opportunity to aggregate #Manx #Gaelg content. Using hashtags in Facebook is as simple as tagging your friends in a post. Add the #hashtag and it becomes a clickable link.

Hashtagging in Facebook

Just as in Twitter, when your friends click on the hashtag, they can see your post amidst the rest of Facebook’s related content (well, at least their friends’ content).

#Gaelg hashtag content

This is also good for those users who cross-post, particularly from Twitter. Some Twitter clients and services such as Selective Tweets pick up your post on Twitter and repeat it on Facebook. This is a great way to reach both social networks, and therefore the types of user who use either. I use it myself to reach “casual” followers on Twitter across the world and my Facebook friends and I receive engagement from both. Add the #Manx #Gaelg hashtag on your Twitter post and it is reflected on Facebook. Yindyssagh!

Cross-posting from Twitter to Facebook

Cross-posting from Twitter to Facebook

Where Twitter excels is in its broadcast quality, with very limited privacy. Facebook, despite their tendency to make a mess of privacy, has a much stronger model. Whilst this can significantly reduce the reach of your hashtags and therefore aggregation opportunities, it is still worthwhile to use hashtags on Facebook. Users who click a hashtag will see mutual friends also posting with the hashtag, contributing to the community feel. You might be surprised of your friends’ interest in the language!

I’m sure most people understand the basics of Facebook privacy, particularly posts. The small cog/people/world icon at the bottom right of your textbox when posting controls who can see the post. Typically, this will be set to “Friends” or “Public”. Whilst I would never suggest opening your default posting settings to “Public”, selecting “Public” when posting non-personal Manx Gaelic can increase the visibility of the language to other Facebook users.

Modifying post privacy

Modifying post privacy (per post)

The great thing about Twitter is that the service has largely been driven by its users. As users start to grasp the capabilities of the platform, they invent their own ways of interacting with people. Retweeting and hashtags were both very much community driven and it is exciting to see these features being adopted by other platforms such as Facebook.

#Manx #Gaelg

Manx Gaelic, the indigenous language of The Isle of Man is enjoying a bit of a resurgence in new speakers and academic study. Classes are running all the time, there are many conversation groups and some clothes-related surprises coming soon, too. Manx needs to be seen and heard everyday. It isn’t about those people in the corner of the coffee shop any longer, it needs to be commonly seen so it ceases to be a surprise to see and hear it. Whilst Manx is increasingly being heard and seen from street signs to coffee shops, the modern world also plays host to increased usage of Manx through social media.

The mix of people learning Manx ranges from the brilliant to the casually interested and they’re all able to interact using modern internet using Facebook, Twitter, You Tube alongside conventional web sites whenever is comfortable, after work, when the kids are in bed or on the bus using your smartphone.


Facebook has a number of small groups catering for the learners and experts alike. Cowag (chat) is great for friendly banter and an opportunity to interact with experienced and learning speakers. Ynsee Gaelg (Learn Manx) is targeted particularly at the beginner or the casually interested. Regular quizzes and quotes are published engaging users to participate and experiment. Both groups are ideal if you want to hang out or ask an expert a question. It would be remiss of me to remind you that Taggloo also has a Facebook and Twitter feed, featuring a huge selection of Manx phrases posted throughout the day. Facebook is an ideal place to talk amongst friends in Manx, particularly when it can be difficult to get together at one of the many social events on the island – or even if you’re interest is based elsewhere.


The great thing about Twitter is that it allows anyone to “join the conversation”, and there’s no reason why that conversation cannot be in Manx Gaelic. I’m a frequent user of Twitter myself and often use it to tweet in Manx, re-using patterns learnt in class or just having a bit of fun. It doesn’t matter how good you are, the important thing is to use it! If you tweet in Manx, your followers see your Manx and it quickly becomes a feature of local “Tweeps”, adding value to the local and international Twitter community. I’ve had interest in my Manx tweets from Isle of Man and Ireland to as far afield as North America.

The key to tweeting in Manx is to remember to use the hashtags. Hashtags are ways of “tagging” your post with a meme, trend or topic which can be searched upon, identified and aggregated by other users and sites. So, when you tweet, add the #Manx #Gaelg hashtags. I prefer to only use both #Manx #Gaelg if I am tweeting in Manx or about the language, using #Manx on its own suggests it’s more community related. These are just three tweets I found searching on the #Gaelg hashtag:

The #Gaelg hashtag

And don’t forget, adding #Manx #Gaelg extends your tweet into Taggloo, too:

Taggloo aggregating #Manx #Gaelg

Using hashtags can fling your tweets farther than you could imagine. Consider when we hosted the Isle of Man’s Twestival event in 2011. We encouraged everyone to tweet including the #Twestival hashtag, so other Twestival participants across the world saw what our small island was up to. We also tweeted Manx in this feed, adding #Manx #Gaelg to expand the reach of Manx.

Twestival 2011 twitterfall

Stuck for something to say? The Isle of Man has lots to offer the world in terms of stuff to tweet about. It’s the Isle of Man TT at the moment, so I found an additional opportunity to spread the #Manx #Gaelg word to users interested in the bikes who were following the #iomtt feed:

Tweeting on the #iomtt hashtag

The key about using Manx in social media is to use it whenever you can. Use social media to learn phrases or words, follow @TagglooIM on Twitter to learn phrases throughout the day, chat on Facebook with learners and experts and most importantly, be seen to use the language no matter your skill level.

Manx in Social Media

When I started learning (then abandoned) Manx in 2006 I struggled because it was not in everyday use, and it was quite difficult to stretch my muscles outside of “I like this”, “I did that”, etc.

So in this renewed effort of learning I’m using Social Media to create that environment. By using similar sentence structures, it’s easy to tweet feelings, thoughts and actions. For example:

  • Ta mee skee – I am tired
  • Ta mee feer skee – I am very tired
  • Ta mee goll dy valley – I am going home
  • Ta feme aym er jough! – I need a drink!

These are pushed into my Twitter feed and my Facebook wall, probably annoying many of my followers and friends.

In addition to this, I try and stretch myself out of these standard sentences by creating sentences from film quotes, famous songs, etc. I have been known to make some disastrous mistakes, particularly the quote from Breakfast at Tiffany’s; “I am a very stylish girl” which I rendered as “Ta mee fashanagh mooar ben“. Unfortunately, due to synonyms/translation differences, that could also mean “I dress up as a big lady”. This caused much amusement to a couple of Manx learning tweeps :/ .

To my surprise, I found a definite interest in my tweets! Both by professional Manx speakers, experienced speakers and equally importantly, learners and people who want to learn but are unsure of how to make the leap.

Adrian Cain, the Manx Language Officer, has also started to add #manx and #gaelg hashtags on to his Manx tweets. This has set a precedent, with others using the same tags to help aggregate Manx tweets by interest (#manx) and language (#gaelg). Using these tags, and the retweets that using such tags generates, I’ve gained a few additional followers of Manx and Scottish Gaelic speakers.

So despite some complaints by friends and followers about my Manx tweets, I’m going to continue to tweet, learn and spread the word. If you’re on Twitter, make sure you use the #manx (for Manx interest) and #gaelg (for Manx language) hashtags.

A new Twitter metric!

Today is the Isle of Man Social Media Club’s Third Thursday Dinner (if you’re northern), and a topic that often appears is individuals’ visibility on Twitter and Facebook. These are often quantified, calculated and coalesced by sites such as Grader and Klout. A new one has appeared which puts a new slant on it, particularly for the Isle of Man.

Fellow Manx Gaelic learner @NettyIOM pointed me to today, and specifically the Manx Gaelic page which performs a similar trick to Grader, listing the top n users who are tweeting in the Isle of Man, and what percentage of those tweets are in Manx Gaelic. Finally! A metric on which I can beat @OwenC!

Is Social Media powered by Lefties?

So today is the big day of the General Election and we’re just left to sit in a bizarre radio silence while the polls remain open that seems unearthly following the past hectic 4 weeks. I’ve been watching and participating in various social media channels to add my 2 cents (so to speak) on policy, parties, debates and discuss with fellow Tweeters and Facebookers. I’ve enjoyed the last four weeks, except for the distraction element!

We know that the opinion polls are essentially meaningless, and who knows anyone who knows anyone who has ever been polled anyway? Assuming there is some validity in them, over the past four weeks we have come to see a pattern. Starting with The Conservatives in front, they lost a number of points to the Liberal Democrats following the leader’s debates. This has been particularly fascinating, as we may now need to upgrade Peter Snow’s (well, it’ll always be Peter’s, Jeremy) Swingometer to the third dimension. Points have been traded between all three parties, but particularly between The Conservatives and The Liberal Democrats.

One party’s performance has remained consistent, however. Labour has been losing points and sat at third place across most polls taken last night (5 May 2010). Yet, if you look at Twitter, you’d not see that pattern. Yesterday, I pinned my flag to the post as far as my voting inclinations, and this resulted in a number of people replying to me telling me of their disappointment and whether they would unfollow me, or not. We had a bit of a debate and I imagine threats to unfollow me were in jest. I expect that only people who disagreed with my views would take the time to reply, but watching my stream today seems to be of the same opinion – that of the left of the political spectrum.

So is Twitter and Social Media in general, just a bunch of Lefties?

Consider a Twitter search for “Tory”. Run your eyes down there and count how many are pro and how many are against a Conservative government. It seems people go out of their way to actually tweet “not Tory”, as opposed to who they voted for.

So while people are possibly tweeting in a left-of-centre manner, that’s not necessarily due to lack of effort by other parties. TweetMinster has been an excellent service in the last few weeks and has profiled the live Twitter feed according to region, issue, party and MP. Their analysis shows that both top parties are more or less equally represented – bit this is in candidates and MPs, not the “public vote”. So while David Cameron has specifically used Social Media and his various MPs have actively engaged with the electorate on Twitter, in an “Obama-style” campaign, it doesn’t seem to be doing him any good. In fact, it seems to be turning against him.

I would be a fool to think that this identifies any patterns which may be played out this evening, but it is a question worth asking. Does Social Media attract a more left-of-centre userbase? At first sight, it appears it does.

Police Accountability through Social Media

I was reminded by @sherrilynneof my interest in how the practices of the Police have come to interest as a result of recent protests and legislation and the role Social Media can play in maintaining a sense of accountability.

My interest follows a recent seminar held by Sherrilynne and PDMS about the West Midlands’ Police use of Social Media to engage with the public. The West Midlands’ Police force efforts to create this engagement is commendable, as the speaker, CI Mark Payne said, communicating with the public had previously been through posters in public places and maybe a caution or arrest. With an increasing sense of resentment rising towards the Police in their interpretation and implementation of thousands of new laws, such engagement is essential as it shows at least an intent to create a bi-directional channel of communication for the public and their Police force.

The Labour Government has introduced over 3,000 new laws since they took office in 1997. This is law making on a massive scale, not helped by significant events such as increasing terrorism. The Government has brought in at least 9 acts of Parliament that actively increases the powers of the state to intrude into or restrict our civil liberties, most of which are in the name of terrorism and our common safety. The threat of terrorism is largely the result of the US and UK’s foreign policy towards other nations such as Afghanistan and Iraq, which itself has caused protests that have been curtailed still further by legislation. This is a Government that does not advocate democratic rights such as protest, free speech or meetings to discuss matters of public policy by groups such as Greenpeace, etc. The United Kingdom is suffering due to its lack of a Constitution, such as that of the United States which protects rights such as free speech (although this is often muddied by religious interpretation).

The Police thus find themselves in a difficult position. Policing in this country has been implemented by the permission of the people, indeed, a thin blue line between consensual and compliant policing (and policed) society and a Police state. But how do the Police interpret and implement these new laws? There are many examples of the Police coming over heavy-handed either as a result of misunderstanding the legislation or becoming over zealous in their implementation. While countering the Terrorist threat caused by the UK and US foreign policy is a worthy cause, if it undermines our own liberties as British people, it risks the loss of public confidence. Aberrations in the implementation of photography laws have been known for a while. Another example that came to my attention recently is of the Transport Journalist Christian Wolmar being told to walk on the pavement to “defeat terrorism”. This is clearly insane, but I feel it is down to lack of training, rather than the malice of the police (“special” or otherwise). The Police’s increased use of force against protests (legal and otherwise) has also resulted in a difficult relationship with the Police. The G20 protests, particularly, have caused key questions to be raised over basic Police brutality which resulted in the death of an innocent bystander and the use of techniques such as “Kettling“. Having been “kettled” myself, it is of no wonder why protestors are wound up, even egged on by the Police to create a tense situation where law breaking and abuse is even more likely.

So how can the Police work against this negative reaction to laws that they have been charged with implementing, from politics they can’t control? Social Media has been an exciting conduit for businesses for marketing purposes and engagement with consumers, so the Police can – and should – use this new media to make the communication two-way. As the Government imposes limitations on democracy, so democratic society will push-back the boundaries and start to ask questions. It is for the Police to understand this movement for what it is and to engage with it professionally and appropriately.

As CI Mark Payne said, social media presents opportunities and challenges. Firstly, it can form a conversation between the Police and members of the public. Current promotions, campaigns and concerns can be published by the Police, with comments and discussion by the active “followers” of the various media feeds. West Midlands’ Police force has got their own Facebook page, but so has the Northern Neighbourhood Policing Team on the Isle of Man. As a follower of this team, and with Ramsay connections, I find that this is a fantastic way to engage with the community. Maybe the Isle of Man is an easy place to build a strong relationship between Police and public, based on an already strong community, but that takes nothing away from the effort itself. The sergeants (and higher positions, along with other agencies dealing with community cohesion) behind the Facebook page are enthusiastic about this medium and it shows in their output. Real communication is occurring, but remaining within a controlled and sensible manner that is not impinging on individuals’ privacy, identity or views in the community. They have even linked up with that master criminal, Baddy Guy.

Social Media can also present a threat, however. Bullying has moved from the playground to the internet via cyber stalking, cyber bullying and other sinister practices employed by paedophiles, scammers and subversive groups advocating racism, fascism, etc. People’s identities have become a commodity that is tradeable and accessible by anyone with a modicum of knowledge. While use of computers requires some awareness of these important issues, it is understandable that not everyone is aware of the risks of posting personal information on the internet and opening up their profile for interaction with people who may wish to cause harm to them as an individual. It is a new requirement that the Police and related agencies need to monitor internet sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. to help educate users to protect themselves and employ modern Information Systems to secure convictions against malicious users. As CI Mark Payne said, the Police will always be playing catch-up in this game. Technology has become increasingly important in preserving our ability to use our civil liberties by the momentum of its progress, but the police must overcome the inevitable sense of inertia that this will create and fill the vacuum by using educated teams, rather than relying on restrictive and ill-understood legislation by Government (which the Government itself does not fully understand).

Finally, and for an aspect of interaction that was not discussed in CI Mark Payne’s talk, is that of using new media to expand policing into the community using user generated content. As news agencies now find themselves using Twitter-sourced content to cover unfolding news stories, so the Police could open up channels to enable the public to submit issues which they find concerning. The CrimeStoppers scheme has long been a success and offers a way for members of the public to anonymously contact a team devoted to following up leads in order to secure a conviction. Couldn’t this be extended, to include new media channels such as allowing emailing in to a similar team of your concerns? I recently blogged about the standards of driving on The Isle of Man, which continues to get me frustrated that the Police seem to only be able to do anything when they themselves have witnessed it or corroborating evidence is available to secure a conviction. (Interestingly, other regular road users such as Driving Schools are not able to report drivers because they don’t hold the same standing as a Policeman, although they probably have a better understanding of road law) The fact is, drivers drive badly and risk injury, dog owners allow their dogs to foul the pavement and don’t clean up after them and people are made to feel vulnerable by anti-social behaviour, every day. Setting up a channel to allow this to be videoed, photographed or reported simply in an email would be a good way to build up intelligence. Bad drivers don’t necessarily need to be dragged through court, they just need to be made aware of their behaviour. Likewise, dog owners that they live in a community which is all the more pleasurable without dog feces everywhere. How the Police use this information is up to them, but opening up such channels will help community members feel empowered. Special interest groups are active in the community, but these are often time consuming and slow to act for the average person to become involved with, social media can speed these groups up by inviting individuals to participate.

Social Media is exciting in the way it is breaking down boundaries. From the college-goers of the US that started Facebook, this has spread through Facebook use by professionals, “silver surfers”, companies wishing to market and engage with their consumers and now, maybe the final boundary has been broken, that of engagement by the authorities with the public. As news agencies have had to change their game plan to embrace social media, so public bodies must also overcome the inertia of public policy and be innovative. From a personal point of view, while I resent the powers being given to the Police and their implementation of these powers, I find it a pleasing to know that channels are opening up to allow democracy to “push back” and hold the authorities to public accountability, as Parliament has had to in the Iraq War Inquiry and the Trafigura injunction.

Effectively and fairly quantifying UGC is challenging

At today’s “Isle of Man Super Third Thursday Social Media Club” (getting more of a mouthful every month!) it struck me that quantifying social media is very difficult. In order to assess the success or otherwise of a social media programme to management, you would hope to be able to point at real sales, web site visits or other conversions to justify the extra effort and time required to implement a social marketing programme well. Social media is just too fuzzy, however. While it can be gratifying to find the occasional positive comment, incoming link or your company mascot having its own facebook page, if a direct sale or income doesn’t result social media becomes just a hobby, as such less time will be spent on it and it will suffer.

Social Media covers a wide area of services, software and ideas. While we generally think of social media to be all about Twitter and Facebook, it is ultimetely about anything that encourages and supports User Generated Content. Many sites have been providing this before Facebook was a glint in Zuckerberg’s eye (or whoever claims to have written it this week). Sites which encourage users to rate their purchases, rentals, favourite films, artists, etc. are all essentially social-media services. Amazon, of course, is probably one of the oldest examples – particularly in the e-Commerce space. It has allowed users to rate their purchases (or just products if they purchased the product elsewhere), the performance of their Marketplace sellers and even generate customised lists of products and share with other users. eBay offers a similar rating system to try and reduce the risk of making purchases and selling your prize possessions. While Amazon’s scheme seems to be pretty simple in that it allows users to rate something out of 5 stars and leave a comment, it isn’t always that simple.

EBay have recently modified how their ratings system works. Whereas previously both the buyer and the seller could rate each other during their transaction either positively or negatively, this has now been reduced to only allowing the buyer to rate the seller. This obviously causes sellers to worry about no longer being able to help their fellow sellers avoid a potential difficult customer. But it has come after a number of users complained about having unfair ratings applied to them, and the system being mis-used. I for one would have loved to leave a negative mark on one seller who sold me fake Twin Peaks DVDs. After politely disputing the genuineness of the DVDs, the seller withdrew the auction and left me with no recourse against him to advise others not to take the risk or believe the “100% genuine” claim.

This highlights that allowing users to make their own judgements on service, content or products is fraught with difficulties, particularly when using a discrete rating system like a stars system or a positive/negative mark. A soon as you start to be able to quantify user-generated feedback, you enter a dangerous area. During the Work Connexions project, one of the biggest challenges was to be able to accurately and diligently identify a quality lead, individual or service but without providing the opportunity for any overtly negativity to be attached to the content. We had to be able to provide a means of rating other users, but as soon as you offer users the ability to leave negative feedback which could directly impact their performance to generate further leads by affecting their ranking in search results, visibility on home pages, etc., you run the risk of losing users who may feel that they have been slighted or unfairly rated. Equally, when you remove the possibility to leave a negative mark against content, you may be accused of being weak and a toothless “quality mark”.

The Manx Graduates web site, which was discussed at today’s Super Third Thursday is a case in point and faces similar challenges. While the site is being placed in the social media space, it is with a degree of required control, which is somewhat against the principles of social media. The site is designed to make it easier for graduates who have left the island to study to return and gain employment on their home island. There is no real target age-range or skill-set. The common theme is essentially enticing talent back to the island and avoiding the “brain drain” that inevitably occurs on an island such as The Isle of Man with its limited opportunities and education facilities. Users can contact potential employers, and vice versa. Users can also message each other, assuming they already know other users on the site, it isn’t after all, a social networking application. So the “real” social media-style tools commonly found aren’t to be found. In particular, there is no opportunity for users to be able to recommend or otherwise working for a particular employer. Again, there is the problem that as soon as you provide users the power to submit their own content, they could use it to attach negative feedback to other users, subscribers and stakeholders of the site. This could be particularly damaging if a quantifiable rating system was applied to an employer or potential employee.

There are ways to try and control how to limit the possibility of negative feedback – or even overtly positive feedback – which could impact on quantifiable scoring systems or constitute an attack on another user or service. They often come with their own difficulties, however. Moderation of content reduces the spontaneouty of content submission, causing delays before content is published. The user may not trust or agree with the decision of the moderator. Scoring maybe limited to certain ranges after certain mebership qualifications have been met, for example, disable low scores until a user has been a consistent and repeated user of the site. This reduces the opportunity for a “true and accurate” account to be provided by the user. There is no real defence against a malicious attack against a user or service, if someone wanted to create a negative response it is almost impossible to prevent without withdrawing the life-blood of the social media application. The trick comes in being able to give the illusion that user generated content is freely submissable but exercising tight control over user content, essentially a thankless and full-time job.