Controversial captchas

A captcha is a sort of form that visitors fill in on sites in order to stop responses generated by computers. Different distorted passwords are generated as either a combination of words or just a series of symbols. Sometimes though, the automatically generated captchas are somewhat unfortunate. This is what I got yesterday when signing on to Twitter.


To say that eugenics is controversial is an understatement.

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Unofficial pages attract Usain Bolt fans on Facebook

I spent the weekend in the archipelago on the Swedish east coast and drove for about three hours to get back home on Sunday evening. We arrived only five minutes before the start of the 100 metres final in the World Championships in Athletics in Berlin. I sat with my two oldest kids and watched the amazing new world record (9.58) set by Usain Bolt and it was a magical moment that I will remember for many years.

Usain Bolt When we get to experience such an amazing performance we sometimes like to show our graditude and support for the athlete. After 9.58, more people will become fans of Usain Bolt and search for information about the fastest man on earth. His own website is of course one such place, but people will also want to become fans of Bolt on Facebook for example. But there are as many as 62 pages for Usain Bolt on Facebook, which one is the official page? Well, there is one page with more than a million fans and it appears to be some kind of official page. It contains a lot of information and it can be reached via the personalized URL, so it appears to be legitimate.

Another fanpage has managed to attract 127,000 fans, and there are several others with a few thousands Bolt fans. Others are piggybacking on celebrities by “borrowing” their names on different social networks. For example, someone called Jimmy Hawarny has managed to get the personalized URL for his personal page. And there are several Usain Bolts on Twitter, none which seems to be the real one. While Twitter has tried to solve the problem with fake accounts by creating verified accounts, to my knowledge, Facebook has no such indicator that a page is “official”.

One the other hand, creating fake fan pages is a violation of Facebook’s terms:

Fake Pages and unofficial “fan pages” are a violation of our Pages Guidelines. If you create an unauthorized Page or violate our Pages Guidelines in any way, your Facebook account may be disabled.

Unofficial fanpages may not be a huge problem, in fact they may even become the biggest asset for a brand or a celebrity. The biggest fanpage for Coca-Cola on Facebook has attacted well over 3 million fans, and it was started by two regular Facebook members who had trouble to find a legitimate Coke page. The page has also been embraced by the Coca-Cola Company.

In the case of Usain Bolt, it’s not extremely hard to find the official page, even though hundreds of thousands have become fans of unofficial pages. But when there are so many unofficial pages, maybe it is time for Facebook to launch some form of Verified Pages? Just so that you know what’s what.

Update: In a Google search, the page with 1 million fans and the page with 127,000 fans are both presented as official: “Welcome to the official Facebook Page of Usain Bolt. Get exclusive content and interact with Usain Bolt right from Facebook.”

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Listed company buys The Pirate Bay for 60 MSEK

This will definitely be one of the most discussed news items today. The listed gaming company Global Gaming Factory X (GGF) has issued a press statement this morning that they will purchase the website the Pirate Bay and the company Peeralism that “develops peerialistic solutions to transport and store data on the Internet”. According to Svenska Dagbladet, GGF will purchase the Pirate Bay for 60 MSEK, out of at least half in cash, and Peeralism for 100 MSEK, out of which at least half in cash.

Here is the press statement on GGF’s website:

Acquisitions of The Pirate Bay and new file sharing technology, P2P 2.0
– Pave the way for compensation model
The listed software company, Global Gaming Factory X AB (publ) (GGF) acquires The Pirate Bay website,, one of the 100 most visited websites in the world and the technology company Peerialism, that has developed next generation file-sharing technology. Following the completion of the acquisitions, GGF intends to launch new business models that allow compensation to the content providers and copyright owners. The responsibility for, and operation of the site will be taken over by GGF in connection with closing of the transaction, which is scheduled for August 2009.

“We would like to introduce models which entail that content providers and copyright owners get paid for content that is downloaded via the site” said Hans Pandeya, CEO GGF.

“The Pirate Bay is a site that is among the top 100 most visited Internet sites in the world. However, in order to live on, The Pirate Bay requires a new business model, which satisfies the requirements and needs of all parties, content providers, broadband operators, end users, and the judiciary. Content creators and providers need to control their content and get paid for it. File sharers’ need faster downloads and better quality” continues Hans Pandeya.

A press conference will be held in Stockholm at 11.00 CET today and hopefully we will get more information about the acquisition, or find out if it is just a PR stunt. It’s a little hard to believe that this acquisition will actually carried out.

Updated: According to information on Aktietorget, where GGF is listed, the company has a market cap of 140 MSEK (fluctuating between 125 and 150 MSEK this morning).

Update 2: Official comment by TPB: Yes, it’s true.

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Koenigsegg buys Saab

General Motors has agreed to sell Saab Automobile AB to Koenigsegg Group AB, a consortium led by Koenigsegg Automotive AB. It is a major news story in Sweden today. Below you can see the front pages of the leading Swedish dailies online, and two in Norway (one of the main investors behind the purchase is the Norwegian entrepreneur Bård Eker’s Eker Group). Dagens Nyheter and Dagens Naeringsliv almost fill the entire screen with the news about Saab. Also notice that does not have this story as a main news item today.

To check out what bloggers write about the Saab/Koenigsegg deal today, check out Twingly.

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Facebook vanity URLs doesn’t work via mobile

This morning many people are logging on to Facebook to claim their vanity URL, a personalized web address that makes it easier to share the link to your profile page. My profile page can now be accessed at instead of followed by a series of numbers and signs. But the new vanity URLs are not accessible via mobile phone. If you type you get an error message that the page is not valid.

Facebook has more than 20 million monthly users that access the social networking site via mobile platforms so the problem with the profile pages must be solved quickly.

Hat tip: Albert Cuesta.

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Swedish daily gets 8 percent of traffic from social media

One of the challenges with trying to convince businesses and organizations to engage in social media is that there isn’t an abundance of public cases with measurable results. In order to invest, many want to see proof that social media can deliver. Therefore it is with great pleasure I read that the local Swedish daily Sydsvenskan gets 8 percent of its web traffic from social media sites. Mattias Pehrsson writes today on Sydsvenskan’s blog:

“For more and more readers, the door to us is not the address or a search engine, it’s a link in a blog, in a [social] network or in a forum.”

Last week, 8 percent of the traffic to came from social media sites, out of which Facebook is the leading referring site with 1.5 percent of the generated traffic. After Facebook comes Svenska Fans (sports community), Buzz (forum), Wikipedia and Twitter. Each of these sites deliver a few tenths of a percent of the total visits to the site. Pehrsson explains:

“But above all the traffic from social media is about the long tail. Many small sources in the end make up 8 percent of the visits”.

There you have it. Now go fish where the fishes are.

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