Ryanair threatens to sue Swedish newspaper

The Swedish local daily Sörmlands Nyheter (sn.se) today published an article with the headline “Ryanair pilots forced to fly free”. In the article, pilots describe how they get paid only for scheduled hours and not a minute more. If an aircraft is delayed, it means that pilots fly for free once their scheduled time has run out.

“This is extremely stressful, especially in the evenings. Everyone wants to come home and if you are going to fly the next day you have to get some rest between flights. Landing too late means you don’t get to fly the next day and then we have flown without pay ang get no income day after. This forces you to make stupid decisions and is a major safety hazard. I doubt that passengers know that the person flying them sometimes do so without pay,” says one pilot who wants to remain anonymous in fear of getting sacked by the airline.

The article describes the pilots’ dissatisfaction with current working conditions. In a follow up article, Ryanair’s Head of Communications Robin Kiely denied all claims from the pilots, claiming they were “rubbish”. In an email response to the paper, he also threatened to sue the paper if the statements from the pilots were published.

“If you publish any of these claims, we will initiate legal action against your newspaper,” Kiely wrote.

That seems like normal procedure at the airline, which just last week threatened to take legal action against British Channel 4, after a documentary about pilots’ concern over passenger safety. Apparently the PR strategy from Ryanair is to stop pilots from publishing any views on social networks (I blogged about it here in Swedish) and threaten to sue any media outlets that publish anonymous comments from pilots. That doesn’t sound like an airline that I would ever fly with.

Dole’s Facebook page goes “Bananas”

Earlier this year I wrote a series of posts about how the Facebook page of a brand easily becomes the first property to come under fire in a social media crisis. If you have the time, at least read the last concluding post of the four below.

Another example of a Facebook brand page under attack is currently unfolding before our eyes as I write this. Yesterday, a film called “Big boys gone bananas” aired on Swedish television. It is a follow up to a documentary about a case in which Dole was on trial for using a banned pesticide in Nicaragua. You can see the trailer to the film “Bananas” by Swedish film maker Fredrik Gertten here below. Dole Food Company did everything in their power to stop the film “Bananas” from being distributed and that process is what “Big boys gone bananas” is about.

Not surprisingly, when a film like that is aired, there are reactions and mainly on the Facebook page of Dole which is currently being filled with angry comments from (mostly) Swedes. Whether Dole will remove these comments or answer them remains to be seen, so far there has been no reaction at all from the company. Keep watching.

dole bananas

Footnote: the film “Big boys gone bananas” is mostly in Swedish, but interviews and parts are in English. You can watch the film here (only visible in Sweden, it seems), one month from today. http://www.svtplay.se/video/245806/big-boys-gone-bananas

Update: Dole is apparently deleting the negative comments on the Facebook page. Here are some that I saved from a few hours ago.

comments on Dole Facebook page, deleted by Dole

Here are some comments that are still up, probably because they are comments to one of Dole’s own status updates and have not yet been discovered:

Facebook comments deleted by Dole

Of course a company may delete content from its page that is in violation to the community guidelines or the comments policy. The question is if these are. This is what Dole’s policy states:

General community “rules for engagement” include banning or deleting any content or posts that are:

• Abusive, defamatory, or obscene
• Fraudulent, deceptive or misleading
• In violation of any intellectual property right of another
• In violation of any law or regulation
• Solicitation of charitable organization or business
• Advertising for personal business or other
• Otherwise offensive (including spam posts, such as chain letters, videos, photos, and links)

The social media guide to Eurovision Song Contest 2012 – semi-final 2

Tonight is the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan. To follow the different entries and their updates in social networks, see the list below. It is an extensive list of official Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, MySpace accounts and more. This list is even more complete than the links on the official Eurovison site. Have fun and may the best songs win.

Social media guide to Eurovision Song Contest 2012 Semi-Final (1)

Official Eurovision social media channels:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EurovisionSongContest

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Eurovision and https://twitter.com/#!/eurovisionpress
Twitter hashtags: #eurovision #esc2012

Advert: Get your £20 Free Bet today! Place a bet on Eurovision 2012 at Unibet.


Participating countries, semi-final 2.

1. Serbia

Artist: Željko Joksimović

Song: Nije Ljubav Stvar

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/ZZeljko

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rts.zeljkojoksimovic

Web: http://www.zeljkojoksimovic.com/


2. F.Y.R. Macedonia

Artist: Kaliopi

Song: Crno I Belo

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/KMPKaliopi

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kaliopi/11489283394

Web: http://www.kaliopi.com.mk/


3. The Netherlands

Artist: Joan Franka

Song: You And Me

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/JoanFranka

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JoanFrankaOfficial

Web: http://www.joanfranka.com


4. Malta

Artist: Kurt Calleja

Song: This Is The Night

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Kurtcalleja

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kurtcallejaofficial

Web: http://kurtcalleja.com/


5. Belarus

Artist: Litesound

Song: We Are The Heroes

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/litesoundband

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/litesoundband

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/litesoundmusic

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/litesound


6. Portugal

Artist: Filipa Sousa

Song: Vida Minha

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FilipaSousaCantora

Web: http://filipasousa.com/en


7. Ukraine

Artist: Gaitana

Song: Be My Guest

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/lavinamusic

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/gaitana

Facebook: http://kull.in/JxK82y

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/gaitana

Web: http://gaitana.com/


8. Bulgaria

Artist: Sofi Marinova

Song: Love Unlimited

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Sofi_Marinova

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/SofiMarinovaTV

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sofi.Marinova.Official

Web: http://www.sofi-marinova.com/


9. Slovenia

Artist: Eva Boto

Song: Verjamem

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EvaBotoSlovenia


10. Croatia

Artist: Nina Badrić

Song: Nebo

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/ninabadric7

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/OfficialNinaBadric

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NinaBadricOfficial

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ninabadricofficial

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ninabadric/

Web: http://www.ninabadric.com/


11. Sweden

Artist: Loreen

Song: Euphoria

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/LOREEN_TALHAOUI

Twitter hashtag: #loreen12p

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LoreenTalhaoui

Instagram: @loreenofficial: http://statigr.am/viewer.php#/user/50776176/

Web: http://www.loreen.se/


12. Georgia

Artist: Anri Jokhadze

Song: I’m A Joker

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/geoblogi


13. Turkey

Artist: Can Bonomo

Song: Love Me Back

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/canbonomo

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/canbonomo

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/canbonomo

Tumblr: http://canbonomo.tumblr.com/

Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/canbonomo

Web: http://www.canbonomo.com/


14. Estonia

Artist: Ott Lepland

Song: Kuula

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Ottlepland

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ottlepland

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ottlepland

Web: http://www.lepland.ee/


15. Slovakia

Artist: Max Jason Mai

Song: Don’t Close Your Eyes

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/MaxJasonMai

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/maxjasonmai

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maxjasonmai

Web: http://www.maxjasonmai.com/


16. Norway

Artist: Tooji

Song: Stay

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Tooji_

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTooji


17. Bosnia & Herzegovina

Artist: Maya Sar

Song: Korake Ti Znam

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/mayasarofficial

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MayaSarOfficial

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mayasarofficial

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mayasar

Google+: https://plus.google.com/102371423251611121007

Web: http://www.mayasar.com/


18. Lithuania

Artist: Donny Montell

Song: Love Is Blind

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/DonnyMontell

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/donnymontell

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Donatas-Montvydas/27243344154




Pinterest spammers use bbc.co.uk redirect to fool users

There is a growing amount of spam on Pinterest and I blogged today on my Swedish blog about how it is easy to replace a link on a pinned image to send unsuspecting users to a spam site. Just replace the image link with a link using a URL shortener and no-one can tell before they clicked the image that they aren’t going to end up on the site where the image was originally published. In my blog post you can see the screen shots from an image of Strandvägen in Stockholm, which if you click on it, sends you to a site selling weight loss pills.

Here’s how it works. Pin an image to Pinterest, then edit the link and add a link to the site you want users to visit. Use a URL shortener to hide the real address. Alternatively you use the BBC redirect scam which works like this. Instead of using a URL shortener, you type the address of the landing page after this BBC redirect URL, example:


This way, Pinterest displays “bbc.co.uk” as the source of the image. Credible, right?

You can type any URL after that BBC link, for example http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/redirect.shtml?http://www.cnn.com This link will send you to a BBC page which automatically redirects you to the site at the end of the URL.



Here is a live (at least for now) example of the BBC scam, on an image I found by searching for Copenhagen on Pinterest:



Barack Obama’s profile on Pinterest hijacked again

After a bit of confusion this week, I finally understood what had happened to Barack Obama’s profile page on Pinterest. It seemed as if the account had pinned several “non-presidential” images to a board, but in reality a user had taken advantage of a security flaw in Pinterest. When you invite another user to collaborate on a board, that board becomes visible on that user’s profile too. So an inactive account like Obama’s could be “hijacked” to include any board without the account owner even noticing it.

After that first incident, the person who managed the board that appeared on Obama’s page, removed it. But now it has happened again. Another board is visible on pinterest.com/barackobama and once again it does not belong to that account.


Having the President look like a fool on your site, can’t be good for business. Pinterest should change the procedure so that a user that has been invited to collaborate on a board actively has to agree that the board becomes visible on its profile.

Barack Obama brandjacked on Pinterest – updated

[Updated – see end of the post] Yesterday Mashable noted that Barack Obama had joined yet another social network, namely the much hyped Pinterest. At that point, the account had no boards. I must admit that I thought that it was an official account for the Obama/Biden campaign. I couldn’t for the life of me think that the campaign people and/or Pinterest would allow someone to snatch the username “barackobama” from the US President. But it seems both Mashable and I were wrong.

The Pinterest account has now posted one board, but it does not at all look like the kind of content you thought would be pinned by Obama. In fact, when you hold the cursor over the board you will notice that the link points to a board by another user: http://pinterest.com/mikestreet/bropin/ This board has some 440 pins, including some images that are NSFW.

Pin It

Barack Obama Pinterest

I don’t know how this is done technically. When I look at my own Pinterest profile I only see boards that are my own. But “mikestreet” has the very same board with the same images on his profile, so clearly this must be a fake Obama account. What do you think? Could there be another explanation?

Update: I emailed with Lauren Orsini who gave a reasonable explanation to what happened. The account is probably not fake at all, but the board seen above in my screen shot was put there as a joke by Mike Street. You see, there is a way to add other Pinterest users as collaborators to your boards and when you do, that board will appear on their profile too. This can be used with great effect if you are doing it to an inactive account, like a celebrity for example, they will not notice they have been added. So the Obama account was not paying attention that Mike added it as collaborator, making us believe that Obama had created a board named #BroPin. Lauren has written about that security flaw here – How to hijack popular brands on Pinterest for free publicity.

Although I don’t recommend that you do this on Pinterest, I must admit I was fooled. Well played!