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Hey Pinterest, who is Mike and why am I stuck liking him?

A mystery Chrome extension has popped up, and the internet was no help in solving the mystery, but through some tricky maneuvering, it was made obvious that not all Google Chrome extensions are made equal.

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What is MikeLike?

A few weeks ago, I noticed in my Google Chrome when I right click on a photo, a small blue icon and the words “Pin to MikeLike,” and red alarms immediately went off in my head – who the bleep is Mike and why is he up in my Chrome? I’ve never heard of MikeLike, nor have I ever installed anything from the Pinterest clone, so where did this come from?

I put on my Sherlock Holmes hat, stuffed my pipe with pretend tobacco, and began sleuthing. First, I headed over to the MikeLike site and read their about page and terms, and found nothing about uninstalling MikeLike from Google Chrome. Maybe I accidentally downloaded some Google Chrome extension, so I dug through all of my Google Chrome settings and there was nothing called MikeLike that I could delete or uninstall.

Nothing? I checked my browser history that goes back nearly 12 months, and I found no instance of having visited anything named MikeLike. Google searching didn’t reveal much information about it, so I headed over to the Google Chrome Web App Store and found a MikeLike extension, but it wasn’t installed on my Chrome.

The mystery deepens

This mystery is frustrating. Who is Mike? Someone please tell me! In desperation, I ran a sweep on my computer to make sure it wasn’t some malware I had been exposed to, and all was clear. I quickly decided that Pinterest was out to get me, but just in case that wasn’t true, I kept searching for answers.

With a little digging, I found someone complaining that the Pinterest Right Click Google Chrome Extension had added the ability to “Pin to MikeLike,” so I searched to see if I had downloaded that extension. I could tell from the “Add to Chrome” button on the page that I did not have it installed.

It seemed like a dead end, until I remembered that I had tested out several Chrome Extensions for pinning to Pinterest and settled on the “Pinterest Button” which is not designed by Pinterest, so it can technically make any changes it wants to, even if it is just one guy who built an app once upon a time.

By uninstalling the “Pinterest Button” Chrome extension, there was no more “Pin to MikeLike” when I right click an image, and when I am in Pinterest, I no longer have a stupid extra button when I hover over a picture.

Problem solved, what was the lesson learned?

It may seem minor to some, but this felt like a major violation to me – the brand was inconsistent and not even named the same thing as the Pinterest Button extension, and there was no way for most people to stumble upon the answer as to who the hell MikeLike is. I panicked and wasted a lot of time trying to uninstall this and that, and to no avail. MikeLike may be useful for some, as it offers private pin boards, but through no fault of Pinterest, a rogue extension downloaded to Chrome led to a great deal of confusion.

The lesson: when installing Chrome Extensions or any sort of browser tool, try to use the official extension from the source if you can, even if the functionality lacks. Although there is no official Pinterest extension on Chrome, the closest, most legitimate extension is the Pinterest Pin It Button (by Shareaholic) which works just fine and doesn’t force you into liking Mike, who is still a mystery person.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Janet Aronica

    May 8, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Hey hey – thanks so much for the kind words on our Pinterest Chrome extension! We’re glad you like it and find it to be a good substitute for this other one. Please give me a personal shout-out if it causes you any issues like that other one did – jaronica at shareaholic.com. Glad to have you as a user.

    – Janet from Shareaholic

  2. LindseyMclain

    July 22, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    thank you so much for explaining that!  i agree with the feeling of violation.  i am following your lead and switching to shareaholics extension.

  3. MTgrrl

    July 24, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Thanks very much for your sleuthing.  I suspected that was the issue, but had not got off my lazy butt long enough to track it down and find a legit Chrome extension.  It was fabulous to find  your answer to my problem!

  4. Reema_ajdeeda

    August 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I uninstalled the extension but it still says the mike thing. I dont know what to do.
     

  5. Reema_ajdeeda

    August 15, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    nevermind. i was on the wrong extension. 🙂

  6. margaretalmon

    August 27, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Thank you for solving this mystery!  I appreciate you taking the time to figure this out.

  7. TARAdactyl

    October 10, 2012 at 10:49 am

    THANK YOU! I was going nuts with this and SO felt it was annoying AND a violation. I was not going to use the service and the fact that it interfered with the functionality of Pinterest made that doubly bad..:)

  8. mystitsu

    December 9, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    I found out if you want to use the Pinterest right click extension you can turn off the option to pin to likemike  Make sure you turn them both off if you do. One says Pin to likemike and one says pin to likemike from pinterest.

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Social Media

Facebook beta features fresh friendly facade you can try out

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook is trying to change it’s image, literally. They already changed their logo, now is time for a new design you can see in the beta.

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facebook beta

After sixteen years in the game, Facebook is getting a facelift. Facebook has been working on a redesign for quite some time and they’re finally starting to roll out a beta. Facebook is taking the rollout slow, so it looks like just a few users are seeing the redesign and the rest of us will have to wait. Want to be among the first to test out the new look? Here’s how you can, maybe, make it happen.

If you are one of the lucky few who has been selected to beta test, then getting the new design should be simple. When you log into your account (as if you ever log out) a pop up will prompt you to try out the new beta. If this doesn’t happen, and you’re still feeling optimistic, then turn your eye to the upper right-hand corner of your screen and look for a button labeled “See Facebook Beta.” Still no button, but want to keep the hope alive? Click the drop-down arrow in the right-hand corner of your screen and see if the Facebook Beta option appears in the dropdown. Nothing yet? Tough luck, kid. You have not been chosen.

If the new design is available to you, then Facebook will offer to give you a tour of the new system. The fresh UI aims to simplify the user experience by making the page less cluttered and easier to navigate. Icons will be sleeker and brighter and it should be easier than ever to access your Messenger conversations. And if you decide that you kind of hate the new design, no big deal. Users will have the option to switch back to the classic design, at least while the redesign is still in beta.

Platform redesigns are always a contentious topic of conversation for users. Twitter, in particular, has seen some user drama over its redesigns through the years. Sometimes a redesign will knock out your favorite feature or make a shortcut you used to take in a workflow pointless. And, honestly, sometimes people just don’t like change. Whatever side of the coin you’re on, let us know how you feel about Facebook’s new look.

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Google takes a shot at competing with TikTok, Pinterest videos

(SOCIAL MEDIA) We all love to sit and watch short videos, be they humorous, reactionary, or weird, but here is Googles attempt to get educational with Tangi.

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Tangi screenshot

It’s happened to anyone who’s ever been looking online for how-to help… you click on a likely-sounding YouTube video, only to be greeted by an ad you can’t skip, a whole lot of introductory chit-chat, and three minutes of build-up before you finally see exactly what you need to do to handle your would-be DIY hack.

But what if you could get your answer in 60 seconds or less? It’s the concept behind Tangi, a newly released Google app created in the company’s Area 120 incubator by developer Coco Mao.

Variously described as short-form YouTube, video Pinterest, or TikTok for makers, Tangi was inspired by Mao discovering that her “smartphone challenged” parents were using their devices to watch photography and painting tutorials—and developing new hobbies as a result.

She came back to Google and worked with her team to develop Tangi as a place where such how-to inspiration could be more easily found and taken advantage of. “The name is inspired by the words TeAch aNd Give,” she explained as she introduced the app at the end of January. “’Tangible’—things you can make.”

The philosophy behind Tangi means this is hands-on how-to for the crafty club. The time-lapse heavy videos “could quickly get a point across,” Mao said, “something that used to take a long time to learn with just text and images.”

Videos fall into categories of art, cooking, DIY, fashion and beauty, and lifestyle, and are often accompanied by links to recipes or the maker’s blog or Instagram for more information. Some makers don’t quite have the format down pat yet, but most manage to provide a good balance of visual inspiration and a little more information.

And like Pinterest, Tangi can turn into a time-lapsing rabbit hole of its own. I started with a mere 10-second clip on propagating succulents (I’ve been doing it wrong), which led to a minute on “when succulents stretch” (“etiolation” — new vocabulary word!), which led to a succulent cake which led to a conversation heart cake and before I knew it, 20 minutes had gone by and I was watching an exploding heart science Valentine and had washed up at “Yoda one for me.”

While the app has only been out for about a week … and is only available on iOS and the web … it’s already well populated with content from makers and lifestyle bloggers who partnered with Mao’s team during the development process. And though it’s still in closed-beta mode for content creators, users can apply to be on a waitlist to be invited to upload their own work.

There are a few question marks still. No word on when it will be available on Google’s own Android platform, for one thing. While a couple of intrepid contributors are reviewing education apps and dispensing startup advice, its philosophy as stated by team lead Mao may not extend much more beyond the maker and creative fields to include technology and workplace input. And Google doesn’t always support its apps for long.

But it’s fun, simple, and easy on the eyes. As a place to find quick inspiration and direction, Tangi could carve out a niche.

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New Reddit policy on impersonation mimics other social media giants

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Reddit is the latest social media company to change their policy to protect against deepfake impersonation, because of the harm they can cause.

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impersonation with deepfakes

Reddit is the latest social media company making updates to their rules and policies ahead of the 2020 election. Companies like Facebook, Twitter, and now Reddit are all trying to make the social internet a safer place to receive information.

Reddit’s new policy officially bans impersonation with the goal of handling “bad actors who are trying to manipulate Reddit, particularly are issues of great public significance, like elections.”

Deepfakes have become a key topic of conversation the last few years. In the wake of the mass spreading of misinformation during the 2016 presidential election, users have grown wearier than ever of the information they see online. Deepfakes are no longer a niche subject, but an everyday pain point that technology companies are scrambling to control.

In a statement made on r/redditsecurity, Reddit informed users of the change to website policy stating, “Reddit does not allow content that impersonates individuals or entities in a misleading or deceptive manner. This not only includes using a Reddit account to impersonate someone, but also encompasses things such as domains that mimic others, as well as deepfakes or other manipulated content presented to mislead, or falsely attributed to an individual or entity.”

The platform isn’t trying to make a mass change to it’s often humor driven culture. Parody and satire are still allowed forms of impersonation so long as the joke is obvious. Reddit has vowed to always take context into account when looking at cases of user impersonation.

It’s a good sign for society when popular social platforms start taking their role in controlling the spread of false information seriously. Companies like Reddit are in a position to create real change in the way we spread and consume information about major global events.

What’s unclear is how much man power these companies are putting behind their policies. Reddit ends their statement by pointing users to a report form that users can submit if they or someone else is the victim of impersonation. The question users should be asking is how long would it take to get a response or see action on these reports?

Policy changes are great, but if companies are simply throwing them onto their fine print with no resources behind enforcement then it’s not social change, it’s just legal jargon to protect their ass.

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