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.
Zillow launches real estate brokerage after eons of swearing they wouldn’t
(MEDIA) We’ve warned of this for years, the industry funded it, and Zillow Homes brokerage has launched, and there are serious questions at hand.
Zillow Homes was announced today, a Zillow licensed brokerage that will be fully operational in 2021 in Phoenix, Tucson, and Atlanta.
Whoa, big huge yawn-inducing shocker, y’all.
We’ve been warning for more than a decade that this was the end game, and the company blackballed us for our screams (and other criticisms, despite praise when merited here and there).
Blog posts were penned in fiery effigy calling naysayers like us stupid and paranoid.
Well color me unsurprised that the clarity of the gameplan was clear as day all along over here, and the paid talking heads sent out to astroturf, gaslight, and threaten us are now all quiet.
We watched The Social Dilemma – here are some social media tips that stuck with us
(SOCIAL MEDIA) Here are some takeaways from watching Netflix’s The Social Dilemma that helped me to eliminate some social media burnout.
Last weekend, I made the risky decision to watch The Social Dilemma on Netflix. I knew it was an important thing to watch, but the risk was that I also knew it would wig me out a bit. As much as I’m someone who is active “online,” the concept of social media overwhelms me almost more than it entertains (or enlightens) me.
The constant sharing of information, the accessibility to information, and the endless barrage of notifications are just a few of the ways social media can cause overwhelm. The documentary went in deeper than this surface-level content and got into the nitty gritty of how people behind the scenes use your data and track your usage.
Former employees of high-profile platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, and Pinterest gave their two cents on the dangers of social media from a technological standpoint. Basically, our data isn’t just being tracked to be passed along for newsletters and the like. But rather, humans are seen as products that are manipulated to buy and click all day every day in order to make others money and perpetuate information that has astronomical effects. (I’m not nearly as intelligent as these people, so watch the documentary to get the in-depth look at how all of this operates.)
One of the major elements that stuck with me was the end credits of The Social Dilemma where they asked interviewees about the ways they are working to eliminate social media overwhelm in their own lives. Some of these I’ve implemented myself and can attest to. Here’s a short list of things you can do to keep from burning out online.
- Turn off notifications – unless there are things you need to know about immediately (texts, emails, etc.) turn it off. Getting 100 individual notifications within an hour from those who liked your Instagram post will do nothing but burn you (and your battery) out.
- Know how to use these technologies to change the conversation and not perpetuate things like “fake news” and clickbait.
- Uninstall apps that are wasting your time. If you feel yourself wasting hours per week mindlessly scrolling through Facebook but not actually using it, consider deleting the app and only checking the site from a desktop or Internet browser.
- Research and consider using other search tools instead of Google (one interviewee mentioned that Qwant specifically does not collect/store your information the way Google does).
- Don’t perpetuate by watching recommended videos on YouTube, those are tailored to try and sway or sell you things. Pick your own content.
- Research the many extensions that remove these recommendations and help stop the collection of your data.
At the end of the day, just be mindful of how you’re using social media and what you’re sharing – not just about yourself, but the information you’re passing along from and to others. Do your part to make sure what you are sharing is accurate and useful in this conversation.
WeChat ban blocked by California judge, but for how long?
(SOCIAL MEDIA) WeChat is protected by First Amendment concerns for now, but it’s unclear how long the app will remain as pressure mounts.
WeChat barely avoided a US ban after a Californian judge stepped in to temporarily block President Trump’s executive order. Judge Laurel Beeler cited the effects of the ban on US-based WeChat users and how it threatened the First Amendment rights of those users.
“The plaintiffs’ evidence reflects that WeChat is effectively the only means of communication for many in the community, not only because China bans other apps, but also because Chinese speakers with limited English proficiency have no options other than WeChat,” Beeler wrote.
WeChat is a Chinese instant messaging and social media/mobile transaction app with over 1 billion active monthly users. The WeChat Alliance, a group of users who filed the lawsuit in August, pointed out that the ban unfairly targets Chinese-Americans as it’s the primary app used by the demographic to communicate with loved ones, engage in political discussions, and receive news.
The app, along with TikTok, has come under fire as a means for China to collect data on its users. U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has stated, “At the President’s direction, we have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations.”
This example is yet another symptom of our ever-globalizing society where we are learning to navigate between connectivity and privacy. The plaintiffs also pointed out alternatives to an outright ban. One example cited was in Australia, where WeChat is now banned from government officials’ phones but not others.
Beeler has said that the range in alternatives to preserving national security affected her decision to strike down the ban. She also explained that in regards to dealing with national security, there is “scant little evidence that (the Commerce Department’s) effective ban of WeChat for all US users addresses those concerns.”
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