Tag: Social Listening

The Social Dilemma. Like my post and share it!

The Problem: Our current society is one of overexposure.

Do we need a Hollywood blockbuster about the downside of social media? Several tech rockstars tell everybody about their work and how they look at their work in a retrospective. We don’t need another call to action to review whether WeChat sucks more than Facebook.

I couldn’t agree more with nearly any claim in this movie. But I think the Call to action is wrong, or better still open. “Like Our Movie, Forward It To A Friend, and Sign up for our Newsletter – so the message gets out and the algorithms learn” are precisely the tactics that work but support the machine that has created our dilemma – or precisely overexposure.” Overexposure drives Social Listening – but – as the artist, Banksy says: Invisibility is a superpower. Data Management Platforms can make our life better but still be in line with our moral standards. We can support your ambition in a guided onboarding.


The world has long recognized the positive applications of social media, from its role in empowering protesters to speak out against oppression during the Arab Spring uprisings almost a decade ago, to serving an instrumental role in fighting for equity and justice today. And in 2020, during an astonishing global pandemic, social media has become our lifeline to stay in touch with loved ones, as well as proving to be an asset for mobilizing civil rights protests. However, the system that connects us also invisibly controls us. The collective lack of understanding about how these platforms actually operate has led to hidden and often harmful consequences to society—consequences that are becoming more and more evident over time, and consequences that, the subjects in The Social Dilemma suggest, are an existential threat to humanity.

The Social Dilemma is a powerful exploration of the disproportionate impact that a relatively small number of engineers in Silicon Valley have over the way we think, act, and live our lives. The film deftly tackles an underlying cause of our viral conspiracy theories, teenage mental health issues, rampant misinformation and political polarization, and makes these issues visceral, understandable, and urgent. Through a unique combination of documentary investigation and entertaining narrative drama, award-winning filmmakers Jeff Orlowski (Chasing Ice, Chasing Coral) and Larissa Rhodes (Chasing Coral) have once again exposed the invisible in a manner that is both enlightening and harrowing as they disrupt the disrupters by unveiling the hidden machinations behind everyone’s favorite social media and search platforms.

The film features compelling interviews with high-profile tech whistleblowers and innovation leaders including Tristan Harris of the Center for Humane Technology; the co-inventor of the Facebook “Like” button, Justin Rosenstein; Tim Kendall, former President of Pinterest and former Director of Monetization at Facebook; Cathy O’Neil, author of Weapons of Math Destruction; Rashida Richardson, Director of Policy at the AI Now Institute, and many others. Demonstrating how social media affects consumers on a personal level, these fascinating insider insights are seamlessly woven into a captivating narrative, including Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men), that illuminates the very real consequences these seemingly innocent technologies can have on our everyday lives.

Cellphone Spies – Eric Snowden on the State of Surveillance in 2020

I am a fan of data-driven analytics and have enjoyed working with brilliant minds in massive computing, network infrastructure, and targeting for 20 years. It’s a fundament of private communication and changed the way businesses and even governments interact. In any sense: Data has become vital to our life. No one wants to miss connected mobility or predictive health services in 2020.

But we have a problem, once an evil party misuses this power in lousy interest. Therefore, it’s essential to stay on top of what’s the 2020 State of Surveillance. Edward Snowden is undoubtedly an authority in this space. The interview gives us an overview of the 2020 state of ubiquitous data collection. The conclusion is straightforward: We need a professional and ethical discourse and mustn’t leave the discussion to the nerds.   

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Are you aware of the current state of surveillance, and what if anything has changed since your revelations? Yeah, I mean the big thing that’s changed. Since 2013 it’s now mobile-first everything. Mobile was still a big deal, right, and the intelligence community was very much grappling to get its hands around it and deal with it. Yet, now people are much less likely to use a laptop than use a desktop than then use, you know, God, any wired phone then they already use a smartphone. Unfortunately, both Apple and Android devices are not especially good at protecting your privacy right now. 

Why Search Listening?

Is there a correlation between racists and Trump voters?

The Neuroscience of Everybody’s Favorite Topic by Scientific American researched that our favorite communication topic is ourselves because it feels good. And, as  Samantha Boardman, a clinical instructor in psychiatry at Weill-Cornell Medical College, added. “Stereotypes lead us to believe that women enjoy chatting more than men. According to science, it’s more nuanced than that. A test conducted to explore social interaction patterns found that women speak only slightly more than men in professional and social settings. In large groups, men tend to dominate the conversation. 👉  There is a better way to gather information – called Search Listening.

The traces of information that billions of people leave on Google, social media, dating, and even pornography sites–finally reveal the truth. As Seth Stephens Davidowitz showed in Everybody Lies, we can learn what people think and what they do by monitoring their behavior. These predictions based on Google Search volume have outperformed any research institute in 2016 and again in 2020.

Everybody Lies Image Search Volume and Trump Votes

Listening to Search Engines

Thanks to AI, Cloud Computing, and Superfast Networks, competitive monitoring is the new norm. Search listening can map keywords to need states, which tells us more than simple keyword lists and search volumes. We use the language that reflects how customers speak and generate multiple reports around long-tail, more editorial, or conversational searches. 

When and where someone is looking for information, social support, inspiration, hard facts, or help tells us what they think and who they think is qualified as a trusted source. We use anonymous and aggregate data, not any individual data. Brand names, stock market prices, and shareholders’ information (Cap Tables) are public information. The same accounts for product names, price lists, and ratings in the shops. We find these insights in specialist forums and investment networks—no need for stalking or stealing private data. You have to know where to look for it and how to understand the data impact. And when you start analyzing this data, you get a different picture.

Search like it´s 2021 - not 1999

For a long time, we have been using searching engines like this:
💁🏽 You type in the first query, the Google Algorithm does it’s little magic, and you get a response. If you don’t like the outcome, you start the same process. You type in a second independent revised query. Again the Google algorithm does it’s little magic, and you get a new response. You can play this for a while. It’s time-consuming.

💁🏽 Now, let the Google algorithm learn from the first query – so it’s becoming a compound query, meaning it combines more than one component query into a single SQL statement via a set operator. In our first example, let the algorithm know that we are on a smartphone with GPS enabled. That’s not a big deal in 2020. Around 2 billion people can do that and immediately understand that the dentist’s address has geo-information, which can be read by google maps.

📲Your digital assistant, formerly known as your smartphone, has a built-in superpower. It can take photos and has sensors; it knows if you are walking, running, or driving. It knows where it is, where you have been, who your friends are, and that you have an active UBER account. The system managed the complexity in the background. The user experience is seamless and takes just one minute It´s a Game Changer in B2B and B2C. 🚀  

Start listening to implicit signals.

We can combine multiple data sources and identify implicit signals. Here comes an example of an implicit indication. If I search for a specific category or brand, you learn a lot about my brand awareness, my attitude, and my buying intent

Technical Data can be an important signal and indicate a business impact. For example: maybe you heard of drones and small satellites monitoring physical car traffic patterns. They can tell you how many cars leave the factory or how many vehicles use the Tesla Supercharger Network, including the time of day and frequency. You can learn about Tesla’s 🚕 adoption rates, charging interval, and you can analyze these insights over time and compare different stations of the Tesla Supercharger Network. 

Start understanding the stage of the funnel.

Search Listening Social Listening Funnel Reverse Engineer Innovation

Welcome to the world of Atlas Solutions and others

The mobile advertising ecosystem has experienced rapid growth in the past few years. The most important drivers are mobile devices and carrier networks’ technological evolution, enabling faster mobile bandwidth at flat rates. With the proliferation of smarter mobile touch screen devices and an open ecosystem of applications, mobile advertising connects billions of ad requests to ad spaces within milliseconds. More client cases about gathering insights in a world of ubiquitous computing and Q&A.

Facebook has put the focus on Atlas' ability to serve ad campaigns, but also measure digital-ad performance in a way that goes beyond what traditional cookie-based ad measurement can deliver across devices.

Business Insider

The Wolf – espionage showcase

The Wolf - espionage showcase

Do you still believe, that in 2020 attackers still show up at your front door, wearing a mask? And do you still rely on a old fashioned set of IT stacks that does the job just good enough? And do you still believe that old email servers or unpatched vulnerabilities shouldn’t worry you?

You are wrong. With the right search listening framework, hackers can easily find out, what tech stack your organization is using. Some search engines like shodan will tell anyone about unpatched vulnerabilities and give anyone access to your core network. And with some time, it´s pretty easy to enter the core network and from there enter your mail system and manipulate internal communication.  

Hmm, sounds too complicated  to happen? It´s astonishing simple. HP has been leaning on cinematic creative to wow audiences. The movie centres heavily on technology, cyber-warfare and espionage – creating a platform with which to showcase HP products. Click to watch HP Studios and Christian Slater walk you through the story in 7 minutes. Hollywood style  … Fore! 

On Crime

The hunt continues

The second movie from printer and network specialists HP´s Hollywood-style implementation with Christian Slater. 

security dashboard image
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We have put some more background information and learnings from watchdog journalism to help companies protect their business a little bit better against threats from cybersecurity threats. 

C84 client stories can help you understand the obvious and protect yourself against threats. If you like to dig a little bit deeper, check out Device based Networks Analytics or directly connect with Axel Hoehnke.

Need Help?

Hire a partner for a project in stealth mode.

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How do vertical search engines get their results?

How search engines get the information they need to build their lists of results pages.

Search Listening is the new superpower, which raises the question: How do these engines work? Search engines follow links​. Links connect pages and documents, much like roads connect villages and cities. By following these links, search engines collect data to show to their users. But how do they do it?

Search engines consist of three parts: the crawler, the index, and the algorithm. The process begins with a crawler that travels the web through links and pages. The crawler mainly looks for content-headings and site-structure. 

The crawler goes around the internet 24/7, and when it passes through a website, it saves the HTML version of a page in an enormous database – called the index. 

The index is updated every time the crawler comes around again and finds new information. In Google’s case, the crawler revisits your site more or less often depending on how often you change things and how important Google thinks your site is.

How do search engines prioritize the result pages and finally build their ranking?

Search engines use an algorithm for this. The algorithm takes the data from the index and calculates many factors that predict whether a result will be useful for the searcher.

Like we maintain our websites to say relevant, Google never stops re-evaluating their indexing database and algorithm. While we’re talking about links, both internal links (links from one part of your website to another part of your website) and external links (links from a different website to yours) have a tremendous effect on search engine rankings.

Site-speed, site-security, and quality of content are essential. But Google makes changes to the importance of all these different factors almost every day. Therefore, crawlers follow all the links on the web that they have access to continuously. This way, they can find new sites to index and change outdated information.

What is special about vertical search engines?

Vertical search engines use the same process but obviously follow a fundamentally different objective. Like any generic search engine, vertical search engines consist of crawlers, an index, and an algorithm. But vertical search engines are trained to optimize in an extraordinary direction. You cannot find the same level of information in generic search engines as in vertical search engines. But you will find more about vertical search and Searchlistening in the Blog and our Support Section

/ – or here in German 

Information warfare and Data Leaks

What is information Warfare?

The process of Information Warfare comes in four simple steps. The procedure is neither complicated nor very expensive. While Steps 1 to 3 are standard processes in digital advertising, the intention and execution are against any code of conduct. Step 4 means that bot armies pump deceptive content into online information systems on a large scale. The dark art of machine learning is perfecting search listening and enables bots to feed material to people most likely to share faked media.  

Step 1: 👉 Gather Metadata.

Step 2: 👉 Build Profiles and Triggers.

Step 3: 👉 Create Campaigns.

Step 4: 👉 Run Campaigns

The information Warfare Attack Chain


What did Cambridge Analytica do?

Cambridge Analytica worked with the winning Brexit campaign, harvested millions of social media profiles and data leaks, and used them to build a powerful software program to predict and influence choices at the ballot box. They use the same methodology as we would to predict buying intent for a consumer product.

Cambridge Analytica used scraping techniques to collect and compute profiles from social networks. Scraping networks stand for automatically collecting data from publicly available social profiles and is an established practice. Cambridge Analytica worked with Donald Trump’s election team and the winning Brexit campaign harvested millions of social media profiles of US voters and used them to build a powerful software program to predict and influence choices at the ballot box.

Information Warfare by Cambridge Analytica used scraping and scoring to collect and compute profiles from social networks. Scraping networks stand for automatically collecting data from publicly available social profiles and is an established practice. Cambridge Analytica worked with Donald Trump’s election team. The winning Brexit campaign harvested millions of social media profiles of US voters. It used them to build a powerful software program to predict and influence choices at the ballot box. Cambridge Analytica’s marketing combined Behavioral Science, Big Data analysis, and personalized advertising.

Cambridge Analytica’s marketing is based on a combination of three elements: behavioral science, Big Data analysis, and ad targeting. Ad targeting, defined as personalized advertising, aligned as accurately as possible to the personality of an individual consumer

Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix

Other data leaks

According to the Kaspersky Report – “Can you keep a secret? A plethora of secrets, unprotected” we are facing a problem.  While 81% of the respondents believe that everyone has a secret they don’t want to reveal to others. And  75% think that in today’s connected world, keeping secrets private is more important than ever.  But, only 31% of respondents have strengthened their passwords. Only 37% have up-to-date security protection on all their devices

LinkedIn data leak

LinkedIn allows users to create profiles and then establish connections with other users. Users create a profile on the site; they can choose from various levels of privacy protection. They can keep their faces entirely private or make them viewable by their direct connections to a broader network of relationships with all other LinkedIn members or the entire public. When users choose the last option, their profiles are viewable by anyone online. LinkedIn also allows access to public profiles via search engines such as Google. Competitive Monitoring systematically reads data from LinkedIn.

Data analyst hiQ tells employers which of their employees are at the most significant being recruited away. The company sells information that hiQ generates through LinkedIn users” publicly available profiles.  HiQ could also make data from users available even after those users have removed it from their profiles or deleted their profiles altogether.

LinkedIn allows users to create profiles and then establish connections with other users. Users create a profile on the site; they can choose from various levels of privacy protection. They can keep their faces entirely private or make them viewable by their direct connections to a broader network of relationships with all other LinkedIn members or the entire public. When users choose the last option, their profiles are viewable by anyone online. LinkedIn also allows access to public profiles via vertical search engines. Competitive Monitoring listens to LinkedIn

  • LinkedIn points to the interest that some users may have in preventing employers or other parties from tracking changes they have made to their profiles. LinkedIn posts that when a user updates his countenance, that action may signal to his employer that he is looking for a new position.
  • LinkedIn states that over 50 million LinkedIn members have used a “Do Not Broadcast” feature that prevents the site from notifying other users when a member makes profile changes. This feature is available even when a profile is public.
  • LinkedIn also points to specific user complaints it has received objecting to the use of data by third parties. In particular, two users complained that they had previously featured on their profile but subsequently removed, remained viewable via third parties.
  • LinkedIn argues that both it and its users, therefore, face substantial harm absent an injunction; if hiQ can continue its data collection.

Yahoo data leak

Yahoo! affirmed in October 2017 that all 3 billion of its user accounts were impacted, considered the largest discovered data breach in the history of the Internet. McMillan, Robert; Knutson, Ryan (October 3, 2017). “Yahoo Triples Estimate of Breached Accounts to 3 Billion”. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 3, 2017. Marissa Mayer, the person in charge, showed little awareness of security policies.

2012 Data Security Intrusions (Wall Street Journal) 

January through April 2012, malicious actors accessed Yahoo’s internal systems.

2013 Data Breach: In August 2013, malicious actors were able to gain access to Yahoo’s user database and took records for all existing Yahoo accounts—approximately three billion accounts worldwide. The documents taken included the names, email addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, passwords, and Yahoo account holders’ security questions and answers. As a result, the actors may have also gained access to the contents of breached Yahoo accounts and, thus, private information in users’ emails, calendars, and contacts.

2014 Data Breach: In November 2014, malicious actors were able to gain access to Yahoo’s user database and take records of approximately 500 million user accounts worldwide.

2015 and 2016 Data Breach: From 2015 to September 2016, malicious actors could use cookies instead of a password to gain access to approximately 32 million Yahoo email accounts.

The Court granted final approval to the Yahoo! class action settlement and entered its judgment on July 22, 2020. In the order approving the settlement, the Court also awarded attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses and service awards to the class representatives who brought the suit on behalf of the class.

What you should do

Do not share your personal information with strangers over the phone, email, or even text messages. These types of requests could very well be scams. A breached company should send you a data breach notification. However, if unusual notices via email or in the mail arrive under a different name, that can be a sign that you are a victim of identity theft.

  • Unique account, unique password: Creating strong and unique passwords for every account is the best first step to protecting yourself against a breach. Use a password generator to create passwords for you. Unique passwords ensure that a violation at one website doesn’t result in a stolen account at another.
  • Protect your email: If a hacker has access to your email account, they can use password resets at most sites to get into other accounts. Consider creating an alternate email address for online signups. And be sure to turn on multi-factor authentication for your email account.
  • Give fake answers to security questions: You know those silly security questions companies ask you so you can “prove” who you are? Don’t give real answers. Use the password generator to create random replies that you can then store in LastPass or similar tools.


The use of these Internet pages is possible without any indication of personal data; however, if a data subject wants to use special enterprise services via our website, personal data processing could become necessary …