The Most Searched-for Term on the Internet

What’s the most searched-for term or word on the internet?

I want you to think about that, because it’s not what you think, and it shows that many people have a fundamental misunderstanding of how search engines, and the internet itself, work.

I want to make search work better for you, and that means finding what you’re looking for.

But before we get to that we need to understand what is, and is not a search engine. Based on what people are actually searching for, there’s a lot of confusion.

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About that Facebook test…

This week, tech news and social media were all up in arms about a test that Facebook had performed a few years back.

The test was very simple: for a small subset of users, Facebook tweaked the algorithm that decides what posts to show you. Group A got slightly more negative posts displayed in their feed, and group B got slightly more positive posts. The net effect is that people in group A went on to share slightly more negative posts themselves, whereas the folks in group B posted slightly more positive things.

Now, I’m not going get into the ethics of the test, or the tap dancing around Facebook’s terms of service that apparently occurred. This isn’t even about whether Facebook’s actions were good or evil, right or wrong or something else (though I will touch on one of the outcomes of the test and how it has direct relevance to something I’m doing.)

Nope. This is about a greater reality that I think you need to be aware of.

You’re being experimented on all the time.

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Would deleting Facebook help clear up a malware infection?


Is there such a thing as a computer that’s not infected? I’ve been diligently and faithfully watching my XP for years and yet I’ve been invaded by malware and cannot get rid of it. I’m using AVG 2014; updating it the first thing every day when I turn on the computer. Running MS Security Essentials, Malwarebytes anti-malware yet I have been infected by something called Friendschecker that pops up in Firefox and Internet Explorer. I searched high and low for some tool to delete this despicable program but no luck so far.

Googling is useless as the responses are full of “go to Control Panel, choose friendschecker and delete it.” The program just doesn’t show up. I use CCleaner and Advanced Uninstaller (both fabulous tools) but they don’t find this program. Noted that I use the free tools but what I noticed is that this virus seems to have migrated over to my netbook while it is connected to my home network. As a long time computer user, I’m at my wits’ end. Could you please suggest a virus remover program that is better than the ones I’ve listed? What about deleting Facebook completely? Could that help? I think I deleted something from Facebook, people I have no connection to at all, so I have no problem trying to delete Facebook if it can be done at all.

To be clear, deleting Facebook won’t help. Facebook is nothing more than a website you visit. It actually doesn’t install anything on your computer, so there’s nothing to delete. There are occasionally rogue apps that try to install stuff on your computer, but you usually get those by visiting sites other than Facebook where they try to get you to download something. That’s more traditional malware, as it does in fact download and install on your machine.

Now, I’m not even saying that’s how you got this.

To be honest, I don’t really know exactly how you got it. Somehow, somewhere, though, something was indeed downloaded and installed on your machine.

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Why is my picture showing up next to emails I send?

One of my email contacts sees an image, which is next to my name at the top left side of the email that they’re viewing. Other contacts don’t see this image. I’ve not knowingly put this image there. The image has a URL link, which goes to Facebook. Do you know how to stop this image from appearing?

My belief is that this boils down to Facebook. But things like this – profile pictures and email being shared – are happening more often. Fortunately, there’s little cause for concern. I’ll explain.

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What is Facebook Fan Friday?

On most Friday afternoons I’ll make a post on the Ask Leo! Facebook page along the lines of: It’s Facebook Fan Friday! For the next hour or so I’ll do my best to respond to every question asked in a comment to this post. What’s got you scratching your head today? And for the next … Read more