William E. Lewis Jr & Associates opens new location in Davie

As a nationally recognized credit repair and identity theft expert, Bill Lewis is principal of William E. Lewis Jr. & Associates, a solutions based professional consulting firm specializing in the discriminating individual, business or governmental entity, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
As a nationally recognized credit repair and identity theft expert, Bill Lewis is principal of William E. Lewis Jr. & Associates, a solutions based professional consulting firm specializing in the discriminating individual, business or governmental entity, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

As a nationally recognized credit repair and identity theft expert, Bill Lewis of William E. Lewis Jr. & Associates – a solutions based professional consulting firm specializing in the discriminating individual, business or governmental entity – announces the opening of a new office in Davie, Florida.

Having outgrown their former location, William E. Lewis Jr & Associates recently moved to 6099 Stirling Road, Suite 210, Davie, FL 33314. 

Formerly with Credit Restoration Consultants, Bill Lewis has been widely sought by many in the restoration of their personal credit worthiness.  As such, a new credit repair component was formed.

In tough economic times, your good name and reputation are more important than ever. Creditors have tightened their guidelines effectively barring millions of Americans from obtaining credit.  Even those with excellent credit are experiencing reduced credit limits and closed equity lines. Mortgage lenders, auto finance companies, credit card issuers and banks have all raised the bar.

The terms credit repair, credit restoration or credit rehabilitation are somewhat synonymous. Those with bad credit histories cannot afford to ignore the potential benefits of credit repair. In today’s economy, a strong FICO score is more important than ever.

Approximately 78% of credit profiles in the United States contain some sort of error or omission materially affecting credit worthiness.  Absent self-help and the “do-it-yourself” approach, a consumer may hire a credit repair company in the restoration of their good name and reputation within the community.

Long gone are the days of obtaining credit, goods, benefits, services and/or employment with a 620 score. In most instances, a consumer will be denied if they maintain a credit score lower than 740. Even those with high credit scores have experienced closed credit card accounts and equity lines.  When an account has not been closed, credit limits have been reduced to the current balance due.

Borrowers with low credit scores can expect to be denied or to pay significantly higher interest rates than those with excellent credit.

Operating within William E. Lewis Jr. & Associates is a boutique credit service organization specializing in the restoration of consumer credit worthiness as well as identity theft. Assisting consumers in achieving a favorable financial credit profile is their first priority.

Everything they do at William E. Lewis Jr & Associates is legal utilizing laws enacted by Congress to dispute negative, erroneous, obsolete, and/or fraudulent information contained within your consumer credit profile.

Utilizing the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Billing Act, and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, William E. Lewis Jr & Associates will assist consumers in the submission of disputes electronically, verbally and in writing to the Equifax, Experian and Trans Union consumer reporting agencies in addition to creditors, collection agencies, third-party record providers and state/federal/private regulatory authorities.

Unlike most credit repair clinics that submit the same written dispute letters monthly, William E. Lewis Jr & Associates has devised a credit restoration strategy utilizing the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Billing Act, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, in addition to laws applicable to a consumers state of residence. 

Keep in mind that anything William E. Lewis Jr & Associates can do – you can do yourself.  That means that you do not have to hire William E. Lewis Jr & Associates – or any other credit repair company – to review, investigate and/or dispute alleged discrepancies on your credit report.

Where William E. Lewis Jr & Associates may have an edge over the average consumer is that we possess the education, knowledge and a source proven method that consistently yields results.

William E. Lewis Jr & Associates has obtained thousands of deletions and updates for its clients and can help remove erroneous and/or inaccurate judgments, liens, bankruptcies, student loans, inquiries, derogatory accounts, personal identifiers, arrests, etc.  While the credit restoration process can take anywhere from 30 days to six months, most clients see dramatic results in 45-60 days.

Credit repair, credit restoration and/or credit rehabilitation is as legal as pleading “not guilty” in a court of law. With that said, one must understand that as a credit service organization William E. Lewis Jr & Associates is not a law firm and that none of their employees is an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Florida.

As such, William E. Lewis Jr & Associates cannot provide legal advice nor represent any individual before any court or in any legal proceeding.  In the event that legal representation is required, William E. Lewis Jr & Associates may provide an appropriate attorney referral for consultation. 

Ordering Free Credit Reports:

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, as modified by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, consumers are entitled to a free copy of their credit report under a narrow set of circumstances.  If you have been denied credit, goods, benefits, services, insurance, and/or employment, the credit reporting agencies of Equifax, Experian and Trans Union are statutorily mandated to provide a copy free of charge.

Equifax can be contacted at (800) 685-1111 or www.Equifax.com; Experian can be contacted at (888) 397-3742 or www.Experian.com; and Trans Union can be contacted at (800) 916-8800 or www.TransUnion.com. Be sure to prompt that you were denied credit when requested to do so.

Absent these exceptions, consumers are entitled to one free “annual credit report” per year. Credit scores are not included with any of the “free credit reports” provided by the national credit reporting agencies.

For your free annual credit report, contact the central source at 877-FACT-ACT (877-322-8228) or www.AnnualCreditReport.com. Follow the voice prompts and obtain your credit report for review.

When self-help or the “do-it-yourself” approach is not feasible and you decide to hire a company to restore your credit, be sure to check them out.  While the majority of credit repair clinics are scams, a few good ones do exist.  Consumers can check out a credit service organization through their state Attorney General, the Federal Trade Commissionat www.ftc.gov or through the Better Business Bureau at www.BBB.org.

For more information, please contact William E. Lewis Jr & Associates at (954) 337-1530 or visit them on the Internet at www.williamlewis.us.


As a nationally recognized credit repair and identity theft expert, Bill Lewis is principal of William E. Lewis Jr. & Associates, a solutions based professional consulting firm specializing in the discriminating individual, business or governmental entity.

For daily updates on The Credit Report with Bill Lewis, you can join Bill’s 11,550 plus fans on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/thecreditreportwithbilllewis.

Derek Medina kills wife then updates Facebook status to include photo


A South Miami man is being held without bond Friday after gunning down his wife and posting gruesome photos of her body on Facebook, according to police and The Miami Herald.

Turning himself in to police Thursday, Derek Medina, 31, was booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center early Friday following the shooting death of his wife, Jennifer Alonso, 26.

Under the caption “RIP Jennifer Alonzo,” Medina posted a graphic photo of his slain wife’s blood soaked body on his Facebook Timeline.  Shortly before, he updated his status to reveal: “You will see me in the news.”

“Im going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife love you guys miss you guys takecare Facebook people you will see me in the news,” Medina wrote.

“My wife was punching me and I am not going to stand anymore with the abuse so I did what I did I hope u understand me.”

Medina then drove to his father’s house and confessed to the murder.  Thereafter they drove together to the South Miami Police Department.

“Officers then responded to the listed location where they found the victim deceased from apparent gunshot wounds, as well as the victim’s daughter, 10, who was unharmed,” authorities later reported.

“His lawyers will advance the ‘battered husband syndrome,’ to mimic the often-used defense of ‘battered wife syndrome’ used famously by Ellis Rubin and other lawyers defending wives who have killed their husbands,” Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney John Contini, author of several real-life crime dramas including Danger Road and Feeling the Heat, told Examiner.  “They’ll argue, ‘what’s good for the goose is good for the gander,’ otherwise you’re denying men ‘equal protection’ under the 14th Amendment which guarantees equal treatment for both men and women under the law.”

It took Facebook five hours to remove the graphic photo of Jennifer Alonzo from Derek Medina’s personal profile.  In releasing a statement to Examiner:

“The content was reported to us. We took action on the profile — removing the content and disabling the profile, and we reached out to law enforcement. We take action on all content that violates our terms, which are clearly laid out on our site.”

With the exception of Medina’s claims of self defense, a motive for the murder is unknown at this time.

“In posting his allegations of domestic violence for the entire world to see, it appears that Medina could be setting the groundwork for a ‘Stand your Ground’ defense,” Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney and Fox/CNN legal contributor Eric Schwartzreich told Examiner.  “With that said, a fish doesn’t get caught if it keeps his mouth shut.”

Florida celebrates National AMBER Alert Awareness Day


With pictures of missing children flashing across billboards on our streets and highways, alerts over our televisions or radio, or in an email or text message blast, AMBER Alerts are hard to miss.

On Sunday, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey joined Florida’s local, state, federal and private partners to commemorate National AMBER Alert Awareness Day.

January 13th was National AMBER Alert Awareness Day.  This year marked the 17th anniversary of the abduction and death of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman of Texas.  She is the girl who the system is now named and whose death and abduction the U.S. Department of Justice remembers on this day.

According to an FDLE release, Florida established its AMBER Alert Plan 13 years ago.  It was the second state in the nation to do so.  Since the start of Florida’s program, the AMBER Plan has expanded to include billboards, dynamic highway message signs, lottery machines, email and text messages and messages through social media.

The FDLE has encouraged Floridians to sign up for free AMBER Alerts to help locate and quickly recover children when they go missing.

“The AMBER Alert has made a huge difference in law enforcement’s ability to find abducted children,” says Gretl Plessinger, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.  “It’s like having thousands of eyes, all at once looking for this child.”

Approximately 40,000 children are reported missing every year in Florida, with the majority of those being reported as runaways.  In 2012, the FDLE Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse issued nine AMBER Alerts and 31 Missing Child Alerts.

“Florida’s citizens have been vital to the success of the Florida AMBER Plan,” Commissioner Bailey said. “We encourage Floridians to take a few moments today to sign up to receive AMBER Alert notifications so they can help law enforcement better protect Florida’s children.”

Through their Facebook page, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement offers tips while encouraging people to sign up for its free AMBER Alerts through its website.

More than 20,000 people have signed up to receive Florida AMBER Alerts at www.missingchildrenalert.com.

Political talk and morning drive on AM 740 WSBR



William E. Lewis

As Christmas is approaching and Bill Lewis prepares to announce his New Years resolutions for 2013, interesting guests and timely topics will be on AM 740 WSBR and AM 1470 WWNN the weekend of December 17th and The Credit Report with Bill Lewis.

As a daily forum for business and financial news, politics, economic trends, and cutting edge issues, The Credit Report with Bill Lewis can be found on AM 740 WSBR in south Florida. Hosted by Bill Lewis, the show broadcasts live weekdays at 7am.

Originally launched on AM 1400 WFTL in 2004, as the “Credit Restoration Consultants Hour,” Bill Lewis provided self-help tips and advice regarding credit repair, finances, and related topics. Throughout the years, Bill’s show strayed from the original concept of providing financial awareness to his listeners.

In an effort to strengthen his listener base and to broaden the topics hosted, Bill launched The Credit Report with Bill Lewis upon moving to AM 1470 WWNN within the Beasley Broadcasting group.

Listeners were searching for help regarding a myriad of topics from credit repairextreme coupon shopping, and foreclosure matters, but welcomed the political format that Bill introduced locally to a south Florida audience.

Since the show’s inception, Bill Lewis has interviewed some of the country’s leading politicians, including: Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Herman Cain, Chris Christie, Jon Huntsman, Allen West, Rick Scott, George LeMieux, Jeff Atwater, Pam Bondi, Marco Rubio, Sharon Day, Alex Sink, Adam Putnam, Charlie Crist, Bill McCollum, Jeff Kottkamp, Jennifer Carroll, Christine O’Donnell, among others.

In addition, The Credit Report with Bill Lewis has hosted a number of politicians as well as attorneys and financial experts in the south Florida area. Among the dozens that have appeared on the show are Carlos Reyes, Al Lamberti, Chip LaMarca, Adam Hasner, Ellyn Bogdanoff, Tom Rooney, Roger Stone, Bob Davids, Lori Parrish, Richard Denapoli, Rico Petrocelli, Jamie McDonnell, Jim Lewis, Tom Lauder, and John Contini.

The Credit Report with Bill Lewis airs live, Monday through Friday from 7am-8am Eastern Time with an encore presentation Saturday’s at 3pm on AM 740 WSBR. Streaming audio is available at http://www.wsbrradio.com and on air participation is welcome at (888) 721-0074.

If you miss the early broadcast, The Credit Report with Bill Lewis is still available weeknights at 9pm Eastern Time, Saturday’s at 6pm and Sunday’s at 8pm on AM 1470 WWNN by streaming audio at www.wwnnradio.com.

Going head-to-head against Steve Kane and Jimmy Cefalo, Bill Lewis promises more “talk” and fewer commercials.

For daily updates on The Credit Report with Bill Lewis, you can join Bill’s 21,950 plus fans on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/thecreditreportwithbilllewis.

Broward Sheriff’s Office introduces mobile optimized website


Creative and forward thinking is crucial in this new age of social media and digital communication.  Striving to stay ahead of the curve while effectively providing communication to the public in which they serve, the Broward Sheriff’s Office has recently introduced several new tools.

The first tool, “Community Events,” can be found at www.sheriff.org. Providing a detailed schedule of upcoming events the Broward Sheriff’s Office is hosting countywide, it also provides mapping to an actual location. Users with a GPS-enabled smart phone are provided turn-by-turn directions to their destination.

More exciting among the tools recently introduced is a new mobile-optimized version of sheriff.org created for smart phone and tablet users. The BSO Mobile Optimized Website (MOW) provides users with a sensible one-touch approach to connect with their various social media sites, view agency news, search arrests and civil cases, to report a crime or contact the agency, and to view, map and track events.

By researching the most valuable and utilized areas of interest to their website visitors, the Broward Sheriff’s Office decided to develop the MOW. Receiving over 500,000 distinct page views monthly and an impressive U.S. based Alexa ranking of 30,024, the BSO website is one of the most heavily-trafficked law enforcement agencies in the nation.

Among the first in the nation to launch such a progressive MOW, the interactive site can be activated by visiting www.sheriff.org/mobile or by clicking on the new “BSO MOBILE” button located in the top right-hand corner of the BSO website. Users can add a quick link to the site that will appear on their phones or tablets as an app. In less than a minute, you will have access to the most popular of all information available to the public.

It comes as no secret that social media is a rapidly emerging trend. While there are dozens of social media outlets, Facebook is by far the leader. With more than 900 million users worldwide – 156 million in the United States alone – more than half of all Americans have a Facebook account.

To put this into perspective, it took over 90 years for the home telephone to become conventional and only five years for Facebook to become part of the mainstream. Interesting enough, the largest increase in Facebook demographics is users who are 55 and older. 

Another popular site for quick and instant communication is Twitter.  This interactive form of social media allows users to input a minimal amount of characters for messages, also known as tweets.  Commonly used to provide information in “real time,” Twitter allows users to interact and forward “tweets” to their followers as they are posted.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office has developed their own SMS version of Twitter.  Called CyberVisor, this advisory e-mail and text system provides residents and business owners with vital information about criminal activity, traffic issues, security concerns, upcoming events, public safety initiatives, important safety tips and more.

“I am a firm believer that the more informed you are, the safer you are,” stated Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti.  “That is why we utilize these and other tools such as the E-Newsletter and the CyberVisor program to keep the community involved.”  

If you have not signed up for the CyberVisor program or E-Newsletter, please visit the Broward Sheriff’s Office at http://www.sheriff.org/cybervisor.  You can also follow them on Facebook at Broward Sheriff’s Office (Official) and Twitter @browardsheriff.  As always, residents can e-mail the Sheriff personally at Ask_The_Sheriff@sheriff.org.

James Holmes: Colorado shooter an online mystery

Cloaked in as much mystery as the midnight showing of Batman: “Dark Knight Rises,” it appears that James Holmes – the alleged shooter at a Aurora, Colorado, movie theater that left 12 dead and 58 injured – has little to no digital footprint. 

It is almost as if James Holmes, 24, formerly of San Diego, never existed.

Since the tragic shooting early Friday, law enforcement authorities, news organizations, citizens throughout the country – myself included – have been trying to learn more about Holmes. 

While the majority of Americans share their entire lives online through social media with status updates, posts, photos and location check-ins, not so James Holmes.

While history has proven that crazed lone gunman often telegraph their intentions long before committing acts of violence, not so James Holmes.

Unlike Tucson gunman Jared Lee Loughner and Norway shooter Anders Behring Breivik, it appears that no online confession was made by James Holmes.

Scouring the Internet for “James Holmes” was no easy task.  With thousands of Americans sharing this common name, one would have to look long and hard.  After all, early news reports indicated that Holmes barely existed in real life let alone in cyberspace.

An experienced investigator and social media expert myself, I found no existence of a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Classmates, Pinterest, Google Plus, or LiveJournal account for Holmes.  I was able to locate an old MySpace account for Holmes where his only post was an initial one when he initiated the account.  With the exception of MySpace co-founder Tom Anderson, Holmes had no “real” MySpace friends. 

TMZ over the weekend also reported the James Holmes MySpace account.

Holmes may be different from other alleged shooters. The man arrested in the Gabrielle Giffords shooting, Jared Loughner, had a MySpace page and a YouTube account. Anders Breivik, accused of killing 77 people in Norway, published a manifesto online. Holmes, in contrast, appears to be what some call “Web dead.”

While it is possible that Holmes simply didn’t have much of an online identity, it seems unlikely that he had no online fingerprints at all. Some experts suggest an online identity under a pseudonym may emerge, or that Holmes, as a tech-savvy graduate student, limited himself university communications that were password-protected.

Most social media services – such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus – have strict policies requiring users to go by their real name.  In any event, false profiles that appear real do exist among the various social media networks.  Appearing real and left unflagged by another user or “friend,” an individual such as Holmes could conceivably exist without revealing his true identity.

James Holmes did have an old MySpace account. 

There is also the possibility that Holmes worked hard to erase his identity online, but experts think that possibility is unlikely.

“In the age of social media and an instant online presence, it’s extremely rare not to have a digital footprint,” stated Michael Fertik, the CEO and founder of Reputation.com.  “My guess is that we don’t know what name or handle he was using or we just haven’t found it yet.”

Fertik added that services such as Reputation.com would help clear some of an Internet history but not all of it. 

Complicating matters is the fact that “James Holmes” is an extremely common name.  In the hours after he was named as the suspect, people flocked to the Internet in an effort to learn more about him. So much so, that another James Holmes – residing in nearby Littleton – had his Facebook page flooded with comments and friend requests.

“I appreciate the fact that you are trying to become better-informed about the occurrences last night in Aurora, but you have been somewhat mislead, in that I am not the man who did it,” the misidentified James Holmes wrote on his Facebook wall.  “I am not a 24-year-old gun-slinging killer from Aurora, I am a 22-year old book-slinging mass eater from Littleton.”  The Facebook Timeline was signed: “Regards, A different guy named James Holmes.”

Over the weekend, another “James Holmes” was misidentified through a Colorado AR-15 Shooters forum.  With over 248 posts in a forum named after the very weapon used in the Aurora massacre, this particular “Holmes” – under the user name “IDmaster” – is in the clear.  He made several posts following the shooting and arrest of the “real” Holmes.

“Holmes could be using a different name, some variation of his name or another name entirely,” stated SEO expert Martin Chernacov of 4CompuService .  “For all we know, he could have a significant online presence that we aren’t aware of yet.”

Common name or not, James Holmes does have a history.

Holmes is originally from the San Diego area having resided with his mother, Arlene, 56, in the 13300 block of Sparren Avenue.  He graduated from Westview High School in 2006.

Following high school, Holmes went on to earn a B.S. degree in neuroscience from the University of California, Riverside, where he graduated with honors in 2010.  While in college he lived on Pentland Way and Everton Place in Riverside. 

Holmes drove a 2000 Hyundai Tiburon with Colorado tag number 119ROC. With the exception of a 2011 traffic citation for speeding, it appears he has never been arrested or accused of criminal activity.

Holmes has never filed for bankruptcy, does not own any real property, does not have any liens or judgments filed against him, and has alternately used the names: “James E. Holmes,” “James C. Holmes,” and “James Holmes.”

Holmes does not appear to be regularly employed, nor does he hold a valid concealed weapons permit, professional license or voter registration card.    His cell phone is registered to his mother’s address in San Diego through Verizon Wireless.  As of Monday, the service was still connected but went to directly to voicemail.

Holmes was a student at the University of Colorado, but – according to university officials – withdrew last month. He was studying for a PhD in neuroscience.  One of his last enrolled classes was called “Biological Basis of Psychiatric and Neurological Disorders.”

According to Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson, Holmes is being held in solitary confinement under suicide watch at the county jail in Centennial, about 13 miles from the movie theater where the tragic shooting occurred. 

Bill Lewis is the principal of William E. Lewis Jr. & Associates and host of “The Credit Report with Bill Lewis” — a daily forum for business and financial news, politics, economic trends and issues on AM 740 WSBR in south Florida.

Wings Plus: “The Cafe Versailles of Broward” to host Facebook party

Known as the “The Cafe Versailles of Broward” or the place “where the politically elite meet,” Wings Plus is the perfect venue for Brian Walsh to stage yet another meet and greet for his social network of friends and family.

With so many friends, family and fans between the social media networks of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, MySpace, Meetup, Yelp and myLife, Brian Walsh has planned his next Facebook Party for Monday, August 6th.

The first Facebook Family and Friends Meet-Up at Wings Plus on April 30th went pretty well. Despite four straight days of rain, three NBA playoff games, two NHL playoff games, an earlier Miami Marlins game, and Dancing with the Stars on ABC, 141 people turned out to meet their virtual friends.

The second Facebook Family and Friends Meet-Up on May 22nd produced a slightly higher turnout. Despite yet another Miami Heat playoff game, torrential downpours, a tornado watch, flash flooding throughout Broward County, Dancing with the Stars on ABC and American Idol on FOX, 151 people came out to meet their virtual friends and enjoy chicken wings at Wings Plus.

On June 19th, the third Facebook Family and Friends Meet-up at Wings Plus produced a similar turnout.  Despite an NBA Finals game in which the Miami Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, about 135 were in attendance to meet friends that were previously only known to them virtually.

With Ed Horowitz providing the music and Dr. Tom Latrielle providing the Facebook photography, a great time was had by all.

Many Facebook friends and fans wanted to attend one of the parties but could not due to rain or other commitments.  In fact, many complained that a Facebook party was not planned for July.

Wings Plus has hosted hundreds of state, local, and national candidates for public office in the last two decades. Numerous charity fundraisers also find a home at Wings Plus.

In recent months, Presidential candidates Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich have all visited Brian Walsh at Wings Plus. Mitt Romney visited in 2008 and George W. Bush visited when he was President of the United States.

It is now being rumored that Brian Walsh is attempting to have President Barack Obama pay him a visit at Wings Plus.

“I’m glad to have hosted these Facebook parties,” stated Brian Walsh, the longtime owner of Wings Plus. “Between theses parties and the local, state and national elections, we’ve seen a lot of increased activity around here.”

Brian Walsh’s next Facebook Friends and Family Meet-Up will be held Monday, August 6th from 6pm until 9pm at the Sample Road location of Wings Plus. Please consider attending and meet your virtual Facebook friends in person.

Let’s see if the power of social media is really effective and jam pack Wings Plus that evening.

To RSVP on Facebook, please go to: https://www.facebook.com/events/139779229493226

To learn more about the Wings Plus at 9880 West Sample Road in Coral Springs, please visit them at www.wingsplus.com.

‘Like’ the new Facebook ‘Want’ button

Boasting more than 900 million members worldwide, social media giant Facebook has reportedly created a new “Want” button that is substantially similar to the existing “Like” button that so many of us click on so often.

Inside Facebook reported Thursday that developer Tom Waddington from Cut Out + Keep discovered the “Want” button while searching through Facebook’s Javascript SDK.

While the “Want” button is not publicly listed among the social plugins on the Facebook developer site, Waddington indicated that it works on Open Graph objects that have been marked as “products.”

The new “Want” button would express a desire by the Facebook user to purchase a particular product or service.

One of the most popular aspects of the Facebook social network is the ability to “like” with the click of a button things on the site, such as other users’ status updates, comments or photos.

Many users already “like” brands, products or pages, but the introduction of a “Want” button would allow them to actively show their desire to purchase a particular product or service.

According to Inside Facebook, a “Want” button would allow Facebook to collect a massive amount of “desire-based” data on its users’ particular interests. This information could then be used in its battle with Google for online advertising revenue.

Millions of e-commerce and commercial websites already integrate the Facebook “Like” button on their websites. By itself, this does not prove whether users’ specifically want a particular product, or already have it.

With the “Want” button, Facebook is seeking more.

“Being able to distinguish between these groups of people and target ads to either one could be very powerful for advertisers and help make Facebook a stronger competitor to Google AdWords, stated Inside Facebook.

While the “Want” button is currently disabled on Facebook, Waddington claimed that he was able to implement the button on his own site — although anyone clicking it simply receives an error message.

When contacted early Friday afternoon, Facebook’s official response was: “We’re always testing new Platform features, however we have nothing new to announce.”

Bill Lewis is the principal of William E. Lewis Jr. & Associates and host of “The Credit Report with Bill Lewis” — a daily forum for business and financial news, politics, economic trends and issues on AM 740 WSBR in south Florida.

Anonymous takedown of Facebook a mainstream media mishap

For millions of Facebook users who suffered from social media withdrawal late last week as the world’s largest social media network experienced disruptions, all is now calm.

Access to your Facebook account should be fully restored.

Contrary to numerous mainstream media reports, the loosely associated hacktivist group “Anonymous” was not to blame. Anonymous did not attack Facebook nor at anytime did it ever claim responsibility for attacking the world’s largest social networking service.

The mainstream media simply got the story wrong and are now jumping through hoops to correct themselves.

The Washington Post, CBS News, Forbes, PCWorld, New Jersey Newsroom and RT.com all reported that Anonymous claimed responsibility for taking down Facebook on Thursday. The evidence offered to substantiate these reports came in the form of two distinct tweets from YourAnonNews celebrating the news that Facebook was down.

One tweet said, “Looks like good old Facebook is having packet problems,” followed by another tweet: “Oh yeah … RIP Facebook a new sound of tango down ….”

Facebook previously confirmed that the temporary outages experienced by users were not the result of a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack.

“Some users briefly experienced issues loading the site,” stated Michael Kirkland, a Facebook spokesman. “The issues have since been resolved and everyone should now have access to Facebook. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

The Next Web is reporting that they have also confirmed Anonymous was not responsible for disabling Facebook, stating: “A Facebook spokesperson told us: ‘Last night’s outage was not the result of a DDoS.’”

If a DDoS attack was not responsible for taking down Facebook, it is highly unlikely that Anonymous was responsible given the fact that a Distributed Denial of Service attack is the weapon of choice for the Anonymous hacktivist.

Celebrating Facebook’s misfortune on Twitter is not the same as claiming responsibility for that misfortune.

In an attempt to clarify its position, Anonymous issued a statement denying any responsibility for disabling Facebook while reassuring the public they have no interest in taking down the 900 million user social networking giant.

The following is an excerpt from that statement:

Anonymous Press Release – We Did NOT Attack Facebook

This morning (Friday, June 1) it was reported by many mainstream media outlets that Anonymous had attacked the servers of Facebook and caused interruptions in service in a number of countries. We have investigated these allegations and have found them utterly false and without basis.

As this false report began to go viral in the mainstream media this morning, key Anonymous organizers from all over the world and in many countries gathered in the IRC channels we use to communicate. A quick poll of everyone present, representing a very broad spectrum of the global collective — quickly showed that no one in the actual Anonymous knew anything about an attack on Facebook. Most showed surprise because we all believed that we had successfully squashed the fail Op Facebook months ago, setting the record straight once and for all.

So having determined that no one in Anonymous knew anything about an attack on Facebook, we then turned our attention to the facts. We began with the statement released by Facebook. In that statement they indicated that they knew what the problem was, what it was that caused these service interruptions in various countries — and that it was an INTERNAL issue caused by a problem with some of their servers. Not only did Anonymous NOT attack Facebook, but there was no attack at all. Facebook IT’s were just having a bad day.

So what happened here? How did mainstream media get it so completely wrong? A careful analysis of the events this morning tell the story. It’s a story of lies, deceit — and mainstream media failing in it’s most basic journalistic obligations. None of which surprises us much.

Finally let us, while we have your attention — address the Anonymous attitude towards Facebook. The fact is that Anonymous has a love-hate relationship with Facebook. While we enjoy the power of social networking media to do our work, bring positive change to the world and spread our message — we utterly despise the current management of Facebook and it’s evil anti-privacy and anti-anonymity policies. We are also not at all happy about their cooperation with law enforcement and intelligence agencies in tyrannical countries around the world, including the USA. Facebook has much to be ashamed of, and has earned the hatred of all human rights and information activists.

But that said, they ARE a personal and social media platform. One that has been used by these same activists to bring about much freedom and justice in this world. Anonymous has certain core principles, and one of those is that we NEVER attack the media — even media we strongly disagree with. There is NO Op Facebook, and there NEVER was. Anonymous did NOT attack Facebook, and we NEVER will.

SIGNED — Anonymous

Anonymous Operations

Peoples Liberation Front – http://www.PeoplesLiberationFront.net irc.voxanon.net #VoxAnon

Reliable Twitter Accounts: @AnonPublicRel @PLF2012 @Doemela @DiscordiAnon @AnonyOps @AnonMedics @AnonOpsSweden (NOT exhaustive, just examples)

The reporting by numerous mainstream media outlets that Anonymous was responsible for bringing Facebook down speaks volumes to the power of social media.

Jumping to an erroneous conclusion based upon the power of an internationally known Internet hacktivist collective group and the influence it wields in contemporary affairs can certainly bolster a slow news day. Facebook will live to see another day.

‘Pay to Play’ comes to Facebook as it starts charging users

Now that I have your attention, the headline above is true. Paying to be popular has come to Facebook, the world’s largest social media platform.

With over 900 million members worldwide, the social networking giant has begun offering users a chance to be better noticed by their friends by testing a “pay-to-be-popular” option.

While “signing up will always be free,” has always been the Facebook motto, spotlighting your status now comes at a price in New Zealand as some users are being prompted with “Highlight” feature costing up to $2 when entering their status update.

The key phrase here: “Signing up” will always be free. Being “highlighted” to your friends comes at a price.

Recent studies show that only 12 percent of a Facebook user’s friends see the average status update. The Highlight feature promises to make a user’s post more prominent by allowing it to appear higher in the news feeds of friends as well as appearing in the news feeds of more friends.

The trial run is being quietly carried out on Facebook’s 1.4 million New Zealand users as a test to determine whether or not they are interested in the feature and whether they would be willing to spotlight themselves among friends for a price.

Originally reported in New Zealand’s Stuff magazine, the new feature was initially suspected to be a scam. However, it has been confirmed as a genuine feature by Facebook.

“We’re constantly testing new features across Facebook,” said Mia Garlick, a spokesperson at Facebook. “This particular test is simply to gauge people’s interest in this method of sharing among their friends.”

The test includes several different methods of spotlighting a Facebook user. While some highlighted posts are very inexpensive, others cost up to $2 each. Payment can be made instantly via PayPal or credit card.

In the latest of a sequence of money-making efforts by Facebook, test participants will have the option to “highlight” a post after submitting it. Friends will then see the word “highlighted” under the post.

Based upon the need for attention and a user’s budget, the decision whether to “highlight” a specific Facebook post and to what extent is left to them.

A free option of Highlight is also available to limited test users.

Highlight comes as Facebook is gearing up for an initial public offering, something expected to value the social media giant at close to $100 billion.

The company’s recent slowdown of growth has prompted Facebook to experiment and concentrate its efforts on making money. The company’s imminent stock market flotation has also added more pressure. Currently, most of Facebook’s money comes from advertising across the site.

Over the weekend, Facebook also unveiled an application store, where for the first time users must pay for some of the available apps.

With 5,000 friends and 35,922 fans on Facebook, I always wondered whether my “message” was being heard. Now I know the answer.

Highlight and “pay to be popular” is not yet available in the United States.