Heavy social media use leads to a wider variety of news sources

Most people don't look at any news, or at one news site; using social media a lot (even without the intention of looking for news) means that sometimes you'll end up clicking a news link -- so heavy social media users, on average, are consuming a wider media diet than those who do not use social media. Read the rest

Binky: a fully automated social network that doesn't require you to be sociable

Have you ever wished you had a social media feed you could like, fave, signal boost and comment on without having to actually interact with people in any way? Binky has you covered. Read the rest

Binky is a fake social network where nothing is real and nothing matters

Binky is an app equivalent of a baby pacifier. It presents an endless scroll of image posts that you can "like" or "re-bink" (which does nothing). It's easy to comment on a post, too. You just press random letters on your keypad to automagically generate words that write out coherent sentences.

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How this teen's life changed after deleting all social media

Corey Alexander estimates he spent about three hours a day on social media, almost 5,000 hours since he got a phone at age 13. He lists the seven changes he's noticed since going cold turkey and deleting all of it three months ago: Read the rest

Scuttlebutt: an "off-grid" P2P social network that runs without servers and can fall back to sneakernet

Dominic Tarr is a developer who lives on a self-steering sailboat in New Zealand; he created Scuttlebutt, a secure messaging system that can run without servers, even without ISPs. Read the rest

Mastodon - like Twitter, without Nazis

Sarah Jeong of Motherboard says Mastodon is a "kinder, nicer, decentralized open source version of Twitter." I hope she's right! (I'm frauenfelder at Mastodon.cloud.)

Snip:

Privacy settings are more flexible than they are on Twitter—privacy is set on a per-post basis, a little similar to how it is on Facebook.

I could make it so all of my posts are private by default, but I don't have to choose between having a public or a private account.

The really interesting nuance here is between "Public" and "Unlisted." An unlisted post is viewable to the public, but it doesn't post to the local or federated timelines.

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Figuring out Donald Trump's media diet by mining his tweets

Data journalists pulled 26,234 of Trump's 34,062 tweets (dating from Jun 1 2015 to Nov 17 2016) from the Twitter API and analyzed them for news-sources, producing a long, detailed analysis complemented by interactive graphics. Read the rest

Even superheroes have problems with social media

The perils of modern online life even affect the Man of Steel. Jimmy Olsen's snap run through Facebook's evil autotagging is more observant than Lois. Lots more brilliant stuff by Brakken here. Read the rest

Governments see social media as "a new front in warfare"

Propaganda, psychological warfare, and real-time surveillance were all on the agenda at the Sixth Annual Conference on Social Media Within the Defence and Military Sector. Read the rest

The surveillance economy has 67 days to disarm before Trump is sworn in

The Obama administration asserted the power to raid the massive databases of peoples' private, sensitive information that ad-based tech companies have assembled; the Trump administration has promised to use Obama's powers to effect the surveillance and deportation of 11 millions undocumented migrants, and the ongoing, continuous surveillance of people of Muslim heritage. Read the rest

Lawsuit: mayor's social media blocklists are public records

Miami Beach mayor Philip Levine has a history of blocking his critics on social media, including Grant Stern, who runs the Photography is Not a Crime group. Read the rest

Facebook inflated a key video view metric by 60-80% for two years

No one saw this coming, except everyone who works in online video. The Wall Street Journal reports that social media giant Facebook over-reported video ad view time on its platform for two whole years, citing unnamed sources.

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YouTube announces crowdsourced censorship

Reddit and social media have proven that some people will do anything for points, likes, follows and so on, including work for free, so YouTube announced Heroes, a new platform for people who will moderate their site in exchange for points. Ironically/unsurprisingly, the announcement video hasn't gotten many likes. Read the rest

Here's what you need to know about Twitter's new character limit update

Twitter has been struggling to attract new users and retain existing ones. In a long-awaited update for the social network, Twitter announced today that video, still images, animated GIFs, polls, and quotes will no longer apply to the 140-character limit for tweets.

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Instagram announces anti-harassment tools, overtaking Twitter

Twitter's openness is its strength, and also its weakness: the ease with which new accounts can be created makes it into an amazing tool for free expression, and also a perfect venue for vicious harassment (see also); but Instagram (a division of Facebook, the home of the walled garden) has announced a suite of anti-harassment tools that seem like they'd be compatible with Twitter, raising the obvious question: why hasn't Twitter already deployed them? Read the rest

Chinese Cyberspace Administration bans news-sourcing from social media

China's top Internet regulator, the "Cyberspace Administration," has banned media outlets from sourcing news reports from social media, and has forced internet companies to delete the social media accounts of reporters who posted "fabricated news" online. Read the rest

Omar Mateen posted to Facebook during Orlando mass shooting

I spoke to KCRW Press Play host Madeleine Brand today about some of the macabre social media details coming out of the Orlando Pulse mass shooting in Florida, and the terrorist attack two days later on a police officer and his family in Paris.

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