Reputation Economy Dystopia: China's new "Citizen Scores" will rate every person in the country


The Chinese government has announced a new universal reputation score, tied to every person in the country's nation ID number and based on such factors as political compliance, hobbies, shopping, and whether you play videogames. Read the rest

Tell-all free-to-play-game dev's confessions


An anonymous developer for a free-to-play game explains how his company stalked its most prolific players, creating fake sexy-lady Facebook accounts to friend them in order to gain insight into their proclivities so that super-expensive, one-off virtual goods could be made and targeted to them. Read the rest

Overshare: Justin Hall's biopic about the first social media/blogging

"Overshare: The" is Justin Hall's biopic telling the story of how he became one of the earliest, most prolific, transparent humans of the net and one of the first real web-writers. Read the rest

Escaping the new media cargo cult

Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Ignore the Metrics

Are you a member of The Oregon Trail Generation, the last before mainstream social media?

maxresdefault (1)
You have died of Snapchat.

Use Facebook while in South Carolina jail, go to solitary for 37 years

Prisons have a legitimate interest in controlling contraband, but in South Carolina, using social media from behind bars is a Class I offense, carrying stiffer penalties than murder, escape and hostage-taking. Read the rest

Teens' use of social media is significantly shaped by race, class, geography, cultural background

danah boyd responds to A Teenager’s View on Social Media (written by an actual teen), pointing out that what white, affluent boys do with social media is not a full account of "how teens use the Internet. Read the rest

Stats-based response to UK Tories' call for social media terrorism policing

David Cameron wants social media companies to invent a terrorism-detection algorithm and send all the "bad guys" it detects to the police -- but this will fall prey to the well-known (to statisticians) "paradox of the false positive," producing tens of thousands of false leads that will drown the cops. Read the rest

Twitter funds MIT Laboratory for Social Machines

Twitter committed $10 million to the MIT Media Lab to create a Laboratory for Social Machines that will study social systems, build tools for "social engagement and change," and deploy "social machines — networked human-machine collaboratives." Read the rest

The apology letter Google SHOULD have used to announce the end of G+ "Real Names"

The sudden reversal of Google's years-long insistence on "real names" for G+ users came after a long fight about the biases inherent in such a policy. Read the rest

Google Plus drops "Real Names" policy

After years of criticism, Google Plus has finally dropped its controversial, Facebook-alike "Real Names" policy. Read the rest

New Mexico threatens inmate with 90 days' solitary because his family made him a Facebook page

The New Mexico Corrections Department has a policy prohibiting inmates from "accessing the Internet through third parties," which they've interpreted to mean that prisoners whose families maintain Facebook pages for them can be punished with solitary confinement. Read the rest

Bffbot1 loves you as only an algorithmic entity can

@bffbot1 is the latest weird-ass crazy awesome Twitterbot from Shardcore. Read the rest

A day of Yik Yak hell in high school

Yik Yak is a social app that's basically an anonymous, hyperlocal bulletin board. Over at New York Magazine, Will Haskel, a senior at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut, wrote about the day this social media product fueled incredibly antisocial and brutally nasty behavior among his classmates. To illustrate, just a few of the endless stream of posts from the day:

“L. M. is affiliated with Al Qaeda.”

“The cheer team couldn’t get uglier.”

“K. is a slut.”

“J. N. is a fag.”

“The fact that O. P. has diabetes makes me happy.”

“S. D. + 10 years = trailer park.”

“Nobody is taking H. to prom because nobody has a forklift.”

“J. T.’s gonna get lynched at SMU.”

"A Gossip App Brought My High School to a Halt" (Thanks, DMD!) Read the rest

Is that cool news true? Here's how you judge.

Love this list of 20 rules of thumb to help you analyze the validity of science news. A lot of it boils down to statistics and common sense (hey, you guys, scientists are human), but it's also stuff that easy to lose sight of when you're excited or scared or totally fascinated. Print this out and read it before you click "share". Read the rest

Science in 6 seconds: The best of Vine

GE hosted a contest to make super-short science videos for Vine and the results feature some really clever, nifty little clips.

Read the rest

Evolutionary psychologist mocks fat people, devours own foot

On June 2, evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller declared on Twitter that fat Ph.D. students who didn't have the willpower to stop eating carbs wouldn't have the willpower to finish a dissertation, either. He later went on to claim that the tweet — and presumably, the negative reactions to it — was actually part of his research, not a reflection of his actual beliefs. (In other words, it was a social experiment, as the kids used to say on LiveJournal.) And now, the shocker: Yesterday, Miller's superiors at The University of New Mexico told The Daily Mail that the tweet was not, in fact, part of any research project Miller was working on. This is probably going nowhere good for him. Read the rest

More posts