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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Salt Lake City apartment complex threatens tenants with eviction if they don't "Friend" the building

The landlords at City Park Apartments stuck memos on their tenants' doors last week, outlining a "Facebook addendum" requiring tenants to Friend the building on Facebook or lose their lease. Read the rest

Texas: prisoners whose families maintain their social media presence face 45 days in solitary

According to a new offender manual from Texas Department of Criminal Justice, prisoners whose families maintain a social media presence to call attention to their incarceration will be liable to harsh punishment, including up to 45 days in solitary, loss of privileges, and extra work duty. Read the rest

Instagram now allows videos up to a full minute long, up from 30 seconds

Instagram just increased the time limit on user video uploads to a full minute long.

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Uganda's corrupt president just stole another election, but he couldn't steal the Internet

General YK Museveni has been president of Uganda for 30 years, presiding over a grinding and brutal civil war as well as a series of far-reaching laws that limit the human rights of Ugandans. Read the rest

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