Boing Boing 

Ashley Madison commits copyfraud in desperate bid to suppress news of its titanic leak

The company is shotgunning DMCA notices against journalists and others who reproduce even the tiniest fraction of the dump of users who signed up to find partners with whom to cheat on their spouses -- included in the dump are thousands of people who paid $15 to have their data permanently deleted from the service.

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Trump Generator lets anyone get insulted by The Donald


Feeling left out because Donald Trump hasn't insulted you by name on Twitter yet? The Trump Generator lets anyone create a customized insult from the rich lexicon of Donald disses, then they'll post it on social media.

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T-shirt extols the best response to Twitter trolls


Getting harassed on Twitter? Not sure how to respond? Deep down, you know what to do. And so does this shirt.

Titled "Welcome to the Block Party," it was designed by Elizabeth Simins, a friend of Offworld who created the comic Manic Pixel Dream Girl and previously released the Gaming's Feminist Illuminati shirt.

On Twitter, Simins described it as a garment with some valuable ideas about "how to succeed at the internet." If you've ever been harassed on social media, chances are that you'll agree.

The Block Party design is available until next Wednesday for t-shirts, tank tops and sweatshirts with styles for men and women.

Student suspended for tweeting two words will get to sue his school, police chief

Rogers, MN honor student Reid Sagehorn was suspended after he tweeted two words, using his own device, on his own time, off school property.

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Watch Bill Nye read mean Tweets about himself

My favorite: "You pretend the global warming fairy is real even as you live in a mansion. Maybe do cartwheels for voodoo." (Wut?)

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Lawsuit claims Conan O'Brien stole jokes from Twitter


In a lawsuit against Conan O'Brien, San Diego resident Robert Kaseberg says his lulzy tweets about Tom Brady, Caitlyn Jenner, airlines, and the Washington Monument all made it into the late night host's monologue.

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Twitter joke thieves are getting DMCA takedowns


Among professional comedians, joke theft is no joke. Now Twitter is allowing members to use DMCA notices to take down tweets posted by accounts that copy and paste them without attribution. PlagiarismBad's name-and-shame campaign has already netted a few celebrities.

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Nihilist Arby's is the best thing on Twitter

Nihilist Arby's

Follow it here.

Twitter removes wallpaper images from profiles

Laptop with glowing screen. Here's something nice to be angry about! Twitter just took away everyone's background wallpaper, leaving only the blinding absence of color. Your wallpaper was ugly and they didn't like it.
"We’re removing background images from the home and notifications timelines on web for all users," a Twitter spokesperson told Mashable Monday. "Now, background images are only available where logged-in users will see them publicly (Tweet pages, list pages and collections pages). You can find help center content about customizing your design and where it’s visible on Twitter here."

Once again we see #FFFFFF privilege at work on social networks.

Let's turn everything into Facebook

twitter-bird Nick Bilton does not approve of how Twitter works.

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Twitter adds the most awkward version of blocklist sharing you could imagine

It's the equivalent of coming to a dessert party with stale celery sticks.Read the rest

Twitter chief resigns

Dick Costolo. Photo: Stephen Lam, Reuters

Dick Costolo. Photo: Stephen Lam, Reuters

CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey.

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Mapping the disciplined ranks of anti-vax Twitter

Anti-vax Twitter consists of several thousand vaccine denialists whose present project is stopping California's mandatory vaccine bill, through campaigns of lockstep tweeting to lawmakers, workplace and home-based harassment of dissenters, and coordinated SEO campaigns that muddy the waters for concerned parents who try to research the subject.

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@Theresamaybot: a twitterbot that puts you under suspicion and won't say why

A bot inspired by UK Home Secretary Theresa May's pledge to bring back the systems of unaccountable mass surveillance that the EU forced the UK to abandon.

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Charting what harassment looks like on Twitter


While the pervasive problem of harassment on Twitter is far from solved, the social media platform has recently been taking steps towards finding solutions; and thanks to the non-profit group Women, Action and the Media, which partnered with Twitter late last year, we now have an interesting snapshot of what harassment looks like on Twitter, and how Twitter responds to it.

For several weeks last November, WAM participated in a pilot project where they acted as an "authorized reporter" for Twitter. This meant that users could report abusive behavior on the platform to WAM, which would then evaluate and escalate the reports they validated to Twitter. They also planned to "work with Twitter to better understand how gendered harassment functions on their platform, and to improve their responses to it."

Today, WAM released an analysis of the data they received during those three weeks. They also offered recommendations for improving how Twitter responds to harassment, which included developing tools to address "tweet and delete" attacks, adopting a clearer definition of harassment that moves beyond the limited standard of direct threats, and giving all users access to opt-in filtering the currently enjoyed only by verified users.

It also offered information on how Twitter responded to differing types of reported behavior. There was punitive action in 55 percent of cases, and WAM notes that Twitter was most likely to take action again reported hate speech, and the least likely to take action against reports of doxxing:


This not a scientific study by any means; the instances of harassment are self-reported, and the sample size is relatively small, with a little over 800 reports. Still, it's an interesting glimpse of what harassment on Twitter looks like, particularly in the absence of more substantive data from Twitter itself.

Read the full report here, and take a look at the accompanying infographic for more.

How a tweet caused Twitter's stock to slump


Twitter's stock dropped $8bn in a single day, all thanks to a tweet.

Investors were rattled by the early disclosure of unexpectedly low revenues, exposed before the close of trading by Selerity, a service that scours the web looking for investment information.

"We inadvertently released an early version of [Twitter's] earnings," Nasdaq admitted to the BBC. "We are investigating the root cause."

Normally, the results would be posted after the close of trading to allow for the news to be digested. But the results had been posted—through not yet officially publicized—on an investor relations page operated by the stock exchange.

"Selerity, who provided the initial tweets with our results, informed us that earnings release was available on our Investor Relations site before the close of market," said Twitter executive Krista Bessinger. "Nasdaq hosts and manages our IR website, and we explicitly instructed them not to release our results until after the market close and only upon our specific instructions, which is consistent with prior quarters.

Selerity was quick to disclose the source to douse early suspicions of a hack or insider shenanigans.


The poor financial results, far short of expectations, gave Twitter its second-worst trading day since it went public in 2013, reported the Wall Street Journal. By the end of the day, the stock price was about $40, down 6 percent.

On the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, traders started getting a range of where the stock should open based off of buy and sell orders that were coming in while the stock was halted, said Jonathan Corpina, senior managing partner at brokerage firm Meridian Equity Partners.

“There was a lot of noise and energy,” Corpina said. “Everyone was yelling out their buy and sell orders. Everyone was asking for price indications.”

Trading resumed at 3:47 p.m. ET with the stock at $40.45. Shares closed down 18% to $42.27, the second lowest drop in the company’s short history as a public company.

Twitter is the second big tech firm to be nailed by Selerity's algorithmic newsgathering: in 2011, Microsoft posted results early to a public but unlinked web-page that was quickly exposed by the startup.

The New York Times's Vindu Goel writes that Twitter is particularly vulnerable, because revenues were considered the company's "one bright spot" amid intense competition and other bad news.

Twitter's got a new troll stick

New policies at Twitter for reporting, automatic message muting, and enforcement could turn the noise way down for users subject to harassment.Read the rest