Instagram launched a new feature today, Restrict, intended to help vulnerable users avoid abuse. Facebook's Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri says the company will also be focusing on new uses for AI to crack down on bullying. Read the rest
On the whole, technology has been good to me.
In the mid-1990s, I was able to connect with a music magazine in Ireland--my first paying writing gig--via Hotmail. Over two decades later, I'm still writing for them. in 2009, Twitter connected me with folks who became good friends, online and face-to-face. Through them, I was able to shift out of a career that was slowly killing me with stress to begin a decade-long stretch of freelancing. Working remotely during that time, I found that I had a lust for travel, and as a consequence of one of my adventures, met my wife. Recently, I was able to land a full-time gig, still remotely, mind you, that has provided me with a steady income and a fabulous group of co-workers I'm happy to see on Slack every day.
That said, I'm also sure that a lot of the tech in my life is making me miserable.
Facebook is hot garbage, that tracks my movements across the Internet without permission. Twitter is full of thieves waiting to steal your joy and fill your days with dread. Instagram, owned by Facebook, often leaves me feeling expectant and desirous of accolades for my photos from people I've never met. Of late, outside of my work life, I've been taking strides to limit my interactions with tech and social media. I've donated all of the hardware I don't use on a routine basis to local charities, stepped back from owning multiple computers to just one and perhaps, best of all, have started relying on Flickr as a way to share what's going on in my life with the people I care about. Read the rest
Facebook gave "as many as" 260 contractors at Wipro, Ltd in Hyderabad, India access to users' private messages and private Instagram posts so that the contractors could label them prior to their inclusion in an AI training-data set. Read the rest
Alex Jimenez grew up poor in Puerto Rico, and is obsessed with yachts; by being one of the first people on Instagram to take a lot of pictures at yacht shows, he has become a sought-after "yacht influencer" who gets flown around the world to take photos of yachts that are going up for sale or whose owners are looking for renters. Read the rest
No one has been reported harmed. No bomb reported found. Read the rest
In what feels like the one billionth installment of We Can't Have Nice Things, some pervy asshole's been creeping on Fortnite-playing minors. Over the past few weeks, according to police from the Quebec, Canada area, a number of parents have stepped forward to complain that their kids were asked, in-game and via Instagram, to fire over nude photos of themselves. The payoff: ways and means of advancing their in-game prowess. Once the prick had their hands on the pics, the kid that sent them would be threatened: send more or the ones that the pederast already had would be plastered all over the internet.
From The CBC:
Four cases have been reported in the past few weeks, according to police.
In three of those cases, minors were threatened, and in one, the victim sent personal photos to the cyber-predator.
Sgt. Jean-Luc Tremblay with the Richelieu Saint-Laurent police said the predator, or predators, tried to infiltrate groups of friends by offering them a chance to advance their game in exchange for providing revealing photos.
Police are working with school boards in the area to disseminate information about the sextortion.
Being a kid is already difficult enough without having to endure this kind of horse shit. Parents need to be on their guard and kids need to be educated in how to avoid these greasy shits online. It's a mantra that too many people have had to type too many times.
Hopefully, those responsible will have left enough digital breadcrumbs to be tracked down and dealt with--quickly. Read the rest
Twitter gets well-deserved attention for online harassment, but know who else has a huge problem there? Instagram. Big time. Read the rest
There's been a lot of talk about Taylor Swift's marching orders to her 112 million Instagram followers this past Sunday. Some folks are welcoming her to the resistance. Others wish she'd shut her political cake hole and stick to singing (but Kanye West's blathering on is totally cool).
No matter which side of the fence you find yourself on in the debate over whether celebrities should be able to use their status to motivate the political leanings of their fanbase, there is no denying that an endorsement or suggestion from the right star gets shit done. According to Buzzfeed, Vote.org has seen an insane spike in traffic since Swift waded into politics.
"We are up to 65,000 registrations in a single 24-hour period since T. Swift's post," said Kamari Guthrie, director of communications for Vote.org.
For context, 190,178 new voters were registered nationwide in the entire month of September, while 56,669 were registered in August.
In Swift’s home state of Tennessee, where she voiced support for two Democratic candidates running in this year's midterms, voter registrations have also jumped.
"Vote.org saw [Tennessee] registrations spike specifically since Taylor's post," Guthrie said. The organization has received 5,183 in the state so far this month — at least 2,144 of which were in the last 36 hours, she said, up from 2,811 new Tennessee voter registrations for the entire month of September and just 951 in August.
Whether this massive registration will translate into a whack of voters turning up to cast their vote remains to be seen. Read the rest
Platforms like Instagram reward users who post specific kinds of content, in some cases leading to travel largely for the photo op. Insta Repeat examines how stylistic themes have emerged in the genre of of Instagram travel photos by aggregating shots that are similar in theme, location, and type of person. Read the rest
Facebook's acquisition spree -- including huge-dollar payouts for Instagram and Whatsapp -- was supposed to shore up the company's crumbling user base by creating a "family" of semi-independent companies with diverse approaches to business, sharing a back-end of engineering, marketing and other resources, but offering very different propositions to users. Read the rest
There will be a new Instagram app sometime soon that's all about shopping, reports The Verge. Read the rest