Artist imagines faded and abandoned signage for social media giants

From the apt metaphor department, Romanian illustrator Andrei Lacatusu's series titled "Social Decay" renders 3D images of logos for social media giants as rusting derelict signs. Read the rest

Twitter stock drops 20.5% a day after Facebook suffers worst one-day drop in history

Twitter's stock closed 20.5% on Friday after the company announced it lost 1 million active users. More user loss is predicted. Read the rest

Study reveals YouTube commenters hostile to women scientists

A researcher reviewed 23,005 comments left on videos about science and related topics. You'll never guess what they found out about how YouTubers view women. Adrianne Jeffries, quoting Inoaka Amarasekara:

“I was quite disappointed by the time I’d gone through them,” she said. “I could see why people would not want to be on YouTube.”

The researchers found that about 14 percent of comments for female on-camera hosts were critical, compared to about six percent for male hosts.

They also found female hosts got a much larger proportion of comments about appearance (4.5 percent for women versus 1.4 percent for men) and comments that were sexist or sexual (nearly three percent of comments for women versus about a quarter-percent for men)

Imagine if, for a decade, Google left the world's largest social network to fester, allowing racial slurs, sexist abuse and any and all forms of bigotry to stand without moderation or even the slightest serious community management, all the while vigorously enforcing policies against marketing, spam and copyright infringement, making clear that nothing is there without its conscious assent. What a world that would be. Read the rest

Facebook is social media for old people

A new Pew survey is out, and it shows that teens are losing interest in Facebook. My daughters don't have accounts and the younger one never bothered to sign up. Who can blame them? It's no fun and the user interface has been hideous since the day it launched.

From Pew's “Teens, Social Media & Technology" as reported by Fast Company:

Here are the platforms teens say they use the most in 2018:

YouTube: 85% of teens use the platform Instagram: 72% Snapchat: 69% Facebook: 51% Twitter: 32% Reddit: 7% None of the above: 3%

Compare that with the platforms teens said they used the most in 2015:

Facebook: 71% Instagram: 52% Snapchat: 41% Twitter: 33% Google +: 33% Vine: 24% Tumblr: 14%

Two things: 1) Instagram is owned by Facebook, and anyone who has an Instagram account will be barraged with pleas to join Facebook. 2) I wonder if Snapchat adoption is declining. My kids said they don't like it any more and their friends have all switched over to Instagram. Read the rest

Good riddance to Klout, horseman of the influencer apocalypse

Social rating site Klout saw where society was heading with influencer marketing, but like many bad ideas that were a little ahead of their time, Klout will not live on to see the devastation they helped usher in. Read the rest

Firefox users: keep your personal information safe from Facebook with this browser extension

As our Cory Doctorow points out, the tools to protect yourself from non-consensual online tracking are already out there. He uses and recommends the EFF's free Privacy Badger browser plug-in to keep his online data to himself and out of the hands of creeps like Facebook, Google and Cambridge Analytica.

If you're a Firefox user who wants to keep using Facebook, but worried about the sort of nonsense that the service has been getting up to of late, Mozilla has launched a new browser extension that's designed to provide users with more control of what sort of personal data everyone's favorite social media problem child is capable of getting its hands on. It's called the Facebook Container Extension.

From Mozilla:

This extension helps you control more of your web activity from Facebook by isolating your identity into a separate container. This makes it harder for Facebook to track your activity on other websites via third-party cookies.

Rather than stop using a service you find valuable and miss out on those adorable photos of your nephew, we think you should have tools to limit what data others can collect about you. That includes us: Mozilla does not collect data from your use of the Facebook Container extension. We only know the number of times the extension is installed or removed.

When you install this extension it will delete your Facebook cookies and log you out of Facebook. The next time you visit Facebook it will open in a new blue-colored browser tab (aka “container tab”).

Read the rest

What social media is now

Simple comedy, perfectly executed, by voice actor SungWon Cho. Here's his YouTube channel. Read the rest

Facebook bans British bigots

Hey, remember when that dangerous orange toddler that runs America retweeted the online blather of a bunch of English facists? Good times. Today, a company that's made some hilariously poor choices in the area of user privacy, curbing spam and stomping out hate speech proved that they've got more of their shit together than the – God help us – leader of the free world.

According to The Verge, Facebook has banned U.K.-based far-right racist shit heels Britain First from their social network for "inciting hatred against minorities."

In a statement made earlier today, Facebook explained that in the past, they've tried to find a balance between free speech and decency that would allow a variety of opinions to be voiced and considered on their social network. But their patience for hateful bullshit only goes so far:

There are times though when legitimate political speech crosses the line and becomes hate speech designed to stir up hatred against groups in our society. This is an important issue which we take very seriously and we have written about how we define hate speech and take action against it in our Hard Questions series. We have Community Standards that clearly state this sort of speech is not acceptable on Facebook and, when we become aware of it, we remove it as quickly as we can. Political parties, like individuals and all other organizations on Facebook, must abide by these standards and where a Page or person repeatedly breaks our Community Standards we remove them.

Read the rest

Myspace hasn't tweeted since 9/11, and we're starting to worry

Myspace picked a symbolic day to stop tweeting: September 11, 2017. What happened? Are they among the exodus to other cooler platforms like everyone but the most hopelessly addicted? Maybe they got sick of the porn spam and the cesspool of trolling all-stars, aka verified users? Read the rest

Escaping Twitter's numbers game with the Twitter Demetricator

Everyone knows about the trolls and nazis, but The New Yorker's David Zweig wrestles with the other strange pallor that descends on Twitter: the feeling that every moment is a self-conscious baring of oneself in pursuit of the metrics and measurements it applies, "a shameful interest in all those prominently displayed numbers." He installed Ben Grosser's Twitter Demetricator, which hides all that from Twitter (from yourself, if not from others.)

Twitter, perhaps even more than Facebook, runs on its users’ obsession—witting or not—with metrics. ... After three weeks of using the Demetricator, the nature of Twitter, for me, changed completely. In some ways, it became lonelier. Part of the fun had been feeling like part of a crowd, seeing a joke or an idea or an observation become something that fifty people, or fifty thousand, could share. But I’m willing to accept the loss of this superficial sense of community for all the gains. Not seeing any numbers at all made content itself the king. I came to appreciate, disconcertingly, that knowing what was popular before had not only often distorted but also sometimes completely overtaken my experience.

This was part of why I made txt.fyi, to make it easy to post things without the "ersatz quantifiers" of social capital, and is presumably why I wake up every day to requests to add user accounts and other features to it. Read the rest

Selfie addiction: the struggle is real

Junaid Ahmed takes 200 selfies a day, enough to land him on UK's Obsessed with my Body. Read the rest

The environmental costs of "safari selfies"

Everyone loves sloths, and that has led to a huge black market in their capture for use in "safari selfies," where eco-tourists travel to exotic locales and pose for social media posts with local fauna. Read the rest

Research report explains how adtech supercharges political deceit, allowing even bumblers to be master propagandists

A new report from the New America Foundation uses the current fear that Russian government elements manipulated the 2016 US election to explore the relationship between advertising technology, surveillance capitalism, and "precision propaganda," showing how the toolsuite developed for the advertising industry is readily repurposable by even modestly competent actors to spread disinformation campaigns. Read the rest

Comprehensive, open tutorial on using data analysis in social science research

Benjamin Mako Hill (previously) collaborated with colleagues involved in critical technology studies to write a textbook chapter analyzing the use of computational methods in social science and providing advice for social scientists who want to delve into data-based social science. Read the rest

The Weinstein Effect is already taking a readership toll on the lefty blogosphere

The crackdown on "influencers" engaging in undisclosed paid endorsement roiled Instagram last year, but now the crackdown on sexual misconduct on influencers is affecting readership at Mic, Upworthy, GOOD, and Slate, who quietly paid influencers like George Takei to promote their articles on their personal accounts. Read the rest

Woman who flipped off Trump got fired from government contracting firm

Last month, Juli Briskman, 50, flipped off the presidential motorcade passing her as she bicycled in Northern Virginia. A photo of Briskman's gesture went viral and last week she was fired from her job at Akima LLC, a government contracting firm. Even though she wasn't at work or wearing clothing that linked her to the company, her bosses claimed that she violated their social media policy:

“Covered Social Media Activity that contains discriminatory, obscene malicious or threatening content, is knowingly false, create [sic] a hostile work environment, or similar inappropriate or unlawful conduct will not be tolerated and will be subject to discipline up to an [sic] including termination of employment.”

From the Washington Post:

It gets even more obscene.

Because Briskman was in charge of the firm’s social media presence during her six-month tenure there, she recently flagged something that did link her company to some pretty ugly stuff.

As she was monitoring Facebook this summer, she found a public comment by a senior director at the company in an otherwise civil discussion by one of his employees about Black Lives Matter.

“You’re a f------ Libtard a------,” the director injected, using his profile that clearly and repeatedly identifies himself as an employee of the firm.

In fact, the person he aimed that comment at was so offended by the intrusion into the conversation and the coarse nature of it that he challenged the director on representing Akima that way.

So Briskman flagged the exchange to senior management.

Did the man, a middle-aged executive who had been with the company for seven years, get the old “section 4.3” boot?

Read the rest

Social network tarot cards

Illustrator Jacopo Rosati of Venice, Italy has designed tarot cards based on internet culture instead of the occult. His Social Network Tarots' "major arcana" includes The Russian Hacker, Dick Pics, and Fake News, not the usuals like The Fool, Lovers, and Death.

The cards are not meant to be played it seems, as the artist only presents them as beautifully silkscreened posters. It's unclear whether Rosati is selling them but if you were interested in getting one, you could try reaching out to him through his site.

(Dangerous Minds) Read the rest

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