Wednesday, November 5, 2014
The sad life of Putin’s “Troll Army” - http://euromaidanpress.com/2014/11/02/the-sad-life-of-putins-troll-army/
Governments plant propaganda in social media
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Of 255 million citizens in Indonesia (which makes it the world’s third largest democracy) there are over 77 million citizens online — and 50 million of those are eligible to vote. There’s a very active social media landscape in Indonesia, and the social media activism community there is particularly vibrant.
Indonesia has one of the largest social media populations in the world. Globally, it’s number four in terms of Facebook users, and number five on Twitter. Jakarta is said to be the busiest Twitter city in the world. Indonesian’s are among the social media users with the most friends. For people there, having more than 1,000 friends on Facebook is not uncommon.
it’s true that social media was important in this election, mainly because of the lack of official information regarding the candidates and the election.
Both candidates also used social media a great deal, but in different ways.
This is the first time a vote in Indonesia has been subjected to this level of transparency. In part, that’s because the governmental election commission published the raw results online.
Monday, September 1, 2014
They found for example that face-to-face interactions and the trust people place in one another are strongly correlated with well-being in a positive way. In other words, if you tend to trust people and have lots of face-to-face interactions, you will probably assess your well-being more highly.
But of course interactions on online social networks are not face-to-face and this may impact the trust you have in people online. It is this loss of trust that can then affect subjective well-being rather than the online interaction itself.
Sabatini and Sarracino tease this apart statistically. “We find that online networking plays a positive role in subjective well-being through its impact on physical interactions, whereas [the use of] social network sites is associated with lower social trust,” they say. “The overall effect of networking on individual welfare is significantly negative,” they conclude.
That’s an important result because it is the first time that the role of online networks has been addressed in such a large and nationally representative sample.
Sabatini and Sarracino particularly highlight the role of discrimination and hate speech on social media which they say play a significant role in trust and well-being. Better moderation could significantly improve the well-being of the people who use social networks, they conclude.
Friday, August 29, 2014
It is essentially a giant switchboard to connect disparate services, anything from Facebook to text messages to telephone calls. Users can create “recipes” in which an action on one service can trigger an action on another entirely different service.
More than 100 other Internet services connect to IFTTT, including Twitter and YouTube.
even if your text messaging service, by itself, is not meant to be a sort of alert system for when your friend checks in on Foursquare, the start-up wants to make that sort of remixing possible.
A social media manager for a company, for example, could connect multiple Twitter accounts to IFTTT and set up recipes specific to each account.
Anyone can make IFTTT recipes to use and share with others — 15 million recipes are used on a daily basis — and that number has only increased as more services connect to IFTTT’s platform.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
The Chinese e-commerce behemoth disclosed on Wednesday that its profit nearly tripled in the quarter that ended June 30, to $2 billion. Its sales climbed 46 percent, to $2.5 billion.
In short, it is part eBay, part Amazon.com and part PayPal, with a hunger to invest in yet more up-and-coming industries.
Nearly a third of Alibaba’s gross merchandise volume, or the value of goods sold on Alibaba’s marketplaces, comes from mobile transactions, compared with just 12 percent a year ago. And the number of mobile monthly active users rose 15 percent compared with those in the period a year earlier, to 188 million.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
40,000 tweets were sent in a single day from the accounts of ISIS supporters. It’s built a huge, sophisticated web of connected Twitter accounts that amplify every single message.
James Foley's murder highlights how the use of film, tweets and blogs to further the aims of ISIS is now a major security issue.
Islamic State's online army – dubbed "the new disseminators" by radicalization experts.
"These are young men in their 20s who have grown up with all this stuff," he said. "They all know it's not that hard to build an app, they know how important Twitter is, they know how to upload a really nasty YouTube video, and it'll go viral quickly. It's second nature to a lot of these young men, plus the lowering price of producing reasonably good-looking propaganda and sending it around the world is a lot easier now than it was 10 years ago."
The two most popular sites used by militants, he said, were Twitter and the Latvian-based site Ask.FM, where users, often anonymously, fire questions at one another. "Periodically a foreign fighter based in Syria will appear on the site. Wannabe foreign fighters can go to them and ask questions: 'What should I pack? What's the weather like out there?'
The most influential tweeter for foreign fighters was named as Shami Witness, a social media operator whose popularity has swollen in tandem with the territorialexpansion of ISIS.
Even a cursory sweep across Twitter can expose a multilayered network of foreign fighters, friends and wannabes. "The police want to close these things down and arrest them, while the intelligence services always want to keep them up, follow their followers, understand their network. They enable security services to track a lot of people.
One downside of attempting to drive extremists from social media is that it will drive them further into the deep web. Last week's Twitter crackdown has already witnessed extremists gravitate towards Diaspora, a decentralised network with data stored on private servers which cannot be controlled by a single administrator.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Computational Linguistics of Twitter Reveals the Existence of Global Superdialects | MIT Technology Review
The first study of dialects on Twitter reveals global patterns that have never been observed before.
They then searched these tweets for word variations that are indicative of specific dialects. For example, the word for car in Spanish can be auto, automóvil, carro, coche, concho, or movi, with each being more common in different dialects. Different words for bra include ajustador, ajustadores, brasiel, brassiere, corpiño, portaseno, sostén, soutien, sutién, sujetador, and tallador while variations on computer include computador, computadora, microcomputador, microcomputadora, ordenador, PC, and so on.
They then plotted where in the world these different words were being used, producing a map of their distribution. This map clearly shows how different words are commonly used in certain parts of the world.
Social science researchers are exhilarated by the prospect of tapping into the vast troves of personal data collected by Facebook, Google, Amazon and a host of start-ups, Vindu Goel reports.
Professor Hancock was a co-author of the Facebook study in which the social network quietly manipulated the news feeds of nearly 700,000 people to learn how the changes affected their emotions. When the research was published in June, the outrage was immediate.
… in much the same way as mainstream readers consume ordinary news, say computer scientists.
In 2013, a report from the World Economic Forum suggested that online misinformation represents a significant risk to modern society. The report pointed to a number of incidents in which information had spread virally with consequences that could hardly have been imagined by its creators.
In one case, somebody impersonating the Russian Interior Minister tweeted that Syria’s President Basher al-Assad had been killed or injured. The tweet caused the price of crude oil to rise by over one dollar before traders discovered that the news was false. In another case in 2012, 30,000 people fled from the Indian city of Bangalore after receiving text messages that they would be attacked.
The Data Mining Techniques That Reveal Our Planet's Cultural Links and Boundaries | MIT Technology Review
Studying cultural variation around the world has always been expensive, time-consuming work. Which is why the newfound ability to mine the data from location-based social networks is revolutionizing this science.
Monday, August 18, 2014
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Thursday, August 14, 2014
FireEye plans to continue the research. “We can see the digital equivalent of troops on the border,” Kevin Thompson, a threat analyst for the company, told MIT Technology Review. “But we’d like to look back at a whole year of data and try to correlate with all the world events in the same period.”
Government use of malware is becoming more common, according to Mikko Hyppönen, chief research officer at F-Secure, who studies malware made and used by nation-states. Countries of all sizes use malware because it is relatively cheap and gets results, he said during a talk at Black Hat on Wednesday. “There are parallels here to the nuclear arms race,” he said. “[But] the power of nuclear weapons was in deterrence, and we don’t have that with cyberweapons.”
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Back in 2011, a team from Texas A&M University carried out a cyber sting to trap nonhuman Twitter users that were polluting the Twittersphere with spam. Their approach was to set up “honeypot” accounts which posted nonsensical content that no human user would ever be interested in. Any account that retweeted this content, or friended the owner, must surely be a nonhuman user known as a social bot.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Mr. Liechtenstein, 55, is an unlikely candidate for Internet fame. He owns no phone, has no computer and only recently moved into an apartment after spending nearly two years living, rent-free, in the stairwell of an upscale eyeglass company’s Berlin office space, then in its showroom, where he served, in the eccentric 19th-century tradition, as an ornamental hermit.
But after the runaway success of a web-only advertisement for one of Germany’s largest supermarket chains this year, the dapper artist can no longer walk down the street without strangers asking to take his picture.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
In eastern Ukraine, many residents may side with the pro-Russian rebels, but they don’t see the fighters as capable of having taken down the Malaysia Airlines plane with a missile.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Mathematicians Explain Why Social Epidemics Spread Faster in Some Countries Than Others | MIT Technology Review
Psychologists have always puzzled over why people in Sweden were slower to start smoking and slower to stop. Now a group of mathematicians have worked out why.
An advocacy group has identified nearly 100 fake accounts on Twitter whose sole purpose appears to be sharing treacly stories about Tibet and Xinjiang. The content comes via propaganda websites linked to the Chinese government.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
As The Jerusalem Post reports, the effort to make Israel’s case is being spearheaded by 400 college students posting comments, memes, video clips,images and explanatory graphics on Facebook and Twitter from dozens of computers in a “Hasbara war room” at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, north of Tel Aviv.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has demonstrated modern sophistication in its adoption of social media, particularly Twitter, where its hashtags have gained jihadist followers.
Saturday, June 28, 2014
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Social Sweepster, a new service, says it can scan photos for telltale signs of youthful indiscretions, like red party cups. It joins several services trying to help people erase evidence of behavior prospective employers may not find amusing.
"How Chinese Internet Censors Force Activists into Online Isolation"
Censorship has forced Chinese activists to use increasingly obscure language on social media, isolating themselves from those they hope to reach.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Creating success from failure
It’s very often the case that what people set out to do as Plan A turns out to be effective and important, not because it works, but because it shows them what doesn’t work. I use the example of Wikipedia. Wikipedia started as the Hail Mary play out of something called Nupedia, which was a complete disaster. Nupedia was going out of business nine months in, and the Wiki was Plan B.
So this huge success turned out to be the thing that the group of people who’d failed at Nupedia were finally willing to try at the end of the process. And every now and again, you get a visionary set of founders who come up with Plan A, and Plan A works unbelievably well. You get a Google or an Amazon. And those are great when they happen.
But you also get things like Wikipedia or Twitter. Twitter was Plan B out of Odeo. Odeo was about to tank. They’re, like, “Well, we’re going to run out of money. There’s got to be something else we can do.” And the mission statement for Twitter was not, “We want to own the kind of public-facing set of headline-style observations.” The mission statement for Twitter was literally, “I want to keep track of people, using our cell phones.” That little sentence was how the whole thing got kicked off.
So I think one of the things to recognize, I use the analogy of a rocket ship: You can’t get a rocket to the moon just by aiming it. You also have to give yourself the ability to course correct. And when we look around at the landscape of really big successes, very often what we see is that the course correction turned out to be more important than the initial direction.
With all his talk of better data compression and more efficient phone chips, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, has had a bit of trouble getting people excited about Internet.org, hisambitious plan to get everyone in the world onto the Internet.
Titan’s drones, which resemble solar-powered airplanes, are designed to fly as high as 65,000 feet and stay aloft for as long as five years — essentially functioning like cheap satellites. They could blanket large areas with wireless Internet signals, although the signals would be slower and unable to handle as much data as land-based Internet connections. For remote places like rural Africa, they would be enough to provide at least rudimentary access to the Internet through mobile phones.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
How a Small Family Business Pulled Off One of the Greatest Successes in YouTube History - Business 2 Community
Social Media Success Stories: How a Small Family Business Pulled Off One of the Greatest Successes in YouTube History
On his 222nd video, Stephen hit paydirt. In a 29-second video, he demonstrated how to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew. It has now attracted well over 6 million views!
If Instagram were to turn up the volume on e-commerce and advertising — imagine a click-to-buy button on that photo of Louboutin shoes — well, let’s just say that would be Instamoney. (L2 predicts that Instagram will generate $250 million to $400 million in revenue this year.)
Instagram is already generating real revenue for brands, according to Pau Sabria, co-founder of Olapic. His firm helps companies like American Eagle Outfitters, Lancôme, Coach and West Elm to solicit photos of their products being used by ordinary people and then post them on retail sites as a supplement to staged catalog shots.
He said that by adding such user-generated photos to a retail site, the number of visitors who turn into buyers increased by 5 to 7 percent and the average order value rose by 2 percent.
Monday, February 17, 2014
Brian Krebs’s widely read blog, Krebs on Security, covers a particularly dark corner of the Internet: profit-seeking cybercriminals who make billions off spam, malware and frauds.
In the last year, Eastern European cybercriminals have stolen Brian Krebs’s identity a half dozen times, brought down his website, included his name and some unpleasant epithets in their malware code, sent fecal matter and heroin to his doorstep, and called a SWAT team to his home just as his mother was arriving for dinner.
Mr. Krebs, 41, tries to write pieces that cannot be found elsewhere. His widely read cybersecurity blog, Krebs on Security, covers a particularly dark corner of the Internet: profit-seeking cybercriminals, many based in Eastern Europe, who make billions off pharmaceutical sales, malware, spam, frauds and heists like the recent ones that Mr. Krebs was first to uncover at Adobe, Target and Neiman Marcus.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Spotting an opportunity to share this online engagement with in-store shoppers, the company recently started displaying popular Pinterest items in two of its Seattle-area stores. When early results were encouraging, Nordstrom began rolling out the test more broadly to capitalize on the site’s appeal to customers as the “world’s largest ‘wish list,’” in the words of one executive.2 The retailer continues to look for more ways to match other customer interactions on Pinterest with its products. Local salespeople already use an in-store app to match items popular on Pinterest with items in the retailer’s inventory. As the “spotting” ability of companies in other industries matures, we expect visual tools such as Pinterest to be increasingly useful in detecting and capitalizing on weak signals.
Monday, February 10, 2014
A number of new apps, including Wut, Secret and Confide, are intended to let users either talk secretly or semi-anonymously online.
More apps like snapchat. And very distinctive behavioral patterns observed among their users.
"open this app and you’ll find yourself in a sea of negativity, with apparent Silicon Valley citizens complaining about venture capitalists, founders of companies and their 'friends.'"
"the negative seems to be predominant at least partially because there are no consequences to what you say."
Shares of the social network dropped 24 percent on Thursday following the company’s financial results, which disclosed a slowdown in user growth and declines in usage by existing users. However, the company also showed strong growth in advertising revenue, suggesting that if it fixes the user problem, it would have bright prospects.
The founders say college students are tired of using a social network where their parents, grandparents and future employers can see their updates.
The Internet is a place of unreliable facts and heavy socialization, so it makes sense that there is a website like Quora, where a registered community of users poses and answers questions about all sorts of things. With 450,000 topics, it’s a challenge to keep it all straight, but it’s necessary for a future ad business.
Friday, January 31, 2014
Monday, January 27, 2014
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Weixin (pronounced way-shin) is this country’s killer app, a highly addictive social networking tool that allows smartphone users to send messages and share news, photos, videos and web links, much like America’s WhatsApp, or Line, a Japanese communications and messaging app. In the United States, a similar version is known as WeChat.
Friday, January 17, 2014
Chris Struhar, an engineering manager who works on Trending as well as Facebook’s news feed, said the new service was designed to be easier to understand and more customized than, say, Twitter’s list of trending topics, which is often just a list of cryptic keywords or hashtags.
“Showing just the topic name, you kind of look at that and say, I don’t understand why this thing is trending,” he said in an interview.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Last June, Facebook released a tracking pixel, a snippet of code that allows advertisers to track customers who come to their websites from Facebook ads. For Amy Norman, co-chief executive officer of Little Passports, the pixel was a game-changer.
Ms. Norman, whose San Francisco company sends children a monthly package to introduce them to geography and history, began testing ads on Facebook to see which ones brought in more customers. In June, Little Passports spent about $30,000 on Facebook ads and the company’s revenue for the month was about $130,000. By the end of the year, the company’s monthly advertising spending on Facebook had grown to as much as $150,000 and its revenue for December was $700,000.
Friday, January 10, 2014
Social media are playing an important new role in Indian democracy. A social media campaign by the Electoral Commission drew record levels of voter registration and turnout in elections held in four Indian states, including the capital, New Delhi, in November and December.
Of 790 million eligible Indian voters, about 160 million are first-time voters between the ages of 18 and 24 years old. Political parties are also embracing social media to reach voters, including cellphone messaging. Social media are credited with helping the new Common Man party and its candidate, Arvind Kejriwal, win a surprise victory in Delhi against the Congress and Bharatiya Janata parties.