Tag Archives | Social Media

Politics of Social Media: Where You’re Likely to Find Conservatives and Liberals

via Mediaite:

Politically inactive conservatives generally populate Pinterest, while politically inactive liberals tend to use Instagram. Them’s the facts, according to new data revealed by audience measurement service Quantcast this month.

As the helpful chart below demonstrates, Facebook is the most politically balanced platform (likely because it has so many users), while the majority of social media “skew Democrat and [politically] inactive”:

Comparing-Social-Platforms1

A few other noticeable details:

1) Pinterest is the most conservative social media outlet, thus confirming existing stereotypes about the site being used by older, wealthy women from the midwest states.

2) Disqus is the most politically active social media outlet. Anyone surprised? It also skews conservative, which explains a lot. (But that’s also somewhat surprising, as we’ve noticed at Mediaite that articles about conservatives doing silly things tend to have lots of liberal comments, and vice versa.)

3) Twitter apparently leans the furthest left among all social media.

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ELLO: Could This Be The End of Facebook?

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 9.56.39 PMMany moons ago, I discovered a wonderful social network known as myspace.com. It was an exciting way to meet new people and find those who had likeminded interests. It was also a great way to cruise for members of the opposite sex and flirt. As time progressed, people seemed to become annoyed with the juvenile aspects of Myspace culture and the pervasive tendency to blast through and ‘friend collect’, while worshipping internet celebs like ‘Forbidden’ and ‘Tila Tequila’. When Facebook launched, it was an exclusive network for college students. But soon it became the unstoppable juggernaut that we know today. What seemed to be the nail in Myspace’s coffin was the involvement of big corporate interest which essentially stripped Myspace of all its coolness. Forbidden and Tila became old news and we breathed a collective sigh of relief.

Now Facebook has become a bit like Myspace. It is riddled with corporate grossness and metrics that monitor and track us NSA style.… Read the rest

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Actually, You ARE the Customer, Not the Product

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Ramez Naam writes at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies:

Don’t believe the hype. You’re the customer, whether you pay directly or by seeing ads. Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: “On the internet, if you’re not paying for something, then you’re not the customer. You’re the product.”

This meme, and its various permutations, are meant to to convey that if you’re not shelling out direct cash for a service, that you should expect to be used by that service. Perhaps. But there are many many things wrong with it. In fact, it’s wrong in almost every way.

You are the customer. You can do things no “product” can do.

Think about the things you can do that a “product” can’t do:

  1. You can stop using the service.  You can deny the company that provides it the revenue you represent. What product ever abandoned its parent company?
  2. You can look around for competitive offerings, and choose one of those. Again, no ‘product’ can do this.
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As traditional media falters, hyperlocal news is on the up

Could this rise of local news by the people be detrimental? What are the side effects of “hyperlocal” news? We’ve already seen the damage that Twitter and Reddit ‘journalists’ can do, but large news networks aren’t immune to such blunders either.

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By Dave Harte, Birmingham City University

As an example of mass participatory journalism, where the voices of ordinary citizens are heard as much as public officials or PR professionals, the UK’s hyperlocal news network is second to none.

Regional newspapers continue to struggle and local TV often falters, sometimes before it’s even begun but this emerging breed of news production seems to be thriving.

Some are set up as news sites while others are blogs originally started to address a particular local issue, like a threat to close a local leisure centre or to cover a specific planning concern. They then grow to cover different topics and become the go-to site for people to find out about what is happening in their area.… Read the rest

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LIKE everything

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From Wired:

There’s this great Andy Warhol quote you’ve probably seen before: “I think everybody should like everybody.” You can buy posters and plates with pictures of Warhol, looking like the cover of a Belle & Sebastian album, with that phrase plastered across his face in Helvetica. But the full quote, taken from a 1963 interview in Art News, is a great description of how we interact on social media today.

Warhol: Someone said that Brecht wanted everybody to think alike. I want everybody to think alike. But Brecht wanted to do it through Communism, in a way. Russia is doing it under government. It’s happening here all by itself without being under a strict government; so if it’s working without trying, why can’t it work without being Communist? Everybody looks alike and acts alike, and we’re getting more and more that way.
I think everybody should be a machine.

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Moms, “Food Fears” and the Power of the Internet

food ingredient fearsA great dissection of the corporate food lobby’s fear of social media and the Internet over at The Lunch Tray

Dr. Brian Wansink, a professor of consumer behavior at Cornell University and director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, has published a new study in the journal Food Quality and Preference entitled “Ingredient-Based Food Fears and Avoidance: Antecedents and Antidotes.”  This study, co-authored by Aner Tal and Adam Brumberg, seeks to determine why people – mothers in particular – develop so-called “food fears” about certain ingredients (such as sodium, fat, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, MSG and lean finely textured beef) and what the food industry and government can do about it.

The study’s ultimate conclusion, that “food fears” can be addressed by “providing information regarding an ingredient’s history or the other products in which it is used,” is hardly controversial.  But some other things about this study raise red flags, starting with the fact that what might be entirely legitimate concerns about particular ingredients are uniformly (and patronizingly) characterized as “food fears,” and that the study’s findings have been overblown and mischaracterized not just in the media but in Dr.

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Can You Find the “Hidden Weed” in Vancouver?

608px-Medical_MarijuanaDo you like scavenger hunts? Are you looking to score some herb, man? Well, if you live in Vancouver and like to frequent Twitter, you can check out HiddenWeedYVR, an account that leaves clues about stashes of hidden weed throughout Vancouver.

VIA National Post

“Hidden Weed” is a different take on “Hidden Cash,” the money craze started by an anonymous millionaire real estate investor in San Francisco in May. The man started hiding envelopes, each with a $100 bill, around the city and used Twitter to help strangers find the money.

The “Hidden Cash” craze has spread throughout the United States and Canada. Vancouver has also seen “Hidden Beer” and “Hidden Weed,” which started June 4 and had more than 2,300 followers Monday.

“It’s making everyone happy at the beginning of summer,” said Robert Craig, who found a marijuana “prize” on Sunday. “It’s pretty funny. It’s pretty lighthearted.”

He was following the Hidden Weed Twitter account when he saw a clue indicating the marijuana was six blocks from his house.

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United States Secretly Built “Cuban Twitter” To Gather Personal Data And Foment Unrest

cubaA Cuban social media platform called ZunZuneo with tens of thousands of users was in fact an espionage project concocted by the U.S. government. Although, what social network isn’t about covert data mining? The Independent reports:

In an apparent throwback to the Cold War, the US government spent $1.6m building a social media network with the aim of undermining the communist government in Cuba, it has emerged.

Documents obtained during an investigation by the Associated Press show that the project, which lasted more than two years and drew thousands of subscribers, was built with secret shell companies and was financed through foreign banks.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) was reportedly behind the project which saw the creation of a ‘Cuban Twitter’ dubbed “ZunZuneo” – slang for a Cuban hummingbird’s tweet. Users of “ZunZuneo” were entirely unaware of the involvement of the United States government agency and that American contractors were gathering personal data about them.

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How Misinformation Spreads on Facebook

RIAN archive 988824 Facebook social network's pageSarah Gray reports for Salon (via AlterNet) on research about how people on Facebook interacted with “trolls” posting false information; she says the results are depressing:

From the steady roll of theories on what happened to Malaysian Arlines Flight 370, to Sarah Palin’s “death panels” panic, to Donald Trump’s birther theories, misinformation spreads like wildfire in the age of Facebook.

In 2013, professor Walter Quattrociocchi of Northeastern University along with his team studied how more than 1 million Facebook users engaged with political information during the Italian election. During that election a post appeared titled: “Italian Senate voted and accepted (257 in favor and 165 abstentions) a law proposed by Senator Cirenga to provide policy makers with €134 billion Euros to find jobs in the event of electoral defeat.”

The post was from an Italian site that parodies the news. According to  MIT Technology Review it was filled with at least four major inaccuracies: “[T]he senator involved is fictitious, the total number of votes is higher than is possible in Italian politics, the amount of money involved is more than 10% of Italian GDP and the law itself is an invention.”

Despite the blatant falsehoods of this  parody news post, the story went viral — shared over 35,000 times in less than a month.

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