Tag Archives | Twitter

Twitter Suspends Account Of Journalist Critical Of NBC And Olympics

Twitter has since apologized and reinstated Guy Adams’s account. Still, the fact remains that use of social media may be conditional on not speaking ill of the corporations with which the platforms are aligned. The Wall Street Journal reports:

The first social media Olympics have become a minefield for the Olympic movement—and especially for Twitter Inc., which has trumpeted its tight connection to the London Games.

The biggest brouhaha so far erupted on Monday and Tuesday, when a finger-pointing spat emerged over a journalist getting booted off Twitter after he was critical of NBC’s Olympics coverage. The journalist was reinstated on the short-messaging service Tuesday—but not before the blogosphere lit up with criticism over whether Twitter was curtailing free speech.

Twitter was forced to admit it breached the trust of its users when it apologized for suspending the account of Guy Adams, a Los Angeles correspondent for the U.K.’s Independent newspaper.

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The Increased Criminalization of Dissent

Jason Wilson (CC)

Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

American law enforcement agencies continue to increase their surveillance on an otherwise fairly complacent citizenry, logging an incredible amount of requests for information regarding cell phone and social media use.

Last week, a judge in New York ruled that Twitter must give a court close to three months of information from a user in a pending case involving an Occupy Wall Street protester arrested at a demonstration on the Brooklyn Bridge in October. In February, a subpoena from the New York City District Attorney’s office demanded the microblogging site, often used by protesters to update their followers on events happening on the street in real time, give up “any and all user information, including email address, as well as any and all tweets posted for the period of 9/15/2011-12/31/2011” from user Malcolm Harris.” Harris (@destructuremal), managing editor for the New Inquiry online magazine was arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge with 700 other demonstrators.… Read the rest

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Tweeter Causes Uproar Over Violent ‘Beat Up Anita Sarkeesian’ Game

Via the Toronto Standard (thanks to Warren Ellis for the tweet):

UPDATE: Stephanie Guthrie received multiple death threats following the publication of this article. Police are now involved and the offending users have been reported to Twitter for account violations.

Women in TO Politics organizer Stephanie Guthrie isn’t known for keeping quiet. When gamer Bendilin Spurr launched the violent and sickening “Beat Up Anita Sarkeesian” game, Guthrie took to the Internet: “So I found the Twitter account of that fuck listed as creator of the ‘punch a woman in the face’ game. Should I sic the internet on him?”

The Internet said ‘yes,’ but not without its own share of misogyny. One user called Guthrie “a cunt.” Trolls tried to scare her. She continues to receive death threats.

But Guthrie wouldn’t be deterred. She called out the Sault Star newspaper, which has since picked up the story (kind of), warned potential employers not to hire Spurr, and sparked enough conversation to further increase her ranking as a prominent local tweeter on politics and feminism.

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Rupert Murdoch Tweets About ‘Creepy, Maybe Evil’ Scientology

It’s not often that I agree with Rupert “Outfoxed” Murdoch, but he seems to have captured the essence of scientology within Twitter’s 140-character limits.

Dylan Stableford reports for Yahoo! News | The Lookout:

Rupert Murdoch, News Corp. chief executive and outspoken octogenarian media mogul, took to Twitter on Sunday to weigh in on the breakup of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. And Murdoch’s tweets about Scientology sparked a big backlash.

“Scientology back in news,” Murdoch tweeted. “Very weird cult, but big, big money involved with Tom Cruise either number two or three in [hierarchy].”

The owner of Fox News, Wall Street Journal and New York Post followed the “cult” comment with another tweet:

“Watch Katie Holmes and Scientology story develop,” Murdoch wrote. “Something creepy, maybe even evil, about these people.”…

[continues at Yahoo! News | The Lookout]… Read the rest

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Silencing The Trolls: Twitter Considers ‘Hate Speech’ Censorship

Here at disinformation we mostly live with our trolls as a part of online life, but Twitter has decided to try to silence them. Via RT:

Is Twitter allowing too much freedom? What helped move revolutions along in the Middle East, has a flip side of cyberbullying and abuse, especially of those in the spotlight. Now Twitter is taking its first step towards censorship.

The news was broken by Twitter’s Dick Costolo who was speaking to the Financial Times. As the FT put it, the site’s chief executive “became visibly emotional” as he described his frustration in tackling the problem of ‘horrifying’ abuse, while maintaining the company’s mantra that ‘tweets must flow’. Anonymous and unpunished, irresponsible twitter-users find the site ideal for expressing all kinds of extremist, racist and sexistopinions. Celebrities are among those most vulnerable, with curses and bullying clogging up their ‘@connect’ section, offending many and disrupting conversations, often turning them into hate-fights.

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Tweeting To Aliens

Who would have guessed that the best way to send a message to those aliens we know are out there somewhere would be via Twitter? Natalie Wolchover explains why for MSNBC:

If there’s something you’d like to say to aliens, now’s your chance. The Wow! signal, a mysterious radio transmission detected in 1977 that may or may not have come from extraterrestrials, is finally getting a response from humanity. Anyone can contribute his or her two cents — or 140 characters, to be exact — to the cosmic reply via Twitter.

All tweets composed between 8 p.m. EDT Friday and 3 a.m. EDT Saturday tagged with the hashtag #ChasingUFOs will be rolled into a single message, according to the National Geographic Channel, which is timing the Twitter event to coincide with the premiere of the channel’s new series, “Chasing UFOs.”

Then on Aug. 15, exactly 35 years after the Wow!

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Sweden Opens Up Official Twitter Account to Entire Country

Writes Michelle Maltais in the LA Times:

If you had the keys to your country’s Twitter account, what would you say?

Well, Sonja Abrahamsson has caused a bit of a stir with her tweets about Jews from the @Sweden handle.

This week’s vox populi via @Sweden from Abrahamsson has delved into such curiosities as “Whats the fuzz with jews. You can’t even see if a person is a jew,” without intimate examination, she wrote in more explicit terms.

As you can imagine, her tweets have caught some flack and attention. Abrahamsson, who describes herself as “a 27-year old womanlike human being from northern Sweden,” is part of a government experiment entrusting its @Sweden national Twitter account to a new citizen every week…

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‘Covert’ U.S. Drone Operation in Yemen Mapped Out on Twitter

YemenThese “covert” operations are seemingly becoming more difficult to keep “covert” … Reports Chris Woods and Jack Serle of The Bureau of Investigative Journalism:

Though the hour was late, Yemen’s social media was still very much awake.

A US drone’s missiles had just slammed into a convoy of vehicles in a remote part of Yemen, killing three alleged militants.

The attack—like all other US drone strikes outside warzones—was supposed to be clandestine. Yet within minutes Sanaa-based lawyer Haykal Bafana was reporting the strike in almost-realtime. Just after 1 a.m. on May 17 he posted the following on Twitter:

NOW | Missile strike on car in Wadi Hadhramaut. Near city of Shibam. Suspected US drone attack.

As Bafana later explained to the Bureau, his relatives live in Shibam, a town of 30,000. ‘When the drone struck, the town—which was then experiencing a power cut—had completely lit up. My relatives got straight on the phone to tell me about the attack.’

‘No attacks so far’

The day prior to the strike Bafana had already tweeted that drones were behaving suspiciously in the area.… Read the rest

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The Danger of Facebook/Twitter Politics

Web PoliticsWesley Donehue writes on CNN:

I make a living encouraging politicians and candidates to use social media.

And now I’m going to tell them why it’s a bad idea.

Not always, mind you — social media will, and should, continue to play an important role in our political discourse. But the trend has grown so quickly; I don’t know that anyone has really stopped to consider the implications of moment-by-moment, real-time transparency.

I would argue that what we’ve gotten is a trade-off, and the jury is still out on whether what we’ve lost is worth more than what we’ve gained in the process.

So before I go about the process of destroying my company’s business model, let’s talk about what we’ve gained with social media.

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What Happens When Social Surveillance Goes Mainstream?

PanopticonMathew Ingram writes on GigaOM:

The 18th-century philosopher Jeremy Bentham came up with an idea for a futuristic prison he called the “Panopticon,” a building with mirrors that would allow everyone to see what their neighbors were doing. Thanks to the growth of social tools like Twitter and Facebook and Foursquare, we now have the ingredients for a digital version of this phenomenon, and some are already using those mirrors for questionable purposes: in addition to creepy apps like “Girls Around Me,” the UK is proposing a law that would allow for monitoring of social media (as well as email and text messaging) without a warrant, U.S. universities admit that they already track what their athletes are saying — and a high-school student was recently expelled for comments he made on his personal Twitter account. At this point, advertisers tracking us online is the least of our problems.

In case you missed the furore, the “Girls Around Me” app has attracted a huge amount of negative attention for plotting the location of women on a mobile app by combining Facebook profile information and Foursquare check-in data.

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