Tag Archives | Twitter

Predicting Trends Beforehand

In this age of constant advertisement and brand placement, trending topics on Twitter have become a great free way for advertisers to get their message in front of more potential customers. The only problem is that no one can predict what will be come a trending topic, at least until now.  A professor at M.I.T. in conjunction with one of his students, developed an algorithm that they claim will be 95% accurate in predicting those trending topics as much four to five hours before they are trending.

Picture: Unmadindu (CC)

Via M.I.T.

At the Interdisciplinary Workshop on Information and Decision in Social Networks at MIT in November, Associate Professor Devavrat Shah and his student, Stanislav Nikolov, will present a new algorithm that can, with 95 percent accuracy, predict which topics will trend an average of an hour and a half before Twitter’s algorithm puts them on the list — and sometimes as much as four or five hours before.

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Microsoft Hates Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter 2007 (Cut image)Well we've all hit that send button too soon, haven't we? One wonders if the Microsoft employee who denigrated Ann Coulter via Twitter will be heralded or fired by his employer though. Via Politico:
Microsoft accidentally stepped into ugly partisan politics over the weekend — on Twitter. The company’s official Twitter feed sent a public response to liberal economist Robert Reich, who tweeted he was in New York to visit his 4-year-old granddaughter and sit on a panel with Ann Coulter. “@RBReich your granddaughter’s level of discourse and policy > those of Ann Coulter,” the company tweeted Saturday on its official Twitter account. The tweet was later deleted. Reich tweeted earlier on Saturday: “To NY to visit my 4-yr-old granddaughter. Also on ABC’s ”This Week” panel w/ Ann Couter, among others. I’d rather be w/ my granddaughter.”...
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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]

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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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