Tag Archives | Twitter

Somali Rebels Embrace Twitter Terrorism

El Shabbab, the fundamentalist Islamic insurgency group fighting to control southern Somalia, reject most things Western and/or modern, but ironically have embraced Twitter, garnering thousands of followers. In addition to straightforward updates on battles and territory, the best part is the taunting that goes on between the insurgents and Kenyan military spokesman Major E. Chirchir:

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Brits Have Too Many Holidays For A ‘Broke Country’

Screen shot 2012-01-03 at 2.06.38 PMHappy New Year, y’alls.  Looks like at least one of your wishes may have started coming true already.  Dylan Welch from the Sydney Morning Herald reports on Rupert Murdoch’s meticulous documentation of his own descent into senility:

“Either @rupertmurdoch is genuinely now on Twitter, or some disgruntled ex-NOTW journo just won the hacking Olympics.”

Less than two days after joining Twitter, media mogul Rupert Murdoch appears to have had his first brush with tweeting-before-thinking, after suggesting that the British have too many holidays for a “broke country”.

Though Mr Murdoch, who joined Twitter less than 48 hours ago and already has almost 40,000 followers, quickly deleted the message, it was preserved by some Twitter users and quickly spread around the website.

“Maybe Brits have too many holidays for broke country!” Mr Murdoch, who is holidaying on the Caribbean island of Saint Barthelemy, wrote about 6am Australian time.

Publish and be damned ... the tweet that Murdoch withdrew.

Publish and be damned … the tweet that Murdoch withdrew.

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The Wrong Facebook Friends Can Sink Your Credit Rating

File:Social_Web_Share_ButtonsAdrianne Jeffries explains the downside of maintaining a social media presence for Betabeat:

Let’s take a trip with the Ghost of Christmas Future. The year is 2016, and George Bailey, a former banker, now a part-time consultant, is looking for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for a co-op in the super-hot neighborhood of Bedford Falls (BeFa). He has never missed a loan payment and has zero credit card debt. He submits his information to the online-only PotterBank.com, but halfway through the application process, the website asks for his Facebook login. Then his Twitter. Then LinkedIn. The cartoon loan officer avatar begins to frown as the algorithm discovers Mr. Bailey’s taxi-driving buddy Ernie was once turned down by PotterBank for a loan; then it starts browsing his daughter Zuzu’s photo album, “Saturday Nite!” And what was this tweet from a few years back: “FML, about to jump off a goddamn bridge”?

A new wave of startups is working on algorithms gathering data for banks from the web of associations on the internet known as “the social graph,” in which people are “nodes” connected to each other by “edges.” Banks are already using social media to befriend their customers, and increasingly, their customers’ friends.

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Dead Man’s Twitter Feed Keeps Updating

Dead TwitterLast week John Pospisil, the editor of Blorge.com, passed away, but his Twitter feed continued updating, since he’d configured it to re-tweet all the headlines from his group technology blog.

“Eventually I figured it out,” reports one technology blogger, “but it was a big shock to see more messages appearing from John himself on the day after he’d died.” They also dedicated their first ebook to Pospisil, a Thanksgiving children’s story, because “I’d always thought we’d watch the world changing together…”

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CIA Tracks Revolt by Tweet and Facebook

Didn’t we know this already? Reports Kimberly Dozier on the AP:

McLEAN, VA — In an anonymous industrial park, CIA analysts who jokingly call themselves the “ninja librarians” are mining the mass of information people publish about themselves overseas, tracking everything from common public opinion to revolutions.

The group’s effort gives the White House a daily snapshot of the world built from tweets, newspaper articles and Facebook updates.

The agency’s Open Source Center sometimes looks at 5 million tweets a day. The analysts are also checking out TV news channels, local radio stations, Internet chat rooms — anything overseas that people can access and contribute to openly.

The Associated Press got an apparently unprecedented view of the center’s operations, including a tour of the main facility. The AP agreed not to reveal its exact location and to withhold the identities of some who work there because much of the center’s work is secret.

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‘It Never Ends': LAPD Homicide Detective Tweets Photo of Dead Body

Sal LabarberaSimone Wilson writes on LA Weekly:
Local arts blog LA Taco is fuming over the "callous" Twitter activity of LAPD Homicide Detective Sal LaBarbera. (As of December 2007, according to the Los Angeles Times, La Barbera was "a 20-year homicide veteran who heads the Watts homicide squad in LAPD's South Bureau.") LaBarbera is certainly active on Twitter -- throwing out RTs, #FFs and hashtags like he was born to the social-media generation. (The detective is also big on @ing journalists from local news stations and the Times.) His handle on the medium is pretty impressive for a weathered murder cop... ... and right out ahead of other police departments' slow struggle to incorporate social media into their investigative work.
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Phone Snooping ‘Prevented Riots’

Photo: Riemer Palstra (CC)

Photo: Riemer Palstra (CC)

To tweet or not tweet where you’re rioting next? One option was to shut down social networks so that rioters couldn’t mass communicate. The other option was to allow them to tweet and text, then read their messages to find out what they’re planning next. The latter was able to prevent attacks on the Olympic site and London’s Oxford Street. BBC reports:

Police say they prevented attacks by rioters on the Olympic site and London’s Oxford Street after picking up intelligence on social networks.

Assistant Met Police Commissioner Lynne Owens told a committee of MPs officers learned of possible trouble via Twitter and Blackberry messenger.

But Acting Commissioner Tim Godwin said he had considered asking authorities to switch off social networks.

He said they provided intelligence but could also be misleading.

A number of politicians, media commentators and members of the police force have suggested that Twitter and Blackberry Messenger (BBM) had a role to play in the riots.

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Iceland Uses Social Media to Write New Constitution

Coat Of Arms Of IcelandAaron Saenz writes on Singularity Hub:

The newest government in the world was designed with help from comments on the internet. God help us all.

After Iceland’s economic collapse in 2008, the island nation decided it was time to write a new constitution, this one not based on its parent country of Denmark but rather made from the original ideas of its citizens. Iceland’s small population of 320,000 elected 25 assembly members from 522 ordinary candidates (including lawyers, political science professors, journalists, and many other professions), who in turn opened their process up to the public in an unprecedented fashion.

The Constitutional Council was highly active on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr, where they solicited comments and suggestions for the new government. On Friday July 29th, 2011, the Iceland parliament officially received the new constitution, comprised of 114 articles divided into 9 chapters. Set to be reviewed, and then put before vote for ratification by October 1st, the internet-assisted document marks a possible paradigm shift in governing.

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NYPD Forms Social Media Unit To Monitor Facebook and Twitter

NYPDRocco Parascandola reports in the NY Daily News:
The NYPD has formed a new unit to track troublemakers who announce plans or brag about their crimes on Twitter, MySpace and Facebook. Newly named Assistant Commissioner Kevin O'Connor, one of the department's online and gang gurus, has been put in charge of the new juvenile justice unit. He and his staff will mine social media, looking for info about troublesome house parties, gang showdowns and other potential mayhem, sources said. The power of social media to empower both criminals and cops has been on full display in London this week, where riots and looting have been spreading dramatically. The rioters have been using Twitter and BlackBerry messages to choose targets for looting or burning - and to alert one another about police positions.
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