Social Media

 

Twitter’s clarification of its rules regarding the posting of threats and promotion of violence raises (again) two key questions regarding how we evaluate and respond to social media posts about the use of violence to pursue extremist goals. How do we differentiate between people talking about violent extremism and people promoting it? Is it better to ban promoters of violent extremism or monitor them for intelligence gathering? In the wake of Donald Trump suggesting that we should shut down parts of the Internet and our efforts to understand the San Bernardino attack, authorities and the public are looking to social media to try to make sense of its relationship to violent extremism. Read the remainder of Alan’s article at Social Media Today. __ Alan Rosenblatt, Ph.D. is Sr. VP of Digital Strategy at turner4D and a 20+ year veteran of digital politics.  He writes every other Tuesday for Social Media Today, where this post originally appeared.  

Posted by Alan Rosenblatt in Social Advocacy & Politics, Social Media Read More

Two years after purchasing the best Twitter search engine, Apple kills Topsy.com. Topsy.com searched tweets and real time and the entire Twitter archive. It provided simple, but valuable stats for how frequently any keyword or hashtag was used, allowing us to determine if the search term was a flash in the pan or an ongoing conversation community. Topsy also gave us sentiment scores for keyword searches, and told us how often a link was shared. These metrics were invaluable to social media managers and strategists. Now that Topsy is gone, where can we turn to avoid getting all turvy? Today, when visiting Topsy.com, you are redirected to Support.Apple.com, where you are informed that Apple’s iOS9 search via iPhone 5 or later, iPad and iPod touch have new and improved search ability. In addition to searching your device, Apple’s Siri-powered Search reaches out to the internet. By incorporating Topsy’s data into Search, all of Twitter is made accessible. I tested the new iOS9 Search on my iPhone and found 1) only a couple of tweets were returned, with no link to the full Twitter archive, and 2) none of the metrics previously provided by Topsy were returned. In other words, Apple stripped…

Posted by Alan Rosenblatt in Social Media Read More

Byrony Gordon of the Telegraph wrote in frustration this week about how social media is turning us into idiots. She chronicles several tweets and trends across social media in the aftermath of the attacks on Paris as evidence that, “…social media hasn’t just turned people stupid – it has also turned whole organisations into unthinking idiots whose knee jerk reaction in such situations is not to uncover the truth but get hits.” Gordon’s proclamation flies directly in the face of James Surowiecki’s notion of the scientifically-based “wisdom of crowds.” Surowiecki draws upon science-based analysis drawn from research on the Central Limits Theorem, which explains how large probability samples produce great estimates of phenomena in the real world. Gordon’s analysis draws conclusions from a far less systematically drawn sample. Her sample suggests that people feel less safe after the recent attacks in Paris, despite the reality that attacks like these have been happening around the world for a long time. Her analysis highlights specific examples of idiocy among the world of tweets and wall posts, such as the claim that the Eiffel Tower went dark for the first time since 1889 (a preposterous claim, for sure) and the massive number of…

Posted by Alan Rosenblatt in Social Advocacy & Politics, Social Media Read More

Facebook, Twitter and Google+ have all added or turned on features in the wake of the Paris attacks this past Friday, November 13. These features incorporate many of the behavioral uses of these platforms into their code. For example, Facebook turned on its “Safety Check” feature, where people can mark on their profile that they are ok instead of just posting something to your wall. The new app creates a featured post for your profile that says you are safe in the midst of a crisis or disaster. Like more common features on other social networks (e.g. @mentions, hashtags and the Quote Tweet functions on Twitter), these built in features are inspired by the ways people were using the platforms already. These new features typically make using the social networks easier for users and often help campaign organizers, too, but not always. And the new tools are not always received in the most positive light. For example, the Facebook Safety Check feature was not turned on for all recent crisis events, prompting criticisms by activists that Facebook was showing a bias turning it on for Paris, but not for attacks happening in other parts of the world. Read the rest of…

Posted by Alan Rosenblatt in Social Advocacy & Politics, Social Media Read More

The refugee crisis in Europe continues. An estimated of 700,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in Europe this year from Syria, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Iraq, North Africa and beyond. Most of them have spent thousands of dollars to take their families on this dangerous and unsafe journey. Despite the tragedy of the situation, a new development that has made it easier for refugees to move is surprising many veteran aid workers. Many of these refugees have been using technology, especially platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Viber and Google Maps to find their way to a “new home.” When they arrive, they know exactly where they are, where to go, and who to contact. They have already found the phone numbers of host country coast guards and even call them to come take them in safely. Through social media, refugees stay in touch with their families who live in Europe and other places. They are able to provide information to others on the best routes to take and to avoid the dangerous ones. Social media helps them also avoid the police, find “safe” people smugglers, as well as accommodations for their families. It is also the best way for these refugees…

Posted by Violet Tsagka in Seize the Conversation, Social Media Read More