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Posted inTech

Anonymity, privacy, transparency, integrity: Do we even know the future we want?

Reading Time: 8 minutes In the late 2000s, research blossomed around our use of online avatars. Did our videogame icons and social media profiles represent our actual selves, our ideal selves, or something else entirely? And did they have a reciprocal impact, a “Proteus effect” that transformed self-perception? Did we change in the real world based how our online […]

Posted inSocial Media

Musk’s free speech claim on Twitter backfires within a week

Reading Time: 3 minutes In April, the richest person in the world made an outrageous offer to buy a popular and complex social media site. What appeared at first to be a disgruntled billionaire throwing a tantrum because he couldn’t tweet what he wanted has somehow snowballed into Elon Musk actually owning Twitter. The self-described “free speech absolutist” believes […]

Posted inSocial Media

Musk, Twitter, and the future of online platforms

Reading Time: 4 minutes On Wednesday, October 26, Elon Musk walked into Twitter’s offices in San Francisco with a kitchen sink, for a video captioned “Entering Twitter HQ—let that sink in!” On Thursday, he made his purchase of the company official with a tweet addressed, “Dear Twitter Advertisers”. In this first message as “Chief Twit”, Musk promised a fruitful […]

Posted inSocial Media

Kanye’s Parler, Musk’s Twitter, WeChat’s fake news: Our digital crisis deepens

Reading Time: 4 minutes It’s been a “pick your poison” week for problems with our information networks: from the world’s richest person using Twitter for complex foreign policy, to a prominent US musician laying claim to a far-right social media platform, to the alarm continuing to sound on US midterm misinformation circulating on poorly regulated China-based chat apps. While […]

Posted inSocial Media

Trump was never king of Twitter. This guy was (and is)

Reading Time: 3 minutes Among the more depressing news tidbits I recently ran into informed me that Georgia Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has 1.1 million Twitter followers. 1.1 million! It’s true. I checked. By comparison, I have, uh, 170 followers (.00001545% of Greene’s), which may or may not be a function of never using it. And virtually everything […]

Posted inSocial Media

The bizarre history of the ‘Norm of the North’ Twitter account

Reading Time: 2 minutes Corporate twitter handles are usually grotesque, cringey mouthpieces that try to pass off unfettered capitalism as “companies are people just like you.” Whether it’s KFC tweeting that it’s “Morbin’ Time!” or Greyhound tweeting “Spoiler Alert: The Best Seat is Every Seat” between responding to furious customers asking why rain is coming through the roof of […]

Posted inSocial Media

Twitter’s Elon Musk debacle raises serious questions about digital citizenship

Reading Time: 9 minutes On October 3, Elon Musk tweeted a proposal for “Ukraine-Russia Peace”, with a Yes/No poll that yielded 2.7 million responses (59 percent “No”). Because Musk is the richest person in the world, with a current net worth of around $230 billion USD from Tesla, SpaceX, and recent AI ventures, his views on Russia’s invasion of […]

Posted inPolitics

Judge: Lawmaker who blocked atheists on Twitter must hand over documents

Reading Time: 3 minutes Arkansas State Sen. Jason Rapert has lost yet another legal battle in his pathetic quest to avoid online criticism from atheists. It’s the latest twist in a battle that started in 2018, when American Atheists filed a lawsuit against the lawmaker best known for erecting an unconstitutional Ten Commandments monument outside the State Capitol. They […]

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