On Feb. 8, Twitter removed 228 accounts from the Russian IRA dataset because the social media company now believes these accounts were operated by a different trolling network located in Venezuela. “We initially misidentified 228 accounts as connected to Russia,” Yoel Roth, Twitter's head of site integrity, wrote in an online post. "As our investigations into their activity, we uncovered additional information allowing us to confidently associate them with Venezuela." Although Twitter's data do not reveal the names of accounts, researchers at Clemson University analyzed the social-media company's changes and said they involve accounts that mostly came online in mid-2017. The researchers, who have constructed and published their own database of the Russian troll farm's output, said those accounts were central in what had appeared to be a surprising surge in post-election activity that was mis-attributed to the Russian troll farm.  WhatsApp is at risk in India.Kurt Wagner goes long on the proposal that could end encryption in India – and perhaps around the world: “I think honestly the biggest [technology] story around the world is India trying to bring these intermediary guidelines, ”said Jayshree Bajoria, a researcher with the nonprofit organization Human Rights Watch, in an interview with Recode . "We are talking about China-style surveillance here." This proposed law, known colloquially as Intermediary Guidelines, is not specific to WhatsApp. If passed, it would apply to all internet companies that host, publish or store user information, including social networks, messaging platforms and even internet service providers. [Elsewhere] The…
On Feb. 8, Twitter removed 228 accounts from the Russian IRA dataset because the social media company now believes these accounts were operated by a different trolling network located in Venezuela. “We initially misidentified 228 accounts as connected to Russia,” Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of site integrity, wrote in an online post. “As our investigations into their activity, we uncovered additional information allowing us to confidently associate them with Venezuela.” Although Twitter’s data do not reveal the names of accounts, researchers at Clemson University analyzed the social-media company’s changes and said they involve accounts that mostly came online in mid-2017. The researchers, who have constructed and published their own database of the Russian troll farm’s output, said those accounts were central in what had appeared to be a surprising surge in post-election activity that was mis-attributed to the Russian troll farm.  WhatsApp is at risk in India.
Kurt Wagner goes long on the proposal that could end encryption in India – and perhaps around the world:
“I think honestly the biggest [technology] story around the world is India trying to bring these intermediary guidelines, ”said Jayshree Bajoria, a researcher with the nonprofit organization Human Rights Watch, in an interview with Recode . “We are talking about China-style surveillance here.”
This proposed law, known colloquially as Intermediary Guidelines, is not specific to WhatsApp. If passed, it would apply to all internet companies that host, publish or store user information, including social networks, messaging platforms and even internet service providers. [Elsewhere]
The Galaxy S10 will have an Instagram mode built into its camera
Here’s an interesting growth strategy from Instagram: a return to the days of preloaded software. From Chaim Gartenberg:
Samsung is partnering with Instagram to add a new “Instagram mode” directly to the native camera app on the newly announced Galaxy S10. “We worked together to retrieve the experience of Instagram on the S10,” said Instagram’s head of product Adam Mosseri onstage at the Galaxy Unpacked event.
Smartphones, teens, and depression: Should we panic? Not yet.
Brian Resnick examines the link between smartphones, young people, and mental health. The studies we have are so far on the relationship between digital technology use and mental health – for both teens and adults – are more than inconclusive. “The literature is a wreck,” said Anthony Wagner, chair of the department of psychology at Stanford University. “Is there anything that tells us there’s a causal link? What is our use of media is actually altering our cognition and underlying neurological function or neurobiological processes? The answer is we have no idea. There’s no data. ”
Several researchers I spoke to – even those who believe the links between digital technology use and mental health problems are overhyped – all think this is an important question worth studying, and gathering conclusive evidence on. At Harvard Law, Zittrain and Zuckerberg encryption, ‘information fiduciaries’ and targeted advertisements
For his first personal internet challenge Mark Zuckerberg of the year, the Facebook CEO sat down with Harvard Prof. Jonathan Zittrain for a friendly discussion about the internet and society. You can read a transcript here; I have no issue with these events but stand by my opinion last summer that we tend to override the importance of what the CEO of a tech platform says about it.
When Kids Realize Their Whole Life Is Already Online
Taylor Lorenz explores the phenomenon of children who have been posting photos and stories about them to the public internet since birth. Which is apparently called “sharenting.” Cara and other people say they hope to lay down ground rules for their parents. Cara wants her mom to tell her the next time she posts about her, and the 11-year-old would like veto power over any photo before it goes up. “My friends will always text or tell me, like, ‘OMG that pic your mom posted of you is so cute,” and I’ll get really self-conscious, “she said. Hayden, a 10-year-old, said he realized several years ago that his parents used a dedicated hashtag including his name on photos of him. They now have the tag hashtag to make sure they don’t post anything embarrassing.
Once kids have that first moment of realization that their lives are public, there’s no going back. Several teens and tweens told me this was the impetus for wanting to get their own social media profiles, in an effort to take control of their image. But plenty of other kids become overwhelmed and retreated. Either said that anytime someone has a phone out around here now, she’s nervous that her photo could be taken and posted somewhere. “Everyone’s always watching, and nothing is ever forgotten. Snap’s AR milestone
Here’s an interesting nugget in anodyne item about Snap being and innovative company:
In December 2017, the company launched Lens Studio, a tool to publish and share augmented reality experiences created in-house and by the Snapchat community. By the end of 2018, over 300,000 Lenses had been created through Lens Studio, and those Lenses were viewed by Snapchatters more than 35 billion times. Over 70 million people use AR on Snapchat every day for an average of 3 minutes per person, making the platform the largest and most engaged global audience for these new kinds of experiences.
Twitter gets Chrissy Teigen to play here Twitter secrets  Twitter released the best ad for its service to date last week – a zippy video Q&A with power user Chrissy Teigen. You can find it here. It’s notable for how (1) it makes Twitter seem like it’s mostly just a lot of fun, which it often is; and (2) it’s the first Twitter to be made by people who seem like they actually use Twitter. A huge leap forward.
The curse of the Twitter reply guy
Chloe Bryan profiles a “mostly harmless but decidedly annoying phenomenon. A lot of people, mostly women, have noticed that one or two are always, no matter what, reply to their tweets. ”She goes on:
These men are colloquially known as” reply guys. ”While no reply guy is the same – each reply guy is annoying in his own way – there are a few common qualities to watch out for. In general, reply guys tend to have few followers. They are familiar, if they know the person they’re targeting, though they usually don’t. They also tend to reply to only women; the most prolific reply guys fill the role of dozens of women trying to tweet in peace.
It’s usually pretty easy to ID and reply guy. The sheer volume of responses is a reliable indicator. But there are still some literature on the subject. In 2018 piece for McSweeney’s, for instance, Emlyn Crenshaw wrote an extremely funny Reply Guy Constitution, which focuses above all else on their commitment to “weigh in on women’s thoughts at every possible opportunity.”
TikTok Has Created A Whole New Child Of Cool Girl Called Egirls
Lauren Strapagiel covers the TikTok-centric phenomenon of the “egirl” – “a new kind of cool girl who was born and lives on the platform. She’s funny, she’s cute, she’s totally 90s, and she knows exactly how to play with expectations. ”
Egirls have become a very visible demographic on TikTok – and, it appears, only on TikTok – consisting mainly of teenagers. The traits of an eye are as ironic as they are oddly specific.
The makeup is the most iconic part of the look – thick black eyeliner with wings and cute little shapes drawn with the same eyeliner under the eyes. Usually the shapes are hearts, but sometimes they’re dots or x’s, and they’re drawn with the hands of someone who grew up idolizing beauty bloggers. Across the cheeks and nose is a bright sweep of blush, with a touch of highlighter just on the button, usually sitting above and septum piercing. Lips have either a clear gloss or a dark matte lipstick
Twitter is launching a public test of its redesigned replies
Hey, I wrote this:
In October, Twitter said it is redesigning conversations on the platform in an effort to encourage friendlier and more useful discussions. Now the company is ready to test the redesign with a wider group of users, and will take applications from anyone who wants to try it out. Users are invited to apply at this link
Improving Location Settings on Android
Android users of Facebook now have more granular control settings available to them.
Twitter Should Have Groups and Here Is How They Should Work
Rex Sorgatz has some great ideas about how Twitter groups should work. His novel idea: to reclaim the hashtag:
Everyone has opened the flood of arbitrary tweets about The Bachelor final or the NBA Finals. Yet everyone also has their version of The Bachelor final of the NBA Finals – topics you yearn to discuss, but fear breach some unspoken etiquette about blasting tangential musings to everyone. (Some of you should fear this more!) Twitter Groups solves this problem: Scribble your witticisms into #TheBachelor and have no interest in Colton or LeBron.
When you tweet from within a group, your message is placed directly in the context of that group. Those tweets are still public, in the sense that anyone can still find them, but they are suppressed from the main timeline, unless the viewer has also joined that group. This serves the dual purpose of removing mass noise and encouraging niche conversation . Become lighter, more intimate, more contextual
Zuckerberg, forgetting about Facebook’s Portal: ‘We definitely don’t want a society where there’s a camera in everyone’s living room’
The most memorable moment of Zuckerberg’s interview with Zittrain – for me, anyway – was this rather funny exchange. (CNBC really just gives away the whole thing in the headline, don’t they? I say bring back the curiosity gap!)
While talking about his desire to build more end-to-end encryption in Facebook’s services, Zuckerberg said , “I basically think that if you want to talk in metaphors, messaging is like people’s living room, and we definitely don’t want a society where there’s a camera in everyone’s living room.”
Harvard Law Professor Jonathan Zittrain, Who hosted the discussion, pointed out that Facebook’s portal is quite literally a camera in people’s living rooms.
It was a funny moment, but could have been worse for Facebook. At least Portal’s microphone does not have a secret – which is more than we can say for this Nest device.
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