Tagged With social media

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Ever since the term was popularised by then-presidential candidate Donald Trump — and subsequently appropriated by Democrats — the stupid controversy over "fake news" has become a swirling vortex of pointlessness that refuses to go all the way down the drain. Now everyone's calling legitimate articles and opinion pieces that contradict their own prejudices "fake," as though disagreeing with something implicitly means it was manufactured out of whole cloth.

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In recent years, Reddit has banned a bevy of far-right troll havens, including its board for the white supremacist "alt-right" and others used for the harassment of women, minorities and other people. The bans were a reversal of Reddit's prior policy to not ban "questionable" content — and drew predictable outrage, given that its policy of non-intervention had fostered an explosion of very active fringe communities, many of them far to the right or openly racist.

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On Monday morning, former US secretary of state and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton endorsed Verrit, a "media platform for the 65.8 million" who supported her candidacy, immediately creating a minor Twitter firestorm.

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Facebook has announced the rollout of Watch, what it is calling "a new platform for shows on Facebook". It's yet another foray by the social media company from the business of distributing other people's content into producing and licensing its own, and differs from its existing video content in that it looks a lot like Netflix or YouTube's apps.

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In a unanimous decision today, the US Supreme Court struck down a North Carolina law that prevents sex offenders from posting on social media where children might be present, saying it "impermissibly restricts lawful speech". In doing so, the Supreme Court asserted what we all know to be true: Posting is essential to the survival of the republic.

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About 1.8 billion people worldwide have an active Facebook account; about a third of employers search online for information about job candidates; and about half of adults who are searching for a relationship have used online dating.

But with all of this collective experience, we suck at choosing our own profile pictures. Despite what logic would suggest, science says we are far more likely to choose an unflattering shot of ourselves than a total stranger.

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Until recently, FBI chief James Comey seemed like a pretty savvy internet user. The guy knows that you're supposed to cover your webcam with tape to hide from the NSA and WhatsApp is a fantastic way to communicate securely — even if he hates you for using it. But when the numbnuts set out to make a series of secret social profiles online, he elected to use the name of a 20th century theologian known almost exclusively to theology students and political figures trying to sound smart.