Mashable: A centuries-old secret society is hanging out in Facebook groups

Mashable: A centuries-old secret society is hanging out in Facebook groups. “Centuries ago, Rosicrucians were only able to maintain their society through their ability to be invisible. But over the past several hundred years, the world has changed — and, along with it, so has the need for Rosicrucians to stay shielded from the public. Now, they’re finding new ways to connect, by pivoting away from secrecy with the help of the most public tools they could find: Facebook, Zoom, and YouTube.”

WIRED: ‘Civic Fan Fiction’ Makes Politics a Dysfunctional Team Sport

WIRED: ‘Civic Fan Fiction’ Makes Politics a Dysfunctional Team Sport. “Stories bind us together, and woe betide anyone who forgets it; there is no perfectly rational and coldly logical way to replace the role of narrative in our lives. We’re meaning-making machines. More than anything else, that is what makes us human: the ability to imbue the inherently meaningless with the most elaborate and consequential of meanings. When it comes to politics, that means storytelling is often at the heart of it, and stories need heroes, villains, and narrative arcs. It’s easier and more satisfying.”

University of Central Florida: When Hurricanes Strike, Social Media Can Save Lives

University of Central Florida: When Hurricanes Strike, Social Media Can Save Lives. “In 2011 only about 10% of the U.S. population turned to social media for information during a crisis, according to several studies. Today that number is closer to 70%. A new study from the University of Central Florida found that social media isn’t just good for communicating. It can be a critical tool for collecting intelligence in real time to better deploy resources before and after hurricanes hit.” I have a rant about emergency responder services standardizing their social media information, but I’ll spare you…

New Jersey Department of Health: First Lady Tammy Murphy Announces Launch of Connecting NJ to Better Support Families

New Jersey Department of Health: First Lady Tammy Murphy Announces Launch of Connecting NJ to Better Support Families. “First Lady Tammy Murphy today introduced Connecting NJ, New Jersey’s first-of-its-kind network of partners and agencies dedicated to helping New Jersey families thrive. The website – http://www.NJ.gov/ConnectingNJ – centralizes information and referrals to state and local wellness services, including healthcare for mothers and children, early education programs, domestic violence support, addiction treatment, financial and housing assistance, home visiting programs, behavioral health services, and more.”

Social media can be a force for good in a crisis: lessons from Lagos (The Conversation)

The Conversation: Social media can be a force for good in a crisis: lessons from Lagos. “We set out to assess the role that social media played in driving public engagement with Covid health measures in Lagos, Nigeria. We analysed public engagement on Twitter between January and August 2020 that related to the city’s lockdown protocols. One of our key findings was that the public responded most to public health information being shared by prominent individual social media influencers. These included sportspeople, comedians, musicians and business-people.”

NiemanLab: What’s working for local TV stations on Facebook? Posting early, killing hashtags, skipping sports

NiemanLab: What’s working for local TV stations on Facebook? Posting early, killing hashtags, skipping sports. “… what local TV stations publish on Facebook is important. They retain generally high levels of trust, and they’re reaching an audience that might not be seeking out much other news on digital platforms. That power can, of course, be used for good or for ill. It’s also the subject of a new paper which examines how local TV stations use their Facebook prominence — and what works for them in terms of making content that spreads.”

City of Chicago: Mayor Lightfoot and First Lady Amy Eshleman Launch the My Chi. My Future. Mobile App to Connect Teens With Out-of-School Activities

City of Chicago: Mayor Lightfoot and First Lady Amy Eshleman Launch the My Chi. My Future. Mobile App to Connect Teens With Out-of-School Activities. “Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and First Lady Amy Eshleman today announced the launch of the My CHI. My Future. (MCMF) mobile app, a significant investment and resource designed to help teens easily find out-of-school programs, events, resources, jobs, and more. This is the first app of its kind nationwide created by a city government.”

Irish Times: Sinn Féin’s targeting of voters through social media has paid off

Irish Times: Sinn Féin’s targeting of voters through social media has paid off. “In a campaign dubbed safe and lacklustre by many commentators, Sinn Féin’s targeting of younger and disconnected voters through videos on platforms such as TikTok – where it has 80,000 followers alone – Instagram and Facebook has been linked in part to its historic win.”

Say ‘no’ to coyotes: DHS turns to social media to keep migrants from coming to U.S. (Border Report)

Border Report: Say ‘no’ to coyotes: DHS turns to social media to keep migrants from coming to U.S.. “The U.S. government is using social media to deter people in Honduras and Guatemala from giving in to smugglers who promise them easy access to the United States. This week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection began distributing digital ads in platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp.”

University of Exeter: Efforts to take fake news and misinformation in Africa must take account of the continent’s unique “pavement media”, study shows

University of Exeter: Efforts to take fake news and misinformation in Africa must take account of the continent’s unique “pavement media”, study shows. “The spread of fake news through ‘pavement media’ in Africa means the continent needs unique techniques to tackle the spread of misinformation, a new study says. Discussions about current affairs in marketplaces, places of worship, bars, and other social spaces, and through songs, sermons, and graffiti form a key part of the media ecosystem in Africa.”

California Department of Public Health: California Becomes First State to Launch Chatbot to Combat COVID-19 Misinformation, Especially Focused on the Spanish-Speaking Community

California Department of Public Health: California Becomes First State to Launch Chatbot to Combat COVID-19 Misinformation, Especially Focused on the Spanish-Speaking Community. “The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today unveiled new Spanish- and English-language WhatsApp chatbot tools to offer reliable information about COVID-19 to Californians, especially those in the Latino community.”

Sensory Journeys: creating digital storytelling sessions for children (Museums Association)

Museums Association: Sensory Journeys: creating digital storytelling sessions for children. “South Shields Museum, part of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, launched Sensory Journeys at the end of last year, offering children and their families inclusive digital sensory story-telling sessions that are linked to local history and provide engagement with the museum’s collections. Sensory Journeys are digital audio story-telling sessions where the listener creates the sights, sounds, smells, touches and tastes to bring each story to life. Or they can just sit back, relax and listen.”