A Good Place: The Only Good Comments Section On The Internet (The Outline)

The Outline: A Good Place: The Only Good Comments Section On The Internet. “No matter where the comments live these days, it’s almost impossible to find a comments section where the unsolicited opinions that live there are actually positive, let alone helpful. Unless we’re talking about the comments on NYT Cooking, a digital collection of recipes from The New York Times.”

Wired: The Pride and Prejudice of Online Fan Culture

Wired: The Pride and Prejudice of Online Fan Culture. “Go with me here. Janeites can be seen as internet culture avant la lettre—what Sebastian Heath, an archaeologist and professor of computational humanities and Roman archaeology at New York University, calls a ‘self-digitizing community.’ OK, yes, the Arpanet and packet switching don’t figure much in the misadventures of Emma Woodhouse or the Bennet sisters. But the Janeites represent a critical plot point in the evolution of online sociology.”

Never mind the naysayers: Emoji are a vital part of online communication (Ars Technica)

Ars Technica: Never mind the naysayers: Emoji are a vital part of online communication. “The emergence of emoticons and emoji has been driven by rapid technological changes as the Internet became a dominant force for global mass communication. It has brought along with it the usual handwringing from change-averse elders about how their usage is destroying language. But far from being a unique feature of the Internet era, [Philip] Seargeant argues that human beings have long sought to find these kinds of visual shortcuts to indicate tone.”

Carnegie Mellon University: New Technology Makes Internet Memes Accessible for People With Visual Impairments

Carnegie Mellon University: New Technology Makes Internet Memes Accessible for People With Visual Impairments. “People with visual impairments use social media like everyone else, often with the help of screen reader software. But that technology falls short when it encounters memes, which don’t include alternate text, or alt text, to describe what’s depicted in the image. To counter this, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a method to automatically identify memes and apply prewritten templates to add descriptive alt text, making them intelligible via existing assistive technologies.”

Mic: Why the follow-unfollow method still persists on social media

Mic: Why the follow-unfollow method still persists on social media. “Like anyone, I’m a sucker for that jolt of endorphins when my notifications tell me I have a new follower. But that feeling of euphoria fades once I realize that account is following me again only days after they followed me the first time. That can only mean one of two things: Less likely, that they no longer liked my posts, unfollowed me, and then decided to give me another try; or more likely, that they’ve followed and unfollowed me to get my attention in the hopes that I’d follow them back. I want to tell these sweet and naïve social media users that, No, If I wanted to follow them back, I would have the first time.”

The Cut: In the 2010s, Instagram Became the World’s Filter

The Cut: In the 2010s, Instagram Became the World’s Filter . “This is a man who co-founded a company at 26 that made him a billionaire by the time he was 32 (today he’s 35). Even after a decade that has left many people confused by the role of social media in our lives, Kevin Systrom holds fast to the original premises of Silicon Valley: Technology can improve our lives, connecting people helps humanity, and tech guys aren’t just in it for the money.”

Ars Technica: Why can’t Internet companies stop awful content?

Ars Technica: Why can’t Internet companies stop awful content?. “Many of us are baffled by the degradation of the Internet. We have the ingenuity to put men on the Moon (unfortunately, only men so far), so it defies logic that the most powerful companies on Earth can’t fix this. With their wads of cash and their smart engineers, they should nerd harder. So why does the Internet feel like it’s getting worse, not better? And, more importantly, what do we do about it?”