TechCrunch: Twine aims to end social isolation with its video chat app for deep conversations

TechCrunch: Twine aims to end social isolation with its video chat app for deep conversations. “A new startup called twine wants to help people feel less isolated and alone. Though the project has been in the works for around six months, it’s launching at a time when people are struggling with being cut off from family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and others due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting government lockdowns and self-quarantines. Described simply as a ‘Zoom for meeting new people,’ twine is a group video chat experience where people are encouraged to have meaningful discussions that spark new friendships.”

Medium: How to Handle Toxic People as an Online Community Manager

Medium: How to Handle Toxic People as an Online Community Manager. “Internet reality plays by its own rules and you’re obliged to know them and understand what to do when dealing with people online. I have been working as a community support manager for more than two years now. It’s a massive period of time measured by the amount of communication I initiate every single day, sending cooperation offers to designers, replying to comments and reviews, creating social media posts and updates.”

Medium: How Not to Be an Asshole on the Internet

Medium, and I apologize for the swearing: How Not to Be an Asshole on the Internet. “A 2017 study seemed to prove what those of us familiar with online debates have feared for years: People we disagree with seem less human to us when we read their views than when we hear them spoken aloud. Results from a separate 2017 study might help explain why. One: Voices convey emotion, both through the content of what a person says and in how they say it. And two: Intimacy can change everything in these contexts. Seeing someone’s face all the time creates a kind of expertise that allows a person to understand another’s mental state just by looking at them. There’s evidence to suggest that it’s also possible to have this transformation on social media, where we are increasingly conducting our lives.”

The Atlantic: Bots Are Destroying Political Discourse As We Know It

The Atlantic: Bots Are Destroying Political Discourse As We Know It. “Presidential-campaign season is officially, officially, upon us now, which means it’s time to confront the weird and insidious ways in which technology is warping politics. One of the biggest threats on the horizon: Artificial personas are coming, and they’re poised to take over political debate. The risk arises from two separate threads coming together: artificial-intelligence-driven text generation and social-media chatbots. These computer-generated ‘people’ will drown out actual human discussions on the internet.”

Newswise: ‘Throwaway’ social profiles may have a place on some platforms, with some topics

Newswise: ‘Throwaway’ social profiles may have a place on some platforms, with some topics. “We’ve heard of them in the world of online dating, with teens trying to avoid the watchful eyes of mom and dad, and with scammers and foreign accounts trying to cheat us or convince us of a lie to gain profit or our vote. Social media companies have promised to crack down when they are able to identify these temporary accounts. Now, new research from the University of Michigan shows that so-called throwaway profiles on some platforms can be good for adults who need to open up and test the waters on subjects that might cause them shame or pain if they were to share as themselves.”

The Map Room: H-Maps, a New Discussion List About Map History

The Map Room: H-Maps, a New Discussion List About Map History. “H-Net, that venerable purveyor of academic discussion lists since I was in academia, has, with the collaboration of the International Society for the History of the Map, launched H-Maps, ‘an international digital forum in the historical study of the making, circulation, use and preservation of maps from the ancient to the contemporary period.'”

Columbia Journalism Review: India had its first ‘WhatsApp election.’ We have a million messages from it

Columbia Journalism Review: India had its first ‘WhatsApp election.’ We have a million messages from it. “At the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, we used the Indian election cycle, which ran between April 11 and May 19, 2019, as a case study for assessing both general political discourse and information manipulation on WhatsApp. With no APIs, tools, or best practices in place to help outsiders tap into ongoing activity inside closed groups, we devised a strategy to monitor a subset of the political conversation, over a period of three and a half months. The study’s resulting data set—which grew to over a terabyte in size—contains 1.09 million messages, retrieved by joining 1,400 chat groups related to politics in the country.”

South China Morning Post: Older Hongkongers taking to online apps and social media for latest updates on protests, and some may join rallies too

South China Morning Post: Older Hongkongers taking to online apps and social media for latest updates on protests, and some may join rallies too . “Retired schoolteacher Bill Lau, 66, first learned about the messaging app Telegram and online forum LIHKG – platforms popular with protesters – from his friends and younger daughter respectively. Curious, he downloaded Telegram and started checking out LIHKG links from his daughter, and now spends at least half an hour on them each day.”

Harvard Business Review: How to Create an Online Community That People Will Pay For

Harvard Business Review: How to Create an Online Community That People Will Pay For. “Since 2016 I’ve run an online community for members of my Recognized Expert course, and I’ve written extensively about building online revenue streams. If you or your company is considering launching an online membership site, here are six principles I’ve identified to maximize the benefit to your members and ensure they view your site as something worth paying for.” The headline made me cringe and the only reason I read it was because it came from HBR. (The cringing comes from my hangups, not anything pejorative about the author.) But this is a solid overview of things foundational to ANY online community, paid or not, so in it goes.

Mashable: New website lets the internet settle your arguments

Mashable: New website lets the internet settle your arguments. “Let’s Settle This plays host, judge, and jury to your argument on the online stage. The free site allows you to write a post describing your situation, where you can detail exactly what’s going on. Below, site users can vote for who they think is right. The site then calculates a percentage based on peoples’ votes, and boom! Argument solved. Right? After voting, you’re presented with a new argument, which seems like it can easily lead to hours of playing jury.”

Ars Technica: Hacker site’s incriminating database published online by rival group

Ars Technica: Hacker site’s incriminating database published online by rival group. “Hackers from Raidforums recently breached the site of rival hacking forum Cracked.to and spilled data for more than 321,000 of its members. The hackers did so while some of their victims were discussing cracking Fortnite accounts, selling software exploits, and engaging in other potentially illegal activities.”

‘#IAmHere’: The people trying to make Facebook a nicer place (BBC)

BBC: ‘#IAmHere’: The people trying to make Facebook a nicer place. “It’s 7:30 in Berlin, and Nina’s alarm clock is going off. Before getting up and making breakfast for her 13-month-old daughter, who is sleeping in the next room, she reaches for her phone. Unlike many of us, Nina’s not checking her emails, the news, or looking at gossip sites or posting photos. Instead, every day Nina opens up Facebook and heads straight to the closed group #IchBinHier (‘#IAmHere’).”