Bustle: How To Confront People On Social Media About Racist Comments. “Social media can feel like a minefield right now. Whether it’s your aunt digging her heels in about ‘Blue Lives Matter,’ your old college friend declaring that looting is the ‘wrong’ way to protest, or endless Twitter back-and-forth about curfews and police brutality, it can be tempting to wonder if confronting racist posts on social media can ever achieve anything. Experts say that it really does — and that standing up to racial microaggressions and subtle racist behavior online is a good way to begin change, though it’s nowhere near enough.”
WIS News 10: UofSC Social Media Insights team examines COVID-19 online commentary. “As the new strain of the coronavirus continues to spread, many of you are taking to social media with your own questions and concerns. Specialists at the University of South Carolina’s College of Information and Communications are looking into what folks are saying. Experts in the social media insights lab have been tracking the online conversations surrounding COVID-19 in our state.”
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.'”
Pew (PEW PEW PEW!): 46% of U.S. social media users say they are ‘worn out’ by political posts and discussions. “Some 46% of adult social media users say they feel ‘worn out’ by the number of political posts and discussions they see on social media, according to a Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults conducted June 3-17, 2019. This share has risen 9 percentage points since the summer of 2016, when the Center last asked this question.”
NiemanLab: Hey comment mods, you doin’ okay? A new study shows moderating uncivil comments reduces the moderator’s trust in news. “A new study from the Center for Media Engagement shows that people moderating uncivil comments on news sites decreases their trust in the news outlet and increases their emotional exhaustion. And that’s just 747 participants from Mechanical Turk who spent an average of 24 minutes doing it — not even a survey of the people who are actually paid to do this stuff all day.”
MEL Magazine: The Unheard History Of Bodybuilding Forums, As Told By The Trolls And Counter-trolls Who Made Them Huge . “During the rise of the ‘alt-right,’ many articles attempting to trace the genealogy of the movement pointed to 4chan and 8chan (and related information repositories such as Encyclopedia Dramatica) as the furnaces in which all this rebellious, nihilistic, world-hating clay had been forged. The comedy website Something Awful, by contrast, launched the careers of plenty of so-called “dirtbag left” podcasters as well as ‘weird Twitter’ figures like dril. The bodybuilding forums, however, covered a vast sort of middle ground, exemplified by my Grantland-reading, anabolic steroid-loving cousin Doug Alexander.” This is probably the most unlikely long read you’re going to see today, but I encourage you to check it out.
Recode: Inside Twitter’s ambitious plan to change the way we tweet. “Everything the company seems to do — from cracking down on bots to building new conversation features — has been done in the name of a healthier Twitter. When the company’s user base started shrinking noticeably last year, Twitter said that its focus on health was at least partly to blame. Measuring the health of interactions is just one part of that broader effort, but it’s one of the more challenging and confusing parts. Removing bots and spam are technical problems. Truly understanding the health of a conversation requires things like understanding who is talking, what they’re talking about, or when someone is using sarcasm. Not all arguments, of course, are bad.”
Chronicle of Higher Education: Every Sunday, These Historians Go to the Movies — All in the Name of Digital Community. “Have you ever, while watching the movie Julie & Julia, drawn comparisons between Julia Child’s struggle to find the right publisher and the mercurial marketplace of academic publishing? You probably haven’t. But historians have.”
The Daily Beast: Whimsical and Annoying Viral Questions Are Taking Over Twitter. “Unpopular opinion time: What trend has taken over Twitter, inspiring enthusiastic fans and even more devoted haters? For the past eight months, the answer has been tweets structured just like the question above. They’re open-ended. They’re designed to elicit quick responses. And they’re absolutely everywhere.” I think they’re cute.
Ars Technica: Being reminded of your political bubble can stop you from breaking out. “Using social media is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can connect us to many more people than we would otherwise interact with, which is great. But our choices regarding who we interact with (often amplified by a platform’s algorithms) limit many of our social networks in a way that keeps us tucked within an echo chamber of people who think like us. And in that mode, our social interaction may exacerbate tribal attitudes towards people outside our groups rather than breaking down barriers.”