Inside eBay’s Cockroach Cult: The Ghastly Story of a Stalking Scandal (New York Times)

New York Times: Inside eBay’s Cockroach Cult: The Ghastly Story of a Stalking Scandal. “This account is based on court documents and dozens of interviews with people who followed the stalking scandal closely, including six who worked in Global Security and Resilience. The scheme they describe was both completely malevolent and remarkably inept — full of daft assumptions on the part of eBay about a plot that did not exist. It stands as a warning about how easily tech companies can feel aggrieved, and the mayhem that can ensue when they do. And it vividly shows how the internet makes people crazy, often without them ever realizing it.”

Stanford Cyber Policy Center: Who Are the President of Guinea’s Facebook Trolls? The Blurry Line Between Modern Campaigning and Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior

Stanford Cyber Policy Center: Who Are the President of Guinea’s Facebook Trolls? The Blurry Line Between Modern Campaigning and Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior. “The West African country of Guinea will hold a crucial presidential election in October 2020 that will determine whether President Alpha Condé will extend his rule into a second decade, or whether Guinea will undergo its first-ever democratic transition of power. The election also has significant economic implications for Guinea’s international investors. In the runup to this election, we identified a network of 94 Facebook Pages that exhibited coordinated behavior in support of Condé and his party.”

Philippines Troll Patrol: The woman taking on trolls on their own turf (BBC)

BBC: Philippines Troll Patrol: The woman taking on trolls on their own turf. “The Philippines is playing a key role in the wave of disinformation sweeping the world. So-called troll farms are being used to create multiple fake social media accounts that post political propaganda and attack critics. But a group of people calling themselves the Troll Patrol are trying to use their own tactics against them, as the BBC’s Howard Johnson reports.”

In South Korea, Covid-19 Comes With Another Risk: Online Bullies (New York Times)

New York Times: In South Korea, Covid-19 Comes With Another Risk: Online Bullies. “The scandal that riveted South Korea’s online busybodies began when Kim Ji-seon checked into a beachside condominium in February. A 29-year-old office worker planning a June wedding, she had nothing more salacious in mind than meeting with members of her church to organize a youth program. Then Ms. Kim tested positive for the coronavirus — and the details of her life became grist for South Korea’s growing culture of cyberbullying and misinformation, a phenomenon that has complicated the country’s widely praised digital effort to find those infected with the coronavirus.”

BBC: ‘Racial abuse on social media takes a toll on my mental health’

BBC: ‘Racial abuse on social media takes a toll on my mental health’. “Many have built careers off the back of social media, whether it be through Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or TikTok. But with some social media stars gaining thousands or even millions of followers, there are drawbacks to being constantly online and so accessible to people you don’t know. Earlier this year, Ofcom announced they’re being given new powers to force social media firms to act over cyber-bullying. And social media platforms, including Twitter and TikTok, have had issues stamping out racist abuse against users.”

New York Times: Are Influencers Responsible for the Behavior of Their Followers?

New York Times: Are Influencers Responsible for the Behavior of Their Followers?. “Nearly all of Chris’s videos follow the same format: a video loops to his right, he smiles, sometimes gives a thumbs up, then something happens in the video and his smile drops. The majority of Chris’s videos are reactions to anodyne moments. In one, his smile drops when a man slams a brick of tofu in his own face; in another it’s when cockroaches appear onscreen. Some of his videos, however, feature reactions to LGBTQ creators. He has a shocked expression when men put on skirts, when a man sucks on a straw, or when trans people reveal transformations over time.”

EurekAlert: QUT algorithm could quash Twitter abuse of women

EurekAlert: QUT algorithm could quash Twitter abuse of women. “Online abuse targeting women, including threats of harm or sexual violence, has proliferated across all social media platforms but [Queensland University of Technology] researchers have developed a statistical model to help drum it out of the Twittersphere. Associate Professor Richi Nayak, Professor Nicolas Suzor and research fellow Dr Md Abul Bashar from QUT have developed a sophisticated and accurate algorithm to detect these posts on Twitter, cutting through the raucous rabble of millions of tweets to identify misogynistic content.”

EurekAlert: Cyberbullying ‘shield’ app uses AI to combat social media trolls

EurekAlert: Cyberbullying ‘shield’ app uses AI to combat social media trolls. “Computer scientists from Aston University, Birmingham, have launched an app that uses novel artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to combat trolling and bullying online. The downloadable app, Bullstop, is the only anti-cyberbullying app that integrates directly to social media platforms to protect users from bullies and trolls messaging them directly.”

The Guardian: Facebook, white nationalists and becoming the target of a hate campaign

The Guardian: Facebook, white nationalists and becoming the target of a hate campaign. “In November, Julia Carrie Wong reported on the continued presence of white nationalist organisations on Facebook – and a weeks-long campaign of racist and sexist harassment followed. She discusses the impact it had on her and why she believes Facebook has played a role in creating the conditions that enable that kind of harassment to happen.” Podcast; I do not see a transcript.

Mashable: Google bans ads for products that people use to stalk partners

Mashable: Google bans ads for products that people use to stalk partners . “In its latest advertising policy update, Google announced that “stalkerware” apps will not be able to advertise through Google anymore starting Aug. 11. In case you aren’t aware, that’s a particularly odious class of software that is largely associated with abusive partners who want to stalk the movements and activities of their significant others.”

New Zealand Herald: Covid-19 scientist Siouxsie Wiles reveals appalling social media abuse

New Zealand Herald: Covid-19 scientist Siouxsie Wiles reveals appalling social media abuse. “Infectious diseases expert Siouxsie Wiles has spoken out about the appalling online abuse she has suffered in her work. The prominent science communicator, who answered the nation’s Covid-19 questions during lockdown, has revealed dozens of ugly insults and threats she has received on social media aimed at her bright pink hair and her weight.”

BBC: Former eBay executives charged with cyber-stalking

BBC: Former eBay executives charged with cyber-stalking. “Six former eBay executives and staff have been charged with cyber-stalking in a campaign against a couple who ran a newsletter critical of the company. Prosecutors allege the harassment included sending the couple live cockroaches, a bloody Halloween mask and a funeral wreath, as well as threatening messages.”

Tubefilter: YouTube Is Considering Letting Creators Self-Limit The Reach Of Their Videos To Lessen Harassment

Tubefilter: YouTube Is Considering Letting Creators Self-Limit The Reach Of Their Videos To Lessen Harassment. “According to YouTube’s VP of creator products, Ariel Bardin, a substantial part of the platform’s efforts to make itself better for LGBTQ+ users involves seeking policymaking guidance from YouTubers in the LGBTQ+ community. To that end, in the latest Creator Insider upload, Bardin sits down for a half-hour interview with transgender creator, author, and activist Jackson Bird, giving him a chance to ‘ask me the tough hard-hitting questions and call bullshit on me when needed.'”

Neowin: Wikipedia is instituting new rules to battle “toxic behavior” by volunteers

Neowin: Wikipedia is instituting new rules to battle “toxic behavior” by volunteers “In a bid to ensure safety against abuse on harassment on its platform, Wikipedia is putting a new code of conduct in place. Several members, particularly women and members of the LGBTQ community, have complained of the portrayal of “toxic behavior” by fellow editors on the platform. The website relies on these volunteers to keep it updated.”