Washington Post: The most-loved social network among Americans isn’t the one you think. “Google+ has topped the American Consumer Satisfaction Index’s 2017 list evaluating how users feel about Internet social media companies. Yes, Google+. We’ll let that sink in for another moment.” I’m gonna need more than a moment.
Xinhua: Social media help to predict epidemics in New Zealand. “The Ministry of Health is trialing an innovative approach aimed at improving its response to epidemics by predicting outbreaks earlier. The project uses alternative sources of information to detect trends that indicate the spread of infectious diseases, including social media and a range of historic and current data sets, Coleman said.”
Global Voices: Ghana’s Social Media Scene Opens New Spaces for Public Debate. “During the 2016 Ghanaian presidential elections, amidst the intense jockeying for power, something else was asserting itself. Social media and online platforms became crucial avenues for the electorate. Engaging voters in digital spaces became as important as speaking at a public rally. It’s not just politicians who have awakened to its power. Civil society also are taking advantage of the rise of social platforms, leveraging the popularity of the medium to demand good public services, like access to constant electricity.”
Ars Technica: New book explores how protesters—and governments—use Internet tactics. “In February 2003, the largest demonstration in Britain’s history saw two million people march across London to protest the approaching Iraq War. Dozens of other cities across the world saw similar events, and yet. Why did politicians feel safe ignoring the millions who participated in those marches—yet stand down after the protests against the proposed intellectual property laws SOPA and PIPA? Why did Occupy apparently vanish while the Tea Party has embedded itself into US national electoral politics? How much did Facebook really have to do with the Arab Spring? How—and this is the central question technosociologist Zeynep Tufecki considers in her new book, Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest—do digital media change the reality and effectiveness of social protest?”
Biztech Africa: 9 out of 10 Kenyans have seen fake news about the 2017 general election. “A new study reveals that 90% of Kenyans have seen or heard false news about the 2017 general election, with 87% reporting instances of deliberately false – or fake – news. The Reality of Fake News in Kenya, launched this week in Nairobi, is the first-ever study aimed at quantifying the prevalence and impact of false information during an election campaign in Africa.”
Phys.org: ‘Social media triangulation’ provides new approach for emergency responders. “During emergency situations like severe weather or terrorist attacks, local officials and first responders have an urgent need for accessible, reliable and real-time data. Rob Grace, a doctoral student in Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), and his colleagues at the Center for Crisis, Community, and Civic (3C) Informatics are working to address this need by introducing a new method for identifying local social media users and collecting the information they post during emergencies.”
The Atlantic: How Twitter Fuels Anxiety. “I joined Twitter in 2009 at the urging of my husband, who works in technology. ‘What am I going to do, tell the internet what I ate for breakfast?’ I asked him. Eight years later, I’m the one checking Twitter over my morning toast while he gets ready for work. Twitter has become the place where I get my news, where I check in on my friends, where I go to make jokes and read good essays. As a lifelong sufferer of anxiety, it is where I go to talk about what I’m feeling when I’m anxious, and maybe find some camaraderie. And as a lifelong sufferer of anxiety, using Twitter is also making my anxiety worse. The like-minded community I’ve built on Twitter has made confessing anxiety easier than ever, but the comparison Twitter enables has made the experience of anxiety worse. And when it comes to Twitter, you have to take the good with the bad.”