US News & World Report: School Shooting Videos Could Scar Kids _ or Galvanize Them. “The tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High appears to be the first major school shooting of the social media age in which students shared the shocking images in near-real time with young people elsewhere. Experts say the images have the potential to scar kids watching from afar, potentially triggering post-traumatic stress and perhaps numbing them to the violence and causing them to fall into apathy. But the scenes might also galvanize a generation and lead young people to press for change on the political level.”
Phys .org: Researchers find tweeting in cities lower than expected. “Studying data from Twitter, University of Illinois researchers found that less people tweet per capita from larger cities than in smaller ones, indicating an unexpected trend that has implications in understanding urban pace of life. They identified that while there are less people tweeting, there are a group of people who tweet prolifically. This suggests there is a concentrated core of more active users that may serve as information broadcasters for larger cities.”
Science Daily: Is social media to blame for poor grades? . “Do teenagers who frequent Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites perform worse academically? Scientists from Germany have looked into these worries.”
Digital Trends: Governments are stepping in to regulate social media, but there may be a better way. “Social media moderation is often about finding a balance between creating a safe online environment and inhibiting free speech. In many cases, the social media platform themselves steps up to protect users, like with Twitter’s recent rule overhaul, or to keep advertisers, like in YouTube’s recent changes after big advertisers boycotted the video platform. But, in other cases, such as Germany’s new hate speech law and a potential new similar European Union law, moderation is government mandated.”
The Verge: The Mueller indictment exposes the danger of Facebook’s focus on Groups. “A year ago this past Friday, Mark Zuckerberg published a lengthy post titled ‘Building a Global Community.’ It offered a comprehensive statement from the Facebook CEO on how he planned to move the company away from its longtime mission of making the world “more open and connected” to instead create “the social infrastructure … to build a global community.” He identified a number of challenges to realizing his mission, and ranking high among them was the political polarization of his user base.”
TechCrunch: Fake news is an existential crisis for social media . “The claim and counter claim that spread out around ‘fake news’ like an amorphous cloud of meta-fakery, as reams of additional ‘information’ — some of it equally polarizing but a lot of it more subtle in its attempts to mislead (for e.g., the publicly unseen ‘on background’ info routinely sent to reporters to try to invisible shape coverage in a tech firm’s favor) — are applied in equal and opposite directions in the interests of obfuscation; using speech and/or misinformation as a form of censorship to fog the lens of public opinion. This bottomless follow-up fodder generates yet more FUD in the fake news debate. Which is ironic, as well as boring, of course. But it’s also clearly deliberate.” One of those articles that deserves a better headline than it gets. A deep dive with lots of links to other news articles and background. Very good stuff.
CNET: US charges Russian social media trolls over election tampering. “US special counsel Robert Mueller has filed charges against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups for allegedly interfering with the 2016 presidential election. In an indictment released Friday (PDF), Mueller and the Justice Department call out the Internet Research Agency, a group linked to Russian propaganda efforts across social media. Employees for the IRA created troll accounts and used bots to stage arguments and sow political chaos during the 2016 campaign.”