EurekAlert: 2.7 billion tweets confirm: Echo chambers on Twitter are very real . “A recent study of more than 2.7 billion tweets between 2009 and 2016 confirms that Twitter users are exposed mainly to political opinions that agree with their own. It is the largest study to characterise echo chambers by both the content in them and the networks they comprise. The findings indicate a strong correlation between biases in the content people both produce and consume. In other words, echo chambers are very real on Twitter.”
Popular Science: How to purge all your search histories. “Ostensibly, these sites use your search history to assemble a profile of you, allowing them to show you content or products that will appeal to your interests. Conveniently for these tech companies, better understanding your preferences also lets them serve you targeted advertisements. On the bright side, a service can only collect this information while you’re logged into your account for that site. Still, if you’re uncomfortable with this record of your past searches, or you don’t want them to influence your future browsing (maybe you’ve run a lot of queries for camping accessories but no longer want to see ads for related products), you can scrub them from existence.”
Techdirt: How Twitter Suspended The Account Of One Of Our Commenters… For Offending Himself?. “If you spend any time at all in Techdirt’s comments, you should be familiar with That Anonymous Coward. He’s a prolific and regular commenter (with strong opinions). He also spends a lot of time on Twitter. Well, at least until a week or so ago when Twitter suspended his account…. As we’ve pointed out in the past, people who demand that sites shut down and suspend accounts often don’t realize how difficult it is to do this at scale and not f*ck up over and over again. Indeed, we have plenty of stories about sites having trouble figuring out what content is really problematic. Indeed, frequently these stories show that the targets of trolls and abusers are the ones who end up suspended.” F-bomb asterisked by me… and warning, this story does have offensive language in it.
Bangkok Post: Surge in anonymous Asia Twitter accounts sparks bot fears. “It has been being jokingly referred to as ‘Botmageddon’. But a surge in new, anonymous Twitter accounts across swathes of Southeast and East Asia has deepened fears the region is in the throes of US-style mass social media manipulation.”
BetaNews: Twitter bans Kaspersky Lab from buying ads. “Its software is already banned from US government computers, and now Kaspersky Lab’s advertisements have been banned from Twitter. The Russian security firm has been hit with an ad ban for ‘using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices’.” Whoa.
IFLScience: How Twitter Helped Find, And Possibly Save, An Endangered Plant. “There’s nothing Internet users like better than correcting an expert they think is wrong. So when botanist Professor Chris Martine of Bucknell University put the wrong name on a plant he’d photographed, it got a swift response. In the end, it led to the discovery of an unexpected population of one of America’s rarest plants, and a chance to protect something that otherwise might have been lost.”
ZDNet: Data firm leaks 48 million user profiles it scraped from Facebook, LinkedIn, others. “Localblox, a Bellevue, Wash.-based firm, says it ‘automatically crawls, discovers, extracts, indexes, maps and augments data in a variety of formats from the web and from exchange networks.’ Since its founding in 2010, the company has focused its collection on publicly accessible data sources, like social networks Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and real estate site Zillow to name a few, to produce profiles. But earlier this year, the company left a massive store of profile data on a public but unlisted Amazon S3 storage bucket without a password, allowing anyone to download its contents.”