The Next Web: Twitter now lets you create tweetstorms before tweeting. “Twitter today revealed plans to give users a better way to create threaded tweets. Thanks to a new button in the tweet composer, you can add new tweets to a thread before you publish them.”
BuzzFeed: This Is How Steve Bannon And Breitbart Tried To Sabotage Twitter. “For more than a year before he became Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Steve Bannon sought to wage war against Twitter, tasking Milo Yiannopoulos and other Breitbart News employees to look into editorial, financial, and legal ways they could harm the Jack Dorsey–led social network.” Trying to sabotage Twitter is like trying to keep an elephant from flying.
Demographic Research: Using Twitter data for demographic research. “Social media data is a promising source of social science data. However, deriving the demographic characteristics of users and dealing with the nonrandom, nonrepresentative populations from which they are drawn represent challenges for social scientists. Given the growing use of social media data in social science research, this paper asks two questions: 1) To what extent are findings obtained with social media data generalizable to broader populations, and 2) what is the best practice for estimating demographic information from Twitter data?” The paper itself is a freely-available PDF.
CBC: Researchers predict ‘vaccine scares’ using Google and Twitter trends. “What do Google searches and tweets tell us about disease outbreaks? As it turns out, analyzing search and tweet trends could give warning signs for when a disease outbreak may happen due to reduced vaccinations. An international team of researchers analyzed searches and tweets related to measles and the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine using artificial intelligence and a mathematical model, and detected warning signs of a ‘tipping point’ two years before the Disneyland outbreak happened.”
Engadget: Russian Twitter bots are reportedly helping #NoRussiaNoGames push “It’s both terrifying and fascinating how well Russia uses Twitter to influence the perception of world events. Operatives from the country have supported Trump and Brexit and positioned propaganda that was eventually shared by major news outlets. Now it seems that Russian propagandists are hard at work amplifying an actual hashtag campaign (#NoRussiaNoGames) against the ban of Russian athletes from the upcoming Olympic games.”
ProPublica: Governors and Federal Agencies Are Blocking Nearly 1,300 Accounts on Facebook and Twitter. “Amanda Farber still doesn’t know why Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan blocked her from his Facebook group. A resident of Bethesda and full-time parent and volunteer, Farber identifies as a Democrat but voted for the Republican Hogan in 2014. Farber says she doesn’t post on her representatives’ pages often. But earlier this year, she said she wrote on the governor’s Facebook page, asking him to oppose the Trump administration’s travel ban and health care proposal. She never received a response. When she later returned to the page, she noticed her comment had been deleted. She also noticed she had been blocked from commenting. (She is still allowed to share the governor’s posts and messages.)”
CNET: From #FakeNews to #MeToo: Twitter was hard to handle in 2017. “From fears about Russia manipulating US public opinion, to the #MeToo hashtag encouraging women from all walks of life to speak up about sexual assaults, Twitter has been at the center of memes and movements that shook society in 2017. Revelations that millions of messages are being generated by bots and fake accounts have prompted many of us to question what we’re reading. And as the preferred platform for President Donald Trump, Twitter has become a facilitator of the nation’s divisive chatter.”