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Twitter, Facebook, and social activism

Twitter, Facebook, and social activism
At four-thirty in the afternoon on Monday, February 1, 1960, four college students sat down at the lunch counter at the Woolworth’s in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina. They were freshmen at North Carolina A. & T., a black college a mile or so away. “I’d like a cup of coffee, please,” one of the four, Ezell Blair, said to the waitress. “We don’t serve Negroes here,” she replied. The Woolworth’s lunch counter was a long L-shaped bar that could seat sixty-six people, with a standup snack bar at one end. The seats were for whites. By next morning, the protest had grown to twenty-seven men and four women, most from the same dormitory as the original four. By the following Monday, sit-ins had spread to Winston-Salem, twenty-five miles away, and Durham, fifty miles away. The world, we are told, is in the midst of a revolution. These are strong, and puzzling, claims. Some of this grandiosity is to be expected. What makes people capable of this kind of activism?

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What do Twitter users actually think of Trending Topics? Of the many features Twitter employs, the Trending Topics section seems to be one of its more mystifying elements. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many Twitter users don’t even use Trending Topics, citing several understandable rationales, including being downright oblivious to what Trending Topics actually are and how to use them. Buried within the Twitter help and support pages, I dug up this official definition: “Twitter’s Trending Topics algorithm identifies topics that are immediately popular, rather than topics that have been popular for a while or on a daily basis, to help people discover the “most breaking” news stories from across the world. Clicktivism is ruining leftist activism A battle is raging for the soul of activism. It is a struggle between digital activists, who have adopted the logic of the marketplace, and those organisers who vehemently oppose the marketisation of social change. At stake is the possibility of an emancipatory revolution in our lifetimes.

What Facebook's 'It's Not Our Fault' Study Really Means Yesterday in the journal Science, members of the Facebook data science team released a provocative study about adult Facebook users in the US “who volunteer their ideological affiliation in their profile.” The study “quantified the extent to which individuals encounter comparatively more or less diverse” hard news “while interacting via Facebook’s algorithmically ranked News Feed.”* WIRED Opinion

Turkey protests: how activists stay one step ahead with social media She will receive links to maps only visible to fellow activists that show the location of makeshift clinics in houses and even in restaurants' basements, and can watch live streams of protests on the Ustream service if she is at home. She told the Telegraph: "It has had a massive impact, and if it wasn't for social media we wouldn't have the right information on anything. It's been our saviour."

Bogus Grass-Roots Politics on Twitter Researchers have found evidence that political campaigns and special-interest groups are using scores of fake Twitter accounts to create the impression of broad grass-roots political expression. A team at Indiana University used data-mining and network-analysis techniques to detect the activity. “We think this technique must be common,” says Filippo Menczer, an associate professor at Indiana University and one of the principal investigators on the project. “Wherever there are lots of eyes looking at screens, spammers will be there; so why not with politics?” The research effort is dubbed the Truthy project, a reference to comedian Stephen Colbert’s coinage of the word “truthiness,” or a belief held to be true regardless of facts or logic.

myhue-mcgowran.suite101 A few weeks after Facebook filed their $100 billion IPO, Amine Derkaoui came forward to tell the world about the work he had been doing as a moderator of flagged content for the social media company. In an interview with, the 21 year-old Moroccan spoke openly and angrily about his work for oDesk, an online outsourcing company based in California that provides content moderation services for Facebook and Google. The job he applied for required passing a written test and an interview and undertaking several weeks of training, he and about 50 others from around the world (Turkey, Mexico, India, the Philippines) then worked four-hour shifts at $1 an hour censoring the dark and dirty content that gets flagged on Facebook and often needs to be removed.

Casually Pepper Spray Everything Cop About Pepper Spray Cop (also known as “Casually Pepper Spray Everything Cop”) is a photoshop meme based on a photograph of a police officer offhandedly pepper spraying a group of Occupy protesters at the University of California Davis in November 2011. Origin Text Mining and Analytics - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign About the Course This course will cover the major techniques for mining and analyzing text data to discover interesting patterns, extract useful knowledge, and support decision making, with an emphasis on statistical approaches that can be generally applied to arbitrary text data in any natural language with no or minimum human effort. Detailed analysis of text data requires understanding of natural language text, which is known to be a difficult task for computers. However, a number of statistical approaches have been shown to work well for the "shallow" but robust analysis of text data for pattern finding and knowledge discovery.

Why Social Media Is Reinventing Activism The argument that social media fosters feel-good clicking rather than actual change began long before Malcolm Gladwell brought it up in the New Yorker — long enough to generate its own derogatory term. “Slacktivism,” as defined by Urban Dictionary, is “the act of participating in obviously pointless activities as an expedient alternative to actually expending effort to fix a problem.” If you only measure donations, social media is no champion.

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