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Online commenting: the age of rage

Online commenting: the age of rage
For a while after his first TV series was broadcast in 2009, comedian Stewart Lee was in the habit of collecting and filing some of the comments that people made about him on web pages and social media sites. He did a 10-minute Google trawl most days for about six months and the resultant collected observations soon ran to dozens of pages. If you read those comments now as a cumulative narrative, you begin to fear for Stewart Lee. A good third of the posts fantasised about violence being done to the comic, most of the rest could barely contain the extent of their loathing. This is a small, representative selection: "I hate Stewart Lee with a passion. Lee, a standup comedian who does not shy away from the more grotesque aspects of human behaviour, or always resist dishing out some bile of his own, does not think of himself as naive. The "40,000 words of hate" have now become "anthropologically amusing" to him, he insists. The psychologists call it "deindividuation". Have they ever met? Related:  Online anonymity

Eric Raymond I agree with +David Formosa about Facebook. They've had years to show that the lack of anonymity leads to a troll-free environment, and they have failed in that regard and there are notable cases of trolling. It's not the anonymity of the Internet, but the remote nature of it. Even my university has regular trolling on the comment sections on its website, and people have much more incentive there not to troll than on Facebook. What does Google+ do that is different from any other place where real names are required? So anonymity can cause trolling, and sites with lots of it can be full of trolls, but the latter examples tend to also have weak moderation. With this in mind, is anonymity worth giving up?

Two decades of the web: a utopia no longer Evgeny Morozov traces the development of the web from the laboratories of the Cold War to the world of venture capital and big money The “virtual community”: an idea that was the antithesis of Cold War paranoia The internet is a child with many fathers. Many seemingly unrelated developments in the computer industry played an important role. Much of the credit for the technical advances of the internet goes to individuals such as Vint Cerf, creator of the first inter-network protocol, which helped to unify the numerous pre-internet networks; David D Clark, who helped to theorise the “end-to-end” principle, the precursor to the modern concept of “net neutrality”; and Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the world wide web. But studying the history of the internet is impossible without studying the ideas, biases, and desires of its early cheerleaders, a group distinct from the engineers. But this cyber-boosterism was not without a serious side. It is not the only deviation.

Les médias sociaux décodés en une page Une infographie de Flowtown qui présente rapidement les plus grands médias sociaux. Flowtown vient de créer cet aide-mémoire qui résume les caractéristiques essentielles des plus importants médias sociaux occidentaux. Vous y trouverez les avantages et les inconvénients de chaque site, ainsi que la façon de vous inscrire et créer votre profile. Pour lire en grand format : Flowtown Pour recevoir gratuitement par courriel les articles aussitôt publiés, cliquez sur le lien suivant et suivez les instructions Abonnement à "173 Sud" par courriel

Jillian C. York US internet providers hijacking users' search queries - tech - 04 August 2011 Read full article Continue reading page |1|2 Editorial: "Hijacking web searches for cash threatens net success" Update: Since the practice of redirecting users' searches was first exposed by New Scientist last week, we have learned that all the ISPs involved have now called a halt to the practice. Original story posted on 4 August 2011 Searches made by millions of internet users are being hijacked and redirected by some internet service providers in the US. Reese Richman, a New York law firm that specialises in consumer protection lawsuits, today filed a class action against one of the ISPs and Paxfire, which researchers believe provided the equipment used to hijack and redirect the searches. The hijacking seems to target searches for certain well-known brand names only. More than 10 ISPs in the US, which together have several million subscribers, are redirecting queries in this way (see below for a complete list). Buy, buy, buy The process is highly contentious. Paxfire connection

Réseaux sociaux (1/3) : diviser le monde pour le comprendre Par Hubert Guillaud le 03/01/12 | 9 commentaires | 4,874 lectures | Impression Les 12 et 13 décembre 2011 se tenait à Lyon un colloque universitaire sur les réseaux sociaux organisé par l’Institut rhône-alpin des systèmes complexes. Comme le soulignait Pablo Jensen en introduction, le sujet est plus qu’à la mode. Structurer pour organiser Vincent Blondel de l’université catholique de Louvain, responsable du laboratoire Large Graphs and Networks est un des spécialistes de l’analyse des très grands réseaux. Vincent Blondel a mis au point l’une des nombreuses méthodes d’identification de communautés qui existent (voir l’analyse de Santo Fortunato sur la détection de communauté dans les graphes (.pdf) qui recense et évalue les méthodes existantes), la méthode de Louvain, qui a été implantée depuis dans de nombreux logiciels comme Gephi, NetworkX, et est utilisée par de nombreuses sociétés comme Linked-in. Image : Les bassins téléphoniques en France métropolitaine. Mesurer la cohésion

Would Anonymity Help Activists on Facebook? A Response to Luke Allnutt Luke Allnutt has a thoughtful piece on RFE/RL asking the above question: Would anonymity help activists on Facebook? His response, “maybe not,” relies on the idea that anonymity would be extended only to those with special “activist status,” something I haven’t heard concretely argued as a potential model but which is nonetheless troubling. Allnutt writes: If Facebook had a special “activist’s status,” where it officially allowed some accounts to be pseudonymous, where does it draw the line? and Connected to the first point is the logistics. First off, since I’m quoted in his piece, I’ll say this: I Which bring me to my next point: How we got to the anonymity argument in the first place. A year ago, as I was beginning to write Policing Content in the Quasi-Public Sphere , I considered, briefly, arguing for anonymity on Facebook but then decided it was a waste of time. . Activists–who often have easy enemies–and semi-famous people are the targets of the policy.

Rate This Article: What’s Wrong with the Culture of Critique | Magazine Photo: Brock Davis You don’t have to read this essay to know whether you’ll like it. Just go online and assess how provocative it is by the number of comments at the bottom of the web version. A funny thing has quietly accompanied our era’s eye-gouging proliferation of information, and by funny I mean not very funny. Technoculture critic and former Wired contributor Erik Davis is concerned about the proliferation of reviews, too. Of course, Yelpification of the universe is so thorough as to be invisible. Our ever more sophisticated arsenal of stars and thumbs will eventually serve to curtail serendipity, adventure, and idiotic floundering. There’s an essential freedom in being alone with one’s thoughts, oblivious to and unpolluted by anyone else’s. Life demands assessment. Chris Colin ( is the author of What Really Happened to the Class of ’93 and a frequent New York Times contributor.

Réseaux sociaux (3/3) : ces algorithmes qui nous gouvernent Les 12 et 13 décembre 2011 se tenait à Lyon un colloque universitaire sur les réseaux sociaux organisé par l’Institut rhône-alpin des systèmes complexes. Suite et fin de notre compte rendu… Les algorithmes peuvent-ils se tromper ? Tarleton Gillespie professeur à l’université Cornell devait conclure ces deux jours, mais il n’a pu être présent. Il semblait néanmoins intéressant de jeter un oeil sur son propos qu’il a notamment développé sur CultureDigitally : est-ce que les algorithmes peuvent se tromper ? La réflexion de Tarleton Gillespie prend son origine dans les contestations émises à l’encontre de Twitter, accusé de censurer sa liste de Tendances. Bien sûr, la vigueur et la persistance de la charge de la censure n’est pas surprenante, estime Tarleton Gillespie. Les tendances de Twitter ne sont qu’un de ces outils parmi les plus visibles. Il est essentiel de dépecer les algorithmes, estime Tarleton Gillespie. L’algorithme est sans cesse manipulé. Hubert Guillaud

Despite hoaxes, anonymity remains important Over the past few weeks, much of the world's attention was captured by the story of supposed Syrian blogger Amina Arraf, also known as "Gay Girl in Damascus". From reports on June 6 of Arraf's alleged kidnapping by Syrian security forces to the June 12 confession from American Tom MacMaster that he had fabricated Arraf's entire persona, the story unfolded rapidly, leaving the public confused in its wake. Central to this story is the role that traditional media played in perpetuating what is now known to be a hoax. Though the persona of Amina Arraf was created as early as 2007, Arraf's blog did not gain prominence until earlier this year when, after a small amount of hype in the blogosphere, two major publications - the Guardian and CBS - wrote pieces profiling the blogger. The Guardian in particular has come under fire for a March article, in which a pseudonymous journalist in Damascus "interviewed" Arraf without disclosing that she had never met the blogger in person.

The NS Profile: Tim Berners-Lee Twenty years ago, Tim Berners-Lee launched the World Wide Web among a small circle of fellow computer enthusiasts. Today, the 56-year-old Briton remains one of the internet's most vigorous advocates. Its vast success, however, has had a downside: it has exposed him to a bombardment of requests from visionaries, obsessives and rubberneckers, as well as hordes of children demanding help with school projects. All expect him to exist as some kind of open-source human being. Berners-Lee has never been an enthusiastic self-publicist. “I have built a moat around myself, along with ways over that moat so that people can ask questions. That the creator of the web - a father of two children, separated from his wife and based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he pursues his research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology - has to live like an electronic Howard Hughes is just one of the many paradoxes that his invention has thrown up over the past two decades. That's not just talk.

Réseaux sociaux (2/3) : des outils pour zoomer et dézoomer Par Hubert Guillaud le 04/01/12 | 4 commentaires | 3,022 lectures | Impression Les 12 et 13 décembre 2011 se tenait à Lyon un colloque universitaire sur les réseaux sociaux organisé par l’Institut rhône-alpin des systèmes complexes. Retour sur quelques-unes des présentations. Des outils pour mesurer le réel Pour Alain Barrat, chercheur au Centre de physique théorique de Marseille, les réseaux sociaux en ligne constituent un laboratoire très intéressant qui nous procure de nouvelles données pour faire des études à grande échelle, mais permettent également l’étude de l’évolution temporelle des réseaux (ce qui est plus difficile dans le réel). Après avoir évoqué l’influence de la proximité et de l’homophilie dans les réseaux sociaux de lecteurs, Alain Barrat a évoqué un autre exemple d’étude des relations en face à face développée par le réseau de recherche SocioPatterns. Dynamical Contact Patterns in a Primary School. from SocioPatterns on Vimeo. Hubert Guillaud

Robert Scoble Life in the Age of Extremes - Bill Davidow - Technology The Internet causes connections to multiply and strengthen, creating a frenzy of positive feedback, which can drive people apart--not together Optimists have long dominated the cyber-landscape, firm and vocal in their belief that the Internet creates a more transparent world, and that the quick and easy access to information it provides is bringing the global population together into one enlightened chorus of harmony. My perspective is different, and my goal in this, the first in a series of posts for The Atlantic, is to lay out the implications of an Internet-driven world. I have been deeply concerned that the Internet has created a centrifugal force that has the potential to tear us apart. Hobsbawm wrote: "The world of the third millennium will therefore almost certainly continue to be one of violent politics and violent political changes." Central to my own viewpoint is the concept of positive feedback. The Internet is positive feedback's best friend. Image: David Blackwel/Flickr.