New Study: Internet Trolls Are Often Machiavellian Sadists In the past few years, the science of Internet trollology has made some strides. Last year, for instance, we learned that by hurling insults and inciting discord in online comment sections, so-called Internet "trolls" (who are frequently anonymous) have a polarizing effect on audiences, leading to politicization, rather than deeper understanding of scientific topics. That's bad, but it's nothing compared with what a new psychology paper has to say about the personalities of so-called trolls themselves. The research, conducted by Erin Buckels of the University of Manitoba and two colleagues, sought to directly investigate whether people who engage in trolling are characterized by personality traits that fall in the so-called "Dark Tetrad": Machiavellianism (willingness to manipulate and deceive others), narcissism (egotism and self-obsession), psychopathy (the lack of remorse and empathy), and sadism (pleasure in the suffering of others).
Startup Failure: Three reasons you’re not going viral Startups often wonder why investors can’t see how viral they’re going to get. I met an entrepreneur yesterday who confidently stated that his product was going to grow ‘virally’ because it was the best in its category. That was essentially the optimism that powered the growth slide in his investor deck. (To see why this is wrong at many levels, read point 2 below, but more on that later)
How IKEA Australia Recruits with Flat Packs [Video] The Swedes are brilliant recruiters. Even when they are down under and use an advertising agency. In this case The Monkeys (agency) helped the Sydney, Australia IKEA store recruit new employees with an innovative method. Moot is right — we’re a lot better off with online anonymity than we would be without it Online anonymity (or pseudonymity, which is similar but not quite the same) comes under fire regularly from those who believe that it encourages bad behavior such as bullying and racism, whether in blog comments or on Twitter, or in popular apps like Secret and Whisper. If only we could force everyone to use their real names, these critics argue, then discourse on the internet would become a virtual paradise of civility and camaraderie. In a recent blog post, entrepreneur and Y Combinator partner Sam Altman wrote about Secret, and how the app had degenerated quickly into a “Mean Girls-style burn book,” and argued that this was just another example of how online anonymity inevitably turns nasty. As he put it: “Anonymity breeds meanness — the Internet has proven this time and time again. People are willing to say nice or neutral things with their name attached — they need anonymity for mean things and things they are embarrassed about.
Value systems Peter Thiel’s CS183: Startup - Class 3 Notes Essay Here is an essay version of my class notes from Class 3 of CS183: Startup. Errors and omissions are my own. Credit for good stuff is Peter’s entirely. Study: Display Ads Drive Search Clicks After Two Weeks Though there have been several studies on the impact of display ads on search queries, researchers from Harvard and Ozyegin University in Turkey sought to bring academic rigor to this discussion. Their findings are contained in a Harvard Business School paper entitled, “Do Display Ads Influence Search? Attribution and Dynamics in Online Advertising” (embedded below). The document is tedious and difficult to read because it’s bogged down with academic jargon, social-science modeling discussions and references to other research, per the conventions of such academic writing.
Facebook's friend problem When I arrived at the University of Michigan in fall 2007, everybody said "Facebook me." In the following days, even a passing meeting guaranteed that a friend request would pop up the next time I logged on to Facebook. I felt popular and informed, at all times abreast of what my hallmates, friends, and peers were up to each day. Writing status updates, browsing photos from the previous night’s parties, and searching for girls who were also into Kurt Vonnegut became a daily pastime. The News Feed was the most addictive webpage I’d ever used, letting me people-watch with X-ray vision. My Facebook feed feels less relevant than it ever has
The Battle Is For The Customer Interface Editor’s note: Tom Goodwin is senior vice president of strategy and innovation at Havas Media. Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Facebook's New Service helps Businesses Recruit Employees Facebook is working towards launching a new way to target ads to help businesses recruit new employees. The goal is to increase the social networks potential and move into an arena with LinkedIn, which is known for their business networking. Currently, ad targeting is based on demographic information and the types of pages individuals like through Facebook. Although this is valuable information for marketers, this type of targeting does little to help recruiters. The new targeting will look at the job title and current employer of users.
The Culture of Shut Up - Jon Lovett Too many debates about important issues degenerate into manufactured and misplaced outrage—and it's chilling free speech. Albert Gea/Reuter There once was a remote village deep in the rainforest that had no contact with the outside world. And in this small village there were only three village elders who had the ability to speak. So they were in charge. Native Advertising: Fine or Farce? “The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator.” – Jonathan Franzen Scroll, scrolling, scroll, stop. A slice of content caught the ever-roving eyes of today’s digital consumer amidst an endless timeline.
Google Launches Restricted Google+ Communities Google today launched a new Google+ feature that further makes sure private conversations remain private. Restricted communities, as the new feature is called, is an extra layer of security that ensures only users in a given organization can join. The feature lets organizations decide if their restricted community will be open to everyone at the company or limited to just employees who receive an invitation.