As we say goodbye to July, a month that brought with it unexpected sunshine, it’s time for a round-up of the best social media-related tech articles in the news. A new and exciting addition to the monthly round-ups, we’ve put together a list of the ten best stories that got us thinking about how tech is represented in the social media world.
By Emily Dreyfuss
In an attempt to avoid every employee’s nightmare of being fired because of something they said on Twitter, it’s now possible to delete your old tweets, either manually or with the help of tools such as Tweet Deleter. Emily Dreyfuss speaks about the black hole that is Twitter: the birth of her son was accompanied by minute-by-minute commentary tweeted by her brother, which has since been deleted. Downloading your tweets or archiving them has become a way to protect ourselves against ever-changing social media trends and our innermost thoughts being taken out of context.
By Issie Lapowsky
This isn’t the first we’ve heard of the Facebook Data Scandal, which prompted the #deletefacebook campaign. Cambridge Analytica, the former political consulting firm that collected data from tens of millions of users without their knowledge, is being sued by UK law firm Irvine Thanvi Natas Solicitors. Facebook is due to be fined $600,000 for allowing the company access to user data and the group is demanding their questions be answered.
The Royal Public Health Society is targeting users of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat and challenging them to give up or cut down on social media scrolling for the month of September. Research by NHS England found that reducing the amount of time spent online will have a positive impact on sleep, relationships and wellbeing. More than that, surveys were conducted on 18-34 year olds who agreed that going ‘cold turkey’ for a month would have positive effects.
By Hilary Andersson
Insiders from Silicon Valley have discovered that social media companies are intentionally making their apps addictive to increase the amount of time users spend on them, and ultimately to increase financial gain. A leading technology engineer that created the ‘infinite scroll’ – the ability to scroll endlessly without clicking – now feels guilty about the addictive software he created. The apps aren’t just addictive, they’re affecting the mental health of its users as virtual ‘likes’ are being used as a way to value your self worth.
By Joseph Archer
Twitter has enlisted the help of institutions such as Oxford University to monitor its ‘health.’ They are working with social psychologists to study the spread of hate speech on the platform. By finding out where they are going wrong, Twitter can create new algorithms that tell the difference between hate speech and polite debates. Part of the study is to see how people use Twitter and investigate the ‘social challenges of a digitally connected world.’
By Helen Lewis
Fans of hit films and TV series have been angered by Facebook and Twitter after spoilers were given away on their news feeds. As many of our favourite programmes are shown in America or elsewhere before hitting our screens, social media users are bound to see the odd spoiler or two. Because of the outrage, Twitter have introduced the ability to mute keywords, whilst Facebook offers a snooze function to block keywords from your feed for 30 days.
By Ben Goggin
On July 31st, Facebook users were surprised to see that alongside being able to express like, love, surprise, upset or anger, they were also able to express ‘plane’! The airplane emoji had been added to the social network as part of an employee hackathon and wasn’t intended as a new expression.
By Sarah Sloat
At the 25th International World Wide Web Conference in Montreal, it was announced that the most reliable way to identify and predict gentrification in urban areas is through monitoring of social media apps. In a study called ‘measuring urban social density using interconnected geo-social networks’, researchers identified Hackney as an ideal example of gentrification. The study used location check-ins to work out people’s financial and social activity.
By Aina Najihah
Footage of a scarily life-like android robot has emerged from last year’s Japanese games convention, sparking an online debate questioning if it’s human or not. A video of the robots has gone viral, set for release this year in the game Detroit: Become Human by Sony.
By Kit Daniels
A report has found that free speech is being suppressed on social media, especially when it comes to conservative political opinions. It looks into the various ways different institutions such as corporate media, left-leaning fact checkers and social media sites work together to attack free speech online. The report suggests that we’re heading towards a ‘controlled’ internet where only one ‘official’ point of view will be tolerated, with no debates allowed.
These articles represent my own recommendations for the best social media news in July 2018, but you may have other suggestions. Drop us a link in the comments, so others can enjoy the articles you have also found interesting this month.
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