Move over, dark patterns, you’re being.. er.. nudged out by digital nudging. What is digital nudging? Well, you get a digital nudge any time you use a digital platform and, where you have a choice to make, the ‘right’ or ‘correct’ choice is made the easiest to choose, or the most attractive. Of course, right and correct are in the eyes of the marketer or website providing the nudge, not the consumer.
Legislation introduced in Washington would make the practice of using so-called ‘dark patterns’ illegal. The bipartisan (!) bill is called the DETOUR Act, and stands for the Deceptive Experiences To Online Users Reduction (DETOUR) Act. Dark patterns are web interface designs created to manipulate users into taking actions and providing data that they otherwise wouldn’t. Dark patterns are based on behavioral psychology.
China has started rolling out the Chinese ‘social credit score’, which takes into account, among other things, your behaviors, and your purchases. But don’t think you’re immune if you don’t live in China; companies around the world, including the U.S., are already compiling a ‘social score’ on you. While a “social score” is different in some ways from a “social credit score”, it’s not really that far removed, and the potential is pretty concerning.
Investors and influencers of Facebook and Apple have openly challenged and beseeched the tech giants to acknowledge and address the damage being done to children, adults, and even the very social fabric of society by these companies ignoring, and even intentionally taking advantage of, the addictive nature of Facebook and other social media platforms, and how open to tampering they are, as well as the addictive nature of the iPhone and other electronic devices.
You remember Martin Shkreli, right? He’s the guy who founded Turing Pharmaceuticals, and then acquired the only marketing rights in the U.S. to pyrimethamine (a drug used by, among others, HIV patients), marketed in the U.S. as Daraprim, boosting the price by 5500% per dose. Well, he wasn’t convicted for doing that, but he was convicted for securities fraud, and has been out on bail while awaiting sentencing. Except, a post that he made on Facebook just got him sent to jail. For a post he made on social media. Let’s repeat that – someone is going to jail for a post they made on Facebook. Here’s what Martin Shkreli’s post said:
No matter where your sympathies lie, nobody can deny that the events in Charlottesville on Saturday were tragic. As tensions that have been simmering for months erupted to a full boil this past weekend, opposing forces have been rallying their respective mobs in ways that harken back to the 1950s and ’60s in this country, and even the 1860s and ’70s. But with a twist: this time the mobs have taken not just to the street, but to social media, and vigilante justice has become online vigilante justice.
The Blue Whale Challenge, also known as the Blue Whale Game, is purported to be a deadly game which targets teenagers online and through social media. Said to be named after the way a blue whale will beach itself and die, Blue Whale consists of 50 challenges, increasingly harmful, photographic completion of which you send back to your handler (known as the ‘curator’ or the ‘administrator’), with the final fiftieth challenge being suicide, also broadcast via social media.
You may have recently heard about a new social network called Mastodon. Mastodon is an open source, completely free social network that is similar to, and on some level competing with, Twitter. However there are some important differences between Twitter and Mastodon. Here’s what Mastodon is, and what it isn’t.
The Internet in general, and social media in particular, has changed everything. Here are the actual facts of the incident in which a bloodied Kentucky doctor – Dr. David Dao – ended up being dragged off United Airlines flight 3411 in the bump heard ’round the world, along with the full text of the apology comment from United CEO Oscar Munoz.
Three principals of Canadian clothing company High on Life, who trespassed at Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone, as well as other locations, in order to post their deeds on social media, have been convicted of misdemeanor criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct, and sentenced to 5 years probation (all of them) and a week in jail (two of them). In addition to the trespass on the fragile Grand Prismatic Spring, Charles Ryker Gamble, Alexey Andriyovych Lyakh and Justis Cooper Price Brown all pleaded guilty to trespass violations in Zion National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, and Death Valley National Park. Additional trespasses on behalf of High on Life occurred at Corona Arch and Bonneville Salt Flats.
This article is going to be controversial. Whether or not you should follow everyone who follows you on Twitter is a topic which engenders strong emotions and heated debate. In fact, just last week I was accused of “game playing” because I have 1600+ people who follow me on Twitter, while I ‘follow’ fewer than 50.
Google Buzz hit the world this week, but just what the heck is Google Buzz, how do you use Google Buzz, and why should you care? Google Buzz is yet one more social networking service plus social network aggregator. Imagine Facebook if Facebook also republished all of your public Google stuff – your Google Chat stream, your Picasa Links, etc.. Now imagine that you can also add your Twitter feed to that stream, and even add the RSS feeds for some websites that are under your control. That’s Google Buzz.
This morning many large, widely used Internet sites, including Twitter, Spotify, GitHub, Etsy, Vox, Paypal, Starbucks, Airbnb, Netflix, and Reddit, just to name a few, were taken down and offline owing to a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) against DNS provider Dyn. Below is a list of all of the sites that we know have been affected – and may still be being affected – by the Dyn DDoS outage. Also, until it’s all fixed, here is a workaround. [UPDATE: It has been confirmed that this was the result of hackers taking advantage of unsecured Internet of Things devices, probably using the Mirai malware.]