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Fairy-tale social media fantasies can demolish your confidence, but it’s not all bad

If social media was a person, you’d probably avoid them. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are loaded with pictures of people going to exotic places, looking like they are about to be on the cover of Vogue, and otherwise living a fairy-tale existence. And, like all fairy tales, these narratives feel a lot like fiction. When you compare the “projected reality” to your lived experience, it would be ea...[Read More]

Chronological timelines coming back to Twitter

Social media users all know the struggle of scrolling through the same five posts you saw an hour ago, over and over again. That’s the joy of an algorithmically-sorted feed but it’s not something you have to live with. Not on Twitter. Not any more. The company’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, has confirmed that they’re bringing back the chronological timeline. The company said that it’s testi...[Read More]

Twitter rolls out an update with ‘Data Saver’ mode for its app

The South African Twitter community is still in denial over MTN discontinuing their ‘unlimited free Twitter’ option late in September. But it’s time to come back from the corner of denial known as Instagram, because Twitter really cares about its users. It’s been over four years. #FreeTwitter will be laid to rest on Tuesday midnight, 25 September. Its last wishes were for you to make the most of i...[Read More]

Twitter initially laughed off the hashtag and now it’s a truly global internet phenomenon

Just over 11 years ago a small word entered our global internet lexicon and is now a part of our cultural firmament: the hashtag. It was first used on August 23 2007 by Chris Messina, who – appropriately – tweeted: “how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?” Amazingly, Messina was told by Twitter – when he suggested it to them at the time – that the idea w...[Read More]

Apple’s annual keynote will be streamed on Twitter for the first time

Okay Apple, when we said that some folks might like to watch the 2018 iPhone unveiling on social media yesterday, we were only kidding. But Apple, it seems, isn’t. For the first time ever, Apple’s entire keynote presentation will be streamed to Twitter — so now you won’t even have to leave your favoured timeline in order to keep up with Apple’s plans for the next few ...[Read More]

Conspiracy theories, falsehoods have no place in freedom of speech debates. Social networks need to find their backbones

A very interesting debate about free speech is unfolding over the banning by Facebook, Apple and YouTube – but controversially not Twitter – of notorious right-wing internet troll Alex Jones and his Infowars conspiracy channels. Jones is a divisive figure, loved by a large clique of right-wingers who believe what he spouts, but which is patently nonsense to anyone who reads and watches the news. I...[Read More]

How new fathers use social media to make sense of their roles

A lawyer in Bermuda became internet-famous for dancing ballet alongside his two-year-old daughter, comforting her stage fright by being there and doing the dance moves right with her. He knew the part because he had practiced ballet with his children before – and said it was just a normal part of fathering daughters. That isn’t a common sentiment about fatherhood, even now. But social norms have b...[Read More]

Netflix’s new satirical advert pokes fun at archaic installations

By now, we all know that there’s tension between the local paid-TV broadcaster (DStv parent Multichoice) and the international video-on-demand (VOD) streaming service, Netflix. There’s no love lost, and Netflix has just released a very South African-flavoured ad that takes a not-so-gentle dig at its satellite-focused competitor. Netflix published a video on Twitter this week that pokes fun a...[Read More]

Technology doesn’t have to be lonely: encouraging dialogue over diatribe

Do you ever feel like when you post to Facebook, you’re publishing into a void where nobody is listening? You’re not the only one. A recent study reported that people are lonelier and more depressed due to technology – and it’s making us feel isolated. But, while technology is at the heart of it, we believe it’s not technology itself that’s the problem, rather it’s how we use it. Technology can ma...[Read More]

How tech companies are successfully disrupting terrorist social media activity

In June 2017, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft announced the formation of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT). The aim of this industry-led initiative is to disrupt the terrorist exploitation of its services. Recently, GIFCT members hailed the achievements of its first year of operations. But, while this progress must be acknowledged, significant challenges remain. Every ...[Read More]

How to download your personal data from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

The personal data debacle has been going strong since Facebook ‘accidentally’ decided a few users’ personal information wasn’t important enough to secure, and they kinda sold access to it to someone. This has prompted other social media platforms (a few of which are also owned by Facebook) to roll out ‘download your data’ features. This after the public suddenly realised that these guys have perso...[Read More]

On Twitter? Change your password right now

This is not a drill. Twitter has revealed it’s discovered a bug that stored passwords in plain text in its internal system. Oops. In other words, change your password for the service now. Also, now Twitter may know your childhood pet’s name, your birthday, or whatever else you’ve been using for a password. Of course, it means if it’s unwittingly been compromised, someone else mig...[Read More]

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