Category Archives: Twitter

New Media and Democracy: From Trolls to Bots
Date Created: January 20, 2013  Date Modified: January 20, 2013

As mentioned in my earlier New Media and Democracy posts, the conservative coalition have had no qualms about enlisting the help from their young supporters to muddy the waters of political discourse, well it seems they have stepped up their game and hired a coder to automate their trolling with the use of bots.

Tiphereth Gloria, social media expert with VML Australia, said the bot evidence presented in the Storify post appeared to be accurate and she believes it pointed to a Liberal Party campaign. The fake accounts appeared to be part of a “propaganda war” effort to “increase share of voice of anti-Labor sentiment”.

Separately, other spam bot accounts are more blatant. One suspected anti-Labor bot Twitter profile with over 88,000 tweets is @LaborDirt, which pumps out a constant stream of anti-Labor content. Anti-Gillard account @GI-Gillard has reportedly been retweeted by the same bots that retweeted Mr Hunt’s tweet.
Source: SMH

A Storify user calling themself The Geek has followed this a little closer than I have:

Update 1: Since publishing this story earlier, I have put together a growing list of LNP Bots here:
https://twitter.com/geeksrulz/greg-hunt-bots/members
Also at last count 19 January 2013, there were about 40 genuine retweets out of 175 in total for this tweet. The Bots are tweeting via an app or platform called “The People’s Voice”. Has anyone heard of this? Contact me @geeksrulz on Twitter.
Update 2: I tweeted a link last night to my storify feature is.gd/3r9Xj1 to @GregHuntMP for comment. No response so far.
Update 3: Since shining a light on this single tweet by Greg Hunt, the retweets have jumped to 192. They are by real LNP supporters who are possibly coming to Greg Hunt’s rescue to even up the ratio between spambots and real people.

Update 4: It appears that Twitter has finally acted and they have suspended the spambots that were identified. With friends like these, who needs enemies.

Update 5: Henk Luf is threatening to sue me for using his name in this feature. (Oops just did it again.) I have threatened to sue him back if he keeps using my name in his political tweets. Please go to the special Henk Luf section below if you can be bothered. See, spambots are missing out on all the fun that real people have 🙂
Update 6: Finally a response from Greg Hunt via @bennpackham. Greg Hunt says he hasn’t got the technical skills to pull off such a ruse. Fair point. I wonder how he managed to get his website up and running.
http://storify.com/geeksrulz/the-desperation-of-a-liberal-mp

He goes on to point out further details of this troll, and even gives an example of another Conservative MP doing the same…

Can we make legaslative provisions to prevent this type of trolling? or will we just be making an over-regulated online media? I dont have a solution to this other that teach ethics in Computer Science 101.

[REPORT] Social Media as a Tool for Inclusion
Date Created: November 6, 2012  Date Modified: November 19, 2012

I was quite interested in this report by the Canadian Human Resources and Skills Development Canada; Social Media as a Tool for Inclusion. I have looked into some of the issues around special-needs users of the internet, and have dealt with web accessibility in the front lines, but what piked my interest in this report was that it covered two demographics often overlooked–Indigenous and the homeless.

The objectives of the study were to determine the extent, nature and benefits of social media use by five vulnerable populations – Aboriginal peoples, people with disabilities, recent immigrants, the homeless and seniors – and by the institutions that serve them, and to explore the extent to which such media help to overcome social isolation and barriers to inclusion

The homeless are often an invisible demographic, and in a traditional web1.0 paradigm the notion of sitting down to a desktop computer to surf the internet is not seen as in the capacity for the homeless, however the more the net has moved onto devices the more uptake and more visible this demographic will be. The digital divide persists, but the advances of technology are making it easier for users with limited means to be able to access the digital realm.

…given the dire daily challenges of the homeless and those that serve them. It is surprising that no pertinent Canadian academic studies on this topic were unearthed, online or otherwise, during the course of this research. Nevertheless, anecdotal reporting indicates that the internet and social media are extensively used by the homeless, especially those under 30, and this finding resonates with those of several U.S. studies on the topic

Having dealt with homelessness first hand, I knew from my own experiences what benefits I gained from the use of social media–in fact the catalyst for me to create a Facebook account back in 2007 was part of a need to reconnect with those who I had lost contact with during my diaspora.Having dealt with homelessness first hand, I knew from my own experiences what benefits I gained from the use of social media–in fact the catalyst for me to create a Facebook account back in 2007 was part of a need to reconnect with those who I had lost contact with during my diaspora.

The number one issue for homeless people is loneliness; many have left behind them a trail of lost or damaged relationships. Facebook is seen to help the homeless regain contact with family members and actually help them rebuild relationships. A youth worker writes: “I frequently use Facebook as a means of staying in touch with youth who are homeless. They are often without a regular phone or address, but will find a way to update their Facebook status. This way I can continue to support them wherever they are at.”

UPDATE: If you are homeless in Western Australia, the Department of Housing have a homeless assistance hotline you can call: 1800 065 892 for help and assistance.

[REPORT] Digital Freedoms in International Law
Date Created: October 29, 2012  Date Modified: October 29, 2012

Released Monday from Global Network Initiative, is the following report Digital Freedoms in International Law, which addresses many of the issues relating to protecting human rights on-line. It looks into state driven censorship in oppressive regimes such as Saudi Arabia and it also highlights the lack of accountability corporations have in the digital eco-system when it comes to human rights violations:

…there are special problems in applying law generally, and human rights law in particular, to the new global, digital environment. Laws are still mainly drawn up for an environment with clearly defined territorial jurisdictions. And much of the control over the Internet rests in the hands of private companies, whereas traditional human rights law almost entirely focused on states. This raises problems of both “prescriptive” and “enforcement” jurisdiction, and of “privatised” (or semi-­-privatised) law enforcement, without adequate remedies.
Page 14

Also mentioned is the corporate sectors willingness to comply with take down requests, and that they have a moral obligation not to facilitate such:

companies should think in advance of possible risks arising from undue state demands made upon them, and they should take measures – including technical measures – to try and make it possible for them to deny or at least minimise their cooperation. They must afterwards help the victims of their enforced cooperation with such allegedly undue and illegal state actions, to alleviate the harm done as much as possible.
Page 23

I would however suggest that it is the corporate interests manipulating the states; tho this might be me speaking from a political, rather than a legal perspective.

Me as an infographic
Date Created: October 3, 2011  Date Modified: October 3, 2011

Considering the data is so limited, being only a recent twitter adopter, the followig infographic from visual.ly is remarkably accurate.

I cant wait for them to open up the API

Who has more Klout; Branson, Gates or Tim O’Rielly?
Date Created: September 22, 2011  Date Modified: September 22, 2011

I was playing with hootsuite today after looking at my lowrering Klout (Obviously due to deleting my FB) score and noticed that those on my twitter list the Klout of the following:

Screen Cap: Klout for Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Tim O'Rielly

I expected O’Rielly to out rank Branson, but Gates also? and Gates less than Branson?. Im interested to know how Jobs ranks but there is no way Im following him on twitter.

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