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An anti-trolling legislation is set for implementation on the 3rd of December by the Australian federal government in a bid to fight against cyber-bullying throughout various big-name social media platforms.
If websites like Facebook and Instagram refuse to take down offensive material and harassment, they could face fines of up to $17,000 per day - that is if Australian children are involved.
The Syrian Electronic Army hacking group have recently attacked the commenting platform Gigya, implementing popups in popular news websites such as The Independent - starting as of early this morning.
The affected websites include large-names such as The Telegraph, CNBC, PC World and The Chicago Tribune. According to Patrick Salyer, Gigya's chief executive, these hackers were able to alter the 'whois' domain registration record for Gigya.
What's one of people's favorite things to do these days? Complain about Facebook. For those who wish to do more than simply 'like for world peace', Tsu has offered up their own social networking alternative for those gutsy enough to make the plunge.
The first question you've got to ask is, what does Tsu do differently to the other copious amounts of Facebook alternatives out there? A quick look at their information page points something out straight away - "Social media should be paying you".
According to Tsu, you can sign up today - all you need is an invite from another member, or you can use the generic invite that they will provide to you anyway. They believe that they will be leading the 'social revolution', providing 90% of their total revenue from advertising and sales towards their customer base.
If you check for your local police department on Twitter, Facebook or some other social media platform, it's likely you can find them being relatively active. Law enforcement officers are able to communicate with citizens in an informal manner, while also receiving tips and information regarding local activities. In fact, 82 percent of recent survey respondents think digital tools assist in improving police services, while 79 percent would choose digital interaction over face-to-face communications.
"Social media has been called by some the 21st-century method of walking the beat and interacting with citizens to gain the information needed by police to keep the community safe and solve crime," said Glenn Springfield, the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office public information officer. "People are so much more comfortable using their computing, staying behind their screen and not having to talk to somebody. Some people are shy and don't want to call the police."
In addition to interacting with citizens interacting with police via social media, don't be surprised if the local police agencies are more proactive in tracking social media. Keeping active on the Internet allows law enforcement to be more proactive while collecting information for investigations.
Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence isn't a big fan of social media, and fans shouldn't expect to see her on Twitter anytime soon. If you remember correctly, Lawrence was one of the highest-profile celebrities hit in the Apple iCloud hacking incident, where naked photos of the actress were compromised and posted online.
"I'm not very good on phones or technology," Lawrence recently said. "I cannot really keep up with emails, so the idea of Twitter is so unthinkable to me. I don't really understand what it is, it's this weird enigma that people talk about. And it's fine, I respect that, but no, I will never get a Twitter. And if you ever see a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram that says it's me; it most certainly is not."
Speaking of movies, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I racked up $123 million during its opening weekend in the US box office.
The Islamic State cleverly uses the Internet to spread propaganda and recruit new militants, and the group currently might be looking to evolve its cyber abilities. Each time a social media company, or video site boots the group, it only finds new methods to share its gruesome and reprehensible messages, according to security experts.
"They are posing a threat on multiple fronts," said Army Brig. Gen. Peter Gallagher, US Central Command director of communications, in a recent statement. "I don't want to get into what they may or may not be able to do in the world of cyber, I will tell you they are obviously a threat and we are doing everything in our power to mitigate the threat."
Even though Islamic State has been banned by several social networking websites, the group is still actively able to recruit new members in the Western world. Ideally, the group's members make contact with young women - to convince them to head to Syria - where they are often brainwashed and married to Islamic State rebels. The group also finds new fighters willing to pick up arms in Syria and Iraq, with social media used as a first point of contact.
Facebook's London office is reportedly developing a new Facebook At Work project that will vie directly with LinkedIn. With a user base of 1.3 billion Facebook can leverage their existing membership to challenge LinkedIn for work-based social networking market share. LinkedIn has experienced rapid growth and now has over 200 million users, but lacks many refined features that Facebook can easily provide. Facebook At Work will enable collaborative workflows through document sharing, and also add messaging and chat services via their Messenger service.
Facebook intends to separate work and personal profiles, and there is no word yet if Facebook will charge a premium for the service. LinkedIn derives much of its profit from enhanced membership options, but Facebook can likely offer better services by simply embedding advertisements into the feed. Facebook will also draw fire from competing Google and Microsoft services, such as Google Drive and Office 365. Many corporations are familiar with using cloud-based services for employee collaboration, and if Facebook offers a compelling solution they can potentially grab a huge chunk of market share in this space. There is no announced release date of the new service, but estimates expect release in 2015.
Twitter has opened up its servers, and its wallet to researchers over at MIT's Media Lab, in order to get some insights into tweets. The social network has provided $10 million, and every single public tweet ever posted for 'research'.
The researchers are working under the title "Laboratory of Social Machines" and has access to Twitter's "fire hose" of live public tweets, as well as every single tweet posted since the social network first opened back in 2006. With Twitter's, and the public's raw data, the MIT researchers hope to "create new platforms for both individuals and institutions to identify, discuss, and act on pressing societal problems".
The goals of the MIT group aren't exactly clear right now, but it looks like they are concentrating on the consensus of social media platforms like Twitter, where it can be incredibly hard to draw conclusions from hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions of differing opinions. The Laboratory of Social Machines explains: "Pattern discovery and data visualization will be explored to reveal interaction patterns and shared interests in relevant social systems, collaborative tools and mobile apps will be developed to enable new forms of public communication and social organization".
Twitter has given the Massachusetts Institute of Technology a $10 million grant to help study social networks and how they help users achieve goals with one another. The Laboratory for Social Machines will analyze Twitter, Reddit and other online social forums to help build tools for researchers and journalists over the next five years.
The lure of social media has evolved from regular users sharing personal thoughts into a long-term effective business tool - and MIT's access to Gnip, the Twitter-owned website that also stores older tweets, will give MIT researchers a large library of data to analyze.
"Social feedback loops based on analysis on public media and data can be an effective catalyst for increasing accountability and transparency," said Deb Roy, MIT Laboratory for Social Machines associated professor and chief media scientist at Twitter.
A Twitter account reportedly used by the Al Nusra Al Maqdisia (The Supporters of Jerusalem), a group that has pledged its loyalty to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), recently issued death threats against Twitter employees in the United States. The @dawlamoon account was quickly suspended, but not after urging "lone wolf attacks" targeting Twitter employees at the company's San Francisco headquarters.
ISIS and its affiliate groups use social media to recruit new members, spread propaganda, and antagonize rivals - but official terrorist group accounts are being purged from Twitter and other networks - which has apparently upset the Al Nusra Al Maqdisia.
It's unknown if Twitter is boosting security at its headquarters, but the federal government is aware of the tweets.