The Four Faces of Facebook

Brand X Journal

Excerpt from this article:

…Researchers also found they could easily categorize users into four broad types: ‘relationship builders,’ ‘window shoppers,’ ‘town criers,’ and ‘selfies’.”

Relationship builders: …does not consider Facebook an ‘open virtual social society but rather a mini-hub site for personal storytelling, where information freely flows between friends and family’.

Window Shoppers: Driven by ‘a sense of social obligation’ to be on Facebook, window shoppers see Facebook as an inescapable part of modern life…

Town Criers: They might broadcast information they feel compelled to share to a wide range of close and distant connections, but they’re not looking for a follow-up…

Selfies: …they do it primarily to call attention to themselves… to create a better—or different—versions of themselves.

Apple’s Don’t Disturb While Driving Mode Is a Blunt Answer to a Nuanced Problem

Excerpt from this article:

Apple announced a bunch of whizz-bang thingamabobs at its Worldwide Developers Conference this week—a new iPad, the Homepod, smart security upgrades. But it’s a little fanfared feature that might save the most lives: Do Not Disturb While Driving mode extends the company’s existing Do Not Disturb mode to the car. The original is great for meetings and naps; the newcomer might prevent you from killing yourself and others.

Why People Love When AI Makes Mistakes

Excerpt from this article:

So why is an algorithm’s blunder so gratifying? As of yet, AI hasn’t quite mastered being human, which is why chatbots make for such awkward conversationalists. But as technology continues to advance – from bots that are equipped with a sense of humour to virtual assistants that can flirt with their bosses – people are starting to feel uncomfortable with their own role in the AI-human dynamic. This manifests in a phenomenon coined by German psychologists Stein and Ohler as ‘the Uncanny Valley of the mind’.

As human-bot interaction becomes increasingly common, fears over the future of robotics are spiking; two-thirds of Americans are worried that machines will have taken over human jobs by 2065, and they’re more scared of robots than they are of death. So when there’s a glitch in an AI system, it reminds people that they, as humans, are safe in their own supremacy – and still one step ahead of the automatons.

Almost all internet searches in Africa bring up only results from the US and France

A man is photographed on a square decorated with a giant world map, with marks showing former Portuguese colonies, in Lisbon March 6, 2012. Portugal flourished as a global power with explorers like Vasco da Gama and Pedro Alvares Cabral building an empire which lasted for 600 years. Now a new wave of adventurers is once again seeking work, and hopefully fortune, elsewhere. Emigrating is fast becoming a preferred option for many seeking a decent living as their bailed-out economy suffers under debt, low growth and poor competitiveness. Portugal's booming ex-colonies in Africa and Brazil are a natural choice. Picture taken March 6, 2012. To match Feature PORTUGAL/EMIGRATION

Excerpt from this article:

Only eight countries in Africa have a majority of content that is locally produced. Most content comes from the United States and to a lesser extent, France, according to a new study published in the Annals of the American Association of Geographers. In Africa, only South Africa and Madagascar ranked high in terms of local content. Even capitals or large cities like Lagos see little local content in Google search results.

“This gives rise to a form of digital hegemony, whereby producers in a few countries get to define what is read by others,” researchers Andrea Ballatore, Mark Graham, and Shilad Sen concluded. They analyzed more than 33,000 Google search results for 188 capital cities and found that the US accounted for over half of the first page of results for 61 countries.

Early advocates of the internet’s democratizing power believed it would give people more of a voice about their own communities and countries. Instead, it appears to be reinforcing digital divides between wealthier and better connected countries and poorer, less developed countries.

4 innovative ways India is using WhatsApp

A boy uses a mobile phone as he sits inside his father's snacks shop along a road in Kolkata, India, February 22, 2016. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX27ZEW

Excerpt from this article:

In recent years, the authorities have caught on to WhatsApp’s potential for engaging more directly with the Indian public, especially in some of the country’s megacities.

Increasing women’s safety

A WhatsApp safety group enables New Delhi women who travel by public transport to send photos and details of the vehicle to the police before boarding it. Set up as both a deterrent for sex crimes and to boost women’s confidence, the group can also be used to alert the police in emergencies.

Reporting offences…

Holding politicians to account…

Helping flood victims

Every App Should Steal Instagram’s Latest Feature

Excerpt from this article:

We all have those moments we’d like to forget. Or, more accurately, we all have those moments we’d like everyone else to forget. And for these situations, Instagram is debuting its best new feature since the Hudson filter: the option to archive posts, rather than simply delete them. Delivered in an update rolling out this week, the new feature lets you go to any old image, tap into the options, and hit “archive.” The post will go into a private gallery. And if you ever want to return it to your feed, there’s a button to unarchive it, too.

I’d like to see every social media service borrow the idea. Because it’s a stupidly perfect solution to a huge problem: that while we grow into ever-more realized versions of ourselves every day, we’re nonetheless trailed by permanent evidence of every dumb thing we’ve said or photographed on the internet in our earlier, stupider days.