Children Taken From Maryland Couple After YouTube ‘Prank’ Videos

Excerpt from this article:

A Maryland couple who played elaborate “pranks” on their children, then racked up millions of views on YouTube before critics accused them of abuse, could end up losing two of their children after their biological mother obtained a court order for temporary custody.

…The parents first defended the videos, posted on the DaddyOFive account with more than 760,000 subscribers, as a harmless family activity that the children enjoyed, but they have gone on an apology tour after widespread criticism emerged in April. In the videos, the couple verbally berated their five school-age children, frequently to the point of tears, while performing stunts like appearing to destroy an Xbox video game system and accusing the children of making messes they had not made.

Did trolls cost Twitter $3.5bn and its sale?

Twitter’s market cap is down $3.5bn from its peak at the height of the buyout rumours

Excerpt from this article:

Twitter might have finally found some motivation to deal with its troll problem. Three and a half billion motivations, really.

The company has spent the past few months courting potential buyouts from companies including Google, Disney, and enterprise software firm Salesforce.

That last suitor came closest of them all to actually making an offer, apparently driven by the potential of Twitter to provide an in-house social network that could be mined for data, used as a casual communication channel between customers and corporations, and tweaked into a passable professional networking service.

But in the end, it passed. And part of the reason, according to CNBC’s Jim Cramer, is the company’s long-running problem dealing with trolls. “What’s happened is, a lot of the bidders are looking at people with lots of followers and seeing the hatred,” Cramer said. “Twitter says ‘listen, we have a filter’. I mean, the filter filters out a very small amount of the haters, and I know that the haters reduce the value of the company.”

 

Snapchat frees sex abuse survivors to talk

SnapChat filters

Excerpt from this article:

Staring into the lens, the survivors have found themselves able to speak candidly, without fear of identification or repercussions.

Yusuf Omar, the mobile editor at the Hindustan Times has been using the filters to disguise the faces of women he interviews, while still allowing facial expressions to be visible.

“Eyes are the window to the soul,” says Yusuf. “And because of the face-mapping technology that Snapchat uses to make these filters work you don’t lose that.

“The dragon filter one of the girls used actually exaggerated them, so you can clearly see her expressions as she speaks.

 

Is it the Beginning of the End for Online Comments?

The Daily Dot recently became the latest news website to get rid of user comments

Excerpt from this article:

Vibrant online communities? Or cesspools of abuse? Have comments had their day?

The debate about comment sections on news sites is often as divisive as the comments themselves. Recently outlets such as The Verge and The Daily Dot have closed their comments sections because they’ve become too hard to manage. And they’re far from alone.

That’s the downside. But it’s also worth remembering that many news organisations – including the BBC – have used comments sections to make real connections with audiences, find stories, and turn what was once a one-way street into a multi-headed conversation.

In our experience, our community hasn’t evolved in our comments. It’s evolved in our social media accounts. To have comments, you have to be very active, and if you’re not incredibly active, what ends up happening is a mob can shout down all the other people on your site. In an environment that isn’t heavily curated it becomes about silencing voices and not about opening up voices.