Twitter Drops Its Egg, The Unintended Avatar Of Harassment

Excerpt from this article:

Since 2010, the default avatar on Twitter has been an egg. The idea apparently was that a new user was like a gestating bird, soon to make its first tweet. It was designed to be playful and cute.

But over time, Twitter’s eggs came to symbolize something different: users who remain shadowy on purpose, to harass their fellow tweeters.

Today, Twitter announced that it was doing away with the egg as its default avatar, opting instead for a nondescript person-shape figure. No more bright colors, either — the new avatar is all gray.

‘Sim or human?’ Model with cartoon-like features sends Instagram into a frenzy as fans debate whether she’s real or not

The latest Insta-famous model Lil Miquela has sent her fanbase of more than 65,000 into a frenzy as they debate whether she's a real person or not

Excerpt from this article:

With her plump lips, huge eyes and doll-like demeanour, she looks as if she could have stepped straight out of a video game

So perhaps it’s no wonder the latest Insta-famous model Lil Miquela has sent her fanbase of more than 65,000 into a frenzy as they debate whether she’s a real person or not.

Miquela regularly treats her Instagram followers to pictures of her posing in off-duty model worthy athleisure, visiting nightclubs and art galleries.

For Japan’s ‘stranded singles’, virtual love beats the real thing

Dating sims hold appeal for many young Japanese who face a long wait for a real-life partner.

Excerpt from this article (thanks for the link Paul!):

Japan’s apparently waning interest in true love is creating not just a marriage crisis but a relationship crisis, leading young people to forgo finding a partner and resort to falling for fictional characters in online and video games.

New figures show that more than 70% of unmarried Japanese men and 75% of women have never had any sexual experience by the time they reach 20, though that drops to almost 50% for each gender by the time they reach 25.

According to Professor Masahiro Yamada, a sociologist at Chuo University in Tokyo, who has coined the phrase “stranded singles” for the phenomenon, the rise in virginity rates is matched by a rise in the lack of interest in having any kind of “real” relationship.

Recent research by the Japanese government showed that about 30% of single women and 15% of single men aged between 20 and 29 admitted to having fallen in love with a meme or character in a game – higher than the 24% of those women and 11% of men who admitted to falling in love with a pop star or actor.

The development of the multimillion-pound virtual romance industry in Japan reflects the existence of a growing number of people who don’t have a real-life partner, said Yamada. There is even a slang term, “moe”, for those who fall in love with fictional computer characters, while dating sims allow users to adjust the mood and character of online partners and are aimed at women as much as men. A whole subculture, including hotel rooms where a guest can take their console partner for a romantic break, has been springing up in Japan over the past six or seven years.

The Weird Reasons Why People Make Up False Identities on the Internet

sockpuppets

Excerpt from this article:

We can’t physically meet most of the people we interact with on the internet. So we create avatars who represent us in the online world, personae that are designed—on some level, conscious or subconscious—to shape others’ ideas about who we really are. Indeed, it’s natural for us to create avatars that represent what we want to be rather than what we are. And it’s only a short step from there to manipulating others’ perceptions of us to give ourselves an advantage of some sort, to deceive. To become puppet masters.