HAPPY ED BALLS DAY

ed-balls-580

Excerpt from this article:

In the annals of pseudo-holidays… there is none, to my mind, more pleasing than April 28th, on which Britons the Internet wide observe the anniversary of the time a distracted politician accidentally tweeted his own name… The politician in question is the Labour M.P. and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Edward Michael (Ed) Balls. At 4:20 p.m. on April 28, 2011, Balls was in a grocery store in Yorkshire, picking up the ingredients for his signature fourteen-hour pulled pork. Somewhere between the white buns and the watermelon, he got a call from an aide. The aide urged him to search Twitter for an article that mentioned him. Balls hit the wrong key on his Blackberry and tweeted the now immortal phrase: “Ed Balls.”

A Very British Response to Terror

Excerpt from this article:

These moments encapsulated something about Britain’s calm, defiant response to the threat of terror. Even as we face an increasing number of attacks, we are learning to cope with grief, loss and violence in our own way…

In the face of this, we’re choosing vigilance, calm and just a little bit of humor. And any fear projected on to us will be met with a very British response: Sarcasm.

…A New York Times headline that said that London was “reeling” from the Manchester attack also became the subject of British Twitter’s wrath. Brits turned #ThingsThatLeaveBritainReeling into a hashtag that started to trend higher than the news of the attack itself.

See also this article on #ThingsThatLeaveBritainReeling.

Forget conspiracy theories – here’s why Google’s ‘Conservatives are’ blacklist is worrying

Google Conserative

Excerpt from this article:

This week, people noticed that entering “Conservatives are” to Google doesn’t result in any suggested searches popping up – in contrast to searches for “Labour are”, which offers up “… finished”, “… a joke”, and “… scum”, or “Libdems are”, which offers “… finished”, “… pointless” and “… traitors” as search suggestions.

It’s not the first time seemingly arbitrary Google search suggestions have hit the news. The service generally allows suggestions to be produced purely algorithmically, based on common searches. But sometimes it steps in, either to remove specific suggestions, or, more typically, to override the system and prevent a specific term returning any searches at all.

It’s that lack of explanation that leads some to leap to conspiracy. There’s no evidence to suggest when the term “Conservatives” was added to the blacklist, and Google won’t tell me, but the mere timing of its discovery has drawn people to ask whether it’s part of some shady deal regarding the company’s £130m sweetheart deal with HMRC over back taxes.

 

How the battle against IS is being fought online

woman holding #notinmyname placard

Excerpt from this article:

The battle against Islamic State (IS) militants has been fought in part on social networks, and has raised the question – how best to counter the message being spread by jihadists?

Analysis by BBC News shows that over the course of Friday evening the hashtag [#notinmyname] reached an audience equivalent to those sitting down to watch the main news bulletins. The hashtag was the brainchild of the Active Change Foundation, an organisation dedicated to fighting extremism.  Hanif Qadir of ACF said he and the young people at the organisation came up with the campaign because the broad mass of ordinary Muslim voices couldn’t be heard. They wanted to take back online space occupied by IS.

“It’s a simple message,” he says. “It’s Muslims [and] non-Muslims saying no way, not in the name of Islam, and not in the name of any faith or humanity, It’s a very very powerful message and very simple.”

“This is the most socially-mediated conflict in history,” he says. “You literally have thousands of foreign fighters from all over the world using social media in order to convey the message about the jihad that they are fighting.

“If I am a 20-year-old kid in Bradford who is thinking about going to Syria, I can go online and talk to another 20-year-old from Birmingham, London or Manchester and find out about their experiences and have a two-way conversation with a peer who has undergone the exact same thought processes that I have gone through and has faced all the challenges that I am about to embark upon.”

 

Study Finds Londoners Take the Most Miserable Selfies

Excerpt from this article:

The Big Bang Data Exhibition, a new project from selfiecity, collected selfies from Bangkok, London, Berlin, Moscow, New York and Sao Paulo. A team of media researchers, data scientists and information designers then used the images in order to compare and contrast a bunch of interesting things, like emotional expression, physical poses, gender and different age ranges.

The findings show that… London has an average of 0.55 on the happiness emotion scale (with 1 being the most happy) in comparison to the 0.62 average of other cities in the study.