Tag Archives: Social Media

The Crisis of Social Media

By Adrian Shahbaz and Allie Funk – Internet freedom is increasingly imperiled by the tools and tactics of digital authoritarianism, which have spread rapidly around the globe. Repressive regimes, elected incumbents with authoritarian ambitions, and unscrupulous partisan operatives have exploited the unregulated spaces of social media platforms, converting them into instruments for political distortion and societal control.

While social media have at times served as a level playing field for civic discussion, they are now tilting dangerously toward illiberalism, exposing citizens to an unprecedented crackdown on their fundamental freedoms. Moreover, a startling variety of governments are deploying advanced tools to identify and monitor users on an immense scale.

As a result of these trends, global internet freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2019.

Social media allow ordinary people, civic groups, and journalists to reach a vast audience at little or no cost, but they have also provided an extremely useful and inexpensive platform for malign influence operations by foreign and domestic actors alike.

Political leaders employed individuals to surreptitiously shape online opinions in 38 of the 65 countries covered in this report—a new high.

In many countries, the rise of populism and far-right extremism has coincided with the growth of hyperpartisan online mobs that include both authentic users and fraudulent or automated accounts. They build large audiences around similar interests, lace their political messaging with false or inflammatory content, and coordinate its dissemination across multiple platforms.

Cross-border influence operations, which first drew widespread attention as a result of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential contest, are also an increasingly common problem.

Authorities in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and a growing list of other countries have expanded their efforts to manipulate the online environment and influence foreign political outcomes over the past year. Malicious actors are no doubt emboldened by the failure of democratic states to update transparency and financing rules that are vital to free and fair elections, and apply them effectively to the online sphere. more>

I’m a hacker, and here’s how your social media posts help me break into your company

By Stephanie Carruthers – Think twice before you snap and share that office selfie, #firstday badge pic, or group photo at work.

Hackers are trolling social media for photos, videos, and other clues that can help them better target your company in an attack. I know this because I’m one of them.

Fortunately, in my case, the “victim” of these attacks is paying me to hack them. My name is Snow, and I’m part of an elite team of hackers within IBM known as X-Force Red. Companies hire us to find gaps in their security–before the real bad guys do. For me, that means scouring the internet for information, tricking employees into revealing things over the phone, and even using disguises to break my way into your office.

Social media posts are a goldmine for details that aid in our “attacks.” What you find in the background of photos is particularly revealing–from security badges to laptop screens, or even Post-its with passwords.

No one wants to be the source of an unintended social media security fail. So let me explain how seemingly innocuous posts can help me–or a malicious hacker–target your company.

The first thing you may be surprised to know is that 75% of the time, the information I’m finding is coming from interns or new hires. Younger generations entering the workforce today have grown up on social media, and internships or new jobs are exciting updates to share. Add in the fact that companies often delay security training for new hires until weeks or months after they’ve started, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

Knowing this weak point, along with some handy hashtags, allows me to find tons of information I need within just a few hours. Take a look for yourself on your favorite social apps for posts tagged with #firstday, #newjob, or #intern + [#companyname].

So, what exactly am I looking for in these posts?

There are four specific kinds of risky social media posts that a hacker can use to their advantage. more>

How Social Media Became a Pink Collar Job

By Jessi Hempel – One job in the digital economy falls predominantly to women. It’s an oft-overlooked position, drawing on both marketing and editorial skills, that has become increasingly critical both to business success and online discourse. The pay is poor, and the respect can be limited. Take a look at the job posting for any social media manager. You’ll discover the same bias in its language, in reverse: a bias for sourcing female candidates.

The feminized nature of social media employment, Brooke Erin Duffy and Becca Schwartz argue, is connected to its “characteristic invisibility, lower pay, and marginal status” within the tech industry.

The study also suggests companies are seeking out candidates capable of “emotional labor.” This falls into two buckets. Companies advertise for candidates who are “upbeat” and “kind-hearted,” and capable, generally, of the emotional finesse involved in wrangling a brand’s messages into 140-character tweets, managing its employees so that they participate, and interacting with the wider audience of brand loyalists.

But social managers must also withstand the vitriol of the trolls who target Tweeters and posters with an expanding vocabulary of hate speech. more>

Supreme Court Just Ruled That Using Social Media Is a Constitutional Right

By Ephrat Livni – Public space in the digital age has no shape and no physical place. But the Supreme Court is now sorting out what that means for free-speech rights.

On June 19, the justices unanimously held that states can’t broadly limit access to social media because cyberspace “is one of the most important places to exchange views.”

“A fundamental First Amendment principle is that all persons have access to places where they can speak and listen, and then, after reflection, speak and listen once more,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote. Given the fact that social-media platforms in particular allow for this kind of free communication, and that the constitution protects the right to exchange, more> https://goo.gl/XRLDt7

A Dangerous Game

By Kenneth T. Walsh – President Donald Trump is playing a dangerous game. He is adding a very disruptive ingredient to his governing approach – potentially alienating and confusing his own staff and the lawyers who are trying to defend him in his legal battle to crack down on terrorism and illegal immigration. In the process, Trump is giving everyone a window into his mind, and the view is filled with anger and an eagerness for combat, not unity or conciliation.

Overall, Trump typically wraps his Twitter rants in an angry and dismissive tone, and his diatribes frequently go far afield from the issues that Trump says are his top priorities, such as creating jobs, cutting taxes and overhauling the healthcare system. He even got into a public feud with London Mayor Sadiq Khan over how to respond to terrorism in the wake of the lethal attacks in London a week ago. more> https://goo.gl/aYN2iY

Collegefeed, a more employable, less social public profile

By Mark Gibbs – Something that most social media users don’t think about is what their public persona looks like. They also don’t realize that that persona is part of what you might call their “digital permanent record.”

You register then create a profile in which you include personal information, and connect to your LinkedIn account which will automatically populate your profile. You can then follow companies, apply for jobs, and submit your own comments about interviews you’ve had anonymously as well as research what others experienced in interviews (this is actually a gold mine if you’re prepping for an interview with a particular company). more> http://tinyurl.com/qx3y5yk

The social media manager is dead. Long live social media.

By Ryan Holmes – Once touted as the next big thing, the social media job market has undergone a marked slowdown, according to newly released stats from career site Indeed.com. Growth in positions with the title “social media manager” slowed to 50% in the past year, a dramatic decline from recent years, when triple (and even quadruple) digit growth was commonplace.

Behind the decline in social media managers is a sea change in the way that social media itself is used within organizations, according to industry analysts and former managers themselves. Once the exclusive domain of digital gurus, Twitter, Facebook (FB), and other tools are gradually becoming everyone’s responsibility. more> http://tinyurl.com/o4oeego

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Why Some People Have No Boundaries Online

By Adam Grant – Many people are often shocked by what others post online.

There are two key factors that drive a person’s social media choices, according to new work by researchers Ariane Ollier-Malaterre, Nancy Rothbard and Justin Berg. One is boundary preferences: Are you an integrator or segmentor?

If you’re an integrator, you like to build bridges between your professional and personal lives.

If you’re a segmentor, you like to keep your professional and personal lives separate.

Impressers see social media as a vehicle for looking good€”they want to build a positive reputation and attract a strong base of followers. more> http://tinyurl.com/qjuc2xv

How the News Got Less Mean

By Eliana Dockterman – The recipe for attracting visitors to stories online is changing. Bloggers have traditionally turned to sarcasm and snark to draw attention. But the success of sites like BuzzFeed and Upworthy, whose philosophies embrace the viral nature of upbeat stories, hints that the Web craves positivity.

The reason: social media. Researchers are discovering that people want to create positive images of themselves online by sharing upbeat stories. And with more people turning to Facebook and Twitter to find out what’s happening in the world, news stories may need to cheer up in order to court an audience. If social is the future of media, then optimistic stories might be media’s future. more> http://tinyurl.com/lppbrj8

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Empowering Your Customers? Think Twice About Social Media Campaigns

Science Daily – Companies that succeed in empowering their customers may find it difficult to implement a successful social media campaign. Empowered consumers will either ignore or rebel against any perceived attempt to influence them.

“Many companies have embraced the concept of consumer empowerment. However, they should consider whether attempts to integrate social influence (word-of-mouth marketing, social network marketing, buzz marketing) might backfire with empowered consumers” more> http://tinyurl.com/mbg8bs8

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