.
September 17th, 2014
09:30 AM ET

"Humans of New York" a window to the world

The very act of observing something changes it.

Brandon Stanton, the 30-year-old photographer behind the Humans of New York blog, experiences this daily. The formula is simple: he walks up to strangers, takes their portraits, asks a few questions and documents the interaction.

"I don't pretend to be showing the whole person," Stanton says. "What I want to do is give people a small window into the lives of these people that they might pass by every single day and not even think twice about."

Since August, Humans of New York has gone global. The United Nations is sponsoring Stanton's world tour to promote its Millenium Development goals.

"We're trying to go to a variety of different places and just listen to people around the world, and hear their stories as they tell them," Stanton says.

So far those places have ranged from a shopping mall in Erbil, Iraq to a refugee camp in Jordan... a bar in Kampala, Uganda to a sidewalk in Kiev, Ukraine.

News Stream caught up with Stanton while he was in New Delhi, India. Hear about some of the most powerful experiences from his trip in the video above.

October 3rd, 2013
02:07 PM ET

What is Twitter's true value?

Twitter is widely expected to make public its IPO documents this week.

All the talk about a Twitter float got us thinking about the fundamental value of Twitter.

What is its true purpose? Who uses it... really? And just how will it make money?

I hit all those points with News Stream contributor Nicholas Thompson, editor of the NewYorker.com. He points out that Twitter is not as titanic as it's often made out to be.

August 12th, 2013
01:49 PM ET

How to fight online bullies

What can be done to fight an outbreak of online threats and bullying in the UK?

British Prime Minister David Cameron has called for a boycott of sites that allow cyberbullying, while asking for website operators to "step up to the plate" and show some responsibility.

A number of companies have pulled their ads from Ask.fm, the site where 14-year-old Hannah Smith was bullied before she committed suicide.

British MP Barry Sheerman wants to take action. On News Stream he said, "I would set up a commission and look at the responsibility of people who own and manage sites like Twitter and Ask.fm because they have responsibility."

"I would look at a range of options like a red button if you're being bullied, so immediately it flags you to a counselor - if you are a child - who can give you information, guidance and advice."

"Also, what we need to do is prosecute these people who cause an enormous disturbance to others as much mentally as physically."

Click on to hear more from Sheerman. What he reveals could be the beginning of one country's legislated approach to online abuse.

August 5th, 2013
01:56 PM ET

Tackling trolls on Twitter

After a dark week for women on social media, many are asking: What do you do if you become the target of online abuse?

Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, offers some practical advice.

She recommends keeping your address and phone number off the Internet, as well as reporting any abuse to the social platform.

As for Twitter, an in-tweet report button is available on Apple devices and will be available for Android and Twitter.com next month.

"And if somebody threatens you with rape online, death threats," says Bates, "you can and should go to police."

Threatening to rape or kill someone is a crime. Even on social media.

July 16th, 2012
12:59 AM ET

Weibo can't handle 'Truth'

Update: Since we posted this, the "truth" was unblocked on Sina Weibo.

On the Internet in China, the "truth" has vanished.

The Chinese word for "truth" (真相) has been blocked from Sina Weibo, China's leading social media site.

It might seem like a bad Orwellian joke, or a satirical headline from "The Onion," but it's true.

FULL POST

June 26th, 2012
06:07 PM ET

Fears for "forced abortion" father

Seven months pregnant with her second child, Feng Jianmei and her husband could not pay the fine for violating China's one-child policy. So local officials forced to her to have an abortion.

The poor woman's story gained attention on Sina Weibo. And eventually, authorities apologized. Some were suspended.

Deng Jiyuan spoke to CNN less than two weeks ago about his wife's traumatic ordeal. Now his family says he is missing.

Post by: ,
Filed under: China • Social media trends
On Twitter, 'douche jar' is always full
June 1st, 2012
07:14 AM ET

On Twitter, 'douche jar' is always full

Hong Kong (CNN) – In CNN's Hong Kong newsroom, right next to my desk, there's a "douche jar."

Inspired by the TV series "New Girl," the "douche jar" was placed in our cubicle cluster to prevent general douchebaggery or acts of egregious self-promotion. It works like this - if you say or do something like a douchebag, you put a fistful of local currency into the jar.

In case you're not familiar with the term, the Urban Dictionary offers up this definition. The douchebag "has an inflated sense of self-worth, compounded by a lack of social grace and self-awareness. He behaves inappropriately in public, yet is completely ignorant to how pathetic he appears to others."

In the newsroom, the jar is usually low on cash. Most of its contributions are made in jest by a colleague out to channel a self-absorbed jerk.

But on Twitter, the "douche jar" is always full.

Read full article here

May 17th, 2012
11:00 AM ET

Is Facebook a must-buy for journalism?

Now that Facebook is friends with Wall Street, this journalist is giving her timeline a rethink.

I rejoiced when it launched Facebook Pages, as this was a chance to build a professional presence on the network separate from my personal feed.

I was also riveted by the work of Wael Ghonim, the Egyptian Internet activist and Google executive who devised the "We are all Khalid Said" Facebook page after a businessman who died in police custody last year. The page helped spark the revolution that toppled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

And I was thrilled when Facebook hired a dedicated journalist-program manager to build ways for reporters to be more socially savvy.

But now Facebook will answer to its shareholders as a publicly traded company. To keep Wall Street happy, it will have to make more money - quarter after quarter.

Journalists have to face up to the fact that we - along with some 800 million Facebook users worldwide - are the product being sold.

FULL POST

May 10th, 2012
04:01 PM ET

Instagram: My addiction and affliction

Nicol Nicolson's Instagram page

I made an exhibition of myself on CNN last night.

My dear friend and colleague Ramy Inocencio was proficiently analyzing Toyota’s latest earnings when, 35 seconds into his hit, a pair of arms rose up over his left shoulder. They belonged to me. And they proceeded to run the gamut of soccer-style celebrations: the fist pump, the airplane, the Saturday Night Fever 45° point…  The spectacle lasted 15 seconds but, watching it back, it’s an agonizingly long 15 seconds. And the thing is, as shamelessly scene-stealing as this episode appeared to be, it wasn’t my fault. It was Instagram’s.

While the wider world obsesses over the imminent opportunity to purchase shares in Facebook, I am instead obsessing over Facebook’s latest purchase. Don’t get me wrong. I was "gramin" long before Mark Zuckerberg got his prosperous paws on the photo-sharing site. But as with any addiction, Instagram crept up on me, posing as a harmless hobby before eventually enveloping me in its allure.

FULL POST

December 1st, 2011
02:59 PM ET

China on route to see its first Good Samaritan law

When it comes to Good Samaritans in China, “to be or not to be” is a constant struggle.

If you are among the many residents who worry about becoming a victim of fraud after helping people in need, we’ve got some good news for you.

China is preparing its very first Good Samaritan law to protect bystanders who choose to rescue a stranger in distress. According to Guangzhou Daily, officials in the southern city of Shenzhen are soliciting public opinions on a draft of a local Good Samaritan regulation designed to encourage altruism.

The draft follows the tragic death of Yue Yue, a two-year-old girl who was ignored by passers-by as she lay dying in a busy street in October. Graphic footage of the toddler’s death triggered widespread discussion of the “prevalent apathy” in Chinese societies. Many called for a new law to tackle the culture of avoidance and eliminate scams to accuse well-intentioned citizens.

Shenzhen became the first to react.  FULL POST

« older posts