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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

November 29th, 2011
08:19 AM ET

China Social Media Trends – Tuesday Nov 29, 2011

Sources include Chinese social media sites such as Sina Weibo ranking page (风云榜), Baidu Beats, and Weibo Top News (新浪新闻). Please keep us posted with what's buzzing on your radar and let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

Top Trending News Terms

Chinese netizens criticize school bus donation to Macedonia – China’s donation of school buses to Macedonia has triggered criticism online, where netizens called this decision "ill-considered" given their country’s poor safety record and a recent crash that killed 19 preschoolers. More details here and you can read the Global Time editorial defending this donation here.

According to the report on Ministry of Tofu, one viral Weibo comment was reposted by thousands of netizens: it reads, “Even if we are poor, we won’t deprive Macedonian children of education. Even if we have to suffer, we won’t let Macedonian children suffer” (再苦不能苦了马其顿孩子,再穷不能穷了马其顿教育!). This is a wordplay on the Chinese government's political slogan: “Even if we are poor, we won’t deprive our children of education. Even if we have to suffer, we won’t let our children suffer.” (再穷不能穷教育,再苦不能苦孩子).

Hepatitis C outbreaks in Anhui – A Hepatitis C epidemic has broken out in Woyang county in Bozhou, Anhui Province, and may have been caused by unsafe injections (dirty needles). Officials from the Anhui Provincial Health Bureau said on Monday 56 potential carriers of the virus were examined and 13 were tested positive. Many of the Hepatitis C carriers are children. More details here and more images here.

Xiao Yueyue mini movie – A short movie has been made in commemoration of Xiao Yueyue, the young girl who was repeatedly run over by a car in the presence of indifferent pedestrians. The clip, entitled "Xiao Yueyue mini movie" (小悦悦微电影), encourages viewers to show more compassion towards one another. More details in Chinese here.

Sina Weibo Top Trending Terms

*Viral Video* Angry girlfriend in subway – A candid video of a girl yelling at her boyfriend in the subway has been widely circulating on Chinese social media portals. In the clip, the girl insulted her boyfriend for “having no money” and said “guys without money are trash (男人没钱是垃圾)”. The boyfriend remained silent the entire time.

The video sparked heated online discussion on whether it is socially acceptable for men not to have a large bank account. You can follow the discussions in Chinese on Sina Weibo's dedicated topic page here.


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