How bots change social media discourse?

 The researchers examined 6.5m tweets posted in the days leading up to and the month after Trump announced the US exit from the Paris accords on 1 June 2017. Photograph: Oliver Berg/AFP/Getty Images

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/feb/21/climate-tweets-twitter-bots-analysis

The social media conversation over the climate crisis is being reshaped by an army of automated Twitter bots, with a new analysis finding that a quarter of all tweets about climate on an average day are produced by bots, the Guardian can reveal.

The stunning levels of Twitter bot activity on topics related to global heating and the climate crisis is distorting the online discourse to include far more climate science denialism than it would otherwise.

An analysis of millions of tweets from around the period when Donald Trump announced the US would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement found that bots tended to applaud the president for his actions and spread misinformation about the science.

The study of Twitter bots and climate was undertaken by Brown University and has yet to be published. Bots are a type of software that can be directed to autonomously tweet, retweet, like or direct message on Twitter, under the guise of a human-fronted account.

“These findings suggest a substantial impact of mechanized bots in amplifying denialist messages about climate change, including support for Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement,” states the draft study, seen by the Guardian.

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Must Read: Phones & Social Media is killing you.

Abstract

A few years ago, I performed an experiment in a philosophy class I was teaching. I extemporized a solution: I offered them extra credit if they would give me their phones for nine days and write about living without them. Twelve students—about a third of the class—took me up on the offer. What they wrote was remarkable, and remarkably consistent. These university students, given the chance to say what they felt, didn’t gracefully submit to the tech industry and its devices.

The usual industry and education narrative about cell phones, social media, and digital technology generally is that they build community, foster communication, and increase efficiency, thus improving our lives. Mark Zuckerberg’s recent reformulation of Facebook’s mission statement is typical: the company aims to “give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”

Without their phones, most of my students initially felt lost, disoriented, frustrated, and even frightened. That seemed to support the industry narrative: look how disconnected and lonely you’ll be without our technology. But after just two weeks, the majority began to think that their cell phones were in fact limiting their relationships with other people, compromising their own lives, and somehow cutting them off from the “real” world. Here is some of what they said.

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Australia Proposed Law: Social media execs may get Jail for violent crime streaming

Abstract

The proposed laws would cover “the playing or streaming of terrorism, murder, attempted murder, torture, rape and kidnapping on social media”, the government announced over the weekend. 

Social media platforms would also be required to notify the Australian Federal Police if they become aware that their site has been used to stream violent crimes. Should a notification fail to happen, fines of up to AU$840,000 for companies, and AU$168,000 for individuals, may be levied. 

Reference

https://www.zdnet.com/article/australia-to-rush-laws-on-jailing-social-media-execs-for-violent-crime-streaming/

Cyber News: Facebook Fined $11.3M for Privacy Violations in Europe.

Abstract

“Facebook emphasizes the free nature of the service but not the commercial objectives that underlie the provision of the social network service, thus inducing users into making a transactional decision that they would not have taken otherwise,” the ICA said in a notice on Friday.

“The information provided is, in fact, general and incomplete and does not adequately make a distinction between the use of data to personalize the service (in order to connect ‘consumer’ users with each other) and the use of data to carry out advertising campaigns aimed at specific targets.”

The authority also found that Facebook, in violation of Articles 24 and 25, actively sends consumer data to third-party websites and apps for commercial purposes, by default and without express consent. Additionally, when users decide to limit their consent, they are faced with significant restrictions on the use of the social network. Inducing users to “maintain the pre-selected choice” represents “undue influence,” according to the ICA, and prevents users from being able to make a free, informed choice.

Reference

https://threatpost.com/facebook-fined-privacy/139824/

How to get rid of a Facebook addiction?

In this post, I would like to share my experience with social networking especially facebook. My intention is not to suggest to get rid of these social platforms, however, be cognizant about its impact on our lives.

I have been trying to get rid of facebook addiction & other social networking platforms. I realized that social media platforms are becoming more & more sweet poison which impacts my social behaviour. And, Here are my reasons why I decided to use it just to keep my connections with my friends but not to get addicted of it.

  1. Wasting my precious hours of work early in the morning. Also, got addicted to that Every hour or so, I used to check Facebook. The only thing needed to know if someone has replied to my post or like my shared post or not. 
  2. Lots of fake news & manipulative articles.
  3. Reading others useless posts.
  4. Too much politics & garbage point of views.

Some of the few tricks to get rid of social media addiction:

  • Must log out after use & Enable two-factor authentication in login: Social media apps are an auto sign in & never asked for login again. This is one simple technique to keep the user on the site. You can use the opposite of these techniques to make it hard for yourself to just hit & use it without login. Just try it. it works.
  • Remove all social media apps from your smartphone: I know it seems strange but the root cause of this addiction is your smartphone & apps which notify (i.e little red number on top of your app). But you have got to stop that. At least stop notification of these apps. And the sound of these notifications as well.
  • Stop putting your phone under your pillow: Yes you got to keep your phone away and keep that device at the table. if there is an emergency, someone would give a call. No need to keep phone under the pillow. Buy an alarm clock if you use the phone to wake you up in the morning.
  • No need to carry a phone everywhere: What I meant is that it is not required in your meeting, dinner, breakfast, walking or talking to a real person. No need to carry your phone with you. If you are with someone, no need to carry this distractor with you. Enjoy the real conversation who may be more supportive/understandable than your Whatsapp messages.
  • Understand the purpose of technology: These devices are very important and solve real problems but let’s not depend on too much. Understand what you can do without it and when you need it. it is not that hard. just give a try.

The reality of Social Media, Psychology & Addiction

It’s not easy to get rid of social media. because it is our life now that we check Facebook before checking time forget about saying good morning to family members. However, we do one thing & that is, Forward good morning messages to 10 people who are not around. It’s hard to understand Psychology behind it but this is the reality now. Watch an interesting video about it.

 Final Thought

It’s not easy & we can’t avoid these things because technology does help to connect. However, I would again say the same that you have to get rid of your addiction. And feel the world without these tiny devices. Talk to real human who are sitting next to you rather than messaging someone who is thousands mile way. Talking to a stranger isn’t that bad. It could be a good experience just like talking on WhatsApp.