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Category Archives: Social Media

The Most Visited Website in Every Country (That Isn’t A Search Engine)

Hostinger -“The World Wide Web has connected people and cultures from nearly every part of the globe. It’s given us instant access to news and media from every country and the tools to translate content from one language to another. But while it has introduced new forms and ideas on a global scale, the web has not succeeded in fully homogenizing its international users. Indeed, in recent years, commentary has focussed on how the internet polarizes different ways of thought. Meanwhile, the very purpose of going online remains a matter of cultural difference. For example, Peruvians spend more time streaming TV and movies than anyone else; Filipinos spend an average of four hours and 15 minutes on social media each day. Geoblocking hinders users in some countries from accessing certain websites, while great swathes of Asia and Africa aren’t online at all….we have identified and mapped the most visited website in every country around the world, and also the top news, banking, fashion, and food website in each region…”

Political spam is out of control. Now Gmail is about to make it worse.

Washington Post: “Brace for a potential midterm meltdown in your inbox. Emails from certain federal candidates, parties and political action committees will soon be allowed to bypass the spam filters on Gmail and go straight into your inbox. To banish them, you’ll need to click a new unsubscribe button on each and every sender. (I’ll… Continue Reading

The ever-expanding job of preserving the web’s backpages

FT.com [paywall]: The Internet Archive’s mission is to ‘provide universal access to all knowledge’. Within the partitions of a lovely former church in San Francisco’s Richmond district, racks of laptop servers hum and blink with exercise. They comprise the web. Well, a really great amount of it. The Internet Archive, a non-profit, has been gathering… Continue Reading

A new history of YouTube argues that the video-streaming service created the template for the online attention economy

The New Yorker – “…According to the company, the site has more than two billion monthly “logged-in” users. In a given twenty-four-hour period, more than a billion hours of video are streamed, and every minute around five hundred hours of video are uploaded. The torrent of content added to the site has helped establish new… Continue Reading

How TikTok Tracks You Across the Web, Even If You Don’t Use the App

Consumer Reports: “Almost every website you visit collects information about what you’re doing and sends it off into the tech industry’s data analyzing machinery, where it is used for online advertising. For years, Google and Facebook (now known as Meta) have dominated that advertising business, and conducted a lot of the data gathering. But lately,… Continue Reading

How to scrub your phone number and address from Google search

Washington Post: “From a simple Google search, strangers can dig up your phone number, physical address or other personal information. You might not want that floating around the internet — or its presence could be putting you in danger. Now, Google says it’s making it easier to request that information be removed from search results.… Continue Reading

Deep state phobia: Narrative convergence in coronavirus conspiracism on Instagram

Tuters, M., & Willaert, T. (2022). Deep state phobia: Narrative convergence in coronavirus conspiracism on Instagram. Convergence, 28(4), 1214–1238. https://doi.org/10.1177/13548565221118751 “Recent scholarship has established that conspiracist narratives proliferated in mainstream online discourse during the coronavirus pandemic. This proliferation has been provocatively characterized as a ‘conspiracy singularity’ in which previously divergent conspiracy narratives converged into a… Continue Reading

Is This the Beginning of the End of the Internet?

The Atlantic: “Occasionally, something happens that is so blatantly and obviously misguided that trying to explain it rationally makes you sound ridiculous. Such is the case with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’s recent ruling in NetChoice v. Paxton. Earlier this month, the court upheld a preposterous Texas law stating that online platforms with more… Continue Reading

AI can now create any image in seconds, bringing wonder and danger

Washington Post: “Since the research lab OpenAI debuted the latest version of DALL-E in April, the AI has dazzled the public, attracting digital artists, graphic designers, early adopters, and anyone in search of online distraction. The ability to create original, sometimes accurate, and occasionally inspired images from any spur-of-the-moment phrase, like a conversational Photoshop, has… Continue Reading

Google is making it easier to find search results from Reddit and other forums

Engadget: “Google is making it easier to find search results from Reddit and other forum sites. The search engine is adding a new module that will surface discussions happening on forums across the web for queries that may benefit from crowd-sourced answers. The “discussions and forums” module will surface relevant posts from sites like Reddit… Continue Reading