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December 12 2012

Boycott of Puerto Rico's Popular TV Show “La Comay”

[All links lead to Spanish language pages, unless otherwise noted]

These are some of the profile pics that have been circulating in Puerto Rican social media, in solidarity with the slain publicist José Enrique Gómez Saladín. Taken from the “Todos Somos José Enrique” Tumblr.

“I ask myself if this killing was not involved in sex, drugs, homosexuality, and prostitution. Did he get what he was looking for?”

These comments [es] were made on one of Puerto Rico's most popular TV shows, by the irreverent newscaster  puppet “La Comay” about the gruesome death of a publicist José Enrique Gómez Saladín in a remote sector outside the island’s metropolitan area last month.

The death has led to an ongoing saga in which the Puerto Rican public has turned from alarm to shock, anger, and finally to the internet in a bout of activism that now threatens to overthrow one of the top rated TV programs here.

José Enrique Gómez Saladín's death

Through it all, in a whirlwind week and a half full of sombre twists, social media has played a leading role. It all started on Friday November 30, when the news of a missing publicist, 32 year-old José Enrique Gómez Saladín, went viral. A picture of Gómez Saladín accompanied by a hooded, unidentified man while taking out cash from an ATM became an instant call to action, the image was massively shared in Facebook and Twitter in the hopes of finding him alive.

Those hopes came crashing down by the following Monday, when Edwin Torres Osorio was turned in to the police by his mother, who recognized his son after seeing his picture in the news. It was through this initial confession that Gómez Saladin’s body was found, even as other assailants turned themselves in. An FBI sworn statement that was leaked to the press revealed that Delgado Ortiz teamed up with three others: Rubén Delgado Ortiz, Alejandra Berríos Cotto and Lenisse Aponte Aponte in a possible carjacking that led to the killing. The murder took place after the victim was forced to withdraw $400 from an ATM machine. Gómez Saladín was then driven to an isolated rural area where he was first doused in gasoline and set on fire before being beaten to death.

Puerto Rico has been racked by a violent crime wave that has seen the murder rate soar in the last four years. All records were broken in 2011, when more than one thousand murders were committed in an island with just over 3.5 million residents. The killing of Gómez Saladín, a young professional whose wife is an olympic archer, crystallized for many the violence that has become common place. Spontaneous reactions quickly sprang up in the web, where the hashtag #TodosSomosJoseEnrique (We Are All José Enrique) became a trending topic in Twitter. The chorus of voices expressing solidarity with the victim has kept growing, making way for a movement in which Puerto Rican internet users from all over the island and in the United States have posted profile pictures of themselves with signs that echo the hashtag. Celebrities like Ricky Martin and salsa singer Victor Manuelle have joined the campaign [en], giving it a higher visibility in the process.

A Netroots Boycott

One of the memes that have been going around the internet in support of the boycott against La Comay. Taken from the blog Latino Rebels.

The anger over Gómez Saladín’s death then turned on one of the most familiar faces in Puerto Rican television last week. The gossip and news program SuperXclusivo features a five foot puppet called La Comay [en] made to look like an older woman. Both the program and the puppet are the creation of Antulio “Kobbo” Santarrosa, who has held the top spot in Puerto Rican television for nearly two decades. His show, a mixture of gaudy visuals, occasional homophobic and mysoginistic taunts, and breaking news mixed indiscriminately with uncorroborated rumors has proven to be a consistent hit among a wide swath of the island’s TV audience. The program is broadcast on local station WAPA, but reaches a larger stateside public through WAPA America. Celebrities and local politicians often visit the show, making La Comay one of the most powerful figures in the Puerto Rican media landscape.

However, her preeminence is now threatened by a boycott of the program’s sponsors that started as a response to the offensive treatment that La Comay gave Gómez Saladín after his death. After taking up the coverage of the killing, La Comay hinted that the publicist got what he deserved for picking up male and female prostitutes in the street, an assertion that has not been verified. Blaming the victim is a classic move on the TV show, which has been involved in similar scandals in the past. This time Santarrosa may have finally gone too far.

“I ask myself if this killing was not involved in sex, drugs, homosexuality, and prostitution”, expressed Santarrosa through his character last Tuesday on the show. “Did he get what he was looking for?” (You can hear La Comay’s statements in the following clip, 6 minutes and 48 seconds in).

That statement ignited an immediate response. Less than 24 hours later a Facebook page had been set up calling for a boycott of SuperXclusivo’s sponsors. Within a couple of days the group had grown to more than sixty thousand. And then something unexpected happened. What might have been seen as a case of hashtagtivists throwing a fit on Facebook started to yield results beyond social media. Facing a deluge of phone calls and emails, one company after another started announcing that they would pull its ads from the show. Dish Network, Triple-S Insurance, Banco Popular, ATH, Lanco Puerto Rico, Borden Dairy, Palo Viejo Rum, and Claro telecommunications all withdrew from the time slot and Walmart’s support started to waiver.

According to a December 5th post [en] on the blog News Is My Business, some of the companies that have upheld their suppport for SuperXclusivo are: AlphaOne Security Solutions, Xtreme Hair Gel, Joyerías Borroto, Cre-c hair growth product, Le’dermis Skin Solutions, Oro Centro in Mayagüez, Ashley Furniture, Disney Live, Expo Manualidades, La Feria, Lenel Restaurant in Arecibo, Vanilla Gift Card, Lanco Paints, FirstPlus, Batteries Plus, Aquafresh (GlaxoSmithKline) and Casas Mi Estilo.

In the Web and On the Streets: An Outpour of Solidarity

Meanwhile, other demonstrations of solidarity have taken place. What started with the tag line “We Are All José Enrique” evolved into an international event that took place this past Sunday. Dubbed “Un Abrazo Para Puerto Rico” (An embrace for Puerto Rico), groups of Puerto Ricans in New York, Los Angeles, and elsewhere lit candles next to their own “We are all Puerto Rico” signs in an act of rememberance for all the victims of violent crimes in the island. Another event, “Marcha por la paz” (March For Peace), has been scheduled for December 15 in Puerto Rico.

Antulio “Kobbo” Santarrosa, for his part, has countered the increasing pressure on La Comay and SuperXclusivo by arguing that those who would have his program cancelled are engaging in an act of elitist censorship. He has opened his own Facebook group dedicated to amassing support for his TV show. So far it lags far behind both the boycott group, which is over seventy thousand strong and has now started its own Twitter account (@BoicotLaComay), and the massive “We Are All José Enrique” movement.

[All links lead to Spanish language pages, unless otherwise noted]

November 07 2012

Four short links: 8 November 2012

  1. Closely — new startup by Perry Evans (founder of MapQuest), giving businesses a simple app to track competitors’ online deals and social media activity. Seems a genius move to me: so many businesses flounder online, “I don’t know what to do!”, so giving them a birds-eye view of their competition turns the problem into “do better than them!”.
  2. The FT in Play (Reuters) — very interesting point in this analysis of the Financial Times being up for sale: [Traditional] journalism doesn’t have economies of scale. The bigger that journalistic organizations become, the less efficient they get. (via Bernard Hickey)
  3. Big Data Behind Obama’s Win (Time) — huge analytics operation, very secretive, providing insights and updates on everything.
  4. How to Predict the FutureThis is the story of a spreadsheet I’ve been keeping for almost twenty years. Thesis: hardware trends more useful for predicting advances than software trends. (via Kenton Kivestu)

October 29 2012

Four short links: 29 October 2012

  1. Inside BJ Fogg’s Behavior Design Bootcamp — see also Day 2 and Day 3.
  2. Recollect — archive your social media existence. Very easy to use and I wish I’d been using it longer. (via Tom Cotes)
  3. Duplicating House Keys on a 3D Printer — never did a title say so precisely what the post was about. (via Jim Stogdill)
  4. Teleduplication via Optical Decoding (PDF) — duplicating a key via a photograph.

October 22 2012

What I learned about #debates, social media and being a pundit on Al Jazeera English

The Stream - Al Jazeera EnglishThe Stream - Al Jazeera EnglishEarlier this month, when I was asked by Al Jazeera English if I’d like to be go on live television to analyze the online side of the presidential debates, I didn’t immediately accept. I’d be facing a live international audience at a moment of intense political interest, without a great wealth of on-air training. That said, I felt honored to be asked by Al Jazeera. I’ve been following the network’s steady evolution over the past two decades, building from early beginnings during the first Gulf War to its current position as one of the best sources of live coverage and hard news from the Middle East. When Tahrir Square was at the height of its foment during the Arab Spring, Al Jazeera was livestreaming it online to the rest of the world.

I’ve been showing a slide in a presentation for months now that features Al Jazeera’s “The Stream” as a notable combination of social media, online video and broadcast journalism since its inception.

So, by and large, the choice was clear: say “yes,” and then figure out how to do a good job.

As is ever the case with new assignments, what would follow from that choice wasn’t as easy as it might have seemed. Some of the nuts and bolts of appearing were quite straightforward: Do a long pre-interview with the producer about my work and my perspective on how the Internet and social media were changing the dynamics of a live political event like the debate. (I captured much of that thinking here at Radar, in a post on digital feedback loops and the debate.) Go through makeup each time. Get wired up with a mic and an earpiece that connected me to the control room. Review each show’s outline, script and online engagement channels, from Twitter to YouTube to Google+ to Reddit.

I was also afforded a few luxuries that bordered on the surreal: a driver that picked me up and took me home from the studio. Bottled spring water. A modest honorarium to hang out in a television studio for a couple of hours and talk for a few intense minutes about what moments from the debates resonated online and why. The realization that my perspective could be seen by millions in Al Jazeera English’s international audience. People would be watching. I’d need to deliver something worth their time.

Entering The Stream

Live television doesn’t give anyone much room for error. On this particular show, The Stream, there was no room for a deep dive into analysis. We had time to answer a couple of questions of what happened on social media during the debates. Some spots were 30 seconds. Adding context in that context is a huge challenge. How much do you assume the people viewing know? What moments do you highlight? For this debate show, I had to assume that they watched the two candidates spar — but were they following the firehouse of commentary on Twitter? Even if they did, given how personalized social media has become, it was inevitable that what viewers saw online would be different than what we did in the studio.

When we saw the campaigns focus on Twitter during the debates, I saw that as news, and said as much. While the campaigns were also on Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, YouTube and blogs, along with the people formerly known as the audience, the forum for real-time social politics in the fall of 2012 remained Twitter, in all its character-limited glory.

Once the debates ended each night, campaigns and voters turned to the new watercoolers of the moment — blogs and article comment sections — to discuss what they’d seen. They went to Facebook and Google+ to share their reactions. To their credit, the Stream producers used Google+ Hangouts to immediately ask undecided voters what they thought and bring in political journalists to share their impressions. It’s a great use of the platform to involve more people in a show using the tools of the moment.

I’ve embedded each of the debate videos below, along with the full length episode of The Stream on data mining in the 2012 election. (I think I delivered, based upon the feedback I’ve received since in person and online, but I’m quite open to feedback if you’d like to comment.)

The Stream: Presidential Debates [10/3/2012]

The Stream: Vice Presidential Debate [10/11/2012]

The Stream: Presidential debates pre-show [10/16/2012]

On memes, social journalism and listening

The first two presidential debates and the vice-presidential debate spawned online memes. Given the issues before the country and the world, reducing these debates to those rapid expressions and the other moments that catalyzed strong online reactions was inherently self-limiting. The role of The Stream during the debates, however, was to look at these political events through the prism of social media to explain quickly and precisely what popped online. At this point, if you’re following the election, you’ve probably heard of at least two of them: Big Bird and “binders full of women.” (I explain both in the videos embedded above.) We also saw acmes of attention and debate conflict reflected online, from Vice President Biden’s use of “malarkey” to reaction to CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley’s real-time correction of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s challenge to President Obama regarding his use of “act of terror” on the day after the United States Embassy to Libya was attacked.

There are limits to what you can discern through highlighting memes. While it might be easy to dismiss memes as silly or out-of-context moments, I think they serve a symbolic, even totemic role for people who share them online. There’s also a simple historic parallel: animated GIFs are the political cartoons of the present.

Reducing the role of social media in networked political debates to just Twitter, GIFs and status updates, however, would be a mistake. The combination of embeddable online video, blogs and wikis are all part of a blueprint for democratic participation that enables people to explore the issues debated in depth, which is particularly relevant if cable news shows fail to do so.

There’s also a risk of distracting from what we can learn about how the candidates would make policy or leadership decisions. I participated in a Google+ Hangout hosted by Storify last week about social media and elections. The panel of “social journalists” shared their perspectives on how the #debates are being covered in this hyper-connected moment — and whether social media is playing a positive role or not.

Personally, I see the role of social media in the current election as a mixed bag. Networked fact checking is a positive development. The campaigns and media alike can find interesting trends in real-time sentiment analysis, if they dive into the social data. I also see an important role for the broader Internet in providing as much analysis on policy or context as people are willing to search for, on social media or off.

There’s a risk, however, that public opinion or impressions of the debates are being prematurely shaped by the campaigns and their proxies, or that confirmation bias is being reaffirmed through homophilic relationships that are not representative of the electorate as whole.

All that being said, after these three shows, I plan to watch the last presidential debate, on foreign policy, differently. I’m going to pocket my smartphone, sleeve my iPad and keep my laptop closed. Instead of tracking the real-time feedback during the debates and participating in the ebb and flow of the conversation, I’m just going to actively listen and take notes. There are many foreign policy questions that will confront the 45th President of the United States. Tonight, I want to hear the responses of the candidates, unadorned by real-time spin, fact checking, debate bingo or instant reaction.

Afterwards, I’ll go back online to read liveblogs, see where the candidates may have gone awry, and look abroad to see how the world is reacting to a debate on foreign policy that stands to directly affect billions of people who will never vote in a U.S. election. First, however, I’ll form my own impressions, supported by the virtues of solitude, not the clamor of social media.

September 02 2012


Short commentary: The gift shift - what’s social about social media?

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, the cover art of the July 23rd issue of the New Yorker is a critical disquisition. A middle class family poses for a photo on a sunny tropical beach.

read more:


// oAnth's commentary:

What a nice Sunday reading (after church), could be even a sermon (they speak about love and friendship, etc. etc.), alas, for heaven's sake, inconveniently too close on the mainstream understanding of the subject: they mix in Fb and some social media buzz words to their argumentation as examples of "gift culture" (to their solemnly benediction); just tons too much PR and in no way an independent manner to speak about social media and its major historical and timeless motivation as basic propelling force: altruism. Ok, I admit, you may also read some well intended lines about hacker culture, but, how to put it? - I had continuously the impression that this article is thought for some sceptic evangelical GOP members, which are hardly to convince that water boarding wouldn't be an adequate treatment for 'potential terrorists' like occupiers, Assange and Manning. Plus, I should not fail to add maliciously that for me as a German reader, there is quite an unmasking homonymy in the basic noun of this reading:

'Gift', feminine - engl.: gift, vs. 'Gift', neuter - engl.: poison.

Please, don't get it wrong. I am using social networks as an indispensabel part of my daily life, and I even go to church.

August 29 2012

President Obama participates in first Presidential AMA on Reddit

Starting around 4:30 PM ET today, President Barack Obama made history by going onto Reddit to answer questions about anything for an hour. Reddit, one of the most popular social news sites on the Internet, has been hosting “Ask Me Anything” forums — or AMAs – for years, including sessions with prominent legislators like Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA), but to host a sitting President of the United States will elevate Reddit’s prominence in the intersection of technology and politics. AllThingsD has the story of Reddit got the President onto the site. Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian told Peter Kafka that “There are quite a few redditors at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave and at the campaign HQ — given the prominence of reddit, it’s an easy sell.”

President Obama made some news in the process, with respect to the Supreme Court decision that allowed super political action committees, or “Super PACs,” to become part of the campaign finance landscape.

“Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn’t revisit it),” commented President Obama. “Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change.”

President Obama announced that he’d be participating in the AMA in a tweet and provided photographic evidence that he was actually answering questions in an image posted to Reddit (above) and in a second tweet during the session.

The timing of the AMA was at least a little political, coming after a speech in Virginia and falling upon the third day of the Republic National Convention, but it is unequivocally a first, in terms of a president directly engaging with the vibrant Reddit community. Many people also tweeted that they were having trouble accessing the page during the AMA, as tens of thousands of users tried to access the forum. According to The Verge, President Obama’s AMA was the most popular post in Reddit’s history, with more than 200,000 visitors on the site concurrently. (Presidential Q&As apparently melts servers almost as much as being Biebered.)

Today’s AMA is only the latest example of presidents experimenting with online platforms, from President Clinton and President Bush posting text on to President Obama joining rebooting that platform on Drupal. More recently, President Obama has participated in a series of online ‘town halls’ using social media, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the first presidential Hangout on Google+.

His use of all them deserves to be analyzed critically, in terms of whether the platforms and events were being used to shine the credential of a tech-savvy chief executive in an election year or to genuinely answer the questions and concerns of the citizens he serves.

In analyzing the success of such experiment in digital democracy, it’s worth looking at whether the questions answered were based upon the ones most citizens wanted to see asked (on Reddit, counted by upvotes) and whether the answers given were rehashed talking points or specific to the intent of the questions asked. On the first part of that rubric, President Obama scored high: he answered each of the top-voted questions in the AMA, along with a few personal ones.


On the rest of those counts, you can judge for yourself. The president’s answers are below:

“Hey everybody – this is barack. Just finished a great rally in Charlottesville, and am looking forward to your questions. At the top, I do want to say that our thoughts and prayers are with folks who are dealing with Hurricane Isaac in the Gulf, and to let them know that we are going to be coordinating with state and local officials to make sure that we give families everything they need to recover.”

On Internet freedom: “Internet freedom is something I know you all care passionately about; I do too. We will fight hard to make sure that the internet remains the open forum for everybody – from those who are expressing an idea to those to want to start a business. And although their will be occasional disagreements on the details of various legislative proposals, I won’t stray from that principle – and it will be reflected in the platform.”

On space exploration: “Making sure we stay at the forefront of space exploration is a big priority for my administration. The passing of Neil Armstrong this week is a reminder of the inspiration and wonder that our space program has provided in the past; the curiosity probe on mars is a reminder of what remains to be discovered. The key is to make sure that we invest in cutting edge research that can take us to the next level – so even as we continue work with the international space station, we are focused on a potential mission to a asteroid as a prelude to a manned Mars flight.”

On helping small businesses and relevant bills: “We’ve really focused on this since I came into office – 18 tax cuts for small business, easier funding from the SBA. Going forward, I want to keep taxes low for the 98 percent of small businesses that have $250,000 or less in income, make it easier for small business to access financing, and expand their opportunities to export. And we will be implementing the Jobs Act bill that I signed that will make it easier for startups to access crowd-funding and reduce their tax burden at the start-up stage.”

Most difficult decision you had to make this term? ”The decision to surge our forces in afghanistan. Any time you send our brave men and women into battle, you know that not everyone will come home safely, and that necessarily weighs heavily on you. The decision did help us blunt the taliban’s momentum, and is allowing us to transition to afghan lead – so we will have recovered that surge at the end of this month, and will end the war at the end of 2014. But knowing of the heroes that have fallen is something you never forget.”

On the influence of money in politics ”Money has always been a factor in politics, but we are seeing something new in the no-holds barred flow of seven and eight figure checks, most undisclosed, into super-PACs; they fundamentally threaten to overwhelm the political process over the long run and drown out the voices of ordinary citizens. We need to start with passing the Disclose Act that is already written and been sponsored in Congress – to at least force disclosure of who is giving to who. We should also pass legislation prohibiting the bundling of campaign contributions from lobbyists. Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn’t revisit it). Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change.”

On prospects for recent college grads – in this case, a law school grad: I understand how tough it is out there for recent grads. You’re right – your long term prospects are great, but that doesn’t help in the short term. Obviously some of the steps we have taken already help young people at the start of their careers. Because of the health care bill, you can stay on your parent’s plan until you’re twenty six. Because of our student loan bill, we are lowering the debt burdens that young people have to carry. But the key for your future, and all our futures, is an economy that is growing and creating solid middle class jobs – and that’s why the choice in this election is so important. The other party has two ideas for growth – more taxs cuts for the wealthy (paid for by raising tax burdens on the middle class and gutting investments like education) and getting rid of regulations we’ve put in place to control the excesses on wall street and help consumers. These ideas have been tried, they didnt work, and will make the economy worse. I want to keep promoting advanced manufacturing that will bring jobs back to America, promote all-American energy sources (including wind and solar), keep investing in education and make college more affordable, rebuild our infrastructure, invest in science, and reduce our deficit in a balanced way with prudent spending cuts and higher taxes on folks making more than $250,000/year. I don’t promise that this will solve all our immediate economic challenges, but my plans will lay the foundation for long term growth for your generation, and for generations to follow. So don’t be discouraged – we didn’t get into this fix overnight, and we won’t get out overnight, but we are making progress and with your help will make more.”

First thing he’ll do on November 7th: “Win or lose, I’ll be thanking everybody who is working so hard – especially all the volunteers in field offices all across the country, and the amazing young people in our campaign offices.”

How do you balance family life and hobbies with being POTUS? ”It’s hard – truthfully the main thing other than work is just making sure that I’m spending enough time with michelle and the girls. The big advantage I have is that I live above the store – so I have no commute! So we make sure that when I’m in DC I never miss dinner with them at 6:30 pm – even if I have to go back down to the Oval for work later in the evening. I do work out every morning as well, and try to get a basketball or golf game in on the weekends just to get out of the bubble. Speaking of balance, though, I need to get going so I’m back in DC in time for dinner. But I want to thank everybody at reddit for participating – this is an example of how technology and the internet can empower the sorts of conversations that strengthen our democracy over the long run. AND REMEMBER TO VOTE IN NOVEMBER – if you need to know how to register, go to By the way, if you want to know what I think about this whole reddit experience – NOT BAD!”

On +The White House homebrew recipe ”It will be out soon! I can tell from first hand experience, it is tasty.”

A step forward for digital democracy?

The most interesting aspect of that Presidential Hangout was that it introduced the possibility of unscripted moments, where a citizen could ask an unexpected question, and the opportunity for followups, if an answer wasn’t specific enough.

Reddit doesn’t provide quite the same mechanism for accountability at a live Hangout, in terms of putting an elected official on the spot to answer. Unfortunately, the platform of Reddit itself falls short here: there’s no way to force a politician to circle back and give a better answer, in the way, say, Mike Wallace might have on “60 Minutes.”

Alexis Madrigal, one of the sharpest observers of technology and society currently gracing the pages of the Atlantic, is clear about the issues with a Reddit AMA: “it’s a terrible format for extracting information from a politician.”

Much as many would like to believe that the medium determines the message, a modern politician is never unmediated. Not in a pie shop in Pennsylvania, not at a basketball game, not while having dinner, not on the phone with NASA, not on TV, not doing a Reddit AMA. Reddit is not a mic accidentally left on during a private moment. The kind of intimacy and honesty that Redditors crave does not scale up to national politics, where no one ever lets down his or her guard. Instead of using the stiffness and formality of the MSM to drive his message home, Obama simply used the looseness and casual banter of Reddit to drive his message home. Here more than in almost anything else: Tech is not the answer to the problems of modern politics.

Today’s exchange, however, does hint at the tantalizing dynamic that makes it alluring: that the Internet is connecting you and your question to the most powerful man in the world, directly, and that your online community can push for him to answer it.

President Obama ended today’s AMA by thanking everyone on Reddit for participating and wrote that “this is an example of how technology and the internet can empower the sorts of conversations that strengthen our democracy over the long run.”

Well, it’s a start. Thank you for logging on today, Mr. President. Please come back online and answer some more follow up questions.

Reposted byRK RK

August 07 2012

Neue Website „Terms of Service; Didn’t Read” verspricht Überblick im AGB-Dickicht

Wer Webdienste nutzt, kommt nicht umhin, seitenlangen Nutzungsbedingungen – also Verträgen – zuzustimmen, die auch bei immer mal wieder Thema waren (Musikdienste, FotodiensteFilme und E-Books). Amerikanische Wissenschaftler haben einmal berechnet, dass der durchschnittliche (US-)Nutzer immerhin 76 Arbeitstage im Jahr damit verbringen müsste, um die Nutzungsbedingungen der von ihm genutzten Webdienste zu lesen.

Weil das niemand macht, gab es schon einige Versuche, solche Verträge nutzerfreundlicher zu gestalten, zum Beispiel mit Kurzversionen ähnlich denen von Creative-Commons-Lizenzen. Die Website „Terms of Service; Didn’t Read” der Initiative Unhosted sammelt solche Klauseln nun für verschiedene Dienste und informiert mit einem Farbsystem über den Umgang mit persönlichen Daten, eingeräumten Nutzungsrechten, Transparenz über Anfragen von Behörden und mehr.

Im Moment sind noch wenige Dienste insgesamt bewertet, schlecht kommt schon jetzt Twitpic weg, gut dagegen zum Beispiel Soundcloud. Das Projekt richtet sich vor allem an amerikanische Nutzer und lässt damit die Frage außen vor, ob die bewerteten Klauseln nach deutschem Recht überhaupt zulässig sind. Und natürlich hängt jede Bewertung auch von den zugrunde gelegten Kriterien (und den Bewertenden) ab. Für einen ersten Überblick ist das Projekt aber auch hierzulande hilfreich. Mitmachen kann man momentan über eine Mailingliste und einen Chat, später soll es geöffnet werden.


July 31 2012

On email privacy, Twitter’s ToS and owning your own platform

The existential challenge for the Internet and society remains is that the technology platforms constitute what many people regard as the new public square are owned by private companies. If you missed the news, Guy Adams, a journalist at the Independent newspaper in England, was suspended by Twitter after he tweeted the corporate email address of a NBC executive, Gary Zenkel. Zenkel is in charge of NBC’s Olympics coverage.

Like many other observers, I assumed that NBC had seen the tweet and filed an objection with Twitter about the email address being tweeted. The email address, after all, was shared with the exhortation to Adams’ followers to write to Zenkel about frustrations with NBC’s coverage of the Olympics, a number of which Jim Stogdill memorably expressed here at Radar and Heidi Moore compared to Wall Street’s hubris.

Today, Guy Adams published two more columns. The first shared his correspondence with Twitter, including a copy of a written statement from an NBC spokesman called Christopher McCloskey that indicated that NBC’s social media department was alerted to Adams’ tweet by Twittersecond column, which followed the @GuyAdams account being reinstated, indicated that NBC had withdrawn their original complaint. Adams tweeted the statement: “we have just received an update from the complainant retracting their original request. Therefore your account has been unsuspended.”

Since the account is back up, is the case over? A tempest in a Twitter teapot? Well, not so much. I see at least three different important issues here related to electronic privacy, Twitter’s terms of service, censorship and how many people think about social media and the Web.

Is a corporate email address private?

Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple is at a loss to explain how tweeting this corporate email address qualifies public rises to the level of disclosing private information.

Can a corporate email address based upon a known nomenclature used by tens of thousands of people “private?” A 2010 Supreme Court ruling on privacy established that electronic messages sent on a corporate server are not private, at least from the employer. But a corporate email address itself? Hmm. Yes, the corporate email address Adams tweeted was available online prior to the tweet if you knew how to find it in a Web search. Danny Sullivan, however, made a strong case that the email address wasn’t widely available in Google, although Adams said he was able to find it in under a minute. There’s also an argument that because an address can be guessed, it is public. Jeff Jarvis and other journalists are saying it isn’t, using the logic that because NBC’s email nomenclature is standardized, it can be easily deduced. I “co-signed” Reuters’ Jack Shafer’s tweet making that assertion.

The question to ask privacy experts, then, is whether a corporate email address is “private” or not.

Fred Cate, a law professor at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, however, commented via email that “a corporate email address can be private, in the sense that a company protects it and has a legitimate interest in it not being disclosed.” Can it lost its private character due to unauthorized disclosure online? “The answer is probably and regrettably ‘it depends,’” he wrote. “It depends on the breadth of the unauthorized dissemination and the sensitivity of the information and the likely harm if more widely disclosed. An email address that has been disclosed in public blogs would seem fairly widely available, the information is hardly sensitive, and any harm can be avoided by changing the address, so the argument for privacy seems pretty weak to me.”

Danielle Citron, professor of law at the University of Maryland, argues that because Zenkel did not publish his corporate email address on NBC’s site, there’s an argument, though a weak one, that its corporate email addresses are private information only disclosed to a select audience.

“Under privacy tort common law, an unpublished home address has been deemed by courts to be private for purposes of public disclosure of private fact tort if the publication appeared online, even though many people know the address offline,” wrote Citon in an email. “This arose in a cyber harassment case involving privacy torts. Privacy is not a binary concept, that is, one can have privacy in public, at least according to Nader v. GM, the NY [Court of Appeals] found that GM’s zealous surveillance of Ralph Nader, including looking over his shoulder while he took out money from the bank, constituted intrusion of his seclusion, even though he was in public. Now, the court did not find surveillance itself a privacy violation. It was the fact that the surveillance yielded information Nader would have thought no one could see, that is, how much he took out of the bank machine.”

Email is, however, a different case that home addresses, as Citron allowed. “Far less people know one’s home address — neighbors and friends — if a home address is unlisted whereas email addresses are shared with countless people and there is no analogous means to keep it unpublished like home and phone addresses,” Citron wrote. “These qualities may indeed make it a tough sell to suggest that the email address is private.”

Perhaps ironically, the NBC executive’s email address has now been published by many major media outlets and blogs, making it one of the most public email addresses on the planet. Hello, Streisand effect.

Did Twitter break its own Terms of Service?

Specifically, was tweeting someone’s publicly available *work* email address (available online) a a violation of the Twitter’s rules. To a large extent, this hinges upon the answer to the first issue, of privacy.

If a given email address is already public — and it’s been available online for over a year, one line of thinking goes that it can’t be private. Twitter’s position is that it considers a corporate email address to be private and that sharing it therefore breaks the ToS. Alex McGillivray, Twitter’s general counsel, clarified the company’s approach to trust and safety in a post on Twitter’s blog:

We’ve seen a lot of commentary about whether we should have considered a corporate email address to be private information. There are many individuals who may use their work email address for a variety of personal reasons — and they may not. Our Trust and Safety team does not have insight into the use of every user’s email address, and we need a policy that we can implement across all of our users in every instance.

“I do not think privacy can be defined for third parties by terms of service,” wrote Cate, via email. “If Twitter wants to say that the company will treat its users’ email addresses as private it’s fine, but I don’t think it can convincingly say that  other email addresses available in public are suddenly private.”

“If the corporate email was published online previously by the company or by himself, it likely would not amount to public disclosure of private fact under tort law and likely would not meet the strict terms of the TOS, which says nonpublic. Twitter’s policy about email address stems from its judgment that people should not use its service to publicize non-public email addresses, even though such an address is not a secret and countless people in communication with the person know it,” wrote Citon. “Unless Twitter says explicitly, ‘we are adopting this rule for privacy reasons,’ there are reasons that have nothing to do with privacy that might animate that decision, such as preventing fraud.”

The bottom line is that Twitter is a private company with a Terms of Service. It’s not a public utility, as Dave Winer highlighted yesterday, following up today with another argument for a distributed, open system for microblogging. Simply put, there *are* principles for use of Twitter’s platform. They’re in the Rules, Terms of Service and strictures around its API, the evolution of which was recently walked through over at the real-time report.

Ultimately, private companies are bound by the regulations of the FTC or FCC or other relevant regulatory bodies, along with their own rules, not the wishes of users. If Twitter’s users don’t like them or lose trust, their option is to stop using the service or complain loudly. I certainly agree with Jillian C. York, who argues at the EFF that the Guy Adams case demonstrates that Twitter needs a more robust appeals process.

There’s also the question about how the ToS is applied to celebrities on Twitter, who are an attraction for millions of users. In the past, Justin Bieber tweeted someone else’s personal phone number. Spike Lee tweeted a home address, causing someone to receive death threats in Florida. Neither was suspended. Neither the celebrities nor offenders referenced, according to personal accounts, were suspended. In one case, @QueenOfSpain had to get a court order to see any action taken on death threats on Twitter. Twitter’s Safety team has absolutely taken actions in some cases but it certainly might look like there’s a different standard here. The question to ask is whether tickets were filed for Lee or Bieber by the person who was personally affected. Without a ticket, there would be no suspension. Twitter has not commented on that count, under their policy of not commenting about individual users.

Own your own platform

In the wake of this move, there should be some careful consideration by journalists who use Twitter about where and how they do it. McGillivray did explain where Twitter went awry, confirming that someone on the media partnership side of the house flagged a tweet to NBC and reaffirming the principle that Twitter does not remove content on demand:

…we want to apologize for the part of this story that we did mess up. The team working closely with NBC around our Olympics partnership did proactively identify a Tweet that was in violation of the Twitter Rules and encouraged them to file a support ticket with our Trust and Safety team to report the violation, as has now been reported publicly.

Our Trust and Safety team did not know that part of the story and acted on the report as they would any other.

As I stated earlier, we do not proactively report or remove content on behalf of other users no matter who they are. This behavior is not acceptable and undermines the trust our users have in us. We should not and cannot be in the business of proactively monitoring and flagging content, no matter who the user is — whether a business partner, celebrity or friend. As of earlier today, the account has been unsuspended, and we will actively work to ensure this does not happen again.

As I’ve written elsewhere, looking at Twitter, censorship and Internet freedom, my sense is that, of all of the major social media players, Twitter has been one of the leaders in the technology community for sticking up for its users. It’s taken some notable stands, particularly with respect to the matter of fighting to make Twitter subpoena from the U.S. Justice Department regarding user data public.

“Twitter is so hands off, only stepping in to ban people in really narrow circumstances like impersonation and tweeting personal information like non-public email addresses. It also bans impersonation and harassment understood VERY NARROWLY, as credible threats of imminent physical harm,” wrote Citron.  ”That is Twitter’s choice. By my lights, and from conversations with their safety folks, they are very deferential to speech. Indeed, their whole policy is a “we are a speech platform,” implying that what transpires there is public speech and hence subject to great latitude.” 

Much of the good will Twitter had built up, however, may have evaporated after this week. My perspective is that this episode absolutely drives home (again) the need to own your own platform online, particularly for media entities and government. While there is clearly enormous utility in “going where the people are” online to participate in conversations, share news and listen to learn what’s happening, that activity doesn’t come without strings or terms of service.

To be clear, I don’t plan on leaving Twitter any time soon. I do think that McGillivray’s explanation highlights the need for the company to get its internal house in order, in terms of a church and state relationship between its policy and safety team, which makes suspension decisions, and its media partnerships team, which works with parties that might be aggrieved by what Twitter users are tweeting. If Twitter becomes a media company, a future that this NBC Olympics deal suggests, such distinctions could be just as important for it as the “church and state” relationship between traditional newspaper companies or broadcasters.

While that does mean that a media organization could be censored by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack (a tactic used in Russia) and that it must get a domain name, set up Web hosting and a content management system, the barrier to entry on all three counts has radically fallen.

The open Internet and World Wide Web, fragile and insecure as they may seem at times, remain the surest way to publish what you want and have it remain online, accessible to the networked world. When you own your own platform online, it’s much harder for a third party company nervous about the reaction of advertisers or media partners to take your voice away.

June 12 2012

Drawings of internet trolls – in pictures

Parliament is currently debating legislation to help deal with the problem of internet trolls – but what are they, exactly? Artist Lucy Pepper keeps a collection of her own interpretation of "trolls, irritating internauts, and assorted internet pests" on her website. Here's a selection of her work. Can you spot your online nemesis?

April 28 2012

A look into China's billionaire ‘red aristocracy'

The Stream, a social media community with a daily TV show on Al Jazeera, has put together content from different social media sources about Chinese billionaires, known as the ‘red aristocracy' for their connections with Communist Party leadership.

April 25 2012

China: New vBlog Weibo Today

Blogger Elle Lee launched its new vBlog Weibo Today a month ago, a weekly online show in English about the hottest topics on China's social networks.

January 24 2012

Robot cleaners and the Museum of Me: Intel's vision of the future

Intel's best-known project might be gimmicky, but its new collaboration with the Royal College of Art is full of daring

Over the last decade or so, the burgeoning culture industry has spawned museums at such a rate that it seems no small town or minor artist will be left unrepresented. Now, social media has taken that logic to its absurd conclusion: it is not just minor artists who will get their own museum, we all will. Or so the creators of the Museum of Me would have us believe. Launched last year, and last week named the FWA (Favourite Website awards) site of the year, the Museum of Me turns your Facebook profile into a virtual exhibition. It sounds cheesy (and it is), but the fact that it already has more than 850,000 "likes" confirms that you can't underestimate the public's self-obsession.

The site, designed by Japanese agency Projector, takes the 19th-century concept of the museum as edifying repository and turns it into a characteristically 21st-century memorial to the self. Entering this generically deconstructivist building, what you get is a fly-through animation of a series of galleries, with pictures of you and your friends on the walls. There is a random selection of status updates jumbled on screens, and then a final sequence that implies, erroneously, that you are merely a composite of your social network. A soaring soundtrack turns the sentimentality dial to max. The experience is a cross between a photo album, a phonebook and a funeral. Not until the very end do you realise that it was all just an ad: "Intel Core i5. Visibly Smart".

The Museum of Me is a deft piece of marketing by microchip maker Intel. Given the opportunity to see how your life looks splashed on a museum's walls, you'd have to be the uncurious type not to have a peek. You can see why it went viral. But Intel doesn't sell directly to consumers, so what does it get out of this? Brand awareness, clearly, but also an opportunity to demonstrate that it is the purveyor of new experiences. And that's where it gets interesting: the Museum of Me may be a disposable gimmick, but Intel spends a good deal of time imagining what the future of our everyday experiences will look like. It has to. Making a microchip takes between three and seven years. Chips can't be designed to run gadgets we already own, or to satisfy observable consumer behaviour: they have to be designed for a market that doesn't yet exist.

"Our job is to think five years ahead, or beyond," says Wendy March, senior designer at Intel's department of interaction and experience research. "Technology changes so rapidly, and what's next on the horizon is sometimes closer than you think." As a result, Intel sponsors some of the most speculative research in design today. Working with design schools across the world, it sets students the task of dreaming up future scenarios – no matter how implausible they might seem.

One school the company has a longstanding relationship with is London's Royal College of Art. In recent years it has sponsored research by Intel's interaction design department into such topics as the future of money and the use of robots in the domestic environment. In a cashless society, what rituals would we devise to make money tangible? How would we communicate with our robots? One student envisaged a "swab-bot" that roams the house doing hygiene tests and leaving you notes about your unsatisfactory cleanliness. "It's not about, 'Here's an idea, let's make that.' It's more about expanding our thinking," says March.

The RCA group's current research is into the future of social computing. This isn't just about social media and our insatiable appetite for sharing our personal lives. Social computing also allows asthma sufferers, for instance, to share information about air quality and their medication use, revealing patterns that will help improve their future treatment. "We're accumulating more and more data – but what do we do with it?" says March. "How do we stop it going into the digital equivalent of the cupboard under the stairs?"

Students at the RCA are finding various uses for it. One has designed an app that plays a soundtrack related to the crime figures for different areas of London, giving you an atmospheric sense of how safe you are, statistically, as you walk through the city. Another has documented all the posters at the Occupy site so that they can be shared digitally when they disappear (the British Library is interested in making it part of its collection). Other ideas are more speculative: for instance, turning social housing blocks into human supercomputers or hive minds, gathering the so-called wisdom of crowds.

This kind of research is not about plugging a gap in the market, but about enabling students to think beyond the narrowness of tech products. "It's useful because it shows the students there is another way of working with industry that's not about products," says Tony Dunne, the RCA's professor of design interactions. "Instead they can be involved upstream, even challenging a company's own ideas, using story-telling, speculation and social observation." With a company like Intel this is particularly interesting: as computing becomes ubiquitous, microprocessors are not just for gadgets but are increasingly woven into the fabric of everyday life. As William Gibson put it a decade ago, "I very much doubt that our grandchildren will understand the distinction between that which is a computer and that which isn't." © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

January 09 2012

Finger weg von Twitpic, Twitter und Lockerz beim Foto-Upload, stattdessen Yfrog oder Mobypicture nutzen - There's a plane in the Hudson. I'm on the ferry going to pick up the people. Crazy.
Janis Krums

There's a plane in the Hudson. I'm on the ferry going to pick... on Twitpic

Wer Twitpic, Twitter und Lockerz nutzt, um Fotos hochzuladen, gewährt ihnen alle Nutzungsrechte, ohne einen Anspruch auf Vergütung zu haben. Yfrog und Mobypicture dagegen sind fair zu den Urhebern.

Jon Boyes hat in einem sehr informativen Beitrag die Nutzungsbedingungen von Diensten untersucht, die es erlauben, Fotos bei Twitter zu veröffentlichen. (Der Beitrag ist schon im August 2011 erschienen, aber weiterhin aktuell.) Das besondere an diesen Diensten ist, dass sie es einem auf sehr einfache Art und Weise ermöglichen, Fotos so hochzuladen, dass sie direkt und automatisiert in einem Tweet verlinkt bzw. in vielen Twitter-Diensten (wie Seesmic oder Hootsuite) oder Twitter-Clients (wie Tweetdeck) sofort angezeigt werden, ohne dass der Nutzer in einen Browser wechseln muss.

Das macht die Angebote attraktiv für Nutzer, aber wer auf Twitpic, Lockerz oder den neuen Twitter-eigenen Service setzt, geht leer aus, sollte er einmal ein wertvolles Foto schießen. Das liegt daran, dass sich alle diese Dienste von den Nutzer sämtliche Nutzungsrechte übertragen lassen. Dass sie versichern, die Urheberrechte blieben bei den Fotografen, ist nur ein sehr schwacher Trost. Denn zum einen ist das Urheberrecht in Deutschland ohnehin nicht abtretbar. Zum anderen wäre die Chance, ein Foto, dass z.B. durch die Veröffentlichung auf Twitpic populär geworden ist, selbst an einen Verlag oder Fernsehsender lizenzieren zu können, verschwindend gering.

Natürlich ist die Frage, ob man sich über einen solchen Fall überhaupt Gedanken machen muss, wenn man kein Profi ist und nur mit seinem Funktelefon Schnappschüsse macht. Doch was, wenn einer dabei ist, der Geschichte schreibt? Dann hätte man schon gern das Recht, damit auch den einen oder anderen Euro zu verdienen.

Das erlauben Yfrog und Mobypicture, denn beide versichern, hochgeladene Fotos nicht ohne Zustimmung des Fotografen an andere zu lizenzieren.

Die Frage, ob die Bedingungen aller Dienste in Deutschland überhaupt Gültigkeit erlangen, lasse ich außen vor, da das zwar mit guten Gründen bezweifelt werden kann. Doch zum einen ist eine sehr komplexe Abwägung zu treffen, um dazu etwas Zuverlässiges sagen zu können. Zum anderen gibt es ja mit Yfrog und Mobypicture Anbieter, bei denen ein Konflikt erst gar nicht entstehen sollte (es sei denn, sie halten sich nicht an ihre eigenen Vorgaben, wofür es aber keine Anzeichen gibt). Also am besten einen der beiden als Standardanwendung einstellen, bevor man sensationelle Fotos macht…

via @japi999@mikko & @reppesgaard

March 12 2011

SXSW 2011: Can Facebook photos be used commercially?

Social network grilled over whether businesses and advertisers could co-opt 'Flickr's worth of photos uploaded every month'

Much of the focus of this discussion was inevitably focused on Facebook's photos product manager, Sam Odio, who disappointingly played the "not my remit' card when asked the most interested and pertinent questions about Facebook's use of users' photos, including facial recognition and how images might be co-opted by advertisers.

• Facebook sees "a Flickr's worth of photos uploaded every month", said Odio. But it's worth considering the different values of those two services: Flickr includes some high-quality, well edited photography, while Facebook focuses on storytelling over quality. It doesn't matter, said Odio, if that first photo of your newborn nephew is blurry: it's the social context behind the photo.

• Odio fielded a question by one delegate about how businesses and advertisers might start appropriating photos for commercial use. "We're not in the business of selling ads through people's photos and we want to prevent businesses having free rein over users," he said. "But businesses are users," pushed the delegate. Odio said Facebook would want the people in the photos to be telling the story – which means advertising would be there but more subtly, and directed by users.

• As for ownership of photos, Odio said that comes down to the need to build the API in such a way that it can access your friends' photos. If each of those users retained ownership, that would become very complicated. "There are worries we are going to use photos in advertising but it doesn't really benefit us that much given how sensitive the subject is."

Yan-David Erlick, a serial entrepreneur who founded, predicted that social photos will become even more integrated with our lives through different sorts of tagging. "Timelines between items will mean that over time, these entities are not viewed as individual pieces of media but will have contextual attributes tying them to other pieces."

• Odio explained how after struggling to keep his startup photo site Divvyshot going in 2009, ploughing in all his own savings, he got a random email one Sunday night. It was from Blake Ross, who later turned out to be co-creator of Firefox, at an address at Facebook. "He said 'Sam – your site looks interesting. You should come here.' I was living with six developers at the time and they were all looking over my shoulder to figure out if the email was fake or not." It was, and Facebook acquired Divvyshot in April 2010.

• Feature requests aren't always the best way to develop a product. Odio said nobody asked for Instagram, which just raised $7m in funding, but now it is taking off. Facebook's engineers also have a monthly hackathon where they can work on whatever they like; that doesn't determine product direction but features such as drag-and-drop organisation have come out of that.

• On facial recognition, all Odio would say is that Facebook "hasn't been able to move quickly on it given how sensitive it is", which does seem to imply it would have liked to do plenty if it could have got away with it.

• Odio said a startup should make the product extremely simple; he had got distracted when trying to add too many features and functions. "Focus on one thing and do it extremely well. In early days the product needs to be explained to users in 10 seconds or less."

• One delegate said he was concerned that Facebook is becoming such an important repository for his life, and that photos are the most easily accessible part of that archive compared to status updates or messages. Erlich described the web being used as an external memory for us all, from photos to phone numbers; this ties in with Clay Shirky's idea of cognitive surplus – if machines can take over the mechanical parts of our brain function, what can we do with the space and energy that frees up? © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

February 26 2011

"This could be the kind of social justice moment that many of us have been waiting for," says Bill Fletcher, Jr. of the Center for Labor Renewal. He points out that the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia are not just spreading to Libya, locked in a deadly struggle with its own dictator, but in Ohio, Wisconsin, and around the US. "People are picking up on the energy and the audacity of the democratic revolt," he notes. Bill joins Laura in studio to discuss the fight in Libya, the connections to labor uprisings in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana, and why progressives have an opportunity now that can't be let slide. Distributed by Tubemogul.
Reposted bykellerabteilkrekkekeliasozelboteat-slow

September 09 2010

August 08 2010

Die Meinungsmacht des Internet

Die Kommission zur Ermittlung der Konzentration im Medienbereich (KEK) hat unlängst ein von ihr in Auftrag gegebenes Gutachten zur  ”Bedeutung des Internets im Rahmen der Vielfaltssicherung” veröffentlicht. Die Studie, über die CARTA vor ein paar Tagen schon berichtet hat, beschäftigt sich vor allem mit der Frage der publizistischen Relevanz und der Meinungsbildungsrelevanz des Mediums Internet.

Das erscheint mir in etwa so wie die Frage nach der publizistischen Relevanz von Papier. Insoweit ist die Ausgangsfrage bereits ungenau gestellt, denn sie impliziert, das Internet sei ein Medium wie die Presse und der Rundfunk. Das Internet ist allerdings nur eine technische Struktur, die es erlaubt, unterschiedlichste Inhalte zu veröffentlichen. Offenbar geht es den Autoren aber darum, die Relevanz von Presse und Rundfunk der Bedeutung neuer publizistischer Erscheinungsformen (Blogs, Twitter etc.) gegenüberzustellen. Die Onlineangebote von klassischen Anbietern wie ARD, ZDF, Spiegel, ZEIT oder Süddeutsche werden dabei den klassischen Medien zugeordnet und nicht dem Internet. Dass damit möglicherweise bereits die Ausgangsfragen falsch bzw. ungenau gestellt sind, sollte man allerdings weniger den Autoren anlasten, als ihren Auftraggebern.

Dies Formulierung der Ausgangsfrage führt zu dem wenig sensationellen Ergebnis, dass die traditionellen Massenmedien und besonders das Fernsehen als journalistische und politische Medien immer noch bedeutsamer sind als das Internet. Man wird auch kaum erwarten dürfen, dass von Blogs in absehbarer Zeit eine größere Meinungsmacht ausgeht, als von allen klassischen Medien zusammen. Würde man die Online-Inhalte der traditionellen Anbieter anders zuordnen, wäre das Ergebnis sicherlich weniger eindeutig.

Eine weitere Annahme der Studie besteht darin, dass die publizistische Leistung von Blogs eher gering sei und auch bislang keinen bedeutenden Faktor für die Meinungsbildung darstellen würde. Insoweit dürfte allerdings der Umstand nicht ausreichend gewürdigt worden sein, dass gerade professionelle Journalisten vermehrt (bestimmte) Blogs verfolgen und aus diesem Grund immer öfter Themen aus den Blogs in die Mainstream-Medien überschwappen. Dass der umgekehrte Effekt, nämlich dass Blogs Themen aus traditionellen Medien aufgreifen, nach wie vor überwiegt, dürfte dennoch klar sein.

Daneben ist aber auch das Phänomen zu beobachten, dass Themen, über die zuerst in traditionellen Medien nur am Rande berichtet wird, erst über den Umweg der Blogs und mit einer Verzögerung von mehreren Tagen auf die Titelseiten der Zeitungen und in die Tagesschau gelangen. Bestes Beispiel hierfür ist das Interview von Horst Köhler zu Afghanistan und zur Rolle der Bundeswehr bei Auslandseinsätzen, das letztlich zum Rücktritt des Bundespräsidenten geführt hat. Eine Passage aus einem Interview Köhlers mit dem Deutschlandradio ist zunächst in den traditionellen Medien kaum beachtet worden, wurde aber über mehrere Tage hinweg intensiv im Web 2.0 diskutiert, bis es schließlich zum Top-Thema in allen großen Medien avancierte. Diese Entwicklung wäre ohne die neuen Kommunikationsformen nicht denkbar gewesen und zeigt sehr schön den Einfluss von Blogs als Verstärker gewisser Themen, denen sich die großen Medien (zunächst) nicht annehmen.

Auch der politische Einfluss, der von neu gegründeten Bürgerrechtsbewegungen und deren Kampagnen ausgeht, wurde in der Studie nicht ausreichend berücksichtigt. Gerade bei Themen wie Vorratsdatenspeicherung und Netzsperren ist der politische Einfluss aus dem Netz heraus deutlich spürbar angestiegen.

Die Autoren der Studie scheinen mir insgesamt zu stark den traditionellen Medien verbunden zu sein. Sie stützen ihre Thesen zudem häufig auf andere Studien, deren Datenmaterial zwangsläufig zumeist mehrere Jahre alt ist. Das führt gerade wegen der Geschwindigkeit mit der sich Kommunikationsprozesse verändern, zu einer verzerrten Darstellung. Nach meiner Beobachtung hat sich in Deutschland gerade in den letzten zwei bis drei Jahren hier sehr viel getan. Eine Entwicklung die diese Studie noch nicht in Gänze erfasst hat.

May 04 2010

Neue Lücke bei SchülerVZ berichtet über ein neues Datenleck bei SchülerVZ und davon, dass man 1,6 Millionen Datensätze, quasi als Beleg, zugeschickt bekommen hat.

Diese neue Meldung fand ich u.a. auch deshalb interessant, weil der Justitiar der VZ-Gruppe Dr. Schenk bei einem Vortrag am 30.04.2010 auf dem Reh..Mo Sysmposium in Passau noch betont hatte, dass Datenschutz bei der VZ-Gruppe oberste Priorität habe, dass man in diesem Punkt mittlerweile damit auch bei Tests von Verbrauchermagazinen gewinnen würde und man dies zudem als Wettbewersbvorteil gegenüber der amerikanischen Konkurrenz sehe.

Dass es in der Praxis freilich anders aussieht, zeigt der Bericht von Man muss allerdings auch immer wieder betonen, dass es sich bei diesen Daten nicht um vertrauliche Nutzerdaten handelt, sondern vielmehr um solche Daten, die die Nutzer selbst offen eingestellt haben und die grundsätzlich jeder registrierte Nutzer von SchülerVZ einsehen kann. Woran man sich zu stören scheint, ist deshalb der Umstand, dass sich diese Daten mittels eines Crawlers automatisiert abgreifen und zusammenführen lassen.

April 16 2010


Die Träume der Netz-Utopisten und die Wirklichkeit: Ist das Internet ein Medium der Emanzipation und des Umsturzes - oder ein Werkzeug der Kontrolle und der Unterdrückung? Haben Twitter und Facebook die Rebellion in Iran befeuert, oder halfen sie, die Rebellen zu enttarnen? Ein skeptischer Dialog

Internet: Das Unbehagen an der digitalen Macht - Hintergründe - Feuilleton - FAZ.NET
Reposted fromannalist annalist

April 14 2010


David Sasaki, Director bei der Non-Profit-Site Global Voices Online, zeigt Beispiele für Netzprojekte, die für mehr Transparenz, Partizipation und Demokratie sorgen - und benennt deren Schwächen.
Reposted bysigalonsoupfaves sigalonsoupfaves
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