If you feel like the general tone of social media has taken a turn for the nasty in recent years, you're not alone: according to an online survey of 2,698 people conducted in February by VitalSmarts, 78% of respondents said they have perceived an increase in rude behavior online, and 76% said they have witnessed arguments between other people over social media.
Have you ever wondered how many of the tweets and status updates you see on social media every day were composed when the author was on the toilet? No? Well perhaps you should start, because it is probably a pretty big number.
Of all the institutions threatened, or at least disrupted, by the advent of social media, one that I never would have guessed (but should have, in retrospect) is the sobriety checkpoint. It turns out social media had made the job of law enforcement quite a bit more difficult when it comes to catching drunk drivers, because drivers can share the information on social media via their mobile phones (another driving no-no).
One of the most popular blogs documenting Mexico's drug war, Valor por Tamaulipas (Bravery for Tamaulipas), closed down this week after threats of violence against the owner. That means one less source of information for Mexicans concerned about the drug war, as many professional journalists have already been silenced by similar threats.
New York City's gang members don't seem to be catching on to the fact that much of their social media activity is visible to New York City's finest -- that, or they just don't care. In the latest example of criminal stupidity or indifference, New York City police said they have arrested 63 alleged members of three gangs for various crimes including three murders, around three dozen shootings, and gun trafficking, after gang members boasted of their exploits on social media.
Ugandan troops and roughly 100 advisors from U.S. Special Forces have suspended their search for Joseph Kony, the infamous leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, in the Central African Republic, following the overthrow of that country's government by another rebel group.
Although evil bosses love to hate social media, it turns out the extra communication capabilities conferred by social media can raise workplace productivity. That's according to a new study of technology companies in the U.K., Germany, and Finland, conducted by researchers at the U.K.'s Warwick University Business School.
With the era of "big data" upon us, the White House today announced the creation of a new position, the "data czar," who will be responsible for leading efforts to understand the implications of the reams of data being produced by social media and behavioral tracking. President Barack Obama made the announcement with his first data czar, Leslie Klew, standing beside him in the White House press room.