Americans are increasingly using internet tools to keep informed about what is happening in their communities, according to a new report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project.
Among the findings:
Ever wonder why youth have to be over 13 to create an account on Facebook or Gmail or Skype? It has nothing to do with safety. In 1998, the U.S. Congress enacted the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) with the best of intentions. They wanted to make certain that corporations could not collect or sell data about children under the age of 13 without parental permission, so they created a requirement to check age and get parental permission for those under 13.<!–break–>
A Dutch court has ruled that disclosing the general location of files that infringe copyright is the same thing as infringing copyright itself. The website FTD has a forum where users discuss which Usenet newsgroups contain infringing movies. They do this in plain language, the Dutch equivalent of, “Hey, the group $FOO has the movie $BAR in it.” The discussions don’t include links. The Dutch court has ruled that hosting a discussion that includes conversational descriptions of infringing files is the same as publishing links to those files is the same as hosting the files yourself. This is a major overturning of Dutch jurisprudence, and a disaster for free speech; the potential chilling effect for anyone who might host a forum or comment section is enormous.
from Social Media Examiner by Peter Wylie
Just some thoughts on a international report on blogging by sysomos I saw today (blog post here). I’m always really interested in international comparisons of blogging, but this one – based on the methodological details they give anyway – is not as useful as I hoped.
To be fair, they are also faced with the perennial problem which is not knowing the total population (of blogs) and therefore whatever sample is taken, it can ultimately only be said to represent itself. And I don’t know their precise way of collecting data, which may have taken into account some of the critiques outlined below. So I’d love to hear from anyone with more details on the data sampling and so on.
By Nicole Hyman
The recent flotilla debacle may have started at sea but it was to the Twitosphere that many activists turned, filling it with condemnation of Israel. The power of Twitter as a mobilizing force and alternative platform for affecting change is not to be underestimated. From the Iranian election, to the more recent Thai protests, citizens and activists alike have come to rely on Twitter as a way of bypassing mainstream media and making themselves heard. But what would happen if Twitter started censoring, as many tweeting about the flotilla began to fear?
The deluge of information available on the Web has made the country ungovernable, according to Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder John Perry Barlow.
“The political system is broken partly because of Internet,” Barlow said. “It’s made it impossible to govern anything the size of the nation-state. We’re going back to the city-state. The nation-state is ungovernably information-rich.”
While Yahoo! has previously announced their intention to release a comprehensive integration with Facebook, few details have been available as to what exactly that means. Yesterday, Techcrunch released screenshots of the new integration and so far it’s nothing that it is exactly unexpected. Instead it’s simply deep product integration of Facebook into Yahoo’s existing product suite, including Yahoo! Mail, and the company’s massively popular homepage.
As Sysomos spiders and aggregates content from the blogosphere, we gather a lot of real-time information about who’s blogging and where they’re located.