Tag archives for Social media

Facebook – Annoying Distraction or Sinister Manipulation?

A linux laptop running wireshark to illustrate cyber defence in action (photo credit: James Kemp) If you are reading this on Facebook, my apologies. I've not logged in since November 2017 and I've recently deleted the app from my phone. I'd like to keep in touch with people, but Facebook doesn't make that easy any more.  Given the recent news about their changes I guess it isn't just me. Facebook's problem If you still have a Facebook account that you actively use then I'm sure you'll know this. Step back for a moment and scroll through the top dozen or so items. Don't engage with them, just take a long hard look. Count how many are original posts from close friends or family, people you actually know and enjoy spending time with. Not shares, comments or adverts. It's a small…
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Narrative and Social Media

I had a bit of a lightbulb moment the other day about social media and the driving of narrative. It was when I was doing my analysis on the recent coup attempt in Turkey. Narrative Power Terry Pratchett - master of narrative (Photo credit: Wikipedia) As any reader of Terry Pratchett knows, narrative has a power of its own. Humans are storyphiles. We just love stories, and where we have a narrative in play we will ignore inconvenient facts so that the narrative can continue. Some of what appears to constitute shock might simply be the disruption of narrative. Social media and the filter bubble Social media is well known for creating a filter bubble effect. This isn't a new phenomenon, but the effects are becoming more obvious. See Guido Fawkes on the Brexit filter bubble. Humans are social animals, and maintaining group cohesion requires…
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Thunderclap campaign #StartatGOVUK

The UK's Government Digital Service are launching a thunderclap () to encourage people to start at when accessing UK government information and services (#StartatGOVUK).  Be awesome and beat the scammers! Misleading websites There is a problem with websites pretending to be official UK government services. Some of these take money from people.  These unscrupulous people use google ads to get to the top of search engine rankings so that they are clicked on by people looking to interact with government. Scammers make people pay for free services ( E111 / EHIC are provided free, scammers charge people £20-£30) People pay twice for services ( scammers make people pay more for government services and often the person also has to pay for the real service when they access it - this has happened on driving licence renewals, tax self-assessment and urgent passport services) Dealing with the problem There are two main parts to the…
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