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CA — The Use of Social Media by Canadian Judicial Officers

July 9, 2015 Comments off

The Use of Social Media by Canadian Judicial Officers (PDF)
Source: Canadian Centre for Court Technology

This ground-breaking discussion paper examines the complex issues surrounding the use by judges and tribunal members of social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn. The foundation of the discussion paper is an unprecedented survey of Canadian judicial officers. Responses from almost 700 participants (approximately 500 in English and 200 in French) provide valuable information about their use of, and opinions on, social media.

After a review of the responses, and consideration of what is currently available as guidance to judicial officers as well as examples of the implications of social media use, the discussion paper concludes with the recommendation that all judicial officers “have a duty to ensure that they understand the advantages, disadvantages and risks of the use of social media in personal and professional contexts and conduct themselves accordingly.”

The paper also concludes that existing policies, principles, codes of conduct or guidelines are inadequate to respond to that duty and suggests that until more guidance is provided, “judicial officers should use social media with caution, keeping in mind the above principles.”

Characteristics of Social Network Gamers: in between Social Networking and Online Role-Playing Games

July 6, 2015 Comments off

Characteristics of Social Network Gamers: in between Social Networking and Online Role-Playing Games
Source: Frontiers in Psychiatry

Current research on internet addiction (IA) reported moderate to high prevalence rates of IA and comorbid psychiatric symptoms in users of social networking sites (SNS) and online role-playing games. The aim of this study was to characterise adult users of an internet multiplayer strategy game within a SNS. Therefore, we conducted an exploratory study using an online survey to assess sociodemographic variables, psychopathology and the rate of IA in a sample of adult social network gamers by Young´s Internet Addiction Test (IAT), the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS), the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II), the Symptom Checklist-90-R (SCL-90-R) and the WHO Quality of Life-BREF (WHOQOL-BREF). All participants were listed gamers of “combat zone” in the SNS “Facebook”. In the IAT analysis, 16.2 % of the participants (n = 60) were categorized as subjects with IA and 19.5 % (n = 72) fulfilled the criteria for alexithymia. Comparing study participants with and without IA, the IA group had significantly more subjects with alexithymia, reported more depressive symptoms, and showed poorer quality of life. These findings suggest that social network gaming might also be associated with maladaptive patterns of internet use. Furthermore, a relationship between IA, alexithymia and depressive symptoms was found that needs to be elucidated by future studies.

Millennials and Political News Social Media – the Local TV for the Next Generation?

June 5, 2015 Comments off

Millennials and Political News Social Media – the Local TV for the Next Generation?
Source: Pew Research Center

When it comes to where younger Americans get news about politics and government, social media look to be the local TV of the Millennial generation. About six-in-ten online Millennials (61%) report getting political news on Facebook in a given week, a much larger percentage than turn to any other news source, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis. This stands in stark contrast to internet-using Baby Boomers, for whom local TV tops the list of sources for political news at nearly the same reach (60%).

At the same time, Millennials’ relatively low reliance on local TV for political news (37% see news there in a given week) almost mirrors Baby Boomers’ comparatively low reliance on Facebook (39%).

Gen Xers, who bridge the age gap between Millennials (ages 18-33 at the time of the 2014 survey) and Baby Boomers (ages 50-68), also bridge the gap between these news sources. Roughly half (51%) of online Gen Xers get political and government news on Facebook in a given week and about half (46%) do so on local TV.

EU — Cybersecurity: Jihadism and the internet

May 21, 2015 Comments off

Cybersecurity: Jihadism and the internet
Source: European Parliament Think Tank

Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria in March 2011, the numbers of European citizens supporting or joining the ranks of ISIL/Da’esh have been growing steadily, and may now be as high as 4 000 individuals. At the same time, the possible avenues for radicalisation are multiplying and the risks of domestic terrorism increasing. The proliferation of global jihadi messaging online and their reliance on social networks suggest that the internet is increasingly a tool for promoting jihadist ideology, collecting funds and mobilising their ranks.

Governance of Online Intermediaries: Observations from a Series of National Case Studies

May 4, 2015 Comments off

Governance of Online Intermediaries: Observations from a Series of National Case Studies
Source: Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University

This project examines the rapidly changing landscape of online intermediary liability at the intersection of law, technology, norms, and markets, and is aimed at informing and improving Internet policy-making globally. It is a first output of a larger initiative on the governance of online intermediaries and represents a globally coordinated, independent academic research project by the Network of Interdisciplinary Internet & Society Research Centers (NoC) consisting of a case study series exploring online intermediary liability frameworks and issues in Brazil, the European Union, India, South Korea, the United States, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam, and a synthesis paper.

Equity-based Crowdfunding: Potential Implications for Small Business Capital

April 22, 2015 Comments off

Equity-based Crowdfunding: Potential Implications for Small Business Capital (PDF)
Source: U.S. Small Business Administration

For small business owners and entrepreneurs to build, grow, and support their business, it takes capital, and today, many of these individuals are choosing alternative forms of capital. One popular avenue is crowdfunding. “Crowdfunding systems enable users to make investments in various types of projects and ventures, often in small amounts, outside of a regulated exchange, using online social media platforms that facilitate direct interaction between investors as well as with the individual(s) raising funds.” There are three basic types of crowdfunding. Money is given in exchange for a clearly defined good (reward), a piece of the venture (equity), or a loan agreement (peer-to-peer). Typically, these three types of crowdfunding occur on different types of websites or platforms. Today, crowdfunding is steadily reaching critical mass as it is now estimated to be worth $3 billion to $5 billion worldwide.

Despite the growth of crowdfunding in the alternative lending landscape, one major crowdfunding method remains untapped. Equity-based crowdfunding was created under Title III of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act (2012), but the rule under Title III is still being written at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to expand the ability for entrepreneurs to sell equity to prospective investors online. Until the SEC issues final rules under Title III, equity-based crowdfunding for the vast majority of Americans remains off-limits.

CRS — Social Media in the House of Representatives: Frequently Asked Questions (April 2, 2015)

April 16, 2015 Comments off

Social Media in the House of Representatives: Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Recently, the number of Member offices adopting social media as an official communications tool has increased. With the increased use of social media accounts for official representational duties, the House has adopted policies and regulations regarding the creation, content, and use of third-party social media services. This report answers several questions about the regulation of social media accounts in the House of Representatives.

• How does the House define social media?
• How are social media accounts regulated in the House?
• What makes a social media account an official resource?
• Can Members use official funds for social media?
• Is some content prohibited on official social media accounts?
• Do the mass communications regulations apply to social media?

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