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Archive for the ‘social media’ Category

The digital traces of bubbles: feedback cycles between socio-economic signals in the Bitcoin economy

August 27, 2014 Comments off

The digital traces of bubbles: feedback cycles between socio-economic signals in the Bitcoin economy (PDF)
Source: Journal of the Royal Society Interface (via ETH Risk Center – Working Paper Series)

What is the role of social interactions in the creation of price bubbles? Answering this question requires obtaining collective behavioural traces generated by the activity of a large number of actors. Digital currencies offer a unique possibility to measure socio-economic signals from such digital traces. Here, we focus on Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency. Bitcoin has experienced periods of rapid increase in exchange rates (price) followed by sharp decline; we hypothesize that these fluctuations are largely driven by the interplay between different social phenomena. We thus quantify four socio-economic signals about Bitcoin from large datasets: price on online exchanges, volume of word-of-mouth communication in online social media, volume of information search and user base growth. By using vector autoregression, we identify two positive feedback loops that lead to price bubbles in the absence of exogenous stimuli: one driven by word of mouth, and the other by new Bitcoin adopters. We also observe that spikes in information search, presumably linked to external events, precede drastic price declines. Understanding the interplay between the socio-economic signals we measured can lead to applications beyond cryptocurrencies to other phenomena that leave digital footprints, such as online social network usage.

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Social media freedom in Turkey

August 27, 2014 Comments off

Social media freedom in Turkey
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

After a two-month ban, the Turkish government restored access to the video-sharing website YouTube in June 2014. This move was necessary to comply with a Constitutional Court (CC) ruling, which judged blocking the site as a breach of freedom of expression. In April Turkey’s highest court had ruled in a similar case, overturning the controversial ban on the micro-blogging site Twitter. While Turkish Prime Minister (PM) Erdogan criticized the judgment fiercely, Stefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement, commended the CC for “safeguard[ing] rule of law and respect for fundamental rights and freedoms”.

The two social media court cases illustrate the widening gap between an increasingly authoritarian government and the judiciary in Turkey.

Social Media and the ‘Spiral of Silence’

August 26, 2014 Comments off

Social Media and the ‘Spiral of Silence’
Source: Pew Research Center Internet Project

Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms did not provide new outlets for the discussion of the Snowden-NSA revelations. People who thought their social media friends disagreed with them were less likely to discuss the issues in person and online.

EU — Security of the Internet, including e-Government, cloud computing and social networks

August 21, 2014 Comments off

Security of the Internet, including e-Government, cloud computing and social networks
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

As we become increasingly dependent on the internet for all aspects of our lives, how can Europe on the web work best while ensuring that everyone can trust online services?

STOA has examined the latest technological advances with regard to the internet and information technologies in Europe. STOA is the Science and Technology Options Assessment body,which provides independent scientific advice to the European Parliament.

Technology could help foster a European civil society and political sphere, particularly if the European institutions widened their e-participation efforts. This was the conclusion of the 2011 STOA study on ‘E-public, e-participation and e-voting in Europe’. The study did not currently recommend e-voting. However, technology could start addressing the perceived ‘democratic deficit’ in the European Union. The European institutions could broaden e-participation, involving citizens more in the legislative process and creating an ‘e-public’, a European political sphere, perhaps a basis for a shared sense of European citizenship.

E-Health Interventions for Suicide Prevention

August 19, 2014 Comments off

E-Health Interventions for Suicide Prevention
Source: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Many people at risk of suicide do not seek help before an attempt, and do not remain connected to health services following an attempt. E-health interventions are now being considered as a means to identify at-risk individuals, offer self-help through web interventions or to deliver proactive interventions in response to individuals’ posts on social media. In this article, we examine research studies which focus on these three aspects of suicide and the internet: the use of online screening for suicide, the effectiveness of e-health interventions aimed to manage suicidal thoughts, and newer studies which aim to proactively intervene when individuals at risk of suicide are identified by their social media postings. We conclude that online screening may have a role, although there is a need for additional robust controlled research to establish whether suicide screening can effectively reduce suicide-related outcomes, and in what settings online screening might be most effective. The effectiveness of Internet interventions may be increased if these interventions are designed to specifically target suicidal thoughts, rather than associated conditions such as depression. The evidence for the use of intervention practices using social media is possible, although validity, feasibility and implementation remains highly uncertain.

Online Social Networks: Threats and Solutions

August 11, 2014 Comments off

Online Social Networks: Threats and Solutions
Source: arXiv.org

Many online social network (OSN) users are unaware of the numerous security risks that exist in these networks, including privacy violations, identity theft, and sexual harassment, just to name a few. According to recent studies, OSN users readily expose personal and private details about themselves, such as relationship status, date of birth, school name, email address, phone number, and even home address. This information, if put into the wrong hands, can be used to harm users both in the virtual world and in the real world. These risks become even more severe when the users are children. In this paper we present a thorough review of the different security and privacy risks which threaten the well-being of OSN users in general, and children in particular. In addition, we present an overview of existing solutions that can provide better protection, security, and privacy for OSN users. We also offer simple-to-implement recommendations for OSN users which can improve their security and privacy when using these platforms. Furthermore, we suggest future research directions.

Hat tip: INFOdocket

Nielsen Study: Significant Overlap Between People Tweeting About TV and Brands

August 10, 2014 Comments off

Nielsen Study: Significant Overlap Between People Tweeting About TV and Brands
Source: Lost Remote/Nielsen

A recently Nielsen study measures the overlap between people who tweet about TV and people who tweet about brands that advertise on TV.

According to the report, 17 million people sent 361 million tweets about TV through April. In the same time period, “17 million people sent 215 million tweets about the approximately 700 brands that Nielsen Social captures.” The purpose of measuring the overlap was to better understand the value of social TV audiences to brands.

Free registration required to access report.

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