Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

Russian Influence Operations on Twitter

Russian Influence Operations on Twitter

Summary This short paper lays out an attempt to measure how much activity from Russian state-operated accounts released in the dataset made available by Twitter in October 2018 was targeted at the United Kingdom. Finding UK-related Tweets is not an easy task. By applying a combination of geographic inference, keyword analysis and classification by algorithm, we identified UK-related Tweets sent by these accounts and subjected them to further qualitative and quantitative analytic techniques.

We find:

 There were three phases in Russian influence operations : under-the-radar account building, minor Brexit vote visibility, and larger-scale visibility during the London terror attacks.

 Russian influence operations linked to the UK were most visible when discussing Islam . Tweets discussing Islam over the period of terror attacks between March and June 2017 were retweeted 25 times more often than their other messages.

 The most widely-followed and visible troll account, @TEN_GOP, shared 109 Tweets related to the UK. Of these, 60 percent were related to Islam .

 The topology of tweet activity underlines the vulnerability of social media users to disinformation in the wake of a tragedy or outrage.

 Focus on the UK was a minor part of wider influence operations in this data . Of the nine million Tweets released by Twitter, 3.1 million were in English (34 percent). Of these 3.1 million, we estimate 83 thousand were in some way linked to the UK (2.7%). Those Tweets were shared 222 thousand times. It is plausible we are therefore seeing how the UK was caught up in Russian operations against the US .

 Influence operations captured in this data show attempts to falsely amplify other news sources and to take part in conversations around Islam , and rarely show attempts to spread ‘fake news’ or influence at an electoral level.

On 17 October 2018, Twitter released data about 9 million tweets from 3,841 blocked accounts affiliated with the Internet Research Agency (IRA) – a Russian organisation founded in 2013 and based in St Petersburg, accused of using social media platforms to push pro-Kremlin propaganda and influence nation states beyond their borders, as well as being tasked with spreading pro-Kremlin messaging in Russia. It is one of the first major datasets linked to state-operated accounts engaging in influence operations released by a social media platform.

Conclusion

This report outlines the ways in which accounts linked to the Russian Internet ResearchAgency (IRA) carried out influence operations on social media and the ways their operationsintersected with the UK.The UK plays a reasonably small part in the wider context of this data. We see two possibleexplanations: either influence operations were primarily targeted at the US and British Twitterusers were impacted as collate, or this dataset is limited to US-focused operations whereevents in the UK were highlighted in an attempt to impact US public, rather than a concertedeffort against the UK. It is plausible that such efforts al so existed but are not reflected inthis dataset.Nevertheless, the data offers a highly useful window into how Russian influence operationsare carried out, as well as highlighting the moments when we might be most vulnerable tothem.Between 2011 and 2016, these state-operated accounts were camouflaged. Through manualand automated methods, they were able to quietly build up the trappings of an active andwell-followed Twitter account before eventually pivoting into attempts to influence the widerTwitter ecosystem. Their methods included engaging in unrelated and innocuous topics ofconversation, often through automated methods, and through sharing and engaging withother, more mainstream sources of news.Although this data shows levels of electoral and party-political influence operations to berelatively low, the day of the Brexit referendum results showed how messaging originatingfrom Russian state-controlled accounts might come to be visible on June 24th 2016, we believe UK Twitter users discussing the Brexit Vote would have encountered messages originating from these accounts.As early as 2014, however, influence operations began taking part in conversations aroundIslam, and these accounts came to the fore during the three months of terror attacks thattook place between March and June 2017. In the immediate wake of these attacks, messagesrelated to Islam and circulated by Russian state-operated Twitter accounts were widelyshared, and would likely have been visible in the UK.The dataset released by Twitter begins to answer some questions about attempts by a foreignstate to interfere in British affairs online. It is notable that overt political or electoralinterference is poorly represented in this dataset: rather, we see attempts at stirring societaldivision, particularly around Islam in the UK, as the messages that resonated the most overthe period.What is perhaps most interesting about this moment is its portrayal of when we as socialmedia users are most vulnerable to the kinds of messages circulated by those looking toinfluence us. In the immediate aftermath of terror attacks, the data suggests, social mediausers were more receptive to this kind of messaging than at any other time.

It is clear that hostile states have identified the growth of online news and social media as aweak spot, and that significant effort has gone into attempting to exploit new media toinfluence its users. Understanding the ways in which these platforms have been used tospread division is an important first step to fighting it.Nevertheless, it is clear that this dataset provides just one window into the ways in whichforeign states have attempted to use online platforms as part of wider information warfare
and influence campaigns. We hope that other platforms will follow Twitter’s lead and release
similar datasets and encourage their users to proactively tackle those who would abuse theirplatforms.

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more on cybersecurity in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=cybersecurity

The monopoly of the tech giants

Here’s the real danger that Facebook, Google, and the other tech monopolies pose to our society

Jamie Bartlett, October 1, 2018, https://blog.ed.ted.com/2018/10/01/heres-the-real-danger-that-facebook-google-and-the-other-tech-monopolies-pose-to-our-society/

distributed computing + power encryption = the future of Internet

the Dark Net is going mainstream, liberty, freedom, democracy; neither entirely dark, not entirely light, both things

The threat that tech monopolies pose to democracies is about more than the prices they charge: it’s the concentration of power, data and control over the public space — and their ability to wield this power over a growing number of economic activities, especially in the infrastructure and technologies of the future. The following companies operate as either monopolies or oligopolies in their respective fields: Google, Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, Amazon, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify. Integrated into everything, everywhere, their technology will blanket the world.

cultural hegemony.” That is, where domination can be achieved through controlling the ideas and assumptions available to the public. The idea, associated with philosopher and politician Antonio Gramsci

In 1995, left-wing academics Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron detailed the philosophy and ideas of the new tech wunderkinds, christening it “The Californian Ideology.” This ideology represented a fusion of the cultural bohemianism of San Francisco and entrepreneurial free market zeal.

All you needed to get to utopia was a belief in “disruption,” the idea that progress is achieved through smashing up old industries and institutions and replacing them with something new and digital.

Money and ideas in Silicon Valley have a very complicated relationship. Silicon Valley runs according to a Faustian pact: money in exchange for world-changing ideas.

Over the years, the big tech firms have very carefully cultivated the Californian Ideology. Even though they are massive multi-billion-dollar corporations with huge PR teams, they pitch themselves as anti-establishment.The worse these companies behave and the richer they become, the more they spend on looking cool and talking about fairness and community.

And to whom do we look in order to solve our collective social problems? It’s no longer the state, but the modern tech-geek superhero.

Total victory for the monopoly is not over economics or politics. It’s over assumptions, ideas and possible futures.

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more on social media in this IMS blog
https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=social+media

Social Media to organize info

Rethinking Social Media to Organize Information and Communities eCourse

https://www.alastore.ala.org/content/rethinking-social-media-organize-information-and-communities-ecourse

Tired of hearing all the reasons why you should be using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other popular social media tools? Perhaps it’s time to explore social media tools in a supportive and engaging environment with a keen eye toward using those tools more effectively in your work.

Join us and social media guru and innovator Paul Signorelli in this four-week, highly-interactive eCourse as he explores a variety of social media tools in terms of how they can be used to organize information and communities. Together, you will survey and use a variety of social media tools, such as Delicious, Diigo, Facebook, Goodreads, Google Hangouts, LibraryThing, Pinterest, Twitter, and more! You will also explore how social media tools can be used to organize and disseminate information and how they can be used to foster and sustain communities of learning.

After participating in this eCourse, you will have an:

  • Awareness of how social media tools can be used to support the work you do with colleagues and other community stakeholders in fostering engagement through onsite and online communities
  • Increased ability to identify, explore, and foster the use of social media tools that support you and those you serve
  • Increased ability to use a variety of social media tools effectively in your day-to-day work

Part 1: Using Social Media Tools to Organize and Provide Access to Information
Delicious, Diigo, Goodreads, LibraryThing, and other tagging sites

Part 2: Organizing, Marketing, and Running Programs
Facebook, Pinterest, and other tools for engagement

Part 3: Expanding and Analyzing Community Impact
Twitter, Storify, and other microblogging resources

Part 4: Sustaining Engagement with Community Partners
Coordinating your presence and interactions across a variety of social media tools

trainer-instructional designer-presenter-consultant. Much of his work involves fostering community and collaboration face-to-face and online through libraries, other learning organizations, and large-scale community-based projects including San Francisco’s Hidden Garden Steps project, which has its origins in a conversation that took place within a local branch library. He remains active on New Media Consortium Horizon Report advisory boards/expert panels, in the Association for Talent Development (ATD–formerly the American Society for Training & Development), and with the American Library Association; adores blended learning; and remains a firm advocate of developing sustainable onsite and online community partnerships that meet all partners’ needs. He is co-author of Workplace Learning & Leadership with Lori Reed and author of the upcoming Change the World Using Social Media (Rowman & Littlefield, Autumn 2018).

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more on social media in libraries
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=social+media+library

 

Are your phone camera and microphone spying on you

Are your phone camera and microphone spying on you?

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/06/phone-camera-microphone-spying

Apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Viber

Felix Krause described in 2017 that when a user grants an app access to their camera and microphone, the app could do the following:

  • Access both the front and the back camera.
  • Record you at any time the app is in the foreground.
  • Take pictures and videos without telling you.
  • Upload the pictures and videos without telling you.
  • Upload the pictures/videos it takes immediately.
  • Run real-time face recognition to detect facial features or expressions.
  • Livestream the camera on to the internet.
  • Detect if the user is on their phone alone, or watching together with a second person.
  • Upload random frames of the video stream to your web service and run a proper face recognition software which can find existing photos of you on the internet and create a 3D model based on your face.

For instance, here’s a Find my Phone application which a documentary maker installed on a phone, then let someone steal it. After the person stole it, the original owner spied on every moment of the thief’s life through the phone’s camera and microphone.

The government

  • Edward Snowden revealed an NSA program called Optic Nerves. The operation was a bulk surveillance program under which they captured webcam images every five minutes from Yahoo users’ video chats and then stored them for future use. It is estimated that between 3% and 11% of the images captured contained “undesirable nudity”.
  • Government security agencies like the NSA can also have access to your devices through in-built backdoors. This means that these security agencies can tune in to your phone calls, read your messages, capture pictures of you, stream videos of you, read your emails, steal your files … at any moment they please.

Hackers

Hackers can also gain access to your device with extraordinary ease via apps, PDF files, multimedia messages and even emojis.

An application called Metasploit on the ethical hacking platform Kali uses an Adobe Reader 9 (which over 60% of users still use) exploit to open a listener (rootkit) on the user’s computer. You alter the PDF with the program, send the user the malicious file, they open it, and hey presto – you have total control over their device remotely.

Once a user opens this PDF file, the hacker can then:

  • Install whatever software/app they like on the user’s device.
  • Use a keylogger to grab all of their passwords.
  • Steal all documents from the device.
  • Take pictures and stream videos from their camera.
  • Capture past or live audio from the microphone.
  • Upload incriminating images/documents to their PC, and notify the police.

And, if it’s not enough that your phone is tracking you – surveillance cameras in shops and streets are tracking you, too

  • You might even be on this website, InSeCam, which allows ordinary people online to watch surveillance cameras free of charge. It even allows you to search cameras by location, city, time zone, device manufacturer, and specify whether you want to see a kitchen, bar, restaurant or bedroom.

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more on privacy in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=privacy

more on surveillance in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=surveillance

 

academic libraries and social media

Howard, H. A. (2018). Academic Libraries on Social Media: Finding the Students and the Information They Want. Information Technology and Libraries, 37(1), 8–18. https://doi.org/10.6017/ital.v37i1.10160
https://ejournals.bc.edu/ojs/index.php/ital/article/view/10160
In his book Tell Everyone: Why We Share and Why It Matters, Alfred Hermida states, “People are not hooked on YouTube, Twitter or Facebook but on each other. Tools and services come and go; what is constant is our human urge to share.”1 Libraries are places of connection, where people connect with information, technologies, ideas, and each other. As such, libraries look for ways to increase this connection through communication.
Academic libraries have been slow to accept social media as a venue for either promoting their services or academic purposes. A 2007 study of 126 academic librarians found that only 12 percent of those surveyed “identified academic potential or possible benefits” of Facebook while 54 percent saw absolutely no value in social media.2 However, the mission of academic libraries has shifted in the last decade from being a repository of knowledge to being a conduit for information literacy; new roles include being a catalyst for on-campus collaboration and a facilitator for scholarly publication within contemporary academic librarianship.3 Academic librarians have responded to this change, with many now believing that “social media, which empowers libraries to connect with and engage its diverse stakeholder groups, has a vital role to play in moving academic libraries beyond their traditional borders and helping them engage new stakeholder groups.”4
The project focused on three research questions:
1. What social media platforms are students using?
2. What social media platforms do students want the library to use?
3. What kind of content do students want from the library on each of these platforms?
survey using the web-based Qualtrics
The social media platforms included were Facebook, Flickr, G+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Qzone, Renren, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, and Yik Yak
The second survey also lasted for three weeks starting in mid-April of the spring 2017 semester. As a participation incentive, students who completed the initial survey and the second survey had an opportunity to enter a drawing for a $25 Visa gift card.Library social media follows
Library social media presence
we intend to develop better communication channels, a clear social media presence, and a more cohesive message across the Purdue libraries. Under the direction of our new director of strategic communication, a social media committee was formed with representatives from each of the libraries to contribute content for social media. The committee will consider expanding the Purdue Libraries’ social media presence to communication channels where students have said they are and would like us to be.
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More on social media and libraries in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=social+media+libraries

twitter search

Twitter starts showing search results by relevance, not reverse chronological order

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more about Twitter in this IMS blog

http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=twitter

LinkedIn for SCSU students

LinkedIn: your college portfolio for future employment

April 28, 1:30 – 2:30PM at Miller Center 205

April 30, 3 – 4PM at Miller Center 205

Right before students graduate from SCSU, Andrew Ditlevson (apditlevson@stcloudstate.edu) from Career Services (https://www.stcloudstate.edu/careerservices/) will offer an excellent workshop on how to use LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/) to network and search for a job.However, your work on building a robust electronic portfolio can start much earlier. LinkedIn is famous for its networking and job search, but it can help you orient yourself in your future profession. LinkedIn tools
Come to our informal discussion on what LinkedIn is and what LinkedIn does to share knowledge and experience about LinkedIn and similar social media (e.g. Coffee, Twitter), which can help you with your college studies and future profession.Further information available on the IMS blog: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/?s=linkedin

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