Tag Archives: twitter

Chinese Twitter Says North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-Un Was Assassinated This Morning In Beijing

Chinese Twitter Says Kim Jong-Un Was Assassinated This Morning In Beijing
By Adrian Chen

The Chinese micro-blogging service Weibo has exploded with rumors that new North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un was assassinated today at the North Korean embassy in Beijing. Twitter death rumors are totally cross-cultural.

Here’s one version of the rumor, cleaned up from the crappy Google translation:

According to reliable sources, North Korean leader [Kim Jong-Un was killed] in Beijing in February 10 2012, at 2 o’clock and 45 minutes. Unknown persons broke into his residence shot and were subsequently shot and killed by the bodyguard.

Official Internet Rule: Any (Chinese) Twitter post that begins with “according to reliable sources” is almost certainly fake. But this hasn’t stopped Chinese netizens from speculating that the killing was a military coup, and posting blurry pictures purporting to show an unusual number of vehicles parked at the North Korean embassy. ChinaSMACK staff writer Joe Xu suggests reports of large number of cars at the embassy may have sparked the rumor. “Rumors like this pop up every other week,” he writes on Twitter.

We will only know Kim Jong-Un’s fate for sure when a new picture of him looking at things emerges.

Update: If you live in China, please help us figure out if Kim Jong-Un is dead.


Twitter agrees to provide Library of Congress every Tweet ever Tweeted

Library of Congress to receive entire Twitter archive

By Michael O’Connell

The Library of Congress and Twitter have signed an agreement that will see an archive of every public Tweet ever sent handed over to the library’s repository of historical documents.

“We have an agreement with Twitter where they have a bunch of servers with their historic archive of tweets, everything that was sent out and declared to be public,” said Bill Lefurgy, the digital initiatives program manager at the library’s national digital information infrastructure and preservation program. “The archives don’t contain tweets that users have protected, but everything else — billions and billions of tweets — are there.”

Lefurgy joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Amy Morris Tuesday morning to talk about the library’s digital mission.

Using new technical processes it has developed, Twitter is moving a large quantity of electronic data from one electronic source to another. “They’ve had to do some pretty nifty experimentation and invention to develop the tools and a process to be able to move all of that data over to us,” Lefurgy said.

The Library of Congress has long been the repository of important, historical documents and the Twitter library, as a whole, is something historic in itself.

We were excited to be involved with acquiring the Twitter archives because it’s a unique record of our time,” Lefurgy said. “It’s also a unique way of communication. It’s not so much that people are going to be interested in what you or I had for lunch, which some people like to say on Twitter.”

Researchers will be able to look at the Twitter archive as a complete set of data, which they could then data-mine for interesting information.

“There have been studies involved with what are the moods of the public at various times of the day in reaction to certain kinds of news events,” Lefurgy said. “There’s all these interesting kinds of mixing and matching that can be done using the tweets as a big set of data.”

One benefit for the Library of Congress in receiving this large data set is that it’s been forced to stretch itself technologically.

“It’s been difficult at times,” Lefurgy said. “But we firmly believe that we have to do this kind of thing because we anticipate that we’ll be bringing in large data sets again into the future. We don’t know specifically what, but certainly there’s no sign of data getting smaller or less complicated or less interesting.”

The library’s Twitter partnership comes amid a renewed push by the administration and the National Archives and Records Administration for federal agencies to better archive their own social media postings and emails as potential government records.

“We’re basically in the same situation as the National Archives, only on a much larger scale,”
Lefurgy said. “We tend to have a much larger perspective in terms of what we collect.”


Why we use Social Media….and why we need to stop!

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Facebook recently announced yet more changes in the way that we organise our relationships on its social network. It’s making it easier for us to group friends into lists and from there decide what we’re going to share with each group. It should help us control our privacy more.

For me it couldn’t come sooner because, much to my surprise, recent events have made me realise that my life on Facebook and other social networks was just too public.

I’ve been an active user of social networks for years; I developed a social networking website, originally called JewishNet 13 years ago. I’ve been actively using Facebook for the past five years, Twitter for three and Google+ since it launched earlier this year.

Sometimes my friends have complained that I “take over” their Facebook or Google+ homepage because of the volume of content I share, both professionally and personally. But no more.

Some events in my personal life recently made me sit back and question, really for the first time, why we post what we do and what it’s telling us about the way we think and live our lives.

For a few years, I’ve worried that social networks can be a distraction from real life, can reduce our productivity and potentially warp the way that we understand friendship. But I’ve also seen how good Facebook can be at helping build and maintain real friendships and organise real world socialising. It’s so much easier and informal to exchange Facebook details with someone you meet at a party than exchanging phone numbers and then seeing that person’s Facebook profile.

All that’s great, but slowly but surely your list of “friends” grows. People you went to school with, people from university, old work colleagues, your ex’s friends, some bloke you met at a party and so on.

I think this has made us change the nature of friendships. Obviously, we all have various degrees of friendship. I know who my close friends are and I speak to them in real life, not just on Facebook. But should we be sharing our intimate thoughts and images with this wider group of “friends”?

And then there’s the images themselves. It’s hard to remember a world before photos on Facebook.

It’s become routine when we go on holiday, have a party or a new baby is born to quickly upload all the photos of said occasion straight there. It’s probably part of the reason for the boom in digital cameras.

Once we upload the photos, we tag everyone in them, not only sharing with our friends the said event but their friends also. Again, all too often without thinking first.

I was trying to deconstruct why I do it. I’m not afraid to say that I’m at least a little vain, I wouldn’t appear on television if I wasn’t. But on a first glance that accounts for a tiny proportion of the 750m people on Facebook. So my reasons must be pretty similar to large number of those users who upload photos and change their status updates all the time.

I guess it’s because actually, it is a little like being on television. Because being on Facebook (and other social media) is a bit like being a celebrity. Spotted (or tagged) at places you have been; photographed at parties in various states of intoxication; your future plans (events) publicised in advance and your innermost thoughts known to people who barely or don’t know you. It’s a bit like ‘The Truman Show’, except in my case, it’s ‘The Benjamin Cohen Show’.

The “Like” button (or +1 on Google) shows you when your “friends” appreciate something you’ve said, somewhere you’ve been or something you’ve done.

The comments give even more detailed feedback, “you look great”, “that’s so funny”, “I’m literally LOLing!” Some of even us measure our worth in terms of the number of “Likes” something has achieved. “Amazing number of likes over this” I’ve heard more than once in conversation.

It’s feeding our ego but it’s also normalising what is still very new behaviour. It lulls us into a false sense of certainty and habit that can go wrong. Behaviour that can upset the friends who you might “tag” at a location or “tag” in a photo. The actions that you take without realising first the ripple effect of consequences of your own behaviour. I’ve done it and I’ve been upset at the photographs and location tags I’ve found being broadcast to everyone I know.

I came out of a really long-term relationship a few years ago. We’d been in a relationship long before Facebook and so when it came along, by default, I was “in a relationship” with him. But when we split up, I simply removed the relationship part of my profile, while his went to “single”.

It’s hard to express how hurtful it is to see a load of people you know clicking “like” when they see that news. I saw the same recently when a few of my friends split up. It’s slightly disturbing and it’s something we’ve not encountered as a society before.

So what have I done about it? I considered culling my Facebook friends list. But then I thought that would be rude, and you never know why you might want to get in contact with someone again. Sometimes it is nice to hear genuine news, such as someone is getting engaged or having a kid.

I thought about trying to convince everyone I know to move to Google+ so that I could easily place them in different circles or friendships. But then of course, not everyone would join.

So, inspired by Google+, I’ve gone through my list of “friends” and divided them into different circles. Circles that I’d share everything with, circles that I’d share some things with and circles I’d mainly share pieces of content available elsewhere, such as my blog or the Channel 4 News website.

But I’ve also done something else; I’ve stopped sharing as much, full stop. I used to post things like “having a bad day” on Twitter, I’m not any more. I guess I posted these sorts of statuses to feel good that 20 or so of my 9,000 or so followers would say “hope you feel better”.

I used to share photos of all sorts of things on Facebook, not any more. Of a recent holiday, I’ve shared 4 out of 100 or so photos.

I’m not suggesting that everyone else should do the same, but I’m suggesting that quite a few people might, many have already. Mark Zuckerberg has always said the world would be a better place if it was more open.

I’m suggesting that sometimes the world might be a better place if it was more private.