Science & Technology

Five new ways to think about privacy in social media

We have tended in recent years in the realm of social media to think of privacy as the opposite of transparency. Companies such as Facebook have espoused an ideology in favour of transparency. Whilst stating that privacy is a human right, they have mined our data in order to sell it to third parties and better “target” us with advertising. This is built on a basic business model of social media being free in return for access to this behavioural data. (Read More)

Ideas & Discussion

The rise of the superlative

Edward Hanna, Professor of Climate Change at University of Sheffield, observes, in his article for The Conversation, how, in recent news coverage of winter weather in the UK, that a common winter storm was renamed “weather bomb” by the media. This happened to coincide with my own noticing of the use of “Absolutely Amazing” to describe some fairly normal occurrences by people I’m connected to on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. You really can’t get any more absolute or amazing than absolutely amazing. (Read More)


American politics and the quiet deference

…The UK on the other hand treats US politics with an imperial deference. It is at once all encompassing but goes into nowhere near as much detail as you might expect from a country as fixated as us on the romance of Washington. If you are to commit to hypocrisy at least do it well; saturate the British press and social media with every minutia of congressional humdrum and follow through. (Read More)

Photograph: Pexels
Edinburgh Festival

Politics, Distraction and the Digital Inferno

Every year for the past eight years I’ve spent August at the Edinburgh Fringe, seeing shows and writing a few reviews. As founder and editor of FringeReview I have had the opportunity to observe at first hand the changing nature of marketing at the Fringe. Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile is still packed each day with thousands of hopeful artists handing out paper leaflets – the famous ‘flyers’ – in the hope of gaining an audience for their production.

In parallel, the rise of social media has led to Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, Pinterest boards, Linkedin groups to name but the most famous (or infamous) ones. (Read More)

Moyan Brenn, Edinburgh Festival / CC
Arts & Culture

Review: Character Limit

‘Character Limit documents the changing fortunes of four citizens of the internet. They navigate a terrain of bloggers, vloggers, trolls, arseholes, attention-seekers and egotists that populate the virtual realm in which we all now spend half of our lives. We meet Jenny, a feminist vlogger who receives a misogynist backlash; Cameron, a straight ally who sets up a popular but mysterious campaign called #SaveSergei; and Natalie, a teenager who airs her dirty laundry online.’ (Read More)