On June 6, 2013 @BurlCoatFactory started posting on Twitter, apparently on behalf of the Burlington Coat Factory retail chain. The tweets started out reasonably enough, if a bit whimsical. But after a month had gone by things started to get a bit zanier and eventually full on weird. New York Magazine reports that until a few days ago the Burlington Coat Factory website linked directly to the account, but the link has now been removed and the corporation has allegedly disavowed any connection to the account (though said disavowal has apparently also been removed). Jezebel, Mashable, and even Esquire cover the weirdness.
Internet darlings Nate Silver and Public Policy Polling are feuding publicly this week, over PPP's decision not to release a polling result that they felt was probably inaccurate. Nate Silver tweeted "VERY bad and unscientific practice for @ppppolls to suppress a polling result they didn't believe/didn't like." And then the Twitter-based snipefest began, with PPP calling Silver's allegations 'absurd' and accusing him of 'jealosy,' while Silver called PPP's actions 'totally indefensible' and accused them of having their 'finger on the scale.' [more inside]
So the Toronto International Film Festival is going on as I write this. Their twitter hashtag is #TIFF13. But if you'd rather, Patton Oswalt and his followers have been making a little mischief with it, firing off a string of hilarious and brilliant never-to-be-made movies.
You might think that Waterloo & City Line couldn’t even have a Myers-Briggs Type, being a tunnel in London with some trains in it, but you’d be wrong. Whilst the normal way to establish a Myers-Briggs Type is get someone to fill in a questionnaire, it’s apparently possible to use a sample of text to analyse the personality of the author. And while the Waterloo & City Line didn’t have much to say for most of its 115 year history, for the last couple of years, it, and all the other London Underground lines, have been tweeting. So I use samples of tweets to discover what kinds of personalities they have.
How one Twitter user got famous by allegedly stealing comedians’ tweets. Prominent Twitterer Sammy Rhodes has been caught plagiarizing so many tweets that a dedicated Tumblr exists to track them all. The wonderful Mr. Destructo chimes in with his own take.
In the Twitter war between the fans of One Direction and The Who, who wins? Does it really matter that One Direction members weren't even born util 10 years after It's Hard?
Early this morning (midday in the Middle East), al-Qaeda launched a hashtag on Twitter to solicit advice on "suggestions for the development of jihadi media". JM Berger, writer of the national security/terrorism blog IntelWire, noticed this, and decided that they could use some help. The good word was spread across the national security and terrorism Twitterspace, and they successfully hijacked the hashtag from al-Qaeda. [more inside]
Some surprising subversives on Twitter: Babe Ruth, Michael Jackson, Mahatma Gandhi, Pope John Paul II, Francis of Assisi, Marlin Brando, Martin Luther, Mary Wolfstonecraft, Pablo Neruda, Ann Landers, Thomas Jefferson, Albert Camus, Voltaire, John F. Kennedy, Bill Wilson and Socrates.
15 Pop-Cultural Abysses From Which There Is No Escape. One in a series of fictional and memoiric explorations of celebrity culture known as "Exploring the Language of the Stars" by writer Kevin Fanning.
tholman.com is the playground and folio of interactive developer Tim Holman, where he has posted 15 different projects, both interactive (fizzy cam [info/demo]; ZenPen; Texter; and Image Nodes) and passive (Meet the Ipsums, more than 30 text generators, from corporate to batman; the useless web; dripping paint). [more inside]
On three years of Twitter's spam phenomenon, Horse_ebooks.
Sometimes, it is hard to resist sending to a customer a link to last year's article What’s so good about email? from Rory Sutherland who, in his day job, is Vice-Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather UK. Elsewhere, Sutherland does not say too much at Twitter, but some links and remarks make him worth a follow. Some Sutherland thinking at TED is fun and provoking.
Real-time tracking of emoji use across twitter. Click on each emoji to see who is using it.
"Don't forget the cream" a video by the LA comedy troupe (and twitter masterclass) Women. Warning: many Women sketches are NSFW and almost none include actual women, or anyone else.
A 21 year old man was arrested for tweeting rape threats. The target of the tweets, Caroline Criado-Perez, had successfully campaigned to have a woman (Jane Austen) shown on the UK's new 10 pound note, and has been subsequently receiving incessant rape and death threats via twitter, a violation of UK law. Twitter's Terms of Service are being repeatedly and flagrantly violated in this episode, and the company appears to be having issues responding to a backlog of reports; it responded to Criado-Perez only that she take the matter to the police. This resulted in shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper asking Twitter to review its policies for handling abuse complaints. [more inside]
For a few days now, Scott Simon, host of NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday, has been present at his mother's bedside in the intensive care unit of a Chicago hospital. He is documenting this time, what will apparently be his last days with her, in a series of heartwrenching messages on his Twitter stream.
Teju Cole (previously) live-tweeted on Friday his trip across the Slave Coast from Lagos, Nigeria to Ouidah, Benin.
I came to Twitter because I had a book to sell, and my misgivings about the whole enterprise meant that I would never be any good at it. A phrase comes to mind: I was “pissing into the void.” For 1 year, 4 months and 22 days—or 508 days total—Twitter became part of my daily thinking ritual. Writer Benjamin Anastas says Goodbye to Twitter Village. VQR editor Jane Friedman comments.
Anagramatron is a tumblr blog that hosts algorithmically detected pairs of twitter anagrams. [via mefi projects]
No stranger to controversy, Mike Krahulik, gabe of Penny Arcade, has found himself embroiled in yet another debacle over a series of transphobic tweets he's made, coming right off the heels of public criticism and outrage over an apparently racist/misogynistic panel that was to be held at the upcoming PAX Aus convention. Citing this and past controversies, The Fullbright Company, the indie developer of "Gone Home", has pulled out of PAX's coveted Indie Megabooth. gabe has issued a pair of apologies for his tweets, swearing off ever talking about topics other than comics or video games again. [Previously]
Imagine if you Tweeted something embarrassing, offensive, or just plain weird - and you had no control over it. This is an awareness program from the Tourettes Syndrome Foundation of Canada that uses random automated tweets to participants Twitter accounts to simulate the experience of having Tourettes and raise awareness of the Syndrome. [more inside]
Digital mapping startup MapBox teams up with social data warehouse Gnip to create some stunning visualizations of every geotagged tweet since September 2011. [more inside]
Well, maybe Twitter is just another big toilet wall, but there's as much clean space and spray paint as you'll ever need. What are you going to do with it? Create something or destroy someone else's picture? Ricky Gervais on the Internet as creative playground.
The Department of Homeland Security released its list of monitored keywords on social networking sites.
It started as an afternoon hacking project with your Twitter API. I called it @timebot. I set it running just over a year ago.
"Toby Hockley was on the 100-mile Boudicca Sportive ride in Norfolk when he says he was struck by a car and flung into a hedge. The driver didn't stop. Hockley emerged from the hedge, sore but intact. It sounds like a run-of-the-mill depressing incident from the UK's roads. But the shocking part came later. A young woman tweeted: "Definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier. I have right of way - he doesn't even pay road tax! #Bloodycyclists."" [more inside]
Researchers at Humboldt State University have mapped hateful tweets. Dr. Monica Stephens, at Humboldt State, has teamed up with undergraduate research assistants to study the geographical distribution of hate speech in tweets. The graphical map breaks down by "genre" of hate (homophobia, racism, disability) as well as by individual words flagged. Far more details are available on floatingsheep.org; the data was provided by the DOLLY Project at the University of Kentucky.
Meet the 17-year-old kid who won a Boston hackathon by creating a killer hack for Twitter, blocking out TV show spoilers. Also, she's a girl, and the only solo entrant.
The Onion's Twitter feed was apparently hacked by Syrian Electronic Army, the group that recently hacked the White House Twitter account and sent the stock market on a short-lived dive. The Onion has responded to the hack, darkly.
Coverflip is a one day Twitter project created by author Maureen Johnson. There are only three rules: 1. Take a well-known book. (It’s up to you to define well-known.) 2. Imagine that book was written by an author of the OPPOSITE GENDER. 3. Now, COVERFLIP! Make the new cover and put it online. Tweet or Tumbl it with the tag #coverflip.
So many Directioners - the fans of non-threatening boyband One Direction - liked to tell their idols about the deaths of grandparents, pets or dreams that it spawned a Twitter account dedicated to cataloguing the strange things fans say. It's a far cry from the communications between star and fan twenty years before.
The Delete Squad: Google, Twitter, Facebook and the new global battle over the future of free speech.
Nathan Fielder of Nathan For You (where he helps real businesses by doing things like developing unique froyo flavors and unlikey-to-be-redeemed rebates), has posted the results of two Twitter "experiments": Text your parents "got 2 grams for $40" then right after "Sorry ignore that txt. Not for you" and a second one about dollar store condoms.
POWER VOCAB TWEET. Boost your vocabulary with these fiercely plausible words and definitions. About. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
Up until last week, "One Direction Infection," a Tumblr blog created and maintained by an eighth grader we'll call Claire, looked like any other 14-year-old's Tumblr. But over the weekend Claire's subject matter took a sharp turn. In place of candid shots of Harry Styles and Zayn Malik, there are now photos of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev; instead of inspirational image macros, there are annotated crime scene photos. Gawker's Max Read on where social media fandoms meet conspiracy theories.
The Dow tumbled nearly 150 points this afternoon after a fake tweet about White House explosions was posted from the AP's hacked twitter account. Markets recovered almost completely after the AP clarified that the news was false.
Last fall, the Canadian Space Agency asked students to design a simple science experiment that could be performed in space, using items already available aboard the International Space Station. Today, Commander Chris Hadfield conducted the winner for its designers: two tenth grade students, Kendra Lemke and Meredith Faulkner, in a live feed to their school in Fall River, Nova Scotia. And now, we finally have an answer to the age-old question, What Happens When You Wring Out A Washcloth In Space? [more inside]
@UnfinishedS is a Twitter feed in which comedian Gavin Speiller posts the first pages of his unfinished screenplays, covering genres such as science fiction, family dramas, mysteries, financial dramas, mob movies, alien invasion films, heist pictures, spy thrillers, biopics, and everything in between.
Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin’s Post-Scandal Playbook (Spoiler: The disgraced Congressman is likely running for Mayor of New York City. SLNYT, Via)