Drake & Lil Wayne Are Wrong: YOLO Is a Satanic Message, Says Republican Congressional Candidate

Zach Dasher, a Duck Dynasty relative and Congressional candidate for Louisiana, wants you to know that Drake and Lil’ Wayne’s… Read More

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Ello: Why Facebook Should Be Worried About a Rudimentary, Incomplete New Social Media Site

Last week, you’d never heard of Ello — but suddenly there are thinkpieces about it everywhere, and someone sent you an invitation just before the invite program got frozen yesterday, and now you’re trying to make sense of the “minimalist” UI and wondering what exactly the fuss is all about. Or maybe you didn’t get an invite, and you’re also, yes, wondering what all the fuss is about. The site seemed to come out of nowhere, and the reason is twofold: first, while Ello’s been taking requests for invitations to its beta program since March, it was only this week that they started issuing those invitations in earnest. And second, it’s pitching itself as an ad-free alternative to the Zuckerbergian business model (its manifesto concludes with the declaration, “You are not a product”). … Read More

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OKCupid Founder Says Experimenting on Users Is Just “How Websites Work” — But It Doesn’t Have to Be

OKCupid published a pretty fascinating post on its OKTrends blog yesterday. The piece was written by the company’s implausibly monikered co-founder Christian Rudder, and it discussed the recent publicity around Facebook’s grand experiment in influencing the moods of its users by examining how they react to having their news feed filled with largely positive or negative posts. Under the title “We Experiment on Human Beings!,” Rudder wrote that OKCupid had conducted similar studies, including a case in which they provided false matching data to evaluate how important providing users with this information is in their decisions about whether or not to contact (and also maintain conversation) with another user. This was no different, Rudder argued, from what Facebook did, and no different from what a bazillion other sites are constantly doing on an ongoing basis. … Read More

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A Guide to Celebrities Who Are the Absolute Worst On Social Media

Ah, yes, celebrities: they’re just like us. Which means some of them are just as annoying as your aunt on Facebook, as unnecessarily cranky as your old college roommate on Twitter, and as insufferable as your #humblebrag colleague on Instagram. They’re basically The Worst, with the icing on the cake being that they have a built-in web audience since they’re celebrities. Here’s a guide to the worst offenders, from Ted Nugent to Jason Biggs to… Read More

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Watch Walter White’s Facebook Look Back Video

Last week, in honor of its tenth anniversary, Facebook created “look back” videos for every user. Not only do the… Read More

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Ten Years Later, Growing Up on Facebook Is Just Growing Up

As the story goes, “Thefacebook” was started by college sophomore Mark Zuckerberg in his dorm room at Harvard. From Harvard, it spread to other Boston universities, then the Ivy League, then universities nationwide, then high schools. You might have heard of it? It’s now the second most-visited website in the world. Facebook turns ten years old today, which makes it a geezer in the landscape of relevant social networks, an institution that’s stood the test of time in comparison to other internet graveyards. While teenagers may now find the site “boring” and too “adult,” as someone who had an account for the bulk of her adolescence, I’ll forever think of Facebook as my entry into a high-school experience — for better and for worse. … Read More

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Like, Sympathize, But Don’t Hate: How Social Media’s Enforced Positivity Is Making Us Dupes

A couple of years back, we ran a post called “The 10 Things That Are Killing Indie Music in 2011.” It discussed various ways in which the world of indie music could be better, and generated what amounted to a heap of attention for Flavorwire at the time, also stirring a healthy debate in the comments section (all of which sadly got nuked when we switched over to Facebook comments). Inter alia, several commenters took me to task for being “negative,” asking why I didn’t write something positive about the world of music instead of criticizing it. And, y’know, sure, why not? A couple of weeks later, I wrote “10 Things That We Love About Indie Music in 2011.” It generated precisely one-tenth of the traffic the first post did, proving neatly that for all people’s stated good intentions, negative pieces were a whole lot more popular on the Internet than positive ones. Or so it appeared, anyway. … Read More

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Things That Should Be Obvious: Don’t Publish Snuff Photos

It’s no secret that social media presents novel problems of etiquette and appropriate behavior! Every single day I have to restrain myself from making some kind of inappropriate comment on someone’s Facebook wall that might be Internet-funny, but which wouldn’t pair well with that particular person’s sense of humor. As a Canadian, I am spared the horror of Republican relatives posting Birther propaganda, but I have heard tales. And look: we’re all learning. It takes time to learn how to calibrate your trigger finger such that it doesn’t always record your quickest reaction for all to see.

But there’s one rule we thought, until yesterday, might be obvious:

If someone posts a picture that seems to be evidence of a grisly murder to Facebook, don’t share it. … Read More

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