They’re now so common that most of us have witnessed at least one as a live event during our cyberspace travels. We look on in borderline disbelief as a mind-boggling array of angry souls pile in to essentially re-word the same acidic criticism, punctuated only by the odd tirade of abuse, and a passing troll chipping in with a timely popcorn-chomping GIF.
The target, meanwhile, stands alone, quite possibly driven offline. What we’re seeing, is the cyber witch hunt – an ugly manifestation of sustained online gang pursuit and attack. The core characteristic is a sense of gross imbalance, in which just one person – metaphorically “the witch” – is persistently targeted by a growing mob. Continue reading The Cyber Witch Hunt
People are often quick to point a finger and sneer when a social media user lapses into a crazed meltdown. But have you ever considered why these cataclysms of raging temper and self-destruction always seem to play out on a site such as Twitter, and not on a site such as Flickr? What is it about classic social media that pushes us over the edge? Continue reading Five Ways in Which Social Media Worsens Our Behaviour
Have you ever wondered how many of the men who use a smile emoticon at the end of an electronic message were actually smiling when they typed it? If your guess falls somewhere below three percent, join the club.
There are a numerous things I find profoundly annoying on the social web. But the worst of the very worst of them, I would suggest, is men trying to look cute. Not inadvertently just being cute. I’m talking about men who deliberately try to look cute, in a bid to manipulate or self-serve. Before anyone accuses me of sexism, I know that women try to look cute on the Internet too, and I’m not saying I find that particularly attractive. Indeed, women who sing in a deliberately cute, babyish, contrived voice on Soundcloud make me want to cut the plug off my speakers. But there’s something about men trying to be cute that’s just… worse. Continue reading Online Intolerables: Men Trying To Look Cute
“It seems that in the back yard of every adult service stream, there’s a selfless guy offering to free disgruntled users from the horror of ‘porn addiction’. But have you ever stopped to think what ‘porn addiction’ is supposed to mean, and how such an addiction could work in a clinical sense?
Given that the term is applied to a much broader base of sexually-motivated vices than simply buying or using pornography, why is it called ‘porn addiction’ and not ‘sex addiction’? Is it even an addiction at all? And if ‘porn addiction’ is a myth, should we not just accept it as “a white lie which is helping to eradicate evil?”
Continue reading Why ‘Porn Addiction’ is a Myth
“Most of us recognise the concept of timewasting as a particularly annoying, manipulative and selfish form of attention-seeking.
If you’ve ever worked in a luxury goods store, chances are you’ll associate the word ‘timewaster’ with someone who pretends they’re going to make a significant purchase, just so they can be emotionally pampered by the staff. Continue reading Why Most Timewasters Are Male
Most creeps know, deep down, that they’re creeps. Even if we weren’t aware of that before the rise of Web 2.0, we certainly are now. On Twitter – one of the Internet’s most conducive platforms for questionable conduct – we can see the creep at work, and a defining facet of his behaviour is a constant quest to hide his activities from the wider world. A creep wants his lascivious and suggestive fawning and/or propositioning to be private, but women won’t talk to him in private, so he airs all of his embarrassing virtual laundry in public. Continue reading The Twitter Creep Test
I can see their little faces, peering at some ghastly app and being informed that they have the means to automatically promote whatever they want to promote, directly, to all their Twitter followers at once. The faces adopt not a gleeful smile, but an intensive and mildly aggressive look of self-serving focus, as the brain takes route one and engages the process.
But like all plans that look too good to be true, this is too good to be true. There are in fact more than ten reasons why automated, mass Direct Messages are a dumb means of Twitter promotion. But here are ten of the most obvious, and important… Continue reading Ten Reasons Why Mass/Auto-DMs on Twitter Are a Dumb Move