My Dad, the Facebook Addict

Laughing Squid: Filmmaker Dylan LeVine hilariously documented his birthday candle-phobic father Vincent‘s obsession with Facebook and in particular, his overwhelming need to build an arsenal of memes, just in case. The elder LeVine shared how he researched and alphabetized every meme to ensure a full state of readiness should an argument ensue, until it became all he could think about. His family expressed repeated concern about the amount of time Vincent was spending online, but it was only after he was put on a three-day Facebook ban that he realized how much time and energy he was wasting in front of the computer.

See also: What is Facebook doing to our politics?

Facebook news
Shape of things to come

What is Facebook doing to our politics?

Essential reading. This is probably the future of news, for the Right at least: Inside Facebook’s (Totally Insane, Unintentionally Gigantic, Hyperpartisan) Political-Media Machine

Facebook, in the years leading up to this election, hasn’t just become nearly ubiquitous among American internet users; it has centralized online news consumption in an unprecedented way.

[Facebook’s] algorithms have their pick of text, photos and video produced and posted by established media organizations large and small, local and national, openly partisan or nominally unbiased. But there’s also a new and distinctive sort of operation that has become hard to miss: political news and advocacy pages made specifically for Facebook, uniquely positioned and cleverly engineered to reach audiences exclusively in the context of the news feed. These are news sources that essentially do not exist outside of Facebook, and you’ve probably never heard of them. They have names like Occupy Democrats; The Angry Patriot; US Chronicle; Addicting Info; RightAlerts; Being Liberal; Opposing Views; Fed-Up Americans; American News; and hundreds more. Some of these pages have millions of followers; many have hundreds of thousands.

Individually, these pages have meaningful audiences, but cumulatively, their audience is gigantic: tens of millions of people.

Inside Facebook’s (Totally Insane, Unintentionally Gigantic, Hyperpartisan) Political-Media Machine, by John Herrman, New York Times.

Standard

The Other Side

Three theories of how liberals and conservatives think, compiled by Nicky Case.

I’m posting this in large part because I like the format. It’s more interesting than just a text screenshot or tweetstorm when posted on social media, and it looks good in a blog post. I also appreciate that it’s explicitly public domain to encourage sharing.

It’s not a proper infographic, it’s not an essay and it’s certainly not a comic, but it is a little of all of these things.

See also: other posts tagged ‘politics’.

Humans and other animals

The psychology of liberals and conservatives

“Studies of identical twins have confirmed what we know deep down — it’s not Nurture vs Nature, it’s nurture AND nature.”

Gallery

How To Speak On The Internet (MMM™)

Satchell Drakes: After spending quite a few years on Twitter, I’ve had my fair share of getting pulled into toxic moments. I’ve also made some of my closest friends on there. I wanted to put together a resource that might help people share their worldview in a manner that is effective and conscious of their context. Mike McHargue of The Liturgists Podcast essentially did all of the work and tackled this issue the best with a matrix of four questions to help with just that. Here’s essentially an overdramatic Retweet of that matrix.

Mike's Motive Matrix

See also

Ludmila Savchuk
Life on the Internet

Russia’s “Internet Research Agency” troll farm

The New York Times looks into ‘The Agency’, a pro-Kremlin propaganda operation that has “industrialized the art of trolling”.

The Columbian Chemicals hoax was not some simple prank by a bored sadist. It was a highly coordinated disinformation campaign, involving dozens of fake accounts that posted hundreds of tweets for hours, targeting a list of figures precisely chosen to generate maximum attention. It must have taken a team of programmers and content producers to pull off.

Ludmila Savchuk worked at the agency for two months.

The first thing employees did upon arriving at their desks was to switch on an Internet proxy service, which hid their I.P. addresses from the places they posted. Savchuk would be given a list of the opinions she was responsible for promulgating that day.

Savchuk told me she shared an office with about a half-dozen teammates. It was smaller than most, because she worked in the elite Special Projects department. While other workers churned out blandly pro-Kremlin comments, her department created appealing online characters who were supposed to stand out from the horde. Savchuk posed as three of these creations, running a blog for each one on LiveJournal. One alter ego was a fortuneteller named Cantadora. The spirit world offered Cantadora insight into relationships, weight loss, feng shui — and, occasionally, geopolitics. Energies she discerned in the universe invariably showed that its arc bent toward Russia. She foretold glory for Vladimir Putin, defeat for Barack Obama and Petro Poroshenko. The point was to weave propaganda seamlessly into what appeared to be the nonpolitical musings of an everyday person.

Savchuk’s revelations about the agency have fascinated Russia not because they are shocking but because they confirm what everyone has long suspected: The Russian Internet is awash in trolls.

Previously: A professional Russian propaganda troll tells all

Standard

Like icon

In his time working for Facebook (2008–2014), Ben Barry did a lot of really nice design work for the company. Luckily for us, he has posted it on his website. Below I’ve selected just some of my favourite examples.

Facebook’s Little Red Book

“As the company of Facebook grew, we faced a lot of challenges. One of them was explaining our company’s mission, history, and culture to new employees. We wanted to try to package a lot of those stories and ideas in one place to give to all employees.”

The Next Web: Here’s our first peek inside the little red book Facebook gives to employees

Barry and Everett Katigbak co-founded Facebook’s Analog Research Lab , a print studio that is near Facebook’s original Menlo Park building. In his time at Facebook, Barry was famous for his focus on the company’s brand, even to the point that he was dubbed the company’s “propaganda minister” internally.

Facebook Visual Identity

This page features a wealth of design concepts, including this revision to the famous wordmark which Facebook approved but have not (yet) implemented.

Facebook wordmark comparison animaton

Facebook wordmark comparison

“Facebook as a product and organization evolves very fast, and it was a challenge trying to design a system that was flexible across many mediums and contexts. Separate from the visual design work, there was the incredible task of creating awareness, gaining support, and ultimately creating a cross-functional team to approve and implement these changes.”

Facebook Analog Research Laboratory

The Facebook Analog Research Laboratory is a printing studio and workshop. Its primary mission is to produce work that reinforces the values of Facebook.

Facebook Posters & Ephemera

Finally, there are these posters and other miscellaneous designs produced by Barry, usually for internal hackathons.

Lovely, lovely work, all of it.

See also: A Facebook board game!

Life on the Internet

Facebook design

About Ben Barry: “One of the first communication designers to join Facebook’s team in California, his focus was on developing Facebook’s internal culture, voice and brand. Most notably, he cofounded the Facebook Analog Research Laboratory, an internal print studio and art program.”

Gallery
BuzzFeed
Use your words

The BuzzFeed editorial style guide

Editorial style guides fascinate me, and the BuzzFeed style guide makes for an interesting browse. The word list in particular provides a brilliant snapshot of Internet popular culture as it stands in 2015.

Don’t hyphenate blow job, but do hyphenate butt-dial. Uppercase TARDIS but a subreddit is a lowercase place. T. rex, but T. Swift. Make sure to capitalise Apple Store (and most brands) but you can leave the exclamation mark off of Yahoo.

See also: The BuzzFeed Editorial Standards And Ethics Guide

The BuzzFeed style guide word list →

Standard