Opinion

Anthony De Rosa

You don’t own your hashtag

Anthony De Rosa
Nov 28, 2012 22:37 UTC

Today the Obama administration unveiled a hashtag “#My2k” to push their “fiscal cliff” message that if middle-class tax cuts aren’t extended, middle-income families will lose $2,000 of income a year. Soon after, conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation purchased the following sponsored tweet that appears at the very top of any search for #My2K:

Below the sponsored tweet are people of all political affiliations and sides of the issue tossing in their two cents. Here’s a sample:

Some positive:

Where social media fails

Anthony De Rosa
Oct 19, 2012 18:37 UTC

I’ve been thinking a lot about my use of social media and how helpful it is in informing the people who consume it. This election season has particularly made me think more critically about how sometimes the short, context-less text updates can lead to a poorly informed public. I’m certainly not the first person to realize this, as Craig Kanalley recently wrote in detail. People increasingly latch on to the latest minutiae of the campaign, the Big Bird, the binders, the memes, which have little relevance to the actual issues that matter: employment, foreign policy, the expanding income gap, so on and so forth. Here’s what we plan to do to improve the signal to noise ratio.

    Focus my updates on more short, rapid-fire networks like Twitter on doing fact checks, linking to substantive articles about issues related to how the candidates will govern: economy, taxes, social issues, etc. Find flaws in the arguments of both candidates with detailed pieces that point out where they have either been too opaque or flat out lied. Engage with people all over the political spectrum to start a dialogue and understand what they care about. It is “social media” after all and I see many people who are supposed “social media editors” who never engage their readers. Spend more time live blogging, which allows for longer posts and rich media

The Elections 2012 live blog format gives us the room to provide context that you may not be getting from Twitter and Facebook. I’ve put together a number of lists that might also be helpful, which I try to update as much as possible:

Rupert Murdoch’s best tweets of all time

Anthony De Rosa
Jun 28, 2012 12:49 UTC


[View the story "Best @RupertMurdoch tweets of all time" on Storify]
Best @RupertMurdoch tweets of all time

Storified by Anthony De Rosa · Mon, May 14 2012 12:38:49 Rupert Murdoch posted his first tweet on December 31st, to the surprise of many who could hardly believe he would take to the social media service to share his thoughts. He’s been prolifically tweeting ever since, compiling 295 tweets in the last five months. These are some of our favorites. Rupert’s first tweet Have just. Read The Rational Optimist. Great book.Rupert Murdoch Some of his greatest tweets are the most inane ones. You could make the case that this is simply a sponsored tweet. I LOVE the film "we bought a zoo", a great family movie. Very proud of fox team who made this great film.Rupert Murdoch He’ll take to patting himself on the back. Just for the record: Newscorp shares up 60c on news of Sun on Sunday. Highest for year.Rupert Murdoch You can almost imagine Montgomery Burns tweeting this. NY cold and empty, even central park. Nice!Rupert Murdoch Unafraid to tweet his political opinions, he’s gone and shared his two cents about Obama and the GOP candidates throughout the race. Paul too extreme, but right to draw attention toFed. Printing zillions can only cause inflation – the coward’s way out of this mess.Rupert Murdoch Obama seems to agree with consensus view obamacare going down. Bullying supremes silly. People trust judges over politicians any time.Rupert Murdoch While Obama feeling courageous, why not follow his first class education policy. US’ absolute biggest crisis. No read, no write, no jobs.Rupert Murdoch Enemies many different agendas, but worst old toffs and right wingers who still want last century’s status quo with their monoplies.Rupert Murdoch Santorum"Romney looks like well oiled weather vane". Plenty of company, but not POTUS.Rupert Murdoch POTUS seems in deep trouble with all religious groups. "worship" not the same thing as religion.Rupert Murdoch He’s frequently weighed in on the American economy. Economists state Americans in real terms grew 700 per cent in last 100 years by tech inventions – electricity, cars, stainless steel etc.Rupert Murdoch Unemployment: US official figures greatly underestimate real situation plus millions with part time jobs.Rupert Murdoch He’s often criticizing Britain for an “entitlement culture” UK entitlement society. No wonder rich layabouts contribute nothing when immigrants work harder better. Honest Brits work and resent system.Rupert Murdoch Don’t hate Britain, quite the reverse. But whole of Europe and US facing huge financial and social problemsRupert Murdoch What happened to "land of hope and glory" New poll today shows 48 percent of Brits would like to emigrate.Rupert Murdoch UK. What’s wrong? Over educated snobs sneering at underclass, giving no help to upping education standards. See Gove today.Rupert Murdoch New British proposal. Only immigrants earning 35000 allowed in. After tax equal to many people living on welfare maybe not seeking work.Rupert Murdoch At times, he appears frustrated by the lack of civilized debate. Perhaps he’s not following the right people? Seems impossible to have civilised debate on twitter. Ignorant,vicious abuse lowers whole society, maybe shows real social decay.Rupert Murdoch He’s opined about Facebook and it’s role in media. With Internet no such thing as monopoly media. Ask Zuckerberg.Rupert Murdoch Critical of his peers in media. Looking at Arianna H self portrait. Aren’t we all evangelists? If we don’t propagate our beliefs why bother thinking?Rupert Murdoch Austerity is a theme throughout his tweets. Economic problems made by waves of politicians making impossible promises. Now the bills are arriving .Rupert Murdoch Social fabric means all. Must wake up before coming apart more. That includes closing tax loopholes for rich people and companies.Rupert Murdoch Governments worldwide have borrowed 100 trillion last ten years. Defaults inevitable sometime soon. Means crash, hurting rich and poor.Rupert Murdoch Sometimes reflective and philosophical. "all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn". H.G. WellsRupert Murdoch He’s only retweeted once and it was for his Wall Street Journal sister publication for tech, All Things D. Cinemagram App Sees Quick Growth for Artsy Animated Photos -by @LizGannes http://dthin.gs/Iu5wlXAll Things D He’s excited by technology and what it means for the future. Now we on cusp of new wave of tech transformations to beat last century growth. Big data,smart manufacturing and wireless. Exciting !Rupert Murdoch Tweets regarding Cameron are always interesting in context of how he’s been accused of a cozy relationship between the paper and the UK government. He’s mentioned Rebekah Brooks as well. Cameron should have just followed history and flogged some seats in the Lords, if they still have value! precedents of centuries .Rupert Murdoch Now they are complaining about R Brooks saving an old horse from the glue factory!Rupert Murdoch

A version of this appears on page 23 of the June 2012 issue of Reuters Magazine

Why is @Reuters yelling at me?

Anthony De Rosa
Jun 22, 2012 15:22 UTC

We conducted a survey of our @Reuters followers recently, and asked them this:  sometimes the Reuters wire publishes alerts in ALL CAPS, usually when the news is urgent.  Should we run them in uppercase and lower case on Twitter, as we would for normal conversation? What is more important?

The answer choices were: a) Receiving accurate news quickly even if that news is delivered in an “all caps” tweet or b) I’d like news to be reformatted from “all caps” before being sent, even if it takes longer.

At the time of this post, we received 1181 responses, 77 percent were in favor of “all caps,” while 23 percent were opposed.

Open source politics: Reddit drafts “The Freedom of Internet Act”

Anthony De Rosa
Feb 25, 2012 03:50 UTC

Reddit users have taken it upon themselves to draft legislation in place of SOPA and PIPA, unsatisfied with Washington politicians, who seem to have shown a willful ignorance of how the Internet actually works. Using a Google Doc open for anyone to help write and edit, they’ve come up with a draft version of “The Freedom of Internet Act”

The act addresses some basic tenets they’ve set forth. Note that these proclamations are subject to change as this is a living document and only reflect the content at the time of this publication:

    Censorship – No government of any form presiding over any land, people, or assets in any form within the United States of America shall pass any law, nor ratify any treaty, which imposes or administers any kind of censorship on the Internet, except content found to be illegal content in accordance with this act. Culpability – Only the creator or uploader of data is responsible for whether that data is legal to upload, possess or make available to other users or information services. Restrictions on the Internet - No federal union or sovereign state may pass unilateral restrictions on the Internet. Content removal - Notice must be given to an administrator of the information system and to the uploader of the content within at least 30 days in advance of any deletion of data from any information system or service, or within 24 hours of the transfer of the data in question from publicly accessible storage to privately accessible storage. Judicial proceedings - Anyone undergoing judicial proceedings based on this document must be judged in the courts of the nation where the alleged offence was committed. Appropriate punishment - TBD Rights of the user – Addresses right to anonymity, privacy, use of proxies, encryption without fear of discrimination or suspicion. Liability and Settlement of Copyright Infringement Claim - All calculations related to this are to be carried out in a consumer, retail, individual level pricing upon which the production cost, marketing cost will not influence, capped at 200% of calculated damage.

The sub-Reddit page for FIA is located here, where it was created by a user named “RoyalwithCheese22

Sky News longs for Victorian internet, applies dark age social policy

Anthony De Rosa
Feb 7, 2012 22:51 UTC

In an attempt to shoehorn the social media genie back into the bottle, Sky News has told its reporters they cannot retweet non-Sky sources and must not stray from the topic area or beat that they cover when posting tweets on their Twitter accounts. Not only does this make for a staid and boring feed, but it also puts Sky News reporters at a significant competitive disadvantage to places like Reuters, where we have reporters verifying and tweeting out sources of news from all over the web and from many different news outlets.

Their own boss @RupertMudoch doesn’t even follow these new rules, he frequently references news organizations outside of his own, as @RossNeumann points out. The idea here at Reuters when it comes to social media is to be the beacon for all news, which makes us the go-to source, no matter what the source may be, after being put through our own filters of verification. I’ve written before about how important it is for my own company, Reuters, to be careful if they try to tread in these same waters.

There are occasions where we may share a bit of news or simply cite what other folks on Twitter are saying as a retweet, which in Twitter parlance is an act of quoting someone. It doesn’t imply an endorsement or even an acknowledgement that it is a statement of fact. It is an act of stating, “look here at what this person is saying.”

Lingering concerns about Twitter’s censorship policy

Anthony De Rosa
Jan 31, 2012 15:03 UTC

There’s a bit of a debate going about whether Twitter’s new censorship policy is reasonable or not. My colleague Paul Smalera wrote one of the better posts leaning toward Twitter’s policy having some merits, in the way it makes it easier for those outside censoring countries to see what’s being censored. But I also see some flaws with this, which Boing Boing’s Xeni Jardin helped me realize. She calls it “a polite step down a slippery slope”

First, the very act of tweets being censored in those countries, even if those outside the country can read them, removes an early warning system for the folks in country to know of incoming danger. Let’s say, for example, there is a riot on the march toward the village they live in, or there is police activity by an oppressive regime under which they’re force to live headed their way. Twitter’s supposedly enlightened method of censorship isn’t going to protect them.

You also can’t assume everyone is a geek. Some activists use Twitter simply because it’s a broadcast medium and have no idea how to hack their way around censorship. They may have no knowledge, for example, about Tor, an application that can help sidestep the type of blocks that countries try to use to stop citizens from reaching certain bits of information or, in some cases, the entire Internet.

Disturbing development at Twitter: countries will silence tweets

Anthony De Rosa
Jan 27, 2012 12:23 UTC

Word came down yesterday that Twitter will begin giving the governments of some countries the ability to request to have messages censored over their service. This is a big change from Twitter General Counsel Alex Macgillivray’s previous statement from last year that the company was “from the free speech wing of the free speech party.”

Twitter claims they have not yet censored anyone under this new policy and will tell the public when they do, possibly with greater cooperation with the website Chilling Effects.

One has to wonder if the Arab Spring could have happened the way it did under this new policy. Since censored tweets will still be available for people outside of the country doing the censoring, does that simply make those banned tweets more powerful? If everyone else in the world can see what is being blocked, will it have the opposite of the intended effect and bring greater worldwide attention to possible injustices?

News agencies must evolve or meet extinction

Anthony De Rosa
Nov 16, 2011 21:47 UTC

Imagine you’re a reporter and you suddenly witness a major news event occurring right before your eyes. Do you snap it to the wire, file a story to your website, or tweet it out to your followers? If you’re at the AP, you damn well better not choose the latter.

In a perfect world, you’d want to do all the above, though your employer is going to likely want you to do the first two before you tweet. Today, Reuters is a lot more than just a wire service. We’ve built — and are continuing to build — what we think is the world’s greatest news website, in the form of Reuters.com, and part of that is providing our readers with reliable and timely news, information, opinion and analysis.

An extension of that website is the information we post on our social media accounts, at Google+, Twitter and on Facebook. We’re not just reporting our own news there, but have become a beacon for all news, being as comprehensive as possible so readers come to us first for all they need to know. We’ve got things like Counterparties, created by Ryan McCarthy and Felix Salmon that does a great job at bringing news from around the web to our readers.

David Karp discusses Tumblr’s growing pains

Anthony De Rosa
Sep 8, 2011 16:09 UTC

The very platform this post is appearing on is undergoing a bit of a revolution. The rise of blogs over the past decade has begun to give way to microblogging platforms, such as Twitter and Tumblr. The difference between the two is that microblogs tend to rely heavily on short bursts of information: links, photos, videos and brief messages. Blogger fatigue gave way to sharing smaller, less labor intensive bits of content.

The short timely updates have not gone unnoticed. Twitter has become something of a wire that provides up to the second reports about breaking news from around the world, used by both large traditional news outlets and freelance reporters. Tumblr is used by ABC journalist Matthew Keys for, among other topics, coverage of the Japan earthquake, which was recognized with a nomination by the Online News Association for the best breaking news by a small site. Until recently, Keys was a freelancer, but his online reporting on microblogging platforms drew attention and led to his recent hire by ABC.

While Twitter’s membership rate grew 26% over the past year, according to Search Engine Journal, Tumblr’s rate has been equally, if not more impressive. According to ComScore, Tumblr attracted 13.4 million visitors in July 2011, up 218% from a year ago (4.2 million in July 2010) along with a staggering 2.5 billion page views per month. 12.5 billion page views per month (according to Quantcast) With tremendous growth comes growing pains, as Twitter once experienced with their own pre-2008 downtime issues.

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