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Social

  • Can social media kill you with loneliness?

    The whole point of social media is to keep people connected, but scientists have long been questioning if it does more to isolate than it does to unite. In a report released on Sunday, medical students at the University of Pittsburgh surveyed 1 787 US adults between the ages of 19 and 32 on their usage of apps like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Tumblr to determine whether or not it impacted their perceived social isolation. According the press release, when a person has perceived isolation, they "lack a sense of social belonging, true engagement with others and fulfilling relationships". "This is an important issue to study...

  • #HandsOffSocialMedia: South Africa responds to social media regulations

    In a press briefing yesterday, Minister of State Security David Mahlobo hinted at the possibility of social media regulation in an attempt to counter "false narratives". Mahlobo claimed that instead of bringing people together in a positive way, social media has become a cesspool for negativity, lies and fake news. "Even the best democracies that are revered, regulating . Most of our challenges are coming from that space. We will discuss how we will regulate it," he claimed. For many South Africans, Twitter is a way to let their voices be heard. It can be argued that the democratic system...

  • Snap closes IPO on a high, but will it last?

    Snapchat's parent company Snap ended its debut on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday with shares at US$24.48 a pop. With the IPO price of US$17, people who bought shares yesterday saw a 44% premium -- a significant achievement considering most companies price their IPOs for an expected 20% increase. But this first day success does not necessarily mean the company is set for a happy ending. Many have been drawing comparisons between Snap's IPO and Twitter's. The latter finished its first day with a gain of 72.69%, but the following months proved rocky. Facebook, on the other hand, closed its IPO...

  • Facebook Live implements suicide support

    Facebook's suicide prevention tools are being extended to Facebook Live in an attempt to decrease the number of people taking their own lives on the platform. In January this year, aspiring actor Jay Bowdy used Facebook Live to threaten suicide. Despite friends and family contacting police, Bowdy took his own life an hour after the livestream. In the same month, a 12-year-old and 14-year-old livestreamed their deaths on two separate occasions. Facebook has featured suicide prevention tools for 10 years, but the new Live platform has presented a new set of issues to tackle. "Our suicide prevention tools for Facebook posts will now...

  • #Xenophobia: what Twitter can tell us

    South Africa has been hit anew with a spate of xenophobic attacks, and it is clear that until something substantial is done, foreigners will continue to be blamed for major systemic issues within our society and government. In the 21st century, social media is able to shed a light on social crises that has never been available to us before. So we thought it might be interesting to break down exactly how South Africans are talking about xenophobia on Twitter. We asked Crimson Hexagon if they could send us an analysis of #xenophobia to see how the hashtag was being used. The analysis...

  • You can now mute ‘egg’ Twitter accounts and more

    Twitter is really, really trying. The company announced yesterday that it is rolling out even more features to help users filter out what they don't want to see. This is yet another move to address the criticism that was lobbed at them last year as a result of the way it handled the US presidential election -- which saw the rise of general Nazism and nationalist Pepe accounts on the platform. "During the past few weeks alone, we've made a number of changes on this front including updating how you can report abusive Tweets, stopping the creation of new abusive accounts, implementing safer search results,...

  • Pretoria’s #TruckProtest disrupts city’s traffic (and not in a good way)

    Update, 11.38am: Truck drivers in Pretoria engaged in the strike have seemingly left their trucks, and have boarded taxis and bakkies on their way to the Union Buildings. The trucks have been reportedly parked in Marabastad, Pretoria West. #TruckDriverProtest truck drivers now heading to Union Building using bakkies & taxis. Trucks parked in Marabastad. #sabcnews pic.twitter.com/Smy2pt749r — Mr_Stuurman (@Sipho_Stuurman) March 1, 2017 #TruckDriverProtest drive into Marabastad, their assembly point before heading to the Union Buildings @News24 pic.twitter.com/8VzGg2fmY4 — lizzee (@lizTandwa) March 1, 2017 Traffic as a result is at a standstill in Arcadia, Pretoria East. Traffic on Hamilton and Madiba also at a complete standstill...

  • YouTube is bringing live TV channels to all devices

    YouTube announced yesterday that its live TV service, set to take on cable, was officially a-go. "It's live TV designed for the YouTube generation -- those who want to watch what they want, when they want, how they want, without commitments," reads the blog post. Working with networks and affiliate partners, YouTube has found a way to live stream from channels like ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and ESPN -- meaning that viewers will be able to watch live as soon as a new episode of shows like Empire, Scandal and The Big Bang Theory airs.  "Christian Oestlien, Product Management Director, recently used YouTube TV to watch 'The Oscars' live on...

  • People watch one billion hours of YouTube every day

    YouTube revealed in a blog post yesterday that its users are watching a billion hours of YouTube every single day. A few years ago, the company decided that instead of focusing on complete video views, it was going to look specifically at how long viewers stay tuned to videos -- something that Facebook has picked up with its own videos recently. By focusing on time, YouTube is able to provide more specific data to advertisers and content creators, making it easier for them to understand what keeps viewers interested in their content. "We thought it would help us make YouTube a more engaging place...

  • 6 Instagram users who have risked their lives for likes

    Now that Vine is dead, people are back to "doing it for the Insta." Because the validation of social acceptance isn't a big enough rush for some people, here's a list of Instagram users who need near death experiences and peer recognition to feel alive. Vadim Makhorov Вчерашняя попытка поснимать закат с высоты обернулась массовым походом на крышу. Наверх взобралось больше десятка канадских руферов и в итоге всех разогнала охрана. Как в старые добрые времена. На фото @mustangwanted и @varlamov / yesterday sunset with canadian and russian rooftoppers #ontheroofs #torontorooftops A post shared by Vadim Makhorov (@makhorov) on Sep 11, 2016 at 6:13am PDT You...

  • Facebook digging the dirt to bring internet to Uganda

    Not content with launching satellites or unmanned solar-powered gliders, Facebook is taking a more based approach to bringing internet to Africa. According to a new Recode report, the company alongside Airtel and BCS, will be trenching Uganda to lay fibre cables. Around "500 miles" of cable is being planned, and will aim to be a backbone for wireless service providers and the country's telcos. Facebook, Airtel and BCS will lay fibre in Uganda to strengthen the country's internet infrastructure This isn't the first time Facebook has looked to Africa in its quest for global internet coverage. In 2015, the company launched its...

  • #BlackCoffeeftYoza: Twitter user scores collab with Black Coffee

    Yesterday was Yoza Mnyanda's crown birthday and she decided to shoot her shot. Mnyanda -- a recent University of Cape Town film grad and aspiring cinematographer with the voice of an angel -- seized the day and tweeted South African DJ and producer Black Coffee, asking how many retweets she'd need for him to make a song with her. @RealBlackCoffee how many RT's do I need for you to make a song with me? It's also my birthday today. 😊👑🙂https://t.co/tRidKs3Ger — needacameraplzhelp (@YozaMnyanda) February 23, 2017 Attached was a performance she did last year for UCT's Live Room. Black Coffee was so impressed he...

  • WhatsApp Status has landed in South Africa [Photos]

    True to co-founder Jan Koum's words, WhatsApp Status has landed on Friday (24 February), delivering Snapchat Stories-style functionality to the messaging platform. So what should you know then? Well, it's an overhaul of the text-based status feature ("I'm busy", "I'm at the gym" etc). The overhaul lets you post photos and videos as a general status update, much like Snapchat Stories. These updates all expire after 24 hours, again, like Snapchat's effort. It's worth noting though that WhatsApp does keep track of how many people viewed your update -- simply tap on the ellipsis next to "my status" to get a view-count...

  • Taking to the tweets: South Africa’s relationship with protests and Twitter

    Just recently EFF leader Julius Malema criticised South Africa’s Twitter activists for thinking the platform was enough to effect change. But South Africans are leaving their houses to protest -- they’re just taking their phones with them. South Africa's history of protests South Africa has the highest rates of public protest in the world, and it isn’t difficult to understand why. It only exists as the country it is today because of protests. The ruling party was created as a form of protest, and our leaders won the country’s freedom because of it. When apartheid ended, new issues of service delivery and education emerged...

  • Instagram update adds user gallery uploads

    Instagram users can now upload multiple images within a single gallery, the company announced Wednesday. "With this update, you no longer have to choose the single best photo or video from an experience you want to remember," Instagram wrote on its blog. Rather inconspicuous but massively practical, the new gallery update will let users upload up to ten images to a single post. Users can also arrange the order of the snaps, edit them individually or apply filters to them. Instagram's ten-image gallery update will please both commercial and casual Instagrammers Followers can then scroll horizontally between the various snaps. The number of...