A Craigslist conviction. The highest court in Massachusetts upheld the conviction under the Bay State’s anti-harassment statute of a couple who posted fake Craigslist advertisements that caused a great deal of trouble for their neighbors. The convicted couple, William and Gail Johnson, had purchased a tract of land in 2003 with the intention to subdivide and develop it. The land was adjacent to property owned by James and Bernadette Lyons, who objected to the Johnsons’ plans. As the dispute escalated, the Johnsons undertook a series of actions intended to make the Lyonses, according to the Johnsons’ own words in an anonymous email, “miserable.” Those actions included posting Craigslist ads for several phony sales on the Lyonses’ property, resulting in dozens of people showing up at the Lyonses’ home and calling the Lyonses late at night. The Johnsons argued that they couldn’t be prosecuted because, among other reasons, Massachusetts’ anti-harassment statute requires that the victim be “targeted” by the defendants on several occasions and the Craigslist ads in question didn’t target the Lyonses, but the Internet and the general public. The Supreme Judicial Court rejected that argument, holding that “[t]he Craigslist postings were the equivalent of the defendants recruiting others to harass the victims and the victims alone. The defendants cannot launder their harassment of the Lyons family through the Internet to escape liability.” The decision marks the first time Massachusetts’s Supreme Judicial Court clearly approved the use of the statute to prosecute a cybercrime, according to the district attorney who prosecuted the case.

Selfie-awareness. With over one million taken every day, the selfie has become a defining feature of the social media age. But to play Freud for a moment, what do selfies really reveal about those of us who take and post such images? Well, according to research from The Ohio State University, men who often post selfies to social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram exhibited greater-than-average levels of two antisocial personality traits: psychopathy and – perhaps less surprisingly – narcissism. The researchers gave 800 men between the ages of 18 and 40 online surveys about their social media habits and personality traits. Unlike the selfie-taking men who post their pictures to social media instantly, the selfie-taking men who edit their portraits did not exhibit above average psychopathic tendencies – a logical outcome, the researchers explained, given that psychopathy is marked by impulsivity. The editing picture takers did, however, exhibited higher-than-normal levels of self-objectification – a trait characterized by making self-worth dependent almost exclusively on physical appearance. But those of you with Facebook friends who post a seemingly endless stream of unedited selfies shouldn’t necessarily worry – while the non-editing selfie-takers did have above average psychopathic tendencies, those tendencies were still within normal range.

Screen time. If your relationship with social media has grown from a temporary dalliance into a regular commitment, you’re not alone. A poll conducted by Pew Research shows that 70% of all Facebook users – and 41% of all Americans – check their Facebook accounts on a daily basis. Instagram use and Twitter use has thus far proven to be slightly less compulsive; the percentage of those platforms’ users who check in every day came in at 49% and 36%, respectively. But only 3% of LinkedIn users check their accounts once every 24 hours, perhaps proving that there are fewer Internet users wedded to their work than to their networks. Experts suggest that social media addicts ready to put some space between themselves and their Facebook friends download an add-on that allows Facebook users to hide their metrics – the numerical tallies of their accounts’ friends, and their posts’ likes and comments. Quantitative updates like these are supposedly what encourage many social media users to log on – there’s even a word for this condition: “Metrics anxiety.” I’ll end here – I need to run to check how many of my friends liked the selfies that I recently posted on Facebook…