Block party. Twitter has revamped its anti-harassment policies to make it easier to report harassment on the network or to block another account. The change follows recent highly-publicized instances of “Twitter harassment,” such as the Gamergate controversy, in which certain prominent women in the videogame industry reportedly became targets of harassing tweets. Twitter users will now be able to flag a wide variety of problems, including harassment, impersonation, and threats of self-harm or suicide, even if directed at someone else. Twitter has also changed how blocked accounts work to make it easier to avoid abusive users. While these steps may not keep harassment off the network entirely, they seem to be a step in the right direction.
See you on the dark side. The term “dark social” refers to the social sharing of content outside of social media platforms in such a way that it cannot be measured by Web analytics programs – for example, sending of a link via online chat or email. Studies have shown that between 60 percent and 70 percent of all sharing is “dark,” but when people self-report on their sharing habits, the dark social percentages are much lower. In a recent study, only 32 percent of consumers reported that they share through dark channels. Perhaps sending links in email or SMS chat is so commonplace that people aren’t even aware that they’re doing it. In any event, online marketers are keenly interested in strategies to harness this dark sharing.
Facebook ’em, Danno. A Houston-area man, Jeff Turner, was expecting a package from FedEx—a Houston Rockets sweater for his son—and never received it. Luckily, he had surveillance video from his front door area that showed someone taking the sweater. Who did it? Enter Facebook. Turner put the surveillance footage on his Facebook page, and another Facebook user recognized the thief. The miscreant, a local teenager, was found mowing the lawn at a nearby house and the sweater was recovered. Yet more proof that you can’t escape the long arm of social media!