Social Media Can Make Standardized Test Questions Go Viral

When standardized tests are shared nationwide—as they now are, under the Common Core system that's been adopted in 46 states—cheating suddenly becomes a whole lot easier. Especially since teenagers now share just about everything on social media. » 3/28/15 11:00am Saturday 11:00am

What Makes You Block Someone? 

People have varying thresholds of tolerance for putting up with ignorance, dickishness, and other crap online. What does it take for you to head straight for the "Block" button on social media? » 3/27/15 7:00pm Friday 7:00pm

Facebook Will Put 360-Degree Spherical Videos Right In Your News Feed

I think that 360-degree video is going to be a big deal. Apparently, Mark Zuckerberg agrees! He just announced that Facebook will be able to embed spherical videos right in your News Feed, much like YouTube 360. » 3/25/15 1:44pm 3/25/15 1:44pm

Facebook and Google Are Locking In African Customers With Freebie Deals

Facebook and Google have grand plans to bring the internet to developing nations, paying Lisa Rinna-sized lip service to altruistic visions of global connectivity. But let's always remember that these US tech giants are also gunning for new customers and the lucrative data that comes with them. » 3/24/15 8:55pm 3/24/15 8:55pm

The Dress and #Ferguson Are the Two Sides of Social Media Explosions

To understand the mass hysteria around The Dress last week, you can't compare it to other memes. You have to compare it to political events like #Ferguson, which are its diametrical opposite. Except in one way. » 3/02/15 1:55pm 3/02/15 1:55pm

Facebook Finally Stops Trying To Restrict What Gender You Can Choose

A little over a year ago, Facebook finally did away with its highly restrictive gender options. (It was male, female, or nothing.) But instead of being open-ended, the social network would still only let you choose from among a list of 56 options. Now, after catching some flak, Facebook is finally offering infinite… » 2/26/15 1:58pm 2/26/15 1:58pm

Music Is Dead. VH1 Is Going Behind the Tweet 

For many a 90s kid, VH1's Behind the Music offered you your first glimpse into the rockstar lifestyle—highs, lows, laxatives, and all. But now that the internet has rendered us effectively dead inside, VH1's new parody series is giving us the only thing that matters any more: Twitter. Yup, it's time for Behind the… » 2/12/15 10:30am 2/12/15 10:30am

NYPD Uses Social Media To Bust Terrorists, Loud Parties

That the NYPD has a crack Social Media Squad stalking your every move is old news, but a recent Freedom of Information request sheds new light on exactly how the cops use their Facebooking powers. The answer? They're on the lookout for terrorists, cop killers, and um, loud parties. » 2/07/15 4:00pm 2/07/15 4:00pm

A Horrifying Short Film About How Facebook Could Turn Even Creepier

From Argentina, this ghostly horror short from director Andrés Borghi examines the ways in which Facebook affects relationships ... particularly those that Just. Won't. Die. Though it has some familiar stylistic elements, it's eerie, well-paced, and has a supremely creepy score. » 2/05/15 5:58pm 2/05/15 5:58pm

Don't Quit the Social Networks You Hate. Bend Them to Your Will

We get it: No one likes Facebook. Twitter is full of trolls. Social networks can be a pain, but they're also great ways to stay in touch with friends and talk to new people. Even so, every few weeks we hear from someone who wants to just "quit" Facebook altogether. Here's why that's a silly idea, and what you can do… » 2/04/15 12:26pm 2/04/15 12:26pm

Facebook's Newsfeed Is Our Lowbrow Psyche Staring Back at Us

Facebook's Newsfeed is a broken mess. It's meant to be a personalized news ticker, but it can look like a relentless stream of Ice Bucket Challenges and dog photos. Facebook has already tried to banish clickbait and hoaxes, yet many Newsfeeds are heavy on the meaningless filler and viral froth. To fix its flagship… » 2/02/15 2:05pm 2/02/15 2:05pm

The British Army is Creating a Battalion of "Facebook Warriors"

Warfare is a constantly changing landscape, from the weapons that are used to the battlefields they're fought on. Amidst mountains of Snowden leaks from the NSA and GCHQ, it's no longer a mystery that the digital warfare is advancing quickly, and the British Army just upped its digital artillery. » 2/01/15 11:18am 2/01/15 11:18am

Twitter Adds Video Support So You Can Watch Ads, Err, Message Friends

Twitter added two new services today to a) help people DM bomb lots of people at the same time and b) try to compliment Vine with (slightly longer) in-app ad support video support. » 1/27/15 9:40am 1/27/15 9:40am

Woman Discovers Her Photos Have Been Used to Catfish Others for Years

Most of our discussions of catfishing are limited to the catfishers and catfishees, but there's a third category we often forget about: the unwitting catfish-complicit, whose pictures and deets make the catfishing possible, and whose lives also get crappy and complicated when sucked into the mix. » 1/26/15 2:29pm 1/26/15 2:29pm

Twitter Now Uses Bing To Translate Weird Foreign Tweets

If you've always looked longingly over the Fence of Babel at all those foreigners making jokes that you know would be funny, if only you could understand them, then fear not: Twitter has harnessed the power of the internet's second-best translation tool into its service. » 1/22/15 9:50pm 1/22/15 9:50pm

What Was Your First Avatar?

When I joined Friendster in 2003, I uploaded my first avatar. It was Chuck Close's undeniably gritty and terrific "Big Self-Portrait" from the 1960s, dangling cigarette and all. When I joined Facebook a year later, I used the same one. Friends I hadn't seen for ages thought my life had taken a turn. » 1/16/15 1:00pm 1/16/15 1:00pm

Fake Cop Instagram Account Gets an OK From NJ Judge

In October this year, a case came under legal scrutiny when a DEA agent created a fake Facebook account of Sondra Prince, even using photos of her and her young son and niece to create the digital forgery. Facebook denounced the action as a serious breach of its terms and policies. But Instagram, it seems, is a… » 12/21/14 10:00am 12/21/14 10:00am

Google+ Now Handles Gender Way Better Than Facebook

Google+ just announced a simple tweak to its profile settings that lets you completely customize the gender field in your profile. In the past, you could select male, female, or other. Now, Google offers male, female, decline to state, and custom which prompts you to describe your gender however you'd like. Good job… » 12/10/14 10:14am 12/10/14 10:14am

Showing off on social media is a stupid game

If life was a video game right now, it'd be a pretty terrible one. That's because it'd just be levels of Facebooks and Twitters and Instagrams and social networks that would encourage us to pimp our lives for likes. And push us to hashbrag what we do. And to make sure the world sees our selfies. Team follow back.… » 12/09/14 11:37pm 12/09/14 11:37pm