10 challenging perspectives on social media & the Vancouver riots

10 challenging perspectives on social media & the Vancouver riots

The past week has been a laboratory in the power and limitations of online dialogue. While I have been troubled by the number of simplistic, hostile or unconsidered posts and comments about crowdsourcing the identification of rioters, I have more often been astounded...
Riot vigilantes speak for themselves

Riot vigilantes speak for themselves

In the past couple of days I’ve heard from people who were initially enthusiastic about the crowdsourcing of rioter identification, but now see the concern with this kind of vigilantism. I’d love to take credit, but I’m not the most convincing voice...
Crowdsourced repression: Could it happen here?

Crowdsourced repression: Could it happen here?

The debate that is unfolding online about crowdsourced surveillance — what Christopher Parson referred to as Vancouver’s Human Flesh Search Engine — rests on two implicit assumptions. It’s time to get clear about what they are, so that people...
On the dangers of crowdsourced surveillance

On the dangers of crowdsourced surveillance

My blog post for Harvard Business today looks at the troubling online reaction to last night’s riots in Vancouver. Reflecting on the widespread enthusiasm for using social media to track down criminals, I wrote: I don’t think we want to live in a society...
8 ways to beat the urgency trap in online communications

8 ways to beat the urgency trap in online communications

In a thoughtful post about The Pitfalls of social media, Aleksandr Voinov writes Social Media exerts pressure on us to do things immediately and respond to everything immediately. I’m not sure about you, but sometimes I like to think things through and discuss...
5 signs that you’ve mastered the art of online discretion

5 signs that you’ve mastered the art of online discretion

I sometimes think that the most useful preparation for my career in social media came not from my academic research into online politics, but rather, my practical experience with electoral politics. Working on the political staff of a senior elected official (the...
The pajama test: An open letter to my Facebook “friends”

The pajama test: An open letter to my Facebook “friends”

A year ago today, this blog post was the turning point in my relationship with Facebook. In my life affair for Twitter I’d pretty much lost sight of how Facebook could possibly be relevant to me. Then I made the decision that Facebook would be my personal space...
11 best practices for managing your social network memberships

11 best practices for managing your social network memberships

Between the WordPress.com hack, the Honda Canada hack and the Playstation hack, I feel like my favorite online identities have been seriously compromised. Nor am I the only one: the recent attack on PBS servers has also created potential identity risks for PBS...