How far can you trust citizen journalism on the internet?
By Vicky Baker - 25 March 10:55

As the BBC reports that it can receive up to 10,000 pieces of user-generated content on a single day, Vicky Baker looks at the increasing need for verification and how propaganda and hoaxes have become more prevalent.

So far, it's only if you've got one of these by your username.
Twitter gives (a few) users a new filter to block abuse
By Ian Steadman - 24 March 15:40

The social network's giving its "elite" users more control over whose tweets they have to pay attention to.

Digital hieroglyphics: what does the buffer symbol tell us about ourselves?
By Thomas McMullan - 06 March 9:42

Staring at a buffer symbol, waiting for something on the internet to load can be both reassuring and distressing. We wait with the belief that something is happening out of sight.

The relentless cheerleading of the internet dulls our wits.
The happiness conspiracy: against optimism and the cult of positive thinking
By Bryan Appleyard - 26 February 10:20

Pessimism gets a bad press, but compulsory positive thinking can be brutally enforced.

Whispering plays a big part in ASMR. Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images
Welcome to the world of autonomous sensory meridian response videos, the internet’s soft play area
By Eleanor Margolis - 19 February 16:50

For some people, videos of people performing intricate tasks or crinkling paper can produce a satisfying tingling feeling. If you can suspend your cyncism, it’s one of the nicest places on the internet to be.

David Cameron unveils this year's campaign poster. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Instant messaging: looking back on the golden age of political advertising
By Bryan Appleyard - 13 February 9:00

Sam Delaney’s Mad Men and Bad Men: What Happened when British Politics Met Advertising captures forty years of politics – through posters.

Samsung's 4K TV sets on show at CES. Photo: Getty Images
Before we give doors and toasters sentience, we should decide what we're comfortable with first
By Ian Steadman - 10 February 13:51

It's becoming more and more common for everyday appliances to have features we don't expect, and the implications for privacy and freedom can be surprisingly profound. We should be sure we know what we're buying into.

Google's motto is "don't be evil" - but with so much power over our lives, can we trust it and other tech companies to be? Photo: Getty Images
How to stop the tech giants turning us into techo-serfs
By Martin Moore - 09 February 17:21

We need to learn to live with the big companies which dominate the internet - but right now our only policy responses are state control or free market monopoly.

Unlike: at Facebook, 85 per cent of the tech staff are men. Photo: Getty
Silicon Valley sexism: why it matters that the internet is made by men, for men
By Soraya Chemaly - 04 February 10:46

From revenge porn to online harassment, online spaces are recreating the misogyny of the wider world.

The Twitter logo and homepage. Photo: Getty Images
Troubles with Twitter: I’m glad I couldn’t tweet when I was an idiot
By Phil Hartup - 08 January 16:58

Twitter might be here to stay. Those block lists, those grudges, those bridges we burn – we could be stuck with them. And that is a sobering thought.

PETA, Ferguson, jihad, Doctor Who, rape, and kitten pics: the toxoplasma of online rage
By Scott Alexander - 08 January 12:37

A study of how anger on the internet is born, lives, and regenerates.

Finding them online is one thing, but how does one “rehabilitate” a paedophile? Photo: Getty
Is a zero-tolerance approach really the best way to stop paedophiles from abusing children?
By Hussein Kesvani - 19 December 15:01

A new security branch has been created to find paedophiles lurking on the “dark web”. Yet this zero-tolerance attitude is beginning to be called into question – for people who have never acted on their desires and want help, should we be locking them up at all?

A woman poses in front of photowall showing a fantasy library at the 2013 Frankfurt Book Fair. Photo: Thomas Lohnes/Getty
To build a fan base, it helps to know what it’s like to be a fan
By Elizabeth Minkel - 12 December 10:00

The online book world is about gathering around a book, or a love of books generally. If publishers want to capitalise on this, they would do well to promote authors who are fans themselves.

Footballer Gavin Swankie (left), just one of the players whose every goal is recorded by the Whitehall fan. Photo: Getty Images
Who's the Whitehall civil servant spending hours each week editing footballers' Wikipedia pages?
By Ian Steadman - 27 November 15:59

Someone, somewhere in government, is spending a considerable amount of time keeping Wikipedia's entries on Scottish football up-to-date.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the head of the ISC, has said companies like Facebook offer terrorists a "safe haven". Photo: Getty Images
Making Facebook an arm of MI5 won't be a guarantee against terrorism
By Ian Steadman - 26 November 13:42

The security services want social networks like Facebook to be more forthcoming with material posted by users that might indicate a threat to national security. But the root causes of terrorism will never be fixed with data alone.

Amanda Palmer at Glastonbury. Photo: Getty Images
Standing naked in front of an audience: Amanda Palmer and a new way to make art
By Cory Doctorow - 11 November 16:17

Cory Doctorow on the singer and performer Amanda Palmer's first book, "a manifesto and a confessional of an artist uniquely suited to her time and place".

Why you should be worried about Dapper Laughs: he’s making sexism mundane
By Eleanor Margolis - 07 November 10:39

The internet comedian is turning retro sexism into a viral phenomenon, and now that he’s been give his own ITV2 show, the message is clear: misogyny is just as mainstream and marketable as ever.

Free capital: a winning design for one of Peter Thiel's floating cities. Image: Andras Gyorfi
Peter Thiel: we must stop fearing the future
By Ian Steadman - 30 October 12:35

The co-founder of PayPal, Facebook board member and hugely successful venture capitalist is disappointed in the future. He doesn’t think we’re ambitious enough.

Not this kind of tiger, clearly. Photo: Getty
Why a woman having sex with a fake tiger shows that the Extreme Pornography Act must be repealed
By Margaret Corvid - 27 October 12:44

Experts predicted that the law would result in fewer than 30 cases a year. Instead, there have been thousands of convictions. The Act is not fit for purpose.

Students at work in a university library. Photo: Getty
Why UK universities must steer clear of trigger warnings
By Pam Lowe - 24 October 13:07

It is important for staff to assist and support students while teaching and learning sensitive issues, but we should not be sanitising the curriculum for them.

Julian Assange appears on screen to discuss the revelations about New Zealand's mass surveillance at Auckland Town Hall, 15 September. Ph
When Julian Assange went head to head with Google
By Bryan Appleyard - 09 October 10:00

For Julian Assange, Google is all but an arm of the US state department. For the company’s chairman, Eric Schmidt, and Jonathan Rosenberg, an adviser to its CEO, Larry Page, Google is the model of the 21st-century company.

Free again: Doctorow signals the danger of states pushing tech boundaries. Photo: Rex/Will Ireland/Future Publishing
Betrayed by your smartphone: Cory Doctorow on the future of internet censorship
By Ian Steadman - 09 October 10:00

“Information doesn’t want to be free,” writes the sci-fi novelist and activist Cory Doctorow, “people want to be free.”

Jennifer Lawrence at the Vanity Fair Oscar party in 2014. Photo: Getty
Jennifer Lawrence: “Anybody who looked at those pictures, you’re perpetuating a sexual offence”
By Media Mole - 07 October 16:24

It isn’t just the hackers who stole her personal photos who are to blame, the actress says.

Westminster needs to catch up with the regulatory demands of the internet. Photo: Getty
Tim Farron: Westminster has been slow to engage with the internet
By Tim Farron - 05 October 9:51

New garden cities, our digital future and why we should celebrate Non-Independence Day.

Plumb role: actors dressed as Nintendo characters Super Mario and Luigi in Chiba, Tokyo, August 2014. Photo: Getty
The most influential tech company you’ve never heard of
By Philip Maughan - 25 September 10:00

The scientists and engineers at “Alca-Loo”– as it is known among financiers – think of themselves as “the plumbers of the internet world”.

Not that kind of fishing. Photo: Getty
The psychology of phishing: why do we fall for terrible email scams?
By Emma Woollacott - 23 September 12:36

New research suggests that it isn’t the technologically illiterate who fall for the promise of a legacy from a Nigerian prince – the more you use Facebook, the more likely you are to click that link.

A row of traditional American mailboxes. Photo: Andrew Taylor/Flickr
Reprivatising the internet: how physics helps you hide from spooks
By Michael Brooks - 18 September 10:00

Tim Berners-Lee has publicly called for programmers to develop better, more user-friendly cryptography. That way, he says, we can all get back to living private lives again.

Miranda July.
Miranda July’s new app Somebody delivers text messages in person
By Philip Maughan - 29 August 12:42

“Every relationship becomes a three-way,” July says of the new app, which launched yesterday at the Venice Film Festival.

An Apple iPad with Twitter's native app. Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Twitter's taking away your control over what tweets you choose to see
By Ian Steadman - 20 August 12:38

A subtle change in how Twitter's feed works will make some people very angry, but most people probably won't even notice.

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