Archive for the ‘Social Networking’ Category

The online hate campaign targeting people from the northeast has put the spotlight on the power of the social medianetwork in India, which counts more than 60 million users, and how this burgeoning community can be manipulated for insidious propaganda.

The unprecedented exodus of people from the northeast, abetted by hate messages, has also opened the debate about issues related to internet freedom and content regulation. India, which is looking into the alleged role of Pakistan-based elements in using morphed images on internet, has blocked over 250 websites for orchestrating the online campaign of hatred.

The last two years have seen an explosion of social media in the country with overwhelmingly young users.

According to a report by iCRossing, nearly 36 million people in the country use Facebook. Of these, nearly 50 percent users are aged below 50. Estimates for 2012 posted on the India pages of various network sites show that microblogging site Twitter and LinkedIn have nearly 15 million users each in India.

This mushrooming is a double-edged sword. Social media has created a vibrant online community and widened public discourse, allowing a platform for activists with a thousand causes. On the flip side, it has also become a vehicle of skewered propaganda, as the latest exodus of people from the northeast from cities like Bangalore and Hyderabad shows.

“The next big war that India may have to wage against terror will be on the internet,” said India-born Ankit Fadia, who is based in New York and is a cyber security consultant.

“If any wrong, unacceptable and vicious content originates in Pakistan, it is the responsibility of the citizen of India to check the veracity of the content. If anything goes wrong, those monitoring the content should be held culpable. The government must take action against those who put unacceptable content on social media websites,” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nirmala Sitharaman told IANS.

Experts say the vast volume of users makers makes the task of monitoring difficult.

The wide spectrum of subscribers’ database which cuts social and language divides – withFacebook using Hindi as one its languages – has the potential to make the networks national security risk.

Not every user is discerning and the fact that there are no entry barriers makes the sites porous. Anyone can log in.

“The potential of an individual using a social networking site in a secretive manner is much more in a social networking site than in a social media. There is no procedure for registration and ownership. And so there is no way to pin down the culprits,” media commentator N. Bhaskar Rao told IANS.

He said the government had initiated a “Convergence Bill in 2000 for the merger of telecom, entertainment and info-tech platforms which could have taken care of the problems”.

But it failed to become operative.

The recent developments dredge up fears of a gag on information and expression.

The spectre of curbs on the freedom of expression looms large following Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal’s statement about monitoring of content on the internet and social networking sites this year.

In the last two years, networking sites, taking a cue from the Arab Spring which had relied heavily on protests on the social media in the early stages, have mobilised public opinion for several key social issues.

Constructive debates on issues such as environment, wildlife conservation, gender justice, human rights, education – and tirades against cyber pornography and terror, have drawn millions of users to the social networking sites.

In the last decade, the sites have encouraged even trade and businesses to create e-commerce bases.

Social networking sites can’t be blamed for inciting violence in northeast, adds Thangkul tribal leader Selicita, who works in the capital.

“Most of those who react to such provocative information join the hate group without knowing the motives. Those involved in the violence against residents of northeast on the ground are not acquainted with such social networking sites,” Ngathingpei Khayi, a Manipuri who too works in capital, told IANS.

“The networking sites are a blessing… they are another freedom of expression,” said Mohammed Abdul, a student of Delhi University.

Like it or not, in order to be a member of the Internet community you need to have a profile. This may be an actual profile on multiple social networkspacked full of personal information, or it could just be the persona you adopt and nurture in an online setting. Either way you’ll probably have a profilepicture.

Inspired by Mark’s recent infographic showing what people’s personal profile picture says about them, I thought it would be good to hear how and why you chose the image that sums you up in just a few hundred pixels. That’s the subject of this week’s ‘We Ask [You] Tell Us’ column, your chance to inform us rather than the other way around.

There are an infinite number of choices open to you when choosing your social networking profile picture. You can use one of yourself, posed just for the occasion, captured off-guard, or drunk and pulling a funny face. You can use one of a celebrity, perhaps your favorite personality of the moment or one that suits your mood. You can use a graphic, a logo, a product, etc. Ad infinitum.
We already know the damaging effect of choosing unwisely, or even not choosing at all by just keeping that silhouetted Invisible Man-style non-picture on your page. But how did you come to the decision to use the picture you have staring out at the world and the Web right now?
I usually use a friendly picture of myself looking natural, but in advance of this column I switched to Burt Reynolds for a few days on Facebook. Why? Because 1970′s Burt Reynolds was the man, and I wanted to see what reaction he got. None, is the sad answer. Hopefully you’ll have better reasons for How? and Why? than I do.
We Ask You… now You Tell Us. All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week.

    London: Scientists have discovered that some birds use social networking to communicate about new food locations.

Researchers from the Australian National University in Canberra and Oxford University equipped birds with tags to monitor their activity and the built sunflower feeders in four small areas across two sites of woodland near Oxfordshire, known as Higgins Copse and Cammoor, and fitted them with antennae.

Over two months in winter the researchers placed feeders in set locations well-known to the birds, measuring their patterns of associations in the feeding flocks, their “social-network”.

They recorded 7790 separate food visits at Higgins Corpse and 11,866 visits at Cammoor, with 81 and 68 different birds.

After this data-collection period a single feeder was installed at a location that was not known for its food resources, so that no bird would have any pre-existing knowledge of the site.

They then recorded who discovered these new feeders, and in what order. They repeated the experiment several times at in each woodland area between December 2010 and January last year, leaving seven days between each trial.

Much like on Facebook, the scientists found that birds “in the know” that were more connected to the social network, were more likely to find new food sites than those on the “periphery”, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The less socially connected birds would just have to go hungry.

“It has parallels with social networking sites like Facebook (or indeed with the friendship networks humans maintain in everyday life) in that having lots of friends from many different groups means that a person potentially has access to more information from lots of diverse sources,” lead researcher from the Australian National University, Lucy Aplin told News Limited.

“In population of birds, maintaining such diverse links increase an individual”s chance of finding food.”

The study has been published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society journal.


Name Description/Focus Date launched
43 Things Goal setting and achievement 1st January 2005 Social networking site for academics/researchers Sep-08
Advogato Free and open source software developers 1999
Advogato Free and open source software developers 1999
aNobii Books 2006
AsianAvenue A social network for the Asian American community 1997
aSmallWorld European jet set and social elite world-wide Mar-04
Athlinks Running, Swimming 2001 Independent music 2010
Badoo General, Meet new people & dating, Popular in Europe and Latin America 2006
Bebo General Jul-05
BIGADDA Indian Social Networking Site Aug-07 Norwegian community 1-Jun-05
BlackPlanet Black Americans 1-Sep-99
Blauk Anyone who wants to tell something about a stranger or acquaintance. 2010
Blogster Blogging community 24-Nov-05 General 1996
Busuu Language learning community (headquartered in Madrid, Spain) 16-May-08
Buzznet Music and pop-culture 2005
CafeMom Mothers Dec-06
Care2 Green living and social activism 1998
CaringBridge Not for profit providing free websites that connect family and friends during a serious health event, care and recovery.[37]
Cellufun Mobile social game network[41] 2007 School, college, work and the military 1995
Cloob General. Popular in Iran 2004
CouchSurfing Worldwide network for making connections between travelers and the communities they visit. 2003
CozyCot East Asian and Southeast Asian women 2001 Faith Based social network for Christian believers from around the world 2008
Crunchyroll Anime and forums. 2006
Cyworld General. Popular in South Korea. 1999
DailyBooth Photo-blogging site where users upload a photo every day 13-Feb-09
DailyStrength Medical & emotional support community – Physical health, Mental health, Support groups 4-Nov-07
delicious Social bookmarking allowing users to locate and save websites that match their own interests Sep-03
deviantART Art community 7-Aug-00
Diaspora* Decentralized, privacy aware, general (open source) November, 2010
Disaboom People with disabilities (Amputee, cerebral palsy, MS, and other disabilities)
Dol2day Politic community, Social network, Internet radio (German-speaking countries)
DontStayIn Clubbing (primarily UK)
douban Chinese Web 2.0 website providing user review and recommendation services for movies, books, and music. 2005 General (primarily LV, LT, HU) Chinese online community for physicians, health care professionals, pharmacies and facilities 2000[75]
Elftown Community and wiki around Fantasy and sci-fi.
Elixio Business executives jet set and global elite. Jul-07 For baby boomers and mature internet users age 40 and beyond.
Epernicus For research scientists
eToro Social Investing, Finance May-07
Experience Project Life experiences
Exploroo Travel Social Networking.
Facebook General: Photos, Videos, Blogs, Apps. Feb-04
Faceparty General. Popular UK. Adult Social Network, Mainly UK & USA 2011
Fetlife People who are into BDSM Jan-08
FilmAffinity Movies and TV Series 2002
Filmow Movies and TV Series 2009
FledgeWing Entrepreneural community targeted towards worldwide university students
Flickr Photo sharing, commenting, photography related networking, worldwide Feb-04
Flixster Movies 2007 Business to Business, worldwide 2005
Fotki Photo sharing, video hosting, photo contests, journals, forums, flexible privacy protection, friend’s feed, audio comments and unlimited custom design integration. Oct-98
Fotolog Photoblogging. Popular in South America and Spain 2002
Foursquare Location based mobile social network 2009
Friendica Distributed, federated, privacy aware, open source, general
Friends Reunited UK based. School, college, work, sport and streets Jul-00
Friendster General. Popular in Southeast Asia. No longer popular in the western world 2002
Frühstückstreff General Jul-01
Fubar dating, an “online bar” for 18 and older Oct-07
Fuelmyblog Blogging community July, 2007
FullCircle Geosocial networking and location-based services portal for mobile devices Apr-09
Gaia Online Anime and games. Popular in USA, Canada and Europe. Moderately popular around Asia.
GamerDNA Computer and video games 21-Sep-06 Travel social network July, 1998 Article, picture, and video sharing, as well as group discussions Social network for LGBT community, Guide for LGBT bars, restaurants, clubs, shopping 16-May-08 Families, genealogy 16-Jan-07
GetGlue Social network for entertainment 28-Oct-08
Gogoyoko Fair play in Music – Social networking site for musicians and music lovers
Goodreads Library cataloging, book lovers Dec-06
Goodwizz Social network with matchmaking and personality games to find new contacts. Global, based in France. Oct-10
Google+ General 28-Jun-11
GovLoop For people in and around government Poland
Habbo General for teens. Over 31 communities worldwide. Chat room and user profiles. Aug-00
hi5 General. Popular in Nepal, Mongolia, Thailand, Romania, Jamaica, Central Africa, Portugal and Latin America. Not very popular in the USA. 2003
Hospitality Club Hospitality
Hotlist Geo-Social Aggregator rooted in the concept of knowing where users’ friends are, were, and will be. Social networking site for Human Resources professionals 1999
Hub Culture Global influencers focused on worth creation Nov-02
Hyves General, mostly popular in the Netherlands. Sep-04
Ibibo Talent based social networking site that allows to promote one’s self and also discover new talent. Most popular in India. Twitter-like service popular with hackers and software freedom advocates.
Indaba Music Online collaboration for musicians, remix contests, and networking.
IRC-Galleria Finland Language learning social network. 100+ languages.
Itsmy Mobile community worldwide, blogging, friends, personal TV-shows
iWiW Hungary 14-Apr-02
Jaiku General. Microblogging. Owned by Google Feb-06
Jiepang Location based mobile social network. In Chinese language 2010
Kaixin001 General. In Simplified Chinese; caters for mainland China users
Kiwibox General. 1999
Lafango Talent-Focused media sharing site
LAGbook African-based Social Networking Site. Popular in Germany, Denmark, France, China, Hong Kong, Pakistan,Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Philippines, Canada, India, Romania,Mexico and especially Nigeria.[180] 17th April 2010
LaiBhaari Marathi social networking 2010 Music 2002
LibraryThing Book lovers 29-Aug-05
Lifeknot Shared interests, hobbies
LinkedIn Business and professional networking May-03
LinkExpats Social networking website for expatriates. 100+ countries.
Listography Lists. Autobiography
LiveJournal Blogging. Popular in Russia and among the Russian-speaking diaspora abroad. 15-Apr-99
Livemocha Online language learning
Makeoutclub General 9-Aug-99
MEETin General
Meettheboss Business and Finance community, worldwide.
Meetup (website) General. Used to plan offline meetings for people interested in various activities
MillatFacebook General, Created in Response to Facebook [201] May-10
mixi Japan 25-Oct-00
MocoSpace mobile community, worldwide
MOG Music Social Network, social media, consumer reviews
Mubi Auteur cinema
My Opera Blogging, mobile blogging, photo sharing, connecting with friends, Opera Link and Opera Unite. Global
MyHeritage family-oriented social network service
MyLife Locating friends and family, keeping in touch (formerly
Myspace General Aug-03 School, college and friends. Popular in Poland
Netlog General. Popular in Europe, Turkey, the Arab World and Canada’s Québec province. Formerly known as Facebox and Redbox.[221]
Nexopia Canada
NGO Post Non-Profit news sharing and networking, mainly in India
Ning Users create their own social websites and social networks 2005 (Networks 2007)
Odnoklassniki Connect with old classmates. Popular in Russia and former Soviet republics
Open Diary First online blogging community, founded in 1998 1998
Orkut General. Owned by Google Inc. Popular in India and Brazil.[234] 22-Jan-04
OUTeverywhere Gay/LGBTQ Community
Partyflock Dutch virtual community for people interested in house music and other electronic dance music 10-Nov-01
Passportstamp Travel
PatientsLikeMe Online community for patients with life-changing illnesses to find other patients like them, share their data with others, and learn more about their condition to improve their outcome. 2006
Pingsta Collaborative platform for the world’s Internetwork Experts
Pinterest Online pinboard for organizing and sharing things you love 2011
Plaxo Aggregator
Playfire Computer and video games General, Music
Plurk Micro-blogging, RSS, updates. Very popular in Taiwan
PureVolume Connecting indie music bands and listeners, through music sharing and social networking 2003
Qapacity A a business-oriented social networking site and a business directory
Quechup General, friendship, dating 2007
Qzone General. In Simplified Chinese; caters for mainland China users
Raptr Video games
Ravelry Knitting and crochet
Renren Significant site in China. Was known as 校内 (Xiaonei) until August 2009. Social network for musician and bands
Ryze Business
ScienceStage Science-oriented multimedia platform and network for scientists
ShareTheMusic Music Community. Sharing and listening to music for free and legally
Shelfari Books 11-Oct-06
Sina Weibo Social microblogging site in Mainland China. 14-Aug-09
Skoob Collaborative social network for Brazilian readers 2009
Skyrock Social Network in French-speaking world
SocialVibe Social Network for Charity General. Popular in Latin America and Spanish and Portuguese speaking regions.
SoundCloud Repository of original music pieces and networking.
Stickam Live video streaming and chat.
Students Circle Network A Social Network connecting students, teachers and institutions to course resources, study groups and learning spaces. Dec-10
StudiVZ University students, mostly in the German-speaking countries. School students and those out of education sign up via its partner sites schülerVZ and meinVZ.
StumbleUpon Stumble through websites that match users’ selected interests
Tagged General.
Talkbiznow Business networking
Taltopia Online artistic community
Taringa! General (primarily Argentina)
TeachStreet Education / Learning / Teaching – More than 400 subjects
TermWiki Learning / Languages / Translation – 1.2m terms in more than 1300 subjects May-10
The Sphere A Private Online Social Luxury Network with Exclusive Personalized Services Dec-08 Travel 2005
Travellerspoint Travel 2002 General French subsidiary of
Tuenti Spanish-based university and High School social network.
Twitter General. Micro-blogging, RSS, updates 15-Jul-06 Gothic and industrial subculture 1999
Viadeo Global Social Networking and Campus Networking available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
Virb Social network that focuses heavily on artists, including musicians and photographers 2007
Vkontakte Social Network for Russian-speaking world including former Soviet republics. Sep-06
Vox Blogging
Wakoopa For computer fans that want to discover new software and games
Wattpad For readers and authors to interact & e-book sharing
WAYN Travel and lifestyle May-03
WeeWorld Teenagers – 10 to 17
Wellwer Community without borders, where sharing is everything. Sep-11
WeOurFamily General with emphasis on privacy and security Social polling network
Wer-kennt-wen General
weRead Books Jun-07
WiserEarth Online community space for the social justice and environmental movement[326]
Wooxie Blogging and micro-blogging Site networking inmates, friends, family Sep-00
Xanga Blogs and “metro” areas Unknown
XING Business (primarily Europe (Germany, Austria, Switzerland))
Xt3 Catholic social networking, created after World Youth Day 2008
Yammer Social networking for office colleagues 2008
Yelp, Inc. Local Business Review and Talk Greek Web Meeting point 2004
Zooppa Online Community for Creative Talent (host of brand sponsored advertising contests)