Going Viral

Media and Tech Companies Are Weirdly Obsessed With This Team Management App

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When we think of something “going viral,” usually the first association is videos of pandas sneezing and clicky BuzzFeed listicles, not office management software. But a program called Slack is sweeping through media and tech companies, mostly because people who leave Hipchat and Gmail to try it out become major converts, and can barely shut up about it.

In only one year, Slack has become the go-to for teams at the Wall Street Journal, Airbnb, HBO, eBay, Gawker Media, Medium, BuzzFeed, PayPal, and dozens of other companies that are just as impressiveRead More

Social Network of No

Social Network Is Powerless to Prevent ISIS From Using it to Recruit, Organize

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App creators are often surprised by how people end up using their creations. Unfortunately for *diaspora, a hands-off social network that allows people to control their own decentralized groups, their software is being used by terrorists.

Terrorist organization ISIS has now fled other social networks to the aptly named diaspora*, a company that, by its own admission, can’t actually kick anyone off of their network. diaspora* has responded by publishing a blog post advising their citizen moderators how to deal with accounts that could belong to terrorist organizations:

diaspora* is a completely decentralized network which, by its nature, consists of many small servers exchanging posts and messages. There is no central server, and there is therefore no way for the project’s core team to manipulate or remove contents from a particular node in the network (which we call a “pod”). This may be one of the reasons which attracted IS activists to our network.

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Internet 911

New Jersey Issues Emergency Bulletin Over Idiotic ‘Fire Challenge’ Trend

Dumb. (Twitter)

Good work, teens. Besides saving helpless people from burning buildings, firefighters now have to devote their energy to worrying about your dumb, dangerous social media trend.

The New Jersey Division of Fire Safety recently released a statewide emergency bulletin warning firefighters and fire officials about the “Fire Challenge” craze, wherein teens are covering themselves in flammable liquid, lighting themselves on fire, and then documenting it on social media. Read More

Crowd Power

Accused Indiegogo Scammer: ‘I Do Not Own a Ferrari’

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When backers of the Kreyos smartwatch Indiegogo campaign were promised a cutting edge wearable and received an inferior, junk product, they were upset and confused. When they saw pictures of Kreyos founder Steve Tan with a Ferrari, they felt totally cheated.

After seeing our reporting on the Kreyos disaster and similar dubious campaigns, Indiegogo reached out to Kreyos and encouraged the company speak out. This morning, Mr. Tan himself went to the official Kreyos Facebook page to issue his response. Read More

Kickstart It

There’s a Kickstarter For a Documentary About People Addicted to Kickstarter

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Anyone with Facebook knows what it’s like to be solicited by some annoying friend for a Kickstarter campaign to fund their upcoming album or MFA film thesis. But beware: it turns out that sometimes, that spirit of charity can give way to compulsively giving money to every campaign that needs it.

Backers” is a possibly upcoming documentary about compulsive crowdfunders by Ana Barredo, a filmmaker and production manager. She originally set out to take a look at why people give money to crowdfunding projects in general, but stumbled upon a subset of users who seem unable to stop donating to hundreds of campaigns at a time. Read More