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Uber is as good old reliable taxis - and can be only four times the price. Lisa S/Shutterstock

How does Uber’s surge pricing work – and how ethical is it?

Popular cab-hailing service Uber seems as accident-prone as ever, attracting criticism for quadrupling its rate to a minimum of $100 during the Sydney siege hostage situation. Having been criticised in…
In the age of social media, misinformation travels rapidly around the globe. AAP

How rumours about the Sydney siege spread on social media

It has become one of the hallmarks of the news now. Whenever there is a dramatic event, social media instantly comes alive with comment and conjecture as facts vie for attention with fiction. Alongside…
Onlookers must respect boundaries. EPA

Sydney siege shows social media is a risky business

As the hostage crisis in Sydney came to a dramatic, deadly end, people were flooded with information. The siege at the building in the city’s Central Business District is over and the gunman is dead. The…
“You think you’re in pain now, but this is not going to look good on Facebook tomorrow.” Stefano Bolognini/National Museum of Denmark

Deep learning could prevent you from drunk posting to Facebook

The immense popularity of social media seems to have redefined “privacy” from the sense of keeping information secret to being in control over how information is shared – among friends, colleagues, companies…
The printed word or waving flags, such as this ISIS banner, can only reach so many people. EPA

How terrorists use Twitter to become ‘brand ambassadors’

On an overcast afternoon in London in May 2013, an off-duty soldier named Lee Rigby was murdered near his barracks in Woolwich, southeast London. Rigby’s killers were two young British men of Nigerian…
Tons of social media there for the taking… but is it truly representative of real life? Jürgen Pfeffer

Studying society via social media is not so simple

Behavioral scientists have seized on social media and their massive data sets as a way to quickly and cheaply figure out what people are thinking and doing. But some of those tweets and thumbs ups can…
The possibility of a posthumous digital social life seriously challenges our notions of death. Shimal Ahmed (Fulhi)

Tweets from the afterlife: social networking with the dead

Media technologies have operated as both a means of communicating news of a death and memorialising the deceased for a significant period of time, moving from traditional epitaphs, eulogies, wakes and…
There has to be a better way than this. Syda Productions/Shutterstock

Rude comments online are a reality we can’t get away from

Any verbal exchange – whether a scientific panel discussion, lovers quarrelling in a hallway, or the political hard-talk of a live interview – is a very sophisticated human activity. Besides the intricate…
Do selfies belong at funerals? Daniel Incandela

Death and the selfie: welcome to a grave new world

Funerals increasingly employ digital media; and a growing body of research addresses the intersection of digital culture and traditional memorialising practices. Commonly-used digital media include PowerPoint…
The internet has become a safe haven for racial and religious abuse. Shutterstock

You’ve got hate mail: how Islamophobia takes root online

In late 2013 I was invited to present evidence, as part of my submission regarding online anti-Muslim hate, at the House of Commons. I attempted to show how hate groups on the internet were using this…
As the leaders were meeting at G20 the tweeters were tweeting their own thoughts on the global summit. Flickr/Palazzo Chigi

From selfies to climate change: the #G20 debate on Twitter

The G20 Summit that brought many of the world’s most important leaders to Brisbane last weekend was also a major Twitter event. Australian and international users expressed their concerns over the appearance…
Rape and death threats on Twitter? Not on. Lara604/Flickr

Abuse of women on Twitter: no quick fix, but that’s no excuse

The Women, Action and the Media (WAM) activist group announced on Friday a collaboration with Twitter to address online harassment of women, which it claims has “reached crisis levels”. The group, concerned…
Can social media keep you safe from disasters? Flickr/Jim

Is social media responsible for your safety during a disaster?

Given the popularity of Facebook and Twitter, it’s not surprising so many people use social media in crises such as floods, fires and earthquakes. Facebook has introduced Safety Check, a new tool for users…
Tracking the career of YouTube star Charles Trippy provides some insight into the dynamics of YouTube success. YouTube screenshot

Collaborations are key to kickstarting your YouTube career

It might be ancient in social media terms but YouTube – which has been around since 2005 – continues to capture popular attention, with a number of internet entrepreneurs successfully building careers…

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