Can Twitter defeat its trolls? Twitter abuse is in the spotlight after trolls hounded Robin Williams' daughter until she quit the platform -- but is there anything the social network can do to rein in users? Serial abusers use networks of pseudonyms to avoid crackdowns and remain online, and that's hard to prevent, Chris Morran writes. "We live in a world where everyone old enough to hold onto an iPhone has the ability to anonymously indulge their most base instincts," Morran writes.The Atlantic online (8/14),The Consumerist (8/14),The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (8/14)
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How much effect will the "ice bucket challenge" have? More than 71,000 people have taken the "ice bucket challenge," dumping water over themselves and posting photos and videos on Facebook or Twitter to raise awareness about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The campaign has raised $2.3 million, but some say posting videos online isn't all that helpful.The Wire (8/13)
Mark Zuckerberg still wants his own Snapchat Mark Zuckerberg tried to buy Snapchat, then he tried to clone it, but so far Facebook's Snapchat-style services haven't caught on. The continuing attempt to copy Snapchat's functionality doesn't reflect well on the social network, experts say. "It sends a signal that there's an inability to see what's next or an inability to innovate," analyst Brian Solis says.Bloomberg (8/14)
Users have little love for Facebook's Messenger app Nineteen out of 20 Facebook users hate the service's standalone Messenger application, an App Annie study says. "Facebook [keeps] thinking that we should want another app outside of the main app. They just can't get that we don't," one user complained.Fortune (8/15)
Is this America's hardest ultra-marathon? In 1977, James Earl Ray broke out of prison and fled into Tennessee's Cumberland Mountains, then was found only a few miles away 54 hours later. His escape bid inspired the Barkley Marathons, arguably America's toughest footrace, in which runners seek to cover 100 miles through punishing, muddy hills in less than 60 hours.MentalFloss.com (8/13)
All Twitter can really do is respond to complaints in a more expedient manner and have a lower tolerance for nastiness. It will still be playing Whack-A-Mole with trolls, but one can always get better at playing Whack-A-Mole."