Letter from the internet

Letter from the internet

Instagram moderation, internet adoption report, fake Twitter audit, future of blogging, Ofcom on children's media use and Digital Download date.

Instagram knocked Brexit off the lead on BBC News this week following criticism of inappropriate content. The platform has been cited in cases of self-harm and suicide among teenage girls in the UK.

I’ve previously dismissed this story as technopanic. Google will find inappropriate content at the click of a keyword. However Sarah suggested a handful of keywords related to eating disorders. They surfaced frame after frame of harrowing images. The individual posts were deeply personal and drew you into the captions and comments.

Instagram has policies in place related to eating disorders and self-harm. The challenge is content moderation. It can’t be left to machines.

📑 Report: Global internet adoption accelerates

100 million people joined the internet everyday in 2018 according to We Are Social’s Global Digital 2019 Report - up almost 10% over the year.  There now 5.11 billion mobile phone users in the world and 4.39 billion internet users. The Global Digital report examines more than 200 markets. It’s one of the most comprehensive and up-to-date studies of the internet.

🔧 Tool: Twitter fake followers audit

SparkToro is a social media tool startup by Moz founder Rand Fishkin. Its free Twitter fake followers audit uses 25+ factors to analyse spam/bot/low quality accounts to return a percentage of followers likely to be fake. It reckons 11% of my followers are dodgy. The average for a Twitter account is 18%.

📝 Where have all the bloggers gone?

There are fewer individual bloggers than ever before and they’re blogging less. It’s an issue I wrote about this week. They’ve shifted to other forms of content and platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn where it’s easier to engage with a community at scale. The audience has also changed. The traffic to my blog is down a third in three years. But it’s worth continuing to blog as an individual if you’re new to a market and want to get ahead or if you want to keep on top of the issues in a market and stay relevant.

👧 Report: Children and the Internet

Digital strategist Rob Blackie has shared highlights of the Ofcom’s Children and parents: media use and attitudes report. He used a Twitter thread where previously he might have written a blog. Children spend more time online than watching TV and 50%. Facebook is in decline among 12 to 15 down 11% on the year, Snapchat is stable and Instagram booming, up 9%.

📅 Diary date: Digital Download Live

Paul Sutton has announced the agenda and date for Digital Download Live 2019. It’ll take place in London on 16 May and includes sessions on audio marketing, brand communications, Instagram creativity, SEO for PR, artificial intelligence and paid social media. I spoke at the event last year and enjoyed the community and workshop approach to learning and development.

This is my fourth letter. It’s a new thing for 2019. Please let me know what you think and if you’ve any suggestions.


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Where have all the bloggers gone?

Where have all the bloggers gone?