The Twitter and Google boy’s clubs

From PC Magazine: “Twitter’s global workforce is about as diverse as those of its big-name peers in the tech biz, which is to say, not very diverse at all. The microblogging site, following the lead of companies like Google and Yahoo, on Wednesday released some raw numbers about the gender and ethnic makeup of its roughly 3,000 employees. As with those companies, it turns out that Twitter’s workforce skews very heavily male and white.images

“To wit, Twitter’s workforce is 70 percent male and 30 percent female. That disparity grows even more pronounced in tech-related jobs at the company, which are held by nine times as many men as women, while leadership roles at Twitter come in at 79 percent for men and 21 percent for women.

“Google, which released its own diversity data in May, reported the same 70-to-30 ratio of men to women among its own roughly 52,000-strong workforce. Yahoo reported last month that the gender diversity among its more than 12,000 employees also skews male but not as much—the company’s worldwide workforce is 62 percent men and 37 percent women.
Facebook also recently released a breakdown of gender and ethnic diversity in its workforce, reporting similar numbers to Twitter, Google, and Yahoo.

“If gender disparities at Twitter and other Silicon Valley companies are striking, the lack of ethnic diversity at those outfits is just as pronounced, if not more so, going by the self-reported numbers.
Before Twitter joined the party, both Google and Yahoo reported that their workforces were predominantly white and Asian— 91 percent at Google (61 percent white, 30 percent Asian) and 89 percent at Yahoo (50 percent white, 39 percent Asian). African-Americans and Latinos combined to make up just 5 percent of the employees at Google and just 6 percent at Yahoo.
Twitter’s workforce came in at 59 percent white and 29 percent Asian, with African-Americans, Latinos, and people with other ethnicities representing just a fraction of those numbers.

“The current numbers may be stark, but Twitter, like Google and Yahoo before it, pledged to work to better diversify its workforce going forward.”[R]esearch shows that more diverse teams make better decisions, and companies with women in leadership roles produce better financial results. But we want to be more than a good business; we want to be a business that we are proud of,” Janet Van Huysse, vice president of Diversity and Inclusion at Twitter, wrote in a blog post.
“To that end, we are joining some peer companies by sharing our ethnic and gender diversity data. And like our peers, we have a lot of work to do.”Van Huysse didn’t lay out any specific plans for enacting more diverse hiring at Twitter but did list some “employee-led groups putting a ton of effort into the cause” at the company. These include affinity groups like WomEng (women in engineering), SWAT (super women at Twitter), TwUX (Twitter women in design), Blackbird (Tweeps of color), TwitterOpen (LGBTQ folks), and Alas (Latino and Latina employees), she said.”

 

More at: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2461300,00.asp

France acts against slurs on Twitter

A French court on Thursday ordered Twitter Inc to help identify the authors of anti-Semitic posts or face fines of 1,000 euros ($1,300) per day, as the social network firm comes under renewed pressure to combat racist and extremist messages, reports the Jerusalem Post

“The order, requested by a Jewish student union and rights groups, concerned anti-Semitic material but could open the floodgates to legal pursuit of Twitter users who post a widerange of messages deemed illegal or offensive. ‘This is an excellent decision, which we hope will bring an end to the feeling of impunity that fuels the worst excesses,’ said Stephane Lilti, lawyer for the groups who sought the ruling. The anti-Semitic messages started appearing last October, and have since been deleted.imgres-2

“The Paris court gave privately-held Twitter, whose general policy is that it does not control content posted on its network, 15 days to hand over data identifying people who have published messages judged anti-Semitic. Continue reading “France acts against slurs on Twitter”

Political tweet sends Kuwaiti to prison

It was s short message. But the nation that led the U.S. into a war over “freedom” takes Twitter seriously.

“A Kuwaiti court sentenced a man to two years in prison for insulting the country’s ruler on Twitter, a lawyer following the case said, as the Gulf Arab state cracks down on criticism of the authorities on social media,” reports Reuters.kuwait460x276

“According to the verdict on Sunday, published by online newspaper Alaan, a tweet written by Rashid Saleh al-Anzi in October “stabbed the rights and powers of the Emir” Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah. Continue reading “Political tweet sends Kuwaiti to prison”

Accuracy, sensationalism, and new media

“When something momentous is unfolding—the Arab Spring, Hurricane Sandy, Friday’s horrific elementary school shooting in Connecticut—Twitter is the world’s fastest, most comprehensive, and least reliable source of breaking news.” Says Slate.com in a step-back piece on net-coverage of the recent tragedy. “

“If you were on the microblogging site Friday afternoon, you were among the first to hear the death toll, watch the devastated reactions, and delve into the personal details of the man the media initially identified as a killer. But there’s also a good chance you were taken in by some of the many falsehoods that were flying, like a letter one of the young victims purportedly wrote to his mother Continue reading “Accuracy, sensationalism, and new media”

You can be sued for what you tweet

Ever wonder about how outrageous you can be in a Tweet or Facebook post? Well wonder no more and say hello to libel and slander litigation.

According to Slate.com, “A British politician is seeking damages from high-profile Twitter users who repeated or retweeted a false report linking him to child sex abuse.”

In “Can You Libel Someone on Twitter,” L.V. Anderson, “The former Conservative Party official, Alistair McAlpine, is also asking lower-profile Twitter users who libeled him to apologize and make a donation to charity. The United Kingdom is notorious for its plaintiff-friendly defamation laws—but what about in the United States?

“Could an American be sued for libel based on tweets, too?

Continue reading “You can be sued for what you tweet”