On @NYOnIt, Operation Pillar of Defense, Black Friday and the Last Typewriter Made in the U.K.

November 17 to November 23, 2012

This week: the parody Twitter account @NYTOnIt and the Times’ interesting attempt to shut it down, how the Gaza conflict is becoming a cyberwar with both Israel and Hamas leveraging social media to promote their respective agendas, things language lovers are thankful for and the etymology of “Black Friday.”

Image credit: “Typewriter Letters” by Laineys Repertoire on Flickr. Used under a CC BY 2.0 license.

Operation Pillar of Defense

The Israeli Army and Hamas now utilize social networks to disseminate casualty count and damaged areas, publicize victories and shape public perception as an extension of the platform for what was formerly an urban warfare. Israeli Defense Forces representative Eytan Buchman explains, “This is a new battlefield and no one has a monopoly on creativity and intelligence.”

However, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) warned citizens that geotagging and embedding link locations could compromise their operations and asked them to stop since, despite the Hamas’ crude weaponry, an aggregated public geo-data could offer a precision otherwise afforded only by more sophisticated equipment – or inadvertently crowdsourced.

The Times Is On It

Twitter suspended @NYTOnIt, a Twitter account that parodies the New York Times trend stories, Tuesday after the Times filed a complaint against Benjamin Kabak, the account’s owner for violating Twitter’s terms of service. Interestingly, the newspaper’s complaint was about the account’s use of its Olde English-style “T” logo — which was a trademark violation despite being affixed with a beret — and not against its tweets. Meanwhile, fans around the web were livid.  A Storify compilation of Twitter users criticized the Times and its lawyers and Twitter’s terms of service.  Even Jeff Davis of The Guardian thought the @NYTOnIt was hilarious.

After the account was taken down, Kabak, a law associate in New York, wrote on The Times Is On It’s Facebook page:

Right now, I’m waiting for Twitter to process my request to fix the problem so I can get the account reenabled. But feel free to spread the word over how the country’s largest newspaper feels threatened by a small Twitter account right now.

The suspension lasted for 12 hours.  @NYTOnIt has been restored without its original avatar and with a disclaimer that says, “This is a parody account clearly not associated with any newspaper.”

Other Stories

What are you thankful for? The OxfordWords blog listed “quark” and “robot” among other words that some language lovers are thankful for, while Dawn McIlvain Stahl listed things she’s grateful for as a copy editor including search capabilities and the copy editor community.

The last typewriter made in the U.K.  The last typewriter made in Great Britain went out of the factory and straight to London’s Science Museum. Manufacturer Brother has decided to halt production of typewriters as they “have been undergoing a decline in many years” and are therefore “not economically viable any more.” British novelist, columnist and reviewer Will Self “mourn[ed] the demise of mechanised wordprocessing” in a post on The Times.

Black Friday. Where did the term “Black Friday” come from? Is shopping on Black Friday really helping the U.S. economy? Check out The Christian Science Monitor’s live blog for interesting Black Friday-related posts.

We at Project Chiron aim to encourage the use of social media for knowledge exchange and skills development. We’re not necessarily about current events; we are about relevance, credibility and innovation. With millions of content spread and shared through social media networks every day, we want to help you see what’s important so you won’t have to sweep through all your news feeds and tweets. Our weekly roundups are curated by Dan Dupale, Mina Jesuitas and Mark Hilaria and edited by Kim Palanca, Paulo Formantes and Adrian Claudio.


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