Kevin Barta

575 Added | 2 Magazines | 4 Following | 289 Followers | @racebannin20 | Diplomat @StateDept - I'm into international education, public/ digital diplomacy, technology, social media, & design. Views are my own. @kevin_barta

Facebook has reportedly built a tool to censor content in China

Amidst the backlash that Facebook is facing for providing a platform to circulate hoax news, it’s come to light that the company has quietly built a tool to suppress posts from appearing in users’ news feeds in specific geographic areas, reports The New York Times.<p>The tool is said to have been …

U.S. concerned over Russia blocking access to LinkedIn: RIA

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The U.S. government said on Friday it was deeply concerned over Russia's decision to block public access to networking site LinkedIn, saying it created a precedent that could be used to justify blocking other sites operating in Russia.<p>LinkedIn (LNKD.N), which has its headquarters …

Russia

Periscope and Facebook Live help document attempted coup in Turkey

As an attempted military coup unfolded in Turkey Friday night, with bridges closed, tanks rolling through cities and aircraft flying low overhead, …

How Effective Is It To Vet The Social Media Activity Of Visa Applicants?

Some technology experts are skeptical that this strategy will bear results.<p>Technology company employees are skeptical that government pilot programs to scrutinize visa applicants’ social media activity will be effective at rooting out potential terrorists or terrorist sympathizers.<p>The U.S. …

Social Media

Fortune.com

• 1. To license Fortune articles, excerpts, or headlines for republication in various media (including books, eBooks, film, web, newsletters, …

Print Media

From MIT: Learn French Or Spanish While You Wait For IMs

Don’t waste time waiting for your Google Chat contacts to stop typing. You could be learning a foreign language instead.<p>“John is typing…”<p>These are the unrecoverable moments of anticipation that are the cornerstones of our digital lives. But a new Chrome extension from MIT wants to change that. …

Language Learning

Is Some Autocratic Regime Blocking Your Twitter? FireTweet Will Let You In

Want to help dissidents in repressed nations? Give the gift of your Internet connection and help someone in China tweet away.<p>Many countries around the world with repressive governments block access to websites they consider “dangerous” to their national interests. Perhaps no other type of website …

China’s military has declared war on Western thought on the internet

China’s military says the internet has become its main ideological battlefield and that it should build a “Great Wall” online to protect the country’s citizens from “hostile Western forces.” A strongly worded editorial (link in Chinese) published in the People’s Liberation Army Daily on May …

China
Turner Broadcasting

A translator app will let you speak foreign languages with your Apple Watch

Intercontinental Hotels Group announced it's launching an app for the Apple Watch that will allow tourists to translate languages around the …

International Education News l The PIE News l US State Department's ELT MOOC breaks participation records

Created in collaboration with the University of Oregon, “Shaping the Way We Teach English” attracted the largest number of non-US based participants, …

Why Rejecting Students Based on Nationality Is a Bad Idea for Universities and for the U.S.

The University of Massachusetts at Amherst recently tied itself in knots in an attempt to comply with U.S. sanctions against Iran. The university first announced it would categorically ban Iranian graduate students from certain fields of science and engineering and then reversed itself with a "less …

Education

6 Ways to Avoid Crazy Data Charges Abroad

Push notifications, automatic updates and roaming charges can create costly data overages that break the bank. But you can devise ways to minimize …

Mapping Student Mobility to the U.S.

Brian Meagher<p>Mapping international student mobility to institutions in the United States.<p>Using data published by the Institute of International …

New Report Maps ISIS Support on Twitter

A new analysis of Twitter accounts that support ISIS provides one of the most comprehensive looks yet at the militant group’s online success in …

Social Media

ISIS Threatens Twitter Founder And Employees Over Blocked Accounts

"Your virtual war on us will cause a real war on you."<p>ISIS supporters on Sunday called on jihadis around the world to kill Twitter employees because of the company's frequent blocking of their social media accounts.<p>"Your virtual war on us will cause a real war on you," reads an online post …

60,000 Accounts Deleted from Social Media Sites in China

Some of China’s most popular social media sites deleted more than 60,000 accounts in the last 24 hours because they did not conform to the strict new regulations due to be put in place on Sunday.<p>Reuters reported that the country’s top social networks – QQ, Tencent’s WeChat and Sina Weibo – carried …

Twitter starts tracking phone numbers to prevent its worst users from creating new accounts

Rolling out a new suite of anti-harassment tools<p>Weeks after <i>The Verge</i> published internal memos from Twitter CEO Dick Costolo in which he said "we suck at dealing with abuse," the company is rolling out new tools to reduce harassment on the service. Under the changes, users who receive temporary bans …

Internet

Google's New Flight Search Tool Helps You Find The Best Price

Google Flights has been revamped this week and it is the fastest flight price search website that I have used so far. Like many other travel websites, Google Flights will show you a range of fares and flight options as you select the destinations and the dates. Fortunately, Google Flights has …

Google Flights
Obama Administration
Dow Jones

Chinese government continues dropping foreign tech in favor of local products

China's government continues to turn away foreign tech companies in favor of buying from firms right at home. According to Reuters, the government has entirely removed Cisco, Citrix, and McAfee products from its list of approved tech purchases. That follows an earlier <i>Bloomberg</i> report noting that …

China

A Nation’s Storied Design Heritage, Reduced To A Single Font

A sans serif font with serifs? Sweden’s new national typeface is weird, but practical.<p>What does a country look like as a font? That’s an abstract question, but one that Stockholm-based design firm Söderhavet had to try to answer as part of a project to design a comprehensive identity for its home …

Typography

NSA Mounts Super-Awkward Charm Offensive on Twitter for Valentine's Day

Sweet and cuddly, you're not, NSA.<p>The National Security Agency got hacked by love this Valentine’s Day. Or at least its official Twitter account started spewing vaguely threatening romantic …

Shades of Grey

New techniques emerge to track terror threats on social media

Terrorists have long used the Internet for their own personal gain, including recruitment, propaganda, and fundraising.<p>A recent report by the Department of Homeland Security says terror groups are increasingly using social media to gain a wider online following, share operational and tactical …

Al-Qaeda

Facebook Censors Blasphemous Page To Comply With Turkey’s Demand, But Won’t Publish It

When Google and Twitter receive legal threats from countries to censor controversial content or have their services shut down locally, they often publish them on ChillingEffects.org for transparency. But today when Facebook followed Turkey’s legal order to block a Page that defamed the Prophet …

Internet

You Can Now WhatsApp From Your Desktop

Prepare to take the much-loved messaging platform to the next level. Unless you own an iPhone, that is.<p>A good percentage of WhatsApp’s 700 million users have a reason to celebrate today–for the first time ever, the ultra-popular instant messaging app for smartphones is now available for use on your …

Apps

Bangladesh blocks mobile messaging apps to thwart protests

Countries are occasionally tempted to block mobile messaging apps when protests or riots flare up, and Bangladesh just gave in to that urge. The nation has blocked two popular services, Tango and Viber, on the grounds that anti-government protesters (some of whom have turned violent) are using …

Delsey's luggage weighs itself, charges phones, knows the weather

CES was flooded with a bunch of "internet of things" for the home, but frequent travelers will likely appreciate this connected luggage better. Leading luggage maker Delsey has been working on a connected suitcase called Pluggage for the past two years and has recently tested a working prototype, …

Apple approves ‘Je Suis Charlie’ app just an hour after devs email Tim Cook

Apple has been feeling the #jesuischarlie solidarity lately. After publicly supporting the movement protesting the terrorist attacks on the <i>Charlie Hebdo</i> offices last week, Apple has approved a Je Suis Charlie app for sale on the App Store, just anhour after the developers emailed CEO Tim Cook.<p>The …