Social Intelligence Stories that Caught Our Attention: Volume Twenty-Seven

The social intelligence stories that caught our attention this week include, intelligence services collecting information, internet freedom declining, former Twitter employees spying, social media officers, and political lies in ads.


You’re Not paranoid, Nearly Every Internet Use is Currently Being Watched

Across at GOAT, Alexander Pan reports that the independent watchdog organisation, Freedom House, found forty of sixty-five countries it studied has implemented some form of “advances social media surveillance programmes”. It’s this type of news that puts strain on our ethical use of social media data.

Read the full article here.


Internet Freedom Declines for the Ninth Straight Year

The same Freedom House report also found that thirty-eight countries of sixty have had political leaders that have used social media who “employed individuals to surreptitiously shape online opinions that mixed authentic users’ views with fraudulent or automated accounts. There are more details on intelligence services collecting vast amounts of data on populations.

Read the full article here.


Former Twitter Employees Charged with Spying

News broke this week that two former Twitter employees have been charged with spying after they reportedly obtained personal account information for critics of the government of Saudi Arabia. With data comes power, can we trust the people inside big tech?

Read the full article here.


Social Media Officers to Police Anti-Social Tweeting

Paddy Cosgrave, founder of Web Summit announced that counties might want to consider introducing “social media officers” to fine people for anti-social tweeting. He’s right in the fact that we need to tackle hate speech and misinformation, but this seems a step too far in the wrong direction. Surely social intelligence should play a bigger role in tackling this challenge.

Read the full article here.


Arguments on Allowing Politicians to Lie in Ads

A former Facebook staffer piling into the company over its stance permitting politicians to lie in ads on its site. The scathing op-ed article in The Washington Post condemns the company’s approach to political advertising. One of the questions that I had from all this conversation about “facts” is what constitutes fact?

Read the full article here.

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Jillian Ney
Jillian Ney
I'm the founder of The Social Intelligence Lab. I champion the growth of the social intelligence industry by helping the professionals and businesses working in it to access best practice, accredited training and peer networking. After working in the industry for 12 years I believe social intelligence should become a recognised discipline - and, I'm working towards making that a reality. More content by

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