Getting a decent data connection at SXSW can be a challenge, given that it attracts what may be the most data-hungry crowd in the world. With a project called Homeless Hotspots, a marketing company is helping out with this, while helping the homeless and promoting itself. Homeless people have…
I managed to cram Jay Rosen’s treatise on the “view from nowhere,” the fantasy of newsroom meritocracy and the the dangerous, false premise of “digital first” into one interview on the future of journalism. Thoughts?
“Three weeks ago Slashdot featured a story on the Chinese Water Army. A new study from researchers at UCSB delves even deeper into the problem of crowdturfing (full disclosure: I am one of the authors of the study). The study reveals that evil crowdsourcing services in China are a multi-million dollar industry, and that the number of jobs and the amount of money are growing exponentially. Hundreds of thousands of workers are involved, including a small contingent of career crowdturfers who each manage hundreds of accounts on social networks. The researchers observed the behavior of workers and the unwitting users who click on the generated spam by infiltrating the two largest crowdsourcing sites in China. However, crowdturfing isn’t confined to China: the researchers discovered crowdsourcing sites in the U.S. that are 95% astroturf, as opposed to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, which actively polices itself, and is only 12% astroturf.”
Apparently, online crime bosses are using crowdsourcing techniques to trick unsuspecting microtask workers into cracking email passwords and serving as virtual mules to launder money.
Charlielie Jourdan notes in the post’s comments that a crowdsourcing “fair trade” seal of approval would be a worthwhile discussion at the upcoming CrowdConf in San Francisco to help thwart malicious efforts.
An astounding project described by the inestimable Patrick Meier. The applications for using high resolution satellite imagery as the foundation for contextualized eyewitness investigative reporting are huge.
A fascinating look back at the nearly 400 year history of crowdsourcing. The web and social media offer great opportunities for rapidly scaling the crowd but it still and always will boil down to solving a defined problem.
The next time you read a map or enjoy a can of chicken noodle soup, thank the crowd.
Tanja and Hanna are now on the ground in Cairo investigating the effects of crowdsourcing and social media technologies on the Egyptian pro-democracy movement. Their Spot.us pitch is closing in on 50 percent funded and still in need of financial support. Can you help?