Category Archives: socialmedia

Quote

On Reddit finally getting its act together

Glad to see Reddit is finally getting it’s act together:
Reddit, Acting Against Hate Speech, Bans ‘The_Donald’ Subreddit – The New York Times.

Reading the story, you can see how extremely slow Reddit has been to deal with this. And even before they shut down this part of their site, they gave it ample warning:

… the company’s executives have struggled in particular with how to handle “The_Donald” and its noxious content. Reddit said people in “The_Donald” consistently posted racist and vulgar messages that incited harassment and targeted people of different religious and ethnic groups on and off its site.

“The_Donald” has also heavily trafficked in conspiracy theories, including spreading the debunked “PizzaGate” conspiracy, in which Hillary Clinton and top Democrats were falsely accused of running a child sex-trafficking ring from a pizza parlor in Washington.

Reddit said that as of Monday, it was introducing eight rules that laid out the terms that users must abide. Those include prohibiting targeted harassment, revealing the identities of others, posting sexually exploitative content related to underage children, or trafficking in illegal substances or other illicit transactions.

While the site had already banned many of these behaviors, the latest changes take a harder line on speech that “promotes hate based on identity or vulnerability.”

Mr. Huffman said users on “The_Donald” had frequently violated its first updated rule: “Remember the human.” He said he and others at Reddit repeatedly tried to reason with moderators of “The_Donald,” who run the subreddit on a volunteer basis, to no avail. Banning the forum was a last-ditch effort to contain harassment, he said.

“We’ve given them many opportunities to be successful,” Mr. Huffman said. “The message is clear that they have no intention of working with us.”

I mean, the rules (highlighted in bold) were what they had to follow. And they couldn’t. Meanwhile you have Glenn Greenwald tweeting this blanket statement:

Why trust Silicon Valley? Well, for once, they seem to be waking up to the problem they’ve been having. I trust them more now than I have for decades. For too long Reddit has hosted some of the worst parts of the Internet. Glad to see they’ve decided to flush it. Let it crawl off to the chan sites of the world.

Quote

Why I post mostly random nonsense on Twitter (as opposed to trying to influence the world with my tweets)

Many years ago I gave up on the notion of having any form of influence using Twitter, either as an individual or as part of a bigger force united by some such thing as a tag. Indeed, I gave up on the idea of using Twitter for anything other than sharing things with the few people who engage with me at all on this site.

I don’t think I can accomplish much of anything positive on this site. Anything I do share has a life span of 18 minutes on average (see below). For the few people who follow me and engage with me, that life span is likely longer. I know there are people who read tweets posted hours or even a day earlier. But those people are exceptions. Exceptions I appreciate!

Occasionally I share something and it gets shared by someone with more followers, but that rarely gets me more followers or other forms of engagement. It’s something odd to note and move on.

I treat this site as a coffee shop I wander into from time to time. I overhear some distorted form of the news, I get some weird opinions. From time to time I hear something brilliant. Often I’ll laugh at something odd or funny. Then I log out. This site is no longer the Cafe Central in Vienna, with Trotsky in the corner plotting revolution. If it ever was.

Besides, I am aware that there are people here who do try to use the site to foment small bursts of unrest and unhappiness. Why encourage that in any way?

If you still believe or witness positive change happening because of your engagement here, then that’s great. I suspect for the vast number of people updating statuses and reading them, that does not occur.

As far as mediums go, I still like it. I have given up on most other social media, save this and Instagram and my blog. I still get some social engagement from this and Instagram, which keeps me coming back. And Instagram and my blog are good ways to leave a record (something twitter is pretty poor at doing).

So if you wonder why I post mostly random nonsense on Twitter (as opposed to trying to influence the world), now you know.

P.S. Regarding the lifespan of a tweet:

Tweets have the shortest lifespan of any social media post, about 18 minutes. And there’s not much you can do about it. Twitter is fast-paced, and messages get buried more quickly. The newest algorithm  means that posts are no longer displayed chronologically, so yours might live a little longer, but your tweet will still get pushed down the page quickly.

via What Is The Lifespan Of Social Media Posts? – Epipheo

Quote

Do you take great Instagram photos? Now there’s an app that lets’ you sell them.

The folks at 8×10 want to make it easy for you to sell your Instagram photos. (And let’s face it, some  of you take great photos!). For details on the program, go here: 8×10 – Sell Limited Edition Fine Art with a Single Post to Instagram

Quote

The things you reveal about yourself inadvertently when you post on Instagram


Suppose you post a lot of pictures with blue colours in them on Instagram. So what, you say? Well, according to this, What Your Instagram Posts Reveal about Your Mental State (and Why That’s Important) | Social Media Today, it shows you’re depressed. Whaaaaat? you say! In the piece, they state:

…. the researchers asked 166 Instagram users for permission to analyze their posts and also asked whether or not they had a diagnosis of clinical depression from a mental health professional. What they found was that people with depression over-indexed in several categories in regards to their Instagram post composition.

For example, people with depression prefer darker colors and more grays or blues than non-sufferers.

You might think this is not much better than phrenology, and I tend to agree.

Just keep in mind that all those pictures you post are being analyzed by someone to sell you something.

Read the article and decide if you want to reconsider what you post.

Quote

So you want to become famous on Instagram? You might want to read this first

Why? Because as this article shows, become famous on Instagram is a lot harder than you might think:  I Tried to Make My Dog an Instagram Celebrity. I Failed. – The New York Times.

Yes, I know you are not a dog, but the same lessons will apply.

My guess is that the ship has sailed on become famous on Instagram. Same for podcasts and any other social media that has been around for a few years. You need to get in early, work hard, and take advantage of network effects.

If you do decide to become Instagram famous and manage to pull it off, please come here and mock me and I will update this post. 🙂

On deplatforming on social media

Deplatforming is starting to rise up as a means of dealing with the bad effects of social media. For instance:

Apparently there is a link to delete instead of deactivate your Facebook profile

And this page apparently has it: This one link is the only way to truly delete your Facebook profile | IT Business. I haven’t tried it: I am settling on deactivating my account for now. If you want to go beyond deactivating, go to that page and try it.

 

Are you afraid of Facebook tracking you? Do you use Firefox? Then read on.

If you are afraid of Facebook tracking you and you use Firefox then you want to consider this:  Facebook Container Extension: Take control of how you’re being tracked | The Firefox Frontier. 

If you are comfortable installing extensions you really want to consider this.

Who are The Frightful Five?


According to the New York Times, the Frightful Five are Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Alphabet, Google’s parent company. What makes them frightening?

(The Frightful Five) have experienced astounding growth over the last few years, making them the world’s five most valuable public companies. Because they own the technology that will dominate much of life for the foreseeable future, they are also gaining vast social and political power over much of the world beyond tech.

These companies are getting alot more scrutiny lately. Any organization as wealthy and powerful as they are warrant it. Especially so because we aren’t even certain what impact they have on our societies. I hope the Times and other newspapers continue to give them focus and question their power. And I hope more writers like Scott Galloway examine what these companies do in books like the one he has just written. Most importantly, I hope you continue to seek out information on these companies and question how you interact with them, either directly or indirectly as a member of society.

Where is Facebook now and why should you care

Facebook and politics

John Lanchester manages in a review of a number of books to extensively pin down where Facebook is, here:

John Lanchester reviews ‘The Attention Merchants’ by Tim Wu, ‘Chaos Monkeys’ by Antonio García Martínez and ‘Move Fast and Break Things’ by Jonathan Taplin · LRB 17 August 2017

Here’s some reasons why you should care, even if don’t use Facebook

Facebook has an ability to influence politics in ways that no one understands, except possibly Facebook. I don’t imagine they are going to share that information readily. Politicians need to push back on Facebook and discover the extent of their influence.

My belief is that the strength and influence of social media like Facebook is going to decline in the next few years. That’s not anywhere certain at this point, though, and the power they have needs to be limited now.

Instragram = advertising

Each social media has an implicit purpose. The stronger ones have a purpose that is clear. Facebook: stay connected to family and friends; LinkedIn: connect with employees/employers. For Instagram, the purpose is advertising. For most people, it is advertising your life. For certain people, with many many followers, it is advertising products.

To get a sense of how much Instagram is about advertising, see this: Confessions of an Instagram Influencer – Bloomberg. While many of us are amateurs at advertising on Instagram, this article will show you how the pros go about it.

I have often looked at people Instagram proposes I follow and I have wondered why people take the photos they do. This article helps explain that. It also helps one understand why some people’s photos look nothing like yours.

How to stop Whatsapp from sharing information with Facebook 

Instructions are here as to how to stop Whatsapp from sharing information with Facebook.

Facebook owns Whatsapp. I expect this simple opt out may not be so simple in the months and years to come. You may have to make a harder choice then when it comes to privacy on Whatsapp. In the meantime, you can follow those instructions to maintain the separation between your Whatsapp data and your Facebook data.

Some big changes on twitter

Two new things: 1) a quality filter 2) notification settings. While people are talking a lot about the first one, I think the second one might just be the thing most people need. For more details, see this: New Ways to Control Your Experience on Twitter | Twitter Blogs

How the ‘Spicy Boi’ comments on Hillary’s Instagram shows the difficulty of dealing with trolls

To see what I mean, read this piece in NYMag, Everyone Is Commenting ‘Spicy Boi’ on Hillary’s Instagram. Note how the social networks cross over the various platforms. The social organization of this activity goes from platform (iFunny) to platform (Twitter) to platform (Instagram). No doubt at some point it will appear on Reddit, 4chan, and who knows where else. It’s very hard to deal with trolls when you have people on one platform (e.g. Twitter) trying to control things, yet you can have social groups planning raids, etc. on other platforms.

Three thoughts:

  • the comment section for big accounts on Instagram is next to useless. I wonder why it is even enabled for them? I think they should disable it, or give the user the option to disable it.
  • In many cases, the comment sections should be limited to such things as “Likes” or “Thumbs Up” or simple polls.
  • Social media needs to involve either really good AI or (better) really good people to moderate things. It can’t happen soon enough.

Twitter: a former bar you used to love and now visit nostalgically

I’ve likely said enough about twitter. So much so, that there doesn’t seem much else to say. I wanted to highlight this comic, though (the long, slow death of Twitter | Technology | The Guardian) because it wonderfully sums up the arc of Twitter over the years. It matches my thoughts and feelings about the platform very well.

I still come to Twitter, the way you go to a bar you used to love. There’s not as many friends there as there was before, but there are still some. It becomes as much a visit to experience nostalgia as anything else. But then the shouters and the fighters show up and you remember why you lost your interest in it.

More on the decline of Twitter from a variety of sources

From the New Yorker and Business Insider. A rebuttal here, on Medium, and also Slate.

My take is a simple one: most people are interacting less on Twitter. This likely leads to people contributing less on Twitter, which leads to a downwards spiral. I see this on other social media as well.

The one exception to those interacting less are active self promoters. Self promoters, whether doing it personally or professionally, are still interacting regularly with social media such as Twitter. After all, it’s free and it’s better than doing nothing.

Overall, though, I expect there to be a decline in use of all kinds of social media, until someone can invent a social media that is more effective than what we have today. That may be a few years off.

On Facebook, the company

Facebook is a company. It’s not Mark Zuckerberg. It’s not an app you use on your phone. It’s a collection of services that is growing rapidly and it may be poised to grow at even crazier rates than it has now, if you believe what is in this piece, Inside Mark Zuckerberg’s Bold Plan For The Future Of Facebook. Key point it raises:

The Facebook of today—and tomorrow—is far more expansive than it was just a few years ago. It’s easy to forget that when the company filed to go public on February 1, 2012, it was just a single website and an app that the experts weren’t sure could ever be profitable. Now, “a billion and a half people use the main, core Facebook service, and that’s growing. But 900 million people use WhatsApp, and that’s an important part of the whole ecosystem now,” Zuckerberg says. “Four hundred million people use Instagram, 700 million people use Messen­ger, and 700 million people use Groups. Increasingly, we’re just going to go more and more in this direction.”

Reading this, you get the sense of a company that is going to bigger in a few years than it is now, which seems incredible to me. Note this article: it will be worth revisiting in a few years.

That said,  there are a few points I’d like to add:

  1. I actually think that Facebook the app/website is declining in active usage. It is very clever showing you things people like, even if people you know aren’t posting things. You get a sense of activity on Facebook the app/website whenever you log in. You never get the sense that it is not being used by people, even if many of the people you follow aren’t actively contributing at all. I suspect if you dropped your Facebook friends down to next to none it would still show you the same amount of information. If Facebook the company is going to remain successful, it needs to diversify from it’s main service.
  2. It is interesting that people continue to compare Twitter to Facebook. To me, there is little to compare. Facebook seems to have a better growth plan and even have a better app. If Facebook the service declines, the diversification into places like WhatsApp and Instagram is strong in a way that is unlikely to be matched by services like Vine or Periscope. While there is some commonality between the two companies, I think the story of their divergence will become a bigger one over time. Contributing to that big difference is Facebook remains a stable company with a stable leadership while Twitter’s leadership remains chaotic and unstable.
  3. The narrative in that story is very optimistic. If the numbers for any of those organizations start to slip, I could see the narrative changing, just like it has for so many IT companies. Right now the narrative is: Facebook is a very successful company and it is going to become more successful with all these promising ideas. The narrative can easily become: Facebook is a very troubled company and it is going to become more troubled with all these ideas doomed to fail. (See Yahoo! for an example of such a narrative.)

Twitter is in trouble! Again!

Since I have been using Twitter, it’s been in trouble. And according to this really good piece, Twitter is in trouble. Here’s why. – Vox, it still is! What is new is the the type of trouble it is in. Previous troubles were technical and then social. Now it’s business trouble.

My take:

  1. they need to be less controlling and make it a platform.
  2. they need new leadership.

Otherwise they are going to become MySpace.

 

Here comes Yik Yak: a mini primer (plus 2 or 3 — ok, 7– thoughts on it from me)

By now you have heard of Yik Yak (or were curious enough to click through). Here are three links that can tell you more about it:

  1. If you want to get the basics, check out this: You Asked: What Is Yik Yak? | TIME.
  2. If you are a big user of Yik Yak, you most likely are on campus. College students are where it is seems to be taking off. Like any platform, eventually you see people coming out with ways to take advantage of it. Here it was used to have a back channel for a speech Ted Cruz was giving: Ted Cruz Has Skeptics at Liberty, and They Use Yik Yak – Bloomberg Politics.
  3. And here it was used for cheating on exams! Another Use for Yik Yak on Campus? Cheating on Exams – Wired Campus – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

My thoughts:

  1. Yik Yak is a platform. Like any platform, people using it will invent new uses for it. I expect to see Yik Yak used in all sorts of innovative ways, and I expect it will grow as a result.
  2. Yik Yak is big on college now. But it likely won’t be limited to that audience. Facebook was also once limited only to colleges. Look how that turned out.
  3. Yik Yak is partially a response to all those Privacy is Dead advocates and those saying young people don’t care about privacy. Yik Yak is anonymous, and I expect there will be more social media going this way. It’s hard to exploit users when your service does not depend so much on identities.
  4. Anonymous social media is also a dangerous thing in the wrong hands, as is illustrated in some of the examples.
  5. Social media needs to mature to a position that is not anonymous but also protects people privacy. Otherwise people will tire of being abused by one or the other and shy away from social media.
  6. I think social media and the people who create it are anywhere near that mature yet.
  7. Privacy lives. Privacy is all about control about information about your life. To say privacy is dead is to say no one has control over information about their life, which just isn’t true. What is true is that new technology will continue to come out and force you and everyone else to think about privacy and what you want to share and what you want to keep to yourself.

 

 

Some thoughts on blogging and social media with the news that Dooce is retiring

According to one big name blogger, Jason Kottke, another big name blogger, Dooce, is retiring. How big is big? According to this piece in the NYTimes.com (Heather Armstrong, Queen of the Mommy Bloggers – NYTimes.com), she is hinted at having earned $1M / year. That’s pretty good money. This comes on the heels of Andrew Sullivan, another big name blogger, who recently retired too.  From the sounds of it, Jason Kottke himself is thinking that the days of blogging are numbered. It seems the days of a very limited number of big name bloggers making good money are numbered.

Dooce, Kottke, Sullivan and others rode the wave of the golden age of blogging. Dooce and Kottke kept up the format longer than others. Sullivan, Josh Marshall, and many of the political bloggers I started following years ago, have all but abandoned pure blogging. Marshall’s TPM still retains some elements of his original blog, but his site is more like CNN and less like a traditional blog. Sullivan’s site was chronological, but it was more like a blog on steroids that turned out 30 or more posts a day from a variery of sources. Others, like Nate Silver (538), Matt Yglesias and Ezra Klein (Vox) all went off and start up variations of what Marshall did with TPM. The model of Vox and 538 is more like Buzzfeed and less like a blog.

Kottke and Dooce are good at what they do, but they also were in the right place at the right time. I admired Kottke and modelled my blog off of what he did, but in truth, there was no way my blog would ever catch his. The same goes for Dooce and her mommy blogging. They occupy the left end of the long tail, while most of us occupy the right end. That’s fine: it is great that it is possible for anyone to be able to write and have it published for free. While your writing may not be read widely, it will be read by more people than you expect. That has certainly been the case for me. When I first started, I was thrilled to have anyone read my blog. As of this post, thousands of people have read my posts over 800,000 times. I am still astonished by that.

Like much in IT, blogging hasn’t died so much as it has been displaced. One time blogging was about the only social media out there. Now, all media is social media.  There are so many choices now. Not only that, but as networks get faster, sites like YouTube and Vine and other visual sites attract more attention. Video is the future.

Blogging still exists and likely will continue to exist for some time. The fact you are reading this proves that. As well, blogging platforms like WordPress seem to be doing well. While some platforms like Posterous went away, others like Tumblr continue to attract new writers and new audiences. I expect to see people writing in this format for some time to come.

What I don’t expect to see happen is individuals making the money that Kottke and Dooce and Sullivan made. Those days are done. Perhaps people will make money blogging by doing it in conjunction with sites like Patreon.com. That’s a possibility. Also, people may use blogs as a way to promote other ways they make money.

Blogging, derived from the words “web logging”, was a way to log your thoughts chronologically on the web. It seems  old and trite now. But the need to write and the need to have others read the words that you have written will never get old. We need new and better platforms. Medium.com tried to do that. Other sites, from Google+ to Facebook to Twitter to Ello have all tried to offer some way to do that. Maybe the golden age of online writing via some platform like blogs is over, and people will write less and share less. Or maybe people are waiting for the next great platforms to start creating again.

 

Some thoughts on Charlie Hebdo, outrage, and social media in general

Well before the end of 2014, I had decided that I was no longer going to participate or contribute to anything outrageous or political on social media generally, and twitter in particular.

This week I let down my guard and did participate and comment on the recent events in France, mainly because I was stunned by the act of violence.
After considering it for over a week, I think that was a mistake and I am writing this partially to insure I don’t make that mistake again. If you are curious, the next few lines explain my thinking around that resolution. The last four paragraphs talk about what I am going to do instead: feel free to skip down to there.
I have been using social media for a long time, relatively speaking. At first it was merely a curious experience. Then it went to being a positive experience. But more and more it has become a negative experience.
Once social media, and twitter in particular, was for people sharing status. It was random: some good, some bad, nothing focused. However, one really good thing about it was that you got to know people. People you might never get to meet before: the famous and the fabulous and the funny and the friendly. It was a great experience. I know from my own experience that my life was greatly improved by this greater network that I got access to.
While my feed of updates  was once rather random, over time people started focusing their use of it. Celebrities used to to promote their work. Politicians did too. Activists started to try and rally people to their cause. Artists tried to make it into a new form of writing. That was still good.
Among people on twitter, a growing belief was that the benefit of twitter over a site like Facebook was that you could hang out with people you liked but didn’t know (as opposed to hanging out with people on Facebook that you knew but didn’t like). I never agreed with that knock against Facebook, but I did like the people I encountered on twitter. They were good people.
Then not so good people came along. People with no other interest in twitter and social media than to cause problems. It was like a pile of aggressive drunks showing up at a party and getting into fist fights with the rest. Twitter, the company, seem to have no plan in dealing with this. Perhaps it was a result of this, or perhaps it was something else, but the level of aggressiveness and negativity rose on twitter as well. It was a variation of Gresham’s Law, where instead of the bad money driving out the good, the antisocial behavior drives out the positive social behavior. Whatever it is, what I found was that the amount of positive sharing seemed to diminish. People tended to communicate with people they had a previous relationship with, and people seemed more likely to share negative things.
I believe as a result of that, we now see these ever increasing outrage storms on twitter. Where once the outrage over events of the day — if you had any at all — would be limited to yourself or your small social circle, now you can share it with hundreds or thousands of people. Those people can take that and share it with the people they know. And then to add to that, there will be people who disagree with you, and they will express their displeasure to you directly in a way they never could or would if you knew them personally.  This all adds up to an enormous cloud of negativity.
Last December, I noticed people saying 2014 was a terrible year. That surprised me. I am older than many people on twitter, but most people on twitter are educated and experienced enough to know that relatively speaking, 2014 was not a particularly terrible year for many people in the world. I could think of many years in recent memory that were much worse economically, that had much more violence, that had much more disease and suffering. There were terrible things that happened in 2014, but terrible things happen every year and 2014 was no exception.
I believe that people thought 2014 was a terrible year because all of the feedback that they constantly get that gives a strong impression that it was terrible. And feedback is the right word. More and more of the things shared on twitter are negative. Either they are personally negative or there is something in the world that we see which is terrible.
I used to think that sharing such information on twitter could make a positive difference, and that by sharing such information, even if it is upsetting, then it was worth it if something good could come from it. I no longer believe that. Topics change so frequently on twitter now that it is easy to miss them if you are not on twitter for a few days.
Instead, I find social media to be more and more upsetting and aggravating with little upside. There are times when people need to be upset and aggravated if it helps them achieve something they want but can’t achieve otherwise. But too much “stick” and not enough “carrot” is just a form of voluntary suffering.
There have been many times when I wanted to give up on twitter. Back in the fail whale days, the lack of availability was frustrating. Then I was angry when twitter started taking over my stream. In both cases there were technical workarounds to those problems. But this is a social and a culture problem, and those are hard if not impossible to fix with technology.
Ultimately I could give up on twitter. But I have come to like a lot of the people on twitter I follow, and I would hate to lose track of them and what they are doing. It would be nice if there were better ways to filter and manage the information that shows up in my feed, but Twitter the company seems to have decided it is not in their interest for me to do that.
Given all that, my own remedy is slight. The one thing I can do is try and change my own contribution to twitter and try to focus on contributing more constructive and positive updates. I’d encourage you to do the same. Enough positivity and constructive updates can make a big difference eventually.
Also, I am going to try and spend less time vegetating in front of twitter much the way other people crash and vegetate in front of TV. I actually read every tweet in my feed. (Hey, the people I follow in India and Australia and Germany tweet later so I have to read it all:)). Instead of vegetativing like that, I hope to spend my time reading more books, making things (from bread to furniture) and generally get out and do things. I would encourage you to do that as well.
Finally, I am going to look for a select group of causes I can contribute time and money to and focus on the little I can do with the limited resources I have at my disposal. I think I can have more of a positive effect on the world that way than I can contributing to the latest outrage storm on twitter. I would heartily encourage you to do that as well.
If you have made it to this point, I want to thank you for reading this. You may not agree with it, but I hope you were able to take away from it something positive and worthwhile.

So is @allypatterson in PR OR A REAL PERSON? What do you think?

So, I am discussing whether or not Ontario should allow stores to sell beer and wine.

One person on twitter arguing against this is @allypatterson. This person represents herself as someone who ‘sells beer and takes back empties’ 40 hours a week. So presumably a real person, working in a beer store.

Now, I think she is a PR person. I could be wrong, but here’s why I think that:

  • I noticed a few odd things about her account. First off, no bio, not even an odd one. But a photo.
  • All here tweets are advocating against stores selling beer and wine. All of them. No silly tweets. No tweets complaining about the weather, her friends or family. No pictures of cats. Indeed, no photos, other than ones arguing against liquor in stores.
  • she is followed by and followed by IPSOS Public Affairs @ipsosreidca and Premium brands @pblbeers
  • she has only a few followers/follows (143/56)

Now, I have seen alot of real people who advocate things. Strong advocates usually have a fake photo but a related bio. Others have a real photo and a limited bio. But they generally share things about themselves. Furthermore, most people have an array of things they tweet about. And frankly the ones who stick on one topic like a broken record tend to be ranty.

And how many people with such limited information about themselves and such a small amount of followers are followed by such a large corporation as Premium Brands AND a large PR firm? How many other beer store employees are both of them following.

Maybe this person is a real person. But to be so on message, to be clear and concise and well argued in their communication, I somehow doubt it.

Thanks for reading this. I’ll Le you decide.

P.S. Anyone doing impersonation on Twitter violates the ToS. A big PR firm like IPSOS would know that.