social media

The hashtag is 10! Yes, the symbol that started out as the lowly "number sign" or "pound" on the telephone keypad and later morphed into something entirely different is 10 years old today. And it has accomplished quite a lot. In fact, it's hard to imagine modern communication without it.

And you might think it was all by design. That the folks running Twitter needed a catchy little tool to help their new platform catch fire, and the hashtag is what they came up with.

But that's not the way it happened.

The former president's message after the violence in Charlottesville, Va., was brief, but it hit the right note for many.

"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion ... ," Barack Obama tweeted, accompanied by a photo of himself, jacket slung over his shoulder, smiling at four young children gathered at a windowsill.

They didn't wear hoods as they chanted "Jews will not replace us." They weren't hiding their faces as they waved Confederate flags, racist signs and swastikas. They looked straight at a sea of cameras as they made the Nazi salute.

As Matt Thompson wrote for The Atlantic, the white supremacist march and rally this past weekend wasn't a KKK rally: "It was a pride march."

The bare-faced shamelessness was the point. But it was also an opening.

Promising online shows that run from comedy and reality to live sports, Facebook says its new Watch platform will let creators connect with their audiences — and earn money in the process. The social media giant's plan calls for using ads to monetize video.

When someone posts a photo of food on social media, do you get cranky? Is it because you just don't care what other people are eating? Or is it because they're enjoying an herb-and-garlic crusted halibut at a seaside restaurant while you sit at your computer with a slice of two-day-old pizza?

Maybe you'd like to have what they're having, but don't know how to make it. If only there were a way to get their recipe without commenting on the photo.

One of the world's most popular police departments on Twitter and Facebook is in Bangalore, India.

And it's all because they took the risk of partnering up with a hip outside consultant.

As lawmakers return to Washington to debate healthcare, they’ll have new ways of communicating with voters back home, through Facebook. But it’s not yet clear how the social media giant’s new tools could affect the political conversation.

It's finally official: Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter gave birth to twins in June, and early Friday morning, Sir Carter and Rumi made their official debut on Instagram.

Beyoncé's caption reads, "Sir Carter and Rumi 1 month today."

As of 6:45 a.m. ET, the photo had already surpassed 4.5 million likes on the social platform.

In name and in aim, it's a bill for our political moment.

Ladies and gentlemen, Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois presents: the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement, or COVFEFE Act.

As Congress has taught us time and again, any legislative priority can be pretzeled into an acronym if you simply toss away the conventions of standard American English.

What do you do about a problem like "covfefe"? That word from President Trump's late-night tweet set Twitter ablaze overnight, sparking jokes and quasi-definitions of what seems to have been a typo. The covfefe kerfuffle is a reminder that we're living in a unique political era: Even the words are brand-new.

Is 'Internet Addiction' Real?

May 18, 2017

When her youngest daughter, Naomi, was in middle school, Ellen watched the teen disappear behind a screen. Her once bubbly daughter went from hanging out with a few close friends after school to isolating herself in her room for hours at a time. (NPR has agreed to use only the pair's middle names, to protect the teen's medical privacy.)

"She started just lying there, not moving and just being on the phone," says Ellen. "I was at a loss about what to do."

A video of Russian President Vladimir Putin taking a turn at the ivories in Beijing is currently making the Internet rounds.

It wasn't a serious political gaffe, but it was awkward. On Feb. 12, the Republican National Committee tweeted a picture of the Lincoln Memorial along with the quote, "'And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count; it's the life in your years' — Abraham Lincoln."

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus first wowed audiences in the 19th century. For the iconic American spectacle's final act, it will broadcast the final performance on a 21st century medium: Facebook Live.

Faced with a recent spate of violent videos and hate speech posted by users on its network, Facebook has announced plans for a heap of hires: 3,000 new employees worldwide to review and react to reports of harm and harassment.

"Over the last few weeks, we've seen people hurting themselves and others on Facebook — either live or in video posted later. It's heartbreaking, and I've been reflecting on how we can do better for our community," CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Wednesday in a Facebook post.

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