.SE (Stiftelsen för Internetinfrastruktur) has released their report for 2013 (in Swedish) about Swedish Internet usage. The report follows various aspects of internet use and follows their development over the years.
Almost half a million Swedish Twitter accounts is the quick answer. Twitter in Sweden has seen an strong period of growth during the past year.
The number of Twitter accounts that at some point during a 30 day period in February/March 2013 tweeted in Swedish was 475,474. This is an increase of 59% in the 10-11 months since Intellecta presented the 2012 results.
For each potential Swede found, the words from their latest 100 tweets are analised. If enough words are Swedish, then they are classed as Swedish and their follows/followers analyised.
In April last year there were 290,000 Swedish accounts. The first Swedish Twittercensus In December 2010 found just over 90,000 accounts. This year’s growth rate of 59% is tiny in comparison to the growth by approximately 300% during 2011.
Not all of the 460,000 accounts are active. Quite the opposite. Around half of these accounts haven’t written a single Tweet during the month that was analysed.
A number of those accounts, although not actively writing, will be actively reading – but this is impossible to calculate.
This total also excludes protected accounts as it’s not possible to analyse the language of their private tweets.
Very active Swedes
The number of very active Swedes – where one or more tweet is written (on average) during the 30 day period – also rose. Up from 52,887 to 79,516. A rise of around 50%.
It would be interesting to see how many of those 50,000 who were tweeting daily in 2012 were still tweeting daily in 2013. Many of them will be, but far from all.
The number of active Swedes – that is those who wrote a tweet during the 30 days of the census – was 219,732.
Twitter is no longer a niche network occupied by early adopters. It is now broadly established in Sweden. Analysis of the bios associated with the accounts shows a rich diversity of occupations, people, and interests on Twitter.
A fascinating fact thrown out by Hampus during the presentation was that the number of degrees of separation between Swedish Twitter users was usually 2 (sometimes 3).
Although everyone is relatively close on Twitter, the clusters found were very strong and certain clusters were very separated from others. There isn’t one Twitter, there are many.
An interactive visualisation of all the Swedish Twitter accounts found and their clustering according to analysis of their bio can be found here.
An established platform
The previous Twitter census was performed directly after a significant peak in number of new registrations. It was always going to be very difficult for the growth levels this year to match last year.
That said, with there being a Twitter account for every 1 in 20 Swedes and the rich diversity of people present on the platform, Twitter has established itself quite definitely In Sweden as a communication, broadcast and social platform.
Or perhaps, because of the clustering, we should say that it’s one platform but multiple channels. That’s tactically important for businesses to remember…
It’s autumn, and .SE (Stiftelsen för Internetinfrastruktur) has released their yearly report (in Swedish) about Swedish internet use. It’s a wide-ranging report covering many aspects of internet use.
In computing, a denial of service attack has been a practice deployed by groups and individuals to limit or bring down a web site for a number of decades.
In the age of social networking the denial of service attack has taken the leap from a pure networking phenomenon to a social weapon.
Through the use of social networks it’s possible for large numbers to communicate, plan and execute various ideas. At the same time, due to limitations in how social media presences are managed, individuals (or relatively small groups of people) can cause irreparable damage for brands.
The damage that can be caused isn’t just limited to online. We saw during the London riots last year how relatively easy it is for ideas to travel into the offline world.
With the viral way in which comments, ideas (and propaganda) can spread rapidly both within and between social networks – irrespective of whether they are true or false.
It’s also very simple to set up a hate group or write a negative blog post or submit a less than favourable review.
There’s plenty already been written about online reputation management and social media crisis management.
What I wanted to highlight was how easy it is to do execute more direct harm to a brand or a company that simply generating negative publicity or spreading poor and disappointing customer experiences.
Most social networks have the ability to report offensive or infringing material – and that’s a good thing.
The automated nature of many reporting processes means that nightmare situations can quickly occur. Such as when Sexual Futurist’s Facebook page was closed seemingly because of a oversight when using Facebook advertising that resulted in a significant number of complaints.
Another example is that of Bizarre magazine that a couple of years ago found multiple aspects of it’s web presence closed down after updates on various services were flagged as inappropriate.
This is an example of a social denial of service attack.
More bizarre was how a Swedish career-coach and social media profile was recently subjected to a “poo attack” where a “friend” uploaded a number of pictures of faeces to her Facebook wall before subsequently blocking her – making it difficult to discover or do anything about the problem – effectively a SDoS attack.
Pushing a company to bankruptcy?
Earlier this month, one of the largest electronic retail chains here in Sweden, Expert, went bankrupt. A few days later the stores re-opened their doors for a stock liquidation sale.
Outside many of the stores there were huge queues of people who were hoping to grab a bargain.
What if people get a taste for this kind of liquidation sale? What if people encouraged each other (via social media) not to shop at a particular chain?
We’ve seen this kind of campaigning for “legitimate” causes to try and change a company’s behaviour. There are also numerous review sites where company’s are judged and rated – negatively and positively.
How long before the power of social forces a legitimate company into bankruptcy? It might sound a little far fetched, but with the tools and platforms available to everyday people, it’s more simply achievable than you may think.
It might even happen unintentionally. Also earlier this month we saw the example of how a 15 year old Dutch girl’s party invitation going viral spreading to 30000 people, 3000 of which turned up in the small village of Haren in the Netherlands causing the cancellation of the party and the drafting in of 900 riot police to secure the town.
Social denial of service attacks
So social denial of service attacks can be of varying size and style:
A relatively small number of individuals disrupting a person’s or organisation’s social media activities by abusing the tools put into place to help protect users from abuse.
A large number of individuals drowns an individual or organisations social media activities in unwanted content, or spreads content that is incorrect, misleading or undesirable.
The first mention I can find about SDoS attacks is by Joe Gregorio and how working group mailing list has it’s progress (deliberately) derailed with a constant stream of objections and wildly divergent proposals.
The phenomena was brought up again by Reuven Cohen in 2009 in relation to a spate of social hacktivism attacks.
Can it be prevented?
Many social denial of service attacks are impossible to predict or prevent; perhaps at best you can be aware of the possibility and perhaps be prepared – especially if you rely very heavily on a particular social platform.
How do you think you could prepare or prevent a social denial of service attack?
Recently Jakob Nielsen published an alertbox proclaiming that computer screens are getting bigger. He is, by and large, right – excluding mobiles and tablets they are indeed getting bigger.
What he fails to mention is that the browser viewport isn’t increasing at any where near the same rate.