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Minds.com Redefines Social Capital

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minds.com-new-social-network-reach-facebook-killer-influence-social-capitalReddit has karma. Facebook has “likes” and “shares.” Twitter has “retweets” and “favorites” and “followers.” YouTube has a subscription count.

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Those mentioned above are all versions of “social capital,” or, “the expected collective or economic benefits derived from the preferential treatment and cooperation between individuals and groups.” (Source.) On these networks, it doesn’t always amount to much usefulness. Highly trafficked Facebook users and YouTube video bloggers can potentially monetize their efforts, and a viral tweet can be life-changing.

Never before could 140 characters find their way to the uppermost levels of society. Our current situation of worldwide empowerment and expressive egalitarianism can only exist because of the technology underlying it, much of which is closed-source, privately owned, and possibly fleeting. This is to say there is a serious flaw in our current social architecture, so much so that it has become cliché to say “if you are not paying for the product, then you are the product,” which means that control over privacy is the first sacrifice a user of any of these networks makes.

At the same time, thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people have found their fortunes using these networks. Messages that might never have left the pages of a journal in a previous era now reach millions. There has never been a better time to have a crackpot idea, as you now have the ability to find others in the world with the same crackpot idea and potentially turn it into a reality.

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“Boost” Content With “Reach”

There is no quantifiable way to achieve the influence and “benefits” that are possible through social media. Minds.com seeks to change that with a platform radically different from Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, or other comparable networks. It is open-source and encrypted, but these are not the core difference from the others. The core difference is that Minds.com has solved the “social capital disenfranchisement” problem. On Minds.com, for every like, share, subscriber, etc., you gain “reach,” which is essentially a visible unit of exchange. One can use this reach to promote your content or the content of others, an action called “boosting.”

Reach is stored in the user’s wallet and can be used at any time to push content further. This is in stark contrast to the way that Facebook’s complex and hidden algorithms have gradually imposed severe limits on how freely people can make use of their highway without first paying a toll. That is to say, it may now be legitimately impossible to become famous on Facebook without ever paying them to advertise. Organic virility has been stripped away from Facebook as the demand for profit-bearing activities such as advertising has increased.

Rather than a friends list, the user has subscribers, similar to other platforms, but different in that these subscribers actually matter to the user. It becomes more difficult to game a system that does not solely rely on the number at the top. A person with 1,000 subscriptions on Minds.com can potentially earn the same reach points as one with 10,000 in the same period, supposing the former person’s subscribers interact more with the content. If nothing else, Minds.com is an innovative idea, and its praises are ringing from the IRC chat rooms of Anonymous to the pages of Forbes Magazine.

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Anonymous Inspired Comic ‘Hacktivist’ is Being Adapted for TV

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Hacktivist, a graphic novel inspired by global hacking activist collective Anonymous and created by actress Alyssa Milano will be adapted for the small screen at a time when another Anonymous-inspired TV show Mr.Robot, is garnering rave reviews.

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Alyssa Milano

Alyssa Milano

Alyssa Milano, an actress who has appeared in feature films and network TV shows is known for taking definitive stances politically, will see her 2014 graphic novel ‘Hacktivist’ adapted as a television series.

According to Deadline, The CW network will be developing an adaptation of the graphic novel Hacktivist, created by Alyssa Milano. The concept for the cyber-thriller graphic novel was pitched by Milano to comic publisher Boom! Studios, only coming after Marvel and DC in controlling the largest library of comic book IPs.

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hacktivist

Hacktivist features two lead characters who run a successful social media company. The fictional characters are also hackers by night, inspired by popular hacktivist group Anonymous. Also, the protagonist in the comic was modeled after Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, while the fictional company based on the real-life social media giant.

Speaking to the Daily Dot in an earlier interview, Milano revealed how the idea came about.

I became obsessed with the role of the media, and how it was being used as a tool for protest.

At the same time, Anonymous was using hacking skills to empower people. And I thought, ‘What if Anonymous wasn’t a group but one person?’ And that spiraled into, ‘What if Anonymous was one guy? What characteristics would he have?’ He’d have to be socially aware, a coder, have access, be compassionate.”

Hacking activists in various parts of the world tend to unify under the banner of ‘Anonymous’, a faceless, leaderless, decentralized group of anyone and everyone who takes up its name.

Some of Anonymous’ most prominent movements occurred on November 5, 2013. Millions of demonstrators in over 400 cities around the world jointly participated in the Million Mask March on the day that that remembered the Guy Fawkes Night. The Guy Fawkes mask is commonly seen as the symbol of Anonymous, with members of the group readily distinguishable in public by wearing the masks.

Anonymous has undeniably made its mark in the mainstream consciousness. Wildly popular and critically-acclaimed TV shows like Mr. Robot see its fundamental premise in hacker activism and the new TV adaption of ‘Hacktivist’ – directly influenced by Anonymous – will only further perpetuate the loosely-associated international hacktivist network.

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Activism

Anonymous Hacker Protesting Prosecution Begins Second Week of Hunger Strike

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In 2014, Anonymous hacker Martin Gottesfeld was allegedly involved in the hacking of Boston Children’s Hospital following the suspected mistreatment of one of its patients. Now, the alleged hacker has begun his second week of a hunger strike in prison to protest the assumed prosecution of the late Internet activist Aaron Swartz and the controversial child-custody case involving Justina Pelletier, reports Newsweek.

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Two and a half years ago, the hacker collective Anonymous released a video calling for attacks against the hospital. It was alleged that 15-year-old Justina Pelletier was being held against her will by the State of Massachusetts where she was ‘tortured physically and mentally.’

In a letter, Gottesfeld wrote that what happened to Justina Pelletier goes far beyond a medical or custody dispute, and beyond child abuse.

He wrote:

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Tragically, tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of children have suffered horrific abuse at fraudulent places who have no legitimate right to call themselves ‘residential treatment programs.’

Two Demands Need to be Met

In order for his hunger strike to come to an end, Gottesfeld is asking for two demands to be met.

He wants the U.S. presidential candidates to make a promise ensuring that children are no longer mistreated, tortured, abused or killed, and he wants to end the style of prosecution that U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, Carmen Ortiz waged against Aaron Swartz, Reddit co-founder. Swartz is reported to have committed suicide after he was accused of alleged computer crimes.

Speaking to Newsweek, Dana Gottesfeld, wife of Martin Gottesfeld said that he believes his conditions will be met.

She added:

If the candidates make the pledge but don’t make good on it, he plans to strike again.

He faces up to five years in prison and a $380,000 fine.

For now, it remains to be seen if the presidential candidates will consider his demands. Given Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s previous thoughts on what he thinks should be done to Edward Snowden if he became president, you have to wonder what kind of reception Martin Gottesfeld will receive from him.

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Anonymous India: Mobile Network Reliance Jio is Sharing Call Data with Advertisers

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The hacking group Anonymous is accusing the telecom network, Reliance Jio, of sharing its call data with advertisers in the U.S. and Singapore.

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In a recent blog post, Anonymous India exposes how Reliance Jio has been sharing customers’ call data with foreign companies. Anonymous India also provide steps to see how Reliance Jio are sharing the data.

It said:

A year ago we had posted about how Reliance Jio was sharing user location data with China. One year on and nothing has changed.

In the blog post, Anonymous India claims that data from Reliance Jio’s My Jio and Jio Dialer apps are being sent to an advertiser called Mad.Me. It further adds that Reliance Jio is utilizing a third-party software development kit and is failing to verify what data is being sent and collected through it.

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Reliance Jio Accused a Second Time

This, however, isn’t the first time that Anonymous India has accused Reliance Jio.

Last year the hacker activist group highlighted in another blog post that Reliance Jio had security flaws in its RJio chat app.

According to the 2015 post, data was being sent to a Chinese IP without encrypting it beforehand. This meant that while data was being leaked to the Chinese, anyone who wanted to could easily look into a conversation and know what was being shared or discussed, making it vulnerable to hackers.

Anonymous Never Forgets

When it comes to bringing the wrongs of others to light, the hacker activist group, Anonymous, are not afraid of standing up to the challenge.

At the beginning of the year, Anonymous targeted Thai police after protesting the conviction of two Burmese men who faced a death sentence in connection to two murdered British backpackers.

In May, Hacked reported that Anonymous had played a significant role in the target of financial institutions such as Greece’s central bank, which was targeted in a DDoS attack. According to the report, Anonymous consider central banks around the world as a ‘global banking cartel.’

In a bid to target those that it believes should be targeted, bringing greater awareness to the public, it seems that the hacktivist collective Anonymous won’t be stopping anytime soon.

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