MONEY social networks

7 Ways to Get Noticed on LinkedIn

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Don't just set it and forget it.

LinkedIn might not be the most exciting social network, but it’s the most important when it comes to your career. As of April 2015, the site has more than 350 million users, with 100 million based in the U.S. alone. And while you might think of LinkedIn as a tool for a job search, it can be just as effective for online networking and personal branding, whether you’re looking to gain cred in your industry or are seeking new clients.

Get the most out of LinkedIn with these seven essential rules.

Complete Your Profile — And Keep It Up to Date

“Recruiters like to see a profile that is 100 percent, if not close to 100 percent, completed,” says people management expert Colleen Cassel, CPC. This means filling in the summary (use the entire space to its allowable limit), title, education,jobs, awards, and recommendations. You should also have an outstanding profile picture and backdrop photo. (Selfies won’t cut it.)

Rather than seeing your profile as a set-it-and-forget-it report of your career, think of it as a living, breathing document. As your career progresses, you’ll want to strategically tweak and shape your profile for the future you want, says career and life coach Jenn DeWall, MBA, CPC. In fact, the summary section should “highlight the aspects of your job that you enjoy and what specifically you want, not necessarily what you have the most experience in.” She also advises her clients to “post their strengths in descending order…. Most readers do a quick scan of your profile in a short amount of time. Highlight what you want them to see.”

Go Beyond Connecting

After meeting someone you’d like to work with in the future, DeWall suggests following up with a LinkedIn connection request. She suggests making yourself stand out by sending a note in the request that references a “specific thing that you enjoyed talking to him or her about, or something you want to connect with this person about again in the future.”

If you’re looking to expand your network or find clients, ask your connections to introduce you to people they are connected to — or, if you have LinkedIn Premium, you can connect directly with others via inMails (private messages).

One way to cold-connect effectively is to ask questions, rather than pitching yourself, says career expert Darrell W. Gurney, author of Never Apply for a Job Again. Since you don’t want to put people in the uncomfortable position of turning down a request, make the person feel like they’re “the only person on the planet who has the information you need,” Gurney says. “Most people will give you five minutes to answer a question, and that gives you the basis to begin a relationship.”

You might also consider forming communities on LinkedIn by creating a virtual group for your connections that centers around a shared goal, purpose, or interest, so you can take your relationships to the next level.

Keep Your Network Fresh and Engaged

Make sure you don’t neglect your connections. As Cassel points out, you may have connected with someone years ago whose guidance or referrals could come in handy now or in the future — and forgotten they are even in your network. Go back through your list and reach out to these people from time to time. You might even take a peek at your closest connections’ networks to see whether there’s anyone you’d like to be introduced to.

Look through your connections and clean them out periodically, Cassel adds, to emphasize quality connections over quantity. Career coachRoy Cohen, author of The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide, says, “Your LinkedIn universe is an extension of your profile — who you choose to include should have some connection to what you do professionally and where you want to see yourself over time.” So, it’s important to be strategic about your network. “Navigate ‘up,’” says Cohen. “Mine the site to connect with professionals who are senior to you in your field and who have the potential to be valuable to you professionally.”

Know When to Take Things Offline

Simply clicking “Connect” isn’t enough: Use your network to its fullest by occasionally meeting in person. “People respond to and remember more about personal contact than online messaging,” says Michael Diettrich-Chastain, LPC, DCC, owner of Synergy Consulting & Counseling. “Creating in-person rapport allows them to have a better impression of who you are, improving the likelihood of referrals, sales, and business deals.”

If one-on-one meetings don’t make sense — perhaps you don’t know people well enough to grab coffee — you could organize a networking event or mixer for a group of connections with shared goals or within a certain industry.

Get Your Name on the Newsfeed

LinkedIn allows you to share updates to a Facebook-like newsfeed. Cohen recommends sharing insights and information about your industry that might be helpful or interesting to your connections. You can also ask questions or for ideas on how to enhance your career or business — for example, asking which professional associations you should join.

Increasing your presence on LinkedIn can also be an effective personal branding strategy, addsNina Parr, co-founder and CMO at Inspirer, because your name will continually show up in LinkedIn email updates as well as in the feed and notifications section. Parr recommends posting other people’s content (or yours), work-appropriate photos, job openings at your company, and thank-yous to coworkers. You never know who will come across your updates or read one of your comments.

Writing content on LinkedIn is also an effective way to get your name out there and draw in new connections: LinkedIn’s career expert, Catherine Fisher, confirms that blog posts you write on LinkedIn will get six times the views from people outside your immediate network on average. (You can alsocheck analytics for each of your posts to monitor their reach.)

Recommend and Get Recommended

When it comes to LinkedIn’s recommendation feature, take Parr’s advice: What goes around comes around. Giving recommendations doesn’t just get your name on other people’s profiles; it’s also a great way to foster deeper connections and build relationships. And gettingrecommended will help your own reputation. It’s win-win.

To be effective, a recommendation should include specific details about a colleague and a list of notable skills — it shouldn’t just be a glowing summary of how “great” someone is.

If you’re faced with a recommendation request for someone you barely remember or disliked working with, write something short, noting anything you do remember or the one positive point of working together. Trying to opt out, or not responding to the request at all, could cause more issues than being brief, and there’s no reason to burn bridges.

Networking is a Two-Way Street

Remember that networking involves reciprocity. Actively participate in other people’s content and updates — for example, you can offer “a personal message of congratulations when someone has a work anniversary or promotion, or gets a new job,” suggests Diettrich-Chastain. Or respond to posts that you feel you can intelligently contribute to: Leave comments, ask questions, or offer feedback.

The bottom line? “Stay engaged and you will be remembered.”

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TIME Smartphones

This Is What Teens Are Really Doing on Their Phones

New report reveals all

It’s amazing how glued snake people—er, millennials—are to their palm-sized, Internet-connected rectangles. But why?

Mary Meeker, the Morgan Stanley analyst turned venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins, today released her annual report on Internet trends. One section—slides 68 through 70, in particular—digs into the mobile habits of American youth, and it reveals some interesting statistics.

Fortune senior writer Leena Rao has a breakdown of the year’s biggest overall trends here. But for the millennial scrutinizer, here’s what the 2015 slideshow has to say:

First off, 87% of young adults—or those between the ages of 18 and 34—who own smartphones report never separating from their mobile devices: “My smartphone never leaves my side, night or day.” And four-out-of-five of them report that the first thing they do upon waking “is reach for my smartphone.” Good morning, screen-glow.

Nearly as many, 78%, spend more than two hours per day using their smartphones. And three-out-of-five believe that mobile devices will somehow vaguely rule every aspect of the future: “In the next five years, I believe everything will be done on mobile devices.”

So what do teens care about now on their phones? For those who average roughly 16 years, about one third report prioritizing Instagram as the most important social network. That’s about the same as the share that reported Facebook [fortune-stock symbol=”FB”] was the most important in Spring 2013. Today, Facebook’s share of perceived importance has halved among that demographic.

While Zuck’s friend-zone still has the most penetration of any social network—about three-quarters of 12- to 24-year-olds use it—that share is in decline. It dropped from to 74% this year from 80% last year.

Other networks that lost some share include Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, and LinkedIn. Vine stayed steady at 30% in terms of usage among socially networked 12- to 24-year-olds. And those networks on the rise? Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest. (WhatsApp lacks 2014 data, but clocked in at 11% this year.)

Instagram appears to be the king, for now. (Never mind that it’s a Facebook fiefdom.) Which explains why so many—44% of 18- to 24-year-olds, that is—report report using their smartphone camera at least once per day. And an overwhelming majority—about three-quarters of 18- to 34-year-olds—report that they use their cameras to post pictures to social media.

So that’s how teens are mostly using their phones. To take pictures of the world around them, and to inject those photos into and across the screens that consume their mornings, their days, their nights, and a good portion of their present lives. Not to mention the entirety their future lives, as many of them report anticipating.

Unfortunately, the report does not break its numbers out into share of selfies.

TIME social networks

Facebook Has a New Way to Keep You Off Google stock photos Social Apps iPhone Facebook
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

It will let you find links without having to visit a search engine

Some mobile users on Facebook’s iPhone app are now being offered an “Add a Link” option when they post status updates. After selecting the button, users can type in keywords and see search results listing articles on a given topic that have already been shared on Facebook.

A company spokesperson said the option is simply a pilot for now.

The feature is another step in Facebook’s continued expansion of the uses of its massive trove of more than one trillion indexed user posts. Last year, the company made it easier for users to use keywords to pull up old posts about any topic, but the results often appear haphazardly and in seemingly random order. This new functionality seems to provide a more focused application of Facebook’s search feature by focusing on links to other content online.

The “Add a Link” option, if rolled out fully, could pose a threat to Google. If Facebook can keep people within its walls even when they’re looking for stories, it will have more opportunities to have them engage with more content, including ads in the News Feed. The company can also use the feature to nudge people toward sharing the kinds of “high-quality” articles that Facebook gives a preference to in the News Feed over meme images and similar content.

Read next: Check Out How Much Fancier Facebook’s New Digs Are

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Mental Health/Psychology

Mental Health Therapy Through Social Networking Could Soon Be a Reality

While still in the development stage, the peer-to-peer technology had "significant benefits"

An experimental social networking platform intent on helping users calm anxiety and reverse symptoms of depression has received positive feedback.

Panoply is a peer-to-peer platform jointly administered by MIT and Northwestern universities that encourages users to “think more flexibly and objectively about the stressful events and thoughts that upset them,” says a paper published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

Researchers found that the network, which is still being studied and has yet to be commercialized, produced “significant benefits, particularly for depressed individuals.”

Panoply works by teaching users a therapeutic tool called cognitive reappraisal, which tries to get people to look at a problematic situation from different perspectives.

When a person is stressed, they write what is causing the problem and their reaction. The “crowd” then responds by a offering a contrasting outlook. Comments are vetted to ensure the original poster is not abused.

The study involved 166 people over a three-week period. Researchers suggested a 25-minute per week minimum interaction to see results.

According to the published paper, the next step is to widen the net and see if the social media platform is as effective over a more diverse audience.


5 Networking Mistakes That Keep You From Getting Ahead

Hacker gloves opening laptop on office desk
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Every single roundup of career advice out there talks about the importance of networking. Less talked-about but just as important is doing it correctly. You might think you’re doing all the right things by hanging out near the boss at the sales retreat or passing out your business card to everybody you meet at the trade show reception — but in reality, bad networking technique can do as much damage to your career as not networking at all.

Here are some common pitfalls experts warn against falling into.

Relying on online social networks. Yes, LinkedIn and its ilk can be a great way to further your network, but the point of networking is to actually, you know, meet people. James Jeffries, director of career development at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, says this is a mistake young workers especially need to be conscious of, since they grew up having simultaneous online and real-life relationships. “As networking becomes synonymous with online networking… they can neglect the importance of actually meeting up with people for coffee, making a phone call, or showing up at an event. So far online connections have not supplanted these traditional interactions,” he says.

Staying in your comfort zone. Mingling with others at corporate, industry or alumni functions isn’t going to be nearly as effective if you just hang out with people you know. Yes, it’s a good idea to catch up with acquaintances, but unless you push yourself out of your comfort zone and meet new people, you’re limiting the effectiveness of your networking, says Amanda Augustine, job search expert at mobile career network TheLadders. “Casual networking events at local watering holes can quickly turn into mini-reunions with the friends you already see on a regular basis,” she says in a post on the company’s blog. Augustine says you should set a goal of talking to three new people at every event you attend. “They have the most potential to expand your network the furthest,” she says.

Doing the business-card “drive-by.” Some people take the other extreme when it comes to networking. They’re so determined to meet as many new people as possible that they have it down to a science: A quick introduction, handshake and then they’re pushing their business card into the person’s palm and moving on before the other person can catch their breath. “Networking is not a race to distribute as many business cards or get as many cards as possible,” career coach Yvonne Ruke Akpoveta advises on the blog of her consulting firm, OliveBlue. To be effective, networking needs to be about relationship building, not card collecting. It’s not and will never be just a numbers game.

Focusing on what’s in it for you. “Networking can be described as the process of interacting or engaging in communication with others for mutual assistance or support,” Akpoveta says. The mutual part is key here. If you’re always asking what somebody can do for you, it’s going to get old quick. Find out what the other person needs or is interested in, and make that happen. “We need to change our mindset from focusing on not just what we can get, but to also what we can give,” Akpoveta says. If you’re known as a person who can deliver, people are more likely to remember you — and more likely to reciprocate when you’re the one asking for a favor or a referral.

Not following up. This sounds like a no-brainer, but how many of us have been rifling through a desk drawer and stumbled across the business card of someone who would make a great contact — if only you’d emailed them back when you met them months ago. “Think of each networking event as a speed dating exercise,” Augustine says. “If you get someone’s phone number but never call them afterwards, the evening was a waste.” Shoot off a quick note following your meeting. It doesn’t have to be elaborate: Just say, “Hi, it was great meeting you. I wanted to make sure you had my contact info, too, because I’d like to stay in touch.” Even a brief email can get the ball rolling.

TIME social networks

Petition Urges Facebook to Remove Feeling ‘Fat’ Status Update Option

Among more than 100 feelings offered by the social network

“Fat is not a feeling.”

That’s the idea behind Endangered Bodies’s petition asking Facebook to remove “fat” as an feeling option for the site’s status updates.

The non-profit has gathered seven young activists from around the world to serve as ambassadors for the petition, including Ohio-based graduate student and playwright Catherine Weingarten.

“This issue is so important because being a young person, Facebook is kind of the way we live,” Weingarten tells PEOPLE.

Having struggled with an eating disorder when she was younger, Weingarten explains why the phrase “I feel fat” can be so harmful.

“I always had this idea of ‘I’m fat,’ ‘I feel fat,’ but when I was saying that, that wasn’t actually how I was feeling,” she says. “I was feeling angry at myself and like I wasn’t good enough, but I simplified it to ‘I feel fat.’ Through therapy, I was able to work through it, and now I feel like, ‘Wow I never felt fat. I felt like I wasn’t good enough.'”

She believes that the emoticon endorses self-destructive thoughts.

“For me, when I see the words ‘I feel fat,’ it takes me back to when I was struggling, and I don’t want people to not take it seriously,” she says. “When people see that on Facebook, I want them to realize that it’s not just a light, cute sort of thing for everyone.”

Her petition on already has the signatures of over 13,000 people. Facebook has taken notice, and representatives from the site have been engaging in an open dialogue with Endangered Bodies.

However, Facebook has defended the inclusion of this emoticon in a statement received by PEOPLE.

“People use Facebook to share their feelings with friends and support each other,” the statement reads. “One option we give people to express themselves is to add a feeling to their posts. You can choose from over 100 feelings we offer based on people’s input or create your own.”

The social network encourages people to seek help for a friend that may have posted something indicated they may have an eating disorder.

“Facebook is working with the National Eating Disorders Association to provide resources to those struggling with eating disorders,” the social media site posted in its Help Center.

While there are no immediate plans to remove the “fat” emoticon from Facebook, it’s not outside the realm of possibility.

“I’m optimistic,” says Weingarten. “Just the fact that people have been talking about this so much, it’s clear that it’s struck a chord with a lot of people.”

This article originally appeared on


Facebook Thinks Some Native American Names Are Inauthentic

New Facebook terms of service
Jörg Carstensen—AP Some Native Americans say Facebook won't allow them to log in because their names are "inauthentic."

The social network is barring some Native Americans from logging in

If you’re Native American, Facebook might think your name is fake.

The social network has a history of telling its users that the names they’re attempting to use aren’t real. Drag queens and overseas human rights activists, for example, have experienced error messages and problems logging in in the past.

MORE: Watch the Hypnotic New Ads That Are About to Take Over Facebook

The latest flap involves Native Americans, including Dana Lone Hill, who is Lakota. Lone Hill recently wrote in a blog post that Facebook told her her name was not “authentic” when she attempted to log in.

Facebook barred Lone Hill from signing in and asked for identification to verify her name. Lone Hill writes that she has sent Facebook three forms of ID so far. Her mother’s name is Lone Hill and her father’s name is Lone Elk.

MORE: Facebook Unveils Its Plan to Strike Back at Hackers

Facebook faced similar problems last year and announced that it had changed its policy, stating that people can use the “authentic name they use in real life.” But it appears that the social network will again have to amend its real names policy if Native Americans continue experiencing problems.


Why “Facebook at Work” Might Not Work

Facebook at work on tablet

Enterprise software is indeed a very lucrative space, but the time, energy, and development resources that it would require for Facebook to meaningfully challenge are simply too high.

This isn’t the first time, and it might not be the last. Dominant social network Facebook FACEBOOK INC. FB -1.74% is reportedly looking to challenge LinkedIn LINKEDIN CORP. LNKD -1.82% in the enterprise segment, among others. The Financial Times reported that the social kingpin is developing a new “Facebook at Work” site geared toward corporate settings.

The service is said to feature ways to communicate with colleagues, connect with other professionals, and collaborate on documents. Personal profiles and professional profiles would be segregated for the sake of privacy, and would be free initially. Beyond LinkedIn, this service means Facebook would compete with other large enterprise software makers like Google GOOGLE INC. GOOG -1.92% and Microsoft NASDAQ 0% , as well as start-ups such as Slack.

Does Facebook have a chance? Let’s look at all of these areas where Facebook wants to make a dent.

Connecting people

Helping people make professional connections is LinkedIn’s claim to fame, and the company has established an incredibly strong business in connecting recruiters with job candidates. Before even considering monetization methods, Facebook is a much larger overall network, which means it has a shot at growing its position here.

At last count, Facebook boasted 1.35 billion monthly active users, or MAUs, worldwide. That’s over four times LinkedIn’s count of 331 million registered members. Of that total, 89.7 million members log in on a monthly basis. LinkedIn reports these as unique visiting members, but in practice they are the same as MAUs for the sake of comparison.

“Facebook at Work” is unlikely to tap into Facebook’s entire network, since its rollout is still speculative and would likely be on a small scale. Still, there’s definitely some long-term potential here if Facebook builds out the rumored service, and eventually integrates it with its broader network.

Communicating with colleagues

Microsoft Exchange is the dominant player in enterprise email, but a slew of popular chat applications are also used in the workplace. Slack has been skyrocketing in popularity recently, and is now one of the fastest-growing enterprise software applications ever.

The key to Slack’s success is the ability to integrate with a plethora of third-party services that are already popular within the enterprise segment, creating a platform out of the enterprise messaging service. Slack also has powerful search features to help workers find what they’re looking for. The start-up’s blistering growth has already attracted the attention of high-profile venture capitalists. Slack recently raised $120 million at a $1.1 billion valuation.

In general, messaging is becoming an increasingly competitive arena. Facebook has both Messenger and WhatsApp under its blue belt, so the company undoubtedly has plenty of experience with developing messaging products and services. Facebook might have some strength in consumer-oriented messaging, but it seemingly lacks the deep integrations that rival services like Slack can offer.

Playing well with others

On the collaboration front, Microsoft acquired Yammer in 2012 for $1.2 billion. Yammer is a private social network that integrates with collaboration software and business applications, and is now part of Office 365. Yammer is a big part of Microsoft’s strategy with collaboration software as it transitions away from SharePoint.

Microsoft also recently partnered with Dropbox. By integrating the other’s services, Microsoft and Dropbox will bolster the collaborative features that are critical to each company’s enterprise customers. Google Apps for Business has also been winning customers from Microsoft for years, becoming a notable player in the collaboration space in the process.

This is easily the most important area of enterprise software, since employee collaboration is so critical to productivity. This is also where Facebook likely brings the least to the table. Current providers of collaborative tools offer comprehensive feature sets and have become very entrenched in the enterprise. Facebook will face a steep uphill battle in this area.

We don’t know what we don’t know

To be fair, not much is known about “Facebook at Work.” The company reportedly uses the product internally, and only began testing it at other companies within the past year or so.

Facebook’s current portfolio of consumer offerings might not be representative of what it hopes to offer the enterprise space. However, it’s hard to imagine the company could develop a full-featured offering that spans all of these areas in under a year when incumbents have spent many more years specializing and catering to these precise needs.

On top of that, Facebook is predominantly associated with personal social networking. The ability to separate personal and professional activity might be an attempt to blur the line, but consumer connotations aren’t easily shifted. Besides, aren’t Facebook’s privacy settings cumbersome enough already?

Shares of LinkedIn fell 5% of the news that Facebook could be developing a competing service, so it seems there is indeed some investor concern. However, history doesn’t inspire much confidence in Facebook’s professional abilities, which should downplay these fears.

Facebook acqui-hired job-search site Pursuit in 2011, but hasn’t done much in the job listing space that LinkedIn is disrupting. Third-party professional networking service BranchOut attempted to carve out a niche within Facebook as a free application (casually known as the “LinkedIn within Facebook”), but failed spectacularly and is now trying to sell itself.

The risk is that Facebook could become distracted by its pursuit of the enterprise segment, rather than focus on key business developments, notably building out the infrastructure for video ads or determining some type of monetization strategy for WhatsApp.

As an investor, I do like when Facebook takes calculated risks, such as Paper or Home, even if they fail. But those were inherently low risks with high potential rewards. Enterprise software is indeed a very lucrative space, but the time, energy, and development resources that it would require for Facebook to meaningfully challenge are simply too high.

TIME Social Media

You Asked: Can I Delete All My Old, Embarrassing Tweets?

Social Media Site Twitter Debuts On The New York Stock Exchange
Bethany Clarke—Getty Images In this photo illustration, The Twitter logo is displayed on a mobile device as the company announced it's initial public offering and debut on the New York Stock Exchange on November 7, 2013 in London, England.

Twitter just made it easier than ever for anyone to find all your tweets

Twitter just made its search tool more powerful than ever. The social network has now made it easy to search any of the 500 billion public tweets that have been sent in Twitter’s eight-year history. Yes, that includes your tweets—even the drunk ones.

If you’re nervous about what an Internet sleuth might uncover if they searched for all your references to “weed” or a comprehensive listing of your embarrassing unanswered pleas directly to a celebrity, you might want to review your old tweets and delete the bad apples. And remember, if you ever become famous, someone will inevitably dig up all those racist tweets you sent in 2010.

Here’s how to head off your future PR nightmare at the pass:

Option 1: Request Your Twitter Archive

Before today, the best way to take stock of your Twitter past was to request your personal archive from the social network. Twitter will email you a zip file that includes all your tweets in an easily searchable database that mimics the interface. Just type in any questionable words you might have used in your younger days (“drunk,” “high,” “hella” ) and delete anything you wouldn’t want your Mom to read or embed on a public web page for the whole Internet to see.

To get the archive, go to your Settings and click “Request your archive.”

Option 2: Use Advanced Search

If you don’t want to wait around for Twitter to send you your archive, you can use the Advanced Search option (here) to quickly parse through your tweets. In the “From These Accounts” field, enter your username, and in the “Words” fields, enter whatever terms you’re trying to find that you previously tweeted.

Retweet the ones where you accurately predicted the future. Delete the incriminating ones.

Option 3: Scorch the Earth

You were a different person when you joined Twitter. If you were below the age of 20, it’s possible that you said so many cruel, vapid and ignorant things that there is simply no salvaging your younger digital self. You can wipe this person from Twitter’s record with a few clicks. Tweet Delete lets you automatically delete tweets more than a year old on an ongoing basis. Tweet Eraser allows you to delete everything you wrote before any given date. For more dire situations, you can download Tweeticide and erase your entire Twitter history.

Not sure whether you should delete or tweet? Consider this: Every public tweet is being archived for future generations to make judgments about our culture in the Library of Congress. Don’t make us look bad.

TIME privacy

Twitter Joins Partnership to Improve Handling of Harassment Claims

Nonprofit Women, Action & the Media will vet reports of abuse based on gender

Twitter is partnering with a nonprofit to make it easier for people to report harassment based on gender. The organization Women, Action & the Media will begin collecting reports of harassment via an online form and send the reports it deems valid to Twitter. The new tool is a pilot program, and the organization says it will monitor Twitter’s responses to harassment claims and help the social network improve how it handles complaints.

At least a quarter of female Internet users between 18 and 24 have been sexually harassed or stalked online, according to a Pew Research Center survey. In the past, Twitter has faced criticism for how it deals with harassment towards women on its site. There was an uproar last year when Twitter neutered the ability to block other users, and the social network was forced to quickly revert back to the original blocking feature. The site has also become a feverish battleground for the #GamerGate controversy, through which some women have faced harassment on the social network.

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