TIME celebrities

Angelina Jolie Has a Cyber-Security Team Monitoring Her Kids’ Internet Use

2014 Variety Screening Series - "Difret" Screening
Executive producer Angelina Jolie attends the 2014 Variety Screening Series of "Difret" at ArcLight Hollywood on December 9, 2014 in Hollywood, California. Alberto E. Rodriguez—Getty Images

She says she and husband Brad Pitt, who don't use social media, "wouldn't even know what to look for."

Angelina Jolie describes herself as “old-school” when it comes to technology, preferring to write things down instead of posting them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram — none of which she uses.

But the Hollywood star may not be able to ask the same of her six children, which is why she tells People magazine in its latest cover story that she and husband Brad Pitt have hired a cyber-security team to monitor their Internet usage and exposure.

“It’s so beyond what we understand,” Jolie says. “We wouldn’t even know what to look for.”

Read more at People

TIME Social Media

I Harassed My Colleague on Twitter and Here’s What Happened

Twitter
The Twitter logo is displayed on a mobile device. Bethany Clarke—Getty Images

Taking Twitter's updated reporting tool out for a spin

A few weeks ago, someone called Taylor Swift and me a “dumb b*tch” on Twitter.

On the one hand, I was flattered that he called us a single “dumb b*tch,” because it implies a unified b*tchhood between me and Taylor. On the other hand, nobody calls Taylor Swift a dumb b*tch and gets away with it. So I decided this gentleman’s missive was a good time to test Twitter’s new harassment reporting tool.

The new tool is designed to be much simpler to use than the old reporting method, and it is. The process is streamlined and quick, the menu options are clear, and Twitter responds efficiently to let you know they’ve received your report. What isn’t as clear, however, is what exactly happens to a user who is reported for harassment.

When I reported the Taylor-hater, I quickly got an email from Twitter saying: “This is a confirmation that we’ve received your request. Someone from our team will review it and reply to you shortly.” So far, so good! But what was happening to the honorable wordsmith himself?

Wracked with curiosity, I asked my noble colleague Olivia to help me out. I tweeted at her “U suck,” and asked her to report me for harassment. She did, and she got the same email I did. “They’re investigating it!,” she exclaimed.

Olivia soon received an email saying that my tweet was “currently not violating the Twitter Rules.” So tweeting “U suck” isn’t enough to get you in trouble on Twitter, even if someone reports it as harassment. That seemed like a fair safeguard against haphazard harassment reporting or hyper-sensitive whining.

But it also meant I had to up my game as a harasser.

First, with Olivia’s permission, I called her a “dumb b*tch,” using a decoy account I set up for the purpose. Then — and this I’m not proud of — I said “I’m going to kill you.” Olivia had to warn her mother this was happening so she wouldn’t be alarmed.

The “dumb b*tch” comment provoked no immediate response from Twitter. But the death threat was handled quickly; my (decoy) account was suspended within the day. In other words, Twitter thinks calling someone a “dumb b*tch” is the same as saying “u suck.”

Or, as Taylor puts it: Haters gonna hate, hate, hate hate hate.

I realized I needed a wider variety of harassment options to truly test the response, since there’s a whole lot of ugly in-between insults and death threats. But since my decoy account was already suspended for threatening Olivia’s life, I had to make a whole new account, which I promptly used to harass myself online in increasingly violent and disturbing ways. I can’t embed the tweets (because my account was suspended,) but they said:

“I know you live in Brooklyn and work at Time and your email is [my email address]”

“I hate all Jews including you”

“I hope you die in your sleep”

Charming, right? I reported each of these tweets and others like them to Twitter. That very night, my decoy account was suspended. I could not tweet, my tweets disappeared from my other (real) feed, and I couldn’t change any part of my profile. I couldn’t even embed the tweets (which is why they’re typed out above.)

So from this (very unscientific) experiment, it appears there are two things that will get you quickly suspended from Twitter: death threats and repeated harassment. Some kinds of hate speech against women (“dumb b*tch”) don’t appear to have any consequences. One self-harassment tweet in which I called myself a “C-word” was eventually flagged by Twitter, but by that point, the decoy account had already been suspended.

It seems, then, that Twitter’s new streamlined harassment policy is pretty sane, considering the enormity of the problem its trying to solve — thousands of nasty missives get tweeted every day. It makes sense that Twitter doesn’t suspend people for tweeting things like “u suck,” while it immediately responds to allegations of violence or to repeated harassment. But Twitter hasn’t figured out where to draw the line on non-violent harassment, especially against women, and multiple requests to Twitter Communications to get some explanation were not returned.

A few days after running this experiment, I got an email from Twitter Support about my report on the Taylor Swift tweet. Apparently, calling someone a “dumb b*tch” is “currently not violating the Twitter Rules” — even if that person is Taylor Swift herself.

TIME Social Media

Twitter Co-Founder: ‘I Don’t Give a S*** If Instagram Has More Users’

twitter-smartphones
Getty Images

In an interview, Evan Williams doesn’t mince words comparing Twitter to Facebook-owned Instagram

Yesterday, Instagram announced it has 300 million monthly active users. The news drew immediate comparisons between the photo-sharing app, which sold to Facebook for $1 billion in 2012, and Twitter, a $24 billion publicly traded company which has 284 million users. CNNMoney even argued that Twitter should sell itself.

I asked Evan Williams, Twitter co-founder and board member, what he thought of the news. His answer? User count is the wrong metric to focus on.

In his words:

It’s a question of breadth versus depth. Why is users the only thing we talk about? The crazy thing: Facebook has done an amazing job of establishing that as the metric for Wall Street. No one ever talks about, ‘What is a [monthly active user]?’ I believe it’s the case that if you use Facebook Connect—if you use an app that you logged into with Facebook Connect—you’re considered a Facebook user whether or not you ever launched the Facebook app or went to Facebook.com. So what does that mean? It’s become so abstract to be meaningless. Something you did caused some data in their servers to be recorded for the month. So I think we’re on the wrong path.

If you think about the impact Twitter has on the world versus Instagram, it’s pretty significant. It’s at least apples to oranges. Twitter is what we wanted it to be. It’s this realtime information network where everything in the world that happens on Twitter—important stuff breaks on Twitter and world leaders have conversations on Twitter. If that’s happening, I frankly don’t give a s*** if Instagram has more people looking at pretty pictures.

I noted that Wall Street certainly cares about other things.

Williams said he isn’t authorized to comment on anything financial, but countered that Twitter’s monetization has been going very well. “Twitter makes a hell of a lot more money than Instagram, if that’s what Wall Street cares about,” he said.

Regarding Facebook’s method for counting users, Williams is correct. According to an SEC filing, Facebook’s definition of an active user includes anyone who “took an action to share content or activity with his or her Facebook friends or connections via a third-party website or application that is integrated with Facebook.” So even if you don’t go to Facebook for a month, you count as a monthly active user if you use an app which you have signed up for with your Facebook account and shared something. [Note: This sentence has been updated to include the words “and shared something” after a Facebook representative clarified that a user must actually share an activity to Facebook to count as “active.” If a user “likes” something on a third party site, or listens to a Spotify song which is then automatically shared to Facebook, that counts.]

To that end, Twitter is opening up its own definition of its user base. Last month Twitter CEO Dick Costolo revealed that content posted to Twitter actually reaches 500 million people each month when you take into account anyone who has seen a Tweet embedded in a webpage or another app. The takeaway? When it comes to the horse race for users, Costolo doesn’t give a . . . well, you know.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

TIME isis

ISIS Twitter Fan Boy Revealed to be Indian Food Exec

He says he "doesn't know what to do" now that Indian police are searching for him

He is one of the most active supporters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on the Internet but on Thursday @ShamiWitness was revealed to be an Indian food company executive called Mehdi.

With a Twitter following of roughly 18,000, @ShamiWitness has been one of the most influential voices on Twitter propagandizing on behalf of ISIS. Mehdi works for an Indian food conglomerate in Bangalore.

Channel 4 News says the agency is not revealing his full name “as he says his life would be in danger if his true identity was made public.”

Nonetheless, in the wake of his semi-unmasking, Mehdi deactivated the @ShamiWitness Twitter account and has said that Indian police are now searching for him and he “doesn’t know what to do.”

Mehdi said if given the opportunity he would join forces himself with the Islamic State but that he cannot because his family depends on him financially. “If I had a chance to leave everything and join them I might have,” he said. “My family needs me here.”

[Channel 4 News]

MONEY stocks

Everything You Need to Know to Give Stocks for Christmas

Rolls of stocks with gold bow wrapped around them like a present
MONEY (photo illustration)—Li Jingwang (bow); Kord.com/Getty Images (stocks)

Introducing a youngster to the world of investing via shares in a company they know and admire could start them on the road to wealth

Before you resort to the Starbucks gift card for the collegian in your life—again—or an Apple gift card for the hip techster in the family, why not consider giving a share of Starbucks STARBUCKS CORP. SBUX -0.7372% or Apple APPLE INC. AAPL -0.7723% stock? Looking for that je ne sais quoi for a Frozen fanatic/sports geek/theme park devotee? A share or more of Disney THE WALT DISNEY CO. DIS 0.3023% , parent of the ESPN Network, plays to those passions.

Anyone who had received shares of those stocks five years ago has more than tripled her money, making stocks one Christmas or Chanukah gift that can keep giving well after the holiday season is past.

It’s true that giving shares of a single stock violates all principles of diversification. But c’mon, it’s a heck of a lot more engaging for a child or young adult than some shares of, say, the Vanguard Target Retirement 2060 mutual fund VANGUARD CHESTER TAR RETIR 2060 VTTSX 0.349% .

And maybe, just maybe, introducing a youngster or young millennial to the world of investing via some shares in a company they know—and like—tip the scale toward stocks when they eventually start investing in a 401(k) or Roth IRA. Millennials have been slow to embrace stocks. That’s understand given the fact they and their portfolios had to live through the financial crisis. But it also will make it harder for them to reach their long-term savings goals.

Your first gift-giving task is to choose one of these three ways to gift the stock:

1) Make A One-Time Gift, Stock Certificate Included. Sites such as giveashare.com and uniquestockgift.com allow you to purchase a share that comes with a framed stock certificate, which gives the recipient something more tangible than a brokerage statement to hang on to, and hang up. The certificate may be a real-deal stock certificate or a replica. For example, in 2013 Disney, with its fab animated stock certificate featuring Walt, Mickey Mouse, and Donald, stopped issuing the real deal, choosing instead to register owners only electronically. But you can still get a collectible version of the stock certificate:

There’s a steep price to pay for being able to hand over a physical gift. At giveashare.com a framed copy of one share of Apple was recently $214, a staggering $100 more than the share price of Apple. At uniquestockgift.com the pricing is more a la carte. On top of the share price, you will pay a $69 transfer fee, and anywhere from $2.95 to $48.95 for a frame. A customized engraved plaque will run another $6.

2) Transfer Stock You Own. You can have stock you own transferred to another account. Contact your brokerage and ask for a stock transfer form. For recipients under the age of 18 the transfer must be made into a custodial account with an adult (usually a parent) listed as the custodian.

3) Deal Directly with the Company Whose Stock You Want to Gift. Some companies, including Harley-Davidson, Mattel, and Nike, offer direct stock purchase plans, and you can have dividends automatically reinvested in more shares. FirstShare, an online site that offers dividend reinvestment programs (DRIPs) has a list of companies offering direct investment. Fees vary at each company. For example, Harley-Davidson HARLEY DAVIDSON HOG 0.5587% will let you get started with just a one-share purchase. In addition to the share price itself, there’s a $5 purchase fee plus another 10 cents for each share.

Once you’ve decided how to give the shares, you’ll want to pick a company that both taps into the recipient’s interests and has at least some potential to grow over time. Because the major indexes are at or near all-time highs right now, screaming deep-discount values are hard to come by these days. But the following gift-friendly stocks all offer value compared to the 1,500 stocks that Morningstar closely analyzes, which on average currently sell for 4% more than the estimated “fair value.”

Kids’ Play

Both Disney THE WALT DISNEY CO. DIS 0.3023% and Mattel MATTEL INC. MAT -6.4123% currently trade at small discounts to Morningstar’s fair value estimates.

Movie Buffs and Binge Watchers

Having shed about $100 in its share price since this past summer, Netflix NETFLIX INC. NFLX 1.7044% is currently priced at an 11% discount to Morningstar’s fair value price of $386.

Coffee Lovers

Starbucks STARBUCKS CORP. SBUX -0.7372% recently traded at about an 8% discount to fair value.

Budding Buffetts

If there’s someone on your gift list who has shown more than a passing interest in how stocks/markets/investing works, a share of Berkshire Hathaway is one of the best ways to learn through ownership. Anyone can read Warren Buffett’s annual shareholder’s letter, but reading it as a fellow shareholder will likely resonate more. Berkshire Hathaway B shares BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC. BRK.B -0.7271% recently traded around $150 a share, a slight discount to Morningstar’s $157 fair value estimate. (And if your gift goes to someone with a car, Berkshire Hathaway shareholders are also eligible for an 8% discount on GEICO insurance. GEICO is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.)

Tech Enthusiasts

You know Microsoft MICROSOFT CORP. MSFT 0.2946% for its Windows and Office software. If you’ve got a gaming fan in the family they know Microsoft for its wildly popular Xbox console. In the most recent quarter, Microsoft sold 2.4 million more Xbox units. The stock recently traded right around fair value. Apple APPLE INC. AAPL -0.7723% requires a little bit more faith, as the current stock price is at a 14% premium to Morningstar’s fair value estimate. That’s not nose bleed territory, but whoo-boy, the time to buy Apple was last Christmas or Chanukah, when the stock price was nearly 40% lower and the price/earnings ratio was below 14. Today it’s a more expensive 17.4. Unless you have a crazed Android devotee, Google GOOGLE INC. GOOGL 1.0532% doesn’t have the tactile product-connection you get from Apple and Microsoft. But it’s actually the best value of the bunch right now, trading at nearly a 4% discount to its estimated fair value. (That said, a single share is north of $500.)

Social Media Mavens

Twitter TWITTER INC. TWTR 0.9529% trades a slight discount to fair value. Facebook FACEBOOK INC. FB 1.8878% , by contrast, is near a 30% premium — not an easy price to “Like.”

TIME Social Networking

Instagram Is Bigger Than Twitter Now

A picture is worth 1000 words

Instagram is officially bigger than Twitter, as far as user numbers are concerned.

The photo-sharing app has reached more than 300 million monthly active users who share over 70 million photos and videos a day, Instagram said Wednesday.

Instagram also said that it will soon be rolling out a “verified badges” feature, similar to the blue checkmark you see on some Twitter and Facebook pages. The company also announced it will start fully deleting accounts it considers “spammy.”

The number of Instagram users has ballooned this year, with 100 million monthly active users added since March, CNBC reported Wednesday. Facebook bought Instagram in a deal that closed in September 2012 at a value of about $715 million.

Twitter, by contrast, has a market cap of about $23 billion and 284 million monthly active users.

“We’re seeing a lot of people coming in the fashion world, a lot of people coming in, in the youthful teens world, and a lot of people internationally as well,” CEO Kevin Systrom told CNBC.

MONEY job search

How Recruiters Are Using Social Media—and What It Means for You

man with glasses looking at social media
Chris Batson—Alamy

A recent survey confirms that most HR execs are looking at LinkedIn and Facebook. You should be, too, says career coach Caroline Ceniza-Levine.

The job market is improving.

Online recruiting platform Jobvite recently surveyed more than 1,800 HR professionals across industries, and found that a whopping 69% of recruiters expect hiring to become more competitive in the next 12 months.

So if you have put off your job search, now is the time to jump in. Employers anticipating competition will be more attentive to candidates and more aggressive with offers. As a job seeker, you will have more leverage.

The catch is that you have to find the job postings first—and that, the survey found, will require you to be on social media.

Here are three key insights from Jobvite’s survey and the implications for job seekers:

The Insight: 73% of employers plan to increase their spending on social media recruiting and referrals ranked a close second in where employers would put their recruiting dollars.

What It Means For You: If employers are spending on social and referrals, then job seekers need to be networking both online and offline. Look at the time and attention you place on finding jobs. How much of it is spent updating your social profile, staying active with your status and comments, and networking offline in live meetings and informational interviews?

These should comprise the vast majority of your job-search time.

Employers did not cite job postings in the top five of where they will increase their budget so job seekers should not prioritize this avenue.

The Insight: 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn, followed by Facebook at 66%. But 79% have hired candidates found on LinkedIn v. 26% for Facebook.

What It Means For You: If you are overwhelmed at the thought of staying active on social, take comfort in this statistic that shows you can put the lion’s share of your attention on LinkedIn and capture the lion’s share of employers’ efforts.

Make sure your profile is complete: photo, headline, summary, skills, detailed job history, and any additional items to showcase your expertise (e.g., video, publications). Join Groups so you can stay abreast of trends and more easily network.

Accurate, real-time salaries for thousands of careers.

Update your status so you can stay connected with your entire network on a regular basis.

Finally, make sure your LinkedIn profile is connected to an email you check regularly. As a recruiter, I use LinkedIn frequently and hear back from too many candidates several weeks after my initial message with an apologetic, “I never check my LinkedIn….”

Job seekers, you can set your LinkedIn updates to forward to your email of choice so there is no excuse not to read your updates and messages!

The Insight: 93% of recruiters will review a candidate’s social profile before making a decision and 55% of recruiters have reconsidered a candidate based on what they saw on social media.

What It Means For You: You absolutely need to stay on top of your digital footprint.

Google yourself to see what employers see. Set a Google Alert on your name so you check what is on the internet about you on a regular basis.

Additionally, staying active on social media—posting related to your industry or knowledge area on Twitter and keeping your profile active on LinkedIn—will help you populate the internet with positive information about you and help improve your brand.

Caroline Ceniza-Levine is co-founder of SixFigureStart® career coaching. She has worked with professionals from American Express, Condé Nast, Gilt, Goldman Sachs, Google, McKinsey, and other leading firms. She’s also a stand-up comic. This column appears weekly.

Read more from Caroline Ceniza-Levine:

TIME technology

Here are Twitter’s Top 10 Political Moments of 2014

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A picture taken on October 23, 2012 shows the screen of a blackberry phone featuring a page with the adress of the micro-blogging site Twitter website. FRED TANNEAU—AFP/Getty Images

Remember #TurnipForWhat?

From inside jokes to political movements, it’s been a busy year on Twitter.

With 2014 drawing to a close, the popular micro-blogging service released its top 10 political moments early Wednesday to coincide with a broader look-back on the last 12 months.

#WelcomeToTwitter

In February, Secretary of State John Kerry re-joined Twitter, a year after his confirmation to the role.

In June, the Central Intelligence Agency joined the service with a message that would be the most retweeted government/political tweet of the year, according to Twitter.

#BringBackOurGirls

According to Twitter, the @FLOTUS tweet is her most RT’d tweet ever and generated 9 million impressions and 4 million embedded Tweet impressions. There were 4.5 million tweets with the hashtag in 2014.

ISIS

Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby used Twitter for the first time ever to announce the beginning of military operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria.

#Ebola

According to Twitter, more than 4 million tweets mentioned the disease in 2014, and one spreading the facts about how the disease spreads was the most-RT’d tweet from the @WhiteHouse account

Remembering 9/11

For the second year in a row, former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer live-tweeted his experiences on the 13th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 this year, drawing thousands of retweets.

#TanSuit

President Barack Obama’s decision to wear a tan suit to a press conference discussing his strategy to combat ISIS becomes instant fodder for Twitter mockery.

@Madeleine

The former Secretary of State responds to a late night hosts’s Halloween costume.

Sports

Lawmakers’ tweets marked the World Cup and other 2014 sporting events.

@NASA

Photos from space captivated social media this year, with NASA Astronaut Reid Wiseman’s inaugural vine from space being played more than 9 million times in 2014.

#TurnipForWhat

First Lady Michelle Obama’s PSA for healthy eating scored more than 36 million loops.

TIME Social Media

Here’s a Super-Easy Way To Beat Twitter’s 140 Character Limit

Just take a screenshot

Twitter’s 140-character limit for tweets is rooted in its origin as a text-based service: SMS messages have a 160-character limit, so tweets were limited to 140 characters, leaving 20 for users’ handles.

But it’s been years since most of us used text messages as our primary means of tweeting. Instead, it’s all about desktop or mobile apps. And yet that 140-character limit hangs around, taunting us.

Well, here’s a crafty way to break that limit: Just type out a super-long tweet, take a screenshot of it, and post that screenshot. Boom! You’ve beaten the limit. A caveat: This will eat up more mobile data than a simple text tweet, and it won’t be copy & paste-able.

Here’s a list of ways to take a screenshot on different devices:

Happy tweeting.

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