internet

Some of us turn to social media to stay connected with friends and family. Others use social media as a megaphone to spread messages of hate.

Social media outlets wrestle with striking a balance. How do they allow free speech yet not let trolls and haters wreak their havoc? Just banning the troll doesn’t make much of a difference. It’s easy to change a screen name and jump right back out there lobbing hate-filled posts.

What if the focus shifted from cracking down on the trolls to taking away their online hangouts? A recent study by researchers at Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Michigan explored that very question.

It's known as the world's oldest profession, but make no mistake: Some 80% of all sales of sex happen online.

That figure comes from a first-of-its-kind study done by researchers from Michigan State University and Loyola University Chicago. They interviewed pimps in Atlanta and Chicago to find out how the digital world has affected the way they do business.

The Lapeer City Police Department now has a designated area in its parking lot for internet sale exchanges. 

The area is well-lit and under video surveillance, giving people a safe, neutral place to conduct an exchange. 

Lapeer Police Chief Todd Alexander sat down with Stateside's Cynthia Canty to talk about the practice and offer some advice to those looking to conduct internet purchase exchanges. 


The Next Idea

When Amber Williams and Morgan Willis talk about #ICantBreathe or #BlackLivesMatter, they aren't just talking about Twitter hashtags. For these black activists and many others in Michigan, digital technologies create important spaces of solace, solidarity, struggle, and connection.
 
At a recent conference at University of Michigan called #UMBLACKOUT, Williams, Willis, and an array of local and national black activists discussed the myriad ways that black organizers use technology for both politics and pleasure, online and offline. 

Aaron Selbig

Local governments are turning to social media to reach citizens where they are. 

The Grand Traverse County 911 dispatch center has probably the most-"liked" Facebook page in northern Michigan. Deputy Director Jason Torrey says the idea for the page came in the spring of 2012, when a huge snowstorm caused chaos all over the county.

“It dumped two and a half feet of snow – wet, heavy snow," says Torrey. "It took power out in the whole county.”

On yesterday's Stateside, we met the co-founders of Rocket Fiber, the ultra-high-speed Internet service coming to downtown Detroit later this year and to Midtown Detroit next year.

The prospect of fiber optic cable delivering an Internet that's at least 100 times faster than what most of us are used to is mighty appealing.

Dial-up. That’s how we used to get online. Today, however, that’s part of pre-history. Is it fathomable that our existing Internet access could soon be as outdated as those old dial-up modems?

Almost 40% of Detroit households don't have Internet. That’s second in the nation only to Laredo, Texas.

Detroiter Brandon Moore is only a recent Internet adopter. The majority of his neighbors don't have Internet.

He says before he became connected, "it was kind of a feeling of being left behind, or left out. Not being able to experience everything that everyone else was talking about."

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote tomorrow on a proposal that could impact the way you use and pay for your Internet.

The debate is around "net neutrality."