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Twitter photo privacy ruling – Chinese social media habits – Worker outsources own job

Judge rules on usage of Twitter users pictures

A judge has ruled that news agencies looking to use Twitter users photos must gain permission before they do so.

With a widespread network of users across the world, Twitter has become one of the very best sources for breaking news. Several images of the tragic helicopter crash in London on Wednesday appeared long before any of the major news outlets had their own, while a number of photos tweeted by eyewitnesses appeared online, on TV and in newspapers.

This is far from the first instance of Twitter as a valuable source of news, covering every major event since the microblogging site launched in 2006. However, pictures of the devastating Haiti earthquake in 2010 have led to a legal ruling on the issue of Twitter photo usage.

Agence France-Presse used pictures of the earthquake taken by photojournalist Daniel Morel without permission, while The Washington Post also ran the same unauthorised images. The judge ruled that Twitter's Terms of Service gave full ownership to the photographer, and the press agencies involved should have contacted him to obtain permission before they were used. Morel is now expected to receive significant compensation, although the actual figure is yet to be decided.

This is the latest example of photo ownership controversy on social media, after changes to the Instagram privacy policy angered many users.


Chinese social media habits revealed

A study into Chinese social media habits has revealed that a combined total of 19 million years was spent on various social media websites in the country during 2012.

China gained 50 million internet users over the course of the year, taking the total wireless subscribers to over 1 billion people (the total population of China is estimated at roughly 1.4 billion). 420 million people in China use the internet from their phones, with the increased accessibility and functionality of mobile internet one of the main factors in the growth of web usage across the country.

Further statistics revealed by the study found that people in China would spend 46 minutes a day using the internet on average, adding up to a total of 167 billion internet hours in total over the course of the year.

China is now the nation with the most internet users in the world, with more people using the internet than the entire population of Western Europe put together. Chinese people are also the most active in social media, with a massive 91 per cent of internet users in the country having some form of social media account. This evidence proves that China has embraced the social media revolution, becoming a truly social internet nation.


Worker outsources own job

A security check at an unnamed American company has revealed that one of their employees had outsourced his own job to China.

The man appears to have employed a Chinese company based in Shenyang to do his job, paying them just a fifth of his six figure salary. A software developer in his 40s, it is even speculated that the man had been running the same scam at a number of other companies in the area, earning hundreds of thousands of dollars to surf the internet. He did not even have to submit the work himself, having provided the company with access to the computer network and his login details.

Once the operation was revealed, the company discovered that the man would browse popular websites such as Reddit and eBay, before watching hours of cat videos on YouTube and sending a daily progress report to his employers at the end of each day.

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