June 2, 2017 By FTI Consulting
At around midnight on Tuesday, Donald Trump turned to his favourite 140-character medium to rail against the press (or at least that’s what we assume was his intention). “Despite the constant negative press covfefe,” he tweeted, without completing his train of thought. Within an hour, “covfefe” had become Twitter’s No.1 trending hashtag worldwide, and platform users scrambled to find meaning in the tweet. One user joked “covfefe” was already a popular name for babies in states that voted for Trump. Silicon Valley exec Andrew Crow went as far to change his last name on Twitter to “Covfefe”.
Dozens of definitions were submitted to the Urban Dictionary website, which crowdsources meanings for slang terms. In case you’re interested, you can see what they went with here.
Whatever the intended meaning behind the tweet, it comes at an interesting time, within a day of White House communications director Mike Dubke announcing his resignation. It also closely trails a Wall Street Journal report indicating the White House is considering a plan to have a team of lawyers vet Trump’s social media posts before they go out. Employee social media guidelines may never have been more relevant.
Mary Meeker seems to be a pretty switched-on individual. The type of switched-on individual that has made early VC bets on Dell, Microsoft, Amazon, eBay, Google, Spotify, Facebook, and Airbnb throughout a glittering career. Since 1995 Meeker has published reports on the state of the internet under various titles, citing any number of trends before they crystallise, naming no names (Wikipedia, Instagram, crowdfunding), and on Wednesday she presented her 355-slide findings for 2017, the culmination of decades of research and experiences. Here are some of the things we should be expecting in the coming years.
Clearly the implications for digital communications are significant – platform behaviour changes in particular have the potential to shift what communications look like. Emerging markets are probably one of the most interesting areas touched on in the report – India’s internet penetration continues to soar, and increasing competition means costs will likely be on the decrease. For organisations looking to reach a giant, disparate market such as India, digital outreach may be an increasingly appealing way of reaching mass audiences.
We would think most of you have heard of spear phishing – the fraudulent practice of sending emails ostensibly from a known or trusted sender in order to induce targeted individuals to reveal confidential information. If you haven’t then you might want to keep that quite from your IT / Security team –our guess is you may also be contributing to the fact that (according to Verizon) 30% of spear phishing emails are opened by their targets.
Although most of us know not to click on links in suspicious emails, attackers are getting much more sophisticated at the luring us in. In part, this is through more legitimate looking emails, but it’s also by increasingly using social media channels rather than email. According to the New York Times, it took Russian hackers just one attempt to make their way into the computer of a Pentagon official via a link attached to a Twitter post put out by a robot account. This is particularly problematic as 66% of spear phishing messages sent through social media sites were opened by their intended victims. You’ve been warned!