Erdogan presses pause

Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been making global headlines first by blocking Twitter and then YouTube, in an attempt to suppress recordings embarrassing to his administration. His actions have led to some extremely lively discussions on State, with strident communities forming around each of the topics.

The first topic, Twitter shut down in Turkey, was added on 20th March, the same day as the shutdown, as Turkish users took to State to circumvent the ban. It’s garnered 208 opinion at the time of writing. The top word groups are tyrannic (which includes dictatorial, authoritarian and variations on tyrannical) and shameful (includes nightmare, terrible and dreadful). As one Turkish user noted ‘our PM insists on seeing himself as our autocratic father&wants to punish us for disobeying him so our ‘blue bird’ is in cage, we’re waiting [for him] to kill it!!’

Yesterday’s YouTube shut down topic, begun by commentator Cüneyt Özdemir also provoked some strong opinions. The top word groups were again autocratic (including dictatorial) and undemocratic.

Another nuance in the opinion among Turkish users was a sense of embarrassment - coming through in the words embarrassing and shameful. The people of Turkey resent being singled-out by their government for a ban on a global platform. As one of them put it ‘With the lack of trust to Turkish citizens, international actors and also lack of trust to himself, Tayyip Erdoğan (so called prime minister) embarrassed our country.’

You can join the conversation on these topics, and millions of others, here.

The people vs. the Academy

The winners of the Academy Awards on Sunday contained few surprises, and those were mainly outside the main categories. But would things have turned out differently, if the judging had been left up to people on State? 

We’ve seen statements on the Best Picture nominees since they came out, which means that we’re now able to share with you the results of the Academy Award for Best Picture, as they might have been …

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As you can see the clear winner on State was Dallas Buyer’s Club, with Her and Nebraska coming in tied for second place. Sentiment average takes into account discrepancies in the number of opinions posted. In fact there were far fewer opinions stated on Dallas Buyer’s Club (as reflected in its lower box office sales, around $30 million), than on 12 Years a Slave (whose pre-Oscar box office was $140 million).

In other words, fewer people saw it, but the ones that did, really liked it.

So let’s take a closer look at the people’s choice versus the Academy’s. 69% of the opinions on 12 Years a Slave were positive, with top words want to see, awesome, harrowing, moving and powerful.

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92% of the opinions on Dallas Buyer’s Club were positive, with top words of awesome, want to see, powerful and moving.

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If we regard harrowing (as a description of the action of 12 Years a Slave) as merely neutral here, then the results come out somewhat differently, but still with a clear winner: 84% of the opinions on 12 Years a Slave are positive or neutral. It still seems like, as far as the State community was concerned, Dallas Buyer’s Club was robbed in the Best Picture category.

Overall the Oscars films were extremely popular topics on State, with 568 opinions between all of them. The most stated-on film was Wolf of Wall Street, with 184 opinions.

People from 89 countries took part in the conversation, proving that cinema is still one topic the world has in common.

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Activist Craig Boehman wants to change the world, one occupation at a time.

Najla RM Jones, New Jersey mom of two adorable aspies, as she calls them, is a champion for autism.

Worldwide Helpers founder Roya Elghanian is giving volunteers and organisations the power to share, connect and make a difference.

Positive Mom blogger Elayna Fernandez is passionate about motherhood, motivation and mompreneurship.

Cuneyt Ozdemir is a leading Turkish journalist and producer who’s an advocate for free speech and public debate in his country.  

Pakistani blogger and amateur photographer Haroon Riaz believes in free speech.

Imran Amed, founder of The Business of Fashion, shares his unique insights and understanding of the creative and commercial sides of the fashion industry.

You’ll meet all of them and thousands of others on State, a completely new kind of communications platform, a global opinion network. A place where people connect based on what they think, not who they know. State lets people communicate in a lucid, non-competitive way. A place where you don’t need hashtags, followers, or fame to be heard, just an opinion. The solution we discovered was at the convergence of design simplicity and semantic intelligence. A way to express opinions in a quick and fun way that also provides enough information with which to interpret, count, and connect them.

My brother Mark and I recruited a world class team to create State. We believe that everyone deserves a powerful voice online, no one should be left out, and when everyone’s opinions count, a more complete picture emerges and good things happen.

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In barely six months of activity in our closed alpha, we’ve seen the proliferation of views on the iPhone 5C in anticipation of its launch virtually predict its reception in the market. We revealed common ground between hardcore capitalists and socialists, that could potentially bring them together. We’ve observed a groundswell of support for Edward Snowden, in spite of many of his supporters being unsurprised by the existence of PRISM. And we’ve not only discovered that State’s early users dislike Justin Bieber, but more importantly why. We’ve just scratched the surface of what organised opinions can do - imagine what could be revealed as we grow.

People don’t need to run into the street to change the world. With State we aimed to make stating an opinion simple enough so anyone could participate as they might in a town square. Not just extremists, not just the witty or well read, but regular people too, the moderates, the majority, those that are otherwise silenced by the chaotic and competitive nature of today’s web. Let the greatest ideas rise to the surface but let’s also not make eloquence a requirement for having one’s voice heard. Today, 98% of people out there don’t ever get heard. History will judge this as being unjust and likewise a huge wasted opportunity to advance society politically and otherwise. Whether it be for social justice, the advancement of a great product over a lousy one, or the amusement of culture, it is by connecting people through what they think, enabling them to learn something or to take action, so that society can progress faster.

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That’s not to say that State is all about higher purpose, it turns out we all have opinions on everything from bacon to babies on planes. With 25 million topics to choose from, you’re bound to find at least one thing you’re passionate about. Or add your own.

With State we’re levelling the playing field for everyone by allowing them to express their opinions quickly and delivering them to the people who most need to hear them. For those in positions of leadership or influence, State offers the first many-to-one capability that can precisely map the prevailing sentiment on key issues. These are opinions shared spontaneously, not extracted from a survey.

This year, on the 25th anniversary of the web’s creation, we’re thrilled to unveil State to the public. We have garnered the support of Web creator Tim Berners-Lee, Upworthy’s Eli Pariser, physician and best-selling author Deepak Chopra, philanthropist and UN Envoy Ray Chambers, Skype and Atomico founder Niklas Zennström, American industrialist Len Blavatnik and entertainment guru Troy Carter, to name just a few.

Recently, I stated about lychees, lobbying, Chris Christie and American Hustle.

State.

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Download the State iOS app or visit State.com. Android app coming soon!

 

The Wolf of Wall Street: appearance vs. reality

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The Wolf of Wall Street has provoked 97 opinions on the network and some 63% of them are positive. The top words overall were want to see, brilliant, must-see and hilarious, while negative sentiment focussed on the film’s length (long, over long, too long) and the hype surrounding its release (overrated, underwhelming, crap). State users also noted Scorsese’s operatic approach to his material with the words cartoony and supercharged.

In a linked topic another clip surfaced on the network – a brief CNN report on the real life of Jordan Belfort, including some oversaturated VHS footage of the actual yacht, and the actual beach house, where the debauchery recreated in the film took place.

This video drew a different response, with top words of interesting, mind-boggling, revelatory and true story. Many State users noted the difference between the 90s as they appeared in the movie, and the real life footage. With Dana saying ‘so many beefcakes in the 90s’ and Alice Booth adding, ‘So much 90s fashion should never come back. No more scrunchies, middle partings with a curtain fringe, overly plucked eyebrows, scarily bright colour combinations. The list goes on.’

So if people feel this unforgiving toward the pre-millenial era, maybe Scorsese made the right decision. If he rendered the period less realistic, he also made it rather more palatable for a modern viewers. 

Sign in, or sign up, to state your opinion.

Socialists and capitalists united

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State sets out to be a kind of online democracy, where everybody’s voice is counted. With that idealistic aim perhaps it’s not surprising that political models are perennially popular topics. It seems that, at the moment at least, State’s constituency leans to the left. Around 46% of people stated positively on socialism, although the top word was misunderstood. On State supporters of socialism tend to lament its association with the Chinese or Russian communists, while those in opposition tend to see it as authoritarian and tyrannical.

Capitalism has a far more negative score overall (72% negative) and the top words are unsustainable, corrupt, destructive and flawed. But the word misunderstood also crops up here. Dave Sorensen states ‘…What we are experiencing is a system where the governments of the world act in collusion with multinational corporations, who have no allegiance to any national government; let alone allegiance to the people of the world…’

It seems like supporters of each system are in agreement on one thing: they blame the people who have enacted them, before the systems themselves. 

Where do you stand? Sign-in or sign-up to state your opinion.