Posts tagged ethics

The Verge The Verge
image from The Verge
Casey Newton is back with another look at the human cost of social media.
I asked Harrison, a licensed clinical psychologist, whether Facebook would ever seek to place a limit on the amount of disturbing content a moderator is given in a day. How much is safe?

“I think that’s an open question,” he said.
Important reporting here that I hope will help people that these powerful corporations are forgetting.
The Verge The Verge
cover image from The Verge
I have to link to this excellent reporting by Casey Newton. This is an important article that shows the human cost of maintaining large centralized social networks. I think it also reveals a sick society where people are constantly uploading psychologically scarring material that other people then have to sift through. I felt like Facebook's response was weak—at some point the we're growing too fast to keep up and we're so new at this doesn't work. As Bloomberg points out, companies have always said artificial intelligence is just around the corner to save the day. I think that's why companies view human moderators as a failure of technology rather than a key piece of their success. Matt Haughey ran an indie corner of the open internet for years and knows Content moderation has no easy answers. Just because it's hard doesn't mean we shouldn't hold Facebook accountable. They made decisions that created this problem and it's a shameful aspect of the internet we need to fix.
Motherboard Motherboard
image from Motherboard
10. We need strong regulation to protect our privacy
20. Goto 10


I think every large company has violated our privacy now—selling user data is the culture! So we need to change that culture via regulation. Congressional investigations with no follow-up are not scaring companies; so promises like this ring hollow: AT&T says it'll stop selling your location data. The week before it was IBM selling Weather Channel app location data: Los Angeles Accuses Weather Channel App of Covertly Mining User Data. With no repercussions we'll see these headlines over and over.
washingtonpost.com washingtonpost.com
We have recently had regular E. coli outbreaks while the FDA was fully staffed. It seems like a bad idea to understaff them right now.

Update (1/11): Oh good.

This.

If I was still on Twitter I'd link to this article by Joel Spolsky with the text, "This." Instead, I'll say that Joel describes the Twitter and Facebook addiction problem better than I've been able to: Birdcage liners.

For a look at the mechanics behind intermittent reinforcement that Joel describes there's a book called Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products. It's as gross as it sounds. However, it does help you look at the products you use in a new, harsher light. I'd use the book as a digital literacy exercise rather than a how-to manual as it's intended.
  • In this Long Now talk Kevin Kelly wonders if the networked machines are working for us or if we're working for the networked machines.
  • Tim O'Reilly reflects on his successes and failures in building a sustainable business. "While our ideals are what define us, combining those ideals with a results-oriented business culture is how we have continued to thrive." [via anil]
  • lia put together this record of a Twitter conversation about the current state of Flickr and photo-sharing in general. Depressing: "...nobody cares about lasting value anymore. it's all about what's going on right this second."
  • Sharing music one track at a time. This is a fun site.
  • This app is a good replacement for the cumbersome iTunes podcast manager. It downloads podcasts directly, no syncing required.
  • "The global brain is still in its infancy. We can raise it to help us make a better world, or we can raise it to be selfish, unjust and short-term in its outlook." Fantastic article by Tim O'Reilly describing a more practical form of global consciousness.
  • "Pictures Under Glass sacrifice all the tactile richness of working with our hands, offering instead a hokey visual facade." Bret Victor on imagining more tactile experiences with technology.
  • Hell yes, ethics. "When people are saying ruinously cruel things about each other, and you're the person who made it possible, it's 100% your fault. If you aren't willing to be a grown-up about that, then that's okay, but you're not ready to have a web business. Businesses that run cruise ships have to buy life preservers. Companies that sell alcohol have to keep it away from kids. And people who make communities on the web have to moderate them."
  • Fascinating presentation about the current state of gameification, and some suggestions for where application designers should be headed. Along the way he asks, "What vision of The Good Life do your designs convey?"
  • Check your work.
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