Posts tagged facebook

Home amnesty.org
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"Either we must submit to this pervasive surveillance machinery – where our data is easily weaponized to manipulate and influence us – or forego the benefits of the digital world. This can never be a legitimate choice."
Amnesty International the organization is wrestling with their use of Facebook in the wake of this report: We called out Facebook and Google but still need them. That's exactly the problem. They go on to say:
“We are trying to pull off the difficult balancing act of carrying out our duty to spread our human rights message while spending money with companies profiting from problematic surveillance. The reputational risk grows with every scandal. ”
I hope we see some progressive organizations start to distance themselves from Facebook. If they won’t, who will?
YouTube YouTube
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Take 25 minutes to watch this. He makes a fantastic, succinct argument for regulating social media to stop the reach of hate speech.
bloomberg.com Bloomberg
Matt Levine has a good summary of the fine Facebook negotiated over the Cambridge Analytica scandal. But his analysis of why legislation doesn’t happen in the wake of scandals feels right on to me:
"...Americans are biased toward thinking of bad things as being already illegal, always illegal, illegal by definition and by nature and in themselves. If the thing that Facebook did was so bad, then it must have been illegal, so there is no need for a new law against it."
Our laws are not equipped for our current media age and we’re biased against thinking laws could be out of date.
om.co om.co
Om Malik tapped into a current of mistrust around smart device features sponsored by the big services after he wrote about his hesitation: Hello HomePod. So Long Sonos & Bose. Even my first generation Sonos speakers attempt to phone home frequently (for use stats?) and I block that with pi-hole. When I wanted to add a speaker recently I purchased a used first gen on eBay because I don’t want yet another always-on microphone in my home. I mean, have you seen the headlines?
The Verge The Verge
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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.
ted.com ted.com
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“Handmaidens to authoritarianism.”
Medium Medium
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Living the dream? On one hand this is a clever way to game Instagram. On the other hand, social networks are supposed to be about being social with other people so bots like this make it a less social environment. (I've also thought that hashtags in text are machine garbage that make things less human so I'm an outlier.) And businesses just blindly handing out gifts to antisocial media accounts? What? This whole article is an exquisite mess.
The Verge The Verge
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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.
gq.com gq.com
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Speaking of digital habits, Cal Newport has a new book called Digital Minimalism. This GQ interview has some great gems on the rise of social media, like this: "It took this careful attention engineering, and cultural engineering, to try to make this seem innovative, and high-tech, and like you had to be doing this. If that falls apart, the whole thing goes." Ezra Klein also recently had him on his podcast: Cal Newport has an answer for digital burnout.
Gizmodo Gizmodo
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I never get tired of these stories where people change their digital habits. This piece by Kashmir Hill is an extreme example, but also a good illustration of how ubiquitous the major tech companies are. Understanding the often hidden architecture of our tech environment helps us make mindful decisions. A couple other posts in this genre I've enjoyed lately: Bye, Bye, Google by Bogdan Popa and Pulling the plug on Facebook by Drupal founder Dries Buytaert.
The Verge The Verge
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Not following the daily long scream of social media news? This article is a good way to catch up on the fresh horrors. Facebook is really leading the way in ethical absence: But don't count Google out yet! The Verge: Apple blocks Google from running its internal iOS apps. And why is Apple suddenly the arbiter of justice? Shouldn't that be the role of our government? Yes, says Apple: Tim Cook Calls for ‘Data-Broker Clearinghouse’ in Push for Privacy Rules. This is all happening while Facebook's stock is soaring: Facebook keeps growing despite scandals and privacy outrage. The Market will not fix this. I guess there's nothing anyone can do. Let's just get weird again.
blog.chaddickerson.com blog.chaddickerson.com
This really rang true for me, especially: "I don’t sit there and think about what other people might think about what I’m writing — just the person who emailed me. To me, this is closer to what true friendship is like." I feel like we've collectively forgotten what private one-on-one relationships are.
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