Posts tagged facebook

The Atlantic
"The Trump campaign is planning to spend more than $1 billion, and it will be aided by a vast coalition of partisan media, outside political groups, and enterprising freelance operatives. These pro-Trump forces are poised to wage what could be the most extensive disinformation campaign in U.S. history."
That’s a lot of economic incentive to allow lying on your platform.
nytimes.com
Here's another must-read article even for chronic sufferers of tech-culture outrage fatigue—sorry.
"At my request, a number of police officers had run my photo through the Clearview app. They soon received phone calls from company representatives asking if they were talking to the media — a sign that Clearview has the ability and, in this case, the appetite to monitor whom law enforcement is searching for."
If you don't have or want a NYT subscribtion, The Verge has a good summary: Go read this NYT expose on a creepy new facial recognition database used by US police. (Interesting that a Facebook board member is funding a company that is seemingly breaking the Facebook terms of service?) Another must-read, Bruce Schneier's take on banning facial recognition: We’re Banning Facial Recognition. We’re Missing the Point.
"A ban on facial recognition won’t make any difference if, in response, surveillance systems switch to identifying people by smartphone MAC addresses. The problem is that we are being identified without our knowledge or consent, and society needs rules about when that is permissible."
ps. (1/21) Vox has a great explainer video: What facial recognition steals from us.
Anil Dash Anil Dash
Anil on links and the web we’ve settled for:
"So let’s look at all the apps that live under our thumbs, and interrogate the choices they’re making, and then imagine what they would look like if we demanded that our tools don’t tie our hands."
Home amnesty.org
image from Home
"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
image from YouTube
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
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.
ted.com ted.com
image from ted.com
“Handmaidens to authoritarianism.”
Medium Medium
image from Medium
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
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.
gq.com gq.com
image from gq.com
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.
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