labor

New York Times
"They also began raising concerns about safety in Amazon’s warehouses at the start of the pandemic. Amazon fired Ms. Costa and Ms. Cunningham last April, not long after their group had announced an internal event for warehouse workers to speak to tech employees about their workplace conditions."
This is powerful. When employees speak to each other it can lead to realizing that they have common interests--even when they work in different parts of the organization that don't normally interact. Firing people advocating for safety during a pandemic is a bad look.
BuzzFeed News
"The employees were scared and frustrated, and some came to the realization that the platform they had helped build and operate had contributed to the wave of fear, disinformation, and chaos that flooded Congress."
Facebook had to stop their employees from discussing the coup attempt today.
BuzzFeed News
"“These were very clear examples that didn't just upset me, they upset Facebook’s employees, they upset the entire civil rights community, they upset Facebook’s advertisers. If you still refuse to listen to all those voices, then you're proving that your decision-making is being guided by some other voice,” she said."
They definitely aren’t guided by their own policies. Facebook just ignores or rewrites them to suit the administration.
The Verge
"We ran these surveys and asked people what they want to do. Twenty percent of our existing employees said that they were extremely or very interested in working remotely full time. And another 20 percent on top of that said that they were somewhat interested. So I think what’s basically going to happen is that, because it’s going to take a while to get everyone back into the office, you have like 40 percent of employees already who were fairly willing to work remotely."
I always thought it was strange that these big silicon valley companies who make online tools were against remote work. Circumstances are forcing their adjustment but this could be lasting.
Vox Vox
image from Vox
"Am I allowed to strike? If you work in the private sector, definitely. It doesn’t matter if you are part of a labor union or not. For government workers, though, it depends."
This explainer from Vox sure is timely for me. The union I’m in is about to strike.
The Atlantic The Atlantic
image from The Atlantic
Eric Schlosser of Fast Food Nation fame makes an important point here about the Mississippi immigration raids and immigration patterns in general. They have been driven by the business need for cheaper, less organized labor.
conceptuallabor.com conceptuallabor.com
I really enjoyed this essay about Conceptual Labor. Sometimes the work we need to do is understanding the work we need to do. It reminded me of a favorite saying of mine by Victor Frankl that if you have a why you can get through almost any how. (Paraphrased, it's from Man's Search for Meaning which I should reread.) I think I saw this link on Mastodon, but not finding links again is my theme today.
BuzzFeed News BuzzFeed News
image from BuzzFeed News
It’s heartening to hear these Ogilvy employees push back against their company’s work for CBP. Wayfair employees walked out last month to protest border contracts. And today Microsoft announced it would temporarily suspend its PAC giving because of internal pressure. I’m not sure if these are anomalies that businesses will adapt to or a more lasting movement that will get companies to act on their stated values.
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.


I'm a fan of Douglas Rushkoff and Team Human, but this episode makes me angry. And I can't completely reject it.


This site that sprang out of a Hacker News discussion of a Tim Bray post is relevant to my interests.
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