Posts Tagged: social networks

The Age of Instagram Face

The rising popularity of plastic surgery is more than a little horrifying” (Paul Kafasis).

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Eight-year-old tops YouTube list of high earners with $26 million

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Tech and Liberty

Kill the algorithm

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We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought. Why? A few reasons…?” (Jack Dorsey).

Finally some good news from Twitter.

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Competition can fix Big Tech, but only if we don’t make “bigness” a legal requirement

I’m all for making Big Tech small again and fixing the internet so that it’s not just five giant websites filled with screenshots from the other four, not to mention doing something about market dominance, corporate bullying, rampant privacy invasions and so on” (Cory Doctorow).

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Open gardens

To summarize:

  • Open gardens have curators instead of gatekeepers.
  • Open gardens use standards so that the same formats exist inside and outside the platform.

This is only possible by embracing the open web. I believe it’s an important part of the way forward for all great platforms” (Manton Reece).

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Fake News is Spam

Crank calls and robocalls were spam of the phone era. The[n] email had its spam. Text messages also became spam. Why are we surprised that social media posts became spam — in most cases as fake news. Tomorrow it will be video and virtual reality spam.

At the end of the day, we have to remember: spam is an unsolicited or undesired electronic message. The network and the tools of delivery don’t matter” (Om Malik).

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Neal Stephenson Explains His Vision of the Digital Afterlife

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Can “Indie” Social Media Save Us?

You can find me on

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Uber Questions

However, if I bought individual stocks [ … ], I would be out: this S-1 is so devoid of meaningful information (despite its length) that it makes me wonder what, if anything, Uber is trying to hide. If I am going to be taken for a ride I want at least some idea of where I am going — isn’t that the point of Uber in the first place” (Ben Thompson)?

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The secret life of Facebook moderators

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Shocker: Facebook’s ‘Clear history’ privacy feature is vaporware

Another link to Daring Fireball, a site which obviously share my animosity towards Facebook.

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Inside Facebook’s Secret Rulebook for Global Political Speech

Again I say, Facebook is to privacy and civil discourse what Enron was to accounting” (John Gruber).

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Facebook’s Tipping Point of Bad Behavior?

“Facebook’s standard playbook is to admit that they made a mistake by being slow to react, remind us of their good intentions, then promise to do better. It’s the aw geez who woulda thought in the dorm room that we would have to deal with all these tricky issues defense.

This has been very effective for a company that still gets the benefit of the doubt. No one would ever suggest that Facebook *wanted* to bring about the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya or lynchings in rural Indian villages. They just were in a little over their heads.

But this Soros thing is different. This is no passive failure. It’s a malevolent action taken against groups who criticize Facebook for things that Facebook admits it has failed at. It takes advantage of and contributes to the most poisonous aspects of our public discourse” (The New York Times).

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New York Times & Digital Double Standards

The New York Times has been a pointy edge of the coverage on Facebook, Google and Big Tech domination of our daily lives. […]

However, the Times is hypocritical, to put it mildly. While it talks about a surveillance advertising technology ecosystem, the company itself is a willing participant — its web pages and apps are jam-packed with advertising and tracking scripts. It complains about Facebook ads in the news stream, and yet it blasts large ads in your face on its website and in the applications. The reading experience is deprecated by really big ads, which honestly has lead to the use of ad-blockers and a deep dislike for their product” (Om Malik).

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Facebook claims network breach affects up to 50 million users

Mike Isaac and Sheera Frenkel, reporting for The New York Times:

‘Facebook on Friday said an attack on its computer network led to the exposure of information from nearly 50 million of its users.’

Who wants to bet that a week or two from now they “discover” it was 100 million accounts, and then eventually admit it was 200 million?” (John Gruber)

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Donald Trump is a pathogen evolved to thrive in an attention-maximization ecosystem

…even though the virus doesn’t understand what it’s doing or how it’s doing it, it’s able to use feedback to refine its strategies, gaining control over more resources with which to try more strategies.

It’s a powerful metaphor for the kind of cold reading we see Trump engaging in at his rallies, and for the presidency itself. I think it also explains why getting Trump of Twitter is impossible: it’s his primary feedback tool, and without it, he wouldn’t know what kinds of rhetoric to double down on and what to quietly sideline.

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Trolls die in darkness

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Skype, redesigned (again)

Microsoft is once again redesigning Skype — in order to make Skype great again. Or as a Microsoft executive puts it too “focus on simplicity* to provide an overall better experience for you by making Skype faster to learn and easier to use.” What he is not saying — Microsoft messed up Skype so bad that what was a market leading product is now an afterthought in modern daily communication flow.

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Research Suggests Facebook Fueled Anti-Refugee Attacks in Germany

Let’s just quit, shall we?

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Mark Zuckerberg and his empire of oily rags

Facebook doesn’t have a mind-control problem, it has a corruption problem. Cambridge Analytica didn’t convince decent people to become racists; they convinced racists to become voters” (Cory Doctorow).

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Facebook closed 583m fake accounts in first three months of 2018

Five-hundred-and-eighty-three million!!

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Trying to quit Facebook. Still trying.

Eight years have passed since I first wrote about trying to quit Facebook. Little has changed about my attitudes to the social network, but—like a perennial nicotine quitter—I am still on it. I am however closer to quitting than ever. My last post was six months ago, and I feel no urge jump back in. For birthdays and the odd Facebook group too damn practical not to follow, Facebook is, however, still useful. But I don’t read the feed anymore. It doesn’t make me happy. Instead it sometimes makes me angry and, at other times, … jealous? (Really? The analytical part of me find this proposition so silly that it cannot be the case. And still…) Occasionally I sneak a peek when someone has mentioned me, and I may even indulge in a “like” (and a birthdays wish or two, while there) but that is it. Check in again in another eight years to see how I’m doing.

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2018: Some Hope

Twitter — and Facebook, and the power of tech companies — is not our only problem.

But I have no doubt that had Twitter not become a loving home for hate, Trump would not be President now. In that universe we’d still have big problems, yes, but not like this.

This post is a good place to start for those searching for alternatives.

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