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  1. Last 7 days
  2. Jul 2021
    1. <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Alan Jacobs</span> in re-setting my mental clock – Snakes and Ladders (<time class='dt-published'>07/01/2021 14:58:05</time>)</cite></small>

  3. Jun 2021
    1. Professor, interested in plagues, and politics. Re-locking my twitter acct when is 70% fully vaccinated.

      Example of a professor/research who has apparently made his Tweets public, but intends to re-lock them majority of threat is over.

  4. May 2021
    1. Charlotte Jee recently wrote a lovely fictional intro to a piece on a “feminist Internet” that crystallized something I can’t quite believe I never saw before; if girls, women and non-binary people really got to choose where they spent their time online, we would never choose to be corralled into the hostile, dangerous spaces that endanger us and make us feel so, so bad. It’s obvious when you think about it. The current platforms are perfectly designed for misogyny and drive literally countless women from public life, or dissuade them from entering it. Online abuse, doxing, blue-tick dogpiling, pro-stalking and rape-enabling ‘features’ (like Strava broadcasting runners’ names and routes, or Slack’s recent direct-messaging fiasco) only happen because we are herded into a quasi-public sphere where we don’t make the rules and have literally nowhere else to go.

      A strong list of toxic behaviors that are meant to keep people from having a voice in the online commons. We definitely need to design these features out of our social software.

    2. The European Commission has prepared to legislate to require interoperability, and it calls being able to use your data wherever and whenever you like “multi-homing”. (Not many other people like this term, but it describes something important – the ability for people to move easily between platforms

      an interesting neologism to describe something that many want

    1. In 1962, a book called Silent Spring by Rachel Carson documenting the widespread ecological harms caused by synthetic pesticides went off like a metaphorical bomb in the nascent environmental movement.

      Where is the Silent Spring in the data, privacy, and social media space?

    2. For example, we know one of the ways to make people care about negative externalities is to make them pay for it; that’s why carbon pricing is one of the most efficient ways of reducing emissions. There’s no reason why we couldn’t enact a data tax of some kind. We can also take a cautionary tale from pricing externalities, because you have to have the will to enforce it. Western Canada is littered with tens of thousands of orphan wells that oil production companies said they would clean up and haven’t, and now the Canadian government is chipping in billions of dollars to do it for them. This means we must build in enforcement mechanisms at the same time that we’re designing principles for data governance, otherwise it’s little more than ethics-washing.

      Building in pre-payments or a tax on data leaks to prevent companies neglecting negative externalities could be an important stick in government regulation.

      While it should apply across the board, it should be particularly onerous for for-profit companies.

    3. Amidst the global pandemic, this might sound not dissimilar to public health. When I decide whether to wear a mask in public, that’s partially about how much the mask will protect me from airborne droplets. But it’s also—perhaps more significantly—about protecting everyone else from me. People who refuse to wear a mask because they’re willing to risk getting Covid are often only thinking about their bodies as a thing to defend, whose sanctity depends on the strength of their individual immune system. They’re not thinking about their bodies as a thing that can also attack, that can be the conduit that kills someone else. People who are careless about their own data because they think they’ve done nothing wrong are only thinking of the harms that they might experience, not the harms that they can cause.

      What lessons might we draw from public health and epidemiology to improve our privacy lives in an online world? How might we wear social media "masks" to protect our friends and loved ones from our own posts?

    1. “For one of the most heavily guarded individuals in the world, a publicly available Venmo account and friend list is a massive security hole. Even a small friend list is still enough to paint a pretty reliable picture of someone's habits, routines, and social circles,” Gebhart said.

      Massive how? He's such a public figure that most of these connections are already widely reported in the media or easily guessable by an private invistigator. The bigger issue is the related data of transactions which might open them up for other abuses or potential leverage as in the other examples.

    1. Social media platforms work on a sort of flywheel of engagement. View->Engage->Comment->Create->View. Paywalls inhibit that flywheel, and so I think any hope for a return to the glory days of the blogosphere will result in disappointment.

      The analogy of social media being a flywheel of engagement is an apt one and it also plays into the idea of "flow" because if you're bored with one post, the next might be better.

    1. Yet apart from a few megastar “influencers”, most creators receive no reward beyond the thrill of notching up “likes”.

      But what are these people really making? Besides one or two of the highest paid, what is a fair-to-middling influencer really making?

    1. A strong and cogent argument for why we should not be listening to the overly loud cries from Tristan Harris and the Center for Human Technology. The boundary of criticism they're setting is not extreme enough to make the situation significantly better.

      It's also a strong argument for who to allow at the table or not when making decisions and evaluating criticism.

    2. These companies do not mean well, and we should stop pretending that they do.
    3. But “humane technology” is precisely the sort of pleasant sounding but ultimately meaningless idea that we must be watchful for at all times. To be clear, Harris is hardly the first critic to argue for some alternative type of technology, past critics have argued for: “democratic technics,” “appropriate technology,” “convivial tools,” “liberatory technology,” “holistic technology,” and the list could go on.

      A reasonable summary list of alternatives. Note how dreadful and unmemorable most of these names are. Most noticeable in this list is that I don't think that anyone actually built any actual tools that accomplish any of these theoretical things.

      It also makes more noticeable that the Center for Humane Technology seems to be theoretically arguing against something instead of "for" something.

    4. Big tech can patiently sit through some zingers about their business model, as long as the person delivering those one-liners comes around to repeating big tech’s latest Sinophobic talking point while repeating the “they meant well” myth.
    5. Thus, these companies have launched a new strategy to reinvigorate their all American status: engage in some heavy-handed techno-nationalism by attacking China. And this Sinophobic, and often flagrantly racist, shift serves to distract from the misdeeds of the tech companies by creating the looming menace of a big foreign other. This is a move that has been made by many of the tech companies, it is one that has been happily parroted by many elected officials, and it is a move which Harris makes as well.

      Perhaps the better move is to frame these companies as behemoths on the scale of foreign countries, but ones which have far more power and should be scrutinized more heavily than even China itself. What if the enemy is already within and it's name is Facebook or Google?

    1. Darren Dahly. (2021, February 24). @SciBeh One thought is that we generally don’t ‘press’ strangers or even colleagues in face to face conversations, and when we do, it’s usually perceived as pretty aggressive. Not sure why anyone would expect it to work better on twitter. Https://t.co/r94i22mP9Q [Tweet]. @statsepi. https://twitter.com/statsepi/status/1364482411803906048

    1. Ira, still wearing a mask, Hyman. (2020, November 26). @SciBeh @Quayle @STWorg @jayvanbavel @UlliEcker @philipplenz6 @AnaSKozyreva @johnfocook Some might argue the moral dilemma is between choosing what is seen as good for society (limiting spread of disinformation that harms people) and allowing people freedom of choice to say and see what they want. I’m on the side of making good for society decisions. [Tweet]. @ira_hyman. https://twitter.com/ira_hyman/status/1331992594130235393

    1. build and maintain a sense of professional community. Educator and TikTok user Jeremy Winkle outlines four ways teachers can do this: provide encouragement, share resources, provide quick professional development, and ask a question of the day (Winkler).

      I love all of these ideas. It's all-around edifying!

    1. ReconfigBehSci. (2021, February 17). The global infodemic has driven trust in all news sources to record lows with social media (35%) and owned media (41% the least trusted; traditional media (53%) saw largest drop in trust at 8 points globally. Https://t.co/C86chd3bb4 [Tweet]. @SciBeh. https://twitter.com/SciBeh/status/1362022502743105541

  5. Apr 2021
    1. Others are asking questions about the politics of weblogs – if it’s a democratic medium, they ask, why are there so many inequalities in traffic and linkage?

      This still exists in the social media space, but has gotten even worse with the rise of algorithmic feeds.