192 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2022
    1. I've been told since the first day I started working at the Division of Hospital Medicine at @UCSF that my work doesn't bring in $ to cover my salary. It's a narrative of manufactured scarcity, a common tactic in capitalism. The CEO is making $1.85 million plus bonuses.

      — Rupa Marya, MD (@DrRupaMarya) November 4, 2022
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      A Hospitalist’s economic value is in what we *save* the system in terms of quality-driven care and patient throughput (DC/unit time), not in how much we bring in through profees. Because of how the system is structured, you’ll only see our value when we aren’t there.

      — Rupa Marya, MD (@DrRupaMarya) November 4, 2022
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      This sounds a lot like hospitalists fall under David Graeber's thesis in Bullshit Jobs that the more necessary and useful you are the less you're likely to get paid and be valued.


      I suspect the ability to track an employees' direct level of productivity also fits into this thesis. One can track the productivity of an Amazon warehouse worker or driver, but it's much more difficult to track the CEOs direct productivity.

  2. Oct 2022
    1. A Midwestern hospital system is treating its use of Google and Facebook web tracking technologies as a data breach, notifying 3 million individuals that the computing giants may have obtained patient information.

      Substitute “library” for “hospital”

      In an alternate universe: “A Midwestern library system is treating its use of Google and Facebook web tracking technologies as a data breach, notifying 3 million individuals that the computing giants may have obtained search and borrowing histories.”

    1. After cornering the market on entertainment, TikTok began offering its model of behavioral tracking and algorithmic suggestion to advertisers, promising them a way to know which ads people find most compelling without having to ask. It was an instant hit: The company’s ad revenue tripled this year, to $12 billion, according to eMarketer estimates, and is expected to eclipse YouTube at nearly $25 billion by 2025. In the United States, the cost to advertisers for TikTok’s premium real estate — the first commercial break a viewer sees in their feed, known as a “TopView” — has jumped to $3 million a day.

      A "TopView" advertisement runs $3 million a day

    2. How TikTok ate the internetThe world’s most popular app has pioneered a new age of instant attention. Can we trust it?By Drew HarwellOct. 14
  3. Jul 2022
    1. When we talk about “the algorithm,” we might be conflating recommender systems with online surveillance, monopolization, and the digital platforms’ takeover of all of our leisure time—in other words, with the entire extractive technology industry of the twenty-first century.

      The algorithm’s role in surveillance capitalism

    1. reply to: https://ariadne.space/2022/07/01/a-silo-can-never-provide-digital-autonomy-to-its-users/

      Matt Ridley indicates in The Rational Optimist that markets for goods and services "work so well that it is hard to design them so they fail to deliver efficiency and innovation" while assets markets are nearly doomed to failure and require close and careful regulation.

      If we view the social media landscape from this perspective, an IndieWeb world in which people are purchasing services like easy import/export of their data; the ability to move their domain name and URL permalinks from one web host to another; and CMS (content management system) services/platforms/functionalities, represents the successful market mode for our personal data and online identities. Here competition for these sorts of services will not only improve the landscape, but generally increased competition will tend to drive the costs to consumers down. The internet landscape is developed and sophisticated enough and broadly based on shared standards that this mode of service market should easily be able to not only thrive, but innovate.

      At the other end of the spectrum, if our data are viewed as assets in an asset market between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, et al., it is easy to see that the market has already failed so miserably that one cannot even easily move ones' assets from one silo to another. Social media services don't compete to export or import data because the goal is to trap you and your data and attention there, otherwise they lose. The market corporate social media is really operating in is one for eyeballs and attention to sell advertising, so one will notice a very health, thriving, and innovating market for advertisers. Social media users will easily notice that there is absolutely no regulation in the service portion of the space at all. This only allows the system to continue failing to provide improved or even innovative service to people on their "service". The only real competition in the corporate silo social media space is for eyeballs and participation because the people and their attention are the real product.

      As a result, new players whose goal is to improve the health of the social media space, like the recent entrant Cohost, are far better off creating a standards based service that allows users to register their own domain names and provide a content management service that has easy import and export of their data. This will play into the services market mode which improves outcomes for people. Aligning in any other competition mode that silos off these functions will force them into competition with the existing corporate social services and we already know where those roads lead.

      Those looking for ethical and healthy models of this sort of social media service might look at Manton Reece's micro.blog platform which provides a wide variety of these sorts of data services including data export and taking your domain name with you. If you're unhappy with his service, then it's relatively easy to export your data and move it to another host using WordPress or some other CMS. On the flip side, if you're unhappy with your host and CMS, then it's also easy to move over to micro.blog and continue along just as you had before. Best of all, micro.blog is offering lots of the newest and most innovative web standards including webmention notificatons which enable website-to-website conversations, micropub, and even portions of microsub not to mention some great customer service.

      I like to analogize the internet and social media to competition in the telecom/cellular phone space In America, you have a phone number (domain name) and can then have your choice of service provider (hosting), and a choice of telephone (CMS). Somehow instead of adopting a social media common carrier model, we have trapped ourselves inside of a model that doesn't provide the users any sort of real service or options. It's easy to imagine what it would be like to need your own AT&T account to talk to family on AT&T and a separate T-Mobile account to talk to your friends on T-Mobile because that's exactly what you're doing with social media despite the fact that you're all still using the same internet. Part of the draw was that services like Facebook appeared to be "free" and it's only years later that we're seeing the all too real costs emerge.

      This sort of competition and service provision also goes down to subsidiary layers of the ecosystem. Take for example the idea of writing interface and text editing. There are (paid) services like iA Writer, Ulysses, and Typora which people use to compose their writing. Many people use these specifically for writing blog posts. Companies can charge for these products because of their beauty, simplicity, and excellent user interfaces. Some of them either do or could support the micropub and IndieAuth web standards which allow their users the ability to log into their websites and directly post their saved content from the editor directly to their website. Sure there are also a dozen or so other free micropub clients that also allow this, but why not have and allow competition for beauty and ease of use? Let's say you like WordPress enough, but aren't a fan of the Gutenberg editor. Should you need to change to Drupal or some unfamiliar static site generator to exchange a better composing experience for a dramatically different and unfamiliar back end experience? No, you could simply change your editor client and continue on without missing a beat. Of course the opposite also applies—WordPress could split out Gutenberg as a standalone (possibly paid) micropub client and users could then easily use it to post to Drupal, micro.blog, or other CMSs that support the micropub spec, and many already do.

      Social media should be a service to and for people all the way down to its core. The more companies there are that provide these sorts of services means more competition which will also tend to lure people away from silos where they're trapped for lack of options. Further, if your friends are on services that interoperate and can cross communicate with standards like Webmention from site to site, you no longer need to be on Facebook because "that's where your friends and family all are."

      I have no doubt that we can all get to a healthier place online, but it's going to take companies and startups like Cohost to make better choices in how they frame their business models. Co-ops and non-profits can help here too. I can easily see a co-op adding webmention to their Mastodon site to allow users to see and moderate their own interactions instead of forcing local or global timelines on their constituencies. Perhaps Garon didn't think Webmention was a fit for Mastodon, but this doesn't mean that others couldn't support it. I personally think that Darius Kazemi's Hometown fork of Mastodon which allows "local only" posting a fabulous little innovation while still allowing interaction with a wider readership, including me who reads him in a microsub enabled social reader. Perhaps someone forks Mastodon to use as a social feed reader, but builds in micropub so that instead of posting the reply to a Mastodon account, it's posted to one's IndieWeb capable website which sends a webmention notification to the original post? Opening up competition this way makes lots of new avenues for every day social tools.

      Continuing the same old siloing of our data and online connections is not the way forward. We'll see who stands by their ethics and morals by serving people's interests and not the advertising industry.

  4. Jun 2022
    1. Get a copy of Critical Digital Pedagogy: A Collection

      I can't help but wonder at the direct link here to Amazon with an affiliate link. I won't fault them completely for it, but for a site that is so critical of the ills of educational technology, and care for their students and community, the exposure to surveillance capitalism expressed here seems to go beyond their own pale. I would have expected more care here.

      Surely there are other platforms that this volume is available from?

  5. May 2022
    1. The ad lists various data that WhatsApp doesn’t collect or share. Allaying data collection concerns by listing data not collected is misleading. WhatsApp doesn’t collect hair samples or retinal scans either; not collecting that information doesn’t mean it respects privacy because it doesn’t change the information WhatsApp does collect.

      An important logical point. Listing what they don't keep isn't as good as saying what they actually do with one's data.

    1. The next time someone tells you “If you’re not paying for the product, you’re the product,” remember this. These farmers weren’t getting free, ad-supported tractors. Deere charges six figures for a tractor. But the farmers were still the product. The thing that determines whether you’re the product isn’t whether you’re paying for the product: it’s whether market power and regulatory forbearance allow the company to get away with selling you.

      Nuanced "If you're not paying for the product, you're the product"

      Is your demographic and/or activity data being sold? Then you are still the product even if you are paying for something.

      I worry about things like Google Workspace sometimes. Am I paying enough for the product to cover the cost of supplying the product to me, or is Google having to raise additional revenue to cover the cost of serving me? Is Google raising additional revenue even though they don't have to in order to cover my cost?

    1. We've had three things happen simultaneously: we've moved from an open web where people start lots of small projects to one where it really feels like if you're not on a Facebook or a YouTube, you're not going to reach a billion users, and at that point, why is it worth doing this? Second, we've developed a financial model of surveillance capitalism, where the default model for all of these tools is we're going to collect as much information as we can about you and monetize your attention. Then we've developed a model for financing these, which is venture capital, where we basically say it is your job to grow as quickly as possible, to get to the point where you have a near monopoly on a space and you can charge monopoly rents. Get rid of two aspects of that equation and things are quite different.

      How We Got Here: Concentration of Reach, Surveillance Capitalism, and Venture Capital

      These three things combined drove the internet's trajectory. Without these three components, we wouldn't have seen the concentration of private social spaces and the problems that came with them.

  6. Mar 2022
    1. Refinement is a social process: New ideas are conceived of by individuals, and then they are refined through reviews from knowledgeable peers and mentors.

      Refinement is a social process. Sadly it can also be accelerated, often negatively, by unintended socio-economic forces.

      The dominance and ills created by surveillance capitalism within social media is one such result driven by capitalism.

  7. Feb 2022
    1. Stay at the forefront of educational innovation

      What about a standard of care for students?

      Bragging about students not knowing how the surveillance technology works is unethical.<br><br>Students using accessibility software or open educational resources shouldn't be punished for accidentally avoiding surveillance. pic.twitter.com/Uv7fiAm0a3

      — Ian Linkletter (@Linkletter) February 22, 2022
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      #annotation https://t.co/wVemEk2yao

      — Remi Kalir (@remikalir) February 23, 2022
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    1. Preventing cheating during remote test-taking:https://pluralistic.net/2020/10/17/proctorio-v-linkletter/#proctorioSpying on work-from-home employees:https://pluralistic.net/2020/07/01/bossware/#bosswareSpying on students and their families:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robbins_v._Lower_Merion_School_DistrictRepossessing Teslas:https://tiremeetsroad.com/2021/03/18/tesla-allegedly-remotely-unlocks-model-3-owners-car-uses-smart-summon-to-help-repo-agent/Disabling cars after a missed payment:https://edition.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/wayoflife/04/17/aa.bills.shut.engine.down/index.htmlForcing you to buy official printer ink:https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/11/ink-stained-wretches-battle-soul-digital-freedom-taking-place-inside-your-printerSpying on people who lease laptops:https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2012/09/ftc-halts-computer-spyingBricking gear the manufacturer doesn’t want to support anymore:https://memex.craphound.com/2016/04/05/google-reaches-into-customers-homes-and-bricks-their-gadgets/

      This is some really troubling developments for all first world people, especially educators

  8. Dec 2021
    1. Yet the existence of an independent and goodwill-based web is endangered : threatened by the never-ending technology race which makes the websites more difficult and expensive to set up, by the overwhelming commercial advertising pressure, and soon by dissymetric networks, Network Computers, proprietary networks, broadcasting, all aiming at the transformation of the citizen into a basic consumer.

      An early notice of the rise of consumerism on the web and potentially prefiguring the rise of surveillance capitalism.

  9. Nov 2021
    1. I think of the Kindle and what enormous potential that browser had to change our relationship with the internet, to push it towards a web that you read (instead of one that tries so very hard to read you).

      I love the phrase "a web that your read instead of one that tries so very hard to read you."

  10. Oct 2021
  11. Sep 2021
    1. You might be looking for a gift for a friend, doing research for a project, trying to learn other perspectives — they filter all data through the lens of capitalism and how they can sell you more things. That’s no replacement for human connection, or expertise a person has that could help you leap to things you didn’t know to look for.
    1. Are women generally more interested in other social causes besides online surveillance and the negative cultural impacts of social media companies?

      Most of the advanced researchers I seen on these topics are almost all women: Safiya Umoja Noble, Meredith Broussard, Ruha Benjamin, Cathy O'Neil, Shoshana Zuboff, Joan Donovan, danah boyd,Tressie McMillan Cottom, to name but a few.

      The tougher part is that they are all fighting against problems created primarily by privileged, cis-gender, white men.

    1. Kevin Marks talks about the bridging of new people into one's in-group by Twitter's retweet functionality from a positive perspective.

      He doesn't foresee the deleterious effects of algorithms for engagement doing just the opposite of increasing the volume of noise based on one's in-group hating and interacting with "bad" content in the other direction. Some of these effects may also be bad from a slow brainwashing perspective if not protected for.

  12. Aug 2021
    1. Building on platforms' stores of user-generated content, competing middleware services could offer feeds curated according to alternate ranking, labeling, or content-moderation rules.

      Already I can see too many companies relying on artificial intelligence to sort and filter this material and it has the ability to cause even worse nth degree level problems.

      Allowing the end user to easily control the content curation and filtering will be absolutely necessary, and even then, customer desire to do this will likely loose out to the automaticity of AI. Customer laziness will likely win the day on this, so the design around it must be robust.

  13. Jul 2021
    1. In April 2000, Clinton hosted a celebration called the White House Conference on the New Economy. Earnest purpose mingled with self-congratulation; virtue and success high-fived—the distinctive atmosphere of Smart America. At one point Clinton informed the participants that Congress was about to pass a bill to establish permanent trade relations with China, which would make both countries more prosperous and China more free. “I believe the computer and the internet give us a chance to move more people out of poverty more quickly than at any time in all of human history,” he exulted.

      This is a solid example of the sort of rose colored glasses too many had for technology in the early 2000s.

      Was this instance just before the tech bubble collapsed too?

      What was the state of surveillance capitalism at this point?

    1. If this past year-and-change has taught us anything, it's how interconnected we all are — a bat coughs and the world gets sick. Vaccines aside, our greatest weapon for defeating Covid-19 has been the mask, an accessory I'd formerly appreciated only a symbol: masks make secret, masks hide, masks cover, in protests as in pandemics. The social value of the mask has been made clear: they're not deceptive so much as protective, of ourselves and of others too. Masking is a mutual responsibility, a symbol of common identity founded in a common hope. 

      The idea of a bat coughing and infecting the world is a powerful one in relation to our interconnectedness.

      I'm enamored of how he transitions this from the pandemic and masking for protection against virus to using masks as a symbol for protecting ourselves, our data, and our identity in a surveillance state.

    2. The intimate linking of users' online personas with their offline legal identity was an iniquitous squandering of liberty and technology that has resulted in today's atmosphere of accountability for the citizen and impunity for the state. Gone were the days of self-reinvention, imagination, and flexibility, and a new era emerged — a new eternal era — where our pasts were held against us. Forever.

      Even Heraclitus knew that one couldn't stand in the same river twice.

    1. i feel for for tool builders that are serious about building useful software interoperability can actually be a huge 00:45:22 spoon uh to their success um it'll make easier to acquire users it will make it easier to help users embed your own tool in their workflows um you may be also losing some users but 00:45:34 that's okay i guess because it'll create sustainable pressure to you for you to focus on an audience well and build really really useful services for them and if you do that they also won't leave as easily

      I agree. I think companies that allow their users to take their data and run when they want to just create trust. Gone are the days when users automatically thought companies had their best interests at heart, as compared with current-day surveillance capitalists.

    1. Forty years ago, Michel Foucault observed in a footnote that, curiously, historians had neglected the invention of the index card. The book was Discipline and Punish, which explores the relationship between knowledge and power. The index card was a turning point, Foucault believed, in the relationship between power and technology.

      This piece definitely makes an interesting point about the use of index cards (a knowledge management tool) and power.

      Things have only accelerated dramatically with the rise of computers and the creation of data lakes and the leverage of power over people by Facebook, Google, Amazon, et al.

    1. Against Canvas

      I love that he uses this print of Pablo Picasso's Don Quixote to visually underline this post in which he must feel as if he's "tilting at windmills".

    2. All humanities courses are second-class citizens in the ed-tech world.

      And worse, typically humans are third-class citizens in the ed-tech world.

  14. Jun 2021
    1. <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>KevinMarks</span> in #indieweb 2021-06-25 (<time class='dt-published'>06/26/2021 01:52:39</time>)</cite></small>

      IndieWeb + Welsh finally comes in handy! The Cwtch service Kevin Marks mentioned is the the Welsh word for "hug" or "cuddle" and cleverly has a heart shaped Celtic design for their logo. Kind of cute when you think about it. And speaking of opaque ids, if they're using a new protocol I hope they call it Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch....

    1. The idea that our minds should operate as high-speed data-processing machines is not only built into the workings of the Internet, it is the network’s reigning business model as well. The faster we surf across the Web—the more links we click and pages we view—the more opportunities Google and other companies gain to collect information about us and to feed us advertisements. Most of the proprietors of the commercial Internet have a financial stake in collecting the crumbs of data we leave behind as we flit from link to link—the more crumbs, the better. The last thing these companies want is to encourage leisurely reading or slow, concentrated thought. It’s in their economic interest to drive us to distraction.

      Here it is in July 2008, Nicholas Carr has essentially specified and created a small warning bell about the surveillance capitalism we've been experiencing for the past 13 years. He's also put a bright yellow highlight on the method by which they would do it.

      What are other early surveillance capitalism warning sources from this period?

  15. May 2021
    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. To change incentives so that personal data is treated with appropriate care, we need criminal penalties for the Facebook executives who left vulnerable half a billion people’s personal data, unleashing a lifetime of phishing attacks, and who now point to an FTC deal indemnifying them from liability because our phone numbers and unchangeable dates of birth are “old” data.

      We definitely need penalties and regulation to fix our problems.

  16. Apr 2021
    1. The open RSS standard has provided immense value to the growth of the podcasting ecosystem over the past few decades.

      Why do I get the sinking feeling that the remainder of this article will be maniacally saying, "and all of that ends today!"

    2. We also believe that in order to democratize audio and achieve Spotify’s mission of enabling a million creators to live off of their art, we must work to enable greater choice for creators. This choice becomes increasingly important as audio becomes even easier to create and share.

      Dear Anchor/Spotify, please remember that democratize DOES NOT equal surveillance capitalism. In fact, Facebook and others have shown that doing what you're probably currently planning for the podcasting space will most likely work against democracy.

    3. Thus, the creative freedom of creators is limited.

      And thus draconian methods for making the distribution unnecessarily complicated, siloed, surveillance capitalized, and over-monitized beyond all comprehension are beyond the reach of one or two for profit companies who want to own the entire market like monopolistic giants are similarly limited. (But let's just stick with the creators we're pretending to champion, shall we?)

    1. So on a blindingly sunny day in October 2019, I met with Omar Seyal, who runs Pinterest’s core product. I said, in a polite way, that Pinterest had become the bane of my online existence.“We call this the miscarriage problem,” Seyal said, almost as soon as I sat down and cracked open my laptop. I may have flinched. Seyal’s role at Pinterest doesn’t encompass ads, but he attempted to explain why the internet kept showing me wedding content. “I view this as a version of the bias-of-the-majority problem. Most people who start wedding planning are buying expensive things, so there are a lot of expensive ad bids coming in for them. And most people who start wedding planning finish it,” he said. Similarly, most Pinterest users who use the app to search for nursery decor end up using the nursery. When you have a negative experience, you’re part of the minority, Seyal said.

      What a gruesome name for an all-too-frequent internet problem: miscarriage problem

  17. Mar 2021
    1. The scholars Nick Couldry and Ulises Mejias have called it “data colonialism,” a term that reflects our inability to stop our data from being unwittingly extracted.

      I've not run across data colonialism before.

  18. Feb 2021
    1. There is only one way to “play” Twitter, and the only real gain is that “No one is learning anything, except to remain connected to the machine.” 

      Ik vraag me af of dat echt zo is. Twitter lijkt meer en meer de plek te worden om je eigen media op te bouwen en het eigen spel te spelen. Er zijn meerdere manieren om het spel te spelen. Toch?

    2. The tech takeover corresponds with shrinking possibilities. This evolution has also seen the rise of a seeming aesthetic paradox. Minimalist design reigns now that the corporations have taken over the net. Long seen as anti-consumerist, Minimalism has now become a coded signal for luxury and control. The less control we have over our virtual spaces, the less time we spend considering our relationships with them. 

      Interessante laatste zin. Hoe minder we eigen controle hebben, zeggenschap, agency, hoe minder we ons bezighouden met de aard van de relatie. Die relatie kan verschillende vormen hebben.

    1. identity theft

      Saw this while scrolling through quickly. Since I can't meta highlight another hypothesis annotation

      identity theft

      I hate this term. Banks use it to blame the victims for their failure to authenticate people properly. I wish we had another term. —via > mcr314 Aug 29, 2020 (Public) on "How to Destroy ‘Surveillance C…" (onezero.medium.com)

      This is a fantastic observation and something that isn't often noticed. Victim blaming while simultaneously passing the buck is particularly harmful. Corporations should be held to a much higher standard of care. If corporations are treated as people in the legal system, then they should be held to the same standards.

    2. <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Cory Doctorow</span> in Pluralistic: 16 Feb 2021 – Pluralistic: Daily links (<time class='dt-published'>02/25/2021 12:20:24</time>)</cite></small>

      It's interesting to note that there are already two other people who have used Hypothes and their page note functionality to tag this article as to read, one with (to read) and another with (TODO-read).

    1. This is just one study, of course, and these are complicated social realities. I think it is fair to say that our pundits and social critics can no longer make the easy assumption that the web and the blogosphere are echo-chamber amplifiers. But whether or not this study proves to be accurate, one thing is certain. The force that enables these unlikely encounters between people of different persuasions, the force that makes the web a space of serendipity and discovery, is precisely the open, combinatorial, connective nature of the medium. So when we choose to take our text out of that medium, when we keep our words from being copied, linked, indexed, that’s a choice with real civic consequences that are not to be taken lightly.

      These words certainly didn't take into account the focusing factor that social media algorithms based on surveillance capitalism and attention seeking clicks and engagement would inflict in the coming decade.

    1. A broad overview of the original web and where we are today. Includes an outline of three business models that don't include advertising including:

      • Passion projects
      • Donation-based sites
      • Subscription-based sites
  19. Jan 2021
    1. Recently, WhatsApp updated its privacy policy to allow sharing data with its parent, Facebook. Users who agreed to use WhatsApp under its previous privacy policy had two options: agree to the new policy or be unable to use WhatsApp again. The WhatsApp privacy policy update is a classic bait-and-switch: WhatsApp lured users in with a sleek interface and the impression of privacy, domesticated them to remove their autonomy to migrate, and then backtracked on its previous commitment to privacy with minimal consequence. Each step in this process enabled the next; had user domestication not taken place, it would be easy for most users to switch away with minimal friction.

      Definitely a dark pattern that has been replicated many times.

  20. Dec 2020
    1. The company’s early mission was to “give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” Instead, it took the concept of “community” and sapped it of all moral meaning. The rise of QAnon, for example, is one of the social web’s logical conclusions. That’s because Facebook—along with Google and YouTube—is perfect for amplifying and spreading disinformation at lightning speed to global audiences. Facebook is an agent of government propaganda, targeted harassment, terrorist recruitment, emotional manipulation, and genocide—a world-historic weapon that lives not underground, but in a Disneyland-inspired campus in Menlo Park, California.

      The original goal with a bit of moderation may have worked. Regression to the mean forces it to a bad place, but when you algorithmically accelerate things toward our bases desires, you make it orders of magnitude worse.

      This should be though of as pure social capitalism. We need the moderating force of government regulation to dampen our worst instincts, much the way the United State's mixed economy works (or at least used to work, as it seems that raw capitalism is destroying the United States too).

  21. Nov 2020
    1. surveillance capitalism.

      I recommend to link to the book where its author, Shoshana Zuboff, has coined the term.

      The irony right now is that you're linking to an Amazon version of Zuboff's book; Amazon is currently one of the top-five surveillance-capitalist companies in the tech world.

      I would also consider linking to the Wikipedia page for the term.

    1. In another interview, this time by John Laidler of the Harvard Gazette (March 2019), Zuboff expanded on this: I define surveillance capitalism as the unilateral claiming of private human experience as free raw material for translation into behavioral data. These data are then computed and packaged as prediction products and sold into behavioral futures markets

      Zuboff's definition of Surveillance Capitalism

    1. But as long as the most important measure of success is short-term profit, doing things that help strengthen communities will fall by the wayside. Surveillance, which allows individually targeted advertising, will be prioritized over user privacy. Outrage, which drives engagement, will be prioritized over feelings of belonging. And corporate secrecy, which allows Facebook to evade both regulators and its users, will be prioritized over societal oversight.

      Schneier is saying here that as long as the incentives are still pointing in the direction of short-term profit, privacy will be neglected.

      Surveillance, which allows for targeted advertising will win out over user privacy. Outrage, will be prioritized over more wholesome feelings. Corporate secrecy will allow Facebook to evade regulators and its users.

  22. Oct 2020
    1. It would allow end users to determine their own tolerances for different types of speech but make it much easier for most people to avoid the most problematic speech, without silencing anyone entirely or having the platforms themselves make the decisions about who is allowed to speak.

      But platforms are making huge decisions about who is allowed to speak. While they're generally allowing everyone to have a voice, they're also very subtly privileging many voices over others. While they're providing space for even the least among us to have a voice, they're making far too many of the worst and most powerful among us logarithmic-ally louder.

      It's not broadly obvious, but their algorithms are plainly handing massive megaphones to people who society broadly thinks shouldn't have a voice at all. These megaphones come in the algorithmic amplification of fringe ideas which accelerate them into the broader public discourse toward the aim of these platforms getting more engagement and therefore more eyeballs for their advertising and surveillance capitalism ends.

      The issue we ought to be looking at is the dynamic range between people and the messages they're able to send through social platforms.

      We could also analogize this to the voting situation in the United States. When we disadvantage the poor, disabled, differently abled, or marginalized people from voting while simultaneously giving the uber-rich outsized influence because of what they're able to buy, we're imposing the same sorts of problems. Social media is just able to do this at an even larger scale and magnify the effects to make their harms more obvious.

      If I follow 5,000 people on social media and one of them is a racist-policy-supporting, white nationalist president, those messages will get drowned out because I can only consume so much content. But when the algorithm consistently pushes that content to the top of my feed and attention, it is only going to accelerate it and create more harm. If I get a linear presentation of the content, then I'd have to actively search that content out for it to cause me that sort of harm.

    1. The conundrum isn’t just that videos questioning the moon landing or the efficacy of vaccines are on YouTube. The massive “library,” generated by users with little editorial oversight, is bound to have untrue nonsense. Instead, YouTube’s problem is that it allows the nonsense to flourish. And, in some cases, through its powerful artificial intelligence system, it even provides the fuel that lets it spread.#lazy-img-336042387:before{padding-top:66.68334167083543%;}

      This is a great summation of the issue.

    1. Legislation to stem the tide of Big Tech companies' abuses, and laws—such as a national consumer privacy bill, an interoperability bill, or a bill making firms liable for data-breaches—would go a long way toward improving the lives of the Internet users held hostage inside the companies' walled gardens. But far more important than fixing Big Tech is fixing the Internet: restoring the kind of dynamism that made tech firms responsive to their users for fear of losing them, restoring the dynamic that let tinkerers, co-ops, and nonprofits give every person the power of technological self-determination.
  23. Sep 2020
    1. Facebook ignored or was slow to act on evidence that fake accounts on its platform have been undermining elections and political affairs around the world, according to an explosive memo sent by a recently fired Facebook employee and obtained by BuzzFeed News.The 6,600-word memo, written by former Facebook data scientist Sophie Zhang, is filled with concrete examples of heads of government and political parties in Azerbaijan and Honduras using fake accounts or misrepresenting themselves to sway public opinion. In countries including India, Ukraine, Spain, Brazil, Bolivia, and Ecuador, she found evidence of coordinated campaigns of varying sizes to boost or hinder political candidates or outcomes, though she did not always conclude who was behind them.
  24. Aug 2020
    1. The mass surveillance and factory farming of human beings on a global scale is the business model of people farmers like Facebook and Google. It is the primary driver of the socioeconomic system we call surveillance capitalism.
    1. Facebook has apologized to its users and advertisers for being forced to respect people’s privacy in an upcoming update to Apple’s mobile operating system – and promised it will do its best to invade their privacy on other platforms.

      Sometimes I forget how funny The Register can be. This is terrific.

    1. Facebook is warning developers that privacy changes in an upcoming iOS update will severely curtail its ability to track users' activity across the entire Internet and app ecosystem and prevent the social media platform from serving targeted ads to users inside other, non-Facebook apps on iPhones.

      I fail to see anything bad about this.

  25. Jul 2020
    1. But the business model that we now call surveillance capitalism put paid to that, which is why you should never post anything on Facebook without being prepared to face the algorithmic consequences.

      I'm reminded a bit of the season 3 episode of Breaking Bad where Jesse Pinkman invites his drug dealing pals to a Narcotics Anonymous-type meeting so that they can target their meth sales. Fortunately the two low lifes had more morality and compassion than Facebook can manage.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20kpzC3sckQ

    1. a new kind of power

      This is what Shoshana Zuboff sustains in The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: a new kind of power which can, at first, be apprehended through Marx’s lenses; but as a new form of capitalism, it <mark>“cannot be reduced to known harms—monopoly, privacy—and therefore do not easily yield to known forms of combat.”</mark>

      It is <mark>“a new form of capitalism on its own terms and in its own words”</mark> which therefore requires new conceptual frameworks to be understood, negotiated.

    2. One of these semiotizing processes is the extraction, interpretation and reintegration of web data from and into human subjectivities.

      Machine automation becomes another “subjectivity” or “agentivity”—an influential one, because it is the one filtering and pushing content to humans.

      The means of this automated subjectivity is feeding data capitalism: more content, more interaction, more behavioral data produced by the users—data which is then captured (“dispossessed”), extracted, and transformed into prediction services, which render human behavior predictable, and therefore monetizable (Shoshana Zuboff, The Age of Surviellance Capitalism, 2019).

  26. Jun 2020
    1. One of the new tools debuted by Facebook allows administrators to remove and block certain trending topics among employees. The presentation discussed the “benefits” of “content control.” And it offered one example of a topic employers might find it useful to blacklist: the word “unionize.”

      Imagine your employer looking over your shoulder constantly.

      Imagine that you're surveilled not only in regard to what you produce, but to what you—if you're an office worker—tap our in chats to colleagues.

      This is what Facebook does and it's not very different to what China has created with their Social Credit System.

      This is Orwellian.

  27. May 2020
    1. What is more frightening than being merely watched, though, is being controlled. When Facebook can know us better than our parents with only 150 likes, and better than our spouses with 300 likes, the world appears quite predictable, both for governments and for businesses. And predictability means control.

      "Predictability means control"

  28. Apr 2020
    1. Thousands of enterprises around the world have done exhaustive security reviews of our user, network, and data center layers and confidently selected Zoom for complete deployment. 

      This doesn't really account for the fact that Zoom have committed some atrociously heinous acts, such as (and not limited to):

  29. Mar 2020
    1. This is known as transport encryption, which is different from end-to-end encryption because the Zoom service itself can access the unencrypted video and audio content of Zoom meetings. So when you have a Zoom meeting, the video and audio content will stay private from anyone spying on your Wi-Fi, but it won’t stay private from the company.
    2. But despite this misleading marketing, the service actually does not support end-to-end encryption for video and audio content, at least as the term is commonly understood. Instead it offers what is usually called transport encryption, explained further below
    1. Mastercard acquired NuData Security in 2017 and it has been making advances in biometric identification.
    2. The payment provider told MarketWatch that everyone has a unique walk, and it is investigating innovative behavioral biometrics such as gait, face, heartbeat and veins for cutting edge payment systems of the future.

      This is a true invasion into people's lives.

      Remember: this is a credit-card company. We use them to pay for stuff. They shouldn't know what we look like, how we walk, how our hearts beat, nor how our 'vein technology' works.

  30. Feb 2020
    1. Last year, Facebook said it would stop listening to voice notes in messenger to improve its speech recognition technology. Now, the company is starting a new program where it will explicitly ask you to submit your recordings, and earn money in return.

      Given Facebook's history with things like breaking laws that end up with them paying billions of USD in damages (even though it's a joke), sold ads to people who explicitly want to target people who hate jews, and have spent millions of USD every year solely on lobbyism, don't sell your personal experiences and behaviours to them.

      Facebook is nefarious and psychopathic.

    1. I suspect that Wacom doesn’t really think that it’s acceptable to record the name of every application I open on my personal laptop. I suspect that this is why their privacy policy doesn’t really admit that this is what that they do.
  31. Jan 2020
    1. A Microsoft programme to transcribe and vet audio from Skype and Cortana, its voice assistant, ran for years with “no security measures”, according to a former contractor who says he reviewed thousands of potentially sensitive recordings on his personal laptop from his home in Beijing over the two years he worked for the company.

      Wonderful. This, combined with the fact that Skype users can—fairly easily—find out which contacts another person has, is horrifying.

      Then again, most people know that Microsoft have colluded with American authorities to divulge chat/phone history for a long time, right?

  32. Dec 2019
    1. We are barrelling toward a country with 350 million serfs serving 3 million lords. We attempt to pacify the serfs with more powerful phones, bigger TVs, great original scripted television, and Mandalorian action figures delivered to your doorstep within the hour. The delivery guy might be forced to relieve himself in your bushes if not for the cameras his boss installed on every porch.
    1. Google found 1,494 device identifiers in SensorVault, sending them to the ATF to comb through. In terms of numbers, that’s unprecedented for this form of search. It illustrates how Google can pinpoint a large number of mobile phones in a brief period of time and hand over that information to the government
  33. Nov 2019
    1. half of iPhone users don’t know there’s a unique ID on their phone (called an IDFA, for “identifier for advertisers”) tracking their app activity and sending it to third-party advertisers by default.
    1. Google has confirmed that it partnered with health heavyweight Ascension, a Catholic health care system based in St. Louis that operates across 21 states and the District of Columbia.

      What happened to 'thou shalt not steal'?

    1. Found a @facebook #security & #privacy issue. When the app is open it actively uses the camera. I found a bug in the app that lets you see the camera open behind your feed.

      So, Facebook uses your camera even while not active.

    1. Speaking with MIT Technology Review, Rohit Prasad, Alexa’s head scientist, has now revealed further details about where Alexa is headed next. The crux of the plan is for the voice assistant to move from passive to proactive interactions. Rather than wait for and respond to requests, Alexa will anticipate what the user might want. The idea is to turn Alexa into an omnipresent companion that actively shapes and orchestrates your life. This will require Alexa to get to know you better than ever before.

      This is some next-level onslaught.

    1. Somewhere in a cavernous, evaporative cooled datacenter, one of millions of blinking Facebook servers took our credentials, used them to authenticate to our private email account, and tried to pull information about all of our contacts. After clicking Continue, we were dumped into the Facebook home page, email successfully “confirmed,” and our privacy thoroughly violated.
    1. In 2013, Facebook began offering a “secure” VPN app, Onavo Protect, as a way for users to supposedly protect their web activity from prying eyes. But Facebook simultaneously used Onavo to collect data from its users about their usage of competitors like Twitter. Last year, Apple banned Onavo from its App Store for violating its Terms of Service. Facebook then released a very similar program, now dubbed variously “Project Atlas” and “Facebook Research.” It used Apple’s enterprise app system, intended only for distributing internal corporate apps to employees, to continue offering the app to iOS users. When the news broke this week, Apple shut down the app and threw Facebook into some chaos when it (briefly) booted the company from its Enterprise Developer program altogether.
    1. If the apparatus of total surveillance that we have described here were deliberate, centralized, and explicit, a Big Brother machine toggling between cameras, it would demand revolt, and we could conceive of a life outside the totalitarian microscope.
    1. The FBI is currently collecting data about our faces, irises, walking patterns, and voices, permitting the government to pervasively identify, track, and monitor us. The agency can match or request a match of our faces against at least 640 million images of adults living in the U.S. And it is reportedly piloting Amazon’s flawed face recognition surveillance technology.

      FBI and Amazon are being sued because of surveillance of people living in the USA.

    1. Senior government officials in multiple U.S.-allied countries were targeted earlier this year with hacking software that used Facebook Inc’s (FB.O) WhatsApp to take over users’ phones, according to people familiar with the messaging company’s investigation.
  34. Oct 2019
    1. Per Bloomberg, which cited an memo from an anonymous Google staffer, employees discovered that the company was creating the new tool as a Chrome browser extension that would be installed on all employees’ systems and used to monitor their activities.

      From the Bloomberg article:

      Earlier this month, employees said they discovered that a team within the company was creating the new tool for the custom Google Chrome browser installed on all workers’ computers and used to search internal systems. The concerns were outlined in a memo written by a Google employee and reviewed by Bloomberg News and by three Google employees who requested anonymity because they aren’t authorized to talk to the press.

    1. A highly interesting article where a well-known company prefers blood money to allowing employees to talk about politics. This is capitalism at its core: all profit, no empathy.

    2. Meanwhile at Microsoft's GitHub, employees at both companies have objected to GitHub's business with ICE, not to mention Microsoft's government contracts. Employees at Amazon have also urged the company not to sell its facial recognition technology to police and the military.
    3. If you can see how people might respond to IBM, infamous for providing technology that helped the Nazis in World War II, saying, "Who has time to look into the source of this hard German currency?" you can imagine how GitLab's policy amendment has been received.
    1. there's still the issue of user IP addresses, which Tencent would see for those using devices with mainland China settings. That's a privacy concern, but its one among many given that other Chinese internet companies – ISPs, app providers, cloud service providers, and the like – can be assumed to collect that information and provide it to the Chinese surveillance state on demand.