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Privacy activists are winning fights with tech giants. Why does victory feel hollow? | Evgeny Morozov | The Guardian
www.theguardian.com
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Although this looks like someone looking for problems because of the apparent near-future success of "solutionism", some good points here: we need "an institution that will know what ... regulations to suspend (eg libraries and IPR) ... to fully leverage the potential inherent in digital technologies for the public good."Recent…

How Surveillance Advertising Seized Our Data and Hijacked the Web - The Reboot
thereboot.com
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Good history of the digital ad industry, from 3rd-party tracking cookies through to today's data-brokered behavioural advertising profiles:"Digital advertisers have steadily transformed the internet into a surveillance machine from which there is no escape... argue that ... universe of on demand digital content has created a crisis of at…

‘Belonging Is Stronger Than Facts’: The Age of Misinformation - The New York Times
www.nytimes.com
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"social and psychological forces that make people prone to sharing and believing misinformation ... are on the rise" - not so much created by bad actors, but exploited by them. Why?“cognitive and memory limitations, directional motivations to defend or support some group identity or existing belief, and messages from other people and pol…

Surfin’ USA | Vincent Bevins
thebaffler.com
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Interesting longread on " Why the internet remains a tool of American hegemony", pointing out that " The internet was built by the U.S. military at the height of the Cold War and privatized into corporate America at the peak of anglophone neoliberal hegemony."There was a moment of freedom, when there were "millions of diff…

Parler Makes Play for Conservatives Mad at Facebook, Twitter - WSJ
www.wsj.com
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Didn't know: "Prominent conservative donor Rebekah Mercer is among the company’s financial backers"Interesting point: one of the main reasons many are on FB/Twitter is to troll other people - will it be harder to get people to come back to an app where everyone agrees with them?

How Some Conservatives Have Switched to Parler, Rumble and Newsmax (FN)
www.nytimes.com
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Fleeting Note (FN): the creation of Fediverse-based alternatives might suddenly become an urgency.

Opinion | Facebook serves as an echo chamber, especially for conservatives. Blame its algorithm. - The Washington Post
www.washingtonpost.com

Summary of peer-reviewed research - “Understanding Echo Chambers and Filter Bubbles: The Impact of Social Media on Diversification and Partisan Shifts in News Consumption” - by its authors, who found:more time spent on Facebook, the more polarized their online news consumption becomes...Facebook usage is five times more polarizing for conservative…

Domestic v. foreign disinformation: A question of timing (US2020 Disinformation news, ed. 4)
medium.com
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There are two possible reasons why we are not talking as much about foreign interference. Both could be true. Only one is good news.

Moral outrage in the digital age (pdf)
static1.squarespace.com

After pointing out the evolutionary reasons for moral outrage's existence - to shame & punish wrongdoers - this 2017 Nature paper describes a psychological framework (triggering stimuli -> Responses -> Outcomes) for understanding how online social networks "change the expression of moral outrage and its social consequences?&quo;…

The Biggest Risk to This Election Is Not Russia. It’s Us. - The New York Times
www.nytimes.com
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"Americans must recognize that the United States is ripe for manipulation. With a month to go before Election Day, we are ripping ourselves apart."Covers ground covered earlier, but with an inside perspective from someone on the National Security Council 2017-2019: "Russian operatives wanted to weaken [Clinton] ... delighted when s…

David Carroll discovers Trump's 2016 psychographic profile of him
twitter.com

The current Trump campaign, on the record, said they didn't do #psychographic profiling. "Well, why do I have one in my file? It works as a suppression system.., to subvert the will of the people"

Revealed: Trump campaign strategy to deter millions of Black Americans from voting in 2016 – Channel 4 News
www.channel4.com
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"3.5 million Black Americans were categorised by Donald Trump’s campaign as ‘Deterrence’ – voters they wanted to stay home on election day."Part 1 of a Channel4 series on #DetteringDemocracy, analysing "data used by Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign... almost 200 million American voters... 5 terabytes of data... separated by…

Why the right-wing has a massive advantage on Facebook - POLITICO
www.politico.com
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"the right is better at connecting with people on a visceral level", according to Facebook, portraying themselves as a neutral mirror. Rightwing content resonates by "speaking to "an incredibly strong, primitive emotion" by touching on "nation, protection, the other, anger, fear.""This may be true, but it&#x…

Is Russian Meddling as Dangerous as We Think?  | The New Yorker
www.newyorker.com
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Literature note: “How to Lose the Information War,” ... on disinformation as a geopolitical strategy...Mueller report: I.R.A.-created groups and accounts reached tens of millions... the troll factory found “authentic, local voices,” to foment large-scale distrust in government and democracy... and managed to get into the heads of powerful politici…

China’s Artificial Intelligence Surveillance State Goes Global - The Atlantic
www.theatlantic.com
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Xi Jinping is using artificial intelligence to enhance his government’s totalitarian control... exporting ... to regimes around the globe... all-seeing digital system of social control... precog algorithms that identify potential dissenters in real time ... every person ... identified, instantly, by AI matching them to an ocean of personal data..…

How Facebook and Other Sites Manipulate Your Privacy Choices | WIRED
www.wired.com
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Privacy Zuckering... when “you are tricked into publicly sharing more information about yourself than you really intended to... Facebook... paid a $5 billion fine for making “deceptive claims about consumers’ ability to control the privacy of their personal data.” ... “dark patterns,” ... particularly insidious “when you’re deciding what privac…

How to talk someone out of bigotry with deep canvassing - Vox
www.vox.com
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to divert someone away from prejudice and toward greater acceptance of others ... “Deep canvassing,”... “giving them grace.”... to hear someone say something that can be hurtful, ... think about how to ... connect with them...have patience with them, ask them to reflect on their life, and listen... many communities have a call-out culture... conde…

The 2020 Election Will Be a War of Disinformation - The Atlantic
www.theatlantic.com
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The president’s reelection campaign ... multimillion-dollar ad blitz ... shaping Americans’ understanding of ... impeachment ... micro-targeted ads ... portraying Trump as a heroic reformer ... while Democrats plotted a coup... An alternate information ecosystem was taking shape ... I wanted to see it from the inside...I was surprised by the effec…

AI-Generated Text Is the Scariest Deepfake of All | WIRED
www.wired.com
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GPT-3... AI that can produce shockingly human-sounding (if at times surreal) sentences... imagine a future in which the vast majority of the written content ... is produced by machines... adjust, and adapt, to a new level of unreality ...video may turn out to be the easiest to detect ... Politicians will now be able to dismiss real, scandalous vid…

Opinion | The Future of Nonconformity
www.nytimes.com
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marginalization of those with radical critiques... poisoning both the right and the left ...resentment and victimhood spread across the American right — an intellectual inferiority complex combined with a moral superiority complex ... Thinking was no longer for understanding. Thinking was for belonging ... Sarah Palin and Donald Trump reintroduc…

Designing social platforms fit for the future
medium.com
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For the 6th episode of his Futurized podcast, Trond Undheim asked me why surveillance capitalism inevitably leads to polarised, undemocratic and dysfunctional societies, and what we must do about it...If we don’t change course, in the future we will be less will informed, more polarised, massively manipulated, living in more corrupt and less democ…

Dataminr Helped Police Use Tweets To Surveil BLM Protests
theintercept.com
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LEVERAGING CLOSE TIES to Twitter... Dataminr helped law enforcement digitally monitor the [BLM] protests ... with the latest whereabouts and actions of demonstrators... essentially surveillance by U.S. law enforcement entities, contradicting its earlier assurances... siphoning vast amounts of social media data ... converting it into tidy police …

Stop Hate for Profit
www.stophateforprofit.org
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We are asking all businesses ... not advertise on Facebook's services in July.What would you do with $70 billion? We know what Facebook did. They  allowed  incitement  to  violence  against  protesters  fighting  for racial justice... named Breitbart News a “trusted news source” ... turned  a  blind  eye  to  blatant  voter  suppression ...…

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff
www.theguardian.com
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all recorded, rendered as data, processed, analysed, bought, bundled and resold like sub-prime mortgages...not some dystopian imagining of the future, but the present... the totality of information about our every thought, word and deed... traded for profit in new markets based on predicting our every need – or producing it... tech giants unilate…

We’re Not Polarized Enough | The New Republic
newrepublic.com
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Many of our political forebears pined for more polarization... fretted about the incoherence of their identities ... There were liberal Republicans ... opponents of civil rights and big government in the Democratic Party... 1976 ... Richard Nixon... proposed a universal health care ... created the Environmental Protection Agency... tighter i…

Attention Paid vs. Paying Attention in Pervasive Computing — MIT Media Lab
www.media.mit.edu
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in this Special Issue ... explore the twin demons relating to attention... unwanted attention paid to us ... versus our own attention being unwittingly diverted ... living in a Panopticon versus the specter of our personal cognitive resources being fragmented and deleteriously diverted by too many competing digital factions that exploit intimate k…

A tech exec says history will frown on Zuckerberg and co.
www.fastcompany.com

I put together my own cheat sheet to keep in my back pocket for heated conversations to come

Zuckerberg, Trump and the protests: Facebook’s muddled makeover | Financial Times
www.ft.com
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Facebook is wary of being drawn further into a political argument ahead ... divisive presidential election ... ... steer clear of fact-checking political advertisements... keen not to antagonise Mr Trump ... claiming that social media platforms are biased against Republican ... purely a business decision ... ubiquitous... it must always align with…

Opinion | Trump Is Staking Out His Own Universe of ‘Alternative Facts’ - The New York Times
www.nytimes.com
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In less than a year... weekly church-attending white Protestants convinced that Donald Trump was anointed by God to be president grew from 29.6 percent to 49.5 percent... Capitalizing on that devotion is integral to Trump’s re-election ...all-enveloping digital campaign website... campaign app... a self-contained, self-reinforcing arena where Trum…

What lessons haven’t we learned since 2016? Lesson 1: RAGE - Stand Up Republic
standuprepublic.com
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The rage-engage cycle is a key part of how malign narratives gain traction on social media... into traditional media... disinformation content is designed to be polarizing... exploits the business models of social media... pointing out that something is false and dangerous ... giving more oxygen to the fire... [Trump] tests and revises purposefull…

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