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Am I on the right Mastodon instance?
mathewlowry.medium.com
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My second post following my personal #twittermigration: "the other users on your instance create its collective intelligence — the nearest thing you have to a content discovery algorithm".Not that I like algorithms, but "Apart from hashtags, ,,, your server’s Local and Federated timelines [are your] primary discovery channels when y…

The Age of Social Media Is Ending
www.theatlantic.com
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"It’s never felt more plausible that the age of social media might end—and soon."Provocative article, looking at the past 20 years as social networking evolved into social media - as I put it back in 2016, the evolution from social media (social as adjective) to social media, where the emphasis is on the noun."A social network is an…

Twitter alternative: how Mastodon is designed to be “antiviral”
uxdesign.cc
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Mastodon is "subtly designed to reduce the huge, viral surges of attention we see on Twitter" and others, which have "deformed people’s behavior... coaxed people to constantly try to hack the attentional marketplace... incessantly making posts ... operatically theatrical... enrage ... [other] high-voltage reaction".Hence “antiv…

Hope for a Post-Musk Net. A federated future and suggestions for… | by Jeff Jarvis | Whither news? | Nov, 2022 | Medium
medium.com
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JJ "explore some of the opportunities afforded by the likes of Bluesky, Scuttlebutt, the Fediverse, and Indieweb — not to mention good, old, reliable RSS".Most of the mastodon tips I knew, except: "enable the advanced web interface (it’s like Tweetdeck)" - I didn't know that existed so moved to Tusky and spent my first wee…

Open-sourcing Twitter's algorithms is more complex than Musk implies
thenextweb.com
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"it's a start... Musk argued that disclosing what amplifies or downranks tweets would reduce the risk of “behind the scenes manipulation.” [but] algorithms alone offer limited insights" because it's not just an algorithm that defines what you see: it's a huge dataset - "content that enters the platform, each user’s p…

Now it’s easier to tailor Flipboard to your interests
www.fastcompany.com
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Another example of topic-based aggregation being better at avoiding the toxic effects of a socially-based newsfeed (cf Reddit).Flipboard's new feature lets them quickly specify the subjects they care most about from among its 30,000-plus topics... "Flipboard uses AI to classify the articles and videos it’s aggregating and weave them into…

Facebook Algorithm Promoted Posts Supporting Myanmar’s Military
time.com
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Facebook’s own recommendation algorithms have been inviting users to like pages that share pro-military propaganda that violates the platform’s rules... in 2018 the social media company admitted it could have done more to prevent incitement of violence in the run-up to a military campaign against the Rohingya Muslim minority ...hired more than 100…

Trump deplatforms himself
www.platformer.news
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Trump pulled the plug on his blog which, "On its last day... received just 1,500 shares or comments on Facebook and Twitter — a staggering drop for someone whose every tweet once garnered hundreds of thousands of reactions... Trump’s blog peaked at 159,000 social interactions ... on his blog’s first day." Downhill from day one.While his …

Platforms, Creative Communities, and the Need for a Radical Reimagining - The Reboot
thereboot.com
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Great piece on the implications for creators of the shift to algorithmically managed content platforms."Vine was an entirely new cultural platform ... Twitter had unwittingly enabled the creation of a true subculture... [but] didn’t know how to make money from it... in contrast... TikTok has prospered because it generally seems to understa…

Facebook Manipulated the News You See to Appease Republicans, Insiders Say – Mother Jones
www.motherjones.com
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When changing their Newsfeed algorithm, Facebook's tests found "a dramatic impact on the reach of right-wing “junk sites,”... [by] January 2018 a second iteration dialed up the harm to progressive-leaning news organizations instead... Mother Jones was singled out as one that would suffer... Daily Wire was identified as one that would be…

Facebook Quietly Suspended Political Group Recommendations Ahead Of The US Presidential Election
www.buzzfeednews.com
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"Facebook quietly stopped recommending that people join online groups dealing with political or social issues", and will "assess when to lift them afterwards, but they are temporary." This part of the Facebook's AI plays a key role in pushing "people down a path of radicalization... groups reinforce like-minded views …

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…

Facebook Stymied Traffic to Left-Leaning News Outlets: Report
gizmodo.com

Facebook's 2017 newsfeed algorithm tweak intentionally reduced traffic to left-leaning outlets " to avoid adding fuel to critics’ argument that the platform has an anti-conservative bias"... and overcorrected."Mother Jones saw a roughly $400,000 drop in the site’s annual revenue"

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…

As election looms, a network of mysterious ‘pink slime’ local news outlets nearly triples in size - Columbia Journalism Review
www.cjr.org
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pink slime: shadowy, politically backed “local news websites” designed to promote partisan talking points and collect user data... a network of 450 intricately linked sites ID's in Dec 2019 is now 1200 ...largest 2 networks: 90+% are algorithmically generated stories from publicly available data sets or by repurposing legitimate sources - the…

How social media platforms could flatten the curve of dangerous misinformation.
slate.com
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Facebook is piloting a circuit breaker to stop viral spread of posts... might staunch the flow of dangerous incitement and misinformation ... America’s Frontline Doctors... pushed hydroxychloroquine ... Funded with dark money, promoted by influential accounts, advanced by algorithmic recommendations, and shared in large private Facebook groups... …

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..…

Motivated Reasoning and Allegiance Bias, Explained | Elemental
elemental.medium.com
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counties that had voted for Donald Trump in 2016 exhibited 14% less physical distancing... higher Covid-19 infection and fatality growth rates ...the hormone oxytocin... promotes bonding... plays a role in trust... When participants trusted and felt trusted, oxytocin levels ... jumped... Trust just feels good... But risky if we give it to the w…

Facebook removes 3 white supremacist band pages — leaves 117 others
thenextweb.com
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a new Al Jazeera investigation that identified 120 Facebook pages — with a total of over 800,000 likes ... Facebook frequently talks up its algorithm and moderators for catching a lot of hateful content — but ... some of these pages have been online for a decade.

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…

The most important technology critic in the world was tired of knowledge based on clicks. So he built an antidote - The Correspondent
thecorrespondent.com
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The Syllabus collects the best articles, podcasts and videos about the political, economic and social consequences of the coronavirus pandemic on a daily basis...world’s foremost technology critic... scans 100 pages per minute, 12 books in an hour, 100 in one day... can determine the relevance of every book in the world... all information and know…

Yuval Noah Harari on what 2050 has in store for humankind | WIRED UK
www.wired.co.uk
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the best skill to teach children is reinvention... the author of Sapiens reveals what 2050 has in store for humankind...once technology enables us to engineer bodies, brains and minds... We don’t know what people will do for a living, we don’t know how armies or bureaucracies will function...too many schools focus on cramming information. In the p…

The truth behind filter bubbles: Bursting some myths | Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism
reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk
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echo chambers and filter bubbles are slightly different... echo chambers could be a result of filtering or ... other processes, but filter bubbles have to be the result of algorithmic filtering...people main source of news roughly equal ... online and television... TV is more likely... people over 45. People under 45 are more likely to get their n…

We have met the problem. Guess who?
medium.com
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In all the urgent debate about regulating, investigating, and even breaking up internet companies, we have lost sight of the problem we are trying to confront: not technology but instead human behaviour on it... in their search for someone to blame, government outsource fault and responsibility, egged on by media (whose schadenfreude constitutes …

Change My View - You Are Not So Smart
soundcloud.com
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reddit community called Change My View ... a ready-made natural experiment ... feed it into programs ... to understand the back-and-forth between human beings ... discovered two things: what kind of arguments are most likely to change people’s minds, and what kinds of minds are most likely to be changed. https://www.reddit.com/r/changemyview/ : po…

Understanding Media and Information Quality in an Age of Artificial Intelligence, Automation…
medium.com
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Technology has altered the foundations of news and media, and as trust in media continues to decline, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and algorithms have come to play a critical role not only as threats to the integrity and quality of media, but also as a source of potential solutions. The core threats to information quality associated …

‘I made Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool’: meet the data war whistleblower
www.theguardian.com
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Wylie ... the gay Canadian vegan who somehow ended up creating “Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare mindfuck tool”.... In 2014 Steve Bannon ... was Wylie’s boss. And Robert Mercer... Republican donor, was Cambridge Analytica’s investor... to bring big data and social media to an established military methodology – “information operations” – then t…

Could New York City's AI Transparency Bill Be a Model for the Country?
www.govtech.com
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algorithmic accountability bill... a task force that will monitor the fairness and validity of algorithms used by municipal agencies... include groups and individuals that are affected by algorithms, technology ethicists, city department heads using AI, technology companies as well as legal experts... law enforcement and ... technology companies…

26/02/2018
Opinion | How to Monitor Fake News - The New York Times
mobile.nytimes.com
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Facebook and Twitter... algorithms ... are off limits ... almost impossible to monitor... make millions of what amount to editorial decisions, pumping out content without anyone fully understanding what is happening... opaque and slow to be discovered... government should require social media platforms ... open application programming interface.…

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