A privacy war is raging inside the W3C - Protocol — The people, power and politics of tech
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Fascinating longread: "inside story of how the W3C ... became a key battleground in the global fight for web privacy", covering:how a few companies (browser engineers) traditionally dominate W3C (pre-vote) conversations,new & disruptive entrants to W3C working groups fighting to save existing ad-tech models following Google's la…

Facebook removes troll farm posing as African-American support for Donald Trump
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foreign pro-Trump troll farm was based in Romania... Facebook... didn’t see “clear evidence of financial motivation” or “clear links to known commercial actors...separate troll operation, tied to pro-Trump media organization Epoch Media Group, featured 303 Facebook accounts, 181 pages, 44 Facebook groups and 31 Instagram accounts... followed by mo…

Pro-Trump media launch attacks on student survivors of Florida school shooting
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a similar kind of rumor kept showing up... after each of the man-made crisis events — a conspiracy theory or 'alternative narrative' ... claimed it either didn't happen or that it was perpetrated by someone other than the current suspects... the role that botnets play in disseminating alternative narratives ... What's different about the Parkland …

Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online
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"Internet subcultures take advantage of the current media ecosystem to manipulate news frames, set agendas, and propagate ideas..." plus a lot more: it's a 100+page report

New research shows the internet is a swamp and the trolls have won | The Outline

there’s plenty of reasons why negativity abounds online... Incivility is a basic human instinct that’s encouraged by anonymity and exacerbated by inequality... anger helps drive participation... anyone who benefits from trolling — whether it’s platforms themselves or populist politicians — have little reason to improve the tone of online chatting…

Alphabet Has a New Tool to Weed Out 'Toxic' Online Comments
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"Perspective" ... for news websites and blogs to moderate online discussions with the help of artificial intelligence... reports how "toxic" a given comment is. It lets the website publisher, or even readers themselves, choose a "toxicity" threshold for comments that won't be displayed publicly... will start screening for off-topic comments or one…

I Helped Create the Milo Trolling Playbook—Stop Playing Right Into It | Observer
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my thinking was that one of the best ways to get young men to go see a movie was to tell them they should not be allowed to see it... ultimately sold millions of dollars worth of tickets, dvds and books... the exact playbook that right wing blogger Milo Yiannopoulos is running on his own cross-country trolling tour... Numerous leaders of the alt-r…

Apocalypse Whatever
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Shitposters, who are bound by nothing, set a rhetorical trap for their enemies, who tend to be bound by having an actual point. Attempts to analyze what shitposters are doing... reinforces their project by amplifying their signal... hitposters resemble the disengaged ironists ... Søren Kierkegaard discussed ... Stories ... are not descriptive of …

Facebook, Twitter, and Google are still failing to curb hate speech, EU says - The Verge
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Tech companies may face new legislation after struggling to comply with voluntary code of conduct... Under a code of conduct announced in May, Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Microsoft agreed to review and respond to “the majority” of hate speech complaints within 24 hours

Trolling for Trump: How Russia Is Trying to Destroy Our Democracy
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these efforts seek to produce a divided electorate and a president with no clear mandate to govern. The ultimate objective is to diminish and tarnish American democracy... We’ve monitored more than 7,000 social media accounts over the last 30 months and at times engaged directly with them. Trump isn’t the end of Russia’s social media and hacking …

Machine learning can fix Twitter, Facebook, and maybe even America
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Perfectly open communities always go sour. You need filters. Every functional community has them. And that’s where machine learning comes in... If you can detect trolls, you can protect the people they’re trolling by muting or putting a warning over the trolls’ posts... Twitter... already have a way of screening out porn. Why don’t they do the sam…

How Trolls Are Ruining the Internet
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the online disinhibition effec... anonymity, invisibility, a lack of authority and not communicating in real time strip away the mores ... seeping from our smartphones into every aspect of our lives.... the approximately 5% of Internet users who self-identified as trolls scored extremely high in the dark tetrad of personality traits: narcissism, …

Is banning trolls a prerequisite or a defeat for free speech?
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The permanent banning of uber-troll Milo Yiannopoulos from Twitter was probably long overdue. It's time for non-trolls to stop complaining and start defending civility in our social spaces, or simply decamp to build better ones.

Is it too late to stop the trolls trampling over our entire political discourse?
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The potential – or, sadly more accurately, theoretical – political power of social media is to provide an important public forum in which those of diverse opinions can freely interact, rather than living in political enclaves inhabited only by those who reinforce what everyone already believes. The truth is that those entrenched political division…

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sometimes people post disagreeable or disturbing content that does not violate Facebook's policies. This paper explores the potential of community-driven counter-speech to play a critical role in challenging and diminishing these type of posts on social media. Counter-speech is a common, crowd-sourced response to extremism or hateful content... F…

Tim Berners-Lee slams Twitter’s 'negativity and bullying'
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Berners-Lee suggested a simple rethink in how social networks and human nature work together could help curtail negative behaviour... "we have responsibility to think how to build systems that tend to produce constructive criticism and harmony as opposed to negativity and bullying."

Against “Don’t Read the Comments”
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what started as a cynical in-joke has become a bad habit, and an excuse for enabling abuse across the web... The fact that we joke about it documents an acceptance of a culture of abuse online. It helps normalize online harassment campaigns and treat the empowerment of abusers as inevitable, rather than solvable... we denigrate a form that use…

Trump happens
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Trump is what happens when social media becomes the platform for discourse.

The Internet’s Loop of Action and Reaction Is Worsening
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the Internet now seems to be on constant boil... extremists of all stripes are ascendant, and just about everywhere you look, much of the Internet is terrible...social networks seem to be feeding a cycle of action and reaction. In just about every news event, the Internet’s reaction to the situation becomes a follow-on part of the story, so that …

Most of the information we spread online is quantifiably “bullshit”
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people today are inundated with more bullshit now than ever before... We presented approximately 800 participants across four studies with statements ranging from the mundane to the meaningful. We included some bullshit too... People who were more religious, more likely to believe in the paranormal, and more accepting of alternative medicine were…

What was fake on the Internet this week: Why this is the final column

not much drives traffic as effectively as stories that vindicate and/or inflame the biases of their readers... specifically tries to invent stories that will provoke strong reactions in middle-aged conservatives. They share a lot on Facebook... they’re the ideal audience. institutional distrust and cognitive bias are so strong that the people who…

Change Needed for Commenting That Favors the ‘Verified’

NYTimes' “verified commenters.”... few hundred people whose comments are posted without moderation can end up dominating the reader commenting system... causes quite understandable resentment among thousands of others...Because they go up first, their comments are almost guaranteed to get the most exposure, “and hence rise to the top and be seen …

How to handle personal attacks on social media

There are a number of effective strategies for overcoming the harm caused by a personal attack on social media. And your response can be a democratic one that includes fighting bad speech with more (good) speech. If someone’s attacked you on social media, here are four steps for responding: - How to handle personal attacks on social media | …

Corbyn, Trump and the New Politics of Spite
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what many of these movements’ followers share is the desire not just to disagree with their opponents, but to delegitimize, dehumanize, and ostracize those with whom they disagree... It is not their policies that these new populists share, but their emphasis on a new kind of identity politics... What would previously have been isolated cases o…

What happened after 7 news sites got rid of reader comments

I spoke to seven news organizations - Recode, The Verge, Reuters, Mic, Popular Science, The Week, and USA Today's FTW - about their decision to suspend comments, the results of that change, and how they manage reader engagement now... Here's how they're all using social media to encourage reader discussion. - What happened after 7 news site…

If your website's full of assholes, it's your fault
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"by simply learning from disciplines like urban planning, zoning regulations, crowd control, effective and humane policing, and the simple practices it takes to stage an effective public event, we can come up with a set of principles to prevent the overwhelming majority of the worst behaviors on the Internet... Businesses that run cruise ships …

Don’t Hit Send: Angry Emails Just Make You Angrier
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In studies, people report that they feel better after venting. But researchers find they actually become angrier and more aggressive. People who vent anonymously may become the angriest and most aggressive.... We typically sound angrier in print. And when we write down something, we can reread it, over and over, and stew. With e-venting you don…

How NASA won the internet
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"@NASA is the 104th most popular Twitter account in the world... and 3.5 million on Instagram. The Department of the Interior, whose stunning wildlife and nature pictures make it the only government agency with cool visual content to rival NASA’s, has just 654,000 ... John Yembrick and Jason Townsend are veterans of other government agencies...…

The Internet’s Most Trolled Cartoonist
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Some really advanced techniques in handling trolls here - The Internet’s Most Trolled Cartoonist — The Nib — Medium

The Agency
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From a nondescript office building in St. Petersburg, Russia, an army of well-paid “trolls” has tried to wreak havoc all around the Internet — and in real-life American communities.

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