Today, Facebook’s self-created Oversight Board released a decision and guidance about whether or not the social network made the right call in banning the former President of the United States from its platform after a deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
I have a confession though. It’s all my fault. None of this would’ve happened if I had just quit Facebook.
I could’ve stopped it.
It’s hard to talk about the problems with Facebook without being told that the solution is to “Just quit Facebook.” You’re annoyed by the flood of unnecessary notifications from the app? Quit Facebook. Your data…
More than a third of the global population of 7.8 billion people use Facebook. They post 350 million photos a day and no one seems to know (except Facebook) exactly how many overall posts Facebook sees per second (it has to be in the millions).
Now imagine human moderators standing before that tsunami of content, all 15,000 of them, spread across the globe, interpreting languages, nuances, cultural norms, political imperatives, and ideological nuances for content that crosses the line. It’s like a feather trying to hold back a hurricane.
The hot takes have poured in following the Facebook Oversight Board’s decision on Donald Trump. On Wednesday, the “independent” board — made up of third parties selected by Facebook — announced it would uphold Facebook’s ban of the former president while asking Facebook to come up with something less arbitrary than an “indefinite” suspension. People called the board a threat to democracy, a Facebook branding campaign, an insufficient check on Facebook’s power, and something more powerful than the United Nations.
In reality, the board is a feeble institution funded and designed by Facebook — not a boogeyman upon which we…
About a month ago a motorcycle-loving Japanese woman with 27,800 followers on Twitter revealed that he was actually a 50-year old Japanese man who had been using a photo app to make his face look like a young woman.
According to the BBC, the man (named Soya) did this because, “No one will read what a normal middle-aged man, taking care of his motorcycle and taking pictures outside, posts on his account.” By editing his pictures to look like a young, attractive woman, he was far more popular on Twitter. …
Welcome to part 11 of our Internet Nostalgia series, which looks back at phenomena that captured the internet’s imagination and attention for a fleeting moment and then vanished as everyone moved on to something else. This series looks back at those olden times and what they told us about the internet and ourselves. If you have a suggested topic, email me at email@example.com. Last week, we looked at the Ice Bucket Challenge. This week: Boaty McBoatface.
Date: March 2016.
Former President Donald Trump is, as of this moment, still banned from Facebook, but before you cheer or deride the decision, know this: The Reckoning is just beginning.
The Oversight Board agreed with Facebook’s initial actions: kicking Trump off its platforms (Facebook and Instagram) as the Capitol riots unfolded and then extended it indefinitely the next day. However, the board, which operates independently of Facebook, also called out the social media giant for seeking to avoid its responsibilities. Facebook tried punting on the long-term decision to permanently ban the ex-president.
Immortality awaits. As you draw your dying breath, we will inject a preservative into your brain that will fix in place every one of the trillion or so connections between your 86 billion neurons. We will then trace those wires, building the complete map of your brain’s connections, your “connectome”. Upload that complete wiring diagram to a computer, simulate the brain’s dynamics upon it — and you live again.
Apple’s 13-year-old App Store (and its slightly younger in-app purchases and commission system) is facing its biggest test, not with consumers but in a trial that kicked off Monday in Oakland, California.
At stake is the 30% revenue cut Apple takes on every app and in-app purchase. Fortnite maker Epic didn’t like it and, last summer, it launched a carefully calibrated campaign (breaking Apple’s rules on direct purchases, teasing Apple about it in a “1984-style” ad, and suing them) to upend it and bring the entire issue to court.
This week on my podcast, the second part of a seven-part serialized reading of my 2020 One Zero book How to Destroy Surveillance Capitalism, a book arguing that monopoly — not A.I.-based brainwashing — is the real way that tech controls our behavior.
The book is available in paperback:
And DRM-free ebook :
And my local bookseller, Dark Delicacies, has signed stock that I’ll drop by and personalize for you!
Here’s the podcast episode:
And here’s part one:
And here’s a direct link to the MP3 (hosting courtesy of the Internet Archive; they’ll host your stuff for free, forever):
And here’s the RSS feed for my podcast: