Op-ed: Facebook’s moral failure shows the need for competition and is a test for Congress, write Reps. Buck and Cicilline (CNBC)

CNBC: Op-ed: Facebook’s moral failure shows the need for competition and is a test for Congress, write Reps. Buck and Cicilline. “(Reps. David N. Cicilline, D-R.I., and Ken Buck, R-Colo. are the chair and ranking member, respectively, of the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust.) This latest evidence of Facebook’s moral failures is credible and damning, but these concerns are not new. Instead, this evidence confirms what we have known about Facebook for years — that it will always prioritize growth and profit over everything else.”

ADL: For Twitter Users, Gab’s Toxic Content Is Just a Click Away

ADL: For Twitter Users, Gab’s Toxic Content Is Just a Click Away. “Since 2020, Twitter has taken steps to decrease hate and disinformation on its platform, officially banning some forms of Covid-19 misinformation or purging QAnon-related handles after the January 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection. But while Twitter’s anti-extremist policies are more effective now than they were a year ago, the platform has not addressed the ease with which users are able to drive traffic to hate and misinformation hosted on outside sites.”

Griffith University: EcoCommons – mapping the future in environmentally challenging times

Griffith University: EcoCommons – mapping the future in environmentally challenging times. “Griffith University is driving the construction of EcoCommons, a world-first collaborative platform for analysing and modelling ecological and environmental challenges. As its major partner, Griffith University’s eResearch Services is hosting the EcoCommons development project team with half of EcoCommon’s $5.2 million funding awarded to Griffith’s Climate Change Response Program.”

The Strategist: Naming names won’t stop abuse on social media

The Strategist: Naming names won’t stop abuse on social media. “The idea that anonymity is a primary driver of antisocial behaviour online is frequently and widely asserted. Empirical research in this space reflects a vastly more complex picture, however, which varies from platform to platform and between demographics and social contexts. The internet is not a monoculture; it is a rich variety of subcultures which engage with anonymity and identity in diverse ways.”

Slate: Facebook Banned Me for Life Because I Help People Use It Less

Slate: Facebook Banned Me for Life Because I Help People Use It Less. “If someone built a tool that made Facebook less addictive—a tool that allowed users to benefit from Facebook’s positive features while limiting their exposure to its negative ones—how would Facebook respond? I know the answer, because I built the tool, and Facebook squashed it. This summer, Facebook sent me a cease-and-desist letter threatening legal action. It permanently disabled my Facebook and Instagram accounts. And it demanded that I agree to never again create tools that interact with Facebook or its other services.”

Fragmentology: bits of books and the medieval manuscript (Oxford University Press Blog)

Oxford University Press Blog: Fragmentology: bits of books and the medieval manuscript. “So many fragments of manuscripts exist that a new term—Fragmentology—has recently been applied to the study of these parts and parcels. Librarians, archivists, and academics are paying more attention to what can be learned about textual culture from a folio cut, say, from a twelfth-century manuscript and later used by a binder to line the oak boards of a fifteenth-century book. Scholars are thinking through ways that single leaves preserved in libraries across the world can be digitally reconstructed into a virtual representation of the (or part of the) original book as it might have been first produced.”

New York Times: We’re Smarter About Facebook Now

New York Times: We’re Smarter About Facebook Now . “So yes, we’ve all gotten stuff wrong about Facebook. The company, the public and people in power have at times oversimplified, sensationalized, misdiagnosed the problems or botched the solutions. We focused on how the heck Facebook allowed Macedonian teenagers to grab Americans’ attention with fabricated news, and did less to address why so many people believed it. Each public embarrassment for Facebook, though, is a building block that makes us a little savvier about the influence of these still relatively new internet technologies in our lives. The real power of the scandals is the opportunity to ask: Holy moly, what is Facebook doing to us? And what are we doing to one another?”

Mashable: Posting memes will get you banned from Instagram

Mashable: Posting memes will get you banned from Instagram. “Since March, my accounts have been disabled five more times. One backup was actually deleted while I wrote this article for an innocent image of a man kissing a baby’s head. I’m not kidding. [I will bet you $10 Facebook’s AI thought the baby’s head was a breast. I’m not kidding.-TJC] Adiòs to another 14,000 followers, I guess. No matter how many appeals I send, nothing happens. I never fully understand why my account gets disabled, but I always try to play by Instagram’s distinctly vague community guidelines. Instagram did not reply to multiple requests for comment on this story, but when they do talk to the press, they usually say some version of, “Instagram has a responsibility to keep people safe.” While that may be true, how exactly does disabling an account for posting a Coachella meme have anything to […]

The MIT Press Reader: A History of the Data-Tracked User

The MIT Press Reader: A History of the Data-Tracked User. “The following article, adapted from Tanya Kant’s case study ‘Identity, Advertising, and Algorithmic Targeting: Or How (Not) to Target Your “Ideal User”,’ maps a brief history of the commercially targeted user, beginning with ‘identity scoring’ in the 1940s and ending with the targeted advertising of today.”

News@Northeastern: The Race To Save Indigenous Languages, Using Automatic Speech Recognition

News@Northeastern: The Race To Save Indigenous Languages, Using Automatic Speech Recognition. “Growing up in the windy plains near the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, [Michael] Running Wolf says that although his family—which is part Cheyenne, part Lakota—didn’t have daily access to running water or electricity, sometimes, when the winds died down, the power would flicker on, and he’d plug in his Atari console and play games with his sisters. These early experiences would spur forward a lifelong interest in computers, artificial intelligence, and software engineering that Running Wolf is now harnessing to help reawaken endangered indigenous languages in North and South America, some of which are so critically at risk of extinction that their tallies of living native speakers have dwindled into the single digits.”

WWLP: Artificial intelligence changing accuracy of hurricane forecasts

WWLP: Artificial intelligence changing accuracy of hurricane forecasts. “Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have recently developed a new model that aids in predicting hurricane intensity. It’s one of several models that are used to track hurricane movement and intensity. Although this model will be using the same data that other models use, it differs in its use of ‘neural networks’.”

News@Northeastern: Can We Better Understand Online Behavior? These Researchers Will Dig Deep To Find Out.

News@Northeastern: Can We Better Understand Online Behavior? These Researchers Will Dig Deep To Find Out. . “Researchers at Northeastern University were awarded a $15.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation to build a research infrastructure that will provide scientists around the world and across disciplines with open, ethical, analytic information about how people behave online.”

Study: Social Media Can Learn How To Regulate Speech From Online Gaming (University of Kansas)

University of Kansas: Study: Social Media Can Learn How To Regulate Speech From Online Gaming. “The authors point out that social media evolved from games as places where people could communicate, and though there is not explicit gameplay involved, such sites are in fact a game of their own, with people seeking likes, retweets or other engagement. The gaming world eventually developed a community-based approach in which users set the standards and controlled what is acceptable, but social media is still struggling with top-down approaches in which executives decide what is allowable.”

Politico: Social media companies remove less hate speech in 2021

Politico: Social media companies remove less hate speech in 2021. “The world’s largest social media companies removed less hate speech from their platforms in 2021 compared to last year, according to the European Commission’s annual review of the firms’ content moderation activities, seen by POLITICO. The yearly checkup on how Facebook, Google and others handle everything from misogynistic online posts to digital abuse targeting the LGBTQ+ community found that social media companies deleted 62.5 percent of such flagged material, over a 6-week period between March 1 and April 2021. That compares to a 71 percent removal rate when Brussels conducted its last review in late 2019.”