Slate: Facebook Is a Normal Sleazy Company Now

Slate: Facebook Is a Normal Sleazy Company Now. “The three features that make Facebook Facebook also make it the ideal platform for working on behalf of dangerous and violent forces. The first is scale. Facebook gathers posts from more than 2.2 billion people in more than 100 languages. The second is algorithmic amplification. Facebook promotes extreme content like hate speech and conspiracy theories over thoughtful, balanced, deliberate work. And the third is the best advertising system ever created. Facebook can put an ad in front of exactly the type of person who might respond to a sales pitch or a call to political action and ignore those who might not. [Mark] Zuckerberg and [Sheryl] Sandberg can’t fix Facebook because to fix Facebook is to scrap one or more of these essential attributes. The problem with Facebook is Facebook.”

Quartzy: The Cruelty And Kindness Of Social Media In The Midst Of A Disaster

Quartzy: The Cruelty And Kindness Of Social Media In The Midst Of A Disaster. “There was a time, long before social media was blamed for many of the world’s biggest problems, that digital communities were posited as the utopian replacement to the small-mindedness of staying close to home, close to what we know. Of course, that didn’t turn out so well. We know now that compassion, empathy, and community can’t be provided by a large tech company with a clear profit motive for winning our attention. In times of disaster as well as in times of normalcy, that part is up to us.”

The Next Web: We should all worry about corporate control of data

The Next Web: We should all worry about corporate control of data. “The information age has delivered innumerable wonders to us and continues to churn out astonishing innovations on a daily basis. The only reason that contemporary society enjoys such awesome technology and progress these days is that we can gleam so much insight from our data, particularly when we combine disparate datasets together and comb through them with analytics technology. More and more often, we’re seeing corporations begin to exploit this process, seizing as much control as possible over the data of everyday people.”

Windows-as-a-service fail: Microsoft keeps customers in the dark (ZDNet)

ZDNet: Windows-as-a-service fail: Microsoft keeps customers in the dark. “In the Windows-as-a-service era, it’s perfectly understandable that problems will occasionally crop up. But customers have a right to expect prompt, accurate notification when those problems occur, and Microsoft is failing badly in that responsibility.”

Genealogy’s Star: Ten Threats to the Future of Genealogical Research

Genealogy’s Star: Ten Threats to the Future of Genealogical Research. “As time passes, certain social, economic, and cultural factors do not bode well for the future of genealogical research. Because of the involvement of large, online genealogy companies, we are being led to believe that the “future” of genealogical research lies in their huge online collections of documents and the application of genealogical DNA testing, but despite these two greatly beneficial developments, we still have, at best, a murky genealogical future.”

TechCrunch: Three ways to avoid bias in machine learning

TechCrunch: Three ways to avoid bias in machine learning. “Because AI can help expose truth inside messy data sets, it’s possible for algorithms to help us better understand bias we haven’t already isolated, and spot ethically questionable ripples in human data so we can check ourselves. Exposing human data to algorithms exposes bias, and if we are considering the outputs rationally, we can use machine learning’s aptitude for spotting anomalies.”

CogDogBlog: I have blogged not to bury flickr nor to praise it…

CogDogBlog: I have blogged not to bury flickr nor to praise it…. “I cannot imagine any way for the new owners of flickr to surmount Yahoo’s [inexplicable insane colossally stupid] [Note: the words in brackets were “crossed-out” in CogDog’s original article; that option is not available in ASCII — TJC] idea to offer unlimited image hosting to all free accounts. But if flickr wants to not alienate their community, why are they doing it right off the bat? No one who has the photos deleted is going to say nice things about the company. I guess their dice roll is to not worry about the ingrates who were not paying. Or that anyone will be satisfied by the new 1000 photo limit knowing it used to be 200.”