Washington Post: Social Media Can No Longer Hide Its Problems in a Black Box

Washington Post: Social Media Can No Longer Hide Its Problems in a Black Box. “There’s a perfectly good reason to break open the secrets of social-media giants. Over the past decade, governments have watched helplessly as their democratic processes were disrupted by misinformation and hate speech on sites like Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook, Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube and Twitter Inc. Now some governments are gearing up for a comeuppance.”

New York Times: I Was Wrong About Facebook

New York Times: I Was Wrong About Facebook. “I wasn’t just wrong about Facebook; I had the matter exactly backward. Had we all decided to leave Facebook then or at any time since, the internet and perhaps the world might now be a better place. The question of how much better and in what way is a matter of considerable debate. It might be decades before we have any sense of an answer to whether, on balance, Facebook in particular and social networks more generally have improved or ruined society.”

Engadget: Meta’s first human rights report defends the company’s misinformation strategy

Engadget: Meta’s first human rights report defends the company’s misinformation strategy. “Meta has released its first yearly human rights report, and you might not be shocked by the angle the company is taking. As CNBC notes, the 83-page document outlines the Facebook parent’s handling of human rights issues during 2020 and 2021, with a strong focus on justifying the company’s strategies for combatting misinformation and harassment.”

Hitting the Books: Modern social media has made misinformation so, so much worse (Engadget)

Engadget: Hitting the Books: Modern social media has made misinformation so, so much worse. “In his new book Tyrants on Twitter: Protecting Democracies from Information Warfare, David Sloss, Professor of Law at Santa Clara University, explores how social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok have become platforms for political operations that have very real, and very dire, consequences for democracy while arguing for governments to unite in creating a global framework to regulate and protect these networks from information warfare.”

The Next Web: Social media companies should be converted into nonprofits

The Next Web: Social media companies should be converted into nonprofits. “Social media companies like Twitter have morphed — whether their founders intended them to or not — into important social institutions with grave consequences for both the future of democracy and the human condition. Yet these platforms still remain constrained by their structures as for-profit companies with a duty to their shareholders.”

UNESCO: UNESCO fights harmful content with a community-led initiative

UNESCO: UNESCO fights harmful content with a community-led initiative. “On 28-29 June, UNESCO in collaboration with the Center for Digital Society (CfDS) held a public conference and a roundtable discussion (closed session) in Jakarta on ‘Addressing Gaps in Regulating Harmful Content Online’. These were organized within the framework of the UNESCO project Social Media 4 Peace, in an attempt to respond to the rising hate speech and disinformation globally that have contributed to divisions in society and real-world violence.”

Poynter: Fact-checkers extend their global reach with 391 outlets, but growth has slowed

Poynter: Fact-checkers extend their global reach with 391 outlets, but growth has slowed. “Since last year’s census, we have added 51 sites to our global fact-checking map and database. In that same 12 months, another seven fact-checkers closed down. While this vital journalism now appears in at least 69 languages on six continents, the pace of growth in the international fact-checking community has slowed over the past several years.”

New York Times: We Know Less About Social Media Than We Think

New Yorker: We Know Less About Social Media Than We Think. “In April, the social psychologist Jonathan Haidt published an essay in The Atlantic in which he sought to explain, as the piece’s title had it, ‘Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid.’ Anyone familiar with Haidt’s work in the past half decade could have anticipated his answer: social media. Although Haidt concedes that political polarization and factional enmity long predate the rise of the platforms, and that there are plenty of other factors involved, he believes that the tools of virality—Facebook’s Like and Share buttons, Twitter’s Retweet function—have algorithmically and irrevocably corroded public life.”

WIRED: Who Owns 4chan?

WIRED: Who Owns 4chan?. “Even as the imageboard continues to rise in infamy, a question lingers: Who actually owns 4chan? For years, its ownership has been murky: Invented by an American, sold to a Japanese businessman in 2015, its corporate structure is largely unknown, beyond a pair of Delaware-registered corporations. New information, shared exclusively with WIRED, provides greater detail into 4chan’s largely unpublicized relationship with a major Japanese toy firm called the Good Smile Company.”

WIRED: How GDPR Is Failing

WIRED: How GDPR Is Failing. “ONE THOUSAND FOUR hundred and fifty-nine days have passed since data rights nonprofit NOYB fired off its first complaints under Europe’s flagship data regulation, GDPR. The complaints allege Google, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram forced people into giving up their data without obtaining proper consent, says Romain Robert, a program director at the nonprofit. The complaints landed on May 25, 2018, the day GDPR came into force and bolstered the privacy rights of 740 million Europeans. Four years later, NOYB is still waiting for final decisions to be made. And it’s not the only one.”

WIRED: Can Social Media Be Redeemed?

WIRED: Can Social Media Be Redeemed? . “The fact that you have to ask whether these platforms have any redeeming values, Following, suggests that you too have come to detest your existence there. I’m not sure I can convince you otherwise. If there remains anything constructive about social media, it’s perhaps what it can teach us about human nature and the ways in which horrible effects can stem from good intentions.”

University of Exeter: Efforts to take fake news and misinformation in Africa must take account of the continent’s unique “pavement media”, study shows

University of Exeter: Efforts to take fake news and misinformation in Africa must take account of the continent’s unique “pavement media”, study shows. “The spread of fake news through ‘pavement media’ in Africa means the continent needs unique techniques to tackle the spread of misinformation, a new study says. Discussions about current affairs in marketplaces, places of worship, bars, and other social spaces, and through songs, sermons, and graffiti form a key part of the media ecosystem in Africa.”