Washington Post: I worked on political ads at Facebook. They profit by manipulating us. “The real problem is that Facebook profits partly by amplifying lies and selling dangerous targeting tools that allow political operatives to engage in a new level of information warfare. Its business model exploits our data to let advertisers custom-target people, show us each a different version of the truth and manipulate us with hyper-customized ads — ads that, as of two weeks ago, can contain blatantly false and debunked information if they’re run by a political campaign. As long as Facebook prioritizes profit over healthy discourse, they can’t avoid damaging democracies.”
LADBible: ‘Exclusive’ New Instagram Account Charges Rich Kids Thousands To Have Photos Featured. “Remember Rich Kids of Instagram? If not, it’s quite self explanatory – it was a TV show that followed rich kids round, while they put all their expensive things and flash holidays all over Instagram. But those rich kids still need things to spend their money on, which is where Golden Price Tag comes in. The Instagram account apparently charges rich people to have their photo posted on the account. What’s worse – it looks like people have actually been paying.”
Engadget: Facebook adds new ways for public figures to make money and stay safe. Oh, well, thank goodness public figures can make money. I was worried. “Facebook wants to make it easier for famous people to engage with their fans on the site. That’s why the company is launching new ways for Facebook users to interact with public figures they follow, be it internet creators, authors, athletes or sports teams.”
AL .com: Hey, Alabama, public data are public documents, too. “David Simpson is curious, which is a good thing for a researcher to be. Simpson is a PhD student studying political science at Columbia University. Also, he’s an Alabama native. So when it came time to direct his study to a particular interest, he naturally turned his attention to his home state.”
CNN: Websites that peddle disinformation make millions of dollars in ads, new study finds. “As the United States gears up for another presidential election, aware of the role online disinformation played in 2016, the business of publishing false or extremist content online remains a lucrative one. At least $235 million in revenue is generated annually from ads running on extremist and disinformation websites, according to a new study from the Global Disinformation Index provided exclusively to CNN ahead of its September release.” Lying is more lucrative than telling the truth? Now there’s a thought that’ll make your mouth sour.
Ars Technica: Apple isn’t the most cash-rich company in the world anymore, but it doesn’t matter. “As of this year’s second financial quarter, Alphabet now has $117 billion in reserve, compared to $102 billion for Apple. However, Apple had $163 billion in 2017, so this is just as much a story of Apple reducing its reserves as it is one of Google growing its own.”
ProMarket: Protecting the Independence and Integrity of Research: Introducing the Academic Capture Warning System. “Inappropriate financial donor influence at institutions of higher education appears to be on the rise and risks eroding public trust in academic research. In order to defend academic freedom and institutional independence, we have decided to create a new database to document clear violations of well-accepted norms involving financial donations.” The database will launch in approximately three months, but the creators are looking for feedback (and any material anyone has for the database) now.