Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Social media sometimes harms democracy

When we cannot see, we don't judge. Small wonder when we kiss, cry, laugh, make love, are in pain, pray and listen to music, we close our eyes.

The Hon Bill Shorten MP,  Leader of the Opposition
'Address to the National Press Club' Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Live: Bill Shorten's plan for a national integrity commmission.
"We've got to rebuild faith in our institutions," says Shorten

Books by Bloggers - In Association with Amazon.com - DeepBlog.com

Someone else is also trying to break the internet again… - Two Antipodean MEdia Dragons founders sell cyber security start-up for $1B
Kim Kardashian Just Went Completely Topless On Twitter | Harper's BAZAAR Australia

The Black Market Bot Factory That Inflates MEdia Dragon Celebrities’ Twitter Followers (By The Millions)…

This doesn't sound shady at all: "Devumi sells Twitter followers and retweets to celebrities, businesses and anyone who wants to appear more popular or exert influence online. Drawing on an estimated stock of at least 3.5 million automated accounts, each sold many times over, the company has provided customers with more than 200 million Twitter followers" - and at least 55,000 of the accounts are basically identity theft. … [Read More]

The NYTimes confronts actors, “influencers,” and Kathy Ireland over buying legions of fake Twitter followers. 

Farnam Street: “We spend hours consuming news because we want to be well informed. But is that time well spent? News is by definition something that doesn’t last. And as news has become easier to distribute and cheaper to produce, the quality has decreased. Rarely do we stop to ask ourselves questions about what we consume: Is this important? Is this going to stand the test of time — say, in a week or in a year? Is the person writing this someone who is well informed on the issue?” Talking points as follows –
  • First, the speed of news delivery has increased.
  • Second, the costs to produce news have dropped significantly
  • Third, producers of news attempt to hijack our brains
  • Fourth, the incentives are misaligned.”
  • Writing in Recode, Eric Johnson touts Spoonbill, which each day "sends me an email with a rundown of the changes the people I follow on Twitter have made to their bios, names and locations. It’s a readable digest of how people are choosing to present themselves to the public, which is fascinating for a nosy so-and-so like me."

Obituary for Mary Lee Berners-Lee, who programmed the first computer sold commercially and “grandmothered” the web.

Why the difficult person at work probably isn’t a psychopath 
Our workplace and work processes may be contributing to stress and bad behaviour.

What is best in life? To crush your communist enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of the extremely powerful. It is as Low as  schadenfreudelicious.

From penthouse to prison cell: Salim Mehajer's life behind bars

The Antidote To Fake News Is…?

We should be clear that when we lament the ‘fake news’ take over we are talking about media illiteracy, not actual fake news. Fake news was originally reported in our current public discourse to describe actual false information knowingly posted by bloggers in Macedonia who were gaming the system to get more clicks to make money from ads on their websites, as reported by Craig Silverman and Lawrence Alexander in Buzzfeed.  Facts may be framed within a news story in interpretations that are biased.  Fake news has come to be used to dismiss news that has a bias with which we disagree thanks to Trump’s co-opting of the term. … Read More

Facebook Can’t Be Fixed. NewCo Shift (UserFriendly)
Former employees say Lyft staffers spied on passengersTechCrunch (Chuck L). Quelle surprise!
Alphabet launches cyber security company Financial Times. Managed to miss this yesterday.
Via @DPLA –

  • “We are pleased to announce that the beta for our all-new website is now available for you to explore! The new site is more user-centered than ever before with more content for our “Pro” communities coming soon! Check it out: 
  • Look for both new and familiar features on our all-new beta site: Search by keyword, Primary Source Sets, Exhibitions, Browse by Topic, User Guides & more! 
  • Our new site is more user-centered than ever before, with a focus on tools, resources, and information to serve learners of all stripes. Check out the new site in beta: 
  • Check out the beta for our fully re-designed website!  Looking for info about the Hub Network, Community Reps, and events like DPLAfest? That will all be on our “Pro Community” site, coming soon.

DuckDuckGo News: “Over the years, DuckDuckGo has offered millions of people a private alternative to Google, serving over 16 billion anonymous searches. Today we’re excited to launch fully revamped versions of our browser extension and mobile app, extending DuckDuckGo’s protection beyond the search box to wherever the Internet takes you. It’s hard to use the Internet without it feeling a bit creepy – like there’s a nosey neighbor watching everything you do from across the street. Except, instead of a nosey neighbor, it’s a vast array of highly sophisticated tracker networks, run by big companies like Google and Facebook, recording everything you do online, often without your knowledge, and selling their findings to the highest bidder via targeted ads. While closing the blinds at home can put a stop to your neighbors, there isn’t something that simple that can work online. Until now. Today we’re taking a major step to simplify online privacy with the launch of fully revamped versions of our browser extension and mobile app, now with built-in tracker network blocking, smarter encryption, and, of course, private search – all designed to operate seamlessly together while you search and browse the web. Our updated app and extension are now available across all major platforms – FirefoxSafari,ChromeiOS, and Android – so that you can easily get all the privacy essentials you need on any device with just one download.

When Lance Knobel and Tracey Taylor helped dream up a local news site for their community nine years ago, they knew coverage from a nearby major newspaper was declining, but they never imagined how far down it would go.

These days, their creation, Berkeleyside, has strong support from its readers and advertisers as it covers council meetings and sirens around the college town of Berkeley, California. The big dog on the East Bay, the once-mighty Mercury News, has seen its staff plunge from 400 in the 1990s to 39 today. The Merc’s parent company, Digital First Media, announced this week that more layoffs would occur.

Blockchain Technology Overview NISTIR 8202 (DRAFT) Date Published: January 2018
From a onetime giant’s receding shadow, a local news site prospers

Social media's impact on your mental health

The BBC has a month-long series dissecting social media and well being. One British researcher, said to have dissected the topic "for decades," concludes, "that a technological compulsion like ‘social media addiction’ comes with all the behavioural signals that we might usually associate with chemical addictions, such as smoking or alcoholism. These include mood changes,  social withdrawal, conflict and relapse."
"The most important factor is whether a person can differentiate between healthy use and a relationship with social media sites that is negatively affecting their life."

Facebook admits social media sometimes harms democracy

Hillary Clinton joins Trump-mocking skit at the Grammys

Vegan protesters storm steak restaurant in Melbourne's CBD

Tracking changes in Twitter bios

Writing in Recode, Eric Johnson touts Spoonbill, which each day "sends me an email with a rundown of the changes the people I follow on Twitter have made to their bios, names and locations. It’s a readable digest of how people are choosing to present themselves to the public, which is fascinating for a nosy so-and-so like me."