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FOREIGN AFFAIRS; Soviets Buy American - The New York Times
Pepsico recently bought from the Soviets 17 submarines (for a measly $150,000 each), a cruiser, a frigate and a destroyer. They are being resold for scrap. It has also bought new Soviet tankers (to carry oil, not beverages) in a joint venture with the Soviets and a Norwegian company that will lease them out or sell them.
pepsi  soda  military  submarines  russia 
17 hours ago
How Facebook Fought Fake News About Facebook - Bloomberg
Since 2016, Facebook employees have used Stormchaser to track many viral posts, including a popular conspiracy that the company listens to users through their phone’s microphone, according to three former employees.
facebook  surveillance  virality  sentiment 
9 days ago
ICE Used Facial Recognition to Mine State Driver’s License Databases - The New York Times
In at least three states that offer driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, ICE officials have requested to comb through state repositories of license photos, according to newly released documents. At least two of those states, Utah and Vermont, complied, searching their photos for matches, those records show.

In the third state, Washington, agents authorized administrative subpoenas of the Department of Licensing to conduct a facial recognition scan of all photos of license applicants, t...
surveillance  policing  facialrecognition 
9 days ago
How Amazon and the Cops Set Up an Elaborate Sting Operation That Accomplished Nothing - VICE
Behind-the-scenes emails show how Amazon and Ring worked with police in Aurora, Colorado to make people scared of each other.
amazon  ring  surveillance  policing  crime 
16 days ago
Yes, My Name is || - The Akamai Blog
Boolean Operator Different cultures and nationalities have different naming conventions; I came from a one that led me to face the universe with a personal name
21 days ago
Man peering into home caught on camera | 13 WTHR Indianapolis
A homeowner's security cameras show a man dropping off a phone book on the door step – but what he does next has people in the neighborhood feeling concerned.
ring  amazon  surveillance  crime  policing  indianapolis 
23 days ago
Thread on MFSocket, Chinese Police surveillance app
(THREAD) There have been reports on Chinese social media these days about police spot-checking people’s phones in Beijing and Shanghai (Beijing PSB denied it). As I looked into it, I came across an app called MFsocket 1/8
china  privacy  surveillance  apps  smartphones 
23 days ago
When Myspace Was King, Employees Abused a Tool Called ‘Overlord’ to Spy on Users - VICE
During the social network's heyday, multiple Myspace employees abused an internal company tool to spy on users, in some cases including ex-partners, Motherboard has learned.

Named 'Overlord,' the tool allowed employees to see users' passwords and their messages, two former employees said. While the tool was originally designed to help moderate the platform and allow MySpace to comply with law enforcement requests, multiple sources said the tool was used for illegitimate purposes by employees wh...
myspace  socialmedia  surveillance  tech  internet 
23 days ago
Robin DeRosa on Twitter: "We don’t have Alexa, so to be funny, I yelled at my TV, “Alexa, pause the movie!” And Alexa did. And we looked around like 😮. Turns out a new remote we got for our old Firestick turned my TV into Alexa. So now I’m look
We don’t have Alexa, so to be funny, I yelled at my TV, “Alexa, pause the movie!”

And Alexa did.

And we looked around like 😮.

Turns out a new remote we got for our old Firestick turned my TV into Alexa. So now I’m looking around. Anything could be Alexa. Toaster, throw rug.
surveillance  amazon  alexa 
24 days ago
Alec Stapp on Twitter: "Has GDPR been good for Google and Facebook? A potential synthesis of the data below: 1. GDPR is good for them in a *relative* sense (small ad networks w/o 1st party relationship are screwed) 2. GDPR is bad for them in an *absolute*
Has GDPR been good for Google and Facebook?

A potential synthesis of the data below:

1. GDPR is good for them in a *relative* sense (small ad networks w/o 1st party relationship are screwed)

2. GDPR is bad for them in an *absolute* sense (compliance risks + costs are huge)
gdpr  privacy  antitrust  size  facebook  google  advertising  tech 
26 days ago
Amazon drones could be used to spy on your home and spot intruders, patent reveals
Amazon wants to use its network of delivery drones to keep watch over customers’ houses by forming a flying Neighbourhood Watch scheme.

The company has patented a system that it calls “surveillance as a service” which would see its network of delivery drones filming Amazon customers’ homes from the skies while on their way to delivering packages.
amazon  surveillance  policing  crime 
27 days ago
Australian researchers find 'horns' growing on young people's skulls from phone overuse - The Washington Post
New research in biomechanics suggests that young people are developing hornlike spikes at the back of their skulls — bone spurs caused by the forward tilt of the head, which shifts weight from the spine to the muscles at the back of the head, causing bone growth in the connecting tendons and ligaments. The weight transfer that causes the buildup can be compared to the way the skin thickens into a callus as a response to pressure or abrasion.
computing  phones  skulls  bodies  bones  technology 
27 days ago
This Artist Is Hacking Google to Create Surreal Street View Art - VICE
Brooklyn-based artist Jason Isolini has inserted over 42 immersive pieces of art into Google Maps’s Street View tool.
27 days ago
'What the hell are you doing?' Texas man spooked would-be burglar trying to saw through door -
She said Ring's motion-sensing technology alerted the homeowner as soon as the intruder stepped on the property. The homeowner then shared the video to the free Neighbors app by Ring, which helps nearby residents keep track of crime information.

The release of the video comes one day after the Houston Police Department announced a partnership with Ring, which has been growing rapidly since its inception in 2012.
ring  amazon  houston  crime  media 
28 days ago
Video doorbell firm Ring says its devices slash crime—but the evidence looks flimsy - MIT Technology Review
Although the LAPD would not share its full methodology or data, the city does make raw crime figures publicly available, classified by neighborhood district. The Wilshire Park Association told MIT Technology Review where the Rings were distributed. Our analysis of the public data shows that, taken together, these three districts had year-on-year increases in burglaries during both the seven-month period detailed by Ring and the 10-month period reported by the LAPD. Without knowing the exact loca...
ring  crime  policing  amazon 
28 days ago
Green Bay police use Ring video doorbell system to track, solve, deter crime
Green Bay police Capt. Jeremy Muraski said the devices not only provide a cool way to "answer" the door, but also produce the high-quality video surveillance that, with the homeowners' consent, can help police solve crimes and make neighborhoods safer.

Muraski describes Ring as "Facebook meets neighborhood watch." He said anyone can download the Ring Neighbors app to see what's going on in their neighborhoods, and other areas, by viewing surveillance clips, alerts and other information those w...
ring  amazon  surveillance  crime  policing 
28 days ago
Livonia police nab man trying to break into cars
“This is a great example of how the police-community partnership between alert citizens and our RING Neighbors can help solve crime,” police said in a Facebook post. “Remember to lock your doors! – Vehicles, houses and garage doors!”
ring  amazon  policing  crime  surveillance 
28 days ago
Public Highly Critical of State of Political Discourse in the U.S. | Pew Research Center
Positive feelings about Trump’s comments are less widespread. Fewer than half say they often or sometimes feel informed, hopeful, excited and happy about what the president says. A 54% majority says they at least sometimes feel entertained by what Trump says, the highest percentage expressing a positive sentiment.
affect  emotions  entertainment  trump  media  politics 
28 days ago
Robocalls are overwhelming hospitals and patients, threatening a new kind of health crisis
But doctors, administrators and other hospital staff struggled to contain a much different kind of epidemic one April morning last year: a wave of thousands of robocalls that spread like a virus from one phone line to the next, disrupting communications for hours.

For most Americans, such robocalls represent an unavoidable digital-age nuisance, resulting in seemingly constant interruptions targeting their phones. For hospitals, though, the spam calls amount to a literal life-or-death challenge, one that increasingly is threatening doctors and patients in a setting where every second can count.

At Tufts Medical Center, administrators registered more than 4,500 calls between about 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. on April 30, 2018, said Taylor Lehmann, the center’s chief information security officer. Many of the messages seemed to be the same: Speaking in Mandarin, an unknown voice threatened deportation unless the person who picked up the phone provided their personal information.
robocalls  fake  phone  scams 
29 days ago
Amazon Ring Teaming Up With Police in War on “Dirtbag Criminals”
On March 17, 2016, Ring CEO Jamie Siminoff emailed out a company-wide declaration of war. The message, under the subject line “Going to war,” made two things clear to the home surveillance company’s hundreds of employees: Everyone was getting free camouflage-print T-shirts (“They look awesome,” assured Siminoff), and the company’s new mission was to use consumer electronics to fight crime. “We are going to war with anyone that wants to harm a neighborhood,” Siminoff wrote — and indeed Ring made it easier for police and worried neighbors to get their hands on footage from Ring home cameras. Internal documents and video reviewed by The Intercept show why this merging of private tech business and public law enforcement has troubling privacy implications.

This first declaration of startup militancy — which Siminoff would later refer to as “Ring War I” or simply “RW1” — would be followed by more, equally clumsy attempts at corporate galvanization, some aimed at competitors or lackluster customer support. But the RW1 email is striking in how baldly it lays out the priorities and values of Ring, a company now owned by Amazon and facing strident criticism over its mishandling of customer data, as previously reported by The Intercept and The Information.
amazon  ring  surveillance  crime  policing  privacy 
4 weeks ago
Amazon-Owned 'Ring' Wants to Report Crime News - The Atlantic
The Managing Editor, News will work on an exciting new opportunity within Ring to manage a team of news editors who deliver breaking crime news alerts to our neighbors. This position is best suited for a candidate with experience and passion for journalism, crime reporting, and people management. Having a knack for engaging storytelling that packs a punch and a strong nose for useful content are core skills that are essential to the success of this role. The candidate should be eager to join a dynamic, new media news team that is rapidly evolving and growing week by week.
amazon  ring  surveillance  privacy  crime  policing  news 
4 weeks ago
RING Doorbell Device (Hayward Police Department) — Nextdoor — Nextdoor
Get a head start on the holiday season and protect your home from mail/package theft.

For the past few years the company RING has been working closely with neighborhoods all over the nation. Owning a RING device has proven to reduce crime in neighborhoods.

So, RING is offering everyone in the Hayward community the opportunity to get a RING device at a discounted price. By using the promo code: 44hayward you will get $25 off each RING device, Video Doorbell 2, RING Video Doorbell Pro, Floodlight Cam, Spotlight Cam (Wired or Solar).

Not only will the Ring device deter crime on your property, other benefits are being able to see, hear and speak to visitors from a smartphone, get instant alerts when motion is detected, and with the free app you can share videos with nearby Ring users.

Use the link to be taken directly to the check out.

See flyer with more details information.
ring  surveillance  privacy  amazon  policing  crime 
4 weeks ago
Amazon’s Home Security Company Is Turning Everyone Into Cops - VICE
Beyond creating a "new neighborhood watch," Amazon and Ring are normalizing the use of video surveillance and pitting neighbors against each other. Chris Gilliard, a professor of English at Macomb Community College who studies institutional tech policy, told Motherboard in a phone call that such a “crime and safety” focused platforms can actively reinforce racism.

“We know from a bunch of high profile incidents in the past, and even when people live in a particular neighborhood, often their white neighbors don’t identify them as neighbors or belonging in those space,” Gilliard said. “So there’s a way that blackness can be seen as foreign, even when you ‘belong.’ And those systems codify that in a way that makes me really uncomfortable.”
neighbors  security  privacy  surveillance  ring  amazon  crime  racism  policing 
4 weeks ago
Are Amazon Ring and other apps making your neighbors more suspicious of outsiders and crime? – Greater Greater Washington
The Amazon Ring video doorbell has become increasing popular in many neighborhoods, including where I live in Montgomery County. Everyone wants to be safe, but are Ring and similar services just trying to make us more paranoid for a profit?
ring  surveillance  privacy  crime  neighborhoods  amazon 
4 weeks ago
Ring Facebook advertisement using face
is it legal for ring/amazon to use faces of people, suspected BY THEIR CUSTOMERS to have done crimes, in an advertisement? especially given they havent consented or been convicted or anything. seems uhhh not right
ring  surveillance  privacy  facebook  advertising  amazon 
4 weeks ago
Amazon Ring Defends Using Footage Of Suspected Thieves In Ads
The sponsored post, which was targeted specifically toward Facebook users living near the scene of the alleged crime, shows the woman’s face as she grabs the door handle to a locked vehicle. Ring goes on to encourage anyone with information on the woman’s whereabouts to contact local police, who had also shared the video after receiving it from the camera’s owner.
ring  surveillance  cameras  privacy  crime  amazon 
4 weeks ago
Technical Glitch Reveals Virtual YouTuber's Real Identity - Interest - Anime News Network
Noracat's true identity appears to be just an average guy, not a cat-eared gothic lolita anime girl. The reveal received mixed responses from viewers. Some argued that Noracat's true creator's gender is immaterial given that plenty of attractive anime girls are drawn by men. Several commentors even said they were more interested in the character now that they've seen her true identity. Currently, Noracat is going 57,000 subscribers strong and released a new video yesterday, still streaming live.
fake  youtube  video  identity 
4 weeks ago
Facebook Isn’t Going After Bitcoin. It’s Going After the Dollar
People who understand crypto might argue that this doesn’t matter. That because the value of a Facecoin is pegged to the value of a dollar, they are essentially just dollars that run on a blockchain. To me this is the most important part. Not that long ago the world’s reserve currency was gold, where the value of a dollar was pegged to the value of gold. But then one day the US decided to unpeg the dollar from gold, paving the way for the dollar to replace gold as the world’s reserve currency. So here is my question: what will stop Facebook from doing the same?
cryptocurrency  facebook  globalcoin  currency 
4 weeks ago
Malaysian PM Sex Tape - Accused of Being Deepfakes
Breaking: A video is circulating on Malaysian social media which is reported to show Azmin Ali (minister and likely future PM) having sex with another man. A video confession by a political aide was also published. Both have been claimed to be #deepfakes
deepfakes  fake  video  scandal  politics  misinformation 
4 weeks ago
The New Wilderness (Idle Words) - Idle Words - Maciej Ceglowski
None of these harms could have been fixed by telling people to vote with their wallet, or carefully review the environmental policies of every company they gave their business to, or to stop using the technologies in question. It took coordinated, and sometimes highly technical, regulation across jurisdictional boundaries to fix them. In some cases, like the ban on commercial refrigerants that depleted the ozone layer, that regulation required a worldwide consensus.

We’re at the point where we need a similar shift in perspective in our privacy law. The infrastructure of mass surveillance is too complex, and the tech oligopoly too powerful, to make it meaningful to talk about individual consent. Even experts don’t have a full picture of the surveillance economy, in part because its beneficiaries are so secretive, and in part because the whole system is in flux. Telling people that they own their data, and should decide what to do with it, is just another way of disempowering them.

Our discourse around privacy needs to expand to address foundational questions about the role of automation: To what extent is living in a surveillance-saturated world compatible with pluralism and democracy? What are the consequences of raising a generation of children whose every action feeds into a corporate database? What does it mean to be manipulated from an early age by machine learning algorithms that adaptively learn to shape our behavior?
privacy  surveillance  tech  regulation  platforms 
4 weeks ago
Jigsaw Bought a Russian Twitter Troll Campaign as an Experiment | WIRED
To attack the site it had created, Jigsaw settled on a service called SEOTweet, a fake follower and retweet seller that also offered the researchers a two-week disinformation campaign for the bargain price of $250. Jigsaw, posing as political adversaries of the "Down with Stalin" site, agreed to that price and tasked SEOTweet with attacking the site. In fact, SEOTweet first offered to remove the site from the web altogether fraudulent complaints that the site hosted abusive content, which it would ostensibly send to the site's web host. The cost: $500. Jigsaw declined that more aggressive offer, but green lit its third-party security firm to pay SEOTweet $250 to carry out its social media campaign, providing no further instructions.
fake  fakenews  disinformation  propaganda  russia 
5 weeks ago
Daily Advice for Virgo - Rob Horning on Pelosi Video
Rather than contrast broadcast social media and Fox, it’s better to trace their similarities. When political “deepfakes” (though some are apparently calling the Pelosi video a “shallowfake,” which is maybe more appropriate since it is not necessarily trying to be convincingly realistic) circulate on social media, they are tracing a similar network of sympathetic users, fascists and proto-fascists who are looking less for factual information than emotional gratification. This means it is counterproductive to fact-check altered videos, or add a disclaimer, as Facebook eventually decided to do. The videos are circulated not to try to trick people but to entertain them with their very fakeness. Calling attention to their fakeness may emphasize rather than diminish their impact, which is to convey a sense of permission to ridicule and slander and degrade enemies with any and all tactics, in a spirit of camaraderie and shared contempt.

Political deepfakes convey the message that it is okay to be openly fascist — it’s okay to delight in defamation as long as it’s politically motivated, demeaning those who need not be treated with respect or decency. The thrill of deepfakes derives precisely from seeing that performed: watching people be treated as fair game. Pointing out they are fake reinforces their cruelty, the violence with which they are treating the false “surface” reality that fascists seek to override. In Theodor Adorno and the Century of Negative Identity, historian Eric Oberle notes that “the symbolism of fascism is one of abrogating the law to restore its emotional power as immediate rather than mediated justice.” Deepfakes, in that sense, convey a higher sense of “justice” to their intended audience, that enemies will not be protected by the law or by tech companies, which are in the service of power and profit. Circulating them is an attempt to collaborate with that power, be included in its in-group, be protected from similar violence that the deepfake itself is evidence of — any representation is now possible and everyone is newly vulnerable, so some may feel that new forms of submission are now required to be marked as safe.
deepfakes  fake  facebook  moderation  fascism  misinformation 
5 weeks ago
China’s Plan to Sideline Bitcoin - Bloomberg
The currency would initially replace cash, PBOC Deputy Governor Fan Yifei wrote in an article earlier this year. According to patents registered by the central bank, consumers and businesses would download a mobile wallet and swap their yuan for the digital money, which they could use to make and receive payments. Crucially, the PBOC could also track every time money changes hands. Fan suggested in his article that banks would need to submit daily information on transactions and that there would be caps on transactions by individuals. The PBOC declined to comment.
cryptocurrency  pboc  blockchain  currency  finance 
5 weeks ago
PBoC Is Seeking Blockchain Talent to Help Build Its Central Bank Crypto - CoinDesk
The recruitment drive follows a recent CoinDesk report that the digital currency lab had filed more than 40 patent applications within 12 months of its establishment, which combine to outline the big picture of how the PBoC is approaching its goal.

Each of the application focuses on a certain aspect of a digital currency system. When viewed all together, they describe a technology that issues a digital token and can be stored and transacted in a peer-to-peer fashion.
cryptocurrency  globalcoin  currency  pboc 
5 weeks ago
WP No.2017/3   Monetary Policy, Exchange Rate and Capital Flow —— From “Equilateral Triangle” to “Scalene Triangle”
The traditional “Impossible Trinity” is an equilateral triangle. But since 2008, importance of capital flow has been greatly elevated, and equilateral triangle has transformed into scalene triangle. We first in the literature propose the “Scalene Impossible Trinity”, which is a more general analytical framework about “Impossible Trinity”. We also establish a theoretical model, and with the premise of “Scalene Impossible Trinity”, calculate the optimal level of macro-prudential management regarding cross-border capital flow and optimal level of international monetary policy coordination within different foreign exchange rate regimes. Our proof shows that even if foreign exchange rate could float freely, the central bank should conduct a certain level of macro-prudential management of cross-border capital flow. Based on this model and recent practices of The People’s Bank of China, we also present the New Macro-Financial Policy Framework (New MFPF), which is “Macro-prudential management + Exchange rate flexibility + International monetary policy coordination.” Only by adopting this three-pronged strategy, the central bank could attain macroeconomic equilibrium.
finance  trilemma  capital  banks  currency 
5 weeks ago
Medici-coin | Dizzynomics - Izabella Kaminska
While I was researching a recent post, it struck me that the Medici bill of exchange has very similar characteristics to Bitcoin.

Like most other lenders in Renaissance times — a time when usury was banned — the Medici started off as pawnbrokers. It was only through pawnbroking — agreements that allowed you to repurchase something at a premium — that an implicit interest could be charged. This is not dissimilar to some forms of Shariah finance.

But the Medici didn’t really make a name for themselves through pawnbroking. It was via the international money transfer system they created, which allowed merchants to transfer money easily, safely and — very reminiscent of Bitcoin — by skirting national currency controls, that they became dominant.
cryptocurrency  florins  history  currency  finance  globalcoin 
5 weeks ago
Is China about to launch its own cryptocurrency? | World Economic Forum
This is not just a theory. In recent months, it has repeatedly been reported that PBOC is researching and developing its own digital currency. On 5th October, China Finance, PBOC’s official magazine, published an article analyzing the necessity of issuing an official digital currency, starting on a controlled scale. China is well placed to leapfrog to a digital currency and the Chinese government sees great domestic and geopolitical advantages in creating one.

China is already the most cashless large economy in the world, thanks to the duopoly of mobile payment apps - WeChat, by Tencent, and Alibaba’s Alipay. In 2017, the US hosted a total of $337 billion in online payments. In China, it was a whopping $15.7 trillion, $3.2 trillion more than Visa and Mastercard’s combined global volume. But Alibaba and Tencent are not owned by the state and it is highly unlikely the Chinese government will allow such a crucial shift to be controlled by private companies.
china  pboc  currency  blockchain  globalcoin  finance 
5 weeks ago
Meltem Demirors - PBOC filing blockchain patents
the people's bank of china (PBOC) has also been aggressively filing #blockchain patents. in fact, they have filed more "blockchain" patents than any other entity.
blockchain  china  globalcoin  currency  finance 
5 weeks ago
Facebook Plans Outside Foundation to Govern Cryptocurrency — The Information
Facebook plans to cede control of its forthcoming cryptocurrency to outside backers, a move meant to encourage trust in the digital payment system and reassure financial regulators, The Information has learned.

In recent months, the social network has courted dozens of financial institutions and other tech companies to join an independent foundation that will contribute capital and help govern the digital currency, according to people briefed on the plan. The digital token, which Facebook is expected to unveil later this month, is designed to function as a borderless currency without transaction fees and will be aggressively marketed in developing nations where government-backed currencies are more volatile, the people said.
cryptocurrency  globalcoin  facebook  money  finance  banks 
5 weeks ago
The future of the GOP looks a lot like this fast-growing community in Florida - POLITICO Magazine
The Villages is that base, with 56 percent registered Republicans versus 22 percent Democrats. It’s not a sleepy cocoon for geriatric shut-ins who watch Fox News all day; Villagers pack their days with pickleball, golf, volunteer work, yoga, more golf, mah-jongg, line dancing and happy hours. They’re just as busy and even more social than they were when they were working. At the same time, past media portrayals of The Villages as a raucous end-of-life swingers club with an alcoholism epidemic and record rates of sexually transmitted diseases aren’t right, either; state medical data show it’s below average in both categories, and its bustling town squares empty out after 9 p.m.
trump  culture  florida  boomers  politics 
6 weeks ago
Game of Groans | Online Only | n+1 - Drew Daniel
In order to be popular, their narrative must play with but not unleash the real dragon: popular disenfranchisement under capitalism, and all the surging affects of hatred and despair and longing that roil beneath its mandatory quotidian acts of consumption and compliance. Game of Thrones offers thrilling entertainment not only because of its thickly imagined world, memorable characters, or intricate multi-generational plotlines (all qualities of the original novels alleged to be there by my husband, who has actually read them), but because, as television, it offers controlled but vicious doses of antagonism, spectacular scenes of cruelty producing equally spectacular scenes of retribution and punishment, that you can collectively discuss, as a culture, week after week, blow after blow, death after death, precisely because it is so popular. This is what Bergson termed “the quality of quantity”—the expressive point at which the sheer proliferation of something, its modulations of intensity, change what it fundamentally is. This is where the phenomenon of the massively multi-platform entertainment media juggernaut exceeds and upstages the mere novels which are its basis. Accordingly, this is where the shadow of the showrunners looms largest.
gameofthrones  entertainment  scale  hbo 
6 weeks ago
Making Sense of the New American Right
Like populism, however, nationalism is a capacious idea that encompasses many subsets of opinion. Claremont may be the main site of nationalist conservatism, but it is not alone. Within the nationalist camp, broadly defined, are four schools of thought. Each is associated with a young Republican senator. The lines between these persuasions blur—some of the senators I name could fit into different categories, and others might not accept the labels I am about to bestow on them—but the conservative terrain has become so difficult to navigate that it's useful to have a map. Let me take you through this new territory.
conservatism  right  altright  liberalism  taxonomy 
6 weeks ago
Kiwibots win fans at UC Berkeley as they deliver fast food at slow speeds -
The Kiwibots do not figure out their own routes. Instead, people in Colombia, the home country of Chavez and his two co-founders, plot “waypoints” for the bots to follow, sending them instructions every five to 10 seconds on where to go.

As with other offshoring arrangements, the labor savings are huge. The Colombia workers, who can each handle up to three robots, make less than $2 an hour, which is above the local minimum wage.
automation  bots  drones  fake 
6 weeks ago
What ‘Family Values’ Really Means in American Politics - Malcolm Harris interviews Melinda Cooper
Cooper: As political philosophies and frameworks for understanding the world, economic liberalism and conservatism do have distinct lineages and styles of analysis. There is a certain common sense to the argument that they are at loggerheads. The liberal defense of the free market is built on a critique of inherited status, of so-called unearned income or rent, of mercantilist protectionism and monopolies. The conservative critique of the free market is a reaction formation against the bourgeois revolutions of the 19th century and a revanchist effort to reinstate or reinvent social hierarchies of all kinds.

However, if you look at the history of economic liberalism, the borders become very fuzzy both in the sense that we find key figures of the conservative canon who were also liberals and vice versa (figures such as Edmund Burke and Thomas Malthus come to mind). And in practice it is impossible to find any period of so-called laissez faire triumphalism that was not accompanied by a rollout of conservative or paternalist social policies of some kind. In American history, you could point to the Gilded Age of the late 19th century and the period from the late 1970s until today as proof of this working relationship.
family  sociality  conservatism  neoliberalism  right 
6 weeks ago
'A white-collar sweatshop': Google Assistant contractors allege wage theft | Technology | The Guardian
But to some of the Google employees responsible for making the Assistant work, the tagline of the conference – “Keep making magic” – obscured a more mundane reality: the technical wizardry relies on massive data sets built by subcontracted human workers earning low wages.

“It’s smoke and mirrors if anything,” said a current Google employee who, as with the others quoted in this story, spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press. “Artificial intelligence is not that artificial; it’s human beings that are doing the work.”
google  bots  robots  fake  real  labor 
7 weeks ago
Eight Theses Regarding Social Media | L.M. Sacasas
1. Social media are the fidget spinners of the soul.

2. Each social media platform is a drug we self-prescribe and consume in order to regulate our emotional life, and we are constantly experimenting with the cocktail.

3. Law of Digital Relativity: Perception of space and time is relative to the digital density of the observer’s experience.

4. Affect overload is a more serious problem than information overload. The product of both is moral apathy and mental exhaustion.

5. While text and image flourish online, the psycho-dynamics of digital culture are most akin to those of oral cultures (per Walter Ong).

6. Just as the consumer economy was boundless in its power to commodify, so the attention economy is boundless in its power to render reality standing reserve for the project of identity construction/performance. The two processes, of course, are not unrelated.

7. In the attention economy, strategic silence is power. But, because of the above, it is also a deeply demanding practice of self-denial.

8. Virtue is self-forgetting. The structures of social media make it impossible to forget yourself.
socialmedia  internet  tech  attention  emotion 
7 weeks ago
Advertising as a major source of human dissatisfaction | VOX, CEPR Policy Portal
Although the negative impact of conspicuous consumption has been discussed for more than a century, the link between advertising and individual is not well understood. This column uses longitudinal data for 27 countries in Europe linking change in life satisfaction to variation in advertising spend. The results show a large negative correlation that cannot be attributed to the business cycle or individual characteristics.
advertising  humanity  society  health  happi 
7 weeks ago
JPMorgan Chase’s digital coin plan just killed the Bitcoin dream. - Barron's
But that dream is now effectively dead, and blockchain is now fully into its boring phase. The latest and most telling evidence of this arrived this morning, when JPMorgan (JPM) said it had developed and tested a prototype of a digital coin.

JPMorgan’s coin rollout also says something about the broader state of technology in the current economy. Tech’s promise is no longer about replacing middlemen. It’s about middlemen using technology to entrench their profitable position.
cryptocurrency  globalcoin  banks  finance 
7 weeks ago
Dr. Evil Would Love Facebook’s “GlobalCoin” - The Washington Post
Zuckerberg will obviously do his best to make his new project sound as trustworthy and above-board as possible when it’s finally launched. GlobalCoin is said to be a so-called “stablecoin,” which are usually pegged to a major currency like the U.S. dollar to minimize volatility. So, in theory, one of Facebook’s tokens would never be more valuable than the dollar that backs it – unlike the boom-and-bust prices of Bitcoin. Presumably, Facebook would also keep things plain-vanilla at first in terms of the digital currency’s uses, offering simple retail deals or money transfers to minimize the risk of loss for its more than 2 billion users.

Regulators and politicians are no dummies, though. This is the kind of move that would turn Facebook from an incredibly powerful centralized network tracking its users’ behavior for the benefit of advertisers into one that also knows where and how they spend their money. Transaction data is a powerful tool, one that’s key to a lot of fintech companies’ bubbly valuations. In the hands of a business with Facebook’s reach, the unintended consequences could be huge. U.S. Senators are right to be asking tough questions already about the implications for privacy, potential data breaches, and credit scoring. If Facebook starts gauging its users’ creditworthiness, it will need tough regulation.
globalcoin  facebook  cryptocurrency 
7 weeks ago
Chinese programmer who created program to use facial recognition to find porn actresses
A Germany-based Chinese programmer said he and some friends have identified 100k porn actresses from around the world, cross-referencing faces in porn videos with social media profile pictures. The goal is to help others check whether their girlfriends ever acted in those films.

The side project took them half a year. 100+ terabytes of video data from 1024, 91, sex8, PornHub, and xvideos were compared against profile pictures from Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Weibo, and others.

Of the 1,000 or so comments, most express excitement about the service. The most up-voted comment asks if the OP plans on identifying the men in porn videos. "A true blessing for us credulous programmers. When can we use it?" another read.

The OP said for legal reasons, he may have to "anonymize the data" before letting people query the database. He also said he's open to the idea of doing a version for male porn stars.

The OP was asked whether he knew what sort of legal jeopardy he could be in. He said everything he did was legal because 1) he hasn't shared any data, 2) he hasn't opened up the database to outside queries, and 3) sex work is legal in Germany, where he's based.
46 replies 67 retweets 396 likes
surveillance  relationships  porn  photography 
7 weeks ago
Outside the tower - Rob Horning
Under these conditions we don’t have to be interpellated as individual subjects at all. We have a tracking number and an archive of behavioral data but little in the way of meaningful agency. Automatic surveillance makes "individuals" unnecessary; what it requires are what Deleuze, in his “Control Society” essay, called "dividuals." With the mesh of networks and surveillance technologies closing around us we are rendered as discrete nodes in a total system of control that doesn't rely at all on conditioning our will before the fact. This is when platforms like Facebook purport to give us more agency, it is essentially meaningless; the choices don't have any impact on the premise of full enclosure, as Lizzie O'Shea suggests in this Baffler essay about Facebook's ludicrous pivot to privacy: "Mark wants you to be able to easily exclude people from seeing your messages and stories—unless that person happens to be him. This vision of privacy doesn’t hold any power because it does not challenge the definitive power framework for users of social media."

But privacy feels like an inadequate framework for this. "Privacy has necessarily become an expansive concept in the digital age, given the myriad ways in which technology occupies more of our personal spaces," O'Shea notes, but even that seems to set up a distinction between "personal space" and surveilled space that no longer applies. O'Shea argues that "the right to privacy includes the right to exist outside of the market. It is the right to enjoy spaces without feeling as though your presence is being used by marketers to predict your future." I agree totally, but I'm not sure many of us have any experience with "outside of the market" — personal identity has been fully subsumed by consumerism for decades. The problem is that platforms offer us a life in which individuality, understood as a kind of resistance to the world around us, to the various social pressures and ascribed identities imposed on us, is superfluous — just friction. The problem isn't that when platforms try to predict our future for marketing purposes, they are being invasive. It's more that they have erected a total environment in which any resistance is already captured. We aren't asked to obey, so we can't be defiant.
privacy  surveillance  socialmedia  humanity  reality 
7 weeks ago
Bad Virality - Rob Horning
That explains why YouTube executives of course did nothing about “bad virality.” Bad virality is the business model. When Newton writes that “extremism in all its forms is not a problem that YouTube can solve alone,” you have to wonder question whether they are even capable of perceiving it as a problem. It seems more likely that they see bad publicity as their real problem, much like Facebook does when they are confronted about similar concerns.

Extremism isn't simply extracted from the human heart of darkness by neutral machine learning processes capable of uncovering our "true desires." The desire for divisive content is generated by the environment in which it thrives. It inspires using attention metrics as a kind of proxy weapon in wars among rival factions, even as it seems to constitute a rabbit hole that testifies to the individual's diligence, daring, or savvy. Platforms don't want to build one big happy community. They want to make many smaller communities who all hate each other.
viral  youtube  extremism  attention  fake  video  advertising 
7 weeks ago
At play on the field of ghosts |
Imagine this scene: In a vast concrete arena somewhere in Asia or South America, a silent game is being played out. It is probably, for the sake of argument, soccer, but it might as well be basketball or tennis or baseball or cricket or some as-yet-uninvented but already codified and anticipated combination of all of them.

In the stands, legions of robot fans look on. Articulated limbs raise LED placards in unison at appropriate moments, their faceplates shining with the avatars of distant, telepresent humans. On the field, two hologrammatic teams are composed entirely of flickering light: In silence, they sweep from one end to the other, reenacting a game which has already been pre-calculated and pre-played. Nothing is unexpected, no move unanticipated. Nobody is injured. The perfect game ends in a draw and the robots politely applaud the apotheosis of fully automated sporting prowess.
sports  robots  algorithms  fake  reality 
7 weeks ago
The Messy Truth About Social Credit
In reality, social credit is a broad policy project for encouraging individuals, business, legal institutions, and government itself to be more “trustworthy” (守信, shouxin) through a mix of measures. These measures include the blacklisting of lawbreakers, the “red-listing” of those with exemplary records, and a range of rewards and punishments. In a few places, it also involves localized and experimental scoring systems that are meant to incentivize “better” behavior.
socialcredit  china  internet  tech  credit  surveillance 
7 weeks ago
Google’s Duplex Uses A.I. to Mimic Humans (Sometimes) - The New York Times
Google later confirmed, to our disappointment, that the caller had been telling the truth: He was a person working in a call center. The company said that about 25 percent of calls placed through Duplex started with a human, and that about 15 percent of those that began with an automated system had a human intervene at some point.

We tested Duplex for several days, calling more than a dozen restaurants, and our tests showed a heavy reliance on humans. Among our four successful bookings with Duplex, three were done by people. But when calls were actually placed by Google’s artificially intelligent assistant, the bot sounded very much like a real person and was even able to respond to nuanced questions.
bots  robots  fake  humanity 
7 weeks ago
Balkinization: The Disjunction That Was Promised - Corey Robin
I’d like to use the opportunity of my deep agreement with Balkin to explore one of the weaknesses of our shared position. As Balkin notes, in disjunctive regimes, the dominant party coalition fractures. Tensions held in check in the early days of the regime slacken during its end days; factions once willing to compromise with each other on their path to power (think of the fusionism that fueled the modern conservative movement) now refuse to cede ground. Presidents elected to manage these unruly forces face a difficult challenge. Desperate to break out of the vise they’re in and sensing the regime’s time is up, disjunctive presidents try to construct a new coalition, one less beholden to the existing poohbahs and players in the party, based on new and unorthodox policies. Carter, for example, pursued deregulation and tight money, courted evangelicals and suburban professionals, and distanced himself from unions. But because the foundation of disjunctive presidencies—the regime they were elected to manage rather than maul—is so tenuous, disjunctive presidents often rush back to safe havens, placating the party and its interests with goodies like a new Department of Education. The combination of that push and pull, toward and away from the party, antagonizes everyone, provoking a potent challenge not from the forces of the new (such as Reagan’s bid to supplant Ford in 1976) but from defenders of the faith. To wit: Teddy Kennedy’s primary challenge to Carter in 1980.

We haven’t seen that sort of challenge yet under Trump. Bill Weld notwithstanding, it seems likely we won’t. Nor have we seen the splintering of the party similar to the crackup of the New Deal coalition in the 1970s. The question is: why?
politics  disjunction  trump  history  polarization 
8 weeks ago
What it Means to Be Alive | Harper's Magazine
My father decided that he would end his life by throwing himself from the top of the parking garage at the Nashville airport, which he later told me had seemed like the best combination of convenience—that is, he could get there easily and unnoticed—and sufficiency—that is, he was pretty sure it was tall enough to do the job. I never asked him which other venues he considered and rejected before settling on this plan. He probably did not actually use the word “best.” It was Mother’s Day, 2013.
suicide  family  fatherhood 
8 weeks ago
Conventional Wisdom | Nathan Goldman
This is not to say that Rooney’s treatment of Marianne and Connell’s relationship is inattentive to the power dynamics at play. They remain central to the novel’s sense of momentum and a key way in which Rooney’s politics manifest. Normal People’s opening line—“Marianne answers the door when Connell rings the bell”—immediately suggests his power over her. But this image is complicated by the fact that Connell is much poorer than Marianne—his mother even works cleaning Marianne’s family’s home, which is the only reason the two encounter one another in this scene. On the other hand, Marianne is an introverted outcast, while Connell is gregarious and popular, though their social fortunes are reversed at Trinity, where their class differences come to the fore. Connell also wields over Marianne the power of male approval, even if, as she reflects, he’s “wholesome like a big baby tooth” and “probably never in his life has . . . thought about inflicting pain on someone for sexual purposes.” (Even this perceived purity is a form of power: Marianne understands her own sexualization of pain as debasing her before Connell, haloed by wholesomeness.) Continually and in ever-shifting ways, each ends up feeling subservient to the other, a sense that Rooney illustrates as not incidental to the passion between them.
criticism  power  literature  politics 
8 weeks ago
We Don’t Have to Sacrifice User Safety and Convenience to Make App Stores Competitive - Public Knowledge
One of the challenges of tech policy is that tech platforms, products, and services -- despite many similarities -- are quite different from each other, and specific policies or practices that make sense for one might not make sense for another. Certainly, broad principles (such as due process) may be generally applicable. But here I want to suggest some specific policies that would benefit users by promoting competition without sacrificing the security and convenience that app stores can provide, while at the same time protecting companies from some antitrust complaints. Of course, I’m not suggesting that antitrust law in the US or even the EU requires any of these specific practices or that by themselves they ensure that companies are fully compliant with antitrust law, either. Additionally, while I believe that companies with dominant app stores should follow these practices, different solutions may be required for different kinds of platform.
antitrust  apple  tech  economics  busines 
9 weeks ago
Becca Lewis theory on YouTube conspiracies
I have a long-standing theory that conspiratorial content is so rampant on YouTube in part bc the company - and therefore the content creators on the platform - are in direct competition with mainstream news...this is not to say that broadcast news does not peddle in conspiracy theories, because it obviously does. but a search for "alternatives" to the "official stories" is kind of built into youtube from a business perspective
youtube  conspiracy  media 
9 weeks ago
TikTok and Tariffs
Regarding business, not geopolitical, threats, I had linked a few editions back to this amazing Bloomberg piece on TikTok which gave this insane stat:

Over the past three months, for instance, 13 percent of all the ads seen by users of Facebook’s Android app were for TikTok

13% of all ads on Facebook Android!! It was so prevalent there were a bunch of blog posts and Reddit threads on how to block them.

We know this incursion is a heavily-funded onslaught that's working perfectly. It reminds me of how brutally well executed Facebook's launch of Instagram Stories was, except instead of leveraging a social graph for growth, it's nonstop app install ads, and this time, Facebook is the one serving the ads.

I'm the first to call Facebook anti-competitive, but you have to give them credit for taking millions of dollars in ad revenue for install ads from a direct competitor.
tiktok  socialmedia  apps  media  china  tech 
9 weeks ago
About Face – Popula
Comic about death head/Punisher imagery, militarism, blue lives matter, and aesthetics
fascism  police  fashion  war  culture 
10 weeks ago
The Emptiness of Adam Gopnik’s Liberalism | The New Republic
All the while, Gopnik maintained his ambitions as a critic, producing an expansive archive of work touching not only on art, but on literature, history, philosophy, and religion. Intellectually no less than materially, Gopnik is a product of his time, a child of the end of history and the first wave of ecstatic globalization. As he noted in 2002, a number of American intellectuals in the final decade of the twentieth century made Isaiah Berlin, “the image of enlightened humanism,” their guiding star. One of the important features of Berlin’s thought was, as Gopnik put it, that “liberal humanism is superior precisely because it can encompass the humanity of even those who are most anti-liberal.” Berlin was famous for his empathetic readings of counter-Enlightenment thinkers, which warned of the always-present irrational side of human nature.

A loose consensus formed around Berlin’s argument that “positive liberty”—the attempt to define liberty for everyone—was at the origin of totalitarian dictatorship. Berlin’s devotees in the 1990s, especially Michael Ignatieff and Mark Lilla, put considerable, if not uncritical, stock in Berlin’s visions of inherent human violence and its potential to break loose at the first sign of an overly ambitious political project. The “Berlin consensus,” which Gopnik seems to have absorbed, held that a more limited “negative liberty”—allowing people to pursue their own definitions of liberty—could protect individuals from such projects. No matter the scale of crises or the structural impediments to reform, liberal incrementalism was the only answer, because everything else has proved to lead to mass murder. Reading Berlin was one way of turning no-alternative politics into intellectual heroism.

liberalism  ideology  politics  history 
10 weeks ago
The Economy and the Election | The Cook Political Report
The Michigan Consumer Survey has done some fantastic work on exploring the issue of partisan differences in perceptions of the economy. Last September, the University of Michigan's Richard Curtain found that partisan differences in perceptions of the economy are larger than at any time in recent history.

Not surprisingly, the study found that "Republicans held more favorable expectations during the Reagan, Bush, and Trump administrations, who were all Republican presidents. During the Obama administration, Democrats held more optimistic expectations."

For example, during the Reagan administration, Republicans were on average, 11.5 points more optimistic about the economy, while Democrats were 7.4 points more pessimistic, for a gap of 18.9 points. That gap grew a bit during the George W. Bush and Obama eras; 20.9 to 23.9 respectively.
economy  reality  perception 
10 weeks ago
Kiss cam - Rob Horning
What social media catered to was the fantasy of exposure, while at the same time offering an illusion of greater control over one’s public image. It could seem like you could present a carefully curated version of yourself, and if you wanted to, you could imagine that lots of people might see it. In reality, social media undermined the kinds of de facto obscurity people were used to and made unflattering reflections pop up unexpectedly. Social media platforms grew not because they were aggrandizing but because they seemed convenient: They made it easy for us to communicate at arm’s length and at scale. It became ordinary to see oneself and all one’s friends as operating overlapping mailing lists. So if there was a newly supported fantasy of becoming "microfamous," there was also the dull reality of being able to spam and spy on the people you knew.

Getting someone's attention became superfluous to “communication,” which no longer required a sense of occasion or encounter. As this kind of "frictionless" sociality — where communication is consumed unilaterally and reciprocity is optional or more easily fakeable — became central to so many tech and advertising business models, people were urged to “connect” all the time. As constant contact become routine, it became correspondingly more rarefied and “real” to experience communicative friction — to encounter a medium that is not always on and open to us, one that has limits and can’t be infinitely subdivided into millions of simultaneous channels. In other words, the mundanity of everyday interpersonal broadcasting seems to have actually re-enchanted the idea of “being on TV,” and the idea that this constitutes a higher or purer form of social recognition.
surveillance  socialmedia  photography 
10 weeks ago
Do you use Nextdoor to report crimes? Police departments are asking that you stop. Here's why.
Public agencies and employees are allowed on the site, and have profiles they can use to post information. You may have even seen your local police department posting in your “neighborhood.” However, according to Nextdoor’s website, “Agencies will never see your profile or content from your neighborhood. They only see their own posts and replies to those posts.”

Last month in Aurora, police responded to an attempted child luring where two men yelled at two young girls to get in a car . When Denver7 called Aurora Police about a comment to that incident on Nextdoor of a possible second similar incident, the officer responded with the fact that they do not have access to that post.
nextdoor  crime 
11 weeks ago
Neighbor wars: How Nextdoor is changing the Bay Area housing debate – Times-Herald
“Unfortunately Nextdoor has not worked out to be…a very satisfactory tool either for people who are pro-housing or people who want to set up a breather from housing,” said Bob Cushman, a leader of slow-growth group Foster City Residents for Responsible Development, who was active on Nextdoor until he was kicked off several months ago over accusations he was using the site to campaign. “It’s not monitored very well. It’s turned into a very toxic kind of site.”
nextdoor  property  development 
11 weeks ago
‘Mean world syndrome’: In some Seattle neighborhoods, fear of crime exceeds reality | The Seattle Times
Helfgott says that a number of factors contribute to this sense of fear, including reading or watching a lot of news, or hyperlocal websites like, where neighbors frequently post about crime.

“A person who is a high media consumer will believe the world is a much more dangerous place than his or her neighbor who is a low media consumer,” she said.
nextdoor  crime  busybodyism  surveillance 
11 weeks ago
The ‘Nextdoor effect’ in Bellevue: a familiar reaction to crime | The Seattle Times
“There’s a thing you may be familiar with called the ‘Nextdoor effect,’ ” said Seth Tyler, spokesman for the Bellevue Police Department.

Yes, I am familiar.

Tyler is referring to the hyperlocal website and social-media platform, It provides a forum for neighbors to communicate privately with each other and to share information. But folks frequently use the site to post about crime or any (real or perceived) suspicious activity. Neighbors who spend a lot of time reading these posts can come away with a heightened sense of fear and the feeling that things in their neighborhood have gotten out of control.
nextdoor  crime  surveillance  busybodism 
11 weeks ago
The Real 2020 Divide | Financial Times
This underscores that in 2020, Republicans are courting seniors, and Democrats are all about the youth. That in turn reflects an important dynamic between millennials and boomers, which Paul Taylor, a former vice-president of the Pew Research Center, explored well in is 2016 book “The Next America.”

Basically, you’ve got the millennials — well educated, tech savvy, and yet underemployed — struggling to make ends meet. Unless something shifts, they are on track to be the first generation in the US to be poorer than their parents. Meanwhile, 10,000 baby boomers are retiring every day, and about a third of them have less than $25,000 in retirement savings. Scary! Talk about a Hobbesian world.

But at the same time, the wealthiest boomers also own the majority of the country’s asset base. As I’ve written many times, the past ten years have particularly good for them, because low rates and QE have driven asset prices up relative to incomes. Hence, asset poor millennials crashing on the Roche Bobois couches of their parents. Ed, curious if this is something that your friends complain about, as mine do?

All of this sets up a very polarising dynamic — and not just because of the resentments that build up when your millennial children won’t take out the trash. There is going to be a major coming battle between who gets what part of a shrinking economic pie as we move into a likely downturn in 2019 or 2020.

Matt Stoller, a fellow at Open Markets and author of a forthcoming book on the history of populism in the Democratic party, summed it up well in a recent tweet:

“The Democratic party is not unified because young Dem voters owe unpayable debt that forms the asset base of old Dem voters. It’s not reconcilable without populism.”
politics  democrats  debt  elections  class 
12 weeks ago
YouTube Livestream Comments from Congressional Hearing
"Any member of Congress who doesn't believe white supremacy and hate are issues on the platforms should be forced to watch the live comments on the YouTube page for their own hearing"
youtube  nazis  racism 
april 2019
Streaming Gamergate Twitter Thread
Here's the part that I find ominous. There's no functional difference , as a user, between Steam and Epic. But there's a culture war nevertheless! People are drawing up battle lines, releasing increasingly deranged videos about the imminent death of Steam, etc etc.

These are *platforms*. And they're picking up loyalists willing to go to battle for them, using sky-is-falling rhetoric of the sort that has triggered mass ~gamer~ movements of idiocy before.

It's like people attaching *moral* worth to having Netflix and not Hulu, or using Uber over Lyft
gamergate  culturewars  netflix  videogames 
april 2019
Crisis Actor YouTube recommendation thread
I used 250 videos returned from a YouTube search for "Crisis Actor," then pulled the "next up" recommendations from each of these videos. 9000 in total. 90% of them are vile. The videos include rape jokes, shock reality social experiments, & false flag/mass shooting conspiracies
youtube  conspiracy 
april 2019
Hospital viruses: Fake cancerous nodes in CT scans, created by malware, trick radiologists - The Washington Post
But what if the scan had shown faked cancerous nodules, placed there by malware exploiting vulnerabilities in widely used CT and MRI scanning equipment? Researchers in Israel say they have developed such malware to draw attention to serious security weaknesses in critical medical imaging equipment used for diagnosing conditions and the networks that transmit those images — vulnerabilities that could have potentially life-altering consequences if unaddressed.

The malware they created would let attackers automatically add realistic, malignant-seeming growths to CT or MRI scans before radiologists and doctors examine them. Or it could remove real cancerous nodules and lesions without detection, leading to misdiagnosis and possibly a failure to treat patients who need critical and timely care.
politics  fake  medicine 
april 2019
YouTube Executives Ignored Warnings, Letting Toxic Videos Run Rampant - Bloomberg
YouTube’s inertia was illuminated again after a deadly measles outbreak drew public attention to vaccinations conspiracies on social media several weeks ago. New data from Moonshot CVE, a London-based firm that studies extremism, found that fewer than twenty YouTube channels that have spread these lies reached over 170 million viewers, many who were then recommended other videos laden with conspiracy theories.

The company’s lackluster response to explicit videos aimed at kids has drawn criticism from the tech industry itself. Patrick Copeland, a former Google director who left in 2016, recently posted a damning indictment of his old company on LinkedIn. While watching YouTube, Copeland’s daughter was recommended a clip that featured both a Snow White character drawn with exaggerated sexual features and a horse engaged in a sexual act. “Most companies would fire someone for watching this video at work,” he wrote. “Unbelievable!!” Copeland, who spent a decade at Google, decided to block the domain.
youtube  algorithms  conspiracy 
april 2019
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