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The FTC’s 2020 COPPA rules have YouTube creators scared | Ars Technica
In the interests of protecting children, the FTC threatens to prosecute individual YouTubers who don't mark their videos as being for children (which will cut the revenue and popularity). This may drive them to cease producing content that could remotely be considered interesting to kids.
ethics  youtube  kidsrights  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica 
6 weeks ago by mcherm
Chart of the day: For every 100 girls/women….. | American Enterprise Institute - AEI
On many statistics, men and boys are performing worse than women and girls. Yet some consider it inappropriate to direct gender-specific assistance at males. An interesting ethical question.
sexism  feminism  ethics  via:HackerNews 
7 weeks ago by mcherm
Team that made gene-edited babies sentenced to prison, fined | Ars Technica
That guy who did gene editing in two human children (in violation of all bioethics rules)? He's going to jail.
ethics  science  via:ArsTechnica  ArsTechnica 
7 weeks ago by mcherm
EU Patent Office Rejects Two Patent Applications In Which An AI Was Designated As The Inventor | Techdirt
If an AI invents something, should it receive a patent? The patent office in the EU says "No".
law  ethics  ip-law  patent  techdirt  via:Techdirt 
7 weeks ago by mcherm
Minnesota Appeals Court Nukes State's Broadly-Written Revenge Porn Law | Techdirt
Minnesota revenge porn law doesn't require that the person committing the crime be aware that the victim doesn't want it shared. Because of that, the court rules it violates the first amendment.
law  ethics  freespeech  techdirt  via:Techdirt 
7 weeks ago by mcherm
I Was Google’s Head of International Relations. Here’s Why I Left.
A highly placed, long-term leader within Google speaks out about why he felt it has lost its way ethically so badly that he was forced to resign.
google  ethics  via:reddit 
7 weeks ago by mcherm
Mother of 14-year-old boy who attempted school shooting charged - Insider
Mom called police which is why only the child was killed (suicide) when he attempted to shoot up the school. Mom is now charged because she pulled her son out of therapy when insurance didn't cover it.
law  ethics  healthcare 
october 2019 by mcherm
United States Files Civil Lawsuit Against Edward Snowden | USAO-EDVA | Department of Justice
The US sues Edward Snowden claiming he didn't get his book reviewed by the CIA before releasing it so they want 100% of the profits.
law  ethics  snowden  via:reddit 
september 2019 by mcherm
Read: Jeannette Ng's Campbell Award acceptance speech, in which she correctly identifies Campbell as a fascist and expresses solidarity with Hong Kong protesters / Boing Boing
Cory Doctorow on why it is okay, even a good thing, for a speaker to point out the flaws of the great leader whose name is on the award she is receiving.
CoryDoctorow  racism  ethics  scifi  via:boingboing 
august 2019 by mcherm
Cloudflare is Terminating Service for 8Chan
I keep being impressed by Cloudflare's policies. This is no exception.
cloudflare  ethics  freespeech  via:reddit 
august 2019 by mcherm
The U.S. Is Purging Chinese Americans From Top Cancer Research - Bloomberg
Are we (the US) REALLY starting a new "red scare / purge" over scientists and technologists of Chinese ancestry who collaborate with those in China?
china  ethics  evil  DonaldTrump  racism  via:reddit 
june 2019 by mcherm
When algorithms mess up, the nearest human gets the blame - MIT Technology Review
"Moral crumple zone" -- some nearby human we can blame so the automated system doesn't shoulder blame or culpability.
ethics  ai  law  via:reddit 
may 2019 by mcherm
Artificial intelligence, algorithmic pricing, and collusion | VOX, CEPR Policy Portal
Ai pricing models can "collude" on prices without communicating. This doesn't technically violate anti-trust laws.
pricing  ai  ethics  via:reddit 
may 2019 by mcherm
Companies that get paid by government to bring jobs are renegotiating
They requested records on publicly announced contracts where government pays money to a company to create new jobs. Many requests we're squelched by the companies. Also, many had later been "renegotiated" for fewer jobs.
via:reddit  government  ethics  secrecy 
may 2019 by mcherm
In 1998, I helped convict two men of murder. I’ve regretted it ever since.
A journalist recounts how he convicted a man (no, a boy) of murder, when he didn't and still doesn't believe the punishment was just.
law  journalism  ethics  slate  via:reddit 
march 2019 by mcherm
New Allegations Against Zak Smith Spotlight Rampant Harassment In The RPG Industry - The Fandomentals
There may be ample evidence that he is an unpleasant person, but I don't support holding lynchings without some sort of judicial review.
ethics  D&D  lynching  via:googlenow 
february 2019 by mcherm
Alabama Executes Muslim After Justices Rule He Doesn't Need Imam By His Side : NPR
I find this profoundly wrong. The state arguably is establishing a religion (only a Christian minister is allowed). The case is denied because it is presented too late, filed a mere 5 days after his request for an Imam was denied.
law  ethics  via:reddit  npr 
february 2019 by mcherm
Speaking Black Dialect in Courtrooms Can Have Striking Consequences - The New York Times
Court reporters (required to be at least 95% accurate) were about 40% accurate when transcribing black English.
law  ethics  race  racism  language  nytimes  via:reddit 
january 2019 by mcherm
I filed one of the 83 dismissed misconduct complaints against Brett Kavanaugh. Here’s why. - The Washington Post
Supreme Court judges are not bound by ethics rules, even if the violations of ethics rules occurred before they were appointed to the Supreme Court.
law  via:reddit  personal_net  ethics 
january 2019 by mcherm
Syracuse cops push St. Joe’s to probe man’s rectum for drugs; ‘What country are we living in?’ |
Police obtain a search warrant to search a suspect's anus for drugs. Doctors refuse but hospital lawyer overrides them. Patient is sedated, searched, charged $4,600; nothing is found. I think cooperating doctors should face discipline!
law  ethics  via:reddit  police  policeabuse 
december 2018 by mcherm
The Comforting Fictions of Dementia Care | The New Yorker
These days, we lie a lot to dementia patients to keep them happy. It would make for a good sci-fi horror short story.
medicine  ethics  via:HackerNews 
december 2018 by mcherm
The Tails Coming Apart As Metaphor For Life | Slate Star Codex
If people are given examples to define a category they may come up with different definitions that all seem to satisfy the examples. But the definitions will give different answers for values outside the training set. Ethics is like this.
via:SlateStarCodex  ethics  philosophy 
december 2018 by mcherm
Exterminate Mosquitoes for the Sake of Humanity - Quillette
The argument why Donald Trump should support using gene editing to exterminate a few species of mosquito that prey on humans.
ethics  DonaldTrump  biology  via:SlateStarCodex 
september 2018 by mcherm
Louisiana public defenders: a lawyer with a pulse will do | US news | The Guardian
They have no funding for public defenders so they are conscripting unqualified lawyers or even prosecutors. Also, don't miss the judge telling a reporter the defendant is known to be guilty before the trial begins.
law  ethics  via:reddit  overprosecution 
august 2018 by mcherm
The AskHistorians subreddit banned Holocaust deniers, and Facebook should too.
The moderators of /r/AskHistorians do not even permit questions related to holocaust denial because in their experience they are used to sew doubt and just being asked and discussed does harm. Interesting ethical position.
via:reddit  racism  freespeech  ethics 
july 2018 by mcherm
What it takes to stand up to authority
Research into what helps people stand up to the Stanford Prison Experiment.
via:HackerNews  ethics  brain 
july 2018 by mcherm
Poverty grounds for separating kids from their families in Canada / Boing Boing
Kids taken from their parents by the state because they are too poor to provide well for the kids. The cost to the state of caring for them is far greater than what it would take to simply help the family.
poverty  law  via:boingboing  ethics 
july 2018 by mcherm
Google worker rebellion against military project grows
A bunch of Google workers object to the company working on building software to allow US military drones to distinguish targets without human intervention.
google  robots  ethics  via:HackerNews 
may 2018 by mcherm
Boston U. Panel Finds Plagiarism by Dr. King - The New York Times
It turns out Martin Luther King Jr cheated in school (he plagiarized part of this doctoral dissertation). His degree was not posthumously withdrawn.
plagiarism  ethics  MartinLutherKing  history  teaching  via:reddit 
may 2018 by mcherm
"Believe the victim" vs "Innocent until proven guilty"
The first stricture is for investigators, counselors, medical professionals, and the support network of the victim; the second is for police and courts. The general public should stay out of it.
ethics  rape  via:reddit 
april 2018 by mcherm
/r/legaladvice hears from both sides
A commenter realized that the complaint referred to a previous post by someone else. The advice had been consistent; the other thread was undeleted and provided as evidence.
law  reddit  via:reddit  ethics  discrimination 
april 2018 by mcherm
23 Cornell Law Profs support suspended male student in Title IX court appeal
An argument against the limited "legal" system that certain colleges are setting up for adjudicating sexual assault and rape accusations.
law  ethics  via:reddit 
april 2018 by mcherm
Newtonian Ethics | Slate Star Codex
Why do people criticize not helping their neighbors me re than not helping the residents of a distant country? Morality operates on as inverse square law.
ethics  via:SlateStarCodex  ScottAlexander 
february 2018 by mcherm
Runaway Train Jumps Tracks in Commerce - latimes
A real-life "trolley problem" with enough time to think about it. They chose the less-populated neighborhood over downtown.
philosophy  ethics  via:SlateStarCodex 
january 2018 by mcherm
Two Murder Convictions for One Fatal Shot | The New Yorker
Apparently it is no uncommon (and perhaps is actually legal) for the prosecution to have contradictory positions in different defendant's trials.
law  ethics  via:reddit 
november 2017 by mcherm
This Is What It Looks Like When the President Asks People to Snitch on Their Neighbors
The "tip line" for reporting immigrants who commit crimes has been used to a great extent in order to report family members who folks are trying to get rid of.
immigration  law  DonaldTrump  ethics 
october 2017 by mcherm
(48) If I'd Known What We Were Starting | LinkedIn
One of the first security reviewers for Bitcoin comments on how Satoshi was outstandingly selfless but the ICO (initial coin offering) craze of the moment is mostly just scams.
bitcoin  ethics  via:HackerNews 
september 2017 by mcherm
Contra Askell On Moral Offsets | Slate Star Codex
Axiology (study of what is good) =/= morality =/= law. Except in artificially extreme cases, follow later ones when they conflict. Offsets (like carbon credits) are OK for axiology violations but not for moral violations.
philosophy  ethics  SlateStarCodex  via:SlateStarCodex  ScottAlexander 
september 2017 by mcherm
My IRB Nightmare | Slate Star Codex
The process of getting approval to do human experiments prevented a simple, trivial, "ask a few questions" study despite enormous efforts.
ScottAlexander  science  ScientificMethod  bureaucracy  ethics  via:SlateStarCodex 
august 2017 by mcherm
The Kolmogorov option
Scott Aaronson on why Kolmogorov was an amazing mathematician, and why ethical people may wish to remain silent and take no actions about injustices they perceive.
ethics  ScottAaronson  philosophy  history  math  via:HackerNews 
august 2017 by mcherm
Orange people in public
Someone posts asking why they had to be near inmates in public while at the courthouse, and I rip into them.
ethics  blogworthy  mypostings  via:reddit 
july 2017 by mcherm
Why the Rich Don't Give to Charity - The Atlantic
People who don't encounter the needy tend to give less. This explains why the poor give a bigger percentage of their income to charity than the rich.
ethics  philanthropy  income-inequality  via:reddit 
may 2017 by mcherm
US Death Penalty Wrongful Convictions Executions |
Secondhand report on research claiming about 4% of people on death row are innocent.
prison  law  ethics  via:PaulGraham  science  statistics 
march 2017 by mcherm
An Open Letter to The Uber Board and Investors – Medium
Mitch Kapor (Silicon Valley investor) writes a public letter to the board and management of Uber about their response to the sexism scandal after attempts to use inside channels meet a dead end.
startup  ethics  MitchKapor  via:HackerNews 
february 2017 by mcherm
Famed poker pro with ‘remarkable’ $9.6 million scheme has to pay it back, judge rules - The Washington Post
Gambler fools casino. Judge rules he has to give back the money, plus more money he won with it.
law  gambling  via:HackerNews  ethics 
december 2016 by mcherm
surveillance, whistleblowing, and security engineering
Yahoo executives installed a back-door for US Govt to use without informing their security team. (When they found it, they assumed it had been done by hackers.)
security  ethics  privacy  surveillance  yahoo 
december 2016 by mcherm
The code I’m still ashamed of
He wrote a website which used underhanded techniques to promote a particular drug to teens, which had a side effect of promoting suicide.
ethics  programming  via:reddit 
november 2016 by mcherm
Exclusive: Yahoo secretly scanned customer emails for U.S. intelligence - sources | Reuters
Apparently Alex Stamos, head of security at Yahoo, resigned over Yahoo's choice to spy on all of their customers' emails for the US government without even putting up a fight.
yahoo  security  ethics  4thAmmendment  privacy  via:LoweringTheBar 
october 2016 by mcherm
Cathy O’Neil on Weapons of Math Destruction | Hacker News
My posting on why we don't want banks using unrestricted algorithms for making credit decisions, particularly not using race or family income as criteria.
mypostings  banking  ethics  race  via:HackerNews 
october 2016 by mcherm
Government Again Shows Its Inconsistency On Punishing The Mishandling Of Classified Documents | Techdirt
People in power are treated very differently than those not in power, and whistleblowers are often persecuted. And (as I add) Congress is giving up its power.
mypostings  politics  secrecy  ethics  whistleblower  techdirt  via:Techdirt 
september 2016 by mcherm
Why Do We Judge Parents For Putting Kids At Perceived — But Unreal — Risk? : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR
People's estimates of risk are based on their moral concerns, not anything about actual risk, at least in the area of free range parenting.
ethics  philosophy  culture  freerangekids  via:HackerNews  npr 
august 2016 by mcherm
The Robin Hood Group and ETC — Medium
The "white-hat hackers" who stole the rest of the money in the DAO after the real theft, did NOT do the "right thing" and return the money to the DAO investors.
ethereum  ethics  via:HackerNews 
august 2016 by mcherm
Artificial Intelligence’s White Guy Problem - The New York Times
Lots of existing algorithms seem to be racially biased -- "we don't have to wait for the evil AI takeover, it's already here for those who aren't rich white guys".
ethics  ai  nytimes  via:boingboing 
august 2016 by mcherm
The Heart of Deterrence | Restricted Data
Idea: Embed the nuclear launch codes in a capsule near the heart of a volunteer. The president must MURDER the volunteer with his own hand to fire the missiles. I like this plan.
ethics  personal_net  via:HackerNews 
july 2016 by mcherm
Blockchain Company's Smart Contracts Were Dumb - Bloomberg View
Pros and cons and examples to address the philosophical question of enforcing contracts as written when maybe that isn't what everyone meant.
ethereum  libertarian  philosophy  law  ethics  via:HackerNews 
june 2016 by mcherm
Hulk Hogan’s Ambulance Chaser | New York Personal Injury Law Blog
This is a legal take on a case where a rich man (Peter Theil) with a (legitimate) vendetta against a (bottom-feeding) news organization funds lawsuits against them in hopes of ruining them (and may have succeeded).
law  ethics  journalism 
may 2016 by mcherm
How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist — Medium
Some anti-patterns that are unethical in the design of computer interfaces. Intermittent reinforcement; fear of missing out; using social approval to push engagement; unending lists; constant interruptions; hard to cancel;
ui  webdevelopment  ethics  programming  webdesign  via:boingboing 
may 2016 by mcherm
Be Nice, At Least Until You Can Coordinate Meanness | Slate Star Codex
Don't be mean to people unless it is as a group (enforcing a "law"). That's a minimum standard, probably allowing people to avoid meanness if they are careful.
ethics  SlateStarCodex  via:SlateStarCodex  ScottAlexander 
may 2016 by mcherm
Houston213 comments on Houston Police Department body camera program launched
Police officer says cameras on police are fine, but it will mean that he MUST arrest everyone he catches with something illegal, instead of using his discretion.
ethics  police 
april 2016 by mcherm
PayPal withdraws from North Carolina because of new LGBT discrimination law | Ars Technica
I'm not sure why this particular North Carolina law has created such a strong wave of corporations standing up for ethics, but I am very pleased to see it.
gayrights  paypal  ethics 
april 2016 by mcherm
Book Review: My Brother Ron | Slate Star Codex
Institutionalizing the mentally ill was terrible. Deinstitutionalizing the mentally ill has also been terrible. We should use a system of outpatient commitment.
mental_illness  ethics  SlateStarCodex  via:SlateStarCodex 
march 2016 by mcherm
The NSA’s SKYNET program may be killing thousands of innocent people | Ars Technica UK
The use of AI to decide who to kill is one thing -- maybe a bad thing. The use of BADLY DESIGNED AI that is known to be unreliable because of how it is built is much scarier, and that's what we're doing today.
terrorism  nsa  law  ai  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica  ethics 
february 2016 by mcherm
I can tolerate anything except the outgroup
Groups do not harshly attack the truly foreign, they harshly attack those subtly different but living side by side. "Red" and "blue" tribes in America are such outgroups to each other. And much more; read it.
ScottAlexander  SlateStarCodex  via:reddit  tolerance  ethics  socialclass 
february 2016 by mcherm
Too Much Evidence Should Decrease Confidence
Really key idea. If a few witnesses picked him out of a lineup we start to think he is guilty. But if too many all agree we start to think the lineup was rigged. Even very low chances of system failure have big effects.
bayesian  philosophy  law  ethics 
january 2016 by mcherm
Beware Systemic Change | Slate Star Codex
There are issues where everyone agrees what to do (but not how many resources to devote) and issues where people disagree of what is best to do. Focus on the first kind to avoid the trap of politics.
SlateStarCodex  via:SlateStarCodex  ScottAlexander  ethics 
december 2015 by mcherm
Ethics Offsets | Slate Star Codex
Offering to donate to good causes to offset the harm you cause seems like it might be OK, but in extreme cases it seems unpalatable.
ethics  ScottAlexander  via:HackerNews 
december 2015 by mcherm
All Debates Are Bravery Debates | Slate Star Codex
Some people need to hear one extreme or the other, so depending on where a certain audience is coming from it may work to take extremist positions.
ethics  via:SlateStarCodex  ScottAlexander 
december 2015 by mcherm
Vegetarianism for Meat-Eaters | Slate Star Codex
Ethics of vegetarianism: eat cows, not chicken (it abuses fewer animals); spend a few dollars on animal protection charities to offset any harm you do.
ethics  via:SlateStarCodex  ScottAlexander 
december 2015 by mcherm
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