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Extremists Understand What Tech Platforms Have Built - The Atlantic
White supremacists exploit the weaknesses in the social-media ecosystem as Facebook and Google struggle to keep up.
3 days ago
Data Ownership: Who Owns What and Why - The British Library (11 June 2019)
Today big corporations have more granular and immediate personal data beyond that of any state. How does this impact the welfare state’s ability to harness and use data for the public good? Join world-leading experts Rainer Kattel, Evgeny Morozov and Isabella de Michelis to discuss the politics of data ownership.
3 days ago
The controversial tech used to predict problems before they happen | UK News | Sky News
At least 53 councils are using computer models to detect problems before they happen, according to new research by Cardiff University and Sky News, which shows the scale of the controversial technology in UK public services.
grantee  datajusticelab  algorithms  publicservices 
9 days ago
Amazon sells 'autism cure' books that suggest children drink toxic, bleach-like substances | WIRED UK
One book, Healing the Symptoms Known As Autism, instructs parents in how to make chlorine dioxide – a bleach-like substance that is sometimes marketed as “Miracle Mineral Solution”. Although the substance has never been scientifically verified as a treatment for any condition, an Amazon search for “Miracle Mineral Solution” turns up more than 25 books extolling its supposed benefits.

In 2010, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that chlorine dioxide, used in this manner, “can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and symptoms of severe dehydration” and that it “poses a significant health risk to consumers who may choose to use this product for self-treatment”. On its product page, Amazon’s recommendation system suggests that people interested in the book might also like to purchase chlorine dioxide drops intended for water purification.
amazon  ee  recommendation 
10 days ago
China database lists 'breedready' status of 1.8 million women
An open database in China contains the personal information of more than 1.8 million women, including their phone numbers, addresses, and something called “BreedReady” status, according to a researcher.
data  surveillance  privacy 
11 days ago
Trump's Big Tech Bluster
An op-ed in the New York Times by our grantee Open Markets Initiative on how the anti-trust division of the Department of Justice is making life easier for potential monopolists in Silicon Valley
15 days ago
U.S. Supreme Court Rules Against World Bank Arm on Immunity - Bloomberg
Voting 7-1 on Wednesday, the court said sovereign immunity doesn’t protect those international organizations in the U.S. when they are involved in commercial activities.
ee  worldbank 
16 days ago
Google won't run political ads during Canada's election cycle
Google won't run political ads during Canada's 2019 election, according to The Globe and Mail. Google made its decision in response to a new set of election advertising transparency rules, which Google said would be too difficult to comply with.
google  elections  canada  ad  transparency  hjd 
16 days ago
Google to ban political ads ahead of federal election citing new transparency rules
A story about the decision by Google to ban political ads because of new rules that have come into effect before the Canadian federal elections
17 days ago
The Datafication of Employment
This report offers some preliminary research and observations on what we call the “datafication of employment.” Our thesis is that data-mining techniques innovated in the consumer realm have moved into the workplace. Firms who’ve made a fortune selling and speculating on data acquired from consumers in the digital economy are now increasingly doing the same with data generated by workers. Not only does this corporate surveillance enable a pernicious form of rent-seeking—in which companies generate huge profits by packaging and selling worker data in marketplace hidden from workers’ eyes—but also, it opens the door to an extreme informational asymmetry in the workplace that threatens to give employers nearly total control over every aspect of employment.
ee  labor  platforms  datification  data  algorithms 
18 days ago
UC terminates subscriptions with world’s largest scientific publisher in push for open access to publicly funded research | University of California
“I fully support our faculty, staff and students in breaking down paywalls that hinder the sharing of groundbreaking research,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “This issue does not just impact UC, but also countless scholars, researchers and scientists across the globe — and we stand with them in their push for full, unfettered access.”
ee  california  elsevier 
21 days ago
Rockefeller Foundation Establishes Atlas AI - New Startup to Generate Actionable Intelligence on Global Development Challenges | Philanthropy New York
The Rockefeller Foundation marked the public launch of Atlas AI, a social enterprise established by the Foundation and a team of Stanford University professors to develop data products to support global development. Atlas AI works at the intersection of development economics, crop science, remote sensing, and artificial intelligence to generate detailed insights on poverty, crop yield and economic trends across Sub-Saharan Africa. Earlier this week, Atlas AI named Victoria Coleman, previously Chief Technology Officer of the Wikimedia Foundation, as the organization’s first Chief Executive Officer
ee  ai  rockefeller 
23 days ago
Antitrust 3: Big Tech (NPR Planet Money)
For this episode, we're looking at the present, and toward a future where markets may be dominated by tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, and Google. A new wave of antitrust thinkers is asking if the size and reach of these companies is a threat to competition, and ultimately to consumers. It's the backlash to the backlash introduced by Robert Bork in the seventies, and a reassessment of the relationship between the government and business in the United States.
23 days ago
Antitrust 2: The Paradox (NPR Planet Money)
This is the second episode in our series on the history of competition, big business and antitrust law in America. Quick recap: the government got more and more aggressive — intervening in the free market more and more — until a lawyer named Robert Bork completely transformed the way antitrust law works in America, and paved the way for today's tech giants.
23 days ago
Antitrust 1: Standard Oil (NPR Planet Money)
Today on the show, we're launching a three part series on antitrust law, one of the most important but least-understood bodies of law in the United States.

Antitrust 1: Standard Oil


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For this first episode in the series, we're starting at the very beginning, in the nineteenth century, with the story of John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil.
anti-trust  antitrust 
23 days ago
The Trauma Floor
A detailed account of working as a contractor moderating content for Facebook.
23 days ago
A skeptical View of Information Fiduciaries
A new paper from Lina Khan and David Pozen taking a critical view of the idea that an "information fiduciary" approach could help solve the regulatory questions with respect to the dominant technology companies.
24 days ago
Thread by @JayTSack: "I was a former 'Content Analyst' for over 4 years monitoring Twitter and have a few things to say about this. Thread: I covered some of the […]"
Last year when FB announced they were beginning this program, I messaged many recruiters and offered to help. I did not receive even one response.
One more thing, after I stopped working there, I sought out a shaman in Peru and that helped to contextualize my experience.
ptsd  secondary_trauma  ee  facebook  content_moderation  contentblocking 
24 days ago
Corey Robin on the ‘Historovox’: What We Missed About Trump
When academic knowledge is on tap for the media, the result is not a fusion of the best of academia and the best of journalism but the worst of both worlds. On the one hand, we get the whiplash of superficial commentary: For two years, America was on the verge of authoritarianism; now it’s not. On the other hand, we get the determinism that haunts so much academic knowledge. When the contingencies of a day’s news cycle are overlaid with the laws of social science or whatever ancient formation is trending in the precincts of academic historiography, the political world can come to seem more static than it is.
politics  academia  journalism  ee  authoritarian 
29 days ago
The Power of Corporations in the Digital World
Discussion paper from the alliance "Curbing Corporate Power" focused specifically on market power and competition law
4 weeks ago
Opinion | The Joy of Standards - The New York Times
These facts should prompt some reflection about the exercise of power in a technological society: Amid concerns about the excesses of market power and government regulation, nobody seems to worry much about the private groups of experts who created 80 percent of the laptop’s standards. Standards created this way, known as the “voluntary consensus” process, are ubiquitous. They range from technologies like electrical plugs, lumber and concrete, to rules and certifications for food safety and environmental sustainability, to more personal matters such as definitions of health and disease.
standards  design  ee 
4 weeks ago
Ahead of India’s general election, fact-checking initiatives are mushrooming online. — Splice
Until August, only two Indian fact-checking initiatives — Boom and FactChecker — had been certified by the International Fact Checking Network, which stresses non-partisanship, as well as transparency of sourcing, funding and methodology.

But ahead of India’s general election in May, others are getting in on the act. Four more have been certified in recent months, including TV Today Network Fact Check.

And the Times Group, the biggest Indian media conglomerate and publisher of the largest circulated English-language daily in the world, started its own project called Times Fact Check in August.

However, most initiatives, even signatories to ICFN’s code, only partly disclose their funding.

Kaur questions whether mainstream press fact-checking units are turning the microscope on their own media outlets — and, by extension, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“India Today, for example, has a brilliant fact-checking team. But there is a clear dichotomy between what the fact-checking unit does and what India Today the television news channel does. I’m not sure it fact-checks stories from its own TV channel,” she says.
ee  elections  fact  factchecking  india 
4 weeks ago
The limits of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence - YouTube
The limits of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
palantir  ee  mL  AI  privacy 
4 weeks ago
How Google fights disinformation
A paper from Google detailing efforts across their platforms on how they fight disinformation.
4 weeks ago
Disinformation and Fake News final report from UK Department of Media Culture and Sport
This is the final report from the select committee in the UK Parliament investigating fake news. It includes a number of specific recommendations on platform accountability.
4 weeks ago
The Cairncross Review - A Sustainable Future for Journalism
A report in the UK into journalism that also covers the role of the online platforms and recommendations on the role of regulation of the platforms in relation to news.
5 weeks ago
ELLA, AI at the service of gender diversity #JamaisSansElles
#JamaisSansElles has created their own AI robot

The challenge was raised by Natacha Quester-Séméon, co-founder of the movement, who was determined to use artificial intelligence for the benefit of the #JamaisSansElles cause: gender diversity and the fair sharing of leadership and responsibilities between men and women. Natacha immediately started to transmit to ELLA – that’s her name! – the founding values of the association and to ensure she benefited from her own expertise… and that of the web.
ee  AI  feminism  harassment  gender 
5 weeks ago
Open Letter to WFP re: Palantir Agreement – Responsible Data
We write to urge you to reconsider the terms and scope of the agreement with Palantir, to be more transparent about the process and terms of the agreement, and to take concrete, immediate steps to mitigate the serious risks of harm arising from the agreement, including by establishing an external committee of experts to review the implementation of the partnership terms.

We, too, are keen for a debate centred around facts not speculation – but due to a significant lack of transparency, it is difficult to understand Palantir’s business practices and the risks they entail, as well as what WFP has partnered with them to do. From the little that we know, we can assume that the risks in working with them arise not from data sharing, but from the models that are extracted from WFP’s data, the software that is used, and biases within models that will be applied to the data.
ee  palantir  responsible_data  data  mosaic_effect 
6 weeks ago
He Committed Murder. Then He Graduated From an Elite Law School. Would You Hire Him as Your Attorney? - The New York Times
Last September, a group of academics and activists gathered at Princeton University to discuss the limits of artificial intelligence in public policy.

The longest debate concerned some of the most sensitive decisions in the justice system, like whether to release a person on bail or parole. Many in attendance were queasy about using algorithms to determine prison stays — not least because crime data tends to reflect racial bias. But one conference goer in particular stood out for his skepticism.
ee  AI  public_policy  police 
6 weeks ago
2019 SSRC Fellow Lecture: Lorraine Daston - Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College
Long before there were computers or even reliable calculating machines, there were algorithms, recipes, and other rigid rules. But for just as long, stretching back to ancient Greece and Rome and continuing through the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century, the rule-as-algorithm coexisted peacefully and fruitfully with another idea of a rule: the rule-as-pattern. For us, who live in the age of algorithms, this centuries-long cohabitation between the most rigid of rules—the algorithm to be followed to the letter—and the most supple of rules—the pattern or model to be imitated but not slavishly copied—seems paradoxical. Daston’s new work analyzes how this paradox became thinkable, and how rules became rigid.
ee  algorithms 
6 weeks ago
Inside Facebook’s fight against European regulation – POLITICO
Real insight into what lobbying from platforms looks like to EU regulators--note that the piece makes no distinction between lobbying against data protection provisions and lobbying against harmful content provisions.
lobbying  gdpr  eu  copyright  platforms  intermediary_liability 
6 weeks ago
IRIN | New UN deal with data mining firm Palantir raises protection concerns
At a press conference in Geneva, WFP’s chief information officer Enrica Porcari said the plan was to launch a data integration effort that would include records of distributions to beneficiaries but, she stressed, not personally identifiable data. “Can all the data pour into one lake?” she asked, rhetorically. The system would then, she explained, work like a bank whose algorithms flag unusual credit card activity, picking up “anomalies” in beneficiary locations and behaviour that might signal misuse.
ee  palantir  data  transparency  privacy 
6 weeks ago
Opinion | Navigating Bureaucracy? Try Technology - The New York Times
“Technology is not a substitute for good public policy,” said Ms. Vollinger, of the food research group.
ee  social_impact  business  technology 
6 weeks ago
Attorney General James Announces Groundbreaking Settlement With Sellers Of Fake Followers And “Likes” On Social Media
Settlement is First in the US to Find that Selling Fake Followers and “Likes” Is Illegal Deception and that Fake Activity Using Stolen Identities Is Illegal Impersonation
7 weeks ago
Facebook Moves to Block Ad Transparency Tools - including ours
This article talks about how ProPublica is facing the same problems as Who Targets Me in that their plug-in has been disabled by changes made by Facebook.
7 weeks ago
Facebook restricts campaigners ability to check ads for political transparency
This Guardian article highlights the challenges one of our grantees is facing following changes that Facebook have made.
7 weeks ago
Zuckerberg Plans to Integrate WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger - The New York Times
“This is why there should have been far more scrutiny during Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp, which now clearly seem like horizontal mergers that should have triggered antitrust scrutiny,” he said in a message on Twitter. “Imagine how different the world would be if Facebook had to compete with Instagram and WhatsApp.”
ee  facebook  whatasapp  privacy  platforms 
8 weeks ago
Now we know why WhatsApp's founders quit, and it's not good news! - MSPoweruser
Last year WhatsApp founder Jan Koum suddenly resigned from his position at Facebook, reportedly over privacy issues.

Today, in a report from the New York Times, the other shoe dropped, as it was revealed that Facebook plans to integrate Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp in one unifying system using the same protocol and presumably back-end. According to the report, all the services would now use end to end encryption, but other privacy concerns have worried WhatsApp employees so much they have or are planning to leave.
ee  whatsapp  privacy  platform 
8 weeks ago
The Web Is a Customer Service Medium (
WWIC is the thing people talk about when they talk about nicer-sounding things like “the wisdom of crowds” or “cognitive surplus.” It has become the first thing I think about when I think about the web. I've spent a lot of time with users, and as part of various web communities. I've answered thousands of emails about things I built or said. Now, when I sit down to graffle, I start by asking: “How do we deal with the WWIC problem?” Everything else comes after.
ee  opensource  wikipedia  comments 
9 weeks ago
More Start-Ups Have an Unfamiliar Message for Venture Capitalists: Get Lost - The New York Times
Would Facebook’s leadership have ignored warning signs of Russian election meddling or allowed its platform to incite racial violence if it hadn’t, in its early days, prized moving fast and breaking things? Would Uber have engaged in dubious regulatory and legal strategies if it hadn’t prioritized expansion over all else? Would the tech industry be struggling with gender and race discrimination if the investors funding it were a little less homogeneous?
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“The tool of venture capital is so specific to a tiny, tiny fraction of companies. We can’t let ourselves be fooled into thinking that’s the story of the future of American entrepreneurship,” said Mara Zepeda, a 38-year-old entrepreneur who in 2017 helped start an advocacy organization called Zebras Unite.
zebras  facebook  vc  businessmodels  business 
9 weeks ago
Congo voting data reveal huge fraud in poll to replace Kabila
FT analysis of two voting databases shows Martin Fayulu won the presidential election
(no paywall)
elections  fraud 
9 weeks ago
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