In March, following the shooting in Christchurch, I tried to distinguish between internet problems and platform issues. The problems of the Internet stem from the existence of a free and open network that connects most of the world; platform issues come from native features of the platform. The fact that anti-vaccination fanatics can meet online is an Internet problem; the fact that Facebook recommended that new mothers join anti-vaccination groups is a platform problem.
The recent rise of supremacist violence around the world has given us a new reason to ask which aspects of the problem belong to the whole of the internet and which of our larger social networks. It seems that the Internet is cultivating loose but powerful extremist networks. But what are the mechanisms of this radicalization? And what role could platforms play to discourage it?
I thought of this question by reading Joe Bernstein is troubling about Soph, YouTuber, 14, who has gained some fame (and 800,000 subscribers) by preaching a tasteless gospel of homophobia, islamophobia and racism.
Bernstein's profile portrays a child who gained notoriety as a 9-year-old deformed girl playing video games. The more scandalous the behavior, the more YouTube's algorithms rewarded her, until she earns $ 1,700 a month from Patreon subscribers and feels comfortable enough to make threats. of death against the CEO of YouTube:
Last month, after YouTube turned off comments on its videos – the platform has disabled comments on all videos with kids in response to an uproar over the aforementioned operating network – Soph has uploaded a video of 12 minutes in which she seemed to dare to suspend the platform. she, knowing very well that it would not be.
"Susan, I know your address since last summer," Soph said, speaking directly to Susan Wojcicki, executive director of YouTube. "I have a Luger and mitochondrial disease.I'm not sure if I live.Why should I worry if you live or your children?" I just called an Uber. You have about seven minutes to write a will … I'm coming for you, and it's not going to be nice. "
In the middle of the afternoon Tuesday, the video had been removed and the chain of Soph suspended. Some channels, such as Soph's, seem inevitable: offer microphones to everyone and offer the greatest rewards to those who catch our attention in the most innovative way, and some of your creators will be in trouble.
For his part, Bernstein's profile suggests that Soph is not doing well. She has an illness, she is unhappy at school and she feels lonely. There is nothing wrong with feeling that way or seeking solace from an online public of friends and strangers. And it's fair to ask where Soph's parents are in all this.
But YouTube allows kids to start chains as early as age 13 – and Soph apparently seemed to be active on his channel at the age of 9. As Bernstein writes: "Soph's popularity raises another, perhaps more difficult, question as to whether YouTube has an obligation to protect In other words, a child who becomes a hero for bigots because of its performance on the platform and that its algorithm recommends to other users is a platform problem.
Bernstein's profile on Soph recalls another recent story about the embrace of the very right by a teenager. In this month's issue of Washington's, an anonymous parent remembers the progressive radicalization of his child after being falsely accused of sexual harassment. Reddit and 4Chan were happy to tell Sam, 13, what he wanted to hear. The author writes:
These online friends were happy to explain that all girls lie, especially about rape. And they had a lot more knowledge to convey. They told Sam that Islam is a fundamentally violent religion and that Jews run global financial networks. (We are Jewish and they do not know anyone, but I guess the evidence was convincing.) They insisted that the pay gap was a failure, that they were destroying families, that they were not safe. they needed guns to protect themselves from government incursions. on a private property. They said that women who aborted their babies should be imprisoned.
Sam is proud to challenge conventional wisdom and submit his claims to intellectual scrutiny. For today's kids, that means things on Google. One might think that this research would reveal various perspectives, including at least some compelling compelling arguments. We would be wrong. Google's research has flooded its developing brain with endless "evidence" to confirm prejudices, to confirm the specious standard that was being lifted that week. Each series of results acted like a fertilizer sprinkled with grass: a forest of distortions flourished.
His parents try to reason with him, without success. Sam becomes moderator of a right Reddit forum and his parents begin to question their own reality:
One weekend morning while we were folding the laundry in our room, Sam sat on the edge of our bed and explained to us how to behave if the FBI came to our door.
What was the posture and what was real? We suspected the first and the last one's doubts, but we had no way of making sure of that. The situation has evolved faster than we could formulate the questions, let alone understand the answers. When we confronted Sam-say, if we had glimpsed an ugly meme on his phone, he assured us that it was supposed to be funny and we did not have it. It was either "post-ironic" or referenced to many other events that created a series of labyrinth jokes impossible to follow.
What Sam finally escapes, according to her parents' story, is visiting a pro-Trump rally in 2017. A counter-protest contains a photo of Heather Heyer, the murdered protester at a rally of supremacy white in Charlottesville, and Sam marveled at the bravery of the counter-protester. Later, he told his parents that he felt like he had been taken hostage by a cult.
The story of Sam is hopeful because it shows that we must get out of the radicalization of the right. It takes time, parenting skills and self-reflection skills from young people like Sam. But young people can, and many, get rid of their old identities by growing up.
That said, not everyone has skilled parents or the ability to think for themselves. Not everyone is 14 years old and in the middle of an experimental phase – the alleged gunman in Christchurch was 28 years old. Some of the extremists fed on these platforms never come back.
The plan to depolarize the planet and push extremists to the margins will require much more than bug fixes and policy updates. But I think of YouTubers as Soph, I hope that these platforms do the same kind of thinking as Sam. Entering after the bigot has received 800,000 followers and removing his hate videos after their turn should be only the first step. The most urgent question is why Soph found such a captivating audience – and how YouTube helped her develop it.
Russian hackers now have access to databases of voters in Florida counties before the 2016 presidential election, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a press conference Tuesday.
DeSantis said the hackers were not handling any data and that the election results were not validated. He and officials from the Florida Law Enforcement Department were briefed on Friday by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.
I've noted this story via a link in the mind of yesterday, but it's worthwhile to situate it here – and ask what's the point of another 20-year consent decree, given the obvious limitations of the one under Facebook? These decrees seem to create a lot of work for lawyers – but few obvious benefits to consumers
Business Insider conducted a poll on Chris Hughes' editorial. Rob Price:
Following the publication of Hughes' test, INSIDER interviewed 1,072 people on Facebook's antitrust stance through SurveyMonkey Audience. About 17% said they strongly supported antitrust action, and 12% and 11% supported it or slightly supported it.
At the same time, 28% of respondents did not support or oppose antitrust action, 5%, 4% and 5%. 17% of respondents did not know. The margin of error of the survey is plus or minus 3.12 percentage points.
Eric Gallidt, who still sits on the Alphabet board, talks about the Dragonfly project, Ryan Gallagher reports:
In one interview Schmidt said Monday at the BBC that he was not involved in the construction decisions of the censored research platform, dubbed Dragonfly. But I insisted that it was "very advantageous" to work with China and I said that he was in favor of operating in the country because he was thinking that it could "help change China so that it is more open".
Ladies and gentlemen, Sen. Elizabeth Warren!
"I love town halls, I've done more than 70 since January and I'm happy to be able to count on a television audience." Fox News has invited me to a city hall, but I refuses them here, "she wrote Tuesday morning in a series of tweets. "Fox News is a for-profit hate racket that offers a megaphone to racists and conspirators and is designed to turn against each other, risking fatal consequences for life and death, to cover the corruption that turn our government and darken us.
Sarah Perez tells how Twitter stumbled on its own laces when the general regulation on data protection came into effect:
Twitter finally allows a number of locked users to regain control of their accounts. About a year after the deployment of the new European privacy laws (GDPR), Twitter started to start users of their accounts if he suspected that the account holder was a minor – that is, under the age of 13. But the process also blocked many users who claimed to be old enough to use the Twitter service legally.
Although Twitter rules state that users under the age of 13 can not create an account or post tweets, many underage users do so through a lax application of the policy. The GDPR regulation, however, forced Twitter to solve the problem.
Cyrus Farivar and David Ingram are in talks with the California Attorney General prior to the deployment of the new state privacy law on Jan. 1. He is nervous
Becerra, whose office will be responsible for law enforcement as of January 1, 2020, said he could not have enough staff to carry out this task and that this law could Collapse under its own weight.
"I do not think you ever wanted to give people a reason to believe you were cheating on them," Becerra said in an interview. "Rethink the launch of the Affordable Care Act website, which really depressed people's belief that it was going to work."
In the light of yesterday's news for Facebook entrepreneurs, Angela Chen questions anthropologist Mary L. Gray about her new book with Siddharth Suri: Ghost Work: How to prevent Silicon Valley from developing into a new global middle class.
GRAY: I want to make people understand that in many ways we describe working conditions. We do not describe to particular type working. We describe the current conditions for task-based and project-based work. This can happen to any job, and I hate it to be a motivation, because we should have been concerned about it from the beginning, because it happened for a lot of people. For me, the message of this book is this: let's make it not just manageable, but sustainable and enjoyable. Stop making our lives around your work and start using them.
A frightening vulnerability of WhatsApp, reported for the first time by the Financial Times, has now been corrected:
A vulnerability discovered in the Facebook WhatsApp messaging application is being exploited to inject commercial spyware on Android and iOS phones by simply calling the target, reports The Financial Times. Spyware, developed by the Israeli NSO security group, can be installed without a trace and without the target responding to the call, according to security researchers and confirmed by WhatsApp.
Once installed, the spyware can activate the camera and microphone of the phone, analyze e-mails and messages and collect the user's location data. WhatsApp is urging its 1.5 billion global users to immediately update the application to close the security hole.
Yesterday, I posted here a link to this good Vox article on the rise of social networks based on fear. One of them, Nextdoor, raised an additional $ 123 million.
It looks like Facebook is about to release its long-running "Clear History" feature, says Kurt Wagner:
Facebook has first announced the privacy feature, called "Clear history" More than a year ago, a response to the Cambridge Analytica data scandal demonstrated the company's commitment to protecting users' personal information. This product, which will allow Facebook users to separate their Internet browsing history from their profiles, has not been released, and the company said the technical challenge was more difficult than expected.
Tuesday, in a blog, Facebook recalled that Clear History would be launched "in the coming months" and that advertisers should prepare for the fact that the decoupling of navigation data in the profiles means that the targeting of the company will not be as powerful.
Even on a platform that remains largely about the drama between its stars, the drama of James Charles has absolutely everyone alive, reports Julia Alexander:
A week ago, beauty vlogger James Charles attended the Met Gala for YouTube and traveled to Australia to meet thousands of fans. This week, it has become the last villain of YouTube, losing its subscribers at a record pace, due to a 43-minute video removal of one of the beauty gurus of the day. YouTube origin.
The drama is a perfect example of the power dynamics in YouTube's world. Since the long video was released Friday, Charles has lost more than 2.7 million subscribers and has been repelled by major vloggers. Meanwhile, the creator of the discard video, Tati Westbrook, won nearly 3.5 million subscribers.
Few of us trust our smart speakers, but we buy them anyway, reports Rani Molla. (DM me about it and I'll tell you a quick story about the meeting with Rachael Ray and what she had to say about it.)
A new smart device Survey of Consumers International and the Internet Society highlights this apparent contradiction. According to a survey conducted in the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia and France, 63% of users find that connected devices are "scary" and 75% do not trust the way their data is shared by these devices. and the United Kingdom.
This did not prevent them from buying these devices which, thanks to a set of cameras, microphones and other sensors, have an intimate access to our lives.
Roísín Lanigan examines the phenomenon of "Munchausen via the Internet", which "shakes very tight online support groups".
At about the same time that Marchand stopped publishing in the Facebook group, she was arrested in Colorado for simulating terminal cancer on the GoFundMe crowdfunding platform and accepting donations through multiple accounts. It also seemed that she had simulated her illness with the Facebook group. At trial, she pleaded guilty and was sentenced to public works. "The whole group was devastated, angry and incredulous," said Angelacos. "Everyone felt that they knew her so well, there was a huge feeling of betrayal." (Merchant and his lawyer did not respond to requests for comment.)
This was not the first time many group members felt this. As painful as the experience may be for the people involved, members of online cancer support groups are routinely judged to be in good health. It is difficult to speculate exactly on the nature of this phenomenon: there have been no large-scale scientific investigations of cancer perpetrators on the Internet, and the evidence is limited to those who have been suspected or who have been caught . But among the cancerous communities on the Internet, it is an often-recognized problem, even though it remains shocking. Of the 10 people from three groups I spoke to recently, each person remembered that at least one had defended their interests for their community, at least eleven, or even more.
One of the key promises of this newsletter is that I will strive to bring you all the news about technology-related schemes perpetrated by teenagers. Here is one of Julie Jargon, which is an absolutely deadly signature:
Jalyn started sneaking into her parents' room to pick up her phone after falling asleep. She usually fell asleep with her. When his parents found him in their room the next morning, they took him.
It was then that Jalyn turned to burner phones, popularized by TV shows like "Breaking Bad" and "The Wire", which featured drug traffickers using cheap phones that they would dispose of. later, or "burn", to avoid detection. In the language of today 's teens, a phone can be a prepaid cell phone or any other out of service phone in which they can still work in Wi – Fi.
Good note here in this long discursive article on TikTok concerning competition with Facebook. He picks up on a fact reported by Bloomberg: "In the last three months … 13% of all ads viewed by users of the Facebook Android application were for TikTok."
We know that this incursion is a heavily funded attack that works perfectly. It reminds me just how brutal the Instagram Instagram Instagram launch was, instead of using a social graph for growth, it's application installation ads without stop, and this time, it's Facebook that broadcasts the ads.
I am the first to say that Facebook is anti-competitive, but you must acknowledge them the merit of having cashed in millions of dollars in advertising revenue for the installation of announcements from a direct competitor.
Makena Kelly reports on a good Twitter twist.
If you're looking for vaccine-related tweets starting Friday, the first thing you see on Twitter is a message from the US Department of Health and Human Services that points to your medical information instead of an anti-vax misinformation.
Last week, Twitter announced the launch of a new search tool urging users to visit vaccines.org, managed by HHS officials. In recent months, social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter have been under intense pressure from lawmakers and the public to remove anti-vaccine propaganda from their platforms.
You can again see your profile from the point of view of someone with whom you are not friends on Facebook, reports Chaim Gartenberg:
The news was announced in a tweet today after Facebook had disabled the option in September 2018 because of one major safety defect which allowed an attacker to steal access tokens for more than 50 million accounts by exploiting an associated feature that would allow you to see what a Facebook profile would look like for a specific user. In order to solve this problem, Facebook was forced to force over 90 million users to log back in to their accounts to make sure they were safe.
Twitter has a new development API, which could help researchers study the platform, reports Josh Constine:
today, he is launching Twitter Developer Labs, which application makers can sign up for to experiment with beta APIs prior to publication. Early versions will be revamped versions of GET / Tweets and GET / Users APIs. The first functional changes will follow, including real-time streaming access to the Twitter Fire Server, along with the tweet filtering extension, impressions, and engagement metrics previously available only in its costly levels. Enterprise API. Twitter will also add new features such as polls to the API.
Giving developers more time and a bigger voice when it comes to rebuilding their APIs could help Twitter get more application makers to pay for its premium APIs (from 339 to 2 $ 899 per month for a single specific API) and its business levels (even more expensive). ). This could also spur the creation of analytics, metrics, and announcements designed by developers that would convince brands to spend more money on Twitter marketing. The Labs program and the first API endpoint changes will be rolled out in the coming weeks.
My people do not need dating coaches – it needs apps that allow people to express themselves more authentically! But no matter, Match:
The online dating site launches a new service, AskMatch, which will connect its paid users to a dating coach to chat over the phone. The service is launched in New York this month, with the goal of national expansion by 2020.
"Match's mission has always been to build relationships and bring people together – we want to go beyond a simple application on your phone," said CEO Hesam Hosseini in an interview with Engadget. Users of the match will be able to find the option "Speak to a coach" in the "Discover" area of the application. If this option is selected, Match will connect to your dating experts for a phone conversation. After the phone call, you can update your coach via the app with the progress you have made or ask any other questions.
Will Oremus does not like the nebulous ideas of Chris Hughes about a government agency dedicated to regulating the internet:
Hughes fails to explain why the online speech should be subject to scrutiny by the government, not to mention the province of a special government agency. If the plan is to establish new legal restrictions on speech, the courts do not seem to enforce them. While it is only necessary to define optional "guidelines", it is difficult to imagine how these would differ significantly from the existing strategies of the platforms.
Leaving aside the question of whether federal regulation of online speech is constitutional, the question is whether this would be desirable. There are certainly flaws in the way major social networks, including Facebook, moderate speech. But the idea that a government agency would necessarily be better is naive.
Max Read likes his group discussions:
For me, the reorientation of Facebook around private groups gives the impression that the company "builds the type of future we want" and more his attempt to plunge back into a social life that I had saved from his thread. Last year, the technological writer Navneet Alang wondered in a column in the Globe and Mail It was possible "to save Facebook's social media." That is to say, could we get away from the huge behemoth that is Facebook, Inc., of the many uses and experiences that can make Facebook, the website and the Web site? application, so nice? The flowering group discussions point in one direction. In almost every respect, I find the group chat is an improvement over the machine sorted feed. Relieved of the pressure to stand out from thousands of other publications, conversations about group discussions tend to be moderately moderate, or even boring, so that status updates on Facebook or tweets do not can never be. Since most group discussions exist on platforms or applications that do not depend on the advertising money or the user's commitment to support themselves, they can only engender dependency or exploitation, just like any social interaction.
Et enfin …
Avec tout ce discours sur la rupture de Facebook, manque-t-il le danger le plus évident pour la vie moderne? Mike Shields présente le cas:
Ben Silbermann est un homme charmant. Je l'ai rencontré onze à Cannes et il n'aurait pas pu être plus gentil. Mais je ne pense pas avoir créé le monstre victorien Sunroom qu'il a créé. Presque tous les jours je me trouve, suis-je désireux de mijoteuse chilaquiles parce que je veux? Ou parce que Ben le veut?
Je ne devrais pas avoir à répondre à cette question. Et vous ne devriez pas non plus.
Vous fait réfléchir.
Envoyez-moi des conseils, des commentaires, des questions et des stratégies de déradicalisation: firstname.lastname@example.org.