Internet Use/New Technologies

15 August 2018

Cubans cheer as internet goes nationwide for a day Reuters

Cuba’s government said it provided free internet to the Communist-run island’s more than 5 million cellphone users on Tuesday, in an eight-hour test before it launches sales of the service.

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14 August 2018

So dropping a c-bomb isn't okay, but rape threats are? Stuff

I dream of a world where I can use the full c-word in a published sentence. Just now, I typed it out for size. It felt good. Real good.

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Inside Twitter's Struggle Over What Gets Banned New York Times

With his arms folded, Jack Dorsey paced back and forth in a conference room at Twitter’s headquarters on Friday afternoon.

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Facebook Banned Infowars. Now What? New York Times

Late on Sunday, after returning to his hotel room on a trip away from home, Mark Zuckerberg made a decision he had hoped to avoid.

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11 August 2018

Hate speech crackdown spreads to behind-the-scenes tech New York Times

The tech industry’s crackdown on content from right-wing users spread this week from social media platforms to behind-the-scenes companies that do not typically take on free speech issues, a sign of heightened aggressiveness ahead of a planned far-right gathering this weekend inspired by the riots in Charlottesville.

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09 August 2018

The Internet Trolls Have Won. Sorry, There's Not Much You Can Do. New York Times

This column is going to be a bit unusual. Typically, I write about a broad tech problem and offer some solutions. But this week, I’ve stumbled into a topic that many agree has no easy fix: online comments.

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08 August 2018

Internet use at record level but Britons are lax about web security The Guardian

Internet use inBritain has risen to record levels but there is a worrying lack of awareness around security, figures show.

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Bitcoin Speculators, Not Drug Dealers, Dominate Crypto Use Now Bloomberg

The ratio of legal to illegal activity in Bitcoin has flipped, according to Lilita Infante at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

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A Generation Grows Up in China Without Google, Facebook or Twitter New York Times

Wei Dilong, 18, who lives in the southern Chinese city of Liuzhou, likes basketball, hip-hop music and Hollywood superhero movies. He plans to study chemistry in Canada when he goes to college in 2020.

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05 August 2018

Why artificial intelligence will have very human frailties Australian Financial Review

It's 2022 and Australia has its first artificial intelligence scandal. A freak storm has just hit Melbourne, and an algorithm designed to help emergency services deal with high volumes of requests for help has a stunning and unusual flaw – calls from men are shown to be getting attention faster than calls from women.

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02 August 2018

Fifth of Britons feel stressed if they can't access internet - Ofcom report The Guardian

The average Briton now checks a mobile phone every 12 minutes and is online for 24 hours a week, finds an Ofcom study revealing the extent to which people now rely on the internet.

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01 August 2018

Facebook bans pages aimed at US election interference BBC News

Facebook says it has removed 32 accounts and pages believed to have been set up to influence the mid-term US elections in November.

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29 July 2018

Has Zuckerberg, like Frankenstein, lost control of the monster he created? The Observer

Who – or what – is Mark Zuckerberg? Obviously he’s the founder and CEO of Facebook, which is, in theory, a public company but is in fact his fiefdom, as a casual inspection of the company’s SEC filings confirms. They show that his ownership of the controlling shares means that he can do anything he likes, including selling the company against the wishes of all the other shareholders combined.

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28 July 2018

What Is a 'Shadow Ban,' and Is Twitter Doing It to Republican Accounts? New York Times

When President Trump accused Twitter of “shadow banning” Republicans in a tweet on Thursday morning, it was the latest salvo in a long-running debate over whether social media platforms suppress conservative users because of their political views.

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Facebook's Plunge Shatters Faith in Tech Companies' Invulnerability New York Times

It had become an article of investor faith on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley: Quarter after quarter, year after year, the world’s biggest technology companies would keep raking in new users and ever-higher revenue. And with that, their share prices would continue to march upward, sloughing off any stumbles.

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26 July 2018

Tech Companies Like Facebook and Twitter Are Drawing Lines. It'll Be Messy. New York Times

From its earliest days, Silicon Valley has been animated by near-absolutist understanding of free speech. Other than exceptions for fraud, pornography or specific threats, the prevailing view among many tech platforms has been to allow pretty much anyone to post pretty much anything. These sensibilities are even enshrined in American law, which gives companies broad immunity from prosecution for what their users post.

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20 July 2018

Facebook says it will start removing posts that may lead to violence Washington Post

Facebook will start removing misleading and inflammatory posts that may trigger violent attacks, the social network said Wednesday, as it faces criticism over its response to sectarian conflict in countries such as Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

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What Stays on Facebook and What Goes? The Social Network Cannot Answer New York Times

Facebook was once the most nimble company of its generation. The speed at which it adapted to every challenge was legendary. It needed only about a decade to go from a dorm-room start-up to the largest and most influential communications platform in the world.

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WhatsApp curbs message forwarding in bid to deter India lynch mobs Reuters

Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp is rolling out a global test measure to rein in messages forwarded by users, the messaging app said, after the spread of rumours led to several killings in India and sparked calls for action from authorities.

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16 July 2018

Here's how many followers Trump, Obama and others lost in Twitter's purge of locked accounts Washington Post

Several of the most popular Twitter accounts, including Barack Obama and Katy Perry, lost millions of followers starting Thursday as the company began culling suspicious accounts, the latest effort to clean up the social media platform.

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The crucial flaw of self-driving cars? They will always need human involvement The Observer

In 1979, Douglas Hofstadter, an American cognitive scientist, formulated a useful general rule that applies to all complex tasks. Hofstadter’s law says that “It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s law”. It may not have the epistemological status of Newton’s first law, but it is “good enough for government work”, as the celebrated computer scientist Roger Needham used to say.

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14 July 2018

Microsoft calls for regulation of facial recognition, saying it's too risky to leave to tech industry alone Washington Post

Microsoft is calling for government regulation on facial-recognition software, one of its key technologies, saying such artificial intelligence is too important and potentially dangerous for tech giants to police themselves.

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08 July 2018

Twitter is sweeping out fake accounts like never before, putting user growth at risk Washington Post

Twitter has sharply escalated its battle against fake and suspicious accounts, suspending more than 1 million a day in recent months, a major shift to lessen the flow of disinformation on the platform, according to data obtained by The Washington Post.

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05 July 2018

Social media apps are 'deliberately' addictive to users BBC News

Social media companies are deliberately addicting users to their products for financial gain, Silicon Valley insiders have told the BBC's Panorama programme.

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04 July 2018

Big Tech Is a Big Problem Project Syndicate

The prosperity of the US has always depended on its ability to harness economic growth to technology-driven innovation. But right now Big Tech is as much a part of the problem as it is a part of the solution.

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