culturalrevolution

“Good news, comrades!  The party’s just beginning, as a great leap forward in technology will make our lives better and safer. Whether YouTube’s Trusted Flaggers, Facebook’s Trusted Sources or Twitter’s Trust & Safety Council, you now can rest easy that your eyes and ears will be protected from wrong-thinking and dangerous-leaning ideas.  Through technology, we will help you be a good corporate citizen and do no harm.  We will not allow any hate speech, violent imagery, misrepresentation, terrorist propaganda and disinformation that violates our Community Standards.  How are these standards defined?  By us, of course.  (Why are you asking?  That seems suspicious to me.)

True, a few deplorables will lose their right to speak their minds.  But if we have to lop off a few undesirable free-speech sites, so be it.   (I didn’t hear you applaud.  You want to applaud, don’t you? I think I may have to report you for not living up to Community Standards.)”

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“The web that many connected to years ago is not what new users will find today. The fact that power is concentrated among so few companies has made it possible to weaponize the web at scale.” —Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web

“Let’s build a comprehensive database of highly personal targeting info and sell secret ads with zero public scrutiny. What could go wrong?” —Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay

“It’s a social-validation feedback loop … exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology. The inventors, creators — it’s me, it’s Mark [Zuckerberg], it’s Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it’s all of these people — understood this consciously. And we did it anyway.” —Sean Parker, first president of Facebook

“The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works. No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth. This is not about Russians’ ads. This is a global problem.” —Chamath Palihapitiya, former VP of user growth at Facebook

“We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility. I’m sorry.” – Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO and Founder

New York Magazine has a great article interviewing the tech experts who created our digital world.  They have regrets and warnings.  But more importantly, they reveal how and why they did what they did.  Read more in The Internet Apologizes.

 

 

We want everything to be fair.

smapps

Apparently, anything China asks.  Paul Mozur of the New York Times has a chilling piece about how China controls content beyond the boundaries of their country.  I expect a totalitarian regime to spy on users and censor online content.  But Google and Facebook shouldn’t be helping them.  Read China Presses Its Internet Censorship Efforts Across the Globe.