Journalist and Media 2017

I have written on journalism and media trends eariler few years ago. So it is time for update. What is the state of journalism and news publishing in 2017? NiemanLab’s predictions for 2017 are a good place to start thinking about what lies ahead for journalism. There, Matt Waite puts us in our place straight away by telling us that the people running the media are the problem

There has been changes on tech publishing. In January 2017 International Data Group, the owner of PCWorld magazine and market researcher IDC, on Thursday said it was being acquired by China Oceanwide Holdings Group and IDG Capital, the investment management firm run by IDG China executive Hugo Shong. In 2016 Arrow bought EE Times, EDN, TechOnline and lots more from UBM.

 

Here are some article links and information bits on journalist and media in 2017:

Soothsayers’ guides to journalism in 2017 article take a look at journalism predictions and the value of this year’s predictions.

What Journalism Needs To Do Post-Election article tells that faced with the growing recognition that the electorate was uniformed or, at minimum, deeply in the thrall of fake news, far too many journalists are responding not with calls for change but by digging in deeper to exactly the kinds of practices that got us here in the first place.

Fake News Is About to Get Even Scarier than You Ever Dreamed article says that what we saw in the 2016 election is nothing compared to what we need to prepare for in 2020 as incipient technologies appear likely to soon obliterate the line between real and fake.

YouTube’s ex-CEO and co-founder Chad Hurley service sees a massive amount of information on the problem, which will lead to people’s backlash.

Headlines matter article tells that in 2017, headlines will matter more than ever and journalists will need to wrest control of headline writing from social-optimization teams. People get their news from headlines now in a way they never did in the past.

Why new journalism grads are optimistic about 2017 article tells that since today’s college journalism students have been in school, the forecasts for their futures has been filled with words like “layoffs,” “cutbacks,” “buyouts” and “freelance.” Still many people are optimistic about the future because the main motivation for being a journalist is often “to make a difference.”

Updating social media account can be a serious job. Zuckerberg has 12+ Facebook employees helping him with posts and comments on his Facebook page and professional photographers to snap personal moments.
Wikipedia Is Being Ripped Apart By a Witch Hunt For Secretly Paid Editors article tells that with undisclosed paid editing on the rise, Wikipedians and the Wikimedia Foundation are working together to stop the practice without discouraging user participation. Paid editing is permissible under Wikimedia Foundation’s terms of use as long as they disclose these conflicts of interest on their user pages, but not all paid editors make these disclosures.

Big Internet giants are working on how to make content better for mobile devices. Instant Articles is a new way for any publisher to create fast, interactive articles on Facebook. Google’s AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is a project that it aims to accelerate content on mobile devices. Both of those systems have their advantages and problems.

Clearing Out the App Stores: Government Censorship Made Easier article tells that there’s a new form of digital censorship sweeping the globe, and it could be the start of something devastating. The centralization of the internet via app stores has made government censorship easier. If the app isn’t in a country’s app store, it effectively doesn’t exist. For more than a decade, we users of digital devices have actively championed an online infrastructure that now looks uniquely vulnerable to the sanctions of despots and others who seek to control information.

773 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mike Allen / Axios:
    Sean Parker says social media networks like Facebook exploit a vulnerability in human psychology and wonders about effects on productivity and children — Sean Parker, the founding president of Facebook, gave me a candid insider’s look at how social networks purposely hook and potentially hurt our brains.

    Sean Parker unloads on Facebook “exploiting” human psychology
    https://www.axios.com/sean-parker-unloads-on-facebook-2508036343.html

    Sean Parker, the founding president of Facebook, gave me a candid insider’s look at how social networks purposely hook and potentially hurt our brains.

    Reply
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How Journalists Fought Back Against Crippling Email Bombs
    https://www.wired.com/story/how-journalists-fought-back-against-crippling-email-bombs/

    I was chagrined but not surprised. Lauren had been harassed all weekend, a result of an article we had coauthored about companies such as PayPal, Newsmax, and Amazon whose technologies enabled extremist websites to profit from their hateful views. Simply in the interest of journalistic fairness, Lauren had sought comment from about 70 websites designated as hateful by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.

    In return, her voicemail and her email inbox were filled with threats and insults.

    But then I looked at my inbox and realized that something troubling was happening to me too: 360 emails had poured in while I was pretzeling myself. Every single one was a confirmation of a newsletter subscription or account signup from a website I’d never heard of.

    “Thanks for signing up, here is your coupon!” an email from the Nature Hills Nursery said. “Please Confirm Subscription” Fintirement said. “Account details for xvwgnagycdm 1992 at ami-forum.org are pending admin approval,” a Montessori organization in Australia said.

    “I am under some kind of email attack as well. Jesus,”

    As a reporter who has covered technology for more than two decades, I am familiar with the usual forms of internet harassment—gangs that bring down a website, haters who post your home address online, troll armies that hurl insults on a social network. But I’d never encountered this type of email onslaught before. I wasn’t sure what to do. “Hey Twitter—any advice on what to do when somebody malevolent signs you up for a thousand email subscriptions, making your email unusable?” I tweeted.

    At first it seemed like a funny prank, like ordering pizza delivered to an ex-boyfriend’s house. “TBH [to be honest] it’s kind of a clever attack,” I tweeted again.

    But as the emails continued to roll in, my sense of humor faded. By noon, the entire email system at our employer, ProPublica, was overwhelmed. Most of my colleagues could not send or receive messages because of the backlog of emails to me, Jeff, and Lauren that were clogging the spam filters.

    The tech team advised that it would likely have to block all incoming emails to our inboxes—bouncing them back to senders—to save the rest of the organization. A few hours later, when ProPublica pulled the plug on our email accounts, I realized that what our attackers did was no joking matter; they had cut off our most important avenue of communication with the world. “Preparing to say goodbye forever to my inbox,” I tweeted. “It does seem like killing a reporter’s email account is the definition of a chilling effect, no?”

    Later I learned that the type of attack aimed at me and my colleagues is often called “email bombing” or “subscription bombing.” It’s clever jujitsu that turns one of the hallmarks of spam prevention—the confirmation email—into a spam generator. It works like this: The attacker uses an automated program to scan the web for any signup form that asks for an email address, from a newsletter subscription to an account registration. It then inserts the target’s email address into each of the forms, flooding the victim with confirmation emails.

    It’s laughably easy to launch an email bomb. Anyone with decent technical skills can set up an automated program to enter email addresses across the web. Or they can buy a service that will automate the attack for $5 per 1,000 emails sent to an address, according to ads on online hacker forums.

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ‘When you spend $100 million on social media,’ it comes with help, says Trump strategist
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/08/when-you-spend-100-million-on-social-media-it-comes-with-help-says-trump-strategist/?ncid=rss&utm_source=tcfbpage&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29&utm_content=FaceBook&sr_share=facebook

    In conversation with renowned investigative journalist Michael Isikoff, Parscale also suggested that if anyone was seeking support from the Russian government during the campaign — or ignoring nefarious signs about Russian actors — it was the social media platforms, all of which were chasing the money.

    AdChoices
    MenuTechCrunch
    ‘When you spend $100 million on social media,’ it comes with help, says Trump strategist
    Posted yesterday by Connie Loizos (@cookie)

    Earlier today, at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon, Brad Parscale, the digital director of Donald Trump’s presidential election campaign, revealed much more about Trump’s election campaign and the role that Facebook played in it.

    In conversation with renowned investigative journalist Michael Isikoff, Parscale also suggested that if anyone was seeking support from the Russian government during the campaign — or ignoring nefarious signs about Russian actors — it was the social media platforms, all of which were chasing the money.

    Isikoff started the interview by remarking on the Democratic wins in Virginia yesterday, but he quickly pivoted, asking Parscale what he understood about social media during the campaign season that the “Clinton campaign did not.”

    Parscale said that two things worked to his benefit: the recognition that “eyeballs were moving to social media and mobile phones and devices in huge numbers” and that he “had a great piece of product that would resonate with Americans.” Trump, in other words.

    “It was the right mix,” Parscale added. “Whenever anybody is in marketing or advertising, it’s a lot easier to sell an iPod than [its short-lived competitor] Zune.

    Parscale also shared more detail about the campaign’s need to raise money, saying that when “Donald Trump became the candidate, we didn’t have any money other than Mr. Trump’s money and I don’t think he wanted to write all that check himself.” Parscale said he subsequently saw the need to “create a grass-roots campaign and find millions of people to be our grassroots supporters.” He said that Facebook “allowed us to do that in alarming numbers, very fast.” In fact, he credited the Trump campaign’s Facebook initiative with producing $280 million dollars, $100 million of which was then poured into targeted ads, on Facebook, with the help of Facebook employees.

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ex-Facebook president Sean Parker: site made to exploit human ‘vulnerability’
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/nov/09/facebook-sean-parker-vulnerability-brain-psychology?utm_content=buffer1da3d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    Site’s founding president, who became a billionaire thanks to the company, says: ‘God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains’

    Facebook’s founders knew they were creating something addictive that exploited “a vulnerability in human psychology” from the outset, according to the company’s founding president Sean Parker.

    Parker, whose stake in Facebook made him a billionaire, criticized the social networking giant at an Axios event in Philadelphia this week.

    Reply
  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Christina Larson / Foreign Policy:
    Facebook, blamed for unintended consequences of the service in nations like Myanmar, says “product and integrity research team” is headed to SE Asia this month

    Facebook Can’t Cope With the World It’s Created
    http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/11/07/facebook-cant-cope-with-the-world-its-created/

    Zuckerberg needs to stop courting Beijing and start paying attention to the countries where Facebook matters.

    BANGKOK — As Mark Zuckerberg returns from his latest pilgrimage to Beijing, it’s time for him to pay more attention to the countries in Asia where Facebook actually matters.

    The Facebook CEO has spent years courting Chinese officials in the hopes of winning admittance to the world’s largest internet market. But while he’s been beating his head against the Great Firewall, Facebook has swept like wildfire through the rest of Asia, with complicated and sometimes dangerous results.

    Asia is now Facebook’s biggest user base. That has given the company unprecedented political sway across the continent, where it inadvertently shapes the media consumption of hundreds of millions of people. The impacts are amplified in the region because vast swathes of relatively new internet users turn to Facebook first as their primary gateway to the rest of the web. Meanwhile, it’s become clear that the attitudes and policies the Menlo Park-based company adopted when it was primarily a U.S. social network are inadequate, or even perilous, when applied in authoritarian states, fragile democracies, or nations with deep ethnic divisions.

    After months of public outcry in the U.S., Facebook has finally agreed to take seriously charges that the social network played a substantive role in shaping the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

    Reply
  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ‘Way too little, way too late’: Facebook’s factcheckers say effort is failing
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/nov/13/way-too-little-way-too-late-facebooks-fact-checkers-say-effort-is-failing

    Journalists fighting spread of fake news raise concerns over possible conflicts of interest and say site has refused to disclose needed data

    Journalists working for Facebook say the social media site’s fact-checking tools have largely failed and that the company has exploited their labor for a PR campaign.

    Several fact checkers who work for independent news organizations and partner with Facebook told the Guardian that they feared their relationships with the technology corporation, some of which are paid, have created a conflict of interest, making it harder for the news outlets to scrutinize and criticize Facebook’s role in spreading misinformation.

    The reporters also lamented that Facebook had refused to disclose data on its efforts to stop the dissemination of fake news. The journalists are speaking out one year after the company launched the collaboration in response to outrage over revelations that social media platforms had widely promoted fake news and propaganda during the US presidential election.

    Reply
  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    In ‘Watershed Moment,’ YouTube Blocks Extremist Cleric’s Message
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/12/us/politics/youtube-terrorism-anwar-al-awlaki.html?_r=0

    WASHINGTON — For eight years, the jihadist propaganda of Anwar al-Awlaki has helped shape a generation of American terrorists, including the Fort Hood gunman, the Boston Marathon bombers and the perpetrators of massacres in San Bernardino, Calif., and Orlando, Fla.

    And YouTube, the world’s most popular video site, has allowed hundreds of hours of Mr. Awlaki’s talks to be within easy reach of anyone with a phone or computer.

    Now, under growing pressure from governments and counterterrorism advocates, YouTube has drastically reduced its video archive of Mr. Awlaki, an American cleric who remains the leading English-language jihadist recruiter on the internet six years after he was killed by a United States drone strike. Using video fingerprinting technology, YouTube now flags his videos automatically and human reviewers block most of them before anyone sees them, company officials say.

    YouTube finally blocks a known terrorist propagandist from its site
    http://mashable.com/2017/11/12/youtube-anwar-al-awlaki-deleted-videos/?utm_campaign=Mash-BD-Synd-Flipboard-All-Full&utm_cid=Mash-BD-Synd-Flipboard-All-Full#R_v7LwGr4iqo

    The extremist jihadist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in a U.S. drone strike six years ago. But until this month, he was the leading English-speaking jihadist recruiter through more than 70,000 videos posted on YouTube.

    Three-quarters of those videos are now gone from YouTube’s archives, the New York Times reported Sunday. The Times called the move by YouTube a “watershed moment” for platforms that have facilitated terrorist recruitment online.

    Google, Facebook, Twitter, and even Airbnb have long claimed that they’re just platforms that bear no responsibility for the material that appears on them. In the post-Russian election interference era, however, some of these platforms have been forced to start accepting slightly more responsibility.

    Reply
  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Think the US is alone? 18 countries had their elections hacked last year
    Less than a quarter of world has freeish internet communication
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/11/14/think_the_us_is_alone_18_countries_had_their_elections_hacked_last_year/

    While America explores quite how much its election was interfered with by outsiders, the news isn’t good for the rest of us, according to independent watchdog Freedom House.

    In its annual Freedom of the Net [PDF] report on the state of the internet and democracy, the group surveyed 65 nation states comprising 87 per cent of internet users and found 18 where either governments or outside bodies had tried to influence an election by restricting or interfering with internet use.

    “The use of paid commentators and political bots to spread government propaganda was pioneered by China and Russia but has now gone global,” said Michael Abramowitz, president of Freedom House. “The effects of these rapidly spreading techniques on democracy and civic activism are potentially devastating.”

    https://regmedia.co.uk/2017/11/14/fotn.pdf

    Reply
  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    If You Steal From One Author, It’s Plagiarism; If You Steal From Many, It’s Research
    https://www.google.fi/amp/s/quoteinvestigator.com/2010/09/20/plagiarism/amp/

    Reply
  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Freedom House:
    Report: governments in 30 countries manipulated social media to counter critics, drive specific agendas, more; elections in 18 countries may have been affected — Key Findings Online manipulation and disinformation tactics played an important role in elections in at least 18 countries over the past year, including the United States.

    Freedom of the Net 2017
    Manipulating Social Media to Undermine Democracy
    https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-net/freedom-net-2017

    Governments around the world have dramatically increased their efforts to manipulate information on social media over the past year. The Chinese and Russian regimes pioneered the use of surreptitious methods to distort online discussions and suppress dissent more than a decade ago, but the practice has since gone global. Such state-led interventions present a major threat to the notion of the internet as a liberating technology.

    Online content manipulation contributed to a seventh consecutive year of overall decline in internet freedom, along with a rise in disruptions to mobile internet service and increases in physical and technical attacks on human rights defenders and independent media.

    Nearly half of the 65 countries assessed in Freedom on the Net 2017 experienced declines during the coverage period, while just 13 made gains, most of them minor. Less than one-quarter of users reside in countries where the internet is designated Free, meaning there are no major obstacles to access, onerous restrictions on content, or serious violations of user rights in the form of unchecked surveillance or unjust repercussions for legitimate speech.

    Reply
  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sam Levin / The Guardian:
    Journalists at news orgs partnering with Facebook say its fact-checking tools have failed, and it hasn’t disclosed enough data on efforts to stop misinfo spread — Journalists fighting spread of fake news raise concerns over possible conflicts of interest and say site has refused to disclose needed data

    ‘Way too little, way too late’: Facebook’s factcheckers say effort is failing
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/nov/13/way-too-little-way-too-late-facebooks-fact-checkers-say-effort-is-failing

    Journalists fighting spread of fake news raise concerns over possible conflicts of interest and say site has refused to disclose needed data

    Journalists working for Facebook say the social media site’s fact-checking tools have largely failed and that the company has exploited their labor for a PR campaign.

    Several fact checkers who work for independent news organizations and partner with Facebook told the Guardian that they feared their relationships with the technology corporation, some of which are paid, have created a conflict of interest, making it harder for the news outlets to scrutinize and criticize Facebook’s role in spreading misinformation.

    Reply
  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Paresh Dave / Reuters:
    YouTube confirms it has updated its policy on extremist content, broadening it to include videos that do not depict violence or preach hate

    Google broadens takedown of extremist YouTube videos
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-tech-hatespeech/google-broadens-takedown-of-extremist-youtube-videos-idUSKBN1DE05X

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google in the last few months has begun removing from YouTube extremist videos that do not depict violence or preach hate, YouTube said on Monday, a major policy shift as social media companies face increasing pressure from governments.

    Reply
  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Crunch Report | Facebook admits Russian meddling in Brexit
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/14/crunch-report-facebook-admits-russian-meddling-in-brexit/?utm_source=tcfbpage&sr_share=facebook

    Here’s the first evidence Russia used Twitter to influence Brexit
    http://www.wired.co.uk/article/brexit-russia-influence-twitter-bots-internet-research-agency

    Russia-based Twitter accounts that targeted the US presidential election also used divisive and racist rhetoric in an attempt to disrupt politics in the UK and Europe

    Reply
  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    WikiLeaks is wiki-leaked. And it’s still not even a proper wiki anyway
    Assange .org tried to help coordinate Trump’s election campaign
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/11/14/wikileaks_leaked/

    Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks – that bastion of fiercely independent journalism – privately urged the Trump campaign to not concede the 2016 presidential election, to contest the result as rigged, and asked for one of Donald’s tax returns so as to appear impartial and nothing whatsoever to do with Russia’s meddling in the White House race.

    Private Twitter messages obtained by The Atlantic detail how WikiLeaks interacted with the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr, between September 2016 and July of this year. The messages include requests for comment from the campaign, which is normal for journalists, and endorsements from Donald Trump of WikiLeaks publications, which is a bit odd, as well as “advice” from WikiLeaks staff to Trump Jr, which is flatout weird.

    “If we publish them it will dramatically improve the perception of our impartiality,” WikiLeaks told Trump Jr.

    “That means that the vast amount of stuff that we are publishing on Clinton will have much higher impact, because it won’t be perceived as coming from a ‘pro-Trump’ ‘pro-Russia’ source.”

    The WikiLeaks account has not issued a formal statement in response to the leaking of the private messages this week, although founder Assange did take to Twitter…

    Reply
  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Is American English Going To Take Over British English Completely?
    https://news.slashdot.org/story/17/11/15/1456201/is-american-english-going-to-take-over-british-english-completely

    Brits can get rather sniffy about the English language — after all, they originated it. But a Google search of the word “Americanisms” turns up claims that they are swamping, killing and absorbing British English. If the British are not careful, so the argument goes, the homeland will soon be the 51st State as workers tell customers to “have a nice day” while “colour” will be spelt without a “u” and “pavements” will become “sidewalks.”

    Is American English going to take over British English completely?
    Or are the two versions simply converging?
    https://scroll.in/article/857213/is-american-english-going-to-take-over-british-english-completely

    My research examined how both varieties of the language have been changing between the 1930s and the 2000s and the extent to which they are growing closer together or further apart. So do Brits have cause for concern?

    Well, yes and no. On the one hand, most of the easily noticeable features of British language are holding up. Take spelling, for example

    There is also no need to worry too much about American words, such as “vacation”, “liquor” and “law-maker” creeping into British English. There are a few cases of this kind of vocabulary change but they mostly tend to be relatively rare words and they are not likely to alter British English too much.

    The British are still using “mum” rather than “mom”, “folk” rather than “folks”, “transport” rather than “transportation”, “petrol” rather than “gas”, “railway” rather than “railroad” and “motorway” rather than “highway”. Words to keep an eye on, however, are lawyer, jail, cop, guy and movie – all of which are creeping into the lexicon more and more.

    But when we start thinking of language more in terms of style than vocabulary or spelling, a different picture emerges. Some of the bigger trends in American English are moving towards a more compact and informal use of language. American sentences are on average one word shorter in 2006 than they were in 1931.

    And some words are starting to be drastically eroded from English – especially a grammatical class called gradable adverbs which consists of boosters like “frightfully” and “awfully” and downtoners (words or phrases which reduce the force of another word or phrase) like “quite” and “rather”.

    Reply
  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tim Berners-Lee on the future of the web: ‘The system is failing’
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/nov/15/tim-berners-lee-world-wide-web-net-neutrality

    The inventor of the world wide web remains an optimist but sees a ‘nasty wind’ blowing amid concerns over advertising, net neutrality and fake news

    “I’m still an optimist, but an optimist standing at the top of the hill with a nasty storm blowing in my face, hanging on to a fence,” said the British computer scientist.

    “We have to grit our teeth and hang on to the fence and not take it for granted that the web will lead us to wonderful things,” he said.

    The spread of misinformation and propaganda online has exploded partly because of the way the advertising systems of large digital platforms such as Google or Facebook have been designed to hold people’s attention.

    “People are being distorted by very finely trained AIs that figure out how to distract them,” said Berners-Lee.

    In some cases, these platforms offer users who create content a cut of advertising revenue. The financial incentive drove Macedonian teenagers with “no political skin in the game” to generate political clickbait fake news that was distributed on Facebook and funded by revenue from Google’s automated advertising engine AdSense.

    “The system is failing. The way ad revenue works with clickbait is not fulfilling the goal of helping humanity promote truth and democracy. So I am concerned,” said Berners-Lee, who in March called for the regulation of online political advertising to prevent it from being used in “unethical ways”.

    Since then, it has been revealed that Russian operatives bought micro-targeted political ads aimed at US voters on Facebook, Google and Twitter. Data analytics firms such as Cambridge Analytica, which builds personality profiles of millions of individuals so they can be manipulated through “behavioural micro-targeting”, have also been criticised for creating “weaponised AI propaganda”.

    “We have these dark ads that target and manipulate me and then vanish because I can’t bookmark them. This is not democracy – this is putting who gets selected into the hands of the most manipulative companies out there,” said Berners-Lee.

    “We are so used to these systems being manipulated that people just think that’s how the internet works. We need to think about what it should be like,”

    Reply
  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Russian Ministry of Defence Publishes Screenshots of Computer Games as Evidence of US Collusion with ISIS
    https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2017/11/14/russian-ministry-defence-publishes-screenshots-computer-games-evidence-us-collusion-isis/

    On the morning of November 14th 2017 the Russian Ministry of Defence published multiple posts in Russian, Arabic, and English on their Twitter and Facebook accounts, claiming to show “irrefutable evidence” of collusion between the US and ISIS combat units

    Unfortunately for the Russian MoD, eagle-eyed Twitter users immediately spotted some problems with the images.

    What this in fact showed was a cropped screenshot from the mobile phone game AC-130 Gunship Simulator, specifically a screenshot from a promo video for the game

    The other images are also not from the dates and locations claimed by the Russian MoD, but from videos filmed in Iraq in 2016.

    Reply
  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The rallying cry of “fake news” has eroded trust in the media

    Facebook, Google and others join The Trust Project, an effort to increase transparency around online news
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/16/facebook-google-and-others-join-the-trust-project-an-effort-to-increase-transparency-around-online-news/?ncid=rss&utm_source=tcfbpage&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29&sr_share=facebook

    “Fake news” and other misinformation, online propaganda, and satirical content people believe is true have filled the web via search engines and social media, and have caused a rift in how people perceive today’s news organizations and the quality of their coverage. A nonpartisan effort called The Trust Project is working to address this situation by helping online users distinguish between reliable journalism and promotional content or misinformation.

    Reply
  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    One of the things AMP sucks at is letting readers explore the site further after reading an article

    Google announces AMP update that will discourage ‘teaser pages’
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/16/google-announces-amp-update-that-will-discourage-teaser-pages/?ncid=rss&utm_source=tcfbpage&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29&sr_share=facebook

    Google announces AMP update that will discourage ‘teaser pages’
    Posted 11 hours ago by Lucas Matney (@lucasmtny)

    Publishers have a lot of mixed feeling about AMP (accelerated mobile pages), but it’s pretty safe to say that consumers enjoy web pages that load faster and are less cluttered. What’s less safe to say is that the experience on AMP-optimized pages is always better content-wise. One of the thing AMP sucks at is grabbing readers and letting them explore the site further after reading an article and this has been really frustrating to a lot of sites. Some publications have tried to get around this by publishing two versions of web pages and linking them together with some kind of “read more here” call-to-action on the AMP-optimized page.

    This allows sites to have their cake and eat it too by enabling web pages to pop up in AMP-only sections of Google while also inclining visitors to visit their full site to get the total experience.

    Reply
  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sean Illing / Vox:
    New study finds China uses “cheerleading”, or flooding the internet with positive news in order to eclipse bad news, as a method to manipulate its population

    China is perfecting a new method for suppressing dissent on the internet
    Now Russia is following China’s blueprint.
    https://www.vox.com/world/2017/8/2/16019562/china-russia-internet-propaganda-media

    The art of suppressing dissent has been perfected over the years by authoritarian governments. For most of human history, the solution was simple: force. Punish people severely enough when they step out of line and you deter potential protesters.

    But in the age of the internet and “fake news,” there are easier ways to tame dissent.

    A new study by Gary King of Harvard University, Jennifer Pan of Stanford University, and Margaret Roberts of the University of California San Diego suggests that China is the leading innovator on this front. Their paper, titled “How the Chinese Government Fabricates Social Media Posts for Strategic Distraction, Not Engaged Argument,” shows how Beijing, with the help of a massive army of government-backed internet commentators, floods the web in China with pro-regime propaganda.

    What’s different about China’s approach is the content of the propaganda. The government doesn’t refute critics or defend policies; instead, it overwhelms the population with positive news (what the researchers call “cheerleading” content) in order to eclipse bad news and divert attention away from actual problems.

    Reply
  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
    YouTube takes down Toy Freaks, a kid-focused channel that had over 8.5M subscribers, as it tightens enforcement of child endangerment policies — Following consumer outrage over YouTube’s handling of disturbing videos aimed at children on its network, the company has now banned …

    YouTube terminates exploitive ‘kids’ channel ToyFreaks, says it’s tightening its child endangerment policies
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/17/youtube-terminates-exploitive-kids-channel-toyfreaks-among-broader-tightening-of-its-endangerment-policies/

    Following consumer outrage over YouTube’s handling of disturbing videos aimed at children on its network, the company has now banned one of the more controversial kid channels it hosted, Toy Freaks. The channel, the 68th largest on YouTube with over 8.5 million subscribers, was often criticized for its vile and seemingly exploitive videos featuring a dad and his daughters, which many said bordered on abuse.

    YouTube tells TechCrunch the ban is part of a new tightening around the enforcement of its child endangerment policies. It says it will now remove videos to protect “viewers, uploaders and children” when the company receives signals that cause concern.

    The removal is part of a broader review of similar content on YouTube, the company also said.

    If you’re not familiar with ToyFreaks, consider yourself lucky.

    The videos are presumably scripted, and focus on gross-out humor, but they’ve still disturbed a number of viewers as it’s not clear to what extent a child can knowingly consent to participate in videos like this.

    Reply
  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Charlie Warzel / BuzzFeed:
    Big tech’s recent gaffes, on top of concerns over election interference, misinformation, and its unprecedented influence, further erode trust in the sector — Mark Zuckerberg’s virtual reality tour of Puerto Rico in October. — Facebook Live — Since summer’s end …

    Big Tech Cannot Stop Shooting Itself In The Foot
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/charliewarzel/big-tech-cannot-stop-shooting-itself-in-the-foot?utm_term=.wukQVXkRZr#.yhvkYjARD2

    Trust, arguably more than ever, is Silicon Valley’s most coveted feature now. And blunders coming from tech’s biggest companies now feel more unsettling.

    Since summer’s end, Silicon Valley’s biggest tech companies have been embroiled in an endless series of missteps and mini scandals.

    In early October, after the Las Vegas shooting, Facebook’s crisis response page was flooded with spammy and hyperpartisan news, and Google search queries served up links to 4chan, which was spreading hoaxes to politicize the tragedy. Then, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg toured storm-ravaged Puerto Rico in a VR hangout, his cartoon avatar high-fiving a fellow Facebook employee while the two waded in floodwaters. Google unveiled a new Maps feature that showed users how many calories they would burn by walking — and tracked that calorie estimates in mini cupcakes, “for perspective.”. Twitter briefly suspended actor Rose McGowan in the middle of a series of tweets about sexual harassment, then two weeks later an employee briefly deactivated the account of the president of the United States on their last day at work, then a bug caused the platform to restrict search terms for hashtags like #bisexual, making it look as if they were being censored. Apple rolled out an update that included a glitch that caused every iPhone in the world to replace the word “i” with a capital A and a question mark in a square symbol. And after the Texas mass shooting, Google spread misinformation by listing conspiratorial tweets about the shooter as “Popular on Twitter,” and YouTube’s algorithm surfaced videos propagating a conspiracy theory that the Texas shooter was linked to antifa. Earlier this month, Twitter verified Jason Kessler, a white supremacist — and then apologized and paused all verification of accounts indefinitely after a backlash.

    Viewed separately, each of these missteps could be seen as reasonably small but unfortunate errors.

    Reply
  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Harry McCracken / Fast Company:
    How The Washington Post built Arc, its suite of digital publishing tools, and started offering the software to other newsrooms as a paid service — The newspaper created a platform to tackle its own challenges. Then, with Amazon-like spirit, it realized there was a business in helping other publishers do the same.

    The Washington Post Is A Software Company Now
    https://mediagazer.com/#a171119p3

    The newspaper created a platform to tackle its own challenges. Then, with Amazon-like spirit, it realized there was a business in helping other publishers do the same.

    Reply
  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    April Glaser / Slate:
    Communications Decency Act, section 230 protects websites from liability for users’ posts and has enabled both website growth and hate speech, disinformation — But also made the internet what we have today. — The internet didn’t have to turn out this way.

    The Law That Let Silicon Valley Stay Clueless
    But also made the internet what we have today.
    http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2017/11/the_law_that_let_silicon_valley_stay_clueless_made_the_internet_we_have.html

    The internet didn’t have to turn out this way. There is an alternative future, one where walled gardens like Facebook and Google didn’t morph into overgrown safe havens for Nazis and Kremlin agents to hide and thrive. One where misinformation didn’t spread like wildfire. One where women and members of minority groups didn’t cringe to open their apps. But here we are.

    “We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years,”

    Reply
  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Keith J. Kelly / New York Post:
    Forbes says it is reducing print frequency from 14 issues/year to 10 and also cutting 20 people from payroll
    http://nypost.com/2017/11/16/forbes-scaling-back-to-10-issues-in-2018/

    Reply
  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sean Illing / Vox:
    New study finds China uses “cheerleading”, or flooding the internet with positive news in order to eclipse bad news, as a method to manipulate its population
    http://www.vox.com/world/2017/8/2/16019562/china-russia-internet-propaganda-media

    Reply
  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Net Neutrality is Essentially Unassailable, Argues Billionaire Barry Diller
    https://news.slashdot.org/story/17/11/20/0129259/net-neutrality-is-essentially-unassailable-argues-billionaire-barry-diller

    The billionaire media mogul behind such popular sites as Expedia, Match.com and HomeAdvisor has a one-word forecast for traditional media conglomerates concerned about being replaced by tech giants: serfdom. “They, like everyone else, are kind of going to be serfs on the land of the large tech companies,” IAC chairman Barry Diller said… That’s because Google and Facebook not only have such massive user bases but also dominate online advertising.

    Barry Diller says big media will be ‘serfs on the land’ of tech giants
    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/barry-diller-says-big-media-will-serfs-land-tech-giants-182825095.html

    The billionaire media mogul behind such popular sites as Expedia, Match.com and HomeAdvisor has a one-word forecast for traditional media conglomerates concerned about being replaced by tech giants: serfdom.

    “They, like everyone else, are kind of going to be serfs on the land of the large tech companies,” IAC (IAC) chairman Barry Diller said.

    Diller offered that prediction regarding Facebook (FB), Google (GOOG, GOOGL) and other pillars of the digital industry at the Virtuous Circle conference put on by a Washington-based trade group, the Internet Association.

    The media mogul’s advice to established media firms wondering how to deal with ever-more-powerful tech titans — “You can be a serf on their land!” — may not have been what you’d expect from somebody in his line of work. But it also fits with growing concerns about the reach and influence of those online firms, and what that’s doing to our access to information and entertainment.

    He, for one, welcomes our new tech overlords

    “They’re not going away, but where they dominated the world of media they will essentially be supplicants… doing okay,” he said.

    That’s because Google and Facebook not only have such massive user bases but also dominate online advertising.

    “Google and Facebook are consolidating,” Diller said. “They are the only mass advertising mediums we have.”

    Reply
  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    One of Facebook’s most popular pages was mysteriously shut down for a few hours
    http://mashable.com/2017/11/17/facebook-blocks-unilad/#U01dy_1RViqw

    The popular Facebook Page for Unilad with 34 million “likes” disappeared from the social network on Friday, suggesting that Facebook blocked the page.

    It was back up around 10:10 a.m. ET. The temporary shutdown caused panic among the publisher community, reminding them that they operate at the whims of Facebook.

    “The Unilad Facebook channel encountered some temporary downtime due to a minor internal issue that has now been fixed. Facebook and Unilad have taken all necessary steps to ensure this will not happen again. We’ve always been great partners and look forward to continuing to produce great content and engaging audiences around the world,” a Facebook spokesperson wrote in an email to Mashable.

    Unilad’s 34 million “likes” were acquired over the past six years. As was shown Friday, they could all be taken away in a few clicks by Facebook.

    Unilad’s page is one of the most popular Facebook Pages in the world, largely due to viral videos and clickbait content.

    Others in the publisher community suggested Unilad should be shut down. The publisher is without question a bad actor on Facebook and is known to take viral content without the creator’s permission. The Facebook Page will also share GIFs as videos, which is an easy way to acquire fake video views.

    Reply
  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Our Product Reviews Have a New Look, and a New Mission
    https://www.wired.com/story/new-product-reviews-design/

    Here at WIRED, we approach product reviews a little differently than everyone else. There are literally dozens of places on the web where you can scan all the specs and read about every feature in a new phone or a new speaker. But we try to be more helpful than that. When we write a product review, we tell you what an object is trying to achieve, how it could potentially fit into your life, and whether it’s worth caring about—or buying.

    Since this publication’s birth in 1993, we’ve been bringing you coverage not only of the latest mainstream products like smartphones and TVs but also the crazy, boundary-pushing stuff. WIRED is probably the first place you read about 3-D printers and VR headsets.

    What’s New

    Most of the changes to the redesigned product review pages are right at the top. We’ve increased the visibility of our rating, the item’s price, and the WIRED/TIRED block where we list the products’ successes and stumbles.

    On some reviews, you’ll also see a new badge—something we call WIRED Recommends. This is an award we give to only the best products we’ve tested, the stuff we really love.

    Also right at the top is a big blue “Buy Now” button that leads you to a storefront where you can purchase whatever amazing thing we’re telling you about. That button often leads to retailers with whom WIRED has an affiliate relationship. This is an important revenue stream for us—and it helps fund the journalism that we do, not just on the product reviews desk but across the whole organization, from our narrative stories in the magazine to our investigative online features.

    Reply
  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    TripAdvisor’s business practices under review by FTC as more travelers say their warnings of rapes, injuries were blocked
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/11/21/tripadvisor-blocks-more-warnings/884750001/

    Reply
  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ProPublica:
    Ads for housing that exclude demographics are still being approved by Facebook, a year after a study highlighted the illegal discriminatory practice on Facebook — After ProPublica revealed last year that Facebook advertisers could target housing ads to whites only, the company announced …

    Facebook (Still) Letting Housing Advertisers Exclude Users by Race
    https://www.propublica.org/article/facebook-advertising-discrimination-housing-race-sex-national-origin

    After ProPublica revealed last year that Facebook advertisers could target housing ads to whites only, the company announced it had built a system to spot and reject discriminatory ads. We retested and found major omissions.

    Reply
  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Lily Cusack / Reuters:
    EU agrees to abolish geoblocking restrictions on some goods on e-commerce sites by end of 2018; proposal excludes copyrighted content like streaming services — BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union has agreed a plan obliging online retailers operating in the bloc to make electrical goods …

    EU agrees to end country-specific limits for online retailers
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-digital-geoblocking/eu-agrees-to-end-country-specific-limits-for-online-retailers-idUSKBN1DL248

    The European Union has agreed a plan obliging online retailers operating in the bloc to make electrical goods, concert tickets or car rental available to all EU consumers regardless of where they live.

    Putting an end to “geoblocking”, whereby consumers in one EU country cannot buy a good or service sold online in another, has been a priority for the EU as it tries to create a digital single market with 24 legislative proposals.

    Reply
  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Reuters:
    Russia says it could act against Google if Sputnik, RT get lower search rankings, after Eric Schmidt said “those kinds of websites” should have less prominence

    Russia to act against Google if Sputnik, RT get lower search rankings: official
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-alphabet-russia/russia-to-act-against-google-if-sputnik-rt-get-lower-search-rankings-official-idUSKBN1DL2MA

    SAN FRANCISCO/MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Kremlin will take action against Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google if articles from Russian news websites Sputnik and Russia Today are placed lower in search results, the Interfax news service cited Russia’s chief media regulator as saying on Tuesday.

    Alexander Zharov, head of media regulator Roskomnadzor, said his agency sent a letter to Google on Tuesday requesting clarification on comments Saturday by Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt about how the Russian websites would be treated in search, according to Interfax.

    “We will receive an answer and understand what to do next,” Interfax quoted Zharov as saying.

    The Russian government funds Sputnik and Russia Today, or RT. Both of the websites spread misinformation and published stories that were negative toward Hillary Clinton during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, U.S. intelligence agencies have said.

    Reply
  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Facebook will show which Russian election troll accounts you followed
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/22/russian-trolls/

    Facebook is building out a tool to show which Facebook Pages or Instagram accounts associated with Russia’s Internet Research Agency election troll farm you Liked or followed. Launching by the end of the year as part of the Facebook Help Center, the tool will show a list of all the IRA accounts you followed.

    The IRA is a group based in St. Petersburg, Russia with ties to the Kremlin. It’s been exposed as an office organizing purposeful disinformation campaigns to disrupt the US 2016 Presidential election by sowing division in the country.

    Reply
  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Facebook will help some users figure out if they saw Russian propaganda during the 2016 U.S. presidential election
    So far, Google and Twitter have not detailed their plans.
    https://www.recode.net/2017/11/22/16689744/facebook-google-twitter-russia-election-disclosure

    Facebook is trying to alert some U.S. users that they fell victim to Russian propaganda during the 2016 presidential election.

    In the coming weeks, the social giant plans to roll out a new tool so that users can check if they followed or “Liked” pages and accounts — on both Facebook and Instagram — that the Kremlin quietly set up over the past two years in order to sow social and political unrest, the company announced Wednesday.

    Only a slice of the roughly 140 million users who may have seen Kremlin-backed content on Facebook and Instagram during the 2016 election can take advantage of Facebook’s new portal, which will soon become part of the site’s Help Center. That’s due in part to technical limitations, the company contends.

    Reply
  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Charlie Warzel / BuzzFeed:
    YouTube details steps it’s taking in ongoing effort to clamp down on videos that exploit children, will ramp up removal of offensive material, halt monetization — Across YouTube, an unsettling trend has emerged: Accounts are publishing disturbing and exploitative videos aimed …

    YouTube Is Addressing Its Massive Child Exploitation Problem
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/charliewarzel/youtube-is-addressing-its-massive-child-exploitation-problem

    After BuzzFeed News provided YouTube with dozens of examples of videos — with millions of views — that depict children in disturbing and abusive situations, the company is cracking down.

    Reply
  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tony Romm / Recode:
    Facebook to roll out new tool that lets users check if they Liked or followed Russia-linked accounts; users won’t be able to check if they saw Russian ads — So far, Google and Twitter have not detailed their plans. — Facebook is trying to alert some U.S. users that they fell victim …

    Facebook will help some users figure out if they saw Russian propaganda during the 2016 U.S. presidential election
    So far, Google and Twitter have not detailed their plans.
    https://www.recode.net/2017/11/22/16689744/facebook-google-twitter-russia-election-disclosure

    Reply
  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Security
    ‘Data is the new oil’: F-Secure man on cartels, disinformation and IoT
    An unlikely trio? Not according to Mikko Hyppone
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/11/23/hypponen_interview/

    Questions about cyber influence continue to cloud last year’s US presidential elections and recently similar allegations have been levelled against the Brexit vote.

    Mexican armed forces are apprehensive about upcoming elections in that country but it’s not the US or the Russians they are worried about – it’s the cartels. Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at Finnish security company F-Secure, relayed the anecdote during a discussion about geopolitics and IoT.

    Election campaigning on social media should be banned, said Hypponen, pointing out that Japan does this already. As a result, Facebook doesn’t sell in the Asian country. F-Secure found this from Google ad guidelines.

    Sean Sullivan, a security advisor at F-Secure, saw the same issue differently: “Disinformation exists on Twitter, it’s how it is packaged and exposed on cable news that’s the bigger problem. Bait is put out there and cable news picks it up.”

    Sullivan, a political science graduate, added that combatting disinformation is more a matter of media literacy and critical thinking than rooting out trolls and Russian bots on social media.

    Reply
  39. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Fake news ‘as a service’ booming among cybercrooks
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/11/17/fake_news_as_a_service/

    Fake sites spread fake stories to fuel pump and dump or other foul ends

    Criminals are exploiting “fake news” for commercial gain, according to new research.

    Fake news is widely assumed to be political or ideological propaganda published to sway public opinion, but new research conducted by threat intel firm Digital Shadows and released on Thursday suggested fake news generation services are now aimed at causing financial and reputational damage for companies through disinformation campaigns.

    The firm’s research stated that these services are often associated with “Pump and Dump” scams, schemes that aggressively promote penny stocks to inflate their prices before the inevitable crash and burn.

    A cryptocurrency variant of the same schemes has evolved and involves gradually purchasing major shares in altcoin (cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin) and drumming up interest in the coin through posts on social media.

    Unsurprisingly, media organisations are a frequent target for purveyors of fake news.

    Simply by altering characters on a domain (e.g. a “m” may have changed to an “rn”) and by using cloning services it is possible to create a convincing fake of a legitimate news site. Miscreants then link to and otherwise promote fake stories at these bogus sites for their own nefarious ends.

    Reply
  40. Tomi Engdahl says:

    World’s first ‘negative findings’ science prize aims to tackle publication bias
    https://www.zmescience.com/science/news-science/world-first-negative-science-prize-43242/

    ‘Negative’ findings — results that don’t confirm an expected outcome or original hypothesis — have a bad rep in modern science. They’re far less likely than so-called ‘positive’ results to pass peer-review since virtually all journals have a strong bias against such findings.

    Reply
  41. Tomi Engdahl says:

    “NATURAL” IS A BULLSHIT WORD CREATING MASS DEATH
    http://www.bodyforwife.com/natural-is-a-bullshit-word-creating-mass-death/

    People don’t want to die, so they hope for a miracle; and those who profit from the sale of so-called natural medicine are more than willing to offer one. Of course, it never works

    That sucks.

    But there is something the embracing of the word natural, which is causing even more lethal suckage than bullshit cancer treatments: the fight against GMOs.

    Reply
  42. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Twitter blames human error after blocking a New York Times account over the weekend
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/27/twitter-blames-human-error-after-blocking-a-new-york-times-account-over-the-weekend/?ncid=rss&utm_source=tcfbpage&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29&sr_share=facebook

    Over the holiday weekend, The New York Times found that one of its Twitter accounts had been locked. @nytimesworld was frozen for a full 24 hours over an innocuous tweet

    It’s true that mistakes do happen, but this is yet another high-profile bumble for Twitter in a year that’s been filled with them.

    This latest self-described human error also comes as the paper finds itself a focal point in President’s Trump’s war on so-called “fake news,”

    Trump’s own account was temporarily missing from the service for 11 minutes earlier this month, an act Twitter blamed on the actions of a rogue employee.

    Reply
  43. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Makers or breakers?
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/26/makers-or-breakers/?ncid=rss&utm_source=tcfbpage&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29&utm_content=FaceBook&sr_share=facebook

    Whether it’s Facebook and election disinformation. Google’s questionable choices in information ranking and ad monetization. Amazon’s appetite for crushing traditional retail and evading tax. Airbnb diluting local neighborhoods and pushing up rents. Uber being outted as a rule-breaker and a bully — again and again. Or Twitter providing a safe place for nazis to spread violent hate speech and misogynists to harass women.

    Libertarians are unlikely to object to any of this, of course, but it really is long overdue that the rose-tinted glasses came off the liberal view of tech companies.

    Reply
  44. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Victimized Twice: Cyber Criminals Target Natural Disasters
    http://www.securityweek.com/victimized-twice-cyber-criminals-target-natural-disasters

    In the aftermath of recent fires in California, Spain and Portugal, hurricanes in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, and recent earthquakes in Mexico and on the Iran-Iraq border, there has been a global uptick in the number of phishing scams aimed at stealing personal data and money. Unfortunately, when disaster strikes cyber criminals are always right behind, ready to apply social engineering techniques to take advantage of both the victims and people wishing to help.

    Broken Routines and Urgency Lay the Foundation

    In these devastating situations, victims are obviously out of their routines and under pressure. Donors may be viewing the disaster’s impact live on television or on the internet, or even be in communication with friends and family in the area. Both victims and donors have their defenses down.

    Using social media, email and even web browser searches, criminals can focus their attacks through every possible channel.

    Disaster Warnings — Before and After

    Nothing Is Sacred

    Basically, you need to assume that every natural disaster or public tragedy is being leveraged in a phishing scam somewhere. Phishing is on a dramatic upswing

    Reply
  45. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Pete Vernon / Columbia Journalism Review:
    Q&A with journalists on reporting on extremism: be wary of manipulation, contact experts, recognize the role of the Internet, consider the targets of extremism

    Reporting on extremism, from those who have done it best
    https://www.cjr.org/analysis/reporting-on-extremism-from-those-who-have-done-it-best.php

    The piece obviously missed the mark, but the Times was right to try. Stories on this topic need to be told. Plenty has been written about what the Times did wrong, but there are numerous examples of news organizations—from Vice to The Atlantic—that have undertaken similar assignments and delivered valuable work.

    So what’s the right way to cover extremism? CJR asked for advice from several writers who have succeeded in reporting on Nazis, white nationalists, and those whose views are dangerous.

    Luke O’Brien: Be on guard.
    Charlie Warzel: The internet is real life.
    JJ MacNab: Trust the experts.
    Rukmini Callimachi: Go to the groups, and know your stuff.
    Ijeoma Oluo: Get your priorities straight.

    Reply
  46. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Should Social Media be Considered Part of Critical Infrastructure?
    http://www.securityweek.com/should-social-media-be-considered-part-critical-infrastructure

    Russia interfered in the U.S. 2016 election, but did not materially affect it. That is the public belief of the U.S. intelligence community. It is a serious accusation and has prompted calls for additions to the official 16 critical infrastructure categories. One idea is that ‘national elections’ should be included. A second, less obviously, is that social media should be categorized as a critical industry.

    The reason for the latter is relatively simple: social media as a communications platform is being widely used by adversary organizations and nations to disseminate their own propaganda. This ranges from ISIS using it as a recruitment platform, to armies of Russian state-sponsored trolls manipulating public opinion via Twitter.

    Russian interference, or opinion manipulation, has not been limited to the U.S. Both France and Germany worried about it prior to their own national elections.

    The DHS introduces its definition of the critical infrastructure with, “There are 16 critical infrastructure sectors whose assets, systems, and networks, whether physical or virtual, are considered so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination thereof.” These include ‘energy’, ‘finance’, ‘transport’, ‘communications’ and ‘IT’. Maintaining the availability and continued operation of all of these sectors is clearly critical to the well-being of the nation. Maintaining the availability of social media does not seem so critical.

    Harkins’ argument, however, is that the world has changed since the origins of the critical infrastructure classification.

    Business and society have gone through, and are still going through, a dramatic ‘digitization’ of their operations. The internet and all things cyber have become fundamental to the operation of the economy and society.

    “Where cyber is concerned,” Harkins told SecurityWeek, “the ‘A’ of ‘CIA’ is not enough. The Availability of the critical infrastructure must now be bolstered by the Integrity of the critical infrastructure.”

    “The world today,” he continued, “is based on information with headlong digitization of both business and society. With everything now based on our reaction to and use of information, the integrity of that information has never been more vital.”

    The availability of the Communications and IT sectors is already considered critical, and social media is the most important and widespread platform that unites the communications and IT sectors. If the concept of the critical infrastructure is widened from availability to include integrity, then social media is already, de facto, part of the critical infrastructure. “At what point,” asks Harkins, “does the integrity of the information flowing through the IT sector or the communications sector hit a significant and material risk that will force us to consider it critical?”

    Reply
  47. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Linux Journal Ceases Publication
    http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/linux-journal-ceases-publication

    EOF

    It looks like we’re at the end, folks. If all goes according to a plan we’d rather not have, the November issue of Linux Journal was our last.

    The simple fact is that we’ve run out of money, and options along with it. We never had a wealthy corporate parent or deep pockets of our own, and that made us an anomaly among publishers, from start to finish. While we got to be good at flying close to the ground for a long time, we lost what little elevation we had in November, when the scale finally tipped irrevocably to the negative.

    While we see a future like publishing’s past—a time when advertisers sponsor a publication because they value its brand and readers—the advertising world we have today would rather chase eyeballs, preferably by planting tracking beacons in readers’ browsers and zapping them with ads anywhere those readers show up. But that future isn’t here, and the past is long gone.

    There is some hope, we suppose, that a savior might come through; but it will have to be one willing to pick up some of our debt, in addition to our brand, our archive, our domains and our subscribers and readers. If you know anyone who can make a serious offer, let us know. Otherwise, watch LinuxJournal.com and hope that at least our legacy archives (which go back to Linux Journal’s birth in April 1994, when Linux hit 1.0) won’t go away. There’s a lot of great stuff here, and a lot of history we’d hate the world to lose.

    Our biggest regret is that we don’t even have enough money to return to the people who have valued us most: our subscribers.

    So Long, and Thanks for All the Bash
    http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/so-long-and-thanks-all-bash?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+linuxjournalcom+%28Linux+Journal+-+The+Original+Magazine+of+the+Linux+Community%29

    With Linux Journal shutting down we’ve lost an advocate for Linux, Open Source and open standards that we need now more than ever. We’ve also lost a rallying point for those of us in the community that still believe in all of the principles that brought us to Linux to begin with. We may have won a few battles, but the fight ahead of us is more insidious and subtler. Are there enough of us left who remember what we were fighting for? Are enough of us still in fighting shape?

    After a decade of hacking and slashing, I have to accept that this era is over. Instead of losing heart, for me this marks the start of a new era, and a chance to refocus on the things I’ve always valued about this community. I hope you don’t lose heart either, we have a lot of work ahead of us.

    Eat your vegetables,
    Kyle Rankin

    Reply
  48. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Trump and the Risks of Digital Hate
    https://www.wired.com/story/historians-see-terrifying-echoes-in-trumps-anti-muslim-tweets/

    In the year 1929, the Nazi propaganda tabloid Der Stürmer published a caricature of an imaginary group of devious looking Jewish people, peeling off in a car after apparently running over a German boy, left bleeding in the arms of his father.

    In the year 2017, the President of the United States retweeted a video of a dark-haired teenager assaulting a blonde, Dutch teenager on crutches, with the erroneous caption, “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!”

    In the year 1942, the Nazi pamphlet Der Untermensch accused Jews of delighting in destroying churches, with the caption, “For the Jew and inhuman the highest satisfaction comes from the destruction of churches!”

    In the year 2017, the President of the United States retweeted a video of a bearded Muslim man smashing a fair-skinned statue of the Virgin Mary with the caption, “Muslim Destroys a Statue of the Virgin Mary!”

    “I think this is real dangerous shit,” says David Livingstone Smith, a professor of philosophy at the University of New England

    “This is scary shit,” echoes Jason Stanley, a professor at Yale

    To be clear and compliant with Godwin’s law no one is comparing Trump to Adolf Hitler. “That would be absurd,”

    “There’s always a backstory,”

    It typically begins with leaders fomenting fear, specifically, by portraying a relatively powerless group as a societal threat. One of the most powerful examples of this was the portrayal of African American slaves in the antebellum south.

    The script repeated in 1934, one year after Adolf Hitler took power, when German Jews were already being herded into the Dachau concentration camp outside of Munich.

    Similarly, in Rwanda in 1993, Hutu Power propaganda magazines like Kangura ran stories accusing the Tutsi

    All of those examples, of course, came before Facebook and Twitter. These destructive myths and stereotypes can now be disseminated to millions of people in a matter of seconds. And it’s not simply cartoons and phony headlines filling people’s minds. Doctored photos and misrepresentations of real footage, like the video the President shared, are a dangerous new development in the history of propaganda, experts say. “Everyone knows caricatures exaggerate,”

    In the social media age, not only does the information travel faster, but the sheer volume of shocking images people are exposed to on a daily basis helps numb societies to the hate they’re seeing. President Trump tweeting explicitly anti-Muslim content from the leader of a British hate group, who was herself arrested recently for hate speech

    President Trump wants badly to justify his plans to ban citizens from a host of primarily Islamic nations from entering the United States. Videos portraying Muslim violence—both real and fabricated—fit neatly into that story. But they also fit neatly into a much longer story of tragedy around the world. Whatever his motivation, history provides few excuses for those who fail to anticipate the damage that words and images can do.

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  49. Tomi Engdahl says:

    BuzzFeed:
    YouTube says moderation team will have 10K+ people by end-2018, up 25% according to sources, and pledges new approach to ads to curb child exploitation problem — The company plans to have over 10,000 content moderators on staff by the end of 2018, YouTube CEO, Susan Wojcicki said.

    Here’s What YouTube Is Doing To Stop Its Child Exploitation Problem
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/charliewarzel/youtube-will-add-more-human-moderators-to-stop-its-child

    The company plans to have over 10,000 content moderators on staff by the end of 2018, YouTube CEO, Susan Wojcicki said.

    Reply

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