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.

2,225 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Network of Social Media Accounts Impersonates U.S. Political Candidates, Leverages U.S. and Israeli Media in Support of Iranian Interests
    https://www.fireeye.com/blog/threat-research/2019/05/social-media-network-impersonates-us-political-candidates-supports-iranian-interests.html

    Reply
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Government’s Indictment of Julian Assange Poses a Clear and Present Danger to Journalism, the Freedom of the Press, and Freedom of Speech
    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/05/governments-indictment-julian-assange-poses-clear-and-present-danger-journalism

    The century-old tradition that the Espionage Act not be used against journalistic activities has now been broken. Seventeen new charges were filed yesterday against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. These new charges make clear that he is being prosecuted for basic journalistic tasks, including being openly available to receive leaked information, expressing interest in publishing information regarding certain otherwise secret operations of government, and then disseminating newsworthy information to the public.

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Scientists prove that truth is no match for fiction on Twitter
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/mar/08/scientists-truth-fiction-twitter-bots

    Researchers find fake news reaches users up to 20 times faster than factual content – and real users are more likely to spread it than bots

    “Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after it,” wrote Jonathan Swift in 1710.

    “Falsehood diffused significantly farther, faster, deeper and more broadly than the truth in all categories of information,”

    How much further? “Whereas the truth rarely diffused to more than 1,000 people, the top 1% of false-news cascades routinely diffused to between 1,000 and 100,000 people,” they write. In other words, true facts don’t get retweeted, while too-good-to-be-true claims are viral gold.

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Finland is winning the war on fake news. What it’s learned may be crucial to Western democracy
    https://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2019/05/europe/finland-fake-news-intl/?utm_medium=social&utm_term=link&utm_content=2019-05-29T03%3A31%3A05&utm_source=fbCNN&fbclid=IwAR1Afdi9eqMnMmjUeIyVZGtR4cfGtJqhdVn-TSVW6QdIs9k5X1gioFoPgCA

    A slide titled “Have you been hit by the Russian troll army?” included a checklist of methods used to deceive readers on social media: image and video manipulations, half-truths, intimidation and false profiles.

    Another slide, featuring a diagram of a Twitter profile page, explained how to identify bots: look for stock photos, assess the volume of posts per day, check for inconsistent translations and a lack of personal information.

    The lesson wrapped with a popular “deepfake” — highly realistic manipulated video or audio — of Barack Obama

    Reply
  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Facebook Removed Over 2 Billion Fake Accounts, But The Problem Is Getting Worse
    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/amphtml/craigsilverman/facebook-fake-accounts-afd

    “I find this an odd time for Facebook to publicly pat themselves on the back.”

    Reply
  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    National security journalism just became a national security threat
    https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/26/assange-charges-freedom-press-threat/

    U.S. charges against Julian Assange will threaten press freedom

    Reply
  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The master list of PR DON’Ts (or how not to piss off the writer covering your startup)
    https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/23/the-master-list-of-pr-donts/

    Reply
  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google’s Chrome Quietly Plans to Block Third-Party Ad-Blockers
    https://theaegisalliance.com/2019/06/02/googles-chrome-quietly-plans-block-third-party-ad-blockers/

    Google’s Chrome browser is rated the most popular way to browse the internet for both mobile and desktop devices.

    A few months ago, Google made an announcement that it proposes making changes to how extensions in Chrome work. Such changes would stop current ad-blockers from being able to function.

    Google gave confirmation that Chrome users would not be able to use ad-blockers anymore. Instead, Chrome would still be able to block content if a user pays for the enterprise version of Chrome.
    This is not a surprising move by Google, since the company generates revenue through advertising.

    Reply
  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Cure For Pseudoscience? Clear Thinking
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/helenleebouygues/2019/05/27/the-cure-for-pseudoscience-clear-thinking/

    More and more people believe in pseudoscience. Today, 50% of all Americans think that people can have ESP. Many argue that witches—and telepathy—are real phenomena.

    According to the study, a one-semester course in critical thinking reduced pseudoscientific views by a whopping 45%.

    Reply
  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ‘Mind control’: The secret UK government blueprints shaping post-terror planning
    https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/mind-control-secret-british-government-blueprints-shaping-post-terror-planning

    The British government has prepared for terrorist incidents by pre-planning social media campaigns that are designed to appear to be a spontaneous public response to attacks, Middle East Eye has learned.

    Reply
  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    YouTube Is Finally Banning Nazis, Holocaust Denial, and Sandy Hook Truthers
    https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/vb9px8/youtube-is-finally-banning-nazis-holocaust-denial-and-sandy-hook-truthers?utm_campaign=sharebutton

    YouTube says it will “remove content denying that well-documented violent events took place.”

    Reply
  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    https://www.extremetech.com/computing/292771-apple-attempted-to-censor-critical-coverage-of-its-1000-monitor-stand

    The Register embedded a clip of the audience reaction in one of its stories — and Apple killed the video on the grounds that it supposedly infringed on the company’s copyright

    Reply
  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    https://www.mintpressnews.com/the-trust-project-big-media-and-silicon-valleys-weaponized-algorithms-silence-dissent/259030/

    goal of restoring “trust” in corporate, mainstream media outlets, relative to independent alternatives, by applying “trust indicators” to social-media news algorithms in a decidedly untransparent way. The funding of “The Trust Project” — coming largely from big tech companies like Google; government-connected tech oligarchs like Pierre Omidyar; and the Knight Foundation, a key Newsguard investor

    Of particular importance is the fact that the Trust Project’s “trust indicators” are already being used to control what news is promoted and suppressed by top search engines like Google and Bing and massive social-media networks like Facebook. Though the descriptions of these “trust indicators” — eight of which are currently in use — are publicly available, the way they are being used by major tech and social media companies is not.

    The Trust Project’s goal is to increase public trust in the very same traditional media outlets that Newsguard favored and to use HTML-embedded codes in favored news articles to promote their content at the expense of independent alternatives. Even if its effort to promote “trust” in establishment media fail, its embedded-code hidden within participating news sites allow those establishment outlets to skirt the same algorithms currently targeting their independent competition, making such issues of “trust” largely irrelevant as it moves to homogenize the online media landscape in favor of mainstream media.

    Reply
  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Trust Project was created as a way of outsourcing censorship of independent news sites while attempting to salvage the tattered reputation of mainstream media outlets and return the U.S. and international media landscape to years past when such outlets were able to dominate the narrative.

    While it seems unlikely that’s its initiatives will succeed in restoring trust to mainstream media

    https://www.mintpressnews.com/the-trust-project-big-media-and-silicon-valleys-weaponized-algorithms-silence-dissent/259030/

    Reply
  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

    Those hailing this as a victory don’t realize how much they’ve become like their imagined enemies.

    YouTube is deleting videos on Nazi history as part of its hate speech crackdown
    https://www.technologyreview.com/f/613644/youtube-is-deleting-videos-on-nazi-history-as-part-of-its-hate-speech-crackdown/

    The news: YouTube announced new rules around hate speech on Wednesday that prohibit videos promoting Nazi ideology or denying the existence of the Holocaust or other well-documented violent events like the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Thousands of channels are expected to be shut down. But now multiple teachers are complaining that videos uploaded to educate people about Nazi history have been deleted, the Guardian reported.

    The Nazi problem: Hate speech, and how to police it, isn’t a new issue for YouTube or other social platforms. But this shows just how fraught and complex the balance is, and highlights the risk of unintended consequences when policies and algorithms are tweaked.

    YouTube blocks history teachers uploading archive videos of Hitler
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jun/06/youtube-blocks-history-teachers-uploading-archive-videos-of-hitler

    Teachers trying to educate about fascism hit by service’s new policy on hate speech

    “It’s absolutely vital that YouTube work to undo the damage caused by their indiscriminate implementation as soon as possible,” said Allsop. “Access to important material is being denied wholesale as many other channels are left branded as promoting hate when they do nothing of the sort.”

    YouTube’s policy did not take into account the extent to which the history syllabus focused on the second world war.

    He said he was appealing against YouTube’s deletion of archive Nazi footage taken from mainstream media outlets, arguing that this was in itself a “form of negationism or even Holocaust denial”.

    Reply
  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Here’s a new way to look at the flaws of Facebook and Google: They’re the price of free.

    Why Free Is Too High a Price for Facebook and Google
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-free-is-too-high-a-price-for-facebook-and-google-11559966411

    Most of the ills traced to these companies are a direct consequence of their no-cost business models

    Over the past two years, Facebook and Google have taken fire for their roles in everything from eroding democratic institutions to damaging mental health to undermining our collective immunity to preventable diseases.

    Reply
  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    An Iranian Activist Wrote Dozens of Articles for Right-Wing Outlets. But Is He a Real Person?
    https://theintercept.com/2019/06/09/heshmat-alavi-fake-iran-mek/

    “Heshmat Alavi is a persona run by a team of people from the political wing of the MEK,” said Hassan Heyrani, a high-ranking defector from the MEK who said he had direct knowledge of the operation.

    “We were always active in making false news stories to spread to the foreign press and in Iran. At Camp Ashraf, there were computers set up to do online information operations.”

    The MEK conducts relentless online information campaigns, using an army of bots to flood online debates about Iran with the group’s perspective.

    Reply
  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Kevin Roose / New York Times:
    How 12,000+ videos watched by a young man on YouTube since 2015 first pulled him into a far-right rabbit hole and more recently into a left-wing universe — Over years of reporting on internet culture, I’ve heard countless versions of Mr. Cain’s story: an aimless young man — usually white …

    Caleb Cain was a college dropout looking
    for direction. He turned to YouTube
    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/06/08/technology/youtube-radical.html

    Soon, he was pulled into a far-right universe,
    watching thousands of videos filled with
    conspiracy theories, misogyny and racism.

    “I was brainwashed.”

    “I fell down the alt-right rabbit hole,” he said in the video.

    Mr. Cain, 26, recently swore off the alt-right nearly five years after discovering it, and has become a vocal critic of the movement.

    Over years of reporting on internet culture, I’ve heard countless versions of Mr. Cain’s story: an aimless young man — usually white, frequently interested in video games — visits YouTube looking for direction or distraction and is seduced by a community of far-right creators.

    Some young men discover far-right videos by accident, while others seek them out. Some travel all the way to neo-Nazism, while others stop at milder forms of bigotry.

    The common thread in many of these stories is YouTube and its recommendation algorithm, the software that determines which videos appear on users’ home pages and inside the “Up Next” sidebar next to a video that is playing. The algorithm is responsible for more than 70 percent of all time spent on the site.

    The radicalization of young men is driven by a complex stew of emotional, economic and political elements, many having nothing to do with social media. But critics and independent researchers say YouTube has inadvertently created a dangerous on-ramp to extremism by combining two things: a business model that rewards provocative videos with exposure and advertising dollars, and an algorithm that guides users down personalized paths meant to keep them glued to their screens.

    “There’s a spectrum on YouTube between the calm section — the Walter Cronkite, Carl Sagan part — and Crazytown, where the extreme stuff is,”

    “If I’m YouTube and I want you to watch more, I’m always going to steer you toward Crazytown.”

    In recent years, social media platforms have grappled with the growth of extremism on their services.

    With two billion monthly active users uploading more than 500 hours of video every minute, YouTube’s traffic is estimated to be the second highest of any website, behind only Google.com.

    Like many Silicon Valley companies, YouTube is outwardly liberal in its corporate politics.

    President Trump and other conservatives have claimed that YouTube and other social media networks are biased against right-wing views

    In reality, YouTube has been a godsend for hyper-partisans on all sides. It has allowed them to bypass traditional gatekeepers and broadcast their views to mainstream audiences, and has helped once-obscure commentators build lucrative media businesses.

    It has also been a useful recruiting tool for far-right extremist groups.

    Reply
  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    DutchNews:
    Dutch news aggregator Blendle plans to stop selling individual news articles via micropayments and will focus instead on its premium subscription service

    Dutch news aggregate website Blendle ditches pay-per-article service
    https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2019/06/dutch-news-aggregate-website-blendle-ditches-pay-per-article-service/

    Dutch digital news aggregator Blendle is to stop selling individual news articles for ‘quarters’ and will focus instead on its premium subscription service. Blendle launched in 2014 as an online news platform that collected articles from a variety of newspapers and magazines and sold them on a pay-per-article basis. In 2017 the company launched its premium service which provides readers with pre-selected article suggestions and magazine access for €10 a month.

    ‘Nine in 10 start-ups are dead within a year, but we are still around five years on,’

    Reply
  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Is there such a thing as too much high-quality content?
    https://yoast.com/too-much-high-quality-content/

    Some bloggers consistently write awesome content. Everything they create is of the highest quality. Does that mean that these bloggers never have to clean up their website? Well, we have some bad news… Even if your content is really great, you could still have too much of it. In this post, I’ll tell you why too much content (about the same topic) could be problematic for SEO. And, I’ll give some tips to solve those problems. Finally, I’ll talk you through the process of combining two articles.

    Reply
  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Will Oremus / OneZero:
    Tech platforms are poor arbitrators of acceptable speech, altering enforcement of already-uneven rules when controversies flare up, but there’s no clear fix

    The One Rule of Content Moderation That Every Platform Follows
    For YouTube, Facebook and the rest, if a decision becomes too controversial, change it
    https://onezero.medium.com/the-one-rule-of-content-moderation-that-every-platform-follows-ab6323e0e293

    Facing pressure to ban a hatemonger, a tech company like Facebook, Google, or Twitter initially demurs, saying that while some may find his speech (or her speech, but usually his) objectionable, it doesn’t violate the platform’s rules. After a torrent of outrage, the tech company changes its mind and takes some form of action. Activists claim victory, conservatives cry censorship, and eventually, the controversy dies down — until the next time.

    It’s a cycle that we witnessed last year with Facebook and the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, the host of Infowars.

    “We believe in giving people a voice, but we also want everyone using Facebook to feel safe.”

    It played out again last week with Google and Stephen Crowder.

    To one side, the reversal looks like a hard-won victory: A major tech platform has been shamed into doing the right thing. To another contingent, it smacks of mob rule: A major tech platform has been goaded into moving the goalposts to censor a politically incorrect voice.

    What should be clear to both sides, by now, is the extent to which these massive corporations are making up the rules of online speech as they go along. In the absence of any independent standards or accountability, public opinion has become an essential part of the process by which their moderation policies evolve.

    The underlying problem of our platforms is not that they’re too conservative or too liberal, too dogmatic or too malleable. It’s that giant, for-profit tech companies, as currently constructed, are simply not suited to the task of deciding unilaterally what speech is acceptable and what isn’t.

    Reply
  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Jeff Jarvis / Whither news?:
    Publishers, lobbying for laws around the world that will help them extract payments from platforms like Google for linking to news, are ruining the internet

    News Publishers Go To War With the Internet — and We All Lose
    https://medium.com/whither-news/news-publishers-go-to-war-with-the-internet-and-we-all-lose-cc8aca5336f5

    Reply
  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Top AI researchers race to detect ‘deepfake’ videos: ‘We are outgunned’
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/06/12/top-ai-researchers-race-detect-deepfake-videos-we-are-outgunned/

    Top artificial-intelligence researchers across the country are racing to defuse an extraordinary political weapon: computer-generated fake videos that could undermine candidates and mislead voters during the 2020 presidential campaign.

    And they have a message: We’re not ready.

    Powerful new AI software has effectively democratized the creation of convincing “deepfake” videos,

    And researchers fear it’s only a matter of time before the videos are deployed for maximum damage — to sow confusion, fuel doubt or undermine an opponent

    could even erode how people accept video evidence. Misinformation researcher Aviv Ovadya calls this problem “reality apathy”: “It’s too much effort to figure out what’s real and what’s not, so you’re more willing to just go with whatever your previous affiliations are.”

    “In general people do need to understand that video may not be an accurate representation of what happened,”

    In AI circles, identifying fake media has long received less attention, funding and institutional backing than creating it

    “Nation-states have had the ability to manipulate media since, essentially, the beginning of media,” Turek said.

    High-definition fake videos often are the easiest to detect

    “I worked on detection for 15 years. It doesn’t work,” said Nasir Memon, a professor of computer science and engineering at New York University.

    the tech giants’ policies don’t align on whether fakes should be deleted or flagged, demoted and preserved.

    Reply
  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Top AI researchers race to detect ‘deepfake’ videos: ‘We are outgunned’
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/06/12/top-ai-researchers-race-detect-deepfake-videos-we-are-outgunned/

    Top artificial-intelligence researchers across the country are racing to defuse an extraordinary political weapon: computer-generated fake videos that could undermine candidates and mislead voters during the 2020 presidential campaign.

    Reply
  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Lindsey Rogers Cook / Times Open:
    NYT’s digital transition team led internal data journalism boot camps, training 60+ employees over 18 months; resources they developed are now freely available

    How We Helped Our Reporters Learn to Love Spreadsheets
    https://open.nytimes.com/how-we-helped-our-reporters-learn-to-love-spreadsheets-adc43a93b919

    Five years ago, a lot of people in journalism were asking, wide-eyed, “Should journalists learn to code?”

    The consensus for most journalists was: probably not. And over time, the “should we code?” questions quieted down.

    But, some people did learn. At The New York Times and elsewhere, coder-journalists have mashed databases to discover wrongdoing, designed immersive experiences that transport readers to new places and created tools that change the way we work.

    Last year, The Times’s Digital Transition team decided to look at how we could help grow beat reporters’ data knowledge to help cover these issues. Our team’s mission is to “continuously transform the newsroom,” and with a focus on training all desks, we were well positioned to address these issues on a large scale.

    Data Training Program

    After talking to leaders in our newsroom about how we could support journalists who wanted to obtain more data skills, we ran two pilot training programs, then expanded into an intensive boot camp open to reporters on all desks. Over the past 18 months, we’ve trained more than 60 reporters and editors, who have gone on to produce dozens of data stories for The Times.

    The training is rigorous. Based in Google Sheets, it starts with beginner skills like sorting, searching and filtering; progresses to pivot tables; and ends with advanced data cleaning skills such as if and then statements and vlookup. Along the way, we discuss data-friendly story structures, data ethics and how to bulletproof data stories.

    Over a period of three weeks, the class meets for two hours every morning.

    we’ve decided to share our materials in the hopes that students, professors or journalists at other publications might find them useful.

    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1ZS57_40tWuIB7tV4APVMmTZ-5PXDwX9w

    Reply
  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tim Cook says Silicon Valley has created too much chaos
    https://techcrunch.com/2019/06/17/tim-cook-says-silicon-valley-has-created-too-much-chaos/

    “But lately it seems this industry is becoming better known for a less noble innovation — the belief that you can claim credit without accepting responsibility. We see it every day now with every data breach, every privacy violation, every blind eye turned to hate speech, fake news poisoning our national conversation, the false miracles in exchange for a single drop of your blood,” he continued.

    “It feels a bit crazy that anyone has to say this, but if you built a chaos factory, you can’t dodge responsibility for the chaos.

    Reply
  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Twitter scrubs nearly 5,000 accounts tied to state-backed information operations
    https://www.cyberscoop.com/twitter-scrubs-nearly-5000-accounts-tied-state-backed-information-operations/

    Twitter said Thursday it has removed thousands of accounts associated with six state-backed disinformation campaigns from Iran, Russia, Venezuela, and Spain.

    Reply
  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sticks And Stones Will Break My Bones, But Words Will Never Hurt Me.
    https://techcrunch.com/2019/06/16/report-huawei-expects-international-smartphone-shipments-to-plummet/

    many have called for the squelching of Neo-Nazi rhetoric or “hate speech.” The people calling for this action have the best of intentions (stopping fascism), but their intentions are logically flawed and ill-conceived.

    “Hate Speech” — words are not bombs.

    If there was such thing as hate speech why then are the same people opposed to this “hate speech” direct quoting it verbatim and rebroadcasting video/audio of it to a broader audience who will receive and hear the same content? I’ve been told the reasoning for this is “context matters.” Meanwhile the content of the speech is allowed to be redistributed as news or critique. But it is the content itself that was labeled ‘hate speech,’ and redistributing it as news or critique means a broader audience is exposed to the ‘hate speech.’ That audience would have never read, heard, nor seen the ‘hate speech’ content if it was not replayed in the news or from the very same people criticising it, and it is the content — not the context — that is being criticised

    Private businesses should not be policing or interpreting content. As this entire polarized debate has shown, everyone interprets what they see from their own personal point of view. This means that the content YOU create will only remain in the cloud at the discretion and whim of whatever employee happens to be reviewing it. Some employees may find your point of view ‘harmful’ by their own interpretation of what you said and *poof* you’re no longer a customer.

    Reply
  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Jordan Peterson Is Launching A Censorship-Free Platform Called ‘Thinkspot.’ Here’s What We Know.
    https://www.dailywire.com/news/48369/jordan-peterson-launching-censorship-free-platform-amanda-prestigiacomo

    Reply
  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Joshua Benton / Nieman Lab:
    Twitter disabling location data for tweets is a win for privacy but a loss for journalists, researchers as it helped find eyewitnesses and track disinformation
    https://www.niemanlab.org/2019/06/twitter-is-turning-off-location-data-on-tweets-a-small-win-for-privacy-but-a-small-loss-for-journalists-and-researchers/

    Reply
  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mike Masnick / Techdirt:
    Internet companies that call themselves “platforms” instead of publishers have no special legal protections or obligations under the Communications Decency Act

    Once More With Feeling: There Is No Legal Distinction Between A ‘Platform’ And A ‘Publisher’
    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20190613/03172142391/once-more-with-feeling-there-is-no-legal-distinction-between-platform-publisher.shtml

    So, let’s be clear, once again and state that there is no special legal distinction for “platforms,” and it makes no difference in the world if an internet company refers to itself as a platform, or a publisher (or, for that matter, an instigator, an enabler, a middleman, a gatekeeper, a forum, or anything). All that matters is do they meet the legal definition of an interactive computer service (which, if they’re online, the answer is generally “yes”), and (to be protected under CDA 230) whether there’s a legal question about whether or not they’re to be held liable for third party content.

    Reply
  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Julie Jargon / Wall Street Journal:
    How COPPA came about 20 years ago, making 13 years the internet’s age of adulthood, as a bipartisan COPPA 2.0 bill seeks to raise the age to 16 — The inside story of COPPA, a law from the early days of e-commerce that is shaping a generation and creating a parental minefield

    How 13 Became the Internet’s Age of Adulthood
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-13-became-the-internets-age-of-adulthood-11560850201

    The inside story of COPPA, a law from the early days of e-commerce that is shaping a generation and creating a parental minefield

    At 13, kids are still more than a decade from having a fully developed prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain involved in decision-making and impulse control. And yet parents and educators unleash them on the internet at that age—if not before—because they’re told

    Reply
  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    IEEE is launching 14 gold fully open access journals. The new publications will cover topics such as automotive technology, biomedical engineering, power and energy, computing, signal processing, industry applications, and telecommunications.

    IEEE Expands Open Access Journal Offerings
    https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-institute/ieee-news/ieee-expands-open-access-journal-offerings

    Reply
  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    James Walker / Press Gazette:
    Study: 44% of UK’s newspaper columnists went to private schools vs. 7% national average, 44% went to Oxbridge vs. <1% of national average

    Study reveals drop in privately-educated journalists at top of media over last five years
    https://www.pressgazette.co.uk/study-reveals-drop-in-privately-educated-journalists-at-top-of-media-over-last-five-years/

    The proportion of privately-educated top journalists has fallen over the past five years but the media continues to be one of the UK’s most elite professions, new research has shown.

    A little under half (44 per cent) of newspaper columnists went to Oxbridge, down 3 per cent over the past five years, as did more than a third (36 per cent) of the News Media 100 list of editors and broadcasters, down 9 per cent.

    “While most news journalists will aspire to leave their opinions outside their place of work, it is somewhat inevitable that they will bring their experiences with them.

    “Journalists need to know about a story to cover it, but if journalists and others working in the media all come from a similar background and have similar experiences, there is a danger that even with the best efforts to reach out, there are likely to be important stories, nuances or angles that they simply miss.”

    The report added that journalists from privileged backgrounds were also in danger of blowing some stories out of proportion.

    Reply
  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Lucinda Southern / Digiday:
    Agencies are packaging brand-safe YouTube ad inventory from broadcast and digital studio partners to reassure cautious advertisers deterred by platform scandals

    ‘Siphoning off the crap’: Agencies prioritize buying premium content directly on YouTube
    June 24, 2019 by Lucinda Southern
    https://digiday.com/media/siphoning-off-the-crap-agencies-prioritize-buying-premium-content-directly-on-youtube/

    U.K. agencies are finding new ways to package premium YouTube inventory from broadcast and digital studio partners. Their motive: to help reassure cautious advertisers deterred from advertising on a platform so beleaguered by brand-safety violations.

    YouTube has faced scrutiny over brand-safety violations over the last two years. In February, Disney and Nestlé paused spend after reports surfaced that the platform’s algorithm had recommended inappropriate content. Yet the platform’s reach, particularly in the 16- to 34-year-old category who are turning away from linear TV, means advertisers can’t ignore it for long. That’s why marketers are increasingly reclaiming contextual control around their ads.

    YouTube has yet to show evidence of having stolen a meaningful budget from linear TV. In 2018, U.K. TV advertising totaled £5.11 billion ($6.47 billion), the same as in 2017

    Reply
  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Lane Sainty / BuzzFeed:
    Australian judge allows man to sue media companies for defamation over Facebook comments written by their readers

    A Judge Just Ruled You Can Sue The Media Over Facebook Comments From Readers
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/lanesainty/dylan-voller-facebook-defamation

    Former youth detainee Dylan Voller is suing News Corp, Fairfax Media and Sky News.

    Before Voller’s case went to trial, Justice Stephen Rothman considered whether the media companies could be considered liable for the reader comments.

    The three companies argued they were not liable

    Rothman ruled in Voller’s favour on Monday afternoon, finding that the media companies were the publishers, in a legal sense, of the comments.

    The judge wrote that each company had the power to effectively delay reader comments on Facebook and monitor if they were defamatory before “releasing” them to the audience.

    This was based on evidence from social media expert Ryan Shelley, who testified that although you can’t turn off comments on Facebook posts, you can deploy a “hack” to pre-moderate them.

    Shelley’s hack involves putting 100 of the most commonly used words in the English language (“a”, “the”, etc) on a Facebook filter list, causing any comment containing those words to be automatically hidden from the public.

    The social media editors variously said they didn’t think the hack would work, taking up too much time and defeating the purpose of publishing stories for public discussion.

    Reply
  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Louise Matsakis / Wired:
    How journalists, researchers, and civil rights groups are using big data, which put gerrymandering on steroids, to easily and cheaply track redistricting

    Big Data Supercharged Gerrymandering. It Could Help Stop It Too
    https://www.wired.com/story/big-data-supercharged-gerrymandering-supreme-court/

    The Supreme Court’s conservative justices ruled Thursday that the highest court doesn’t have the power to address partisan gerrymandering, the practice in which politicians redraw district maps to help their own party win more elections.

    “If left unchecked, gerrymanders like the ones here may irreparably damage our system of government,”

    Reply
  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google open-sources robots.txt parser in push to make Robots Exclusion Protocol an official standard
    https://venturebeat.com/2019/07/01/google-open-sources-robots-txt-parser-in-push-to-make-robots-exclusion-protocol-an-official-standard/

    Google wants to turn the decades-old Robots Exclusion Protocol (REP) into an official internet standard — and it’s making its own robots.txt parser open source as part of the push.

    The REP, which was proposed as a standard by Dutch software engineer Martijn Koster back in 1994, has pretty much become the standard used by websites to tell automated crawlers which parts of a website should not be processed.

    Reply
  39. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hadas Gold / CNN:
    Researchers publish study discussing online game they made wherein users act as a fake news creators; game is meant to “vaccinate” users against misinformation — London (CNN Business)There isn’t a cure for fake news. But as with any disease, prevention is often the best medicine.

    Researchers have created a ‘vaccine’ for fake news. It’s a game
    https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/04/media/fake-news-game-vaccine/

    There isn’t a cure for fake news. But as with any disease, prevention is often the best medicine.
    Researchers at Cambridge University claim they have created a “vaccine” for fake news and misinformation that takes the form of a video game.
    The project has already drawn the attention of Google (GOOGL), which has been criticized for allowing conspiratorial content to spread on its YouTube platform, and WhatsApp, where fake news is sometimes forwarded in group chats.

    The online game puts users in the place of a fake news creator, allowing them to make misleading or fake Tweets, websites and memes as they gain virtual followers and credibility.

    Using psychological approaches to how people best learn, they created the “Bad News” game, which is available at http://www.getbadnews.com.

    It takes about 15 minutes to play, with players earning six badges that reflect misinformation strategies: impersonation, provocative emotional content, polarization, conspiracy theories, discrediting opponents and trolling.

    Reply
  40. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Regulating online communications: Fix the system, not the symptoms
    https://edri.org/regulating-online-communications-fix-the-system-not-the-symptoms/

    Freedom of expression is a human right enshrined in law. It includes the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas, without undue interference or fear of retaliation. It is indispensable for both the development of individuals as well as for the protection and advancement of our democratic societies. It is essential for holding those in power to account.

    Our current online communications landscape fails to deliver these opportunities. A few giant corporations dominate the ecosystem, leading to the obstruction of our communications, including that of journalists and civil society, undue control over our public debate, and extremely limited possibilities for market challengers.

    Reply
  41. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mozilla readies launch of news subscription service
    https://tcrn.ch/2JgyCvI

    The service is one of countless third-party platforms aimed at helping ailing publications find a way to better monetize in an an era of defunding, when journalistic voices are more important than ever. The Apple News offering is probably the most notable in the category, but Mozilla’s offering provides an interesting alternative to a standalone app.

    The Firefox version essentially provides a way to bring users ad-free access to their favorite publications by paying an upfront fee of $5 a month.

    Reply

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