Silicon Valley can't do anything without stepping in it these days. Nowhere is that more visible than Washington, where politicians of every stripe have found a reason to complain about the tech industry. The left says tech companies have created virtual safe spaces for hate speech and harassment. The right says they're doing just the opposite, censoring conservative voices by arbitrarily enforcing vague terms of service. It isn't just political tub-thumpers that are railing against tech. The intelligence community says websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google's YouTube have become launchpads of choice for Russian election interference. Law enforcement agencies say the encryption technology protecting the data in our apps and phones stifles their investigations. Already, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was grilled by senators and representatives in April after his social network was embroiled in a data privacy scandal surrounding Cambridge Analytica, a consultancy. Next week, … [Read more...] about Why Washington is so angry with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
Account verification youtube
Twitter has been accused of having double standards after a decision to ‘verify’ the controversial New York Times reporter Sarah Jeong with the coveted blue tick, despite her record of making ‘racist’ comments about white people. Jeong, who has been on Twitter since 2009, only received the blue tick after she was hired by the Times, despite outrage after a series of past tweets re-emerged in which she ranted about “dumbass f*cking white people” and admitted she enjoys “being cruel to old white men” — as well as a slew of other derogatory comments aimed at “white people”. Read more Earlier this month, the Times was forced to publicly defend its decision to hire the Asian-American Jeong after the tweets sparked controversy online. In a statement, the Times said that while it did “not condone” her past speech, Jeong had simply been “imitating the rhetoric of of her harassers” and that she now … [Read more...] about Twitter verification of NYT’s ‘racist’ Sarah Jeong sparks online outrage, accusations of hypocrisy
The purge came too late for Heather Heyer. Last August, amid the fallout from the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, the major technology platforms on which the “alt-right” had arisen, recruited members and organized its violent event decided to clean house. Facebook and the video game chat application Discord moved to delete the groups and chatrooms affiliated with the violent white supremacist groups present at Charlottesville, where 32-year-old Heyer was killed and dozens were injured when a car plowed into anti-racist counter-protesters. The neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer was forced to move to the dark web after it lost its domain name registration and ability to fend off DDOS attacks. The horse may have bolted, but the stables were looking decidedly more clean. But a year later, as the remnants of the alt-right prepare for an anniversary rally in Washington DC and, pending a court case, Charlottesville, many of the players involved in the first … [Read more...] about A year after Charlottesville, why can’t big tech delete white supremacists?
Winston Churchill once said: ‘History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.’ That might well be the epitaph for our information age, in which facts seem to be made as much by the repetition of statements as by the complex process required to unwind and verify the content of what we hear. Alan Turing, father of machine learning, might have said as much, arguing in 1936 that we would reach machine completeness when a system of instructions given to a machine resulted in it creating an autonomous duplicate — its own verification. According to Turing, a computer could be said to ‘think’ if a human could not distinguish its processing of data from a potential human response. To do that, it would need an algorithm for learning to sort random data and its impact on the machine, much as James Maxwell’s imagined ‘demon’ of 1872 could, by rapidly sorting hot (fast) and cold (slow) molecules, decrease entropy. If a machine can account for the … [Read more...] about How to escape feedback
KIDS will be cut off social media after two or three hours under government plans to avoid a new generation of internet junkies. Tough new laws could force computer giants to impose daily screen-time limits amid evidence of that teens who spend too much time online are more likely to suffer mental illness. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has instructed the chief medical officer to recommend a “healthy screen time” for children – similar to recommended alcohol units for adults. He ordered the move after losing patience with “irresponsible” internet giants for failing to make their sites safe for children. Mr Hunt wants a recommended “healthy screen time” for children – and warned he will bring in laws to enforce it if necessary. It will mean youngsters would have a strictly limited daily limit for how long they spend on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram. Children aged five to 16 spend an average of … [Read more...] about Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt wants a daily cap on kids’ screen time to fight internet dangers