culture_of_online_life   247

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Two years after #Pizzagate showed the dangers of hateful conspiracies, they’re still rampant on YouTube
One recent variation on that theory, which began spreading on YouTube this spring, claimed that Democrat Hillary Clinton and her longtime aide Huma Abedin had sexually assaulted a girl and drank her blood — a conspiracy theory its proponents dubbed “Frazzledrip.”
Although some of these clips were removed after first appearing in April and being quickly debunked by fact-checkers, a Washington Post review found that dozens of videos alleging or discussing these false claims remain online and have been viewed millions of times over the past eight months. YouTube’s search box highlighted the videos when people typed in seemingly innocuous terms such as “HRC video” or “Frazzle.”
culture_of_online_life  Adtech  video  AI 
yesterday by seatrout
Import AI 124: If you're tired of MNIST you can try out a Japanese handwriting dataset; teaching cars to drive aggressively; plus: the robot economy!
New metrics to let us work out when Fake Video News is going to become real:
...With a little help from StarCraft 2!...
Google Brain researchers have proposed a new metric to give researchers a better way to assess the quality of synthetically generated videos. The motivation for this research is that today we lack effective ways to assess and quantify improvements in synthetic video generation, and the history of the deep learning subfield within AI has tended to show the progress in a domain improves once the research community settles on a standard metric and/or dataset to use to assess progress
culture_of_online_life  Adtech  AI 
3 days ago by seatrout
Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret
Health care facilities are among the more enticing but troubling areas for tracking, as Ms. Lee’s reaction demonstrated. Tell All Digital, a Long Island advertising firm that is a client of a location company, says it runs ad campaigns for personal injury lawyers targeting people anonymously in emergency rooms.
“The book ‘1984,’ we’re kind of living it in a lot of ways,” said Bill Kakis, a managing partner at Tell All.
Jails, schools, a military base and a nuclear power plant — even crime scenes — appeared in the data set The Times reviewed. One person, perhaps a detective, arrived at the site of a late-night homicide in Manhattan, then spent time at a nearby hospital, returning repeatedly to the local police station.
culture_of_online_life  security  privacy  adtech 
3 days ago by seatrout
Shopping centre bans nativity scene to avoid upsetting non-religious shoppers
A shopping centre is refusing to stage a nativity scene this Christmas because it might offend customers who are not religious.
Bosses at Thistles in Stirling, Scotland, flatly declined a request for the traditional display saying customers did not want to be "subjected to individual organisation's beliefs".
Even when an MP urged them to reconsider the ban, the shopping centre refused to budge on its decision.
Now critics of the centre have accused them of double standards by promoting a Christmas Market this year.
And the Scottish Catholic Church has urged Thistles to abandon its "Grinch-like" stance and reconsider.
Press_Column  Christianity  culture_of_online_life  Adtech  might_write 
6 days ago by seatrout
Unite the Right? How YouTube’s Recommendation Algorithm Connects The U.S. Far-Right
A Data and Society piece, which I need to use
No one knows what exactly goes into YouTube’s channel recommendations. It is safe to assume that factors that contribute to it are users’ watch histories, preferences, overlap, as well as channel owner recommendations. When we applied our method for the German case, we were able to identify a YouTube-created right-wing filter bubble. Think of it this way: YouTube’s algorithms are not creating something that is not already there. These channels exist, they interact, their users overlap to a certain degree. YouTube’s algorithm, however, connects them visibly via recommendations. It is, in this sense, an algorithmic version of the Thomas theorem, which famously suggested that “If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences”. We could thus say that if algorithms define situations as real, that they are real in their consequences. And we might add: and potentially shape future user’s behaviour. As our data shows, the channel recommendation connects diverse channels that might be more isolated without the influence of the algorithm, and thus helps to unite the right.
culture_of_online_life  Adtech  video  eurabia 
7 days ago by seatrout
Life insurance should not get too personal
Insurers face a problem known as adverse selection. They cannot use genetic tests but policyholders can — anyone who learns from a genetic test that he or she may develop a chronic disease has an incentive to buy life insurance. The risks are no longer being pooled as blindly as before.

Meanwhile, healthy people have an incentive to shun insurance. If someone’s genetic test shows that she is at low risk of disease, it may be more rational to buy a fitness device at full price than to take a life policy subsidising the purchase of an Apple Watch. Instead of paying insurers to share her risk with others, she can cover herself.
AI  culture_of_online_life  might_write  Leaders  bigdata 
7 days ago by seatrout
Import AI: 123: Facebook sees AI services grow 3.5X in its data centers; why AI might require a global policeforce; and diagnosing disasters with DL
Deep learning for medical applications takes less data than you think:
...Stanford study suggests tens of thousands of images are sufficient for medical applications...
Stanford University researchers have shown that it takes a surprisingly small amount of data to teach neural networks how to automatically categorize chest radiographs. The researchers then trained AlexNet, ResNet-18, and DenseNet-121 baselines on the data, attempting to classify normal versus abnormal images. In tests, the researchers show that it is possible to obtain an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of .095 for a CNN model trained on 20,000 images, versus 0.96 for one trained on 200,000 images, suggesting that it may take less data than previously assumed to train effective AI medical classification tools. (By comparison, 2,000 images yields an AUC of 0.84, representing a significant accuracy penalty.)
  Data scaling and medical imagery: "While carefully adjudicated image labels are necessary for evaluation purposes, prospectively labeled single-annotator data sets of a scale modest enough (approximately 20,000 samples) to be available to many institutions are sufficient to train high-performance classifiers for this task."
culture_of_online_life  Adtech  AI 
10 days ago by seatrout
'It's real me': Nigerian president denies being replaced by clone
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday denied claims that he had died and been replaced by a Sudanese impostor or a clone, breaking his silence on a rumour that has circulated on social media for months.
Mr Buhari, who is running for re-election in February, spent five months in Britain last year being treated for an undisclosed illness. One theory widely aired on social media - and by some political opponents - was that he had been replaced by a lookalike from Sudan called Jubril.
No evidence has been presented, but videos making the claim have still been viewed thousands of times on YouTube and Facebook.
culture_of_online_life  Adtech  video  AI 
10 days ago by seatrout
Peter Wolodarski: Tågkrocken som ingen försökte stoppa - DN.SE
Om Sverigedemokraterna tenderade att dela alliansen tidigare, är det inget mot vad partiet gör just nu.
Centern och Liberalerna säger tvärt nej till samröre med Sverigedemokraterna. Detta ställningstagande uttrycker inte en bristande respekt för SD:s väljare. Det visar snarare att C och L tar ansvar för vad man lovat sina väljare. SD är i dag en ideologisk huvudmotståndare för liberala partier, en uppfattning som Jimmie Åkesson ofta torgför.
Den moderata partiledningen hyser definitivt inte några varma sympatier för Sverigedemokraterna. Ändå är frågan vilken kontroll Ulf Kristersson har över sitt eget parti. I Skåne inleder Moderaterna formella samarbeten med SD, även i fall där man tillsammans med de andra allianspartierna har egen majoritet. Detta bryter helt mot partilinjen. Men ingen moderat har som en konsekvens blivit utesluten eller med kraft tillrättavisats offentligt.
I Staffanstorp har M och SD som ett första steg bestämt att kommunens verksamhet ska vara fri från bland annat ”ritualslaktat kött”, en omskrivning för att maten i offentlig verksamhet inte ska anpassas till judar och muslimer.
culture_of_online_life  Adtech  Sweden  Swedish  Race/Immigrants  politics 
25 days ago by seatrout
Thread by @cgseife: "@JacobAWohl Happy to explain. I'm a journalism prof interested in, among other things, misinformation. On July 11, I was running a program t […]"
Thread by @cgseife: "@JacobAWohl Happy to explain. I'm a journalism prof interested in, among other things, misinformation. On July 11, I wasprogram to monitor a fake news site to see if I could figure out what was responsible for spreading its false […]"
politics  culture_of_online_life  adtech 
5 weeks ago by seatrout
Someone Paid Thousands Of Foreigners 20 Cents Each To Hide HuffPost's Negative Coverage Of A Democratic PAC
Until this spring, HuffPost’s story was the second to come up in a generic Google search for “End Citizens United.” But in the spring of 2018, an anonymous U.S.-based contractor paid at least 3,800 workers in countries around the world through the crowdsourcing firm Microworkers to manipulate what stories would come up when people searched for the PAC in Google, according to public job listings on Microworkers reviewed by HuffPost. The contractor paid each of the workers 20 cents to click on stories and sites that portrayed the PAC positively, bumping those stories up in Google at the expense of critical coverage. HuffPost’s story dropped from the second place on the first page of the Google search to the second page of search results. 
End Citizens United did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment before publication.
culture_of_online_life  Adtech  politics  might_write 
5 weeks ago by seatrout
Google India tax row: $2 billion remittance in 5 years may add to tech giants load
BENGALURU: Google India has remitted over $2 billion from the revenue earned in the country over the past five financial years to the US-based search giant’s subsidiaries in Singapore and Ireland, an analysis of the company’s financial statements by ET shows.
The amount, which is categorised as an expense towards “purchase of advertising space”, could further increase the company’s tax liability in the country, even as a dispute with Indian authorities — over the tax outlay on earlier transfers — continues to be heard in court.
culture_of_online_life  Adtech 
5 weeks ago by seatrout
From Memes to Infowars: How 75 Fascist Activists Were “Red-Pilled”
Thirty-six fascist activists traced the start of their red-pilling process to an event that occurred offline. Five of these people credited their families with red-pilling them. For the other thirty-one, methods ran a rather wide gamut.
Four fascists say they were red-pilled while tripping on LSD. User Europa is a typical example of this trend. He claims his interest in Nazism started in childhood, with his dad watching Hitler documentaries “every day.” Europa carried this interest into adulthood, watching Hitler documentaries and speeches while taking LSD. This convinced him to start “researching” Nazism which, eventually, inspired him to become an activist.
Other activists cite living in a diverse area, reading a copy of Mein Kampf, mass-shooter Anders Brevik’s manifesto and numerous other factors as their first red-pills. Since our study of these activists is based on messages they exchanged with each other online, we can conclude that even when indoctrination begins offline new converts inevitably go online to deepen their beliefs.
culture_of_online_life  Adtech  might_write  nazis  eurabia  Anti-Semitism 
6 weeks ago by seatrout
Squeezed out by Silicon Valley, the far right is creating its own corporate world
piece by piece, supporters of the far-right are assembling their own corporate tech world — a shadow Silicon Valley, one with fewer rules.
After being banned from Twitter during the 2016 presidential campaign, many members of the "alt-right" movement of white nationalists joined Gab, which describes itself as "an ad-free social network for creators who believe in free speech, individual liberty, and the free flow of information online." On Tuesday, one of the site's most popular posts was an image that said, "I ❤ BEING WHITE."
"The market is owned and controlled and operated by the oligarchy of Twitter and Facebook and Google," said Gab's founder, Andrew Torba.
"The reality is hate speech is free speech," Torba added, citing U.S. Supreme Court precedent. With predominantly left-leaning companies, many of them in San Francisco, setting the boundaries on what speech isn't acceptable on for-profit platforms, "that's a huge opportunity to sit here and defend the Internet that I grew up on," he said.
Right-wing activists banned from the crowdfunding site Patreon can fundraise on Hatreon, a platform created to counter the "inexcusable content policing of services like Patreon."
Hatreon — pronounced HATE-ree-on — currently features fundraisers supporting Richard Spencer, one of America's most prominent white nationalists (who has 34 "patrons" pledging to donate $362 to him a month), and Andrew Anglin, who, as founder and editor of the Daily Stormer, is one of America's most prominent neo-Nazis (with 50 donors pledging $869.17 a month).

Spencer called Hatreon's founder, Cody Wilson, of Austin, Texas, to praise the service, telling him he would use it "even if you were the most left-wing Jewish communist," according to Wilson. (Spencer confirmed the accuracy of the remarks.)

Wilson, who is best known for his efforts to produce guns through 3-D printing, described himself as an "Internet anarchist" who wants to disrupt the establishment's status quo. He was intrigued by far-right users on social media, who sometimes post racist, sexist and anti-Semitic comments and images but also playful memes of their de facto mascot, "Pepe," a cartoon frog. "Frog Twitter and the so-called 'alt-right' — there's a lot of life there," Wilson said. "I'm kind of happy to help it mutate."
Press_Column  nazis  culture_of_online_life  Adtech  Race/Immigrants  might_write 
6 weeks ago by seatrout
The Problem With Fixing WhatsApp? Human Nature Might Get in the Way
the real problem may be not so much WhatsApp the company or WhatsApp the product but something more fundamental — WhatsApp the idea.
When you offer everyone access to free and private communication, lots of wonderful things may happen — and WhatsApp has been a godsend to vulnerable populations like migrants, dissidents and political activists. But a lot of terrible things are bound to happen, too — and it might be impossible to eliminate the bad without muzzling the good.
In this light, WhatsApp is a powerful and permanent new reality and its problems aren’t likely to be solved as much as fitfully and sometimes unsatisfyingly managed. For better or worse, we are going to have to learn to live with it.
culture_of_online_life  Adtech  Journalism 
7 weeks ago by seatrout
In a quiet corner of the third floor, Apple is building a newsroom of sorts. About a dozen former journalists have filled a few nondescript offices to do what many other tech companies have for years left to software: selecting the news that tens of millions of people will read.
One morning in late August, Apple News’ editor in chief, Lauren Kern, huddled with a deputy to discuss the five stories to feature atop the company’s three-year-old news app, which comes preinstalled on every iPhone in the United States, Britain and Australia.
culture_of_online_life  Adtech  Journalism 
7 weeks ago by seatrout
When Trump Phones Friends, the Chinese and the Russians Listen and Learn
Russia is not believed to be running as sophisticated an influence effort as China because of Mr. Trump’s apparent affinity for President Vladimir V. Putin, a former official said.

Mr. Trump has insisted on more capable devices. He did agree during the transition to give up his Android phone (the Google operating system is considered more vulnerable than Apple’s). And since becoming president, Mr. Trump has agreed to a slightly cumbersome arrangement of having two official phones: one for Twitter and other apps, and one for calls.

Mr. Trump typically relies on his cellphones when he does not want a call going through the White House switchboard and logged for senior aides to see, his aides said. Many of those Mr. Trump speaks with most often on one of his cellphones, such as hosts at Fox News, share the president’s political views, or simply enable his sense of grievance about any number of subjects.
Politics  USA  security  culture_of_online_life 
7 weeks ago by seatrout
The Conflation of Consumer Welfare with Antitrust, More Panel Notes, Google to License Play Store in Europe (Stratechery Daily Update 10-18-2018)
To that end, I was definitely on the right track when I attempted to Define Aggregators by type; the overall dynamic that drives Aggregation does apply to digital platforms generally, but the way it plays out absolutely differs by business model. I think I have more work to do here. Without question, though, Facebook and Google are unique, first-and-foremost because of their advertising business model.
Secondly, I continue to believe that the advertising market is the most problematic nature of Google and Facebook’s power, specifically the fact that it is very difficult for would-be competitors to monetize. Given that the single most important feature of a social network is whether or not your friends-or-family are there, a viable competitor needs to be free, which means advertising, but it is extremely difficult to build a viable advertising business as Snap is so ably demonstrating. This is another area where the focus on consumer welfare really falls short: it doesn’t even consider that this might be a problem, because after all, the services are all free!
Third, it was very interesting to hear Scott Kupor, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, defend Facebook and Google on the grounds that they provide a very effective and inexpensive way to acquire customers, which allows more startups to get off the ground. I of course completely agree — as I have noted on multiple occasions I am a big believer in the power of personalized advertising for new businesses (even as I acknowledge the problems) — but I’m not convinced that having a duopoly is the key to these customer acquisition strategies being available. If, for example, Instagram were an independent company, which would actual
culture_of_online_life  Adtech 
7 weeks ago by seatrout
Tommy Robinson’s ‘massive’ jail bonus: publicity
Robinson was speaking after receiving the “European patriot of the year” award at a conference in Bavaria organised by the hard-right magazine Compact. In his acceptance speech, he said: “German people for too long have lived in the guilt of Adolf Hitler. Do not live in the guilt of Angela Merkel.”
The conference, on September 29, brought together key figures on the European far right, including Lutz Bachmann, the founder of Pegida, Martin Sellner, from the Generation Identity movement, leaders of the Alternative for Germany party and a representative of the Italian leader, Matteo Salvini. Compact has been funded by the Kremlin-created Institute for Democracy and Co-operation.
A former assistant to Robinson, who had access to his Stripe online payment processing account, claimed it contained £2m after his jailing and appeal, thanks to a flood of donations, mostly small amounts. Another former assistant, Lucy Brown, told The Sunday Times in August that Robinson operated a “business” in which “your outrage, valid as it is, will be monetised as such”.
culture_of_online_life  Adtech  Race/Immigrants  Nazi  Islam  eurabia 
7 weeks ago by seatrout
How smartphone apps track users and share data
News apps, games and apps targeting children were among those with the ability to transfer data to the most third parties, the research found, despite regulations in the US and Europe that limit how children’s data can be processed.
The privacy policies of many apps analysed by the FT shifted the burden of compliance on to users, stating that people under the age of 13 should not use their services.
Most smartphone users often do not realise the extent to which their data are passed to third parties, or repackaged and passed on again, said lawyers and privacy campaigners.
“There is a lot of sharing of data that we cannot as users immediately identify or realise,” said Gabriel Voisin, a partner at Bird & Bird, the law firm. Users cannot easily control who their apps share data with, or the fact that only “two or possibly three super-dominant” companies such as Google sit at the top of the data pyramid. “There are no easily accessible settings or widget to switch this off,” he said.
android  nerd  culture_of_online_life  Adtech 
7 weeks ago by seatrout

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