Sorting Things Out | The MIT Press
The authors emphasize the role of invisibility in the process by which classification orders human interaction. They examine how categories are made and kept invisible, and how people can change this invisibility when necessary.
classification  bias 
18 hours ago
Perry Chen Says He Wants To Revitalize Kickstarter. Employees Say He’s Doing the Opposite.
Fifteen current and former employees described Chen’s attitude since coming back as following the so-called visionary founder myth — the belief by some founders that they are uniquely imbued with the ability to envision their company’s future clearly and overcome its worst crises...“But it didn’t feel like he cared that there were over 100 people there working on their careers. It meant something to us. It wasn’t just a fun art project. It was like, ‘No, this is paying my bills.’”
silicon-valley  kickstarter  management 
The Streaming Void | Judy Berman
Living through cinema has its obvious dangers: it can leave you lonely, complacent, divorced from reality—just look at the stereotypical male film critic.
film  criticism 
2 days ago
Corey Pein ‘Live Work Work Work Die’ Excerpt on Web Fraud
I understood this lesson as an extension of that old saying about teaching a man to fish instead of just giving him a fish. Now the idea was: You made him pay for fishing lessons, offering student loans if necessary, and failed to mention that you had already depleted the pool. This was a smart business
labor  gigs  sharing-economy  marketing  silicon-valley 
2 days ago
The Unknown, Poorly Paid Labor Force Powering Academic Research - Motherboard
Even if the contractors on MTurk are paid ethically, it's not clear whether the data they provide is skewing researchers' findings.

As political scientists Kathleen Searles and John Barry Ryan wrote in the Washington Post, it's definitely reasonable to use MTurk to gather data in certain circumstances. The trouble is knowing when. Even when it's appropriate, it's important not to oversell the results because "studies using MTurk do not always lead to the same conclusion as those using national samples," they said.
amazon  mechanical-turk  research  academia 
4 days ago
The Web’s Recommendation Engines Are Broken. Can We Fix Them? | WIRED
a recent disinformation research project led me to a Pinterest board of anti-Islamic memes, one night of clicking through those pins—created by fake personas affiliated with the Internet Research Agency—turned my feed upside down. My babies-and-recipes experience morphed into a strange mish-mash of videos of Dinesh D’Souza, a controversial right-wing commentator, and Russian-language craft projects.
pinterest  fake-news 
5 days ago
Dr. John Plunkett, RIP. He told the truth about bad forensics — and was prosecuted for it.
Plunkett deserves credit for being among the first to sound the alarm about wrongful SBS convictions. His study was the first step toward those exonerations.
crime  forensics 
8 days ago
Kate Losse, Former Zuckerberg Speechwriter Interview
Zynga was too successful at this. Because they were making so much money off the platform, it was obscene. As far as Silicon Valley and capitalism are friends, that wasn’t a necessarily a problem. But they were making so much money that they were hacking the whole concept of Facebook as a social platform
8 days ago
Facial Recognition A.I. Has a Race Problem. Here's How Gyfcat is Changing That | Digital Trends
Having focused heavily on training the algorithm with images of people from East Asia, the system — which has 15,000 GIFs uploaded each day — is now able to differentiate between actresses Lucy Liu and Constance Wu. It was not previously able to do this.
8 days ago
“We Had To Stop Facebook”: When Anti-Muslim Violence Goes Viral
Government officials, researchers, and local NGOs say they have pleaded with Facebook representatives from as far back as 2013 to better enforce the company’s own rules against using the platform to call for violence or to target people for their ethnicity or religious affiliation. They repeatedly raised the issue with Facebook representatives in private meetings, by sharing in-depth research, and in public forums. The company, they say, did next to nothing in response...The video, which was shared more than 17,000 times, suggests the blobs are for sterilizing women — but leaves the context of the rumors unsaid. It’s unlikely content like this would violate Facebook’s community standards, but to Sri Lankans who had been following the rumors, the obvious message is that Muslims are responsible.
facebook  global  moderation 
9 days ago
Opinion | What Should Congress Ask Zuckerberg? - The New York Times
Second, people would have access, if requested, to all the data a company has collected on them — including all forms of computational inference (how the company uses your data to make guesses about your tastes and preferences, your personal and medical history, your political allegiances and so forth).
facebook  data  regulation  policy 
9 days ago
The EU guarantees its citizens’ data rights, in theory - What do they know?
some Americans are looking enviously at the European Union, whose privacy laws are the global gold standard. Rights over personal data are enshrined in the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights. European citizens have the right to have their data processed fairly, to know what data an organisation holds about them and what it is doing with those data. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a law strengthening data protection across the EU, goes into force at the end of May (see article). Yet in practice, when European citizens try to exercise such rights, they tend to end up mired in bureaucracy.
facebook  gdpr 
13 days ago
Four Ways to Fix Facebook — ProPublica
James Grimmelman, a law professor and computer scientist, argued in a 2015 paper that the technology companies should stop burying consent forms in their fine print. Instead, he wrote, “they should seek enthusiastic consent from users, making them into valued partners who feel they have a stake in the research.”
facebook  platform  regulation  consent 
13 days ago
Machine learning and unintended consequences
It turned out that in the researchers' data set, photos of camouflaged tanks had been taken on cloudy days, while photos of plain forest had been taken on sunny days.  The neural network had learned to distinguish cloudy days from sunny days, instead of distinguishing camouflaged tanks from empty forest.
13 days ago
Rise of the Netflix Hackers | WIRED
ut even that contest has led to a hack. Last November, two researchers from the University of Texas released a paper (.pdf) demonstrating that users represented in the dataset could be easily unmasked, if they've also posted movie ratings to a public site, like IMDb. The ratings of less-popular films, coupled with the dates they're rated, form a kind of movie-preference fingerprint that can be used to make matches, the researchers concluded.
netflix  discovery  machine-learning 
14 days ago
Why Netflix and Amazon Algorithms Are Destroying the Movies | IndieWire
WAF2 is the algorithms are not set up to help me, or you, find the content we want; it’s designed to glue us to each service. “House of Cards” is great TV, and Netflix knows snacking on that addictive in-house production will bring you back more often than “The Turin Horse.”
algorithms  discovery 
14 days ago
MIT severs ties to company promoting fatal brain uploading - MIT Technology Review
He adds that by collaborating with Nectome, MIT had lent credibility to the startup and increased the chance that “some people actually kill themselves to donate their brains.”
cryonics  mit  singularity  death 
15 days ago
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins says 'Gloria' is not personal — really - Chicago Tribune
"Everyone was dealing with the internet at that moment," he said. "And thus everyone was playing a really interesting game of generational bumper cars. They wouldn't let any of the younger writers write for the internet, even though it was about to become all about the internet, which first nobody, and then everybody, wanted to write for. It really was a strange moment of confusion. Perhaps the play is dated in that regard."
publishing  media 
18 days ago
I spent a weekend at Google talking with nerds about charity. I came away … worried. - Vox
Jeff Kaufman — a developer in Cambridge who's famous among effective altruists for, along with his wife Julia Wise, donating half their household's income to effective charities — argued in a talk about why global poverty should be a major focus, if you take meta-charity too far, you get a movement that's really good at expanding itself but not necessarily good at actually helping people.
charity  economics  silicon-valley 
18 days ago
Uber and Self-Driving Cars Have More Than a 'Trolley Problem' - The Atlantic
Foot already anticipates the missing context of her cases, even before the tram example became the trolley problem. “In real life,” she writes, “it would hardly ever be certain that the man on the narrow track would be killed. Perhaps he might find a foothold on the side ... and cling on as the vehicle hurtled by.”
self-driving  ethics  tech-criticism 
19 days ago
Essential Writing Advice from Virginia Woolf | Literary Hub
Words, English words, are full of echoes, of memories, of associations—naturally. They have been out and about, on people’s lips, in their houses, in the streets, in the fields, for so many centuries. And that is one of the chief difficulties in writing them today—that they are so stored with meanings
writing  advice 
21 days ago
The Algorithmic Rise of the “Alt-Right” - Contexts
white supremacists like Don Black understood that the paradigm shift in media distribution from the old broadcast model of “one-to-many” to Internet’s “many-to-many” model was an opening. The kind of propaganda at the site about Dr. King works well in this “many-to-many” sharing environment in which there are no gatekeepers. The goal in this instance is to call into question the hard won moral, cultural, and political victories of the civil rights movement by undermining Dr. King’s personal reputation
alt-right  56k  hate 
21 days ago
Here’s why #DeleteFacebook is more than business as usual | FactorDaily
How do we acknowledge this very real affective relationship and the personal costs of leaving Facebook (communities) while also, simultaneously, understanding that a network’s power lies in its stickiness – in the collective decision of its members to stay, or leave?...It’s not just a leak of your information, it’s the giving away of relational, affective experiences that you laboured to keep authentic.
23 days ago
How Calls for Privacy May Upend Business for Facebook and Google - The New York Times
The new rules treat personal data as proprietary, owned by an individual, and any use of that data must be accompanied by permission — opting in rather than opting out — after receiving a request written in clear language, not legalese.
data  gdpr 
24 days ago
Natasha Singer on Twitter: "1/ I've been thinking a lot lately about error-correction error. It's when creators are so enamored of the ideas, or tech platforms, they've developed that they make superficial fixes when systemic problems arise -- because the
3/ So when Facebook announces that it is going to reduce third-party access to user data, instead of fundamentally rethinking the company's mass collection, sharing and retention of people's personal details, that's error-correction error.
facebook  surveillance-capitalism 
25 days ago
Why Should I Even Care About the Facebook Stuff?
it’s worth noting that while political scientists remain skeptical about Facebook’s ability right now to directly affect political outcomes, its ability to manipulate information and give people what they want to see is growing in capability and speed with each passing day — fueled specifically by the data it gathers about us. The problem being that Facebook is both a surveillance operation, and a publishing operation; it takes data from us, and serves back to us whatever it’s decided we want (or need) to hear.
27 days ago
Facebook posts becoming less personal as site looks to encourage people to post about their lives | The Independent
The “On This Day” feature seeks to bring up memories from the same day in previous years, and so encourage people to share nostalgic updates about themselves, for instance. The site has also taken to reminding people about special occasions like mothers’ day, so that people post about their relationships.
27 days ago
Cutting ‘Old Heads’ at IBM
Marjorie Madfis, at the time 57, was a New York-based digital marketing strategist and 17-year IBM employee when she and six other members of her nine-person team — all women in their 40s and 50s — were laid off in July 2013. The two who remained were younger men.
27 days ago
Cambridge Analytica and Our Lives Inside the Surveillance Machine | The New Yorker
It is difficult to watch the video without becoming at least a little suspicious of the entire business of democracy, given how large a role political consultants such as Nix play in it these days... You don’t need to believe Cambridge Analytica’s own hype about the persuasive power of its methods to worry about how data-obsessed political marketing can undermine democracy. The model of the voter as a bundle of psychological vulnerabilities to be carefully exploited reduces people to mathematical inputs.
28 days ago
A healthcare algorithm started cutting care, and no one knew why - The Verge
. Virginia Eubanks, the author of Automating Inequality, says many programs in the United States are “premised on the idea that their first job is diversion,” increasing barriers to services and at times making the process so difficult to navigate “that it just means that people who really need these services aren’t able to get them.”
28 days ago
Reading by numbers: a celebration of Virago at 40 | Books | The Guardian
thought it would be fun to do it by hunting out mentions of the numbers one to 40 in novels, short stories, poetry and plays by some of my favourite women writers – a good sprinkling of whom I first encountered as Virago authors – and putting them all together in a sort of literary collage. Many happy (if rather brain-boggling) hours of reading and splicing later, here's the result.
29 days ago
Fake News and Bots May Be Worrisome, but Their Political Power Is Overblown - The New York Times
Much more remains to be learned about the effects of these types of online activities, but people should not assume they had huge effects. Previous studies have found, for instance, that the effects of even television advertising (arguably a higher-impact medium) are very small. According to one credible estimate, the net effect of exposure to an additional ad shifts the partisan vote of approximately two people out of 10,000.
advertising  persuasion  fake-news 
4 weeks ago
Some Colleges Have More Students From the Top 1 Percent Than the Bottom 60. Find Yours. - The New York Times
At 38 colleges in America, including five in the Ivy League – Dartmouth, Princeton, Yale, Penn and Brown – more students came from the top 1 percent of the income scale than from the entire bottom 60 percent.
education  class 
4 weeks ago
Lidija Haas reviews ‘A Grace Paley Reader’ edited by Kevin Bowen and Nora Paley · LRB 8 March 2018
You don’t have a story, Paley warned her writing students, if you’ve left out ‘money and blood’, i.e. how your people make their living, and whom they’ve been forced to live alongside.
writing  advice 
5 weeks ago
The Dangerous Misconceptions About the Opioid Epidemic and How We Respond
social justice advocates who might otherwise be organizing to end an epidemic that is devastating an entire generation see instead only hypocrisy from the system, and they move on.

That makes the drug war, which continues to be waged with ferocity, invisible to many who oppose its application elsewhere.
opioids  drugs  crime  new-hampshire 
5 weeks ago
How A Twitter Fight Over Bernie Sanders Revealed A Network Of Fake Accounts | HuffPost
These accounts also liked #resistance celebrities like liberal conspiracy theorist Eric Garland (“Time for some game theory”) and Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe. And they were often deployed in intra-Democratic Party battles.
sock-puppets  bot  bernie-sanders  politics 
5 weeks ago
Leaked: The Alt-Right Playbook for Taking Over YouTube
“I see many people on social media who are afraid to speak out against hateful ideologies, because they fear the shitstorm that would follow. Some Youtubers depend on the income from their channels, so they cannot afford to become unpopular due to trolls and hate comments.”
alt-right  youtube  trolls  traffic 
6 weeks ago
Tom Scocca wants to provide an alternative to the NYT Opinion section - Columbia Journalism Review
somebody is going to find the weakest part of your argument, and it might as well be you.
7 weeks ago
Donald Glover Can’t Save You | The New Yorker
Issa Rae told me that when she co-created and starred in the HBO sitcom “Insecure,” about two black women friends in Los Angeles, she knew that “if it didn’t work I’d have closed a door for a lot of other people. It had to be great.”
7 weeks ago
The Intersectional Presidency – Tressie McMillan Cottom – Medium
At its core, intersectionality is about nuance and context. Intersectionality emerged out of black feminism, most notably from legal scholar Kimberle’ Crenshaw. But, the idea of intersectionality is as old as recorded histories of black women trying to understand their place in a world where racism, sexism, and classism are always operating at the same time in their public and private lives
feminism  race  justice 
7 weeks ago
‘Success’ on YouTube Still Means a Life of Poverty - Bloomberg
Breaking into the top 3 percent of most-viewed channels could bring in advertising revenue of about $16,800 a year,
youtube  fame  microcelebrity 
7 weeks ago
Monica Lewinsky: Emerging from “the House of Gaslight” in the Age of #MeToo | Vanity Fair
House of Representatives decided to publish Ken Starr’s commission’s “findings” online—just two days after he had delivered them—it meant that (for me personally) every adult with a modem could instantaneously peruse a copy and learn about my private conversations, my personal musings (lifted from my home computer), and, worse yet, my sex life... If the Internet was a bête noire to me in 1998, its stepchild—social media—has been a savior for millions of women today (notwithstanding all the cyberbullying, online harassment, doxing, and slut-shaming).
56k  clinton  90s  media 
7 weeks ago
How Trump Conquered Facebook Without Russian Ads | WIRED
Facebook uses a complex model that considers both the dollar value of each bid as well as how good a piece of clickbait (or view-bait, or comment-bait) the corresponding ad is. If Facebook’s model thinks your ad is 10 times more likely to engage a user than another company’s ad, then your effective bid at auction is considered 10 times higher than a company willing to pay the same dollar amount...Despite folklore about “selling your data,” most Facebook advertisers couldn’t care less about your Likes, your drunk college photos, or your gossipy chats with a boyfriend. What advertisers want to do is find the person who left a product unpurchased in an online shopping cart, just used a loyalty card to buy diapers at Safeway
facebook  traffic  advertising 
7 weeks ago
A So-Called Expert’s Uneasy Dive Into the Trump-Russia Frenzy | The New Yorker
if I could do it all over again, I would have highlighted just how inept and haphazard those attempts were. That the Agency is now widely seen as a savvy, efficient manipulator of American public opinion is, in no small part, the fault of experts. They may derive their authority from perceived neutrality, but in reality they—we—have interests, just like everyone else
facebook  fake-news  russia  pundits  viral 
7 weeks ago
Natalie Portman Doesn’t Want To Live In Oblivion
I don't think that's what the conversation should be about. I think it should be about: Why didn't Elaine May make a movie every year? Why didn't Nora Ephron make a movie every year? Where's the female version of Bill Cosby? Why don't we see any Asian women in films?
feminism  hollywood  film 
8 weeks ago
Your Facebook data is creepy as hell – Hacker Noon
Facebook never deletes anything. Unfriended friends, past relationships, former employers, previous names, address book: you name it.

I created my account Friday, September 14, 2007 at 10:59am and all my actions have been recorded ever since
facebook  data  privacy 
8 weeks ago
Data and Dating: Who Else Wants Your Love? - Our Data Our Selves
Paul-Oliver Dehaye, together with human rights lawyer Ravi Naik and journalist Judith Duportail, analysed the personal data from Duportail’s Tinder profile after asking the company to send it to her. They got 800 pages of all her activity in the app, as well as apps connected to her social media profiles such as Facebook) 8. According to Dehaye, the data collected by the app and shared with third parties is used for profiling and can affect your life when asking for a loan, applying for a job, a scholarship, or medical insurance.
data  facebook  okcupid  tinder 
8 weeks ago
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