Impakt: One-Click Ethical Shopper by Team Impakt — Kickstarter
[from lead-in article] "We finally decided that one of the most effective ways to change behavior was through economic force. On considering the current state of boycotts, we realized that they were stuck in the 20th century."

They're hoping Be the Impakt will interrupt the purchasing process on Amazon with information about ethical consumption, and suggest alternatives. The "ethical shopping companion" will tell shoppers if, for instance, a company "helped elect Trump" or has a poor environmental record.
[from the kickstarter] he real challenge is to develop machine learning algorithms that (1) scrape our public Data Sources, (2) crawl for news articles containing relevant information, and (3) maintain accurate Company Profiles in the Company Ethics Database.

Our initial release will feature some simple algorithms along with a curated foundational set of profiles; the eventual goal is to use that as a training set for more advanced machine learning systems.
ee  transparency  accountability  purchasing  ethical  plugin  amazon  labor 
16 hours ago
Leche Libre
As a brand which works to empower women, ethical manufacturing is an integral and necessary aspect of my business because I work to empower customers AND workers and create win win solutions.
ee  zebras  ethics  supply  chain  labor 
6 days ago
Hey, Mark Zuckerberg: My Democracy Isn’t Your Laboratory - The New York Times
But for us, changes like this can be disastrous. Attracting viewers to a story relies, above all, on making the process as simple as possible. Even one extra click can make a world of difference. This is an existential threat, not only to my organization and others like it but also to the ability of citizens in all of the countries subject to Facebook’s experimentation to discover the truth about their societies and their leaders.
ee  facebook  serbia  journalism  occrp 
7 days ago
Better filters won’t cure this: YouTube’s kids nightmare
For what Bridle is describing, he explains, is a disturbing new kind of “art”, mass-produced only because a huge ad-supported platform such as YouTube rewards its creation. The “such as” caveat is redundant here, since no other video platform has scale. It has to be YouTube. Just as no other social network (at least outside China or Russia) has the scale of Facebook, so for fake news and political ads, it has to be Facebook. This is as much a characteristic of the internet in 2017 as fake news or spam.
youtube  ee  filtering  businessmodels  algorithms 
11 days ago
Soothsayer in the Hills Sees Silicon Valley’s Sinister Side - The New York Times
“The whole internet thing was supposed to create the world’s best information resource in all of history,” he says. “Everything would be made visible. And instead we’re living in this time of total opacity where you don’t know why you see the news you see. You don’t know if it’s the same news that someone else sees. You don’t know who made it be that way. You don’t know who’s paid to change what you see. Everything is totally obscure in a profound way that it never was before.
facebook  ee  algorithms  elections  big_four  privacy  google  microsft 
12 days ago
What Reality TV Teaches Us About Russia’s Influence Campaign - The New York Times
But pretty much everyone in the world of reality TV acknowledges it happens to some degree on most shows, and that there are certain basic ways to manufacture drama. Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, a former producer on “The Bachelor” who later created “Unreal,” a scripted show about the reality industry, said the key to manipulating contestants into acting a certain way is to “tap into their fears, passions and ego.”

On reality TV, producers can do that because they keep detailed dossiers on everyone on set. But guess what? Russian trolls had detailed dossiers too — and they could consult them at scale. Using Facebook’s exquisitely detailed ad-targeting and viral propagation systems, trolls could create content that perfectly matched your fears, passions and ego.
ee  facebook  Russia 
13 days ago
Launching WhoWasInCommand.com – a power tool for investigating security forces – Security Force Monitor
WhoWasInCommand.com makes it fast and easy to find detailed information about the chain of command, areas of operation, commanders and bases of the police, military and other security forces of a country and discover links to alleged human rights violations.

This platform is a unique resource containing a level of detailed data about security forces that has never existed before. It’s the result of an enormous amount of work – and would not have been possible without extensive advice and help from civil society partners. We hope that you find this new tool useful.
humanrights  ee  grantee  security  police  accountability 
18 days ago
Twitter Bans Two Kremlin-Backed News Outlets From Advertising - The New York Times
Twitter said it had earned $1.9 million in advertising revenue from Russia Today since 2011. The company said it would now donate the money to research into the civic impact of Twitter, as well as its abuse by purveyors of fake news and propaganda.
ee  twitter  news  russia 
26 days ago
Stephen Hawking's 1966 doctoral thesis made available for first time | Science | The Guardian
In celebration of Open Access Week, Hawking makes his thesis freely available.
OA  mh 
29 days ago
In Italian Schools, Reading, Writing and Recognizing Fake News
After reading the horrors in Dante’s “Inferno,” Italian students will soon turn to the dangers of the digital age. While juggling math assignments, they’ll also tackle worksheets prepared by reporters from the national broadcaster RAI. And separate from the weekly hour of religion, they will receive a list of what amounts to a new set of Ten Commandments for the digital age.

Among them: Thou shalt not share unverified news; thou shall ask for sources and evidence; thou shall remember that the internet and social networks can be manipulated.

The lessons are part of an extraordinary experiment by the Italian government, in cooperation with leading digital companies including Facebook, to train a generation of students steeped in social media how to recognize fake news and conspiracy theories online.
FakeNews  education  km 
4 weeks ago
Can you make it in the gig economy (uber)
simulation of the life of an uber drive
uber  simulation  game  km 
4 weeks ago
Apple gave Uber's app 'unprecedented' access to sensitive Apple features that can record iPhone screens
Uber's iPhone app has a secret back door to powerful Apple features, allowing the ride-hailing service to potentially record a user's screen and access other personal information without their knowledge.

This access to special iPhone functions — which are so powerful that Apple almost always keeps them off-limits to outside companies — is not disclosed in any consumer-facing information included with Uber's app.
uber  apple  privacy  km 
4 weeks ago
Preliminary Findings: Rent Seeking by Elsevier – The Knowledge G.A.P.
The acquisition of scholarly communications by commercials publishers
mrh 
5 weeks ago
Verificado19S: The citizen-led disaster response system helping organize aid in Mexico's earthquake — Quartz
In Mexico City, Verificado19S also showed how civil society can in some ways be more adept at emergency management than elected officials—in particular, at preventing false information from spreading. In the most extreme case, senior Mexican officials told the media that a girl called Frida Sofia was alive under the rubble of a collapsed school, and granted the country’s biggest TV network, Televisa, access to the building. After some 24 hours of nail-biting coverage that made Frida Sofia a worldwide story, it emerged that she didn’t exist—a severe blow to the credibility of the rescue agencies and the media.

In contrast, Verificado19S has some 500 volunteer reporters on the ground, some of whom stay put at the same site for days, closely following any changes. The picture they paint is much wider, more granular, and a better reflection of reality.
ee  crowdsourcing  mapping  verification 
7 weeks ago
Guardians of White Innocence
A small team of engineers in Menlo Park. A panel of anonymous power users around the world. And, increasingly, you. [Good article from January 2016]
facebook  algorithms 
7 weeks ago
A Start-Up Slump Is a Drag on the Economy. Big Business May Be to Blame. - The New York Times
Many economists say the answer could lie in the rising power of the biggest corporations, which they argue is stifling entrepreneurship by making it easier for incumbent businesses to swat away challengers — or else to swallow them before they become a serious threat.
ee  monopoly  institution  trust 
8 weeks ago
Who Targets Me - Who Targets Me?
Who Targets Me tells you which political campaigns use Dark Ads and Micro-Targeting to influence your vote.

Installing the browser extension helps us monitor election campaigns and call for greater digital transparency.
browserextension  elections  politics  advertising  km 
9 weeks ago
Facebook Figured Out My Family Secrets, And It Won't Tell Me How
What makes the results so unsettling is the range of data sources—location information, activity on other apps, facial recognition on photographs—that Facebook has at its disposal to cross-check its users against one another, in the hopes of keeping them more deeply attached to the site. People generally are aware that Facebook is keeping tabs on who they are and how they use the network, but the depth and persistence of that monitoring is hard to grasp. And People You May Know, or “PYMK” in the company’s internal shorthand, is a black box.
algorithms  privacy  facebook  km 
9 weeks ago
Researchers use facial recognition tools to predict sexual orientation. LGBT groups aren’t happy.
Privacy advocates have long warned about the potential for facial recognition technology to be abused. Law enforcement agencies and private companies already quietly collect and analyze huge troves of...
AI  facialrecognition  lgbt  km  from notes
9 weeks ago
The Human Cost of Monitoring the Internet - Rolling Stone
In 2016, Soto and his co-plaintiff Greg Blauert, who worked with Soto in content moderation, filed a lawsuit against Microsoft. The complaint for damages filed by their lawyers detail a horrifying reality, where Blauert and Soto spent hours each day reviewing graphic content, without adequate psychological support.
secondary  trauma  contentblocking  moderation  microsoft  ee 
10 weeks ago
Lexicon of Lies: Terms for Problematic Information || Data & Society
Whether "post-fact" or propaganda, the public sphere is inundated with problematic information. Lexicon of Lies is an essential guide by Data & Society Postdoctoral Scholar Caroline Jack that covers terms and concepts for information that is inaccurate, misleading, inappropriately attributed, or altogether fabricated.
manipulation  propaganda 
10 weeks ago
Ethan Zuckerman et al., The Decentralized Web
In this report, we explore two important ways structurally decentralized systems could help address the risks of mega-platform consolidation: First, these systems can help users directly publish and discover content directly, without intermediaries, and thus without censorship. All of the systems we evaluate advertise censorship-resistance as a major benefit. Second, these systems could indirectly enable greater competition and user choice, by lowering the barrier to entry for new platforms. As it stands, it is difficult for users to switch between platforms (they must recreate all their data when moving to a new service) and most mega-platforms do not interoperate, so switching means leaving behind your social network. Some systems we evaluate directly address the issues of data portability and interoperability in an effort to support greater competition.
platforms 
10 weeks ago
Yes, Google Uses Its Power to Quash Ideas It Doesn’t Like—I Know Because It Happened to Me [Updated]
Google never challenged the accuracy of the reporting. Instead, a Google spokesperson told me that I needed to unpublish the story because the meeting had been confidential, and the information discussed there had been subject to a non-disclosure agreement between Google and Forbes. (I had signed no such agreement, hadn’t been told the meeting was confidential, and had identified myself as a journalist.)

It escalated quickly from there. I was told by my higher-ups at Forbes that Google representatives called them saying that the article was problematic and had to come down. The implication was that it might have consequences for Forbes, a troubling possibility given how much traffic came through Google searches and Google News.
<...>
But the most disturbing part of the experience was what came next: Somehow, very quickly, search results stopped showing the original story at all. As I recall it—and although it has been six years, this episode was seared into my memory—a cached version remained shortly after the post was unpublished, but it was soon scrubbed from Google search results. That was unusual; websites captured by Google’s crawler did not tend to vanish that quickly.
antitrust  censorship  Google 
11 weeks ago
Bretibart: Protecting American Sovereignty Against Big Tech’s Globalist Corporate Power
From MAGA to GAFA

So now we live in a country where the big tech companies can pretty much do as they please.  Let us count the ways: They don’t pay much in the way of U.S. taxes, preferring to stash their cash offshore; they often pay only serf wages, even as they trample the middle class and Main Street; they agitate against heartland industries;  they disdain U.S. sovereignty; they have even been accused of shielding terrorists and child pornographers, even as they have sought to reject anti-jihad groups.

And most recently, they have been accused of helping steer the politically correct posse that seeks to censor—or worse—the authentic voices of many Americans.  In fact, the tech companies needn’t be accused of this censorship, because they proudly proclaim that they do it.

Thus we can see: The hard-won freedoms of the American tradition, including those of the First Amendment, don’t mean much if some billionaire geek can simply delete them. <...>

Indeed, as we drill down on the dangers of corporate monopoly, we can observe that the worst offenders are Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple. We might even turn those four companies into an acronym, GAFA. And yes, GAFA is the antithesis of MAGA—Making America Great Again.
antitrust  alt-right  platforms 
11 weeks ago
Slate: The alt-right wants to build its own internet.
After Charlottesville, Nazis, white supremacists, and the alt-right have become a lot less welcome on the web. So they’re building their own.
11 weeks ago
New America Foundation’s Barry Lynn booted under pressure from Google - Vox
All businesses lobby on behalf of their interests, and in recent years that lobbying has increasingly expanded to include more focus on things like think tanks and other aspects of the “deep” influence game.

Google has been especially an especially aggressive player at deep influence. The Wall Street journal reported in July, for example, that they’ve spent millions of dollars subsidizing academic research that backs Google policy positions, often mapping out the thesis to be proven and then shopping to find the scholar to do the work. Google’s money, not always disclosed, has backed donations to think tanks across the ideological spectrum as well as more prosaic forms of influence peddling like campaign contributions.
platforms  antitrust 
11 weeks ago
AccuWeather caught sending user location data, even when location sharing is off
A security researcher has found that the popular weather app sends private location data without the user's explicit permission to a firm designed to monetize user locations.
security  location  apps  km 
11 weeks ago
Sunil Abraham: Now that privacy is a fundamental right, Parliament must define contours of SC ruling | opinion | Hindustan Times
How do we resolve the competing imperatives of privacy and national security, privacy and scientific innovation, etc? First by converting some of these tensions from zero-sum games to optimisation problems
privacy  India 
11 weeks ago
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