5763
Help Wanted
100j; a report on prediction tools in hiring; use with Ofer Sharon's work
teaching 
yesterday
Opinion | Congress May Have Fallen for Facebook’s Trap, but You Don’t Have To - The New York Times
100j; use with the "largest intelligence operation on earth" post by James Fallows.
teaching 
3 days ago
How Facebook Groups sparked a crisis in France | Revue
100j. Use with tucekci on how social media enables social movements
Teaching 
3 days ago
YouTube Videos Keep Getting Longer to Drive Ad Revenue | WIRED
This would be interesting to think with in terms of the MOOCs keep the videos short motto.
moocs 
4 days ago
Community Standards Enforcement
189 and 100j. Use as class assignments. Source of data.
Teaching 
4 days ago
Killing 3ve: How The FBI And Tech Industry Took Down A Massive Ad Fraud Scheme
An agency or advertiser looking to place an ad would only see the name of TBS.com in the ad exchange and not know they were buying ad space on a counterfeit site. Then the bots would visit the fake site and view the ad to generate revenue. (This technique of masquerading as a legitimate publisher is called domain spoofing. It’s a long-running issue, though a new standard called ads.txt is helping curb it.)
misinformation 
4 days ago
Reading with Scientists: Isaac Asimov and Driverless Cars – WE1S
The thought experiments don't approximate to what an actual car would do
toblog 
5 days ago
How Podcasts Became a Seductive—and Sometimes Slippery—Mode of Storytelling  | The New Yorker
There's a project here on how small podcasts pioneered a certain form of advertising. Caspar and audible and the like.
toblog 
5 days ago
The Trump-era threat to democracy is the opposite of populism
None of these individual circumstances are, on their own, unprecedented in American history. A 2-point edge here in the Electoral College, a Supreme Court majority that can advance a policy agenda while insulated from popular backlash there, a skew in Senate geography here, a helpful gerrymander or two — these are all the kinds of things that happen under the American constitutional system. But the 21st century has unfolded — in part by coincidence and in part by design — in a way that has lined them all up in a single direction.

And the basic pattern continues. The most procedurally outrageous aspect of the lame-duck Wisconsin GOP power grab is the post-election limitation of the powers of the governor’s office. But lawmakers are also adopting changes to voting rules design to limit participation and thus help Republicans win in the future. Florida’s Republican-held state legislature, meanwhile, is currently hard at work on strategies to undermine a recently passed ballot initiative that is supposed to restore voting rights to felons.
polarization 
5 days ago
Border family separation and how computer software can make policy - Vox
100j

The podcast detailed how border agents process people coming across the border. They use a computer program that allows them to categorize people in one of three ways: as an “unaccompanied minor,” an “individual adult,” or an “adult with children,” which refers to the whole family unit. Each case gets assigned an identification number, and families (”adults with children”) shared one ID number.

This seemed to work fine, until the Trump administration ordered these agents to separate these same families. In order to do that, border agents reprocessed members of families as either individual adults or unaccompanied minors, and gave everyone new identification numbers, thus losing the one piece of data that connected the members of the family in the system. So, when the court ordered that agents reunite families, those same processing center records no longer reflected which children belonged to which parents.

As Caitlin Dickerson and Annie Correal, who reported this story, put it, “When people hear this, they immediately picture something sinister. They think border agents carrying out this policy were essentially trying to cover their tracks, to intentionally make it impossible to link parents and kids after they were separated.” Instead, as Dickerson and Correal stated, “They can’t change their computer systems in a way that would separate families but still hold on to that identification number, for example. They just don’t have that much power on an individual level.”
teaching 
5 days ago
Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret - The New York Times
Use in 100j for "users" section

Apps form the backbone of this new location data economy.

The app developers can make money by directly selling their data, or by sharing it for location-based ads, which command a premium. Location data companies pay half a cent to two cents per user per month, according to offer letters to app makers reviewed by The Times.
teaching 
5 days ago
Why don’t these girls work? - Livemint
Over the past couple of years, however, the career ambitions of heroines have shrunk as Bollywood has moved to setting its stories in small towns and villages in films like Toilet Ek Prem Katha, Bareilly Ki Barfi, the aforementioned Manmarziyaan, and the entire filmography of Aanand L. Rai—Raanjhanaa and the Tanu Weds Manu films. Interestingly, these are the films that have offered the most memorable female lead roles in the past decade.

Largely, the story told about the women in these films is of her right to personal freedom. This is expressed with a certain set of characteristics—an interest in sex, a talent for flirtation, a tendency to speak their minds when the men falter, and a taste for intoxicants. These are meaningful markers of selfhood, but these women seldom have career aspirations—the defining attribute of personal freedom and selfhood that I was brought up with. They also have no hobbies or political convictions in the way that Aishwarya Rai enjoys poetry in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (2016), Deepika Padukone has a thing for poetry and swordsmanship in Bajirao Mastani (2015), Jaya Bhaduri is serious about singing in Parichay (1972), or Meenakshi Seshadri takes up a rape survivor’s fight in Damini (1993). The Rumis%
movies 
7 days ago
The big lessons of political advertising in 2018
189
As co-directors of the Wesleyan Media Project, which has tracked and analyzed campaign advertising since 2010, we spend a lot of time assessing trends in the volume and content of political advertising.
Teaching  polarization 
8 days ago
Facebook’s Internal Tensions Are Spilling Beyond The Company’s Walls
This is a problem only because Facebook employees believe in their semi mystical vision. Unlike say bankers. Zuckerberg s community never mentions advertisers.
toblog 
10 days ago
An Amazon revolt could be brewing as the tech giant exerts more control over brands - Recode
100j

The recent tension marks the latest chapter in what is an often-tumultuous relationship between Amazon and the brands that stock its digital shelves. Last year, Amazon began engaging in a fierce pricing battle with Walmart that put a profit squeeze on some of the biggest consumer-packaged goods makers in the country. Brands also have to face the fact that Amazon is increasingly using the insights from the brands’ sales on Amazon to create Amazon-owned product lines that get prime real estate on product search result pages.
Teaching  platformization  amazon 
11 days ago
The Digital Maginot Line
The entities best suited to mitigate the threat of any given emerging tactic will always be the platforms themselves, because they can move fast when so inclined or incentivized. The problem is that many of the mitigation strategies advanced by the platforms are the information integrity version of greenwashing; they’re a kind of digital security theater, the TSA of information warfare. Creating better reporting tools, for example, is not actually a meaningful solution for mitigating literal incitements to genocide. Malignant actors currently have safe harbor in closed communities; they can act with impunity so long as they don’t provoke the crowd into reporting them — they simply have to be smart enough to stay ahead of crowd-driven redressal mechanisms. Meanwhile, technology companies have plausible denial of complicity because they added a new field to the “report abuse” button.

Algorithmic distribution systems will always be co-opted by the best resourced or most technologically capable combatants. Soon, better AI will rewrite the playbook yet again — perhaps the digital equivalent of  Blitzkrieg in its potential for capturing new territory. AI-generated audio and video deepfakes will erode trust in what we see with our own eyes, leaving us vulnerable both to faked content and to the discrediting of the actual truth by insinuation. Authenticity debates will commandeer media cycles, pushing us into an infinite loop of perpetually investigating basic facts. Chronic skepticism and the cognitive DDoS will increase polarization, leading to a consolidation of trust in distinct sets of right and left-wing authority figures – thought oligarchs speaking to entirely separate groups.

We know this is coming, and yet we’re doing very little to get ahead of it. No one is responsiblefor getting ahead of it.

The key problem is this: platforms aren’t incentivized to engage in the profoundly complex arms race against the worst actors when they can simply point to transparency reports showing that they caught a fair number of the mediocre actors.
misinformation 
13 days ago
“I Don’t Want to Shoot You, Brother”
O’Brien alleged that the punishment had a purpose. That the city and Police Department wanted to protect themselves from any claim by the Williams family that Kuzma had shot R.J. needlessly. Finding fault with Mader for not shooting Williams, then, might help the city defend itself against any such claim and the scrutiny it might attract. “It’s a profound case,” O’Brien said in a recent interview. “Almost like a law professor made it up. It goes to the heart of when deadly force can be used.”
research 
14 days ago
The Trouble With White Women: An Interview With Kyla Schuller | The Nation
100g
NA: One of the fiercest arguments you make in the book is that womanhood is a very recent fiction created for very specific purposes. You write, “‘Woman’ represents a tactic of risk management”—can you explain what you mean by that?

KS: I’m building on arguments that black feminist theorists made in the 1980s that gender is a racial structure. Womanhood is not a universal category, but instead is an aspect of whiteness that was positioned by definition as unobtainable for nonwhite women, specifically black women. I looked at the scientists who were inventing and codifying the idea of sex difference in the 19th century—not just the cultural role of gender, but the idea of physiological and anatomical sex difference, the binary of a male and female body. These folks argued that full sex differentiation was only achieved by whites. No other races have achieved the level of evolutionary specification where they were able to differentiate between the distinct roles of men and women.

This is super-surprising, because we assume that the idea of male and female as two opposing categories is universal—at least in Western thought. But before the 19th century, male and female bodies were described as more alike than different. Fo
teaching 
14 days ago
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