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Can Mark Zuckerberg Fix Facebook Before It Breaks Democracy? | The New Yorker
Like it or not, Zuckerberg is a gatekeeper.
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Facebook’s free-speech dilemmas have no simple answers—you don’t have to be a fan of Alex Jones to be unnerved by the company’s extraordinary power to silence a voice when it chooses, or, for that matter, to amplify others, to pull the levers of what we see, hear, and experience.
facebook  democracy  moderation  hate  hoaxes  facebookworldtakeover 
12 weeks ago by rachaelsullivan
The Agency - The New York Times
Russia’s information war might be thought of as the biggest trolling operation in history, and its target is nothing less than the utility of the Internet as a democratic space.
fakenews  hoaxes  russia  trolling  facebook  war 
12 weeks ago by rachaelsullivan
In Defense of Hoaxes - Justin Erik Halldór Smith
Whatever. Everyone's playing their assigned roles. But what I wanted to speak to here is the question of hoaxes in general. Quite apart from whether I think “Sokal Squared” has accomplished what its authors claim, I confess I am astounded, though I really should not be by now, by the moralism and the piety about rules and procedures that so many academics are expressing, as if hoaxing were always unethical and lacking in any potential salutary effects. These academics seem entirely unaware of the distinguished history of hoaxing, and to assume that it dates back no earlier than Sokal. They seem never to have read, e.g., Anthony Grafton on the importance of playful deception in the learned culture of Italian humanism. They seem unaware of the rich and fascinating 19th-century genre of the “mystification.” They seem unaware of the often high-minded theoretical ambitions of documentary metafiction and of the vague gradations between this broad genre of writing and outright fraud. They do not know about the French fraudster Denis Vrain-Lucas, who was eventually arrested, in 1869, for having passed off numerous falsified letters as authentic documents. Vrain-Lucas continued to defend himself, from prison, on the grounds that he had breathed new life into the carcass of history by making past characters, including Newton, Galileo, Vercingétorix, and Jesus Christ, more interesting than they actually were. They do not know about Ken Alder's ingenious piece in Critical Inquiry in 2004, which was a purported translation from the French of a prison letter by Vrain-Lucas. I learned more about the history and historiography of science from Alder's piece than from any other single text I could cite. 
hoaxes  academic-culture  politics  history-is-a-feature-not-a-bug  to-write-about  metafiction  paratexts 
october 2018 by Vaguery

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