What the Facebook hearings reveal about corporate power in Washington - Vox
Let’s play back the tape. When it comes to developing regulation, the senator’s first instinct is to ask the CEO to send him ideas. He doesn’t think, “I’ll work with the relevant committee staff to hold hearings and develop ideas.” He doesn’t think, “I’ll have my staff work with technology experts to develop appropriate legislation.” He thinks: Here’s the CEO who heads the company that’s been causing all these problems. Let’s ask him and his lobbyists to come up with ideas.

This is how corporate power works in Washington these days. Time and again, it’s the industry lobbyists who write the bills. That’s just what Graham is used to seeing. Why should this time be different?
2 days ago
Placing Media in Conservative Culture
Republican voters often see politics as an ideological battle between liberalism and
conservatism, but do not necessarily share the policy agenda of their elected leadership.
Linking right-leaning citizens with elite political goals, the conservative movement
created a multimedia infrastructure to communicate with the Republican electoral base
and counteract mainstream institutions. Republican elites, activists, and voters now rely
on conservative media, even sometimes empowering Fox News Channel, talk radio,
and conservative websites over party leaders. This media environment set the stage for
the rise of Donald Trump, who consciously shaped his messages to appeal to voters
based on conservative media concerns and styles.
2 days ago
Mark Zuckerberg’s Hearings Were Facebook’s and Silicon Valley’s Ultimate Debut | WIRED
spent 14 years at Microsoft, and now sits on a half-dozen startup boards, most people don’t understand how “free” products work. “The way in which [Facebook] makes money exceeds most normies’ comprehension abilities.” He notes that advertising businesses like Facebook use the information a user uploads, which can be controlled to some degree through privacy settings. But they also use information derived from a user’s actions on the platform—what pages she visits, for example, and in what order. “Everything one does on the platform, even launching the app, provides Facebook with yet another sliver of insight,” he says. To the degree consumers are uncomfortable, he says, “all the privacy controls in the world won’t change that.”
3 days ago
Diamond and Silk Expose Facebook's Burden of Moderation | WIRED
It was. Lynette "Diamond" Hardaway and Rochelle "Silk" Richardson are biological sisters and black conservative internet personalities who became famous before the 2016 presidential election for being vocal supporters—and paid consultants—of Trump's campaign. They boast a particularly strong following on Facebook, where their audience has ballooned to 1.5 million followers. But in September, the sisters claim, Facebook began limiting the reach of their videos, and earlie
5 days ago
Illuminating an Ecosystem of Partisan Websites
This paper aims to shed light on alternative news media ecosystems
that are believed to have influenced opinions and beliefs by
false and/or biased news reporting during the 2016 US Presidential
Elections. We examine a large, professionally curated list of 668
hyper-partisan websites and their corresponding Facebook pages,
and identify key characteristics that mediate the traffic flow within
this ecosystem. We uncover a pattern of new websites being established
in the run up to the elections, and abandoned after. Such
websites form an ecosystem, creating links from one website to another,
and by ‘liking’ each others’ Facebook pages. These practices
are highly effective in directing user traffic internally within the
ecosystem in a highly partisan manner, with right-leaning sites linking
to and liking other right-leaning sites and similarly left-leaning
sites linking to other sites on the left, thus forming a filter bubble
amongst news producers similar to the filter bubble which has been
widely observed among consumers of partisan news. Whereas there
is activity along both left- and right-leaning sites, right-leaning
sites are more evolved, accounting for a disproportionate number
of abandoned websites and partisan internal links. We also examine
demographic characteristics of consumers of hyper-partisan news
and find that some of the more populous demographic groups in
the US tend to be consumers of more right-leaning sites.
4 weeks ago
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