The Trump Twitter ruling affirms the right to troll public figures

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An appeals court affirmed a ruling that Donald Trump’s Twitter account can’t block people. Let’s take a look at what that means. First question: is Trump’s account a part of the public record of government or an activity undertaken by a private citizen? It’s clear from what he posts that it’s intended to public activity. … Continued

The filth factory: Why social network content moderation is doomed to fail

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A battle is waging between humanity’s evil side and the cleverness of Silicon Valley social network engineers. The evil side is winning. And it will always win. The Verge published some insightful articles on this topic in the last few weeks. Casey Newton published the second in a series of exposés on the outsourced operations … Continued

Counterfactuals are perilous. Adam Sandler take notice.

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Here’s the misleading headline and opening from Dan Reilly’s article about movies in Fortune magazine: Netflix’s ‘Murder Mystery’ Would’ve Killed With a $120 Million Opening Weekend—If the Adam Sandler Comedy Ran in Theaters If Adam Sandler’s new Netflix movie Murder Mystery drew the same U.S. box office numbers as it did via streaming, it would have made … Continued

Google CEO says YouTube is too big to fix. So what’s reasonable to expect?

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai said on CNN that YouTube will never be free of offensive content. Fine. But let’s get some appropriate principles for content in place. Here’s some of what Pichai said: We’ve gotten much better at using a combination of machines and humans. . . . So it’s one of those things, let’s … Continued

Are rising wages really bad news?

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There’s no shortage of news these days that will make your blood boil. But what really got me going was an article in USA Today about the next big threat to the economy: rising wages. I am no economist, but I’ve been reading business and economic news and analyzing the future of whole industries for … Continued

Facebook is caught in the Nancy Pelosi video trap

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Facebook’s under fire for allowing the posting of altered videos of Nancy Pelosi. One of those videos makes her appear drunk. For reasons that may not be clear at first, this is an existential crisis for Facebook. First, let’s clear up some confusion. There are at least two Pelosi videos under discussion right now. One, … Continued

49 million Instagram influencers hacked. (Are there really that many?)

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Somebody posted a database of 49 million Instagram influencers where anyone could see it. This event says more about the stupidity of the term “influencer” than it does about breaches and leaks. According to TechCrunch, the database originated with Mumbai-based Chtrbox, a marketing firm that pays influencers to post things. Each record included the number … Continued