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

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

Facebook, AI, evil, and human creativity

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The intersection of human evil and Facebook algorithms has created the evil-amplifying social networks we now share. Facebook says AI can solve the problem. So far, it can’t. If it ever does, heaven help us. The New York Times published a revealing profile of Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s CTO. He’s the man whom Mark Zuckerberg has … Continued

Why it matters that high-profile bigots no longer have a safe harbor on Facebook

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Facebook and Instagram have banned these hateful people as “dangerous” individuals: Milo Yiannopoulos, Alex Jones, Louis Farrakhan, Laura Loomer, Paul Nehlen, and Paul Joseph Watson. Opponents of bigotry are cheering. But it’s time to look deeper into what this ban means for the platform. I will not shed a tear for any of these people. … Continued

Sri Lanka shuts down Facebook. Can we stop the spread of hate permanently?

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After the bombings, Sri Lanka’s government shut down Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and another social application, Viber. Apparently these applications are toxic in crises. (Also at all other times, but especially in crises.) According to government spokesman Harindra B. Dassanayake, as quoted in the New York Times, “These platforms are banned because they were spreading hate … Continued

The fundamental laws of Facebook

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Facebook asked for users’ email passwords, then “unintentionally uploaded” people’s contact lists without asking for separate permission, according to Business Insider. Stop trying to explain these violations one at a time. A pattern is increasingly obvious. To that end: here are the fundamental laws of Facebook, which will explain not just this violation but all … Continued

Facebook: Too big to flail

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A decade ago, in the social media business book Groundswell, Charlene Li and I described online social technologies as an uncontrollable grass-roots movement. I had hoped social media would be a force for good. But now Facebook, along with its subsidiary Instagram, dominates that movement. It controls more of our collective attention – and gathers … Continued