Jeff Jarvis warns Congress about regulating tech platforms

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I have a great deal of respect for Jeff Jarvis, the esteemed author and professor from the CUNY/Newmark School of Journalism. Today, he wrote a letter to Congress regarding its hearings on Internet regulation. While I have argued for regulating big tech platforms, he makes good points about the dangers of ill-considered regulations. Jarvis shows … Continued

A sober analysis of Trump’s executive order regarding social media

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President Trump signed an executive order yesterday that would change the government’s stance on social networks. Let’s look at the portions that make sense, and the portions that are unhinged raving. I’ll start with this. Social networks need regulation. Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are spreading disinformation and dividing America. Now that Twitter has added content … Continued

Facebook, false advertising, and the cost of doing business

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Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook won’t block political ads with lies in them. Facebook has changed its policy on — lets call it what is — false advertising. Zuckerberg characterizes this as a “free speech” issue. This is misdirection, a smokescreen. It’s utter bullshit. I refer you to what I wrote earlier this year, after another trust … 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

Deconstructing the internet pioneers’ statement against EU Article 13

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The European Parliament has voted for a new copyright directive that changes the rules of the internet. Dozens of prominent internet pioneers and thinkers, including Web inventor Tim-Berners-Lee, issued a statement condemning the directive. The spirit of the letter is on target, but the execution is a muddle. The European Union Directive on Copyright in the … Continued

Analyzing Sen. Warner’s 20 ideas to regulate the internet giants

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Senator Mark R. Warner’s office wrote a paper with 20 legislative ideas on how to restrain the excesses, abuses, and ill effects of internet giants like Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Apple; Axios got a copy and published it. With problems from fake news to data sharing and bullying, these platforms certainly deserve scrutiny. Of course, … Continued

Can you have fun with a GDPR announcement? JibJab did

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Your mailbox is full of GDPR announcements. They’re obligatory, and you’re almost certainly ignoring them. Writing in this context is a challenge — but humor and video site jibjab.com decided to have a little fun with it. On the policy side, though, it’s still legalese all the way down. Here’s the email my friend got … Continued