The lesson of Cambridge Analytica: Facebook shares your data by design.

Cambridge Analytica, a company funded by Republican backer Robert Mercer, used data from 50 million Facebook users to model the electorate. But this isn’t a data breach. Facebook is a machine designed to encourage people to share their preferences, then exploit it for profit. Despite Facebook’s protests, this is a feature, not a bug. According … Continued

Clueless and shallow in Palm Beach, Florida #ThePalmBeaches

This advertisement for “The Palm Beaches” was the back cover of the Boston Globe Magazine on Sunday. It is a sign that we are losing our minds. Please, by all means, seek out great experiences. And it’s fine to post great experiences on social media. But if you are seeking out experiences for the purpose … Continued

In defense of social technologies

Many of us who promoted social media when it was young are now wondering if we made a mistake. For example, former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya has said “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works: no civil discourse, no cooperation, misinformation, mistruth.” So I decided to take a look … Continued

Stupid Quora questions

Some people think that the Q&A site Quora has now lost its appeal. What I’ve found, though, is that it’s become a sort of parody of itself, with the questions sorting themselves into familiar categories. Here’s a sample of what you might find . . . can you identify them by type? Q1. Who is the … Continued

Was Randi Zuckerberg right to call out Alaska Airlines on Twitter?

Randi Zuckerberg says she was harassed by another passenger on Alaska Airlines, and the flight crew enabled him. She tweeted about it to get the airline’s attention. Is it fair to use your social media following to get satisfaction from a company behaving poorly? Was Randi Zuckerberg’s letter fair? Randi Zuckerberg is an author, Facebook’s … Continued

Facebook’s arrogant and patronizing statement about changes to the News Feed

Facebook’s News Feed shows both what your friends share and what companies that you follow share. In some countries, Facebook is ripping the company stuff out of the news feed. But publishers need not worry, because as it says in its patronizing, arrogant, and ultimately meaningless statement, it has “no plans” to make those changes … Continued

The Truman Show candidacy: a radically transparent suggestion

What really goes on behind the scenes with candidates for president or other public offices? You know shady things are going on — things that may never come out unless there’s an investigation. It’s time for radical transparency. It’s time for the first full-time livestreaming Truman Show candidate. Recent elections have proven the power of … Continued