Biden claimed Facebook is killing people. Facebook’s response missed the point.

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On Friday, President Biden said social media platforms including Facebook are “killing people” with misinformation about COVID-19. Facebook’s response: “It’s not us, really.” Facebook’s statement is classic deflection; I’ll deconstruct it for you. On July 15, Vivek Murthy, the US Surgeon General, made a public statement about virus misinformation, which he called “an urgent threat … Continued

Why Trump’s blog failed

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Donald Trump started a Twitter-style blog called “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump” 30 days ago. Yesterday his team took it down — apparently there was just too little traffic to make it worthwhile, and Trump was disappointed. What went wrong? The correct reason is not “the blog was filled with bombastic and hateful … Continued

Why Donald Trump’s “social network” is smarter than it looks

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For months, we’ve heard the rumor that ex-President Trump was starting a social network. It’s up now. It’s called “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump.” As a social network, it sucks. But as a functional equivalent to Trump’s former Twitter account, it’s likely to succeed. How Trump’s new megaphone works Here are the rules … Continued

Should brands like Amazon attack their enemies on social media?

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It’s a truism in social media circles: brands should be more human. Of course, humans have a full range of emotions — they can be angry, not just nice or funny. Do we really want angry brands? Brands like Amazon that attack people on social media are going to find out they’re making a mistake. … Continued

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

This viral tweet about impeachment is full of lies

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A tweet from last week said that Trump, once impeached, would lose his pension, travel allowance, secret service protection, and ability to run again. It got 193,000 retweets. And it’s quite wrong. Here’s the tweet, the contents of which circulated widely, not just on Twitter, but on other social networks: To start, Trump was already … Continued

Some questions about deplatforming the Parler platform

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Trump supporters have been decamping to Parler, a social network started as an alternative to Twitter and Facebook. Now, due to decisions by Apple, Google, and Amazon, Parler has had to shut down. Is this fair? Is it right? Or is it a threat to open operation of the internet? After the invasion of the … Continued

Social Media Broke America (version printed in the Globe)

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I am posting this in case you want to compare what I wrote to what was published after editing. The original version is here. Here’s a link to the Globe’s page containing the piece. And below is the text of the actual op-ed that ran in the Globe. Social media broke America. Here’s how to … Continued