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

Social Media Broke America. Here’s How to Fix It.

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This is the draft of the op-ed I first sent to the Boston Sunday Globe for publication in its Ideas section. It was never published in this form. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” But that was before social media. Now, thanks to … Continued

Salesforce’s purchase of Slack: how social media is swallowing our brains

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Marc Andreessen famously said that software is eating the world. That was a statement about economics. Now I believe that social media is swallowing our brains, which is a much broader statement about human behavior. The precipitating event for this observation is Salesforce’s announcement that it would acquire Slack for $27.7 billion. According to Salesforce … Continued

Why Zuckerberg reversed course: it wasn’t just the boycotts

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Boycotts rarely work. But in the face of advertiser boycotts, Facebook just did a U-turn on its policy on labelling or blocking presidential posts. The cause and effect here is a lot more complex than it appears. As recently as the beginning of June, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the right decision on presidential posts, … Continued