Amnesty International: Google and Facebook spell trouble for human rights

Amnesty International has had just about all that it cares to take of Google and Facebook's profiting off of our personal information. In a recent report, the international human rights charity stated that they were deeply concerned that the two companies mass surveillance ventures were making large scale human rights violations an easy go for…

Hong Kong protests: "Might as well go down fighting"

Zeynep Tufekci (previously) has been in Hong Kong reporting on the protests for months, and she's witnessed firsthand the failure of every prediction that the uprising would end soon — but despite the mounting numbers and militancy of protesters, she reports that the protesters are not animated by hope or optimism, but rather, a fatalistic…

The internet has become a "low-trust society"

Writing in Wired, Zeynep Tufekci (previously) discusses how the internet has become a "low-trust society," where fake reviews, fraud, conspiracies and disinformation campaigns have burdened us all with the need to investigate every claim and doubt every promise, at enormous costs to time and opportunity.

DRM and terms-of-service have ended true ownership, turning us into "tenants of our own devices"

Writing in Wired, Zeynep Tufekci (previously) echoes something I've been saying for years: that the use of Digital Rights Management technologies, along with other systems of control like Terms of Service, are effectively ending the right of individuals to own private property (in the sense of exercising "sole and despotic dominion" over something), and instead…

A successful no-platforming means we can talk about Alex Jones again

Zeynep Tufekci (previously) says that Big Tech's "engagement maximization" algorithms meant that any time you talked about Alex Jones critically, the algorithms would start relentlessly recommending that you watch some Alex Jones videos, because they were so well designed to please the algorithms by sucking up our attention.

Why Youtube's algorithms push extreme content on every possible subject

Zeynep Tufekci was researching Trump videos on Youtube back in 2016 when she noticed something funny: Youtube began recommending and autoplaying increasingly extreme right-wing stuff — like white-supremacist Holocaust-denial videos. So she did an interesting experiment: She set up another Youtube account and began watching videos for the main Democratic presidential contenders, Hillary Clinton and…

The surveillance economy has 67 days to disarm before Trump is sworn in

The Obama administration asserted the power to raid the massive databases of peoples' private, sensitive information that ad-based tech companies have assembled; the Trump administration has promised to use Obama's powers to effect the surveillance and deportation of 11 millions undocumented migrants, and the ongoing, continuous surveillance of people of Muslim heritage.