With repetition, most of us will become inured to all the dirty tricks of Facebook attention-manipulation

In my latest Locus column, "Persuasion, Adaptation, and the Arms Race for Your Attention," I suggest that we might be too worried about the seemingly unstoppable power of opinion-manipulators and their new social media superweapons. Read the rest

Thanks to the EU, the UK's privacy law may solve the mystery of Facebook and the last US election

The EU's data-protection framework is not without its flaws, but it does allow the public to force companies like Facebook to hand over all the data they hold on you, and that means that Americans can use the law to force Facebook to reveal how the Trump campaign's targeted ads worked. Read the rest

For $25, you can target Facebook users based on race and sexual orientation

Point created an obviously fake company with tons of alarm-raising inconsistencies, allocated it $25, and then used their budget to target Facebook users based on race and sexual orientation, a move that, depending on the ad's content, can violate US civil rights law. Read the rest

Trump's big data "secret sauce" sorcery - a much-needed reality check

An article that went viral last week attributed Trump's Electoral College victory to the dark big data sorcery of Cambridge Analytica, a dirty, dementor-focused big data company that specializes in political campaigns. Read the rest