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Author Topic: The problem of social media  (Read 19123 times)

John Palmer.

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Re: The problem of social media
« Reply #150 on: December 19, 2020, 10:44:23 PM »
PS. This whole Twitter thread by Glenn Greenwald with a video by Noam Chomsky explains so well the danger of Censorship from the point of view of the Left that has not pledged allegiance to the mainstream careerist Left
« Last Edit: December 19, 2020, 11:03:39 PM by John Palmer. »


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Re: The problem of social media
« Reply #151 on: January 09, 2021, 11:41:09 AM »
Caitlin Johnstone (links are in the original called The Boot Is Coming Down Hard And Fast):

In response to pressures from all directions including its own staff, Twitter has followed Facebook’s lead and removed Donald Trump’s account.

And it wasn’t just Trump. Accounts are vanishing quickly, including some popular Trump supporter accounts. I myself have lost hundreds of followers on Twitter in the last few hours, and I’ve seen people saying they lost a lot more.

It also wasn’t just Trump supporters; leftist accounts are getting suspended too. The online left is hopefully learning that cheering for Twitter “banning fascists” irrationally assumes that (A) their purges are only banning fascists and (B) they are limiting their bans to your personal definition of fascists. There is no basis whatsoever for either of these assumptions.

Google has ratcheted things up even further by removing Parler from its app store, and Apple will likely soon follow. This push to marginalize even the already fringey social media sites is making the libertarian/shitlib argument of “If you don’t like censorship just go to another platform” look pretty ridiculous.

This is all happening just in time for the Biden administration, about which critics had already been voicing grave concerns regarding the future of internet censorship.

The censorship of a political faction at the hands of a few liberal Silicon Valley billionaires will do the exact opposite of eliminating right-wing paranoia and conspiracy theories, and everyone knows it. You’re not trying to make things better, you’re trying to make them worse. You’re not trying to restore peace and order, you’re trying to force a confrontation so your political enemies can be crushed. You’re accelerationist.

A Venn diagram of people who support the latest social media purges and people who secretly hope Trumpers freak out and attempt a violent uprising would look like the Japanese flag.

The correct response to a huge section of the citizenry doubting an electoral system we’ve known for years is garbage would have been more transparency, not shoving the process through and silencing people who voice doubts and making that entire faction more paranoid and crazy.

Supporting the censorship of online speech is to support the authority of monopolistic tech oligarchs to exert more and more global control over human communication. Regardless of your attitude toward whoever happens to be getting deplatformed today, supporting this is suicidal.
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Re: The problem of social media
« Reply #152 on: February 18, 2021, 02:36:58 PM »
Misinformation Fears After Facebook Blacks Out News In Australia

Facebook's news blackout in Australia has raised fears misinformation could come to dominate the platform in the country, with fake news and conspiracy theories left untouched while credible sources have been cut off.

From Thursday Australians were unable to post links to news articles or view the Facebook pages of local and international news outlets, while Aussie news sources disappeared from the site worldwide.

The social media giant was acting in response to tough new regulations that will force it and Google to pay for the news stories shown on their platforms.

Several critical government agencies—tasked with issuing emergency Covid-19, bushfire, flood and cyclone advice—were initially caught up in the news ban before Facebook began restoring them.

An assortment of other Australian pages were also rendered blank, including cancer and homelessness charities, major businesses and even popular satire accounts.

But unaffected by the blackout were a series of pages owned by purveyors of fake news and conspiracy theories—despite their frequently posting about current events.

... Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance said the professional journalists it represents acted as a check on the spread of misinformation before their work was barred from Facebook feeds.

The Facebook blackout came just days ahead of Australia's planned vaccine rollout, raising concerns official health messaging could be drowned out by anti-vaxxer voices.

Critics hit out at the speed and scope of Facebook's action against Australia after years of what they described as its apparent reluctance to clear the platform of violence, hate speech and misinformation.

"And people wonder why this didn't happen with certain hate groups in other parts of the world, why there wasn't such an attempt to remove that content wholesale," Lucie Krahulcova of Digital Rights Watch told AFP.

... Reset Australia, which aims to counter digital threats to democracy, said the Australian news blackout revealed "just how little the platform cares about stopping misinformation".
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late


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Re: The problem of social media
« Reply #153 on: February 21, 2021, 11:45:11 AM »

An article from Marina Hyde - who takes no prisoners - on Zuckerberg. A few quotes below.

The question every politician should be asking is, what does Mark Zuckerberg want with us?

This is about more than Facebook and news – it’s about the pursuit of power in a world where companies are stronger than countries

Of course, Facebook is the galactic leader in PR crises. In the company’s short, unimaginably powerful existence, they have made so many monstrous cock-ups and on such grand scales that it seems reasonable to predict the full collapse of human civilisation will be immediately succeeded by a Facebook statement containing the words: “We know we have more work to do.” It’ll probably have been drafted by Nick Clegg, whose political endpoint was always going to be donning Earth’s last crew-necked sweater and doing comms for the apocalypse.

As for the rest of us, it’s hard being told how beautiful it is to connect by Zuckerberg, whose smile hasn’t connected with his eyes since 2014. If friends are so important to our common goals, how come he doesn’t have any? Maybe commodifying friendship gives Mark the excuse for not partaking in it. You don’t see crack dealers using their own product, as the saying goes.

People often claim you’re frozen developmentally at the time you become famous, which presumably stunts Zuckerberg back at the stage he was in his Harvard dorm room. I can’t believe a product created to rate women has ended up as what the business professor and tech commentator Scott Galloway calls “the biggest prostitute of hate in the history of mankind”. Honestly, what were the chances?

But as he accrues more and more unprecedented global power, the question every single politician should be asking themselves, like, yesterday, is: what does Mark Zuckerberg want with us? They should have clicked long ago that he isn’t remotely interested in news as an idea or service. In 2016, Zuckerberg summarily fired the team that curated “trending” news topics and replaced them with an algorithm that promptly began pushing fabricated news, as well as a video of a man wanking with a McChicken Sandwich.
In her book The Boy Kings, Katherine Losse chronicles her time at Facebook, from being one of the firm’s earliest employees to eventually becoming the person Zuckerberg appoints to write in his voice.

One of several essays Zuckerberg instructed Losse to write in his voice was “Companies over countries”. She resigned without completing it, but not before having asked him if he could expand the slogan. “I think we are moving to a world in which we all become cells in a single organism,” came Mark’s mild reply, “where we can communicate automatically and can all work together seamlessly.” Wow. A vision of our future that has me immediately paging Morpheus.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2021, 10:36:25 AM by gerontocrat »
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Re: The problem of social media
« Reply #154 on: March 12, 2021, 08:15:40 PM »
I really like this woman.
Perfect critique of the narrative manufacturing happening in twitter and in mainstream “propaganda” media to support Biden and the Dems no matter what.

I mean, look at the shit that the super-woke, super purist liberal Daily Beast keeps pushing, just like its brothers buzz feed, Vox, Vice News channel, and its big brothers MSNBC, CNN, The Times, The WaPo...

« Last Edit: March 12, 2021, 08:30:25 PM by nadir »


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Re: The problem of social media
« Reply #155 on: March 29, 2021, 05:27:13 PM »
AI: Ghost workers demand to be seen and heard

Artificial intelligence and machine learning exist on the back of a lot of hard work from humans.

Alongside the scientists, there are thousands of low-paid workers whose job it is to classify and label data - the lifeblood of such systems.

But increasingly there are questions about whether these so-called ghost workers are being exploited.

As we train the machines to become more human, are we actually making the humans work more like machines?

And what role do these workers play in shaping the AI systems that are increasingly controlling every aspect of our lives?

The most well-established of these crowdsourcing platforms is Amazon Mechanical Turk, owned by the online retail giant and run by its Amazon Web Services division.

But there are others, such as Samasource, CrowdFlower and Microworkers. They all allow businesses to remotely hire workers from anywhere in the world to do tasks that computers currently can't do.

These tasks could be anything from labelling images to help computer vision algorithms improve, providing help for natural language processing, or even acting as content moderators for YouTube or Twitter.


aiph Savage is the director of the Human Computer Interaction Lab at West Virginia University, and her research found that for a lot of workers, the rate of pay can be as low as $2 (£1.45) per hour - and often it is unclear how many hours someone will be required to work on a particular task.

"They are told the job is worth $5 but it might take two hours," she told the BBC.

"Employers have much more power than the workers and can suddenly decide to reject work, and workers have no mechanism to do anything about it."

And she says often little is known about who the workers on the platforms are, and what their biases might be.

She cited a recent study relating to YouTube that found that the algorithm had banned some LGBTQ content.

"Dig beneath the surface and it was not the algorithm that was biased but the workers behind the scenes, who were working in a country where there was censoring of LGBTQ content."

This idea of bias is born out by Alexandrine Royer, from the Montreal AI Ethics Institute, who wrote about what she described as the urgent need for more regulation for these workers.

"The decisions made by data workers in Africa and elsewhere, who are responsible for data labelling and content moderation decisions on global platforms, feed back into and shape the algorithms internet users around the world interact with every day," she said.

"Working in the shadows of the digital economy, these so-called ghost workers have immense responsibility as the arbiters of online content."

Google searches to tweets to product review rely on this "unseen labour", she added.

"It is high time we regulate and properly compensate these workers."
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