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Daily Archives: March 22, 2018

The Economist identifies critical steps for Facebook to move forward

The Economist – Editorial – “Facebook faces a reputational meltdown: This is how it, and the wider industry, should respond.”

“Facebook is not about to be banned or put out of business, but the chances of a regulatory backlash are growing. Europe is inflicting punishment by a thousand cuts, from digital taxes to antitrust cases. And distrustful users are switching off. The American customer base of Facebook’s core social network has stagnated since June 2017. Its share of America’s digital advertising market is forecast to dip this year for the first time. The network effect that made Facebook ever more attractive to new members as it grew could work in reverse if it starts to shrink. Facebook is worth $493bn, but only has $14bn of physical assets. Its value is intangible—and, potentially, ephemeral.”

  • “Facebook needs a full, independent examination of its approach to content, privacy and data, including its role in the 2016 election and the Brexit referendum. This should be made public. Each year Facebook should publish a report on its conduct that sets out everything from the prevalence of fake news to privacy breaches…”
  • “Next, Facebook and other tech firms need to open up to outsiders, safely and methodically. They should create an industry ombudsman — call it the Data Rights Board. Part of its job would be to set and enforce the rules by which accredited independent researchers look inside platforms without threatening users’ privacy…”

Using your phone to find and scan scholarly articles

Google Scholar Blog  Quickly flip through papers on your phone. “Today, we are making it easier to use your phone to find and scan scholarly articles. Clicking a Scholar search result on your phone now opens a quick preview. You can swipe left and right to quickly flip through the list of results. Where available,… Continue Reading

Bolton Super PAC early client of Cambridge Analytica

The New York Times: “The political action committee founded by John R. Bolton, President Trump’s incoming national security adviser, was one of the earliest customers of Cambridge Analytica, which it hired specifically to develop psychological profiles of voters with data harvested from tens of millions of Facebook profiles, according to former Cambridge employees and company… Continue Reading

Another day another revelation about Facebook giving researcher data on 57B users

The Guardian – “Before Facebook suspended Aleksandr Kogan from its platform for the data harvesting “scam” at the centre of the unfolding Cambridge Analytica scandal, the social media company enjoyed a close enough relationship with the researcher that it provided him with an anonymised, aggregate dataset of 57bn Facebook friendships. Facebook provided the dataset of… Continue Reading

President Trump receives court summons at White House

Think Progress: “Attorneys general for the District of Columbia and Maryland have expanded their lawsuit against President Donald Trump to include Trump in his personal capacity as a businessman. As part of the process, they sent an official summon to Trump at his home, the White House, located on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Lawyers for Trump… Continue Reading

Report – Evidence that Great Pacific Garbage Patch is growing very rapidly

Washington Post: “Seventy-nine thousand tons of plastic debris, in the form of 1.8 trillion pieces, now occupy an area three times the size of France in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii, a scientific team reported on Thursday. The amount of plastic found in this area, known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is… Continue Reading

Senator Wants to Revive Federal Research on Gun Violence, 22 Years After Congress Banned It

Mother Jones: “On Tuesday, as teenagers swarmed the Florida legislature to advocate for gun control, Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-New Mexico) renewed a familiar call for Congress to repeal an amendment that blocks the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from funding research into the public health effects of gun violence. I am calling for the repeal of the Dickey Amendment,… Continue Reading

User data collection on Facebook much more extensive than just by Cambridge Analytica

The travails related to the revelation of massive Facebook data collection are not subsiding – and as the lyric goes “all the news is bad” – including growing discussion about “data lust,” covert operations abroad, and undermining democracy with data driven political marketing, Tim Berners-Lee opining about damage done and future paths, and the Irreversible… Continue Reading