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Category Archives: Social Media

Wikipedia Is the Last Best Place on the Internet

Wired: “…Today, Wikipedia is the eighth-most-visited site in the world. The English-language version recently surpassed 6 million articles and 3.5 billion words; edits materialize at a rate of 1.8 per second. But perhaps more remarkable than Wikipedia’s success is how little its reputation has changed. It was criticized as it rose, and now makes its final ascent to … muted criticism. To confess that you’ve just repeated a fact you learned on Wikipedia is still to admit something mildly shameful. It’s as though all those questions that used to pepper think pieces in the mid-2000s—Will it work? Can it be trusted? Is it better than Encyclopedia Britannica?—are still rhetorical, when they have already been answered, time and again, in the affirmative. Of course, muted criticism is far better than what the other giants at the top of the internet are getting these days. Pick any inflection point you like from the past several years—the Trump election, Brexit, any one of a number of data breaches, alt-right feeding frenzies, or standoffish statements to Congress—and you’ll see the malign hand of platform monopolies. Not too long ago, techno-utopianism was the ambient vibe of the elite ideas industry; now it has become the ethos that dare not speak its name. Hardly anyone can talk abstractly about freedom and connection and collaboration, the blithe watchwords of the mid-2000s, without making a mental list of the internet’s more concrete negative externalities…Yet in an era when Silicon Valley’s promises look less gilded than before, Wikipedia shines by comparison. It is the only not-for-profit site in the top 10, and one of only a handful in the top 100. It does not plaster itself with advertising, intrude on privacy, or provide a breeding ground for neo-Nazi trolling. Like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, it broadcasts user-generated content. Unlike them, it makes its product de-personified, collaborative, and for the general good. More than an encyclopedia, Wikipedia has become a community, a library, a constitution, an experiment, a political manifesto—the closest thing there is to an online public square. It is one of the few remaining places that retains the faintly utopian glow of the early World Wide Web. A free encyclopedia encompassing the whole of human knowledge, written almost entirely by unpaid volunteers: Can you believe that was the one that worked?…”

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues February 15, 2020

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues February 15, 2020 – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the… Continue Reading

Local Bookstores Have A New Weapon In The Fight With Amazon

Fortune: “In the book industry, Amazon is Goliath, the giant who overshadows everyone else. But there’s a new David on the scene, Bookshop.org. It doesn’t expect to topple the giant, but it has launched a weapon that could make Amazon’s shadow a little smaller, and help local bookstores fight back. Bookshop.org, a website that went… Continue Reading

Why are Lawyers writing code?

British Legal Technology Forum: “We find ourselves in the midst of the 4th Industrial Revolution, and this digital transformation brings with it a need for change in our working practices.There is a shift towards a more innovative, fresh and connected way of doing business. Organisations that are digitally savvy, in every sector, are leading the… Continue Reading

Confidence in public acceptance of election results connects to following political news

“…Many political issues are highly polarized across partisan lines, but Americans’ confidence in the public’s willingness to accept election results regardless of who wins – a fundamental underpinning of our electoral system – is only modestly tied to party identification. Instead, it appears to have a closer relationship to how intensely U.S. adults engage with… Continue Reading

Twitter might have a better read on floods than NOAA

The Verge: “Frustrated tweets led scientists to believe that tidal floods along the East Coast and Gulf Coast of the US are more annoying than official tide gauges suggest. Half a million geotagged tweets showed researchers that people were talking about disruptively high waters even when government gauges hadn’t recorded tide levels high enough to… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues February 8, 2020

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues February 8, 2020 – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss, highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly… Continue Reading

What Happens When QAnon Seeps From the Web to the Offline World

The New York Times – “…What began online more than two years ago as an intricate, if baseless, conspiracy theory that quickly attracted thousands of followers has since found footholds in the offline world. QAnon has surfaced in political campaigns, criminal cases, merchandising and at least one college class…QAnon began in October 2017, when a… Continue Reading

Almost half of Americans have stopped talking politics with someone

“At a time when the country’s polarizing politics and public discourse are dividing many Americans, close to half of all U.S. adults acknowledge that they have stopped discussing political and election news with someone, according to a new analysis of data from Pew Research Center’s Election News Pathways project. In total, 45% of the nation’s… Continue Reading

Senate Intel Releases Bipartisan Report on Obama Admin Response to Russian Election Interference

“Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) today released the third volume in the Committee’s bipartisan investigation into Russian election interference, “U.S. Government Response to Russian Activities.” The report examines the Obama Administration’s reaction to initial reports of election interference and the steps officials took or did… Continue Reading

Tool to Help Journalists Spot Doctored Images Is Unveiled by Jigsaw

The New York Times – The company, owned by Google’s parent, introduced a free tool it calls Assembler to sort out real images from fake ones. “On February 4, 2020, Jigsaw, a company that develops cutting-edge tech and is owned by Google’s parent, unveiled a free tool that researchers said could help journalists spot doctored… Continue Reading