Linked – Crime, Punishment and Biased Sentencing
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Linked – Crime, Punishment and Biased Sentencing

This is some interesting stuff to think about: The students, part of a university honors class this semester called When Machines Decide: The Promise and Peril of Living in a Data-Driven Society, were tasked with creating a mobile app that teaches the public how a machine-learning algorithm could develop certain prejudices. “It was created to…

Is the Internet Broken, or are We Broken?
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Is the Internet Broken, or are We Broken?

I read this recent quote from an article about Ev Williams this week and something seemed oddly familiar about it: The trouble with the internet, Mr. Williams says, is that it rewards extremes. Say you’re driving down the road and see a car crash. Of course you look. Everyone looks. The internet interprets behavior like…

Another Reason to Doubt Facebook will get Fake News Right – They Can’t Get Illicit Images Right

Another Reason to Doubt Facebook will get Fake News Right – They Can’t Get Illicit Images Right

This story is appalling on many levels. It began with a BBC investigation in 2016, which found that paedophiles were using secret groups on Facebook to post and swap sexually suggestive images of children. Facebook promised improvements to its moderation policy, and said it was employing “thousands” of moderators to check the content 24/7. Having…

Linked – Blame the Echo Chamber on Facebook. But Blame Yourself, Too
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Linked – Blame the Echo Chamber on Facebook. But Blame Yourself, Too

  In The Big Sort, Bill Bishop shows how, over the last 30 years, Americans have sorted themselves into like-minded neighborhoods. The same appears to be happening on the web. All the empirical research to date suggests that the reason is not the use of personalization algorithms per se. Algorithms can easily expose us to…

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Linked – Facebook offers: why they could be too good to be true

At first the posts are relatively harmless. Many Facebook users don’t see the issue with liking or sharing a post. After thousands of people catch on to the post, Facebook algorithms automatically identify the content as valuable and popular. The algorithm then floats the scam to the top of millions of newsfeeds around the world….

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Recommended Podcast – Is the Internet Being Ruined

Caught up with the most recent Freakonomics podcast episode yesterday and found the whole thing fascinating. The episode starts out with a pretty basic question that many of us who have a deep interest in internet technology and culture have been talking about for awhile now. It’s a remarkable ecosystem that allows each of us…