Delusion

The New Net Delusion

In June 2009, large protests broke out in Iran in the wake of a disputed election result. The unrest did not differ all that much from comparable episodes that had occurred elsewhere in the world over the preceding decades, but many Western observers became convinced that new digital platforms like Twitter and Facebook were propelling […]

Facebook

People are learning the wrong lessons from the Facebook Papers

Recent Facebook leaks have prompted an avalanche of suggestions for fixing social media’s negative effects on society. These include demands for increased oversight by executives and boards of companies, regulators, or both. However, these proposals do not address the main problem of the attention-economy, which cannot be fixed by top-down control. The problem lies at […]

Radio

How to Fix Social Media

Around two o’clock in the afternoon on October 30, 1973, a disc jockey at the New York City radio station WBAI played a track called “Filthy Words” from comedian George Carlin’s latest album. “I was thinking one night about the words you couldn’t say on the public airwaves,” Carlin began. He then rattled off seven […]

On the potential Impact of banning Political Ads on Social Media

Worth reading: this Wired article that discusses the potential impact of banning political ads on social media. Political Ads serve as entry point to phony astroturf communities. For example, the now infamous Internet Research Agency (IRA for short) purchased only 3400 Facebook and Instagram ads. Compare this to the over 61500 Facebook posts, 116000 Instagram […]

The End of Political Advertising on Social Media?

Twitter has announced to block all political advertising with November. Although it is still unclear how this is implemented in practice and what qualifies as a political advertising, one thing is clear: the times when  political parties have simply bought advertising on social media sites are probably over. This also because of Cambridge Analytica, that […]

How the biggest decentralized social network is dealing with its Nazi problem – The Verge

After the neo nazi network Gab migrated to Mastodon, the alternative social media network tries to deal with internet’s Nazi problem head-on. The distributed nature of the network (federation) makes it almost impossible to respond with a single strategy. Instead, individual instances as the nodes of the network are called, have taken  different measures. For example. […]