Just When I Thought Twitter Did Something Good

Like approximately 126 million other people, I willingly plunge my brain into the sewer that is Twitter every morning, expecting varying levels of awfulness until I surface around 6 or 7 pm from a platform that’s unwilling or unable to improve its user experience in any meaningful way. Call it an occupational hazard. Read More >>

Facebook Patents Shadowbanning

Within the past 24 hours, Facebook was granted a patent for “Moderating content in an online forum,” which it first applied for in February of 2015. Unfortunately, the most accurate term to describe what it covers is shadowbanning. Read More >>

US Federal Trade Commission Approves £3.9 Billion Settlement Against Facebook Over Cambridge Analytica Debacle: Reports

The US Federal Trade Commission, which has been investigating Facebook in the wake of its massive Cambridge Analytica scandal, has voted to approve levying a massive $5 billion (£3.9 billion) fine against the social media giant, according to reporting in both the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. It’s the single largest fine against a tech company by the FTC to date, though not the largest the agency has ever inflicted on a firm for bad behaviour. Read More >>

Facebook Pledges to Make New Crap That Will Probably Fail

Slipping-on-a-banana-peel-into-a-pile-of-rakes firm Facebook, a name which is now synonymous with massive, irreparable fuckups, has recommitted itself to mistakes, failures, and harebrained flights of fancy. We know this because they said so, and they’re proud of it! Read More >>

Amazon Workers Plan to Strike on Prime Day

Employees at Amazon’s now-infamous Shakopee, Minnesota, warehouse – the first of the famously anti-union retailer’s locations to stage a walkout in the U.S. – is planning a strike next week to coincide with Prime Day, the company’s invented shopping holiday. Read More >>

Facebook Mail Facility Evacuated After Report of Deadly Nerve Agent

A Facebook mailing facility in the company’s home city of Menlo Park, California was evacuated yesterday following the reported detection of sarin – a powerful and deadly nerve agent. Read More >>

social media
Wikipedia Co-Founder Picks a Nice Day to Log Off

Thursday is projected to be a lovely summer day: high of 86, slight breeze and slightly overcast, no chance of rain—in New York anyhow. It’s also a national holiday. If all that sounds like good conditions to get away from the computer and enjoy the sunshine, incidentally, you’re part of a protest! Read More >>

Italy Pokes Facebook With £870k Fine for Mishandling of Data

Italy’s privacy watchdog announced on Friday its decision to fine world-swallowing social platform Facebook €1 million (about £870k) for the catastrophic mishandling of data associated with now-defunct Cambridge Analytica. Does that seem like a bargain to anyone else? Read More >>

This Is How You’re Being Manipulated

At a recent preliminary US Senate hearing on the subject of potentially putting legislative limits on the persuasiveness of technology—a diplomatic way of saying the addiction model the internet uses to keep people engaged and clicking—Tristan Harris, the executive director of the Center for Humane Technology, told lawmakers that while rules are important, what needs to come first is public awareness. Not an easy task. Algorithms and machine learning are terrifying, confusing, and somehow also boring to think about. However, “one thing I have learned is that if you tell people ‘this is bad for you’, they won’t listen,” Harris stated, “if you tell people ‘this is how you’re being manipulated,’ no one wants to feel manipulated.” Read More >>

Reddit Quarantines Its Biggest Pro-Trump Community

With three-quarters of a million subscribers, r/The_Donald has been a gleefully pro-fascist eyesore on the larger Reddit community, which, for reasons no one seemed able to justify, had evaded any sort of meaningful enforcement of site-wide policies. Well, the needle finally budged yesterday, and all it took was anonymous yahoos threatening to shoot cops. Read More >>

Slack’s Direct Listing on the New York Stock Exchange Makes Uber and Lyft Look Like Absolute Chumps

In its first day on the New York Stock Exchange, workplace messaging company Slack leapt over 50 per cent above its reference price of $26 (£20) per share despite employing an unusual, less costly strategy to debut on the market. Across a few hours of trading, Slack’s total value soared to $23.1 billion (£18.13 billion), while concurrently making what were, respectively, supposed to be the year’s blockbuster IPOs look like absolute dogpoo. Read More >>

Facebook Still Working On the Whole Genocide Thing

In a blog post on Thursday evening, social media giant Facebook announced several changes meant to mitigate the effects of misinformation and hate speech causing real-world violence, including the formation of a Strategic Response team meant to stop a repeat of what happened in Myanmar. Read More >>

I’m Sure Austria Is Really Scared by Uber’s Threats to Pack Up Its Toys and Go Home

Spurred on by looming unfavourable legislation and stock market disappointment, Uber is reportedly playing hardball again, this time with the entire country of Austria. Read More >>

Lawyer Gets 14 Years in Prison for Extorting Millions From Porn Pirates

So ends one of the strangest piracy cases of the past few years, with lawyer turned lawbreaker Paul Hansmeier catching a whopping 168-month sentence for his role in a bizarre extortion scheme targeting internet users who downloaded porn. Read More >>

Is Twitter Notifying Users When Their Tweets Are Shared in DMs? No. What? Of Course Not.

Twitter is a lot of things, but where it consistently excels is as at being a petri dish to watch context collapse in real time. Take, for example, a very obvious joke turned nightmare scenario circulating credulously across the platform today via a celebrity news account. Read More >>