Listened to The Daily: ‘Because of Sex’ from New York Times
Aimee Stephens was fired for disclosing her gender identity to her boss. This year, the Supreme Court may make a surprising ruling in her favor.

👓 I Tried Predictim's AI Scan for 'Risky' Babysitters on People I Trust | Gizmodo

Read I Tried Predictim's AI Scan for 'Risky' Babysitters on People I Trust (Gizmodo)
The founders of Predictim want to be clear with me: Their product—an algorithm that scans the online footprint of a prospective babysitter to determine their “risk” levels for parents—is not racist. It is not biased.

Another example of an app saying “We don’t have bias in our AI” when it seems patently true that they do. I wonder how one would prove (mathematically) that one didn’t have bias?

👓 Photography student sends message about missing and murdered Indigenous women using Canadian flag | CBC

Read Photography student sends message about missing and murdered Indigenous women using Canadian flag by Rhiannon Johnson (CBC News)
A photography student from Beausoleil First Nation in Ontario is hoping to bring awareness to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada through her art.

Deplatforming and making the web a better place

I’ve spent some time this morning thinking about the deplatforming of the abhorrent social media site Gab.ai by Google, Apple, Stripe, PayPal, and Medium following the Tree of Life shooting in Pennsylvania. I’ve created a deplatforming page on the IndieWeb wiki with some initial background and history. I’ve also gone back and tagged (with “deplatforming”) a few articles I’ve read or podcasts I’ve listened to recently that may have some interesting bearing on the topic.

The particular design question I’m personally looking at is roughly:

How can we reshape the web and social media in a way that allows individuals and organizations a platform for their own free speech and communication without accelerating or amplifying the voices of the abhorrent fringes of people espousing broadly anti-social values like virulent discrimination, racism, fascism, etc.?

In some sense, the advertising driven social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, et al. have given the masses the equivalent of not simply a louder voice within their communities, but potential megaphones to audiences previously far, far beyond their reach. When monetized against the tremendous value of billions of clicks, there is almost no reason for these corporate giants to filter or moderate socially abhorrent content.  Their unfiltered and unregulated algorithms compound the issue from a societal perspective. I look at it in some sense as the equivalent of the advent of machine guns and ultimately nuclear weapons in 20th century warfare and their extreme effects on modern society.

The flip side of the coin is also potentially to allow users the ability to better control and/or filter out what they’re presented on platforms and thus consuming, so solutions can relate to both the output as well as the input stages.

Comments and additions to the page (or even here below) particularly with respect to positive framing and potential solutions on how to best approach this design hurdle for human communication are more than welcome.


Deplatforming

Deplatforming or no platform is a form of banning in which a person or organization is denied the use of a platform (physical or increasingly virtual) on which to speak.

In addition to the banning of those with socially unacceptable viewpoints, there has been a long history of marginalized voices (particularly trans, LGBTQ, sex workers, etc.) being deplatformed in systematic ways.

The banning can be from any of a variety of spaces ranging from physical meeting spaces or lectures, journalistic coverage in newspapers or television to domain name registration, web hosting, and even from specific social media platforms like Facebookor Twitter. Some have used these terms as narrowly as in relation to having their Twitter “verified” status removed.

“We need to puncture this myth that [deplatforming]’s only affecting far-right people. Trans rights activistsBlack Lives Matterorganizers, LGBTQI people have been demonetized or deranked. The reason we’re talking about far-right people is that they have coverage on Fox News and representatives in Congress holding hearings. They already have political power.” — Deplatforming Works: Alex Jones says getting banned by YouTube and Facebook will only make him stronger. The research says that’s not true. in Motherboard 2018-08-10

Examples

Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck parted ways with Fox News in what some consider to have been a network deplatforming. He ultimately moved to his own platform consisting of his own website.

Reddit Communities

Reddit has previously banned several communities on its platform. Many of the individual users decamped to Voat, which like Gab could potentially face its own subsequent deplatforming.

Milo Yiannopoulos

Milo Yiannopoulos, the former Breitbart personality, was permanently banned from Twitter in 2016 for inciting targeted harassment campaigns against actress Leslie Jones. He resigned from Breitbart over comments he made about pedophilia on a podcast. These also resulted in the termination of a book deal with Simon & Schuster as well as the cancellation of multiple speaking engagements at Universities.

The Daily Stormer

Neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer was deplatformed by Cloudflare in the wake of 2017’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville. Following criticism, Matthew Prince, Cloudflare CEO, announced that he was ending the Daily Stormer’s relationship with Cloudflare, which provides services for protecting sites against distributed denial-of service (DDoS) attacks and maintaining their stability.

Alex Jones/Infowars

Alex Jones and his Infowars were deplatformed by Apple, Spotify, YouTube, and Facebook in late summer 2018 for his Network’s false claims about the Newtown shooting.

Gab

Gab.ai was deplatformed from PayPal, Stripe, Medium , Apple, and Google as a result of their providing a platform for alt-right and racist groups as well as the shooter in the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in October 2018

Gab.com is under attack. We have been systematically no-platformed by App Stores, multiple hosting providers, and several payment processors. We have been smeared by the mainstream media for defending free expression and individual liberty for all people and for working with law enforcement to ensure that justice is served for the horrible atrocity committed in Pittsburgh. Gab will continue to fight for the fundamental human right to speak freely. As we transition to a new hosting provider Gab will be inaccessible for a period of time. We are working around the clock to get Gab.com back online. Thank you and remember to speak freely.

—from the Gab.ai homepage on 2018-10-29

History

Articles

Research

See Also

  • web hosting
  • why
  • shadow banning
  • NIPSA
  • demonitazition – a practice (particularly leveled at YouTube) of preventing users and voices from monetizing their channels. This can have a chilling effect on people who rely on traffic for income to support their work (see also 1)

📑 Fark Banned Misogyny to Facilitate Free Speech | Motherboard

Highlighted Fark Banned Misogyny to Facilitate Free Speech by Jason Koebler (Motherboard)
"I am really pleased to see different sites deciding not to privilege aggressors' speech over their targets'," Phillips said. "That tends to be the default position in so many online 'free speech' debates which suggest that if you restrict aggressors' speech, you're doing a disservice to America—a position that doesn't take into account the fact that antagonistic speech infringes on the speech of those who are silenced by that kind of abuse."  

👓 Fark Banned Misogyny to Facilitate Free Speech | Motherboard

Read Fark Banned Misogyny to Facilitate Free Speech (Motherboard)
"Now that we've done it I feel like a complete ass for waiting so long. So will everyone else who makes the same call."

📑 Social Media Bans Actually Work | Motherboard

Annotated Social Media Bans Actually Work (Motherboard)
“We need to puncture this myth that it’s only affecting far-right people. Trans rights activists, Black Lives Matter organizers, LGBTQI people have been demonetized or deranked. The reason we’re talking about far-right people is that they have coverage on Fox News and representatives in Congress holding hearings. They already have political power.”  

📑 Social Media Bans Actually Work | Motherboard

Annotated Social Media Bans Actually Work (Motherboard)
Deplatforming works “best” when the people being deplatformed don’t have any power to begin with.  

👓 Hopkins faculty promote better climate in machine learning | Hopkins CSW

Read Hopkins faculty promote better climate in machine learning (Women Faculty Forum at Homewood)
Today, 122 Hopkins faculty, post-docs, and grad students make a call to promote welcoming environments for women at machine learning conferences. In recognition of egregious behavior at recent conf…

Post moved from old URL
https://hopkinscsw.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/hopkins-faculty-promote-better-climate-in-machine-learning/

👓 South Carolina Is Lobbying to Allow Discrimination Against Jewish Parents | The Intercept

Read South Carolina Is Lobbying to Allow Discrimination Against Jewish Parents (The Intercept)
One Protestant group wants the federal government to sponsor discrimination.

👓 Sears’s ‘radical’ past: How mail-order catalogues subverted the racial hierarchy of Jim Crow | Washington Post

Read Sears’s ‘radical’ past: How mail-order catalogues subverted the racial hierarchy of Jim Crow (Washington Post)
Monday’s announcement that Sears would file for bankruptcy and close 142 stores came as little surprise to anyone who has followed the retail giant’s collapse in recent years. Still, the news inspired a wave of nostalgia for a company that sold an ideal of middle-class life to generations of Americans. A lesser-known aspect of Sears’s 125-year history, however, is how the company revolutionized rural black Southerners’ shopping patterns in the late 19th century, subverting racial hierarchies by allowing them to make purchases by mail or over the phone and avoid the blatant racism that they faced at small country stores.

A rehash and an expansion of a tweetstorm I saw the other day.

👓 ‘I don’t forgive this woman’: Black boy wrongly accused of grabbing white woman | ABC News

Read 'I don't forgive this woman': Black boy wrongly accused of grabbing white woman (ABC News)
The 9-year-old spoke out at a community meeting held to address the incident.

🎧 ‘The Daily’: The Supreme Court Upholds Trump’s Travel Ban | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: The Supreme Court Upholds Trump’s Travel Ban by Michael Barbaro from New York Times

What does the Supreme Court’s endorsement of the travel ban say about the extent of the president’s power?

👓 Serena Williams’s U.S. Open Loss Was Humiliating—But Not For Her | The Atlantic

Read Serena Williams's U.S. Open Loss Was Humiliating—But Not for Her by Gillian B. White (The Atlantic)
What happened to the superstar was shocking. It was not surprising.

👓 Where Boys Outperform Girls in Math: Rich, White and Suburban Districts | New York Times

Read Where Boys Outperform Girls in Math: Rich, White and Suburban Districts by Claire Cain Miller (nytimes.com)
A study of 10,000 school districts shows how local norms help grow or shrink gender achievement gaps.