👓 'I was shocked it was so easy': ​meet the professor who says facial recognition ​​can tell if you're gay | The Guardian

Read 'I was shocked it was so easy': ​meet the professor who says facial recognition ​​can tell if you're gay by Paul Lewis (the Guardian)
Psychologist Michal Kosinski says artificial intelligence can detect your sexuality and politics just by looking at your face. What if he’s right?

How in God’s name are we repeating so many of the exact problems of the end of the 1800’s? First nationalism and protectionism and now the eugenics agenda?

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👓 A Close Look at How Facebook’s Retreat From the News Has Hurt One Particular Website—Ours | Slate

Read A Close Look at How Facebook’s Retreat From the News Has Hurt One Particular Website—Ours by Will Oremus (Slate Magazine)
New data shows the impact of Facebook’s pullback from an industry it had dominated (and distorted).

(Roose, who has since deleted his tweet as part of a routine purge of tweets older than 30 days, told me it was intended simply as an observation, not a full analysis of the trends.)

Another example of someone regularly deleting their tweets at regular intervals. I’ve seem a few examples of this in academia.


It’s worth noting that there’s a difference between NewsWhip’s engagement stats, which are public, and referrals—that is, people actually clicking on stories and visiting publishers’ sites. The two have generally correlated, historically, and Facebook told me that its own data suggests that continues to be the case. But two social media professionals interviewed for this story, including one who consults for a number of different publications, told me that the engagement on Facebook posts has led to less relative traffic. This means publications could theoretically be seeing less ad revenue from Facebook even if their public engagement stats are holding steady.


From Slate’s perspective, a comment on a Slate story you see on Facebook is great, but it does nothing for the site’s bottom line.


(Remember when every news site published the piece, “What Time Is the Super Bowl?”)

This is a great instance for Google’s box that simply provides the factual answer instead of requiring a click through.


fickle audiences available on social platforms.

Here’s where feed readers without algorithms could provide more stability for news.

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👓 How Facebook Punked and then Gut Punched the News Biz | TPM

Read How Facebook Punked and then Gut Punched the News Biz by Josh Marshall (Talking Points Memo)
In the digital publishing world, there’s been a buzz about this article in Slate in which slate staffer Will Oremus detailed the impact on the publication of Facebook’s dramatic retreat from the news business. The numbers are stark but not surprising for people in the industry. Indeed, Oremus makes the point that most news organizations are not willing to release these numbers. (We’ll come back to that point in a moment.) In January 2017 Slate had 28.33 million referrals from Facebook to Slate. By last month that number had dropped to 3.63 million. In other words, a near total collapse.
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👓 Turning off Facebook for Bridgy | snarfed.org

Read Turning off Facebook for Bridgy by Ryan BarrettRyan Barrett (snarfed.org)
I announced recently that Bridgy Publish for Facebook would shut down soon. Facebook’s moves to restrict its API to improve privacy and security are laudable, and arguably ...

This is so disappointing. Facebook is literally killing itself for me. So much for their “connecting everyone” philosophy.

Brid.gy was the last thing really keeping me connected to Facebook at all. Now that Facebook is shutting down its most useful functionality from my perspective, perhaps it’s time to deactivate it and move toward shutting it all down?

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👓 Teens Are Abandoning Facebook. For Real This Time. | Slate

Read Teens Are Abandoning Facebook. For Real This Time. (Slate Magazine)
Facebook is no longer the dominant social network among teens, according to Pew’s survey of 743 U.S. residents aged 13 to 17, conducted between March 7 and April 10, 2018. In fact, it’s no longer even in the top three. (A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on the survey.)
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👓 Invisible asymptotes | Remains of the Day

Read Invisible asymptotes by Eugene Wei (Remains of the Day)
My first job at Amazon was as the first analyst in strategic planning, the forward-looking counterpart to accounting, which records what already happened. We maintained several time horizons for our forward forecasts, from granular monthly forecasts to quarterly and annual forecasts to even five and ten year forecasts for the purposes of fund-raising and, well, strategic planning.

A great long read covering some interesting portions of UX and strategy in the future of social. There are some useful tidbits for the IndieWeb to consider here.

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👓 Facebook and Google hit with $8.8 billion in lawsuits on day one of GDPR | The Verge

Read Facebook and Google hit with $8.8 billion in lawsuits on day one of GDPR by Russell Brandom (The Verge)
Time to regulate
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🎧 ‘The Daily’: When Facebook Rumors Incite Real Violence | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: When Facebook Rumors Incite Real Violence by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

A series of damning posts on Facebook has stoked longstanding ethnic tensions in Sri Lanka, setting off a wave of violence largely directed at Muslims. How are false rumors on social media fueling real-world attacks?

On today’s episode:

• Max Fisher and Amanda Taub, who have reported on Sri Lanka for The New York Times.

Background reading:

• Fraudulent claims of a Muslim plot to wipe out Sri Lanka’s Buddhist majority, widely circulated on Facebook and WhatsApp, have led to attacks on mosques and Muslim-owned homes and shops in the country.

• Facebook’s algorithm-driven news feed promotes whatever content draws the most engagement — which tend to be the posts that provoke negative, primal emotions like fear and anger. The platform has allowed misinformation to run rampant in countries with weak institutions and a history of deep social distrust.

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👓 A New Facebook Feature Shows Which Pro-Trump Facebook Pages Are Run From Overseas | BuzzFeed

Read A New Facebook Feature Shows Which Pro-Trump Facebook Pages Are Run From Overseas by Jane Lytvynenko, Craig Silverman (BuzzFeed)
The feature is called "Page History" but now it's gone.
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👓 https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/05/11/what-we-found-facebook-ads-russians-accused-election-meddling/602319002/ | USA Today

Read We read every one of the 3,517 Facebook ads bought by Russians. Here's what we found (USA TODAY)
What we learned about Russian election meddling by reading all 3,517 Facebook ads they were pushing from 2015 to 2017.
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🎧 30 and Counting, Episode 5: Leaving Facebook… and replying over email?

Listened to 30 and Counting, Episode 5: Leaving Facebook... and replying over email? by Eddie HinckleEddie Hinckle from 30andcounting.me
In this episode, I talk about my plans to leave Facebook and how I plan to in some ways replace it with a monthly newsletter. Then I brainstorm about how to receive replies and reactions from it.

Eddie shouldn’t have warned so heavily about the technical nature of this microcast. The general ideas are very clear, it’s their implementation which is likely more technical than some would appreciate.

This reminds me that I ought to get back to working on my own newsletter that I’d started to set up ages ago. It’s certainly an interesting way to target friends and family (who are unlikely to use RSS or readers) with updates outside of the traditional silos.

I’m also reminded that David Shanske is using Postmatic as an email newsletter service and it has functionality built in that allows recipients to reply to emailed updates via email which then posts the comments back to the comment section of the particular posts. Might be worth either checking this out or attempting to replicate this type of functionality? The way Postmatic is doing things is on a more post by post basis however, so it might take some additional work to get things to work properly in a newsletter with multiple stories/posts.

Another option is to add “web actions” into posts for replies. Or perhaps even adding other social context UI into newsletters similar to the way I’ve done in prior posts to allow people to respond via Twitter.

Certainly lots of options and ideas to explore.

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👓 How School Shootings Spread | New Yorker

Read How School Shootings Spread by Malcolm GladwellMalcolm Gladwell (The New Yorker)
An increasingly ritualized form of violence is attracting unexpected perpetrators.

An intriguing article whose theory seems both applicable and timely. It also seems extensible to additional areas, some of which I’ve noted in my annotations.

Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia

Most previous explanations had focussed on explaining how someone’s beliefs might be altered in the moment.

Knowing a little of what is coming in advance here, I can’t help but thinking: How can this riot theory potentially be used to influence politics and/or political campaigns? It could be particularly effective to get people “riled up” just before a particular election to create a political riot of sorts and thereby influence the outcome. Facebook has done several social experiments with elections in showing that their friends and family voted and thereby affecting other potential voters. When done in a way that targets people of particular political beliefs to increase turn out, one is given a means of drastically influencing elections. In some sense, this is an example of this “Riot Theory”.


“But group interaction was such that none could admit this without loss of status; in our terms, their threshold for stealing cars is low because daring masculine acts bring status, and reluctance to join, once others have, carries the high cost of being labeled a sissy.” You can’t just look at an individual’s norms and motives. You need to look at the group.

This might also be the same case with fraternity shenanigans and even more deplorable actions like gang rapes. Usually there’s one or more sociopaths that start the movement, and then others reluctantly join in.


If a riot evolves as it spreads, starting with the hotheaded rock thrower and ending with the upstanding citizen, then rioters are a profoundly heterogeneous group.


Granovetter’s model suggests that riots are sometimes more than spontaneous outbursts. If they evolve, it means they have depth and length and a history. Granovetter thought that the threshold hypothesis could be used to describe everything from elections to strikes, and even matters as prosaic as how people decide it’s time to leave a party.


The first seven major shooting cases—Loukaitis, Ramsey, Woodham, Carneal, Johnson and Golden, Wurst, and Kinkel—were disconnected and idiosyncratic.

Seven though? In such a short time period? These must have known about prior ones or else perhaps the theory doesn’t hold as much water. Similarly suicide could be added as a contagion that fits into this riot model as well.


That’s what Paton and Larkin mean: the effect of Harris and Klebold’s example was to make it possible for people with far higher thresholds—boys who would ordinarily never think of firing a weapon at their classmates—to join in the riot.


He disapproved of Adam Lanza, because he shot kindergartners at Sandy Hook instead of people his own age: “That’s just pathetic. Have some dignity, damn it.”

This model of a dialectic suggests that the narrative can be shaped, both by the individual reader and each actor. Can it also be shaped by the media? If these mass-murderers are portrayed as pathetic or deranged would that dissuade others from joining their ranks?
gandalf511 on Oct 13, 2015

gandalf511, I like the idea you’ve elaborated here, and it may work to at least some extent. One other hand, some of these kids are already iconoclasts who are marginalized and may not put much value or faith in a mainstream media representation. The tougher needle to thread is how to strike a middle ground that speaks to potential assailants?

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👓 How a Genealogy Website Led to the Alleged Golden State Killer | The Atlantic

Read How a Genealogy Website Led to the Alleged Golden State Killer (The Atlantic)
Powerful tools are now available to anyone who wants to look for a DNA match, which has troubling privacy implications.

I find this mechanics relating to privacy in this case to be extremely similar to Facebook’s leak of data via Cambridge Analytica. Something crucial to your personal identity can be accidentally leaked out or be made discoverable to others by the actions of your closest family members.

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