Articles by date
24 January 2018
What if a Healthier Facebook Is Just ... Instagram? (New York Times)
For the past several years, Facebook has been conducting what amounts to an A/B test on human society, using two different social media apps.
Facebook admits social media sometimes harms democracy (Washington Post)
Facebook said Monday that it fell short in preventing the social media network from being used for foreign meddling in the U.S. presidential election.
Facebook will roll out a new set of tools aimed at making it easier for users to make informed choices about their privacy in response to sweeping new European privacy laws, according to the company’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg.
Facebook thought it was more powerful than a nation-state. Then that became a liability (Washington Post)
Mark Zuckerberg’s crusade to fix Facebook this year is beginning with a startling retreat. The social network, its chief executive said, would step back from its role in choosing the news that 2 billion users see on its site every month.
Hackers stole a total of £130bn from consumers in 2017, including £4.6bn from British internet users, according to a new report from cybersecurity firm Norton.
The head of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre has warned that a major cyber-attack on the UK is a matter of “when, not if”, raising the prospect of devastating disruption to British elections and critical infrastructure.
22 January 2018
It has been credited with everything from democratising news to helping to overthrow dictators but it appears that the love affair with social media may be over.
The corporate watchdog wants new powers for its investigators to go undercover to combat financial crime on the dark web.
21 January 2018
Satellites serve as an important option to deliver broadband services to residences and businesses in rural and remote regions throughout the world. In OECD countries, the majority of people live in urban areas or at locations that are closely settled enough to use other broadband access technologies on a cost effective basis.
How to tame the tech titans: The dominance of Google, Facebook and Amazon is bad for consumers and competition (The Economist)
Not long ago, being the boss of a big Western tech firm was a dream job. As the billions rolled in, so did the plaudits: Google, Facebook, Amazon and others were making the world a better place. Today these companies are accused of being BAADD—big, anti-competitive, addictive and destructive to democracy. Regulators fine them, politicians grill them and one-time backers warn of their power to cause harm.
20 January 2018
Twitter has admitted that more than 50,000 Russia-linked accounts used its service to post automated material about the 2016 US election – a far greater number than previously disclosed.
Facebook will now ask users to rank news organizations they trust (Washington Post)
Facebook unveiled major changes Friday to the News Feed of its 2 billion users, announcing it will rank news organizations by credibility based on user feedback and diminish its role as an arbiter of the news people see.
18 January 2018
Russia moves toward creation of an independent internet (Deutsche Welle)
Freedom on the internet has diminished over the years in Russia: people go to jail for posts on social media, there's a ban on VPN services and expanded data storage is hard to come by. And recent moves by the Russian government indicate that further developments are yet to come.
Enforcement of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is coming on 25 May and as of yet, ICANN still hasn’t worked out a way to deal with the conflicts between the collection of domain name registration data (WHOIS) and the requirements of GDPR.
17 January 2018
YouTube Adds More Scrutiny to Top-Tier Videos (New York Times)
The decade-plus evolution of YouTube from repository of cat videos and pirated content to potential TV replacement hit a road bump last year when marketers discovered their advertisements were showing up next to extremist videos and other unsavory content.
The Senate cleared the path on Tuesday for Congress to extend the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance program for six years with minimal changes, rejecting bipartisan calls to first vote on amendments that would have imposed significant new privacy protections when the program sweeps up Americans’ emails.
Flurry of Lawsuits Fight Repeal of Net Neutrality (New York Times)
The legal fight against the Federal Communications Commission’s recent repeal of so-called net neutrality regulations began on Tuesday, with a flurry of lawsuits filed to block the agency’s action.
16 January 2018
Alexa, We're Still Trying to Figure Out What to Do With You (New York Times)
These days, you can find virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Assistant in all sorts of things, from smart speakers and smartphones to washing machines and bathroom mirrors.
15 January 2018
Internationalised domain names are a key component of a truly multilingual internet. It’s slow progress making the internet, and the Domain Name System, truly multilingual. The introduction of IDNs started around a decade ago with hybridised IDNs – that is the top level domain being in ASCII characters and IDN characters available for the second, or sometimes third, level.
14 January 2018
In Some Countries, Facebook's Fiddling Has Magnified Fake News (New York Times)
One morning in October, the editors of Página Siete, Bolivia’s third-largest news site, noticed that traffic to their outlet coming from Facebook was plummeting.
Blockchain or Blockheads? Bitcoin Mania Mints Believers and Skeptics (New York Times)
Sometimes life shows you what absurd really is. This is one of those times. I’m talking about the phenomenon known as Bitcoin, a monetary system based on computation, complex algorithms and — let’s face it — communal delusion.
On 11 January 2018, a crime group suspected of hosting a large-scale illegal IPTV streaming business has been dismantled. The investigations were led by the Cypriot Police – Intellectual Property Crime Unit, with the support of the Cybercrime Division of the Greek Police, the Dutch Fiscal Investigative and Intelligence Service (FIOD), the Cybercrime Unit of the Bulgarian Police, Europol’s Intellectual Property Crime Coordinated Coalition (IPC³) and with the support of members of the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA). In total, four individuals have been arrested and 17 houses searches have been carried out in Cyprus, Bulgaria and Greece.
In Germany, online hate speech has real-world consequences: A new study finds that anti-refugee rhetoric on Facebook is correlated with physical attacks (The Economist)
... New research suggests that this digital hatred is now spilling over into the real world. A paper by Karsten Müller and Carlo Schwarz of the University of Warwick finds a strong association between right-wing, anti-refugee sentiment on German social-media sites and violent crimes against refugees. Using data from the Facebook page of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and statistics on anti-refugee incidents collected by local advocacy groups, the authors find that for every four additional Facebook posts critical of refugees, there was one additional anti-refugee incident. This relationship appears to be driven by violent crimes such as arson and assault, and cannot be explained by local social-media usage or demography.
12 January 2018
Magazine subscriptions that mysteriously end up in your online shopping cart. Items with 50 people looking at them "right now" that are still for sale weeks later — these are the internet's "dark patterns".
Mark Zuckerberg announced a major overhaul of Facebook’s News Feed algorithm that would prioritize “meaningful social interactions” over “relevant content” on Thursday, one week after he pledged to spend 2018 “making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent”.