Facebook: Platform, Publisher, or Ministry of Truth?
Facebook is being pilloried for its unwillingness to remove a paid advertisement by President Trump’s reelection campaign after Facebook was notified by the Biden campaign that the ad contained false statements about Joe Biden and his son. On the surface, this seems simple, and Facebook’s decision not to remove the ad seems wrong. But there is much more to the story. Continue Reading →
A Crushing Defeat for Net NeutralityA Crushing Defeat for Net Neutrality
On October 1, the Republican-led Federal Communications Commission (FCC) prevailed in the Washington DC circuit court of appeals and crushed the hopes of those arguing to reinstate net neutrality on a federal level. The responses from the FCC commissioners are split along party lines, so I will not bother to relitigate the case here. But Continue Reading →

Personalized Politics

Personalized Politics
We have entered the age of personalized politics, and it is very important for us to understand what that means. In practice, there are as many candidates in the 2020 presidential race as there are voters with online access in the United States. Every candidate is a customized persona created specifically for us by a complex set of algorithms that very few people fully understand. This means we are all test subjects in an unprecedented sociopolitical experiment that, quite frankly, scares the hell out of me. Continue Reading →
Facebook Libra Partners
If Libra and Calibra are successful, Facebook will have control of information (Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram), weaponized information (a virtual military), and currency (Libra). I’m pretty sure that makes Facebook the largest government on earth. Continue Reading →
Thomas Jefferson
We live in the age of exponentiation. Everything is evolving at an almost unimaginable speed. New tools, techniques, iterations, breakthroughs, and game-changing discoveries happen almost daily. Today, just staying on top of what's happening is practically a full-time job. This raises a question: If free unencumbered commercial enterprises are struggling to keep up with the pace of change, what hope do governments have? Continue Reading →
GDPR
On May 25, a new law called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is going into effect in the European Union. The law was created to protect EU citizens from potential abuses, like the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal. Wondering how this will change your world? Here are 5 things you should know. Continue Reading →

Fake News: A Case Study

Real fake news articles feature fabricated stories crafted to push a particular agenda. In most cases, the thesis of the article is supported by alternative facts (lies). But there are more subtle, more insidious types of fake news. Specifically, articles that might pass a cursory fact check, but have been written to espouse a point of view unintended by the original author. Here’s a quick case study that demonstrates the technique and clearly illustrates why it will be nearly impossible to stop. Continue Reading →