When Algorithms Cheat, who checks them? 

Amazon Says It Puts Customers First. But Its Pricing Algorithm Doesn’t.

Buy Box

Unseen and almost wholly unregulated, algorithms play an increasingly important role in broad swaths of American life. Read More

Are Brands Catfishing for Sales with Your Selfies?

Washington said her image has been used on multiple beauty and style online shopping sites, and she thinks they may all be affiliates of DressLilly.com.

Source: People Can’t Stop Laughing At This Wig Site’s Hilariously Bad Edit Of A Stolen Image | BuzzFeed News

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GOTTA BE A BETTER WAY: eyewitness videos on social media present ethical dilemmas

As news sharing on social platforms gathers steam, breaking news videos shot by eyewitnesses are going viral every other week. The phenomenon raises a host of questions for publishers, platforms, and eyewitnesses themselves. How can journalists ensure videos are authentic and judge whether it’s ethical to re-publish them? How can social platforms prevent fake news content from proliferating? How can journalists minimize harm to eyewitnesses who are suddenly thrust into the center of a breaking news cycle?


Source: There’s gotta be a better way’: Ethical dilemmas surround eyewitness video


 

Facebook Overestimated Key Video Metric for Two Years

Raise your hand if you are not the least surprised:

For the past two years Facebook only counted video views of more than three seconds when calculating its “Average Duration of Video Viewed” metric. Video views of under three seconds were not factored in, thereby inflating the average. Facebook’s new metric, “Average Watch Time,” will reflect video views of any duration. That will replace the earlier metric.

In its note to clients, Publicis said the change wasd an attempt to obfuscate Facebook’s earlier miscalculations.

“In an effort to distance themselves from the incorrect metrics, Facebook is deprecating [the old metrics] and introducing ‘new’ metrics in September. Essentially, they’re coming up with new names for what they were meant to measure in the first place,” the memo said. Read More

Overcoming Algorithmic Bias

Facebook Wall picture of two people standing in front of white board at Facebook HQ

However, removing human writers from Trending doesn’t necessarily eliminate bias. Human bias can be embedded into algorithms, and extremely difficult to strip out. That’s one of the conclusions from a study (pdf) of a popular algorithm used for processing language from Princeton University and the University of Bath released as a draft yesterday (Aug. 25). It’s currently under review for publication in a journal. Read More

Publishing Violence in the Age of Social Media

Instagram Posts May Have Escalated Fatal Standoff, Police Say

The episode highlights Facebook’s increasingly complicated role in documenting violence, and in some cases, its active place in the middle of it. Before the shots were fired, the Instagram posts caught the police’s attention. Read More

The Internet of Things has a dirty little secret: it’s not really yours

What we really need from those building the Internet of Things is commitment. Companies should step up and guarantee the longevity of their products, no matter the cost or bind it might put them in. If I buy a thermostat, it should last at least five years — at least enough time for me to start lusting after something else. Read More

Internet 101: Sometimes You Just Gotta Take The Damn “L” 

Yeah… I’ma tell you like Will Evans told me: if somebody messages something reckless / ignorant / snarky at you, “Mmm–How many followers they got? Only 127 people care what this cat got to say? Not Even worth the time.” That’s been my litmus test for twitter fingers for the longest. Jordan breaks that shit down into math, “I don’t respond to people with 40,000 tweets and 400 followers.”

 

+Commentary: This is an interesting and very funny look at the psychology behind Twitter, with some really great tips & hints.

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I’m calling B.S. on A.I. by Aki Ranin

Algo is not A.I.

The reason a lot of these companies are tagging their selfies with #machinelearning is that they have some cool algorithm. Sweet I.P. bro! News flash: algos are not intelligent. Algos take in data that you hand-picked, and probably pre-formatted, complete some operation you specified explicitly, and produce results which are predictable.Intelligence is not predictable. Intelligence does whatever IT thinks is best.


Source: I’m calling B.S. on A.I. by Aki Ranin | LinkedIn


 

#StayWoke or Still Snoozing? Optics, Broken Promises, and Twitter

Sweet Jesus, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s #StayWoke Shirt Is Incredibly Embarrassing

A Twitter-branded #StayWoke T-shirt: a truly powerful message from Jack Dorsey, the CEO of a company with a 3 percent black/Latino workforce, one that just appointed a white man as its head of diversity to boot. Read More

Never-Ending Myths About Online Abuse

After building online communities for two decades, we’ve learned how to fight abuse. It’s a solvable problem. We just have to stop repeating the same myths as excuses not to fix things.


Source: The Immortal Myths About Online Abuse —@anildash Medium


+Commentary: This is a great read…and necessary, since constant reinforcement of this idea demands disabusing the trope that we should just “ignore it” for it to go away is utterly insane. It hasn’t worked, and frequently leads to business lost, a damaged brand, a reduction in ability to provide for yourself or family. It can at times even be physically violent & threatening. This not only affects the people who are targeted but will extend to those they love, the businesses they work at, and other tertiary lives.

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Why stealing jokes on Twitter matters to whiney cry-babies 

 

Retweets do lead to exposure, which can lead to offers of work. Many people I know have been approached for (paid) writing jobs purely on the basis of their personal Twitter accounts. Many of them aren’t writers or comedians by trade, but this gives them an opportunity to do something they enjoy and make either essential or additional income. In some cases it has even led to entire career changes. It has genuinely changed lives and bank balances.

Please take time to read the whole thing, as we are going to dive in-depth into attribution, theft, intellectual property, etc… in the coming days:

Source: Why stealing jokes on Twitter matters to whiney cry-babies | Ben


 

Satan’s Credit Card: Is The Future Of Money — Mobile Payments?

Satan’s Credit Card: What The Mark Of The Beast Taught Me About The Future Of Money

The first thing you’ll notice if you ever decide to surrender your wallet is how damn many apps you’ll need in order to replace it. You’ll need a mobile credit card replacement — Apple Pay or Android Pay — for starters, but you’ll also need person-to-person payment apps like Venmo, PayPal, and Square Cash. Then don’t forget the lesser-knowns: Dwolla, Tilt, Tab, LevelUp, SEQR, Popmoney, P2P Payments, and Flint. Then you might as well embrace the cryptocurrency of the future, bitcoin, by downloading Circle, Breadwallet, Coinbase, Fold, Gliph, Xapo, and Blockchain. You’ll also want to cover your bases with individual retailer payment apps like Starbucks, Walmart, USPS Mobile, Exxon Speedpass, and Shell Motorist, to name but a few. Plus public and regular transit apps — Septa in Philadelphia, NJ Transit in New Jersey, Zipcar, Uber, Lyft. And because you have to eat and drink, Seamless, Drizly, Foodler, Saucey, Waitress, Munchery, and Sprig. The future is fractured.


Source: Satan’s Credit Card: What The Mark Of The Beast Taught Me About The Future Of MoneyBuzzFeed News


 

Ad Blockers: Saving Data and Time? 

I confess, I use ad blockers. I block ads. I even had an ad or two on my website and still I use them. I can’t even say I’m anti-ads. I want sites to make money and the people providing them with content to get paid, but honestly, ads drag down web pages something awful. More and more reports are bearing that out.

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Did You Notice?

Instagram Made a Huge Change—and It’s Not the Logo

On March 15th, Instagram announced that it would eventually be changing people’s feeds and no longer displaying images chronologically but rather in accordance with some proprietary algorithm. Instagram–now a division of Facebook–claimed that such a change would benefit users, because they miss about 70 percent of images in their feeds, according to the firm’s calculations. A change ensuring that people see the images they are most likely to appreciate, seems, at least at first glance, to be quite positive.

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Nate Silver unloads on The New York Times

To those with their ears attuned to fissures in the media world related to data journalism, the use of the word “data” was pointed. That, plainly, was what Silver responded to. The site’s election podcasts generally feature Silver and several other of the site’s election team discussing the race, with particular attention paid to polls.

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When the News Loses Its Soul

Facebook’s algorithm will control journalism if we let it

Gizmodo‘s Michael Nunez delved into the lives of Facebook’s contract journalists in a well-shared piece:

Over time, the work became increasingly demanding, and Facebook’s trending news team started to look more and more like the worst stereotypes of a digital media content farm. Managers gave curators aggressive quotas for how many summaries and headlines to write, and timed how long it took curators to write a post.

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Illma Gore (crop) 'Make America Great Again'

F/UP: Illma Gore

Illma Gore: ‘If anyone is going to be threatened by a small penis, it’s Trump’

Artist whose painting of nude Trump went viral gives her account of being the target of his campaign’s hate machine and being physically attacked in LA


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Do algorithms marginalize our lives and choices?

Investigating the algorithms that govern our lives

Investigating the algorithms that govern our lives - Columbia Journalism Review

As online users, we’ve become accustomed to the giant, invisible hands of Google, Facebook, and Amazon feeding our screens. We’re surrounded by proprietary code like Twitter Trends, Google’s autocomplete, Netflix recommendations, and OKCupid matches. It’s how the internet churns. So when Instagram or Twitter, or the Silicon Valley titan of the moment, chooses to mess with what we consider our personal lives, we’re reminded where the power actually lies. And it rankles.

algorithms cjr article

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The dark side of Guardian comments

How should digital news organisations respond to this? Some say it is simple – “Don’t read the comments” or, better still, switch them off altogether. And many have done just that, disabling their comment threads for good because they became too taxing to bother with.

But in so many cases journalism is enriched by responses from its readers. So why disable all comments when only a small minority is a problem?

At the Guardian, we felt it was high time to examine the problem rather than turn away.

+NOTE: some really great interactive visualizations go along with the data accompanying this article at the link below:


Source: The dark side of Guardian commentsThe Guardian


 

The important, recent and popular

Facebook is eating the world

Here is a definite must-read for everyone. Pondering the long-term viability of publishing when they are no longer in control of the distribution channels. How you get to read or who gets to decide what you see?


Illustration: AP | 9m read |original

Our news ecosystem has changed more dramatically in the past five years than perhaps at any time in the past five hundred. We are seeing huge leaps in technical capability—virtual reality, live video, artificially intelligent news bots, instant messaging, and chat apps. We are seeing massive changes in control, and finance, putting the future of our publishing ecosystem into the hands of a few, who now control the destiny of many.

Social media hasn’t just swallowed journalism, it has swallowed everything. It has swallowed political campaigns, banking systems, personal histories, the leisure industry, retail, even government and security. The phone in our pocket is our portal to the world.

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Is this a good idea, YES! This year, maybe not.

“Google Posts” embeds a one-way social network directly into search results

There’s a weird new feature popping up in Google search results called “Google Posts.” It seems to be a place for Google to directly host content in a post-Google+ world and to embed this content directly into search results. Imagine orphaned Google+ posts with the Google+ branding stripped out, and you’re most of the way there. [Read More Below]


Source: “Google Posts” embeds a one-way social network directly into search results | Ars Technica


 

Think Before You Appropriate

Think Before You Appropriate PDF

Download “Think Before You Appropriate” A guide for creators & designers

Weekly Must+Reads

Short: Object Recogntion |  Medium: Buzzwords |  Long: Defense of Being Average

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Weekly Must+Reads

Short: Revenge Porn King Sentenced |  Medium: Not “Freelancer” |  Long: OOPS! Google Keyword Planner

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Weekly Must+Reads

Short:Emojis  |  Medium: Digital Age Mental Health |  Long: Gawker+Women=Problem

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Weekly Must+Reads: Friday 13th Edition

Short: Freebooting |  Medium: Women as IoT |  Long: Living & Dying in AirBNB

_above are links to the reading lengths of the various articles/links below_

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Weekly Must+Reads

Short: Millennial Tech Survey |  Medium: IoT Wants |  Long: $70,000 Starting Salary

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Weekly Must Reads

Short: Next Gen Mktg |  Medium: Twitter Removes Gifs |  Long: Big Data & Disaster Prep

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Weekly Must+Reads

Short: Peeple=Creepy |  Medium: Why You Share Content |  Long: Jack’s Back

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Negotiations: Currency of Attention

Now, it’s reasonable for me to expect that the site requires a revenue stream. It’s reasonable to expect that there’ll be some way to monetise my presence there. But that’s it; that’s where the line is. In every other context in life, I get to choose whether to participate in the resulting transaction. With advertising, though, you’ve made the decision for me – in fact, several decisions: the means, format, and currency of exchange.

It’s the last one that’s particularly troubling. Without even giving me the chance to opt out, you’ve declared – as soon as I stepped in the door, and before I’ve looked around – that I owe you the currency of attention. Read More

Today’s Must Reads

Short: Watch+Earn App |  Medium: Web Ads Don’t Work |  Long: Fake Traffic Schemes

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