Mammon category archive
A maskless marauder drops the (figurative) mask. (Warning: short ad at the end.)
Bryan Greenspun, publisher of the Las Vegas Sun, remembers a chance encounter:
I remember almost 20 years ago, I was in Israel for Shimon Peres’ 80th birthday. Myra and I wound up in a car with Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. I took the opportunity to ask them to explain to me why social media platforms were not held to the same standards regarding the publishing of false, libelous and misleading news and information the same way newspapers, television, radio and magazines were.
They happily explained that the law did not find them to be publishers in the traditional sense. Since they did not ”curate” the information — meaning no humans made decisions about what to publish on their sites — they could not be held responsible for truth, falsity, defamation, lying, incitement and a whole host of other proscriptions that applied to traditional publishers.
I told them I didn’t agree; the way they disseminated information and news to their users was no different that what we did for our readers. And, I asked them, if you are not responsible, who is? They laughed as in they didn’t care.
More memories at the link.
Plus, here’s some more thoughts about the algorithm.
John Oliver reacts to the news that AT&T is the primary funder for the far right One America Network.
Video via C&L, which has commentary.
The company that now calls itself “At&T” can change it name as often as it wants to (remember Cingular?), but it’s still Southwestern Bell, arguably one of the worst of the “Baby Bells.”
Writing for the EFF, Katherine Trendacosta argues that Facebook, like Crabby Appleton, is rotten to the core. A nugget:
For Facebook, the heat never dies down. The company is always in the middle of one spectacular scandal or another. Haugen’s testimony confirms what we long suspected – Facebook’s neverending crises are the result of a rotten corporate culture and awful priorities.
Ms. Haugen told Congress that she thinks Facebook should be reformed, not broken up. But Facebook’s broken system is fueled by a growth-at-any-cost model. The number of Facebook users and the increasing depth of the data it gathers about them is its biggest selling point. In other words, Facebook’s badness is inextricably tied to its bigness.
Leonard Pitts, Jr., offers a solution to the toxicity of Facebook (and of “social” media in general).
Drew Sheneman cuts through the–er–marlarky. A nugget:
Zuckerberg throws up his hands, mumbles something vague about the first amendment and proclaims for the millionth time that they’re not a publisher — because that would make them liable for what they publish — but merely a platform for others to express themselves. What a crock. Once you start tweaking the algorithm to decide what users see and when they see it, you’re a publisher. Congress should act and redraft the laws to make sure they can be held accountable as one.
Methinks he may have a point worthy of consideration.
The surveillance state is real, fueled, not by the government, but by private greed shilling for sales and by pathetic individuals shouting into their “smart” phones, “Look at me, me, me, me! I’m an influencer!”
I was banking at Wells Fargo because Wells gobbled up the bank that gobbled up the bank that I was banking at.
Moving a bank account is a hassle, especially if you have set up automatic payments, but I left Wells when the “creating fake accounts” scandal broke five years ago and am glad I did.
H/T to my brother in Virginia’s Northern Neck for linking me to this story.
The Zuckerborg is implementing a new Ministry of Truth.
Once again, we are reminded that “social” media isn’t.