An Engineer’s Concern

The new Facebook, same as the old Facebook; the former Breitbart writer suing Twitter; and more.


  • This is civic tech: Hannah Ojo reports for The Nation online on five tools that are impacting Nigeria’s civic space, including an app that tracks the time individuals await a legal trial, until that time exceeds the time allowed by law.

  • Tech and politics: Writing in Futurism, Alexandra Ossola inquires whether digital voting is the key to a utopia in which society is actually governed by the people.

  • Apple told a university professor who built an app to detect net neutrality violations that his product “has no direct benefits to the users,” Jason Koebler reports for Motherboard. Ahem, excuse me?

  • Buyer beware: Law enforcement agents are hitting up Amazon for information on its customers more often, Christopher Zara reports for Fast Company. Although Amazon does not share what requests pertain to which services, you might think before you speak around your pal, Alexa.

  • Social media matters: A former Breitbart writer named Charles Johnson is suing Twitter over the company’s decision to ban him from their platform, Rory Appleston reports for The Fresno Bee.

  • There’s a new group of skeptics in town, and they’re called “Girthers,” Madison Malone Kircher reports for New York Magazine’s Select/All.

  • Life in Facebookistan: “The public faces the unsatisfying question,” Noam Cohen writes in The New York Times: “Is it better to suffer an engineer’s neglect or an engineer’s concern?”

    The difference between the two might not be very substantial. “Turns out, an enlightened, socially engaged Facebook has a similar outlook as the amoral, audience-seeking Facebook,” Cohen observes. “Each sees connecting online as key to the good life.”

  • Facebook has announced that it will reopen and enlarge an investigation into the influence of Russian propagandists on the U.K.’s Brexit vote, David D Kirkpatrick reports for The New York Times.

  • Opportunity: Mozilla is looking for organizations to host a Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellow for 10 months. Learn more here.