Dictators

NYTimes writer goes behind the scenes of Facebook; Google responds to controversy with GIF; and more.


  • Asaf Ronel profiles the anarchist hacker and Taiwan’s youngest minister, Audrey Tang, for Haaretz, starting with her talk from Personal Democracy Forum earlier this year, which began: “I am literally from the future.”

  • Internet providers tell the FCC what their dream net neutrality rules look like, Tony Romm reports for Recode, including “fast lanes” for connecting self-driving cars.

  • Google responded to a request for comment on the recent Wall Street Journal article about funding academics with a gif of the cited scholars tweeting corrections and complaints about inaccuracies in the article and the Campaign for Accountability report it was based on, Frederic Lardinois reports for TechCrunch.

  • Life in Facebookistan: The New York Times’ Kevin Roose goes behind the scenes of the little communities known as groups that populate Facebook, the backbone of Zuckerberg’s plan to “give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”

    “During my weeks of Facebook group immersion, I was reminded of how much early 2000s message-board chatter was banal, off-topic or argumentative,” Roose writes. “But I’d also seen a lot of intimate conversations that wouldn’t have happened out in the open, and I grew to appreciate the need for these smaller, cordoned-off areas — especially if those areas can be carefully patrolled for signs of bad behavior. Whether it’s Self-Taught Programmers (25,809 members) or Kayak Newbies (9,910 members), perhaps the marketplace of ideas could be improved with a few more walls.”

  • Culture wars: Writing in The New York Times, John Schwartz ponders how we (the collective we, I guess?) should discipline misbehaving tech execs.

  • Although the feasibility of that proposition is questionable, when company executive wield outsized power. A recent Vox piece by Elizabeth Anderson explains how bosses are like dictators.

  • Get involved: Propublica is looking for former IBM employees as part of a research project. If that’s you, learn more and submit your info here.

  • Opportunity: Rhize is looking for a director of operations and growth—could that be you? Learn more here.

  • Attend: Are you in London this weekend? The Nonprofit foundation Fourth Industrial Revolution is hosting a Politician AI Hackathon. Learn more here.

  • Watch: The NYC Open Data Team will be presenting their annual report at Civic Hall tomorrow evening. Tickets have already sold out but you’ll be able to livestream the event on Civic Hall’s Facebook page.

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