What the Cambridge Analytica story and last week’s congressional hearings with Facebook’s CEO are really all about is that people – not even “just” social media users, voters and policymakers – are waking up to the meaning of “big data.” It’s a big story not only because Facebook has more than 2.2 billion users or because Cambridge Analytica may have helped Donald Trump become president, as … [Read more...] about What just happened: ‘Big data’ got personal
Law & Policy
The "Cambridge Analytica scandal," as seen in so many headlines, is giving way to a more thoughtful – and crucial – international discussion about not only data privacy but an even bigger question: where our social development is at this point in the planet's technological development, the part we call the Internet. Here are a few thoughts on that and, below them, links to coverage that I feel … [Read more...] about Social media’s next phase: A new social contract?
They were historic conversations on many levels, and not just because 11 British Members of Parliament flew across the Atlantic to hold hearings with Google, Twitter and Facebook executives (as well as scholars, journalists and news publishers) at George Washington University last week. It was "the first ever live broadcast and public hearing of a House of Commons select committee outside the UK," … [Read more...] about Real news: UK lawmakers’ formal ‘fake news’ hearing in the US
"Trust and civility" were, so very appropriately, the focus of the Family Online Safety Institute's just-ended annual conference this challenging year. "We have witnessed countless examples…of ways that trust in institutions, in organizations and even in each other has been eroded," FOSI CEO Stephen Balkam noted in his opening remarks. "And we have watched how basic civility has been challenged … [Read more...] about Post-FOSI: Online safety now, predictions for 2020
For a must-read article for anyone interested in safety and free speech online, some of the social media industry's most seasoned content moderators – the apps' and sites' safety managers and free speech decisionmakers – went public for the first time. "Their stories reveal how the boundaries of free speech were drawn during a period of explosive growth for a high-stakes public domain, one … [Read more...] about Behind the scenes of safety & free speech in social media