zeynep tufekci


intro via Howard, here (interview below).

via Howard:

While strong points of view from all quarters are necessary when new technologies are debated in the public sphere, Tufekci captured my attention by her combination of empirical scholarship, ability to tackle nuanced explanations in straightforward prose, and willingness to challenge dunderheaded proclamations by more famous commentators.

pluralistic ignorance defn

reeks of power. the graceful power when people figure out what matters most.

i looked it up. it’s in wikipedia here.


find/follow her here:


zeynep's site

from site:

Exploring the interactions between technology and society. I’m an fellow at the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University and an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. I was previously a fellow at Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society and an assistant professor of sociology at UMBC –my (previous) university web page can be found here

also linked in post by Howard:

Does Facebook Cause Loneliness? Short answer, No. Why Are We Discussing this? Long Answer Below.

love the – why are we discussing this..


via http://dmlcentral.net/blog/zeynep-tufekci/networked-politics-tahrir-taksim-there-social-media-fueled-protest-style

1- Lack of organized, institutional leadership.

2- Organized around a “no” not a “go.

The closest example to a mass participatory online environment that tries to negotiate complex outcomes is Wikipedia.

3- A feeling of lack of institutional outlet.

4- Non-activist participation.

5- External Attention.

6- Social Media as Structuring the Narrative.

Twitter is the new spin room for the 21st century.

revolution will be tweeted

7- Breaking of Pluralistic Ignorance and altering of Collective Action dynamics.

8- Not Easily Steerable Towards Complex, Strategic Political Action.


Zeynep adds much to insight/conversation/goings-on et al – at Taksim Square – ie: standing man


a selection of her writings ..

zeynep a selection


on Malala and noble peace prize  a careful and thoughtful piece on the Nobel decision :

Fortunately for the world, there is no shortage of such brave, courageous individuals. In fact, there is an abundance of them, especially in poor, authoritarian countries. If you think Malala is rare, that is probably because you have not spent much time in such countries. Most Malalas, however, go nameless, and are not made into Western celebrities.

very fitting with the Jack et al mentality..


on movements..

movements by zeynep

However, this lowering of coordination costs, a fact generally considered to empower protest mobilizations, may have the seemingly paradoxical effect of contributing to political weakness in the latter stages, by allowing movements to grow without building needed structures and strengths, including capacities for negotiation, representation, and mobilization. 

This is not to say that there’s an absence of potentially very significant impacts on political mobilization from digital tools. The rise of online symbolic action – clicking on “Like” or tweeting about a political subject – though long derided as “slacktivism,” may well turn out to be one of the more potent impacts from digital tools in the long run, as widespread use of such semi-public symbolic micro-actions can slowly reshape how people make sense of their values and their politics. Digital tools greatly promote homophily, and thus, potentially, movement formation, by allowing similar-minded people to find and draw strength from each other. These tools also greatly complicate ruling by censorship and also challenge pluralistic ignorance – a situation in which people falsely believe that their privately-held beliefs are in the minority when, in fact, they are not.


sherpa ness

zeynep by ethan

we’re getting to base camp without developing altitude awareness – in other words, some of the internet’s benefits have significant handicaps as side effects. The result: we see more movements, but they may not have impact or staying power because they come to public attention much earlier in their lives. 

The internet gives us some new capacities, but that may undermine other capacities: we end up at base camp very easily, but we don’t know how to negotiate Hillary’s step. We can carry out the spectacular street protest, but we can’t build a larger movement to topple or challenge a government.

Protests are very good at grabbing attention and putting forth counternarratives. They create bonding between diverse groups. They also signal capacity, but it’s a different capacity than it might have been fifteen years ago. Zeynep tells us that this is not a “cheap talk” argument – protesting isn’t too easy – it’s just that a protest isn’t going to topple the government. This isn’t a slactivism argument either – it’s an argument about capacities. The internet seems to be very good at building a spectacular local optima – a street protest – without forcing deeper capacity development.

She urges us to consider “network internalities”, development of ties within networks that would allow social networks to become effective actors. Movements get stuck at no, she argues, because they’ve never needed to develop a capacity for representation, and can only coalesce around saying no, not building an affirmative agenda. 

– – –

Sherpas strike on Everest, after 16 die fixing ropes on Khumbu Icefall so the tourists can rush through the danger.http://t.co/x1l4Uqa7rB

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/zeynep/status/458976199453474816

But my interest in the Everest story isn’t just that I’d used it as a metaphor, obviously. I think it’s emblematic of a lot of what’s wrong.

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/zeynep/status/458978350736744448


social media as convo

How could they both get it so wrong? I believe it is because neither have actually understood how social media works as a conversation and as a community. 

How should it have been written? In one word: When trying to understand social media presence, dear journalists, don’t peruse. Engage. Because that’s how the medium works.


140 journos


no nate

The group chooses to adopt values that are rejected by the society that’s rejecting them.

Lack of critical awareness about the sea in which one swims is a very difficult problem to overcome and requires dropping down defenses to listen, as a first step.

– – – – – – – –

prejudice long


after the protests

Media in the hands of citizens can rattle regimes. It makes it much harder for rulers to maintain legitimacy by controlling the public sphere. But activists, who have made such effective use of technology to rally supporters, still need to figure out how to convert that energy into greater impact. The point isn’t just to challenge power; it’s to change it.

hoping the last five years have been toward that..


turkeys twitter ban

Let alone be deterred, the number of Tweets in Turkish and from Turkey were close to record-breaking levels.

People in Turkey had banned the ban.

One Twitter user immediately replied to the Presidetn: “What DNS settings are you using to circumvent?” That said so much more than all the commentary. I laughed out loud. So much for the ban.

  • This is a disaster for the Turkish government, but also a great showing by the people in Turkey in their creative, resilient response.
  • People are backing up their networks to WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook and whatever else I probably don’t even know about. The country is fairly wired, and massive media censorship of the past few years has meant social media is a lifeline that many have adopted.

In short, no, it’s not working. It has backfired, it has been defeated for all the purposes that matter.


Attention is a strong force, untamed by those who unleash it. Hence my conflicted thoughts on #bringbackourgirls:

https://medium.com/message/3c3ab5d1dc0e – Zeynep


june 2014 #pdf14:

zeynep at pdf14



“Movements in a Connected Age: Better at Changing Minds, Worse at Changing Power?”


ferguson, net neutrality, ..


sept 2014 on twitter:


Redundancy restricts networks whereas diversity enriches them.

But the bigger loss will be the networked intelligence that prizes emergence over engagement and interaction above the retweetable.


sept 2014 – climate march:


The question facing humanity is whether we can front-load the bonds of humanity that springs up in disaster response, and turn them into disaster avoidance and preparation?

failure of imagination at this historic juncture is surely as dangerous as not trying anything — however crazy it may seem to try, from the smallest to the grandest.


nov 2014 – research methods



dec 2014:

I’m out of words. I grew up in a country at a time when torture was routine. Just out of words.

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/zeynep/status/542419017118404609


april 2015:

New from me: Technology is not just about efficiency, but also about power & control. http://t.co/NYe7AeGcRv#TtW15  https://t.co/JjkPEuo2WR

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/zeynep/status/589522437047459841

We don’t need to reject or blame technology. This problem is not us versus the machines, but between us, as humans, and how we value one another


may 2015 – discovering the internet

Thanks. How I discovered the internet. RT @katypearce: Network of Networks – The New Yorker – http://t.co/BbsGCBtmNA lovely piece by @zeynep

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/zeynep/status/599579814262153216


july 2015 – july 8 glitch ness of software


And nobody is likely going to get appointed the Czar of How to Make Software Suck Less.

unless perhaps we do this first.. set art ists free..


aug 2015


The world is facing the biggest refugee crisis since World War II, a staggering 60 million people displaced from their homes, four million from Syria alone. World leaders have abdicated their responsibility for this unlucky population, around half of whom are children.


We are mired in a set of myopic, stingy and cruel policies.


The United Nations High Commission for Refugees calculates that 750,000 Syrian children in neighboring countries are out of school simply for lack of money. One result has been a huge rise in child labor, with girls in their early teens (or even younger) being married off.


Children are resilient, when given a chance. It’s a shame how few are.


“Politics is hard” is just not enough.


In 2014, the entire World Food Program budget was a paltry $5.4 billion. The United Nations refugee agency’s budget is a mere $7 billion. To put these numbers in context, Amazon’s market capitalization climbed recently by $40 billion in after-hours trading after it announced that its web-hosting services were slightly more profitable than expected. Saving millions of refugee children fleeing war apparently isn’t worth a fraction of an evening’s speculation on a single stock.


refugee camps


fb and buttons.. ie: like, i care, et al



jan 2016 – usps et al

I love this piece by @zeynep she is so right. I’ll add the US Interstate Highway system & at one point universities

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/knappB/status/683339887458701312


mar 2016 – manufacturing consent/spinach or rock.. ness


“We” are fairly blind to how awesome and huge this power is because we tend to like the messages selected. We miss that they are *selected*.
PS. I had written about this in the context of deciding to “activate the safety check”) hence define what’s worthy.medium.com/message/the-po…
The people who run the Internet platforms are making calls about who they think is deserving of empathy. That makes their decisions thoroughly political.
Algorithms are biased because that’s in their nature. Problem isn’t secret biases of coders.nytimes.com/2016/05/19/opi… pic.twitter.com/pzEcn5IzKZ

Algorithms in human affairs are generally complex computer programs that crunch data and perform computations to optimize outcomes chosen by programmers. Such an algorithm isn’t some pure sifting mechanism, spitting out objective answers in response to scientific calculations. Nor is it a mere reflection of the desires of their programmers.

We use these algorithms to explore questions that have no right answer to begin with, so we don’t even have a straightforward way to calibrate or correct them.

making me think of alphabet ness

injecting tweets (out of zeynep’s order and perhaps not pertaining to her line of thinking.. ).. but fitting in my head..

Thank you! These algorithms have big feedback loops—leading to algorithmic spirals of silence and winner-takes-most. twitter.com/karaswisher/st…

“surfaced by an algorithm” is not a defense of neutrality, because algorithms aren’t neutral.


Without laws of nature to anchor them, algorithms used in such subjective decision making can never be truly neutral, objective or scientific.

laws of nature.. being the ginorm/smallness of all of us – hosting life bits via self-talk as data.. as the day.

injecting tweets (out of zeynep’s order and perhaps not pertaining to her line of thinking.. ).. but fitting in my head..

I wrote about of Facebook but this applies to all subjective decision-making by algorithm.nytimes.com/2016/05/19/opi… pic.twitter.com/JI2upDV8VF


while we now know how to make machines learn, we don’t really know what exact knowledge they have gained. If we did, we wouldn’t need them to learn things themselves: We’d just program the method directly.


The first step forward is for Facebook, and anyone who uses algorithms in subjective decision making, to drop the pretense that they are neutral. ……..What we are shown is shaped by these algorithms, which are shaped by what the companies want from us, and there is nothing neutral about that.

Dmytri ness

injecting tweets (out of zeynep’s order and perhaps not pertaining to her line of thinking.. ).. but fitting in my head..

There’s a difference between automation to fly a plane & using computation to make a decision with no right answer. This cannot be overcome.
redefine decision making… disengage from consensus
@zeynep There’s only a difference if you are ignorant for the difficulties in flying a plane. “No right answer” can happen there too!
@mspro some parts, yes. doesn’t operate exactly the same way. but media analytics is bringing similar feedback mechanism. (response to likeness to mass media)
Misunderstanding one: algorithms involve no human judgment. Also not really: algorithms reflect unconscious human biases.
I focus on Facebook because it’s consequential but also because it’s a familiar example for computational decision-making. Issue is wider.
CS friends. I DO wish another word besides “algorithm” had emerged to mean complex opaque proprietary decision-making by computation. Alas.
@alexhanna I’m a linguistic descriptivist; I’d push the coined word but would use what people accept & understand.. That’s language for you.

@nathanjurgenson How not general is a big deal. It could have been by zipcode, by city, it could have ten versions it cycled through.

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/zeynep/status/734047285173190656

same time – not same convo .. at least not cognizant to be:
“Design affects how we interact with each other.” – @amywebb #HOWLive https://t.co/GbUYwkZCux
A blog post about my #TEDSummit talk on responsibility, ethics and agency in machine learning is out: blog.ted.com/the-deciders-z…

is this the kind of society we want to build without even knowing we’ve done it? Because we’ve turned decision making over to machines we don’t totally understand?”

Machine learning doesn’t begin from a place of purposeful intention like traditional programming — it’s driven by data, which in and of itself can have a bias.


The decision is ours — but only if we can decide we want to make it. The more we surrender that choice, the more knowledge and power we surrender of the world around us.



If I had choice, I’d choose to be here. I’ve been fascinated by coups & communication technology since childhood.


@zeynep I’m sorry your time off had to be ruined like this. What a terrible coincidence


how internet saved turkey’s internet-hating president

Love this:  https://t.co/KdjyyUTuGq

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/smathermather/status/755150263145598982

A free press and open internet have proved essential to everyone — even those at the height of power.


As the building shook with each explosion, a deputy from the ruling party turned on her phone and started to live stream. It was something I’ve seen protesters in Turkey do countless times before. Apparently, when tanks are in the streets, we all believe in the free flow of information. I hope we can also agree on its value in less dire circumstances.

@jilliancyork @LibyaLiberty Well, people can disagree about tactics, sure.I wish more people discussed them. Make other suggestions.
 Anyone has better ideas, I’M ALL EARS. The money won’t change any dynamics; who is seen as decent will.
tedsummit 2016 – Machine intelligence makes human morals more important
4 min – we don’t really understand what the system learned.. that’s its power..
9 min – machine learning – predictive power – but in a black box
10 min – amplifying our biases
12 min – clearly we need to audit our black boxes

Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 2:49 PM – 4 Nov 2016 :

Uncurated dumps like the Podesta emails are a threat to healthy dissent, even a form of censorship. Me for the NYT:https://t.co/GrdUjr4XI1 https://t.co/ajuslzuYOO (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/794642764713562113?s=17)

Those of us who aren’t reporters need better ways to respond, too. These hacks are done to steal our attention and to confuse us; the only effective response is to refuse to play this game on the hackers’ terms.
I’ve started a newsletter! I’ll use it for stuff too long or yet unbaked for public writing. Won’t archive. Sign up: tinyletter.com/zeynepnotes
from first letter:
It was a delicious subversion of hierarchy—the youngest teaming up with the oldest to overrule the reluctant middle.
so very lovely.. thank you for sharing your stories Zeynep

Milo Beckman (@milobela) tweeted at 10:50 AM – 20 Nov 2016 :

Read this paragraph. Read it twice. The last year suddenly makes a lot more sense… https://t.co/pGA5YASOQh(http://twitter.com/milobela/status/800395935083859968?s=17)

Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 9:44 AM – 19 Nov 2016 :

From my forthcoming book on attention & censorship in the 21st century. Yes I’m rushing as much as I can. Pre-order: https://t.co/5Gk3PqGzW7 https://t.co/0Al77KrHn3 (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/800016844417593345?s=17)

inundating w/info.. goal is to produce resignation, cynicism, sense of disempowerment.. because can’t censor/de-access everything
sounds like flipside of gershenfeld sel law
imagine if we focus our attention there…
disengage from explaining negs/defense..
for all of us…all.. 100%…
that’s the safety net
To understand a thwarted Turkish coup, an anti–Wall Street encampment, and a packed Tahrir Square, we must first comprehend the power and the weaknesses of using new technologies to mobilize large numbers of people. An incisive observer, writer, and participant in today’s social movements, Zeynep Tufekci explains in this *accessible and compelling book the nuanced trajectories of modern protests—how they form, how they operate differently from past protests, and why they have difficulty persisting in their long-term quests for change.
maybe someone who gets/cares about systemic change and has access to a lot of that made-up currency.. we call money… could pay whoever.. so that book can be free… *accessible.. probably to those who could use the insight most…
We have not yet found ways to get together in deeper and multi-layered ways: participatory organizations that can sustain engagement over time
I believe that’s the challenge we face: how to build new institutions of politics and civic engagement? My forthcoming book grapples a lot with these questions. (Spoiler: I have no easy answers).
I’m not content. We should not be content. Things are not fine. Energy and good intentions aren’t enough without strategy, institutions, organizations and those things that give us leverage over where the world is going. With this much energy, with this many people with heart and smarts, and with all these technologies that allow us to connect with one another, we should be able to find a better way forward.

That we have better technology, and so much more of it, is not an excuse, it’s an indictment.

I resolve not to be content.


Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 7:03 AM – 14 Feb 2017 :

Proces + campaign gossip is candy to reporters & editors. It consumed their attention. Vital stories underreported. https://t.co/Ay3gJiXqdc (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/831504123841433600?s=17)

so too… to all of us… in everyday life.
much graver… beyond politics… to 7bn alive people
campos wake up law


twitter and tear gas


A firsthand account and incisive analysis of modern protest, revealing internet-fueled social movements’ greatest strengths and frequent challenges

To understand a thwarted Turkish coup, an anti–Wall Street encampment, and a packed Tahrir Square, we must first comprehend the power and the weaknesses of using new technologies to mobilize large numbers of people. An incisive observer, writer, and participant in today’s social movements, Zeynep Tufekci explains in this accessible and compelling book the nuanced trajectories of modern protests—how they form, how they operate differently from past protests, and why they have difficulty persisting in their long-term quests for change.

Tufekci speaks from direct experience, combining on-the-ground interviews with insightful analysis. She describes how the internet helped the Zapatista uprisings in Mexico, the necessity of remote Twitter users to organize medical supplies during Arab Spring, the refusal to use bullhorns in the Occupy Movement that started in New York, and the empowering effect of tear gas in Istanbul’s Gezi Park. These details from life inside social movements complete a moving investigation of authority, technology, and culture—and offer essential insights into the future of governance.


apr newsletter:

the current technology business model is very compatible with authoritarianism, especially softer (but maybe even more effective) versions of it.

You stop being yourself and quiet down.

am not complaining about recognition for my work, though I deeply deeply wish that it had not become more relevant—I study dark subjects; I fear deep fears. I would like nothing more than for them to be irrelevant, long-tail topics. But that’s not where the world is. If I can contribute at all to making my fears even less likely, I will do whatever I can.

perhaps a nother way

Despite the topics I have been drawn to my whole life, I am an unreasonable optimist–almost incurably so

What is the path forward that doesn’t feel ever-more constraining? ..I have no answer.

let’s try this: a nother way


apr 23 newsletter on bowie and masc and coding..

All this remains to be seen, even in 2017.

**..If all this interests you: I am searching funding for last mile analysis of this dataset (5,200+ lengthy surveys and large number of interviews).

**interested.. but not in asking kids in ms what they think… because that too ..to me… hugely non beneficial…ie:science of people ness

offering previous Maté emails as a glimpse into my lens in regard to roots of healing.. as well as the ongoing voices in my head 24/7 (thanks to you and many others via twitter)..stories about people struggling/oppressed in so many horrifying/inhumane ways..and stories i’ve lived of ms/hs students pouring out heart/soul/voice as authentic (assumed by us and maybe even by them) later to be counted among the incarcerated/suicided/not-us-ed..

as i respond to your apr 23 newsletter..

jumping straight to your **on funding..

thinking about funding for Larry’s flying car and Elon ‘s neural link et al.. and thinking that deep down..they/we-all.. want a better world..

and yet.. here we are..
i so don’t want to have to say.. all this remains to be seen in 2067 ..or whenever.. even if people are then thanking you/Larry/Elon/whoever for insight/change.. but we are all still in some broken feedback loop
i know you have lots of data.. from human voices… but if it’s the wrong data.. for humanity.. ie: if it’s voluntarily complianced data from science of people in schools..
i believe a nother way to live that we are all craving begs funding be as a temporary placebo to focus on self-talk as data..because if we don’t disengage from the pluralistic ignorance of made-up money…we’ll circle back around wondering where the time has gone..(like i’m just now taking in Youngblood‘s take of himself and Mcluhan)


Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 7:13 AM – 4 May 2017 :

This is not an argument against marching or calling. You probably have to do those things just as baseline (their absence signals weakness). (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/860120205036584960?s=17)

huge energy loss
signals weakness to play defense… no?

Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 7:16 AM – 4 May 2017 :

Movements falter when the get stuck on tactics & stop thinking about the underlying dynamic: how do we convey threat by building capacity? (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/860120945461272577?s=17)

convey threat..?
is that our tactic/goal/desire/whatever..?

rather.. let’s spend our energy modeling a nother way

Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 7:19 AM – 4 May 2017 :

Globally, the powerful getting better at countering social movements. Partly why I wrote a book to explain why/how. https://t.co/8ywYvlXawV (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/860121645629026306?s=17)

Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 7:21 AM – 4 May 2017 :

Unfortunately, this discussion brings out a lot of defensiveness—as if one is belittling movements. Defensiveness is not a path to strength. (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/860122219896348672?s=17)

Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 7:23 AM – 4 May 2017 :

My 2¢: You want to spook the R’s voting yes today? Put up a single fundraising page targeting them, raise many millions before the vote. (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/860122717449842689?s=17)

so… how is this not.. spending energies on defense..?

Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 7:36 AM – 4 May 2017 :

Yep. a coalition with national presence should be able to do this. Phone call are great as minimum. Won’t be enough. https://t.co/FgTmEzukez (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/860125954932432896?s=17)

i see this as defense

book is out – twitter and tear gas


My book is out—with a creative commons copy! I hope few of you buy it—so publishers can do this for other

I ask a few of you buy it, but if I make a single penny more from sales, I will donate it to refugee support.


Social movements need to convince people, the powerful only need to confuse them – great convo on tech mediated activism this am w @zeynep https://t.co/KTQNUSmXEv

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/JulieSeaSuth/status/865646581168484352

1 hr audio

9 min – you get your big moment a little before you’re ready

10 min – marches don’t work for everything .. even with massive legitimacy.. not any proportional follow thru on .. what do we do next.. (occupy).. follow thru minuscule compared to potential you thought w size of it

a nother way

12 min – one suggestion i might have.. try to see yourself in terms of those in power

15 min – needs to be threat to their (those in power) fears in terms of infrastructure

16 min – the power.. think of it like a signal.. communicating capacity to do more..

ie: gazelle.. jumping in place.. arbitrarily.. signaling.. i have strong muscles.. chase some other weaker creature.. protests can be quite powerful in signaling something.. ie: airport protests.. helped change a lot of things.. until then wasn’t clear.. so much support for rights of refugees.. there is a constituency

19 min – protests are also important to tell the world something.. ie: airport.. was most effective anti terrorism moment in recent history..  world thought.. wow.. americans are not just bigots..

20 min – for apps.. want it to make things easier.. but if protesting.. want it to get harder.. ie: if easier.. legislature not scared.. doesn’t signal to legislature that you are worth fearing.. not scared of someone just texting a bot.. more hallow because it’s easier.. so use digital tools for things they are good for.. but easy isn’t how you signal..

ads till 25 min

30 min – we’re in san fran.. you can get funding of 50 mill for something that pours water a little better

33 min – if don’t have a decision making strategy for what’s coming up next.. in protest.. get what i call a tactical freeze..

hlb that io dance..

33 min – end up chasing the moment.. repeating.. so people in power see ie: you’re good at holding marches...

35 min – forms of collective decision making.. come together and make decision in participatory way.. people go on reddit/twitter/fb.. and try to make a decision.. but they’re not built to coalesce to a decision..

power gets made from local.. but we need collective decision making tech at scale too..

when in a meeting.. you want meeting to end.. whereas fb whole design is to keep you there.. we’re trying to hold meetings in places unsuitable to hold meetings and come to conclusions… what are the tech solutions to help us have these convos at scale w/o getting into bickering.. trying to do that now ie: loomio sprung up after occupy..  but have to find a new way of decision making.. in 21st cent..

we have means to do this 24/7 sans meetings.. ie: hlb that io dance..

redefine decision making.. because.. public consensus (ie: meetings) always oppresses someone

ie: 2 convos.. as the day [aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]

36 min – a lot of people call themselves the resistance.. how does it make decisions on what’s next.. need to evolve tactics over time.. now have no mech to collectively decide what is needed to do right now..

if people think this kind of energy is going to be forever.. history tells us not.. will slowly get used to new normal.. and we’re already seeing the edges of that..

39 min – 21st cent way of censoring .. is drowning out effectiveness with overload.. true and false..

40 min – what we need more.. better gatekeepers.. et al

rather – gershenfeld sel

41 min – wanting to find a way to assert the authenticity

gershenfeld sel

if social movement.. need to convince people to do something.. if in power.. just need to confuse them..

42 min – in 21st cent.. can’t block link between people and info.. what you want to do is demonize the medium.. break link between getting info and ability to act..

51 min – one sentence advice: build infrastructure.. go local.. meet with people.. collective decision making


Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 6:04 AM – 4 Jun 2017 :

If you want to know why all the finger wagging on “lifelong learning”, meritocracy, consequences, etc. rings hollow: https://t.co/uP42MRnXAs (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/871336795954442241?s=17)

rt via Zeynep

jannypie (@jannypie) tweeted at 6:26 AM – 4 Jun 2017 :

Terrorism is actually the one risk that needs attention to survive https://t.co/XGWNFFHamC(http://twitter.com/jannypie/status/871342400421191680?s=17)


Twitter, Tear Gas, Revolution. How Protest Powered by Digital Tools Is Changing the World @zeynep’s book https://t.co/rB97dpsioJ via @WIRED (http://twitter.com/djanerik/status/872408394388385792?s=17)


TC (@tchopstl_) tweeted at 9:47 PM – 20 Jun 2017 :

This thread is one of the most thoughtful takes I’ve read tonight. https://t.co/p6NsquaWvO(http://twitter.com/tchopstl_/status/877372479404113920?s=17)

Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 8:11 PM – 20 Jun 2017 :

I wrote a book on why left/liberal mvmnts don’t have proportional impact. Comes down to not building infrastructure. https://t.co/7GlSlpKIDd (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/877348137290964992?s=17)


sept 2017 –

We’re building a dystopia just to make people click on ads


it’s like you’re never hardcore enough for youtube..

the algo has figured out that if you can entice people into thinking you can show them something more hardcore.. likely to stay going down that rabbit hole while youtube shows them ads

you see things in order that the algo thinks will entice you to stay on the site longer

here’s the tragedy: we’re building this infra of surveillance authoritarianism merely to get people to click on ads..

and this won’t be orwell’s authoritarianism.. this isn’t 1984.. if authoritarianism is using overt fear to terroize us, we’ll all be scared, but we’ll now it, we’ll hate it and ressist it. but if people in power are using these algos to quietly watch/judge/nudge us.. to predict/id troublemakers/rebels.. at scale.. that authoritarianism will envelop us like a spider’s web.. and we may not even know we’re in it

it’s not the intent/statements people in tech make that matter, it’s the structures/business models they’re building.. and that’s the core of the problem..t

so let’s try a nother structure..

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way

this needs to change.. i can’t offer a simple recipe.. because we need to restructure the whole way our digital tech operates.. everything from the way tech is develop to the way the incentives, econ and otherwise are built into the system..t

perhaps we don’t build.. incentives/econ ..et al.. into the system.. perhaps rather.. we detox them out..

i don’t see how we can postpone the convo anymore.. we need a digital econ where our data/attention is not for sale to he highest bidding authoritarian/demagogue

.. not for sale at all.. ie: no more money/measure..


free speech

zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 6:08 AM – 16 Jan 2018 :

My new essay for @Wired on how “It’s the Golden Age of Free Speech”—except our ideals and battles about “free speech” are now about *attention*, not speech. Besides, can you even believe your lying eyes? It may all be fake. https://t.co/kPY8tII6VJhttps://t.co/IvJKpNJrhJ(http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/953252676145500161?s=17)

zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 6:10 AM – 16 Jan 2018 :

I’m finding much of the recent discussion of free speech to be missing that key point, and not focusing on the true bottleneck, the crucial resource that Facebook and Google control: Attention. Our concepts and worries are outdated. (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/953253096880295936?s=17)

zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 6:16 AM – 16 Jan 2018 :

And that is my “pre-take” on all the Facebook changes—I wrote the essay last Fall. Consequences of last change are too complex to predict, and I don’t think they know either. The crucial point is that they can just go *ta-da* and restructure attention for ~two billion people. (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/953254747540279296?s=17)

In today’s networked environment, when anyone can broadcast live or post their thoughts to a social network, it would seem that censorship ought to be impossible. This should be the golden age of free speech.


HERE’S HOW THIS golden age of speech actually works: In the 21st century, the capacity to spread ideas and reach an audience is no longer limited by access to expensive, centralized broadcasting infrastructure. It’s limited instead by one’s ability to garner and distribute attention. And right now, the flow of the world’s attention is structured, to a vast and overwhelming degree, by just a few digital platforms: Facebook, Google (which owns YouTube), and, to a lesser extent, Twitter.

Today’s phantom public sphere has been fragmented and submerged into billions of individual capillaries. Yes, mass discourse has become far easier for everyone to participate in—but it has simultaneously become a set of private conversations happening behind your back. Behind everyone’s backs.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but all of this invalidates much of what we think about free speech—conceptually, legally, and ethically.

The most effective forms of censorship today involve meddling with trust and attention, not muzzling speech itself. . t.. As a result, they don’t look much like the old forms of censorship at all.

These tactics usually don’t break any laws or set off any First Amendment alarm bells. But they all serve the same purpose that the old forms of censorship did: They are the best available tools to stop ideas from spreading and gaining purchase. They can also make the big platforms a terrible place to interact with other people..t

This idea that more speech—more participation, more connection—constitutes the highest, most unalloyed good is a common refrain in the tech industry. But a historian would recognize this belief as a fallacy on its face. Connectivity is not a pony. Facebook doesn’t just connect democracy-­loving Egyptian dissidents and fans of the videogame Civilization; it brings together white supremacists, who can now assemble far more effectively. It helps connect the efforts of radical Buddhist monks in Myanmar, who now have much more potent tools for spreading incitement to ethnic cleansing—fueling the fastest- growing refugee crisis in the world.

The freedom of speech is an important democratic value, but it’s not the only one.

Today’s engagement algorithms, by contrast, espouse no ideals about a healthy public sphere.

we’ve already seen enough to recognize that the core business model underlying the Big Tech platforms—harvesting attention with a massive surveillance infrastructure to allow for targeted, mostly automated advertising at very large scale—is far too compatible with authoritarianism, propaganda, misinformation, and polarization.

But we don’t have to be resigned to the status quo. . t

 in fairness to Facebook and Google and Twitter, while there’s a lot they could do better, the public outcry demanding that they fix all these problems is fundamentally mistaken.

We can decide how we want to handle digital surveillance, attention-­channeling, harassment, data collection, and algorithmic decision ­making. We just need to start the discussion. Now…t

perhaps.. rather than discussing all that (perhaps that’s part of the status quo) .. we just start living another way.. via 2 convos

not voiceless.. as it could be..


privacy ness

zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 6:05 AM – 30 Jan 2018 :

My latest for the @nytimes. The Strava debacle shows that individualized “informed consent” is not sufficient for data privacy. Given the complexity, companies cannot fully inform us, and thus we cannot fully consent. Data privacy is more a public good. https://t.co/OFWAcpJvkShttps://t.co/vcSeRIw1G5 (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/958325186310307840?s=17)

zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 6:09 AM – 30 Jan 2018 :

With enough data, all data is “personally-identifiable” data. With enough data, machine learning can suss out undisclosed traits. When combined, data can reveal things beyond anyone imagined. Informed consent is not a workable model—let alone “click accept” tiny font legalese. (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/958326346253512704?s=17)

zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 6:20 AM – 30 Jan 2018 :

Yep. Let’s monetize our data person my person is not a solution. It’s like saying let’s solve traffic congestion by letting the rich fly helicopters over cities. It will create more problems than it solves—and not just inequality. https://t.co/TrYZw3UVs9 (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/958329015374360577?s=17)

Andrew Ó Baoill (@funferal) tweeted at 6:17 AM – 30 Jan 2018 :

“Data privacy is … a public good” – interesting insights as always from @zeynep. Compare and contrast to proposals (US-centric) that personal data be monetised as a personal asset – which would exacerbate the inequalities driven by big data. https://t.co/cWfcjkR4dj(http://twitter.com/funferal/status/958328252468166656?s=17)

Andrew Ó Baoill (@funferal) tweeted at 6:17 AM – 30 Jan 2018 :

In relation to the latter type of proposal, it strikes me that copyright is useful analogy – we have assignable (economic) and non-assignable (moral) rights. Personal data should be treated like the latter, not the former. (http://twitter.com/funferal/status/958328254192078849?s=17)

more from zeynep’s nyt post

Part of the problem with the ideal of individualized informed consent is that it assumes companies have the ability to inform us about the risks we are consenting to. They don’t.

What we do know is that these algorithms work better the more data they have. This creates an incentive for companies to collect and store as much data as possible, and to bury the privacy ramifications, either in legalese or by playing dumb and being vague.

What can be done? There must be strict controls and regulations concerning how all the data about us — not just the obviously sensitive bits — is collected, stored and sold.

gershenfeld sel

Companies often argue that privacy is what we sacrifice for the supercomputers in our pockets and their highly personalized services. This is not true. While a perfect system with no trade-offs may not exist, there are *technological avenues that remain underexplored, or even actively resisted by big companies, that could allow many of the advantages of the digital world without this kind of senseless assault on our privacy.

*hlb that io dance..

With luck, stricter regulations and a true consumer backlash will force our technological overlords to take this issue seriously and let us take back what should be ours: true and meaningful informed consent, and the right to be let alone.

i think the only way that will happen.. for everyone.. is if we let go.. and try something completely different..  ie: everyone doing their own thing..

ie: 2 convos.. as the day..


zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 6:48 AM – 5 Feb 2018 :

Everyone, go read this piece by @henryfarrell and @rickperlstein on how fake video technologies interact with media business models—and the tornado about to hit our politics (yes, much more than now). This is important. It’s here. https://t.co/bG6TJOQUcahttps://t.co/Xb6QWc8i2D(http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/960510476181491713?s=17)

It might be impossible to stop the advance of this kind of technology.

indeed.. so let’s try something diff.. ie: gershenfeld sel

Traditional news organizations, fearing that they might be left behind in the new attention economy, struggle to maximize “engagement with content.”

This gives them a built-in incentive to spread informational viruses that enfeeble the very democratic institutions that allow a free media to thrive.

let’s make that incentive irrlevant.. by getting to the root of the problem..

zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 6:55 AM – 5 Feb 2018 :

This is an inflection point. We need new method of authentication that do not yet exist. If you met me in the last few years, you know I’ve been begging technologists in the anti-censorship space to work on this—not just circumvention. Verification is the new anti-censorship. (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/960512083849895937?s=17)

how about a and a is the new anti censorship.. or whatever..

verification…  perhaps both impossible and inhumane

zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 7:22 AM – 5 Feb 2018 :

@SteveBellovin I’m not arguing we can stop production of fakery (that ship has long failed) but we can switch to a new model of authentication filter. I’ve a bunch of ideas how it *could* work! It would be a technical stamp merged with distribution channels plus a new understanding/literacy. (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/960519030519074817?s=17)

perhaps stopping fakery is easier than authentication.. and again.. more humane..

as it could be


I agree w/@zeynep – it’s a non-answer to tell people to log off of google or amazon or facebook. For individuals, yes it’s completely an answer, but fact remains that these networks exist as infrastructure that the public at large rely on. They must be held responsible as such. https://t.co/QK9opm6lWb

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/woolypixel/status/961962703337263104

same reasoning that leaping.. and as the day ness matters..  the all of us ness


zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 6:13 AM – 20 Feb 2018 :

I’m often asked about what if I had a “magic wand.” Interacting through social media is fine. I’m an immigrant; I need, want and will take the whole range: face-to-face to mediated. What I want is TO BE THE CUSTOMER. I want social media in MY interest, in public interest. https://t.co/zWilJxMYaP(http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/965937392942305280?s=17)

how about the art ist..?

as it could be

zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 6:17 AM – 20 Feb 2018 :

When I warned of online politics and asked for transparency and oversight in political ads/info online six years ago, people thought I was nuts. Now we’re moving there. My piece from three years ago: only way out is for us to be customers, not products. https://t.co/LHdmO0N7Tjhttps://t.co/AfjSUTy3Y7(http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/965938511416348673?s=17)

zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 6:20 AM – 20 Feb 2018 :

Folks, you’d be surprised to hear of the intense backlash I got *just* six years ago for saying “Democracy should not just be about how to persuade people to vote for one candidate over another by any means necessary.” We can improve all this. It’s early. https://t.co/2ZNxFdqaGj https://t.co/wHmjmDm0FE(http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/965939213224087552?s=17)


Hamza Shaban (@hshaban) tweeted at 12:51 PM – 17 Mar 2018 :

As Facebook draws distinctions between data breaches and mere “violations”, 3rd party betrayals and its own responsibility, consider @zeynep’s argument that we can’t actually “accept” data privacy agreements because the idea of informed consent is a farce https://t.co/Kl93m4RvHj https://t.co/7aevdbTt16(http://twitter.com/hshaban/status/975082177061847040?s=17)


Folks, I want to emphasize it. We can change all this. It’s so early. The answer isn’t a retreat. There *are* healthier ways of seeking the conveniences and connectivity digital technologies allow. We need to forge ahead in new directions. It’s possible. https://t.co/qg4vivl0EV

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/zeynep/status/982236118216163328

2 convos

as it could be


zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 2:23 PM – 6 Apr 2018 :

Mark Zuckerberg has been apologizing nonstop for more than 15 years. It’s always the same apology for pretty much the same act. When do we talk about the obvious: Facebook’s decisions are primarily driven by its business model. Here’s my latest for @Wired: https://t.co/W8Jh0wHyw0https://t.co/wOsiXY5UEB (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/982353038017875969?s=17)

 If Facebook really were a community, Zuckerberg would not be able to make so many statements about unilateral decisions he has made

Again, this isn’t a community; this is a regime of one-sided, highly profitable surveillance, carried out on a scale that has made Facebook one of the largest companies in the world by market capitalization.


There is indeed a case of Stockholm syndrome here. There are very few other contexts in which a person would be be allowed to make a series of decisions that have obviously enriched them while eroding the privacy and well-being of billions of people; to make basically the same apology for those decisions countless times over the space of just 14 years; and then to profess innocence, idealism, and complete independence from the obvious structural incentives that have shaped the whole process. This should ordinarily cause all the other educated, literate, and smart people in the room to break into howls of protest or laughter. Or maybe tears.

but doesn’t because it’s what we’ve all grown up in.. ie: science of people in schools

These are such readily apparent facts that any denial of them is quite astounding.

schooling the world

zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 2:25 PM – 6 Apr 2018 :

Sheryl Sandberg also claimed that Facebook’s problem is that they’ve been “way too idealistic.” I don’t know people who work for or run Facebook believe this, but if they do, it shows the power of self-deception—after 15 years of deeds, this doesn’t hold. https://t.co/W8Jh0wHyw0(http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/982353532643782656?s=17)

zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 3:15 PM – 6 Apr 2018 :

Look the point isn’t all this due to some evil conspiracy. I’m not claiming that Facebook employees don’t care about users. But incentives and business models shape their behavior—just like other companies and people. (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/982366117829267457?s=17)

fractal ish to school
and so .. schooling the world

ie: used to credential mattering more than community.. no matter what words we use

1/ If the primary purpose of school was education, the Internet should obsolete it. But school is mainly about credentialing.

pluralistic ignorance et al

zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 6:29 PM – 6 Apr 2018 :

On Android. Facebook has apparently been scooping up people’s text messages on Android phones. Not messenger communication—plain text messages. Content and metadata. https://t.co/10F4VST0vs (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/982415074424967173?s=17)

zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 7:15 AM – 7 Apr 2018 :

The way to change Facebook and YouTube—and the whole online economy of surveillance—is to change their incentive structure and business model. Neither Zuckerberg apologizing for the umpteenth time in fifteen years nor legislators yelling at Zuckerberg will get us there. (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/982607845458890752?s=17)

incentive ness


in Sarah Kendzior’s view form flyover country:


zeynep has called the internet ‘a public sphere erected on private property’ ..all voices can speak but only few are heard, amplification is tied to prestige, meaning that where you publish – and what privileges you already have – give your words disproportionate influence..t

as it could be ness:

i think we’re missing what it could be.. big time.. and perhaps.. precisely because we’ve still got that hierarchical format for listening.. ie: you can’t hear me


on google asst making calls pretending to be human by inserting ie: ums

zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 9:23 AM – 9 May 2018 :

As digital technologies become better at doing human things, the focus has to be on *how to protect humans, how to delineate humans and machines, and how to create reliable signals of each—see 2016. This is straight up, delilberate deception. Not okay. https://t.co/XTUn4tvDik(http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/994236536072953856?s=17)

*gershenfeld sel


zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 0:14 PM on Wed, May 23, 2018:
Oh, wow. The ruling is that *muting* is fine, but *blocking* violates First Amendment—cuts off your access to the audience of the original tweet. Twitter could change how all this functions and then we’d have a whole different result. But there is a principle here. Fascinating. https://t.co/c3O94ixOEm


There is a lot of focus on the harms of engagement algorithms and design on Facebook (which are *very* real) but the damage YouTube is doing especially to young people and around the world especially in places with lower literacy/education and weak institutions is immense.
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/zeynep/status/1002567998895423489


zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 6:30 AM – 4 Jun 2018 :
There’s no effective sanction on these giants and no protection of our private information online. This will keep happening in various forms as long as that’s true, and in a few decades, everyone will lament the chance we missed to have a sane basis for our digital world. (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/1003615061880041472?s=17)

gershenfeld sel

as it could be..

let’s not miss it

zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 6:32 AM – 4 Jun 2018 :
There are many civic and personal functions you cannot access without Facebook. School districts put emergency information there! There are congressional campaigns with only Facebook pages. People aren’t dumb, they are stuck. https://t.co/LBYeokjvKR (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/1003615540869582848?s=17)


on elon and thai boys et al via zeynep

thread (s)

zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 5:26 AM – 15 Jul 2018 :

Heard about @Elonmusk’s rescue “submarine”? The cave-diver who masterminded the Thai cave rescue called it a “PR stunt”—that was the politest thing he said. You might be wondering: well, he tried to help. Let me explain with this thread and this NYT piece. https://t.co/ihoqDd8lMfhttps://t.co/MWicaJKaA6(http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/1018456864026132480?s=17)

First, there is nothing wrong with wanting to help. That’s great. Wonderful. I commend @elonmusk and every single person who says they’d like to help—anyone, anywhere. The problem isn’t that at all. But there is a huge lesson here for all of Silicon Valley—if they can listen.

“move fast and break things” I wonder why I think that. (I’m a programmer by the way, just gave it up to move to academia).

I dabbled in caving (no more, too dangerous) and am a certified diver (only open water!!!) and I have a long-term interest in institutional safety *and* Silicon Valley. I don’t want to put down any effort to help but I want to explain this and more. twitter.com/brodieferguson

As humans we do a lot of dangerous things—some for fun (like climbing or cave-diving!) and some routinely as part of modern life (drive, fly, factories, medicine) etc. Many more mature industries and sports have extensive experience in iterative, long-term learning in safety.

There is obviously a lot of smart and creative people in tech, but they suffer from an Achilles Heel trio of weaknesses: self-perceived idealism as excuse, overconfidence in their capabilities outside their own areas of expertise, and lack of attentiveness to details and harms.

In contrast, people like those top cave-divers who found & rescued the boys (their technical achievement & bravery is one for the ages) come from an opposite culture that is no less innovative but very very different. It’s also quite modest so that hides the amazing nature of it.

Stanton and Volanthen—who first made it to the boys and shot the remarkable video of them huddling in jerseys—brushed off media while first entering the cave, refusing to give interviews and just said “we’ve got a job to do.” Volanthen went back to work day after rescue

So Musk’s sub was impractical, and would never work. Ok. What’s the harm & why is Vern Unsworth so irritated? Well, he’s the one who organized everything, got Thai authorities to let cave-divers take over. One Thai Seal had perished and more would, along with boys. Listen up now.

Do have any idea what it must have been for some random guy to convince the Thai gov’t to let a bunch of cave-divers run the whole thing? There were so few of them who could do this that the whole thing halted while they slept. That’s why rescuers hate PR stunts AND VIP visits.

Some billionaire-struck gov’t official might say, hey, let’s try. It distracts. It’s ok to develop a back-up plan, and given odds of a rescue, why not? What’s not okay is to broadcast it, to bug the rescue team directly (find consultants!), and for media to give it such coverage.

Now moving beyond the cave rescue. As I write, Silicon Valley innovation has advantages.. for a young industry. No more. Software is eating the world, and it’s time for the other approach also—iterative learning, domain expertise, safety culture, do no harm as a principle, etc

But the idea that being smart in one domain qualifies one to just dabble in another is dangerous. For example, for long, many SV companies refused to understand they’re in people business and tried to handle it as a side issue that they can handle because they are smart. NOPE.

Repeat: I’m NOT criticizing @elonmusk for trying to help. But his irritation at a Thai official saying his sub was sophisticated but not practical (rescue was almost over) may perhaps be a learning moment? Wealth, fame and power are curses to judgment. None of us would be immune.

Point isn’t that everything should be like the airline industry or like cave-diving. But, look. After the 1996 TWA crash, they put the plane back together. Investigated for four years. Redesigned things. That’s why commercial flying is so safe. This approach needs more respect.

The flashy tech solution and the savior make good movies. But what makes most things work is the quite hero/ine embedded in institutional knowledge—divers who brought decades of knowledge. The Thai officials who let go—must have been hard. Farmers who let their fields be flooded.



via michel fb share

“Back in March, I wrote a piq “YouTube And Its Radicalizing Algorithm” that summarized a sharp New York Times op-ed written by Zeynep Tufekci, a techno-sociologist and a professor at the University of North Carolina. Describing her as “one of the clearest thinkers around on how digital platforms work, how their algorithms understand and shape our preferences, and what the consequences are for society,” Vox’s Ezra Klein Show invited Tufekci last week to discuss radicalization on YouTube and beyond.

The conversation between Tufekci and Klein resulted in a wonderfully informative and thought -provoking podcast focused on social media platforms. “

from 1 hour podcast:

14 min – we owe it to ourselves to say.. how do we design our systems to help us be our better selves.. rather than to constantly temp us w things.. that if we were sat down and asked.. we probably would say.. that’s not what we want..t

spinach or rock ness

15 min – we’re serving chips and candy for breakfast lunch and dinner.. and saying.. that’s what they want.. i don’t think that’s what they want.. this is not good for anybody.. even those businesses..

22 min – in social media age.. attention grabbing becomes this very well rewarded thing

25 mi – media is training us to grab attention.. by rewarding it

27 min – attention is essential to human society.. because we are group animals..

28 min – e: we’re finding out.. what truly wins in a competitive attention space: mean, shocking, ..  we are taught that competition is always/everywhere a good thing.. i think what we’re seeing.. that world w this much competition means we need to go in directions that are not great.. competition seems to me seems to be an underrated force in all this

31 min – the algos have figured out the mundane.. it doesn’t get another click.. so goes for the shocking..

32 min – ed is part of it.. creating labels part of it .. but huge part of what we need to do is find ways to make that supply more inline w what we want in the long term..t

listen to 7bn curiosities.. everyday..

set up a world in which .. when we’re hungry.. we’re offered nutritious food.. you have to do all things so our choices are better structured..t

why do we have to default to choices.. why can’t we default to listening..

ie: tech as it could be..

34 min – we go w the structure.. w the options in front of us.. tension between our own agency and choices we’re offered.. if we use our agency at a meta level and structure things betters..

36 min – what are things as a society we want to do.. not decisions to be made by a few people/co’s to say.. what are the structures/rules in which we have a healthier society..t

2 convers.. as infra

38 min – e: you could give people a better choice..

again – why do we have to default to choices.. why can’t we default to listening..

40 min – e: they’re using us to shape the algo’s.. but they don’t trust us to meta shape the algo’s.. t

this is why we’re in a broken feedback loop.. we need a structure that would meta shape the algos for humanity

mufleh humanity lawwe have seen advances in every aspect of our lives except our humanity – Luma Mufleh

you also could have a world in which defaults were news from actual resources and fake stuff.. then if someone wants to go see the fake stuff.. fine.. just make it so they have to seek it rather than pushing it on everyone

41 min – if i told spotify .. surprise me.. i would be uncomfortable w stuff i don’t like .. the nature of discovery is you sit thru stuff you don’t like .. if you are going to find what you like.. there’s no way to read your mind and find exactly what would surprise you and you would like.. there’s that space of being uncomfortable w where you are

42 min – i think we have built our society to try to minimize that.. that sitting w discomfort.. we’re not taught to appreciate that as a path to future good stuff..

dang.. we’re told that what school is..

43 min – surprise comes thru discomfort..t

but a diff discomfort.. ie: the discomfort of uncertainty.. not of someone feeding you choices.. one of you going thru day w spontaneity

44 min – we need to say.. how do we sit w discomfort.. and structure out lives.. on how to do this.. let’s set up world so we can be our better selves as we define it.. it’s this big shift we need now that we have this tech..t

in the city.. as the day..

a nother way

56 min – george orwell language is misleading.. i don’t have a better word than censorship..

57 min – it’s kind of like that thing where you yell squirrel when someing else is happening.. maybe we call it squirreling.. distracting and overwhelming.. it needs a word.. this is what was happening

58 min – i don’t like this world.. but we are here.. should bottlenecking.. deny attention.. but also assist attention getting.. be the power of a company..? (ie: alex jones).. if you have a beonce track that’s unauthorized.. taken right down.. but these comments that are terrorizing ie: families of sandy hook victims

1:03 – what happens if there’s a false positive.. we need forms of due process.. t

we need gershenfeld something else law

1:05 – pre digital book suggestions for thinking about current moment 1\ the control revolution.. james benemer – thinking of control and power rather than info   2\ ruling the ways.. any new days are first upheaval.. instructive to those who think tech won’t be taken up by power   3\ walter ohn written about pre lit cultures.. we don’t understand the shift from oral to lit culture.. now we’re in something else.. and i don’t know what to call it.. how does our media shape that..


zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 5:05 AM – 30 Aug 2018 :
This has become a common view across the political spectrum and it’s not it. All three are true, but do not go to the core of today’s problems. The key problem just isn’t human bias creeping into the code because of how code works these days—it’s machine learning, not symbolic. https://t.co/2b8yJTsNks (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/1035121279081299968?s=17)

core of today’s problems deeper still.. key problem is that most people are not themselves (ie: manufactured consent has us like whales in sea world).. so data we’re coding/biasing/learning isn’t legit in the first place.. we need to get back to an undisturbed ecosystem first


Peter Gylfe (@peterbpg) tweeted at 12:10 PM – 5 Sep 2018 :
Important insights by @zeynep. “In a time of information avalanche, focusing on what is true and important can be a revolutionary act.” https://t.co/DThKrTqAcWhttps://t.co/FAfsuLsCVt (http://twitter.com/peterbpg/status/1037402621462683649?s=17)

We need new mechanisms—suited to the digital age—that allow for a shared understanding of facts and that focus our collective attention on the most important problems

we need a mech to listen to all the people .. everyday.. as they focus on a what matters most ie: as it could be


zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 6:30 AM – 5 Nov 2018 :
Apathy generation is a facilitator of authoritarianism. My new NYT oped on our vicious cycle of losing trust in democratic institutions including voting, which lowers participation so they fail even more. Remedy is to embrace and fix—yes, even the failing. https://t.co/j5JIbAZcWvhttps://t.co/tpYlLysKI7 (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/1059437903581986817?s=17)

It also means voting, even in an imperfect system. Voting remains the key tool of legitimacy for any government. If it didn’t matter, it wouldn’t be so much under attack. Even dictatorships hold mock votes, because “we won the election” remains the strongest argument for legitimacy of rule. Voting is so powerful that even a hollowed-out version holds sway.

i don’t buy that.. esp today.. voting is not an adequate function for a humane world.. ie: public consensus always oppresses someone

remedy is to let go


Alan Levine (@cogdog) tweeted at 7:12 AM – 4 Feb 2019 :
Also, as a heads up, this Tuesday in #netnarr class we are doing a tweet along commentary of @zeynep TED talk on “We’re building a dystopia just to make people click on ads” https://t.co/a5W7O5qHQo
Look for tweets from @netnarr starting 5pm ET https://t.co/NVwgiNzsN0 (http://twitter.com/cogdog/status/1092425575409610752?s=17)

‘like you’re never hardcore enough’ @zeynep #netnarr

‘if use algo’s to quietly watch/judge/nudge/predict-rebels..makes us pliable in diff ways.. if manipulate at scale one by one.. public debate becoming impossible when no longer know what others are seeing’ @zeynep #netnarr

‘we need to restructure the whole way our digital tech operates’ @zeynep #netnarr

ie: augment interconnectedness

ai humanity needs..

‘we have to mobilize our creativity’ @zeynep #netnarr

ie: cure ios city

we need a digital econ where our data/attention is not for sale to the highest bidding (whatever)..’ @zeynep #netnarr

let’s just make it not for sale.. we have the means to 1\ change the data (ie: self-talk as data) 2\ live sans money


zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 6:17 AM – 8 Mar 2019 :
Unlike young’uns, I grew up information deprived——no internet, limited TV/radio and I didn’t speak English so limited books. I was among the earliest web users in Turkey and it was magic. But can’t just be nostalgic. Everything good needs to be defended and reinvented everyday. (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/1104008262565941248?s=17)

i grew up connection deprived.. unable to speak the given/practiced language..it was magic..

web won’t work (toward global equity) if it’s just about info.. has to be about us being everyone.. (berners-lee everyone law) ..first

ai humanity needs/craves: augmenting interconnectedness


zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 6:24 AM – 8 Mar 2019 :
Anyway, couple of years ago, I wrote my joy at being able to get on the internet for the first time for the @newyorker. I swear, I used to ran out of things to read. So hard to imagine now! https://t.co/3XfbFGhOdXhttps://t.co/MlyD8lBXat (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/1104009924726738944?s=17)

reading encyclopedia front to back

mumford non-specialized law


mar 2019 for wired – machines shouldn’t have to spy on us to learn

zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 6:15 AM – 27 Mar 2019 :
Machine learning runs on data which fuels surveillance. But there *are* privacy-preserving ML techniques that could—SHOULD—take over. Why isn’t it done? Same reason solar tech doesn’t develop without regulation and with cheap oil. My latest for @Wired. https://t.co/ouanBHcMBFhttps://t.co/RoYkURQ2Ih (http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/1110878067583565824?s=17)

previous had to set up drop spot in past in order to share secrets..

 in 1976, two privacy-oriented computer scientists, Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman, cracked this age-old problem with an idea called public key cryptography. They came up with an ingenious protocol that involved the use of one-way functions—mathematical calculations that are easy to solve in one direction but very, very difficult in the other. (It’s easy to multiply two large prime numbers together to get a very large result, but it’s super hard to work backward to find those original two numbers—unless you own billions of dollars worth of supercomputers. Hi, NSA!) Here’s how it most often works in practice: One person, let’s call her Alice, creates a private key, which gets fed through an algorithm using one-way math functions to create a public key. After that, anyone can send an encrypted message to Alice, and only she will be able to unlock it easily.

All of a sudden, in one swift revolutionary moment, ­people could communicate secretly ab initio—not only spies, but everybody. And it was fairly painless. Just think of all the confidential exchanges you conduct with strangers online: Every time you log in to a bank account or shopping site, browse an “https” web page, or send a digital signature, you’re relying on a user-friendly version of private key cryptography. Diffie and Hellman didn’t just render the dead drop obsolete; they made the internet as we know it possible.

We need some new breakthroughs that fundamentally change the rotten trade-off we now make between privacy and AI.


from may 19 newsletter – (on post in sci american: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/the-real-reason-fans-hate-the-last-season-of-game-of-thrones/)

The reality is that the problems that are causing so much turmoil in the world predate the digital and computational acceleration, but are also very much aided by it. It’s not either/or at all.

The only hope is to change the whole board, not just argue over which character should sit at the throne. And that’s the story we need to understand, and unlike a TV show where we can only gripe about from our couches, it’s one whose ending we can change.

reset.. global do-over


zeynep on greta

It’s also unfair to these young leaders—it would be hard for any single person, even an experienced adult, to try to manage so much media attention and focus. She is rightfully admired, but being thrust into the role of a spokesperson for a very large movement is very difficult.
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/zeynep/status/1175386762304196608


James Gleick (@JamesGleick) tweeted at 9:16 AM – 23 Feb 2020 :
There is a crucial connection to be made between coronavirus and authoritarianism, and @Zeynep makes it here. https://t.co/6mUCIt7wWA(http://twitter.com/JamesGleick/status/1231613874228617217?s=17)

zeynep tufekci (@zeynep) tweeted at 7:36 AM – 22 Feb 2020 :
New piece. Hear me out. What if Xi Jinping didn’t even *know* of key details of the coronavirus outbreak until it was too late? What if his authoritarian blindspot was *worsened* by China’s use of surveillance and censorship technology? https://t.co/rDmUgAYSrhhttps://t.co/Zof3Ct6taI(http://twitter.com/zeynep/status/1231226188288471040?s=17

If people are too afraid to talk, and if punishing people for “rumors” becomes the norm, ..t

a doctor punished for spreading news of a disease in one province becomes just another day, rather than an indication of impending crisis.

Contrary to common belief, the killer digital app for authoritarianism isn’t listening in on people through increased surveillance, but listening to them as they express their *honest opinions, especially complaints. An Orwellian surveillance-based system would be overwhelming and repressive, as it is now in China, but it would also be similar to losing sensation in parts of one’s body due to nerve injuries. Without the pain to warn the brain, the hand stays on the hot stove, unaware of the damage to the flesh until it’s too late.

why we need 1\ a mech to listen to every voice.. first thing.. everyday (2 convers as infra)  2\ everyone to be doing it.. so that no one has time/desire to use data for bad (as it could be) 3\ mech rather than people listening-to/facil-ing data because tech w/o judgment (?)

*rather.. their deep curiosities.. (opinions and complaints are part of a defense mode.. not us)


How Zeynep Tufekci Keeps Getting the Big Things Right https://t.co/Wk7UYleu9y
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/photomatt/status/1297943083963703297

nytimes.. aug 2020 – on rightness about masks, twitter, fb..

I was curious to know how Dr. Tufekci had gotten so many things right in a confusing time, so we spoke last week over FaceTime. She told me she chalks up her habits of mind in part to a childhood she wouldn’t wish on anyone

Tufekci is the only person I’ve ever spoken with who believes that the modern age began with Zapatista Solidarity. For her, it was a first flicker of the “bottom-up globalization” that she sees as the shadow of capitalism’s glossy spread.

Tufekci has taught epidemiology as a way to introduce her students to globalization and to make a point about human nature: Politicians and the news media often expect looting and crime when disaster strikes, as they did when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. But the reality on the ground has more to do with communal acts of generosity and kindness, she believes.

“The real question is not whether Zuck is doing what I like or not,” she said. “The real question is why he’s getting to decide what hate speech is.”

She also suggested that we may get it wrong when we focus on individuals — on chief executives, on social media activists like her. The probable answer to a media environment that amplifies false reports and hate speech, she believes, is the return of functional governments, along with the birth of a new framework, however imperfect, that will hold the digital platforms responsible for what they host.


on virus ness

❗️Did you know that *study after study* finds most people don’t seem to transmit COVID at all? That a small percent is responsible for almost all infections? That R is not that informative? My new piece on why this may be key to controlling the pandemic. https://t.co/59YgSSHdEZhttps://t.co/veHa1BRwMO
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/zeynep/status/1311329981419728898

Cevik identifies “prolonged contact, poor ventilation, [a] highly infectious person, [and] crowding” as the key elements for a super-spreader event.

It’s not always the restrictiveness of the rules, but whether they target the right dangers. As Morris put it, “Japan’s commitment to ‘cluster-busting’ allowed it to achieve impressive mitigation with judiciously chosen restrictions. Countries that have ignored super-spreading have risked getting the worst of both worlds: burdensome restrictions that fail to achieve substantial mitigation. The U.K.’s recent decision to limit outdoor gatherings to six people while allowing pubs and bars to remain open is just one of many such examples.”

Could we get back to a much more normal life by focusing on limiting the conditions for super-spreading events, aggressively engaging in cluster-busting, and deploying cheap, rapid mass tests—that is, once we get our case numbers down to low enough numbers to carry out such a strategy? (Many places with low community transmission could start immediately.) Once we look for and see the forest, it becomes easier to find our way out.


We’re not in speech or censorship wars, we’re in attention wars. I’d argue that both Greenwald’s resignation and @benyt’s “return of the gatekeepers” is also partly about this: what deserves attention and how much? https://t.co/6A8D8kqfGS
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/zeynep/status/1321927896324255746

‘1\ what deserves attention and 2\ how much? ‘

has to be 1\ 8b people and 2\ everyday

mech we need most is a means to undo our hierarchical listening

ie: cure ios city


So the news is out. I’m going to be a regular columnist with the New York Times. I started blogging about a decade ago simply because I had things to say, and thought it would be good to have more academic voices in the public sphere. It’s been a journey, for sure. https://t.co/pqX2kZqZws

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/zeynep/status/1429800213217226754

BIG: Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep) Joins The New York Times as an Opinion Columnist “Many lives may have been saved because Zeynep Tufekci performed her specialty — analyzing the connection between evidence and policy.”