intro via Howard, here (interview below).
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.
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:
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..
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.
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 ..
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..
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.
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
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.
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.
– – – – – – – –
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..
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 #
june 2014 #pdf14:
“Movements in a Connected Age: Better at Changing Minds, Worse at Changing Power?”
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
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
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..
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.
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
“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.
@zeynepAlgorithms 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..
“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.
injecting tweets (out of zeynep’s order and perhaps not pertaining to her line of thinking.. ).. but fitting in my head..
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.
injecting tweets (out of zeynep’s order and perhaps not pertaining to her line of thinking.. ).. but fitting in my head..
@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
@zeynepA blog post about my # 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.
@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.
@zeynep@ @ 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.
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 box10 min – amplifying our biases12 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.
@zeynepI’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
It was a delicious subversion of hierarchy—the youngest teaming up with the oldest to overrule the reluctant middle.
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
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.
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.
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..
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)
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
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..
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..
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
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)