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)
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..
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..
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
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.
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.
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..
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.
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..
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
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..?
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
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)
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)
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)
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)
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/ihoqDd8lMf https://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 @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 @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.