Big Tech’s attention economy can be reformed. Here’s how.

The business model is doing irreparable harm to society. But there is an alternative, and we don’t need to destroy the tech giants to get there.

by Tristan Harrisarchive page

technologyreview – January 10, 2021attention economy illoMS TECH | GETTY

This week a violent mob mounted the biggest attack on the Capitol, the seat of American democracy, in more than 200 years, driven by the false belief that the presidential election had been stolen. The chief author of that claim was President Donald Trump, but the mob’s readiness to believe it was in large part a product of the attention economy that modern technology has created.

News feeds on Facebook or Twitter operate on a business model of commodifying the attention of billions of people per day, sorting tweets, posts, and groups to determine which get the most engagement (clicks, views, and shares)—what gets the strongest emotional reactions. These commodifying attention platforms have warped the collective psyche. They have led to narrower and crazier views of the world.

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Vietnam takes drastic measures to clean up toxic content on social media: official

24/03/2021    15:28 GMT+7 vietnamnet

Popular Vietnamese TikTok user Tho Nguyen recently caused outrage online by posting videos about Kuman Thong dolls online, asking the dolls to bless her studies after “receiving many requests from children”.

Vietnam takes drastic measures to clean up toxic content on social media: official
Deputy Director of the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information Le Quang Tu Do. — Photo

The toxic content shocked the parents of young viewers. She was fined VND7.5 million (US$326) for her “superstitious” posts. The incident has thrown online content moderation into the spotlight.

In a recent interview with Liberated Sai Gon newspaper, Deputy Director of the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information Le Quang Tu Do talks about measures to curb harmful content online.  

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Bans on Parler and Trump Show Big Tech’s Power Over Web Conversation

As Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. banished users and groups supporting the violent mobs at the U.S. Capitol last week — including President Donald Trump himself — downloads surged for a less restrictive social media app called Parler. But in an effort to prevent further riot organizing, Google Inc. and Apple Inc. booted Parler from their app stores, and Inc. shut off its web services.

“We will not cave to pressure from anti-competitive actors!” John Matze, Parler Inc.’s chief executive officer, said on his site Friday. “We WON’T cave to politically motivated companies and those authoritarians who hate free speech!”

In reality, Matze doesn’t have much choice. His free-speech-centric network, where some extremists turned to rally insurgents and organize future uprisings, was deemed an “ongoing and urgent public safety threat” by Google. Apple quickly rejected as insufficient a Parler plan to moderate its content. Amazon employees asked that the web giant “deny Parler services until it removes posts inciting violence, including at the Presidential inauguration.” Amazon plans to shut down the service at midnight Sunday, according to Matze.
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Big Tech tiếp tục bị phán xét

HOA KIM 5/1/2021 10:05 GMT+7

TTCTSự kiên nhẫn dành cho nhóm Big Tech, gồm năm công ty công nghệ Mỹ Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook và Microsoft, rốt cuộc đã cạn.

Liên tiếp ở châu Âu và cả trên sân nhà, một loạt đơn kiện của chính quyền nhắm vào những gã khổng lồ công nghệ trong năm 2020 cho thấy những tượng đài này không hề “bất khả xâm phạm” như ta tưởng. Tiếp tục đọc “Big Tech tiếp tục bị phán xét”

Facebook and YouTube accused of complicity in Vietnam repression

The Guardian

Amnesty report accuses sites of openly signalling they will bow to authoritarian regimes

A person using Facebook at a cafe in Hanoi, Vietnam,

A person using Facebook at a cafe in Hanoi, Vietnam, last month. Photograph: Kham/ReutersRebecca Ratcliffe South-east Asia correspondentTue 1 Dec 2020 00.01 GMT


Facebook and YouTube are complicit in “censorship and repression on an industrial scale” in Vietnam, according to a report by Amnesty International that accuses the platforms of openly signalling that they are willing to bow to the wishes of authoritarian regimes.

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How COVID-19 has pushed companies over the technology tipping point—and transformed business forever

In just a few months’ time, the COVID-19 crisis has brought about years of change in the way companies in all sectors and regions do business. According to a new McKinsey Global Survey of executives,1 their companies have accelerated the digitization of their customer and supply-chain interactions and of their internal operations by three to four years. And the share of digital or digitally enabled products in their portfolios has accelerated by a shocking seven years.2 Nearly all respondents say that their companies have stood up at least temporary solutions to meet many of the new demands on them, and much more quickly than they had thought possible before the crisis. What’s more, respondents expect most of these changes to be long lasting and are already making the kinds of investments that all but ensure they will stick. In fact, when we asked executives about the impact of the crisis on a range of measures, they say that funding for digital initiatives has increased more than anything else—more than increases in costs, the number of people in technology roles, and the number of customers.To stay competitive in this new business and economic environment requires new strategies and practices. Our findings suggest that executives are taking note: most respondents recognize technology’s strategic importance as a critical component of the business, not just a source of cost efficiencies. Respondents from the companies that have executed successful responses to the crisis report a range of technology capabilities that others don’t—most notably, filling gaps for technology talent during the crisis, the use of more advanced technologies, and speed in experimenting and innovating.3 Tiếp tục đọc “How COVID-19 has pushed companies over the technology tipping point—and transformed business forever”

Ai đứng sau các video nội dung nhảm nhí ở Việt Nam?

Nhiều công ty lớn có chức năng quản lý, tư vấn về nội dung cho các YouTuber ở Việt Nam. Đây là đầu mối để các cơ quan hữu trách xử lý các video vi phạm.

Chiều 10/9, Sở Thông tin và Truyền thông tỉnh Bắc Giang ra quyết định xử phạt Nguyễn Văn Hưng, chủ kênh YouTube Hưng Vlog 7,5 triệu đồng vì vi phạm các quy định về trách nhiệm sử dụng dịch vụ mạng xã hội.
kiem duyet noi dung YouTube anh 1

Chưa đầy một tháng bị phạt, Hưng Vlog lại tiếp tục đăng video nhảm nhí lên một kênh YouTube khác.

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Vì sao Facebook đánh mất niềm tin của giới truyền thông


Tháng 5/2019, một tờ báo điện tử có lượng truy cập thuộc hàng lớn nhất Việt Nam đã quyết định đóng fanpage trên Facebook, chấp nhận mất một nguồn traffic đáng kể. Không chỉ trang mạng này, nhiều tờ báo khác, cả Việt Nam lẫn quốc tế, cũng không còn mặn mà với nền tảng mạng xã hội lớn nhất thế giới.Từng được coi là phương tiện chuyển tải thông tin hữu hiệu trong thời đại mà truyền thông xã hội lên ngôi, song Facebook đang ngày càng đánh mất niềm tin của cộng đồng báo giới, và từ cả chính phủ của nhiều quốc gia. Tiếp tục đọc “Vì sao Facebook đánh mất niềm tin của giới truyền thông”

Internal emails suggest Zuckerberg was aware of Facebook privacy issues: report

A Fake Zuckerberg Video Challenges Facebook’s Rules

SAN FRANCISCO — Two weeks ago, Facebook declined to remove a doctored video in which the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, seemed to drunkenly slur her speech. Over the weekend, two British artists released a doctored video of Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, as a sly comment on the spread of false information online.

Posted to the Facebook-owned social network Instagram, the video shows Mr. Zuckerberg speaking directly into the camera, boasting of nefarious motives behind his online empire.

“Imagine this for a second: one man, with total control of billions of people’s stolen data, all their secrets, their lives, their futures,” he appears to say. “I owe it all to Spectre. Spectre showed me that whoever controls the data controls the future.”

The video is easily recognizable as a fake, in part because the voice paired with the image sounds only marginally like Mr. Zuckerberg. And Spectre is a reference to a fictional, evil organization in James Bond lore. But it serves both as a piece of digital commentary and as a test of the way Facebook handles the spread of false information on its social network.

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YouTube Executives Ignored Warnings, Letting Toxic Videos Run Rampant


Proposals to change recommendations and curb conspiracies were sacrificed for engagement, staff say.

Illustration: Graham Roumieu

Wojcicki, YouTube’s chief executive officer, is a reluctant public ambassador, but she was in Austin at the South by Southwest conference to unveil a solution that she hoped would help quell conspiracy theories: a tiny text box from websites like Wikipedia that would sit below videos that questioned well-established facts like the moon landing and link viewers to the truth.

Wojcicki’s media behemoth, bent on overtaking television, is estimated to rake in sales of more than $16 billion a year. But on that day, Wojcicki compared her video site to a different kind of institution. “We’re really more like a library,” she said, staking out a familiar position as a defender of free speech. “There have always been controversies, if you look back at libraries.”

Since Wojcicki took the stage, prominent conspiracy theories on the platform—including one on child vaccinations; another tying Hillary Clinton to a Satanic cult—have drawn the ire of lawmakers eager to regulate technology companies. And YouTube is, a year later, even more associated with the darker parts of the web. Tiếp tục đọc “YouTube Executives Ignored Warnings, Letting Toxic Videos Run Rampant”

US needs an internet data privacy law, GAO tells Congress


Chief auditor cites Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica data scandal as an example of why a privacy law is necessary.

Getty Images

The federal government’s chief auditor has recommended Congress consider developing legislation to beef up consumers’ internet data privacy protections. much like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.

The recommendation was included in a 56-page report (PDF) issued Wednesday by the Government Accountability Office, the government agency that provides auditing, evaluation and investigative services for Congress. The report was prepared at the request two years ago by Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has scheduled a hearing to discuss the subject for Feb. 26.

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In Vietnam, Fake Death Certificates Are Weaponized to Hack Facebook Accounts

Published on Monday, 24 December 2018 16:00Written by Saigoneer.

Vietnam’s fake document industry has upgraded for the information age.

Vietnam has one of the largest populations of Facebook users in the world. According to Noudhy Valdryno, a representative from Facebook’s Asia-Pacific Division, the country has 42 million daily users, accounting for 17% of Southeast Asia’s total 242 million. With a robust local Facebook user base comes darker implications, however, such as the manifestation of fake news, bullying or porn bots. Tiếp tục đọc “In Vietnam, Fake Death Certificates Are Weaponized to Hack Facebook Accounts”