In the United States, there is currently no federal institution that protects the public from harmful algorithms.
We can buy eggs, get a vaccine, and drive on highways knowing there are systems in place to protect our safety: the USDA checks our eggs for salmonella, the FDA checks vaccines for safety and effectiveness, the NHTSA makes sure highway turns are smooth and gentle for high speeds.
Why does it always take so long to scroll to the actual recipe? I do not have a cute story other than I have been experimenting with granola recipes for two years, from the New York Times to random blogs to classic books like “Joy of Cooking” and “How to Cook Everything.” I landed on a synthesized recipe that provides a simple and delicious “base” granola. Here it is:
As the pandemic swept across the world and we all started spending more time on Facebook and other apps, I decided to stop lurking all the time and start participating more. The widespread resonance of the term “doomscrolling” made me wonder: why do we spend so much time scrolling through these feeds if they make us miserable?
There are currently thousands of propaganda websites masquerading as local news websites across the United States, as the New York Times reported in October 2020 and the Columbia Journalism Review reported in August 2020.
The network of websites spells disaster for the news ecosystem on a number of levels, especially if the sites receive a lot of attention. As Renée Diresta articulated in this WIRED piece, there is an important distinction between “free speech” and “free reach.” Free speech entails Brian Timpone’s ability to write and publish “propaganda ordered up by dozens of think tanks, political operatives, corporate executives and…
Over the summer, I crunched the numbers on about 80,000 TikTok videos pertaining to the prank on Trump’s re-election rally in Tulsa. My main interest was understanding how TikTok’s algorithms may have played a role in promoting the prank. This post summarizes findings from my workshop research paper, which was presented at the RecSys 2020 workshop on responsible recommendation.
If you’ve seen The Matrix, you likely remember the déjà vu scene, in which Neo notices a black cat walk by twice:
Even watching the animated GIF can induce some disturbing chills. And that sense of disturbance is no coincidence: as Trinity quickly explains to Neo, this minor “glitch” involving the black cat is actually an important sign. It indicates that the agents of the Matrix have changed something in the program, rearranging the reality that Neo, Trinity, Morpheus, and others must face.
As articulated by authors Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren Klein, Data Feminism is “a way of thinking about data, both their uses and their limits, that is informed by direct experience, by a commitment to action, and by intersectional feminist thought.” It has seven core principles:
In this post, I will illustrate some principles from Data Feminism by breaking down this unemployment chart recently published by ProPublica.
To apply the first two core principles from Data Feminism (examine power and challenge power)…
As The Information put it, TikTok has “taken off like a rocket ship in the U.S. and around the world, creating a new mobile video experience that has left YouTube and Facebook scrambling to keep up.”
Just looking at U.S. users over the age of 18, TikTok went from 22.2 million unique visitors in January, to 39.2 million in April, according to Comscore data provided to Adweek.
Back in March, I looked at voting patterns in 2020 leading up to the pandemic and compared it to the relatively bipartisan vote on the CARES act. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic has been unfolding for a few months, and other events are taking the spotlight — namely the demonstrations against police brutality and racial injustice. Also, we are just a couple months away from the Republican and Democratic national conventions, with the election coming up thereafter. So, what are politicians talking about?
To get a handle on this, I decided to look at political speeches using VoteSmart.org (I got the…
On Tuesday morning (9:10am EDT), Sigal Samuel published a story to Vox about new habits people have developed as a result of quarantine, presenting responses from over 100 people across the globe.
Based on the CrowdTangle Chrome plugin, Vox shared the story on their Facebook page shortly thereafter (9:11am EDT, to be exact). While Vox has over 2.5 million followers on Facebook, this article did not get very far: only 829 people interacted with it. They tried again at 4:41pm EDT, and received even less engagement — 219 interactions.
As of 11:00am Wednesday morning, only five other sources had shared…
PhD student studying AI, ethics, and media. Trying to share things I learn in plain english. 🐦 @jackbandy