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Facebook’s Unethical Experiment Manipulated Users’ Emotions

Facebook’s Unethical Experiment Manipulated Users’ Emotions | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

Facebook has been experimenting on us. A new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals that Facebook intentionally manipulated the news feeds of almost 700,000 users in order to study “emotional contagion through social networks.”  The study raises a number of ethics and privacy issues, since no authorization or warning was issued for the experiment.

Artur Alves's insight:

Social scientists team up with Facebook, manipulate data feeds, and ignore ethical good practices in experiments with human subjects.

 

 

«Facebook has been experimenting on us. A new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals that Facebook intentionally manipulated the news feeds of almost 700,000 users in order to study “emotional contagion through social networks.”

The researchers, who are affiliated with Facebook, Cornell, and the University of California–San Francisco, tested whether reducing the number of positive messages people saw made those people less likely to post positive content themselves. The same went for negative messages: Would scrubbing posts with sad or angry words from someone’s Facebook feed make that person write fewer gloomy updates?

(...)

Here is the only mention of “informed consent” in the paper: The research “was consistent with Facebook’s Data Use Policy, to which all users agree prior to creating an account on Facebook, constituting informed consent for this research.”

That is not how most social scientists define informed consent.

 

(...)

Over the course of the study, it appears, the social network made some of us happier or sadder than we would otherwise have been. Now it’s made all of us more mistrustful. «

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Bikini Atoll radiation levels remain alarmingly high

Bikini Atoll radiation levels remain alarmingly high | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Lingering radiation levels from nuclear bomb tests on Bikini Atoll are far higher than previously estimated.
Artur Alves's insight:
The long-lived effects of nuclear tests on Bikini Atoll
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Did Preemies Make Humans Smart? - Facts So Romantic - Nautilus

Did Preemies Make Humans Smart? - Facts So Romantic - Nautilus | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Monkeys can tell numbers apart, make ordinal comparisons, and even add and subtract, but that’s where their abilities peak. The…
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Darian Leader: how technology is changing our hands

Darian Leader: how technology is changing our hands | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Doctors predict that our increasing use of computers and mobile phones will permanently alter our hands. What will this mean for the way we touch, feel and communicate?
Artur Alves's insight:
One more entry in the "accelerated evolution" dossier
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Story of cities #32: Jane Jacobs v Robert Moses, battle of New York's urban titans

Story of cities #32: Jane Jacobs v Robert Moses, battle of New York's urban titans | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
When city planning supremo Robert Moses proposed a road through Greenwich Village in 1955, he met opposition from one particularly feisty local resident: Jane Jacobs.
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The secret rules of the internet

The secret rules of the internet | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Julie Mora-Blanco remembers the day, in the summer of 2006, when the reality of her new job sunk in.
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"Mora-Blanco is one of more than a dozen current and former employees and contractors of major internet platforms from YouTube to Facebook who spoke to us candidly about the dawn of content moderation. Many of these individuals are going public with their experiences for the first time. Their stories reveal how the boundaries of free speech were drawn during a period of explosive growth for a high-stakes public domain, one that did not exist for most of human history. As law professor Jeffrey Rosen first said many years ago of Facebook, these platforms have "more power in determining who can speak and who can be heard around the globe than any Supreme Court justice, any king or any president.""
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Why Learning To Code Won't Save Your Job

Why Learning To Code Won't Save Your Job | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Brushing up on your tech skills might only make for temporary job security at best.
Artur Alves's insight:
<< Anyone competent in languages such as Python, Java, or even web coding like HTML and CSS, is currently in high demand by businesses that are still just gearing up for the digital marketplace. However, as coding becomes more commonplace, particularly in developing nations like India, we find a lot of that work is being assigned piecemeal by computerized services such as Upwork to low-paid workers in digital sweatshops. >>
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20 Crucial Terms Every 21st Century Futurist Should Know

20 Crucial Terms Every 21st Century Futurist Should Know | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
We live in an era of accelerating change, when scientific and technological advancements are arriving rapidly. As a result, we are developing a new language to describe our civilization as it evolves.
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Chernobyl's Most Dangerous Radioactive Material and the man who took pictures with it

Chernobyl's Most Dangerous Radioactive Material and the man who took pictures with it | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
At first glance, it’s hard to know what’s happening in this picture. A giant mushroom seems to have sprouted in a factory floor, where ghostly me
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James Hansen’s Bombshell Climate Warning Is Now Part of the Scientific Canon

James Hansen’s Bombshell Climate Warning Is Now Part of the Scientific Canon | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Last summer, James Hansen—the pioneer of modern climate science—pieced together a research-based revelation: a little-known feedback cycle between the
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Early results from New Horizons’ rendezvous with Pluto

Early results from New Horizons’ rendezvous with Pluto | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
When the New Horizons spacecraft sent back its first images of Pluto in July, the view was glorious and extraordinary. It’s not every day that we get to see a (dwarf) planet up close for the first time. As planetary scientists scrambled to put the pieces of their blown minds back together, we got some initial observations and hypotheses about Pluto’s surprising surface. But the bulk of the data from New Horizons’ brief encounter had yet to be transmitted back to Earth. As that data continues to stream in, more detailed science is being done. This week in Science, a stack of five papers lays the foundation for that science by describing Pluto’s geology and atmosphere, as well as that of Charon and the smaller satellites orbiting the dwarf planet with the big heart. That includes a basic description of the Plutonian landscape—at least the hemisphere that greeted the New Horizons spacecraft on approach. The lower quality data from the other side will eventually be analyzed as well. Icy geology The bright heart-shaped region of Pluto’s surface, dubbed Tombaugh Regio after the astronomer who discovered Pluto, got a lot of attention when the first images were released. The left half of the heart is a deep basin that drops several kilometers below the surrounding highlands. It appears to be a huge impact crater that has been re-shaped over Pluto’s history. The smooth, uncratered surface within the basin, on the other hand, is quite young and clearly is being actively maintained. Nitrogen ice, carbon monoxide ice, and methane ice are all present on the surface here (and to a lesser extent elsewhere). Those are volatile, able to migrate around Pluto by sublimating to gas and condensing somewhere else, so this frosty mantling likely changes with the seasons. Within the basin that makes up the left side of the heart, the researchers say a thick layer of (mainly) nitrogen ice is responsible for the strange, bubbly appearance of the surface. The “bubbles" are separated by nearly 100-meter-deep troughs, and appear to be the result of convection within the ice, with warmer ice beneath the cold surface moving upwards. This activity would help explain the basin’s youthful appearance. At the western edge of the basin, there are remarkable mountain ranges composed of Pluto’s water ice “bedrock.” The water ice was broken into blocks that have shifted around and rotated into their current positions. They look almost like a lizard’s scales in the images, but these mountain blocks rise as much as 5 kilometers (16,000 feet) above their surroundings. Because water ice is actually less dense than the nitrogen and carbon monoxide ices in the basin, these mountains are basically floating, like gargantuan icebergs in an also-frozen sea. The dark region to the west of the basin, called Cthulhu Regio, is a much more ancient and densely cratered surface. The landscape there is diverse, but it lacks the volatile ices that make Tombaugh Regio appear so bright. Instead, water ice is exposed there, and a dark residue of material has accumulated as atmospheric gases react in response to ultraviolet light. Most of Pluto’s surface has been there for 4 billion years, going back to the final round of intense collisions following the formation of the Solar System. But there has also been more than one period of tectonic activity, during which Pluto’s crust fractured as regions of it were stretched. Some of those long faults produce several-kilometer-high steps in the surface. The nature of these faults points to a pretty thick water ice crust, but the researchers say that their timing “is consistent with predicted recent extensional stresses associated with a late, possibly partial freezing of a subsurface ocean, though other explanations are also possible.” To the moons As for Pluto’s moon Charon, it has its own wonders and mysteries. Its surface is mainly water ice, without the volatile ices that brighten up portions of Pluto. There were, however, signs of ammonia ice in and around impact craters that may have been excavated from beneath the surface. The rusty red color of Charon’s northern pole (the region that has been named Mordor Macula) couldn’t be identified, although it could be the same sort of UV-produced schmutz found in Pluto’s Cthulhu Regio. Even if Charon’s surface color is a little more homogeneous, its geology is still pretty wild. Its face is divided by a belt of remarkable extension faults, including a couple rifts that are 5 to 7 kilometers (up to 23,000 feet) deep. North of that line, the incredibly rough terrain is scarred by enough impact craters that the surface looks to be more than 4 billion years old. To the south lies relatively smooth terrain interrupted by fewer craters, indicating a slightly younger age of around 4 billion years. There are, however, also some hills that the researchers believe could be cryovolcanoes—relics from Charon’s early history, when a still-warm interior could have fueled gaseous eruptions. It’s possible that a young Charon had a subsurface ocean. About all this pleasantly unexpected complexity, the researchers write, “all three major Kuiper belt bodies (past or present) visited by spacecraft so far—Pluto, Charon, and Triton—are more different than similar and bear witness to the potential diversity awaiting the future exploration of their realm.” And these are just a few selected highlights from the surface observations. Pluto’s slightly hazy, nitrogen-dominated atmosphere also bucked expectations. It is (at least currently) losing much less gas to space than our models predicted, and what gas it is losing is mostly methane, rather than nitrogen. There are a number of puzzles yet to be solved as scientists back on Earth work to make sense of the reports from our robotic emissary to Pluto, and the puzzles are just as interesting as the answers we’ve already won. Open Access at Science, 2016. DOI: 10.1126/science.aad8866, 10.1126/science.aae0030, 10.1126/science.aad9045, 10.1126/science.aad9189, 10.1126/science.aad7055 (About DOIs).
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IoT Could Be Used To Spy, Admits James Clapper

IoT Could Be Used To Spy, Admits James Clapper | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
The latest high profile individual to debunk the notion that surveillance is at risk of 'going dark' in an age of increasingly robust encryption is none other..
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10 technology stock photos and what they really mean

10 technology stock photos and what they really mean | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

The choice is limited. Need a picture to illustrate a hacker? A photograph of a man, in a darkened room, wearing a hoodie, obviously

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The New Economics of Cybercrime

The New Economics of Cybercrime | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Digital thieves’ most crucial adaptation in recent years has little to do with their technical tools and everything to do with their business model.
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Chilling Effects Watch: Oracle v. Google

Chilling Effects Watch: Oracle v. Google | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
A lawsuit over the Android operating system could adversely affect how companies write and release software
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Is Telegram Really Safe for Activists Under Threat? These Two Russians Aren’t So Sure. · Global Voices

Is Telegram Really Safe for Activists Under Threat? These Two Russians Aren’t So Sure. · Global Voices | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Russian opposition activists are investigating the possible role of state law enforcement in the remote hacking of their Telegram messenger accounts.
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Microsoft Sues US Govt Over Unconstitutional Secret Data Requests

Microsoft Sues US Govt Over Unconstitutional Secret Data Requests | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Microsoft Sued Department of Justice (DoJ) Over Unconstitutional Secret Data Requests
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Tesla’s Electric Cars Aren’t as Green as You Might Think

Tesla’s Electric Cars Aren’t as Green as You Might Think | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Despite their green cred, Tesla cars create pollution and carbon emissions in ways that are easily overlooked by consumers and investors.
Artur Alves's insight:
"Teslas (and, by extension, all electric vehicles) create pollution and carbon emissions in other ways. Each stage of an EV’s life has environmental impacts, and while they aren’t as obvious as a tailpipe pumping out fumes, that doesn’t make them any less damaging."
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FCJ-200 When Memes Go to War: Viral Propaganda in the 2014 Gaza-Israel Conflict | The Fibreculture Journal : 27

FCJ-200 When Memes Go to War: Viral Propaganda in the 2014 Gaza-Israel Conflict | The Fibreculture Journal : 27 | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
When Memes Go to War: Viral Propaganda in the 2014 Gaza-Israel Conflict
Artur Alves's insight:
«
During the Gaza-Israel conflict of July-August 2014, a large volume of creative, multimodal digital content aimed at influencing public opinion was disseminated on social media by belligerents and their supporters. This paper highlights two related features of this ‘viral agitprop’: the use of a diverse range of novel, hypermediated forms to represent a limited set of messages, and thematisation of the act of mediation itself. I argue that these practices are a response to the challenges of communicating with multiple publics within data streams that are crowded, competitive and fast-moving. I suggest this content represents a distinctive new Internet genre which problematises accounts of the relationship between war and media by Friedrich Kittler and Jean Baudrillard.
»
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Angola’s Wikipedia Pirates Are Exposing the Problems With Digital Colonialism

Angola’s Wikipedia Pirates Are Exposing the Problems With Digital Colonialism | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Angolans have found a clever way to share files using Wikipedia Zero and Facebook’s Free Basics, but what happens to the existing Wikipedia community?
Artur Alves's insight:
"Wikimedia and Facebook have given Angolans free access to their websites, but not to the rest of the internet. So, naturally, Angolans have started hiding pirated movies and music in Wikipedia articles and linking to them on closed Facebook groups, creating a totally free and clandestine file sharing network in a country where mobile internet data is extremely expensive."
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Hands on with the BBC’s child-friendly microbit

Hands on with the BBC’s child-friendly microbit | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
We had a go of the much anticipated BBC microbit, which has just been sent to 1m UK school kids. It's cool, but is it the coding tool for the masses?
Artur Alves's insight:
"And even if you aren’t a 10-year-old kid in the UK, you will soon be able to get your hands on a microbit, so keep an eye out for availability and pricing."
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Welcome To The Post-Work Economy

Welcome To The Post-Work Economy | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
For the future economy to work, we need to get rid of our unhealthy fixation on what work and jobs mean to our self-worth.
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Online Surveillance Is Going To Have a Devastating Impact on Free Speech — And This Proves It

Online Surveillance Is Going To Have a Devastating Impact on Free Speech — And This Proves It | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
“The right to peacefully assemble is not something that should create paranoia in one’s head.”
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How Corporations Become Evil

How Corporations Become Evil | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
On the origins of corporate evil—and idiocy
Artur Alves's insight:
"Executives are bombarded with information. To ease the cognitive load, they rely on a set of unwritten scripts imported from the organization around them. You could even define corporate culture as a collection of scripts. Scripts are undoubtedly efficient. Managers don’t have to muddle through each new problem afresh, Gioia wrote, because “the mode of handling such problems has already been worked out in advance.” But therein lies the danger. Scripts can be flawed, and grow more so over time, yet they discourage active analysis."
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Cheap cab ride? You must have missed Uber’s true cost | Evgeny Morozov

Cheap cab ride? You must have missed Uber’s true cost | Evgeny Morozov | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
When tech giants such as Google and Uber hide their wealth from taxation, they make it harder for us to use technology to improve services
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