Backing up Brazil’s internet so Bolsonaro can’t censor it
Unless you like to look at old websites or video games, you probably don’t think much about The Internet Archive, a project that was founded by tech pioneer Brewster Kahle in 1996, in an ambitious attempt to back up as much of the internet as possible. But the site and its efforts are becoming more […]
In 2019, will the tide turn against Facebook and social media?
It’s a question that gets asked every time Facebook does something wrong, which seems to happen with rather depressing regularity: could this be the point at which public opinion finally begins to turn and people to delete their accounts, or at least stop using the service so much? Or will the vast majority of users […]
Are we wiser about Facebook now, or just more cynical?
This week, a New York Times feature with more data and privacy revelations about Facebook triggered the usual range of responses, from exhaustion to numbness. With so many similar reports over the past year, it’s been a steady drip, drip, drip of privacy violations and post-hoc rationalizations and apologies. At this point, most people seem more than […]
Every 30 seconds, a female journalist or politician is harassed on Twitter
Any woman who has spent more than a couple of hours on Twitter has likely experienced some form of casual harassment or even outright abuse—and these attacks are even more likely if the woman in question happens to be a journalist or a politician. On Tuesday, a new report from Amnesty International put some numbers […]
NPR’s move into podcasting analytics raises privacy concerns
Until recently, it hasn’t been easy to measure the success of podcasts, beyond how many people download them—a metric so broad as to be almost useless, much like page views are on the web. In the past year or so, Apple and Spotify have both come out with analytics on their platforms that tell producers […]
Australian sexual abuse case raises questions about gag orders
If a judge in a different country issues an order preventing the media from discussing a trial, do media outlets in the US have a duty to abide by that order? Or is there a larger duty to keep the public informed? This isn’t a hypothetical example. An Australian court just found Cardinal George Pell, […]
Google’s CEO actually shows up in Congress this time
Unlike the last time Congress held a hearing designed to put Google on the hot seat—an August session of the Senate intelligence committee that featured a prominent empty chair with Google’s name on it—CEO Sundar Pichai actually showed up to this one, a question-and-answer session with the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. And if nervousness […]
Did The Washington Post pull its punches on Amazon and USPS?
Let’s admit one thing up front: covering Amazon for a newspaper owned by the company’s founder, Jeff Bezos, has to be almost impossible. Even though Bezos has made it clear he has no interest in micro-managing what The Washington Post writes about, and executive editor Marty Baron has repeatedly said he never hears from Bezos […]
British parliament releases contentious Facebook emails
When a British parliamentary committee looking into Facebook’s role in misinformation and data privacy seized documents last week from an American businessman involved in a lawsuit with Facebook, the committee threatened to make the files public, even though they were sealed by a California court order. And that’s exactly what it did on Wednesday: Damian […]
Mic shuts down, a victim of management hubris and Facebook’s pivot to video
For anyone who has been watching digital media, the fact that millennial news site Mic is effectively shutting down—laying off most of its 100-plus journalists and selling what remains of the company to Bustle, according to multiple reports on Thursday—should come as no surprise. CJR ran a story in September, “Mic looking for investors amid […]
British parliament drops the kid gloves in Facebook fight
When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg refused to appear before Britain’s parliament in May to answer questions about Facebook’s role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, he may have assumed there would be few repercussions. But in an unprecedented move over the US Thanksgiving weekend, the British government used a little-known feature of UK law to compel a tech […]
Wikipedia’s co-founder wanted to let readers edit the news. What went wrong?
It’s been almost a year since the launch of WikiTribune, the crowdsourced news site created by Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia. If you haven’t heard of WikiTribune, you’re not alone—it hasn’t made a big splash outside hardcore digital-media circles. But it’s an ambitious project, one that was designed to democratize the news as a Wikipedia-style […]
Does the Assange indictment pose a threat to journalism?
In what appears to have been a cut-and-paste error, a routine filing in a completely unrelated court case revealed on Thursday that the Justice Department has finally laid charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The filing was a request for the court to seal all documents related to a case involving a man named Seitu […]
Facebook’s instinct to deny, then apologize is baked into its DNA
A new feature from The New York Times takes an in-depth look at Facebook’s response—or rather, lack of response—to criticism about Russian trolls using its platform to spread disinformation both before and during the 2016 election. The piece points fingers at a number of senior staff, including the company’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, as […]
CNN drops the gloves, sues Trump over Acosta press pass
Perhaps it’s not surprising that, after two years of unrelenting hostility from Donald Trump and the White House towards the media, it would come to this: a lawsuit filed on Tuesday in federal court by CNN, against the president and several members of his administration—including Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and Chief of Staff John Kelly—for […]