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Facebook risks starting a war on knowledge

Facebook is closing its doors to researchers in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The latest casualty is the app Netvizz, a research tool used by hundreds of academics to gather public Facebook data, that the social network has recently banned. The app has gathered more than 300 academic citations and has been used […]

The darknet is not a hellhole, it’s an answer to internet privacy

On the back of scandals such as those that engulfed the NSA and Cambridge Analytica, online privacy and data protection have become major political concerns. Many of us worry that private companies and governments know more about us than our closest friends and relatives. One alternative is to switch to the darknet, which offers anonymity […]

Facebook is all for community, but what kind of community is it building?

There are many of us who stand for bringing people together and connecting the world. I hope we have the focus to take the long view and build the new social infrastructure to create the world we want for generations to come. – Mark Zuckerburg, Facebook Post Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg […]

How new fathers use social media to make sense of their roles

A lawyer in Bermuda became internet-famous for dancing ballet alongside his two-year-old daughter, comforting her stage fright by being there and doing the dance moves right with her. He knew the part because he had practiced ballet with his children before – and said it was just a normal part of fathering daughters. That […]

How the latest tech and some healthy activism can curb fake news

The term “fake news” has become ubiquitous over the past two years. The Cambridge English dictionary defines it as “false stories that appear to be news, spread on the internet or using other media, usually created to influence political views or as a joke”. As part of a global push to curb […]

Having lost $120bn in a day, Facebook has been torn down to earth for its tardy privacy policies

Facebook’s critics would have experienced a fair amount of schadenfreude last week when it lost a fifth of its value when weaker-than-expected results wiped 24% off its share price, the eye-watering amount of $120bn. It’s now the largest one-day sell-off in history, but also the biggest sign to date that […]

Digital nomads: what it’s really like to work while travelling the world

The phrase digital nomad summons the trope of joyful millennials who escape the daily grind to travel the world, working with laptops on far flung beaches. Bullish statistics are regularly regurgitated: “There will be one billion digital nomads by 2035,” the headlines declare. As an anthropologist, I started researching digital nomadism in 2015. It took […]

What if the companies that profit from your data had to pay you?

When it comes to digital privacy, there are plenty of organisations making money out of using your data – Google and Facebook are just two examples. But what if you were the one making the money? What if those organisations profiting from your data had to pay you a share […]

Facebook defending the indefensible in dealing with Holocaust and school-shooting liars

What was the most damning tech news last week? That Google’s Android was fined $5bn for anticompetitive behaviour with Android? That Donald Trump continued to obfuscate around the Russian meddling in US elections? Or that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended the rights of Holocaust denialists? Perhaps because I’m Jewish and […]

Technology doesn’t have to be lonely: encouraging dialogue over diatribe

Do you ever feel like when you post to Facebook, you’re publishing into a void where nobody is listening? You’re not the only one. A recent study reported that people are lonelier and more depressed due to technology – and it’s making us feel isolated. But, while technology is at the heart […]

No more spoilers! Facebook’s testing a new ‘mute keywords’ feature

We’ve all been in that awkward situation where you need to unfollow certain friends or stay away from social media completely in a bid to miss Game of Thrones episode spoilers. Well, Facebook  is now testing the option to “snooze” specific keywords so you won’t see them for 30 days in […]

How tech companies are successfully disrupting terrorist social media activity

In June 2017, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft announced the formation of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT). The aim of this industry-led initiative is to disrupt the terrorist exploitation of its services. Recently, GIFCT members hailed the achievements of its first year of operations. But, while this progress must be […]

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