Source: The secret rules of the internet | The Verge
The murky history of moderation, and how it’s shaping the future of free speech.
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.”
However, these debates (unlike say, congressional hearings), are shielded from public view, as both corporate and civil society participants remain nearly silent about the deliberations. Without greater transparency, users, consumers — the public at large — are ill-equipped to understand exactly how platforms work and how their own speech is being regulated and why. This means that the most basic tools of accountability and governance — public and legal pressure — simply don’t exist.
Source: Doug Rushkoff Says Companies Should Stop Growing | FiveThirtyEight
When your reality is reconfiguring itself based on not ‘who you are’, ‘what you want’, and creating new possibilities, but reconfiguring itself based on ‘how can we extract the most value from *this little tendency* that we’ve just seen’. When your Google search is so different from my Google search, and it’s not different because it’s optimizing itself for ‘how are we going to help you be more you’, but ‘how are we going to help you be more statistical category 17.03c’, that’s not good. That’s about changing who you are to better serve the market.
despite knowing that Bitcoin could fail all along, the now inescapable conclusion that it has failed still saddens me greatly. The fundamentals are broken and whatever happens to the price in the short term, the long term trend should probably be downwards. I will no longer be taking part in Bitcoin development and have sold all my coins.
It has failed because the community has failed. … the network is on the brink of technical collapse. The mechanisms that should have prevented this outcome have broken down, and as a result there’s no longer much reason to think Bitcoin can actually be better than the existing financial system.
When misinformed investors lose money, government attention frequently follows.
Source: The resolution of the Bitcoin experiment, by Mike Hearn
Hossein Derakhshan was imprisoned by the regime for his blogging. On his release, he found the internet stripped of its power to change the world and instead serving up a stream of pointless social trivia
a blind webpage, one without hyperlinks, can’t look or gaze at another webpage – and this has serious consequences for the dynamics of power on the web.
When a powerful website – say Google or Facebook – gazes at, or links to, another webpage, it doesn’t just connect it , it brings it into existence; gives it life. Without this empowering gaze, your web page doesn’t breathe. No matter how many links you have placed in a webpage, unless somebody is looking at it, it is actually both dead and blind, and therefore incapable of transferring power to any outside web page.
Source: Iran’s blogfather: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are killing the web | Technology | The Guardian