(Digital) World in Crisis: Five Must-Read Pieces Chosen by Zeynep Tufekci


Photo by mahdis mousavi on Unsplash

I was honored to have Zeynep Tufekci, a technosociologist whose work I find crucial in helping us understand public discourse in the digital age, take a lead at guest-curating my newsletter this week.

Here are some of the articles Zeynep shared in her Exponential View:

1. Useful in thinking about the near future of Bitcoin, and the crisis coming their way.

This essay depicts the story of the internet we imagined, and the internet in its reality. It is a worthy lesson for the future of crypto technologies.

Why the Hidden Internet Can’t be a Libertarian Paradise

2. Hackers and mischief makers are coming for machine learning.

“They are vulnerable, in part, because they lack actual intelligence. For instance, it is possible to use a billboard to trick the vision systems on self-driving cars into seeing things that aren’t there.”

Growing Evidence Suggests it’s Only a Matter of Time before Machine Learning Systems are Targeted

3. Facebook and publishers, a depressing take.

We’ve read plenty about Facebook’s impact on publishers, but this piece does an excellent job depicting its effect on comedy creators. “When you go to Facebook, you’re going to Walmart. And every time you go and scroll through content on Facebook, you’re depriving independent media of a way to exist.”

How Facebook Is Killing Comedy

4. YouTube may be the most overlooked story of last year, and its recommender algorithm is the biggest radicalization engine.

“The question before us is the ethics of leading people down hateful rabbit holes full of misinformation and lies at scale just because it works to increase the time people spend on the site — and it does work.”

‘Fiction is outperforming reality’: how YouTube’s algorithm distorts truth

5. What is free speech in the age of targeted content?

Zeynep looks at what the shift to the current attention economy means for censorship and free speech.

It’s the (Democracy-Poisoning) Golden Age of Free Speech

If you crave a weekly curation of thoughtful opinions about society and technology, you’ll want to check out Exponential View.


Leave a Reply