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May 18, 2017

5.10: open web; commodified privacy; monopolies


updates and ideas from the D&S community and beyond

Around the Institute


New position at D&S!

A new position at D&S just opened: Director of Finance & Administration. Apply by June 2! We are also hiring a Media Manipulation Lead (open until filled)!

Future Perfect

Only two more days to apply to Future Perfect, our June 16 micro-conference on the uses, abuses, and paradoxes of speculative futures. Among our questions: How do we challenge dominant narratives of the future in popular culture and speculative fiction?

Apply to be an Open Web Fellow at D&S!

Data & Society is delighted to again be a host organization for the Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellows program!

The Open Web Fellow will be challenged by a passionate, multidisciplinary community of researchers, practitioners, and mischief makers at D&S (and also by their fellow Ford-Mozilla fellows). Their work will be shared broadly with a view to influencing public (and policy) conversations, directly and indirectly. Apply by May 21!

We’re Just Starting to Comprehend How Social Media Breeds Shootings

“Social media doesn’t allow for the opportunity to physically de-escalate an argument. Instead, it offers myriad ways to exacerbate a brewing conflict as opposing gangs or crews and friends and family take turns weighing in.” —Desmond Patton

Around the Around

How Privacy Became a Commodity for the Rich and Powerful

“The surveillance economy works on such information asymmetry: Data-mining companies know everything about us, but we know very little about what they know. And just as ‘privacy’ has grown into an anxious buzzword, the powerful have co-opted it in order to maintain control over others and evade accountability.” —Amanda Hess

Uber’s AI Hub in Pittsburgh Gutted a University Lab—Now It’s in Toronto

“It sounds like they’re providing a potential boon for local talent to stay in Canada…The harm is: if you’re going to rely on publicly-funded research from universities to fuel your proprietary software initiatives, there’s no clear public benefit.” —Alex Rosenblat, as quoted by Jordan Pearson

Is It Time to Break Up Google?

“I’m under no delusion that…antitrust regulation of the internet monopolies will be a priority. Ultimately we may have to wait four years, at which time the monopolies will be so dominant that the only remedy will be to break them up. ‘” —Jonathan Taplin

BONUS: In an essay on dependency, Farhad Manjoo offers an interactive feature that asks users to choose their scenario for breaking up with the “Big Five.”