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that little bastard big brother

Building Global Community

How do we help people build supportive communities that strengthen traditional institutions in a world where membership in these institutions is declining?

How do we help people build a safe community that prevents harm, helps during crises and rebuilds afterwards in a world where anyone across the world can affect us?

How do we help people build an informed community that exposes us to new ideas and builds common understanding in a world where every person has a voice?

How do we help people build a civically-engaged community in a world where participation in voting sometimes includes less than half our population?

How do we help people build an inclusive community that reflects our collective values and common humanity from local to global levels, spanning cultures, nations and regions in a world with few examples of global communities?

Parece bonito e mais sobre comunidades aqui.

Muito sobre comunidade com ênfase no real, e este com ênfase no local. Familiar? A receita para a oposição ao Big Brother digital que já aqui assinalámos. Mas no ano de todas as transformações, enquanto outros acordam para a necessidade de resistir em digital, os powers that be fazem o percurso em sentido inverso e apontam canhões à vida real. E tal como a estratégia de resistência implica a apropriação do digital, a estratégia de invasão implica a subtração e distorção das nossas bases. A solução sempre a soubemos: distribuição, distribuída. E é nessa frente que, aparentemente, o Facebook começará o seu assalto.

Este sugere no seu manifesto que tentará a transposição do digital para o real posicionando-se enquanto uma plataforma cívica/política, o salto mais ambicioso que alguma corporação -tech-media ou outra- poderia querer fazer, com desafios impossíveis de prever porque nunca antes tentados, muito menos a esta escala. Imaginamos os políticos a resistir a esta incursão na igual medida que o FB seja bem-sucedido nesse processo com o foi em destruir os media. E tal como os jornalistas, também os políticos assistirão impotentes ao estabelecimento da nova ordem mundial quando, como nos media, se aperceberem demasiado tarde das implicações e magnitude do agora proposto.

Seremos curtos entre excertos, a sua sequência deverá ser o suficiente para extraíres sentido do texto. Como manda a regra, tudo de fontes pop-web-mainstream não conotadas com qualquer extremismo ideológico, fora uma única exceção devidamente assinalada.


I

Governo et Big Brother


Passemos a palavra -

Mark Zuckerberg says change the world, yet he sets the rules

Last week Mark Zuckerberg set out a new mission for the company he has created. (...) A role that might be more accurately described as this: government. Because that’s what this letter is, a template for Facebook’s role in a new world order. A supranational power that exists above and beyond the nation state. A digital interface between you and everything else: your friends, the news, the world.
in "Mark Zuckerberg says change the world, yet he sets the rules" 19 fev 2017
And I do think it’s disingenuous in that Zuckerberg’s post is not mentioning any of this.
In last week’s wordy essay in which Zuckerberg generally tries to promote the grandiose notion that Facebook’s future role is to be the glue holding the fabric of global society together, (...) he fails to flag the obvious paradox: that technology which helps amplify misinformation and prejudice might not be so great for social cohesion after all.

Make no mistake, this is a huge shift from the one-size fits all ‘community standards’ Facebook has peddled for years. (...) The problem is this — and indeed much else in the ~5,000-word post — is mostly misdirection.
in "Don’t trust Facebook’s shifting line on controversy" 22 fev 2017
We haven’t even started to think about what that means.
Zuckerberg’s wrestling with the question of how Facebook can change the world. Whereas the question is: do we actually want Facebook to change the world? Do we want any corporation to have so much unchecked power? Facebook is not just any corporation. It is a surveillance machine. Researchers from Cambridge University showed that knowing just 10 "likes" a Facebook user had clicked gave you more information on someone than a colleague might know; 150 and you’d know more than their partner. With 300, you’d know more about them than they knew about themselves.
in "Mark Zuckerberg says change the world, yet he sets the rules" 19 fev 2017
Try this for a thought experiment. Pretend Mark Zuckerberg wasn’t born in White Plains, New York. Pretend, instead, he was born in Smolensk, Russia. His Facebook is not headquartered in Menlo Park, Silicon Valley. Instead, its global nerve centre is in Moscow. And he isn’t a freckled, fresh-faced young man with a nice-looking family and a cute dog. This Zuckerberg likes hunting, poses with guns and owns a bull mastiff.

What do you think of this less cuddly Mark Zuckerberg? This Facebook? The company that in its last quarter earned $8.8bn and counts half of the world’s internet users – 1.86 billion people – as its customers. The company that harvests your data, owns your baby photos, controls your news feed and goes to ever further lengths to capture your attention. What do you make of this Zuckerberg – let’s call him Misha – and his 5,000-word letter to the world, published on Thursday?

Facebook is a corporation doing what corporations do: making money, grabbing market share, maximizing profit. Think of Russian Mark Zuckerberg _ Misha, as I think of him – plotting all this from his headquarters in a business park outside Moscow, a bull mastiff at his side, his relationship to Putin still to play out. Still want that? Da?
in "Mark Zuckerberg says change the world, yet he sets the rules" 19 fev 2017

... e das implicações de um FB activo na esfera da política:

Though he never uses the word "nationalism," that's clearly what's on his mind.
Zuckerberg positions Facebook as a force for political change in the coming years. (...) He adds that we need social media to "reach the next level." That next level is some kind of ill-defined global community which will come into being by using Facebook as a platform. Zuckerberg adds that he's thinking of creating "worldwide voting system" for Facebook users which could then be used as a template for how "collective decision-making may work in other aspects of the global community." He sounds like he's floating the idea of turning Facebook into the infrastructure for managing elections.
in "Op-ed: Mark Zuckerberg’s manifesto is a political trainwreck" 18 fev 2017

E por falar em eleições e FB:

By Zuckerberg’s own admission "in recent campaigns around the world… we’ve seen the candidate with the largest and most engaged following on Facebook usually wins".
in "The Observer view on Mark Zuckerberg" 19 fev 2017

Bom saber.


II

"meaningful groups"


Jump into reality: aquilo da proximidade, mas com líderes.

The company's next big push is for communities with local, real-world impact [with] "meaningful groups", defined as "the core of your social network experience and physical support structure." The main way these groups will be different from a regular community is that they are explicitly designed to bring people together offline, IRL, in the physical world, (...) it's embedded in our offline lives. They are, in other words, connected to local geographical areas.

Facebook is going to start surfacing these groups to users a lot, in an effort to get more people to join them. Unlike other groups on Facebook, meaningful groups will be centered around leaders. He asserted, "The best communities in the world have leaders."

Meaningful groups sound like they would be ideal for politicians trying to garner a local following. As a leader, you'll have access to tools that will grow your group. And why wouldn't you do that? After all, Zuckerberg has said that politicians with the biggest Facebook engagement always win elections.
in "Op-ed: Mark Zuckerberg’s manifesto is a political trainwreck" 18 fev 2017

Sobre proximidades, não nos escapa a parecença a outros grupos significativos, e a sua diferença:

Affinity Groups are Powerful

Turbulent times are upon us. Already, blockades, demonstrations, riots, and clashes are occuring regularly. It’s past time to be organizing for the upheavals that are on the way.

From an anarchist perspective, organizational structure should maximize both freedom and voluntary coordination at every level of scale, from the smallest group up to society as a whole.

An affinity group is a circle of friends who understand themselves as an autonomous political force. The idea is that people who already know and trust each other should work together to respond immediately, intelligently, and flexibly to emerging situations.

This leaderless format has proven effective for guerrilla activities of all kinds, in which many unpredictable autonomous groups overwhelm a centralized adversary.
in "How to Form an Affinity Group - The Essential Building Block of Anarchist Organization" 6 fev 2017

Mas dizíamos, sobre comunidade e líderes:

Zuckerberg isn’t parting the curtain to show the technology behind the rhetoric.
[Zuckerberg:] Facebook should function as a global "social infrastructure," the technological underpinning of a world more tightly connected in real life. (…) Zuckerberg’s grand vision is now to build technology that creates far bigger and more complex communities.

In Zuckerberg’s new vision for Facebook, leaders (...) will have tools to guide and shape the more complex communities they’re trying to create. "Just like becoming friends with people on Facebook can strengthen real-world relationships, there is no reason to believe that building communities on Facebook and the internet can’t also strengthen real-world communities"
in "Mark Zuckerberg’s Answer to a World Divided by Facebook Is More Facebook" 16 fev 2017

E o "senão" que acompanha o discurso:

...Except that as the 2016 presidential election showed, Facebook is also incredibly effective at weakening the norms that hold real-world communities together. When I press him on how he hopes to build a Facebook that shows everyone more than just what they want to see, he is still light on the details.
in "Mark Zuckerberg’s Answer to a World Divided by Facebook Is More Facebook" 16 fev 2017

III

AI, a bolha


Zuckerberg apparently has no plans to hire any human beings to deal with these fundamentally human questions of what constitutes a community. (...) I'm not objecting to the idea that AI could be helpful in dealing with abuse and fake news. But until we understand better how humans make these decisions and define their communities, handing this problem over to bots is basically a way of deferring dealing with it. The fake news disaster will be fixed when we reach the Singularity.
in "Op-ed: Mark Zuckerberg’s manifesto is a political trainwreck" 18 fev 2017

AI gone wrong:

Just glance back at Zuckerberg’s last mission statement from 2012. "We hope to rewire the way people spread and consume information," he said. Well, mission accomplished. Congratulations. What next? One answer: artificial intelligence. "The long term promise of AI, it may also identify risks that nobody would have flagged at all, including terrorists planning attacks using private channels, people bullying someone too afraid to report it themselves." Or to put it another way: a company with no oversight and accountability that uses an algorithm that it allows no one to see is developing an AI that will decide if you are or aren’t a terrorist. What could possibly go wrong?
in "Mark Zuckerberg says change the world, yet he sets the rules" 19 fev 2017

Mo' data!

Voltando à Singularidade, o deep learning alimenta-se de quantidades massivas de dados. A aquisição desses dados obrigam a uma ginástica imensa de técnicas e tecnologias. Mas, melhor mesmo, só pondo os próprios utilizadores a carregar os seus dados.

[Zuckerberg escreve sobre] caveats that Facebook’s in-house AI does not currently have the ability to automatically identify every type of (potentially) problematic content (...) declining to state the obvious: that understanding the entire spectrum of possible human controversies would require a truly super-intelligent AI.
in "Don’t trust Facebook’s shifting line on controversy" 22 fev 2017

Parêntesis: compreendemos que a AI ainda não esteja lá, são épicas as falhas:

Meanwhile, Facebook’s in-house algorithms have shown themselves to be hopeless at being able to correctly ID some pretty bald-faced fakery. And he’s leaning on third party fact-checking organizations — who do employ actual humans to separate truth and lies — to help fight the spread of Fake News on the platform.
in "Don’t trust Facebook’s shifting line on controversy" 22 fev 2017

Any-ho, só um pequeno glitch, mas continuando -

The issue is not whether Facebook will be able to do what he suggests is its ultimate AI-powered goal (i.e. scan all user-shared content for problems; categorize everything accurately across a range of measures; and then dish up exactly the stuff each user wants to see in order to keep them fully engaged on Facebook, and save Facebook from any more content removal controversies) - rather the point is Facebook is going to be asking users to explicitly give it even more personal data. Data that is necessarily highly sensitive in nature.
in "Don’t trust Facebook’s shifting line on controversy" 22 fev 2017

O que levanta a questão:

Given the scale of Facebook’s tracking systems and machine learning algorithms, couldn’t it essentially infer individuals’ likely tolerance for controversial content? Why does it need to ask at all?
in "Don’t trust Facebook’s shifting line on controversy" 22 fev 2017

Duas respostas possíveis:

It is more total information management. The more they can get, and the more granular those personal controls get the more information they’re picking up. (...) Not only could they derive that information from what they already have but it would also help them to fine-tune the information they already have. It works in two directions. It reinforces the profiling, and could be deduced from profiling in the first place: It’s checking their inferred data is accurate (...) It’s almost testing their algorithms. It can actually, effectively be improving their ability to determine information on people.

There could be a difference, in data protection law terms. If we’ve given it consensually then it’s clearer that they have permission. & shifting some of the responsibility for the types of content being shown onto users implicitly shifts some of the blame away from Facebook when controversies inexorably arise. So, basically: see something you don’t like in your News Feed in future? Well, that’s YOUR fault now! Either you didn’t set your Facebook content settings correctly. Or you didn’t set any at all… Tsk!
in "Don’t trust Facebook’s shifting line on controversy" 22 fev 2017

E uma conclusão - óbvia, mas já o era há tanto tempo atrás que não nos mata repetir...:

This is increasing risks and increasing our vulnerability at a time when we should be doing exactly the opposite: given the level at which they’re profiling we shouldn’t tell them anymore.
in "Don’t trust Facebook’s shifting line on controversy" 22 fev 2017

IV

$$$


Facebook remains an advertising business (...) so the obvious question is whether or not any additional data Facebook gathers from users via a ‘content threshold setting’ will become another input for fleshing out its user profiles for helping it target ads.
in "Don’t trust Facebook’s shifting line on controversy" 22 fev 2017

AKA e repetimos, the filter bubble issue.

Zuckerberg’s blog post has a fair amount of fuzzy thinking on filter bubbles, as you might expect from the chief of an engagement-algorithm-driven content distribution machine. But - for all his talk of "building global community" - he offers no clear fix for how Facebook can help break users out of the AI-enabled, navel-gazing circles its business model creates.

[The] risk that giving users controls over controversial content could exacerbate the filter bubble effect further - a user who can effectively dial down all controversy to zero: It’s going to be a lot easier for them to live inside a padded Facebook stream populated with cute photos of babies and kittens. News? What news? Awwww, how purdy!

And while that might make a pleasing experience for individuals who wants to disengage from wider global realities, it’s reductive for society as a whole if lots of people start retreating into rose-tinted filter bubbles. (...) Giving people easy opt outs for types of content that might push them outside their comfort zone and force them to confront unfamiliar ideas or encounter a different or difficult perspective just offers a self-enabled filter bubble.

This issue is of rising important given how many users Facebook has, and how the massively dominant platform has been shown to be increasingly cannibalizing traditional news media; becoming a place people go to get news generally, not just to learn what their friends are up to. 
in "Don’t trust Facebook’s shifting line on controversy" 22 fev 2017

Recapitulando tudo agora por breves instantes. Local/proximidade e grupos? à mistura com a rivalidade AI vs Humano? bubbles? News? Segue-se um especial media/gatekeepers, a nossa bubble pessoal :)

Zuckerberg is building a news organization without journalists.
Zuckerberg doesn’t want Facebook to kill journalism as we know it. He really, really doesn’t. But that doesn’t mean he won’t.
It’s not that Mark Zuckerberg set out to dismantle the news business when he founded Facebook 13 years ago. Yet news organizations are perhaps the biggest casualty of the world Zuckerberg built. There’s reason to believe things are going to get worse.

A sprawling new manifesto by Zuckerberg, published to Facebook on Thursday, should set off new alarm bells for journalists, and heighten news organizations’ sense of urgency about how they—and their industry—can survive in a Facebook-dominated world. Facebook’s existing threat to journalism is well established. It is, at its core, about the flow of the advertising dollars that news organizations once counted on. In this way, Facebook’s role is a continuation of what began in 1995, when Craigslist was founded. Its founder, Craig Newmark, didn’t actively aim to decimate newspapers, but Craigslist still eviscerated a crucial revenue stream for print when people stopped buying newspaper classified ads.

The company is absolutely dominating in the realm of digital advertising. (...) Now, Zuckerberg is making it clear that he wants Facebook to take over many of the actual functions—not just ad dollars—that traditional news organizations once had.

Zuckerberg uses abstract language in his memo (...) but what he’s really describing is building a media company with classic journalistic goals: The Facebook of the future, he writes, will be "for keeping us safe, for informing us, for civic engagement, and for inclusion of all."
in "The Mark Zuckerberg Manifesto Is a Blueprint for Destroying Journalism" 17 fev 2017

E onde a press se preocupa como local, por boas razões.

The deaths of news organizations have jeopardized the prospect of a safe, well-informed, civically-engaged community. One 2014 paper found a substantial drop-off in civic engagement (...) after cities saw the closure of longstanding daily newspapers. The decline was "not consistently replicated over the same time period in other major American cities that did not lose a newspaper," suggesting that the decline in civic engagement may be attributed to disappearance of local news sources. If local media institutions are strong and are binding individuals and groups together, then citizens should be participating in more community groups, contacting their government more frequently, and circulating more petitions because they are more aware of shared problems, interests, and opportunities.

Zuckerberg obviously understands this. The problem is that Zuckerberg lays out concrete ideas about how to build community on Facebook (...) in an assumption that news, which has always been subsidized by the advertising dollars his company now commands, will continue to feed into Facebook’s system at little to no cost to Facebook.

Zuckerberg is building a news organization without journalists. The uncomfortable truth for journalists, though, is that Facebook is much better at community building in the digital age than news organizations are.

Zuckerberg is continuing to push Facebook’s hands-off approach to editorial responsibility. Facebook is outsourcing its decision-making power about what’s in your News Feed. Instead of the way a newspaper editor decides what’s on the front page, the user will decide. "For those who don’t make a decision, the default will be whatever the majority of people in your region selected, like a referendum". The most cynical way to describe this set-up is to say that Facebook is asking its users to act as unpaid publishers and curators of content (...) and now also to act as unpaid editors, volunteering to teach Facebook’s algorithmic editors how and when to surface the content Facebook does not pay for. In other words, Facebook is building a global newsroom run by robot editors and its own readers.

This strategy may be right for Facebook, which has a strong track record of predicting what its users want. But if journalism is an indispensable component of the global community Zuckerberg is trying to build, he must also realize that what he’s building is a grave threat to journalism.

All of this is the news industry’s problem; not Zuckerberg’s. But it’s also a problem for anyone who believes in and relies on quality journalism to make sense of the world.
in "The Mark Zuckerberg Manifesto Is a Blueprint for Destroying Journalism" 17 fev 2017

Regressando: se no jornalismo provocou a queda dos media, pensemos da importância política do FB no mundo! Ah, e já repararam como tudo devolve à "classe média" que nos ocupava no post anterior?

Treating people well shouldn’t be in companies’ gift: it should be the law.
On Friday, Zuckerberg wrote "the most important thing we at Facebook can do is develop the social infrastructure to give people the power to build a global community that works for all of us". But there is something chilling in Zuckerberg’s failure to recognize that Facebook is already a for-profit form of social infrastructure, with immense and unprecedented power over our lives. And in making its profit, Facebook creates social value, yes, but also social harm. A quarter of the world’s population – 1.86 billion people – have Facebook accounts. Facebook shapes the way they consume, process and interact with information, and with each other.

By filtering the information we see, Facebook also changes the way we think. Its algorithms – whose design, of course, is motivated by profit – function as editors, pushing us to content that we are most likely to find engaging, from people we are naturally drawn to.

Like other corporate giants, Facebook has done all in its power to minimize its tax bill, paying a fraction of what it owes the societies from which it draws its profits, undermining the very social infrastructure Zuckerberg claims to want to build. Yet Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have the gall to argue that government should pay everyone an unconditional basic income while one of its biggest darlings pays hardly any tax. It forewarns of a feudal-type world where a select few own all the technological wealth and pay the rest of us just enough to eke out a basic subsistence.
in "The Observer view on Mark Zuckerberg" 19 fev 2017
Facebook is the grim sign of something going seriously wrong in our economic model. (...) Zuckerberg’s pitch is a warning to us all. If he really wanted to do good, he would be launching a debate on how governments can regulate new-age natural monopolies such as Facebook, and publishing Facebook’s algorithms to make them as transparent as newspaper editorial policies.

Facebook’s success is prophetic of a future in which we may all have to rely on a few all-powerful companies benevolently gifting us scraps like grants for struggling media organizations, or a meagre basic income to supplement poverty wages. But today, consumers and citizens still have the power to demand something different, and the laws of our lands still have the power to enforce it. We should act while we can.
in "The Observer view on Mark Zuckerberg" 19 fev 2017

V

Fuck tha Big Bastard


Another glaring omission in Zuckerberg’s writing is the risk of Facebook’s cache of highly personal (and likely increasingly sensitive) data being misused by overreaching governments seeking to clamp down on particular groups within society. (...) The threat posed to Facebook users by government agencies appropriating accounts to enable highly intrusive, warrantless searches - and presumably go on phishing expeditions for incriminating content - (...) apparently does not merit public consideration by Facebook’s CEO. Instead, Zuckerberg is calling for more user data, and for increased use of Facebook.

It’s especially strange for a US CEO to stay silent on this at this point in time, given how social media searches by US customs agents have ramped up following President Trump’s Executive Order on immigration last month. There have also been suggestions that foreigners wanting to enter the US could be forced to hand over their social media passwords to US border agents in future. All of which has very clear and very alarming implications for Facebook users and their Facebook data.
in "Don’t trust Facebook’s shifting line on controversy" 22 fev 2017

No tópico do rebanho & hell is other people, novamente uma passagem a recordar aqueles de tradição mais libertária porque as massas não estão ainda emancipadas: em boa parte, porque não o querem, e todos sofremos.

Users who do not want to share any additional sensitive signals with the ad-targeting giant will be forced to tolerate their peers’ predilections. (...) Which immediately puts pressure on users to confess their content likes/dislikes to Facebook in order to avoid this ‘hell is other people’s tastes’ bind. (...) So by not telling Facebook anything about your content thresholds you’re put into a default corner of telling Facebook you’re okay with whatever the regional average is okay with, content wise. And that may be the opposite of okay for you.

I think there’s another little trap here that they’ve done before: when you make controls granular it looks as if you’re giving people control — but actually people generally get bored and don’t bother changing anything. So you can say you’ve given people control, and now it’s all much better — but in general they don’t use it. 
in "Don’t trust Facebook’s shifting line on controversy" 22 fev 2017

E a recordar também que esperar pelos outros não é bem o mantra do faz-tu-mesmo.

I can see people gaming this kind of system
The few people who do are the few people who would understand it and get round it anyway.
in "Don’t trust Facebook’s shifting line on controversy" 22 fev 2017

That be thaz smart teen, e, esperamos, aqueles que nos lêem. E, recordando que temos o imperativo moral de nos apropriar da tech, by any means necessary,

Such a majority rule system could also be at risk of being gamed by — let’s say — mischievous 4Channers banding together and working to get graphic boundaries opened up in a region where more conservative standards are the norm.
in "Don’t trust Facebook’s shifting line on controversy" 22 fev 2017

Smartass-teens.
Mas continuando, e no reverso do tópico anteriores, mais dos líderes e gatekeepers.

There’s also a danger of ‘community leaders’ taking some degree of control; recommending people particular settings. I’m wary of Zuckerberg ending up doing this so you have standards for particular kind of people, so you ‘chose’ the standards that someone else has effectively chosen for you.
in "Don’t trust Facebook’s shifting line on controversy" 22 fev 2017

Familiar? Tal como a solução que conheces.


VI

Distribuindo.


Aquilo que falamos aqui? Agora aqui:

The idea that we concentrate all our stuff in one place — both in one online place (i.e. Facebook) and one physical place (i.e. our smartphones), puts us at greater risk when we have governments who are likely to take advantage of those risks. And are actually looking at doing things that will be putting us under pressure. So I think we need to be looking at diversifying, rather than looking at one particular route in.

Anyone who’s got any sense is not going to be doing anything that’s even slightly risky on Facebook and should be looking for alternatives. Because while the border guards may know about Facebook and Twitter they’re not going to know about the more obscure systems, and they’re not going to be able to get access to them. So now is actually the time for us to be saying let’s do less Facebook, not more Facebook.
in "Don’t trust Facebook’s shifting line on controversy" 22 fev 2017

abraçando o absurdo