Internet

Media and Content

The easy availability of information on the Internet may lead to the commoditization of content. However, if content is free or low cost, it may be difficult for those who produce it (like journalists) to earn a living. Economists and other scholars examine this tension and suggest various solutions.

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Quotes

Dear Mr Zuckerberg: the Problem Isn't the Internet, It's Facebook

"By turning the focus away from Facebook to "the internet" you try to fool us into conflating the two. The fact is that the structure and function of Facebook is antithetic to the ideology of the internet. The internet is open, configurable, distributed, and based on open code. Facebook is nothing of the sort." — Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor of Media Studies, University of Virginia


Siva Vaidhyanathan
Source: The Guardian
February 4, 2019

Violating Our Privacy Is in Facebook's DNA

"These two principles – that Facebook is benevolent and that privacy is quaint and inefficient – drive everything Facebook does. They go a long way to explain why Facebook continued to give precious user data to a set of “trusted” partners years after the company claimed it had ended such a program." — Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor of Media Studies, University of Virginia


Siva Vaidhyanathan
Source: The Guardian
December 20, 2018

Social Media Advertising Can Boost Fake News — Or Beat It

"The actions of platforms such as Facebook in regulating advertising do seem to have had an effect on the volume of fake news. However, our paper also emphasizes that in just focusing on ads and fake news, we are missing the bigger picture, which is the organic spread of misinformation by users themselves." — Catherine Tucker, Professor of Marketing, MIT


Catherine Tucker
Source: MIT’s Ideas Made to Matter
December 19, 2018

Tech Is Like Sex: Abstinence Isn’t the Answer

"Social media — far from being the seductive Trojan horse — is a release valve, allowing youth to reclaim meaningful sociality as a tool for managing the pressures and limitations around them." — danah boyd, Founder of Data & Society and Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research


danah boyd
Source: Psychology Today
November 16, 2018

You Thought Fake News Was Bad? Deep Fakes Are Where Truth Goes to Die

"I’m starting to see how a well-timed deep fake could very well disrupt the democratic process." — Danielle Citron, Professor of Law, University of Maryland


Danielle Citron
Source: The Guardian
November 12, 2018

Facebook’s Failure to End ‘Public by Default’

"Right now, users have little choice in the public exposure of their profile pictures. Every single one of them is set to “public” by default. Even if you try to limit your current profile picture visibility using Facebook’s privacy settings for the individual photo, it will still be public." — Woodrow Hartzog, Professor of Law, Northeastern University and Evan Selinger, Professor of Philosophy, Rochester Institute of Technology


Evan Selinger
Source: Medium
November 7, 2018

The blueprint for a 3-D-printed gun was uploaded in book form to Amazon as a free speech exercise. Amazon removed it.

"What this case shows is that digital technologies are asking questions of constitutional law that don’t have clear answers. This is just another illustration of the fact that digital technologies don’t just destabilize or disrupt industries, they destabilize and disrupt settled legal expectations, and they require us to think carefully about how we apply the law to technology." — Neil Richards, Professor of Law, Washington University in St. Louis


Neil Richards
Source: The Washington Post
August 23, 2018

Apple, Facebook and Other Tech Companies Delete Content from Alex Jones

"While private platforms aren’t bound by the restrictions of the First Amendment — generally only the government is — there’s a question about how much discretion they should choose to exercise over what speech they allow to flow through them." — Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Law, Harvard University


Jonathan Zittrain
Source: The Washington Post
August 6, 2018

It’s No Accident that Facebook Is So Addictive

"Facebook is in the social engineering business. It constantly tries to manipulate our experience and, thus, our perspective on our friends, issues and the world. It does so haphazardly and incoherently, it seems at first. But, in fact, there is a coherent driving force. Facebook wants to maximize something close to “happiness.”" — Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor of Media Studies, University of Virginia


Siva Vaidhyanathan
Source: The Washington Post
August 6, 2018

Bots of the Internet, Reveal Yourselves!

"Political commentary comes in different forms. Imagine a concerned citizen sets up a bot to criticize a particular official for failing to act on climate change. Now say that official runs for re-election. Is the concerned citizen now in violation of California law?" — Ryan Calo, Professor of Law, University of Washington


M. Ryan Calo
Source: The New York Times
July 16, 2018
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TAP Blog

Jonathan Zittrain Talks with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg About Privacy

Harvard cyber and international law professor Jonathan Zittrain talks with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about privacy, autonomy, and information fiduciaries.

TAP Staff Blogger

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Featured Article

The Impact of Targeting Technology on Advertising Markets and Media Competition

This paper presents a formal analysis of advertising when the Internet allows targeting of advertisements.

By: Susan Athey, Joshua Gans