Networks, the Internet, and Cloud Computing


Different business models have evolved for providing information on the Internet, including search engines, which make money from advertising; subscription web sites; and free web sites which drive off-line sales. Scholars examine the evolution of this marketplace and its implications for content providers and businesses.

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Don’t Delete Facebook. Do Something About It.

"As long as Facebook is big and rich, its algorithms will determine and distort much of what we read and watch. Our long-term agenda should be to bolster institutions that foster democratic deliberation and the rational pursuit of knowledge." — Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor of Media Studies, University of Virginia

Siva Vaidhyanathan
Source: New York Times
March 24, 2018

How Calls for Privacy May Upend Business for Facebook and Google

"People are upset that their data may have been used to secretly influence 2016 voters. If your personal information can help sway elections, which affects everyone’s life and societal well-being, maybe privacy does matter after all." — Alessandro Acquisti, Professor of Information Technology, Carnegie Mellon University

Alessandro Acquisti
Source: New York Times
March 24, 2018

Can Facebook restore public trust after Cambridge Analytica scandal?

"Trying to pin down any one breach as being the source of all the privacy harms out there is futile." — James Grimmelmann, Professor of Law, Cornell Tech

James Grimmelmann
Source: CBS News
March 24, 2018

How a Controversial New Sex-Trafficking Law Will Change the Web

The U.S. Senate recently passed the bipartisan Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act (SESTA), a bill that ostensibly aims to strengthen America's sex trafficking laws. Opponents say the bill will change the way outside content is moderated on the internet. Eric Goldman, law professor and director of the Santa Clara High Tech Law Institute, argues that SESTA will roll back internet law two decades.

Eric Goldman
Source: Wired
March 22, 2018

Facebook Was Letting Down Users Years Before Cambridge Analytica

"While focused on Cambridge Analytica’s psychometric snake oil and on its ties to Russia and to Trump, we are missing the real story: This massive data exporting was Facebook policy and practice from 2010 to 2015. The problem with Facebook is Facebook." — Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor of Media Studies, University of Virginia

Siva Vaidhyanathan
Source: Slate
March 20, 2018

People Can Put Your Face on Porn—and the Law Can't Help You

"If we can think about it creatively, the app creator could be liable. The app is using someone’s data and morphing it onto someone else’s." — Danielle Citron, Professor of Law, University of Maryland

Danielle Citron
Source: Wired
January 26, 2018

Should Washington Begin Regulating Facebook? Some Lawmakers Say Yes.

"You’d be able to know much more quickly who’s buying the ads on your feed and the information they’re using to profile you. There’s no regulation that forces that in the U.S. Europe sees privacy as much more about human dignity, while here there is this broad sense that companies themselves have all these rights." — Frank Pasquale, Professor of Law, University of Maryland

Frank Pasquale
Source: NBC News
November 23, 2017

How a Comedy Website Came to Sell Wine to Survive

This article tells the story of survival in the age of Facebook. "Facebook has grown at a pace and had an impact that it’s really hard to say anybody planned. It isn’t just a mere commercial platform. It’s a place that people are turning to to get their sense of what’s going on in the world. That’s a combination that should be carefully navigated. It would be awfully strange, back in the day, if the Yellow Pages rearranged themselves every other day." — Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Law, Harvard University

Jonathan Zittrain
Source: The New York Times
November 23, 2017

Facebook Says It’s Policing Fake Accounts. But They’re Still Easy to Spot.

"These platforms are oriented to maximize user growth and retention. That means not throwing up even tiny hurdles along the sign-up runway, and not closing accounts without significant cause. I suspect they figure there are enough accounts that are the subject of complaints to review without looking for more to assess." — Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Law, Harvard University

Jonathan Zittrain
Source: The New York Times
November 3, 2017

Russians Used Facebook the Way Other Advertisers Do: By Tapping into Its Data-Mining Machine

"Facebook is designed to amplify messages that are extreme and emotional and that's exactly what's happened. Facebook is designed to allow people to send messages to a lot of people for very little money and that's exactly what's happened. Combine the two and it's a perfect propaganda machine for anyone who wants to distract or disrupt a democratic republic." — Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor of Media Studies, University of Virginia

Siva Vaidhyanathan
Source: USA Today
November 1, 2017
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TAP Blog

Applications of Contextual Integrity – Report from the 2nd Symposium

Contextual integrity (CI) was first proposed by Helen Nissenbaum in 2004 as a new framework for reasoning about privacy. Discussing how CI can inform policy and system design, and how the theory can be refined, operationalized, and applied to emerging technologies was the focus of the 2nd Symposium on Applications of Contextual Integrity.

TAP Guest Blogger

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Fact Sheets

Social Networking

Social networking websites are places on the Internet where people can connect with those who share their interests. Additionally, they can function as economic “platforms” that serve different groups of many users, including consumers, advertisers, game developers, and others. 

Featured Article

Ideological Segregation Online and Offline

Measures the degree of ideological segregation in the market for online news and compares this to other news sources.

By: Jesse Shapiro, Matthew Gentzkow