Is the Era of “Permissionless Innovation” and Avoidance of Regulation on the Internet Finally Over? It’s High Time – Hugh Stephens

16 05 2018

It would be the ultimate under-statement to say that recent events concerning the appalling breaches of privacy permitted and indeed orchestrated by Facebook have raised public awareness to new heights over what happens when internet intermediaries are allowed to do just about whatever they want. Read the rest of this entry »





The internet is designed for corporations, not people – Gordon Hull

28 04 2018

File 20180426 175035 vyoh03.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1Urban spaces are often designed to be subtly hostile to certain uses. Think about, for example, the seat partitions on bus terminal benches that make it harder for the homeless to sleep there or the decorative leaves on railings in front of office buildings and on university campuses that serve to make skateboarding dangerous. Scholars call this “hostile urban architecture.” Read the rest of this entry »





Is it time to regulate targeted ads and the web giants that profit from them? – David Glance

24 04 2018

File 20180419 163986 1h3lgye.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1In the wake of Facebook’s massive breach of personal data of 87 million users, CEO Mark Zuckerberg answered questions from US politicians over two days of congressional hearings. These questions mostly focussed on the tight link between Facebook’s business model of selling targeted personalised advertising and its need to capture, and exploit, large amounts of personal information from its users. Read the rest of this entry »





If it’s free online, you are the product – Karl Hodge

21 04 2018

File 20180418 163962 juyb9.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s recent testimony to congress highlights one of the key issues of our time – data acquisition by digital corporations and its lack of regulation. The kernel of the issue is in this exchange: Read the rest of this entry »





‘Big Tech’ isn’t one big monopoly: it’s 5 companies all in different businesses – Amanda Lotz

1 04 2018

File 20180323 54898 1dnsu0o.png?ixlib=rb 1.1Public concern about Facebook’s power in society – and in politics – has skyrocketed in the wake of revelations that users’ data was analyzed by a U.K.-based marketing firm and used to construct highly targeted political propaganda in advance of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Read the rest of this entry »





Facebook’s newsfeed changes: a disaster or an opportunity for news publishers? – Charlie Beckett

24 01 2018

Social media and digital executives in newsrooms already have a tough job connecting their content to consumers via social media, but Facebook’s proposed changes in the algorithms of its ‘newsfeed’ are going to make it a lot harder. Social networks offer immense opportunities for reaching vast new audiences and increasing the engagement of users with journalism. The most important platform in the world is about to make that more difficult. Read the rest of this entry »





Online abuse on Facebook and Twitter can’t be solved by regulation alone – Laura Bliss

20 12 2017

File 20171218 27547 tw7t6o.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1The severity of abuse conducted online during 2017’s general election has brought the issue into sharp focus for politicians, some of whom have urged the prime minister to legislate against Facebook, Twitter and Google to make them liable for content posted on their sites. Read the rest of this entry »