Regulating Facebook, Google and Amazon is hard given their bewildering complexity – Zac Rogers

18 08 2019

Back in the 1990s – a lifetime ago in internet terms – the Spanish sociologist Manuel Castells published several books charting the rise of information networks. He predicted that in the networked age, more value would accrue in controlling flows of information than in controlling the content itself. Read the rest of this entry »





Here’s how tech giants profit from invading our privacy, and how we can start taking it back – Katharine Kemp

13 08 2019

Australia’s consumer watchdog has recommended major changes to consumer protection and privacy laws. If these reforms are adopted, consumers will have much more say about how we deal with Google, Facebook, and other businesses. Read the rest of this entry »





Australia: Will the High Court ruling on public servant’s tweets have a ‘powerful chill’ on free speech? – Anthony Forsyth

10 08 2019

The Israel Folau termination case has dominated headlines for months now. Many Australians have been intrigued by the extent to which employers like Rugby Australia are able to control the social media activity of their employees – in Folau’s case, a high-profile player who tweeted his condemnation of homosexuals and others. Read the rest of this entry »





Lifelong anonymity orders: do they still work in the social media age? – Faith Gordon and Julie Doughty

5 08 2019

Lifelong anonymity orders for adults who were convicted of crimes as children are rarely granted. In theory, these orders legally prevent a person ever being identified. But given that information is now shared at lightning speed across different platforms, can these orders still work in practice? Read the rest of this entry »





Pseudoscience is taking over social media: and putting us all at risk – Santosh Vijaykumar

4 08 2019

Search for “climate change” on YouTube and before long you’ll likely find a video that denies it exists. In fact, when it comes to shaping the online conversation around climate change, a new study suggests that deniers and conspiracy theorists might hold an edge over those believing in science. Read the rest of this entry »





The internet is rotting: let’s embrace it – Viktor Mayer-Schönberger

26 07 2019

I have just taken an entire website and gigabytes of data offline. It covered a highly successful series of conferences on the data economy. It brought together thought leaders and key decision-makers from around the world for annual retreats – over a decade ago. And now it is gone. Read the rest of this entry »





Twitter is right to have special rules for Donald Trump: it’s recognising that not all tweets are equal – Fabienne Peter

23 07 2019

Twitter recently decided that rule-breaking tweets from influential politicians would be hidden behind a warning. Journalists were quick to label the new policy the “Trump rule”. But it wasn’t long before the rule was put to the test and found lacking. Read the rest of this entry »





Governments are making fake news a crime but it could stifle free speech – Alana Schetzer

21 07 2019

The rapid spread of fake news can influence millions of people, impacting elections and financial markets. A study on the impact of fake news on the 2016 US presidential election, for instance, has found that fake news stories about Hillary Clinton was “very strongly linked” to the defection of voters who supported Barack Obama in the previous election. Read the rest of this entry »





Four ways blockchain could make the internet safer, fairer and more creative – Hitesh Tewari

18 07 2019

The internet is unique in that it has no central control, administration or authority. It has given everyone with access to it a platform to express their views and exchange ideas with others instantaneously. But in recent years, internet services such as search engines and social media platforms have increasingly been provided by a small number of very large tech firms. Read the rest of this entry »





How much is your data worth to tech companies? US Lawmakers want to tell you, but it’s not that easy to calculate – Samuel Lengen

16 07 2019

New proposed legislation by U.S. senators Mark R. Warner and Josh Hawley seeks to protect privacy by forcing tech companies to disclose the “true value” of their data to users. Read the rest of this entry »