#12: Join us for NGI Forum 2021 in May • Twitter investigates recommendation algorithms • Instagram drops Like-buttons in experiments
TruBlo Newsletter #12
Short news about trust, content and blockchain.
April 19, 2021 Website: Trublo.eu
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Updates this week:
Twitter investigates its recommendation algorithm
The social media company announced a new program called “Responsible Machine learning Initiative”. The goal is to let data scientists study whether the algorithms can cause “unintentional harm” - for example by recommending certain topics or accounts. The program promised to make its findings public. LINK
Massive Facebook data leak was not reported to EU authorities, leading to an investigation
Ireland has opened a GDPR investigation against Facebook. The reason is a big, initially undetected data leak that affected more than 530 million user accounts. A dataset of the accounts was found earlier in 2021. Facebook then said that the problem had been fixed in 2019. But under GDPR, the EU data protection framework, a company should have informed authorities about the leak. Facebook did not do that, hence the investigation. LINK
Instagram extends tests to hide the “like” count from posts
“...the idea with hiding Like counts was about reducing the anxiety and embarrassment that surrounds posting content on the social network. That is, people would stress over whether their post would receive enough Likes to be deemed “popular.” LINK
How “trending topics” on Twitter can lead to “content collapse”
You might have seen this too: A discussion on social media, about any topic. But then one opinion or reply results in an angry storm of messages. The linked article provides an example and argues that “trending topics” on Twitter contribute to this problem. One reason: Content for one audience is all of a sudden presented to another audience, with different views. Disagreement begins and often spirals downwards. LINK
A better approach to reduce online harassment
The current approach of social media platforms to reduce online harassment is to create a checkbox and to ask “is this content ok?” But this does not work very well. Further, it harms people who have the job of sorting through such content manually to decide. A different and potentially better way could be to enable external parties to create better tools and protection.
”By letting third parties build moderation and safety tools, social media platforms could limit harassment — and give users more agency in how they engage.”
Interesting arguments in this article. Opening the platforms could lead to a landscape of multiple filter tools for the single user, with different layers of protection and containment. LINK
Epic Games collected $1 billion to create virtual worlds which can look like a movie
”If you saw the 2018 movie Ready Player One, you may remember the Oasis: a glitzy, fast-paced metaverse with gleaming cities, beautiful people (or, avatars, to be precise), and excitement of many varieties; in short, the perfect escape from the drudgery of real life.”
Epic Games now has the money to create such a world. And the company has the technology, too. In May 2020 Epic released a short demo film of what is possible with “Unreal Engine 5”, which powers video game creation. The level of detail, the lights, the sound - every aspect is almost like a movie. Whether we like it or not, we all might be the stars in one, soon. There is a link to that demo in the linked article.
EU funding available for SME blockchain ideas
“Small and Medium-sized Enterprises” (SMEs) are super-important across the EU, for business and employment. But they are often too small to adopt technology early. Blockstart, an EU funded project, offers funding for blockchain startups with specific ideas for the SME sector. Per funding up to 20,000 Euro are available. The call is open until May 26, 2021. LINK
Big week for crypto: Coinbase listed, Canada approves Ethereum ETFs
Last week Coinbase went public. It is a big step of a now very valuable company. Coinbase is an exchange for cryptocurrencies. In another step of maturity towards more maturity for cryptocurrencies, Canadian authorities approved two Ethereum ETFs (exchange-traded funds).
Some links, if you want to learn more about the background:
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