Trying to get back into writeblogging—and, well, just writing, since it was a very family-focused summer. We recently got reviewer feedback on this manuscript, and so I met with co-authors today to discuss our approach to revisions.
I keep a journal using the Day One app for macOS/iOS, and while I have some lingering concerns about platformizing (and even digitizing) my journaling, there are also some pretty neat aspects to using an app like this. First, it’s very easy to copy text from other electronic sources into the app, and that really helps me capture things that made an impression on me from day to day. Second, it’s also easy to search for, read, and even be reminded of old entries.
Met with Sarah and Daniela today to review the data and discuss where to go from here. I have some new tasks, and we have some new ideas—looking forward to seeing where things go!
Spent some more time this morning going through survey data and matching software mentioned in survey data with actual software categories.
A few years ago, Sarah Barriage, Daniela DiGiacomo, and I surveyed some undergraduate students on their previous experience with ClassDojo. One thing that startled us about the data is how often students treated other edtech apps and platforms (e.g., Canvas, Kahoot, Zoom) as equivalent to Dojo, when we saw Dojo as a different kind of edtech. I’ve been meaning to write that up for years, and I’m finally getting off my butt and doing it.
Over the past several weeks, I’ve noticed a lot of conversations about Mastodon’s lack of a feature equivalent to Twitter’s “quote tweets.” To be honest, I don’t really care about the lack of a “quote toot” feature, and I’ve done my best to steer clear of these conversations (though I did note while writing this post that it caught the eye of Mastodon’s founder in a big way). I gather that these conversations been around for a while, but I get the sense from my own feeds that there’s been a notable recent uptick.
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Citizens' social media can provide an antidote to propaganda and disinformation'
I fall victim to this despite being a Mastodon fan. Appreciate the reminder to be more careful with language. link to ‘Citizens’ social media can provide an antidote to propaganda and disinformation’
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Welcome to Smalltown, a Civic Space Online - Initiative for Digital Public Infrastructure'
This looks great! link to ‘Welcome to Smalltown, a Civic Space Online - Initiative for Digital Public Infrastructure’
Thanks to the magic of the internet, I often listen to Francophone radio stations while working (most often French and Swiss—Radio-Canada doesn’t support streaming outside its own apps and sites). This is a great way to keep up with my French, and because there seems to be a minigenre of Francophone songs critiquing social media (Stromae’s Carmen comes to mind, but there’s at least one other whose name I can’t remember right now), it sometimes ends up being professionally relevant as well.
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'A Dad Took Photos of His Naked Toddler for the Doctor. Google Flagged Him as a Criminal. - The New York Times'
This is why the EFF and others have concerns about overreach of even clearly well intentioned content moderation. CSAM is clearly despicable, but automated content moderation can make mistakes, and consequences for those mistakes aren’t small. link to ‘A Dad Took Photos of His Naked Toddler for the Doctor. Google Flagged Him as a Criminal. - The New York Times’
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Self-Proclaimed Free Speech Platforms Are Censoring Nude Content. Here’s Why You Should Care | Electronic Frontier Foundation'
Here’s the EFF pointing out that “free speech” on these platforms means something very particular rather than a broad, deep commitment to legally-protected expression. link to ‘Self-Proclaimed Free Speech Platforms Are Censoring Nude Content. Here’s Why You Should Care | Electronic Frontier Foundation’
Shortly after last week’s mostly-successful experiment with Hypothesis, I noticed Chris Aldrich posting to Micro.blog about the software and started up a conversation. I’d followed Chris a few weeks before in trying to get more into Micro.blog (perhaps my favorite indie social media platform out there, though I’m also enjoying getting into Mastodon) by following academia and academia-adjacent folks, and was pleased to see an area of common interest. It wasn’t until a separate conversation on Mastodon this morning that I remembered that my Hypothesis setup was dependent on my manually checking annotations on my website.
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Facebook Says Apple is Too Powerful. They're Right. | Electronic Frontier Foundation'
Doctorow is spot on here. Apple may be the most benevolent of the big tech companies, but it still has far too much power over its users. link to ‘Facebook Says Apple is Too Powerful. They’re Right. | Electronic Frontier Foundation’
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Racist and Violent Ideas Jump From Web’s Fringes to Mainstream Sites - The New York Times'
Content moderation is a good thing, and ‘free speech’ should not be our primary concern when it comes to social media platforms. link to ‘Racist and Violent Ideas Jump From Web’s Fringes to Mainstream Sites - The New York Times’
I got word that a recent publication of mine was now published in an issue of Learning, Media, and Technology. It has actually been available online first for the past ten months, but since I haven’t been good about blogging about recent publications, I figured this was as good a chance as any to write a post about it. This piece is called “Lifting the Veil on TeachersPayTeachers.com: An Investigation of Educational Marketplace Offerings and Downloads” and is a collaboration with Catharyn Shelton, Matt Koehler, and Jeff Carpenter.
Last week, I got the chance to chat with Salt Lake Tribune religion reporter Peggy Fletcher Stack about Latter-day Saint missionaries use of social media videos, and I was pleased to see the article published on Sunday. I hadn’t been paying attention to online missionary videos, but the subject fit nicely with the reading I’ve been doing on platform and platform values recently: Both kinds of accounts “are drawing from the internet/influencer cultures of these platforms,” [Greenhalgh] says.
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Elon Musk Says Twitter Deal ‘Cannot Move Forward’ in Current State - The New York Times'
What a troll. Even if the deal falls through, the way in which a sole rich dude can mess around with Twitter is souring me on the platform. link to ‘Elon Musk Says Twitter Deal ‘Cannot Move Forward’ in Current State - The New York Times’
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Of ‘Algospeak’ and the Crudeness of Automated Moderation | by Clive Thompson | Apr, 2022 | OneZero'
Fascinated by this article for so many reasons. First, it’s a great example of meaningful practices in online spaces; second, it brings it back to the need for more, smaller platforms. link to ‘Of ‘Algospeak’ and the Crudeness of Automated Moderation | by Clive Thompson | Apr, 2022 | OneZero’
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Peloton Outage Prevents Customers From Using $2,500 Exercise Bikes | Techdirt'
Happy that my much cheaper bike does not rely on servers to function properly. link to ‘Peloton Outage Prevents Customers From Using $2,500 Exercise Bikes | Techdirt’
🔗 linkblog: just finished 'Election Falsehoods Surged on Podcasts Before Capitol Riots, Researchers Find - The New York Times'
Podcasts are one of the last bastions of the open internet, but that evidently comes at a cost. So long as Apple and Spotify are trying to corner the podcast market, they should be moderating their content. link to ‘Election Falsehoods Surged on Podcasts Before Capitol Riots, Researchers Find - The New York Times’
🔗 linkblog: just finished 'YouTube’s New Copyright Transparency Report Leaves a Lot Out | Electronic Frontier Foundation'
Easy to forget that YouTube is functionally the only game in town… and that there are big consequences for that. link to ‘YouTube’s New Copyright Transparency Report Leaves a Lot Out | Electronic Frontier Foundation’
🔗 linkblog: just finished 'Researchers explain why they believe Facebook mishandles political ads : NPR'
Size and scale remain problems for Facebook and other social media platforms. link to ‘Researchers explain why they believe Facebook mishandles political ads : NPR’
Tech companies are often ad companies, and it behooves us to remember that. link to ‘Google and Facebook’s Ad Empires - The New York Times’
This is maybe the best example I’ve seen of app stores being a problematic model. Is there an Android app that could be sideloaded? Definitely isn’t for Apple, and that’s shameful. link to ‘Apple and Google Remove ‘Navalny’ Voting App in Russia - The New York Times’
🔗 linkblog: just read 'Political parties complained Facebook’s algorithm promoted polarization - The Verge'
What a read. Platforms don’t just host content, they manipulate that content. link to ‘Political parties complained Facebook’s algorithm promoted polarization - The Verge’
Great read on what’s become perhaps the most defensible platform on the social web (though Wikipedia certainly still has its problems). link to ‘How Wikipedia grew up with the war on terror.’
🔗 linkblog: just read 'How Far Can You Go to Resist Being the Subject of a Viral Video? - The New York Times'
Compelling case for asking about the tech environment adults are creating instead of hand-wringing about what kids are doing in it. link to ‘How Far Can You Go to Resist Being the Subject of a Viral Video? - The New York Times’
I am only peripherally aware of Joe Rogan and don’t get great vibes from what I see, so I don’t really have any investment in how his podcast is doing. That said, this does speak to my concerns that Spotify’s attempts to land exclusive podcasts are threatening one of the last (and best) parts of the open web we’ve managed to hold onto. Also, very interesting use of digital methods here!
This is the sort of thing that Gab will decry if they’re serious and consistent about their supposed pro-free speech, anti-deplatformization stand. My bet, though, is that Torba writes a blog post in the next week arguing that porn isn’t free speech and good on banks for cracking down on OnlyFans. link to ‘OnlyFans Says It Is Banning Sexually Explicit Content - The New York Times’