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Justin Hendrix @justinhendrix
, 18 tweets, 10 min read Read on Twitter
1/ The British Parliamentary committee looking into misinformation- @DCMS- has just published its interim report. It's worth reading as I believe so far it is the most significant query yet into problems at the intersection of tech, media and democracy.
publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cm…
2/ Rightly, the report connects problems of misinformation to the use and misuse of data to target messages and influence. These technologies are changing the very nature of the public sphere- and rules and laws in democracies are not ready.
3/ The interim report adopts @cward1e's definitions of misinformation: "when we are talking about this huge spectrum, we cannot start thinking about regulation, and we cannot start talking about interventions, if we are not clear about what we mean."
4/ @tristanharris and @HumaneTech_ make several appearances- clearly Tristan's diagnosis of the problem with massive tech platforms designed to maximize time spent and engagement over the user's health and wellbeing resonated with the committee.
5/ The report repeatedly finds fault specifically with @facebook for its role in dissemination of misinformation and its refusal to be held accountable to Parliament or provide requested information. Worth noting Mark Zuckerberg refused to appear before the @CommonsCMS committee.
6/ @CommonsCMS sees through the binary "platform vs publisher" argument, noting that of course the technology platforms are continuously altering what we see- and that they fear the public figuring that out.
7/ If @CommonsCMS gets its way, regulation is coming for social media companies. The committee recommends "that a new category of tech company is formulated, which tightens tech companies’ liabilities, and which is not necessarily either a ‘platform’ or a ‘publisher’."
8/ I agree with @CommonsCMS and @DamianCollins that it is shameful that Mark Zuckerberg deliberately hides from the scrutiny of democracies that have given him the opportunity to become so rich. We the people deserve more from him and his company.
9/ It is an outrage that after @facebook CTO @schrep appeared before @CommonsCMS and was asked about violence to Rohingya Muslims that spread via Facebook that the company did so little to answer the committee's subsequent queries on this human rights disaster.
10/ "Facebook has hampered our efforts to get information about their company throughout this inquiry. It is as if it thinks that the problem will go away if it does not share information about the problem, and reacts only when it is pressed."
11/ "Time and again we heard from Facebook about mistakes being made and then (sometimes) rectified, rather than designing the product ethically from the beginning of the process."
12/ After pages and pages of exhaustive detail on Cambridge Analytica, SCL, AIQ, etc (shout out @profcarroll!), we get to this pathetic reality: as recently as this month a Kremlin-connected data firm was likely harvesting data from Facebook just as Cambridge Analytica did.
13/ The report touches on the UK information commissioner's concern that Russia may have had access to Aleksandr Kogan's work, and the ICO's coordination with the FBI.
14/ Once again, on the subject of Russian disinformation? Facebook just can't be bothered.
15/ Good to see @CommonsCMS call out @facebook's @milner_simon for his particularly disingenuous testimony. He was less saucy with Parliament than he was with the inquiry in Singapore- but just as obstreperous.
16/ The criticism of Brexit bad boys @Arron_banks and "self-confessed liar" @andywigmore pulls no punches. What were these two knuckleheads up to? Sounds like UK law enforcement will find out.
17/ Some of the most incredible reading in this report concerns SCL and its operations to influence elections in dozens of countries- dirty tricks, undercover double agents, lies and secretive flows of cash and passports. What truly was this company?
18/ Fascinating idea for a "digital Atlantic charter". Worth noting the charter set out by Roosevelt & Churchill was set out during the war- perhaps @CommonsCMS is acknowledging we are in fact in an information war at this very moment, and it is time for us to define the future.
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