sarah jeong Profile picture
i write about technology for @nytopinion || lawyer, author, journalist, and not actually a pokemon
Jay Jernigan Profile picture kiddphunk Profile picture 2 added to My Authors
30 Jun 20
I somehow missed the memo that the US Army made its own video game. What.
"My recruiter told me to play that in 2003" is a sentence with the ring of "baby shoes, never worn"
Read 8 tweets
29 Jun 20
I've been seeing "cybersecurity" advice go around for protesters, and a lot of it is superstitious overkill that is unsuited to the threat model.

I have written and tweeted about op sec for protesters, and I find myself wishing I sought to educate about threat models instead.
Yes, it is *hard* to protect yourself from surveillance. We live in extraordinary times where speech is under attack. But it's also incredibly exclusionary to demand that everyone gets a burner before they engage in First Amendment-protected activities.
I've also been rethinking the old hat advice about leaving your phone behind when you go to a protest. Yes, your cell signals can be tracked. Yes, cops might arrest you and confiscate your phone. Yes, Grayshift etc etc. But still, who does it protect when you leave your phone?
Read 11 tweets
2 Jun 20
This is the difference between these protests and, say, sports riots. Sports victories come and go. White supremacy stays and refuses to change. The state would rather beat up, arrest, and shoot Americans to make them think twice about complaining, rather than fix themselves.
Yes, there is a striking difference between what's happening now and how cops treat sports riots or a crowd of haircut-seeking white people with semi-autos. Of course it's not reasonable. Cops don't fear violence, destruction or lethal weapons. What they fear is having to change.
Specifically: becoming something other than an institution that criminalizes black bodies and is allowed to harass, assault, and kill with impunity. All the while getting the benefit of the doubt and a nice thank you and a handshake for "protecting and serving."
Read 9 tweets
28 May 20
Except the end game isn't to actually get rid of Section 230, it's to intimidate platforms into promoting and protecting right-wing partisan speech regardless of veracity, hatefulness, or negative impact on public health or safety.
You might even call it an attempt to force private actors to spread political propaganda.
The weirdest thing about the current moment in which there is *bipartisan* ire against Section 230 is that we are living the most outlandish parade of horribles that would result from a repeal of Section 230.
Read 7 tweets
28 May 20
today really highlights that while section 230 is not the same as the first amendment, its actual legal effects mirror the first amendment pretty closely
good luck beefing with the first amendment
here's my evergreen reminder not to rush to thin or facile takes about section 230's "safe harbor for big internet companies." a lot of what you harp on is going to be, again, redundantly protected by the first amendment.
Read 5 tweets
4 Feb 20
every tech motherfucker in january 2017: how can i help. how can i make the world a better place. how about an app

[fast forward three years later]
there are tech people out there creating things that do make the world a better place. however, on balance, the sum of all efforts definitely tilts towards fyre festival
yea and i know what happened to the code, the protocols, the companies, and the people who created the infrastructure we rely on, and it's a pretty ugly fucking story lol
Read 4 tweets
8 Nov 19
People keep asking for my opinion on cancel culture, and the only thing i have to say is that the Atlantic was nearly destroyed in 1869 by thousands of subscription cancellations over an article by Harriet Beecher Stowe insinuating that Lord Byron fucked his sister
The best part of this saga being, that he almost certainly did
I kind of don’t think this makes it better
Read 16 tweets
30 Sep 19
everyone makes fun of google auto replies but they are great, actually
also what do guys even get out of this? The maga bomber once threatened to dump my body in the Everglades, Bob, your oblique “well if I phrase it like this I definitely won’t get in trouble” is limp as hell. Gtfo with the strugglethreats my man
I tend to get five of these at once, which is how I know someone wrote a post on a blog for men who should really pick up some hobbies
Read 3 tweets
16 Aug 19
i'm trying to enjoy my fucking friday
This isn't the last time I'm going to point this out, but this harping on Section 230 reminds me a lot of the panic around deep fakes, when "shallow fakes" (aka literally any kind of slightly modified or contextually stripped media) are more dangerous…
It reminds me of worrying about the internet when Fox News (not covered by CDA 230) is doing the exact same thing…
Read 5 tweets
16 Aug 19
Last night was the five year anniversary of Gamergate. We published a retrospective on that pivotal moment to help readers understand the lineage of our current political toxicity.…
Seven years ago, Amy Leary wrote in the Times about harassment in video games, reporting on the hatred directed at Anita Sarkeesian then.…
And here is this piece from October 2014, a few months after Gamergate began, documenting what was happening to Quinn, Sarkeesian, and Wu.…
Read 4 tweets
16 Aug 19
Seeing the same old gator tweets (Zoe made it up, Zoe did it to herself, gotta see both sides, this smears gamers) in response to the package sent me back in time.
But I'm realizing that the people who aren't terribly familiar with Gamergate are already bound to see it differently this time. At this point, a huge chunk of regular people in the mainstream who aren't very Online have some awareness of QAnon, Pizzagate, Flat Earth, etc.
Even if you weren't there, even if you weren't aware of the lineage, even if you aren't particularly Online, you can see the family resemblances in these posts.
Read 4 tweets
16 Aug 19
Lmao I just saw a university lecturer on Serious Twitter ask for a "middle of the road" explanation of Gamergate because he didn't know where to look
Don't worry, one of his buddies has already steered him towards the obvious conclusion that Gamergate is about Zoe being the real abuser
Gamergate was so intense that it was immediately banned from SomethingAwful, eventually banned from 4chan (BANNED FROM 4CHAN), and finally found its permanent home on 8chan. THAT 8CHAN. But gotta see both sides, unlike the extreme leftists of literal 4chan
Read 3 tweets
15 Aug 19
Five years ago, Zoe Quinn was chased out of her own home. It wasn't the first time the internet decided to ruin someone's life. But the tactics developed during Gamergate, and the personalities that emerged from it became our national politics.…
The day I found out that Christine Blasey Ford and her family had fled their home and were living out of hotels because of death threats, I remembered what had happened to Zoe. To Anita. To Brianna. And then I also remembered what happened to me, just last year.
I haven't written about what happened last summer until now. But it won't be the last I have to say about it.
Read 9 tweets
14 Aug 19
i first felt the creeping hands of death upon me when my brain struggled to grasp the phenomenon of belle delphine
this is me now. i'm 5 years away from "what is fortnite???" essays and making tiktoks about how i'm just "chillin'"
i even tried to get (multiple!) tech reporters in my age group to explain what was going on with belle delphine to me and they didn't know who she was! millennials are over
Read 3 tweets
13 Aug 19
China Is Waging a Disinformation War Against Hong Kong Protesters
Tiananmen Square used to be one of the primary examples trotted out when discussing internet law & policy.
The received wisdom that circulated at the time:

1) Censoring mention of Tiananmen Square was bad
2) It could only be achieved through centralized state efforts like the Great Firewall
3) Google was right to abandon China in 2010
Read 11 tweets
13 Aug 19
Question! I've been seeing a number of zero-follower accounts tweet out this image macro re: the Hong Kong airport protests. Does anyone know where the meme is from? (Specifically the image macro — I've surmised where the quote is from).
While dumpster-diving for tweets about Hong Kong, I came across this one troll account that quite literally calls for the slaughter of Hong Kong citizens?
Looking for that one image macro and keeping an eye on follower count, age of account, oldest post + frequency of posts — it feels like reliving 2014, 2015, 2016 all over again
Read 3 tweets
7 Aug 19
maybe I'm missing something but is there literally any way to do this that's constitutional
this is an honest-to-god query, this is making me feel crazy
Read 3 tweets
7 Aug 19
I think this is around where I fall on the matter as well. Even if Castro was well within his legal rights, it's still punching down. It's still just weird. "Icky" is about right.
I think for me the weird thing is remembering what it feels like to be merely icked out in 2019, as opposed to shocked, horrified, overwhelmed, etc
Note also that the punching down piece does a lot of work here. There are contexts and speakers where the exact same post wouldn't ring the same alarms for me.
Read 3 tweets
6 Aug 19
CDA 230 tends to bounce a lot of libel claims, but libel and hate speech are two different things. The latter is protected in America. And not by CDA 230, by the US Constitution as interpreted by Scalia et al.
However, the internet is global — neither the First Amendment nor CDA 230 can totally immunize the biggest tech companies, which operate in multiple jurisdictions with different laws around speech and intermediary liability.
The problem with CDA 230 is that in 2019, it *sounds* quite bad while doing very little visible good. It is hard to defend something that assumes a competitive marketplace that no longer exists and may never exist again.
Read 10 tweets
5 Aug 19
The reason why deplatforming over violent ideologies is troubling is because of a lack of due process; but there is no due process because the institutions that should provide it are currently captured by those sympathetic to the same ideologies
It makes perfect sense to me why Cloudflare has been so hesitant to deny service based on anything other than the law. It also makes perfect sense to me why this stance has been eroding.
In past times, religion stepped in as a substitute for rule of law where government could or would not. It's apt that in these times, private internet infrastructure services are the new religion.
Read 4 tweets
31 Jul 19
I pocket deleted the imessages app icon on my phone and it turns out you can only retrieve it by resetting your home screen so I have ruined my morning moving icons around, watching them shiver in brownian motion as they flop from row to row when I just want them in a folder
in other news I would like to stop taking my phone out of my pocket only to realize that all the icons are shivering and shaking and also there are conspicuous gaps on my screen where apps should be
first 10 times I accepted as user error, but now it’s just more reason to BREAK UP THE BIG FIVE 😡😡😡😡
Read 4 tweets