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Firing Table: Grow your Instagram account organically

Instagram users spend as much time on the app as they do on Facebook. Some even predict that Instagram will be as big as Facebook in the next five years with over 2 billion users. If you’re a business, an influencer, or just want to get your work seen, you need to be actively publishing […]

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ORCAA, a logo to certify organic algorithms

“The internet is a propaganda machine,” writes author Cathy O’Neil in her book Weapons of Math Destruction where she criticizes the algorithms which have come to disrupt society and politics. Her latest project ORCAA, O’Neil Risk Consulting and Algorithmic Auditing, offers services to companies that promise to maintain a more honest algorithm that unlike Facebook, doesn’t sacrifice […]

‘Everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance’

“Another flaw in human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance,” said Kurt Vonnegut. Everybody’s wants to start something, but they rarely want to maintain it. The problem in growing at no costs is that it blinds integrity. Instead of leading by example, the race to the bottom unearths […]

Watch Mark Zuckerberg testify live before the Senate right here

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is about to testify before the US Senate. You can expect the hearing to focus on the manipulation of data in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. ‘Move fast and break things’ Can Zuckerberg rectify the damage he’s done to digital oil? We never worry about our privacy until its […]

One giant leak

We are lemmings with big network effects. As products, we exchange our data for lost attention, down into a rabbit hole of distraction. Are we not plankton? Like plankton, we are the source of food advertisers thrive on. The ocean and other animals reap all the profit. No quid pro quo, a fat frenzy. Social […]

Zeynep Tufekci: We’re building a dystopia just to make people click on ads

Are we selling our souls for ads? Technosociologist Zeynep Tufecki seems to think so. The Cambridge Analytica-Facebook debacle demonstrates the Wild West of data exploitation. Facebook can’t pin the blame on the machine-optimizing algorithms. It’s humans who are responsible for managing the equations and policing validity.  A recent study also proved that it is humans, […]

The Wild West of data manipulation

Tech entrepreneurs are coming to realize their moral responsibility. Outside parties were abusing stolen Facebook data to develop psychological profiles of voters. The data mining company Cambridge Analytica was central to the information warfare. They allegedly worked with Russians to stoke fears in the UK and America on immigration and other polarizing issues. So people […]

Losing control of our attention

Screens are contagious. If we see one person look at their phone, we emulate them like we do catching someone yawn. But the addiction is not totally our fault. With the vibrant colors of apps, the dopamine of Facebook likes and news alerts, on top of serving as a consolidated utility of our camera, wallet, […]

Sean Parker: Facebook exploits a “vulnerability in human psychology”

Social platforms are casinos, and likes, replies, comments, shares, etc. are the poker chips. We are addicted to social currency on top of our psychological desire to solve for loneliness. The main reason I blog is to get away from the hyper-activeness and dopamine-hitting fast food of social media, so I can slow down and […]

Make it new

“Reality is an activity of the most august imagination,” said poet Wallace Stevens. What we call reality emerged from human ingenuity. So if we can take today’s tools and use them for good we’ll naturally have a better future. Instead, we are building technology that paints a future dystopia. Hackers hijacked Facebook, Google, and Twitter and filled them […]

Question the algorithms

It is a canard to think that math can’t fail. All you need to do is look at the way society constructs algorithms – from job and college applications to Facebook feeds to find out that sorting can be wrong and biased. In the case of the 2016 election, algorithms did more harm than good. Facebook […]

‘The real world is an escape from the internet.’

Social networks are specifically designed to keep us hooked as long as possible. No matter how aware we are of the entrapment, the exit door never tempts us enough to permanently leave. Yet we ‘users’ are literally the ones being used and tracked so big brother can sell our data to advertisers. We permit cookies […]

Hooked on Facebook

The only threat to the longevity of Facebook is that it makes people feel like shit. Facebook’s relationship with its users, the product, is deeply psychological. It wants us to post whatever want, but all we end up doing is comparing our lives to other people in our own cocoons. We are ambiently aware of […]

Shadow of a doubt

The software and hardware companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook want us to trust them. The theory is that our information is better kept stored with them in a private cloud rather than with the government. Outside America, however, the NSA can collect our information without a search warrant. The internet companies are not only […]

The best of the best

Facebook makes you unhappier because it produces envy. We always want in our feeds what we don’t have in real life: a stable relationship, a high-paying job, a weekend vacation in the Caribbean, a beautiful house, a new car, the latest gadgets–the list goes on. But social media is edited real life. We tend to […]