The “Law of Unintended Consequences” states that “an intervention in a complex system tends to create unanticipated and often undesirable outcomes”. I wonder if some 100% legitimate aspirations and well-intentioned proposals to make the internet less “white and western” may have just such consequences.
A few weeks ago, one of my Facebook contacts, whom I’ll call “Jane”, complained on her wall that Facebook had blocked one of her posts. Facebook and free speech myths ensued.
Please have a look at this scary title, just appeared on the Web:
(this is a guest post by Emanuel Pastreich, director of The Asia Institute, and Professor at Kyung Hee University. The post, originally published at Truthout, in April 2014, is now reposted here on invitation of the author, to whom I am grateful. My own proposal for a better alternative to Facebook and similar services is here)
I just found online what is, in my opinion, another proof that certain concerns about the “Twitter replacement” called Mastodon are solid… but the solutions that get the most attention right now may be dead ends.
It looks like the UK Labour party will soon call for closer scrutiny of tech firms and their algorithms. If all goes well, it just won’t work, and that will the end of it. Otherwise, it will be really bad.
Here are three critical quotes from an article about DeepFace, the Facebook automatic face recognition system, followed by my explanation of what they really mean (text in parentheses is my own synthesis or comment):
One year ago I launched a proposal, with related fundraiser, for an alternative to Facebook, Gmail and similar services really usable by normal people, the percloud. That fundraiser did not succeed, which is no problem at all for me, because I do have many other things to do. I am writing this post only because I believe that something like the percloud is still sorely needed, and the sooner anybody does it, the better. Seriously. Here’s why.
_(please note that this was just the second part of this other post!)_