Facebook is working to make it easier for you to avoid those annoying spoilers about the program you’re half way through binging with a new keyword topic filter. The keyword filter has been available to some lucky users in the United States, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Let’s hope that it becomes available to us all soon. I know I’ll be using it to hide anything to do with cats and kittens.
Facebook and Google’s role as gatekeepers of what we see is under scrutiny again. Farhad Manjou directed our attention to the built in biases that Google’s algorithms and AI can display. We’ve talked about this before. And the platforms have acknowledged that they do have problems that they are trying to fix. But when they do, their solutions are opaque to end users and citizens. Can we trust the platforms to self regulate? Can communications professionals play a more active role in calling for more transparency? Can government establish a legal or regulatory regime that will achieve a better balance between the public interest and the interest of the platforms’ shareholders?
It seemed like a good idea at the time – invite Steve Bannon for a featured interview with David Remnick onstage at the New Yorker Festival. And then the reaction started. Other speakers pulled out. People weighed in on social media (of course!) And before you could turn around, Steve Bannon was uninvited. Some said this was the right thing to do. Others suggested that it was another example of an institution caving to the Twitter mob. So, what does the New Yorker do now? How do they avoid a permanent reputation hit?