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What part of “viral” content makes platforms want to encourage its spread? Nov 22, 2019 twitter & systems & social & tech & highlights

The Twttr prototype app gave me another feedback form today. It’s been my habit to complain, at every opportunity, about the trends page you have to engage with whenever you go to the Search tab. I feel a little bad for the designers and developers, because the beta is really all about how conversations on Twitter look and feel. Still, this feedback form was no different. Here’s what I wrote in the Dislike” section:  I wish I could control the trends page.

It is the absolute worst part of my Twitter experience. It just feels… unhealthy. Like going through a grocery store magazine aisle. Sure, some of the headings are instructive or inspiring, but many are gross, irrelevant, or completely malignant gossip.

The experience is also invasive. Because trends are forced upon you when you intend on searching for something specific, and because they’re algorithmically-tunes to be as attention grabbing as possible, it’s easy to be distracted and forget why you even entered the search pane. I never explicitly consent to learning about celebrity gossip or US politics when I use Twitter. If I tap on some of those topics, it’s not because I want to. It’s because it’s malicious click bait. In turn, it’s corrupt to design an experience that drags the user through it repeatedly.

Sure, this content is viral. But shouldn’t we be inoculating against viruses, not encouraging them to spread?

The internet has given billions of people a way to amplify their voices, but the trade-offs have become tangible. Jul 12, 2019 highlights & people & social


Mastodon’s conundrum is a microcosm of a much larger conflict online. The internet has given billions of people a way to amplify their voices, but the trade-offs have become tangible. Abolishing gatekeepers can allow misinformation and hate to flourish. Uncensored online forums can become co-opted by bigots and harassers, silencing their less powerful targets. And in the face of violent supremacist movements targeting real people, openness—once an uncontroversial pillar of internet culture—can seem like a hopelessly abstract principle.”

https://www.theverge.com/2019/7/12/20691957/mastodon-decentralized-social-network-gab-migration-fediverse-app-blocking
That’s why, starting on January 14th, we’ll be publishing Better Worlds: 10 original fiction stories, five animated adaptations, and five audio adaptations by a diverse roster of science fiction authors who take a more optimistic view of what lies ahead in ways both large and small, fantastical and everyday Dec 5, 2018 highlights & science & social That’s why, starting on January 14th, we’ll be publishing Better Worlds: 10 original fiction stories, five animated adaptations, and five audio adaptations by a diverse roster of science fiction authors who take a more optimistic view of what lies ahead in ways both large and small, fantastical and everyday.
Growing up, I was surrounded by optimistic science fiction — not only the idealism of television shows like Star Trek, but also the pulpy, thrilling adventures of golden age science fiction comics. They imagined worlds where the lot of humanity had been improved by our innovations, both technological and social. Stories like these are more than just fantasy and fabulism; they are articulations of hope. We need only look at how many tech leaders were inspired to pursue careers in technology because of Star Trek to see the tangible effect of inspirational fiction. (Conversely, Snow Crash author Neal Stephenson once linked the increasing scarcity of optimistic science fiction to “innovation starvation.”)
Better Worlds is partly inspired by Stephenson’s fiction anthology Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future as well as Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements, a 2015 “visionary fiction” anthology that is written by a diverse array of social activists and edited by Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown. Their premise was simple: whenever we imagine a more equitable, sustainable, or humane world, we are producing speculative fiction, and this creates a “vital space” that is essential to forward progress. — https://www.theverge.com/2018/12/5/18055980/better-worlds-science-fiction-short-stories-video
Facebook built Watch Party after finding that live videos encouraged more social interactions than prerecorded ones Nov 27, 2018 highlights & people & social Facebook built Watch Party after finding that live videos encouraged more social interactions than prerecorded ones. At the time of launch, Fidji Simo, vice president of product at Facebook, wrote: “As we think about video on Facebook, we’re focused on creating experiences that bring people closer together and inspire human connection instead of passive consumption.”
Encouraging people to tune into live viewing events could help people enjoy the platform more, or at least encourage positive interactions. The “creating experiences” idea also comes up with the company’s goal to get people to comment more on other peoples’ posts because it’s a healthier form of social networking. — https://www.theverge.com/2018/11/27/18113462/facebook-watch-party-roll-out-page-profile-group
The Fall Economic Statement also included a commitment of up to $755 million over the next ten years to establish a Social Finance Fund, and $50 million over the next two years for an Investment and Readiness stream aimed at building capacity in organizations wanting to explore social finance opportunities Nov 26, 2018 highlights & social The Fall Economic Statement also included a commitment of up to $755 million over the next ten years to establish a Social Finance Fund, and $50 million over the next two years for an Investment and Readiness stream aimed at building capacity in organizations wanting to explore social finance opportunities. The Economic Statement specifically cited the role of charities and nonprofits in social innovation, and the intent for them to benefit from the Social Finance Fund. These measures respond to recommendations made by the SISF Steering Group.
“We face a significant social deficit over the next decade– that is, the difference between the anticipated demand for charities’ and nonprofits’ services and the resources available to them through traditional funding mechanisms,” said MacDonald. “To the extent the Social Finance Fund helps organizations to avail themselves of new sources of revenue, it represents part of the solution. We hope to work closely with the government and with experts in the social finance realm as the details of the Fund are developed in the coming months.” — http://imaginecanada.ca/news-item/imagine-canada-pleased-fall-economic-statement-commitments
What struck me was the language Zuckerberg used to discuss this issue — it’s different than anything he has said before. Nov 16, 2018 highlights & people & social

What struck me was the language Zuckerberg used to discuss this issue — it’s different than anything he has said before. And it goes to the heart of social networks’ role in creating a polarized, destabilized electorate:

One of the biggest issues social networks face is that, when left unchecked, people will engage disproportionately with more sensationalist and provocative content. This is not a new phenomenon. It is widespread on cable news today and has been a staple of tabloids for more than a century. At scale it can undermine the quality of public discourse and lead to polarization. In our case, it can also degrade the quality of our services.
Our research suggests that no matter where we draw the lines for what is allowed, as a piece of content gets close to that line, people will engage with it more on average — even when they tell us afterwards they don’t like the content.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/11/16/18097833/facebook-definers-scandal-washington-recap
BSR and the UN agree on one thing, and it’s an easy one: Facebook ought to provide country-specific data on hate speech and other violations of the company’s community standards in Myanmar Nov 11, 2018 highlights & social BSR and the UN agree on one thing, and it’s an easy one: Facebook ought to provide country-specific data on hate speech and other violations of the company’s community standards in Myanmar. We may not be able to say with certainty to what degree social networks contribute to ethnic violence — but we ought to be able to monitor flare-ups in hate speech on our largest social networks. Dehumanizing speech is so often the precursor to violence — and Facebook, if it took its role seriously, could help serve as an early-warning system. — https://www.theverge.com/2018/11/10/18080962/facebook-myanmar-report-bsr-united-nations-hate-speech
Last week, Facebook and Twitter were accused during a Congressional hearing of having conservative bias Sep 16, 2018 highlights & journalism & social Last week, Facebook and Twitter were accused during a Congressional hearing of having conservative bias. This should sound familiar to many of you in this room as you too have been accused for political purposes of being the “liberal media.” The core of this narrative is a stunt, architected by media manipulators, designed to trigger outrage among conservatives and pressure news and social media to react.It works. Over the last two years, both social media and news media organizations have desperately tried to prove that they aren’t biased. What’s at stake is not whether these organizations are restricting discussions concerning free-market economics or failing to allow conservative perspectives to be heard. What’s at stake is how fringe groups can pervert the logics of media to spread conspiratorial and hateful messages under their false flag of conservatism. — https://points.datasociety.net/media-manipulation-strategic-amplification-and-responsible-journalism-95f4d611f462?source=rss—-2488f66d2e39—4
While both areas have a core set of expectations, they both have to extend beyond their core in order to deal with data about social life—data which has very real social consequences Aug 30, 2018 highlights & science & social Dawn: … While both areas have a core set of expectations, they both have to extend beyond their core in order to deal with data about social life—data which has very real social consequences.

TYE: This is all the more true in industry contexts, where we often have to make social decisions, or design decisions, regardless of expertise.

DAWN: One difference is that in many data science scenarios, the available data has already been collected, whereas most ethnographic projects include field research time to gather new data.

TYE: Although this tendency doesn’t hold true all the time, it is a common expectation, and that expectation results in a divergent initial perspective on projects: data scientists often think about working within the available datasets while ethnographers tend to begin their projects by thinking expansively about what dataset could be created, or should be created given the state of the art of the relevant discipline (anthropology, sociology and so forth). This difference in perspectives leads to different attribution models for the results. Data scientists will often describe their results as derived from the data (even if the derivation is complex and practically impossible to trace). Data scientists will readily recognize that they made decisions throughout the project that impacted the results, but will often characterize these decisions as being determined by the data (or by common and proven analyses of the data). You have a totally different way of dealing with that.

DAWN: Yes, for sure. It’s all coming from “the data” but ethnographers themselves are a part of the data. A crucial part. If you were an active part of its creation—if you were there, having conversations with people, looking them in the eye as they try to make sense of your presence—you just can’t see it any other way. It’s unavoidable. You’re also aware of all of the other contingent factors involved in the data you collected in that moment. So we have to be explicitly reflective and critical of how our social position influenced the results.

https://www.epicpeople.org/data-science-and-ethnography/
Twitter is a powerful publishing platform that has become the de facto official medium for famous people to make public statements about what is going on right now. Mar 8, 2016 social & highlights

Twitter is a powerful publishing platform that has become the de facto official medium for famous people to make public statements about what is going on right now.

The problem is, that’s not the description of a social network. It’s a description of a publishing platform. Twitter’s trouble is that it’s being viewed by investors as a social network.

John Gruber of Daring Fireball.

Cogent.

New job posting: RECODE Social Innovation Fellow → Feb 18, 2016 social & innovation & education
Umair Haque on one of the modern Web’s most important problems. Feb 16, 2016 social & highlights But today, the business of most businesses isn't just mass-manufacturing product (industrial age), plastering slightly slicker stickers on it (branding age), or even gleaning vital intelligence faster than rivals (information age). The business of most businesses is interaction. […] Today, we live in a world of strikingly dismally low-quality interactions. […] Here's the rule that we must remember: High quality interactions expand human potential. Low quality interactions reduce, diminish, and shrink it. Thus, learning to produce high versus settling for low quality interactions is one of the great challenges of competence for institutions today. —

Umair Haque on one of the modern Web’s most important problems.

I could’ve quoted many other sentences from this article. Great points, as always — and powerful parallels with Seth Godin’s The Icarus Deception.

TEDxOxbridge - Marc Ventresca - Don’t Be an Entrepreneur, Build Systems → Jan 19, 2016 systems & social & innovation
Don’t build a start-up, become a systems entrepreneur - Social Innovation Generation → Jan 18, 2016 systems & leadership & social & innovation
The digital economy doesn’t solve everything. → Nov 2, 2015 social & public & learning
League of Intrapreneurs → Oct 13, 2015 social
Uber can’t be stopped, and that should scare you → Aug 20, 2015 tech & social
How Startups are Prototyping The Future of Business on Fogo Island - Social Innovation Generation → Aug 19, 2015 social & innovation
The Ten Most Common Mistakes In Setting Up A Social Lab - Social Labs → Aug 16, 2015 design & social
Design Kit → Jul 30, 2015 social & innovation & design
Social Innovation Lab Guide - The Rockefeller Foundation → Jul 30, 2015 social & innovation & systems & design
Using Social Incubation to Drive Local Innovation (SSIR) → Jul 28, 2015 social & innovation
Our Blueprint for Social Justice Philanthropy → Jul 16, 2015 social & innovation
Microtainer: lab resources (July 2015) - Social Innovation Generation → Jul 13, 2015 social & innovation & design
June News: Share. → Jul 11, 2015 education & social & innovation
What is the future of human rights in a data-saturated world? → Jul 10, 2015 social
http://pic. Jul 5, 2015 leadership & social & education & highlights @Radhoc learning about leadership and advocacy in the world. @madamepeddle #schum http://pic.twitter.com/oZTou3VzdY

via http://twitter.com/HillierNicholas/status/606789513445318656.

\m/
123167481342 Jul 4, 2015 social & innovation & design & highlights From @TimDraimin on Twitter: Hot-Off-Press: Frances Westley & San Laban (WISIR) publish Social Innovation Lab Guide #PSILab http://t.co/NM6fQEmRt7 #systemchange #SocInn —

via

Excited to read this guide as soon as possible.
The Builder’s High → Jul 3, 2015 social
On Ice Buckets! → Aug 29, 2014 leadership & social & futures & articles
[MindLab] shows how the work of public servants can benefit from innovation capacity - resources and platforms such as facilitation experts, physical space and social technology. → Dec 31, 2013 social & innovation [MindLab] shows how the work of public servants can benefit from innovation capacity - resources and platforms such as facilitation experts,
The future of work: 4 trends for 2014 → Dec 28, 2013 social
You might be using Twitter wrong (because I was) → Jul 9, 2013 social & learning
There’s no such thing as a social media expert who describes themselves as a social media expert. → Jan 9, 2013 social