Posted inTechnology

The ongoing ethical erosion of popular online platforms

Reading Time: 4 minutes Anti-corporate-monopoly and digital rights advocate Cory Doctorow calls it the “enshittification” lifecycle. First, a company caters to a demographic, offering free services to build a user base worth selling to investors. Then it caters to business clients at cost to the original users (maybe by scraping their data, or maybe by clawing back free features […]

Posted inDeep Dive

2022: The year in global review, Part I

Reading Time: 8 minutes All end-of-year lists are suspect. One must embrace futility when trying to summarize what happened on a planet of eight billion for one spin around the sun. So why do we do write them? At best, to break up our routines of knee-jerk outrage at the latest inane news item, and to think more systematically […]

Posted inSocial Media

Musk’s Twitter polls: the slopey moral shoulders of deferring decisions

Reading Time: 3 minutes The Great Elon Musk Twitter Saga continues. Most recently, Musk reignited the culture wars with his decision to “temporarily suspend” a range of journalists for apparently doxxing his 2-year-old son. Except this is not what they did, and the screenshots of those banned showed it was meant to be permanent. However, though Musk appears to […]

Posted inFree Expression

“I’m a free speech absolutist!”*

Reading Time: 5 minutes Free speech is a thoroughly thorny issue, not just because it is divisive in online and offline debates, but because it is philosophically troublesome and potentially an unsolvable quandary. We all have our own lines about what is and isn’t acceptable. Everyone has a line somewhere. You would be hard-pressed to find someone who thinks […]

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