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short story about a laptop bought off Craigslist, Worcester, and time travel 

Short science fiction story that I wrote on gentrification in New England, old online communities & old laptops, which first appeared in the Terraform anthology book. Now free to read online!

The whole book is amazing

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i try to keep self-promotion here minimal but if anyone happened to be interested in *the rise and fall of various social networks* 👀 my book was remaindered recently and it's not hard to find a copy for less than the price of a large coffee eg

I try not to crowdsource research on here, but if you were a painfully hip young contemporary art curator c. 2000 (as I know some of you were), what books were you referencing to show how cool you were? D&G and Bourriaud's Relational Aesthetics already on the list.


i might be going in january. anyone else?
(and yes, i'm sure it will be horrible. a horribly fascinating spectacle is exactly what i hope to get out of it)

see a toot: "In the rush to replace Twitter, let's not act hastily and dismiss the many ways that algorithms empower users. The benefits of engagement metrics & content curation are oft misunderstood. Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater"

click on bio: "Founder and president of the Surveil-Ya-Face Corp, YC class of 2016"

@jomc my argument (since gamergate in 2014) was always that twitter was very obviously unfit for purpose as a "public square" by dint of its status as a for-profit, ad-focused entity - even back then it was obvious they were dragging their feet on doing anything about the vast majority of the harassment because it was juicing their metrics and the harassers were this entire mostly-new wing of their power-userbase.

yet another lesson in how easy it is for powerful people and powerful companies to restore their reputations. Imagine telling people in 2016 that soon enough the press narrative on Twitter will be that it’s a “public square” for building justice and democracy

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Just a guess, but I imagine (for numerous reasons) Chris Hayes had a better twitter experience than most and might not be the best suited to argue how the platform should inspire us to “rebuild the dream of the internet’s founders of a digital commons”

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I can’t with these essays on leaving Twitter—the digital paradise—that fully paper over *years of harassment* organized on the platform (gamergate, yourslip, countless other examples). the company finally addressed harassment several years back (because advertisers were complaining) and progressively tweaked measures but it was by no means flawless by 2022.

Wow…Facebook has lost soooo much money. Its market cap is back to what it was back *when the press was scrutinizing whether it made an impact on the 2016 US presidential election results*

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And yes, the targeted advertising model is a lot of fraud. Frauds can still make billions! Capitalism doesn’t work like Wirecutter or Consumer Reports. Cmon

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Ffs everyone, Facebook (Meta) dwarfs the size of Twitter. stock prices and layoffs alone don’t reveal a company’s future; the tech industry is extremely sensitive to interest rate increases. just because your (white, western, upper middle class) friends and family don’t use it, doesn’t mean the end is near. Please stop using talking points that Facebook’s own antitrust attorneys circulate in your “social media is over” hot takes.

You might think: well, social media is now largely image-based so the content moderation that happened on AOL/BBSes/other pre-2000s online communities is too outdated to apply to the fediverse.

I don’t necessarily agree. And even still…is anything stopping someone from creating a text-only instance as harm reduction?

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Content moderation is a huge topic with a long history and I don’t understand the motivation to make it seem niche. If you are only reading one or two people on the subject, you have missed a lot: including perspectives by people who have worked as content moderators themselves.

yes, I know how to shut off boosts. Yes, I also want to know which users think their followers are oblivious idiots

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please do not boost empty bumper sticker content Dan Price-style ("Believe women," "Every billionaire is a policy failure" etc) into my toot-stream.

I edited this piece myself in 2012 and I've yet to find an earlier example critiquing Facebook specifically as surveillance capitalism (the lens not the coinage)

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Jumping off what @blaine is saying here:

I work in professional fact-checking and content moderation for my day job at and I have begun conversations about ways to do content moderation as a federated service that admins can pay to subscribe to (where moderators are paid a living wage, maybe in worker owned coops even, as opposed to big social media companies using basically sweatshop moderation labor)

Feel free to add examples of other early critical research and writing on FB if *you have read this material and can confirm the criticism is relevant.*
Another wrinkle here is how media absolutely bungled coverage of the Facebook emotional contagion experiment in 2014, while academics nitpicked IRB ethics instead of whether or not the experiment itself was wrong

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@jomc as a former member of the Facebook PR team, I can confirm. Media were so eager to get access & use FB in their headlines, they usually didn’t kick the tires on company talking points. When the scrutiny finally showed up, the company was unprepared & indignant at not being taken at their word.

@jomc @blaine In 2014/15, a public health and epi friend tried to fund a project on rise of anti-vax in online social networks — particularly facebook. Zero takers. Feedback was that it would be of limited impact.

Hindsight is 20/20, etc.

@jomc Worth comparing tech companies relationship with academics to that of relationship between Pharma industry and academic researchers

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Friend Camp

Hometown is adapted from Mastodon, a decentralized social network with no ads, no corporate surveillance, and ethical design.