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US politics, Israel/Palestine conflict 

Seems like I'm not the only one frustrated by the response to college presidents' responses about at the recent "Holding Campus Leaders Accountable and Confronting Antisemitism" congressional hearing.

Ken White (The Popehat Report) has written about this, and the title alone may be enough: "Stop Demanding Dumb Answers to Hard Questions"

In the American political context, "Hate speech is free speech," has a specific meaning, and I think grasping this is critical for any discussion about how we handle objectionable speech, not just in the current context of the war in the Middle East but also in, for example, the context of social media.

The PRO Codes Act is a power grab that would help giant industry associations ration access to huge swaths of U.S. law. Congress shouldn’t fall for it. #OpenAccessWeek

"Colorado high court to hear case against Christian baker who refused to make LGBTQ-themed cake" by Colleen Slevin and Jesse Bedayn for Associated Press

Specifically, someone ordered a pink cake with blue frosting (and no writing) to celebrate gender transition. This case is going to be interesting to watch. Personally I don't think this should be considered speech, assuming that the baker provides options for cake and frosting colors as a normal part of doing business.

If I had a nickel for every time I started sponsoring a creativity tool after crappy pricing changes from proprietary competitors, I'd have two nickels. Which isn't a lot but it's weird that it happened twice.

Thinking of hosting your own social media? While new projects like the fediverse make it possible, you'll want to consider some of the legal risks involved.

This week, I went over to Bluesky and asked people who'd left Mastodon why they left, and lots of people told me. I grabbed the replies and crunched them and wrote up a summary. I think it's really interesting and often kind of wrenching.


New from NYU Engelberg Center: The Anti-Ownership Ebook Economy

"Something happened when we shifted to digital formats that created a loss of rights for readers. Pulling back the curtain on the evolution of ebooks offers some clarity to how the shift to digital left ownership behind in the analog world."

Read the full whitepaper:

Related: "In Defense Of Free Speech Pedantry"

"Talking about our legal rights, and helping more citizens understand them, is an unqualified good. Debating 'free speech culture' — that is, seeking consensus on how we should react socially and private-institutionally to speech we hate — is also good, as I have argued. So, for that matter, is discussing the ancient question of what speech is kind, decent, or morally acceptable. But those are very distinct questions, directed at us wearing different analytical and philosophical hats."

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"The problems are these:

"We don’t have anything resembling a consensus on what 'cancel culture' is and we’re not having a serious discussion about defining it;

"We don’t have a consensus on how we reconcile the interests of speakers and responders, and we’re not making a serious attempt to reach one.

"We don’t have a consensus about what to do about it and we’re not trying to reach one."

"Our Fundamental Right To Shame And Shun The New York Times" by Ken White in The Popehat Report

US politics/SCOTUS 

Curious about the ramifications of the recent decision. Does it mean that I, as an atheist website designer, can refuse to create wedding websites with religious references? (This would not be based on the actual religion of the partners, only the content of the site.) Or what if I want to create websites for only same-sex couples? Must I have a sincerely-held religious belief to this effect or can I simply exercise my right to not speak in certain situations?

I always had a distaste for Pinterest since it required you to login to view things, while didn't. Now Pinterest doesn't require login (just found this out today, I'll admit) and Twitter does.

@test Seems like posts from Mastodon and similar Fediverse applications appear in the "microblog" in Kbin, which I guess makes sense, but I'm still not sure about this dichotomy.

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Don't tell people "it's easy", and six more things KBin, Lemmy, and the fediverse can learn from Mastodon

Reddit's strategy of antagonizing app writters, moderators, and millions of redditors is good news for reddit alternatives like KBin and Lemmy. And not just them! The fediverse has always grown in waves and we're at the start of one.

Previous waves have led to innovation but also major challenges and limited growth. It's worth looking at what tactics worked well in the past, to use them again or adapt them and build on them. It's also valuable to look at what went wrong or didn't work out as well in the past, to see if there are ways to do better.

Here's the current table of contents:

* I'm flashing!!!!!
* But first, some background

1. Don't tell people "it's easy"
2. Improve the "getting-started experience"
3. Keep scalability and sustainability in mind
4. Prioritize accessibility
5. Get ready for trolls, hate speech, harassment, spam, porn, and disinformation
6. Invest in moderation tools
7. Values matter

* This is a great opportunity – and it won't be the last great opportunity

#kbin #lemmy #fediverse

Ad-tech grabs the MAJORITY of every ad-dollar.

They say it's because they're awesome at advertising.

We say it's because they represent buyers AND sellers in a marketplace they own. To get the news its fair share of ad revenue, we must break up ad-tech.

Today released much of the code used for their recommendation algorithm

An machine-learning system relies on both an algorithm and training data so I wonder exactly what insights can be gained from what's been made public (I'm definitely not an expert in this area so I invite corrections and clarifications here). Regardless, it's an unusual level of transparency for a major social-media platform.

@collectedoverspread I'm not sure if it has an official name, other than like "missing the point".

It needs a bit more to be a good argument: it implies that a law won't do X amount of good; ok fine – the obvious thing you need to examine is how much good, <X, *will* it do, then? And weight that against the costs. So it's like just the first part of a coherent argument, at best.

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Qoto Mastodon

QOTO: Question Others to Teach Ourselves
An inclusive, Academic Freedom, instance
All cultures welcome.
Hate speech and harassment strictly forbidden.