Fixing Social Media and the American Monkeypox Vaccine

We all want to be able to speak our minds online – for our friends to hear and talk to our opponents (reply). At the same time, we do not want to be exposed to inappropriate or cross-border remarks. Tech companies have tackled the conundrum by setting free speech standards, a practice protected by federal law, employing internal moderators to review individual content and remove posts if they violate predetermined rules.

There are clearly problems with this approach: harassment, misinformation on topics like public health, and false representations of legitimate elections are rampant. However, even if content moderation is implemented flawlessly, it still misses many issues that are often described as moderation issues but are not. To address these issues, we need a new strategy: viewing social media companies as potential polluters of the social fabric and directly measuring and mitigating the human impact of their choices. Read the full article.

Written by Nathaniel Lubin, Cornell Tech Digital Living Initiative Fellow and former Director of the White House Office of Digital Strategy under President Barack Obama, and Thomas Krendl Gilbert, Cornell Tech Postdoctoral Fellow.

must read

I combed the internet to find you the funniest/most important/scariest/most fascinating tech stories of the day.

1 US is trying to keep its limited monkeypox vaccine available
Just inject one-fifth of the normal dose. (Now $)
+ The Danish company that makes the monkeypox vaccine won’t make more until 2023. (wired $)
+ Intellectual property rights are a major barrier to wider access. (slate)
+ Everything you need to know about the monkeypox vaccine. (MIT Technology Review)

2 We need better ways to report major cyberattacks
Private security firms have endorsed a new initiative by a US federal agency. (protocol)
+ Chinese-backed spies have already invaded European troops and government agencies. (register)

3 Silicon Valley is getting into the arms business
Rising geopolitical tensions mean more sales opportunities. (economist $)
+ Why business is booming for military AI startups. (MIT Technology Review)

4 Crypto mixing services have been approved by the US
On its role in enabling billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies to be laundered. (TechCrunch)
+ The fight to regulate cryptocurrencies in the United States is heating up. (wired $)
+ Many celebrities have been criticized for not disclosing their cyrpto connections. (BuzzFeed News)

5 Chinese game-loving kids targeted by scammers
Fraudsters promise extra game time in exchange for money. (register)

6 YouTube is too big for Russia to block
But its closest competitor, RuTube, is struggling to catch up. (Wall Street Journal $)
+ How Russia Controlled Ukraine’s Internet. (Now $)

7 Skin cancer goes undiagnosed in black patients
Exploring a catalog of how diseases appear on different skin tones may be helpful in diagnosis. (dark)
+ Doctors using artificial intelligence are more likely to develop breast cancer than doctors using artificial intelligence alone. (MIT Technology Review)

8 A fierce lawsuit is tearing apart the flying car industry
One of its most well-funded companies has accused another of stealing trade secrets. (fast company $)
+ Meanwhile, Canada is developing a jet-hybrid train. (inverse)

9 Facebook chatbots don’t like their makers
It’s a little embarrassing. (motherboard)
+ Meta-owned WhatsApp now lets you slip out of groups without being noticed. (protector)

10 Who does the money content industry really serve? 💸
A lot of its advice is moot to people without money. (new statesman $)
+ The Risks and Rewards of Paying Off Student Debt on the Blockchain. (MIT Technology Review)

Quote of the day

“I was a little delirious when we were making a lot of money, and looking back now, I’m embarrassed and remorseful.”

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