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You Can't Say That On the Internet 432

hessian writes in with a story about the arbitrary and often outdated online decency standards being imposed by companies."A bastion of openness and counterculture, Silicon Valley imagines itself as the un-Chick-fil-A. But its hyper-tolerant facade often masks deeply conservative, outdated norms that digital culture discreetly imposes on billions of technology users worldwide. What is the vehicle for this new prudishness? Dour, one-dimensional algorithms, the mathematical constructs that automatically determine the limits of what is culturally acceptable. Consider just a few recent kerfuffles. In early September, The New Yorker found its Facebook page blocked for violating the site’s nudity and sex standards. Its offense: a cartoon of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Eve’s bared nipples failed Facebook’s decency test."

The Rise of Filter Bubbles Screenshot-sm 408

eldavojohn writes "Eli Pariser gave a talk at TED which posits that tailoring algorithms are creating 'filter bubbles' around each user, restricting the information that reaches you to be — unsurprisingly — only what you want to see. While you might be happy that your preferred liberal or conservative news hits you, you'll never get to see the converse. This is because Google, Facebook, newspaper sites and even Netflix filter what hits you before you get to see it. And since they give you what you want, you never see the opposing viewpoints or step outside your comfort zone. It amounts to a claim of censorship through personalization, and now that every site does it, it's becoming a problem. Pariser calls for all sites implementing these algorithms to embed in the algorithms 'some sense of public life' and also have transparency so you can understand why your Google search might look different than someone with opposing tastes." Hit the link below to watch a video of Pariser's talk.

Let's organize this thing and take all the fun out of it.