SDF 44: Facebook and the robber barons are at it again

Last week Facebook announced that it had decided to up the ante in its fracas with the Australian government and ban mainstream media news on its platform. The move meant that all Facebook users – not just Australians – would not be able to share or view news on Australian news Pages on Facebook. This move by Facebook was in response to the Australian government introducing a new law that would force Big Tech to pay media companies a fee…

Civilising Wikipedia

Last month, Wikipedia celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the founding of its English-language website, an online encyclopedia that can be edited by anyone. Today, Wikipedia has more than 55 million articles available in over 300 languages, in addition to the original English. It says that 1.7 billion unique visitors come to its websites every month. For many people, it’s the first stop on the Internet when you want the answer to “What is…?”, “Who is…?”, “Where is…?”, “When is/was…?”, etc. ‘Edited…

FIR 203: Insurrection and Sea Shanties

‘Trust’ was the major theme for discussion in the January episode of The Hobson and Holtz Report podcast aka FIR 203 that Shel and I recorded last weekend and published on Monday. It underpinned all other topics we discussed as we started the episode reviewing the key analysis in the Edelman Trust Barometer 2021 – the report concludes that there is a ‘crisis of leadership’ with a growing trust gap and declines in trust worldwide; and without a trusted leadership…

SDF 43: The wearing away of trust

In the first episode in 2021 of our monthly Small Data Forum podcast, Thomas, Sam, and I discussed the big picture of Trump and what’s next for him, Joe Biden and America post-Trump, and in the context of our predictions in episode 42 in December. Those predictions weren’t that shabby, as it turns out. We considered what social media is: platform, publisher, or leech, which provoked some lively and trenchant opinion. We pondered the consequences and outcomes of the Capitol…

The uneasy case for face masks and enforced wearing

In the UK last November, the most frequent locations people with the COVID-19 virus had been prior to testing positive was supermarkets. Two months on, that may still be the case. It makes sense, then, that if you are going to a supermarket, you wear a face mask for your own protection as well as that of everyone else. Unless you have valid exemption, wearing a face mask when in an enclosed public place like a supermarket is also the…

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