The Uber Files data leak and the chasm between ethics and lobbying

On July 11, the Guardian newspaper dropped a bombshell across the media and political landscapes with the first revelations about Uber and its law-breaking activities around the world, on an industrial scale, in the pursuit of profits. News about the Uber Files published by the Guardian and a global array of media partners was the visible first step in making use of a treasure trove of data leaked by a whistleblower to shine a bright spotlight on a company that…

The cost of defying public opinion about doing business in Russia

As the continuing war that followed the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 passed its 90th day, the tragedy that has befallen Ukraine at the hands of Russia knows no bounds. The Donbas region in the east of Ukraine is but a wasteland with a death toll in the many thousands. After months of non-stop shelling and bombing, the city of Mariupol is it’s own vision of Hell on earth. Many Ukrainians have been shipped off to the interior…

Volkswagen pranks its tarnished reputation on April Fool’s Day

In a time where misinformation, disinformation and outright fake news are features of our online landscapes that diminish trust, you’d think that brands (and Volkswagen in particular) would think twice – at least, think carefully – about actively doing anything that can negatively impact their brand reputation and instead do everything that promotes a sense of trust in their brand. Given that what’s good, bad or ugly is often highly subjective it’s hard to pinpoint a specific prank done by…

FIR 205: Are NFTs nifty or not?

The topic of NFTs – non-fungible tokens, to use its full name (one that confounds many people) – occupies a large part of the conversation in the March episode of For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report that Shel and I recorded last weekend. We had a lively discussion, contributed to in part by Chip and Dan chipping in from the chat in our YouTube channel where the discussion was being streamed live, aided greatly by all the analyses,…

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…

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