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You Can’t Say That on the Internet

Posted on November 18th, 2012 at 13:46 by John Sinteur in category: News -- Write a comment


Why won’t tech companies let us freely use terms that already enjoy wide circulation and legitimacy? Do they fashion themselves as our new guardians? Are they too greedy to correct their algorithms’ mistakes?

Thanks to Silicon Valley, our public life is undergoing a transformation. Accompanying this digital metamorphosis is the emergence of new, algorithmic gatekeepers, who, unlike the gatekeepers of the previous era — journalists, publishers, editors — don’t flaunt their cultural authority. They may even be unaware of it themselves, eager to deploy algorithms for fun and profit.

  1. As Lessig said, “Code is law”.

    But, uh:

    Quaint prudishness, excessive enforcement of copyright, unneeded damage to our reputations: algorithmic gatekeeping is exacting a high toll on our public life.

    A high toll? Seriously? Yawn.

  2. Well it is the NYT, a famously febrile fount of fatuousness.

  3. @Sue: But it’s a contributed op-ed piece.

  4. @Desiato – I think it is fairly accurate. It is a subtle form of censorship and from another perspective, propaganda. Worse if these trends continue, the information component of the internet will be so diluted and so suspect, that it will be nearly useless. The result? The browseable internet will be nothing more than the browseable shopping network.

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