WeeklyTech #6 – Facebook’s oversight board

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Amid all of the cultural conversations surrounding the role of technology in our society, Facebook has been at the top of the headlines. From issues over privacy and a recently announced crypto-currency, public opinion of the platform has shifted in recent years. But Facebook has also been working behind the scenes to collect feedback and put together an external oversight board to advise and guide the company on how it deals with content moderation on its platform. When CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the creation of the board in November 2017, he stated the purpose of the board is to create a mechanism for the public to appeal content decisions through an independent body.

With Facebook having over 2.38 billion active users in the first quarter of 2019, the reach and influence of this company is one of the greatest the world has ever seen. With all of this connectivity and influence, the company has entered into an age-old debate about what constitutes free speech and expression as it tries to manage its global online communication platforms. While there are varying opinions on how this board should function or if it should even exist, the fundamental questions of free speech and the role of corporations and government are paramount as we continue through our social media age. The important thing for believers to ask is: how should Christians approach issues of free speech? 

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Interesting technology stories

How Amazon will turn your house into an apparatus of surveillance – Axios

Amazon’s newest offering connects homebuyers to real estate agents and gives them $5,000 in smart devices and services when they close the deal. The huge upside for Amazon is unchecked access to the data-rich interiors of our homes.

Facebook Connected Her to a Tattooed Soldier in Iraq. Or So She Thought.– New York Times

Renee Holland sent her Facebook friend thousands of dollars. She became entwined in a global fraud that the social network and the United States military appear helpless to stop.

Facial Recognition Tech Comes to Schools and Summer Camps  – Wall Street Journal

Parents at summer camps across the country can opt into facial-recognition services to receive photos of their camper without having to sift through hundreds of group shots for proof that little Susie is having a good time climbing ropes.

U.S. Congress seeks to jump start stalled self-driving car bill – Reuters

Two key committees in the U.S. Congress on Tuesday said they are reviving efforts to pass long-stalled legislation to speed the adoption of self-driving cars.

​​A Prince’s $500 Billion Desert Dream: Flying Cars, Robot Dinosaurs and a Giant Artificial Moon – Wall Street Journal

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince turned to U.S. consultants for help imagining a massive new city-state in the northwest of his kingdom. What emerged was a Jetsons-style world of automation.

Did you miss the the WeeklyTech newsletter today? Subscribe now at ERLC.com/tech. Is there an issue or aspect of technology that is of particular interest to you? Something that you are wondering about? Feel free to send any feedback, requests, or recommendations to Jason at weeklytech@erlc.com.

About the author

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Jason Thacker

Jason serves as an associate research fellow and creative director at The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. He is a graduate of The University of Tennessee and Southern Seminary. He writes and speaks on topics including human dignity, technology, and artificial intelligence. His new book, The Age of AI: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity, releases in 2020 with Zondervan. He is married to Dorie and they have two sons.

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Jason serves as an associate research fellow and creative director at The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. He is a graduate of The University of Tennessee and Southern Seminary. He writes and speaks on topics including human dignity, technology, and artificial intelligence. His new book, The Age of AI: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity, releases in 2020 with Zondervan. He...

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