WeeklyTech #79

The Purpose of Privacy

Each year on January 28, organizations and governments from around the world come together to highlight Data Privacy Day and raise awareness of the immense challenges to personal privacy in our technologically driven society. Data Privacy Day was originally started by the Council of Europe in 2007 and then two years later, the United States Congress passed two resolutions recognizing January 28 as National Data Privacy Day in the U.S. as well. Increasingly throughout our society, there is a growing conversation and debate over personal privacy and its purpose in our society, as seen in the recent controversial moves by Apple and their push for more transparency on data collection by apps, as well as the continued push for a federal digital privacy law similar to that found in the European Union with the GDPR and states like California with the CCPA. But among the many challenges of digital privacy today, privacy can mean very different things across segments of our society and is often left undefined, misunderstood, and misapplied in our lives.

The Rundown

Young people want checks on Big Tech’s powerAxios

The next generation of college-educated Americans thinks social media companies have too much power and influence on politics and need more government regulation, according to a new survey by Generation Lab for Axios. 

Facebook usage has soared during the pandemic, but the company warns of ‘significant uncertainty’ aheadThe Verge

As far as usage goes, Facebook is up all around, with more than 1.84 billion people using its main social network at least once a day in December 2020, an 11 percent year-over-year increase. As of December 31st, 2020, more than 2.8 billion people check Facebook at least once a month, a 12 percent jump from the year before.

Verified tweeters smashed records sharing deceptive contentAxios

Verified accounts on Twitter shared more content from deceptive websites than ever in 2020, according to new research from the German Marshall Fund shared exclusively with Axios. If verified users constantly share false information, it defeats the purpose and reinforces false narratives.

Facebook’s Oversight Board issues first batch of decisionsProtocol

The board overturned four of Facebook’s prior content moderation decisions and upheld one. It also issued nine policy recommendations for Facebook, including urging Facebook to clarify and increase transparency around its health misinformation policies and pushing the company to publish its list of Dangerous Individuals and Organizations, who are barred from Facebook.  

Reddit’s GameStop stock battle with Wall Street is an ‘insane’ warCNet

Wall Street investors have bet struggling video game retailer GameStop would fail for a long time. At points, it’s been one of the most heavily bet-against stocks on the market. But over the past few months, a bunch of Reddit users have been pushing up the value of GameStop shares instead.

Nextdoor Is Quietly Replacing the Small-Town PaperOneZero

But Nextdoor has gradually evolved into something bigger and more consequential than just a digital bulletin board: In many communities, the platform has begun to step into roles once filled by America’s local newspapers.