News from the web

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Southwest Plane Forced to Land After Cabin Window Breaks in Air

New York Times - Wed, 2018-05-02 10:46
The Federal Aviation Administration was investigating why a passenger window broke on a Boeing 737 operated by Southwest Airlines that was forced to land in Cleveland after leaving Chicago for Newark.
Categories: US News

Trump to Add Clinton Impeachment Lawyer Emmet Flood to Replace Ty Cobb

New York Times - Wed, 2018-05-02 10:44
Mr. Cobb had at one time persuaded President Trump not to attack the special counsel publicly, but Mr. Trump has broken from those confines.
Categories: US News

Harvey Weinstein Accused in Lawsuit of Sexually Assaulting Producer for Years

New York Times - Wed, 2018-05-02 10:43
The lawsuit came the same day the New York attorney general’s office said it would review the handling of a 2015 allegation against Mr. Weinstein in Manhattan.
Categories: US News

Google invests in startups to find new horizons for its Assistant - CNET

Cnet - Wed, 2018-05-02 10:43
Google's investment program will offer money, advice and insider access to promising startups that can push the boundaries of Google Assistant.
Categories: Tech News

What happened: Crash occurred a few miles away from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport

CNN Top Stories - Wed, 2018-05-02 10:41
Emergency crews are responding to a military cargo plane crash in Savannah, Georgia, said Candace Carpenter, spokeswoman for the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport.
Categories: Headline News

Avengers: Infinity War reportedly blows past $800M worldwide - CNET

Cnet - Wed, 2018-05-02 10:40
It's on track to set even more records at the box office both domestically and internationally.
Categories: Tech News

Facebook Ranking News Sources By Trust Is A Bad Idea... But No One At Facebook Will Read Our Untrustworthy Analysis

TechDirt - Wed, 2018-05-02 10:40

At some point I need to write a bigger piece on these kinds of things, though I've mentioned it here and there over the past couple of years. For all the complaints about how "bad stuff" is appearing on the big platforms (mainly: Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter), it's depressing how many people think the answer is "well, those platforms should stop the bad stuff." As we've discussed, this is problematic on multiple levels. First, handing over the "content policing" function to these platforms is, well, probably not such a good idea. Historically they've been really bad at it, and there's little reason to think they're going to get any better no matter how much money they throw at artificial intelligence or how many people they hire to moderate content. Second, it requires some sort of objective reality for what's "bad stuff." And that's impossible. One person's bad stuff is another person's good stuff. And almost any decision is going to get criticized by someone or another. It's why suddenly a bunch of foolish people are falsely claiming that these platforms are required by law to be "neutral." (They're not).

But, as more and more pressure is put on these platforms, eventually they feel they have little choice to do something... and inevitably, they try to step up their content policing. The latest, as you may have heard, is that Facebook has started to rank news organizations by trust.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Tuesday that the company has already begun to implement a system that ranks news organizations based on trustworthiness, and promotes or suppresses its content based on that metric.

Zuckerberg said the company has gathered data on how consumers perceive news brands by asking them to identify whether they have heard of various publications and if they trust them.

“We put [that data] into the system, and it is acting as a boost or a suppression, and we’re going to dial up the intensity of that over time," he said. "We feel like we have a responsibility to further [break] down polarization and find common ground.”

But, as with the lack of an objective definition of "bad," you've got the same problem with "trust." For example, I sure don't trust "the system" that Zuckerberg mentions above to do a particularly good job of determining which news sources are trustworthy. And, again, trust is such a subjective concept, that lots of people inherently trust certain sources over others -- even when those sources have long histories of being full of crap. And given how much "trust" is actually driven by "confirmation bias" it's difficult to see how this solution from Facebook will do any good. Take, for example, (totally hypothetically), that Facebook determines that Infowars is untrustworthy. Many people may agree that a site famous for spreading conspiracy theories and pushing sketchy "supplements" that you need because of conspiracy theory x, y or z, is not particularly trustworthy. But, for those who do like Infowars, how are they likely to react to this kind of thing? They're not suddenly going to decide the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal are more trustworthy. They're going to see it as a conspiracy for Facebook to continue to suppress the truth.

Confirmation bias is a hell of a drug, and Facebook trying to push people in one direction is not going to go over well.

To reveal all of this, Zuckerberg apparently invited a bunch of news organizations to talk about it:

Zuckerberg met with a group of news media executives at the Rosewood Sand Hill hotel in Menlo Park after delivering his keynote speech at Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference Tuesday.

The meeting included representatives from BuzzFeed News, the Information, Quartz, the New York Times, CNN, the Wall Street Journal, NBC, Recode, Univision, Barron’s, the Daily Beast, the Economist, HuffPost, Insider, the Atlantic, the New York Post, and others.

We weren't invited. Does that mean Facebook doesn't view us as trustworthy? I guess so. So it seems unlikely that he'll much care about what we have to say, but we'll say it anyway (though you probably won't be able to read this on Facebook):

Facebook: You're Doing It Wrong.

Facebook should never be the arbiter of truth, no matter how much people push it to be. Instead, it can and should be providing tools for its users to have more control. Let them create better filters. Let them apply their own "trust" metrics, or share trust metrics that others create. Or, as we've suggested on the privacy front, open up the system to let third parties come in and offer up their own trust rankings. Will that reinforce some echo chambers and filter bubbles? Perhaps. But that's not Facebook's fault -- it's part of the nature of human beings and confirmation bias.

Or, hey, Facebook could take a real leap forward and move away from being a centralized silo of information and truly disrupt its own setup -- pushing the information and data out to the edges, where the users could have more control over it themselves. And not in the simplistic manner of Facebook's other "big" announcement of the week about how it'll now let users opt-out of Facebook tracking them around the web (leaving out that they kinda needed to do this to deal with the GDPR in the EU). Opting out is one thing -- pushing the actual data control back to the end users and distributing it is something entirely different.

In the early days of the web, people set up their own websites, and had pretty much full control over the data and what was done there. It was much more distributed. Over time we've moved more and more to this silo model in which Facebook is the giant silo where everyone puts their content... and has to play by Facebook's rules. But with that came responsibility on Facebook's part for everything bad that anyone did on their platform. And, hey, let's face it, some people do bad stuff. The answer isn't to force Facebook to police all bad stuff, it should be to move back towards a system where information is more distributed, and we're not pressured into certain content because that same Facebook thinks it will lead to the most "engagement."

Push the content and the data out and focus on the thing that Facebook has always been better at at it's core: the connection function. Connect people, but don't control all of the content. Don't feel the need to police the content. Don't feel the need to decide who's trustworthy and who isn't. Be the protocol, not the platform, and open up the system so that anyone else can provide a trust overlay, and let those overlays compete. It would take Facebook out of the business of having to decide what's good and what's bad and would give end users much more control.

Facebook, of course, seems unlikely to do this. The value of the control is that it allows them to capture more of the money from the attention generated on their platform. But, really, if it doesn't want to keep dealing with these headaches, it seems like the only reasonable way forward.



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Categories: Tech News

Brexiteers tell Theresa May to drop customs partnership plan

BBC Front Page - Wed, 2018-05-02 10:39
Senior ministers have met to try to thrash out the UK's new customs arrangements post-Brexit.
Categories: World News

Air National Guard cargo plane attached to Puerto Rico Guard crashes in Georgia - USA TODAY

Google US - Wed, 2018-05-02 10:38

USA TODAY

Air National Guard cargo plane attached to Puerto Rico Guard crashes in Georgia
USA TODAY
An Air National Guard cargo plane crashed Wednesday near Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, sending black smoke billowing into the sky. Video from near the scene showed the wreckage burning just off a highway. Savannah's Chatham Emergency ...
Military plane crashes near Georgia airport, FAA saysFox News
2 killed when military cargo plane crashes in GeorgiaABC News
Deadly military plane crash on Savannah, Georgia, road - live updatesCBS News
CNN -CBS Denver -Atlanta Journal Constitution
all 226 news articles »
Categories: US News

Air National Guard cargo plane attached to Puerto Rico Guard crashes in Georgia - USA TODAY

Google Top Stories - Wed, 2018-05-02 10:38

USA TODAY

Air National Guard cargo plane attached to Puerto Rico Guard crashes in Georgia
USA TODAY
An Air National Guard cargo plane crashed Wednesday near Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, sending black smoke billowing into the sky. Video from near the scene showed the wreckage burning just off a highway. Savannah's Chatham Emergency ...
Military plane crashes near Georgia airport, FAA saysFox News
2 killed when military cargo plane crashes in GeorgiaABC News
Deadly military plane crash on Savannah, Georgia, road - live updatesCBS News
CNN -Atlanta Journal Constitution
all 232 news articles »
Categories: Headline News

Southwest Airlines jet diverts because of cracked window - USA TODAY

Google Top Stories - Wed, 2018-05-02 10:38

USA TODAY

Southwest Airlines jet diverts because of cracked window
USA TODAY
A Southwest Airlines flight bound for Newark made an emergency landing in Cleveland because of a cracked window, a passenger said. Loading… Post to Facebook. Southwest Airlines jet diverts because of cracked window A Southwest Airlines flight bound ...
Southwest plane with cracked window diverted to Cleveland; no reports of injuries or engine problemsLos Angeles Times
Southwest plane with cracked window forced to make emergency landingNBCNews.com
Southwest Flight 957 makes unplanned landing with broken windowCNN
ABC News -New York Post -KABC-TV -HuffPost
all 179 news articles »
Categories: Headline News

Iowa approves 'most restrictive abortion bill in US'

BBC Front Page - Wed, 2018-05-02 10:38
The Iowa bill, said to be strictest in the US, bans abortions once a heartbeat is detected.
Categories: World News

Israeli Law Vesting War Power in Top Leaders Faces Criticism

New York Times - Wed, 2018-05-02 10:37
As Israel faces rising tensions with Iran, Syria and Gaza, the new law allows the prime minister and defense minister to take it to war without cabinet approval.
Categories: US News

NASA's new InSight mission set to dig deep into Mars mysteries - CNET

Cnet - Wed, 2018-05-02 10:36
Mars InSight is scheduled to launch from California on Saturday, equipped with everything needed to do a complete internal exam of our neighbor the Red Planet.
Categories: Tech News

Trump makes clear Pompeo is his man at State

CNN Top Stories - Wed, 2018-05-02 10:36
President Donald Trump made it very clear on Wednesday that he now has his man in place to lead the US State Department -- signaling a new-found confidence in the diplomatic branch under the leadership of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Categories: Headline News

Follow live: Liverpool battles AS Roma in Champions League semis

ESPN Headlines - Wed, 2018-05-02 10:36
Georginio Wijnaldum's header in the 25th minute widened Liverpool's aggregate edge (7-3).
Categories: Sports

Military cargo plane crashes in Georgia

CNN Top Stories - Wed, 2018-05-02 10:36
'The ground shook like a bomb was going off. All the people in the building started panicking,' a witness says
Categories: Headline News

Kanye slavery comments 'ignorant' - Will.i.am

BBC Front Page - Wed, 2018-05-02 10:35
The Black Eyed Pea says Kanye's comments about slavery "broke my heart" and were "harmful".
Categories: World News

Daily Deal: Aura Premium Subscription

TechDirt - Wed, 2018-05-02 10:35

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