Thursday, March 01, 2018

News in a disintegrating reality: Tow’s Jonathan Albright on what to do as things crash around us » Nieman Journalism Lab

From a wide-ranging interview with Jonathan Albright, "the research director at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism and a faculty associate at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society"

"Maybe there needs to be a job called, like, Platform Editor, where someone works to not only stop manipulation but also works across the security team and the content team and in between the different business verticals to ensure the quality and integrity of the platform. That’s a lot of responsibility, but the kinds of things that I often see could literally be stopped by one person. I mean: 4chan trending on Google during the Las Vegas shooting? How that even happened, I have no idea, but I do know that one person could have stopped that. And I do know that a group of people working together — even if it involves deliberation, even if they don’t agree on one specific thing — can often solve problems that appear or are starting to surface because of automation. And I don’t mean, like, contract moderators from India — I mean high-level people. The companies need to invest in human capital as well as technological capital, but that doesn’t align with their business model. The rhetoric exists in their public statements, but we can clearly see that how it’s being implemented isn’t working.

It’s getting worse. Since the 2016 election, I’ve come to the realization — horribly, and it’s very depressing — that nothing has gotten better, despite all the rhetoric, all of the money, all of the PR, all of the research. Since nothing has really changed with the platforms, we can scream about Russia as the structure of our information decays around us. Our technological and communication infrastructure, the ways that we experience reality, the ways we get news, are literally disintegrating."
News in a disintegrating reality: Tow’s Jonathan Albright on what to do as things crash around us » Nieman Journalism Lab
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