A tranche of news this week from the US election, beef with Facebook, a useful password tool, a new privacy training nonprofit in Brussels and more…
1. Facebook bans iconic war photo
You may have recently heard of the decision by Facebook to censor a very well-known Vietnam war photo (shown below) of Kim Phuc, a Vietnamese child, naked, running for her life and burnt by napalm. On the face of it, you might say “so what? Facebook can do whatever it wants.” However, there are some important questions being asked about Facebook’s role as a distributor, editor and censor of news and what their position and power could mean for democracy.
In the wake of the controversy the editor of Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, Espen Egil Hansen, penned an open letter to Facebook in which he appeals to Mark Zuckerberg to exercise some sound judgement. From the letter:
“Listen, Mark, this is serious. First you create rules that don’t distinguish between child pornography and famous war photographs. Then you practice these rules without allowing space for good judgement. Finally you even censor criticism against and a discussion about the decision – and you punish the person who dares to voice criticism.”
Read more about what went down in an interview with Hansen here explaining his decision to write the open letter.
2. New magazine sheds light on our digital age
Diggit Magazine is a great new publication from Tilburg University in the Netherlands. It features academic news and information focusing on “arts, media and society in times of digitalization, globalization and superdiversity.” They have published a number of interesting articles already including this one about this Summer’s most disruptive trend, Pokemon Go:
“…here is the sociological and anthropological significance of Pokémon Go: it makes visible – a rare occasion – and offers a glimpse of a cultural world that coexists with other cultural worlds, and which usually remains out of the gaze of the unengaged bystander. ”
3. How To Make a Super Secure Password Using Dice
Have you watched Mr Robot? Seeing the show’s principal character, Elliot, guessing people’s passwords is slightly terrifying, especially when you consider that a program can do it even faster.