Options Techtonic with Mark Hurst: Playlist from May 25, 2020 Options

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Conversations with creators and thinkers who are charting the way forward in a tech-saturated society. Tech, community, video games, and whatever else is next.

Mondays 6 - 7pm (EDT) | On WFMU | 91.1, 90.1, 91.9 FM & wfmu.org
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Options May 25, 2020: Steven Levy, author, "Facebook: The Inside Story"

Listen to this show: MP3 - 128K | Pop-up listen Pop‑up player!

Tonight: Steven Levy, author, "Facebook: The Inside Story"

A Brief History of Facebook, by Jen Sorensen.

About Steven Levy:

• Previous appearance on Techtonic: December 18, 2017 episode

• Website: stevenlevy.com

• Twitter: @stevenlevy

• Book: Facebook: The Inside Story

Wired magazine contributions

• Other Techtonic interviews on Facebook:
    - Siva Vaidhyanathan, author, "Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy" (June 25, 2018)
    - Roger McNamee, author, "Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe" (May 6, 2019)

Tech news:

White Supremacist Groups Are Thriving on Facebook (Tech Transparency Project, May 21, 2020): "Facebook's 'Related Pages' feature often directed users visiting white supremacist Pages to other extremist or far-right content, raising concerns that the platform is contributing to radicalization."

Facebook will pay $52 million in settlement with moderators who developed PTSD on the job (The Verge, May 12)

September 16, 2019 Techtonic: Sarah T. Roberts, author of "Behind the Screen," on content moderators

Why Facebook Censored an Anti-Trump Ad (by Steven Levy in his Wired Plaintext newsletter, May 15, 2020)

Facebook and Instagram roll out Shops, turning business profiles into storefronts (TechCrunch, May 19)

Grandmother ordered to delete Facebook photos under GDPR (BBC, May 21)

Resources mentioned:


Invisible Hands

Bed Stuy Strong

New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund

- - -

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Check out techtonic.fm for recent Techtonic interviews and Little Slice of Tech Pie segments.

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Artist Track Images Approx. start time
  Veteran tech journalist Steven Levy discusses his new book "Facebook: The Inside Story."
Tomaš Dvořák  Gameboy Tune (SW remix)   Options
  Mark's intro  
  Interview with Steven Levy, Part 1  
0:07:37 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
  Interview with Steven Levy, Part 2  
0:29:05 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
  Mark's comments after the interview  
0:50:09 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
Queen  Another One Bites the Dust, but every other beat is missing   Options
0:54:59 (MP3 | Pop‑up)

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Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:00pm ultradamno:

Mark! Techsbookies!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm Webhamster Henry:

Hi Question Mark and the Techterions.
Avatar 6:02pm Bas NL:

Hi Mark! Techtonicinsiders!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:02pm Handy Haversack:

Mark! Techyon Canons!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:02pm Webhamster Henry:

I read S. Levy's WIRED newsletter
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:02pm chresti:

Hi Mark and techtonilogicals!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:03pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Greetings, Mark and Techtobequers.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:03pm brainiac:

I'm a Lud. There, I said it.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm melinda:

Hi gang.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm Mark Hurst:

ultra, Webham, Bas, Handy, chresti, KfHP, brianiac, and melinda, hi! Thanks for joining.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm Baja Joe:

Hidey Ho Mark.
  6:05pm JakeGould:

Work from home began for me on March 9th. So that is like pushing 11 weeks now?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:05pm Mark Hurst:

Greetings, Baja Joe
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:05pm Mark Hurst:

@Jake 11 sounds about right
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:06pm Handy Haversack:

Hey, everyone! I have been reading and mostly away from the keyboard ALL DAY. What a way to spend a holiday. Hope you're all doing OK.

Kate and I loved Scott's fill-in but sure missed Mark time.
Avatar 6:07pm Bas NL:

Google just told me on my android phone they have not seen where i am for a long while.. how nice.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:09pm Handy Haversack:

Yeah, March 12 for me, Jake. Today was revelatory.
Avatar 6:09pm Bas NL:

I'm returning to work tomorrow. With all kinds of safeguards.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:10pm Handy Haversack:

The spectrum of douchebaggery there, Zuckerberg.
  6:10pm TJP:

And you think Facebook doesn't do the same thing for radical leftwing groups?
Avatar 6:11pm bud:

if fb decided what it policed, it would be described as fascist
  6:12pm George in Bushwick:

what has become of ello and startpage?
Avatar 6:12pm herb.nyc:

yes, Scott Williams did a great show last wk. I did a simple cassette trick circa 1987. I had 2 tape decks play into 1 recording tape deck and got diff content on left and right channels. My 90min tape became 180mins of poop!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:12pm Baja Joe:

It's like the Kramer Coffee Table Book!
Avatar 6:13pm herb.nyc:

Steven Levy back a 2nd time. Maybe he'll get it right this time.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:18pm ultradamno:

And now Giphy.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:19pm ultradamno:

...it's for the data, man www.fastcompany.com...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:23pm ultradamno:

Don't 'rascals' generally have facial expressions?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:24pm melinda:

@ultradamno haha
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:24pm Mark Hurst:

And moustache twirlers generally have moustaches
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:25pm ultradamno:

Yeah, hoodie-fiddlers doesn't have the same ring.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:25pm Handy Haversack:

Would sure be nice if Signal natively supported use that doesn't require a cell phone contract, though.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:27pm ultradamno:

Never really thought about it before, never having had the urge to inflict a handlebar mustache on my face, that the twirling was because of the wax detroitbeardcollective.com...
  6:28pm queems:

i hate instagram’s algorithm timeline
  6:29pm queems:

i know that’s not what i’m supposed to be taking away from this but
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:31pm Ken From Hyde Park:

What are the chances that Facebook will buy TikTok at some point?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:33pm ultradamno:

Gyfcat was the other one I was wondering if they or a competitor like Amazon or Alphabet would scoop up.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:35pm Mark Hurst:

@queems algorithmic timelines are the worst.. and FB/IG absolutely depend on them financially
  6:36pm Peter from Dover NJ:

Hi Mark, great show. Not germane to this program, but possibly an idea for another? There are ads out there for what I can only call "smart guitar amps." You go, Alexa follow my guitar. And it supplies rhythm tracks. As a musician, I find this horrifying.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:36pm Mark Hurst:

@KenfHP very low probability. TikTok is Chinese-owned with ties to Chinese Communist Party security services (which Zuck to date has been unable to partner with, not for lack of trying)
  6:37pm queems:

@mark i just want people to see the pictures of my cat the minute i post them
Avatar 6:37pm northguineahills:

A virtual Latvian friend of mine, hosts the Eastern Border Podcast: theeasternborder.lv , he's been in many Euro-American podcast history/tech podcast conferences.

He's Lativian, and his podcast, The Eastern Border,: theeasternborder.lv , explores contemporary politics b/tn Russia and the former eastern bloc, and the history and culture of the border region of Russia from the Tsarist times, to contemporary history. The focus pans to surveilence, and technology over the ages.

He recently posted on FB, a sardonic/ironic meme created by an artist friend about the conspiracies against Russia: theeasternborder.lv... (the artist was Russian, it shows a woman, w/ pride flags, Israeli and Ukrainian flags, a Nazi armband, masonic imagery, w/ dollars spilling out (symbolizing neoliberalism), stabbing the Russian bear w/ an american flag).

He was banned from Facebook, b/c offended Russians were offended by the image, and he was reported for hate speech. Even acast (his podcast host), temporarily banned him. This just shows the hypocracy that FB has for, "hate speech".

Mark, he'd make a good interview, if you want the point of view of a Latvian fluent in Russian and English.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:37pm Mark Hurst:

@Peter good idea. Tentatively hoping to cover music + tech in next week's episode - we'll see
Avatar 6:37pm northguineahills:

lo siento por, TLDR, wall of text...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:38pm melinda:

I keep getting ads for men's clothing in my Instagram feed.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:38pm Mark Hurst:

@queems oh it's such a simple solution, just pay FB/IG a bunch of money and they'll be happy to show your photos to your friends. everything on Facebook/Instagram is pay-to-play now. totally toxic & gross.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:39pm Mark Hurst:

@ngh thanks for the pointer! I'll have to take a look.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:40pm melinda:

Hate speech is a problematic concept to begin with.
  6:41pm queems:

@mark i’ve heard that from my friends who own small businesses and use instagram as a platform to sell. it’s wild but not unsurprising. i do miss the days when the instagram was for filtered square pictures and youtube was a bunch of weirdos making videos that nobody wanted to watch
Avatar 6:43pm northguineahills:

That was by far my longest WoofMoo comment, but, I felt it was precient w/ the subject at hand...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:44pm melinda:

My facebook usage has not increased during quarantine. The new design is hideous.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:44pm Mark Hurst:

@queems the internet still has weird & authentic (and non-pay-to-play) spaces - like WFMU itself - but they're not anywhere near Big Tech. For example - switching.software/replace/instagram/
Avatar 6:44pm bud:

a reasonable expectation in a free society is that people can think for themselves. to the extent people can't discern fact from truth or make value judgments about what they read, our educational system is failing and our efforts should be focused there instead of asking corporations to restrict speech. why are we scared of people reading nazi propaganda?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm Mark Hurst:

@bud it's a different issue - FB is actually *suggesting* nazi propaganda to people, because it makes FB money.
  6:46pm queems:

i’m going to read more about pixelfed, for sure. i still use tumblr to post photos but i know that nobody ever looks at them
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm Mark Hurst:

@queems the more of us get off Big Tech services, the more of us will be on the weird/authentic services and will see your photos there
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:48pm melinda:

I still have a flickr account.
  6:48pm queems:

@mark hope you all like pictures of cats
  6:48pm Peter from Dover NJ:

Mark, thank you. I am concerned by anything contributing to the dumbing down of culture.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:49pm ultradamno:

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm ultradamno:

Exactly. That kind of thing (the "what does he really think" question) muddied the water with Trump early on.
  6:57pm Peter from Dover NJ:

queems I love cat pictures.. have 2 of my own.
Avatar 6:57pm Bas NL:

Lot's of court cases in The Netherlands at the moment on protection of personal information!
Avatar 6:57pm bud:

i see fb and yt exposing how dumb people really are in what we thought were modern times. zuck appears amoral to me and i don't like seeing people i know in ways that i don't relate to them, but i don't get how it's harmful.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm Corey:

Thanks for the great show Mark. One of the silver linings to lockdown has been that it's changed my Monday habits so that I can catch this show. Be well all!
Avatar 6:58pm Bas NL:

Thanks for fighting the fight Mark!
  6:58pm queems:

thanks mark, all
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Thanks, Mark & Steven. Keep resisting!
Avatar 6:58pm northguineahills:

Thanks, Steven and Mark!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm chresti:

Thanks Mark!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm Handy Haversack:

Thanks, Mark. Another important show.
Avatar 6:59pm bud:

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm Mark Hurst:

Thanks, all! Appreciate you listening in & chatting.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm Mark Hurst:

@Bas send over any good news of tech-related court cases from NL!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Healing vibes to Brian May.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:01pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Or: Haigvbst ra a.
Avatar 7:01pm Bas NL:

I was just reading a great article in the news paper.. it's in dutch.. i'll see if there's international coverage!
Avatar 7:06pm Bas NL:

Here's webpage of THE dutch watchdog on personal data protection. They enforce the new legislation. They are doing a good job and are handing out steep fines. autoriteitpersoonsgegevens.nl...
  7:41pm JakeGould:

Hey! Here is the red wheelbarrow poem.

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white
Avatar 12:41pm UncleMarty:

Can't find the Scott WIlliams fill in as of this date .... help? (& yes, I have rebooted my PC)
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