Computer Ethics, Fall 2023 online, class 6

Thursday October 5

Class 5 Readings

Read chapter 2 of Baase on privacy


The Google Trial

Judge Amit Mehta is requiring that more documents and testimony be unsealed. This is good.

Supreme Court will decide Florida and Texas social-media laws

Both states introduced regulation of social media. Both states forbid "censorship" of some speakers, though the details differ. The appeals court in Florida struck down the law; the 5th circuit upheld the Texas version.

The problem with bans on censorship is that social-media companies have a huge financial interest in keeping their users happy, and hate speech is something that definitely drives users away.

Meta in Myanmar

Protests involving mass murder of the Rohingya minority wer organized via Facebook. How much is Facebook to blame?

Facebook has worked hard in Myanmar, and in many other countries, to make accessible at low cost. In many cases access is "zero-rated"; that is, data to and from is transmitted for free.

Facebook clearly did not have any idea how much its service would be used to organize attacks on the Rohingya.

Ad-free Facebook for €13/month

Who will sign up for this? Nobody. But to use the free version, you must consent to data collection for targeted advertising. But because you can opt out of that (by paying), it's supposedly legit with the EU.

The Amazon Trial

Ok, I missed this excellent article last week. Matt Stoller is the blogger on antitrust issues.

Note the part about how the real value of Prime shipping is estimated at $1,000/yr, not $140. That's not just for shipping, but the point is that those shipping expenses have to come from somewhere, and it's not Prime subscription fees.

Start with finishing up the Warshak case

Then on to "commercial" privacy