Alexis Madrigal on Pinterest

But it goes deeper than that. What Pinterest has created — almost unintentionally — is a database of things in the world that matter to human beings. While Google crunches numbers to figure out what's relevant, Pinterest's human users define what is relevant for a given topic. And because of that, they…

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Natasha Lennard on OkCupid and Data Science

Outrage over these experiments could suggest that we too readily trust that data is essentially neutral or “honest.” But clearly, social media informs the structure of our interactions and how we exist and identify ourselves through them. As Rudder points out, our formation as online subjects is already manipulated and…

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Adrianne Jeffries on Comcast

I would be frustrated because I would tell them we need customer service training as much as sales training, but it came from Philly [Comcast’s headquarters] so that’s what we had to deal with. [Managers] would listen to the call, even have secret shoppers call in. If we…

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Michael P. Lynch on the NSA

And the bigger the pool the more irresistible it is likely to become. This is not just common sense, it explains why the N.S.A.’s repeated assertions that they aren’t actually looking at the content of emails, or targeting Americans, should have been greeted with skepticism. The…

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Amy Westervelt on "Content"

It’s not marked as advertorial, but it is. You are being sold to and lied to even more often than you realize, and by even the most established and credible of publications. The media outlets you trust are under such (self-imposed) pressure to serve up more and more content…

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