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Category Archives: Social Media

This site tells you if photos of you were used to train the AI

Tech Crunch: “Deepfakes, AI-generated porn and a thousand more innocent uses — there’s been a lot of news about neural network-generated images. It makes sense that people started getting curious; were my photos used to train the robots? Are photos of me in the image-generating training sets? A brand new site tries to give you an answer. Spawning AI creates image-generation tools for artists, and the company just launched Have I Been Trained? which you can use to search a set of 5.8 billion images that have been used to train popular AI art models. When you search the site, you can search through the images that are the closest match, based on the LAION-5B training data, which is widely used for training AI search terms. It’s a fun tool to play with, and may help give a glimpse into the data that the AI is using as the basis for its own. The photo at the top of this post is a screenshot of the search term “couple”. Try putting your own name in, and see what happens… I also tried a search for “Obama,” which I will not be sharing a screenshot of here, but suffice it to say that these training sets can be… Problematic..”

See also Ars Technica: “Artist finds private medical record photos in popular AI training data set. LAION scraped medical photos for AI research use. Who’s responsible for taking them down?…”

Where Online Hate Speech Can Bring the Police to Your Door

The New York Times: “Battling far-right extremism, Germany goes further than other Western democracies in policing online behavior, testing the limits of free speech on the internet…Hate speech, extremism, misogyny and misinformation are well-known byproducts of the internet. But the people behind the most toxic online behavior typically avoid any personal major real-world consequences. Most… Continue Reading

News Platform and Social Media and News Fact Sheet

Pew Research Center: “The transition of the news industry away from print, television and radio into digital spaces has caused huge disruptions in the traditional news industry, especially the print news industry. It is also reflected in the ways individual Americans say they are getting their news. Today, an overwhelming majority of Americans get news… Continue Reading

Tracked: How colleges use AI to monitor student protests

The Dallas Morning News, Arijit (Ari) D. Sen [subscription or online database access. Note – they are also making public nearly 3,000 documents, covering more than 56,000 pages from these schools]: “The pitch was attractive and simple. For a few thousand dollars a year, Social Sentinel offered schools across the country sophisticated technology to scan… Continue Reading

Does this button work? Investigating YouTube’s ineffective user controls

Mozilla: “Powered by 22,722 volunteers, Mozilla scrutinized YouTube to determine how much control people actually have over the platform’s recommendation algorithm. This is what we learned….Our work is the largest experimental audit of YouTube by independent researchers, powered by Mozilla’s RegretsReporter. Using RegretsReporter, an open source tool Mozilla built to study YouTube’s recommendation algorithm, we… Continue Reading

How to Ditch Facebook Without Losing Your Friends (Or Family, Customers or Communities)

EFF: “Today, we launch “How to Ditch Facebook Without Losing Your Friends” – a narrated slideshow and essay explaining how Facebook locks in its users, how interoperability can free them, and what it would feel like to use an “interoperable Facebook” of the future, such as the one contemplated by the US ACCESS Act…You can… Continue Reading

Manufactured Uncertainty in Constitutional Law

Waldman, Ari Ezra, Manufactured Uncertainty in Constitutional Law (September 6, 2022). Fordham Law Review, Vol. 91, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4211548 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4211548 “Civil rights litigation is awash in misinformation. Courts find that abortion causes cancer, that adolescent hormone therapy is irreversible, that in-person voter fraud is a growing problem. Except none of that is… Continue Reading

For Gen Z, TikTok Is the New Search Engine

The New York Times: “…TikTok’s rise as a discovery tool is part of a broader transformation in digital search. While Google remains the world’s dominant search engine, people are turning to Amazon to search for products, Instagram to stay updated on trends and Snapchat’s Snap Maps to find local businesses. As the digital world continues… Continue Reading

TikTok’s Search Engine Pumps Toxic Misinformation To Its Young Users

NewsGuard: “[A] NewsGuard investigation found that for a sampling of searches on prominent news topics, almost 20 percent of the videos presented as search results contained misinformation. This means that for searches on topics ranging from the Russian invasion of Ukraine to school shootings and COVID vaccines, TikTok’s users are consistently fed false and misleading… Continue Reading

For media publishers, Twitter still dominates on social

Axios: “Twitter is still the place where media publishers collectively have the largest audiences, followed by Facebook and Instagram, according to an Axios analysis of 82 major news, entertainment and sports publishers. Why it matters: While some publishers are finding quick success on TikTok, the platform yields fewer overall followers for publishers than other social… Continue Reading

A Prehistory of Social Media

Driscoll, Kevin. “A Prehistory of Social Media.” Issues in Science and Technology 38, no. 4 (Summer 2022): 20–23. “The standard account of internet history took shape in the early 1990s, as a mixture of commercial online services, university networks, and local community networks mutated into something bigger, more commercial, and more accessible to the general… Continue Reading