The article also notes,
Imagine if signing up to read Twitter was free, but posing required you to spend a week doing moderation first.
Everyone who came into the community would have to learn the rules before they violated them.
Then, when you’re tempted to break the rules, you’d remember that there were people who would read what you wrote, just like you did for others, and you’d lose your account and have to do another week of moderation before getting to post again.
This is not too hard to implement. It’s certainly easier than inventing a magic AI that will solve all your problems. It just requires that Twitter care enough about their community to do it.
My friend and colleague Charlotte S H Jensen died suddenly last week. She was beautiful, kind, and funny and I will miss her very much.
Charlotte was an archivist and as far as I could tell she worked simultaneously for the National Archives of Denmark, the National Museum of Denmark, and the Copenhagen art and history museums. I’m not sure how she did that but I’m not surprised that it took three institutions to even partially contain her willpower.
She was a fierce advocate for the right of so-called ordinary people to use, benefit from, and contribute to the work of archives; and she was a force-of-nature in the vanguard of Danish museum, library, and archive professionals developing a more open, democratic, and engaged vision of cultural practice.
Charlotte was for the people, always, and I have never met anyone so passionate about their work and so dedicated to doing what is right for all.
Charlotte’s most recent project was the creation of the Storm20 makerspace in the ground floor of the Copenhagen History & Art offices in central Copenhagen. It is a warm, welcoming place — intimate but open — drenched with sun during the long Nordic winter and a welcome haven for ice cream during hot summer days. I always loved the fact that it was both a place to make and to socialize, with a little coffee house and shop up front.
Whenever I visited Storm20 there were a mix of tourists and locals; colorful bits of knitting, glue, electronics and fabric everywhere; and always photocopies, books, and notes about a half-made project going on — usually something connecting the past to the present through your hands.
Storm20 was created, as a sign in the workshop says, as a “historic maker space”, a place where you could “learn about the city of Copenhagen by participating in activities and workshops.” One of the first times I visited they were working on a project to reconstruct knitted work gloves found in the excavations for Copenhagen’s new subway line. One of the gloves, a mitten really, was unearthed and discovered to have two thumbs (!) and the Storm20 knitters were making reconstructions from the archaeological documentation to figure out why. All of the gloves were gorgeous, fascinating to touch and behold, and the point was clearly made: What one knows in one’s hands really matters; One can learn about the past — live it, feel it — by making something now; History belongs to, and is within reach of, all of us.
Charlotte cared about people, and history, and joy. And also about change.
As you work at Storm20 you can sometimes hear the screams of people on the rollercoasters at the Tivoli amusement park across the street. I often thought of those rollercoaster screams — screams of happiness and terror — as we talked about the joys and sorrows of trying to make a difference in the world. Change can be hard, and Charlotte took it seriously; both the successes and the setbacks. She was one of the first people to believe in me as I began to have bigger thoughts, and take more risks, in my own work and I believed in her and supported her as well.
A memorial service will be held in Copenhagen on August 5th (details here).
Goodby Charlotte. We loved you and we’ll miss you so much.
The crackdown on social media [in Zimbabwe], in part, is a demonstration of how the WhatsApp corner of the internet has become a powerful space for Zimbabweans. WhatsApp facilitated the spread of misinformation during elections in Brazil and has contributed to caste-based violence and mob killings in India. But it can also serve as a platform for democratized distribution of news in a country with a storied history of oppressing government critics.
Independent media in Zimbabwe are turning to WhatsApp as a primary distributor of news in the midst of an information landscape that is shifting to social platforms. State broadcasters and newspapers have long dominated the media, but alternative platforms began to exist and gain increasing traction in the last years of the Mugabe era.
Zimbabwe, with a population of 16.7 million, has a mobile penetration rate of close to 100 percent, and an internet penetration rate of about 50 percent. WhatsApp connections comprise almost half of all Internet usage in the country. Mobile network operators such as the country’s largest, Econet Wireless, provide data bundles specific to WhatsApp and Twitter, or Facebook and Instagram, for as low as $0.50 or $1 per week, making it more affordable for people to freely communicate in an economy where a significant majority are unemployed.
“When someone talks about internet access in Zimbabwe, they basically are talking about WhatsApp access,” said Thulani Thabango, a Ph.D candidate in media at Stellenbosch University in South Africa.
I got a preview the other day. It’s one of the most amazing vistas over the city. I gazed north toward Harlem, gaped at the Empire State Building, and took in Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.
New York is awesome, I thought.
Then it occurred to me.
From that deck, you can’t see Hudson Yards.”
The question is, what sort of place?
And this is the immediate problem with Hudson Yards.”
It is, at heart, a supersized suburban-style office park, with a shopping mall and a quasi-gated condo community targeted at the 0.1 percent.
A relic of dated 2000s thinking, nearly devoid of urban design, it declines to blend into the city grid. […]
[T]he whole site lacks any semblance of human scale…as if the peak ambitions of city life were consuming luxury goods and enjoying a smooth, seductive, mindless materialism.
It gives physical form to a crisis of city leadership, asleep at the wheel through two administrations, and to a pernicious theory of civic welfare that presumes private development is New York’s primary goal, the truest measure of urban vitality and health, with money the city’s only real currency.
The article continues,
[The DMCA] is used for “business model enforcement,” to ensure that disruptive, but legal, ways of using a product or service are made illegal – from refilling your printer’s ink cartridge to getting your car or phone serviced by an independent neighborhood repair shop.
Together, the CFAA and DMCA have given digital businesses access to a shadowy legal doctrine that was never written by Congress but is nevertheless routinely enforced by the courts: Felony Contempt of Business-Model.
Pager wrote in sparse prose and fought with co-authors who wanted to bog down papers with jargon and technical details. “Devah had this rare ability,” says the Princeton sociologist Mitchell Duneier, “to both do the most rigorous social science, and then to translate those findings so that they would be discussed by people of different political persuasions.”
It was this kind of grounding that led Pager’s work to have such a profound impact on public policy … It was research compelled by moral commitments — racism is evil, poverty steals our gifts — and Pager’s ability to see the best in us, including those among us who have been convicted and caged. Hers was a sociology in the service of the dispossessed, a sociology of love.