• Freedom of Expression,  Journalism,  Social Media,  Technology

    Virtue-Signalling Utilities

    Allow me to be the first to coin the term “Patreonizing“. It is defined as the increasingly desperate – but on the surface, smug – attempts by a large tech company to reassure its users that its silly and arbitrary decisions were virtuous and “the right thing to do” when almost everyone can see they made a terrible mistake. And of course the word derives from the stab crowdsourcing giant Patreon had at justifying its removal of political vlogger Sargon of Akkad from its platform.  The vlogger had, they say, violated their terms of use by using the dreaded “n-word” when interviewed on a podcast not on his channel and…

  • Business,  Social Media

    Tipping Points

    There has been a great deal of social media rage about restaurants keeping tips. But in their defence, the establishments say they are paying much higher than minimum wages. It used to be the case that social justice campaigners complained that restaurants only paid minimum wages and left the wages to be ‘topped’ up by ‘arbitrary’ tips, which meant that staff could sometimes go home almost empty handed on a bad night, or some waiters did better than others depending on the lottery of what tables they got on a particular night. The argument was that waiting staff could not plan financially under this uncertain arrangement. Now the argument seems…

  • Social Media

    The politics of unfriending

    I’m not sure what to make of this— or even if it’s worth making anything of it at all. Data from the Pew Research Journalism Project shows that conservatives are less likely to have their views challenged on social media — but liberals are more likely to block or unfriend someone online because they disagree with something they have posted. Those that Pew describes as “consistent conservatives” are twice as likely as the average Facebook user to say that posts about politics on the social network are “mostly or always” in line with their own views, according to a survey the organization performed this spring — with 47 percent saying…

  • Iran,  Social Media

    Khamenei on Facebook

    Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg may be a Zionist “who offered a prize for Israelis who kill Palestinians.” And an Iranian military parade may have featured a placard warning of the “damages of the Facebook internet site.” But that hasn’t stopped Iran’s oh-so-hip Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei from signing up for his own Facebook page. Golnaz Esfandiari at Persian Letters writes: The Facebook debut is the latest move by Khamenei’s media-savvy Internet team, which spreads his “ideas and personality” in several languages in cyberspace. The team is also behind Khamenei’s sophisticated Khamenei.ir website, which is available in 13 languages. Khamenei’s Facebook page is likely to stir up controversy and raise eyebrows…