The Day After

Today is the day after. It was one of those mornings where you wake up and wonder if yesterday was, in fact, real-life — or was it some movie or staged reality show that you watched? Today is the day after we realized that democracy always hangs by a thread. It is just one step … Continue reading The Day After

The Problem With “Content”  

Everyone has a pet peeve. At least currently, mine is the word “content.” It falls in the category of words like “quality,” “luxury,” and “awesome” that have been overused and abused so much that they often feel like they have lost all meaning. “Content,” however, is a bit more insidious than these other examples.

“Content” is the black hole of the Internet. Incredibly well-produced videos, all sorts of songs, and articulate blog posts — they are all “content.” Are short stories “content”? I hope not, since that is one of the most soul-destroying of words, used to strip a creation of its creative effort.

You can tell a lot about a person and how they think about their work based on whether or not they use “content” to describe what they do. A photographer who says that he is creating “content” for his YouTube channel is nothing more than a marketer churning out fodder to fill the proverbial Internet airwaves with marketing noise. Continue reading “The Problem With “Content”  “

Fake News is Spam

Another week and another Facebook drama! And once again it is reinforcing the fact that fake news is spam. We get too tripped up in the editorial aspect of the problem when it is a technology problem. For the past four years, I have been repeating this ad nausea. So I am glad to see … Continue reading Fake News is Spam

Fake News is spam

In the aftermath of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections, I was invited to a television panel hosted by BBC around fake news. It was a wide-ranging deliberation, but my argument was that Facebook (and Mark Zuckerberg) were shying away from what was their responsibility as platform owners. My contention was that fake news was like spam on email platforms, and it was the responsibility of Facebook to fix their platform. This was a technology problem, I argued because the network acts like anabolic steroids when spreading the fake news (and its various variants.) Given the sheer amount of data intelligence and resources at its disposal, to me, that was a dereliction of duty, a problem that has been a feature (not a bug) at Facebook.  Continue reading “Fake News is spam”

Facebook’s Fake Account Problem Is Getting Bigger

The 37-page indictment by the U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller against 13 Russian nationals makes one thing clear – the Russian Propaganda Machine (R.P.M.) was super efficient in using Facebook thanks to the use of a lot of fake accounts and smart targeting. And guess what, it is a growing problem for Facebook, as its most recent 10K filing reveals.

Continue reading “Facebook’s Fake Account Problem Is Getting Bigger”

Facebook, Fake News & Zuckerberg’s Response

Photo by @Om (

Mark Zuckerberg, after a heated debate (which even had US President Obama weighing in) on the issue of fake news and its role in modern politics and the future of democracy in our networked society, has broken his silence. In a message posted on Facebook, he listed a variety of measures Facebook is taking in order to fight the scourge of fake news. For about a week or so, Facebook and Zuckerberg have been saying that they don’t want to interfere with news and they don’t want to act like censors.  Continue reading “Facebook, Fake News & Zuckerberg’s Response”