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Is it possible to turn online aggression into a frank debate?

The Guardian (Technology & Internet) - July 16, 2018 4941

While trolls and idiots are best ignored, there can be value in seeking to genuinely understand those who disagree with us

What is the difference between frank debate, bullying, abuse and a pile-on, and what are the appropriate responses to each?

Let’s start with Mary Beard, who has responded very differently to very different types of online provocation in ways that feel to me to be vaguely instructive. I am a big fan of the Cambridge historian, who for a while there was the poster child for how to deal with online abuse, famously shaming the trolls by

UK in strong position to be leader in crypto economy, report says

The Guardian (Technology & Internet) - July 15, 2018 4879

Britain has required resources to be global hub for blockchain technology, analysts say

The UK is well-placed to become a leader in blockchain technologies and the crypto economy, according to a new report.

Britain has all the required resources, as well as industrial and governmental will, to become a global hub for the technology by 2022, according to analysis by the Big Innovation Centre, DAG Global and Deep Knowledge Analytics.


Modern life is rubbish, but internet friendships are ​good

The Guardian (Technology & Internet) - July 13, 2018 4416

Before I even booked my ticket for my holiday, I’d contacted an internet stranger-friend to inform them of my plans

In the days when the internet was young, the people you met online were, fundamentally, Not To Be Trusted. Internet illiteracy – not to be confused with illiterate people on the internet – was rife: an era in which people really did believe chatrooms were filled with catfishing axe murderers. The prevailing wisdom was that you had to be a special kind of foolish willingly to meet with those would-be killers in the flesh.

Has cyber changed geopolitics forever? Chips with Everything podcast

The Guardian (Technology & Internet) - July 13, 2018 4213

David E Sanger, national security correspondent for the New York Times, speaks about his new book: The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage and Fear in the Cyber Age

Subscribe and review: Acast, Apple, Spotify, SoundCloud,

Social media platforms must police their sites better, says Ofcom

The Guardian (Technology & Internet) - July 13, 2018 3903

Chief executive joins those arguing that online sites are under-regulated

Social media platforms need to be “more accountable” in how they curate and police content on their platforms, or face regulation, the head of Ofcom has said.

The threat comes as Facebook stares down a barrage of criticism in the US for the site’s refusal to bar conspiracy website Infowars from its platform, even as it mounts an international ad campaign claiming that “fake news is not our friend”.

'Data is a fingerprint': why you aren't as anonymous as you think online

The Guardian (Technology & Internet) - July 13, 2018 3834

So-called ‘anonymous’ data can be easily used to identify everything from our medical records to purchase histories

In August 2016, the Australian government released an “anonymised” data set comprising the medical billing records, including every prescription and surgery, of 2.9 million people.

Names and other identifying features were removed from the records in an effort to protect individuals’ privacy, but a research team from the University of Melbourne soon discovered that it was simple

Prisoners should be encouraged to use Facebook and Skype | Letters

The Guardian (Technology & Internet) - July 12, 2018 3762

Nick Moss says the Ministry of Justice’s ban on social media use in jails is ill-considered

The Ministry of Justice could take a more imaginative approach to the accessing of social media by sentenced prisoners (Prison chiefs struggle to control use of social media by inmates, 10 July). Prisoners could be encouraged to use Facebook and Skype to maintain family ties.

High streets will go on suffering until the digital economy pays more tax

The Guardian (Technology & Internet) - July 07, 2018 2141

Shopkeepers are essentially correct: business rates are pre-internet and have become archaic

House of Fraser, Mothercare, Marks & Spencer, Debenhams. The list of major retailing names that have announced plans to close stores this year is long, and will undoubtedly lengthen. That is before you count the chains that have gone the way of Woolworths and packed up altogether – the likes of Toys R Us and Maplin.