8 Jul 2014

Noted: Why less than 5% Germans tweet; drawing the line at data-driven emotional manipulation; ethical algorithms; geofencing the Barbican; and guess who’s a jerk?

Why Germans shun Twitter, The Economist (audio edition).

Facebook’s [timeline] experiment reveals a much deeper problem with the internet today’, writes entrepreneur and Forbes’s contributor Tarun Wadhwa.

The current relationship between consumers and internet companies is unsustainable. … The reality is that in an environment where companies control all the information … you will always be a ‘lab rat’.

Woodrow Hartzog, assistant professor of law at Samford University, and Evan Selinger, associate professor of philosophy at Rochester Institute of Technology, submit ‘the way to fix it’.

If we’re to learn something from the debate over the ethics of Facebook’s emotion study and move forward, the answer must lie in collective action.

Owen Barder, Senior Director for Europe at the Center for Global Development, foresees an ethical debate over driverless cars.

Would you buy a [self-driving] car programmed to put the interests of strangers ahead of the passenger, other things being equal?

Digital artists have erected a geofence around the Barbican’s Digital Revolution exhibition, in response to Google’s efforts.

Demanding artists to use some Google technologies to create art is also a bit awkward. It’s like asking a sculptor to use graffiti as a medium. Let artists choose and create their own tools … If you want to reach out to the [digital] art community, don’t spend your money on a marketing stunt: buy our art instead.

And Eric Schwitzgebel, professor of philosophy at University of California, captures the ‘worldview of the jerk’ — and engenders further discussion about the offensiveness of offensive language.