Apologies for missing a few days! Yesterday I testified at a state Senate hearing on SB 5062, the Bad Washington Privacy Act, and let things slide here as I prepared. As you can probably tell I'm still working on getting the right rhythm for the newsletter!
Here's the tweetstream from the hearing. I'll have a longer writeup soon, as well as discussion about the much better People's Privacy Act.
Today's links start with a Facebook post, Malkia Cyril's Sleepless early morning thoughts. This short post by a long-time activist, organizer, and visionary does a great job discussing concerns about censorship and free speech in the aftermath of social media companies finally banning Trump and Amazon et. al. deplatforming Parler. A couple of key points:
Y’all need to understand the difference between #censorship and refusing to amplify fascism, misogyny and white supremacy. Nah, this thing isn’t simple and the slopes exist, but they aren’t slippery - they are managed by the gravitational force of power....
To those concerned that oligarchy is being used as a defense of democracy: The unilateral power of tech companies is an extraordinary threat to democracy. However, managing that existing reality to address the threat of violent white supremacy isn’t.
Yeah really. There are plenty of articles by white people discussing the situation as well, but they usually leave out a key aspect of the context: we're in the midst of an attempted white supremacist coup. And beware of "experts" who had previously argued against shutting down Trump opining on the current sitaution without admitting how wrong they were ... because, y'know, we'd be in much better shape if things hadn't gotten to the point of an attempted coup.
A few more links, related to the aftermath of January 6 and the ongoing insurrection:
By Jillian C. York
Every few weeks or so, some white dude suggests that the way to solve all of our online problems is to require users to submit ID verification and use their “real names,” ignoring years of research and commentary.
By Albert Fox Cahn on WIRED (wired.com)
The security state that failed to keep DC safe doesn’t need invasive technology to meet this moment—it needs more civilian oversight.
By Ryan Mac on BuzzFeed News (buzzfeednews.com)
Earlier this week, Facebook employees warned that military product ads were being advertised against news about DC riots. The company did not act.
By David Covucci on The Daily Dot (dailydot.com)
If there is one word that sums up the Trump years, it's disinformation. Through every storyline, narrative, tweet, and scandal, a struggle with basic truth has persisted below the surface. It erupted this month in violence at the U.S. Capitol after the president's most fervent supporters were fed fetid and festering lies for years.
By Evan Greer on Fast Company
We won’t reverse the damage done by Trumpism—like the attack on the Capitol—by doubling down on authoritarian policies like surveillance, policing, and censorship. We need to address systemic injustice at its root.