• Archivists Are Putting Terrorist Manifestos Online. Should They Stay There?

    I’m quoted in this article that asks how we should balance the threats of violent content versus the need to preserve it for archival and historical purposes. Is there value in the manifestos of people plotting attacks?

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  • A qué se refiere en verdad Mark Zuckerberg cuando habla del “metaverso”

    Mark Zuckerberg y su equipo están rebautizando a Facebook como “Meta” y reorientando a la empresa hacia el desarrollo de un “metaverso”. Por un lado, es probable que este movimiento sea exactamente lo que parece: un intento de desviar la atención de las múltiples crisis legales, regulatorias, y políticas que enfrenta la compañía. Al mismo tiempo, es importante recordar que ser una empresa ágil y disruptiva está en el ADN de Facebook/Meta. Tomando en cuenta el control personal que ejerce Zuckerberg sobre la empresa, su continua inversión creativa en productos e ingeniería, así como el reciente ascenso del jefe de hardware/Oculus, Andrew Bosworth, a director de tecnología, vale la pena tomarse un momento para ir más allá de la jerga mercadológica y preguntarse: ¿Qué realmente es un metaverso? “Podemos considerar el metaverso como un internet personificado”, explicó Zuckerberg recientemente, “donde en lugar de únicamente ver el contenido, formas parte de él”. Solo le faltaba decir: “el metaverso eres tú”. ¿En ese contexto, qué ocurre con un internet abierto, con la libertad de expresión y la privacidad?

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  • ♩ Music - Minimart Completist / Stickyfinger Slowalk

    This is a long ambient track that goes out to all the kids at the Denny’s at 2 a.m. Performed live with analog synth and piano.

    Stream or download free here.



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  • What Mark Zuckerberg Really Means When He Talks About the Metaverse

    Mark Zuckerberg and team are rebranding Facebook the company as “Meta” and refocusing it delivering an envisioned “metaverse.” At one level, this move is likely exactly what it appears to be: an attempt to reclaim attention from the company’s manifold legal, regulatory, and political crises. At the same time, it’s important to remember that Facebook/Meta is, in its DNA, the company that moves fast and breaks things. Given Zuckerberg’s unprecedented personal control of the company, his continuing creative investment in product and engineering, and the recent elevation of hardware/Oculus lead Andrew Bosworth to chief technology officer, it’s worth taking a moment to cut through the marketing speak and wonder: What the hell is a metaverse? “You can think about the metaverse as an embodied internet,” Zuckerberg recently explained, “where instead of just viewing content—you are in it.” He might as well have said, “you are it.” What happens—to an open internet, to free expression, to privacy—in that context?

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  • “Fake News,” Meet Fake Censorship

    As tech giants come under rightful scrutiny for their lack of transparency and unchecked power over free expression online, politicians in the United States and around the world are exploiting the moment. They are using the pretense of supposed censorship by platforms to issue laws that outlaw or hobble content moderation. Whether it’s in Florida, Texas, Wisconsin, Brazil, Poland, or Hungary, politicians are proposing “anti-censorship” laws that are actually designed to let those with political power arbitrate what can be said and to open up the spigots of disinformation, trolling, and abuse. “Fake news,” meet Fake Censorship.

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  • ♩ Album - Coping Strategies Worksheet

    Coping Strategies Worksheet is a collection of songs I started writing just before the pandemic hit and finished up in the summer of 2021. I used modular synths, piano, guitar, code, and a houseplant and it ranges in genre from ambient to surf rock to weird IDM/demoscene inspired stuff. I’m...

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  • The Taliban Takeover Is Forcing Afghans to Delete Their Photos and Posts—It’s a Free Expression Tragedy

    Without the need to deploy new networks of closed-circuit cameras or sophisticated internet monitoring tools, the Taliban are already identifying perceived enemies from their social media accounts and conducting reprisals against them, their families, and their communities. In response, Afghans are rushing to delete their accounts and posts, photos and data, often irrevocably. The cultural archive and personal memories of an entire generation of Afghans are at risk.

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  • ♩ Music - 4am Mirror Slouch

    Oh yes, I am pretty happy with how this track turned out. 4am Mirror Slouch is headphones after dark music. It goes with the 4:01 Error visuals. Made with analog synth + feelings.

    Stream or download free here.



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  • ಠ_ಠ  Gallery - 4:01 Error

    These are images I created using Processing to accompany a new song, 4am Mirror Slouch. The images and the song are about related to insomnia, self, and maybe even second sleep is in there too. Idk. If you can’t sleep you know what I mean. Charles...

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  • No Excuse For Abuse!

    No Excuse For Abuse is a new report that I co-authored with my colleagues Viktorya Vilk and Elodie Vialle. It builds on their work with journalists and writers and in particular those who identify as women, LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, and other groups who experience online harassment and abuse. Rather than regulation (also desperately needed), we focus on immediate product fixes the social media platforms need to put in place to empower those who are being targeted and limit the trauma entailed in just doing their jobs.

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  • Facebook’s Inch Deep, Mile-Wide Human Rights Policy

    Facebook now has a Corporate Human Rights Policy. I wrote about what it might or might not mean, and how we can hold Facebook accountable.

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  • ♩ Music - More & More for Ever & Ever

    More & More for Ever & Ever is a song about JESUS HENRY CHRIST 2020 SURE WHY NOT LET’S DO THAT NOW WOOOOO

    I recorded it live in a single take using a modular synth and a spider plant I’d connected to it using EEG paddles. The plant plays the...

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  • The PEN Pod: How Social Media Platforms Are Moderating Election Disinformation

    In mid-October, the New York Post published a story about purported emails purportedly recovered from a purported laptop purportedly belonging to Hunter Biden. Twitter and Facebook each took action to limit the presence of the story on their platforms and Many Feelings Were Had By All Concerned. I spoke on PEN America’s PEN Pod podcast about all this and what it might mean for the platforms, free speech, and why transparent content moderation policy is crucial.

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  • Where Does the Idea of a Disinformation "Infodemic" Come From?

    In public policy, metaphors are medicine with side effects, and these days a whole lot of prescriptions are being written for our disinformation problem. We seem to agree that disinformation is a critical problem for democracy, but what, exactly, is it? We’re confronted by an urgent socio-political predicament of global scale that is also fundamentally philosophical. Caught in this double bind, we look for ways out via metaphor. Disinformation therefore becomes a disease, a pollutant, a wildfire, a weapon. These metaphors have proven immensely useful for civil society, politicians, researchers, and the public as we try to make headway, but each of them has its own history and carries ideological freight that we ignore at our peril.

    I wrote about our troubled metaphors for disinformation, tracing the “infodemic” all the way back to medieval Europe, for Hyperallergic and PEN America.

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  • Review - Design Justice

    Design Justice is a an extremely useful book. The word ‘design’ has a long history behind it and over the last several decades it has become predominantly associated in most people’s minds with the work of mid-century modern product designers, and more recently with Apple and Silicon Valley-flavored human centered...

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  • The First Wave: Six Months of Social Media Platforms Responding to COVID-19

    This spring and summer, my team and I at PEN America collected press releases and reporting about 13 of the most important social media platforms in order to paint a picture of their responses to the first six months of the pandemic. We published it as an open dataset and wrote about what we saw and learned through the process. It felt timely and important not only because their actions have undoubtedly had impacts on public health, free expression, and culture broadly that we probably won’t understand fully for years to come, but because it seemed like a particularly useful window into the culture and strategic approaches of these companies that will be important headed into the elections in November and beyond.

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  • ಠ_ಠ  Animation - No Exterior 2

    No Exterior 2 is the second in a series of three moth animations I’ve created using a source synthetic photo and Processing. Self portraits for those who don’t believe in the self.



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  • ♩ Music - Doomscrawler

    Beats, because the way out is through.

    For a while in late 2019/early 2020 I got really inspired by the idea of ecohorror. You know, the horrible sublimity of a warm morning in the middle of January or trying to picture what it means that the honey bees are all...

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  • ಠ_ಠ  Animation - No Exterior 1

    No Exterior 1 is the first in a series of three moth animations I’ve created using a source synthetic photo and Processing.



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  • Three Big Discussions We Need to Have ASAP About AI and Social Media Moderation

    I wrote about the complexities of content moderation online and some of the impacts that both human and AI driven approaches can have, in particular for marginalized communities and those outside of the United States.

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  • Review - Learning to Die in the Anthropocene

    I have grown to really appreciate concise, idea-packed writing. This book meets those criteria. It takes an existential view to the global climate crisis, asking us to confront the fact that it might already be too late to save what we have as a precondition to meaningful action. What I...

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  • Review - Critical Trauma Studies

    I’ve been thinking a lot about individual and collective trauma recently. Given the extremity of our experiences - the pandemic, historic and ongoing U.S. racism and racial violence, the displacements and escalating disasters of the climate crisis, and so on, how can we begin to approach the ways that trauma...

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  • Free resources for web and app usage and demographics

    This is a quick post to capture a collection of free resources for those who want to understand how people in various parts of the world use the web. I’ll update it as I come across stuff. This initial list is largely focused on national or regional level patterns, such...

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  • ♩ Music - Get In Off The Water

    Get In Off The Water is a mid-apocalyptic surf track that includes soaking wet guitar runs, a sample of Jason Molina from Songs:Ohia, synth and a variety of found sounds. It was composed sequenced and mastered using Sonic Pi.

    Accompanying Get In Off the Water is a series of...

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  • ಠ_ಠ  Gallery - Storm Overhead

    These are images I created using OpenFrameworks to accompany a new song, Get In Off The Water.



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  • ♩ Music - Midwinter Bulbsprout

    Midwinter Bulbsprout is a new eco-horror track from my project Crufft about seeing green shoots popping up in early February. I made this using modular synthesizers and a keyboard.

    The art I made using Processing.js and public domain images released recently by some British museum.

    Stream or download free...

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  • ♩ Music - Pollen Hoarder Honey Dance

    Pollen Hoarder Honey Dance is my first stab at an ecohorror synth track. Performed live using modular synths and a couple of effect pedals.

    Stream or download MP3
    Bandcamp



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  • ♩ Music - Things Stir Apart

    Things Stir Apart is an album that I mostly wrote in 2019, using a variety of experimental approaches. I learned a huge amount making this thing, and I think some of it is pretty good! All of it is meant to be listened to loudly. Stream or download it...

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  • ♩ Music - Recycle Air

    Recycle Air is an album of field recordings that I captured in 2019. Stream or download it for free it here.



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  • First Post

    Welcome - I’m Matt Bailey, a civic technologist, organizer, artist, &c in Washington DC. This is a quick n’ dirty site for me to post things on the internet.