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.go check it out >>
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.go check it out >>
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...
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.go check it out >>
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.
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...
No Exterior 1 is the first in a series of three moth animations I’ve created using a source synthetic photo and Processing.
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.go check it out >>
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...
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...
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...
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...
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.
Pollen Hoarder Honey Dance is my first stab at an ecohorror synth track. Performed live using modular synths and a couple of effect pedals.
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...
Recycle Air is an album of field recordings that I captured in 2019. Stream or download it for free it here.
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.