September 20, 2018

Bits: The Week in Tech: When to Tweet

Andrew Ross Sorkin, our Dealbook columnist, wondered whether Twitter is the right forum for public company executives to be talking in the first place. And Kara Swisher, a contributing opinion columnist for The Times, asked on Thursday whether Mr. Musk was just plain crazy. She concluded that he wasn’t, but recommended that he delete the Twitter app from his phone.

It isn’t bad advice. And neither is the advice our editors regularly give us when we are tempted to weigh in on a Twitter brawl: When in doubt, never tweet.

In other tech news this week:

■ Google employees signed an internal letter protesting the company’s decision to build a censored version of its search engine for China. The letter, first reported by my colleagues Kate Conger and Daisuke Wakabayashi, was the latest example of how Google employees have challenged the company’s leadership. It also complicates Google’s attempt to return to China, which it withdrew from eight years ago to object to Beijing’s restrictions on free speech and hacking.

■ File this under how the rich just keep getting richer. My colleague Erin Griffith wrote this week about how Silicon Valley start-ups are being showered with so much money — funding rounds of $100 million and up known as mega-rounds are booming — that they are struggling to figure out what to do with all of it.

■ Cuba is one of the few remaining parts of the world where people still struggle to get online. But for nine hours on Tuesday, Cubans suddenly had the internet. During the duration of a test being run by the Cuban government, which partnered with a wireless internet company, Cubans could get online for free using their cellphones.

■ The fake internet keeps getting more real. I wrote a story about a fake Facebook group that tricked Americans into showing up at protests. The group, Black Elevation, was one of dozens removed by Facebook for being part of an influence campaign trying to sway Americans ahead of the midterm elections.

■ And lastly, this long read by Reuters was an incredible documentation of the ways in which Facebook’s failings in Myanmar led to people being killed. A lot has been written about how Facebook was used to spread hate speech in Myanmar, which led to brutal attacks against the country’s Rohingya minority. Reuters revealed that Facebook initially had only two Burmese speakers reviewing content from Myanmar and that it later turned to contractors. After Reuters’s report, Facebook announced it was hiring policy advisors on Myanmar and more Burmese-language moderators.

Sheera Frenkel covers cybersecurity for The Times. She previously worked at Buzzfeed and spent years as a correspondent in the Middle East. Follow her on Twitter: @sheeraf.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/17/technology/twitter-elon-musk-alex-jones-infowars.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

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