No ‘Likes’ for this: A US study is another deeply worrying pointer to the many negative effects of social media usage https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/toi-editorials/no-likes-for-this-a-us-study-is-another-deeply-worrying-pointer-to-the-many-negative-effects-of-social-media-usage/ September 22, 2022
The forthcoming paper in the American Economic Review, based on biannual mental health surveys done across US campuses of 4.3 lakh respondents in that period, correlated to the introduction of Facebook in each campus. It found a 9% increase in depression and 12% increase in anxiety disorders over the pre-FB period mean, which researchers said was due to Facebook increasing the ability of students to do unfavourable social comparisons. More worryingly, it noted a 23% increase in students reporting academic impairment as a result of mental health decline...
India also tells a similar story. There were 43,000 victims of suicide in the sub-30 age group in 1991, which rose marginally to 45,000 in 2006, but then saw a near 50% rise to 67,000 in 2021. This is the time social media usage spread rapidly.
There’s much worse. Last year, a leak revealed Facebook had kept secret for two years internal research suggesting its Instagram app made body image issues worse for teenage girls. While Indian authorities take great pains to criminalise addictions of many kinds, social media in many ways is a worse menace. Facebook’s poor track record in filtering out hate content and fake news, Twitter’s seeming helplessness in face of fake content and fake accounts, all social media employing scandalously few content checkers
Google Is Not What It Seems by Julian Assange https://archive.ph/UDDBC#selection-693.93-693.365
Since at least the 1970s, authentic actors like unions and churches have folded under a sustained assault by free-market statism, transforming “civil society” into a buyer’s market for political factions and corporate interests looking to exert influence at arm’s length.
The civil society conference circuit—which flies developing-world activists across the globe hundreds of times a year to bless the unholy union between “government and private stakeholders” at geopoliticized events like the “Stockholm Internet Forum”—simply could not exist if it were not blasted with millions of dollars in political funding annually.
Nobody wants to acknowledge that Google has grown big and bad. But it has. Schmidt’s tenure as CEO saw Google integrate with the shadiest of US power structures as it expanded into a geographically invasive megacorporation. But Google has always been comfortable with this proximity. Long before company founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin hired Schmidt in 2001, their initial research upon which Google was based had been partly funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).48 And even as Schmidt’s Google developed an image as the overly friendly giant of global tech, it was building a close relationship with the intelligence community.
As the self-described “radical centrist”65 New York Times columnist Tom Friedman wrote in 1999, sometimes it is not enough to leave the global dominance of American tech corporations to something as mercurial as “the free market”:
The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist. McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley’s technologies to flourish is called the US Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.66
If the future of the internet is to be Google, that should be of serious concern to people all over the world—in Latin America, East and Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, the former Soviet Union, and even in Europe—for whom the internet embodies the promise of an alternative to US cultural, economic, and strategic hegemony.71
A “don’t be evil” empire is still an empire.
Tek Fog: An App With BJP Footprints for Cyber Troops to Automate Hate, Manipulate Trends https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVmxwY678mE
The Wire investigates claims behind the use of ‘Tek Fog’, a highly sophisticated app used by online operatives to hijack major social media and encrypted messaging platforms and amplify right-wing propaganda to a domestic audience.
the four features of Tek Fog – (1) hijacking Twitter and Facebook trends, (2) phishing and capturing inactive WhatsApp accounts, (3) creating and deploying a highly granular database of citizens for targeted harassment, and (4) the possibility that its use is part of a political-corporate nexus linking the BJP to large tech players and platforms.
Part 2, https://thewire.in/tekfog/en/2.html The Wire explains the technology by which Tek Fog is used to hijack a WhatsApp account, and the ease with which the processes involved may be scalable.
operators could remotely access 'inactive' WhatsApp accounts added to the app's contact list and use the hijacked phone number to send targeted messages to their 'frequently contacted' or 'all contacts' lists.. for active accounts.. Once the initial phishing file has been delivered, the activity status of the targeted account can be monitored via the Tek Fog app. When the account becomes 'inactive', it can then be seen by the operatives in an auto-complete search in the app.
The source also demonstrated another advanced feature of Tek Fog: the ability to modify existing news articles to create fake news by changing keywords ('BJP' to 'Congress' or 'Left-wing' to 'Right-wing', for example) and to generate political junk news with a fictitious narrative by modifying the link of a published article.
Ayushman Kaul & Devesh Kumar
Is the Indian Republic vulnerable to Digital Colonization? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQX_QvxwoF4 12 mins. 27 Jan 2022
This video starts with Republic day footage, and speaks about the changing pattern of viewership of the republic day parade and asks "How does the constitutional rights of citizens get lost in the new and ever evolving frontier of the internet, manipulative algorithms and ever watching AI?" calling it "Digital Colonisation" to speak about it understanding of the Digital media as colonisation. The film gives quotes from
Using quotes from Rajiv Malhotra's book, 'Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Power', https://www.aiandpower.com, the film intersperses sound bytes of Rajiv Malhotra while he is supposed to be interviewing somebody else.
Basically he used Leftist critique of Corporatisation as the new imperialism, to call it Digital Colonisation in order to sync which the general conspiracy theory of the "west" and its oppression of the "hindu" or the "eastern" calling Big Tech the New East India Company, and ending up justifying the Indian Governments move to imposing controls over Social Media.
Wikipedia Founder : Can AI replace free will ? Jan 3, 2022
Larry Sanger has a vibrant discussion based on Rajiv Malhotra’s recent book on AI. Is knowledge and the notion of truth being gamified? Is the deep learning by algorithms turning these systems into deities that we must bow down to? The manufacturing of fake emotions and experiences is proliferating and leading to a battle for human agency.
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