How Tiny Red Dots Took Over Your Life As the ranks of tech-industry critics have expanded, it has become harder to tell what common ground they occupy. Across various political divides, there is a sense that Facebook, Twitter and Google … Continue reading The perimeter of the dot
The Follower Factory The real Jessica Rychly is a Minnesota teenager with a broad smile and wavy hair. She likes reading and the rapper Post Malone. When she goes on Facebook or Twitter, she sometimes muses about being bored or … Continue reading Everyone wants to be popular online
Study shows how easy and effective it is for Facebook ads to target your personality Last week, Facebook’s founding president Sean Parker admitted his concerns that by focusing on social validation, Facebook was designed to exploit “a vulnerability in human … Continue reading Psychological mass persuasion
How Facebook’s Oracular Algorithm Determines the Fates of Start-Ups No one would mistake Ben Cogan and Jesse Horwitz for “brogrammers,” the jockish male coders swaggering across the tech landscape. Nor are they hustlers, the relentlessly outgoing types who quit their … Continue reading Microtargeting
‘Our minds can be hijacked’: the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia Justin Rosenstein had tweaked his laptop’s operating system to block Reddit, banned himself from Snapchat, which he compares to heroin, and imposed limits on his use of … Continue reading The attention economy
The Social Experiment Facebook Should Run Facebook’s greatest strength—its ability to identify and connect like-minded people—is also a major vulnerability. Over the past month, the company has revealed that Russia-linked accounts purchased thousands of fake political ads on its platform … Continue reading Is Facebook a force for good?
Most People Identify as Huggers, Rarely Hug “I think that—and I should be careful about how I say this, but—I do think using Facebook sometimes feels like using heroin,” Vivek Murthy, the recent-past U.S. Surgeon General, said yesterday. The comment … Continue reading Can loneliness cause addiction?