Author's Posts

GDPR – Just one month to go

Reading Time: 2 minutesThe General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Europe-wide change to data protection, comes into effect on May 25th. Companies around the world who deal with European citizens’ data will be affected – we’ve already seen tech giants like Facebook and Google scrambling to save their business models, knowing that the fines which can be levied against them through GDPR are too big to ignore.

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Sockpuppetry is the new normal. That doesn’t make it healthy

Reading Time: 2 minutesIt’s been nearly three years since Adrian Chen first discussed the Internet Research Agency, a euphemistically titled group which was pumping out pro-Kremlin and anti-American messages for money. At the time, eyes were elsewhere online – it was the year of Ashley Madison, after all, and a time when China ranked alongside Russia (if not higher) in the space of public paranoia.

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The Efficacy of Bot Purges

Reading Time: 2 minutesThere’s something rather brutal about the idea of bot purges – perhaps a reflection of the humanity with which we endow human-looking accounts. Twitter’s decision to suspend thousands of accounts last month was less horrific than it sounded: a small attempt to solve a problem which has plagued the platform for over a year now, and has brought into the radar of US and British politicians as an ambivalent if not mercenary hawker of propaganda.

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Murdoch’s Right: Facebook would be better off paying publishers cash than lip service

Reading Time: 3 minutesRupert Murdoch, perhaps the most polarising media owner in the world, may seem an odd man to be a prophet of the future. He did sell off a large chunk of his media empire to Disney, after all: a move some have read as a retreat from the game of newsmaking which he lead at for so many years (often enough with dubious practices). It’s hard to side politically with […]

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What to Watch in 2018: The Biggest Tech Trends of the Year to Come

Reading Time: 3 minutes2017 has been a tumultuous year the world over – not least in technology. Between massive hacks of public and private organisations, the death of net neutrality in America, and the massive (and temporary) upsurge in the value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, 2018 might have a tall bill to live up to. Here are the top five predictions for big tech trends over the coming twelve months [..]

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Sesame Credit and the Future of Social Credit

Reading Time: 2 minutesWhen it comes to bashing countries for poor internet freedom practices, China usually appears near the top of the list – and with good reason. Perhaps in part that’s because, in contrast with more crude filtering systems adopted in many authoritarian states, the Great Firewall is an almost elegant panopticon […]

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Is there Hope Yet for the Rainbow Nation?

Reading Time: 9 minutesSouth Africa might be seen as a microcosm of the “globalised” world itself. Home to people of African, European, Indian, Asian, and mixed descent, it nevertheless attempts to find some unity of purpose in its diversity. To this end, in 1994 with the end of white minority rule, it styled itself as the “Rainbow Nation”: the idea that the country’s many racial and ethnic parts can make up a beautiful whole. But rainbows are also elusive, as anyone who has ever tried […]

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