Bookmarked Cambridge Analytica Part 2: The Lessons We Need To Learn About Social Media And Propaganda - New Matilda (New Matilda)
In the second of a two part series, Michael Brull looks at the scandal that is wiping billions of dollars in value off the world’s richest company… and it’s about much more than just social media and data mining. British news program on Channel 4 has exposed Cambridge Analytica and Facebook for what has becomeMore
Michael Brull looks at the scandal that is wiping billions of dollars in value off the world’s richest company… and it’s about much more than just social media and data mining. One of the things that stood out was how we even know what we know about Cambridge Analytica:

The reason we know about Cambridge Analytica is because of some British investigative reporters posing as Sri Lankans hoping to recruit them for a campaign. That is, our information about what other organisations like Cambridge Analytica do is fragmentary. We don’t know if the Clinton campaign acted similarly. We don’t know how they affected campaigning in Australia. We don’t know if they harvested data on Australians, or sold that data to Australian politicians, or their electoral campaigns.

The reality is, there is no way of truly knowing who is spending what when the information being generated is inserted into the bloodstream of the internet.

Bookmarked The four types of online discussion. Where are you? by wiobyrne (W. Ian O'Byrne)
The four types of discussion found online can be used to identify the general tendencies individuals have as they communicate, comment, and react in online spaces. An individual may have a series of posts and comments that spread across multiple quadrants as they socialize and participate in online spaces. Yet, wherever there is a large concentration of messages on this model, that identifies the type of communication you generally engage in.

This matrix really has me thinking, especially about different contexts online. For example, with a Twitter chats, when you have different people meeting together with different intents (dialogue vs. debate), how is it that it works? Or does it?

Bookmarked Whose meeting is this? A simple checklist by Seth Godin (
There's one person responsible. The time allocated matches what's needed, not what the calendar app says. Everyone invited is someone who needs to be there, and no key party is missing. There's a default step forward if someone doesn't come. There's no better way to move this forward than to have this meeting. The desired outcome is clearly stated. The organizer has described what would have to happen for the meeting to be cancelled or to stop midway. "This is what I want to happen," and if there's a "yes," we're done. All relevant information, including analysis, is available to all in plenty of time to be reviewed in advance.
Seth Godin provides a set of questions to consider. I wonder how many of the meetings I have been a part of would actually tick all these, especially the last:

All relevant information, including analysis, is available to all in plenty of time to be reviewed in advance.

This is a checklist to come back to regularly.

Richard, I love this point:

“There is no such thing as a typical day. Every student’s day is different and no two students have the same timetable.”

I worked at a school that went with a choice based program a few years ago. The problem with it was that it was as old as I was.

Although the students had choice, it was choice over what teacher’s were willing to offer. I guess that would be the next step.

I like the work Greg Miller is doing in this area.

Bookmarked 16 Curation Tools for Teachers and Students by Kasey Bell (Shake Up Learning)
Depending on the purpose of your curation, there are certain tools that may fit your needs better than others. This list has it all! Whether you are curating professional learning resources, planning a lesson, or creating something to share, there’s a tool below that can help you do it!
Kasey Bell curates a collection of curation tools. I have collected together my thoughts on various tools before, however Bell’s list goes far beyond this. I really like her point of using different tools for different purposes. I am however left wondering about the longevity of them all and their subsequent data. Take for example, the recent closure of Storify. At least in using things like Google Sheets or blogs there are options for how to save the information. I think that just as there has been a push for RSS again, I feel that there is a potential to revisit blogs and there many possibilities. For example, chris Aldrich has documented his workflow, which includes the maintenance of a modern day commonplace book.
Bookmarked Silicon Valley Has Failed to Protect Our Data. Here’s How to Fix It by Paul Ford (
The activist and internet entrepreneur Maciej Ceglowski once described big data as “a bunch of radioactive, toxic sludge that we don’t know how to handle.” Maybe we should think about Google and Facebook as the new polluters. Their imperative is to grow! They create jobs! They pay taxes, sort of! In the meantime, they’re dumping trillions of units of toxic brain poison into our public-thinking reservoir. Then they mop it up with Wikipedia or send out a message that reads, “We take your privacy seriously.”
Paul Ford proposes the creation of a Digital Protection Agency to clean up the toxic data spill. This touches on what Mike Caulfield calls Info-Environmentalism.

A quote from Paul Ford on the toxic data spill
Background Image via “CIMG5200” by Phil LaCombe is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA
Bookmarked Roger McNamee: “I Think You Can Make a Legitimate Case that Facebook Has Become Parasitic” by Asher Schechter (
McNamee no longer invests in tech companies. “Philosophically, it wasn’t a good fit,” he says. In Facebook, he notes, one can clearly see the impact that certain philosophies have had on corporate culture. “The two most influential people on [Facebook’s] board of directors over the last seven to eight years have been Peter Thiel and Marc Andreessen, both of whom are brilliant men whose economic and political philosophy is deeply libertarian. So in a world where we already prioritize the individual over the collective and we take the Ayn Randian view that none of us are responsible for the downstream consequences of what we do, Mark was surrounded by people who were particularly deep believers in that philosophy, with no contrary voices.”
Roger McNamee shares his efforts to get Facebook to fix its business model, but has come to the realisation that the libertarian values prevent this.
Bookmarked Facebook – to delete, or not to delete? (Librarian Shipwreck)
There’s always the chance that #deleteFacebook will simply serve to deflect criticism away from the dominant ethos of surveillance capitalism by redirecting it at Facebook. Thus, people rage against Facebook instead of the ideology that Facebook shares with many other companies. It’s easy to imagine Google trying to capitalize on the current mayhem at Facebook by using the current frustration as an opportunity to relaunch Google+ (they could create tools that make it easy to import an old Facebook account). But that would just be trading one surveillance capitalism platform for another. And though there are certainly hardcore privacy and crypto advocates who will point to various “secure” services or “really private” alternatives it seems that many such arguments are only a bit better than “no suggestion at all” – especially as (at least as of yet) there still isn’t a genuine alternative to Facebook on offer. Though #deleteFacebook may appear ready to take a bite out of Facebook, it risks being a technological solution that defangs the push for broader systemic change and critique.
Bookmarked The Cambridge Analytica-Facebook Debacle: A Legal Primer (Lawfare)
There several laws that might plausibly give rise to legal claims against Facebook, Kogan or Cambridge Analytica. Without more information it is difficult to say which of these, if any, might actually lead to a viable legal claim, but each one merits further study. (I am leaving aside for now the potential claims under British and European law, but those add to this list considerably.)
Andrew Woods provides a list of legal approaches that might be used to prosecute Cambridge Analytica:

  • Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
  • State-level Computer Crime Laws
  • U.S. Common Law Claims (Contract & Tort)
  • Federal Trade Commission Rules
  • U.S. Securities Law

via TL:DR

Bookmarked The Library of the Future by Dr Deborah M. Netolicky (the édu flâneuse)
School libraries have been called instructional media centres, media centres, information centres, information commons, iCentres, learning labs, learning commons, digital libraries, and cybraries (Farmer, 2017). These terms are in some ways faddish and transitory. ‘Library’, however, has a deep and long tradition associated with it, although the spaces and tools of libraries change over time. Librarians in schools have also had many names, such as teacher librarian, library teacher, library media specialist, library media teacher, cybrarian, information navigator, information specialist, information professional, informationist, and information scientist (Farmer, 2017; Lankes, 2011). Lankes (2011) argues that the terms ‘library’ and ‘librarian’ are entwined with the concept of knowledge and learning. I have said before that those claiming disruption should embrace interrogation of their ideas. Does ‘library’ need to be disrupted, in what ways, and why (or why not)?
Deborah Netolicky reflects on her recent investigation into libraries. This included their history, how they and those who work within them are defined. Her review of literature found that libraries are:

  • Neutral and democratising;
  • Participatory and connected locally and globally;
  • Centred around learning, literacy, research, and knowledge; and
  • Facilitators of interdisciplinarity.

She also created a tri-venn diagram to represent the contested nature of the space:

I have written about the future of libraries before, however Netolicky’s deep dive takes it a step further.