Archive for the ‘Governance’ Category

Twitter can solve harassment right now…

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Twitter can solve harassment right now with verified accounts by Jason Calacanis.

Jason’s proposal to stop harassment on Twitter is simplicity itself. Twitter would add a forth privacy option that limits the tweets you see to users who have been “verified.” Where “verified” means they have a “real world” address and identity. Easier to hold them responsible for harassment. Twitter’s incentive is a nominal annual fee for the verification option.

Jason extols the many benefits of his proposal so see the original post.

Jason doesn’t mention demand for the verified option. If offered to all Twitter users at once, demand would outstrip their ability to respond. Better to offer “verification” to blocks of users and maintain a high quality experience.

Let’s get Twitter’s attention on Jason’s post. Let’s make it a trending topic on Twitter!

One Week of Harassment on Twitter

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

One Week of Harassment on Twitter by Anita Sarkeesian.

From the post:

Ever since I began my Tropes vs Women in Video Games project, two and a half years ago, I’ve been harassed on a daily basis by irate gamers angry at my critiques of sexism in video games. It can sometimes be difficult to effectively communicate just how bad this sustained intimidation campaign really is. So I’ve taken the liberty of collecting a week’s worth of hateful messages sent to me on Twitter. The following tweets were directed at my @femfreq account between 1/20/15 and 1/26/15.

The limited vocabularies of the posters to one side, one hundred and fifty-six (156) hate messages is an impressive number. I pay no more attention to postings by illiterates than I do to cat pictures but I can understand why that would get to be a drag.

Many others have commented more usefully on the substance of this topic than I can but as a technical matter, how would you:

  • Begin to ferret out the origins and backgrounds on these posters?
  • Automate response networks (use your imagination about the range of responses)?
  • Automate filtering for an account under such attacks?

Lacking any type of effective governance structure, think any unexplored and ungoverned territory, security and safety on the Internet is a question of alliances for mutual protection. Eventually governance will evolve for the Internet but since that will require relinquishing of some national sovereignty, I don’t expect to see it in our lifetimes.

In the meantime, we need stop-gap measures that can set the tone for the governance structures that will eventually evolve.


PS: Some people urge petitioning current governments for protection. Since their interests are in inherent conflict with the first truly transnational artifact (the Internet), I don’t see that as being terribly useful. I prefer whatever other stick comes to hand.

I first saw this in a tweet by

Nonsensical ‘Unbiased Search’ Proposal

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Forget EU’s Toothless Vote To ‘Break Up’ Google; Be Worried About Nonsensical ‘Unbiased Search’ Proposal by Mike Masnick.

Mike uncovers (in plain sight) the real danger of the recent EU proposal to “break up” Google.

Reading the legislation (which I neglected to do), Mike writes:

But within the proposal, a few lines down, there was something that might be even more concerning, and more ridiculous, even if it generated fewer (actually, almost no) headlines. And it’s that, beyond “breaking up” search engines, the resolution also included this bit of nonsense, saying that search engines need to be “unbiased”:

Stresses that, when operating search engines for users, the search process and results should be unbiased in order to keep internet searches non-discriminatory, to ensure more competition and choice for users and consumers and to maintain the diversity of sources of information; notes, therefore, that indexation, evaluation, presentation and ranking by search engines must be unbiased and transparent; calls on the Commission to prevent any abuse in the marketing of interlinked services by search engine operators;

But what does that even mean? Search is inherently biased. That’s the point of search. You want the best results for what you’re searching for, and the job of the search engine is to rank results by what it thinks is the best. An “unbiased” search engine isn’t a search engine at all. It just returns stuff randomly.

See Mike’s post for additional analysis of this particular mummers farce.

Another example why the Internet should be governed by a new structure, staffed by people with the technical knowledge to make sensible decisions. By “new structure” I mean one separate from and not subject to any existing government. Including the United States, where the head of the NSA thinks local water supplies are controlled over the Internet (FALSE).

I first saw this in a tweet by Joseph Esposito.

Mancrush on Todd Park?

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

OK, I admit It. I have a mancrush on the new Federal CTO, Todd Park by Tim O’Reilly.

Tim waxes on about Todd’s success with startups and what I would call a vendor/startup show, Health Datapalooza. (Does the agenda for Health Datapalooza 2012 look just a little vague to you? Not what I would call a “technical” conference.)

And Tim closes with this suggestion:

I want to put out a request to all my friends in the technology world: if Todd calls you and asks you for help, please take the call, and do whatever he asks.

Since every denizen of K-Street already has Todd’s private cell number on speed dial, the technology community needs to take another tack.

Assuming you don’t already own several members of Congress and/or federal agencies, watch for news of IT issues relevant to your speciality.

Send in one (1) suggestion on a one (1) page letter that clearly summarizes why your proposal is relevant, cost-effective and worthy of further discussion. The brevity will be such a shocker that your suggestion will stand out from the hand cart stuff that pours in from, err, traditional sources.

The Office of Science and Technology Policy (No link from the Whitehouse homepage, to keep you from having to hunt for it.) This is where Todd will be working.

Contact page for The Office of Science and Technology (You can attach a document to your message.)

I would copy your representative/senators, particularly if you donate on a regular basis.

Todd’s predecessor is described as having “…inspired and productive three years on the job.” (Todd Park Named New U.S. Chief Technology Officer I wonder if that is what Tim means by “productive?”

NIEM EDemocracy Initiative

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

NIEM EDemocracy Initiative

Bare-bones at the moment but apparently intended as an extension of the < NIEM > mechanisms to legislation and other matters related to the democratic process.

Not much to see at the moment but subject identity issues abound in any representation of governmental processes.

Will try to keep watch on it.

Schema VOAG

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

Schema VOAG

From the website:

VOAG stands for “Vocabulary Of Attribution and Governance”. The ontology is intended to specify licensing, attribution, provenance and governance of an ontology. VOAG captures many common license types and their restrictions. Where a license requires attribution, VOAG provides resources that allow the attribution should be made. Provenance is defined in terms of source and pedigree. A miminal model of governance is provided based on how issues, releases and changes are managed. VOAG does not import, but makes uses of some concepts from VOID (, notably void:Dataset.