Annual Editions: Technologies, Social Media, and Society
Table of Contents

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Unit 1: Introduction

What World Are We Building, Danah Boyd, Data & Society, 2016
"It’s easy to love or hate technology, to blame it for social ills or to imagine that it will do what people cannot. But technology is made by people. In a society. And it has a tendency to mirror and magnify the issues that affect everyday life. The good, bad, and ugly."

The Fourth Industrial Revolution: What It Means and How to Respond, Klaus Schwab, Foreign Affairs, 2015
“Of the many diverse and fascinating challenges we face today, the most intense and important is how to understand and shape the new technology revolution, which entails nothing less than a transformation of humankind.”

A World without Work, Derek Thompson, The Atlantic, 2015
“For centuries, experts have predicted that machines would make workers obsolete. That moment may finally be arriving. Could that be a good thing?”

As Data Overflows Online, Researchers Grapple with Ethics, Vindu Goel, New York Times, 2014
"As online line data overflows, researchers are grappling with the ethics of studying the users. Scholars have become overwhelmed by the vast personal data collected by Facebook, Google, and other social media tools. Called the “frontier of social science,” Cornell University professor, Jeffrey T. Hancock states, “I liken it a little bit too when chemistry got the microscope.” A hornet’s nest of ethics and conflict has opened up!"

Unit 2: Social Media and Community

What Will Social Media Look Like in the Future? Gina Lednyak,, 2014
"The author is the founder of one of the country’s leading social media agencies. “Looking at the advancement of social media in the current landscape, we can get a good sense of the trajectory of big themes that will emerge over the years.” Ms. Lednyak anticipates five predictions for the future of social media."

Activism Moves to Facebook: Why What’s Good for Social Media Might Not Be So Good for Democracy, Sarah Jaffe, Salon, 2016
"The recorded shooting of Philando Castile is just one example of how social media is changing the face of activism."

How Technology Disrupted the Truth, Katharine Viner, The Guardian, 2016
"Social media has swallowed the news –threatening the funding of public-interest reporting and ushering in an era when everyone has their own facts. But the consequences go far beyond journalism."

Could Social Media Be Tearing Us Apart? Jerry Daykin, The Guardian, 2016
"While social networks have allowed the sharing of controversial opinions there remains a worry that they are helping to fuel such views."

Unit 3: Social Media and Marketing

How Psychology Will Shape the Future of Social Media Marketing, Jayson DeMers, Huffington Post, 2014
"Social media marketing is a relatively new field. Technology cannot replace the human ability to extract meaningful data from volumes of information, but basic psychological concepts can be applied. Developers are now relying on psychological principles to develop more sophisticated algorithms as they understand the various platforms through which posts are made."

Customized Or Creepy? Websites and Your Data, a Guide, Steven Melendez, Fast Company, 2016
"A Princeton "web census" sheds new light on how websites are customizing and testing content for different users and audience segments."

Essena O’Neill Quits Instagram Claiming Social Media 'Is Not Real Life', Elle Hunt, The Guardian, 2015
"Australian teenager with more than 612,000 Instagram followers radically rewrites her ‘self-promoting’ history on social media (and launches new website)."

The Rising Influence of Social Media, as Reflected by Data, Andrew Hutchinson, Social Media Today, 2014
"The increasing reliance on social media can sometimes be missed with business platforms. Young people today are using social media for more than they have ever used telephones. The user growth rates are increasing yearly, including that of older demographic groups. Once they were in the 18-24 categories; more of the 25-34 demographic groups are increasingly using the platforms to which they have become aligned. Even the business world is increasing its use; as of 2013 the author notes, “77% of Fortune 500 companies maintain Facebook profiles, and 69% have YouTube accounts.”

Unit 4: Privacy in a Digital World

The Death of Privacy, Alex Preston, The Guardian, 2014
“Google knows what you’re looking for. Facebook knows what you like. Sharing is the norm, and secrecy is out. But what is the psychological and cultural fallout from the end of privacy?”

Privacy Is Dead, Long Live Privacy, Jean-Pierre Hubaux and Ari Juels, Communications of the ACM, 2016
"Protecting social norms as confidentiality wanes."

The Seven Veils of Privacy, Kieron O’Hara, IEEE Internet Computing, 2016
"Exploration of seven levels of privacy that help explain privacy boundaries across contexts and cultures."

The Secret Things You Give Away Through Your Phone Metadata, Nsikan Akpan,, 2016
“This study shows that sensitive information, like health services or lifestyle choices, are easily discernible from metadata with little digging.”

Privacy Not Included: Federal Law Lags Behind New Tech, Charles Ornstein, ProPublica, 2016
"The federal privacy law known a HIPAA doesn’t cover home paternity tests, fitness tracker or health apps. When a Florida woman complained after seeing the paternity test result of thousands of people online, federal regulators told her they didn’t have jurisdiction."

Google's European Conundrum: When Does Privacy Mean Censorship? Zack Whittaker, CNET News, 2013
Europe has not embraced America's love for "free speech" instead opting for a policy of "fair speech." This difference has opened the door to a "right to be forgotten" on the Internet, and Google has been ordered to remove material from its search database. Is this new right wise? Is it censorship? Is it even possible?

Unit 5: Personal Security

Cybersecurity: The Age of the Megabreach, David Talbot, MIT Technology Review, 2016
We haven’t stopped huge breaches. The focus now is on resilience, with smarter ways to detect attacks and faster ways to respond to them.

Machine Bias, Julia Angwin et al., ProPublica, 2016
If computers could accurately predict which defendants were likely to commit new crimes, the criminal justice system could be fairer and more selective about who is incarcerated and for how long. The trick, of course, is to make sure the computer gets it right. If it’s wrong in one direction, a dangerous criminal could go free. If it’s wrong in another direction, it could result in someone unfairly receiving a harsher sentence or waiting longer for parole than is appropriate.

Own a Vizio Smart TV? It’s Watching You, Julia Angwin, ProPublica, 2015
TV makers are constantly crowing about the tricks their smart TVs can do. But one of the most popular brands has a feature that it’s not advertising: Vizio’s Smart TVs track your viewing habits and share it with advertisers, who can then find you on your phone and other devices.

Ransomware in Real Time: How Hackers Infiltrate Secured Systems, Shane Dingman, The Globe and Mail, 2016
“Security-software providers are in a constant cat-and-mouse game with ransomware makers who can find ways to penetrate even well-guarded systems.”

10 Ways to Make the Internet Safe from Cyber Attacks, Patrick Tucker, Defense One, 2014
Dan Geer, chief information security officer for the CIA’s venture capital company, said at a cyber security conference, “…that a single well-designed cyber weapon could take down the entire Internet…”He proposed 10 policies for particularly the Internet, in protecting from cyber-attacks. “Everything that is a critical infrastructure component must show (and prove) that it can run without the Internet.”

Unit 6: IT, Business, and Economy

Social Capital: The Secret behind Airbnb and Uber, Barbara Gray, Medium, 2014
“How is it that Airbnb and Uber have been able to build thriving ecosystems in just over five years with such significant scale and influence that they are now valued at a rumored $13 billion and $40 billion? And how have these companies become such a disruptive force that they are the target of deafening protests from the highly ensconced hotel and taxi industries in cities around the world? Two words: Social Capital.”

Technology Is Changing How We Live, but It Needs to Change How We Work, Ezra Klein, Vox, 2016
“Why isn't all this technology improving the economy? Because it's not changing how we work.”

The Mirage of the Marketplace, Tim Hwang and Madeleine Clare Elish, Slate, 2015
"The disingenuous ways Uber hides behind its algorithm."

How Technology Is Destroying Jobs, David Rotman, MIT Technology Review, 2013
"Automation is reducing the need for people in many jobs. Are we facing a future of stagnant income and worsening inequality?"

Unit 7: National Security

How Technology is Transforming the Future of National Security, Patrick Tucker, Defense One, 2014
"Maintaining technological superiority is a continuous challenge for the military. Keeping the fight unfair is more complicated than it has ever been, emphasized U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Mathew Klunder. The United States Defense Department has not kept pace with the expansion of technological research; they are, using inexpensive computers, Internet and drones. Washington cannot keep up with these changing geopolitical realities. The military must now expand to use “big data” strategically in an environment where there is presently on-going backlash, such as with NSA."

The Snowden Effect: Privacy Is Good for Business, Laura Hautala, CNET News, 2016
“Tech companies didn’t look so good when Edward Snowden revealed they were helping governments spy on average people. But the revelations have worked in the industry’s favor”

New Study: Snowden’s Disclosures about NSA Spying Had a Scary Effect on Free Speech, Jeff Guo, The Washington Post, 2016
"A new study provides some insight into the repercussions of the Snowden revelations, arguing that they happened so swiftly and were so high ­profile that they triggered a measurable shift in the way people used the Internet."

America Is Dropping 'Cyberbombs'—but How Do They Work? Richard Forno and Anupam Joshi, The Conversation, 2016
"Cyber weapons and the policies governing their use likely will remain shrouded in secrecy. However, the recent public mentions of cyber warfare by national leaders suggest that these capabilities are, and will remain, prominent and evolving ways to support intelligence and military operations when needed."

The Internet of Things We Don’t Own? Jason Schultz, Communications of the ACM, 2016
“IoT manufacturers and distributors are quietly attempting to shift the rules of ownership.”

Know Your Rights! Hanni Fakhoury and Nadia Kayyali, Electronic Frontier Foundation, 2014
"Your computer, your phone, and your other digital devices hold vast amounts of personal information about you and your family. This is sensitive data that's worth protecting from prying eyes—including those of the government." These are your rights.

Unit 8: Projecting the Future

What the Future of Home Automation Can Learn from Back to the Future, Medium, 2015
“…the path for future smart homes and smart home technology will twist and turn. It’s [petty easy to simply jump 25 years in to the future and hypothesize wildly about some fantastical ideas that may or may not come to pass, they did in “Back to the Future.”. Instead, I’m going to try and evolve my ideas gradually starting with the problems we face now and slowly solving them towards a (hopefully) more realistic future.”

To Automate Everything, Solve These Three Challenges, Alison Bruzek, Nova Next/PBS, 2015
“Smart objects are slowly transitioning from pioneering to practical. Yet just as the internet of things is poised to remake our homes and offices, it’s facing perhaps its most critical test: adoption by the average consumer. The intelligent future promised by entrepreneurs won’t catch on if those devices can’t connect to each other automatically, lack intuitive programmability, or aren’t appealing designed.”

The Murky Ethics of Driverless Cars, Tom Jacobs, Pacific Standard, 2016
“A new study explores a moral dilemma facing the creators of self-driving vehicles: In an accident, whose lives should they prioritize?”