‘China Turns Big Data Into Big Brother,’ and 4 Other Stories You Should Read

Here’s what you missed while you were writing your cover letter for the Royal Household Hospitality Scholarship… Selected by Craig Davis, editorial intern Having lived my whole life in three very liberal metropolitan areas (Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York), I’m pretty aware of the filter bubble I’ve both intentionally and accidentally imposed on myself. But for those who would like to learn more about the bubble they’re inside, there’s an app for that (or at least, a Chrome extension). Through analyzing Facebook data, PolitEcho maps out a visualization of the political leanings of the people who show up most in your News Feed. (The New York Times is tagged liberal, while Fox News is conservative.) Sure, startup founders have always been into growth and value and money, but there seemed to be a difference that had to do with morals and empathy. That may not be the case anymore. But it’s still something that the political views of media buyers might be making their first ever appearance in team meetings around the country. Selected by Dillon Baker, associate editor Though China’s plan to give every one of its citizens a “social credit score” has been in the works for a while now, it seems to be coming closer and closer to reality—and unfortunately, the ramifications of the system are becoming more visible as we see governments around the world use the internet as an incredibly powerful propaganda and oppression tool. My argument: It may not anymore, particularly since the internet has allowed us to build worlds that are essentially alternate realities. In New York mag, Max Read makes a compelling argument for why the internet has turned out to be more of a tool for propaganda than it has been for democracy.

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Here’s what you missed while you were writing your cover letter for the Royal Household Hospitality Scholarship

Selected by Craig Davis, editorial intern

Having lived my whole life in three very liberal metropolitan areas (Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York), I’m pretty aware of the filter bubble I’ve both intentionally and accidentally imposed on myself. But for those who would like to learn more about the bubble they’re inside, there’s an app for that (or at least, a Chrome extension).

Meet PolitEcho, a tool first built by a team of Princeton undergrads at the 2016 Facebook Global Hackathon. Through analyzing Facebook data, PolitEcho maps out a visualization of the political leanings of the people who show up most in your News Feed.

The visualizations are determined by an algorithm that assigns values to news sources based on political beliefs. (The New York Times is tagged liberal, while Fox News is conservative.) By aggregating the political pages your Facebook friends like, and comparing these pages against a database of publication scores, PolitEcho can bring your personal bubble to life. And the results can be a wake-up call.

“Ironically, we think of ourselves as open-minded and diverse,” said Vivian Mo, a member of the founding team, in the article,“only to find that we’ve surrounded ourselves with people who have the same political leanings.”

Selected by Jordan Teicher, senior editor

If Wall Street is full of greedy villains, then Silicon Valley is for overeager visionaries. At least, that used to be the difference. Sure, startup founders have always been into growth and value and money, but there seemed to be a difference that had to do with morals and empathy. That may not be the case anymore.

Om Malik’s latest piece takes a look at what’s wrong in Silicon Valley—mainly that the people who work there are so focused on growth and changing the world that they’ve lost touch with the rest of America, specifically the many people their software and apps are putting out of…

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