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January-February 2017

Twitter probably isn’t the best platform to debate grown-up, complex issues

Welcome to the internet, where much discussion devolves into name calling

Tyler Hellard@poploser

On the morning of the U.S. election last November, I logged onto Twitter and spent several hours arguing about privilege—mostly white, but also male—with someone who believed the entire concept was, itself, racist and sexist because he “judges people individually,” systemic issues be damned. As often happens, the discussion devolved to me calling him “willfully obtuse” […] More »
November-December 2016

In today’s internet age, who does the news belong to?

On Facebook's algorithmically powered stories—and what it means for Canadian media

Tyler Hellard@poploser

Earlier this year, Facebook got in trouble for “curating” trending news articles that seemed to betray an ideological bias—their editorial team was accused of pushing a left-wing agenda by people who would have preferred to see them push a right-wing agenda. Facebook’s solution was simple: get rid of the human element. But a few hours after flipping […] More »
November-December 2014

Terms of service

Tyler Hellard@poploser

Are we too apathetic when it comes to social media user experiments? A few months ago, Facebook got into trouble for experimenting with some of their users. In the name of “science,” the company decided to start tweaking people’s newsfeeds with an excess of either positive or negative status updates from friends. The study showed […] More »