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Ralf Haring
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"In the early 18th century, satirist Jonathan Swift observed, “Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it, so that when men come to be undeceived, it is too late; the jest is over, and the tale hath had its effect… like a physician, who hath found out an infallible medicine, after the patient is dead.”"

"It is a message that both stewards and mouthpieces of the largest media (and social media) platforms would do well to heed. This is particularly true given how the current state of American democracy, modern political discourse, and the very nature of truth are increasingly infected by conspiracy theories, hate groups, and invective designed to bully, silence, and undermine. While these are not easy afflictions to heal, and perhaps impossible to cure, one of the greatest threats to recovery remains the stubborn (and often idealistic) unwillingness of those who wield the scalpels to cut away the sickness."
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"The realities of our current discourse are antithetical not only to the ideals of Silicon Valley moguls like Dorsey, but to the many journalists who responded to conspiracies like the pizza sex ring rumors by attempting to loudly and publicly refute them. As technology and social media scholar danah boyd noted in a truly revelatory podcast about internet misinformation, the precise goal of bad actors and conspiracy theorists is to get public attention at all costs. It is an aim that folds so neatly and catastrophically into the desire to promote truth and speech at all costs that it is hard not to marvel at its covalent destructiveness."
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"In a four-part series at the Data and Society research institute titled “The Oxygen of Amplification,” Whitney Phillips, an assistant professor of communication, culture, and digital technologies at Syracuse University, said that “the takeaway for establishment journalists is stark, and starkly distressing: just by showing up for work and doing their jobs as assigned, journalists covering the far-right fringe… played directly into these groups’ public relations interests. In the process, this coverage added not just oxygen, but rocket fuel to an already-smoldering fire.”"
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"The U.S. military established Cyber Command almost a decade ago, but it fails to maximize its contributions to national mission. Struggles on all levels — from the political to operational — contribute to Cyber Command’s ineffectiveness. But simmering beneath the surface is a crippling human capital problem: The military is an impossible place for hackers thanks to antiquated career management, forced time away from technical positions, lack of mission, non-technical mid- and senior-level leadership, and staggering pay gaps, among other issues. It is possible the military needs a cyber corps in the future, but by accelerating promotions, offering graduate school to newly commissioned officers, easing limited lateral entry for exceptional private-sector talent, and shortening the private/public pay gap, the military can better accommodate its most technical members now."
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"The premise of “don’t feed the trolls” implies that if you ignore a troll, they will inevitably get bored or say, “Oh, you didn’t nibble at my bait? Good play, sir!” and tip their cap and go on their way. Ask anyone who has dealt with persistent harassment online, especially women: this is not usually what happens. Instead, the harasser keeps pushing and pushing to get the reaction they want with even more tenacity and intensity. It’s the same pattern on display in the litany of abusers and stalkers, both online and off, who escalate to more dangerous and threatening behavior when they feel like they are being ignored. In many cases, ignoring a troll can carry just as dear a price as provocation."
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"Not only does this sort of ignorance function as a kind of tacit permission, but it also ignores the inherent threat of the troll’s true intent. What the troll, the stalker, and the abuser really want out of the situation is to feel powerful and in control. And they will not stop until they feel it. Therein lies the most horrible aspect of the “don’t feed” mantra: rather than doing anything to address the trolls, the more tangible effect is to silence the victim and the reality of their abuse, or worse, to blame them for it. For far too many who promoted this idea, the true goal was silence, to avoid facing what is happening and the impossible responsibility of it."
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"When Zoe Quinn pursued legal action for the horrors of Gamergate, she was frequently confronted with this so-called solution by police officers and even the judge who decided not to issue criminal harassment charges against the man who orchestrated an online harassment campaign again her: just get offline. But as Quinn wrote in her book Crash Override, “The internet was my home, and treating it like a magical alternate dimension where nothing of consequence happens was insulting. Telling a victim of a mob calling for their head online to not go online anymore is like telling someone who has a hate group camped in their yard to just not go outside.” The consequences of this attitude are very real. In today’s online world, people can claim the power of a threat with none of the consequences of actually making a threat. Just last week, Milo Yiannopoulos called for the shooting of journalists. Then, when someone did exactly that, he quickly insisted that “he wasn’t being serious.” This is the heart of trolling, especially when it’s built around the intent to terrorize."

"But this is all really happening. And the large-scale internet needs the figure out the way to guarantee the same protections as smaller communities by moderating with a sense of decency and displaying the same basic sense of judgment as a damn open mic night. (There is a reason Michael Richards is not asked back to The Laugh Factory.) The powers that be in social media can’t just make it about who is saying bad words, try to algorithm their way out of the problem, or play every side in the name of “fairness” when it leaves so many of us to the wolves. They have to make an ethical choice about what they really believe and what ideology they want to represent moving forward. Because they cannot reap the reward of what they have built without taking on the responsibility and the cost of it, too."
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"One of the many things that Wilhelm was convinced he was brilliant at, despite all evidence to the contrary, was “personal diplomacy,” fixing foreign policy through one-on-one meetings with other European monarchs and statesmen. In fact, Wilhelm could do neither the personal nor the diplomacy, and these meetings rarely went well. The Kaiser viewed other people in instrumental terms, was a compulsive liar, and seemed to have a limited understanding of cause and effect."
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"Wilhelm was a compulsive speechmaker who constantly strayed off script. Even his staff couldn’t stop him, though it tried, distributing copies of speeches to the German press before he’d actually given them. Unfortunately, the Austrian press printed the speeches as they were delivered, and the gaffes and insults soon circulated around Europe. “There is only one person who is master in this empire and I am not going to tolerate any other,” Wilhelm liked to say, even though Germany had a democratic assembly and political parties."
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"During Wilhelm’s reign, the upper echelons of the German government began to unravel into a free-for-all, with officials wrangling against one another. “The most contradictory opinions are now urged at high and all-highest level,” a German diplomat lamented. To add to the confusion, Wilhelm changed his position every five minutes. He was deeply suggestible and would defer to the last person he’d spoken to or cutting he’d read—at least until he’d spoken to the next person. “It is unendurable,” a foreign minister wrote, in 1894. “Today one thing and tomorrow the next and after a few days something completely different.” Wilhelm’s staff and ministers resorted to manipulation, distraction, and flattery to manage him. “In order to get him to accept an idea you must act as if the idea were his,” the Kaiser’s closest friend, Philipp zu Eulenburg, advised his colleagues, adding, “Don’t forget the sugar.”"
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"“That’s where our ambitions got a little bigger because we realized that we were able to be really smart within our own walled garden, but our walled garden was very small,” Walrath says. The triumvirate of O’Kelley, Walrath, and COO Christine Hunsicker started to talk about what to do next. “We were just spinning in place,” Hunsicker recalls. “Mike, Brian and I had a conversation that was like, ‘OK, we can keep doing the daily grind of trying build an ad network, or we can try to do something super bold.’” All the ad networks were already trading supply and demand, but they weren’t doing it efficiently. What if they all got together on the same platform to do that trading, sort of like a stock exchange, with Yield Manager at the helm?"

"An Israeli ad network called Cydoor and a Michigan-based ad network called Adtegrity were willing to try it, so O’Kelley and his team scrambled to build the exchange, which they called RMX. As with the ad server, the engineers were working at speed. The code was being worked on 24 hours a day. Boris Mouzykantskii, now known as the “godfather of ad tech,” recalled how O’Kelley would work until 3 a.m. and dash off an email with instructions, and his team in Russia would work on the code until O’Kelley woke up and took over again. When they finally flipped the switch in spring of 2005, no one really knew what would happen. “This is like the most duct-taped system you’ve ever seen,” O’Kelley says. But it worked. Everyone’s yields went up at least 30 percent, instantly."

"“They made more money. We made more money. The advertisers made more money. The publishers made more money. Like, it was incredible,” O’Kelley says. “Everybody made more money. And it was just a perpetual motion machine.”"
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"Soon, Anna was everywhere too. “She managed to be in all the sort of right places,” recalled one acquaintance who met Anna in 2015 at a party thrown by a start-up mogul in Berlin. “She was wearing really fancy clothing” — Balenciaga, or maybe Alaïa — “and someone mentioned that she flew in on a private jet.” It was unclear where exactly Anna came from — she told people she was from Cologne, but her German wasn’t very good — or what the source of her wealth was. But that wasn’t unusual. “There are so many trust-fund kids running around,” said Saleh. “Everyone is your best friend, and you don’t know a thing about anyone.”"

"After a gallerist at Pace introduced her to Michael Xufu Huang, the extremely young, extremely dapper collector and founder of Beijing’s M Woods museum, Anna proposed they go together to the Venice Biennale. Huang thought it was “a little weird” when Anna asked him to book the plane tickets and hotel on his credit card. “But I was like, Okay, whatever,” he said. It was also strange, he noticed during their time there, that Anna only ever paid with cash, and after they got back, she seemed to forget she’d said she’d pay him back. “It was not a lot of money,” he said. “Like two or three thousand dollars.” After a while, Huang kind of forgot about it too."

"When you’re superrich, you can be forgetful in this way. Which is maybe why no one thought much of the instances in which Anna did things that seemed odd for a wealthy person: calling a friend to have her put a taxi from the airport on her credit card, or asking to sleep on someone’s couch, or moving into someone’s apartment with the tacit agreement to pay rent, and then … not doing it. Maybe she had so much money she just lost track of it."
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Leeroy Jenkins was staged? The whole world a lie.
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"Last year during SXSW, the CIA revealed it designs elaborate tabletop games to train and test its employees and analysts. After receiving a Freedom of Information Act request, the CIA sent out censored information on three different games it uses with trainees — and thanks to Diegetic Games, an adapted version of one of them will soon be available to the public."

"CIA: Collect it All is based off a card game described in the documents as “Collection Deck,” which was designed by CIA Senior Collection Analyst David Clopper. Its play style is roughly based on Magic: The Gathering, and demonstrates how different intelligence tactics can be used to address political, economic, and military crises — and how the system often manages to screw it all up. If you want a copy of your own, there’s a funded Kickstarter campaign for it that ends on Tuesday that charges $29 for a set of physical cards or $10 for a print-and-play version."
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