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MisDisMal-Information 35: Of The Crafty World of War Rooms, D.O.O.M., Blurred Lines and Gloomy Races

This is an excerpt from Edition 35 of MisDisMal-Information For the complete edition, go to: Of The Crafty World of War Rooms, D.O.O.M., Blurred Lines and Gloomy Races – MisDisMal-Information Newsletter ( DOOM and The Crafty World of War Rooms Over the last few weeks, it has been hard to miss coverage...

Technology and Geopolitics: An Indian Perspective on the Past and Future

Introduction What is technology? The question appears so banal as to barely require answering. But the question bears tremendous significance for an understanding of human history and of the turbulent geopolitics of our world. In scope, it extends from the cuneiform scrawls of Bronze Age Sumerian scribes to the complex...

Killing the Slow Brain

This article was originally published in OPEN magazine. The proliferation of social media presents a clear danger to liberal democracy, free markets, political order and, indeed, to human civilisation. The threat is greater and more urgent than that presented by climate change, Artificial Intelligence, nuclear war, pandemics and terrorism. While...

What we must regulate when we regulate social media platforms

The global debate over how to govern Big Tech has intensified after Twitter, Facebook, Alphabet and Amazon de-platformed former US President Donald Trump and some of his supporters in the wake of the mob raid on the US Capitol on 6 January. Clearly, transnational technology platforms not only influence politics...

Reining in platforms like Facebook

In December 2015 the founder and Chief Executive of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, wrote passionately in The Times of India why it was important to give free access to internet. He was promoting the idea of ‘Free Basics’ launched by Facebook. It would give free access to basic internet services to...

India’s smartphone revolution is a phenomenon on the scale of Independence in 1947

Media headlines reporting research results often distort findings — substituting ‘newsworthiness’ for accuracy. The newsworthiness falls into two broad categories: “Whatever you thought you knew about this subject is completely wrong” or “research confirms what we knew to be right all along”. So, when a headline on BBC World this week announced that “a...

On Sale: Your Vote

Our data, taken without our consent, can be used for informational warfare that harms our democracy. The actions of social media and analytics companies are a clear threat to voters’ rights to make free and fair choices.

Foreign policy and social media jingoism

Statesmanship is about rescuing policy from being hostage to mass hysteria My response to a request for comment from the Times of India: The role of social media in spreading both revolutionary dissent and ultra-rightwing sentiment has now been seen across the global. Even in non-democratic China, the political leadership...

Twitter and Radically Networked Outrage

The concept of Radically Networked Outrage was originally conceived by my Takshashila colleague Pavan Srinath. Having conceived of it, he had promised to blog about it, but it’s been over a month and he’s yet to get down to it. Given this delay, I think I’m justified in stealing this blogpost. One...