W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-credentials@w3.org > August 2021

Re: Digital Press Passes and Decentralized Public Key Infrastructures

From: George Artem <georgeartem@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 2021 04:40:28 -0400
Message-ID: <CAEDguThQJHD4pJe493VnXjASFcpMjxpQEkPbLe6ZDEU6m_=GOg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Adam Sobieski <adamsobieski@hotmail.com>
Cc: Moses Ma <moses.ma@futurelabconsulting.com>, Bob Wyman <bob@wyman.us>, "W3C Credentials CG (Public List)" <public-credentials@w3.org>
Adam Sobieski said:  "while Google and Facebook are advancing the state of
the art with respect to content moderation and mitigating misinformation
and disinformation. . ."

You are pointing out that so-called 'state of the art solutions' to this
problem are not new, and we already live in a world fraught with content
moderation through labeling, censorship, self-censorship, shadow banning
etc. driving masses toward a singularly accepted totalitarian narrative -
social media today (what I would call legacy social media, LinkedIn,
Twitter, Facebook) is truly nothing other than social engineering by
another name (in the end we place our trust in the platform, with or
without understanding that we in the end are the product).

We can argue of course whether this is mal-intentioned, but in the present
environment he/she/they who control the algorithmic parameters hold the
keys to the narrative and to the seriousness with which we consider the
things we know that we do not know (the counter-COVID narrative here being
a prime example) which is what led me to reference 'emerging science'. The
field of quantum physics is another great example where the 'many worlds'
narrative has long been suppressed by the 'shut up and calculate' mantra.

That of course has less to do with journalism than it does with how our
society interprets weak signals from 'emerging science' like vaccine
adverse effects, SQUIDs, phenomenology and the like. . . for what it's
worth I tend to agree with the comments alluding to weighting of certain
voices related to a particular competency score or certification for these
kinds of 'scientific' or 'academic' issues.

The best analogy I can think of that I have seen (in my limited
perspective) for this in practice is the weighting of legal precedent on
particular topics by case repositories like Lexis, WestLaw and other legal
research tools where some holdings are highlighted as 'disputed',
'overturned' etc. which frankly isn't very different than 'fact-checking'
except the time horizon is appropriately broadened and the issues
investigated by judges, and not 'BA holders in hoodies' - which of course
lends itself to a discussion of how our adversarial system (in the US)
comes to discover facts vs. other countries and judicial discretion, but
that in itself can be its own dissertation...

I raise the questions because my fear for journalists would be that they
wake up one morning where their credentials have suddenly been deactivated
or revoked like in a scene from Kafka's 'Trial' as a result of some
algorithmic error or a perceived slight on the bureaucratic class, and that
this would only lead to more self-censorship and less investigation and
independent thought.

Very respectfully,

Received on Monday, 9 August 2021 08:40:54 UTC

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