Pluralistic: How I got scammed (05 Feb 2024)


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Pluralistic: Demon-haunted computers are back, baby (17 Jan 2024)


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Pluralistic: Kinkslump Linkdump (09 Dec 2023)


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Pluralistic: Booklist on "Red Team Blues" (13 Jan 2023)


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Pluralistic: 15 Nov 2022 Tracers In the Dark


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Pluralistic: 09 Nov 2022 Delegating trust is really, really, really hard (infosec edition)


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Pluralistic: 11 Oct 2022 Trusting (machine learning) trust; The housing market turns (more) toxic


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Car Wars

The Real Trolley Problem

A Times Square traffic jam; all the cars’ windscreens have been filled with the menacing red eye of HAL9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. The background has been filled with a Matrix “code-waterfall” effect.
joiseyshowaa/CC BY-SA 2.0 (modified); Cryteria/CC BY 3.0 (modified)

Author’s Note: This short story was originally commissioned by Deakin College as part of an AI ethics course; they have since take it down. This is its new home. For a nonfiction analysis of the problems set forth herein, see my Guardian column on the subject. Here’s an audio edition.

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Pluralistic: 15 Aug 2022


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Como Is Infosec

Content moderation is a security problem.

Cryteria, CC BY 3.0 (modified)/Crosa, CC BY 2.0 (modified)

in·fo·sec (/ˈinfōˌsek/): information security

co·mo (/koh-moh/): content moderation

Content moderation is really, really hard.

Content moderators:

  • seek to set conversational norms, steering transgressors toward resources that help them better understand the local conversational rules;
  • respond to complaints from users about uncivil, illegal, deceptive or threatening posts;
  • flag or delete material that crosses some boundary (for example, deleting posts that dox other users, or flagging posts with content warning for adult material or other topics);
  • elevate or feature material that is exemplary of community values;
  • adjudicate disputes about impersonation, harassment and other misconduct.

This is by no means a complete list!

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