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Tech Team

LOL – Millenials faking baby-boomers internet behaviour [The Guardian]

Have you heard of the newest comedy trend on Facebook? It’s pages like these where people in their 20s roleplay baby-boomers’ typical behavior on the internet and particularly on social media. Think of the all-caps comments, the personal messages that end up on your general feed and the questions that seem evident to kids born with the internet. Aside from the comic relief, analyst see two hidden motives behind this trend: users are jealous of the ease boomers had at their age (jobs, cheaper education, etc..) compared to them now and it’s a way to respond to all the stereotyping and generalizations Millenials get about their generation (a taste of their own medicine). Whatever your motives are to check the pages out, it’s the perfect time to scroll through them on the beach this summer.

The dark side of GDPR [Bloomberg]

To help identify the domains of tweets, blogs, and websites that relayed Islamic State propaganda, American, European and Canadian officials used the internet’s WHOIS database to help bring down the terrorist group’s online network. But GDPR could jeopardize future successes of this system because it triggered the WHOIS database to be scrubbed of names, email addresses and other personal info. A Europol official says that “since May 2018, we have more and more cases of investigations that are just dropped or severely delayed because we can’t have direct access to WHOIS registration data information.” So, while GDPR is protecting the general public from data harvesting internet giants, it’s also helping terrorists spread propaganda without repercussions. Is it worth it?

Are tech startups the new colonialist? [Financial Times]

When Jumia rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange it was a joyous moment for the “Amazon of Africa”, until critics began pointing out that the company was incorporated in Berlin and is managed by French executives who use Portuguese technicians. Does it matter if Jumia is “truly” African? Well, many worry that Africa’s past of colonial exploitation could turn into a future of techsploitation. Others suggest that foreign-funded companies like Jumia hurt other African startups who have less access to capital. Either way, it’s easy to see that it’s no accident that African entrepreneurs have less access to the skills and capital they need to scale-up – finding the solution is going to be more difficult.

The hard life of content moderators [The New Yorker]

Freedom of expression is essential. However, some people tend to over-use it online without thinking twice about the impact this liberty can have on the individuals that are tasked with moderating discussions and posts from the other side of the screen. These moderators often face people’s darkest side and some of them even suffer from a kind of PTSD that affects their private and social lives. Seeing the worst of human beings every day is definitely not what these workers signed up for. If these online platforms do not want legislators to become even more involved in trying to solve this content moderation issue, they’re going to have to come up with a better way to protect free speech and moderators simultaneously.

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In case you haven’t had enough…

People in Japan are renting cars but not driving them [The Verge]

AI drives down cost and drudgery of routine patent work [Financial Times]

Europe Built a System to Fight Russian Meddling. It’s Struggling. [New York Times]

London Underground to track passengers using WiFi [Financial Times]

Trump campaign and GOP officials love Uber, avoid Lyft [Quartz]

Disruption from automation will hit women workers hardest [Financial Times]

At Zappos, Algorithms Teach Themselves [Wall Street Journal]