Mathew Ingram, Columbia Journalism Review

Mathew Ingram

Columbia Journalism Review

Toronto, ON, Canada

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Recent articles by Mathew:

Platform ban of Trump and Parler raises questions about speech and power

As Donald Trump’s rhetoric became increasingly disconnected from reality during the election campaign, spreading conspiracy theories about widespread voting fraud (for which there is absolutely no evidence), Twitter and Facebook began adding disclaimers, labels, and other warnings to his statements, and in some of the worst cases blocked them from being seen until the president […] → Read More

The media and social networks struggle to frame events as Trump supporters storm the Capitol

Less than an hour after Congress started ratifying the electoral college votes that gave Joe Biden a win in the presidential election, hundreds of camouflage-wearing Trump supporters — egged on by the president’s claims that the election was stolen from him — stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday and forced their way inside. As members […] → Read More

Facebook and antitrust: A slam-dunk case, or a decades-long fight in the making?

It’s not surprising that the announcement last week of an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook has gotten a lot of media attention. Mammoth cases like this one (which involves the Federal Trade Commission and 46 states) are extremely rare. There have only been half a dozen or so of this magnitude in the last 50 years, […] → Read More

Google silences and then fires a Black artificial-intelligence expert

When Google hired Timnit Gebru last year, it was seen by many in the artificial-intelligence field as a significant vote in favor of ethical AI research, and a welcome sign of an interest in diversity at the company. Dr. Gebru, who is Black, not only wrote a highly regarded paper on the limitations of facial […] → Read More

Facebook’s Supreme Court starts to hear its first cases

Almost three years ago, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg floated a bizarre idea: that the massive, multibillion-dollar corporation he co-founded might create a kind of Supreme Court, which would hear cases involving questionable moderation decisions. And Zuckerberg has done exactly that, setting up a theoretically independent body known as the Facebook Oversight Board, with a […] → Read More

Congress and the platforms: The circus is back in town

While the president continues to rant about conspiracies he believes denied him the election, the Senate Judiciary Committee decided to hold yet another hearing into the alleged misbehavior of Facebook and Twitter. This comes less than a month after the Senate Commerce Committee held a very similar hearing into the two social platforms, which consisted […] → Read More

Will Donald Trump start his own right-wing news channel?

As Trump and his allies continue their desperate efforts to overturn the election results, there are reports that the soon-to-be former president is planning to launch his own media venture. Mike Allen, of Axios, wrote in his newsletter on Thursday that Trump “has told friends he wants to start a digital media company to clobber […] → Read More

What does a Joe Biden presidency mean for tech?

While Donald Trump does his best to muddy the election waters with lawsuits alleging non-existent voting fraud and other nefarious behavior, pragmatists in a number of fields are busy preparing for a Biden presidency, and trying to anticipate what to expect from his administration in terms of regulation. For the technology industry, one of the […] → Read More

Another tech hearing in Congress becomes a circus sideshow

One of the notable things about the last Congressional hearing with executives from Facebook, Google, and Twitter this summer—the final hearing in a fifteen-month-long investigation by the House Committee on Antitrust—was how intelligent most of the questioning was. But a separate hearing on Wednesday with Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook, Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, […] → Read More

The Google case is a stew of technology, law, and politics

Two weeks ago, the House subcommittee on antitrust released a 400-plus page report detailing the anti-competitive practices of the four major digital platforms — Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook — and called for the Department of Justice (among others) to take action. And this week, the government did exactly that, filing a landmark antitrust case […] → Read More

Facebook, Twitter, and what news is fit to share

On Wednesday, both Facebook and Twitter took steps to limit the distribution of a news story from a mainstream publication, on the grounds that it was based on hacked emails and of questionable accuracy. Twitter actually prevented users from posting a link to the story, and in some cases prevented users from clicking on existing […] → Read More

Yes, we’re doing it all over again

Since Donald Trump became president, there has been a never-ending series of articles about what the media did to enable his victory. Near the top of that list is the air time and free advertising ($2 billion worth, according to one estimate) given to him by TV networks like CNN, because they knew he would […] → Read More

House slams monopolistic tech giants for abusing their power

This week, a regulatory process that began in June of last year finally reached its conclusion: the House Subcommittee on Antitrust released a report on the monopolistic practices of four globe-spanning digital platforms: Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple. The investigation involved the collection of more than 1.2 million documents, including internal emails sent by company […] → Read More

Can we make Facebook and Google “democratic utilities?”

Over the past decade, Google and Facebook have built globe-spanning digital platforms that impact almost every facet of our lives, and often in harmful ways. Apart from their use of “surveillance capitalism” on a massive scale, or their distribution of disinformation during the 2016 election, the algorithms Google uses at YouTube have been implicated in […] → Read More

TikTok, a political football, is still up in the air

The political drama surrounding TikTok, the popular Chinese-owned video-sharing app, already seemed to be at a fever pitch in recent weeks: as the clock ticked down on an executive order from Donald Trump that gave the company a deadline to sell the app or be banned, a counter order from the Chinese government prevented TikTok […] → Read More

How can we fight surveillance capitalism?

Over the past decade, we’ve seen the rise of a new kind of corporate power, one built on an almost unprecedented level of digital surveillance, fueled by the demands of the global advertising industry—a phenomenon that Harvard professor emerita Shoshana Zuboff calls “surveillance capitalism.” Google, Facebook, and Amazon have built businesses that are worth trillions, […] → Read More

Facebook’s belated, vague, unhelpful election idea

On Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, wrote of his worry that “with our nation so divided and election results potentially taking days or even weeks to be finalized, there could be an increased risk of civil unrest across the country.” So Facebook announced a series of steps designed, Zuckerberg said, to verify […] → Read More

China throws a wrench into TikTok acquisition plans

Over the past year or so, the TikTok video-sharing app has become one of the hottest mobile services. But it has also become one of the largest political footballs in recent memory, thanks to an executive order that Donald Trump issued in early August, banning TikTok and a chat app called WeChat. Why? Because they […] → Read More

Facebook threatens to block Australian news if law goes ahead

Two weeks ago, Google started showing users in Australia a popup message, warning that some of the company’s services might be impaired as a result of a proposed content-licensing law, which would require large digital platforms to pay publishers in return for linking to their articles. At the time, Facebook said it had no public […] → Read More

Voice of America staff rebel over new CEO’s comments

A group of journalists who work for Voice of America, the US state-backed broadcaster, sent management a letter of protest Monday denouncing the new chief executive of the US Agency for Global Media, which oversees VOA and a number of other similar media outlets. In the letter, the staffers allege that comments made by Michael […] → Read More