Mathew Ingram, Columbia Journalism Review

Mathew Ingram

Columbia Journalism Review

Toronto, ON, Canada

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Recent articles by Mathew:

Could NFTs help the media, or are they just a sideshow?

Over the past several months, technology journalists have had to get used to a new concept: the “non-fungible token,” or NFT, a concept that has been lighting up the cryptocurrency world, as well as art and media. An NFT is a string of code that, once it has been “minted” (generated by a computer) resides […] → Read More

Substack raises more money, but is that a good thing?

Axios reported on Tuesday that Substack is raising another $65 million in venture financing, which will give the newsletter-publishing platform a theoretical market value of $650 million. That’s more than ten times what it was reportedly worth when it raised its first $15-million round of financing in 2019, which — like the latest round — was […] → Read More

Medium has pivoted so many times it has now come full circle

IN 2013, MEDIUM SEEMED to have a bright future. It was founded by Evan Williams, a co-founder and former chief executive of Twitter, and also a co-founder of Blogger, one of the first self-publishing platforms during the early days of the social web. When Twitter went public in 2013, Williams’ stake gave him a net […] → Read More

Facebook goes after Substack

If you’re an independent writer or journalist, Facebook would like you to know that it wants to help you. With what? Just about everything: it wants to give you easy to use writing and publishing tools, so you can create websites and newsletters, and publish them in multiple places (including on Facebook, of course), and […] → Read More

Facebook asks the court to dismiss the FTC’s antitrust complaint

Last fall, after more than a year-and-a-half of Congressional committee hearings and investigations into the power of technology companies such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter, the government released a comprehensive report alleging anti-competitive conduct. The report, which called for a number of “structural remedies”—including that the companies be broken up—also gave momentum to an almost… → Read More

What should we do about the algorithmic amplification of disinformation?

The results of the 2020 presidential election. The alleged dangers of the COVID vaccine. Disinformation continues to have a significant effect on almost every aspect of our lives, and some of the biggest sources of disinformation are the social platforms that we spend a large part of our lives using—Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. On these […] → Read More

Facebook and the news after Australia: What happens now?

The Australian version of Facebook got decidedly less newsy a week ago, after the company blocked Australian news outlets from posting their stories to its platform, and regular users in that country from sharing news from any media outlet anywhere in the world. (Traffic to Australian news sites fell by as much as 20 percent, […] → Read More

Google and Facebook grapple with news publishers, as Australia becomes a test case

Australia has become Ground Zero in the battle over payment for news in recent weeks, thanks to a proposed law to force technology platforms to pay publishers for the right to use even small portions of their articles. That battle escalated in two different directions at once on Wednesday: on one side, News Corp. announced […] → Read More

Twitter stands up to India and refuses to block journalists

Two weeks ago, protests by farmers in India turned violent, even as the country was celebrating the anniversary of its democratic constitution. As thousands marched and drove their tractors through New Delhi, police responded with tear gas and batons, and a young farmer was killed. The protests drew international attention, and a wave of public […] → Read More

Why ending anonymity would not make social media better

Whenever the subject of disinformation, hate speech, or harassment on social media platforms comes up, someone inevitably suggests these problems could be solved if Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram outlawed anonymity and forced users to sign up using their real names. The past week has seen a revival of this argument: In a Wall Street Journal […] → Read More

Twitter gets into the newsletter business—should Substack be worried?

It’s been a while since Twitter did something that got everyone talking and didn’t involve the former president of the United States. On Tuesday, the social network managed to do just that when it announced that it has acquired a company called Revue, which specializes in helping journalists and other writers set up their own […] → Read More

Andreessen Horowitz, a Silicon Valley venture capital behemoth, plans to eat the media

It was a relatively innocuous job ad on LinkedIn, seeking an executive editor. It said things like “our editorial mission is to be the go-to place for understanding technology, innovation, and change, as it impacts all of our lives” and “we are unapologetically pro-tech, pro-future, pro-change.” Pretty anodyne stuff, typical of half a dozen tech […] → Read More

Facebook asks its new oversight board to rule on banning Trump

More than three years after the idea was first floated by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s “oversight board” started hearing its first cases last month. Whatever the outcomes, those cases have been overshadowed by an announcement on Thursday that Facebook has sought the right to permanently banish Donald Trump. An initial ban had gone into effect on […] → Read More

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