Mathew Ingram, Columbia Journalism Review

Mathew Ingram

Columbia Journalism Review

Toronto, ON, Canada

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Recent articles by Mathew:

Facebook’s cryptocurrency has something for everyone to hate

Every once in a while, a company comes along that becomes a lightning rod for criticism from almost all directions, whether justifiably or not. At one point, this awkward mantle was held by IBM, and for a time Microsoft also played the role, but there’s no question who holds that title today: Facebook. The globe-spanning […] → Read More

If readers pay for your news, you’re one of the lucky ones

Every year, the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, which is based at Oxford University in the UK, comes out with its Digital News Report, a survey of global trends and attitudes towards online news. Depending on your position in the media industry, it can be either good news or bad news. According to […] → Read More

NYT promotes questionable study on Google and the media

A New York Times story published on Sunday contains an eye-opening allegation: Google “made $4.7 billion from the news industry in 2018,” according to a new report. The lede of the story quotes the figure again, with all of the zeroes, and mentions that this number is “more than the combined ticket sales of the […] → Read More

YouTube is all over the map when it comes to offensive content

Facebook executives must be breathing a huge sigh of relief. The giant social network has been in the news for weeks, facing a legion of critics for its inaction on misinformation and harassment. This week, the spotlight has been trained on YouTube, instead. The Google-owned video-sharing site started the week off on the wrong foot […] → Read More

Should The Daily Beast have exposed the man behind ‘drunk Pelosi’ video?

A modified video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that started circulating recently—with the vocal track slowed down to make her appear drunk—raised a number of questions, including why YouTube removed it but Facebook did not. (Instead, Facebook down-ranked the clip in its News Feed and added a link to more reporting on the topic.) Another […] → Read More

Canada hits Zuckerberg with summons for failing to appear

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has appeared before Congress in the past, to talk about the giant social network’s role in misinformation and election-meddling, but the number of times he has appeared before a government committee is vastly outweighed by the number of times he has declined to do so. The Facebook co-founder continued that streak […] → Read More

New report says tech platforms ‘blackmailed’ EU policy experts

In January 2018, alarmed by the spread of misinformation around Britain’s “Brexit” referendum and the aftermath of Russian trolling on Facebook during the 2016 US election, the European Union convened a “high-level” working group filled with experts from media and academia—as well as representatives from Google, Facebook, and Twitter—to look at the scope of the […] → Read More

Media can help fight misinformation, says Harvard’s Joan Donovan

Thanks to globe-spanning social platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, misinformation (any wrong information) and disinformation (intentional misinformation like propaganda) have never been able to spread so rapidly or so far, powered by algorithms and automated filters. But misinformation expert Joan Donovan, who runs the Technology and Social Change Research Project at Harvard’s… → Read More

White House refuses to join “Christchurch Call” on extremism

The United States and Europe have very different views about speech. While the US is committed to free speech at all costs, the Europeans are more willing to curb speech when it expresses hate or causes harm. That difference of opinion exploded into view again this week with two diametrically opposed responses to the “Christchurch […] → Read More

I regret my role at Facebook, but I’m keeping the money

Journalists like to say that three examples of something makes a trend. In that case, there is definitely something happening around Facebook, as former staffers—and in some cases co-founders—renounce the company and its ill effects on society. The latest is Chris Hughes, Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard roommate, who helped design and market the service in its […] → Read More

Should the media quit Facebook?

With all that has transpired between Facebook and the media industry over the past couple of years—the repeated algorithm changes, the head fakes about switching to video, the siphoning off of a significant chunk of the industry’s advertising revenue—most publishers approach the giant social network with skepticism, if not outright hostility. And yet, the vast […] → Read More

White House revokes press passes for dozens of journalists

In what appears to be an unprecedented move, the White House revoked the press passes of a significant chunk of the Washington press corps because they didn’t meet a new standard, according to Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank. Under the new rules, rolled out earlier this year, in order to qualify for the highest level of […] → Read More

Facebook’s PR game is showing

Facebook no doubt thought banning the accounts of prominent alt-right misinformation vectors like Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Laura Loomer would be a win-win. Not only would it allow the company to get rid of some obvious troublemakers, but it would also make Facebook look decisive about misinformation on its platform, a problem it has […] → Read More

Facebook pivots to privacy, but is it sincere?

The world got a preview of what the future might look like for Facebook in an essay CEO Mark Zuckerberg published in March. In it, he explained his vision was of a network of private—even encrypted—Facebook groups, as well as a private Messenger app, and other features. “I believe a privacy-focused communications platform will become […] → Read More

The hiring spreadsheet and the clash at The Markup

There are things about the recent implosion of The Markup that make it unique—in particular, that it raised $23 million with nothing but a trio of co-founders and a brief description of the product they wanted to create. A launch like that places enormous pressure on a project. After not very long, Julia Angwin, one […] → Read More

Trump’s question for Twitter’s CEO: Why don’t I have more followers?

In an alternate universe, if the president sat down with the chief executive of one of the leading social networks, they might discuss the ways the networks give oxygen to the worst elements of society—including white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Or they might talk about the need for better ways of engaging around substantive issues such […] → Read More

Here’s what happened inside The Markup

The Markup was one of the most highly anticipated media startups in recent memory. Julia Angwin, a former Wall Street Journal investigative reporter, teamed up with her ProPublica writing partner, data journalist Jeff Larson, and brought in Sue Gardner, the former head of Wikimedia and a number of other well-regarded non-profit projects. The team raised […] → Read More

Facebook tries to figure out what a fact is in an era of politicized truth

Facebook’s third-party fact-checking project, which was launched with much fanfare in December of 2016, has been criticized a number of times over the past year or so. And it came under fire again this week after the social network announced a list of partners that included a fact-checking site called Check Your Fact. The site is […] → Read More

The case against Julian Assange is a clear threat to journalism

As the imminent release of the (no doubt heavily redacted) Mueller report continues to suck all the oxygen out of the US media industry, other important news events are at risk of being overlooked, and the Julian Assange case is arguably one of them, despite Assange’s infamy. The WikiLeaks founder was taken into custody last […] → Read More

Twitter deletes links to news story due to bogus copyright claims

Have you ever had something you posted mysteriously disappear from the internet? It’s a bizarre experience, especially when it’s a result of an overreaching copyright claim. That’s what happened to me this weekend, after I posted a link on Twitter to an interesting (and disturbing) news story at TorrentFreak, a site that writes about copyright […] → Read More