Mathew Ingram, Columbia Journalism Review

Mathew Ingram

Columbia Journalism Review

Toronto, ON, Canada

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Recent articles by Mathew:

An antitrust case against Facebook gets a second chance

Last June, James Boasberg, a judge with US District Court for the District of Columbia, threw out an antitrust case brought by the Federal Trade Commission against Facebook . In the lawsuit, the FTC alleged that Facebook, which has since changed its corporate name to Meta, has an illegal monopoly on social-networking services; that it […] → Read More

US Army Creates Single Vaccine Against All COVID & SARS Variants

When the Going Gets Weird... - Hi everyone — just a note to say this will be the last newsletter of the year. I'm not sure when it will start up again, but somet → Read More

Chasing scale, as scale changes

On Tuesday, Vox Media and Group Nine announced plans to merge their operations, in what Jim Bankoff—Vox’s co-founder and CEO—told Axios will create “the fastest-growing company of scale in media.” Vox’s suite of websites includes the eponymous Vox, as well as The Verge, Eater, and SB Nation, while Group Nine owns a number of niche […] → Read More

“A determining role”? Myanmar refugees sue Facebook

Three years ago, a United Nations fact-finding mission released a report on the causes and consequences of extensive human-rights violations against the Rohingya community in Myanmar. The report recommended investigating and prosecuting military leaders for a range of violations, including genocide; hundreds of thousands of people had been displaced, and more than ten thousand tortured […] → Read More

Algorithm accountability is easier said than done

Over the past several years, Congress has held a seemingly never-ending series of hearings concerning “Big Tech,” the handful of companies that control much of our online behavior: Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Congressional committees have looked into whether the platforms allowed foreign agents to influence the 2016 election, whether their algorithms suppress certain kinds of […] → Read More

Twitter’s new privacy policy could clash with journalism

On Tuesday, Twitter said it is expanding its privacy policy to include what the company calls “private media.” Its current privacy policy prevents users of the service from sharing other people’s private information, such as phone numbers, addresses, and other personal details that might make someone identifiable against their will; under this policy, users who […] → Read More

Political misinformation, and a matter of scale

In October of last year, during the runup to the presidential election, the New York Post dropped what looked like a bombshell story. It alleged that a laptop belonging to Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, had been found in a repair shop, and that emails taken from this laptop allegedly implicated the Bidens in a political-influence […] → Read More

On journalistic books and withholding information

Even before Donald Trump lost the presidential election in 2020, books about him and his administration—covering the chaos and turmoil at the White House, Trump’s impeachment trial, his tangled relationship with questionable characters like Steve Bannon, and more—had already become a cottage industry. (Bob Woodward, the legendary reporter for the Washington Post, is responsible for […] → Read More

What can we do about society’s ‘information disorder’?

IN JANUARY, the Aspen Institute set up a Commission on Information Disorder, and announced a star-studded group of participants—including Katie Couric, former global news anchor for Yahoo; Jameel Jaffer, executive director of the Knight First Amendment Institute; Yasmin Green, director of research at Google’s Jigsaw project (who took part in CJR’s symposium on disinformation in […] → Read More

On the Facebook Papers media strategy

In September, the Wall Street Journal published a series of critical stories about Facebook that were based on a trove of hundreds of internal documents from an unnamed former employee of the company. Three weeks ago, that whistleblower revealed herself on 60 Minutes as Frances Haugen, a former product manager who said she became concerned […] → Read More

British MP’s death intensifies calls for end to online anonymity

Last Friday, David Amess, a 69-year-old British member of parliament, was stabbed to death while hosting an open house for his constituents at a church in Leigh-on-Sea, a town in southeastern England. Ali Harbi Ali, the 25-year-old son of a former advisor to Somali’s prime minister, was later arrested and charged with Amess’s murder. In […] → Read More

What would an effective social-media regulator look like?

Last week, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen testified before a Senate subcommittee about the company’s propensity for disregarding its own research into the harms done by its content algorithms, particularly among young girls who use Instagram, its photo-sharing site. During her testimony, Haugen recommended regulatory oversight that would impose standards of behavior on the social network… → Read More

Whistleblower turns up the heat on Facebook and Instagram

Last month, the Wall Street Journal published a series of investigative news stories about Facebook, alleging a pattern of questionable behavior at the social network and its photo-sharing service, Instagram. One said that changes to the Facebook news feed algorithm, which were purportedly designed to improve the news-reading experience, actually had the opposite effect and […] → Read More

Australian defamation ruling threatens media companies

Earlier this month, an Australian court issued a decision in a long-running defamation case of Dylan Voller, who, in 2017, filed suit against a number of Australian media outlets, including Murdoch-owned The Australian and Sky News, for comments made on their Facebook pages by other Facebook users. In effect, the Australian court said the media […] → Read More

Leaked files from alt-right host raise some hard questions

Recently, a group of unnamed hackers claiming association with the hacker collective known as Anonymous released more than 180 gigabytes of data from Epik, a web-hosting company whose clients included a number of alt-right groups and services, including right-wing Twitter alternatives Gab and Parler, as well as pro-gun and pro-Trump sites. “This dataset is all […] → Read More

Facebook goes on the offensive against critical reporting

In the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, and facing widespread criticism that it had helped to destabilize the process by enabling Russian trolls and spreading disinformation, Facebook seemed to strike an apologetic tone. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s co-founder and chief executive, occasionally seemed defensive in his subsequent testimony before Congress, but the general sense was […] → Read More

Journal series reveals concerns, inaction at Facebook

In 2018, Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and chief executive of Facebook, said that the company was rolling out a significant change to the algorithm that governs its News Feed, in an attempt to encourage more users to interact with content posted by their friends and family, rather than content from “businesses, brands, and media”—including news publishers. […] → Read More

How a story about ivermectin and hospital beds went wrong

Last week, KFOR, a local news outlet in Oklahoma, published a story that contained some terrifying information: so many people in the state were hospitalized due to overdoses of ivermectin—a drug originally designed for horses, which some anti-vaccine sources have promoted (incorrectly) as a defense against COVID-19—that there was no room in intensive-care units for […] → Read More

Facebook plans to show users even less political news

In February, Facebook announced an experiment to test how much political news users wanted in their news feeds. It removed some content for a small group of users in the US, Canada, Brazil, and Indonesia, and then surveyed those users for their reactions. According to an update published on Tuesday, the company saw “positive results”, […] → Read More

Facebook “transparency report” turns out to be anything but

Last week, Facebook released a report detailing some of the most popular content shared on the site in the second quarter of this year. The report is a first for the social network. Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, described the content review as part of “a long journey” to be “by far the […] → Read More