Aral Balkan

Welcoming film and TV director and social justice advocate @Lexialex to the fediverse. She just made a principled move away from Twitter after they banned someone’s account for cussing a Nazi (

Welcome, Lexi!

CC @Gargron

Are You Ready To Consider That Capitalism Is The Real Problem?

“People want health care and education to be social goods, not market commodities, so we can choose to put public goods back in public hands. People want the fruits of production and the yields of our generous planet to benefit everyone, rather than being siphoned up by the super-rich, so we can change tax laws… None of this is actually radical.”

Excellent article by Dr. Jason Hickel

@Gargron Got it. It‘s not a problem to implement (already have). I would like to see, however, how we can simplify things for personal federated web sites where there is only one owner/user. The domain should really be (is) the account e.g., instead of which is redundant and unnecessary. I’m currently using e.g., @person for testing just to satisfy the requirement whereas my account is actually

Hope that made some sense :)

@calligraffiti And even that still wouldn’t make them people. People feel pain. People suffer. (And agree with your points – corporations are definitely sociopathic constructs.)

@Gargron Correct me if I’m wrong but from what I’m seeing, unless I implement WebFinger, my ActivityPub server cannot federate with Mastodon. Is that correct/as designed?

e.g., I search for my server’s URL. Without WebFinger, nothing is found. With WebFinger, the account is found. Mastodon doesn’t seem to ask for the actor – at least via a search – unless WebFinger exists.

@sydneyfalk Modern technology works by collecting data. True. We are not going to change that. Also true.

The question is who owns and controls the data and technology by which it is gathered, analysed, and acted upon?

If the answer is corporations, we have a feudalism.

If the answer is us as individuals, there is no problem. We have a system compatible with human rights and democracy.

Technology is not an objective vector from past to future; it’s character is shaped by ideology & funding.

@eloquence Hadn’t. Will check it out; thanks :)

@Mac_CZ “Corporation” and “community” are not interchangeable unless we redefine community to mean a group of people devoid of individual liability who are given a singular goal of quarter-on-quarter profit growth – in other words, a corporation.

It’s not AI vs people
It’s not Big Data vs people
It’s not robots vs people

It’s corporations vs people.

@djoerd It doesn't have to be a dichotomy :)

Aral Balkan boosted

@aral Corporations don't need a code of ethics. They need democratic governments holding guns to their heads, ready to shut them down at the first sign of malfeasance.

Getting there, of course, is the hard part.

@starbreaker Boom! (Literally and figuratively) :)

@Bromind Ah, would they ever use that, given it starts with “I shall practice for the good of mankind, respecting human rights” :)

Aral Balkan boosted

@aral Actually, there already exists such an oath (see Archimedean Oath here [1]). I guess it is more or less well known depending on the country, but when I finished my MSc, my former university proposed us to signed it.


Should Data Scientists Adhere to a Hippocratic Oath?

A growing amount of my time is being spent countering Silicon Valley spin:

Aral Balkan argues that an ethics code like that drafted this week could actually worsen societal harms caused by technology. He fears it will be used by corporations as a signal of virtue, while they continue business as usual. “What we should be exploring is how we can stop this mass farming of human data for profit…”

Aral Balkan boosted

many kurdish accounts on #twitter get suspended. Twitter is by that supporting fascism in this very crucial situation

You can help with:

- giving more visability to this issue through joining a twitter storm
- presenting an alternative

This would bring a benefit to the kurdish struggle and be on the same supportive for the fediverse

If you'd be into joining a twitterstorm pls boost this post (follow for updates)

Time and # announced if enough interest is there. suggestions welcome

Aral Balkan boosted
> AI analog of asking women to smile: editing faces to make them look more/less smiling also made them look more feminine/masculine because of the correlations in the training data.


from tweet

@HerraBRE Surely, the all-male speaker list is enough reason to refuse, no?

@StuC * tracker blockers ;)

(I’d have no problem with non-surveillance-based, print-like, unobtrusive advertising. More effective tracker blockers might incentivise a resurgence of ethical display advertising vs. surveillance-based adtech.)