F.T.W.S.I.J.D.G.I.G.T.

(For those who say I just don’t get it…get this)

From my article over the weekend: “Is Silicon Valley Now Too Big To Fail Or Jail?”

“Congressional hearings have been called, CEO’s have been brought forward, and the results are always the same. i.e., ‘Gee golly whiz, it’s not anything we’re doing per se – it’s the algos!'”

“The question that seems to be never asked, but is the most important of all the follow-ups that could be asked, is this:

“I see. Well then, let me ask you this way: who’s creating said algos, and more precisely, who’s signing off for their implementation, along with continuance?”

The reason the above question is so important? Hint: Today’s latest social media brouhaha. To wit:

Via AdAge™: “SNAP SLIDES AFTER BACKLASH TO ‘JEWTROPOLIS’ VANDALISM ON NYC MAPS”

Mapbox issued a statement saying it has a “zero-tolerance policy against hate speech and any malicious edits to our maps” and noted that the “Jewtropolis” map label was deleted within an hour.

Snap also issued a statement: “This defacement is deeply offensive and entirely contrary to our values, and we want to apologize to any members of our community who saw it.”

Got that? So again, insert my question from above. e.g., “I see. Well then, let me ask you this way: who’s creating said algos, and more precisely, who’s signing off for their implementation, along with continuance?”

Algo’s may be to blame for suddenly spurting this algorithmic produced slur onto unsuspecting users.

However…

Exactly who or whom entered in the term “jewtropolis” to begin with, and furthermore, how was it then used by your algo in the first place? Again: how was this even allowed to get past any “hate speech” or “zero tolerance” fact checkers or verification levels that we are told are “in place and working so diligently to ensure civil discourse and transparency” to begin with?

Remember the follow-up question I proposed in my later article: “Dear Congressional Panel… Here are your questions?” Here’s a reminder. Again, to wit:

“The reasoning is simple Mr/Ms.(You can now add as an example Snap™ CEO Eric Spiegel) : Who’s in charge there if not the CEO? Or said differently: the CEO is the ultimate authority to a business. If they are not, then why are they paid (as well as demand) the highest wages or incentives? Take your time, and please answer the question thoughtfully and thoroughly.”

Oh, and if you forgot about those “incentives” for being CEO of a social media company, you know, when it seemed there was never a down day? Here’s a reminder.

(Image Source)

Sure seems like it’s all going horribly different this time, yes?

Addendum:

I received a call from a colleague asking me if I were possibly being “a tad too harsh” in the incident that happened with Snapchat™ and its third-party vendor. “After all…” he began, “you can hardly blame them for a hack (i.e., someone outside acting nefarious) and it seems it was resolved quite quickly.”

My answer was, “Fair point, but that’s not the real issue.”

The reply came back (as is usually the case) “It’s not? Then what is?”

Glad you asked…

“Sure, it may seem as a bit of a clumsy question or example, for it’s not precisely specific to this exact situation. But what that question represents is the overview for taking the substance inferred within and then applying it to this precise situation in a more generalized form encompassing the entire subject matter under one obvious question and answer. e.g., Who is creating these algos, who’s signing off on their implementation, and who is responsible for their results, good or bad?

Yes, maybe this was the result of a “hack.” However, was the afore question I put forth asked when the “algos” were determining that the U.S. Constitution was “hate speech?” And when that was happening who was allowing it to go on, and on, and on, until there was a sizable uproar against it? That’s the reason why I made the suggestion, for it should have. It fit then, as well as fits today, even more so I’ll add.

If it had been asked back then and answers were demanded, real answers, not reams of digital techno-jargon delivered weeks if not months later. Incidents like a “hack” wouldn’t be lumped into some “Gee golly whiz it wasn’t us, blah, blah, blah.” type of response as is now usually the case. It would fall into the same understanding of possible biases that are rampant. e.g., How does the Constitution get flagged, but not such an easily and obviously identifiable racial slur?

Someone is writing the parameters to catch things or let them pass, whether it be heavy-handed this way or, kid gloves the other. This is why these questions, and by questions I mean pointed, as in very pointed, need to be asked if these hearings are to be held in the first place.If not? It’s all just a useless exercise.

I posed the questions as an overview to the subject matter at hand, not that they were the precise verbage to use in every situation.”

Hope that clears it up for those who may have the same initial reaction.

© 2018 Mark St.Cyr

Footnote: These “FTWSIJDGIGT” articles came into being when many of the topics I had opined on over the years were being openly criticized for “having no clue”. Yet, over the years these insights came back around showing maybe I knew a little bit more than some were giving me credit for. It was my way of tongue-in-cheek as to not use the old “I told you so” analogy. I’m saying this purely for the benefit of those who may be new or reading here for the first time (and there are a great many of you and thank you too all). I never wanted or want to seem like I’m doing the “Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah” type of response to my detractors. I’d rather let the chips fall – good or bad – and let readers decide the credibility of either side. Occasionally however, there are, and have been times they do need to be pointed out which is why these now have taken on a life of their own. (i.e., something of significance per se that may have a direct impact on one’s business etc., etc.) And readers, colleagues, and others have requested their continuance.