Recent Business Commentaries

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No Magic in Florida
For decades, Florida’s Walt Disney World has been spreading joy and magic to billions who visit from around the world. And for decades, the Disney organization has pretty much remained politically neutral. Now, however, the “Most Magical Place on Earth,” has become yet another political battlefield. It all began when Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, signed HB 1557 into law. As...
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April 22, 2022
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What Happens When Enough People Are Fed Enough False Information?
In Michael Morell’s 2015 book, The Great War of Our Time, the former CIA deputy director begins with a stunning statement: “the threat of terrorism did not die with Bin Ladin in Abbottabad,” and, left unchecked, is the greatest threat to America. It’s an extraordinary book with details and insight that are both overwhelmingly thought-provoking and frightening. However, when misinformation...
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December 14, 2021
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How Do We Fix Facebook? – Part 2
Easier said than done. However, Frances Haugen, the former Facebook data scientist who came forward with thousands of internal documents to back up her claims that the engagement-based algorithms created by the tech giant are used to deepen “divides, destabilize democracies, and make young girls and women feel bad about their bodies,” has been in talks with the House Judiciary...
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October 22, 2021
How Do We Fix Facebook?
Embed from Getty Images Facebook is optimizing “content that gets engagement, a reaction, but its own research is showing that content that is hateful, that is divisive, that is polarizing, it’s easier to inspire people to anger than it is to other emotions.” Haugen, a former data scientist who worked for Facebook, came forward with thousands of documents that show...
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October 19, 2021
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That’s Their Mindset
What do these four things have in common: money, status, power and politics? “Gamal Abdelaziz, a former hotel and casino executive is accused of paying $300,000 to get his daughter admitted to the University of Southern California as a basketball player based on false qualifications. “John Wilson, a private equity executive, is accused of paying $220,000 to get his son...
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October 12, 2021
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The Insiders
Jeffrey Wigand and Frances Haugen have two things in common. Both blew the whistle on impropriety within their respective companies, and both appeared on the news show, 60 Minutes to tell their stories. At the social media company, Facebook, Haugen—with a degree in computer engineering, and a master’s degree in business from Harvard—has 15 years experience in the computer world...
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October 8, 2021
What’s the Truth About Georgia’s New Election Law?
Embed from Getty Images “I’m telling you the truth about this bill,” Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp tells Atlanta’s NPR affiliate. “It expands access.” You can fool all the people some of the time… “After the November election last year, I knew,” Kemp said, “like so many of you, that significant reforms to our state elections were needed.” And some of...
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April 7, 2021
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Social Media’s Algorithm Problem
For too long, Social media has become a haven for third-party shares of misinformation, false conspiracies and blatant lies. As belief turns to anger, and anger to hate, some have become radically motivated, violent extremists. While many of these companies have taken some steps to stem the tide of hate and violence, our worst impulses have rapidly overtaken and divided...
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March 3, 2021
The Problem with Social Media
The last four years has seen a dramatic erosion of facts and truth, one of the essentials of our democracy. In its place are conspiracy theories, misinformation and blatant lies....
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March 1, 2021
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Resilience
Amid the political and coronavirus turmoil, it’s time we turn to a story that demonstrates the best we can be. After a launch delay due to Tropical Storm Eta, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule successfully launched last night carrying four astronauts to the International Space Station. “SpaceX,” Space.com reports, “uses automated drone ships as floating landing pads...
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November 16, 2020