Growth in followers
The present results suggest that early choices about which sources to follow impact the experiences of social media users. This is consistent with previous studies4,5. But beyond those initial actions, drifter behaviors are designed to be neutral with respect to partisan content and users. Therefore the partisan-dependent differences in their experiences and actions can be attributed to their interactions with users and information mediated by the social media platform — they reflect biases of the online information ecosystem.
Drifters with Right-wing initial friends are gradually embedded into dense and homogeneous networks where they are constantly exposed to Right-leaning content. They even start to spread Right-leaning content themselves. Such online feedback loops reinforcing group identity may lead to radicalization17, especially in conjunction with social and cognitive biases like in-/out-group bias and group polarization. The social network communities of the other drifters are less dense and partisan.
We selected popular news sources across the political spectrum as initial friends of the drifters. There are several possible confounding factors stemming from our choice of these accounts: their influence as measured by the number of followers, their popularity among users with a similar ideology, their activity in terms of tweets, and so on. For example, @FoxNews was popular but inactive at the time of the experiment. Furthermore, these quantities vary greatly both within and across ideological groups (Supplementary “Methods”). While it is impossible to control for all of these factors with a limited number of drifters, we checked for a few possible confounding factors. We did not find a significant correlation between initial friend influence or popularity measures and drifter ego network transitivity. We also found that the influence of an initial friend is not correlated with the drifter influence. However, the popularity of an initial friend among sources with similar political bias is a confounding factor for drifter influence. Online influence is therefore affected by the echo-chamber characteristics of the social network, which are correlated with partisanship, especially on the political Right20,48. In summary, drifters following more partisan news sources receive more politically aligned followers, becoming embedded in denser echo chambers and gaining influence within those partisan communities.
The fact that Right-leaning drifters are exposed to considerably more low-credibility content than other groups is in line with previous findings that conservative users are more likely to engage with misinformation on social media20,49. Our experiment suggests that the ecosystem can lead completely unbiased agents to this condition, therefore, it is not necessary to impute the vulnerability to characteristics of individual social media users. Other mechanisms that may contribute to the exposure to low-credibility content observed for the drifters initialized with Right-leaning sources involve the actions of neighbor accounts (friends and followers) in the Right-leaning groups, including the inauthentic accounts that target these groups.
Although Breitbart News was not labeled as a low-credibility source in our analysis, our finding might still be biased in reflecting this source’s low credibility in addition to its partisan nature. However, @BreitbartNews is one of the most popular conservative news sources on Twitter (Supplementary Table 1). While further experiments may corroborate our findings using alternative sources as initial friends, attempting to factor out the correlation between conservative leanings and vulnerability to misinformation20,49 may yield a less-representative sample of politically active accounts.
While most drifters are embedded in clustered and homogeneous network communities, the echo chambers of conservative accounts grow especially dense and include a larger portion of politically active accounts. Social bots also seem to play an important role in the partisan social networks; the drifters, especially the Right-leaning ones, end up following a lot of them. Since bots also amplify the spread of low-credibility news33, this may help explain the prevalent exposure of Right-leaning drifters to low-credibility sources. Drifters initialized with far-Left sources do gain more followers and follow more bots compared with the Center group. However, this occurs in a way that is less emphatic and vulnerable to low-credibility content compared to the Right and Center-Right groups. Nevertheless, our results are consistent with findings that partisanship on both sides of the political spectrum increases the vulnerability to manipulation by social bots50.
Twitter has been accused of favoring liberal content and users. We examined the possible bias in Twitter’s news feed, i.e., whether the content to which a user is exposed in the home timeline is selected in a way that amplifies or suppresses certain political content produced by friends. Our results suggest this is not the case: in general, the drifters receive content that is closely aligned with whatever their friends produce. A limitation of this analysis is that it is based on limited sets of recent tweets from drifter home timelines (“Methods”). The exact posts to which Twitter users are exposed in their news feeds might differ due to the recommendation algorithm, which is not available via Twitter’s programmatic interface.
Despite the lack of evidence of political bias in the news feed, drifters that start with Left-leaning sources shift toward the Right during the course of the experiment, sharing and being exposed to more moderate content. Drifters that start with Right-leaning sources do not experience a similar exposure to moderate information and produce increasingly partisan content. These results are consistent with observations that Right-leaning bots do a better job at influencing users51.
In summary, our experiment demonstrates that even if a platform has no partisan bias, the social networks and activities of its users may still create an environment in which unbiased agents end up in echo chambers with constant exposure to partisan, inauthentic, and misleading content. In addition, we observe a net bias whereby the drifters are drawn toward the political Right. On the conservative side, they tend to receive more followers, find themselves in denser communities, follow more automated accounts, and are exposed to more low-credibility content. Users have to make extra efforts to moderate the content they consume and the social ties they form in order to counter these currents, and create a healthy and balanced online experience.
Given the political neutrality of the news feed curation, we find no evidence for attributing the conservative bias of the information ecosystem to intentional interference by the platform. The bias can be explained by the use (and abuse) of the platform by its users, and possibly to unintended effects of the policies that govern this use: neutral algorithms do not necessarily yield neutral outcomes. For example, Twitter may remove or demote information from low-credibility sources and/or inauthentic accounts, or suspend accounts that violate its terms. To the extent that such content or users tend to be partisan, the net result would be a bias toward the Center. How to design mechanisms capable of mitigating emergent biases in online information ecosystems is a key question that remains open for debate.
A wife has learned that her husband of ten months is actually a woman, despite the couple being 'intimate' multiple times, local media claims.
The Indonesian wife, named only as NA, 22, is suing her ex-partner who also claimed to be a neurologist who graduated in New York.
The couple first met on a dating app with the 'husband' going by the name Ahnaf Arrafif in Jambi City.
After sparking up a relationship online, they met up for in-person dates and Ahnaf even came to stay with NA for a week and helped take care of her unwell parents.
The trickster proposed after only weeks of dating and NA's parents gave their blessing, Tribun News reported.
But four months after their marriage, her family started becoming suspicious of NA's new husband.
Ahnaf never introduced 'his' own family and appeared to have a very relaxed schedule despite claiming to be a qualified doctor.
NA's mother also picked up on the fact that Ahnaf never took off 'his' clothes and would even bathe with clothes on when others were at home.
When the wife confronted her partner about lumps on his chest, Ahnaf responded that it was a hormonal problem.
Eventually, the mother demanded that 'he' strip to prove he was indeed a man and at that point, Ahnaf revealed he was actually a woman named Erayani who had lied about everything including her job.
NA told the Jambi District Court she had never suspected the person she married was a man until her mother started to doubt their relationship.
She said they had been 'intimate' multiple times but her partner insisted on only using hands.
Erayani is now in court, but for falsifying her qualifications as a doctor and not for claiming to be a different gender.
The German Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach spoke in an interview at the ZEIT für Forschung conference, emphasising how meat consumption should be discouraged, as reported to vegconomist by the country’s ZEIT publication.
“As a child and as a young man I was very fond of meat, and from that point of view it was not easy for me to say goodbye. Meat was a pleasure for me,” said Lauterbach, who insists that a change in the dietary habits of Germans is fundamental.
“Meat consumption in Germany is, after all, completely unreasonable in many respects, bordering on the delusional if you think about it. It already starts with the cruelty to animals. The animals usually live in torment, the cheap meat cannot be produced otherwise.”
As well as highlighting the health issues around meat consumption, the SPD politician also emphasised the effects on the climate: “Thirdly, there is climate change, i.e. the fact that we have CO2 and methane release due to cattle breeding, which is much worse, and then the poor energy balance that the whole thing has – it is simply unreasonable in every respect.”
Victoria has become the first Australian jurisdiction to ban the Nazi swastika, with those who defy the ban to face jail terms and hefty fines.
Legislation passed both houses of parliament on Tuesday making it a crime to publicly and intentionally display the Nazi symbol — known as the Hakenkreuz.
Those who do so could face up to 12 months in jail and a $22,000 fine.
The symbol will still be able to be used in appropriate contexts, given its cultural and historical relevance.
The swastika, an equilateral cross with the arms bent at 90 degrees to the right, is an ancient symbol that is 15,000 years old and used in a number of religions as a symbol of divinity.
The state government said it consulted "religious, legal and community groups … to understand the religious use of the swastika and ensure exceptions are in place for appropriate displays of the Nazi symbol, such as for educational or artistic purposes".
The government will fund a campaign to educate the public on the importance of the symbol to these communities, and how it is different from the Nazi symbol.
Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes said in a statement that the symbol "does nothing but cause further pain and division".
Dvir Abramovich, chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission, welcomed the ban, for which he has been campaigning for the past five years.
"As our nation confronts the deep stain of a resurgent white-supremacist movement that peddles a dangerous and dehumanising agenda, this parliament has declared that the symbol of Nazism will never find a safe harbour in our state," he said.
The legislation will come into effect in six months.
Terrible UX, mostly useless answers (most replies to posts are either poorly sarcastic or not replying to the actual point). Before it wasn't like this. Did the Reddit board voluntarily or involuntarily cause this via technical decisions, or it's just unavoidable to get this degradation after the userbase grows too much?
Time to transition sweaty
Orange site discuss: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=31487590
I have resigned all my positions in ISO C++ in protest of the decision to use CoC anti-discrimination rules to protect a duly convicted registered level 2 sex offender. This would force victims of sexual assault to interact with this person or face censure or ejection.
In particular this would include me -- as while black out drunk I was subject to a graphic homosexual encounter for which I could not consent. I am heterosexual. This should not be a relevant fact.
Chairs were given the option to recuse themselves as long as they found a replacement, but it was made clear by several members of my national body that avoiding this person is discrimination of an ex-felon and the CoC would be enforced.
This person was given special access to WG21 leadership in order to offer a favorable and absolving narrative, but I am not aware of victims of this or similar crimes offered the same audience. WG21 leadership went so far as to claim the real problem here is the registry.
To be clear, I never asked for this person to be excluded physically or logically, and I certainly believe in the possibility of redemption -- but weaponizing the CoC against sexual assault victims is a step too far. I am not afraid of this person physically, others might be.
While I empathize with any ex-felon's right reintegration, I empathize more with past or potential victim's right to do their jobs amongst people who haven't fallen short of one of the lowest moral bars in society. Choosing one side must exclude the other.
Participation in WG21 is a privilege, and should have a moral qualification. However current leadership believes "professionalism" is literally "above all else". I believe "professionalism" without morality is bankrupt.
Leadership would say their hands are tied by policy, but in a free society we all have choices. With sufficient will any policy can change. Right or wrong, anyone who doesn't resign in protest of any immoral policy literally doesn't care enough to.
Whatever your politics or ethics are, or what you think of mine, don't be a bystander. If you believe in something, have the integrity to see it all the way through. All it takes is for good people to do nothing.
FWIW, when I made clear on the internal chairs mailing list that I was subject to the same thing this person was convicted of, the leadership said nothing in public or private but to work on the logistics of handing over my position.
Leaderships spent well over 9 months working on ways to include this person, and spent no time in helping me pack my bags on the way out.
The NSW government will introduce laws to confiscate unexplained wealth from criminal gangs and ban the use of encrypted devices as part of long-waited reforms to combat money laundering and organised crime.
A snap cabinet meeting late on Wednesday night agreed to the new measures, designed to cripple the finances of crime networks, stopping criminals from profiting from their actions and incapacitating them financially.
The new powers allow for the confiscation of unlawfully acquired assets of major convicted drug traffickers and expand powers to stop and search for unexplained wealth.
Senior ministers have been working on new laws to deal with proceeds of crime and unexplained wealth since last year, when secret briefings from top-ranking police warned that organised crime in NSW was out of control.
Police Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith warned cabinet ministers and senior public servants in December that organised crime was rampant and anti-organised crime laws in NSW were abysmal.
Days after that briefing, Premier Dominic Perrottet was also provided with the same damning update from Smith, a senior government source with knowledge of the conversations has confirmed.
That month, Attorney-General Mark Speakman and then police minister David Elliott began working on laws to tackle unexplained wealth. The work has continued under new Police Minister Paul Toole.
Perrottet said the new powers would help police infiltrate criminal networks.
“Organised crime is all about drug supply and money – and to truly shut it down we need to shut down the flow of dollars that fuels it,” Perrottet said.
“These reforms will better arm law enforcement agencies with the powers they need to confiscate unexplained wealth and create new offences and tougher penalties for those seeking to launder money derived from criminal activity.
“Organised crime and the technologies that criminals use are always changing and evolving, and these reforms will put our state in the strongest position to deal with these insidious crimes.”
Deputy Premier and Police Minister Paul Toole “organised crime in this state is on notice”.
“If you think you can hide the ill-gotten gains of crime, you are wrong. If you think you can avoid detection by using encrypted devices, you are wrong,” Toole said.
“We know these encrypted devices are being used to plan serious crimes like drugs and firearms smuggling, money laundering and even murder.
“These reforms will make it an offence to possess these kinds of devices and allow us to better target high-risk individuals from using them to orchestrate crime.”
Legislation will be introduced when parliament returns for the spring session.
PSA: Yandex is a multi-billion Moscow based company, finances the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, and is one of the main Kremlin's tool in spreading propaganda and suppressing dissent.
YaLM 100B is a GPT-like neural network for generating and processing text. It can be used freely by developers and researchers from all over the world.
The model leverages 100 billion parameters. It took 65 days to train the model on a cluster of 800 A100 graphics cards and 1.7 TB of online texts, books, and countless other sources in both English and Russian.
Training details and best practices on acceleration and stabilizations can be found on Medium (English) and Habr (Russian) articles.
Make sure to have 200GB of free disk space before downloading weights. The model (code is based on microsoft/DeepSpeedExamples/Megatron-LM-v1.1.5-ZeRO3) is supposed to run on multiple GPUs with tensor parallelism. It was tested on 4 (A100 80g) and 8 (V100 32g) GPUs, but is able to work with different configurations with ≈200GB of GPU memory in total which divide weight dimensions correctly (e.g. 16, 64, 128).
These days, it feels as if an identity that, not long ago, felt unique to me in most rooms I entered has gone mass. Yes, part of what I’m personally upset about is the fact that this thing I loved isn’t so alt anymore. But more than that, it feels as if pronoun culture has contributed to nonbinary becoming just the third gender after male and female, more static and concrete than its original fluid intentions. The same nonbinary person who complained about nonbinary stereotypes lamented to me, “I don’t want to be a homogeneous normcore mashing of the two genders.” Ben hoped, “If man or woman can mean so many things, then so can nonbinary.” We all became nonbinary to escape gendered expectations, and now we’re stuck again. I can’t help but think that the walking-on-eggshells battle for pronouns is turning my gender into a human-resources-approved corporate product, more neutered than neutral, and, maybe above all else, profoundly unromantic. Next time, just call me by my name.
Elon is a great cult leader. Knew it from the start and accepted it. My opinion of him changed a few weeks ago when he said, we are cutting 10%. I get it, business is business but I know for a fact that certain people in the company should have been let go long ago. I know a few people who simply walk around the building all day and never do anything.
Opinion changed after getting fired