Ominous Darkness Descending On Webpage Portends Grim Age Of Autoplaying Ad To Come

Fortune’s fool, I wagered I would be spared and forsook my ad blocker, and now a pitiless gloom that will abide for 30 seconds has descended. No X in the corner will succor me. No five-second opt-out will rekindle the embers beneath this wicked mist. Lo, the Mazda Summer Sales Event nears. Stop my ears with wax! Forgive me! Forgive me! –The Onion

The Distracted Classroom: Transparency, Autonomy, and Pedagogy

I don’t ban technology in my classroom, even though I know some students can’t manage the potential distraction. (An early assignment in my freshman writing class demonstrates that multitasking is a lie — we can only pay attention to one thing at a time,,and though we can do something routine like fold laundry while also watching TV, we stop watching TV if we lose a sock, and we stop folding…

Facebook’s Instant Articles restore subscription options they previously stripped

The ability to serve content faster than where it originated is the privilege of the platform on which people find it. Facebook, Google, and Apple have all been exploiting this privilege, which, while it does lower load times, is not conducive to a single, standardized web. And it deepens content providers’ dependence on those platforms — which in turn increases the latter’s leverage. Not good. It’s nice that Facebook is…

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Facebook Updates its Fight Against Fake News

The only reason Facebook is paying attention to fake news is because it wants to monetize real news. (Monetize = control.) After initially dismissing the idea that Facebook plays a role in disseminating fake news, the company and CEO Mark Zuckerberg have been working to remedy the problem. Facebook partnered with third-party fact-checkers such as Snopes and PolitiFact, introducing alerts that warn users of articles on the site that include…

The Future of College Is Facebook Meme Groups

Interesting to see how large groups of college students are using Facebook, mostly as a forum for sharing memes. About four years ago I asked students in my “News Writing” class to make memes based on AP style / copy-editing principles, but I don’t think the students particularly cared for the assignment. I dropped the meme thing the next time I taught the class, but perhaps I should resurrect it.…