Non-Fungible Tech Talk

As Jack Dorsey auctions off his first tweet, Donald Trump threatens to launch his own platform. Would the world be better with more and diverse platforms? Also Joe Biden unveils his new tech advisors - will they make a difference? And a new call to ban surveillance advertising - could Australia lead the way?

Key points:

- Jack Dorsey auctions off his first tweet as a 'Non-Fungible Token', a unique and non-replicable item powered by blockchain technology

- There are questions about whether creating NFTs is contrary to the value of the Internet as enabling easy reproductions of creative works and allowing wide sharing at a low cost

- Blockchain will be revolutionary technology, and NFTs is the latest example of how we are exploring it, but it will likely have wide repercussions

- Biden beefs up his antitrust team with two prominent Big Tech critics - Lina Khan and Tim Wu

- Facebook once again fronts the US Congress with another lacklustre performance advocating for self-regulation on content moderation

- Content moderators, particularly those who work for Facebook, are usually outsourced to low paid overseas workers who suffer through horrible working conditions

- There should be further debate on where the appropriate line is with programmatic advertising that targets users - from relatively safe audience segmentation to harmful microtargeting

- The onus should be on the big platforms that created these adtech platforms, rather than the individual publishers, users and advertisers who are constrained by its systems

- Adtech, like content moderation is profitable for Google and Facebook because they outsource the responsibilities to other people - like publishers trying to ensure their ads are safe, or journalists who try to make sure there are no harmful content

- A coalition of civic groups have called for a ban on surveillance advertising in recognition of its harms

- Trump's rumoured creation of his own social network has mixed reactions - will he be able to follow through when there are existing options like YouTube and Parler that already attracts right-wing audiences, or should the overall idea of individuals with the ability to start networks outside of dominant players be welcomed?