Tech Talk - Social media ID checks, Amazon's union showdown, and defeating disinformation

Another fascinating fortnight of technology developments has passed, as Tech Talk unpacks social media ID checks, Amazon's union showdown, and defeating disinformation.

Key points:

  • As part of a parliamentary inquiry on domestic violence, there was a suggestion of submitting official identity documents like a driver's license or passport to verify our identities
  • This is problematic given Facebook's consistent data breaches including the most recently reported data breach affecting about half a million Facebook users
  • This also opens up the discussion on the 'right to anonymity' as a foundational right for people online, which is particularly important for at-risk groups like certain minorities
  • Anonymity online can be important for dissidents, people who try to hold power to account, and other marginalised groups who are subject to abuse if they are identified
  • Amazon continues to act very strongly against workers' attempt to unionise, including the recent bizarre example of astroturfing where Amazon released fake (but very obvious) profiles that sang Amazon's praises
  • It is worth watching Amazon's reactions to the increasing trend of workers organising, including the possibility of escalation to preemptively identify possible future union leaders and punish those workers accordingly
  • Defamation law is another way politicians are attempting to manage social media, including Peter Dutton declaring he's pursuing individual Twitter users for defamation
  • The "influencer" industry needs greater scrutiny, especially since it appears to have outsized impact with a lot of children and young people, who now express "influencers" as being one of their preferred future career paths.