AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Results 1-10 of 23

“I Am in Love With LOVE!” Russian Trolls Tried to Seem Like Normal Americans By Quoting the Bible, Shakira, and Others

February 17, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow At the height of the 2016 American presidential campaign, Russian propagandists used Twitter accounts to spread conspiracy theories, misinformation, and political division. That and other shady online activity led Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating foreign interference in the election, to indict 13 Russian nationals. Before the campaign though, these...

The White House's Spanish Language Site Is Still Missing

February 12, 2018 One in seven Americans speak Spanish at home. Zero White House websites offer information in that language. At the beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency, the White House removed all Spanish-language content from its website. The site that used to live at whitehouse.gov/espanol, started under Barack Obama in 2009, disappeared. Now...

This Was the Year I Realized My Brain Belongs to My Phone

December 28, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This year, I became addicted to and deleted the following apps: Twitter, Hacker News, Reddit, Press (an RSS reader), and Instagram. My reasoning may sound familiar. I would become mindlessly addicted to an app, checking it anytime my brain began to drift, like whenever I sensed oncoming existential dread or...

How the CDC Used 'Vulnerable,' 'Transgender' and Other Newly Banned Words in Past Documents

December 18, 2017 The Centers for Disease Control is the main public health institute in the United States. It is committed to helping Americans in a way that is science-based—er, oops, I can’t say that now. That’s because the Trump administration has barred the CDC from using a list of words it apparently...

‘Indo-Pacific’ Is the Trump Administration’s New Name for Asia

November 8, 2017 The field of international relations is a bountiful source of jargon. There’s “operationalize,” “engagement,” “Thucydides trap,” and so on. Sometimes, though, terms escape the field and make it into the mainstream. The Trump administration has recently brought one such concept to the wider world: Describing Asia as the “Indo-Pacific,” rather...

The mp3s for Trump’s Weekly Addresses Say Artist=Barack Obama

October 25, 2017 Despite the attention Donald Trump pays to “the cyber,” his administration is not known for its tech-savvy. That might be why the mp3 files for his weekly addresses have not been updated since he took office, and still show “President Barack Obama” as the artist. Here is the readout of...

Data Scientist Cathy O’Neil on the Cold Destructiveness of Big Data

December 7, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Big data promises fairness. With enough information about individuals and populations, we can design algorithms that will identify the best possible answer to a given question, free of human bias. Algorithms, after all, are not racist, sexist, or elitist. Or are they? In her new book, "Weapons of Math Destruction,"...

Here’s How Countries Like China, Russia Control Online Dissent

October 6, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In January 2011, protests broke out across Egypt to demand an end to the despotic and repressive regime of Hosni Mubarak. The protests were largely organized online, through social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Mubarak quickly realized this, and launched a counterattack: He severed all access to the internet from...

Here’s How Countries Like China, Russia Control Online Dissent

October 5, 2016 In January 2011, protests broke out across Egypt to demand an end to the despotic and repressive regime of Hosni Mubarak. The protests were largely organized online, through social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Mubarak quickly realized this, and launched a counterattack: He severed all access to the internet from...

Easy Questions Computers Are Terrible at Answering

August 2, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The way artificial intelligence is progressing, you might think a robot takeover of the human race is right around the corner. Artificial brains can now drive cars, do legal research, recognize faces and beat the best human players at games like Go. Prominent technologists keep warning AI poses a fundamental...