Kickoff For January 18, 2021

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Monday Kickoff, a collection of what I’ve found interesting, informative, and insightful on the web over the last seven days.

This week, a set of links on a single topic. That topic? The darker side of technology.

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:

The internet is an angry and capricious god, wherein we learn more about the hollowness of online rage and punishment.

Bot or Not, wherein Brian Justie looks at RECAPTCHA and its relationship to malevolent bots on the internet.

The Cold War Bunker That Became Home to a Dark-Web Empire, wherein we learn how a Dutch internet entrepreneur turned a military installation into a hub for illegal online activity.

When coffee makers are demanding a ransom, you know IoT is screwed, wherein we get another reason why I don’t drink coffee and a demonstration of why we should perhaps consider not making all of our devices and appliances smart.

The Bias in the Machine, wherein we learn how facial recognition system work, and why they so often get it wrong when it comes to gender, age, and ethnicity.

Toxic Internet Culture From East To West, wherein Brett Fujioka examines the origins of, and parallels between, modern online extremism in Japan and the U.S.

Stranger Than Fiction, wherein we learn how an aspiring poet started writing political “news” for The Epoch Times and unwittingly became part of a misinformation machine.

Subscriber City, wherein David A. Banks examines the apps we use in everyday life and how they, and the companies behind them, may ultimately come to administer our access to everything we associate with the freedom of urban life.

How the Awful Stuff Won, wherein Tom Scocca examines how negativity, extremism, lies, and hatred came to dominant the internet in recent years.

And that’s it for this Monday. Come back in seven days for another set of links to start off your week.

Scott Nesbitt