Weekly Roundup 10.23.2020

Posted in Newsletters

Welcome back to the weekly roundup. GNOVIS has a few events going on next week, so don’t forget to sign up! In other news, AOC got out the vote on Twitch, the long-anticipated Google antitrust lawsuit has been released, and Quibi is no more:    


October 2020 Election Chat: Join GNOVIS Monday October 26, 5-6 PM EST for an update on the 2020 Elections with CCT Professors! Dr. Diana Owen and Dr. Jeanine Turner will brief students on the upcoming election, followed by a Q&A. Register here: https://bit.ly/3nMzrhM

Digital Law and Policy Student Debate: Join us for a Digital Law and Policy Debate Wednesday, October 28, at 7:30 PM EST! Digital Law and Policy Students will debate whether President Trump’s executive order “to protect free speech online” should be fully implemented. Professor Leslie Harris will be moderator, and Professor Meg Jones (CCT) and Professor Jennifer Sturiale (ITLE) will judge! Register here: https://bit.ly/37vJgv7 

About Me: LGBTQ+ Revolution 2.0: Listen to our first podcast of the school year! Eish and Chelsea sit down with LGBTQ+ Revolution 2.0 author and CCT alum Jill Fredenburg. We chat about identity, representation, and how platforms like YouTube and Social Media can be helpful tools for the LGTBQ+ community. 

2020 Election 

AOC’s Debut Twitch Stream is one of the Biggest Ever: Everyone’s favorite extremely online Congresswoman, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), logged on to Twitch earlier this week to play Among Us and encourage users to vote. Her broadcast ranked among the 20 biggest streams ever- let’s hope it translates into votes.  

Tech on the Ballot in November: This week in the CCT game “Good Use of Algorithm or Bad Use of Algorithm”: Proposition 25. On the ballot in CA this election season, is a proposed law to replace cash bail with an algorithm that would, “assign each person accused of a crime an algorithmically generated risk score to determine if he or she should be locked up in jail pending trial.” While on the surface this may seem more fair, CCT-ers know all too well the risk of thinking an algorithm is any less biased than those who made it.


U.S. Accuses Google of Illegally Protecting Monopoly: The DOJ accused Google of throttling competition on search and search advertising by partnering with other tech giants to maintain its monopoly over the market. Not only could this lawsuit permanently change the makeup of Google, but it may signal that the US government is ready to pursue more antitrust lawsuits against other Tech companies in the future. Read the lawsuit here.

What the Google suit may look like if Biden wins: Of course, the Antitrust lawsuit is likely to take months, if not years, which means that a Biden administration may end up taking the reins on the suit. If Biden does take office, his administration will have to decide whether to continue the suit as is, to broaden it, or to settle it. 

Tech Policy

What the FCC can and can’t do to Section 230: The FCC is interested in changing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, but legal experts don’t think it will be quite so easy to change the ruling that has allowed social media platforms to flourish. 

Silicon Valley 

Amazon Fake Reviews Reach Holiday Season Levels During Pandemic: Monitoring service Fakespot Inc. has indicated that about 42% of 720 million Amazon reviews made during the Coronavirus pandemic are false or misleading. Double check those reviews before you order your next COVID project.  

Republican lawmakers are furious after Twitter asks users to read stories before retweeting: House Judiciary Committee republicans are not happy with a new Twitter feature that asks users to fully read articles before retweeting them. Twitter responded with a Tweet, stating, “We’re doing this to encourage everyone to read news articles before Tweeting them regardless of the publication or article…if you want to retweet or quote tweet it, literally just click once more.” 


Meet the NASA Engineer Who Protects Satellites From Cyberthreats: Watch the Vice News video featuring NASA engineer Kenneth Harris II, who is helping keep satellites safe from cyber attacks and hacking in low-earth orbit. 


An Exam Surveillance Company Is Trying to Silence Critics With Lawsuits: Learning Technology Specialist Ian Linkletter is currently being sued by Proctorio, after writing a Twitter thread critical of the exam proctoring software. Exam proctoring software has been met with criticism from students and researchers alike, citing privacy concerns, and software biases against low-income and marginalized students. 


The Dangers of Cynical Sci Fi Stories: Science Fiction writer Cory Doctoroww examines the current state of the genre and argues for stories that move away from the dystopian future that so often appears in sci fi stories. 

Quibi’s crash and burn is a warning to the crowded streaming space: Quibi is no more. It tried its best. However, the crowded market for streaming services may have contributed to Quibi’s demise more than its questionable gimmick. 

New Yorker Suspends Jeffrey Toobin for Masturbating on Zoom Call: “I made an embarrasingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera. I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers,” Toobin said to Vice’s Motherboard.