Dark Patterns


Welcome back, friends. Thank you to all of you that regularly (or irregularly) reach out and say hey each week. I value learning how you’re doing in your worlds.

This week I published the following:

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Being A Dad is Awesome

As the kids get older, we’re able to head out a bit more and go on adventures. What once was a battle to take a walk around the block, might soon lead to a family bike ride.

I’ve been in the market for a mountain bike that I can rebuild…or possibly rebuild my own and ride with the kids. Thankfully, the YouTube algorithms brought me this video and the oldshovel YouTube channel. Think of it as part ASMR, part bike repair. It was just the therapy I needed this week.


Facebook Stopped Employees From Reading An Internal Report About Its Role In The Insurrection. You Can Read It Here.

Facebook Knows It Was Used To Help Incite The Capitol Insurrection.

TLDR of the report:

  • Stop the Steal (StS) grew rapidly after the election as a movement, but Facebook enforcement was piecemeal.
  • Treating StS as a network allowed Facebook to understand coordination in the movement and how harm persisted at the network level. This harm was more than the sum of its parts.
  • Examining the StS network allowed Facebook to observe the growth of Patriot Party.
  • Facebook learned a lot from these cases. They’re building tools and protocols and having policy discussions to help Facebook do this better next time as part of the Disaggregating Networks taskforce.

Taking Action on Dark Patterns

On Thursday, April 29th, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) hosted a workshop on the problem of “dark patterns.”

The concept, little more than a decade old, was coined by user experience designer Harry Brignull in 2010 to describe “deceptive user interfaces.”

At its workshop, the FTC seeks to “explore the ways in which user interfaces can have the effect, intentionally or unintentionally, of obscuring, subverting, or impairing consumer autonomy, decision-making, or choice.”

This Twitter thread by Yael Eisenstat is an excellent review of the questions we should be asking.

For more on dark patterns, review the following video from The Nerdwriter.

Ethical AI? Children’s Rights and Autonomy in Digital Spaces

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to help children thrive in some online spaces. While heavily debated, AI is being used to track down child predators, help eliminate bias in child welfare cases, and even predict which schoolchildren will need extra assistance in the classroom.

But as a new and exponentially growing field, there is potential that this technology, if not used ethically and thoughtfully, might hurt this next generation of children – a generation that is growing up shared in a way adults could have never dreamed of when they came of age even only a decade ago.

On Social Media, American-Style Free Speech Is Dead

Major platforms’ policies aren’t actually inspired by the First Amendment. evelyn douek says that’s a good thing.

In a new article published by the Columbia Law Review, she argues that the pandemic exposed the hollowness of social media platforms’ claims to American-style free speech absolutism.

In this interview she suggests that to recognize that “the First Amendment–inflected approach to online speech governance that dominated the early internet no longer holds. Instead, platforms are now firmly in the business of balancing societal interests.”

How to Be an Antiracist Supervisor: Start with Changing What You Call Yourself

What would we call ourselves if we were not using terms rooted in oppression? What would we do differently?

What would it be like to center health and wellness in our approach to our work with our teams?


GyShiDo – The art of getting your shit done

Thankful to Doug Belshaw for sending this along.

  1. Relentless focus
  2. Single task
  3. Boring consistency
  4. No bullshit
  5. No meetings
  6. Follow up
  7. Don’t be an asshole



I’m increasingly thinking that every functioning system has two forms: The abstraction that outsiders are led to believe, and the reality that insiders actually and carefully operate. You don’t incrementally learn a system. You eventually unlearn its necessary lies.

Dan Kaminsky

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Next on the menu…foolproof cacio e pepe.

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Cover image CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Sheri Edwards

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