A talk from EMF 2018 by Matt Carroll
On Friday August 31, 2018 at – in Stage C
News and media outlets on the web are silos of information designed to be taken at face value and are resistant to aggregation and side-by-side analysis because - after all - they're really just vehicles to sell ads.
Where aggregation is available to the average user (usually on social media), news feeds are customized on behalf of the user with algorithms they can't understand or control.
To try and solve this problem for myself, I attempted to aggregate web content via RSS feeds, but found most article bodies are just click-through links and no actual content.
That's why I wrote a RSS/Atom reconstitutor, web scraper and search indexer - to be able to get feeds of news, blogs and reports I could read and analyze without the filter bubble.
But this talk is only a *bit* about that - it's the technical backbone around which we will explore surveillance, news as data, the ethics of advertising, and subverting some hilariously paper thin content protections.
In a talk for all levels of technical ability, I'd like to share the things I learned along the way and encourage everyone to question how they can use their own skills to take back control of information on the web and overcome the status quo.