Jack Dorsey Has This US$400 Cryptocurrency Blockclock. Maybe You Need One Too
Just over a week ago, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey—along with Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai—testified in front of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce during a hearing entitled "Disinformation Nation: Social Media's Role in Promoting Extremism and Misinformation." During the session, the three Silicon Valley heavyweights addressed a broad spectrum of concerns in the information space, as well as strategies and innovations each organisation has been taking towards more transparency and balance.
"Every day Twitter grapples with complex considerations on how to address extremism and misinformation," Dorsey said in his testimonial. "How do we prevent harm, while also safeguarding free expression and the right of diverse individuals to express a range of views? How do we develop policies that can be built at scale and adapt rapidly, especially given diverse regulatory models around the world? What role should our company play in determining these pivotal questions? What information should we rely on when making decisions? How do we earn the trust of those who use our service?
"These are even harder questions in an increasingly polarised world, which has consequently heightened concerns about information sources," he said. "Quite simply, a trust deficit has been building over the last several years, and it has created uncertainty—here in the United States and globally. That deficit does not just impact the companies sitting at the table today but exists across the information ecosystem and, indeed, across many of our institutions."
The hearing was fascinating to anyone interested in digital media and communications, one of the most pressing concerns facing the global community today.
While Dorsey was speaking, however, some viewers noticed a retro-looking clock-like thing that appeared to be showing seemingly random strings of numbers, changing every few moments, on the counter behind him. Turns out that while the device looked old-fashioned, it's anything but. Say hello to the Blockclock, a Bitcoin art piece created by Coinkite. The "clock" is hooked up to a Wifi network and, throughout the day, tracks prices from cryptocurrency exchanges, displays blocks as they are published by miners, and can display an investor's balance, as well as other information.
Available on a made-to-order basis for US$400 through Coinkit's website, the Blockclock is just the latest lowkey flex Bitcoin investors can buy to have casually hanging around the home or office. Oh, that old thing? Just tracking my Bitcoin billions.
Meanwhile, Zuckerberg's testimony in front of the House Committee opened with condolences to the families of the Capitol officers who lost their lives during the attempted coup in Washington, DC, on January 6. Since the 2016 election in the United States, Facebook has borne the brunt of public outrage in conversations surrounding the auditing and circulation of political information on the internet.
"It’s important to note that the vast majority of what people see on Facebook is neither political nor hateful," Zuckerberg said in his testimony. "Political posts make up only about 6 percent of what people in the United States see in their News Feed, and the prevalence of hateful content people see on our service is less than 0.08 percent.
"While we work hard to prevent abuse of our platform, conversations online will always reflect the conversations taking place in living rooms, on television, and in text messages and phone calls across the country. Our society is deeply divided, and we see that on our services too.
"We are committed to keeping people safe on our services and to protecting free expression, and we work hard to set and enforce policies that meet those goals. We will continue to invest extraordinary resources into content moderation, enforcement, and transparency."
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