I teach a series of courses about technology law at UC Berkeley Law. As a Washington attorney, I got to see a lot of denialism in action and thus wrote the Denialists' Deck of Cards. The Deck illustrates how industry groups follow a standard game plan when arguing against consumer protection and other reform.

In case you missed it, here’s a pointer to a recent Times story concerning baked reviews on Amazon and the like. In it, David Streitfeld describes how one company gave rebates to customers in exchange for five star reviews. They even seem to have a claque to address detractors– Even a few grouches could not…

Evgeny Morozov argued in Slate last week that search engines could do more to warn readers about kooks online. Among other things, he cites to a recent article in Vaccine that details the tactics of anti-vaccine denialists. Morozov points to Google’s special treatment of certain searches, such as “ways to die.” Perhaps an alert can…

Via Everything is Terrible.

Everything is Terrible

Denialism fans, you might enjoy the archive of informercials at my favorite website, Everything is Terrible. It’s so much fun to watch all those lame infomercials from the 80s and 90s and realize how little has changed in the marketing world. Okay, back to Chair Dancing.

Writing in the Saturday (how to make it look like you’re rich edition) of the Wall Street Journal, Marisa Acocella Marchetto mentions an expensive, branded drug–Nexium–eight times. She even mentions its slogan (“the purple pill”)! As Mark has written elsewhere, it’s moronic to take Nexium because there are cheaper, efficacious alternatives, such as Prilosec, which…

Those of you who read Mark Zuckerberg’s oped in today’s Washington Post might appreciate my take on how Facebook talks about privacy in tomorrow’s San Francisco Chronicle: The Privacy Machiavellis.

A response is requested from a non-scientist.

Age and Privacy

Media reports teem with stories of young people posting salacious photos online, writing about alcohol-fueled misdeeds on social networking sites, and publicizing other ill-considered escapades that may haunt them in the future. These anecdotes are interpreted as representing a generation-wide shift in attitude toward information privacy. Many commentators therefore claim that young people “are less…

Conservatives and the Census

Naftali Bendavid reports today in the Journal on a problem facing conservatives: how should they assure their supporters, many of whom are suspicious of government activity, to participate in the US Census? After all, the Census sounds suspiciously like something Tiberius would like. But Moses was a fan too. And now Karl Rove is pitching…

Is This Punk?

What is this business about the Broadway opening of Green Day’s American Idiot? Both the Journal and the Times have reported on it, and in the process, defamed an entire genre by describing Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong as a “punk” rocker. This musical, which opened at the Berkeley Rep a few months ago (to…