Skip to main content

Brussels, BE

Privacy and IndieWeb advocate. Launched HWC Brussels in 2017.

FR - EN - NL

IT - Python development - Internet Technologies
Media - Politics - Social Sciences
Science - History - Psychology
And lots of other random stuff.

Internet related:
Self-hosting - Privacy - Surveillance Capitalisme - Decentralization - Open Knowledge


Or check-out the links here under.

Nicolas Collignon

Popular social media sites 'harm young people's mental health'

Parents need to moderate their children's use of social media, and explain that what they see on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat etc. is not real life.

Four of the five most popular forms of social media harm young people’s mental health, with Instagram the most damaging, according to research by two health organisations.

Instagram has the most negative impact on young people’s mental wellbeing, a survey of almost 1,500 14- to 24-year-olds found, and the health groups accused it of deepening young people’s feelings of inadequacy and anxiety.

The survey, published on Friday, concluded that Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter are also harmful. Among the five only YouTube was judged to have a positive impact.

The four platforms have a negative effect because they can exacerbate children’s and young people’s body image worries, and worsen bullying, sleep problems and feelings of anxiety, depression and loneliness, the participants said.

The findings follow growing concern among politicians, health bodies, doctors, charities and parents about young people suffering harm as a result of sexting, cyberbullying and social media reinforcing feelings of self-loathing and even the risk of them committing suicide.

To read the full article, click on the title.

Nicolas Collignon

Nicolas Collignon

Can Low-Wage Industries Survive Without Immigrants and Refugees - ProPublica

For decades, the company had largely relied on Mayan immigrants fleeing violence in Guatemala, many of whom were not allowed to work in the United States. Case Farms’ history with the Mayans reveals how U.S. companies subvert immigration laws to take advantage of undocumented immigrants, but it also illustrates a broader — and perhaps underappreciated — truth about the American economy: So much of it depends on a never-ending global scramble for low-skilled labor.


Low-wage industries depend heavily on migrants from the world’s hotspots, secured through refugee programs as well as other means. That reliance has prompted some of the nation’s meatpackers to fear that under Trump the global marketplace may shut down, resulting in labor shortages that, they say, will drive up prices and reduce food supplies. “A legal immigration system that works is the best way to address illegal immigration,” Cargill chief executive David MacLennan wrote recently. “We must not close our minds or our borders.”

To read full article, click on the title.

Nicolas Collignon

Generation spite: is that really how we want our kids to remember us?

Wanting to leave a better world for future generations is a basic desire. Our struggles ought to be final, our political and social battles won, in order that our children will not have to fight them again. And yet the year 2017 sees both them and us agreed on one thing: the next generation will be worse off than their parents.


There used to be a material underpinning to the Protestant work ethic. Labour was how you obtained the means to survive, so the virtues of hard work and discipline were important because they would enable you to obtain these means. Now, work is the end in itself, a performance rather than a contract. Wages are a luxury, and the idea that they should be high enough to live on, let alone save for the future, is apparently hopelessly unrealistic socialism.


As our children grow up over the next couple of decades, do we really want their memory of us to be of a spiteful generation, spitting venom at young people we hold in contempt while systematically destroying the world our parents built for us simply so that they wouldn’t have a chance to live in it? Do we really want them to remember that we hated the idea of their happiness and comfort so much that we clubbed together to strip it away? What a miserable legacy that would be.

Nicolas Collignon

Cambridge Analytica Explained: Data and Elections – Privacy International

To read the actual article, click on the title.

This company's activity shows us why we should be worried about all the data we disseminate in our daily lives, sometimes knowingly, sometimes not.

The main take-away about this, in my opinion: these algorithms can find out information about you that you never gave away, just by analysing the massive data trail you leave behind you at all times by using connected devices and browsing the web. These programs know more about you than you know yourself. And people are willing to profit from that, instead of using the data for good, for a more functional, open, collaborative society.

And this is not a fatality. We could, for example, stop using services that don't respect our privacy, and push forward solutions that do. Alternatives do exist!

Privacy by design should be the rule!

Nicolas Collignon

Tech and the Fake Market tactic

In one generation, the Internet went from opening up new free markets to creating a series of Fake Markets that exploit society, without most media or politicians even noticing.

Nicolas Collignon

Dutch House of Representatives passes dragnet surveillance bill - EDRi

Political expediency, rather than sound legislation that would actually protect citizens, seems to have prevailed.


So what are the bill’s biggest flaws? 
Most importantly, the controversial new law will allow intelligence services to systematically conduct mass surveillance of the internet. The current legal framework allows security agencies to collect data in a targeted fashion. The new law will significantly broaden the agencies’ powers to include bulk data collection. This development clears the way for the interception of the communication of innocent citizens.

This law seriously undermines a core value of our free society, namely that citizens who are not suspected of wrongdoing, ought not to be monitored. Whether it concerns a WhatsApp-message or Skype-call, anything you do online might very well end up in the dragnet cast by the security agencies, provided that your communication falls within the scope of a vaguely defined “research assignment”.

Nicolas Collignon

More than one-third of schoolchildren are homeless in shadow of Silicon Valley

The American Dream!

Tech economy is drawing new inhabitants and businesses but is contributing to dislocation, leaving families, teachers and even principals with housing woes.

The circumstances of the crisis are striking. Little more than a strip of asphalt separates East Palo Alto from tony Palo Alto, with its startups, venture capitalists, Craftsman homes and Whole Foods.

“You used to say you’re on the wrong side of the tracks. Now you’re on the wrong side of the freeway,” said Gloria Hernandez-Goff, the hard-charging superintendent of Ravenswood City school district, which has eight schools and a preschool.

Yet as in the rest of Silicon Valley, the technology economy is drawing new inhabitants and businesses – the Facebook headquarters is within Ravenswood’s catchment area – and contributing to dislocation as well as the tax base.

The Chavez family lost their home after Omar was injured, which prevented him from working – and then faced the area’s exorbitant rent costs. Average one-bedroom rents in East Palo Alto are above $2,200, according to the city, and money is tight for the couple. Adriana earns only $11 an hour at a day care. Their tired-looking RV, with its $1,000 price tag, seemed the most logical option for them and their kids.


Nicolas Collignon

[Infographic] The Left-Right opposition in society

1 min read

A great infographic about the Left-Right dichotomy in society.

Click on the image to see full scale.

Credit: Davdi McCandless & Stefanie Posavec (Dec. 2010)

Nicolas Collignon

Nicolas Collignon

Nicolas Collignon

Trump’s Proposals Won’t Help The White Working Class — Or The Urban Poor

Nicolas Collignon

Nicolas Collignon

Will society be run by lawyers or technicians?

1 min read

An amazing talk about the history of and the future of the Internet, about blockchain and how it's going to change the world we're living in, in a much more powerful way than the Internet did in the last 20 years.

Vinay Gupta at Michel Bauwens & the Promise of the Blockchain from FIBER on Vimeo.

Nicolas Collignon