Simon Willison’s Weblog


Thursday, 19th October 2023

New Default: Underlined Links for Improved Accessibility (GitHub Blog). “By default, links within text blocks on GitHub are now underlined. This ensures links are easily distinguishable from surrounding text.” # 4:19 pm

I’m banned for life from advertising on Meta. Because I teach Python. (via) If accurate, this describes a nightmare scenario of automated decision making.

Reuven recently found he had a permanent ban from advertising on Facebook. They won’t tell him exactly why, and have marked this as a final decision that can never be reviewed.

His best theory (impossible for him to confirm) is that it’s because he tried advertising a course on Python and Pandas a few years ago which was blocked because a dumb algorithm thought he was trading exotic animals!

The worst part? An appeal is no longer possible because relevant data is only retained for 180 days and so all of the related evidence has now been deleted.

Various comments on Hacker News from people familiar with these systems confirm that this story likely holds up. # 2:56 pm

2023 » October