Weekend reads for October 7-8

Most around the Parliamentary complex in Wellington won't have much time for reading on the weekend, but for the rest of us, here's a few longer reads on economic, political and social matters.

This New York Magazine piece from Max Read asks how can we be assured that Facebook is really safeguarding democracy for us and that it’s not us who need to be safeguarding democracy against Facebook. It's a useful look at some of the issues and the recent history.

ProPublica gives more detail here on how Facebook enabled advertisers to reach anti-semites.

Meanwhile, it turns out the posts made by Russian trolls who used Facebook to reach voters in the US Presidential elections may have been seen hundreds of millions of times, according to fresh research cited by the Washington Post.

This long read in the New York Times on how fake news turned a whole town upside is one of the best pieces I've read in a long time on the role of social media in our time. It is sobering, shocking at times, and just plain fascinating on how human beings interact these days.

In the wake of this week's news about a Queen Street foreign exchange broker, Ping An Finance, being fined $5.3 million for breaching money laundering compliance rules, here's a piece from Bloomberg on how money is still leaking out of China into global property markets is well worth reading.

Have a great weekend.