Archive for Facebook

"Online privacy is like Taliban science. A fictional concept."

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Another snark-filled guest post by the one, the only Will Durst, who's having a little fun with online privacy in general, and Facebook in particular. Take it away, Will:

DIGITAL CHEESE

Plenty of people had good reason to be in a foul mood back in 2012. The Detroit Tigers. Members of the Romney family. And, after making the acquaintance of a windy lass named Sandy, most of New England. Now, we can add to that list the thousands of suckers who were manipulated by our good friend at Facebook. Although the word they coined- “unfriend,” might fit better here.

Recently it was revealed the social media behemoth filtered the messages of 700,000 users by flooding them with uplifting and/ or depressing posts, then monitoring who got happy and who got sad. “Oh no. Grandma’s bicycle got run over by a garbage truck. Awww. But hey! Watch what happens when this pit bull chews on a kiddie pool.”

They say we agreed to this kind of BS when we signed on, but- come on. Its doubtful even the employees who write them, read those user agreements. Typically, they’re longer than the migratory path of the monarch butterfly, more confusing than Cantonese crosswords and displayed in flea font.

Corporate lawyers didn’t evolve from mud- sucking, bottom- feeders for nothing. They know how to hide all sorts of stuff in that fine print. Wouldn’t be surprised to discover there’s a clause stating that in time of war, they own one of my kidneys. And another that gives them the right to call at any time of night demanding help in moving a body.

Google also admits to running 20,000 experiments on its search results every year and you can bet Twitter, Amazon, Pinterest and Crabgrass.com are doing the same. Probably even Yahoo has scientists using tools calibrated back in the 90s. The 1890s.

Some bloggers claim to be outraged, but anybody not expecting to be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed and numbered is probably a big fan of the tooth fairy and still drinking juice out of a sippy cup, wearing footy pajamas. Online privacy is like Taliban science. A fictional concept.

Think of it as Newton’s Law 3.1. The price we must pay for having the world at our fingertips, is maintaining an equal and opposite availability to everyone else’s fingertips. Some of which are cold and clammy. Especially the Faceless ones with the chromium digits. But we’ve adapted. You don’t hear a lot of noise about folks going back to MySpace. Or Compuserve.

Facebook claims they’re simply trying to create the best environment possible for their petri dish of social contact. And we microbes can expect the research to not only continue, but get more sophisticated. Won’t be long before they are able to predict which of our family members will pass out before Thanksgiving Dinner. Which could come in handy with menu planning.

Our best bet is to nudge them in consumer friendly directions. Don’t they want to know how many people would delete their accounts after all cute cat videos were outlawed? How about a “Bummer” button for deaths, divorces, debacles, disasters and defeats?

The thing is, if Mark Zuckerberg and his ilk are going to use us as lab rats, the least they could do is throw us some minor rewards. When rats finish a maze, aren’t they supposed to get cheese? Hey Zuck, where’s our digital cheese? Make mine Cheddar. Swiss puts me in a bad mood. Ooops. Shouldn’t have said that.

Copyright ©2014, Will Durst. Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to willdurst.com to find about more about the new documentary film “3 Still Standing,” and a calendar guide to personal appearances including his new one- man show “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG,” at the Santa Cruz Fringe Festival July 10- 19. Scfringe.com.

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Gay Defenders Are Wrong This Time

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Gay Vigilantes
Vigilantism is wrong. It doesn't matter what the cause or stand they are acting upon, the commission of any activity driven by revenge or hate cannot be tolerated.

Usually we hear stories of retribution or mob thinking and it's sadly over a cause or belief that means something to us. A group of bullies or toughs take on a weaker opponent. It's most often racially charged, religiously motivated, politically infused, hate driven mob mentality that launches these actions. This story is the same, but a bit different. It's coming from an angle that you usually don't hear about. It's defenders of an underdog. They took it on themselves to become aggressors, and justly, they have to be called out on it.

Sticking up for someone's rights is admirable but only when it doesn't cross the line into lawlessness. The details come from Raw Story.

Four underage teens — three boys and one girl — in Portland, Oregon were arrested on kidnapping and assault charges after they allegedly lured a bully into a shed and tortured him for calling a classmate “gay.”

According to the arrest report, the ring-leader was a 14-year-old boy who was upset that the victim had called another student “gay” on Facebook. The other attackers were similarly perturbed, and believed that their actions would be “an act of revenge.”

KATU TV, in Oregon, has this story and the gruesome details:

Sadly, had these assailants acted in a rational sense, reporting it to authorities, there probably wouldn't have been any action taken. It would most likely have been dismissed as kids just goofing on other kids. But we'll never know. These four attackers committed horrific crimes. No matter their intentions nor the motivations, this was wrong.

Too often the shoe is on the other foot -- just look at Russia and their anti-gay stance. Under the guise of Russian law, civil rights and human rights are being trampled. LGBT citizens are being beaten, humiliated and worse, even killed. But as evil and wrong as that is, so is the flip side of this argument. As a pro LGBT supporter, it's isolated incidents like this that can give ammunition to the very large, anti-gay movement. I hope this isn't a flash point in Oregon, or anywhere else, that ignites into something much bigger and more hateful.

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Video Mid Day Distraction- Real Life Facebook Favorite

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Via.

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Facebook doesn't feel that blatant death threats to Pres. Obama violate their "Community Standards"

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are you kidding me

Yesterday I wrote this up: Please report this Facebook page: "We now have authority to shoot Obama, i.e., to kill him." Here are a few excerpts from that page:

We now have authority to shoot Obama, i.e., to kill him.

The authority to kill Obama comes from the 2nd Amendment of our Constitution.

I would be very surprised, if Obama does not leave Washington DC today (Nov. 19th) ...never to return, if he is not dead within the month.

Open Group   3,755 members

U.P.R.O.A.R. (United Patriots to Restore Our American Republic) is dedicated to empowering our members to TAKE ACTION to RESTORE America to a Constitutional Republic as intended by the ORIGINAL INTENT of the Constitution of the United States of America. The Declaration Of Independence enlightens us to the TRUTH that it is the DUTY of EVERY CITIZEN to throw off the bonds of tyranny and to institute a government that will protect our rights. Inherent in that duty is the responsibility to be EDUCATED citizens that know our rights and understand that in order to ensure the continuation of Liberty Patriots WILL be called on from time to time to do UGLY things to SECURE those rights to the people, where they belong.

Please go to that page and report it, because, despite Facebook's apparent apathy, if enough people show them we're paying attention, maybe that message will eventually get through their thick, corporate, who cares what you guys think skulls.

Here is the response many of us got from Team FacePalmBook today:

Support Dashboard

Here you'll find the status of content you've reported, inquiries or requests you've made, or your content that someone else reported.

We'll let you know if we need any information from you or when we've made a decision.

History:

You reported United Patriots to Restore Our American Republic (UPROAR) for containing credible threat of violence.

Status This group wasn't removed
Details Thank you for taking the time to report something that you feel may violate our Community Standards. Reports like yours are an important part of making Facebook a safe and welcoming environment. We reviewed the group you reported for containing credible threat of violence and found it doesn't violate our Community Standards.Note: If you have an issue with something in the group, be sure to report the content (ex: a photo), not the entire group. That way, your report will be more accurately reviewed.We understand you still may not want to see this group. Here are a few things you can do:
Report Date Yesterday
Owner
Reason Credible Threat of Violence

Give Feedback

Needless to say, I gave them feedback. I reminded them that credible threats to the President of the United States should be taken seriously, and that their security standards are exceedingly low.

I also informed them that in the past 24 hours since I tweeted about this vile site, a huge number of people felt it violated Facebook's (and America's) "Community Standards" so severely that they contacted the Secret Service and the FBI.

This is but one more reason why I detest Facebook and only use it when I must.

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Please report this Facebook page: "We now have authority to shoot Obama, i.e., to kill him."

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stfu plz

fb obama threat page UPROAR

UPDATE: Facebook doesn't feel that blatant death threats to Pres. Obama violate their "Community Standards"

Below is a screen grab of what some wretched extremist of questionable sanity named Everest Wilhelmsen posted on a reprehensible Facebook page (screen grab above) that goes by the name "United Patriots to Restore Our American Republic (UPROAR)":

FB page kill Obama

Excuse me?!

We now have authority to shoot Obama, i.e., to kill him.

The authority to kill Obama comes from the 2nd Amendment of our Constitution.

I would be very surprised, if Obama does not leave Washington DC today (Nov. 19th) ...never to return, if he is not dead within the month.

Looks like a threat to me.

But hey, that's okay with Facebook, but when I included this photo to illustrate one of my posts, I was suspended:

pregnant woman

Way to go, Facebook. As for "UPROAR," here is their "About" description (bolding mine):

U.P.R.O.A.R. (United Patriots to Restore Our American Republic) is dedicated to empowering our members to TAKE ACTION to RESTORE America to a Constitutional Republic as intended by the ORIGINAL INTENT of the Constitution of the United States of America. The Declaration Of Independence enlightens us to the TRUTH that it is the DUTY of EVERY CITIZEN to throw off the bonds of tyranny and to institute a government that will protect our rights. Inherent in that duty is the responsibility to be EDUCATED citizens that know our rights and understand that in order to ensure the continuation of Liberty Patriots WILL be called on from time to time to do UGLY things to SECURE those rights to the people, where they belong.

3,755 members, who apparently believe that they're "EDUCATED." In all CAPS! And who need to get ready, because they may be "called on" to do "UGLY" things, in all CAPS! Because, freedom!

I strongly suggest going to that page and reporting them to Facebook. I've done that.

And it wouldn't be a bad idea to report their content to the Secret Service while you're at it. I've done that in the past, and they've responded immediately and even expressed their gratitude.

This is just one more horrific example of the rampant hate speech and incitement to violence that have crescendo'd since Barack Hussein Obama, our first African American president, ran and then won... twice. It's vile, it's despicable, it's dangerous, and it continues.

H/t: @shnarkles

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The Facebook Picture That Got High School Coach Fired

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Loraine Cook

When I heard this story, I was scratching my head and truthfully, there was an immediate interest to know what kind of picture a person could post on Facebook and find themselves out of work -- fired. Well, you've just seen it. That picture above is all that it took.

Laraine Cook, a former girls' basketball coach at Pocatello High School in Idaho, wasfired from her job in October over a Facebook photo in which her fiance, Tom Harrison, holds her breast. The photo shows Cook and Harrison in bathing suits at a lake. Cook said the photo was snapped during a family vacation in July. As the New York Daily news put it, Harrison, who is a football coach at Pocatello High School, "wasn't flagged for holding," but was "reprimanded" -- short of termination.

Now let's analyze this for a moment. Putting aside the appropriateness of posting such a playful picture, what harm is there for two consenting adults to show some PDA's. (public displays of affection)? Is anyone really going to be irreparably harmed by this photo?

Two teachers, both coaches at the same school as well, are in a seemingly committed, "healthy" relationship. They're engaged. If this picture was skin on skin, they were kissing, would that have been deemed inappropriate? I think not. But this story gets into an area that I can't understand at all. Two people of legal age seem to be involved voluntarily in the same act. So isn't what's right for one, right for the other -- or conversely what's wrong for one is wrong for the other?

Yet here we have two sets of punishments. The male coach gets a reprimand and the female coach gets sh** canned?

Now if you really want a hoot, you've got to hear the opposing side, why she should be fired and why nothing should be done to the guy. And this is from a female attorney. A hint, it's okay to assault someone even from unwanted advances, but it's wrong if the victim posts proof with a picture on Facebook. You gotta see this to believe it.

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What The Hell Is Net Neutrality?

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Net-Neutrality-all-bits

Wired:

Net neutrality is a dead man walking. The execution date isn't set, but it could be days, or months (at best). And since net neutrality is the principle forbidding huge telecommunications companies from treating users, websites, or apps differently — say, by letting some work better than others over their pipes — the dead man walking isn't some abstract or far-removed principle just for wonks: It affects the internet as we all know it.

Okay, so how does that affect me? Are we facing a shutdown or what?

Not a shutdown -- but the Internet super highway is about to erect toll booths.

toll booths

We obviously have net neutrality at the moment. Because of it I don't have to wait longer for one site to download than another. Competition as to the fastest provider, Google, FireFox, Yahoo, AOL -- it's pretty much the same. I have choices, but I don't have to pay more or less to use one over the other.

But for how long?

Not much, if the court goes the way it's leaning. And that's going to mean big changes -- subtle at first, but costly over the long run for we, the consumers. At the same time, it'll ring up obscene profits for the telecoms.

First, this opens the door to fees charged you for data uploads, downloads and speed of access. We had those once and net neutrality pretty much did away with those.

Then let's say you like to visit your favorite site. If they don't pay a fee, it may take longer to download them than another similar site and you might go away to their competition. Or our carriers may instill a surcharge on us to be downloaded at a faster speed or more available to some search engines than others.

This is a real threat. Let's say you like to get your up to the minute sports scores from ESPN.com. They may be deep pocketed enough to pay a large fee not to speed up their delivery, but to slow down full access for other sports reporting outlets by making usury demands for their accessibility and availability.

And don't forget the door this opens to advertising revenues. If you're already tired of the ads embedded in many video clips, how about having to watch one before you can open every one of your emails? Texts. Tweets. Instagrams.

Also, telecom providers will, if this law changes, make it harder for reuse and access to news and information. That might hurt Rand Paul in his speech stealing endeavors, but it also hurts small independents who need to rely on major news gathering outlets to bring you timely and complete stories. Rebroadcast of clips and even some YouTube entries may become impossible.

We're not talking about copyrights, though they are affected. We're talking about the potential for locations like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram and YouTube to charge fees for numbers of tweets sent or received, messages posted or even accessed. They can start institution of levels - The Gold level allows unlimited access while Silver allows less posts or comments and the most costly, ala carte pricing.

be scaredA huge commercial door is about to be opened and it's frightening.

...companies like AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and others declared a war on the internet’s foundational principle: that its networks should be “neutral” and users don’t need anyone’s permission to invent, create, communicate, broadcast, or share online. The neutral and level playing field provided by permissionless innovation has empowered all of us with the freedom to express ourselves and innovate online without having to seek the permission of a remote telecom executive.

But today, that freedom won’t survive much longer if a federal court — the second most powerful court in the nation behind the Supreme Court, the DC Circuit — is set to strike down the nation’s net neutrality law, a rule adopted by the Federal Communications Commission in 2010.

This is something  that we all need to watch. We've been blessed with net neutrality for some time now. And we can't afford to lose it. It's a freedom that should be as dear to us as the first amendment -- freedom of speech.

As we saw with the striking down of the Citizens United case, individuals rights are being trumped by big business and political committees fronting for specific special interests. This could soon hit us all. Our favorite sites could be forced into financial hardship or even worse, extinction.

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