Archive for social media

"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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The New Political Battlefields: Red Meat Base-Baiting Comment Threads

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gop-lies-big
Many of us enjoy the occasional drop into Alternet, they truly do find or write up the unusual with consistent flair and By Golly, there was a gem today.

There is some really serious red-meat base baiting going on out there.

Divisiveness is at an all time high, this surprises no one. We all enjoy a good troll slaying from time to time, and even the Twitterz can get ugly. But here's some slightly more alarming quotes from an article by their Roberto Rodriguez.

please tread on me

The unexpected new locations for hate crime scenes in the 21st century appear to be the comments sections of the nation's leading newspapers, where calls to violence have become routine and through which progressives have decided correcting the record is a waste of their time. ...

One normally associates hate crimes with cross burnings and lynchings or something equally heinous, however, the shocking and unexpected new locations for hate crime scenes in the 21st century appear to be the editorial pages of the nation's leading newspapers ... where calls to violence have also become routine.

don'ttrust

In Arizona, exposure to constant hate is a daily occurrence in the letters to the editor or comments section of media. Within these contexts, communities are subjected to vicious anti-Mexican and anti-immigrant hate disguised as discourse against "illegals," or "illegal aliens." ... Not a few intimate the use of extreme violence. ...

From caretaker: "FOKES THIS IS GOING TO LEAD TO US'' THE PEOPLE PROTECTING OUR COUNTRY OUR SELVES... THERE'S NO CHOICE, THIS IS WHAT OUR FORE FATHERS MEANT IN OUR CONSTITUTION ..."

From Fastfreddy: "Would you rather see the citizens of Arizona use the 2nd amendment as a solution to the illegal problem or rather see the courts try to solve the problem."
Opinion Fact

If this constant badgering and threats of violence involved the daily haranguing of other peoples, for example, Jews, African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, Anglo-Americans or any other identifiable group, it is assumed, per the newspaper's comment guidelines, that they would never make it into these pages. (4) But they inexplicably do and thus, the media, particularly letters to the editor sections, have become what I refer to as hate crime scenes.

hypocrite

Seriously??!! Years ago I had a sock at Stormfront, one of the most hateful places on the above ground internetz or the Undernet … but to see the same brand of xenophobic, racist hate bandied about in places/comment threads my 16 year-old niece stumbles over every day?!

Unacceptable. We have to have some semblance of civilization, here. There have to be adults in the room, adults in the comment threads and adults in the pundit seats.

memewrong
This isn't sports, when the Red Sox lose another shot at the pennant, we wail and moan and curse … then recalibrate for next season.

This is politics. It is real life. I wasn't kidding earlier, it has become blood sport. It will kick you in the gut, the soul and the wallet if you let the apathy win and don't get to the polls and cast your vote, and raise your voice for the right progressive choices.

It's this bad, people. Schismatic is not too embellished a term, Maddow had the right of using it to describe just what the Tea Party hath wrought.

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When Democrats act like right wing trolls

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rant alert

I'm trying my best to follow Doctor's orders, I really am. I'm staying away from the computer for a good part of the day, I write 90% fewer posts than I used to, and when I do write, I concentrate on more upbeat news stories.

However.

For months-- no, make that years-- it's been impossible to escape from the tea party style, trolly behavior of many so-called "Democrats" on Twitter, in TPC Comments, and on Facebook. And yes, many of these people are really, truly left leaning, not conservatives in blue sheep's clothing.

Let's start with this old chestnut: Over the years, I've been called an "EmoProg," which is supposed to be some kind of terrible, poison dart insult, the ultimate slur that can be hurled at you by a fellow Dem. My pal over at FreakOutNation, @Anomaly100, and I have mocked this lunacy by calling our selves MEmos ( adding "me" to "emo" to fake-narcisstically own our apparent evil EmoProgitude).

I've never been quite sure what EmoProg means, but per Urban Dictionary, in part:

Emo Progressive (or "emoprog") is a self-described liberal or progressive, often with libertarian leanings, whose political orientation is to be angry, dissatisfied and unhappy with the state of the nation at any given time, because in their view, liberal policies are not being implemented quickly or forcefully enough. They have particular contempt for Democratic presidents.

Emoprogs are ideological purists who disdain compromise and incremental change, which they see as "selling out" liberal ideas like full employment, an end to all wars, state secrets, and liberal social policy...

Emoprogs have a strong affinity for 3rd party politics as a way to punish Democratic presidents. They are especially hostile to President Obama and deem anyone who expresses a lack of ill will toward him to be "Obamabots" and enemies of liberalism.

I've also been called an "Obamabot," which as you can see is the opposite of an EmoProg, so go figure. That's how utterly inane and infantile these labels are. They're also destructive, damaging to party unity, toxic, and resolve nothing. In fact, for those who claim to be so "inclusive," this kind of name-calling is sure a funny way of displaying their "tolerance" of others.

There can be disagreement within a party without resorting to this kind of immaturity. We share the same goals, ultimately, so zinging hostile labels at political allies, alienating them instead of working together whenever possible, is at best self-defeating.

Next, and I'm putting this in all caps because I want to scream this loudly, and a few words on a page won't suffice:

PLEASE STOP USING THE WORD "RETARD" AND STOP USING "TARD" AS A SUFFIX.

Again, so-called "inclusive" Dems using that word as a slur is utterly counterproductive, very offensive, and plain stupid. Or ignorant. Or both. Even readers/followers I adore use it. Most stop when I explain what I'm about to write next:

I worked with special ed students for years when I taught high school theater classes. I challenge anyone who uses the R Word or suffix to look any of those dear, innocent kids in the eye and say that directly to them or within earshot of them, and then not feel like a total ass as they see the hurt and bewilderment on the sweet faces that stare back.

Are "liberal" vocabularies so limited that no other words are accessible? Words that don't sting? Words that don't devalue people with real feelings who matter and take things to heart just as you and I do? Really?

And finally, there's this: Yesterday I had a very pleasant Twitter exchange with a *gasp!* Republican TV and print commentator who shall remain nameless. In fact, I have a few far right followers who I get along with, but who I never ever discuss politics with. Our conversations are strictly goofy or personal or about movies, TV, dogs, vacations, that kind of thing. But not politics. Our mutual heads would explode if we did that.

In fact, I detest their politics at worst, and strongly disagree with them at best. But we get along, and one extremely conservative pundit in particular was the very first to "be there" for me (privately in Direct Messages) when my dad first became ill and then supported me all the way through to my father's death. I value that in a person, no matter what their beliefs or politics.

After my quippy back and forth with Mr. GOP Commentator, a follower (who I am happy to say I never followed back) called me "self-righteous" and "muted" me because I dared to engage someone who he (and I) vehemently disagreed with about the Affordable Care Act.

Call me EmoProg-- or is it Obamabot?-- but I am able to compartmentalize and remain friendly with people who are kind to me, who enjoy tweet talk now and then, who have a sense of humor, and who give me no reason to block them. If I eventually find them to be offensive or distasteful, I unfollow or block, that is my choice.

But come on, "Dems" or "liberals" or "Progressives" or "Obama supporters" or whoever you are, grow up. Throwing insults out of the blue, initiating convos only to be rude because I occasionally chat with someone whose point of view we both find objectionable is not exactly true to our Big D Democratic values.

In fact, it's more tea party than it is Dem. And that kind of behavior is intolerable.

words matter

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Video Mid Day Distraction- Prank Artist of the Day: Revealing Personal Information from Nearby Social Media Posts

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Via.

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