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Month: October 2017

Facebook confirms it is a platform for the friction-less spread of propaganda

Facebook confirms it is a platform for the friction-less spread of propaganda

Emphasis added: Facebook said Russia-backed operatives published about 80,000 posts that were delivered to approximately 29 million people on the social network during a two-year period, CBS News reported Monday, citing a source familiar with Facebook’s planned testimony. The posts may have spread to three times that many people after they were shared, liked and followed by Facebook users. Source: Facebook: Russian-backed posts reached 126M during election – CNET I am amused that the many (but not all) of the…

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The problem with censoring speech is … who gets to be the censor?

The problem with censoring speech is … who gets to be the censor?

Who gets to be the censor? Crazily, Americans say they favor free speech and censorship! … the survey also found Americans willing to censor, regulate, or punish a wide variety of speech and expression they personally find offensive: 51% of staunch liberals say it’s “morally acceptable” to punch Nazis. 53% of Republicans favor stripping U.S. citizenship from people who burn the American flag. 51% of Democrats support a law that requires Americans use transgender people’s preferred gender pronouns. 65% of…

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Users denied access to their own Google Docs for “violating terms of service”

Users denied access to their own Google Docs for “violating terms of service”

Even if the error turns out to be a technical glitch, the fact that Google is capable of identifying “bad” Google Docs at all is a reminder: Much of what you upload, receive or type to Google is monitored. While many people may be aware that Gmail scans your emails — for instance, so that its smart-reply feature can figure out what responses to suggest — this policy extends to other Google products, too. Source: Google Docs ‘terms of service…

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How ‘Obamacare’ propaganda works

How ‘Obamacare’ propaganda works

ObamaCare propaganda is simple and not at all sophisticated. Like almost all ObamaCare news stories, the article linked below discusses benefits only – and never, ever mentions that half the market receives no subsidies and never, ever mentions an actual cost per month for people paying for health insurance. Did you know that some have ACA annual premiums as high as $49,000 per year for a basic Silver plan? Yes, seriously. Read on to learn more. And how the media…

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Faceback ads reach 4 out of every 3 teens in the U.S.!

Faceback ads reach 4 out of every 3 teens in the U.S.!

Facebook ads also reach 12 out of every 7 young adults in the U.S.! Facebook makes up their advertising reach numbers: According to Facebook, there are 41 million adults between the ages of 18 and 24. However, according to data from the U.S. census, there are just 31 million. Facebook also says there are 60 million between the ages of 25 and 34, while the U.S. census puts its estimate at just 35 million. Source: Facebook Claims It Reaches More…

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Facebook hides posts from pages you follow but it’s only a test, they say

Facebook hides posts from pages you follow but it’s only a test, they say

Facebook Explore Feed is rolling out globally this week. Most people around the world can see it in their bookmarks and they can discover new content here. But in Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Bolivia, Guatemala and Cambodia it works differently: all posts by pages are moved from newsfeed to Explore Feed. In main newsfeed are now just friend and sponsored posts. Yes, you log into Facebook and you can see only posts from your friends and ads. You have to…

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Did an Iranian immigrant start California fires? NO.

Did an Iranian immigrant start California fires? NO.

This fake news nonsense came through my Twitter feed today. The story traces back to this fake news web site. Source: Fact check: Did Illegal Muslim From Iran Started California Wildfire – ayupp Answer: NO, the entire story is fake. Note that this item has been shared 471 times and liked 330 times on Twitter. Of the 105 comments, very few pointed out that its a fake news story. The photo, which is easy to cross check, is of a…

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Disney’s “secret army” of Moms spread Disney promotional propaganda #marketing #astroturf

Disney’s “secret army” of Moms spread Disney promotional propaganda #marketing #astroturf

Disney has a secret army of mothers who flood the internet with Disney propaganda While this sounds like a big deal and “secret” and what not, it is just “astro turf” public relations. “Grassroots” organizing is when a group of people supposedly come together to promote something (often political or government policy related). The idea is that it is a movement that arose from the people. In reality, nearly all “grassroots” movements today are “astro turf” operations, carefully orchestrated and…

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Crime is worse than ever – except not really! #crime #media

Crime is worse than ever – except not really! #crime #media

Most of us believe crime is getting worse. How often do we see yet another news report about car prowling, a break in, or especially, a violent crime? Probably every single day. Many TV news casts lead with murders and mayhem, followed by fires and auto crashes. What effect do you think this has on how you view the world? Pew Research took a look at the data and found that “public perceptions about crime in the U.S. often don’t…

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More on how social media “negativity” harms us all

More on how social media “negativity” harms us all

Highlighting the work of social psychologist Roy Baumeister, Seppälä points out that our brain’s “tendency to give more weight to the negative may have helped our species survive by highlighting potential dangers.” “However, in this day and age, our negativity bias, both as it relates to the environment and to our self-judgments, is harmful,” she writes. Source: Psychologist says this mindset makes you happier and successful Attributes of social media – especially the angry, negative posts – may be overloading…

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Teen anxiety problems driven by social media?

Teen anxiety problems driven by social media?

Teens are said to be suffering from anxiety, more so than in the past. No one cause is identified but social media is called out: “When I asked Eken about other common sources of worry among highly anxious kids, she didn’t hesitate: social media. Anxious teenagers from all backgrounds are relentlessly comparing themselves with their peers, she said, and the results are almost uniformly distressing. Anxious kids certainly existed before Instagram, but many of the parents I spoke to worried…

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“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you” – Joseph Heller

“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you” – Joseph Heller

Here are the set of advertising trackers used by a local newspaper that is part of the USA Today Network, owned by Gannett Communications, the largest newspaper publisher in the U.S. 65 of them on a single page! Separately, I paged down through my Twitter feed and after a few pages, a total of 119 trackers were blocked – so far. If I continued paging through the feed, even more trackers were blocked. Trackers could be used merely to determine…

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Google AdWords put fake news ads on fact-checking web sites

Google AdWords put fake news ads on fact-checking web sites

Funny – Google’s Adwords system has been placing “fake news” ads on web sites like Snopes.com that do fact checking about, often enough, fake news. Source: Google reportedly put fake news ads on fact-checking sites – CNET Most professional media sites run fake news advertising right alongside the legitimate stories and advertising. Obviously, they do it to generate revenue but lumping fake news with real news seems a bad choice. Especially if you miss the small, greyed out  “Sponsored content”…

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“Violence towards cops skyrocketed in 2016”? Or How to create an inflammatory headline?

“Violence towards cops skyrocketed in 2016”? Or How to create an inflammatory headline?

Newsweek “Violence towards cops skyrocketed in 2016 and whites are mostly responsible” “More cops were killed in the line of duty last year than in any year since 2011, leading many, including some in the FBI, to falsely connect the increase in violence with the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. “ Chart of officer deaths from 2017 to 2016: Data in the chart is from the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund The Newsweek report correctly cites the “felonious assault” number,…

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