Browsed by
Month: November 2017

Twitter to judge users’ “offline behavior”

Twitter to judge users’ “offline behavior”

Not certain what this means – Twitter says it will start judging “verified” Twitter users on the basis of their “offline behavior”. The metrics and rules concerning this are not available to the public. It does seem that technology companies are turning into a global censor. Source  

And now for the rest of the story …

And now for the rest of the story …

Source: Seattle hits record high for income inequality, now rivals San Francisco The data presented in the article is correct. But it leaves out critical information for understanding what this means overall, or even if it means what it purports to mean. Almost 20 years ago in a graduate economics course we learned that the “static” view of income at an instant in time is not a full picture. Not surprisingly, incomes change over time, often by a lot. Consider…

Read More Read More

No, the “OK” Gesture Is Not a Hate Symbol

No, the “OK” Gesture Is Not a Hate Symbol

Has the simple thumb-and-forefinger “OK” hand gesture become a white supremacist hand sign? Source: No, the “OK” Gesture Is Not a Hate Symbol says the Anti-Defamation League. Another day, another Internet meme – this time claiming that people making a popular “Ok” symbol with their thumb and index finger are actually expressing a symbol for “white power”. This in turn has been used to publicly accuse people who display the “ok” symbol as clandestinely flashing a white power symbol. All thanks…

Read More Read More

Measuring effectiveness of propaganda campaigns: How unpopular is the Obamacare individual mandate?

Measuring effectiveness of propaganda campaigns: How unpopular is the Obamacare individual mandate?

Previously, this blog pointed out that public opinion polls are primarily a measure of the effectiveness of propaganda. Routinely, members of the public are asked to have an opinion on subjects about which they likely know little and what they do know was disseminated to them through a variety of propaganda methods and channels. The following item illustrates this well. Trump said the individual mandate is “highly unpopular.” As recently as February 2017, a YouGov poll found that 65 percent…

Read More Read More

Washington Post, Miami Herald, CBS, Vox, Buzzfeed sourced stories from Russian social media propaganda

Washington Post, Miami Herald, CBS, Vox, Buzzfeed sourced stories from Russian social media propaganda

Major US “news” publishers cited tweets now known to originate from propagandists in Russia as the source for their reporting. As you know, social media is always a reliable source for your news reports. Not. A legitimate question is why do all media now source content from unverifiable social media? From the Washington Post to the local TV news – all of them do this routinely. The mass media that relies on social media becomes a conduit in the propaganda…

Read More Read More

Many online product review sites are paid by the company whose products they review

Many online product review sites are paid by the company whose products they review

[I wrote this item in October but never published it. In light of the news about TripAdvisor.com deleting and censoring negative reviews, this item is now relevant. While this post is about mattress reviews, the same principle is at work with TripAdvisor – that is, the review site receives a sales commission for sending a sale to the vendor.] The following link goes to a very long story about online mattress reviews. The short summary is that many mattress companies…

Read More Read More

Facebook Ad scheme looks much like a fake news publishing model

Facebook Ad scheme looks much like a fake news publishing model

The more we learn about the ads linked variously to parties in Russia, the more they look like online, social media-based, for profit, fake news publishers: The Facebook ads placed by a Russian troll farm and released on Wednesday by the U.S. Congress Intelligence Committee show that the Russian propaganda campaign of 2016 didn’t favor either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Instead, it mocked and goaded America, holding up a distorted but, in the final analysis, remarkably accurate mirror. …….

Read More Read More

Hackers and propagandists in Russia had worldwide targets, not just the U.S.

Hackers and propagandists in Russia had worldwide targets, not just the U.S.

Source: Russia hackers had targets worldwide, beyond US election | The Seattle Times When this story blew up in the fall of 2016, I turned to my server log files and noted my WordPress blogs of no importance were receiving hack attempts every day from locations all over the world. There were hack attempts from Russia. And Poland, Canada, China, Taiwan, Israel, Turkey and a large number from the United States. Any of the hack attempts could have been relayed…

Read More Read More

Avoid TripAdvisor.com? Online reviews were censored, worked as propaganda

Avoid TripAdvisor.com? Online reviews were censored, worked as propaganda

Update: TripAdvisor claimed to have apologized about deleting negative reviews but it turns out they lied about their apology: They had not apologized to the victim. One Senator is requesting the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to investigate TripAdvisor over their use of false reviews. TripAdvisor’s stock price fell this week from about $40/share to $31/share and one analyst is forecasting a $28/share price. In August, several analysts had forecast $44-$47 share prices for TRIP.   As noted previously, online reviews…

Read More Read More

Zuckerberg says Facebook is open to social media laws regarding foreign interference

Zuckerberg says Facebook is open to social media laws regarding foreign interference

“I’ve expressed how upset I am that the Russians tried to use our tools to sow mistrust,” he said. “What they did is wrong and we are not going to stand for it. For those who have followed Facebook you know that when we set our minds to something, we’re going to do it.” Source: Zuckerberg Is ‘Dead Serious’ About Russia, Open to Legislation – Bloomberg Unfortunately, as documented on this blog, there is extensive creation and distribution of fake…

Read More Read More