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Month: August 2019

Gramblr Instagram photo uploader and malware botnot no longer available

Gramblr Instagram photo uploader and malware botnot no longer available

Instagram intentionally makes it very difficult to upload photos from a PC. Instagram wants everything to be smartphone-centric. Many people use a variety of tricks to get around this upload problem including processing photos on their PC or Mac and then transferring them to their phone or tablet for upload using the Instagram app.

Because of this (dumb) limitation of Instagram, users wanted an easy way to upload photos from their PC. A malware company developed Gramblr as an easy way to upload from your PC. Their software was very sophisticated on many levels, one of which was that it secretly viewed Youtube videos behind the scenes each time you upload a photo to Instagram. Their business model was to sell Youtube video views and likes, and to deliver those views through the Gramblr bot net.

As of the summer of 2019, Gramblr has disappeared and their website is gone. The Gramblr botnet has been shut down (or at least no new users will get infected).

Youtube now pseudo fact checking some videos

Youtube now pseudo fact checking some videos

Youtube has begun flagging videos on selected topics and displays a fairly large banner with a quote from Wikipedia – just in case the video does not meet Google’s own definitions of truthiness. Or something. It’s kinda weird since they use Wikipedia – the encyclopedia that anyone can and does edit – as the source of truth.

The Instagram Algorithm in 2019

The Instagram Algorithm in 2019

When you post photos on Instagram, you probably think your followers see your photos and hopefully click Like. But that is not how Instagram works – at all.

Instagram uses an algorithm to determine when your photos are shown, and to whom. Similarly, the algorithm selects what photos you see from your friends.

When you make an initial post, IG “market tests” your post to a subset of your followers. If they interact with the photo, then IG will show it to more people. If interaction is minimal, then your post’s visibility will be drastically cut to the point it is no longer being seen.

Combined with aspects of the secret IG algorithm, your posts may no longer appear on hashtag searches either, rendering your account invisible.

Once the IG algorithm has flagged your account as being, effectively, “low engagement/boring”, the visibility of your posts and your account itself may largely vanish from view.

Twitter is for hostile people to be outraged, Facebook is for the boring and Instagram is for good looking people who live perfect lives (or not really)

Twitter is for hostile people to be outraged, Facebook is for the boring and Instagram is for good looking people who live perfect lives (or not really)

Twitter is for hostile people to be outraged, Facebook is for the boring and Instagram is for the good looking people who live perfect lives (or not really).

The Amazon fires pseudo news panic illustrates how easy it is to throw an election via social media

The Amazon fires pseudo news panic illustrates how easy it is to throw an election via social media

Social media is a frictionless platform for the dissemination of propaganda messaging. Seeing what just took place in the past few days, can you imagine the firepower about to be unleashed during the next national election in the U.S.? The brutal propaganda messaging on social media threatens to take down democracy.

You may now be held responsible for social media posts made by your friends, over which you have no control

You may now be held responsible for social media posts made by your friends, over which you have no control

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol says that if you have social media “friends” who post views opposing the U.S., then you may be denied entry into the U.S. Even though you have nothing to do with the behavior of your friends.

Now might be a good time to prune your friends list of those who are not nice!

“Commentary: Everything You’ve Heard About the Amazon Fires Is Wrong – Tennessee Star”

“Commentary: Everything You’ve Heard About the Amazon Fires Is Wrong – Tennessee Star”

“The international news coverage of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest fires has been a complete disaster. News outlets published inaccurate yet easily verifiable “facts” about the number of fires, declaring the situation “record-breaking” and “unprecedented.” Social media lit up with misleading claims about the loss of planetary oxygen supply…”

Social media is just one big bonfire of idiocy. Thanks to social media, we have only about 30 minutes to save the world from something.

Social media has gone insane over fires in the Amazon area of Brazil, with most posts being wrong

Social media has gone insane over fires in the Amazon area of Brazil, with most posts being wrong

Social media has gone utterly insane about fires in the Amazon region of Brazil-virtually all of them contain false information. NASA points out that over their 15 year satellite-based observing history, the fire situation in the Amazon is average. But the falsehoods have blown up to the point that internationally known politicians are calling for action!

Social media is a bonfire of idiocy.

Should we respond to Portland riots with even more violence?

Should we respond to Portland riots with even more violence?

Portland has become “ground zero” in the use of street violence against those holding views that others disagree with. Right wing hate groups, like Proud Boys, deliberately come to Portland with a goal of instigating violent uprisings. Portland is ground zero for a movement informally referred to as “Antifa”.

Antifa has no specific ideology but believes in the use of violence (vigilante and mob justice) against anyone they disagree with. While this example was about a right wing hate group, Antifa is all over the map in terms of what they do not like, and then applying violence to those targets. Both groups are filled with angry people, consumed by outrage, and not just inflamed by social media propaganda, but using social media as their platform to encourage more conflict, more outrage and more violence. None of these activities are leading to solutions – they lead only to more violence and more outrage.

Social media defined? Miserablism, the philosophy of pessimism and enjoyment of being depressed

Social media defined? Miserablism, the philosophy of pessimism and enjoyment of being depressed

Twitter does not represent the views of the people: it represents the views of a very tiny minority of angry and miserable people (most tweets come from about 2% of the population, a group that seems to very outraged and angry). There is a word for this: it’s miserablism, or the philosophy of pessimism and the enjoyment of being miserable.