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Category: Business

Yet another in the endless, shared, fake (or modified) memes on Facebook

Yet another in the endless, shared, fake (or modified) memes on Facebook

This item was shared into my FB feed today, claiming these two were killed in Afghanistan in June of 2019. In fact, the photo is copyrighted with all rights reserved, and is from 2011. The purpose is to emotionally hook viewers into sharing it, thereby getting exposure for their online business. The page appears to be maintained in Kosovo, and their organization’s address for their Pet Cemetery in New York City is that of a college student housing dormitory.

Twitter may be in trouble for privacy violations

Twitter may be in trouble for privacy violations

Twitter has been leaking personal information to 3rd parties for a year. Twitter has also been making “inferences” or assumptions about each of us to aid in targeted advertising. In my own case, Twitter and Facebook have both made false inferences – yet they use these false assumptions to target ads – and presumably to curate our news feeds. We only see what Twitter and Facebook wants us to see – which is literally machine driven propaganda.

Spam News?: “Final hours for big price cuts on nearly every Amazon device”

Spam News?: “Final hours for big price cuts on nearly every Amazon device”

When “news” services run “news stories” containing a lengthy list of Amazon Prime Day specials and links to Amazon, is this news? No, its apparently turning “news” into “spam”. It’s possible that “news” is now being funded by affiliate links embedded in stories (very likely), but what ever this is – its not news!

Product and book counterfeiters run wild on Amazon

Product and book counterfeiters run wild on Amazon

The NY Times (presented here via the Seattle Times) reports that counterfeit products run rampant on the Amazon.com web site. This is especially difficult for book authors whose works can takes months or years to create, but which are copied or scanned, re-titled and re-published under fake author names and fake publishers. Coupled with fake product reviews, counterfeits can end up stealing substantial revenue from those who wrote the books. I had one of my own books sold by counterfeit publishers on Amazon.com too.

Updated: How airlines use intimidation to persuade you to spend more money

Updated: How airlines use intimidation to persuade you to spend more money

Six months ago, I wrote about airlines’ new policies of dividing cabins into as many as 9 different tiers or classes of customers, creating a sense of peer pressure between the haves and have-nots. Now, researchers say this passenger hierarchy appears to lead to more in flight aggression by passengers.

Academic research finds that targeted ads, based on online dossiers of everyone, do not actually work

Academic research finds that targeted ads, based on online dossiers of everyone, do not actually work

The business model of the Internet is spying. Supposedly, by knowing everything about everyone, marketers selling products, services and political B.S., can target their ad (aka propaganda) messages precisely to each individual. An academic study finds these targeted ad do not work well and do not deliver a value commiserate with their higher price.

CrossFit abandons Facebook, Instagram, blasts FB as “utopian socialists”

CrossFit abandons Facebook, Instagram, blasts FB as “utopian socialists”

CrossFit abandons Facebook due their privacy problems, security problems and that FB randomly and without warning deletes legitimate accounts and groups with millions of followers. Keep this in mind if you believe there is no “slippery slope” in what FB is doing to public discourse, positive and negative.

Academic study finds Google refers news searches to small selection of news publishers, and favors left leaning over right leaning outlets

Academic study finds Google refers news searches to small selection of news publishers, and favors left leaning over right leaning outlets

An academic study finds that Google steers news searches towards articles in left leaning publications versus to similar stories in right leaning publications. This is another post in our series about the influence that publishers and corporations (including social media) exert on public opinion.

Amazon blocked ads with ‘religious content’

Amazon blocked ads with ‘religious content’

Amazon, for some time, blocked advertisers from running ads that were said to contain “religious content”. This included gifts and clothing items with “biblical quotes and religious language”. Amazon has now announced this was done in error. This is another in our series of how large publishers and corporations use their online dominance to control online speech and thought.

Los Angeles Times says”Forget free speech”

Los Angeles Times says”Forget free speech”

Facebook bans those who appear to engage in hate speech or promoting acts of violence, and says it will ban those who may, in turn, make supportive comments about those who have been banned.

Social media companies want to act like an edited publication that is liable for its content while simultaneously saying they are like the telephone company which is not liable for the content carried over their network. Social media companies promote net neutrality to require third party Internet networks to carry their content unimpeded – while social media company’s simultaneously disable other people’s contents. This is a challenging problem.