#Facebook bans posting of Declaration of Independence

Really. A small newspaper in Texas was posting excerpts from the Declaration of Independence, leading up to the 4th of July. Until Facebook tagged their posts as offensive hate speech.

Seriously. History, especially the ugly parts, will be removed, just like in George Orwell’s 1984. We don’t need to burn books anymore, as in Farenheit 451. Now we just delete the electronic copies. History, gone in a flash!

Source: Facebook Algorithm Flags, Removes Declaration of Independence Text as Hate Speech – Hit & Run : Reason.com

Part 7: We should all be like Denmark, remember?

Occupy Democrats is an online, social media-based, for profit publisher of emotion laden political propaganda posters targeting those who view themselves as left wing.

In 2016, Occupy Democrats used social media to distribute this propaganda through shares and likes.

Every claim on this widely distributed and shared poster is essentially false – or two that are highly misleading (see links below for excruciating details.)

Note their last item:

SHARE if America should follow their lead!

Occupy Democrats wants the U.S. to be like its fantasized version of Denmark.

The poster, however, left out other attributes of Denmark. For example,

Starting at the age of 1, “ghetto children” must be separated from their families for at least 25 hours a week, not including nap time, for mandatory instruction in “Danish values,” including the traditions of Christmas and Easter, and Danish language. Noncompliance could result in a stoppage of welfare payments. Other Danish citizens are free to choose whether to enroll children in preschool up to the age of six.

Denmark’s government is introducing a new set of laws to regulate life in 25 low-income and heavily Muslim enclaves, saying that if families there do not willingly merge into the country’s mainstream, they should be compelled.

Source: In Denmark, Harsh New Laws for Immigrant ‘Ghettos’ – The New York Times

That sounds as bad as separating immigrant families at the border, as has been done in the U.S. and which Occupy Democrats is strongly opposed to.

Denmark also has the 2nd highest use of anti-depressant medication in the EU, the highest rate of violence against women in the EU, and until recently, one of the highest suicide rates in the world. This in a country said to be the happiest on earth.

The original poster was highly effective propaganda as it appealed to its target audience and works primarily through the propaganda methods of assertion, and lying, with an encouragement to “Get on the Bandwagon”.

This new information about Denmark illustrates how the poster’s propaganda success used “What you see is all there is” psychology – only showing you the attributes they want you to see. This is the method of “cherry picking” or the flip side of that, censorship.

Finally, “Share if…” is a form of “Get on the bandwagon” – because everyone is doing this.

The above poster was one of the most widely shared propaganda posters I saw in 2016, illustrating the incredible power of propaganda messaging to influence people to adopt viewpoints and actions that are not based in truth or logic.

Analysis of the Occupy Democrats Poster

“There is nothing wrong with your social media feed. We are controlling transmission”

A long time ago, in a generation far away from the present, there was a TV show called “The Outer Limits” famous for its opening sequence narration:

There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to – The Outer Limits.

Little did they know then, they were describing the future Facebook and Instagram services which use algorithms to determine what you see in your news feed. Both services control the content you see – imagine the possibilities for propaganda when all you see is what a giant corporation’s secret algorithms choose to show you.

Instagram says it uses three main factors, based on your past actions and behaviors, to determine how to build your feed: Interest: How much Instagram predicts you’ll care about a post, with higher ranking for what matters to you, determined by past behavior on similar content and potentially machine vision analyzing the actual content of the post. Recency: How recently the post was shared, with prioritization for timely posts over weeks-old ones. Relationship: How close you are to the person who shared it, with higher ranking for people you’ve interacted with a lot in the past on Instagram, such as by commenting on their posts or being tagged together in photos.Instagram adds that it also considers the frequency with which you open Instagram, the number of people you follow, and how long you generally spend in the app during each session.

Source: Instagram explains how its feed algorithm works, and says it’s not considering a chronological option | 9to5Mac

George Orwell’s 1984 was not intended as operating instructions for the future, but as a warning.

Sadly, Mark Zuckerberg adopted 1984 as the operating guidelines for Facebook and Instagram.

Twitter is  issuing everyone a social score – just like China!

Twitter will now use thousands of behavioral signals when filtering search, replies, and algorithmic recommendations. If it believes you are trying to game its system, or simply acting like a jerk, it will push your tweets lower down.

Source: Twitter Is Going To Limit The Visibility Of Tweets From People Behaving Badly

Just like China! –> China assigns every citizen a social credit score to identify who is and isn’t trustworthy

The U.S. government will doubtfully ever adopt a China-like “social credit scoring” system but numerous and powerful corporations are choosing to do so.

 

Should professors have more free speech rights than others?

If we engaged in widely publicized hateful or hurtful or vile speech, our employers would likely begin job termination procedures within 24 hours regardless of whether we made such comments in a private capacity or not.

As the NY Times notes, “Speaking Freely About Politics Can Cost You Your Job“. Private sector workers ‘ “…don’t have the right to speak freely in the workplace.” Or even outside it.’ Unlike public sector workers: “… anyone who works for a government office, whether local, state or federal, is for the most part protected by the First Amendment”. In other words, public sector workers have a greater free speech right than do private sector workers (which is most of the workers in the country). This disparity warps public discourse as one very large cohort can be vocal while the other must often remain silent.

Professors and teachers argue their speech is protected by “academic freedom”, which they assert protects them from sanctions (or as seen below, even criticism by others) for engaging in hate speech. They assert they have greater speech rights than the rest of us. Randa Jarrar  says “I will never be fired” because she says, she has tenure:

While she asserts that her tenure gives her absolute freedom of speech, university officials publicly disagreed with her claim. Further views on that from the Washington Post.

A different Fresno State professor argues, in so many words, that objecting to his speech is wrong – while simultaneously condemning the speech of those criticizing him for his comments.  He asserts that due to academic freedom he has greater free speech rights than the rest of us and that he should be exempt from consequences (Read it: Fresno State’s Castro didn’t defend my free speech– from the title, he demands others defend his speech, thereby desiring to control the speech of others.)

The First Amendment restricts the government from passing laws controlling (most) speech; it does not require employers to embrace your speech nor does it prohibit employers for sanctioning you for your speech.  Nor does it prohibit others from condemning your speech and calling for sanctions. The First Amendment does not call upon others to defend your speech.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) says ““Randa Jarrar’s speech is constitutionally protected, and Fresno State cannot, consistent with the First Amendment, discipline her for it”. That protection, however, does not extend to the rest of us, who as noted above, would be quickly fired.

Most expect professors and teachers to engage in civil discourse, based on facts and logic, and to not adopt the methods of propagandists using emotional language, swearing, hurtful and hateful speech, and doxxing a suicide crisis phone line. This is the behavior of middle school students – and not what we expect of professionals.

By creating two classes of free speech – those in a protected class and those who are not in a protected class – we distort public discourse.

For example, in my state all public sector workers are protected by law from retaliation in any form for their political views or activism. Private sector workers in “at will” employment have no protection and can be fired for any reason, including their political views.

This means public sector workers have a greater freedom to influence the political process than do private sector workers, giving public sector workers greater political power than private sector workers. This distorts the public discourse, harming democracy.

This distorted concept of free speech becomes a powerful tool in propaganda messaging. Randa Jarrar used the simple method of Name Calling (Bush is a racist). Academics frequently use the Appeal to Authority argumentative form (or as Jarrar put it, people want to listen to here, she’s a tenured professor and your not) but some also use their unique academic freedom to say what they want knowing that others are gagged. Which is a form of censorship that applies to one class but not the other.

As noted by the NY Times, public sector workers have greater rights to free speech than do private sector workers, giving public sector workers are louder and stronger voice in public policy discussions and activism.

Should some people have a greater right to engage in “free speech” – including hate speech – than others?

Note – my comments have nothing to do with left- versus right-wing, causes, statements or proponents. My comments are about the question of whether some are more entitled to greater free speech rights than others and the effect this has on public discourse. Further, the actions of (presumably) a few faculty tarnish the reputation of the school and diminish the value of degrees earned by students at these schools. How is such nasty discourse helpful to anyone and how does it lead to making lives better?

Shooter accused #Youtube of censoring and de-monitizing her videos

Police were notified about the shooter by her family and met with the shooter overnight Tuesday, before she went on a shooting rampage. After police notified the family they had found her, the family called the police back and notified the police they were worried she was going to engage Youtube. A few hours later, she shot up Youtube.

She said she was “filtered” by Youtube and Instagram. The vegan, anti-animal cruelty activist then attempted to murder many Youtube staff.

Much more here.

There is likely more to this story. “De-monitizing” videos refers to Youtube’s practice of turning off ad revenue to some videos including for unclear reasons. A photographer, posting a “how to” video saw his videos switched to de-monitized status as soon as he uploaded some of them. It would take days to have their status changed so that he could earn ad revenue; for many video producers, the first few days of viewing are the most lucrative. He posted a video showing Youtube demonitizing his video, in real time, immediately after he uploaded one. Numerous Youtube content producers have complained that Youtube is doing something odd and does not provide an explanation for what is occurring.

Youtube has its own social media problems independent of surveillance and propaganda.

Some of the problems could be similar to Facebook’s problem – too many users posting too much content to the point that Youtube is collapsing in on itself. It has been widely reported in the past that Youtube has become a “winner take all” market where a small number of users reap most of the rewards and new Youtubers are cut off, both by the reality of their now being too many content producers, and by Youtube policies that have cut new channels out of revenue opportunities. Youtube makes money off content produced by others, most of whom receive no earnings.

This is undoubtedly a complex story. It is one example of how social media has, unfortunately, driven some to violence (for any number of reasons). Youtube stars have been killed. In February, someone drove from New Mexico to Texas, broke into a home of a Youtube star and unsuccessfully tried to kill him and kidnap his wife. A young European maker of funny videos was “doxxed” by hackers, when her name, address, and names, address and phone numbers of her family were posted online. And many more examples.

EU intends to stop social media-based “fake news”

How they will do that is not clear. A great way to avoid social media-based fake news is to avoid social media 🙂

Brussels is preparing to crack down on social media companies who have been accused of spreading “fake news”, issuing a stark warning that scandals such as the Facebook data leak threaten to “subvert our democratic systems”.

Source: EU plans to crack down on ‘fake news’ in social media

Fake news is some times intended as satire but is also used as a form of propaganda messaging. When shared on social media, fake news stories are an effective form of propaganda, quickly reaching large audiences.

On the other hand, some fake news is legitimate satire from publications like The Onion and The Beaverton.

Microsoft to ban “offensive language” and implies they will censor your emails, if necessary

In a March 1 release, Microsoft is warning customers using Office, Xbox, Skype, and other products that the company is prohibiting offensive language and inappropriate content starting on May 1. “Don’t publicly display or use the Services to share inappropriate content or material (involving, for example, nudity, bestiality, pornography, offensive language, graphic violence, or criminal activity),” Microsoft warns in a portion of their new codes of conduct.

Microsoft also added that the company plans on “investigating” users who are accused of violating the new policy and will block content from being sent to other people. “When investigating alleged violations of these Terms, Microsoft reserves the right to review Your Content in order to resolve the issue,” the new policy states.

Source: Microsoft To Ban ‘Offensive Language’ And Monitor Your Private Account « CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

The implication is that Microsoft will review and censor emails and documents you store in the OneDrive online cloud service.

UPDATE: The actual text of the new privacy agreement reads:

iv. Don’t publicly display or use the Services to share inappropriate content or material (involving, for example, nudity, bestiality, pornography, offensive language, graphic violence, or criminal activity).

This implies that the new policy applies to public posts and public sharing, although it is indeed written in a way that Microsoft could be spying on your private content. But I suspect the intended interpretation is “Don’t publicly (display or use the Services)” where the intent is “publicly” … “use the Services”. The “or” makes it possible to interpret the sentence as merely “use the Services” with the wrong content, suggesting private information.

Proof that #Facebook censored the political posts and ads we saw #DeleteFacebook

Last Friday, I hypothesized that I saw only left wing political propaganda on Facebook in 2016 because Facebook had presumably identified me as “Liberal”. This hypothesis is now confirmed. This political attribute was used by Facebook as a filter – I saw left wing click bait ads, and due to Facebook’s news feed filtering, I only saw left wing propaganda posters shared by “friends”.

As a consequence of that, most of the propaganda posters I evaluated on this blog were left wing posters. I did, at times, search for conservative propaganda to examine (but never could find that much). I was mystified as to why I saw only left wing propaganda while the news media was telling us that all social media propaganda was conservative.

Now we know how this occurred – here is the Facebook description of my politics in a single word:

Facebook was deliberately censoring conservative propaganda so I never saw it- and censoring based on a lie. Also, I do not own a Galaxy S6 and never have. Their data base model is garbage.

I posted my politics on the About page. I took an online survey of issues and policies and the survey concluded I should vote for Bernie Sanders or Rand Paul, with equal measure even though the two are nearly opposites!

Thereafter, the list alternated left/right/left/right down the list, showing that characterizing me as left or right was hardly a useful distinction. In fact, was not then a member of any political party and I had not been a party member for decades. However, in the spring of 2017, I joined my state’s Libertarian Party.

Because of this egregious error by Facebook, and my being perplexed by crazy left wing propaganda posters, I started this blog and ended up mostly analyzing (and demolishing) left wing propaganda posters.

This and so much more that we have learned during the past week illustrates that Facebook’s continued operation is dangerous for the safety of the world. Facebook is nothing more than a pure propaganda operation based on global surveillance. Facebook operated in a reckless manner, tearing our society apart and having no regard for what it was doing. I cannot think of a more vile and disgusting organization than Facebook nor a more vile and disgusting individual than the arrogant, narcissistic lying Mark Zuckerberg.

#Facebook is a friction-less platform for illegal discrimination #DeleteFacebook

Facebook’s ad platform enables discrimination based on age, sex, and race. That means, Facebook enables advertisers to display ads only to say, whites, or only to young job applicants or only display nursing jobs to women. It is a sneaky way for firms to discriminate against groups of people – generally without any risk of being caught because the target selector is secret. Thus minorities never see housing ads targeted at whites and will never know that Facebook is a friction-less platform for illegal discrimination.

Facebook is incredibly ugly and they use the data against you.

In 2016, ProPublica discovered that Facebook’s algorithms allowed advertisers to exclude users based on race when posting housing ads, and as recently as the end of last year the company hadn’t changed that. And Roger McNamee, a high-profile, early investor in Facebook, wrote recently that Facebook is essentially an “unguarded platform” and an ideal target for abuse. He offers as an example a firm that was harvesting data on users interested in Black Lives Matter and selling that data to police departments; Facebook didn’t do anything until the news became public, and essentially slapped the firm on the wrist.

Source: Mark Zuckerberg Is Sorry Your Data Was Stolen and Will Actually Try to Keep It Safe Now

This discriminatory use of Facebook was going on as recently as the past few months. The root cause problem is Zuckerberg.

No one should continue using Facebook.