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Category: Civil Rights

Revisiting an old topic: “How White Supremacists incited panic and fear using social media propaganda at the University of Missouri – Social Panic”

Revisiting an old topic: “How White Supremacists incited panic and fear using social media propaganda at the University of Missouri – Social Panic”

Back in 2016, fake social media posts from fake social media accounts were used to incite fear and hysteria, with attempts to start riots. I documented this in detail back in 2016.

Today we again have fake social media posts being used to incite violence, looting, arson and anarchy – none of which leads to productive solutions to bona fide injustices and societal problems. Social media is playing a central role in this non-productive destruction of our society – and is not providing a platform for problem resolution.

Privacy: Tech companies make it very difficult for consumers to review and delete collected data

Privacy: Tech companies make it very difficult for consumers to review and delete collected data

California’s new privacy law permits consumers to request access to and the deletion of data collected by businesses. To comply with the law, many companies are accused of designing consumer facing user interfaces that are near impossible to use. Some are so bad that consumers have gained access to other’s private data.

Privacy: Clearview AI has scraped 3 billion face photos from the Internet, mostly from social media

Privacy: Clearview AI has scraped 3 billion face photos from the Internet, mostly from social media

The photos of all of us have been amassed to create a massive database. A photo of our face can be submitted and it will identify the person (claimed 99% accuracy) and return information about each of us and all photos of us they have found online, even back to when we were kids. They scraped all of our photos from – social media posts. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more – possibly even personal web sites. If your photo is on social media, you are in their database. There is no way to request removal, even if the photo is of a child whose information is protected by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

Social media: 2 years ago, Google shut down the blog, email and all services of a prominent statistician

Social media: 2 years ago, Google shut down the blog, email and all services of a prominent statistician

In 2017, without warning or recourse, Google shut down all services associated with Salil Mehta, a professor of statistics, editor of a statistics journal, author of a best selling book on statistics, a former Obama administration official and later, a polling statistics adviser to the Trump campaign. His offense? He ran a blog about mathematics! Google, Facebook and Twitter have become the totalitarian governments of the 21st century, stifling speech their algorithms choose to flag. Unlike us peons, Mehta is well connected and a huge outcry caused Google to reinstate his account.

Privacy: Electronic devices being searched to determine what you do online

Privacy: Electronic devices being searched to determine what you do online

Egyptian authorities are now stopping people at random on the streets and searching their electronic devices including phones, tablets and computers to check their social media posts for “dissent” and to check one’s contacts. The U.S. already uses this option for some of those entering the United States, including searching or seizing the electronic devices of U.S. citizens.

Journalism: How the media reports on murders of the transgendered – and how it conflicts with the data

Journalism: How the media reports on murders of the transgendered – and how it conflicts with the data

There are many news reports about a growing “epidemic” of transgender murders in the United States. However, the data show a nearly constant trend line from 2015 to 2019. Further, the transgender murder rate, based on the data, is 1/4th to 1/2 that of the overall U.S. population. (It is possible that the underlying data is poor, which the Human Rights Campaign hypothesizes – but news reports calling out an epidemic in the absence of data to support that are not even pseudo news reporting – they are creative fiction writing.)

All murders are wrong, period. Violence and hate are wrong, period.

This post is about news reporting, not the transgender community.