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.
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.
The European Court of Justice (EU’s equivalent to the US Supreme Court) rules that social media platforms can be ordered to remove defamatory speech, world wide. In other words, individual nations can enforce their speech restrictions, globally.
Numerous common terms, even commonly used numbers, are now considered symbols of hate, per the newly updated official list of hate symbols from the ADL.
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.
Interesting and well stated comments on the power of large tech companies to control our democracy as most public discourse now takes place via online forums.
Facebook routinely spies on and collects detailed information from Android apps, even on people who do not have a Facebook account. The level of detail of the information collected is trace-able to individuals. About 90% of Android apps contain Google trackers.
Facebook, in spite of all its
public lies public comments about privacy, was giving away our personal data including access to private messages to big tech companies like Bing, Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, and Yahoo.
Log in to Instagram in a browser. Click on your profile icon at upper right. Click on the round, slightly gear shaped icon next to your channel name and “Edit Profile” button. Click on Privacy and Security option on the pop up menu. Page down and click on View Account Data. Here you can see that they record – forever – any current and former phone numbers and email addresses you have provided. They also record – forever – any…
Google’s Android OS is specifically designed as a surveillance tool, to collect invasive and detailed personal information about all Android users, globally. Researchers show that an idle Android phone, left on, reports location data to Google 14 times per hour. If you use the phone, Google acquires even more data. Google also correlates your Android data with your web surfing using its advertising networks – even “anonymous” data is correlated with actual individuals.