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.

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.

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 faculty, 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 everyone’s lives better?

#Facebook ad sales team told politicians that FB can “hand them the election” #DeleteFacebook

Until literally a few days before, this entire ad sales team at Facebook was literally telling every politician with any budget that Facebook can actually hand them the election. It is incredibly disingenuous and strange for an exec to get up and say that there’s no way Facebook could have potentially impacted the election.

Source: Antonio Garcia Martinez, former Facebook Employee Interview

One of many Zuckerberg lies. It blew my mind when when the CEO of an advertising company (FB) said they had no influence on the election. In other words, advertising on the Facebook network does not work?

#Facebook used to brag about its ability to influence elections #DeleteFacebook

Facebook’s website had an entire section devoted to touting the “success stories” of political campaigns that used the social network to influence electoral outcomes. That page, however, is now gone, even as the 2018 congressional primaries get underway.

Source: Facebook Quietly Hid Webpages Bragging of Ability to Influence Elections

#Facebook Uses AI to predict your future thoughts and actions, in order to control you #DeleteFacebook #Zuckerberg

Facebook is all about mind control, using what it knows about you – or what its algorithms think they know about you – to manipulate your actions:

Instead of merely offering advertisers the ability to target people based on demographics and consumer preferences, Facebook instead offers the ability to target them based on how they will behave, what they will buy, and what they will think. These capabilities are the fruits of a self-improving, artificial intelligence-powered prediction engine, first unveiled by Facebook in 2016 and dubbed “FBLearner Flow.”

Source: Facebook Uses Artificial Intelligence to Predict Your Future Actions for Advertisers, Says Confidential Document

Facebook is dangerous for everyone to be using.

#Facebook is a platform for mind control #DeleteFacebook #Zuckerberg

Perhaps at some point in the past few years you’ve told Facebook that you like, say, Kim Kardashian West.

….

What you probably missed is that researchers had figured out how to tie your interest in Ms. Kardashian West to certain personality traits, such as how extroverted you are (very), how conscientious (more than most) and how open-minded (only somewhat). And when your fondness for Ms. Kardashian West is combined with other interests you’ve indicated on Facebook, researchers believe their algorithms can predict the nuances of your political views with better accuracy than your loved ones.

Facebook creates a detailed psychological profile of you, to determine your weaknesses, vulnerabilities and key times to “see you something” via advertising or propaganda messaging. “Something” may be a product, a service or someone’s ideology.

More on this in the next post.

Why #Facebook is doomed to collapse #DeleteFacebook

  • The more time we have been on Facebook, the more we share.
  • The more time we spend on Facebook, the more friends we have.
  • Over time, each of us shares more posts to an ever expanding group of friends leading to “post overload”.
  • Facebook’s model of gaining friends and sharing more – collapses on itself due to the noise level.
  • Facebook tried to solve that by filtering our “news feed” to what it thinks is important but filters out many things we want to see, thereby ruining the user experience of why we used Facebook.
  • Facebook’s model of having more friends, sharing more things ends up collapsing on to itself.
  • Throw in third parties spreading fake news and propaganda and the noise level climbs off the charts.

That, in turn, takes us to the tragedy of the commons – we’re ‘supposed’ to post stuff, but by posting stuff, we overload each other’s feeds. Facebook’s Growth team was too good at its job.

50% of Facebook’s engineering effort goes into stuffing more noise into the newsfeed, and the other 50% into working out ways to filter it — Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans) March 7, 2013

Source: The death of the newsfeed — Benedict Evans

Good bye Facebook. Good bye.

Computer algorithms that analyze #Facebook “Likes” understand your thinking better than your spouse #DeleteFacebook #Privacy

Facebook (and Youtube and Twitter) have conducted a global experiment on human populations without consent of the guinea pigs by analyzing our “Likes”.

Facebook’s digital model of us is more accurate than our own understanding of ourselves.

Computers need evaluate as few as 100 Likes to make a judgement more effective than a human. Analyzing just 300 Likes enables the model to know more about the subject than does the subject’s spouse. Computer models achieve “peak” accuracy when more than 500 Likes are observed.

We show that (i) computer predictions based on a generic digital footprint (Facebook Likes) are more accurate (r = 0.56) than those made by the participants’ Facebook friends using a personality questionnaire (r = 0.49); (ii) computer models show higher interjudge agreement; and (iii) computer personality judgments have higher external validity when predicting life outcomes such as substance use, political attitudes, and physical health; for some outcomes, they even outperform the self-rated personality scores. Computers outpacing humans in personality judgment presents significant opportunities and challenges in the areas of psychological assessment, marketing, and privacy.

Given the variety of objects, subjects, brands, and people that can be liked and the number of Facebook users (>1.3 billion), Likes represent one of the most generic kinds of digital footprint. For instance, liking a brand or a product offers a proxy for consumer preferences and purchasing behavior; music-related Likes reveal music taste; and liked websites allow for approximating web browsing behavior. Consequently, Like-based models offer a good proxy of what could be achieved based on a wide range of other digital footprints such as web browsing logs, web search queries, or purchase records

Reference

Youyou, W., Kosinski, M., Stillwell, D. (2015). “Computer-based personality judgements are more accurate than those made by humans”. PNAS. January 27, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1418680112 Retrieved from: http://www.pnas.org/content/112/4/1036 on April 3, 2018.

Likes are the Secret Sauce of Social Media Surveillance

“Likes” are the secret sauce. We give Likes out of kindness and believing we may have been thoughtful towards a “Friend”. We give Likes, sometimes as a form of “bookmark” so we can find something later, by reviewing our Likes. The entire process was conceived as a form of mind control, to cause us to reveal our thought processes and patterns.

We now know – never, ever click Like on Facebook or Youtube or Twitter and never click +1 on Google platforms. It is unclear what is collected by Instagram and how Likes are evaluated on that platform but it is presumed that Instagram (aka Facebook) ties photo Likes to the image tags used in photo descriptions.

These platforms have created a psychological profile of every user. The analysis includes not only our Likes, but our Group memberships, our self selected Interests (Page Likes, especially), our self provided background such as education or religious interests, an analysis of our text, analysis of our online web site visits (Facebook and Google both track our web site visits across the web), and may include text analysis of posts we have made on other web sites or web sites that we operate ourselves, such as blogs like this one.

While Facebook let’s us download “our data”, Facebook does not provide us with the psychological model they have created about each of us. We do not know what it contains nor do we have any way to correct errors in that model.

#Facebook’s massive propaganda platform exposed, could lead to totalitarianism #DeleteFacebook

Perhaps a bit of hyperbole but perhaps not:

For the sake of a Procter and Gamble being able to save money on selling soap powder, we have created the means for monitoring and controlling the behaviors of billions of people and laying them open to political and ideological manipulations.

Selling ideas uses the same data as selling shoes. Consumerism enables the technologies of totalitarianism. My fear is that we could paint ourselves into a very unpleasant corner — a N. Korea, but with far more powerful systems for oppression and suppression of dissent.

Source: Facebook fallout: Big Brands’ adversarial ad strategies exposed | ZDNet

Feeling relieved to now see everyone pointing out that Facebook’s propaganda platform is dangerous and reckless. This, obviously, has been an underlying theme of this blog since 2014.

#Facebook employs psychologists to understand how to manipulate us #DeleteFacebook

Not sure “ethics” and “Facebook” can cohabitate in the same sentence:

The ethical use of the psychology behind social media, particularly Facebook.

Facebook has a staff of psychologists, who as we can now see, help develop methods of controlling Facebook users, leading to ethical questions by other psychologists.

Source: Ethics, Psychology, Facebook & Cambridge Analytica – Kara Lambert

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.