There’s a reason why Zuckerberg called people who entrusted their personal information to facebook “dumb fucks“:
a dataset containing 553 million Facebook users’ data—including phone numbers, full names, locations, email addresses, and biographical information—was published for free online. (It appears this is the same dataset Motherboard reported on in January). More than half a billion current and former Facebook users are now at high risk of various kinds of fraud.
“This is my personal story of being targeted by the alt-right. It details the events but mainly my thought processes, the information I found on mainstream media and the internet about the organization that targeted me, and how I responded. I have received a lot of positive feedback and I’m treating this as a living document. Apparently these folks engage in a lot of intimidation tactics and do this kind of thing frequently.“
Isaac Kamola presents a thorough and detailed accounting of some of the attacks made against university professors. It’s lengthy but worth the read.
Numerous Republican politicians have been denouncing the relief bill recently passed by Democrats. It’s part of a planned, coordinated, strategy by Republicans to turn public opinion against the bill (75% of the public likes the bill).
“The [Republican National Committee] circulated rapid response emails and put together research documents on the legislation that they blasted out to reporters.”
“Republicans lost credibility on that issue during the Trump years, especially the first couple years when we had the power to do something about it,” said Brendan Steinhauser, a Republican consultant and former campaign manager to Texas Sen. John Cornyn. “There was no interest in doing anything about it. It was just, ‘let’s not even talk about spending or the debt or deficit or anything like that.’”
MIT Technology Review offers a look inside Facebook.
Facebook uses algorithms and machine learning programs to maximize user engagement (keep users hooked). It seems people are most interested in the divisive stuff and rumors. So Facebook promotes that sort of socially-damaging stuff.
In 2017, Chris Cox, Facebook’s longtime chief product officer, formed a new task force to understand whether maximizing user engagement on Facebook was contributing to political polarization. It found that there was indeed a correlation, and that reducing polarization would mean taking a hit on engagement. In a mid-2018 document reviewed by the Journal, the task force proposed several potential fixes, such as tweaking the recommendation algorithms to suggest a more diverse range of groups for people to join. But it acknowledged that some of the ideas were “antigrowth.” Most of the proposals didn’t move forward, and the task force disbanded.[A] former employee…no longer lets his daughter use Facebook.
This country really needs a modern-day version of the Fairness Doctrine.
While delusional conspiracy theories go way back, experts say right-wing disinformation, in particular, is now spinning out on an unprecedented scale.
Experts see this spread of disinformation as a public health emergency that’s threatening democracy, increasing the risk of further violence, and straining family relationships. It’s also taxing a bevy of “deprogrammers” who are trying to help. More commonly referred to as “exit counselors” or “de-radicalizers,” they help people caught up in cultic ideologies to reconnect with reality.
…those buying into fallacies are far more likely to get most of their news from social media, friends and family, or conservative news outlets. Or they were likely to have recently used social media platforms like Parler and Telegram, which experts say have become disinformation super-spreaders.
Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren has quietly posted a nearly 2,000-page report documenting social media posts by her Republican colleagues who voted against certifying results of the presidential election on January 6.
The report chronicles the social media activity of members on public forums immediately before the November election and right after the January 6 riot.
View the report here, compiled with a state-by-state listing.
Never think that Democrats care about low-wage workers.
The following 8 Democrats today voted against raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour:
Joe Manchin, West Virginia;
Kyrsten Sinema, Arizona;
Chris Coons & Tom Carper of Delaware;
Jeanne Shaheen & Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire;
Jon Tester, Montana; &
Angus King, Maine.
On January 6, Trump supporters gathered at a rally at Washington DC’s Ellipse Park, regaled by various figures from Trump world, including Donald Trump Jr. and Rudy Giuliani. Directly following Giuliani’s speech, the organizers played a video. To a scholar of fascist propaganda, well-versed in the history of the National Socialist’s pioneering use of videos in political propaganda, it was clear, watching it, what dangers it portended. In it, we see themes and tactics that history warns pose a violent threat to liberal democracy. Given the aims of fascist propaganda – to incite and mobilize – the events that followed were predictable.
Read more at JustSecurity.org (it’s a chilling read)