Category Archives: social media

Bonfire of the ‘journalists’: social justice clickbait faces its Waterloo

Last week the remorseless scythe of a market in correction began to swing. BuzzFeed is cutting 250 jobs. Verizon is letting 800 people go, including the entire opinion section of HuffPost. Mic was effectively wiped out last November and Mashable burned up in 2017. VICE is struggling. Rather proving the point about pigs turning into men, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti has been floating the idea of a merger between BuzzFeed and its rivals like VICE and Vox. Would anybody be able to tell the difference?


Will social media make communications nearly impossible?

Consider some of the stories:

Terry Teachout, the drama critic who reviewed Tom Stoppard’s new play, The Hard Problem [of Consciousness], woke up one Sunday morning (December 2, 2018) to a home invasion, of a sort:

In case you hadn’t noticed, @terryteachout, my Twitter account, was hacked on Sunday morning as part of a cross-platform attack on my social-media presence. The objective, it seems, was ransom: I actually received a series of telephone calls from the culprits, who appear to reside in England. Needless to say, I hung up and immediately started changing passwords and building a higher security wall. Terry Teachout, “Home invasion—with a happy ending” at Arts Journal

The extortionists had posted racist and sexist material to @terryteachout. The drama critic asked for a replacement account, @TerryTeachout1, which meant losing 15,000 followers and all previous tweets. Unfortunately, Twitter was slow to respond, with the result that the offensive material was visible under his name “well into Monday.” Meanwhile, he did receive this message from Twitter Support late Sunday night:

We’ve investigated the reported account and have determined that it is not in violation of Twitter’s impersonation policy. In order for an account to be in violation…it must portray another person…in a misleading or deceptive manner.

Teachout was, well, surprised: “Is it any wonder that more and more people are getting fed up with Twitter?”

The story buzzed virally through Monday. Who would have believed that Twitter was so indifferent to racism, sexism, and users’ reputations? As the volume grew, Twitter eventually assigned the previously bot-managed case to a human being, who deleted the hacked account by 6:00 pm and verified @TerryTeachout1 as the replacement. Sadly, Teachout was later to learn that the hackers had also planted a trojan-horse virus on his laptop which erased his mailbox and address book as well.

Twitter seems to be a town that doesn’t care what happens to you unless you have lots of friends to create a buzz. And at least one well-known USA Today commentator is refusing to live there any more.  More. No, Twitter is not the New Awful It’s the Old Awful back for more.” The Town Without Pity we all tried to get asway from at Mind Matters

We need to decide: Is Twitter the telephone company (a communications platform), the newspaper (a publisher), or interconnected private gossip klatsches where anyone can say whatever they want, whatever ensues?

See also: Consumers were not buying robots as friends this year. The market for drudgery busters remains strong. For dogs and pals, not so much Some consumer robotics will surely find a place under the Christmas tree. The robotic vacuum cleaner market is healthy and expected to grow, in a world where the demand for vacuum cleaners is growing anyway, doubtless due to more urban lifestyles.

Can Big Data help make your book a best seller? It’s more likely to help you picture your odds more clearly and clarify your goals. What does Barabási’s Big Data tell us that we couldn’t just guess? Well, for one thing, that there is a “universal sales curve” which means that a book’s only chance of making the list is shortly after publication.


Facebook and Instagram Won’t Ban Violent Antifa Group

There seems to be no limit to the offenses allowed certain antifa groups on Twitter and Facebook. SmashRacism DC, an antifa group in the Washington D.C. area, threatened Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson and his wife and 4 children on November 7, 2018. In a now-deleted Twitter post, SmashRacism posted, “Each night you remind us that we are not safe. Tonight we remind you that you are not safe either.”While the posts are gone, SmashRacism DC is still active on Facebook and Instagram.


McKenna’s “social media team” robbed in Bonn Germany: Now we know how much her vanity cost taxpayers

By now you may have heard that Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna routinely has anywhere from 24 to 31 government staffers authoring, reviewing, scheduling, tweeting, and sometimes deleting, her social media posts.


Twitter deleted 10,000 accounts for the election – because Democrats told them to

Twitter indicates that the accounts were trying to persuade voters to stay home on election day, which would suppress the vote for the pivotal midterm elections on Tuesday.

But the way they chose these accounts was by referral from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a group supporting campaigns of Democrats to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Reuters even characterized it is an “early win” for the partisan group.


Toronto judge considering case of man accused of advocating genocide, promoting hate online

Rupen Balaram-Sivaram has pleaded not guilty to 10 charges, including the rare charge of advocating genocide. The charges stem in part from a series of hateful social media posts and emails he allegedly sent to public figures and media organizations that call for death to Jews, homosexuals, Westerners and Christians.


SPLC Leads Soros-Funded Groups in ‘Orwellian’ Attempt to Ban ‘Hate Speech’ on Social Media

Last week, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) teamed up with five other groups funded by George Soros to pressure tech companies to “reduce hateful activities on their platforms.” While this sounds like a noble goal, mainstream conservative and Christian groups that have fallen afoul of the SPLC warned that these liberal organizations have an “Orwellian” definition of hate that most Americans would disagree with. Worse, social media companies already seem biased against conservatives, and this SPLC campaign would only embolden that bias.


White House Drafts Order To Look Into Google, Facebook Practices

(Bloomberg) — The White House has drafted an executive order for President Donald Trump’s signature that would instruct federal antitrust and law enforcement agencies to open investigations into the business practices of Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Facebook Inc. and other social media companies.

The order is in its preliminary stages and hasn’t yet been run past other government agencies, according to a White House official. Bloomberg News obtained a draft of the order.

h/t RM


Facebook, Twitter, others have 1 hour to remove terror propaganda: EU bill

Strasbourg, France: The European Union on Wednesday proposed steps to force social networks and websites to remove terrorist propaganda within an hour of receiving the order from authorities, or companies like Facebook and Twitter could face massive fines.

The legislation proposed by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker marks a toughening approach after Brussels had relied on internet firms to voluntarily remove such content.

The internet has become a major tool for extremists carrying out attacks that have killed hundreds of people in European cities in recent years.