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It's Time for Silicon Valley To Finish Its Job of Disrupting the Racist Drug War

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Real Tested CBD shares the following essay by their co-founder, Richard Cowan.

It's Time for Silicon Valley To Finish Its Job of Disrupting the Racist Drug War

It Has Been Racist From The Beginning and Racism Cannot End Until It Does

By -- Richard Cowan

Mark Zuckerberg, the Icarus of the Internet, is debating his own employees about whether Facebook should be responsible for correcting the lies of certain high ranking politicians. The answer seems obvious, but are they really prepared to choose which lies require their personal attention?

Icarus was undone by trying to fly too high and to be above it all, but there is another Greek myth that is more ¨down to Earth¨ literally.

As I watch the seemingly inexhaustible torrent of prohibitionist propaganda, I am reminded of the Greek myth about Hercules and the stables of King Augeas.

The term “Augean stables” means a huge mess, because King Augeas had a vast number of cattle, which were herded into the stables every night, but no one cleaned up after them. (Governments always expect other people to do their dirty work.)

As a consequence, the stables overflowed with what the Greeks called “drug education.”

As in Hercules’ time, the government provides the fodder at one end, and the other end –the Greeks called it the “media” –  produced the inevitable product. It stank to high heaven, but it seemed impossible to do anything about it.

Most people said it was beneath their dignity even to think about it, although not thinking did not stop them from writing about it.

Read the rest

How Ben Shapiro exploits Facebook's networks of "racial bias, religious bigotry, and violence" to reach a huge audience

Right-wing sourpuss Ben Shapiro's website The Daily Wire is the seventh-ranked publisher on Facebook, according to Popular Information. "On a per article basis," it reports, "The Daily Wire receives more distribution than any other major publisher." Here's how much better The Daily Wire performs than other well-know publishers:

The secret to The Daily Wire's success? It's learned how to "convert bigotry and fear into shares and likes."

Popular Information has discovered a network of large Facebook pages — each built by exploiting racial bias, religious bigotry, and violence — that systematically promote content from The Daily Wire. These pages, some of which have over 2 million followers, do not disclose a business relationship with The Daily Wire. But they all post content from The Daily Wire ten or more times each day. Moreover, these pages post the exact same content from The Daily Wire at the exact same time.

The undisclosed relationship not only helps explain The Daily Wire's unlikely success on Facebook but also appears to violate Facebook's rules.

The network of large Facebook pages promoting The Daily Wire are all run by Corey and Christy Pepple, who are best known as the creators of Mad World News. Facebook pages controlled by the Pepples include Mad World News (2,176,003 followers), The New Resistance (2,857,876 followers), Right Stuff (610,809 followers), America First (577,753 followers), and American Patriot (447,799 followers).

The reach of these pages is massive. Content posted to these five pages has generated more than 31 million engagements on Facebook over the last three months, according to CrowdTangle, an analytics service owned by Facebook.

Read the rest

COVID-19 killed the Costco half-sheet cake

This is an outrage. No more Costco half-sheet cakes because coronavirus?! Read the rest

Facebook to warn users if they try to share content more than 90 days old

Facebook said Thursday it will introduce a notification screen to warn users if they try to share content more than 90 days old, “To ensure people have the context they need to make informed decisions.” Read the rest

Facebook's new Fact-Checking policies have carved out an exemption for climate deniers

The CO2 Coalition is a non-profit climate denial organization with deep pockets supported by the Mercers, the Kochs, and other conservative fossil fuel financial interests. Despite the demonstrable unreality of its mission, the CO2 Coalition has already found favor in the White House.

In August 2019, they posted an op-ed on Facebook from the Washington Examiner that was written by a known climate denier and disguised itself as legitimate and factual reporting about climate change. As Judd Legum's Popular Information Newsletter explained:

The article claimed computer models used by climate scientists to predict warming have proved overblown, and thus shouldn’t be trusted. To prove it, Michaels compared “actual temperatures since 1979 with what the 32 families of climate models used in the latest U.N. report on climate science predicted they would be.”

The comparison was flawed. Michaels compared the earth’s present temperature with past climate models that predicted more carbon pollution than actually occurred. If we had polluted as much as the models predicted, the world would have warmed as much as the models predicted.

We know this because actual climate scientists have published research assessing the accuracy of climate models. […] Michaels’ analysis, on the other hand, didn’t go through any peer-review process, nor is Michaels climate scientist himself. What Michaels did was amateur Google sleuthing. What the scientists did was science.

Regardless, the post was shared more than 2,000 times before it was removed by Facebook's Independent Fact-checkers.

Then, according to E&E News:

A "conservative" Facebook employee quietly intervened, overturning the fact check, and the misinformation was no longer labeled as false, according to the CO2 Coalition.

Read the rest

Facebook ad boycott includes Ben & Jerry's, REI, Patagonia, North Face, Eddie Bauer

Eddie Bauer, Magnolia Pictures, Ben & Jerry's, REI, and Patagonia are some of the brands that have suspended Facebook ad campaigns over the platform's reckless content moderation practices that allow political and COVID-19 disinformation to proliferate. Read the rest

Patagonia joins advertising boycott against Facebook

Outdoor apparel brand Patagonia said it is joining the #StopHateForProfit boycott against Facebook (and Instagram, owned by Facebook) because Facebook continues to promote "hateful lies and dangerous propaganda." Last week three other major brands, The North Face, REI, and Upwork, joined the boycott and suspended all advertising on Facebook.

On Sunday, Patagonia tweeted, "Patagonia is proud to join the Stop Hate for Profit campaign. We will pull all ads on Facebook and Instagram, effective immediately, through at least the end of July, pending meaningful action from the social media giant."

From CNN:

The coalition launched the #StopHateforProfit campaign last week with a full-page ad in the Los Angeles Times.

The group said that Facebook has allowed incitement against protesters fighting for racial injustice in America, refused to adequately protect users from online threats, failed to recognize and remove Holocaust denial as a form of hate, and allowed its platform to be used in voter suppression efforts that targeted Black voters.

"We have long seen how Facebook has allowed some of the worst elements of society into our homes and our lives," ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. "When this hate spreads online it causes tremendous harm and also becomes permissible offline." He said the organizations had tried to "push Facebook to make their platforms safer," but said the company "repeatedly failed to take meaningful action." "We hope this campaign finally shows Facebook how much their users and their advertisers want them to make serious changes for the better," Greenblatt wrote.

Read the rest

'My uncle from Romania just built this out of recycled old parts from everyday objects'

These amazing creations are the work of Mihai Armeanu Rosin, a retired chef turned mad tinkerer in Romania whose nephew posted about them on IMGUR. Read the rest

Donald Trump threatens protesters while promoting Oklahoma campaign rally during pandemic

He seems eager for violence.

Yes, now Trump is personally threatening protesters with violent harm. It's very presidential. Read the rest

Trump ad uses Nazi symbol to woo voters

The New York Times reports that Facebook took down Trump campaign advertisements that "prominently featured a symbol used by Nazis to classify political prisoners during World War II."

The symbol was a red triangle, which ran alongside ad copy that said, “Dangerous MOBS of far-left groups are running through our streets and causing absolute mayhem.”

According to the Times, the red triangle is "a symbol that Nazis used to identify Communists and other political prisoners in concentration camps, just as they used a pink triangle to identify people they labeled as homosexual."

From The New York Times:

The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum also weighed in on Twitter, noting that the red triangle was “the most common category of prisoners registered at the German Nazi #Auschwitz camp.”

Mark Bray, a historian at Rutgers and the author of “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook,” said that “the origin of the symbol is universally agreed to be with the Nazis and the concentration camps.” He added that the red triangle was not part of the symbolism of antifa in the United States.

The fact that the triangle has been reclaimed by some anti-fascists, Mr. Bray said, does not give the Trump campaign license to use the same symbol to attack antifa. “This is a symbol that represented the extermination of leftists,” he said. “It is a death threat against leftists. There’s no way around what that means historically.”

Read the rest

Plagued by security woes, Zoom promises end-to-end encryption starting in July

Video-calling app Zoom has been on the end of sharp criticism for security weaknesses. In response, they announced today a plan to offer end-to-end encryption for all users, with a trial to begin next month. Read the rest

Star Trek fans use FaceApp to swap genders of franchise characters

Want to see more of this? Fans of the various Star Trek series have been using FaceApp, the popular smart phone facial editing software, to alter the faces (and gender expression) of popular Star Trek characters.

You can see many more on the Star Trek Shitposting Facebook group.

Images: Facebook screengrabs Read the rest

The Butt Types: a bootyful typographical project for parenthesis in different fonts

Who among us hasn't used a pair of parentheses to draw a butt?

Swedish graphic designer Viktor Hertz has taken this idea one step further with Butt Types, a visual exploration of typographical butt art using 50 different fonts, including:

Adobe Garamond Pro, American Typewriter, Arial, Big Caslon, Bodoni, Calibri, Century Gothic, Comic Sans, Chopin Script, Copperplate, Didot, DIN, Eurostile, Futura, Geneva, Georgia, Helvetica, ITC Benguiat, Joane, Klavika Bold, Lato, Mrs Eaves, Optima, Papyrus, Playfair Display, Steelfish, Times New Roman, Trajan Pro, VAG Rundschrift D and Zapfino.

Butt Types began a year ago as a series of somewhat-viral (or perhaps diarrheal?) Facebook posts; in October of 2019, he tried to launch Kickstart a limited edition Butt Types poster print…but sadly, only got about a third of the way to his funding goal.

I'm a VAG Rundschrift D butt, myself.

Hertz has also experimented with Dick Types and Pussy Types as well, and you can view his full collection of Typornography on Behance.

The Butt Types Poster [Kickstarter]

  Read the rest

A US Air Force Sergeant linked to Boogaloo Bois charged with killing police officer

Republican Senators including Tom Cotton and Josh Hawley have invoked the death of retired St. Louis Police captain David Dorn as proof of some kind of awful epidemic of anti-cop violence coming from the political left. Dorn was working as a security guard at a friend's pawn and jewelry shop when he was tragically shot and killed during a 2:30am robbery that was unrelated to protests against police brutality.

Dorn was a black man, who was deeply beloved in the community; while his death was certainly heartbreaking, it had nothing to do with any "defund the police narrative." Pawn shops and jewelry shops do unfortunately get robbed sometimes, but not because people hate the police; these stores get robbed because there are desperate people out there who saw the risk as worth it for the potentially lucrative target. In most cases, that desperation is caused by poverty, or addiction, or mental health, or some combination of these issues — the exact same issues that most of the "defund the police" crowd believe would benefit from more focused financial resources, which have otherwise been tied up in policing.

But there is no actual evidence of any increase of extreme violence from the political left (not even from "Antifa"). The bulk of political violence — both against civilians, and police officers — continues to come from the far right.

Case-in-point: Steven Carillo, a US Air Force Sergeant connected to the Boogalo movement, is facing 19 felony charges, including the alleged murder of Santa Cruz County Deputy Sgt. Read the rest

Doctors say DO NOT take Dexamethasone to prevent COVID-19, no evidence it works as a coronavirus prophylaxis

Hey there. Former chemotherapy patient for breast cancer here. When I was receiving chemo every week at the oncology clinic, one of the drugs they gave me so my body wouldn't freak out from the anticancer poisons was Dexamethasone. It's a really important drug for many cancer patients.

Some people are going to misinterpret news of a clinical trial making the rounds today today as meaning that they should get a hold of some dexamethasone right away and start taking it as a prophylaxis, or preventative, against COVID-19. Don't do this.

No no no. No.

Please do not do this.

That's not how this works.

Do not take Dexamethasone to prevent COVID-19.

Ask a medical professional for advice, first. Read the rest

Facebook, Google, Twitter execs summoned for House election security hearing

The House of Representatives Intelligence Committee says executives from Facebook, Alphabet/Google, and Twitter have been summoned to appear Thursday at a virtual hearing on foreign influence and election security. Read the rest

Encrypt.me VPN offers full online security protection and a few unique twists as well

Having a virtual private network (VPN) protecting your online activities is as essential to 2020 web surfing as wearing a jacket during winter in Minnesota. But with dozens of VPN companies clamoring for customers, a select few are trying to raise the game by offering some unique services that lesser competitors can’t offer.

That’s one of the selling points of Encrypt.me, a Los Angeles-based provider that Lifehacker praised as "a VPN service that stands out thanks to its dead simplicity and easy to understand policies." 

If a no-nonsense approach to safe, manageable online security with a couple of interesting wrinkles sounds up your alley, Encrypt.me could find its way on to your shortlist of possible protection services.

If you just want simple plug-and-play shielded internet access and protection from online cyber threats, Encrypt.me has you covered with 70 locations in more than 40 countries, all accessible through fully encrypted, high-speed connections. Armed with Encrypt.me’s native security and encryption technology, hackers and other online snoops won’t be able to see or access any of your information.

But Encrypt.me is also the first — and still one of the only — VPN providers to offer customers cloud-hosted private VPN endpoints, isolated secure server space available on your own private cloud space, manageable only by you.  

So unlike other VPN services, that option offers you your own fully shielded IP with Encrypt.me that’s always the same. No more sharing IPs and no more time-wasting CAPTCHAs.

Encrypt.me also just gave users the ability to create their own content filtering, so you can block malware, viruses, ad trackers, adult or gambling content, even the evils of Facebook and Twitter if you choose. Read the rest

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