Facebook claims it is trying to limit fake news and hate speech. Facebook is not.
An investigative journalist who went undercover as a Facebook moderator in the UK says the company lets pages from far-right fringe groups “exceed deletion threshold,” and that those pages are “subject to different treatment in the same category as pages belonging to governments and news organizations.” The accusation is a damning one, undermining Facebook’s claims that it is actively trying to cut down on fake news, propaganda, hate speech, and other harmful content that may have significant real-world impact.
The undercover journalist detailed his findings in a new documentary titled Inside Facebook: Secrets of the Social Network, that just aired on the UK’s Channel 4. ... The documentary insinuates that Facebook takes a hands-off approach to such content, including blatantly false stories parading as truth, because it engages users for longer and drives up advertising revenue.
It sounds like the Trump-loving right is the advertising bonanza of the decade! Social networks are where advertisers can get to that audience without anyone else being able to tell who is marketing to whom. Read the rest
Anti-Muslim hate personality John Guandolo was speaking just a couple of weeks ago about his desire to arrest Democratic and GOP leadership, then execute people. Mr. Guandolo's 'training workshops' on the dangers of jihad have some popularity among some police officers in the U.S., as evidenced by past speaking engagements with various police departments. Mr. Guandolo is now reviving that speaking tour. Read the rest
Anti-Semitic attacks rose faster in 2017 than any time in the past 40 years, The Anti-Defamation League today said. Read the rest
If you've had the sneaking suspicion over the past year that the world is going to hell, you're not alone. Amnesty International's 2017-2018 State of the World's Human Rights Annual Report says that in many countries, the politics of hate and fear are quickly becoming the norm.
The report, which covers the activities of 159 countries paints a troubling picture of the conditions that many people are forced to endure on an alarmingly more regular basis. For those who keep track of human rights issues, this is old hat--the world can be a shitty place, full of shitty people doing shitty things to folks that don't deserve it. What's new this year, although it's likely news to no one, is that America is one of a small group of countries at the forefront of Amnesty International's concerns. In a press release for the report, the Secretary General of Amnesty International, Salil Shetty, states:
"The specters of hatred and fear now loom large in world affairs, and we have few governments standing up for human rights in these disturbing times. Instead, leaders such as al-Sisi, Duterte, Maduro, Putin, Trump and Xi are callously undermining the rights of millions."
The report goes on call out the Trump administration's attempted rollback of women's rights and to block the entry of visitors and immigrants from Muslim countries, as particularly troubling and that Trump's "...backward steps on human rights are setting a dangerous precedent for other governments to follow."
The whole text of the annual report is available for download, here. Read the rest
r/Incels was ostensibly a support group for the "involuntary celibate"—men who can't get laid—wrapped up in an internal mythology and glossary so bizarre that it seemed like an elaborate joke. But the nice guys' constant talk of hatred, murder, rape and other horrors finally woke Reddit up to the nastiness underfoot.
The 40,000-strong community was nominally a “support group” for people who lack romantic relationships and sex. “They are involuntarily celibate or ‘incel’.” However, popular posts from the last few months include ones titled “all women are sluts”; “proof that girls are nothing but trash that use men” and “reasons why women are the embodiment of evil”.
Members describe women as “femoids” and the men they have sex with as “chads”. There are many examples, documented on a watchdog subreddit called IncelTears, where incels have condoned or advocated rape, or described it as a made-up construct.
Hypervigilance is going to destroy us, yes, but I'm staying away from the mall for the next few days all the same. Read the rest
Shahak Shapira reported hundreds of racist, sexist, abusive or otherwise hateful Tweets.
Twitter didn't delete them, so he sprayed them on the pavement outside the company's offices in Germany.
Update: Shahak Shapira's name was missing the "r". I eget the eo. Read the rest
This would suggest that people who hide beneath white sheets while cowardly attempting to scare the rest of us are no pleasure to live with. Frank Ancona, a self-proclaimed imperial wizard of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, was shot to death in his bed while sleeping. His wife and step-son have been arrested for his murder.
Via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
The wife and stepson of a Missouri KKK leader who was fatally shot last week were charged Monday with his murder.
Malissa Ann Ancona, 44, and Paul Edward Jinkerson Jr., 24, were both charged with first-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence and abandonment of a corpse.
Jinkerson shot Frank Ancona, 51, on Thursday in his bedroom while he was asleep, St. Francois County Sheriff's Det. Matt Wampler wrote in the probable cause statement. Ancona's body was then taken in Jinkerson's vehicle to an area near Belgrade, Mo., where it was dumped, Wampler wrote.
When investigators searched the home Saturday, they found "extensive blood evidence" in the master bedroom of the Ancona home in Leadwood. Malissa Ancona told police in a recorded interview that Jinkerson shot her husband, and she helped clean up the blood and tried to cover up the crime, Wampler wrote.
Ancona's body was found in the Big River near Belgrade, Mo. in Washington County over the weekend.
St. Francois County Prosecuting Attorney Jerrod Mahurin declined to speculate on the motive for the crime.
Certainly this is only a single point of data but you may want to re-think marrying that white supremacist. Read the rest
Be sure to read Adrian Chen's gripping profile of former Westboro Baptist Church twitterer Megan Phelps-Roper, who left the church after coming to realize the futility of its hate gospel.
On December 20, 2009, Phelps-Roper was in the basement of her house, for a church function, when she checked Twitter on her phone and saw that Brittany Murphy, the thirty-two-year-old actress, had died. When she read the tweet aloud, other church members reacted with glee, celebrating another righteous judgment from God… But Phelps-Roper had loved Murphy in “Clueless,” and she felt an unexpected pang—not quite sadness, but something close—over her death. As she continued scrolling through Twitter, she saw that it was full of people mourning Murphy. The contrast between the grief on Twitter and the buoyant mood in the basement unsettled her. She couldn’t bring herself to post a tweet thanking God for Murphy’s death.
If you're been wondering why Westboro's been kind of boring lately, it turns out that there was a coup of sorts within the church: day-to-day troll in chief Shirley Phelps-Roper (Megan's mother) was denounced, and a bunch of stodgy old men took over. Since then, women have been marginalized within the church and it has lost much of its media savvy.
Read Adrian's piece to the last sentence: there is an absolutely amazing ending to the life and mind of the church's founder, Fred Phelps.
[Image, top: Megan Phelps-Roper. Photoshopped from an image by KATY GRANNAN for NEW YORKER] Read the rest
Pastor Kevin Swanson has some unusual tips for parents who attended his "National Religious Liberties Conference." After he interviewed fellow Tea Party darlings Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal, he went on to describe how he would celebrate one of his children getting married to a person of the same gender:
"There are families, we're talking Christian families, pastors' families, elders' families from good, godly churches whose sons are rebelling, hanging out with homosexuals and getting married and the parents are invited. What would you do if that was the case? Here is what I would do: sackcloth and ashes at the entrance to the church and I'd sit in cow manure and I'd spread it all over my body. That is what I would do and I'm not kidding, I'm not laughing."
What a party animal!
He also had advice for parents of children whose minds had been poisoned by Satanic, pro-homosexual propaganda like Harry Potter and How to Train Your Dragon: murder them.
“For tens of millions of parents it would be better that a millstone be hung around their neck and they be drowned at the bottom of the sea.”
In the video above Swanson also screams "don't you dare carve happy faces on open, pus-sy sores!" Darn, there goes my plans for the weekend. Read the rest
“I have just endured one of the largest trolling attacks in history,” writes Reddit's recently-departed interim CEO Ellen Pao in a Washington Post op-ed today. “And I have just been blessed with the most astonishing human responses to that attack.” Read the rest
In a video made viral by our pals at Dangerous Minds, a child sings:
"I know the Bible’s right, somebody’s wrong / I know the Bible’s right, somebody’s wrong / Ain't no homos going to make it to heaven."
Then, a crowd of adults cheers and gives a standing ovation.
You can watch the video at Dangerous Minds. Read the rest