President Donald Trump’s Facebook page continues to draw new “likes” despite the president having been de-platformed, Newsweek reported.
What are the details?
According to a Thursday report, Trump’s Facebook page has brought in nearly 150,000 new likes since Facebook indefinitely suspended the president from using his account on Jan. 7.
Citing analytics information from Social Blade, Newsweek reported that Trump’s YouTube channel — which was also ultimately suspended — has gained 100,000 new subscribers since Jan. 6., the very day that a violent mob descended on the U.S. Capitol.
On Jan. 7, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared a post announcing that Trump’s Instagram and Facebook accounts would be indefinitely blocked.
“Over the last several years, we have allowed President Trump to use our platform consistent with our own rules, at times removing content or labeling his posts when they violate our policies,” Zuckerberg wrote in his widely viewed Facebook post. “We did this because we believe that the public has a right to the broadest possible access to political speech, even controversial speech.
“But the current context is now fundamentally different, involving use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government,” he added.
On Monday, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said that the company has “no plans” to rescind the suspension.
What did Trump say?
The riots resulted in a historic second impeachment against the president after much of the media and many government officials accused him of inciting the riots as insurrection.
Following the impeachment, Trump issued a statement on the violence that took place at the U.S. Capitol.
“As I have said, the incursion at the U.S. Capitol struck at the very heart of our Republic. It angered and appalled millions of Americans across the political spectrum,” he said in a Wednesday statement. “I want to be very clear. I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week. Violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country, and no place in our movement.
“Making America great again has always been about defending the rule of law, supporting the men and women of law enforcement, and upholding our nation’s most sacred traditions and values,” he added. “Mob violence goes against everything I believe in, and everything our movement stands for. No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence.”
Parler CEO John Matze said this week that he has been facing death threats in the days following his platform shutdown.
He also said that the de-platforming is nothing short of unconstitutional, and that technology companies like Amazon, Apple, and Google are kowtowing to Democrat demands.
What’s a brief history here?
Between Friday and Saturday, Google and Apple removed Parler from its app stores.
A day later, Amazon Web Services suspended the social media network’s web hosting abilities, citing the company’s reported refusal to remove inciting content shared by its users, which it said ultimately resulted in contributing to last week’s deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol.
Parler filed a lawsuit on Monday that accused Amazon Web Services of breaching its contract and the violation of an antitrust law over the move.
Amazon Web Services said in response that it warned the site about user posts repeatedly, but to no avail.
“People have acted on these calls: Parler was used to incite, organize, and coordinate the January 6 attack on the US Capitol,” Amazon Web Services said Tuesday in its court filing on the suit.
What are the details?
According to a Tuesday report from Newsweek, Matze revealed that he heard through news headlines that Apple, Google, and Amazon all had a hand in shuttering his web application, prohibiting users from downloading, logging on, or even viewing the social media site.
Matze told Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Monday that he is now receiving death threats.
“People are threatening my life,” he said. “I can’t go home tonight. This is really a lot. This is not just our civil liberties. [Big Tech] can shut down a billion-dollar company, half-a-billion dollar company, overnight.”
He did not specify the threats he purportedly received.
According to the outlet, Matze also said that he never thought the tech giants would actually shut down such a site.
“I’ve theorized about it, we’ve definitely theorized about it,” he said. “You just never think it will happen though. What’s really interesting is that they all did it on the same day, those three, without any prior warning.”
He added that there is varying reactions to the site’s shutdown, but there are many people who are “egging it on and cheering.”
“I have seen a lot of people say this is scary, but I’ve seen a lot of people who are participating in the five minutes of hate and egging it on and cheering,” Matze said. “It is disgusting.”
A spokesperson for Google told the outlet that the app will remain absent from the Google Play store until the application addresses the speech issues.
“We’re aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the U.S.,” the statement began. “We recognize that there can be reasonable debate about content policies, and that it can be difficult for apps to immediately remove all violative content, but for us to distribute an app through Google Play we do require that apps implement robust moderation for egregious content.”
The statement continued, “In light of this ongoing and urgent public safety threat, we are suspending the app’s listings from the Play Store until it addresses these issues.”
Parler CEO tells Tucker they are fighting for survival after mass Big Tech ban – 2021.01.12
Matze said that he believes the site will be operational again “one day.”
“We will be back up eventually because we’re not going to give up,” he insisted. “But soon is difficult. I thought immediately, ‘No problem, I’ll call up a new vendor.’ We call up the vendor, we’re all good to go, and then right at the last second, ‘Sorry, somebody said something and we can’t host you. ‘Bye.’ And it’s been that one after another since then. Right at the last minute they just bail. We’re going to do it. We’re going to be back online one day, and hopefully soon, as soon as possible. But this is a real challenge. We have to build our own infrastructure, our own everything, in order to do it.”
In an interview published Tuesday, Matze said that the suspension is nothing short of unconstitutional.
“I think it’s sick,” he said. “That’s not what the Constitution said. That’s not what the Constitution stands for, banning 10-plus million US voters from the internet, barring people from free speech.”
He also said that tech companies are simply placating Democrats who are looking for a finger to point after the Capitol riots.
Fox News reported, “[Rep. Alexandria] Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), recently urged Apple and Google to take action against Parler, in a tweet the leader of the so-called ‘Squad’ of progressives sent to her 11.4 million followers. Ocasio-Cortez isn’t alone. Many people on the left have made similar complaints.”
Of the complaints, Matze said, “Frankly, I would call it evil, because my definition of evil is ‘forcing your will upon others.’ If you don’t like what I have to say, you can disagree with me, but you cannot take vindictive action against me without being evil.”
YouTube announced late Tuesday that it had suspended President Donald Trump’s account, becoming the latest social media platform to take action against the president following the deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol last week.
What did YouTube say?
The video platform explained in a statement that it removed a recently uploaded video from Trump’s account and suspended Trump’s account for at least one week for “violating our policies.”
The statement stressed the suspension would last a “minimum” of one week, leaving open the possibility that Trump’s suspension from the platform could be indefinite.
“After review, and in light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence, we removed new content uploaded to Donald J. Trump’s channel for violating our policies. It now has its 1st strike & is temporarily prevented from uploading new content for a *minimum* of 7 days,” YouTube said.
Additionally, the platform closed the comments section on the Trump account, citing “safety concerns.”
“Given the ongoing concerns about violence, we will also be indefinitely disabling comments on President Trump’s channel, as we’ve done to other channels where there are safety concerns found in the comments section,” YouTube explained.
2/ Given the ongoing concerns about violence, we will also be indefinitely disabling comments on President Trump’s… https://t.co/MrcpU1s8Py
YouTube, however, did not reveal which video uploaded to Trump’s account violated the platform’s policies.
According to CNN, YouTube also removed content from the White House’s channel, but did not suspend that account.
What’s the background?
With YouTube’s decision, Trump is now locked out of every major social media platform.
Last week, Twitter took the unprecedented step and permanently banned Trump’s account, citing “risk of further incitement of violence.” Facebook and Instagram have also indefinitely suspended Trump through at least Inauguration Day, Jan. 20.
Free speech advocates have questioned Big Tech’s decision to remove Trump’s social media platform — even the American Civil Liberties Union expressed concern about Trump’s deplatforming — but the social media companies have argued such action is necessary to prevent more violence.
With Joe Biden’s inauguration just one week away, more violence is a significant nationwide concern. In fact, the FBI is warning that armed protests are planned for all 50 state capitals next week.
The Secret Service is also taking extra precautions ahead of Biden’s inauguration to ensure the new president remains safe, the Washington Post reported.
In a Monday night blog post, Twitter laid out all the latest details of a historic purge that started with the permanent suspension of President Donald Trump. Isn’t it odd how none of those considerations emerged during the summer when United States cities were literally burning as a result of countless violent protests and frequent riots?
According to a report by ZeroHedge, the Great Purge, which is a big tech censorship campaign rivaled only by that of Nazi Germany’s, has begun. With the suspension of 70,000 accounts since Friday, the crackdown on dissent and those who know they are being lied to propagandized is here. The Orwellian dystopia we were all warned about has arrived.
In twitter’s own words: “It’s important to be transparent about all of this work as the US Presidential Inauguration on January 20, 2021, approaches.” In the aftermath of the biggest censorship purge in Twitter history, the company’s stock tumbled. The justification for the mass censorship campaign dubbed “the purge” by ZeroHedge and others is justified if you believe Big Tech:
We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm. Given the violent events in Washington, DC, and increased risk of harm, we began permanently suspending thousands of accounts that were primarily dedicated to sharing QAnon content on Friday afternoon.
Already, the American Civil Liberties Union is warning the public that the Big Tech firms are expanding their power.
Former Republican Congressman and libertarian icon Ron Paul (Texas) was locked out of his Facebook account by the social media giant on Monday, after he shared a column blasting Big Tech for silencing Americans and accused platforms of a coordinated attack with government to stifle free speech.
What are the details?
“With no explanation other than “repeatedly going against our community standards,” @Facebook has blocked me from managing my page,” Paul tweeted. “Never have we received notice of violating community standards in the past and nowhere is the offending post identified.”
He explained, “The only thing we posted to Facebook today was my weekly ‘Texas Straight Talk’ column, which I have published every week since 1976.”
The only thing we posted to Facebook today was my weekly “Texas Straight Talk” column, which I have published every week since 1976.
Within it, Paul began by arguing, “Last week’s massive social media purges – starting with President Trump’s permanent ban from Twitter and other outlets – was shocking and chilling, particularly to those of us who value free expression and the free exchange of ideas.”
He goes on to write:
“Big Tech” long ago partnered with the Obama/Biden/Clinton State Department to lend their tools to US ‘soft power’ goals overseas. Whether it was ongoing regime change attempts against Iran, the 2009 coup in Honduras, the disastrous US-led coup in Ukraine, ‘Arab Spring,’ the destruction of Syria and Libya, and so many more, the big US tech firms were happy to partner up with the State Department and US intelligence to provide the tools to empower those the US wanted to seize power and to silence those out of favor.
So what is to be done? Even pro-free speech alternative social media outlets are under attack from the Big Tech/government Leviathan. There are no easy solutions. But we must think back to the dissidents in the era of Soviet tyranny. They had no Internet. They had no social media. They had no ability to communicate with thousands and millions of like-minded, freedom lovers. Yet they used incredible creativity in the face of incredible adversity to continue pushing their ideas. Because no army – not even Big Tech partnered with Big Government – can stop an idea whose time has come. And Liberty is that idea. We must move forward with creativity and confidence!
Daniel McAdams, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity confirmed to The Washington Examiner that Paul had been locked out of his account, telling the outlet, “They claim the lockout is temporary, but have provided no additional information as to the length of the suspension or the remedy.”
Facebook did not immediately respond to The Examiner’s request for comment.
The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) is warning the public of big tech’s “unchecked power” in the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s permanent suspension from social media.
Kate Ruane, a senior legislative counsel at the ACLU, said in a statement that Twitter’s decision to suspend Trump from social media sets a precedent for tech companies to silence voices. Censorship is running rampant right now and few seem to notice or even give a damn.
The ACLU first took issue with Trump’s usage of social media outlets to question the results of the November 3 election and his allegations of voter fraud. “We understand the desire to permanently suspend him now, but it should concern everyone when companies like Facebook and Twitter wield the unchecked power to remove people from platforms that have become indispensable for the speech of billions – especially when political realities make those decisions easier,” the ACLU statement read.
Ruane reiterated that transparency is needed from Big Tech companies, noting that activists who don’t have alternative ways to communicate will suffer. “President Trump can turn his press team or Fox News to communicate with the public, but others … who have been censored by social media companies—will not have that luxury. It is our hope that these companies will apply their rules transparently to everyone,” according to the statement.
Trump has been censored almost everywhere. Twitter, which suspended Trump’s account on Friday indefinitely suspended the president’s access. Instagram, Twitch, Facebook, and others have done the same.
Big Tech has taken on the role of suppressing the free speech of people with whom they disagree. If you honestly still believe you live in a free society, you’re living in a delusion. Other concerns have been expressed about civil liberties after Apple and Google moved to remove social media app Parler—a social media website used primarily by conservatives—from their respective app downloading stores, saying it has not implemented adequate moderation policies.
Parler’s CEO says Big Tech is trying to squash the completion along with the basic fundamental right to free speech. “There is the possibility Parler will be unavailable on the internet for up to a week as we rebuild from scratch,” he said in a post on Parler. “This was a coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the market place … You can expect the war on competition and free speech to continue, but don’t count us out.”
The cascade of bad news for social media site Parler got worse on Monday morning, after reports began circulating that hackers may have compromised the service and obtained the private data of Parler users before the service was taken offline Monday morning.
Parler, which bills itself as a “free speech” alternative to Twitter, was simultaneously targeted by almost every big tech company in America last week after last Wednesday’s riot at the Capitol, which temporarily disrupted the counting of Electoral College ballots and led to the deaths of at least five people. The social media site was blamed for failing to provide adequate content moderation policies and for allowing the violent element that was present at the protests to coordinate its activities. The last straw occurred when Amazon Web Services announced that it would no longer host Parler, leading the site to shut down early Monday morning.
However, according to Vice News, when hackers realized that Parler was about to be taken offline, they began a frenzied effort to download all of Parler’s data, and they may have been successful. The report noted that a hacker who goes by the handle Crash Override on Twitter claims to have obtained and downloaded all publicly available data from Parler, including deleted posts, location data, videos, and images. The data has reportedly been archived by the hacker and might be used to help law enforcement track down people who were present at the riots last Wednesday.
According to Gizmodo, the hacker in question eventually plans to upload the full trove of digital documents to the internet, which has led some Parler users to express concern that they may end up being “doxxed” or harassed at work because of their activities on Parler.
Notably, however, the hacker has denied having access to anyone’s private data, including emails, telephone numbers, or credit cards, and claims to only have downloaded information that was “publicly available.”
Even the American Civil Liberties Union is sounding the alarm about Big Tech removing President Donald Trump’s accounts from its various platforms.
What is the ACLU saying?
The civil rights organization, which often fights against conservative causes, released a statement Friday expressing concern that the movement to deplatform Trump could be a slippery slope with eventual unintended consequences, especially for minority groups.
For months, President Trump has been using social media platforms to seed doubt about the results of the election and to undermine the will of voters. We understand the desire to permanently suspend him now, but it should concern everyone when companies like Facebook and Twitter wield the unchecked power to remove people from platforms that have become indispensable for the speech of billions — especially when political realities make those decisions easier.
President Trump can turn to his press team or Fox News to communicate with the public, but others — like the many Black, Brown, and LGBTQ activists who have been censored by social media companies — will not have that luxury. It is our hope that these companies will apply their rules transparently to everyone.
What’s the background?
After the U.S. Capitol riots last Wednesday, social media networks and various online services began restricting Trump’s accounts, claiming his rhetoric helped incite the deadly violence.
After initially slapping Trump with a temporary suspension, Twitter took unprecedented action against the president on Friday when it permanently banned Trump’s account, citing “risk of further incitement of violence.”
Unfortunately for Trump, it’s not just Twitter: Facebook and Instagram have also suspended Trump’s accounts through at least Inauguration Day. Snapchat, Shopify, Twitch, Reddit, YouTube, Google, TikTok, PayPal, Discord, Pinterest, and even email providers have taken action against Trump or Trump-related content.
In response, conservatives have flocked to Parler, an alternative social media platform that promises to promote free speech.
However, Parler later found itself in the crosshairs, and has now been dumped from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and Amazon web hosting services. The Big Tech companies had demanded that Parler increase its content moderation, alleging that Parler had been hosting content that promoted violence.
Parler CEO John Matze responded by claiming his company was the target of a concerted effort against free speech.
Matze said, “We will try our best to move to a new provider right now as we have many competing for our business, however Amazon, Google and Apple purposefully did this as a coordinated effort knowing our options would be limited and knowing this would inflict the most damage right as President Trump was banned from the tech companies.”
“This was a coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the market place. We were too successful too fast,” Matze added. “You can expect the war on competition and free speech to continue, but don’t count us out.”
Leftist Hollywood actors and celebrities, who have made it their second job to endlessly attack Trump during his tenure, reveled in the Twitter banning.
“Borat” actor Sacha Baron Cohen bloviated, “This is the most important moment in the history of social media. The world’s largest platforms have banned the world’s biggest purveyor of lies, conspiracies and hate. To every Facebook and Twitter employee, user and advocate who fought for this–the entire world thanks you!”
Actor John Cusack bellowed, “This move by Twitter and Facebook are the biggest blows To his fascism.”
“Westworld” actor Jeffrey Wright posted, “Boom,” and included a screenshot of Trump’s now-suspended account.
Comedian Jim Gaffigan was grateful, “Thank you @Twitter, @jack and @TwitterSafety for putting the safety of the people over profit! Now to find some Republicans with that courage.”
“Frozen” voice actor Josh Gad wrote, “All we got to do now is get the Nuclear codes out of his hands and we should be good!”
Democratic politicians also rejoiced over the news of Trump losing his ability to communicate to Americans on Twitter.
Rep. Max Rose (D-N.Y.) rollicked by comparing the Twitter banning of Trump to the capture of dictator Saddam Hussein, who is reported to be responsible for the killing of an estimated 250,000 people and figures as high as 500,000.
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) tweeted, “Great. Now let’s permanently suspend him from the White House.”
Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) ranted, “While long overdue, I commend twitter for moving to ban Donald Trump from the platform permanently. Tech companies must take responsibility for hate speech and misinformation flourishing on their watch. This is an important step toward accountability.”
Far-left Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) made a reference to “The Lord of the Rings” by saying, “Gollum has lost his precious.”
The U.S. Capitol riots provoked an avalanche of online backlash against President Donald Trump on Thursday and Friday, causing numerous online services to sever ties with Trump or his associated political activities.
Twitter, of course, permanently banned Trump from the platform late Friday, citing “risk of further incitement of violence.”
Who else is banning/suspending Trump?
Financial Times reporter Dave Lee noted Friday that Trump’s campaign has not been sending emails to its supporters since Wednesday, an indication that its email service providers are severing ties.
In fact, one service provider — Campaign Monitor — confirmed it had suspended the Trump campaign’s access to its service.
The self-service account associated with the Donald Trump Campaign has been suspended as of today, January 7th, 2021. Typically, political campaigns use multiple email service providers to send campaign, fundraising, and other emails. Based on the low volume of emails that had been sent from the Campaign Monitor account, this is likely a very small portion of total email activity from the campaign.
There hasn’t been any Trump emails for more than 48 hours. Almost unheard of — he sent 33 in the first six days of… https://t.co/RputBT80pK
Social media platform Reddit also banned its subreddit forum about the president — “r/DonaldTrump” — according to Axios.
“Reddit’s site-wide policies prohibit content that promotes hate, or encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence against groups of people or individuals. In accordance with this, we have been proactively reaching out to moderators to remind them of our policies and to offer support or resources as needed,” a Reddit spokesperson told Axios.
As TheBlaze reported, online retailer Shopify and livestreaming service Twitch have also suspended or banned accounts related to Trump.
Shopify said, “Shopify does not tolerate actions that incite violence. Based on recent events, we have determined that the actions by President Donald J. Trump violate our Acceptable Use Policy, which prohibits promotion or support of organizations, platforms or people that threaten or condone violence to further a cause. As a result, we have terminated stores affiliated with President Trump.”
Twitch said, “In light of yesterday’s shocking attack on the Capitol, we have disabled President Trump’s Twitch channel. Given the current extraordinary circumstances and the President’s incendiary rhetoric, we believe this is a necessary step to protect our community and prevent Twitch from being used to incite further violence.”
Republicans and media personalities mercilessly mocked House Democrats for using “gendered language” despite just having passed a new rules package banning such language in the U.S. House of Representatives.
On Monday, the House passed new rules banning any non-inclusive terms, including “father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt,” and more. Such terms, according to House Democrats, should be replaced with more gender-neutral terms, including “parent, child, sibling, parent’s sibling,” and more.
What are the details?
On Fox News, former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) led the charge against the new rules and said, in a blistering statement directed at House Democrats, “It absolutely does the very opposite of that, and it’s the height of hypocrisy for people who claim to be the champions of rights for women to deny the very biological existence of women. And this recent rule change that the House just actually voted and passed on today that you were talking about, removing references to, you know, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, from congressional rules and administration.”
“It’s mind-blowing because it shows just how out of touch with reality and the struggles of everyday Americans people in Congress are,” she added.
Tulsi Gabbard rips ‘mind blowing’ House rule changes banning gendered language
She wasn’t the only one who noticed the apparent hypocrisy.
As highlighted by the Daily Wire, the National Republican Congressional Committee widely mocked several Democrats for their insistence on using the banned language in their own public profiles, saying “Democrats cancel themselves.”
Pointing at Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) — who refers to herself as a mother on social media and voted for the measure — NRCC spokesperson Torunn Sinclair said, “In her quest for peak wokeness, Katie Porter cancelled herself and disrespected everyone else who views themselves as a mom.”
Pointing at Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.), Sinclair added, “In his quest for peak wokeness, Matt Cartwright cancelled himself and disrespected everyone else who views themselves as a husband and father.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also took flak for apparently making a mockery of her own push for inclusivity by referring to herself as a “mother” and a “grandmother” on Twitter.
Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer pointed out the gaffe on social media, writing, “Flagging for the woke leftists. @SpeakerPelosi’s twitter bio is in violation of her new House rules against using gender specific terms.”
Flagging for the woke leftists. @SpeakerPelosi ‘s twitter bio is in violation of her new House rules against using… https://t.co/EPGPnKjenG
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) also said that the new changes were asinine and complained on Fox News that House Democrats were moving further and further away from a more palatable center.
“They can’t say ‘amen’ to a prayer, you cannot say you’re a father, a son, a mother or a daughter, you cheat the minority on what’s the vote on the floor,” he said. “They’re not coming closer to what the American people want. They’re going further away to protect their extreme, radical views.”
Ireland Baldwin — daughter of actor Alec Baldwin and actress Kim Basinger — has issued an apology to social media after conflating Latinx and Spanish nationalities while defending her stepmother from accusations of faking a Spanish heritage.
What’s a brief history here?
Earlier this month, Hilaria Baldwin was accused of cultural appropriation after social media users insisted that she appeared to suggest she possessed a Spanish nationality.
Social media users took Hilaria — Ireland’s stepmother and Alec’s current wife — to task over the allegations, accusing her of faking a Spanish accent and blasting her for appearing to never correct habitual reports that she was of Spanish nationality.
On Monday, Ireland Baldwin defended Hilaria in an Instagram video, writing, “It’s so pathetic that anyone would wanna play detective, and dig that deep into someone’s life that they don’t know, don’t know anything about, how they were raised, who they were actually raised by. It’s just kinda sad and pathetic.”
She continued, “[I]t’s the holidays, and people are depressed, people are going through a lot. I know I’m going through a lot, personally. And the last thing we really need to do is start s**t and gossip about something that is so, so stupid. And about somebody that nobody really even knows.”
“This person has dug up old tweets from Hilaria’s high school peers, and they all say one thing about her, that she’s really kind, when they reflect back on their experience with her,” Alec Baldwin’s daughter continued. “And that’s because she is very kind, she’s a good person. And she’s a caring person who’s always respected my relationship with my dad. I have a great relationship with her. And she could be a really malicious, terrible, horrible human who tears people down, but she isn’t. Hilaria is a wonderful mother who takes great care of her kids, and she takes great care of my dad. And that’s really all that matters to me.”
In a since-deleted post, Ireland Baldwin then added, “I simply want to say this and then nothing more. I am fully supportive of any individual of the Latinx community. I will continue to listen and learn. But I also feel defensive when misinformation spreads regarding my family. I will do better. … At the same time, I hope that people can start getting information from credible sources.”
What are the details?
Following the defense of her stepmother, Ireland took to Instagram once more and revealed that many people remarked on her original post and blasted her for conflating “Latinx” — which refers to a person of Latin American nationality — and Spanish. Spain is a European country.
In a now-viral Tuesday night Instagram post, the 25-year-old model said that the topic of “cultural appropriation” is an important one, and thanked her followers for “sharing with me ways I can do better.”
She began, “I moved out of a major city with the intention of escaping the public eye in a small but significant way. I couldn’t take a deep breath in Los Angeles and was dealing with a great deal of anxiety that I didn’t know how to manage. Stories come out about my family members that often times are fabricated or blown out of proportion.
“I’ve spent so much time getting worked up and upset seeing people dig into my parent’s [sic] divorce and relationship history, into my past having visited a mental rehabilitation facility, and so many PRIVATE ordeals made public,” she continued. “That’s the thing I can say that most of you don’t understand… what it’s like to have your family’s private affairs aired out and analyzed by millions of strangers.
“Now the purpose of this isn’t to ask for any kind of sympathy,” Baldwin added, “I simply want to point out a couple of things. 1. Like I mentioned yesterday, I do love my step mom very much. I think she’s a strong, kind, and caring human being. Without saying anything further on all of this, I think it is her business and not my own to discuss her family background and answer your questions.”
She continued, “2. I really appreciate the Instagram friends in my DMS [sic] who have been very open and honestly having discussions about cultural appropriation, the right terms to address their communities, and sharing with me ways that I can do better. 3. I don’t see the significance in bullying anyone. Yes, it’s important to educate. And YES it’s beyond ok to express frustration and confusion and anger… but I think sending threatening messages isn’t really going to get any kind of message across either.”
She concluded, “4. I appreciate those who are patient with me. I don’t have a publicist or a team of people who are all writing my posts and gathering my thoughts and making them as politically correct as possible… I’m going to f*** up. I’m a flawed human being who is still deep in this learning journey. I apologize to those who are dealing with any kind of hurt during these times and I hope you have a Happy New Year.”
Has Hilaria responded to any of this?
On Tuesday night, Hilaria took to her own social media channel and addressed the ongoing controversy.
In a video, she said, “Yes I am a white girl, my family is white … Europe has a lot of white people in them. Ethnically I am a mix of many, many things.”
Hilaria also referred to herself as a “different kind of Bostonian.”
“[Y]ou can’t change your background and nor would I want to,” she insisted. “This is who I am, and this is my life story … it’s my weird mix of who I am.”
Singer Halsey issued a heartfelt apology Monday after sharing a photo of herself dealing with an eating disorder.
Social media users came out in droves and accused the singer — real name Ashley Nicolette Frangipane — of insensitivity because she didn’t share the post on her personal Instagram page with a “trigger warning” that was considered good enough.
What are the details?
According to a Tuesday report from Insider, social media users took Halsey — who also lives with bipolar disorder — to task over the offending photo, prompting her to issue an apology and delete the post.
The singer and entertainer also announced a temporary social media break to recalibrate after the attack on her judgment.
Insider reported, “The ‘Clementine’ singer shared an image of herself living with the disorder on Instagram, after a fan asked to see her at her ‘lowest point.'”
In response, Halsey shared a mirror selfie with the caption, “TW [trigger warning]: ED [eating disorder], ask for help.” In the photo, Halsey is topless — but using her arms to protect her modesty — and looking decidedly thin and frail. You can view the original photo here.
Needless to say, some social media users came out to attack the singer for not paying mind to crafting a more comprehensive “trigger warning” so as to avoid offending or hurting the feelings of those social media users in question. You can read some of the backlash here.
Following the outcry over the photo, Halsey tweeted, “TW: disordered eating[.] I am very sorry for posting a photo of myself depicting my struggle with ED without a sufficient trigger warning. I was very nervous to post it and didn’t think properly. I had positive intentions. I would never want to harm someone who shares my struggle.”
TW: disordered eating
I am very sorry for posting a photo of myself depicting my struggle with ED without a suffic… https://t.co/CZUw2ocaEA
This isn’t the first time that the entertainer has been candid about her personal life and she said that she’s been “committed” at least twice since entering the spotlight.
In 2019, she told Rolling Stone that she manages as best as she is able on a daily basis.
“I’ve been committed twice since [I became] Halsey, and no one’s known about it,” she said. “But I’m not ashamed of talking about it now.”
“It’s been my choice [to seek help],” she continues. “I’ve said to [my manager], ‘Hey, I’m not going to do anything bad right now, but I’m getting to the point where I’m scared that I might, so I need to go figure this out.’ It’s still happening in my body. I just know when to get in front of it.”
Comedian and actor David Cross has rejected President-elect Joe Biden’s plea for unity amid his transition into the White House, calling for “blood” instead.
What are the details?
Biden on Saturday tweeted, “After a year of pain and loss, it’s time to unite, heal, and rebuild.”
While many social media users took the president-elect’s message in a productive and positive way, Cross called for a revolution.
“F*** that,” he wrote, retweeting Biden’s remarks. “I want blood.”
Image source: Twitter screenshot
What was the response?
Despite its apparent call for division, the tweet, according to the Washington Examiner, “did not violate any of the tech giant’s rules or policies,” a statement from Twitter said.
Many conservatives and critics, however, had their say and railed against Cross’s inflammatory remarks.
Writer Kurt Schlicter simply wrote, “Come and take it.”
Twitter user TyrantNo4 wrote, “Imagine saying this and still thinking you’re one of the good guys.”
User BagelEnchilada chimed in, “David, I used to be a bouncer for a pub in Santa Monica. You came in one night. You barely made it to the top of the stool at the bar. Sit down.”
Musician Phil Labonte added, “Well go gitchu some! Stop tweeting and start watering that grass. … For the rest of eternity, anytime he tweets, there should be at least one reply that says ‘the grass isn’t gonna water itself.'”
Following the backlash, Cross on Sunday wrote, “I am loving the responses to this that are all, ‘come and try p***y soy lib hollywood girl woman’ as if these anonymous maga chuds & chudettes don’t practice the same exact feckless violent fantasy trolling.”
Image source: Twitter screenshot
Just last week, actor Alec Baldwin — an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump — mused about the violence the sitting president should see should he refuse to vacate the White House in January.
“Who arrests Trump if he refuses to concede? Who drags him out? Pepper spray? Cuffs?” Baldwin wrote on Twitter earlier in the month. “A knee on his neck, cutting off his oxygen? Does he wheeze ‘I can’t breathe.’ Just whale away on him like a piñata? Rodney King style? The thug who has destroyed the country. What does he deserve?”
Who arrests Trump if he refuses to concede?
Who drags him out?
Pepper spray? Cuffs?
A knee on his neck, cutting off… https://t.co/046e2RbCDe
We previously have covered the many weighty claims made by the progenitors of A.I. algorithms who claim that their technology can stop crime before it happens. Similar predictive A.I. is increasingly being used to stop the spread of misinformation, disinformation, and general “fake news” by analyzing trends in behavior and language used across social media.
Please keep this in mind as you look at the latest lofty pronouncements from the University of Sheffield below. Nevertheless, we should also be aware that — similar to their real-world counterparts in street-level pre-crime — these systems most likely will be rolled out across social media (if they haven’t been already) regardless, until further exposure of their inherent flaws, biases, and their own disinformation is revealed.
AI can predict Twitter users likely to spread disinformation before they do it
A new artificial-intelligence-based algorithm that can accurately predict which Twitter users will spread disinformation before they actually do it has been developed by researchers from the University of Sheffield.
University of Sheffield researchers have developed an artificial intelligence-based algorithm that can accurately predict (79.7 percent) which Twitter users are likely to share content from unreliable news sources before they actually do it
Study found that Twitter users who spread disinformation mostly tweet about politics or religion, whereas users who share reliable sources of news tweet more about their personal lives
Research also found that Twitter users who share disinformation use impolite language more frequently than users who share reliable news sources
Findings could help governments and social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook better understand user behavior and help them design more effective models for tackling the spread of disinformation
A new artificial-intelligence-based algorithm that can accurately predict which Twitter users will spread disinformation before they actually do it has been developed by researchers from the University of Sheffield.
A team of researchers, led by Yida Mu and Dr. Nikos Aletras from the University’s Department of Computer Science, has developed a method for predicting whether a social media user is likely to share content from unreliable news sources. Their findings have been published in the journal PeerJ.
The researchers analyzed over 1 million tweets from approximately 6,200 Twitter users by developing new natural language processing methods – ways to help computers process and understand huge amounts of language data. The tweets they studied were all tweets that were publicly available for anyone to see on the social media platform.
Twitter users were grouped into two categories as part of the study – those who have shared unreliable news sources and those who only share stories from reliable news sources. The data was used to train a machine-learning algorithm that can accurately predict (79.7 percent) whether a user will repost content from unreliable sources sometime in the future.
Results from the study found that Twitter users who shared stories from unreliable sources are more likely to tweet about either politics or religion and use impolite language. They often posted tweets with words such as ‘liberal’, ‘government’, ‘media’, and their tweets often related to politics in the Middle East and Islam, with their tweets often mentioning ‘Islam’ or ‘Israel’.
In contrast, the study found that Twitter users who shared stories from reliable news sources often tweeted about their personal life, such as their emotions and interactions with friends. This group of users often posted tweets with words such as ‘mood’. ‘wanna’, ‘gonna’, ‘I’ll’, ‘excited’, and ‘birthday’.
Findings from the study could help social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook develop ways to tackle the spread of disinformation online. They could also help social scientists and psychologists improve their understanding of such user behavior on a large scale.
Dr. Nikos Aletras, Lecturer in Natural Language Processing at the University of Sheffield, said:
Social media has become one of the most popular ways that people access the news, with millions of users turning to platforms such as Twitter and Facebook every day to find out about key events that are happening both at home and around the world. However, social media has become the primary platform for spreading disinformation, which is having a huge impact on society and can influence people’s judgement of what is happening in the world around them.
As part of our study, we identified certain trends in user behaviour that could help with those efforts – for example, we found that users who are most likely to share news stories from unreliable sources often tweet about politics or religion, whereas those who share stories from reliable news sources often tweeted about their personal lives.
We also found that the correlation between the use of impolite language and the spread of unreliable content can be attributed to high online political hostility.
Yida Mu, a Ph.D. student at the University of Sheffield, said:
Studying and analysing the behaviour of users sharing content from unreliable news sources can help social media platforms to prevent the spread of fake news at the user level, complementing existing fact-checking methods that work on the post or the news source level.
The study, Identifying Twitter users who repost unreliable news sources with linguistic information, is published in PeerJ. To access the paper in full, visit: https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj-cs.325
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tried to legitimize prostitution in a Tuesday tweet, referring to “sex work” as real “work.”
What are the details?
Ocasio-Cortez was referring to a Rolling Stone story that accused the New York Post of shaming a 23-year-old paramedic who began virtually selling herself online to paid subscribers.
Copying the article, the New York congresswoman wrote, “Sex work is work. The federal gov has done almost nothing to help people in months. We must pass stimulus checks, UI, small biz relief, hospital funding, etc.”
“Keep the focus of shame there, not on marginalizing people surviving a pandemic without help,” she added.
Sex work is work.
The federal gov has done almost nothing to help people in months. We must pass stimulus checks,… https://t.co/nOW2kh2rcm
In 2019, Fox News reported that Ocasio-Cortez announced her advocacy for decriminalizing prostitution alongside Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in endorsing the SAFE SEX Workers Study Act.
“The SAFE SEX Workers Study Act, sponsored by Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., would study the effects of two anti-sex trafficking bills — the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act and the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act [SESTA/FOSTA] — that became law last year,” Fox News reported at the time. “Opponents say the new law makes consensual sex work more difficult. According to Khanna’s office, the law has forced sex workers off of online platforms and into more dangerous situations.”
In a press release, Khanna said, “Sex workers have relied on such internet platforms to screen clients and negotiate boundaries for consensual, transactional sex services, including condom use and other harm reduction strategies. … While SESTA/FOSTA was intended to curb online sex trafficking, by banning the ‘promotion of prostitution,’ a host of internet platforms relied on by sex workers have shut down.”
President-elect Joe Biden has tapped several top employees from technology and social media companies to assist with his transition, a potential sign that Silicon Valley and the White House will have a cozy relationship during Biden’s presidential tenure.
What are the details?
Politico reported Saturday that Biden’s transition team has “quietly” recruited employees from Google and Facebook, who will, shockingly, concurrently work for the transition team and their respective companies.
“When the Biden transition team released the names of hundreds of personnel on Nov. 10, there were zero current Facebook or Google employees among them. That’s changed — the transition website quietly added four Facebook and Google employees to its agency review teams on or close to Thanksgiving,” Politico reported.
The officials are, according to Politico:
Zaid Zaid, a public policy official for Facebook, who has joined the State Department and International Development teams;
Christopher Upperman, a Facebook manager, who has joined the Small Business Administration team;
Rachel Lieber, a Facebook director and associate general counsel, who has joined the Intelligence Community team; and
Deon Scott, a Google program manager, who has joined the Department of Homeland Security team.
Politico added, “Silicon Valley critics have pressured the incoming administration not to hire people with ties to the tech industry to senior posts, particularly individuals associated with Facebook and Google, which are fending off massive antitrust lawsuits. There are a number of former Facebook leaders already in top positions on the transition.”
The move is sure to raise eyebrows given criticism that Big Tech received during the election, especially over allegations that right-leaning content was suppressed.
Such criticism reached its climax in October, just weeks before Election Day, when the New York Post broke news about a laptop that allegedly belonged to Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. Among other bombshells contained on the laptop was the allegation that Biden knew more about Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings, which have been the subject of multiple federal investigations, than he previously admitted.
Facebook suppressed the story, and Twitter outright censored it, despite the fact that Biden’s campaign never challenged material facts contained within the story.
Biden’s transition team has already announced selections for more than half of Biden’s Cabinet.
Among top posts, nominations include Antony Blinken for secretary of state, Janet Yellen for treasury secretary, and Lloyd Austin for defense secretary.
Biden has not yet announced his nominee for attorney general. However, TheBlaze reported over the weekend that Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is in the running, along with outgoing Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, and federal appellate Judge Merrick Garland.
Twitter has previously flagged President Donald Trump’s tweets with warning labels and disclaimers accusing the president of spreading misinformation, but so far has refrained from outright banning Trump’s account.
Come Jan. 20, 2021, that may change.
A spokesperson for Twitter confirmed to Forbes earlier this month that Trump’s account will no longer be protected under Twitter’s “World Leaders policy” after President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.
Trump tweets that violate Twitter’s rules on election misinformation or hate speech, for example, could see enforcement action taken against the president’s account. Trump will have to follow the same guidelines as regular citizens, the spokesman said.
In the weeks following the U.S. presidential election, Trump has repeatedly claimed on Twitter that widespread voter fraud cost him the election. He has raised concerns about voting machines, claimed Trump votes were “routed to Biden,” and asserted that battleground states “CANNOT LEGALLY CERTIFY” the results of their elections even as states legally certified their election results. For each of these claims, Twitter has added a notification to Trump’s tweets that says, “This claim about election fraud is disputed.”
President Trump is the second most-followed politician on Twitter, with 88.6 million followers — only behind former President Barack Obama’s 125 million. After he leaves office, any enforcement action taken against his account will be noticed.
Reform of Section 230 does have bipartisan support. Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) recently introduced a bill with Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) to strip big tech companies of their Section 230 protections.
Today I introduced the Break Up Big Tech Act with @RepGosar to remove #Sec230 immunity for tech companies who act l… https://t.co/3PKHNBjhlY
Once Trump is no longer president, he will be subject to the same rules as other Twitter users. Typically, the first violation of one of Twitter’s rules will result in Twitter either limiting the visibility of the violating tweet or requiring a user to remove the tweet before he can tweet again from that account. But repeated violations can result in an account becoming permanently suspended, which Twitter describes as its “most severe enforcement action.”
“Permanently suspending an account will remove it from global view, and the violator will not be allowed to create new accounts. When we permanently suspend an account, we notify people that they have been suspended for abuse violations, and explain which policy or policies they have violated and which content was in violation,” the Twitter rules state. A user may appeal a permanent suspension by filing a report with Twitter.
Let me start out with the good, I love MeWe. Of all the alternative social media platforms I have tried it is the most feature filled and most respecting of your right to privacy. In fact they have a “Privacy …Continue reading →
I am not going to lie, I was not all in or even in on Discord on my first pass. Setting up a “discord server” comes with some need of technical knowledge and it just looked like a pain in …Continue reading →
The fact-checkers are finally being exposed! Facebook’s “independent” fact-checker (who suggests which posts get censored and removed) has been exposed as not being “independent.” In fact, she’s a Hillary Clinton supporter.
International Fact-Checking Network certifier and American University School of Communication professor Margot Susca is unashamedly politically biased but she was responsible for issuing 19 fact-check licenses or reviews for organizations to become fact-checkers, according to Sky News.
Facebook fact-checkers have been hired and given extraordinary powers to censor news stories they disagree with, demonetize news organizations, and ban news outlets entirely. And they are far from “independent,” by any sense of the word.
Susca has issued “licenses” to “fact check” to outlets such as This includes the Associated Press, Check Your Fact, Decrypteurs, Lead Stories, Media Wise, and The Dispatch. She has also appeared on Russia Today to criticize President Trump and has tweeted that it would be a “dereliction of duty” to broadcast his speeches, reported Sky News.In 2019, Susca posted a happy snap with failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton where she admitted “I’ve been on Team Hillary since 08 tbh” and said she was disappointed her likability did not resonate with the public in 2016. “My boyfriend was her nuclear policy fellow for a year when she was in the Senate,” she wrote. “Says she’s the smartest, wittiest, most likable person. It just never came through I guess. So Fucking sad.”
People are finally realizing that fact-checkers don’t actually do any fact-checking. They simply censor ideas that go against their narrative and try to keep information that doesn’t fit the official narrative of slavery and control from the minds of public. We knew this from the beginning, though.
The official Black Lives Matter movement is apparently unhappy with former Vice President Joe Biden after learning that reportedly none of the movement’s leaders were invited to a relevant meeting Tuesday with the leader.
What are the details?
The organization tweeted Wednesday, “Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Rep. Cedric Richmond met with several civil rights groups yesterday. @blklivesmatter — as the largest social justice movement in history — was not invited.”
Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Rep. Cedric Richmond met with several civil rights groups yesterday.
The group later added, “The night of their victory, we sent @joebiden and @kamalaharris a letter requesting a meeting. It has now been 32 days and we have yet to receive a response. To set up a meeting with civil rights leaders, without BLM, is unacceptable.”
The organization insisted that it deserves a “seat at the table,” and displayed a petition calling for Biden and Harris to meet with the group.
We deserve a seat at the table. The 63,747 people who signed our petition want us there too.
The group was unhappy that they were apparently left out of the meeting following Biden’s announcement that Richmond, a Louisiana Democrat, would lead the White House Office of Public Engagement.
According to a Politico report, the meeting — which took place virtually on Tuesday — addressed administration positions, as well as the type of attorney general Biden should nominate to head up the Justice Department.
The conversation was centered on racial justice and equity — racial equity is among the four pillars Biden laid out as top priorities on his transition website. Race was also a key issue in the presidential election, as Americans all over the country took to the streets to protest racial injustice amid a pandemic that has disproportionately affected black and brown communities. Plus, black voters not only saved Biden’s presidential primary campaign but also helped elevate him to the White House in November.
The meeting, according to the outlet, centered on topics such as voting rights, judges, criminal justice reform, equality, and executive appointments.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, according to the outlet, recalled telling Biden during a news conference, “You cannot respond by not having an attorney general that has a background in civil rights. My preference, I said to him, is to have a black attorney general. … I said, however, the least we could have is someone that has a proven civil rights background, not someone that’s gonna handle this heightened, racist, bigoted atmosphere with on-the-job training.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said this week that he and Dr. Anthony Fauci are “modern-day” versions of actors Robert De Niro and Al Pacino.
Social media responded to the Democratic governor’s remarks with a mix of scornful glee and derision.
What are the details?
During a Monday press conference, Cuomo and Fauci discussed the ongoing COVID-19 response across the country.
At the time of this reporting, researchers at Johns Hopkins University estimate that there have been 15 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States, with more than 1.5 million deaths worldwide attributed to the virus.
As the two spoke, Cuomo went on to compare himself and Fauci to revered Italian-American actors Robert De Niro and Al Pacino.
“Doctor,” Cuomo said about New York state’s infection rate, “on the question of this state’s infection rate versus other states, we’re lower than all states besides Vermont, Maine, and Hawaii. Does that surprise you, and how do you explain that?”
Fauci began his response by virtually clapping Cuomo on the back for how the state recovered from its early pandemic surge.
“I have to say, being a New Yorker, Governor, it doesn’t surprise me,” he said. “You guys, as you and I have discussed on many phone calls that we’ve had, you got hit with a sucker-punch right from the beginning, when the cases came in from Europe, the Northeastern corridor — particularly New York state, particularly the metropolitan — got hit really, really badly.”
He continued, “You recovered from that, was after you got hit badly, your baseline level went way, way, way down and very, very low, and then you did things which were the appropriate way to avoid getting re-surging [cases]. So, the bad news, and it’s painful for me to see it from a distance to my place of birth, but you guys really got slammed.”
Fauci went on and lauded the governor for keeping test positives across the state low.
“[T]hen you rebounded and you rebounded in a way that you kept your test positivity low, because you did the prudent things that you need to do,” he explained. “And I was following it from here in Washington, and I was seeing that whenever it looked like things were getting a little out of hand, you tightened the rope a little bit. And then when things went back, you eased up a little bit. So I’m not surprised that your infection rate is really low, because I think you were doing the right things after you had a really bad serious hit in the beginning when you were there in the late winter, early spring.”
Cuomo, appearing to soak up the praise, responded by telling the infectious diseases expert that the two should take the COVID-19 vaccine together as a show of unity.
“I think you have tremendous credibility, not just across the country, but across this state,” he said. “And I think your voice on saying that vaccines are safe would be important. I said that as soon as the vaccine is deemed ready and safe, I’ll be the first one to take a vaccine. Maybe we enlist you, I’ll do it with you. We’ll do an ad telling New Yorkers it’s safe to take the vaccine, to put us together. We’re like the modern-day De Niro and Pacino. You can be whichever you want, you can be the De Niro or Pacino. Fauci and Cuomo, I’ll give you … who do you want to be? De Niro or Pacino? Which one do you want to be?”
Fauci, laughing, responded that he is partial to both actors.
“I don’t want to insult one or the other,” he reasoned. “If I say one, I don’t want to hurt the feelings of the other.”
What did social media say?
Film critic Sean Burns quipped, “This makes sense because at the ends of their movies usually everyone is dead.”
This makes sense because at the ends of their movies usually everyone is dead. https://t.co/toSqnDB56w
This new malware was discovered by researchers at Dutch cyber-security company Sansec that focuses on defending e-commerce websites from digital skimming (also known as Magecart) attacks.
The payment skimmer malware pulls its sleight of hand trick with the help of a double payload structure where the source code of the skimmer script that steals customers’ credit cards will be concealed in a social sharing icon loaded as an HTML ‘svg’ element with a ‘path’ element as a container.
The syntax for hiding the skimmer’s source code as a social media button perfectly mimics an ‘svg’ element named using social media platform names (e.g., facebook_full, twitter_full, instagram_full, youtube_full, pinterest_full, and google_full).
A separate decoder deployed separately somewhere on the e-commerce site’s server is used to extract and execute the code of the hidden credit card stealer.
This tactic increases the chances of avoiding detection even if one of the two malware components is found since the malware loader is not necessarily stored within the same location as the skimmer payload and their true purpose might evade superficial analysis.