10,000 on ignore, Book 202, Gethsemane, Part 5.....

Ten Thousan Marbles

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  • Over a dozen news organizations reviewed Facebook documents leaked by whistleblower Frances Haugen.
  • The outlets published a flurry of reports Monday based on those documents, known as The Facebook Papers.
  • The topics range from Facebook's fading popularity with teens to failures in addressing hate speech.
A consortium of 17 US news organizations on Monday said they had reviewed leaked internal documents obtained by whistleblower Frances Haugen.

Their reports span a wide range of issues at the company, including its fading popularity with teens, its ability to counter hate speech, and its treatment of politicians.

Some of the internal documents reviewed by the news organizations were previously reported on by The Wall Street Journal.

Here are some of the stories that dropped on Monday revealing new information about Facebook:
  • Bloomberg and The Verge reported on internal company documents appearing to show that Facebook has been losing traction with teen users and desperately trying to recapture the market.
  • The Financial Times reported that Facebook employees urged management not to make moderation exceptions for politicians and celebrities.
  • The New York Times reported on internal documents appearing to show how the company grappled with whether to keep or get rid of the "like" and "share" buttons.
  • The Washington Post cited three sources who said Mark Zuckerberg personally signed off on censorship demands from the Vietnamese government.
  • Politico reported on Facebook documents appearing to show the company's research on its market dominance.
  • The Associated Press reported on Facebook documents appearing to show how its lack of language-specific moderation stops it from properly addressing moderation issues, including terrorism and hate speech.
  • NBC reported on internal employee debates and apparent disillusionment over whether the company has done enough to counter hate speech and misinformation.
  • The Atlantic cited the documents that show Facebook employees were concerned about the company's harm to democracy and its role in the January 6 Capitol riots, but leadership failed to act.
  • The Atlantic reported on Facebook documents that show the company gave fewer moderation resources to markets outside of the US, which has resulted in more hate speech, drug cartel activity, ethnic cleansing. and sex trafficking.
  • Wired similarly reported on Facebook's understanding and moderating content in Arabic's many dialects, which both human and automated systems struggle to interpret.
  • CNN reported on documents showing Facebook was unprepared for both the Stop the Steal movement and the January 6 Capitol insurrection.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Cowboys For Trump Founder Cuoy Griffin Turns on Trump. Griffin Is Mad He Was Arrested For Jan 6th.
Merlin196357

I doubt this will make a seismic shift in the political tectonic plates of America, but Cowboys for Trump founder Cuoy Griffin has supposedly turned on Donald Trump over the Jan 6th Insurrection. No, Griffin is not angry that there was an insurrection. No Siree Bob! Griffin is pissed off that he was arrested for taking part in the insurrection! And his agony over this is especially pronounced because Trump failed to jail a certain politician during his four years as president!

"We supported President Trump because of his fight for justice as well. And for four years we cried, 'Lock her up. Lock her up. Lock her up.' We know she's a criminal. What did the president tell us? 'If I was in charge of the law, you'd be in jail,'" Griffin said Sunday at a QAnon conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.
"Mr. President, you've been in charge of the law for four years," he added. "At the end of your four year time, the only ones locked up were men like me, and others like me, that have stood by the president the strongest."

So Hillary Clinton is free as a bird, and a poor old rodeo rider like Griffin may be headed for some time in the hoosegow! Well, I don’t know if he ever will see time in jail. Griffin claimed that prosecutors offered him a plea agreement.

District 2 Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin, 47 of Tularosa claimed he was offered a plea agreement Aug. 9 in the federal trespassing case against him.
The Associated Press first reported the existence of the plea deal on Aug. 9, citing a court discussion.
But multiple requests for confirmation from Griffin's attorney's and those of the prosecution by the Alamogordo Daily News were not returned as of Wednesday.

How tough is this supposed plea agreement? Well,….

"There is absolutely a plea on the table," Griffin told Anthony Lucero of KALH in Alamogordo in an Aug. 10 broadcast.
"Just to briefly, kind of, hit on it: it would be a lowest class misdemeanor and it would entail no jailtime. It would entail probation. But I would have to confess to something that consciously I don't know if I can. That's where my struggle is right now."

It would be oh so tough for Griffin to admit that he was part of the insurrection. Given how lenient most of the insurrectionists have been treated, I’m afraid that Griffin may be correct that if he “confessed” to being an asshole in court he would walk free. But he also sounds arrogant enough not to take the deal, if it is legitimate.

This guy is a county commissioner in New Mexico. They tried to recall him, but they didn’t get enough signatures on the petition drive. So no recall for Griffin.

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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With only each other for company, insurrectionists’ extremism deepens in ‘Patriot Wing’ of D.C. jail
David Neiwert

GettyImages-1230505096.jpg

Alabama insurrectionist Richard Barnett, who helped vandalize House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office during the Jan. 6 Capitol siege, has been among the defendants held in the D.C. Central Detention Center passing around a newsletter.

Incarcerating right-wing extremists with other criminals is always a fraught proposition since they are free to proselytize their beliefs, and prisons have proven over the years to be congenial environments for spreading political radicalization. But when you imprison a large collection of extremists with similar beliefs together, the situation becomes even more dicey as their ideologies and shared conspiracy theories blossom into even more radical forms and harden into confirmed far-right identities.

This, as VICE’s Tess Owen reports this week, appears to be the scenario unfolding inside the Central Detention Facility in Washington, D.C., where federal prosecutors are holding about 40 men accused of committing various crimes in the course of participating in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

The men are circulating a newsletter among themselves, singing the national anthem every morning, and generally spreading more far-right disinformation among themselves, reinforcing and solidifying their antidemocratic beliefs.
...........
“I do think the fact that the J6 defendants who are currently being held pre-trial ... having them all together where they can seemingly communicate by newsletter, is likely to foster continued feelings of anti-government mentality among those individuals who are being prosecuted,” Jonathan Lewis, a research fellow at the George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, told Owen.

The 40 or so insurrectionists, according to their own writings, are being held together in a separate “Patriot Wing” of the jail, apart from other prisoners. Calling themselves the “1/6ers,” most of their communications with each other revolve around assuring each other of their martyrdom and righteousness.

“We watch the people of other countries rise up against authoritarianism and think, how sad they must be to want freedom and liberty so much,” said a jailhouse letter written by Texas militiaman Guy Reffitt and published by ProPublica. “Here, the more you try to divide, bend or even break America. The more The Republic of The People will stand indivisible and resolute.”

Reffitt told ProPublica that more than 30 people he was in custody with at the Washington jail had discussed the letter. He said the suspects use “kites”—a slang term for jailhouse messages passed from cell to cell—to communicate with each other.

“By naming themselves, having a newsletter, establishing this unification thing, they’re viewing themselves as patriots and see what they did as necessary to defend the country,” Laura Dugan, Ralph D. Mershon professor of human security and professor of sociology at Ohio State University, told Owen. “Some may have to go even deeper into this layer of denial, buying even more into the idea that the election was not legitimate, and they had no other choice but to go and fight for it.”

Richard Barnett, the Arkansas man notorious for having put his feet up on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk at the height of the Capitol siege, told NBC News that the men sang the national anthem daily to bolster their camaraderie. He said the newsletter was part of the men’s internal communications.

“We would all contribute to it and pass it cell to cell. Like in any prison, things get passed,” Barnett said.

The problem of ideological extremists spreading their beliefs within the prison system is not a new one; Islamist radicalism has been known to spread within similar environments, creating concern among counterterrorism experts. Similarly, far-right prison gangs such as the Aryan Brotherhood may be primarily criminal enterprises, but they also have a underlying white supremacist ideology that often is maintained by members after their release from prison.

Some far-right extremists, such as the late leader of the Montana Freemen, LeRoy Schweitzer, used their prison stints to spread their belief systems. Within a year of his 1996 arrest, Schweitzer had successfully converted dozens of fellow prisoners into his “sovereign citizenship” program, creating headaches for both courts and prison officials. This can have long-term consequences; in the succeeding years, sovereign-citizen ideology has been spreading widely within American prison culture.

So far, most of the 1/6ers’ communication appears to involve sharing conspiracy theories, as well as voicing defenses of their actions at the Capitol that appear geared both to persuade outsiders as well as to potentially serve as a defense in court.

“January 6th was nothing short of a satirical way to overthrow a government,” wrote Reffit in his letter to ProPublica. “If overthrow was the quest, it would have no doubt been overthrown.”

More than anything, they appear to focus on justifying their martyrdom. “We have been labeled the enemy, yet clearly we see tyranny as the enemy,” Reffitt wrote. “While our lawyers do our bidding and the judges do their duties, we remain resolute, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and singing the National Anthem all in unison, loud and proud most every day. All because we are us, we are you, we are all Americans and in here, we have no labels.”

“By making these symbolic gestures, it makes it seem as though their ‘struggle,’ everything they’re going through, is worth it. If what they did was for nothing, that would cause a serious break in their identity as ‘patriots’,” Kurt Braddock, faculty fellow at the Polarization and Extremism Research Innovation Lab, told Owen. “These justifications are being mainstreamed and normalized by many elements of the right, and that’s the biggest danger right now.”
 

McCloudersportLion

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Yakee hat crew, Joe Bera the Yogi had fables 2 on the moon,
You were a tough lidda Yogi U played katcher too?
No dont tea that up for Rye 2 Catch, that's Cartman league Juice
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Biden admin announces program allowing private individuals to sponsor Afghan refugees
Gabe Ortiz

Private individuals and community groups will now be able to sponsor Afghan refugees under a new program announced by the Biden administration on Monday. Under the Sponsor Circle Program for Afghans, groups of vetted individuals would form “sponsor circles” that will be responsible for securing housing and financial support for families, and help situate them in their new communities.

“Americans of all walks of life have expressed strong interest in helping to welcome these individuals,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. “The Sponsor Circle Program for Afghans harnesses this outpouring of support and enables individuals to become directly involved in the welcome and integration of our new neighbors.”
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The Sponsor Circle Program for Afghans, an initiative of the Department of State and the Community Sponsorship Hub, requires interested applicants to first pass a background check, complete mandatory training, and pledge that they can support newly arrived individuals or families for three months. “Once sponsor circles are certified, CSH will work to match them with arriving Afghans who choose to participate in the program,” Blinken said. Per the application website, “sponsor circles” must consist of at least five adults.

“In addition to centering communities in welcoming new arrivals, the Sponsor Circle Program expands the capacity to resettle arriving Afghans, complementing the work of the State Department’s non-profit resettlement agency partners,” Blinken continued. “This program showcases the powerful role that individuals can play in coming together to welcome and integrate Afghans into American society, reflecting our spirit of goodwill and generosity.”

The program comes as refugee resettlement agencies tasked by the federal government with aiding refugees have been both deluged with calls from volunteers—“we have never seen this kind of increase in people wanting to volunteer,” one program supervisor from Texas told The Washington Post in August—and have struggled to find affordable housing for individuals and families.

Resettlement agencies have said they typically have months to prepare for new arrivals, but that wasn’t the case with Operation Allies Rescue. “As of earlier this week, roughly 68,000 Afghan evacuees had arrived in the U.S. since August 17, according to Department of Homeland Security data,” CBS News reports. And because thousands of Afghans were quickly evacuated through a process called humanitarian parole, they’ll be unable to access services typically available to other refugees. People in the U.S. through humanitarian parole may also be eligible for a work permit.

“Refugee advocates have long called for a U.S. initiative that would mirror Canada's popular private refugee sponsorship program, arguing that private individuals and groups can help the government resettle more immigrants who qualify for humanitarian protection,” CBS News reported. Krish O'Mara Vignarajah, president of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), compared the program to pre-1980s resettlement efforts that were largely carried out by church groups and individuals.

@LIRSorg began our work in 1939, and private sponsorship was critical to our ability to resettle 17,000 Vietnamese refugees after the fall of Saigon, for example,” she tweeted. “With the current capacity challenges, a parallel model like this could be helpful for reaching higher admissions. It also has the added benefit of helping the American public directly engage with resettlement on a personal level. We see it all the time in our volunteers. It’s a transformative thing to support and walk alongside these refugee families,” she continued. Cris Ramón, a U.S/global migration analyst, agreed that the new policy could be a game-changer.

“US immigration law does allow for private sponsorship for refugees, an authority that Reagan uses for a small pilot program in the 80s,” he tweeted. “But this opportunity can be game-changing by allowing more people to feel invested in an important part of the immigration system and its goals. Private sponsorship is one reason that the Canadian immigration system garners support from many Canadians, so this initiative can do the same here provided polarization over this issue doesn’t interfere,” he continued.

According to one recent poll, 81% responded affirmatively when asked if the nation should “help Afghan allies enter the U.S.” Just 19% were opposed. “The broad bipartisan support for resettling Afghan allies is part of a broader public opinion trend in favor of immigrants and immigration, which grew stronger during the past four years,” immigrant rights advocacy group America’s Voice said. “It’s imperative that this pilot program is implemented thoughtfully and with sufficient institutional support,” O'Mara Vignarajah continued. “We want to make sure that both refugees and the Americans who welcome them feel positioned for successful outcomes.”
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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The TV ad is no-holds-barred.

It bluntly attacks a decision of the Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania Supreme Court. And on Saturday, the state Bar Association said the spot went too far.

The ad says the Democratic contender, Superior Court Judge Maria McLaughlin, “chose to void the guilty plea of a drunk driver who admitted to killing a pregnant woman and her unborn child.”

What the ad doesn’t say is that McLaughlin hadn’t declared the defendant not guilty or thrown out the case. She had merely joined another judge in saying the man’s defense lawyer had bungled his job and that the defendant should be retried.

On Saturday, the Bar Association said the ad crossed the line, violating standards of accuracy and integrity in campaign advertising that both campaigns agreed to follow as part of the bar’s candidate evaluation process.

In its letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Inquirer, the bar’s Judicial Campaign Advertising Committee said it had directed Brobson’s campaign to “immediately withdraw” the ad. Alternatively, the Brobson campaign can issue a news release clarifying “those portions of the advertisement that the JCAC has found to be in violation of its Guidelines.”

Specifically, the letter says the ad violates the bar’s guidance that campaigns should “refrain from making statements that might be subject to misinterpretation or distortion” and “should not omit or obscure information necessary to prevent misinterpretation.”..........
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Biden once again tells Trump to pound sand on his executive privilege claim
Kerry Eleveld

As the Department of Justice weighs whether to prosecute Steve Bannon for criminal contempt of Congress, President Joe Biden continues to make perfectly clear that protecting democracy is far more important to him than shielding the office of the president from scrutiny.

Biden, who holds the power to decided whether to invoke an executive privilege claim, has now twice taken a pass on shielding White House records from congressional investigators.
On Monday, White House counsel Dana Remus informed the National Archives that Biden would not assert a privilege claim over a second tranche of records that Donald Trump has sought to keep secret.
..........
"President Biden has considered the former President's assertion, and I have engaged in consultations with the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice," Remus wrote, according to CNN.

In the letter, Remus indicated that protecting the interests of the republic had weighed weighed heavily in Biden's decision.

"President Biden has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not in the best interests of the United States, and therefore is not justified, as to the documents provided to the White House on September 16, 2021, and September 23, 2021. Accordingly, President Biden does not uphold the former President's assertion of privilege," wrote Remus.

Trump filed a lawsuit last week suing the House select committee on Jan. 6 and the National Archives in hopes of blocking release of the documents under his tenure. The federal judge handling the matter, U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan, has moved forward expeditiously, setting a Nov. 4 hearing date and a rapid schedule for the case to proceed.

The letter from Remus told the National Archives to provide the requested documents to the Jan. 6 panel 30 days after notifying Trump, "absent any intervening court order."

But if leaders at the Department of Justice have any questions as to President Biden’s commitment to uncovering the truth about who perpetrated the coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol, they shouldn’t.

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Legal scholar: Trump can be prosecuted for sitting on his hands on Jan. 6
Darrell Lucus

For most of us, it’s an article of faith that Donald Trump is responsible for the Jan. 6 insurrection. But a prominent legal scholar believes there’s another way to hold Trump to account for that day’s horror. He believes that Trump can be prosecuted not for what he did that day, but for what he didn’t do.

In a column for Just Security, Albert Alschuler, a law professor at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University, writes that there’s a far easier path to bring Trump to justice. He argues—convincingly, in my mind—that his inaction once the thugs acting in his name flooded into the Capitol is in and of itself a crime.
...............

Alschuler’s argument comes in two parts. First, he argues that Trump’s failure to do anything to stop the riot was in and of itself a violation of the Constitution.

The Constitution gave Trump a clear legal duty to intervene. Article II, Section 3 provides, “[The President] shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” This provision permits good-faith exercises of law-enforcement discretion, but a president unmistakably violates his duty when he refuses to enforce the law because he wants a crime to occur—when, for example, he hopes to advance his own interests through the criminal conduct of others. As abundant evidence shows, that’s what transpired on Jan. 6.

Alschuler argues that while failing to stop a crime normally doesn’t make you an accomplice, there’s an exception when someone has “a legal duty to intervene.” He likens Trump to a cop who knows a robbery is about to occur and is conveniently absent when it does occur. There would be no barrier to charging the cop for aiding and abetting. Similarly, Alschuler argues, Trump’s failure to “ask the rioters to stop” makes him as guilty as those who stormed into the Capitol. Trump’s video message asking them to go home doesn’t suffice in Alschuler’s eyes, since Article II, Section 3 obligated him to act earlier.

Alschuler thinks it would be very easy to prove Trump wanted a crime to occur. Not only did he wait hours to tell his minions to back off, but there are multiple reports that Trump was absolutely giddy at the spectacle. He refused to act even as members of his own inner circle as high up as Ivanka urged him to do something. Even when he finally got around to recording a video message to the insurrectionists, it took multiple takes for him to finally deliver a clear message to end the madness.

There’s another reason Alschuler believes Trump’s inaction rises to the level of criminal conduct—he had a duty to prevent others from being harmed.

Even if his direction to march to the Capitol and “fight like hell” was not intended to start a riot, it led to violence and placed the Vice President and members of Congress in peril. A person who creates a physical danger—even innocently—has a legal duty to take reasonable measures to prevent injury from occurring. Someone who’s started a fire can’t just let it burn out of control.

This makes sense. Once it was apparent that Trump’s words put others in danger, he had a clear duty to intervene—and did nothing. Even if he didn’t actually want Mike Pence dead, there’s no dispute that he failed to act to protect him from harm.

Alschuler believes prosecuting Trump for his inaction would remove any roadblocks the First Amendment could throw up if he were ever held to account for the events of Jan. 6. While conceding that a court could rule Trump’s words at the Save America Rally were protected speech, he believes that “Trump’s refusal to enforce the law” is absolutely fair game. In that case, even if his remarks were theoretically protected speech, “they could be received in evidence as proof of his intent.” For instance, any potential ambiguity that existed when Trump (in)famously called for his supporters to “fight like hell” went out the window when they stormed the Capitol and he refused to do anything about it. This more than makes sense; as we all know, freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from responsibility for your words.

Looking back, seven of the 10 Repubs who voted to impeach explicitly cited Trump’s inaction as a factor in their vote. Namely, Reps. Liz Cheney, Anthony Gonzalez, Jaime Herrera Beutler, John Katko, Peter Meijer, and Tom Rice. So it’s remarkable that no one has delved into this sooner. But looking back, it’s clear that at the very least, Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 amounted to a crime of omission—a crime that would, on paper, be very easy to prove in court.

(h/t Raw Story)

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Facebook internal documents show employee fury over company's promotion of far-right hoaxes
Hunter

A new bundle of reporting is out on what's being branded as the "Facebook Papers," a mountain of leaked internal company documents and communications currently being combed over by a variety of news outlets. There are several new revelations this time around, although we may be stretching the definition of "revelations" for anyone who has been paying attention.

The main takeaway is that inside Facebook itself, there appears to be a rapidly increasing gulf between topmost company executives and the rank-and-file employees who, like so many external company critics, are pretty certain that Facebook's efforts to monetize fringe paranoias are doing extraordinary damage to international democracy. NBC News brings us one facet of that story with reporting on the internal fury after anti-democratic, anti-American hoaxes spread via Facebook sharing led to actual violent insurrection inside the United States Capitol.
...........
As one employee post to Facebook's internal message boards put it: "How are we expected to ignore when leadership overrides research-based policy decisions to better serve people like the groups inciting violence today?"

At issue is that Facebook executives
know that the algorithms they use to approximate human interactions—the company asserts itself to be a facilitator of family bonding and catching-up-with-friends, after all, when the service may more closely approximate commandeering a public park, giving everyone inside it megaphones, and telling them that the person who can attract the most attention with their shouts will be given a very special, thoroughly imaginary prize—reward provocation, paranoia, and outright hoaxes. Facebook executives also know that the company's worldwide reach means it has become a go-to outlet for any propagandist seeking to quickly disseminate government-bending, society-bending hoaxes and/or bigotries.

This is not in question. Internal company research and external scientific analysis alike have highlighted the problem, over and over; the only question is what obligation, if any, the company has to adjust its policies to
not be a prime force for disinformation and violence. NBC's report specifically notes internal "turmoil" in the wake of the Capitol violence due to Facebook largely ignoring the widespread promotion of "Stop the Steal" election hoaxes from through November and December, even as it became more and more obvious that the hoaxes were a concerted (Trump-backed, Republican Party-backed) effort to lie to the public outright, so as to justify a nullification of the election by extra-constitutional means.

The insurrection, however, was hardly the first time it became apparent that Facebook's obsession with growth via viral sharing was not-coincidentally turning the company into a prime disseminator of hate speech, extremism, dangerous hoaxes, and organized propaganda campaigns. Each day's list of top Facebook posts near-uniformly features a small gaggle of arch-conservative frothers known more for provocation than accuracy, and the company has had to continually deny accusations that the promotion of the far right is not a coincidental artifact of its algorithms, but the intentional agenda of top (Republican) company executives like public policy head Joel Kaplan.

Those accusations are also being made by employees inside the company, and The Wall Street Journal focuses specifically on the example of Breitbart being chosen for the Facebook "News Tab," a decision that was eyebrow-raising from the moment it was made but which company executives have relentlessly defended with oft-nonsensical statements and protestations of neutrality. The Journal reports more broadly that the "documents also reveal that Facebook’s management team has been so intently focused on avoiding charges of bias that it regularly places political considerations at the center of its decision making."

Well, that's not exactly a surprise. There don't seem to be many decisions Facebook executives face that are
not focused in large part on "political considerations." That might be the natural outcome of choosing explicitly partisan (Republican) figures as top executives.

Since the Journal is a Rupert Murdoch-owned rag, it attempts to weave through its entire story without giving credence or context to employee anger over Breitbart's inclusion as one of Facebook's most trusted alleged "news" partners. It is not that the site is "hyperpartisan," as the Journal is willing to suggest only via an employee quote. The site has long acted as a prime enabler in the rise of white nationalism, continually boosting so-called "alt-right" figures while stoking the same anti-immigrant paranoias, anti-Black conspiracy theories, and other neo-Nazi tactics and tropes.

This isn't a game, Journal editors. A credible case can be made that Steve Bannon's reconstruction of a sliding Breitbart "news" site into a promotional tool of white nationalism helped propel that movement, and its violence, into its new powerful position in the Republican Party and the Trump White House. The group's dogged promotion of extremist voices and white nationalist positions personally pushed by Trump "senior adviser" Stephen Miller alone shows the breadth of the site's willingness to promote extremism as political weapon.

The absurdity of both choosing the site as a preferred Facebook "news" provider and defending it even after numerous news outlets have reported, at length, the site's slide into the promotion of white nationalism is only underscored by another internal company document referenced in the Journal's report. An internal study by Facebook's own research ranked Breitbart as the "least trusted news source" of any of the "several dozen" it ranked, cleanly countering any supposed reason Facebook executives had for seizing on it as supposed partner.

Instead, the Journal report adds credence to the suspicion that conservative Facebook executives were mainstreaming the Breitbart site into the Facebook "news" domain for the same reason Breitbart itself was mainstreaming white nationalist voices and talking points: they wanted to. The extremism brought traffic, and money, and political clout.

Whether Facebook executives sought to snuggle with the extremist site because it offered a closer connection to ersatz Trump adviser Steve Bannon or simply felt kinship with the site continually promoting the supposed existential dangers of immigrants or the supposed conspiracies behind Black Americans protesting against police violence are still left to our imaginations, but Facebook's employees seem to have the same clarity that much of the rest of the nation has found, on the subject: If you align yourself with white nationalist rhetoric and white nationalist hoaxes, you have aligned yourself with white nationalism.

The Charlottesville protests and murder, by a resurgent white nationalist base feeling empowered by the growing dominance of their themes online, and among Trump's advisers, and in Trump's White House? Facebook executives own that. The violence on Jan. 6, long after it had become clear that there was an organized attempt to nullify a United States election via the furious promotion of
entirely fake supposed election "fraud?" Facebook executives bear personal responsibility. It is not that, as they quickly attempted to claim, they simply failed to notice the danger signs as election conspiracies swirled on their platform. Facebook executives have made years of conscious effort to endorse radical, racist, anti-democratic hoaxes as within the bounds of site discourse.

Sometimes they have sought that content out, as with the decision to ally with Breitbart in order to bring more "diverse" viewpoints. Sometimes they have made algorithmic decisions knowing that those decisions would protect, or grow, extremist camps within their network. Sometimes they have overridden the algorithms and policies to grant the most consistent click-producing provocateurs special exemptions—such as the company's pointed indifference to a spam network that boosts conservative gadfly Ben Shapiro to the top of nearly every day's top posts.

It doesn't matter what reasoning Facebook executives use to explain the site's current status as the dominant tool for democracy-damaging, violence-producing hoaxes. It is that way because Facebook executives made a set of decisions that produced that result, and are now asserting that they will not be changing the decisions that continue to produce that result. The site was the top promoter of the hoax that led to a violent insurrection because site executives had made the decision that they would abide such hoaxes.

The CNN Business take on Facebook's internal war is, of course, all about whether it will end up costing the company money. There are claims that the company has been misleading investors by underselling the scope of what the company itself knows to be substantial social harms caused by its product, whether it be fueling mental health crises among American teen girls or its use as tool for destabilizing nations. There are worries that being a definable danger to global democracy will harm employee recruitment efforts. Perhaps they will; perhaps, on the other hand, Facebook will begin filling itself with the sort of "hyperpartisan" anti-democratic voices that increasingly gravitate to its products.

In the end, this will absolutely cost Facebook money and everybody knows it's going to cost Facebook money, which is precisely why the company has spent years claiming that Actually it could not police any of this and we should all be grateful for whatever small gestures the company sporadically wills itself to muster. What Facebook is attempting to avoid are moderation efforts robust enough to make a significant impact on hoax content, efforts which would both entail greatly expanding
human moderation teams and which would, as byproduct, remove what is currently a reliable source of clicks and revenue.

Facebook makes money promoting violent white nationalism. Facebook makes money promoting tawdry but entirely fake election hoaxes. Facebook makes money every time a cheap, vacuous huckster insists that they have discovered the Cure to the Pandemic, and it's licking a tube of horse dewormer or dunking your head in a vat of pool chemicals. Anything that brings in eyeballs puts cash into Facebook pockets, and Facebook has been publicly negotiating, continually attempting to find the exact lines at which they can act as agent of pandemic spread or of a new and violent fascist right, keeping the revenue, while keeping public fury at just-manageable levels.

They are not good at it, which is why they overshot themselves into providing material support for an attempt to overthrow our democracy. They are not good at it, which is why even now they continue to bluster that it's simply not fair to blame them for the products of decisions they have made willingly, for years, and which they continue to stand behind now.


This will cost Facebook money. The current negotiations are over how much violence, death, and chaos the company can cause per dollar gained before Congress and the public both decide the company cannot be tolerated in current form.
........

LeirsinnDave
Oct 25, 2021 at 08:11:34 PM

Facebook will not change.

There’s a high likelihood that Facebook will catalyze the rise of a non-democratic, authoritarian federal government. The irony — the karma, if you will — is that when that authoritarian government comes to power, that government will, inevitably, see Facebook’s continuing willingness to spread disinformation and insane hoaxes as a threat to their maintaining power… and unlike our Constitutional government, that authoritarian regime will not be constrained from taking direct action to eliminate the perceived threat from Facebook. Facebook’s executives will then have a choice — cave completely to the government, or face… well, we know how unaccountable, authoritarian regimes deal with those they see as a threat to their power.
 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
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Sean Parnell may have the backing of former President Donald Trump, but the Pennsylvania Republican also has significant personal baggage that is raising concerns about the GOP's ability to hold one of the most competitive Senate seats in the country next year.

A rival Republican candidate has revealed details about Parnell's ongoing and messy divorce and custody cases, part of an increasingly ugly GOP primary in the Keystone State that is giving Republicans in both Washington and Pennsylvania pause. While it is unclear what Parnell's estranged wife had alleged about him, documents showed she was granted two protective orders against him, though they were later expunged. But the news coverage in local papers of the revelations are prompting party leaders to privately question Trump's choice to succeed retiring Sen. Pat Toomey in one of Democrats' top-targeted seats......