Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Facebook will pursue charging users to read "paywall" newspaper articles


Facebook is working on a way to allow newspapers to charge readers through Facebook when they read embedded news articles that would normally be behind a paywall.

Currently, major newspaper stories expand automatically as embeds and are free when viewed on Facebook.

When a blogger links to such a story, the newspaper may, on its choosing, invoke the paywall when the user clicks on the link  (newspaper stories don’t normally expand automatically within blog postings). 


That’s why there is some preference in using news stories from broadcast networks rather than newspapers, but often major papers do have major scoops first, or major opinions. 

The Washington Post has the story here
  
Another copy of the story is on WWLP.  Facebook may need permission from Congress to do this.

Facebook could offer users the advantage of consolidated billing, which would enable users to read behind many paywalls much more cheaply than paying for each one separately through the Web. 

Not sure if Twitter can do anything similar. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Privilege of Being Listened to, revisited


I occasionally send people, who have shared their business cards, emails with links to blog posts about critical events in my own life (like the William and Mary Expulsion in 1961, and the “online reputation” fiasco when I was substitute teaching in northern Virginia, particularly at West Potomac High School, in 2005), as well as Amazon links for my books and Facebook and Twitter direct links, and cell phone.

I certainly realize there is a lot of detail buried in a few of these life history incidents that people ordinarily don’t have to time to parse.  To me they seem like mysteries with deception (foreshadowing the 2016 election) and enough nuance to make independent movie plots.  And then I am disappointed that I don’t get more reaction.

Part of the issue is that while these events were bizarre and traumatic  for me at the time and do sound like movie scripts, they don’t seem as “bad” (in the “lifelong process piece” sense) as what has happened to a lot of other people, especially LGBT.  I wasn’t thrown out of home and didn’t wind up in the streets hustling. 

True, I don’t see the world through identity politics, or the filter of some people being marginalized merely for belonging to a maligned group (as in Gode Davis’s unfinished symphony, “American Lynching”). I see history in terms of individual people being challenged in era-specific ways because of external challenges to their families and communities and countries, history that today’s younger generations has often forgotten.  In fact, today’s activists would often prefer that these older points never be brought up again, because they give potential fuel to enemies at a certain existential level.
  
So, I stay on my own path, not joining in other more conventional activism and particularly “resistance”.  So opposition to the current “regime” seems to get all the weaker. You wonder how Putin and company get away with it.  I didn’t see this underground attack on “elitism” coming. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Amazon "panics" some bloggers with changes in its affiliate system


The Verge (a Vox site) has a story about Amazon’s affiliate system, which I use to post links for books and movies on my own blogs.  Apparently there has been a reduction in the rate for some links, while giving a premium for some others, like video games and “luxury beauty”.  It seems rather amusing that the story says that some bloggers are “panicking”.  In fact, Blogtyrant doesn’t think a lot of depending on ads in blogs, but would rather see Bloggers provide subscription content or services to customers – but that’s only possible with narrow niche businesses  (like coaching chess players on endgame play).

Amazon has announced it is ending its "aStore" in October and has said, on my account, that my "pending associate invitations" for my "store" have expired.  That's a little odd, as I really don't spend significant time in retail activities because I leave that to them!
 
It’s a little disturbing to see online platforms wanting bloggers to pimp self-indulgent products.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Should independent bloggers need press credentials to ask questions at open, outdoor-ish events?


I did attend a small demonstration today at the Internet-Wide Day of Action, on the north side of the Capitol, toward the Senate Office buildings (leading to Union Station) in Washington DC. 

I’ve covered the speeches elsewhere (see my Network Neutrality Blog from my profile). But there was a small problem at the end.

Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), who was leading the event, called for questions from the audience, which was small. True, he did ask for organizational or press affiliation. One woman asked a question (from Politico, I think). Then I raised my hand.  When he called on me and I said I was “independent” he cut me off, and said something like “press only”.  I guess I could have said “doaskdotell.com” and gotten away with it.




I do understand that you need official press credentials to attend some events, like Trump’s notorious White House press briefings.  There’s only so much room inside, and there is security.  But this was outdoors (in the heat) and a small gathering, maybe 50 people in the audience.  There was no barrage of questions, as at a movie screening.  If Markey’s (and other left wing speakers) point is to allow the “little guys” to have the floor (and that is partly what the network neutrality debate could come down to), then he is contradicting his own beliefs with his own actions.  The Left is even more jealous of its own establishment than the Right.

Okay, maybe he feared I was an alt-right or Breitbart-ish provocateur, like a “Milo II”.  I was wearing a Washington Nationals baseball cap, the day after the All Star Game.  Maybe big league sports is “right wing”, but MLB has been quite emphatic about ending discrimination in all policies regarding players, including gay players and employees (or that is the libertarian position, too).  Actually, all I was going to say was that I had noticed some slowdowns that morning, on Facebook and the Washington Blade. 

  

When I got home and opened my email (Okay, I can see it on my smartphone) I saw a whiney email from FTFF which read “we just checked our records and you haven’t spoken out on this yet”.  Well, I have a lot, on blogs and social media. And I attended their event and tried to ask a question of a leading Democratic Senator.  But I just haven’t spoken through “them” or let “them” be my mouthpiece. How rude!  (Truthout does this a lot.) 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Can Backpage really use Section 230 even as applied today?


The Washington Post has a scathing story by Tom Jackman and Jonathan O’Connell, on Tuesday, July 11, 2017, concerning Backpage and its claim of protections under Section 230 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, link here.

The story claims that Backpage used a company in the Philippines to come up with content that could take consumers away from competing sites.  The scheme presented in the article was quite complicated. When pressured later, Backpage reportedly stopped running sex ads.


 
Offhand, given the truth of the Post story, Section 230 might not apply as a defense in some of the litigation.  The fact pattern will be important because many people want to gut Section 230, seeing user-generated content as gratuitous and not actually generating any real wealth.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Could Facebook provide 3rd-party charity supervision of contributions among "Friends" (especially overseas)


Just a note on Facebook etiquette or expectations.

Does confirming a Friend request mean that one should be opening to “helping out” anyone in trouble (foreign or domestic)?  Yup, obviously you have to worry about the scams, but some pleas are more credible than others.  There seems to be an expectation that, for example, that people will hire friends looking for work or help them find work, including people overseas.

And on that point, it’s not as easy for people to get work visas and enter legally as it used to be, given the political climate and Trump.  Yet, among some people, there is a culture of doing things under the table or off the books

I’ve used Facebook as a quick publishing platform.  I haven’t gotten the “followers” in place of “Friends” which would clarify things.  But some people think, if you weigh in on things, you need to have your own skin in the game, and be supporting other people.  That was a big topic in my own (mildly Milo-esque) DADT-III book (“being listened to is a privilege”).

I think Facebook could consider doing more to hookup people in need with certain kinds of charities that make cash gifts (particularly overseas) directly (“Give Direct”), that Vox has written about. The third-party charities could provide some sort of supervision to avoid scams.

Again, I’ve talked about going back to work at age 74.  I would help Facebook do this.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

CNN-Reddit-alt-right dox-gate (with Trump acting as WWE)


Here’s a Vox story about how some on the alt-right retaliated against a CNN journalist for his coy handling of withholding the identity of the person who created the WWE gif that Trump used as a phantom metaphorical swat against CNN.  It’s by Garet Williams, here. Of course, you can turn this whole thing around and say that CNN threatened to dox the Reddit user, as Milo Yiannopoulos writes.

It’s all pretty scary.  A news network threatens to dox an ordinary user for creating a image that, by a stretch, could be interpreted as a “threat” against journalists, when it more properly belongs on NBC’s SNL.  Then someone one the political opposition of the network (this time, someone on the alt-right) threatens to dox (or at least reports the doxing and targeting) the news network reporter.



I suppose I could get caught up in something like this.  In fact, as I’ve covered before, I did when I was substitute teaching. 

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Getting my work done; rumors of my relocation


I just want to provide an update on my “work” and “situation”.  You can also look at a correlated post on the “Information Technology Job Market” blog (check Blogger profile).

My goals right now are to have a publishable draft of my novel “Angel’s Brother” by the end of 2017, and to have some of my music in performable format (with some contacts with others who could perform it – and it might be in the bits and pieces, or Schumanesque miniatures), to have a video that communicates the substance of my books, and to start marketing the feature screenplay “Epiphany” on my books.

There are a couple of caveats. There is something to the rumors, but nothing to announce yet.  There is a possibility that I will sell my trust’s “inherited house” later this summer and relocate.  It’s possible that I could consider a lower cost purchase in a city like Dallas, Charlotte, etc.  There are a number of scenarios and I won’t go into them in detail here. During the months of July and August I expect to make a more concentrated due diligence to see if I should do this.  One purpose is to make it easier for others to work with me, and to make some kinds of travel simpler to set up if I should wind up on the road a lot.  (If there is a “Do Ask, Do Tell” feature movie, you can bet my life will play out “on the road”). 

Another is that I have discussed a couple of scenarios where I could go back to work (on the IT blog I mentioned above). 

All of this brings back the deja vu of workplace experience in the weeks immediately preceding a merger announcement.  It's "business as usual" in the meantime.  But it's unsettling.  Well, change is good. 

I’ve made some progress on all the components of my work, with essentially two cycles of self-assigned tasks since the end of 2015 (after a summer and fall that year of a lot of travel).  I have some pieces of a documentary DADT video self-filmed, but I would need to find some professional help with editing and re-shooting to make them effective.

One particular effort will be setting up my screenplay and especially the novel so that they would sell. I have some concerns about both:  people may feel that I am pandering to old-fashioned, cis-gender, white-centric paradigms of virtuous protagonist characters.  Well, so did “Smallville” and “Everwood” less than 15 years ago.  But in the past few years, identity politics seems to have entered art, with the idea that specific groups of people need to be raised up (as in Groban’s song), and that doing so would sell books or movies.  I definitely see this in some feedback.  I certainly have a lot of interesting ideas that could sell a book, including how the next pandemic could creep up on us, or what provable alien contact would be like if it really happened, and even the idea of a novel way to get “proof of heaven”. Normally, these kinds of ideas could sell well.  In very recent times, people seem to want much more reassurance from the characters an author develops;  they want to really find themselves in these fictional people.
  
It's difficult to make concrete progress on unpublished material.  A blog post becomes a "deliverable" and a concrete result, so sometimes I do post discussions or extracts of my progress. 
In the future, I expect to make my postings about my “strategic planning” on my Wordpress blogs:  the Notes blog, when I considered how these different components work together, and the baseline Media Reviews blog, when individual components (like the music compositions or novel plot) are discussed “hands separately”.

There is a write-up of “projects in progress” on the “Media Reviews Executor” page here. 
  
There is a directory to all my sites on the “Notes” blog here

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Proposals to break up big social media companies could jeopardize user-generated content


There are rather interesting modest proposals in Europe to collar American media companies, which could take root here later.

For example, consider the article by Luigi Zingales and Guy Rolnik, “A Way to Own Your Social Media Data”.  One idea is to consider the meta-data behind your Internet use sold to marketeers as your “property right”, transferrable if you move to a different social media company.  This would supposedly encourage more competition with companies like Facebook.  It sounds rather pseudo-libertaian.



Back in April, Jonathan Taplin authored an op-ed “Is it time to break up Google?” and probably Facebook.  Besides some comparison to phone companies (very relevant to discussions of network neutrality abolition going on right now) and their previous past lives as “regulated monopolies” during my own coming of age, Taplin suggests abolishing DMCA “Safe Harbor” (and probably Section 230), which he says would force Google/YouTube and others to “pay” users for content they post.  Guess what?  No more self-publishing for free.  That has been my whole “business model” for 20 years.  I guess I took a real chance.

In the meantime, there are a couple of important WSJ articles about European pressure on big social media companies, such as about Germany’s demands on deleting hate-speech (which can cast a rather larger dragnet)   Fox has a story by Sam Schnechner et al about EU pressure on major social media companies and their supposed free ride to profits.  That’s what makes user-generated content possible.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Trump's accusations of fake news become more troubling to mainstream news organizations, not so much to individual bloggers


OK, the press briefings are sometimes shown now, but Sarah Huckabee Sanders caused a huge ruckus by invoking the idea that mainstream media is fake news.

Here is “Heavy’s” video of her encounter with Sentinel (Playboy) reporter Brian Karem.

Today, CNN was obsessed with Trump’s latest Twitter storm, in which he invoked the idea of body fascism (for women) for guests at his Palm Beach resort,  What comes to mind is Milo Yiannopoulos seeming to support fat shaming, which probably upset people a lot more than Milo’s supposed support of underage activity (which is actually a misreading of what he really had said).  And, by the way, I have re-ordered Milo’s now self-published “Dangerous” which should arrive around July 5.



As to Trump’s bullying of the mainstream media, some of this seems to be that Trump simply believes leaders can’t let themselves look bad.  Young OAN reporter Trey Yingst grilled Sean Spicer about all the Russia stuff, phrasing questions in a way that would appeal to a conventionally conservative audience.  You got it, being in bed with Vladimir Putin (who loves so show off his hairless chest in photos of horseback riding) is not part of normal conservative practice.  But the next day, the White House was talking the press briefings off camera, to keep Spicer and Sanders from being made to look bad even by conservative reporters.  CNN mentioned “OAN” the next day as material to the decide to take down the video.

For all this, CNN reported today that Trump and Bannon are beginning to tale the power grid security issue more seriously.  I talked about this on Facebook today (link).



Trump doesn't seem so concerned about independent bloggers.  In the meantime, the New York Times now stirs up protests among its workforce with plans to lay off copy-editors, which amatuers don't usually have (NY Daily News story).

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Zillow and "McMansionHell": a bizarre "copyright" claim indeed, against an unusual website; a lesson in Fair Use?


I’ve seen a variety of bizarre copyright claims over the years, not only of the Righthaven troll variety, but also just from public companies with fundamentalist ideas of their fiduciary duty to protect their intellectual property, particularly from Hollywood and from music or record companies.

Now there’s a bizarre cease-and-desist against the owner of an architectural critique site called “McMansionHell” from Zillow, a site that does mass listings with detailed photos of properties for sale all over the US (and probably worldwide).  In fact, I am considering the possibility of a move later this summer, and just last night I was looking at the comparable prices of condos and homes in a number of cities (Baltimore, Charlotte, Dallas, and Las Vegas – and Vegas, still recovering from 2008, seemed the “cheapest”), all of which are more reasonable than the Washington DC suburbs.  Then, today, surfing on Twitter in the chain-reaction aftermath to some unrelated events, I stumbled across this problem.

The “McMansion” development does make me wonder, who can afford all these houses (or $10 million condos in NYC for that matter).  Call it gentrification.  If you see livable space in a third story attic, well, teenagers will be living there.



There’s something about the whole downsizing thing.  Yes, I’d rather be in a secure building with supervision, and less that can go wrong (outside of another 9/11 or WMD event).  I’m not into being off the grid or into doomsday prepping, even though I follow the topic somewhat.  It even strikes me that more could be done, rather than selling and downsizing alone, to encourage seniors to provide housing to lower-income people as companions and stay where they are.  That might be morally preferable.  (See my “Bill Retires” postings April 21 and June 24, 2017).  The whole ethical and legal network around hosting asylum seekers, which I have explored on Wordpress but which it looks like I will not be doing, comes into play.

I don’t personally have a reason to use photos of houses in my own blogs (and the concept of a housing critique site like this had not occurred to me – I wonder what “Blogtyrant” would think of it), and generally I try not to take or use pictures of people’s private homes and property unless there is a really good reason to do so.  When I’m on the road, looking for a public place to park and photo to report something legitimately interesting can sometimes be a challenge.

Mike Masnick has a legal analysis of the Zillow case in his “censorious thugs” column on Techdirt here.   It does seem to me that a copyright owner cannot, as a matter of law, declare that his/her/its content are off-limits from Fair Use evaluation. The TOS claim might be another matter.  This is another one to watch. Here’s a YouTube story, too.

Monday, June 26, 2017

CNN withdraws story implicating Trump connection to Russia


ABC affiliate WJLA-7 in Washington DC ran a story from Sinclair Broadcasting (the moderately conservative media company in Baltimore owning WJLA) reporting that CNN removed a story linking a news story by Thomas Frank linking the Trump campaign to a Russian adviser.  The WJLA link is here  and gives a link to a Google cache of the story (which worked last night). It is possible for CNN to ask Google to remove the cache if it wants.

Buzzfeed also has an account here.

It is very unusual for a major news network to remove a story like this.

I suppose that it is conceivable, although in practice very unlikely, that other sites that link to cached removed stories can become liable for defamation.  It all sounds pretty silly.  The big boys and grownups have to be accountable for what they do.

Sinclair has sponsored some important stories on national security (especially of the power grid);  it has generally seemed favorable to LGBTQ equality issues.



Update: June 30

The Washington Times offers an op-ed about the "Sullivan Rule" and the CNN incident here.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Mark Zuckerberg says he will focus on building Facebook groups: Eusociality online?


Mark Zuckerberg will be old enough to run for president in 2020, but already he’s talking more about the common good in a new way.  He was always the connector (as in the 2010 Time cover), but now he he says he wants to build specific socially cohesive communities online. CNET has a typical story here.

Mark made his remarks at a Facebook community summit.



I’m not much on joining groups and behaving elders;  I perceive this as tribalism.  And I wonder how well this could work on line.

Groups are private;  you have to be approved to join.  That doesn’t sit well with me.

Already, some Facebook pages behave erratically online.  Today I made a couple comments, and the musician owner replied, as I got an email notification, and when I went to the page, the comments had disappeared.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

How far does the sharing economy go before it jeopardizes personal security? Hitchhiking is really OK? ; also, resistance plans "Day of Dinners" June 25


Here’s an interesting article by Michael Munger on FEE about the sharing economy.  Thus is real sharing, real free market communism, real sustainability, maybe.

But, really, are you willing to pick up hitchhikers just because they “need” rides?  What about personal security?  (But you can watch the little "Train" film "Bulletproof Picasso", which I have reviewed before. Mean what you say and say what you mean, like Chris Christie.)

There are other stories around that Airbnb is pressuring homesharers to behave more like commercial hotels.  Consumers need reliability and certainty, and don’t want to have to be “approved” or have online reputations as consumers (an issue I have with Uber, too).

And the potential liability to homesharers for guest use of wireless internet connections deserves more attention than it has gotten. Is OpenDNS the right idea?  Not all telecom companies offer it (and that gets back even to the net neutrality debate).

There's also a "radical hospitality" movement event "A Day of Dinners" June 25, 2017 sponsored by the Women's March.  News story here, link here. If you visit it, you'll see it is rather coercive in tone.

I haven't put any time in being able to host events at home (I go to events in public spaces) but I used to do this when I lived in Manhattan in the 1970s, ironically, like an Understanding meeting (Dan Fry's group) in May 1976.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A group called "Better Angels" tries to replace tribalism with community dialogues


Today, David Blankenhorn appeared on the Fareed Zakaria GPS show on CNN and mentioned his “Better Angels” organization, which tries to set up community gatherings where people from opposing political parties or different cultural and ethnic identity groups meet and discuss contentious issues.  The link is here and I “joined” this evening.

The idea is to breakdown the tribalism that is haunting American politics and which Donald Trump exploited to get elected.



The concept reminds me of the “Area of Mutual Agreement” at Understanding, Dam Fry’s group in Arizona in the 1970s, which I discuss in Chapter 3 in my DADT-1 book  I’ll review this again soon on my “DADT Notes” blog on Wordpress.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Do bloggers need to have skin (their own, personally) in the game?


Here's an odd version of how free speech should work, from a "conservative" on Twitter.


This is a little surprising,   I would have thought that "paid speech" is more likely to come from a professional at something, from someone who does it to support a family, who has skin in the game.

This blog is practically for free (you just have to see the ads).

I don't need to make a living from it.

But Australian blogging guru Ramsay Taplin takes up whether blogging itself can support a family (it does on some mommy blogs, like Heather Armstrong's). Typically with niche blogging it's the product or service itself that earns the revenue.  But there could be some hybrid areas, like gaming or cgi code consultants.  

Friday, June 16, 2017

New York State about to expand its right of publicity law


Electronic Frontier Foundation warns that New York State is on the verge of a dangerous expansion of “right of publicity” by state law, on this post by Daniel Nazer June 12.
 
The bill would make the right of publicity inheritable, as part of an estate.
Think about it.  That makes no sense.  My father was probably a minor public figure in his own right, but my own life has taken a totally different turn, partly because of the effect of decades of history passing.. I would have no reason to “need” his.



The bill could enable litigation for Internet postings that obvious reach other states.
 
Even so, I doubt that the bill would present a practical threat in political commentary.  It might make it more dangerous to advertise certain products or services in a way that implies connection to a past public person.

I believe right of publicity is covered by Section 230.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Visit EFF's rebuilt page on Section 230; new threat regarding fake news liability in CA


Electronic Frontier Foundation has recently reorganized its own website, so it isn’t always possible to tell right away which stories are the most urgent.

But EFF still has an instructive page on CDA230, Section 230 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act (popularly known as the Communications Decency Act, the censorship sections of which were struck down by the Supreme Court in 1997), which shields social media companies from most downstream liability for what their users do, and precludes the necessity for pre-screening.  Section 230 gets discussed in the new handbook “The Permissions Guide Through the Legal Jungle”, which I will review soon on Wordpress.

Note particularly the essay by Aaron Mackey on attempts to hold Twitter responsible for the recruiting activities of terrorists.
 

 
I’ve included a video today about efforts to undermine Section 230 in California with regard to fake news, a more recent concern.  Fake news could be related, of course, to defamation.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

There is no double life


Here’s a piece on basic ethics by Mike Monteiro, on “Dear Design Student”, “Ethics can’t be a side hustle”, link.  Blogtyrant Ramsay Raplan recently referred to it, saying every blog should help someone, and I’ll take this up on Wordpress soon.

Here Monteiro is saying it matters how you make a living and earn your reputation;  occasional volunteer work doesn’t repair bad karma. There is no double life anymore.

Charles Murray’s interview for Intellectual Takeout, by John Mitimore, on Trump, the Middlebury unrest, and America’s greatest threat.  Murray does say that social media has inadvertently contributed to the polarization of less-educated voters by aggregation (and fake news), and that critical thinking is lacking.

Yet critical thinking (or its self-dissemination) doesn’t directly help someone in need or make others matter more.  Murray’s advice somewhat is paradoxical given his call for more eusociality in his 2012 book “Coming Apart”.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

UK wants worldwide Internet regulation to combat terror, maybe even some shutdowns; ironically Trump's "America First" would contradict her


Although I’ve been covering this on the International Issues blog and on Wordpress, I wanted to note here British Prime Minister Theresa May’s call for “wordwide Internet regulation to fight terrorism”,as Brian Fung explains in a link here.

The text of May’s speech was carried on Time’s website, as here.

One silver lining in Trump’s attitude is that Trump does not believe that the US needs to fully cooperate with other countries in making Americans share the same regulatory control of their freedoms (“America First”), ironically (if unfortunately) as we saw in Trump’s pulling out of the Paris accords.



Fung also refers to an earlier chilling speech in December 2015 when a candidate Trump essentially wanted the ability to "turn off those tubes" if we were in a wartime situation with terrorists.  This is a particularly troubling idea because radical Islam in particular looks at ordinary non-believer or “apostate”  citizens as combatants.

The biggest issues may have started with social media recruiting (especially Twitter), but the biggest draws seem to be slickly produced offshore ("Dark Web") propaganda sites, not indexed by major search engines anyway, and lots of encrypted communications (Whats App,Telegram, etc).

I like the essay by Theodore Dalrymple "Terror and the Teddy Bear Society" in the Wall Street Journal, June 6m 2017, p. A17.   Nihilists will attack us if we're "weak" and not resilient, just because they can.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Harvard rescinded admissions of at least ten students after learning of offensive memes


Harvard rescinded admissions of at least ten students after learning of offensive posts they had made on Facebook.  The posts appeared in a “private group” created under members of the class of 2021.  Some of the offensive material included making fun of the Holocaust, of crimes against children and ethnic cleansing.



NBC News has a video report here.

The fact that the group was private shows a counterexample – using privacy settings as recommended doesn’t necessarily protect you satisfactorily from otherwise dangerous exposure to posts as others spread them.  How often has Dr, Phil warned against this?  ("Internet mistakes").

CNN has a similar story here .

The Harvard Crimson has an article here.

Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in February 2004 while a sophomore at Harvard and living in a communal dorm. I think Zuckerberg would have known about the controversy over “don’t ask don’t tell” because of the issue of military recruiters on campus during his freshman year.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Popularity and health; is openness to more range in interpersonal relationships a real moral question?


In the New York Times Sunday Review, Mitch Prinstein, who has urged full transgender acceptance in other columns, writes (p. 10), “Popular people live longer”. He has an interesting theory, sounding speculative, that humans without reciprocal social interdependence are more prone to inflammatory diseases as a survival mechanism.  This view may not recognize the physiology of true introverts, who don’t experience the same need for popularity or group ratification. This may be like comparing the socialization of dogs to that of cats – both very successful animals.
 
This manga (Danganronpa?) may quarrel with the article.



Then Sheyll Cashin writes “Interracial love is saving America”, invoking the 2016 film “Loving”.  Is openness to a personal relationship with a person of a different race (“hetero-race-uality”) something that can become a moral expectation of individuals?  Or does this stay in the abstract, political area.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Local Denver station offers dire advice about social media and insurance companies


A Denver television station carried a story in March reporting on insurance companies’ looking up consumers on social media.  This has been written about before, especially with respect to possible suspected fraud on claims. But this video, toward the end, takes it further.



Toward the end, the video takes the position that no one should post pictures from vacation except to private lists.  But the broadcast was motivated by spring break for college students, who likely have some roommates back on campus or who may be in dorms anyway.  Furthermore, many people have so many Facebook friends of Twitter or Instagram followers that “private mode” would hardly guarantee security.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Federal law now prohibits non-disparagement clauses on consumers


NBC Washington brought us up to date at the 11 PM report last night (May 30) on the bad reviews problem, with this report by Susan Hogan and Meredith Royster.

The newscast reports that a new federal law prohibits businesses from requiring consumers to sign “non-disparagement” clauses, prohibiting giving negative reviews.

Techdirt had reported on the law in December 2016, here.  The anecdote about DC United trying to prohibit people from writing about them and trying control social media presence entirely is very disturbing.  I had been to one DC United at RF Kennedy Stadium game in July 2014 and had not heard of this.  However, video of big league sporting events might run into copyright issues.

The Fort Worth, TX Star Telegram has a similar story here.



But consumers can still be liable for legal defamation or libel, for giving false information.  In the U.S., the burden of proof of a statement’s falsity falls on the plaintiff (Trump wants to change that).

There was a case in Utah where a consumer was "fined" $3500 for disparagement.  A court ruled that the bill could not be collected, but it stayed on the consumer's credit report, although it would sound to me that the consumer could have the credit reporting agencies remove it.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Why this generation of young adults shies away from free speech


Jay Fayza of Rebel Media has a nice video explaining “Two Big Reasons My Generation Hates Free Speech”


Note how Jay explains postmodernism and connects it to Marxism and nihilism, and a tendency to deny reality out of convenience.  He notes that in the 60s it was young people who led the way with free speech and demonstrations not only about race but about the Vietnam era. Today, young people build “subjective identities” not based on facts (such as, you could say, gender fluidity).  Campuses have tended to believe that people need to sheltered from hostility based on these identities, rather than dealing with challenges (as I had to).