Look what happened with Matthew Prince of Cloudflare. Relentless harassment from people who believe he should be more active in censoring his customers, especially after that last shooting. Even when he has reluctantly stepped in on some extreme cases, they still gave him no credit. Defining wrongthink is a slippery slope, and you’ll never make ideologues happy. If you even try, then next thing you know, you’re somehow culpable for everything you didn’t remove, or didn’t remove quickly enough. Then you get accusations of endorsing it, because you removed X but not Y, so you must approve of Y, right?
And where does it end? “Sprint are ‘literally Nazis’ for allowing David Duke to have a cell phone?”
It’s no wonder everyone is deathly afraid of policing based on content. The PR consequences are bad enough, but it’s also likely to lead into legal problems as well.
If FB did retreat to common carrier, they would not be allowed to run ads nor ban accounts. If they became content providers they would incur civil and criminal liability for content posted on their sites, but also have complete control over who is allowed to have an account and who isn't.
It used to be one or the other, but FB et al wanted to have their cake and have it too, and Section 230 of the CDA was created to allow them to straddle this fence. Well, here we are and it turns out that content is a bigger problem than Section 230 was built to deal with.
> If you even try, then next thing you know, you’re somehow culpable for everything you didn’t remove, or didn’t remove quickly enough. Then you get accusations of endorsing it, because you removed X but not Y, so you must approve of Y, right?
I've seen a lot of accusations of cloudflare endorsing this kind of content. I haven't seen a single person or place where those accusations got stronger after they went from 0 or 1 sites removed to 2 sites removed.
And no, I'm not a prude. I just find it amusing. And, I admit, very sexy.
Edit: If I didn't care about this account, I'd link examples. But I do, so I won't.
So basically, prostitutes either wear as little as they can get away with. Or they wear costumes that appeal to various fetishes. The French Maid. The Schoolgirl (or Sexy Librarian) with Big Glasses. Here are some (NSFW) stock images:
And perhaps, that it's some flavor of ...ist to even discuss it? I'm aware of that perspective, but I'm too much of a materialist geek to accept it.
But still, there is the "streetwalker / sex hostess" style. As you see in Hooters. And it's not at all uncommon to see preteens dressed like that. I gather that it's considered "cute". Also a way for young women to thumb their noses at society. And I can't deny finding it sexy, at least for the older ones. But it's still strange, in a country that's so freaked by pedophilia.
lots of what porn producers are producing you mean?
'american culture' also stipulates that it is illegal to disseminate pornographic material to minors.. but this is not being enforced at all against the US pornography industry..
Also lots of amateur content.
And just search about preteen fashion.
It's mostly about money, yes.
this presumes that mass media doesn't have any bearing on the culture it broadcasts to, when in fact, it is a two-way street.. and also that this is a representative sample size.
But the fact remains that "sexy young woman" is a hugely popular theme in US culture. Also in many other cultures. But the US seems particularly schizophrenic about it.
People as it is have a Negativity Bias.
Facebook/Twitter/Youtube's biggest content producers use it and depend on it, to hit their engagement metrics. Elevating threat perception or a fight response doesn't require censored content. Once you build such a machine that operates at population scale, what does it matter which content is censored?
All the content is fucking everyone in someway everyday. And the effects of that accumulate over time. Just ask your friendly neighborhood shrink whether business is booming.
CNN, MSNBC, FOX, All Mainstream Media, Alt Media, and independents all play off on a consumers slightly unique belief structure to exploit their emotions, adrenaline and fear.
SV Tech is cutting it's own throat trying to police this content. for better or worse the second they take down one site they are obligated to take down every site or become liable.
Honestly, The arrogance and elite personas of the trust and safety teams in social media is frightening.
Believe me. Matt Price et, al, and every other censor are going to be held accountable for the loss of 230 exemption.
There's a lot to be said to building up your business in an environment that is a liberal democracy with free movement of ideas, commerce, and people. And then protecting those principles from those that hijack such liberties to promote illiberal ideas.
An existing (but old and outdated, badly needing reform) legal construct exists: Title 2 protections (being pipes). Only, no one wants to be Title 2 (not even Verizon, Sprint, Comcast) because all the money is in non-Title 2 (content).
Sounds like you may be interested in Title 1 and 2 overhaul.
 (satire) https://cjslep.com/c/blog/winning-internet-arguments
Your article's example of using pronouns to show empathy and the saboteur response show this well. It is not clear if Person 1 thinks all people regardless of whether they are a furry, goth, etc are deserving of empathy or whether there is some group of people who don't deserve empathy. I think the position that all people deserve empathy is probably at least a slightly controversial claim, and if only some people deserve it you should provide the reasoning why LGBTQ deserve it.
I don't think Person 1's argument could convince anyone who doesn't already believe either: all people deserve empathy or LGBTQ people deserve empathy. Provide more reasoning to support either of those positions would help convince people to refer to people by their preferred pronouns.
The "this policy/rule/law (moral or legal) could be applied in a way that I don't like" argument is a tired, boring, uninteresting, and fearful one. It is tautologically true of any policy/rule/law. Better is putting forth an actual argument for an alternative policy/rule/law, whether it's merely a small clarification or a complete systemic overhaul, turning that fear into a constructive argument with actual participation in the matters at hand.
Less fear and signaling, more activism and constructive dialogue without divisive rhetoric.
Edit: if instead the intent of the arguer is to refine something someone else said, just ask! Going back to your example, the (no-longer) sabatuer asking pointedly "Do you think all people deserve empathy, only LGBT (as opposed to flurries and goths), or something else?" is way more productive to directly ask than perform a slippery slope dance. The argument can then be provided without reservation since everyone is being genuine and clear. It might be compelling, it might not. Either way, it'll get made. Rhetoric matters to discourse quality.
Because it sure seems like this is the actual crux of your argument, but it makes little sense.
(Targeting bots is targeting behaviour, not content.)
Guessing from this:
> Based on a tip shared by Twitter about activity they found on their platform, we conducted an internal investigation into suspected coordinated inauthentic behavior in the region and identified this activity. We will continue monitoring and will take action if we find additional violations. We’ve shared our analysis with law enforcement and industry partners.
that the simultaneous response was coordinated by both platforms... I'd go so far as to say that it was coordinated in order to demonstrate the capability to self-moderate ahead of the 2020 US elections.
What's banned here is government organized activity.
If this is indeed from Li Yi Bar, then it should not be called government organized activity.
An individual expressing their own pro-government views from their own account is fine. An individual pretending to be someone else, or multiple people, is not, regardless of the content.
Just call this what it is, subjective censorship. Of course they give a different reason to skirt by on technicality. But if it were an extremely popular opinion being shared millions of times, it would just be called a viral meme and FB and Twitter wouldn't be making subjective judgements on authenticity.
I don't understand how you go from "Guessing from Twitter tipping off Facebook" to "Probably flexing their self-moderating muscles ahead of US elections".
Edit for clarity: Twitter tipping off Facebook in and of itself isn't evidence of a coordinated response, but both parties posting detailed rundowns of their responses against the same actor on the same day is more likely to suggest a coordinated effort.
One particularly good reason to publicize acting against state-sponsored agents is if you're trying to build goodwill among the targets of said state effort, which conspicuously are the people of Hong Kong and which, more inconspicuously, are probably people within certain demographics and locales in the United States and Europe.
Edit 2: wordsalad
For the US they have a unique challenge: they can freely attempt to mitigate propaganda and manipulation by the Chinese ruling party and it's backers because they are not physically in China.
In other words, "manipulation" is just persuasion that you (or I) don't like.
I'm open to being persuaded otherwise :)
To manipulate is to "Control or influence (a person or situation) cleverly or unscrupulously" (Oxford), or to "control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one's own advantage" (Merriam-Webster), or to "change by artful or unfair means so as to serve one's purpose" (Merriam-Webster).
Manipulation implies a level of deceit and deception that persuasion does not. They are sufficiently different in meaning that thesaurus.com does not list either as a synonym of the other. Neither does whatever Google is using as its thesaurus source when it decides to answer itself instead of link to a site.
Actually, if we're going to get into this nitpicky level of semantics, none of the words "cleverly, unscrupulously, artful, unfair, insidious" mean "deceit" or "deception".
I'd argue that advertising is pretty inherently unscrupulous, and if it's at all effective, it's clever, artful, and insidious. And you can argue all day long that it's not "especially to one's own advantage" or "to serve one's purpose", but the fact is that if it was really providing a service to customers and not just serving advertisers, that service would be better provided by a neutral third party (such as Consumer Reports, OutdoorGearLab, etc.).
But while we're at it, plenty of advertising is deceitful and deceptive too, so even if that's a prerequisite for being manipulative, advertising is still often manipulative.
"insidious" is actually a synonym of "deceitful" .
You could still argue that advertisement is insidious (which I would by and large disagree with), but the previous poster's point about manipulation and persuasion being different still stands.
/r/sino is the China-fan subreddit, but in the same way as /r/Pyongyang is pro Kim jong un.
It exercises the immune system against the ever flowing rubbish that is so much of the Internet, Press, Politician bit dribble...
In this case it was so very obvious that it wasn't that useful. I'd be happy to see it still there to give me a laugh.
Also a bit insulting, these guys seem to assume that I'm a weak minded fool who will get taken in by this obvious nonsense.
You may not be a weak minded fool, there surely are SOME people who are who will be genuinely moved by the now-banned content. Those people will then repeat credulously an idea, making it easier for folks who know better to repeat an idea. That's generally how propaganda starts. Eventually it becomes unquestionable.
It doesn't matter whether you're selling a product, a service or an agenda. The mechanics are the same, only the labels we assign them differ.
Creating false grassroots support for your product? Astroturfing. Creating false grassroots support for your agenda? Sockpuppeting.
An early episode of Motherboard's otherwise mediocre podcast "CYBER" did an interview with Gruqg. That episode has an incredible amount of material about the nature of propaganda and modern information warfare. It's 40+ minutes, and well worth the time spent.
1: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qv7wmv/former-exploit-bro... [warning: stupid consent modal; find the episode in podcast search instead]
Consider "Loose lips sink ships" or "Uncle Sam Wants YOU" Those are both classic propaganda lines and neither is promoting a falsehood.
I agree with this and these are good examples of what I was talking about.
I was responding specifically to the propaganda at hand and MikeGale's comment, "Also a bit insulting, these guys seem to assume that I'm a weak minded fool who will get taken in by this obvious nonsense."
Edit: it is interesting to see that a sibling comment of mine  on another thread on Twitter’s reaction got overwhelming upvotes, while this comment on FB’s reaction got a downvote.
Yes, it's almost as if different people -- with different opinions -- read and reacted to two comments posted 5 hours apart on separate threads.
Oh wait, they can't, as all manufacturing was outsourced to China and that would be the first thing China cuts off...
Sarcasm aside: how can the West possibly react on the events of the last years?! There's not many options available any more.
GDPR recently drove us to build our own application level firewall from scratch, which turned up behavior that is never reported by CloudFront or Google Analytics - those services are only hiding the severity of the problem.
You may have heard of "Fancy Bear". That's one APT out of Russia.
For more information, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_persistent_threat
When I see patterns in traffic coming from 45,000 one-off hosts for a month straight it is clear that there is a distributed botnet behind the requests.
When I see a vulnerability scan from an Azure cloud instance seconds after I ban a block of Russian addresses, I can be sure there is coordination.
And don't get me started on the Moldavian Registration Bots. Those are a combination of automated and human-assisted CAPTCHA solvers, and it took me almost a full week of careful observation to weed them out.
These are some of the things my application firewall can detect automatically. Every now and then I see a new pattern, that is all I was trying to say.
We just weren't getting enough information from Bing or Google Analytics or CloudFlare, and when I developed a realtime activity dashboard, patterns started emerging: distributed web scrapers, registration bots, vulnerability scans, and some of these in tandem (i.e., scans commencing immediately after blocking a block of addresses). And many of these are coming from cloud hosts, Azure being the worst, with Google a close second. This is the type of traffic they don't want you to see, so those respective analytics services just supress it because it would be a negative advertisement if we could actually see what is happening realtime. I compared the numbers - Google was consistently underreporting our traffic by at least 40%, and a lot (not the majority, but enough to be noticible) of that traffic was coming their own hosted servers (not the indexing bots, but the user cloud instances).
CloudFlare implements temporary bans but I needed something permanent for those threats that were recognizable based on their request patterns.
The ARIN squatting is the latest thing I'm seeing - a lot of requests coming from netblocks that are former DoD and RedHat addresses. The publicly available ARIN databases aren't entirely up-to-date and the bad guys know it, some of the checks we depend on have to be taken with a grain of salt.
So far, I've been able to develop business rules to separate out the human activity from the carefully constructed scraper/probe attempts, but I fear that if they get just a bit more sophisticated I may lose that ability.
Also, China has massive sums of dollars and euros, they can simply play the "long game", i.e. weather out the storm until Europe/US caves.
Many companies are moving out of China at the moment, either due to the threat of a Trump-caused trade war or because other countries are even cheaper than China, and it takes them years.
China can weather one year of export blockade to EU/US. No problem. But EU/US can not, not in any way.
All of them have a pretty harsh stand against Russia.
Crimea ( Ukraine) almost made Russia's entire naval fleet useless.
Russia is still getting punished for it economically and Putin has never seen these low approval rates. There are also a lot of protests there.
China thinks they can possess the world, but they are even having severe problems in their own country. We just need to wait, China's plan was smart, but they forgot the will for freedom in every execution/plan they had and are doomed to fail. Sooner or later.
Depends on how you look at things :)
I dont care if they are communists, socialists, or the run of the mill capitalists. The only reason twitter and facebook still exist in their current form, is because the poltical establishments all over the world have worked out to leverage them for their advantage.
Politics has not escaped the disruption that other industries have suffered. Its like any other targetting advertising campaign. How are mining companies who put out poltical properganda too undermine environmental movements any different?
The FBI has posted many examples of the propaganda. It was not "much more negative" against Trump. That's a falsehood.
I miss the time when there was a massive debate over the legality of removing the video Innocence of Muslims, to the extent there were op-eds suggesting that Youtube pursue an advisory opinion before removing it. Now it is all but certain that FAANG has the right to remove whatever, without question, without appeal.
And in most EULAs, certain categories of dispute go to arbitration.
Is there anywhere in there that you think a line should be drawn?
People are autonomic agents, yes. People share opinions, yes. Governments are comprised of people, yes.
The line was quite eloquently drawn during World War One when it was illegal to protest the draft. Or the Civil War.
There is no real answer to the question of whether is this immoral or moral, and thus I must voice my opinions.
Whether or not you like that is obviously a different story.
The loud ones used to be the ones against censorship, now the loud ones are the ones for censorship. The pendulum swings again.
I would be for censorship as well, if successful libel suits against publications meant they would be removed from the internet for fake news. Sadly egregious errors in editorial judgment are to be protected over someone saying an incomplete set of truths that result in an erroneous conclusion.
This also defines well online outrage mobs. But I doubt they would crack down on them.
So it is doing content policing, as long as that content is sufficiently outside the Overton window.
It is about evading being subject to responsibility for the content on their site -- they want to be regulated as 'nuetral' content carriers, not editors.
To suggest that the practices of facebook in general - likes, the activity feed, and various experiments that facebook has in its history - is not itself an attempt by a coordinated group to manipulate people, is itself disingenuous at best. In order to correct this to honesty, they would have to clarify that they don't care for external groups - other than those who pay for advertising services - to be permitted to manipulate people.
This take down of a few pages being followed by 15k people and its subsequent information release is itself a manipulation, to make it appear as if facebook is doing something about the glaring problems that I personally think it represents. It seems to me that in the halls of power today, there are few good actors, and this tiny morsel doesn't make facebook one of them, and does nothing about the manipulators on their platforms that are beyond their ability to take down, despite self-serving dishonesty from so many groups.
In other words, what a skillfully crafted news release from facebook, give that marketer a raise.