Eli Pariser was looking at Facebook one day when he noticed something peculiar. On his news feed, where he usually enjoyed reading through his friends’ comments and links, there was something missing. “I’ve always gone out of my way to meet conservatives,” says Pariser, a liberal tech entrepreneur from New York. “So I was kind of surprised when I noticed that the conservatives had disappeared from my Facebook feed.”
Facebook had quietly scrubbed the feed clean of anything Right-wing – nothing Republican, nothing anti-Obama, was getting through. So what was going on?
“It turns out,” says Pariser, “that Facebook was looking at which links I clicked on. And it noticed that I was clicking more on my liberal friends’ links than on my conservative friends’ links. And without consulting me about it, it had edited them out. They disappeared.”
In other words, Facebook decided that Pariser’s conservative friends weren’t relevant. It didn’t matter that he liked to hear their point of view occasionally; because he clicked on their links less frequently, they had been exiled from his online world.
Computerworld – Facebook may continue to gain users, but the world’s biggest social network isn’t gaining them as quickly as it has been and is actually losing users in the U.S.
Facebook gained 11.8 million more users last month alone, according to a study by Inside Facebook. While that’s a lot of new users, it’s less than the 13.9 million new users who joined the site in April, or the 20 million gain during some months in the past year.
And while Inside Facebook reports that the social network is approaching 700 million users worldwide, the number of U.S. users has dropped. The study found that Facebook lost 6 million U.S. users in May.
Facebook has rolled out its facial recognition technology to countries outside of the US, but has switched the feature on by default without telling its users first.
UK-based security expert Graham Cluely noted earlier today that Facebook had slotted the tech into the social network.
The Mark Zuckerberg-run company started using its facial recognition software in December last year for its Stateside users in a move to automatically provide tags for the photos uploaded by Facebook users.
The tech works by scanning newly uploaded pics and then identifies faces from previously tagged photos already stored in Zuckerberg’s internet silo.
It’s hiring two aides of former President George W. Bush as lobbyists.
Joel Kaplan, previously deputy chief of staff in the Bush White House, is joining Facebook as vice president of U.S. public policy, a new position in which he will oversee the company’s public policy strategy and interact with federal and state policymakers.
Myriah Jordan, who worked in the Bush White House in the office of the chief of staff, is joining Facebook as policy manager, focusing on congressional relations.
Facebook now has four registered lobbyists, two Republicans and two Democrats, Tim Sparapani and Adam Conner. It spent $230,000 on lobbying in the first quarter.
Internet providers were shut down and Facebook accounts deleted across Algeria on Saturday as thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators were arrested in violent street demonstrations.
Algerian protesters chant slogans during a demonstration in Algiers Photo: EPA
Plastic bullets and tear gas were used to try and disperse large crowds in major cities and towns, with 30,000 riot police taking to the streets in Algiers alone.
There were also reports of journalists being targeted by state-sponsored thugs to stop reports of the disturbances being broadcast to the outside world.
But it was the government attack on the internet which was of particular significance to those calling for an end to President Abdelaziz Boutifleka’s repressive regime.
Protesters mobilising through the internet were largely credited with bringing about revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia.
“The government doesn’t want us forming crowds through the internet,” said Rachid Salem, of Co-ordination for Democratic Change in Algeria.
“Security forces are armed to the teeth out on the street, and they’re also doing everything to crush our uprising on the internet. Journalists, and especially those with cameras, are being taken away by the police.” President Hosni Mubarak had tried to shut down internet service providers during 18 days of protest before stepping down as Egyptian leader on Friday.
This is Webster Tarpley’s opinion and I do not agree with all of it.
Obama White House NSC Russia Director Michael McFaul Deploying IMF Shock Therapist Boris Nemtsov as Wheelhorse of Feeble “Stop Putin in 2012″ Bid
Awareness is growing around the world that the Wikileaks-Julian Assange theater of the absurd is radically inauthentic – a psyop. Wikileaks and its impaired boss represent a classic form of limited hangout or self-exposure, a kind of lurid striptease in which the front organization releases doctored and pre-selected materials provided by the intelligence agency with the intent of harming, not the CIA, nor the UK, nor the Israelis, but rather such classic CIA enemies’ list figures as Putin, Berlusconi, Karzai, Qaddafi, Rodriguez de Kirchner, etc. In Tunisia, derogatory material about ex-President Ben Ali leaked by Wikileaks has already brought a windfall for Langley in the form of the rare ouster of an entrenched Arab government.
At Foggy Bottom and Langley, a manic fit has been building since the flight of Ben Ali. US imperialist planners now believe they can re-launch their shopworn model of the color revolution, CIA people-power coup, or postmodern putsch against a whole series of countries in the Arab world and far beyond, including Italy. The color revolutions had been looking tarnished lately, as a result of the failure of the Twitter Revolution in Iran back in June 2009. Previously, the Cedars Revolution of 2005 had failed in Lebanon. The Orange Revolution in Ukraine had been rolled back with the ouster of NATO-IMF kleptocrats Yushchenko and Timoshenko. In Georgia, the Roses Revolution was increasingly discredited by the repressive and warmongering regime of fascist madman Saakashvili.
US Seeks to Mobilize a New Generation of Young Nihilists Across the Globe
But now, NSC, State, and CIA believe that the color revolution has a new lease on life, thanks to their estimate that the United States, because of Wikileaks and Assange, has captured the imagination of a new generation of young nihilists across the globe who are described as the post-9/11 generation, estranged from governments and opposition parties, and thus ready to follow Langley’s peroxide Pied Piper.
Assange started his intensive deployment phase this year with video of a Class A US war crime in Iraq, which was very graphic but which dealt with an incident which was already widely known. The second document dump focused on Iraq, but now the targeting had shifted to Prime Minister Maliki, and the Iranian asset whom the US by some strange coincidence was trying to oust as leader of Iraq in favor of the US puppet Allawi. With the third document dump, this time involving State Department cables, we found out much derogatory gossip about such classic CIA targets as Russian prime minister Putin, Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi, the Russian-Italian strategic alliance, President Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina, and President Karzai of Afghanistan, along with jabs at supposed US allies who need to be kept off-balance and dependent, including the Saudi Arabian royal family, French President Sarkozy, and others. Wikileaks thus directs the vast majority of its fire against figures who are part of the CIA’s enemies list.
No Equal Time for CIA Covert Operations
Assange also provides a splendid pretext for draconian censorship and limitations on the freedom of the internet. The totalitarian liberal Senator Feinstein wants to bring back Woodrow Wilson’s infamous Espionage Act of 1917 in honor of Assange. Assange must be seen not as an activist, not as a journalist, and not as an entertainer, but rather as a spook. John Young of Cryptome, according to some reports, has denounced Wikileaks, to which he formerly belonged, as a CIA front. In a December 29 RT interview, Young described the internet as “a very large-scale spying machine.”1 The internet is indeed a vast battlefield, where the intelligence agencies of the US-UK, China, Israel, Russia, and many others clash every hour of the day, with commercial spies, hackers, anarchists, cultists, mercenary trolls, and psychotics all getting into the act as well. Intelligence agencies deliberately feed real and doctored material to various websites, sometimes using their own disgruntled employees as cutouts, conduits, and go-betweens. This means among other things that Bradley Manning cannot be taken at face value, although it is also clear that he like anyone else should not be tortured.
DENVER (Reuters) – A Colorado mother who told police her 13-month-old son drowned in the bathtub while she was playing a game on Facebook was charged on Friday with child abuse resulting in death.
Shannon Johnson, 34, was advised of the charge against her via a video hookup from the jail where she is being held on a $100,000 bond, said Jennifer Finch, spokeswoman for the Weld County District Attorney’s Office.
Johnson requested a public defender during the brief hearing and another hearing was set for later in the month, Finch said.
Under questioning by police after the boy died at a Denver-area hospital last September, Johnson admitted she placed the baby in the bathtub and went into another room to play the Facebook game “Cafe World.”
She also checked in with friends and watched videos on the site while the boy bathed alone, according to an affidavit filed in the case.
When she didn’t hear any sounds from the boy after 10 minutes, she found him slumped over face down in the bathwater making “gurgling” sounds, the affidavit. Johnson then called 911, and the boy was airlifted to the hospital where he was pronounced dead from drowning.
When police arrived at Johnson’s home in Fort Lupton, Colorado, they found a laptop opened to Facebook.
Johnson told police that she frequently left the boy unattended in the bathtub because he was “independent,” he liked to be left alone, and she didn’t want him to be a “mama’s boy,” according to the affidavit.
Up to 1,000 Israeli women who tried to avoid military service by pretending to be religious have been caught out through their Facebook accounts, an army spokesman said on Tuesday.
Israeli women soldiers take part in a week-long exercise in the Negev Desert
By using the popular social networking site, the Israeli military has managed to track down hundreds of women who lied about being religiously observant, Captain Arye Shalicar said.
One woman was caught out after she posted a photograph in which she is seen eating in a non-kosher restaurant, while others were caught wearing revealing clothing, he said.
Others were caught out by accepting invitations to parties on a Friday night – which were sent out as bait by firms of private investigators paid to root out the fakers.
“If you see someone updating their account on shabbat, it tells you she is using a computer, and probably talking on the phone and watching TV, which is forbidden,” he said.
“Today, Facebook is very common and it really helps you see what youngsters are up to,” he said, pointing out that eight companies of private investigators were involved in the business of checking out if someone was genuinely observant.
Law enforcement agencies are digging deep into the social media accounts of applicants, requesting that candidates sign waivers allowing investigators access to their Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter and other personal spaces.
Some agencies are demanding that applicants provide private passwords, Internet pseudonyms, text messages and e-mail logs as part of an expanding vetting process for public safety jobs.
More than a third of police agencies review applicants’ social media activity during background checks, according to the first report on agencies’ social media use by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the largest group of police executives. The report out last month surveyed 728 agencies.
“As more and more people join these networks, their activities on these sites become an intrinsic part of any background check we do,” said Laurel, Md., Police Chief David Crawford.
Privacy advocates say some background investigations, including requests for text message and e-mail logs, may go too far.
“I’m very uneasy about this,” says Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. “Where does it all stop?”
A Jacksonville mother charged with shaking her baby to death has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
Alexandra V. Tobias, 22, was arrested after the January death of 3-month-old Dylan Lee Edmondson. She told investigators she became angry because the baby was crying while she was playing a computer game called FarmVille on the Facebook social-networking website.
Tobias entered her plea Wednesday before Circuit Judge Adrian G. Soud. A second-degree murder charge is punishable by up to life in prison.
Prosecutor Richard Mantei said Tobias’ sentence could be less because of state guidelines that call for 25 to 50 years. Soud offered no promises on what he’ll order during a sentencing hearing scheduled for December.
Outside the courtroom, Mantei said Tobias’ plea will help avoid the family reliving the tragedy during a jury trial.
Tobias told investigators that she shook the baby, smoked a cigarette to compose herself and then shook him again. She said the baby may have hit his head during the shaking.
BERLIN (AP) — A German data protection official has filed a legal complaint against Facebook, saying people have been griping that their private information was saved by the personal networking site without their knowledge or consent.
Johannes Caspar said Wednesday that his Hamburg data protection office has taken legal steps against Facebook which could result in it being fined for saving private information of individuals who don’t use the site and haven’t granted it access to their details.
Loveable Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg called his first few thousand users “dumb fucks” for trusting him with their data, published IM transcripts show. Facebook hasn’t disputed the authenticity of the transcript.
Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
Zuck: Just ask.
Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS
[Redacted Friend’s Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?
Zuck: People just submitted it.
Zuck: I don’t know why.
Zuck: They “trust me”
Zuck: Dumb fucks
The founder was then 19, and he may have been joking. But humour tells you a lot. Some might say that this exchange shows Zuckerberg was not particularly aware of the trust issue in all its depth and complexity.
EFF has posted documents shedding light on how law enforcement agencies use social networking sites to gather information in investigations. The records, obtained from the IRS and DOJ Criminal Division, are the first in a series of documents that will be released through a FOIA case that EFF filed with the help of the UC Berkeley Samuelson Clinic.
One of the most interesting files is a 2009 training course that describes how IRS employees may use various Internet tools — including social networking sites and Google Street View — to investigate taxpayers.
The IRS should be commended for its detailed training that clearly prohibits employees from using deception or fake social networking accounts to obtain information. Its policies generally limit employees to using publicly available information. …
The documents released by the IRS also include excerpts from the Internal Revenue Manual explaining that employees aren’tallowed to use government computers to access social networking sites for personal communication, and cautioning them to be careful to avoid any appearance that they’re speaking on behalf of the IRS when making personal use of social media.
Are you tired of living in public, sick of all the privacy theater the social networks are putting on, and just want to end it all online? Now you can wipe the slate clean with the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine. (Warning: This will really delete your online presence and is irrevocable). Just put in your credentials for Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, or LinkedIn and it will delete all your friends and messages, and change your username, password, and photo so that you cannot log back in.
The site is actually run by Moddr, a New Media Lab in Rotterdam, which execute the underlying scripts which erase your accounts. The Web 2.0 Suicide Machine is a digital Dr. Kevorkian. On Facebook, for instance, it removes all your friends one by one, removes your groups and joins you to its own “Social Network Suiciders,” and lets you leave some last words. So far 321 people have used the site to commit Facebook suicide. On Twitter, it deletes all of your Tweets, and removes all the people you follow and your followers. It doesn’t actually delete these accounts, it just puts them to rest.
The Web 2.0 Suicide Machine runs a python script which launches a browser session and automates the process of disconnecting from these social networks (here is a video showing how this works with Twitter). You can even watch the virtual suicide in progress via a Flash app which shows it as a remote desktop session. You can watch your online life pass away one message at a time. Taking over somebody else’s account via an automated script, even with permission, may very well be against the terms of service of these social networks.
From the FAQs:
If I start killing my 2.0-self, can I stop the process?
If I start killing my 2.0-self, can YOU stop the process?
What shall I do after I’ve killed myself with the web2.0 suicide machine?
Try calling some friends, take a walk in a park or buy a bottle of wine and start enjoying your real life again. Some Social Suiciders reported that their lives has improved by an approximate average of 25%. Don’t worry, if you feel empty right after you committed suicide. This is a normal reaction which will slowly fade away within the first 24-72 hours.
The light-hearted video below explains the benefits of committing Web 2.0 Suicide and disconnecting from “so many people you don’t really care about.” Unplugging from your social life online will leave you more time for your real life, which you’ve probably been neglecting. With the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine, you can “sign out forever.” Not that we are recommending you do this in any way. But you may enjoy the video.
At the White House presser on Wednesday, several correspondents questioned the way the Oval Office selected questions from the public for today’s virtual town hall.
President Barack Obama answered pre-selected questions Wednesday afternoon about health care sent in from emails, Facebook and Twitter. CBS’ Chip Reid and columnist Helen Thomas thought this reflected a lack of transparency at the White House.
“It feels like the concept of a town hall, I think, is to have an open public forum. And this sounds like a very tightly controlled audience and list of questions. Why do it that way?” asked Reid.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs deflected the question, but that only raised the ire of Helen Thomas, UPI’s veteran correspondent who has long been at the top of the White House press corps totem pole.
“We have never had that in the White House,” Thomas said, referring to the degree that press events are pre-scripted in the Obama administration. “I’m amazed, I’m amazed at you people who called for openness and transparency…”
That’s when things got testy, and Gibbs looked very uncomfortable as Reid and Thomas took turns attacking his evasive answers.
“Calling reporters the night before, telling them they’re going to be called on – that’s shocking,” Thomas said, referring to an incident last week when Huffington Post blogger Nico Pitney was given advance warning that he would be called on to ask a question on behalf of the Iranian public.
This video is from C-SPAN, broadcast July 1, 2009.
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