* * *
The European Parliament has created an anti-fake news unit to deal with misinformation, especially in light of the upcoming 2019 European elections. This comes as some MEPs called for more efforts against “Russian propaganda” at a debate in Strasbourg.
The EU has been stepping up its campaign to counter disinformation and fake news, recently earmarking €1 million a year from the EU budget for its specialist anti-propaganda unit set up by the Commission in 2015.
ARD (full name: Arbeitsgemeinschaft der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland – Consortium of public broadcasters in Germany) is a joint organisation of Germany’s regional public-service broadcasters. It was founded in 1950 in West Germany to represent the common interests of the new, decentralised, post-war broadcasting services – in particular the introduction of a joint television network.
The ARD is the world’s largest public broadcaster, with a budget of €6.9 billion and 22,655 employees. The budget comes primarily from the licence fees every household, every company and even every public institution like city governments are required to pay. For an ordinary household the fee is currently €17.50 per month. Households living on welfare do not have to pay the fee. The fees are not collected directly by the ARD, but by the Beitragsservice (formerly known as Gebühreneinzugszentrale GEZ), a common organization of the ARD member broadcasters, the second public TV broadcaster ZDF, and Deutschlandradio.
Video from the German Tv serial “Lindenstraße” in 2006.
H/t reader kevin a.
* * *
…and it will all end in tears.
Germany- Syrian refugee"19", who is dating a girl(16) in a documentary shown by the state sponsored children's channel KIKA is apparently following a Salafist hate preacher online. https://t.co/N9s5dfXa6J pic.twitter.com/b3IYDpnF9A
— Stan (@StanM3) January 14, 2018
* * *
Germany is set to start enforcing a law that demands social media sites move quickly to remove hate speech, fake news and illegal material.
Sites that do not remove “obviously illegal” posts could face fines of up to 50m euro (£44.3m).
The law gives the networks 24 hours to act after they have been told about law-breaking material.
Social networks and media sites with more than two million members will fall under the law’s provisions.
Facebook, Twitter and YouTube will be the law’s main focus but it is also likely to be applied to Reddit, Tumblr and Russian social network VK. Other sites such as Vimeo and Flickr could also be caught up in its provisions.
You really can’t make this stuff up!
– Google Search, Germany: If You Search For “Germans Should…”, Then Google Offers You The Following Options: “…Die Out”, “…Learn Arabic”, “…Leave Germany”, “…Integrate”, “…Integrate Not The Refugees, “…Accept Islam”, “…Take In Refugees”, “…Take Refugees Into Their Homes”
Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO
Twitter will begin suspending accounts which engage in “hateful conduct” or affiliate with organizations which “use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes” both on and off the platform, following a November announcement. The new rules apply to whatever Twitter deems “hateful,” including “hateful images or symbols in your profile image or profile header.”
Moreover, Twitter will officially begin restricting “trending” content, to wit:
At times, we may prevent certain content from trending.
While many conservative Twitter users have suffered unfair account suspensions, mysterious drops in retweets and likes on controversial tweets, overnight drops in follower count, and unexplained disappearances of trending topics which paint liberals in a bad light, Twitter’s new rules effectively allow the social media giant to openly engage in censorship without repercussion.
Via Twitter Help Center:
Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.
– Mark Twain
As a father of two young children, my thoughts have increasingly started to center around their young lives and the future world they’ll inhabit. Such considerations quickly lead to stressful questions such as, what are the best schools in the area? Which option can provide the best environment in which to thrive? If the best options aren’t public, can we afford them? Is it worth the money? All these questions and more have filled the minds of my wife and I over the past couple of years, but lately we’ve started to ask even bigger questions; such as whether the compulsory education system as it exists in the U.S. in 2017 makes any sense in the first place. I’m increasingly starting to conclude that it doesn’t.
For those interested, here is the full interview with Palihapitiya:
In the most ironic story of the day, and perhaps of 2017, a former Facebook executive whose job it was to literally get the world hooked on the “internet crack” that is social media, is now calling on people to take a “hard break” from a service which he believes is “ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.” Speaking to a group of students at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Chamath Palihapitiya, who joined Facebook in 2007 and became its vice president for user growth, said that he feels “tremendous guilt” for his role in building the social media giant and warned that “if you feed the beast, that beast will destroy you…” (you can view the relevant portion of the interview here).
“I feel tremendous guilt.”
“I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works. That is truly where we are.”
“I would encourage all of you, as the future leaders of the world, to really internalize how important this is. If you feed the beast, that beast will destroy you. If you push back on it you have a chance to control it and reign it in.”
“There is a point in time when people need a hard break from some of these tools.”
“The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works. No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth. And it’s not an American problem — this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem.”
“So, we’re in a really bad state of affairs right now, in my opinion. It is eroding the core foundations of how people behave by and between each other.”
“And, I don’t have a good solution. You know, my solution is I just don’t use these tools anymore. I haven’t for years. It’s created huge tension with my friends. Huge tensions in my social circles.”
As CNBC notes, Palihapitiya went on to describe an incident in India where hoax messages about kidnappings shared on WhatsApp led to the lynching of seven innocent people. “That’s what we’re dealing with,” said Palihapitiya. “And imagine taking that to the extreme, where bad actors can now manipulate large swathes of people to do anything you want. It’s just a really, really bad state of affairs.” As noted above, Palihapitiya went on to say that he’s only posted to Facebook a handful of times in the past 7 years and said that his children “aren’t allowed to use that s**t.”
Could we all really be mentally ill?
In an attempt to curb the mass rush for food change and reform, psychiatry has green lighted a public relations push to spread awareness about their new buzzword “orthorexia nervosa,” defined as “a pathological obsession for biologically pure and healthy nutrition.” In other words, experts are moving toward saying that our demand for nutrient-dense, healthful food is a mental disorder that must be treated.
“Orthorexia nervosa is a label designated to those who are concerned about eating healthy. Characterized by disordered eating fueled by a desire for “clean” or “healthy” foods, those diagnosed with the condition are overly pre-occupied with the nutritional makeup of what they eat”.
In short, if you turn your back on low quality, corporate food containing known cancer causing toxic additives and a rich history of dishonesty rooted in a continuous “profits over people” modus operandi, then you may suffer from a mental illness. The cherry on top is that if you have the pseudo-science labeled disorder of orthorexia nervosa, you will be prescribed known toxic, pharmaceutical drugs from some of the same conglomerate corporations that you are trying to avoid by eating healthy in the first place.
A great number of YouTube videos aimed at children contain creepy, disturbing, violent and sexual content. Some even border on child abuse. It is time to take a closer look at these videos that generate millions of views per day.
Warning: This article contains disturbing images … although they’re all taken from children’s videos.
* * *