Dept of Justice starts threatened attack on tech companies over supposed stifling of ideas
Following a rage-tweeting incidents where Donald Trump attacked Twitter, Facebook, et al, over supposedly stifling of Conservative voices, and describing it as a serious situation, and threatening that it "will be addressed", the US Department of Justice is starting to put some oomph behind that threat. While representatives of Facebook, Google and Twitter appeared before a hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Department of Justice issued a statement that Attorney General Jeff Sessions will convene a meeting with several US State Attorneys General to discuss "a growing concern that these companies may be hurting competition and intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas on their platforms".
Pres. Trump slams move to ban hate-speech mongerers like Alex Jones
A few days ago Alex Jones was banned from YouTube and some other social media platforms. Clearly Jones is a purveyor of fake news and hate speech, and almost certainly violated the terms of service. In response President Trump has described this as discrimination, asking why the social media networks only ban Conservatives and not Liberals. As President Trump suggests, Censorship is a bad thing, but his repeated attacks on normal highly respected news outlets (CNN, etc) borders on Censorship and is itself a bad thing remniscient of what the Nazi Party did in Germany during its ascendancy to power. In this renewed attack, Trump is repeating an earlier claim that social media networks are "shadow banning" Conservatives (making it harder algorithmically to find them). The whole thing could just be a smoke screen to divert attention from something else Republicans are planning to do, or it could be leading up to outright attacks on the social media networks and an attempt at regulation.
The case of Pres. Trump and the two-headed Presidential seal from an alternative universe where Trump is a Russian agent
On Tuesday, at the Turning Point USA conference, President Trump appeared at a campaign-rally-like event where somehow a fake Presidential Seal appeared. The seal which presented on the stage behind Pres. Trump as he basked in the audiences attention, and it looked enough like the real thing to fool everyone. But it was strangely different. The eagle had two heads, and the slogan was strangely different, and so on. How did a fake Presidential Seal appear on the stage at an official President Trump event? And who created this fake seal, is a byproduct of the Internet Age.
The creepiness of AI-driven content recommendation on YouTube and other websites
How many movies are about an AI driven robot or computer that takes over the world? What used to be the stuff of science fiction is beginning to happen. One example is the YouTube video recommendation algorithm, that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to recommend videos for you to watch. This seems benign enough, and YouTube does a fairly good of recommending videos, but have you stopped to think how much YouTube knows about you and your preferences?
Tweets are interstate communication, making us liable for federal crimes
Feeling angry about something and letting off steam on Twitter? According to US Federal Prosecutors, twitter posts and presumably facebook et al are interstate communications. If that posting can be interpreted as a threat or other illegal communication, you have therefore used interstate communications to transmit a threat - which is a federal felony.
Twitter reminds us we are the product, by providing our data to 'partners'
Remember - if you're using a service for free, that means you are the product. Twitter, Facebook, etc, are rich well funded companies, but the service they provide is free for the users. How do these companies make their money by offering a free service? Recently Twitter disclosed they've been sharing data with "partners", but they've now stopped doing so. Honest injun.
What is Shadow Banning? Banning a member such that they do not know they're banned
Shadow Banning appears to be rankling Conservatives (Republicans) who are crying foul. The social media networks are supposedly shadow banning conservatives, making it harder for folks to find conservative points of view. Supposedly on Twitter prominent Republicans do not show up in search suggestions -- the dropdown appearing while you type a search request -- while equally prominent Democrats do show up. This is according to the Republicans who are raising the stink. Twitter has responded saying it was a bug, that they've now fixed. But, what is Shadow Banning, and how do we determine if Shadow Banning is happening?