Daily Archives: December 19, 2017

Rolling Stone: Anatomy of a Fake News Scandal…


Date: December 19, 2017

01) Anatomy of a Fake News Scandal

“Inside the web of conspiracy theorists, Russian operatives, Trump campaigners and Twitter bots who manufactured the ‘news’ that Hillary Clinton ran a pizza-restaurant child-sex ring.

[…]

The revelations overcame Edgar Maddison Welch like a hallucinatory fever. On December 1st, 2016, the father of two from Salisbury, North Carolina, a man whose pastimes included playing Pictionary with his family, tried to persuade two friends to join a rescue mission. Alex Jones, the Info-Wars host, was reporting that Hillary Clinton was sexually abusing children in satanic rituals a few hundred miles north, in the basement of a Washington, D.C., pizza restaurant. Welch told his friends the “raid” on a “pedo ring” might require them to “sacrifice the lives of a few for the lives of many.” A friend texted, “Sounds like we r freeing some oppressed pizza from the hands of an evil pizza joint.” Welch was undeterred. Three days later, armed with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, a .38 handgun and a folding knife, he strolled into the restaurant and headed toward the back, where children were playing ping-pong. As waitstaff went table to table, whispering to customers to get out, Welch maneuvered into the restaurant’s kitchen. He shot open a lock and found cooking supplies. He whipped open another door and found an employee bringing in fresh pizza dough. Welch did not find any captive children – Comet Ping Pong does not even have a basement – but he did prove, if there were any lingering doubts after the election, that fake news has real consequences.

[…]

Alefantis thought he’d finally scored a victory when The New York Times published an article debunking Pizzagate. He learned what the Clinton campaign found out too late. As Harvard’s Benkler puts it, “The right-wing-media ecosystem had become so hyperpartisan, so self-referential and so superinsular it often simply ignored information that’s disconfirming.” Instead, right-wing social media referenced mainstream coverage as a way to “legitimate” their claims. On November 21st, the day the Times published its story, our sample shows Twitter traffic about Pizzagate hit unprecedented levels: some 120,000 tweets.”

Twitter suspends white nationalists as it enforces new rules…


Date: December 19, 2017

01) Twitter suspends white nationalists as it enforces new rules

“NEW YORK (AP) – Twitter suspended the accounts of well-known white nationalists Monday, moving swiftly to enforce its new rules aimed at reducing what it deems abusive content.

The account of far-right group Britain First, a small group that regularly posts inflammatory videos purporting to show Muslims engaged in acts of violence, was among the first to go dark. The individual accounts of two of its leaders, Jayda Fransen and Paul Golding, were also suspended.

[…]

Twitter said it would not comment on individual accounts. The company has emphasized that it takes into account many factors before making any enforcement decision, including context of the post, cultural and political considerations and the severity of the violation.

[…]

Twitter is also prohibiting users from abusing or threatening others through their profiles or usernames. The company also now bans accounts affiliated with “organizations that use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes.”

[…]

Emma Llanso, director of the free expression project at the Center for Democracy and Technology, said the new guidelines represent a substantial change for Twitter’s policies. But, he added, it’s not going to be immediately clear to all users what falls within the new prohibitions.”

There is a ton of weasel in there.

…First…they’re coming for the white nationalists…

…Who is next on their list?…

…Despite whatever I may think about white nationalists…I can see this is a terrible move on the part of Twitter.

Short of credible threats and fraud…no company should provide a communications service, just to turn around and interfere with the communication…concepts, unpopular findings and opinions should remain protected.

Twitter has such a massive user base…it’s essentially a public utility, in function.

Pamela Gredicak: Control Over My Death…


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Date: December 19, 2017

01) Pamela Gredicak: Control Over My Death

“Living Life Until the End

I don’t want to stop what I’ve been doing; I still have so much left to do. I want to live my life until I can’t for another moment. I want quality for as long as I can have it and then I want to stop putting the people I love through this pain.

I will do anything I can to share this important message with the world: that it is as important to choose the way we die as it is to choose the way we live.

I don’t believe there are many who would choose to struggle through those last horrible days, weeks or months while our loved ones feel obligated to visit us in places that feel and smell like death. I want my husband to not be so scarred by my death that he can’t go on living. These are some of the reasons that the Death with Dignity law is so very important to me.

Control over Death

Opponents believe that it’s the depressed and weary who are convinced Death with Dignity is the only option. That’s not the case for me. I have been in control of the way I lead my life, as much as I am allowed by my illnesses. I believe I should have control over my death.”

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