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Fri, 28 Apr 2017
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Facebook thought police: Fake news obsession may have unintended consequences

The social panic and media hysteria over fake news continues unabated. And once again, Facebook's reaction is all wrong.

The left's intense focus on false news stories exploded in the wake of what seemed like an inexplicable Republican victory in the 2016 election, with Donald Trump beating Hillary Clinton despite an avalanche of bad press directed at the former, especially in the final weeks of the campaign. The GOP also unexpectedly retained control of the Senate, winning surprise victories in Wisconsin and Indiana to confound the Democratic Party's advantage in incumbent seats and normal presidential-cycle turnout models.

Attention quickly focused on a BuzzFeed story about traffic generated by stories on Facebook, and how much more popular fake news was over real news. The analysis had significant flaws, however, beginning with the fact that there was no evidence of correlation between Facebook traffic and voting behavior, let alone causation. Furthermore, the top five "real news" articles in the analysis turned out to be four opinion essays opposing Trump and the New York Post's story on Melania Trump's suggestive modeling pictures from two decades earlier.

Nonetheless, much of the left and the mainstream media stuck with the fake news narrative to explain the election outcome, and have continued to pressure Facebook to take action against it.

Video

Video showing 'moderate rebels' surrendering to the Syrian Army in Aleppo

Militant's surrender to the SAA in Aleppo.

With the liberation of Aleppo comes the surrender of US-Saudi-Turkey back ISIS jihadists.

Somewhere in America, John McCain is very pissed off to see his ISIS army fold to Assad.


Comment: See also: Wild boars attack ISIS base in Iraq killing three jihadists


X

'A child dies every 10 minutes': UN and Amnesty call to stop Saudi-led attack on critical lifeline in Yemen

© Khaled Abdullah / Reuters
The UN has appealed for $2.1 billion to prevent the "starving of an entire generation" in Yemen. But it says a lack of funds is not the only issue of concern in the war-torn country, amid reports that the strategic port of Hodeidah may be targeted by the Saudi-led coalition.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed for the multi-million aid package for Yemen on Tuesday during the opening session of a donor conference in Geneva.

"On average, a child under the age of five dies of preventable causes in Yemen every 10 minutes," Guterres said. "This means 50 children in Yemen will die during today's conference, and all of those deaths could have been prevented," he added.

"We are witnessing the starving and the crippling of an entire generation," the UN Secretary-General warned, saying that two-thirds of the population or nearly 19 million people need emergency aid in Yemen.


Comment: Gee, what is Ivanka Trump's "conscience" telling her about Yemen?


Briefcase

Male student sues Notre Dame University for sexual discrimination

© Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast
An undergraduate student is suing the University of Notre Dame in federal court, alleging the Indiana school launched a discriminatory investigation that found him guilty of stalking, dating violence, and harassment of an ex-girlfriend, then expelled him just three weeks before he was set to graduate.

Filing his suit under the pseudonym "John Doe," the former student is asking for undisclosed damages, but first his lawyers say he just wants to be let back in.

John's case joins dozens of other pending lawsuits nationwide alleging colleges and universities have over-corrected in recent years when it comes to the investigation of sexual assault and harassment on campus. Parroting several other suits currently making their way through the courts, the complaint alleges that in recent years Notre Dame has "created an atmosphere of institutional hostility toward accused male students."

The investigation against John began in 2016, according to the complaint. During a year-long "intimate but tumultuous" relationship with his girlfriend, named under the alias "Jane Roe," John says he developed depression and started having suicidal thoughts after the suicide of a colleague during a summer internship. When the couple broke up in November 2016, the suit says, Jane filed a complaint with the University, alleging John was harassing her and inundating her with texts threatening suicide.

Laptop

Thai man livestreams daughter's murder and his own suicide on Facebook

A man in Phuket filmed himself killing his child and then himself on Facebook Live, Thai police said Tuesday (Apr 25), the latest example of the social network's live-streaming function being used to broadcast grisly crimes.

Officers on the southern resort island said they were alerted to the video by friends of the man and rushed to an abandoned hotel near the international airport on Monday afternoon.

"They had already died when I arrived there," Lieutenant Jullaus Suvannin, one of the first on the scene, told AFP, adding a smartphone was found propped up against a wall.

Police said they believed the man had previously argued with the mother of the murdered child, an 11-month-old girl. The man had hung himself and his daughter, they said.

Channel 3 television broadcast footage of the child's distraught mother, flanked by relatives, picking up both her daughter's body and the man's corpse from the local hospital on Tuesday.

Facebook was not immediately available for comment.

Comment:


Apple Red

Without free lunches, British kids are going hungry during school holidays

© Suzanne Plunkett / Reuters
Millions of pupils who qualify for free school meals during term time are going hungry while on vacation because their families are struggling to cope with the rising cost of food, MPs and peers have warned.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger says children are regularly living on crisps (potato chips) and energy drinks when school canteens close at holiday time.

According to its latest report, compiled over the course of a two-month inquiry, an estimated 1 million children from the poorest backgrounds rely on free school meals.

However, up to 2 million pupils whose parents are on low wages do not qualify for free meals at all.

The report highlighted the case of one group of children who had to quit football practice because their bodies could not cope with the physical strain as a result of under-nourishment.

Attention

Full scale terror attack drill to be held in D.C. amid North Korea standoff

With belligerent posturing between Pyongyang and Washington soaring to nuclear levels in mere weeks — and admonishments from world leaders to employ restraint seemingly gone unnoticed — disaster preparedness training demands an urgency not seen since the end of the Cold War.

Operation Gotham Shield, an interagency exercise to prepare officials and emergency personnel for the unlikely event an enemy State detonates a nuclear bomb in the skies over New York City, is slated to conclude Wednesday.


That same day, President Trump has called a meeting with top military and defense officials, and, 'unusually', the entire Senate over North Korea.

Wednesday also kicks off a full-scale preparedness drill of a different sort — one, strangely, not focused on the growing potentiality the U.S. may be forced to cope with nuclear war inside its borders; but, instead, addresses a familiar, if nebulous, adversary. Terrorism.

Gear

No conviction for German 'vigilantes' who beat up & tied refugee to tree

© schwerdbleede78 / YouTube
‘Vigilantes’ dragging Iraqi refugee out of store in Arnsdorf, Germany.
Four men who punched and tied a mentally ill Iraqi refugee to a tree in Germany last year walked free from court after a judge found them not guilty of any significant offense. Critics fear the case will send a "dangerous signal" to vigilante groups.

The four men were acquitted of any charges on Monday. While the investigation of the incident lasted almost a year, the hearings were concluded in just one day.

The defendants punched the victim, an Iraqi man who had refugee status, before kicking him out of a store and then tying him to a tree in the eastern German town of Arnsdorf in May 2016.


No Entry

Wild boars attack ISIS base in Iraq killing three jihadists

Now if only the US military would start fighting ISIS then we might make some progress.

Wild boars are joining the fight against ISIS, and doing a good job killing the US-Saudi backed jihadists.

Somewhere in America John McCain is pissed off to see wild boars defeat his ISIS army.

Reports are coming in that wild boars attacked an ISIS base in the al-Rashad region of Kirkuk late Sunday.

According to IraqiNews, three members of ISIS were left dead by the boar attack.

Star of David

Jewish "anti-Semite-for-hire" charged with 100 bomb threats against Jewish facilities

© AP Photo/ Nir Keidar
Self-hating Jew.
On Monday a court in Jerusalem charged a teenager with dual citizenship in the US and Israel, with making 100 bomb threats against Jewish institutions in in the country, part of an estimated 2000 bomb threats worldwide the youth made for hire against organizations.

The unnamed teenager is also charged with attempted blackmail against Delaware Republican state Senator Ernesto Lopez, after the latter condemned the bomb threats. The teenager arranged to have illegal drugs delivered to the senator's house in an attempt to run him afoul of the law.

The Israeli Justice Ministry claimed that the teen intended to sow widespread discord and panic by continuously causing emergency teams to respond to the false threats, as well as by causing evacuations, searches and other disruptions, according to the Jerusalem Post. As a result many flights were canceled or subjected to emergency landings.

The teenager is also accused of using the internet to sell access to proprietary or sensitive data, and offered his services to place threats against locations (including police stations, schools, and airports) chosen by anonymous buyers, who paid him in cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin.

Comment: We wonder who those "anonymous buyers" might have been... Who benefits from the fake narrative that "anti-Semitism" is on the rise?

RT has more info:
Michael Ron David Kadar ... has been held in Israel since his March 23 arrest following an investigation by the FBI and Israeli police. His crimes were committed over the Internet from Israel, according to reports, at times using computers in other countries.

He's accused of using a powerful antenna to harness nearby Wi-Fi routers and employed voice-masking techniques to make the threats.

On April 21, Kadar was charged in US federal court in Florida with 28 counts of threatening calls and false information. He was also charged with three counts of cyberstalking in an indictment out of federal court in Georgia.

Kadar was not named in the Israeli indictment based on his age when the offenses occurred, but he was named in the US indictment.
...
Kadar attempted to extort money from Delaware state Senator Ernesto Lopez and threatened to kidnap and kill the children of George Little, a former Pentagon and CIA spokesman, according to prosecutors.

Kadar also is accused of targeting several British Jewish schools from February 2016 to March 2017. The Jewish Museum in London was evacuated in February after a bomb threat that officials said was connected to Kadar.
...
Kadar is accused of calling 48 police stations with fake emergencies, claiming people were being held hostage at certain addresses. He also threatened the Israel consulate in Miami, Florida, and a hospital in New Jersey.

Kadar's lawyer says he "suffers from a brain tumor that may have had an effect on his cognitive functions."

"This is a young person that because of his very, very serious medical condition didn't serve in the army, didn't go to high school, didn't go to elementary school," said Galit Bash, according to CBS News.

His lawyer has also said Kadar has a high IQ but very low emotional intelligence. His American-born mother told Israel's Channel 2 that Kadar has autism.

"He can't control it," she said, according to BBC News. "He can't think straight."