Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

CategorySocial Media

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Social media concept. Social networking service. Video hosting website. Streaming video.

You Hate Twitter Already? But Did You Know About the Child Porn?

From a searing report at The Verge, we learn that it’s out of control but executives have just not prioritized the issue

Recently, we’ve been covering Twitter’s court-destined squabble with tech entrepreneur Elon Musk about what he should pay for the edgy social medium. Labor writer Zoe Schiffer and tech writer Casey Newton published an article at The Verge today that will surely stir the pot. It’s about Twitter’s problems with child porn — and its efforts to get involved with adult porn. The story is complex as well as disturbing but here’s the outline: Early in 2022, Twitter, which has not been making much money in recent years, decided to allow adult content (porn) vendors to tweet their wares to paying customers (Adult Content Monetization or ACM). Twitter would, of course, get a percentage. The main competitor, OnlyFans, projects revenues of Read More ›

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Girl is running with a dog (Beagle) on a leash in the autumn time, sunny day in forest. Copy space in nature

Why Tom Holland’s Social Media Break Is A Good Idea For All Of Us

We don’t need Spider-Man’s “spidey sense” to see that too much social media can be “very detrimental” to mental well-being

This article ran at the Daily Wire (August 22, 2022) where it is available by subscription only. Last week, Spider-Man: No Way Home actor Tom Holland made the bold decision to delete Instagram and Twitter and take a break from social media. In a video shared with his 67 million Instagram followers, Holland called both of the apps overstimulating and overwhelming. “I get caught up and I spiral when I read things about me online,” Holland added, “and ultimately it’s very detrimental to my mental state.” The strength to stop something as addictive and sometimes harmful as social media is a superpower all on its own. Forget spidey sense — Holland will soon start to experience new levels of clarity, Read More ›

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belly of a pregnant woman

Google Employees Demand Corporate War on Crisis Pregnancy Centers

The recent Dobbs decision returning abortion legislation to the states has also spurred abortion activists to violence against pro-life crisis pregnancy centers

Recently, in a petition circulated by the Alphabet Workers Union, 650 Google employees asked the firm to suppress search results for pro-life crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) “by removing results for fake abortion providers” as well as to stop collecting users’ data on abortion-related searches. Yelp has already doubled down against the centers: As the linked story notes, Yelp has decided to flag them with a “consumer notice,” warning users that “Crisis Pregnancy Centers typically provide limited medical services and may not have licensed medical professionals onsite” (translation: no abortionists on staff). Utilizing the common leftist tactic of accusing people who express a different view of dispensing “misinformation,” Yelp said in a statement that “it’s been well-reported” (well… “reported”) “that crisis Read More ›

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A man's hand separates people from the Internet. The concept of blocking access to the World Wide Web, self-isolation and traffic filtering. the great firewall. Control over the Internet.

Atheist Philosopher Sam Harris Supports Online Political Censors

Recently, neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris came out in favor of Big Social Media censorship in a Triggernometry YouTube podcast. His comments, as reported in a partial transcript, supported acknowledged BSM efforts to stifle public awareness of of compromising material found on the laptop of Present Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden just prior to the U.S. 2020 election: ‘At that point, Hunter Biden literally could have had the corpses of children in his basement – I would not have cared,’ began the best selling author, who specialises in religion, rationality, and ethics… ‘Now, that doesn’t answer the people who say that it is still completely unfair to not have looked at the laptop in a timely way or to shut Read More ›

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Ex-Security Head: Twitter Has Much Bigger Woes Than the Bots

Elon Musk’s buyout offer collapsed over the bots. Now, with a court case looming, we learn, bots were only a PART of Twitter’s problems

A new uproar at Twitter sheds an interesting light on Elon Musk’s on again-off again bid to buy the social media firm: Twitter has much bigger problems than bots, according to its former head of security, who just dropped a bomb in claims to the federal government that the site’s security is so lax it’s a risk to national security, and the company allegedly has foreign intelligence agents on the payroll… That former head of security submitted disclosures to those agencies, as well as Congress, detailing what CNN calls “reckless and negligent cybersecurity policies,” including that thousands of Twitter employees have access to central controls with no oversight, that executives have been knowingly lying to investors and regulators for years, Read More ›

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Information field around the Earth

Musk’s Starlink Tied to Traffic Chaos in Orbit and on Earth

If nothing else, Elon Musk’s SpaceX has brought public attention to the future of space, who it belongs to, and how it is paid for

This week has seen quite a struggle for Elon Musk’s SpaceX and its satellite-based internet service Starlink. SpaceX had recently pocketed some interesting wins for Starlink. Its offer to keep Ukrainians online in the midst of the recent crisis earned Starlink favor in the eyes of both the military and Eastern European nations. It has also started launching operations in Latin America. Just days ago SpaceX performed its 35th launch of the year, adding 52 more Starlink satellites. However, Starlink has also faced a number recent headwinds which could spell trouble for the service. While its public beta test performed well for many users, as the service has expanded, the capabilities of the network appear to be stretched. Despite promises Read More ›

news in mobile phone
Online news in mobile phone. Close up of smartphone screen. Man reading articles in application. Hand holding smart device. Mockup website. Newspaper and portal on internet.

Beyond the Search Engine: Shape Your Own News Feed

A news aggregator keeps you current with news YOU care about or need to know

Recently, we discussed the world beyond Google, in which a variety of easily accessible search engines offers you a choice of different advantages. But now let’s look at something even more focused… A news aggregator collects news stories and other information, sorted by categories and preferences, from across the internet. News Now is one example. Let’s say you want to know more about the asteroid Bennu. You could type “Bennu” into a search engine. But you already know the basic stuff about the asteroid; right now you want to know if there has been any recent news about it. You could go to News Now, choose Science, then Astronomy, then Asteroids, Comets, and Meteoroids, then Asteroid Bennu. You will find Read More ›

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Mobilna nawigacja GPS na tablecie.

Lawmakers to Google Maps: Leave Crisis Pregnancy Centers Alone!

Seventeen state attorneys’ general have warned Google not to alter map search results in response to abortion activists’ demands

Recently, abortion activists were demanding that Google Maps crack down on crisis pregnancy centers that offer help other than abortion. In response, a group of 17 state attorneys general led by Texas Attorney-General Ken Paxton sent a letter dated July 21, asking Google to “advise the co-signing Attorneys General whether it has adjusted its search results and advertisements to discriminate against crisis pregnancy centers, and if so, how.” It reads in part, Unfortunately, several national politicians now seek to wield Google’s immense market power by pressuring the company to discriminate against pro-life crisis pregnancy centers in Google search results, in online advertising, and in its other products, such as Google Maps. As the chief legal officers of our respective States, Read More ›

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Hand holding mobile smart phone, with notification icons and city background

Facebook Blinks: No Longer Wants to Censor COVID “Misinformation”

Global Affairs President Nick Clegg has revealed that Facebook is seeking the guidance of its Oversight Board about removing “false claims”

Citing the view that the COVID-19 pandemic has “evolved,” Meta, Facebook’s parent company, is deciding whether to continue removing “misinformation” about the pandemic from the platform: Meta has asked the company’s Oversight Board, which is funded by Meta but operates independently, to decide whether removing “false claims about masks, social distancing and vaccines” on Facebook is still appropriate as “countries around the world seek to return to more normal life,” Meta’s president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, said Tuesday in a blog post. Sherri Walsh, “Facebook parent Meta to reconsider removing COVID-19 misinformation” at UPI (July 26, 2022) The U.S. government had put a lot of pressure on Meta, as UPI notes, and Facebook removed 25 million items of information. Read More ›

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Search.

Life Beyond Google Search: Try the Other Search Engines

Recently, DuckDuckGo was found to be tracking users sometimes, due to a deal with Microsoft. No matter, there are many search engines now…

Search engine DuckDuckGo — famous for not tracking users — lost some favor recently, after its CEO had to admit that it does sometimes track users: Security researcher Zack Edwards this week revealed that DuckDuckGo’s mobile browsers allow some Microsoft sites to bypass its block on trackers. While the browser blocks Facebook and Google trackers, DuckDuckGo makes an exception for some of Microsoft’s. Edwards found that the browsers allow allows data to be sent to Microsoft’s LinkedIn and Bing domains DuckDuckGo said the exemption was due to a search agreement with Microsoft. Thomas Macaulay, “DuckDuckGo faces widespread backlash over tracking deal with Microsoft” at The NextWebMay 26, 2022 DuckDuckGo’s CEO Gabriel Weinberg pointed out to disappointed users that the company Read More ›

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cyber bullying concept. people using notebook computer laptop for social media interactions with notification icons of hate speech and mean comment in social network

Social Media Can Literally Kill. It Killed Cheslie Chryst

Chryst’s suicide — and Constant Wu’s thwarted attempt — spotlight the toxic cyberbullying that is intrinsic to Big Tech’s formula for success

[This article is republished with permission from the New York Post (July 23, 2022) where it appeared under the title “Constance Wu’s suicide tweet proves social media can mean life or death.”] “Looking back, it’s surreal that a few DMs convinced me to end my own life, but that’s what happened.”  Last week, actress Constance Wu confessed on Twitter that she had tried to take her own life after she made “careless tweets” about the renewal of her TV show, ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat,” in May 2019. “So upset right now that I’m literally crying,” she had posted about the show’s renewal, which had forced her to give up another project she was passionate about. As would be expected on a public Read More ›

Social media concept.jpg
Social media concept. Social networking service. Video hosting website. Streaming video.

Big Social Media Must Appear in A-Gs’ COVID Censorship Lawsuit

Two states’ Attorneys General are suing officeholders and public officials over COVID-19 and have sent subpoenas to Meta, YouTube, Twitter, etc.

Missouri’s and Louisiana’s Attorneys General are suing federal government figures over suppression and censorship of COVID-19 information. Meta (Facebook’s parent company), YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn have been issued third party subpoenas (they are ordered to appear in court). The lawsuit begun by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry …requests all communications with Mark Zuckerberg from Jan. 1, 2020, to the present. Also requested were any communications to any social media platform relating to the “Great Barrington Declaration,” a letter published in October 2020. The letter was published in response to COVID-19 policies that recommended “focused protection,” an approach to reaching herd immunity by allowing those at minimal risk of death to live normal lives Read More ›

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Double exposure of business woman and Big Data concept. Digital neural network.Introduction of artificial intelligence. Cyberspace of future.Science and innovation of technology.city background.

Google’s Most Ambitious Project to Date: Reshaping Your Thinking

Controlling so much communication — and fired up by ideology — it’s in a better position for that than many suppose

In a column yesterday at Spiked, urban studies specialist Joel Kotkin, author of The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class (2020), provided depressing evidence that the power of Big Tech is beginning to genuinely resemble the power medieval lords had over their serfs. It’s not just an office joke any more. Google, he recounts, was part of an anti-authoritarian high tech culture when it went public in 2004. Its search engine technology, and others, were seen as empowering the little guy. In 2018, for unclear reasons, Google dropped the famous “Don’t be evil” slogan. Since then, in Kotkin’s view, it is “increasingly becoming a force not for good, but for, well, evil.” He musters an impressive Read More ›

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Confident mature man in elegant shirt and tie telling something while making social media video

How Social Media Are Changing Politics From the Ground Up

Campaigns are much and easier to organize online so lawmakers may be hearing from people they didn’t used to

The internet has been a boon for citizen lobbyists. Everyone from societies for animal protection through environment activists and legal pot activists is offering tips, primers, and courses to those who want to influence government without quitting their day job and moving to the capital. . European law prof Alberto Alemanno spotted the trend and wrote a book about it, Lobbying for Change: Find Your Voice to Create a Better Society (2017): Participation now happens with little cost or effort. And it means that a greater number of citizens – who have traditionally not participated – are becoming more politically active, or at least more open to persuasion by those that are. People have also become politically more promiscuous. Today’s Read More ›

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Young amateur football fan supporters cheering with confetti watching local soccer cup match at stadium - Friends people group on green t shirts having excited fun on sport world championship final

Researchers: Distrust of Science Is Due to Tribal Loyalty

In Part 2 of 4, we look at a claim arising from a recent study: We blindly believe those we identify with, ignoring the wisdom of science

Recently, a paper lamenting the decline of trust in science was discussed at ScienceAlert, a science news site. In representing the paper—doubtless accurately — for a lay audience, the write-up embodies the causes of legitimate public distrust. That is worth dissecting in more detail. Yesterday, we looked at the write-up in light of the government responses to COVID, which were all too often panicked reactions rather than trustworthy guidance. Then, in the wake of the debacle, the White House chose to set up a Disinformation Board to target non-government sources of alleged disinformation — which could only deepen existing distrust. We press on. The second point of four raised at ScienceAlert is that tribal loyalty is thought to create distrust Read More ›

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Icon group as speech bubble cloud

Twitter vs. Musk: The Many Different Ways the Story Could End

Twitter, which didn’t really want Musk, is now suing to make him its boss. They all hate each other. Can this work?

In the most recent episode of the Musk and Twitter show, Twitter was suing driverless car entrepreneur Elon Musk to compel him to buy the company at the original posted price — despite the fact that earlier, many employees didn’t want him to buy it at all. Also despite the fact that he says he no longer wants to. Readers, this is happening only because Big Tech stock values are way down. A useful article by technology reporter Alex Sherman at CNBC (July 11, 2022) identifies eight ways the saga could end, namely 1 and 4: Musk just ends up paying the $1B breakup fee or some other settlement and Twitter continues with its meltdowns and bot problems, as long Read More ›

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One round power on and off button

Taking Our Lives Back from Big Tech, a Step at a Time

If we don’t have the time to stop and reflect because we are too busy checking our social media…

In a recent podcast, “Weaving the Technology of Our Lives” (July 14, 2022), Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks interviewed tech and culture writer Andrew McDiarmid on the deep ways Big Tech governs our lives — ways of which we are often unaware — and concrete steps for taking control back: https://mindmatters.ai/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/07/Mind-Matters-195-Andrew-McDiarmid.mp3 Here’s a partial transcript and notes. Additional Resources follow: Robert J. Marks: We have been talking about Jacques Ellul’s concept of technique… Andrew McDiarmid: Well, Jacques Ellul was a French sociologist, theologian, and philosopher of technology … Ellul’s lifetime spanned almost the entire 20th century, 1911 to 1994. He wrote books and articles throughout his career on how he saw technology impacting the “human adventure,” as he Read More ›

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Twitter handle with care

Elon Musk Has Walked Out on Twitter … Or Has He?

Some think it’s all theater. Others that he is compelling a price reduction “by other means”

Yesterday, Elon Musk announced that he was backing out of the deal to buy Twitter, which he was hoping to turn into more of a free speech platform: Elon Musk, the chief executive officer of Tesla (TSLA.O) and the world’s richest person, said on Friday he was terminating his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter (TWTR.N) because the social media company had breached multiple provisions of the merger agreement. Greg Roumeliotis, “Twitter vows legal fight after Musk pulls out of $44 billion deal” at Reuters (July 9, 2022) Twitter plans to fight: The Twitter Board is committed to closing the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr. Musk and plans to pursue legal action to enforce the Read More ›

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World twitter Connection on Blackboard

Twitter Now Suing India’s Government Over Its Censorship Demands

Meanwhile, on July 4, new owner-to-be Elon Musk tweets a jab at Twitter’s own censors: the British government “fact checks” Paul Revere

Twitter, never out of the news for long these days, is suing the government of India over censorship issues: On Tuesday, the U.S. social media platform asked an Indian court to overturn some of the government orders to kill posts, which Delhi had accused of spreading misinformation. They included posts that backed farmer protests and tweets critical of the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Twitter called the crackdown overbroad and arbitrary, with the government demonstrating an “excessive use of powers”. Rina Chandran, “Twitter battles India for control of social media content” at Thomson Reuters Foundation News (July 6, 2022) No date is yet set for the hearing. Observers might be surprised by Twitter’s anti-censorship stance here, given the history Read More ›

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Happy pregnant woman visit gynecologist doctor at hospital or medical clinic for pregnancy consultant. Doctor examine pregnant belly for baby and mother healthcare check up. Gynecology concept.

Activists to Google Maps: Crack Down on Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Overall, the U.S. abortion rate has been in decline for about thirty years, for a variety of reasons, including available alternatives

When the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Dobbs decision (June 24, 2022) that “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion” (SCOTUSblog) returned the abortion issue to the state legislatures, a number crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) that do not offer abortion have been attacked by abortion militants. One source the militants appear to be using is an online map of such centers created by University of Georgia biostatisticians Andrea Swartzendruber and Danielle Lambert, who call them “fake women’s health centers.” For example: Puget Sound Anarchists posted a link to the map in a post made about a vandalism at a Vancouver, Washington pregnancy center. Crisis pregnancy center Options 360 was vandalized with red paint, and the phrase “Jane’s Revenge.” The Read More ›