Tag: Facebook

Facebook’s Bias

Just a quick thought while I’m in between hops on grant proposals:

It was revealed this week that Facebook has been quietly curating their news feeds to have a more liberal slant. John Thune is now demanding answers from Facebook on the subject.

Let me be brief.

  • This does not appear to be any official corporate policy. Facebook relies on employees to curate the news and those employees tend to be young and liberal.
  • Facebook is a private company. They can do whatever the hell they want. I’m disappointed that they’re doing this but unsurprised.
  • If you’re relying on Facebook to tell you what’s going on the world, you deserve what you get. It’s a social media platform, not the New York Times.
  • Thune needs to shut the hell up. This is none of the government’s God damned business.
  • This is yet another piece of evidence that conservatives aren’t the only ones living in an “echo chamber”. In fact, I would argue that the liberal echo chamber is much tighter than the conservative one. The Daily Show is liberal. Vox is liberal. HuffPo is liberal. Our college campuses are not just liberal, but radically liberal. Twitter and Facebook tend to be liberal. If your consumption of news is confined to that and Daily Kos, you’re not exactly exposing yourself to intellectual challenges.

Ultimately, I don’t really care. I go to Facebook to see baby pictures and make jokes about my inadequacies. I don’t go there to find out how the Obama Administration screwed up today.

Best dad in the whole world?

I thought the crowd here might appreciate the living hell out of this guy. The backstory is, his 15 year old daughter is a spoiled brat and he’s basically had just about enough of it.

Watch the whole video, it’s worth it. Slightly NSFW due to the language he reads from his 15 year old daughter’s Facebook post

I wish he could be all dads.

Tacoma Terrorist?

Think you got what it takes to be a Secret Service agent? It takes more than just looking good in a suit and sunglasses (oh, and talking into your hand, gotta do that). They have a unique mission:

The mission of the United States Secret Service is to safeguard the nation’s financial infrastructure and payment systems to preserve the integrity of the economy, and to protect national leaders, visiting heads of state and government, designated sites and National Special Security Events.

Gee, nowhere in that description does it mention anything about roughing up and scaring the bejesus out of 13 year old kids:

Who wants to get a call like this?

When Timi Robertson found out her middle-schooler son was being questioned by the Secret Service and the police at his Tacoma, Wa. school, she says she “just about lost it,” — especially after they told her it was over a Facebook post the boy had written warning President Barack Obama of suicide attacks in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death.

It’s a short article so you can read the whole thing.

I doubt the Facebook comment is still up, but according to the boy ,”I was saying how Osama is dead and for Obama to be careful because there might be suicide bombers”, hey, give him props for getting the names right, most people interchange the two regularly.

So we have federal agents scouring the net for threats against the president, sounds reasonable, that is after all their job, to protect him. But does that statement resemble anything that could be construed as a threat? Now I don’t do Facebook (they are going to have to drag me into the 21st century kicking and screaming) but I assume that the kids profile is right there, 13 years old. Maybe some cursory checking up on the kid might be in order, you think they did a background check on him first before yanking him out of class?

As usual when you have two sides of a story (the schools and the mothers) the truth lies somewhere in the middle, but I’m thinking its real close to the mother’s side, and miles from that of the schools.

In California when the police have any contact with a minor, the parents have to be contacted immediately and a Miranda admonishment must be given. With adults Miranda is only invoked when you are considered a suspect but for children, it is for anything, no exceptions. I’m wondering if Vito was Mirandized. It also sounds like the school was negligent in contacting a parent and having them present before any questioning commenced, very bad. If I was the mom, I would be going to the school board for some answers.

I know, it’s all Obama’s fault. Now that that is out of the way, I gotta say, this really looks bad. I know I was making the point in the other thread that mistakes happen, but this is one big honkin’ Mt. Everest size mistake. Further clarification, explanation, and some contrition is in order, and begs the question ,”What are those guys doing over there?”

Housekeeping (site stuff)

As you may notice I’m still adding/fixing/installing things. WP offers maybe a few thousand easily-installed options, so that will probably be a forever-OMG-it-never-ends process. BUT: I did finally get Facebook logins to work alongside the other social connect options, so that’s good. Also, I’m still pushing y’all to go to Gravatar.com and get one. Use the email you used here and everything will be peachy-keen.

Members; I know the ant-spam system can sometimes be overbearing but so far it has protected the site against 2199 spammers. In what, a week? I feel the two or three false positives are worth me having to go in and manually fix your account in exchange for killing that many bots and Chinese spam farm employees.

Authors: TAG. YOUR. POSTS! I installed an automated tag suggestion system…do that. Tag! If we’re ever gonna get any Google juice, tags are essential!

So…anything we want to see that isn’t a feature yet? Wide open for suggestions.