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Tag: Social media

Reclaim Your Online Privacy: Alternatives To Facebook, Twitter & Google

Posted in Act Out!, Creative Commons, Journalism, and Video

Imagine a police state so bent on repressing dissent that people were targeted by the government just for visiting a web page or liking a page on Facebook?

This dystopian scenario isn’t science fiction, and it isn’t something happening in a far off country — it’s happening in the United States. No really, let’s take a look at a recent example: On an auspicious Friday the 13th in October, the federal government dropped its demand that Facebook turn over information about anyone who had simply “liked” a page dedicated to protesting Donald Trump’s inauguration. And while it wasn’t successful, this isn’t the first time the feds tried to target anyone who’d even looked up information on the massive January 20 protests.

While the government backed down when challenged by groups like the ACLU and cyberliberties watchdog Electronic Frontier Foundation, this was still a clear attempt to silence even the most basic forms of dissent and it’s almost certain we haven’t seen the last of this kind of thing. Keep in mind that dozens of people arrested for protesting the inauguration are STILL facing decades in prison, and we can only guess at the horrors the Cheeto Gestapo might have unleashed with access to even more information about Trump’s opponents.

And if you think this all sounds Orwellian, you are absolutely correct.

Kit O’Connell Guest Hosts @WeAreDisabled, Disability Twitter Account

Posted in Journalism

From May 18 to May 25, I hosted the Twitter account @WeAreDisabled. Similar to other group accounts like @sweden or @realscientists, this Twitter passes from person to person with the only common theme being disability.

The account admins created a Storify of all my tweets, but below I’ll link to my main threads so you can click through and read them if you like.

First I introduced myself:

Drexel University Abandons Professor After Attacks Over Satirical ‘White Genocide’ Tweets

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

George Ciccariello-Maher, a professor at Drexel University, is facing death threats after a series of satirical tweets about “white genocide,” a concept invented by white supremacists.

The university is also facing criticism for its refusal to wholeheartedly support the free speech rights of its employee in the midst of an onslaught of complaints driven, in part, by far-right news outlets like Breitbart.

“All I Want for Christmas is White Genocide,” Ciccariello-Maher tweeted on Saturday, according to a report published Monday by The Philadelphia Inquirer. A second tweet created on Sunday read: “To clarify: when the whites were massacred during the Haitian revolution, that was a good thing indeed.”

Ciccariello-Maher teaches in Drexel’s Department of History and Politics. According to his university bio, he often appears in the media to comment on “social movements, particularly in Latin America” and also frequently writes about “race, racism, prisons and policing in the U.S. and internationally.”

Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’: MSM Supports ‘Shameful,’ Anonymous Attack On Independent Media

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

On Thanksgiving, The Washington Post published a widely shared — and widely criticized — report accusing a host of media organizations of spreading Russian propaganda, despite little evidence to support the claims.

In the Nov. 24 article, Craig Timberg, the Post’s national technology reporter, cited the work of “experts” who accuse hundreds of news outlets, including MintPress News, of broadcasting “fake news” as part of “a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy.”

While the story quickly spread to other mainstream media outlets, from USA Today to The Daily Beast, many media analysts were quick to criticize the report and its sources. On Monday, Matt Taibbi called the piece “shameful” and “disgusting” in Rolling Stone. On Saturday, Ben Norton and Glenn Greenwald, writing for The Intercept, accused the Post of “disgracefully” promoting a “McCarthyite blacklist.”

“The article is rife with obviously reckless and unproven allegations, and fundamentally shaped by shoddy, slothful journalistic tactics,” the pair wrote.

SpaceX Explosion Slows Facebook & Israeli Efforts To Control Online Access

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

When a rocket operated by space startup SpaceX burned up on the launch pad, it was a setback to the prospects of commercial space travel, as well as efforts by Facebook to control the online experiences of millions of rural internet users.

Facebook’s project, Internet.org, is described by founder Mark Zuckerberg in charitable terms, but critics have accused it of spreading “techno-colonialism.”

The Sept. 1 fire in Cape Canaveral, Florida, destroyed a $200 million satellite owned by SpaceCom, an Israeli communications satellite firm, and co-leased by Facebook. The satellite, Amos-6, was built by Israel Aerospace Industries, a government-owned aviation and aerospace manufacturer.

Facebook’s partnership with SpaceCom is another sign of the corporation’s deepening ties with Israel. In June, Facebook appointed Jordana Cutler, a close advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as head of policy and communications at Facebook’s Israeli office.

Interview with Flashpoints Radio: Cell-Jamming Tech Used On Journalists At DNC

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

I covered the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia for MintPress News, where I was disturbed to discover that journalists’ cell-phone signals were routinely jammed at protests near the convention’s security fence. The jamming, which was experienced by both mainstream and independent journalists, was especially clear on the night Pres. Barack Obama spoke.

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