US news has transitioned to opinions, emotion and advocacy

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RAND study find that news outlets have become less objective and more opinion and emotion-based. Television in particular tends to focus on personalities who talk about the news, versus objective reporting.

Academic study finds Google refers news searches to small selection of news publishers, and favors left leaning over right leaning outlets

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An academic study finds that Google steers news searches towards articles in left leaning publications versus to similar stories in right leaning publications. This is another post in our series about the influence that publishers and corporations (including social media) exert on public opinion.

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Amazon blocked ads with ‘religious content’

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Amazon, for some time, blocked advertisers from running ads that were said to contain “religious content”. This included gifts and clothing items with “biblical quotes and religious language”. Amazon has now announced this was done in error. This is another in our series of how large publishers and corporations use their online dominance to control online speech and thought.

Did this collision occur because the driver was texting? No.

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You can tell this is an Internet meme that isn’t true because Corvettes have never had a back seat – 2 seats in front, that’s all.

Los Angeles Times says”Forget free speech”


Facebook bans those who appear to engage in hate speech or promoting acts of violence, and says it will ban those who may, in turn, make supportive comments about those who have been banned.

Social media companies want to act like an edited publication that is liable for its content while simultaneously saying they are like the telephone company which is not liable for the content carried over their network. Social media companies promote net neutrality to require third party Internet networks to carry their content unimpeded – while social media company’s simultaneously disable other people’s contents. This is a challenging problem.

New York Times international edition publishes hateful antisemitic cartoon

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The way to respond to accusations of fictional news reporting is to double down on accuracy, objectivity and remaining calm. Unfortunately, the news industry continues to harm itself through self destructive behavior typical of middle school drama, such as this fiasco from the NY Times.

Having your cellphone with you near a crime can make you a prime suspect

Having your cellphone with you near a crime can make you a prime suspect

Police routinely ask Google to provide information about all phones within a neighborhood of a crime. This has resulted, in at least one example, of an innocent man arrested for murder. While released a week later, he was fired from his job – even though he was 100% innocent. Further, from the linked news article, Google retrains location information for potentially forever – we already know that Google collects location data even when you disable Location services.

Millions of #Facebook accounts and personal info exposed on servers

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UpGuard’s Cyber Risk team said Mexico City-based digital platform Cultura Colectiva openly stored 540 million records on Facebook users, including identification numbers, comments, reactions and account names. Another database, an app called At the Pool, listed names, passwords and email addresses of 22,000 people, UpGuard said. Source: Facebook removes exposed user records stored on Amazon’s servers | Reuters

U.S. government accuses Facebook of enabling discrimination in housing

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Facebook’s advertising tools enabled advertising to target potential housing customers by “race, religion, familial status, disability” in order to exclude members of protected classes from renting or buying property.

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