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Facebook’s been making it up all along and we’re left holding the bag

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On Sunday afternoon we learned about Facebook’s internal content moderation rules from a massive leak by The Guardian. It confirmed what a lot of people had long suspected: Facebook is making it up as they go along and we’re the collateral damage.

The leaked moderator documents cover how to deal with depictions of things like self-harm and animal cruelty in exceedingly detailed ways. A first read through suggests that the company attempted to create a rule for every conceivable situation, and if they missed one, well they’d write that guideline when it came up. It suggests they think that this is just a question of perfecting the rules, when they’ve been off-base from the outset. Read more…

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People are not okay with the leaked Facebook guidelines on sexual, violent content

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On Sunday, The Guardian revealed internal documents from Facebook that uncovered how the social media corporation moderates everything from hate speech to live streams.  

The guide—which is filled with examples of how to handle sexual content, animal abuse and violent deaths—has pried open the conversation regarding online ethics, and people have begun to hop on Twitter to share their immediate thoughts, many of which aren’t so great for Facebook.

Folks have expressed their confusion about the subjective rules, and are questioning the logic behind particular parts of the guide.   Read more…

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A Texas lawmaker was threatened with lynching after he called for Trump’s impeachment

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HOUSTON (AP) — A black Texas congressman said Saturday that he’s been threatened with lynching by callers infuriated over him seeking impeachment of President Donald Trump.

U.S. Rep. Al Green held a town hall meeting and played recordings of several threatening voicemails left at his offices in Houston and Washington, the Houston Chronicle reports .

The seven-term Democrat told the crowd of about 100 people that he won’t be deterred.

“We are not going to be intimidated,” Green said Saturday. “We are not going to allow this to cause us to deviate from what we believe to be the right thing to do and that is to proceed with the impeachment of President Trump.”

One male caller used a racial insult and threatened Green with “hanging from a tree” if he pursues impeachment. Another man left a message saying Green would be the one impeached after “a short trial” and then he would be hanged, according to the recording.

Green took to the House floor on Wednesday to say he believes Trump committed obstruction of justice and no one’s above the law.

Trump, a Republican, has dismissed criticism of his firing of FBI Director James Comey amid the agency’s investigation of possible links between Russia and Trump campaign associates.

Green said he wanted his constituents to be aware of the hateful calls he’s since received.

“When a person talks about lynching you, we think that’s a pretty serious threat,” said Green, a former president of the Houston branch of the NAACP, according to his congressional website.

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Online:

http://algreen.house.gov/

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Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com

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Drone law goes down, and now hobbyists don’t have to register

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Buying a drone for fun just got a little less complicated. 

A court ruling has declared that civilians c no longer need to register their non-commercial drones with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). 

On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in favor of drone user John Taylor, who filed an initial petition challenging the drone registration rule back in 2015, just days after the FAA’s drone registry went live in December of that year. 

The rule required drone hobbyists to pay a $5 fee to register their drone with the FAA’s website.  Read more…

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Twitter is incorrectly guessing the gender of trans users — and they aren’t having it

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Transgender Twitter users aren’t here for the platform’s gendered assumptions. And they sure aren’t hesitating to make that known.

Here’s the deal: Twitter released a new set of tools on May 17 which allow users to see and control the data advertisers use to target ads on the social media platform. While the move was a clear effort to increase transparency and trust between users and the social media machine, the actual data Twitter has collected is giving many users pause. 

Notably, many trans and gender-nonconforming users are troubled that Twitter has been guessing the gender of users based on the gender most strongly associated with a user’s “profile and activity.”  Read more…

More about Twitter, Gender, Social Good, Transgender, and Lgbtq

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Fat girls dance. This beautiful Dove video shows why that’s so radical

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Fat girls dance.

That three word statement may seem simple and declarative. Yet, the assertion that fat girls do dance challenges a ton of assumptions and stigma around what plus-size people can and can’t do.

Cathleen Meredith, a self-proclaimed “fat girl,” knows the importance of dancing while people are watching. Meredith is the subject of the first video in an anticipated partnership between acclaimed producer Shonda Rhimes and Dove, called Dove Real Beauty Productions. The series spotlights real women redefining beauty — and Meredith is no doubt doing just that through her brainchild Fat Girls DanceRead more…

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Apple’s lack of daycare isn’t an oversight, it’s a feature

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After WIRED offered us all a peek into Apple’s new headquarters, one notable fact emerged: there’s no daycare center. Whooooopsie. 

Except this was no mistake. It was a big fat message to anyone who might be contemplating trying to balance family life with their obsessive devotion to their job. And that message reads, in the sleekest font imaginable, “nope.”

The 150-acre campus contains a huge fitness and wellness center and every other amenity you can possibly imagine. Basically everything you’d need to live your life at work. Unless, of course, your life includes children.

Kids are many things, but mostly they are messy. That goes against Apple’s whole vision of how the world should be — and it’s a vision that most of Silicon Valley shares. I’m not talking about being physically messy, though sticky children don’t exactly coordinate with Apple’s pristine white glass aesthetic.  Read more…

More about Apple, Parenting, Family And Parenting, Steve Jobs, and Work Life

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10 new Android O features that will make your phone better

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Though we got out first peek at Android O back in March, Google finally revealed  more details this week at its I/O developers conference about the soon-to-drop version of Android.

Though we’re still quite a ways away from the official release, we now a lot more about the update. At first glance, many of the new changes are subtle, building on updates Google introduced last year with Nougat. (Yes, it’s another boring year for Android.)

Still, there are quite a few features to look forward to, here’s what’s caught our eye so far. Read more…

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Russia has reawakened 3 mystery satellites — and no one knows what they are for

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Three Russian satellites that were sent into low orbit in 2013 are on the move again, and no one knows what they are for, The Daily Beast reports

Having been idle for more than a year, one of the satellites went hundreds of meters off its orbit last month to within 1,200 meters of a piece of a Chinese weather satellite that China smashed in a 2007 anti-satellite rocket test.

The maneuver, which is pretty impressive for such a small spacecraft, is also rather close by orbital standards. 

No one quite knows what the satellites are for, but some experts say they could be “technology-demonstrators” or even “precursors to orbital weapons,” according to The Daily Beast. 

Code named Kosmos-2491, Kosmos-2499 and Kosmos-2504, the three satellites maneuvered several times in the last three years to within a few dozen feet of their old booster shells.  

This means that they could be inspection satellites that can scan and match the orbit of other spacecraft, possibly even interact with it physically for repairs, modifications or to dismantle it. 

It’s also possible that these satellites could be used for warfare. “You can probably equip them with lasers, maybe put some explosives on them,” Anatoly Zak, an independent expert on Russian spacecraft, told The Beast in 2015. “If [one] comes very close to some military satellite, it probably can do some harm.”

In 2012, US intelligence completed a report analyzing “the growing vulnerability of US satellites that provide secure military communications, warn about enemy missile launches, and provide precise targeting coordinates,” anonymous sources told Reuters.

The report raised many concerns about China’s ability to disrupt satellites in higher orbits, possibly putting sensitive U.S. spacecraft at risk, the sources told Reuters. 

But Russian space agency chief Oleg Ostapenko claimed in 2014 that the satellites were for peaceful purposes. 

Read the full article from The Daily Beast here > 

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AI is absolutely horrible at naming paint colors

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Tired of your boring eggshell walls? A new AI experiment recommends colors like “Sink” or “Bank Butt.”

Researcher Janelle Shane trained a neural network to come up with paint names, and it resulted in gems like “Stoner Blue” and “Turdly,” she wrote in a blog post.

She conducted an experiment by using a training data set of about 7,700 paint names from Sherwin-Williams along with the RGB (red, green, and blue color values). 

She then had the network generate new colors and names for those colors. The results were hugely varied, including colors with Gray or Blue in the name that had nothing to do with those colors, or completely abstract and awesome names like “Stanky Bean.” Read more…

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A Russian embassy is promoting a right-wing murder conspiracy

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Russia’s embassy in the United Kingdom is boosting a right-wing conspiracy theory.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be so surprised. 

The social media staff at the embassy are well-known trolls, but this conspiracy theory has made it clear just how far the embassy will go.

#WikiLeaks informer Seth Rich murdered in US but 🇬🇧 MSM was so busy accusing Russian hackers to take noticepic.twitter.com/0XVezTyfHM

— Russian Embassy, UK (@RussianEmbassy) May 19, 2017

Seth Rich, mentioned in the tweet above, was working for the Democratic National Committee in July when he was fatally shot while walking near his home in Washington, D.C. The reasons behind the murder are unknown, but Wikileaks founder Julian Assange implied that Rich was murdered for providing Wikileaks with leaked DNC emails. Read more…

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Ford just used Wi-Fi for the first time to update its cars’ software

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Some of Ford’s SYNC 3-enabled cars are finally getting an update to match the rest of the connected car ecosystem.

The automaker’s 2016 model-year line will be eligible for an infotainment center software upgrade that will add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, giving drivers a better connection with their phones while they’re on the road. Ford announced the update in a release touting the new compatibilities, which will be available to an estimated 800,000 vehicles.  

While the new integrations will undoubtedly be welcomed by 2016 Ford owners, they’re not the real news here. 

The more notable detail is in the way the rollout of SYNC 3 version 2.2 will be handled. For the first time ever, Ford will offer a SYNC upgrade via Wi-Fi in the form of an over-the-air (OTA) software update.  Read more…

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What Snapchat vs Facebook means for the media

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In Snapchat Vs. Facebook, the gloves are off and the competition is heating up

As the fight for advertising revenue intensifies between the two social media giants, the tactics will get dirtier, and the prizes will become bigger. Yet, in the midst of all this, one question remains: what will the fighting mean for journalistic publications that use these platforms to boost their profile across social networking sites?

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As things currently stand, Facebook dominates the dispersal of news, but that’s not to say Snapchat isn’t innovating. In fact, one of the major developments in dissemination of media articles on social media was spearheaded by Snapchat’s story feature that allows publications to provide readers with a form of digital magazine. This was adopted by Facebook-owned Instagram, and the effect on journalism has been revolutionary.  Read more…

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