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  • Geebo 9:02 am on August 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , eclipse glasses,   

    Beware of fake eclipse glasses online 

    Beware of fake eclipse glasses online

    On August 21st of this year, a narrow path through the United States will be able to view a complete solar eclipse for roughly 3 minutes. That’s not even taking into account any weather disruptions that may occur along the eclipse’s path. With such a small window of opportunity to view a possibly once in a lifetime event you might think scammers wouldn’t bother with such a small potential pool of victims, yet they are.

    As we all should know, you can’t view a solar eclipse with the naked eye without sustaining severe optical damage. In order to view the eclipse, you would need a pair of eclipse glasses that have special filters. Luckily, eclipse glasses are relatively inexpensive. However, this hasn’t stopped the market from being flooded with cheap imitations and knock offs that could potentially damage your eyes. NASA states legitimate glasses should be designated ISO 12312-2 and should be labeled as such. According to a local news report from a city that’s near the eclipse’s path, if your glasses were made in the U.S., you should be ok.

    What you should probably not do is buy them online, unless they’re from a reputable vendor. A number of ads for eclipse glasses on certain disreputable websites carry little to no information about the glasses they’re selling. The actual glasses are cheap enough and are plentiful enough from legitimate sources that you don’t have to worry about dealing with fakes.

  • Geebo 9:03 am on August 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Senate submits amendment to CDA to go after human trafficking websites 

    Senate submits amendment to CDA to go after human trafficking websites

    Yesterday, the Senate submitted a bill that would add an amendment to the Communications Decency Act of 1996 that would specifically remove the protection sites like Backpage have hidden behind so they could continue to facilitate the trafficking of women and children in their ads. The bill, sponsored by Ohio Senator Rob Portman, is called the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017 and would essentially leave the CDA intact as it is except for websites who knowingly engage in sex trafficking. In the Senate’s own investigations, they believe Backpage knowingly edited ads sent to them in order to avoid further scrutiny by law enforcement and the government.

    This couldn’t come soon enough as the victims of sex trafficking have been blocked multiple times from seeking justice against Backpage by the outdated CDA. The Communications Decency Act is 21 years old. The CDA was passed during a time when most of us weren’t even on the internet and the only way you could access it was over a dial-up connection on an expensive PC. Since that time, the internet has grown exponentially and the technology used to access it has vastly exceeded any expectations we had of it in 1996. Yet the CDA has largely remained the same, failing to advance along with the times.

    Those who think this new amendment may restrict free speech on the internet couldn’t be further from the truth. The new bill has language in it which specifically targets sex trafficking sites. According to the Washington Post

    The proposed law would clarify that Section 230 [of the CDA] does not preclude prosecution of state or federal criminal laws dealing with sex trafficking of children; does not prohibit civil suits related to sex trafficking; and ensures federal liability for publishing information designed to facilitate sex trafficking.

    So yes, we can have a free and open internet where the rights of trafficking victims are recognized and their facilitators are punished.

  • Geebo 8:57 am on August 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Facebook Marketplace follows craigslist’s dangerous lead 

    Facebook Marketplace follows craigslist's dangerous lead

    In a previous blog post we stated “Craigslist has nothing to teach Facebook” in terms of content moderation. We defended Facebook stating they have a much better content moderation system in place than craigslist. However, it seems we may have been a bit mistaken in that defense because it seems Facebook Marketplace is following craigslist’s bad example anyway. In a report by Sky News in the UK, their investigation found illegal prescription drugs were allegedly being sold on Facebook Marketplace with impunity.

    Rather than having personal moderation on Facebook Marketplace, Facebook seems to be relying on the craigslist model of ‘community policing.’ The problem with having the community moderate Marketplace is they tend not to report illegal activity. The people who are going to Marketplace for illegal goods are not going to report anything and the people who are going to Marketplace for legitimate uses aren’t actively searching for illegal content.

    That’s also not taking into account Facebook seems to be lax in enforcing their own rules. According to the Sky News report, Facebook initially said the profiles of alleged Marketplace drug dealers didn’t violate their terms of service. The offending profiled weren’t removed until Sky News contacted Facebook personally. Most Facebook users aren’t an international news outlet who can just contact Facebook by phone. So, much like craigslist, it seems Marketplace’s community policing is a lot of lip service.

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