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  • Geebo 8:59 am on June 29, 2018 Permalink | Reply
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    Pa. conference shows the ugly truth about online trafficking 

    Pa. conference shows the ugly truth about online trafficking

    Ever since the shutdown of Backpage I’ve seen a number of increasing articles about how Backpage’s closure has made it less safe for sex workers. I personally find this hard to believe since being advertised on Backpage led so many victims to be assaulted, tortured and killed by either pimps or johns. Backpage made it more convenient for predators of all sorts to find their victims and have them delivered to them like a discount pizza. A human trafficking conference in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania was recently held to show how dangerous Backpage was.

    The conference was held at DeSales University in Upper Sacuon Township and was entitled ‘Hiding in Plain Sight’ During the conference a mother of a 15-year-old girl told the story about how her daughter ran away and was approached by another woman who handed her off to a pimp. That pimp then sold the girl for sex 108 days straight on Backpage where she would end up being raped by johns several times a day. Another eye-opening moment from the conference came from a 32-year police veteran who said that cell phones and the internet have put sex workers in even more danger.

    Lt. Detective Donna Gavin, a 32-year Boston Police veteran, who has most recently headed the department’s human trafficking unit, talked about how the Internet, and more specifically cellphones, changed prostitution from a local visible issue to an online, often hidden, crime of violence and exploitation.

    This story reminds me of a human trafficking conference that Geebo CEO Greg Collier and I attended a few years ago in Richmond, Virginia. I got the opportunity to talk to a woman who was the victim of trafficking and was advertised on both craigslist and Backpage. When I saw her sitting by the podium I assumed she was just another dignitary or politician who would talk about how legislation was proceeding within Virginia. When she stood at the podium she then introduced herself as a victim of human trafficking and told us of her harrowing experiences of being sold for sex by a violent pimp. She was barely able to escape that life and still had some psychological issues while trying to integrate back into a free world. Backpage didn’t exactly make things any safer for her and for countless other victims who were advertised against their will for sexual slavery.

    When people say that Backpage made sex work safer I also point them to this New York Times article from 2015 written by a former trafficking victim. She goes on to say how the consenting adult concept is largely a myth.

    I know there are some advocates who argue that women in prostitution sell sex as consenting adults. But those who do are a relatively privileged minority — primarily white, middle-class, Western women in escort agencies — not remotely representative of the global majority. Their right to sell doesn’t trump my right and others’ not to be sold in a trade that preys on women already marginalized by class and race.

    The effort to decriminalize the sex trade worldwide is not a progressive movement. Implementing this policy will simply calcify into law men’s entitlement to buy sex, while decriminalizing pimping will protect no one but the pimps.

    So basically what these Backpage defenders are saying is that they don’t care who gets hurt as long as they get paid.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on June 28, 2018 Permalink | Reply
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    Facebook can’t keep track of where your data went 

    Facebook can't keep track of where your data went

    You’ll have to forgive us for constantly railing on Facebook for its sieve-like tendencies when it comes to its users’ personal data. I can’t speak for everyone at Geebo, but I come from a time on the internet when you didn’t share a bunch of personal information online. Then almost overnight with the advent of social media, we started sharing almost every intimate detail of our personal lives. Even if you post the most innocuous statuses on Facebook, the social media giant can determine so many things about you as this video demonstrates.

    According to a recent report from the Wall Street Journal, Facebook has so much of our data that they can’t keep track of it all. We’re all familiar with the Cambridge Analytica scandal by now but as the WSJ points out, Facebook has also given a lot of our data to companies that are no longer in business and because of that our personal information could be anywhere out in the wild. Once something is out on the internet it’s next to impossible to get it back.

    Again it needs to be said that this is too much information for one entity like Facebook to have. It’s now gotten to the point where Facebook apparently seems to be the proverbial submarine with a screen door when it comes to our personal data. This data can be abused in so many ways by bad actors and Facebook treats it like so much junk mail that it just throws on a table and forgets about it. Unfortunately, the only true way to stop Facebook from abusing our private data is to stop giving it to them, but in a society that’s driven by how many likes you can get for your vacation photos that won’t be happening any time soon.

     
  • Geebo 8:52 am on June 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: contractors, ,   

    Craigslist contractors can cause calamity 

    Craigslist contractors can cause calamity

    A subject we don’t discuss on this blog that we really should are the hazards of hiring a contractor off of an unmoderated site like craigslist. Craigslist is rife with both unlicensed contractors and con artists posing as contractors. When a state or municipal licensing board wants to crack down on illegal contractors, craigslist is the first place they turn to.

    Recently in Bakersfield, California, one such supposed contractor was arrested for allegedly placing ads on craigslist and Facebook posing as a contractor while bilking people out of their money. The suspect is said to have collected down payments from potential customers but would pocket the money instead of doing any kind of contracting work. This is just one of the hazards of using craigslist to try to hire a contractor.

    If you allow an unlicensed contractor into your home to do major repairs or alterations, not only could you be gambling with your home improvement fund, but you could also find yourself on the hook for medical expenses if the contractor were to injure themselves without carrying the proper insurance. Many states have licensing websites where you can look up to see if the contractor is licensed. It also helps to check references and your local Better Business Bureau to see if a contractor is trustworthy. Anybody can print out a business card that says they are a contractor, but only a licensed contractor can earn your business and trust through their reputation.

     
  • Geebo 9:06 am on June 26, 2018 Permalink | Reply
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    Facebook files spying patent 

    Facebook files spying patent

    It appears that it’s going to be another Facebook-heavy week again as the social media giant is once again back in the news for more potential Orwellian shenanigans. When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress, he specifically stated that Facebook is not listening to our conversations through our phones. While that may or may not be true, one of Facebook’s more recent patent filings shows it may not need to listen to our conversations to influence our lives.

    According to several reports, one of Facebook’s new patents is for a technology that would allow a Facebook-enabled device to listen for inaudible tones coming from your TV in order to tell what ads you’re watching and whether or not you’re muting the ads or leaving the room when the ad is on. Once these tones are heard, your device would be capable of recording all ambient noise around it including any conversations going on near the device.

    This is only one of several patents filed by Facebook that the New York Times has referred to as ‘creepy’. Each of these patents seems more invasive than the next yet Facebook says that these are merely ideas and should not be taken as evidence for its future product plans. Somehow, I don’t think Facebook is filing these patents just for the fun of it.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on June 25, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Are we letting Facebook raise our children? 

    Are we letting Facebook raise our children?

    Back in late 2017, Facebook announced an app called Messenger Kids. It’s a Facebook Messenger for kids under 13, the age you need to be in order to sign up for a Facebook account according to their terms of service. At first, Messenger Kids required the child’s parents to be friends with them on the app, however, more recently, Facebook did away with that feature at what they say was parent request. Although, parents still need to approve who is on their child’s friends list. Now, Facebook is bringing Messenger Kids to Canada.

    From a safety standpoint, Messenger Kids seems like a pretty safe app but still has its drawbacks. Too many parents sign their kids on to an app then let them run free on it. While there shouldn’t be the problem of random strangers messaging your child, there is always a risk when you allow a child to use any online social platform unfettered.

    However, let’s discuss what this is really about, Facebook indoctrination. It seems like Facebook wants to make sure that American and Canadian kids are being raised on Facebook from an early age. With so many reports telling us that teens and young adults are supposedly flocking to Snapchat in droves, Facebook may want to make sure future generations will be solely reliant on Facebook. Is the world of Facebook with its conspiracy theories, flat earth tropes, anti-vaccine gibberish, and global issues being reduced to memes the world we really want our children being raised on?

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on June 22, 2018 Permalink | Reply
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    Sick dogs continue to be sold on craigslist 

    Sick dogs continue to be sold on craigslist

    When someone is in the market for a new puppy, they often look for one with their heart and not necessarily their heads. Scammers of all shapes and sizes love to take advantage of the emotional response people tend to have after seeing a puppy for the first time. Not surprisingly, craigslist is often the venue scammers use to pass off as many puppies as they can.

    A couple in Rancho San Diego, California, found this out recently when they adopted a miniature dachshund off of craigslist. The couple even admits they ignored some red flags once they saw the puppy. Those red flags were that the puppy was being sold at a too good to be true price and that the seller wanted to meet at a parking lot and not where the dogs were allegedly being bred. Days after adopting the puppy the dachshund became sick and a vet diagnosed the puppy with distemper. Sadly, this is an all too common occurrence on the unmoderated craigslist.

    While purchasing a dog off of craigslist may give you that instant satisfaction of getting a puppy that day, in the long run, it’s worth taking your time to research the seller. You could be buying a dog from either a puppy mill or backyard breeder who is more intent on just making money than ethically breeding these dogs. Often these dogs have parvovirus which is contagious and can affect other pets in your household. For these reasons, Geebo does not accept ads for pets as we do not want to contribute to what is essentially animal cruelty. As always, we recommend only adopting pets from shelters or licensed breeders.

     
  • Geebo 9:30 am on June 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Global Emancipation Network, ,   

    Are online vigilantes needed to fight human trafficking? 

    Are online vigilantes needed to fight human trafficking?

    In fiction, vigilantes are a very entertaining subject. From movies like Boondock Saints to characters like Batman, fictional vigilantes bring justice to those who think they’re above the law. However, historically vigilantes in the real world have been nothing more than lynch mobs looking to further their own agenda. Much like their historical counterparts, online vigilantes tend to be virtual lynch mobs who more often than not target the wrong person as the victim of their ire and end up hurting innocent people in the process. One of the more infamous examples of that was when a Reddit group identified the wrong man as the Boston Marathon bomber. However, one group of white hat hackers are using their technical expertise to fight against human trafficking.

    The Global Emancipation Network is far from a group of ragtag hackers united by a common goal. It was founded by a computer scientist whose resume includes stints with the US Department of Defense, Microsoft, and NASA. The GEN collects information from all over the internet and the dark web in order to share this data with law enforcement agencies all over the world.

    As GEN points out, many law enforcement agencies from around the world either can not or will not devote the necessary resources needed to effectively fight human trafficking. GEN hopes to fill that gap with the information they collect. While it’s a harsh reality, it’s a shame that their services are needed in the first place. However, it’s refreshing to see such a well-organized volunteer community doing the dirty work that needs to be done to help rescue the millions of victims of human trafficking in all of its forms.

     
  • Geebo 9:13 am on June 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply
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    WA offers resources to trafficking victims 

    WA offers resources to trafficking victims

    One of the problems with human trafficking is that often the victims don’t know where to turn to get help. Too often they’re treated like criminals along with the pimps and traffickers who sell them. So even when they find themselves at police stations, victims don’t know where to turn to get help. Now, the state of Washington is hoping to correct that problem in their state.

    Washington has always been at the forefront of trying to prevent human trafficking and to help its victims. Unfortunately, the Seattle-Tacoma area has long been a hotbed of human trafficking activity. Recently, the Washington State Government has unveiled a new website that looks to assist victims of human trafficking with getting out from under their traffickers. At WATraffickingHelp.Org trafficking victims can find a list of resources ranging from shelter to legal services to healthcare services and more.

    Just because Backpage is gone, doesn’t mean that trafficking magically disappears even though that was a major step in fighting it. Sadly, not as many states are as proactive in helping victims like Washington is. Hopefully, Washington’s initiative to help victims get their life back will spark other states to do the same.

     
  • Geebo 9:27 am on June 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply
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    Geebo is better for job hunting than craigslist 

    Geebo is better for job hunting than craigslist

    When it comes to looking for a new job, a lot of job seekers will turn to craigslist ads for new opportunities. The problem with that is that anybody can pay for a craigslist ad and claim to be an employer. This often results in deceptive ads that either misrepresent what the job really is, or they’re outright scams. Here are some tips on how to tell if a job is not legitimate.

    News station WKBW out of Buffalo, New York, recently did an expose on craigslist job ads. In one instance they found a meal delivery service that promised $19/hr. but after they clicked on the ad they noticed that the pay started lowering as the ad progressed. The reporter reached out to craigslist to see how they verify their job ads but craigslist, not surprisingly, did not respond.

    Here at Geebo, not only do we review our ads for legitimacy, but all our employment ads list the name of the company placing the ad. This allows you the opportunity to research the company to see if it’s the right fit for you.

     
  • Geebo 9:24 am on June 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , satire, The Onion   

    Why The Onion taking on Facebook is real news 

    Why The Onion taking on Facebook is real news

    If you’re not familiar with The Onion, it is a satirical news website that has been around since the dawn of the internet. To put it in simple terms, they are the internet version of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update. While The Onion’s humor can sometimes be crass and off-color, satire is sometimes the purest form of social commentary. So it should come as no surprise that The Onion has turned its satirical barbs at Facebook.

    Recently, The Onion has been lambasting Facebook with such headlines as “Mark Zuckerberg Insists Anyone With Same Skewed Values And Unrelenting Thirst For Power Could Have Made Same Mistakes.” Then there’s “Daddy, I Don’t Want To Live In The World Your Website Has Created,” written from the perspective of Mark Zuckerberg’s 2-year-old daughter. The reason that The Onion has gone on this crusade against Facebook is that The Onion claims Facebook is limiting The Onion’s exposure on Facebook.

    In a statement attributed to Editor-in-Chief Chad Nackers, the publication further skewered the social network, in its signature, humorous style.

    “We are strong proponents of the First Amendment, and the fuel of a functioning democracy is the free flow of information. Facebook, the world’s largest sieve of personal data, has become an unwanted interloper between The Onion, and our audience. We have 6,572,949 followers on Facebook who receive an ever-decreasing amount of the content we publish on the network. Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly betrayed the trust of billions of people. What you’ve seen over the last 48 hours is only the tip of the iceberg.”

    While it can be argued that Facebook is limiting The Onion’s exposure due to Facebook’s initiative to fight ‘fake news’, this situation does highlight a much larger problem. Because of Facebook’s dominance of the internet, content creators, businesses and news outlets are all at the whim of Facebook, and if we don’t all play by Facebook’s arbitrary rules we could all see our favorite content go up in smoke. Should one solitary company be able to wield that much power? In case you’re wondering, the answer is no, no it shouldn’t.

     
    • Peter 2:36 pm on June 18, 2018 Permalink

      Spot on!

    • Juan Thompson 1:27 am on June 19, 2018 Permalink

      F*** . He sucks

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