Updates from September, 2018 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Geebo 10:21 am on September 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply
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    NYT suing the FCC over alleged Russian involvement in net neutrality proceedings 

    NYT suing the FCC over alleged Russian involvement in net neutrality proceedings

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

    Once again, it appears that the FCC is actively trying to boondoggle the public when it comes to their repeal of net neutrality protections that had been put in place by the Obama Administration. If you’ll recall during the public appeal period leading up to the repeal, the FCC claimed that their website designed to elicit public opinion fell victim to a denial of service attack by net neutrality supporters. That turned out to not be true. Instead, the real reason the FCC site failed may be more insidious.

    The New York Times has been actively pursuing the FCC through Freedom of Information Act requests to get the logs of the email and IP addresses the attackers used to bring down the website. Not surprisingly, the FCC has been very uncooperative when it comes to releasing the logs. The Times believes that the site’s crashing was due to Russian interference from over 500,000 fake email addresses that originated from Russia. The New York Times has now resorted to suing the FCC to obtain these records.

    This should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following the Trump Administration’s net neutrality debacle. Between the allegations of ties the Trump Administration has to Russia and the fact that FCC chairman Ajit Pai is a former Verzion executive it’s apparent to anyone who takes a close look at the situation that the current FCC is probably in the pockets of the big internet service providers and also appear to be covering up another possible scandal in this administration’s long list of them.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on September 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Motherboard, white supremacy   

    Is Facebook exhibiting shades of gray when it comes to white supremacy? 

    Is Facebook exhibiting shades of gray when it comes to white supremacy?

    When I first read Motherboard’s expose on Facebook’s policy regarding white nationalism I almost literally raised my palm to my face. Facebook’s current and constant PR disasters remind me of an episode of The Simpsons where erstwhile villain Sideshow Bob keeps walking into a rake no matter which way he turns.

    In this latest controversy, Motherboard, the tech arm of Vice News, obtained allegedly leaked documents from Facebook that determines which content is allowed to remain on their platform when it comes to the white supremacy movement that’s been emboldened in our country since a certain official was elected to office. According to Motherboard, Facebook tells its moderators that white supremacy is not allowed on Facebook, however, posts that advocate white separatism and white nationalism are allowed. While those among the goose-stepping set may argue that those are three different philosophies, they’re all cut from the same cloth. A cloth I might add that’s fashioned into a pointy hat with two eye holes.

    After Motherboard brought their findings to Facebook, the social media giant said they were going to review their policies regarding this kind of content in the future. However, the question needs to be asked, why were these kind of semantics allowed to happen in the first place. In my opinion is all goes back to the theory that Facebook thrives on this kind of controversy on their site as it is said to keep Facebook users engaged in their platform. There have been too many examples lately of Facebook harboring hate speech in order to maintain their userbase numbers. Not just in the US but across the world. Facebook has declined from a place where people kept in touch with old friends to become a global hate machine and Facebook likes it that way.

     
  • Geebo 9:33 am on September 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ACLU, , ,   

    Facebook accused of discriminating against women in job ads 

    Facebook accused of discriminating against women in job ads

    Facebook doesn’t seem to be able to stop making headlines for all the wrong reasons. If it’s not for massive data breaches or election meddling, it’s for doing little to nothing to prevent hate crimes and ethnic cleansing. Now Facebook is back in the news once again for allegedly allowing employers to target only men in ads for employment. This practice has been outlawed in the United States since the early 1960s.

    The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging that Facebook allowed the option of gender exclusion in their ad platform. For example, when an employer places an ad with Facebook there is an option that allows you to target only male Facebook users. Several employers are also accused in the complaint of actively using this feature.

    With all its faults, I don’t think Facebook purposely looked to violate civil rights laws by actively trying to exclude women from ads for jobs in male-dominated fields. However, this is a gross oversight that Facebook should have been well aware of before this became a legal matter. This is yet another example of how Facebook has lost control of its own power and scope. When the ad platform was designed, someone should have had enough sense to realize that while targeting merchandise ads to specific genders is fine while allowing employers to use the same gender-specific targeting was just asking for more bad PR nightmares than Facebook already has.

     
  • Geebo 9:08 am on September 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply
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    The craigslist modeling scam rears its ugly head 

    The craigslist modeling scam rears its ugly head

    One of the more disturbing scams that can usually be found on craigslist is the modeling job scam. The scammer places an ad on craigslist for a modeling job that is guaranteed to be easy money. The reality is that most of these ads are designed to do one of many things. They can lead from everything to you being bilked out of thousands of dollars for portfolios and modeling classes, to extortion, and human trafficking. Unsurprisingly, since craigslist refuses to moderate their own site, these dangerous scams continue to proliferate.

    In Colorado Springs, one such ad popped up on craigslist promising $500 to $1000 for a photoshoot. The ad requested that potential models submit headshots and pictures of the applicants in bikinis. The supposed shoot wasn’t even taking place in any kind of studio but rather in some guy’s house. I can almost guarantee that if anyone has sent in pictures to this so-called photographer that the conversation quickly turned towards requests for more explicit photos as this was probably someone allegedly looking for women to be in adult videos.

    Not everyone can be a model but these scammers, predators, and traffickers target victims who believe they have a shot in the modeling industry and take advantage of their dreams. If someone is advertising for models on craigslist or social media, they probably don’t have the best intentions in mind. The Federal Trade Commission website has some tips on how not to get scammed by modeling ads.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on September 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Even breeders can be puppy mills 

    Even breeders can be puppy mills

    In the past when I’ve posted about purchasing a new puppy for your family I’ve always recommended going to a licensed breeder if you’re looking for a particular breed of dog. Unfortunately, not every licensed breeder is on the up and up. Just because a breeder may be a legitimate business doesn’t mean their breeding their dogs in the most ethical way possible as one family in Tennessee found out.

    An elderly couple from Clinton, Tennessee, put a deposit down on a Yorkshire Terrier puppy they planned to purchase from a breeder that had advertised on Facebook. However, they wouldn’t be able to bring the puppy home until it was old enough to be separated from its mother. Sadly, after the couple put their deposit down the puppy became sick and died. The breeder allegedly told the couple that they would refund their deposit and find them a replacement puppy. According to this article from WTAE, neither has happened. The breeder was said to have had financial hardships and might not be breeding anymore yet advertisements for puppies have supposedly not ceased.

    As has been mentioned before, Geebo does not accept ads for pets as puppies advertised online tend to come from puppy mills where breeders put profit ahead of a puppy’s well-being. In the past, I’ve recommended going to a licensed breeder but even a licensed breeder can be a puppy mill which is actually not a crime. However, thanks to WTAE article we have more tools to find a legitimate breeder as you can use the American Kennel Club’s Breeder Referral Search to try to find a trusted breeder. Once again though, I strongly advise anyone looking to add a four-legged friend to their family to try to adopt a pet from their local shelter. Not only do shelters provide much-needed medical requirements for most pets looking for adoption but some even have services where you can be notified if they receive a certain breed of dog that you may be looking for.

     
  • Geebo 9:08 am on September 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply
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    Most customer service numbers found online are fake 

    Most customer service numbers found online are fake

    Seems legit.

    In Memphis, Tennessee, a man found the money emptied out of his online debit account. The man was trying to assist his mother who had the same type of account and called a customer service number he had found online that was supposed to be for the service. As you can probably guess, the customer service number that the man had found online was a fake, and the scammers had taken the man’s login information to take his money. Phony customer service numbers are one of the most prolific scams that can be found online today.

    As you can see from the video above, the customer support scam isn’t just exclusive to money apps. A number of scammers list customer service numbers online for many different services including, Facebook, Google, and many other free online services. This scam tends to target elderly internet users who tend to be more comfortable speaking to someone on the phone to try to solve their online issues. More often than not, most online services do not have any customer service options that can be accessed by phone.

    A lot of these fake phone numbers are listed on free services like craigslist and Facebook. Here at Geebo, we often receive ads for many of these customer service scams, however, since we moderate all of our ads we do not allow these ads to be displayed on our platform in order to better protect our customers.

     
  • Geebo 9:21 am on September 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , VKontakte   

    Russian social media does what Facebook wouldn’t to curb hate speech 

    Russian social media does what Facebook wouldn't to curb hate speech

    The last time I posted about the persecution of the Rohingya people in Myanmar, Facebook banned the accounts of top Myanmar officials who were allegedly inciting violence against the Rohingya. In Myanmar, Facebook is seen as the de facto internet and is used by many Myanmar nationals to spread lies and misinformation about the Muslim Rohingya minority which has led to accusations of ethnic cleansing against the Myanmar government. Facebook only took down a few offending pages after the UN accused Myanmar of genocide, war crimes, and other atrocities.

    Some of these top Myanmar officials have moved their accounts to a Russian social media network called VKontakte. Now you would think that with its negative connotations on American media that a Russian run website would allow just about any kind of hate speech on their platform but you’d be wrong. According to an interview with Fast Company, a VKontakte spokesperson said they take hate speech very seriously and have taken steps from preventing their platform being used as a tool for hate speech in Myanmar.

    We closely monitor the situation in Myanmar. We have specifically hired Burmese speaking moderators to monitor publications in communities and users pages. Our moderation team delete publications with calls for violence and ban users who host them.

    If a social media network that doesn’t nearly have the global reach of Facebook can stay on top of the situation in Myanmar then why couldn’t Facebook? It’s been posited before that Facebook needs such controversy in order to survive. Facebook is said to allow controversial content like this to proliferate on its network because it keeps people more engrossed in Facebook. This, in turn, is said to increase Facebook’s revenue through advertisements. You know, but what’s the persecution of an entire ethnicity worth when there’s money to be made?

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on September 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
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    The aftermath of hurricanes bring out scammers in its wake 

    The aftermath of hurricanes bring out scammers in its wake

    Hurricane Florence is set to make landfall in the Carolinas either late today or early tomorrow. Even though the storm has been downgraded to a Category 2 storm, it is still set to create a lot of property damage in the affected areas. Whether it’s through flooding or wind damage, residents in the path of the hurricane could be facing a long road back to restoring their homes to habitable conditions. Unfortunately, there will also a number of con artists looking to take advantage of people who have been negatively impacted by the tragedy.

    For people living in the storm-damaged areas, people claiming to be contractors will be coming out of the woodwork, so to speak, trying to pressure you into having them fix your home. While you may want to have your home back to normal as quick as possible, never let someone pressure you into making a deal. Always do your research and make sure that any contractor has the proper license. Also never pay cash, never pay up front, and be wary of anyone who just shows up at your door offering to make repairs.

    For people living outside of the hurricane zone but want to help the victims of the storm, be aware of who you’re donating to. Charity scams tend to be the other big scam that happens alongside a natural disaster like this. Make sure you know exactly who you’re donating to. Don’t ever make donations in gift cards or by wiring money as these are the most used methods by scammers to take your money. Also be wary of crowdfunding sites that give vague generalities about where the money is going to. If the site claims to be going to the ‘victims of’ whatever disaster happened most recently. It could just be a scammer trying to make some money off of tragedy.

     
  • Geebo 9:07 am on September 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , north carolina, , south carolina,   

    Price gouging a real concern during a hurricane 

    Price gouging a real concern during a hurricane

    With the impending arrival of Hurricane Florence looking to be a storm of a lifetime event in the Mid-Atlantic, three states have declared states of emergency. Those states being South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. The hurricane is expected to make landfall in one those states later this week. To make matters worse, whenever a hurricane is set to hit an area, there are usually those whose intent is to make a king’s ransom of profit over helping those in need during a time of crisis.

    Price gouging is when a merchant or lodging provider charge an exorbitant amount for their goods or services during a crisis when need is in high demand. Thankfully, the three states mentioned, all have laws in place to prevent price gouging when a state of emergency has been declared. With so many people looking for supplies, fuel, or alternative lodging, it’s refreshing to see governments looking to make sure that people in need aren’t being taken advantage of.

    However, that doesn’t mean that price gouging won’t occur. For example, if you were to leave the area where an emergency has been declared, you may be at the mercy of an unscrupulous vendor. If you live in South Carolina and evacuate to Georgia, where a state of emergency has not been declared, you may see an exorbitant price increase for food, gas, and lodging. If you are in a state that has declared an emergency some vendors may still take to price gouging in defiance of the law. If that is the case, these articles from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia all have the information you need to contact the proper authorities.

    To everyone who is facing the wrath of this potentially devastating storm, please stay safe.

     
  • Geebo 9:28 am on September 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: endanagerd animals, , Thailand   

    Endangered animals for sale on Facebook 

    Endangered animals for sale on Facebook

    Facebook’s global loss of control isn’t just affecting people around the world but it’s affecting animals as well. In Thailand, both endangered and non-endangered species of animals are being sold openly on Facebook. In too many instances, the animals are not just being sold as pets, but are also being sold in parts as ingredients for high-end restaurant dishes or to ‘collectors’.

    In Thailand, the law doesn’t provide protection to animals that aren’t native to Thailand. So this has allowed the trading of such animals as the rare hornbill bird, black pond turtles, Asiatic black bears, and pangolins just to name a few. Some of these Facebook groups had memberships in the hundreds of thousands where endangered animals were said to have been sold out in the open.

    Facebook has responded to this issue by saying that they remove these groups as soon as they’re aware of them. That’s the problem with Facebook, isn’t it? They never seem to be aware of much of anything that takes place on their platform. Whether it’s the contemptible trade of endangered animals, widespread targeted hate speech, or the sabotage of democracy Facebook is never aware of it until it’s already too late.

    Facebook needs to take responsibility for the problem they created. If they can’t control what’s going in and out of their servers then maybe they don’t deserve to be in control.

     
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