Politics

17 Dec 18
Helytimes

You’re not gonna get what you were promised.   An angry making idea.  Maybe one of the most angry-making ideas possible. I’ve been wondering if anger about the feeling of a broken promise is a major driver in US politics.  We were promised something, and we’re not gonna get it.  But what, exactly? The United States […]

17 Dec 18
The Appeal

I chose to write this post to not only examine and highlight Christ’s beliefs but to also counter false narratives some Christians use to uphold their oppressive political beliefs. Plus, it’s Christmas, so why not talk about Jesus? Now, when I say Jesus loves social justice, I do not mean that if He was here […]

17 Dec 18
Site Title

Sports play a vital role in modern contemporary society. It is an integral part of life essential for the physical and mental well-being of individuals . Not only is it a physical activity but also an area where people socially interact. Sport and leisure activities are an integral part of social life and that they […]

17 Dec 18
Civil War Blues

On the Dialectic By: Reece Gatliff, co-leader of the CPUSA–UT The first principle of all dialectical thinking is: Two opposing half-truths form a single whole truth. The singular whole truth is made up of what Hegel called a unity of opposites. Thus, light and darkness, plus and negative, good and evil, bourgeoisie and proletariat, etc. […]

17 Dec 18
Later On

Another report, this one from the Daily 202 by James Hohmann: THE BIG IDEA: A new report prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee reveals that the Russians, in their bid to boost President Trump, have been more fixated than previously understood on trying to dampen African American political engagement. Researchers at Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project […]

17 Dec 18
Quartz
Two reports produced by independent researchers for the US Senate Intelligence Committee, released today (Dec. 17), show that Instagram was a much more significant tool in the hands of Russian operatives trying to influence US politics than previously thought—and was at times potentially more powerful than Facebook. Between early 2015 and late 2017—during which the US elected Donald Trump as president—accounts associated with the Kremlin-sponsored Russian Internet Agency created more content on Instagram. These posts also received more engagement on Instagram than on Facebook, even though there are more ways to engage on Facebook, researchers from cybersecurity company New Knowledge, Columbia University and software research and development firm Canfield Research found in the 100-page report. “Instagram was perhaps the most effective platform for the Internet Research Agency. Approximately 40% of its accounts achieved over 10,000 followers (a level colloquially referred to as “micro-influencers” by marketers); twelve accounts had over 100,000 followers (“influencer” level),” researchers said. The top accounts were identity-based, targeting people interested in African-American, veteran, feminist, or LGBT issues. “In 2017, as media covered their Facebook and Twitter operations, the IRA shifted much of its activity to Instagram. Instagram engagement outperformed Facebook, which may indicate its strength as a tool in image-centric memetic (meme) warfare,” the researchers write in their report, which details the operatives’ various tactics. The New Knowledge analysis and the other report, from Oxford University and social-network analysis firm Graphika, both say that social media companies should cooperate more with the US government and researchers to stem the spread of foreign propaganda. The actual reach of the Instagram posts is not entirely clear. Each report shows that over a three-year period, Instagram posts garnered more than 185 million interactions (likes and comments). (Facebook initially said, ahead of congressional hearings in late 2017, that over a roughly two-year period, 126 million people saw IRA-linked content on Facebook and only 20 million saw it on Instagram.) It’s possible that the Instagram engagement was inflated by click farms—companies that artificially inflate the number of interactions posts online receive—the New Knowledge researchers said, which would make its actual reach smaller. But if Russian actors paid for clicks on Instagram, it would further emphasize how important the app was for the country’s influence campaign—and show how easy it is for bad actors to game the platform. On the other hand, the number of post seen could potentially be even greater. Facebook makes sharing content easy, but Instagram doesn’t have a native “sharing” feature—people do it through third-party apps, like Repost for example, making it harder to track. IRA-promoted merch. The operatives used various audience-growing tactics, creating some bizarre outcomes. The accounts promoted merchandise, including merch sites run by the IRA itself. Some of the merch overlapped with Facebook, but, the researchers found some products unique to Instagram like “LGBT-positive sex toys and many variants of triptych and 5-panel artwork featuring traditionally conservative, patriotic themes,” the New Knowledge report said. The merchandise could have provided the IRA with some income, but more importantly, offered the operatives access to buyers’ personal data, including payment information, and help with ad targeting in the future. The Russian operatives’ activity on Instagram only increased after the 2016 US presidential election. There was a 238% spike in activity in the in a six-month period after the 2016 election, according to the Oxford report, and there are no signs of stopping. “Our assessment is that Instagram is likely to be a key battleground on an ongoing basis,” the New Knowledge researchers wrote.
17 Dec 18
Radio Free

Microtargeting is a remarkable thing. Even casual podcast listeners, particularly those between the ages of twenty-five and forty-five, can recite with minimal prompting the key design features of a CasperTM mattress. And it’s not just CasperTM—there are plenty of competitors with nearly as aggressive advertising campaigns: Leesa, BedInaBox, Lull, Nest, CloudSleep, Yogabed, Avocado, GhostBed, and […]

17 Dec 18
Enlightenments

The world is a magical place, full of mystery and balance and in it we amaze at how different or dumb people may be as we watch the circus of life in politics and all The balance is real and it amounts to this there are three kinds of people, maybe four all who fit […]

17 Dec 18
Saudi Arabia Breaking News

Saudi Arabia Breaking News: Trudeau says Canada trying to end arms contract with Saudi Arabia – The Globe and Mail. Trudeau says Canada trying to end arms contract with Saudi Arabia  The Globe and Mail The Trudeau government says it is trying to find a way to end shipments of armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia as […]

17 Dec 18
Boundless Ocean Of Politics

India has sent a strong message to the global community on Climate Change, saying that the Paris Climate Pact is non-negotiable and there could be no compromise on the basic principles, like equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC). Speaking at the ministerial session of the UN Climate Conference in southern Polish city […]

17 Dec 18
Dear Biary

Gender dysphoria sucks – trust me. I can’t describe it, but despite that, I wanted to write about how you can self-care when dysphoria hits hard. For starters, just putting a name to it can be helpful, as it can help with dealing with those feeling of confusion as to why you have a strong […]

17 Dec 18
Cocktail Party (.blog)

Nobody understands how the internet works. And that’s a pretty serious problem. Back in 2006, Senator Ted Stevens (R-AL) famously gave us a description of what the internet is, and how it works. It’s a series of tubes. And if you don’t understand, those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you […]

17 Dec 18
Emily-Rose Lewis Ministries

Unbelief and fear will keep a person locked in a prison of spiritual, emotional, and financial poverty. Neither riches nor poverty are godly or ungodly in and of themselves. Many opinions and interpretations are being voiced in regards to wealth within the church, with people going to extremes on either side. “Man judges on outward […]