🎧 The Daily: A Year of Reckoning in Charlottesville | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: A Year of Reckoning in Charlottesville by Michael Barbaro from New York Times

In the 12 months since white nationalists and counterprotesters clashed there, the Virginia city has continued to struggle with centuries-old tensions.

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👓 Gab and the decentralized web | Ben Werdmüller

Read Gab and the decentralized web by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller (Ben Werdmüller)
As a proponent of the decentralized web, I've been thinking a lot about the aftermath of the domestic terrorism that was committed in Pittsburgh at the Tree of Life synagogue over the weekend, and how it specifically relates to the right-wing social network Gab. In America, we're unfortunately used ...

I couldn’t have put it any better myself.

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📑 Social Media Bans Actually Work | Motherboard

Annotated Social Media Bans Actually Work (Motherboard)
“We need to puncture this myth that it’s only affecting far-right people. Trans rights activists, Black Lives Matter organizers, LGBTQI people have been demonetized or deranked. The reason we’re talking about far-right people is that they have coverage on Fox News and representatives in Congress holding hearings. They already have political power.”  
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👓 PayPal Bans Far-Right Social Network Gab After Anti-Semitic User Kills at Least 11 at Synagogue | Gizmodo

Read PayPal Bans Far-Right Social Network Gab After Anti-Semitic User Kills at Least 11 at Synagogue (Gizmodo)
On Saturday, a firearm-wielding man massacred at least 11 people attending Shabbat services at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood and injured a number of others. The Anti-Defamation League described it as likely the deadliest single attack on the Jewish community in U.S. history. Authorities identified the suspect, who was captured after a gun battle with responding police, as 46-year-old Robert Bowers—a vitriolic anti-Semite who allegedly announced the attack on the social network Gab.
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👓 Gab, the Alt-Right Social Media Site, Gets Banned | NY Mag | Intelligencer

Read Gab, the Social Media Site for the Alt-Right, Gets Deplatformed (Intelligencer)
After the Pittsburgh shooter was found to have used the site, it was abandoned by its business partners. What does that mean for Twitter?
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👓 gab | Gab.ai

Read gab (gab.ai)

Gab has spent the past 48 hours proudly working with the DOJ and FBI to bring justice to an alleged terrorist. Because of the data we provided, they now have plenty of evidence for their case. In the midst of this Gab has been no-platformed by essential internet infrastructure providers at every level. We are the most censored, smeared, and no-platformed startup in history, which means we are a threat to the media and to the Silicon Valley Oligarchy.

Gab isn’t going anywhere.

It doesn’t matter what you write. It doesn’t matter what the sophist talking heads say on TV. It doesn’t matter what verified nobodies say on Twitter. We have plenty of options, resources, and support. We will exercise every possible avenue to keep Gab online and defend free speech and individual liberty for all people.

You have all just made Gab a nationally recognized brand as the home of free speech online at a time when Silicon Valley is stifling political speech they disagree with to interfere in a US election.

The internet is not reality. TV is not reality. 80% of normal everyday people agree with Gab and support free expression and liberty. The online outrage mob and mainstream media spin machine are the minority opinion. People are waking up, so please keep pointing the finger at a social network instead of pointing the finger at the alleged shooter who holds sole responsibility for his actions.

No-platform us all you want. Ban us all you want. Smear us all you want.

You can’t stop an idea.

As we transition to a new hosting provider Gab will be inaccessible for a period of time. We are working around the clock to get Gab.com back online. Thank you and remember to speak freely.

Andrew Torba, CEO Gab.com

The link to this site is definitely not an endorsement of any sort. I’m researching the idea of deplatforming and in particular Gab’s instance of it after their site was used by fringe groups to incite hatred which helped to fuel the shooting at the synagogue this past week.

My intent is also to archive a copy of the enhanced statement on what is left of their current website.

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📺 Brazilian Elections: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO | YouTube

Watched Brazilian Elections: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) from YouTube

Brazil is about to elect a new president during a turbulent period of political corruption and economic uncertainty. John Oliver urges the people of Brazil not to figuratively fingerbang their democracy.

👓 The Cruelty Is the Point | The Atlantic

Read The Cruelty Is the Point (The Atlantic)
Trump and his supporters find community by rejoicing in the suffering of those they hate and fear.

A searing piece of writing here. A must-read.

This makes a compelling argument about why some humans are so painfully cruel.

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🎧 Face the Racist Nation | On The Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to Face the Racist Nation from On The Media | WNYC Studios

An investigation into the media's coverage of white supremacist groups.

For more than a year, Lois Beckett [@loisbeckett], senior reporter at The Guardian US, has been showing up at white nationalist rallies, taking their pictures, writing down what they say. And she finds herself thinking: How did we get here? How did her beat as a political reporter come to include interviewing Nazis? And what are the consequences of giving these groups this much coverage?

In this week's program, we revisit this deep dive into what the news media often get wrong about white supremacists, and what those errors expose about the broader challenge of confronting racism in America.

1. Elle Reeve [@elspethreeve], correspondent for VICE News, Anna Merlan [@annamerlan], reporter for Gizmodo Media’s special projects desk, Vegas Tenold [@Vegastenold], journalist and author of Everything You Love Will Burn, and Al Letson [@Al_Letson], host of Reveal, from The Center for Investigative Reporting, on the pitfalls and perils of covering white supremacist groups. Listen.

2. Felix Harcourt [@FelixHistory], professor of history at Austin College and author of "Ku Klux Kulture," on the history of the Ku Klux Klan in the press in the 1920s. Listen.

3. Anna Merlan, Elle Reeve, Al Letson, Gary Younge [@garyyounge], editor-at-large for The Guardian, and Josh Harkinson [@joshharkinson], former senior writer at Mother Jones, on how individual identity impacts reporting on discriminatory movements. Listen.

4. Ibram X. Kendi [@DrIbram], professor of history and international relations at American University and author of "Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America," on the enduring myths surrounding the perpetuation of racist ideas and whose interests these misconceptions serve. Listen.

A stunning story and solidly great reporting. I heard the end of this on the radio a few weeks ago and circled back to listen to it a second time. I hope all journalists working in politics take a close look at it.

I particularly liked the Ibram X. Kendi portion of the interview and am ordering his book Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which was a National Book Award Winner.

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👓 The New York Times just shut down a major bullying tactic of the alt-right | Vox

Read The New York Times just shut down a major bullying tactic of the alt-right (Vox)
The "controversy" over hiring tech journalist Sarah Jeong, explained.

I was just thinking about the Quinn Norton episode the other day, and along comes this nice follow up. It’s nice to see that big institutions are coming to understand the trolling- (and some might say bot-) culture and making more clear-headed distinctions.

Another related case can potentially be found with Kevin Williamson at The Atlantic.

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👓 The New York Times Fired My Doppelgänger | Quinn Norton | The Atlantic

Read The New York Times Fired My Doppelgänger by Quinn Norton (The Atlantic)
I saw the internet create and destroy a bizarro version of myself.

I’ve been reading some pieces from my archive on context collapse and people losing jobs/opportunities as the result of online bullies digging up old social media posts which has become a bigger issue as of late. Many people have been wanting to leave social media platforms for their toxic cultures, and this seems to be a subset of that in that it has people going back and deleting old social posts for fear of implications in the present.

Quinn Norton has some relatively sage advice about the internet in this piece. Of course it’s no coincidence that The New York Times editorial board wanted to hire her.

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

History doesn’t ask you if you want to be born in a time of upheaval, it just tells you when you are.  

August 03, 2018 at 08:00AM

I have a teenage daughter, and I have told her all her life that all the grown-ups are making it up as they go along. I have also waggled my eyebrows suggestively while saying it, to make it clear to her that I mean me, too.  

August 03, 2018 at 08:00AM

This taught me that not everyone worthy of love is worthy of emulation. It also taught me that being given terrible ideas is not a destiny, and that intervention can change lives.  

August 03, 2018 at 08:02AM

Not everyone believes loving engagement is the best way to fight evil beliefs, but it has a good track record. Not everyone is in a position to engage safely with racists, sexists, anti-Semites, and homophobes, but for those who are, it’s a powerful tool. Engagement is not the one true answer to the societal problems destabilizing America today, but there is no one true answer. The way forward is as multifarious and diverse as America is, and a method of nonviolent confrontation and accountability, arising from my pacifism, is what I can bring to helping my society.  

August 03, 2018 at 08:03AM

I am not immune from these mistakes, for mistaking a limited snapshot of something for what it is in its entirety. I have been on the other side.  

August 03, 2018 at 08:04AM

I had been a victim of something the sociologists Alice Marwick and danah boyd call context collapse, where people create online culture meant for one in-group, but exposed to any number of out-groups without its original context by social-media platforms, where it can be recontextualized easily and accidentally.  

August 03, 2018 at 08:05AM

I had even written about context collapse myself, but that hadn’t saved me from falling into it, and then hurting other people I didn’t mean to hurt.  

August 03, 2018 at 08:06AM

It helped me learn a lesson: Be damn sure when you make angry statements.  

August 03, 2018 at 08:07AM

Don’t internet angry. If you’re angry, internet later.  

August 03, 2018 at 08:07AM

Context collapse is our constant companion online.  

August 03, 2018 at 08:07AM

I used to think that showing someone how wrong they were on the internet could fix the world. I said a lot of stupid things when I believed that.  

August 03, 2018 at 08:08AM

I am not, and will never be, a simple writer. I have sought to convict, accuse, comfort, and plead with my readers. I’m leaving the majority of my flaws online: Go for it, you can find them if you want. It’s a choice I made long ago.  

August 03, 2018 at 08:09AM

If you look long enough you can find my early terrible writing. You can find blog posts in which I am an idiot. I’ve had a lot of uninformed and passionate opinions on geopolitical issues from Ireland to Israel. You can find tweets I thought were witty, but think are stupid now. You can find opinions I still hold that you disagree with. I’m going to leave most of that stuff up. In doing so, I’m telling you that you have to look for context if you are seeking to understand me. You don’t have to try, I’m not particularly important, but I am complicated. When I die, I’m going to instruct my executors to burn nothing. Leave the crap there, because it’s part of my journey, and that journey has a value. People who came from where I did, and who were given the thoughts I was given, should know that the future can be different from the past.  

August 03, 2018 at 08:13AM

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👓 I was Jordan Peterson’s strongest supporter. Now I think he’s dangerous | The Star

Read I was Jordan Peterson’s strongest supporter. Now I think he’s dangerous (The Star)
A former UofT colleague examines the bestselling author’s increasingly controversial positions and concludes in an opinion piece that Jordan Peterson is using fear to unleash ‘dark desires’
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👓 Why We Terminated Daily Stormer | Cloudflare

Read Why We Terminated Daily Stormer by Matthew Prince (Cloudflare)
Earlier today, Cloudflare terminated the account of the Daily Stormer. We've stopped proxying their traffic and stopped answering DNS requests for their sites. We've taken measures to ensure that they cannot sign up for Cloudflare's services ever again. Our terms of service reserve the right for us to terminate users of our network at our sole discretion. The tipping point for us making this decision was that the team behind Daily Stormer made the claim that we were secretly supporters of their ideology. Our team has been thorough and have had thoughtful discussions for years about what the right policy was on censoring. Like a lot of people, we’ve felt angry at these hateful people for a long time but we have followed the law and remained content neutral as a network. We could not remain neutral after these claims of secret support by Cloudflare. Now, having made that decision, let me explain why it's so dangerous.

Some interesting implications for how the internet works as a result of this piece.

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How the ‘Alt-Right’ Came to Dominate the Comments on Trump’s Facebook Page | The Atlantic

Read How the 'Alt-Right' Came to Dominate the Comments on Trump's Facebook Page (The Atlantic)
Over the course of the campaign, the comments left on the president’s official Facebook page increasingly employed the rhetoric of white nationalism.

Continue reading “How the ‘Alt-Right’ Came to Dominate the Comments on Trump’s Facebook Page | The Atlantic”