👓 Welcome to Voldemorting, the Ultimate SEO Dis | Wired

Read Welcome to Voldemorting, the Ultimate SEO Dis by Gretchen McCulloch (WIRED)
When writers swap Trump for Cheeto and 45, it's not just a put-down. Removing a keyword is the anti-SEO—transforming your subject into a slippery, ungraspable, swarm.

Surprised she didn’t mention the phenomena of subtweeting, snitch tagging, or dunking which are also closely related to voldemorting.

To my experience, the phrase “bird site” was generally used as a derogatory phrase on Mastodon (represented by a Mastodon character instead of a bird), by people who were fed up by Twitter and the interactions they found there. I recall instances of it as early as April 2017.

In addition to potential SEO implications, this phenomenon is also interesting for its information theoretic implications.

I particularly like the reference in the van der Nagle paper

[…] screenshotting, or making content visible without sending its website traffic – to demonstrate users’ understandings of the algorithms that seek to connect individuals to other people, platforms, content and advertisers, and their efforts to wrest back control.

This seems like an awesome way to skirt around algorithms in social sites as well as not rewarding negative sites with clicks.

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👓 I Was Reported to Police as an ‘Agitated Black Male’ — for Simply Walking to Work | ACLU

Read I Was Reported to Police as an 'Agitated Black Male' — for Simply Walking to Work by Reginald Andrade (American Civil Liberties Union)
Last month, I walked across the campus of the University of Massachusetts Amherst to get to work. It was an ordinary stroll. But to a bystander, the sight of an educated Black professional going about his day was apparently cause for alarm.That bystander called the police. My workplace was shut down. I was, and remain, humiliated.Racial profiling at predominantly white institutions is nothing new, and this wasn’t the first time that I had to grit my teeth through a degrading interaction with police at the university.

Stories like this pain me greatly. We need to have a reverse mechanism to have some sort of consequences come back to the reporting parties, particularly in cases where it is repeatedly done and patently obvious there was nothing untoward going on. It might be likened to the equivalent of people not being able to claim free speech when yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater. Without any repercussions at all, we only allow this type of activity to fester. Repeated offenses should certainly be more harshly punished.

Similar examples of this in our culture include falsely reporting bomb threats, falsely pulling fire alarms, and even recent incidences of “SWATting“. Swatting is typically a situation in which a party that feels wronged by another will call in a terrorist related threat resulting in the dispatching of a SWAT team to an innocent person’s location. This can occasionally lead to the accidental death of an innocent person. We’re prosecuting against these types of crimes (all examples of dangerous false claims) , so why not prosecute or require restitution in cases like Reginald Andrade’s?

I recall a related case like this in July when a white neighbor called the police  multiple times on an African American boy for mowing a lawn. The national media attention called to the issue likely helped to shame the perpetrators of the situation into never allowing it to happening again, but this type of public shaming often doesn’t occur in the majority of these cases. In Andrade’s case, much of the shame only falls unfairly on Andrade and, potentially worse, on the broader University of Massachusetts Amherst community at large (and in the long run will tend to discourage diversity there in general–part of the intended effect) and not on the particular person who made the false report.

Why don’t we come up with a better name for this type of harassment to call attention to it and help put a stop to it? Giving swatting a sensationalist name has seemingly helped to curtail it. Perhaps “racial terrorism”? or, better, maybe “community terrorism” which includes not only the terrorism inflicted on the individual target but on the broader community which is heavily damaged as well. Is there a way to take anti-swatting laws and have them apply to these cases?

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👓 Trump, no longer ratings gold, loses his prime-time spot on Fox News | Politico

Read Trump, no longer ratings gold, loses his prime-time spot on Fox News (POLITICO)
In a crucial period with the midterms less than a month away, some in the White House are worried that the president is losing a prime-time megaphone to his base.

Perhaps I’m wrong, but in the past I don’t recall any of the networks carrying full coverage of any rallies like these except perhaps the nominating conventions; even then they did it somewhat begrudgingly or only with partial coverage? At best, the coverage of these was small individual soundbites of candidates. Fox news has obviously and sadly been using them more for entertainment value than for any news value they might have had. Could this new coverage be coined liefotainment? There certainly isn’t any journalistic value in full coverage. I wonder if they’ll be carrying flaming-cross to flaming-cross coverage of KKK rallies next?

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A Secondary Meaning for POSSE

I’d meant to document this back in November when it was discussed at IndieWebCamp Los Angeles, but it was a busy weekend.

In conversation with Tantek Çelik, I asked if a double entendre meaning to POSSE was originally intended when it was coined?

POSSE is an abbreviation for Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere (or Everywhere), a content publishing model that starts with posting content on your own domain first, then syndicating out copies to 3rd party services with permashortlinks back to the original on your site.

When I originally heard about POSSE, I considered the original post on my own site as the Sheriff or “leader” and the ensuing syndicated copies as the (literal and figurative) traditional posse which follows along behind it adding ideas, conversation, and help in accomplishing the original post’s mission.

The posse, one tough looking gang of o’n’ry corporate silos! Let’s mount ’em up!

If that second meaning didn’t exist before, it does now…

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Phrase of the Week: “Disconfirmation Bias”

Wordspy definition of disconfirmation bias