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The Debilitating Effects of Social Media

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Whitewashing slavery? Ancestry forced to pull ad with interracial couple after social media backlash...

Genealogy site Ancestry.com has apologized and removed an ad featuring a pre-Civil War interracial couple after...

Social media reacts to ‘ghoulish’ new Brexit date set for Halloween — RT UK...

In the wake of the EU granting the UK yet another delay to Brexit with...

UK to tighten restrictions on social media through new watchdog

The UK government is planning a special watchdog to monitor and regulate social media activity in the country. Read more

‘Racist’ chocolate duckling causes a stir on social media — RT UK News

Waitrose has been accused of being “quackers” and of appeasing the “PC brigade” by social...

Trump Administration Wants to Use Social Media to Monitor Disabilities

The Social Security Administration once again is floating an extremely ableist proposal: using social media accounts, such as Twitter and Facebook, to monitor people...

Social media backlash to PM May’s knife crime proposals — RT UK News

Theresa May’s attempt to regain the confidence of the British public following a surge in...

Group of Brexiteers KKK nickname sparks disbelief on social media — RT UK News

An influential group of Tory Brexiteers, who were selected by PM Theresa May to attend...

Facebook apologizes after mistaking Trump’s social media director for bot — RT USA News

Facebook has issued an apology to White House Social Media Director Dan Scavino after temporarily blocking...

Trump to ‘look into’ Facebook censorship after site gags his social media chief —...

President Donald Trump has promised to look into accusations of anti-conservative bias on Facebook, after the...

Social media should stop live broadcast of violence: UK Labour leader

UK opposition leader Corbyn says social media platforms should stop live broadcast of violence. Read more

Social media firms must take action against violent extremism: UK interior minister

Britain's Home Secretary Sajid Javid has said social media companies must take action to stop violent extremism on their channels after Friday's massacre in...

Williamson declares military ready to help in knife crime crisis, prompting derision on social...

UK armed forces stand “ready to respond” to the current knife crime epidemic blighting the...

Labour MP sparks social media outrage after ‘Jewish money’ comment — RT UK News

A Labour MP has come under fire on social media after claiming “hard left” MPs...

Pedophiles are hunting children as young as 5 on Instagram as grooming triples on...

Children as young as five are being groomed and abused on Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook,...

Video prompts Russian social media to JOKE that Elon Musk is a spy…US media...

When a video of a rear-driving car cruising around Russia’s Stavropol region appeared online recently, one...
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Video: ‘Ultimate goal of ‘Russiagating’ in US – to expand security state’s control over...

RT LIVE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFAcqaNzNSc Check out http://rt.com Subscribe to RT! Via Youtube

Ex-Labour MP who quit party over ‘racism’ now embroiled in racism row, slammed on...

A UK MP who quit the Labour Party over alleged racism, has been caught on...

Social media users mock Mail on Sunday’s article calling Corbyn a ‘dangerous hero’ —...

A series of Daily Mail articles claiming to reveal Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s “extremist views”...
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Video: Happy 15th anniversary Facebook: Trials & tribulations of the social media giant

As Facebook turns 15, its founder has published an impassioned defence of the social media platform. Mark Zuckerburg claims his site has been a...

No more buying likes from bots? NY AG declares fake social media engagement illegal...

New York’s attorney general has declared it’s illegal to sell fake social media engagement in order...

CNN commentator calls Trump ‘antithesis of Christ’s teachings’, faces social media retribution — RT...

Democratic strategist Maria Cardona went after White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders about “election interference” of...

“Instagram Helped Kill My Daughter”: Censorship Tendencies in Social Media

It is all a rather sorry tale.  Molly Russell, another teenager gorged on social media content, sharing and darkly revelling, took her own life...

UK warns social media could get banned, as 30 families blame tech giants for...

A charity that works on child suicide prevention says that 30 families have contacted them...

As migrant tide hits UK shores, authorities blame social media — RT UK News

UN and UK authorities are blaming social media for enabling illegal migration into Europe, claiming...
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Video: MI6: licence to undermine Corbyn. Government funding anti-Labour trolls on social media

Chérif Chekatt Strasbourg 'terrorist' or Macron patsy, excuse to clamp down on Yellow Jacket protests? Via Youtube

‘Trump Says…’: The Journalistic Scourge of Echo-Chamber Headlines – Deferential social media framing spreads...

  “First, do no harm.” (cc photo: Jim Naureckas) The most basic tenet of professional physicians is the Hippocratic Oath: “First, do no harm.” Its intent...

Iraq War vet who called out social media censorship booted from Twitter — RT...

Iraq War veteran and former Republican congressional candidate Jesse Kelly has been banned from Twitter for...

New York law asks for ‘social media audits’ before gun purchases — RT US...

If state lawmakers get their way, New Yorkers wanting to buy a handgun might need to...
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Video: More than half of Americans say social media hurts democracy & free speech

There are few things these days which unite liberals and conservatives, but according to a new survey, a growing dislike and distrust of social...

Democrats and Republicans are both starting to get sick of social media – study...

There are few things these days which unite liberals and conservatives, but according to a new...

Social media reacts to picture of Rees-Mogg with nanny — RT UK News

A black-and-white picture of Tory Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg, standing side-by-side with his nanny in a...

Social media makes you lonely and depressed, study says — RT US News

A University of Pennsylvania study has proven that reducing social media use to 10 minutes a...

Travel warning for US? Social media debate after 72 hrs of hate-filled violence —...

US would issue travel alerts if same kind of violence was happening in other countries, a...

The New Social Media – LewRockwell

BBC effort to combat ‘heteronormative’ culture ‘baffles’ social media — RT UK News

The BBC will introduce more LGBT characters in its programming and encourage staff to use...

The Shaky Case That Russia Manipulated Social Media to Tip the 2016 Election –...

The idea promoted by NYT’s Shane & Mazzetti that the Russian government seriously threatened to determine the 2016 election does...

‘Cop-killing’ halftime show at Mississippi high school leaves community and social media outraged —...

A grieving Mississippi community is outraged after a visiting high school team’s halftime show portrayed students...

Social media giant admits security breach affecting 50 million accounts — RT US News

Facebook has apologized for a “security issue,” after discovering that hackers used a vulnerability in the...

Twitter transforms Trump into penguin in latest social media challenge (PHOTOS) — RT US...

While US President Donald Trump is busy playing down explosive allegations about how his White House...

Teenagers ‘inciting violence’ should be banned from social media, says Labour MP — RT...

A Labour MP has suggested that young people who use social media to “incite violence,”...

Will people admit how long they spend zombified on social media? — RT UK...

Published time: 6 Sep, 2018 15:32 Britain’s Royal Public Health Society is asking people to...
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Video: UK broadcasters demand watchdog for social media giants… Yay or nay?

UK broadcasters have called on the Tory government to regulate internet and social media companies to oversee their news content, as they currently operate...

‘Regulate social media companies,’ says TV bosses in plea to UK government (VIDEO) —...

UK broadcasters have called on the Tory government to regulate internet and social media companies...

US teens swap books for social media, reading drops from 60 to 16 percent...

Researchers are sounding the alarm over US teenagers’ mental health and abilities, as a new study...

Secret meeting of social media & tech giants to tackle midterm elections — RT...

Representatives from America’s tech giants are meeting in private to discuss strategies for countering “information operations”...
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Video: Keiser Report: US Government’s Social Media Diaper (E1268)

Check Keiser Report website for more: http://www.maxkeiser.com/ In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max and Stacy discuss censorship in the digital public ... Via...

‘We won’t let’ discrimination of conservatives on social media happen — RT US News

US President Donald Trump has spoken out about censorship against conservatives on social media, saying it...
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Video: Twitter bans: ‘Intentional blocking’ v ‘Division doesn’t come from social media’ (DEBATE)

Twitter's latest blocking measure targets the accounts of libertarian commentator Gavin McInnes and his organisation, the Proud Boys. Check out http://rt.com RT ... Via Youtube

Social media posts could ruin your college dreams, lawyer warns — RT US News

Merely following Alex Jones on Twitter almost cost one teen a college admission. Another lost his...
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Video: Silencing Debate? Concern after spate of social media account bans

There are concerns social-media platforms are policing what's acceptable to say and think after numerous accounts belonging to Libertarian and Conservative ... Via Youtube

Prison Planet.com » Social media is making children regress to mentality of three-year-olds, says...

Social media and video games are creating a generation of children with the mental and emotional immaturity of three-year-olds, one of Britain’s most eminent...

‘Deep State social media meddles in US elections’ – Kim Dotcom slams ‘Zuckerspy &...

Kim Dotcom has slammed ‘deep state’ Facebook and Twitter for meddling in US elections, warning they...

Five Reasons the Social Media Behemoth’s Stock Plunged

Facebook stock dropped nearly twenty percent on Thursday following the release of the company’s earnings report and average daily user counts, but...

Biden, not Bernie for president? CNN’s ‘definitive’ 2020 presidential list ridiculed on social media...

CNN is getting in early with its predictions for 2020. It placed Bernie Sanders in 5th...

Vegan group’s comment backfires on social media — RT UK News

A vegan group has been slammed for peddling “homophobic views” and inciting hatred against the...

Social media reacts to Trump waving to protesters during game of golf — RT...

After grueling days of berating NATO allies over defense funding and being met with protests...

Ron Paul takes flak over ‘racist’ cartoon on social media, says it was staffer...

Former Congressman Ron Paul is under fire after a Facebook post and a tweet about cultural...

Billboard urging liberals to leave Texas to be taken down after causing social media...

A cheeky Texas billboard encouraging liberal motorists to keep driving until they’ve left the state will...
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Video: Keiser Report: Delete Facebook! Create Secure Social Media Platform (E1240)

Check Keiser Report website for more: http://www.maxkeiser.com/ In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max and Stacy discuss Treasury bill yields, FAANG ... Via Youtube

Fake image of ‘Tommy Robinson rally in London’ sparks angry social media reaction —...

An image purportedly showing a massive demonstration in support of Tommy Robinson in London has...

Social media savages exiting Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre — RT UK News

Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre, who has consistently been dogged by controversy and accusations of...

Cosmetic firm’s ‘Spy Cops’ campaign doesn’t wash on social media — RT UK News

A social media furor has descended on ethical cosmetics company Lush, after it launched a...
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Video: Russian MoD criticizes MH17 investigation for using social media, not witnesses

The Russian Defence Ministry criticises the latest findings from the air crash investigators looking into the MH17 tragedy in 2014 for relying on social...

‘Poster boy’ of neo-Nazi terrorist group jailed over racist & anti-Semitic social media posts...

A man known as the ‘poster boy’ of banned neo-Nazi group ‘National Action’ has been...
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Video: IDF on-duty: Israeli soldiers share juvenile antics on social media

An investigation by RT Digital revealed a somewhat indisciplined attitude adopted by uniformed Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) soldiers while violent ... Via Youtube
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Video: Keiser Report: Social Media Surveillance Capitalism (E1125)

Check Keiser Report website for more: http://www.maxkeiser.com/ In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max and Stacy discuss the 'turds' 'harvesting baby brains' ... Via...

Social Media – LewRockwell

The Real Reason Social Media Makes Hollywood So Nervous

The Black Mirror episode “Nosedive” envisions a dystopia where every human interaction is rated on social media. There’s an episode of the Netflix show Black...

Social media executive grilled by MPs over data breaches — RT UK News

Facebook's chief technology officer could offer nothing but promises to do better as he was...

48 million social media users’ data leaked by yet another analytics company — RT...

A private data search service scraped several social media sites for user information, then left that...

Image from Southwest flight sparks social media frenzy — RT US News

A photo showing passengers from Southwest Airlines flight 1380 apparently wearing their oxygen masks incorrectly has...

Another Reason To Leave Social Media Behind

Photo by Michael Pereckas | CC BY 2.0 Everyone is still looking for a way to explain Donald’s Trump’s 2016 Presidential Election victory. This energy...

White House cites social media, open-source outlets in US assessment of alleged Douma attack...

Shortly after Trump announced strikes against Syria on Friday evening, the White House “assessed with confidence”...

Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out of Social Media

Photo by Alan O’Rourke | CC BY 2.0 While the pool of Facebook accounts suspected of being harvested by Cambridge Analytica continues to grow it’s important...
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Video: ‘Unsafe’ Diamond & Silk: Facebook still ‘restricts’ page of viral pro-Trump social media...

Social media sensations Diamond & Silk say Facebook STILL hasn't informed them why it restricted their viral pro-Trump page. Without explanation, the networking giant...

Don’t worry about social media being invaded… it’s the robots that will get you...

Facebook, Twitter and the rest are at the center of a moral panic about how...

UK Foreign Office’s attempts to undermine Russia on social media seem strangely familiar —...

Boris Johnson’s department has been extremely busy this week. Pretending interviews didn’t happen, slinging mud...

Facebook and the Rise of Anti-Social Media

Photo by paz.ca | CC BY 2.0 It was a bit over four years ago that journalist Glenn Greenwald reported that British ‘intelligence,’ GCHQ, had developed...

‘Very damaging’ or inevitable? Lawyers assess US proposal to rummage through visitors’ social media...

The proposal for visa applicants to surrender 5 years of their social-media history will have a...
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Video: US may require 5 years of social media data from visa applicants

The US State Department could require visa applicants who want to visit America to reveal information about the social media accounts they've used over...

US to demand social media info from visa applicants — RT US News

People seeking a US visa may soon be required to disclose their social media information so...

Social media is turning teenage tiffs murderously toxic, says Met chief — RT UK...

Britain’s most senior police officer has warned that social media sites are creating a toxic...

Swedish Government Pushes to Ban Anonymity on Social Media

The Swedish government is planning to put more pressure on tech giants Google, Facebook, and Twitter to end anonymity for ‘online trolls’...

10 Social Media Networks To Use

Cambridge Apocalyptica – social media controls your every thought … probably (VIDEO) — RT...

There’s a good chance that a week ago you’d never heard of Cambridge Analytica. This...

May’s Russia sanctions slammed on social media while MPs laud PM’s strength — RT...

A total of 23 “undeclared Russian intelligence officers” will be booted out of the UK...

Social Media and the Rise of the ‘Consistent Liberal’

New York‘s depiction (3/1/18) of “young people…staying liberal.” The Pew Research Center (3/1/18) recently released a survey on political attitudes by generation. “America is politically...

Saudi prince harnesses power of social media to promote UK trip…. badly — RT...

Internet users have been flooded with ads for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's UK...

Social media giant criticized for ‘tone deaf’ VR shooter game at CPAC — RT...

Facebook was slammed online for featuring a demo of a VR shooting game at its booth...

Twitter smackdown ends in social media row over national broadcaster — RT UK News

Labour peer Andrew Adonis has lashed out at the BBC in a scathing attack that...

Out-of-touch Tories aren’t listening to public on social media — RT UK News

Even though the Conservatives have had a social media crash course to boost appeal, a...

Boston police targeted black & Muslim protesters through social media surveillance – ACLU —...

Boston police used social media surveillance to spy on citizens and specifically on black and Muslim...

The Tories have had a crash course in social media… let the gaffes begin...

Following their abysmal social media game during the 2017 general election, the venerable Tories have...

Social media giants crack down on RT under Senate pressure — RT US News

Facebook, Google and Twitter are taking action against RT in response to pressure from the Senate...

May to target social media giants by calling for investors to stop funding ‘harmful...

Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to call on investors to pull the plug on...
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Video: Internet intruders: Pentagon wants bots operating on foreign social media

The US army is planning to boost its online activities. It's now on the hunt for a software tool which can understand and respond...

‘CIA friends’ asked Moby to spread word of Trump-Russia collusion on social media —...

In a recent interview, Moby said his friends at the CIA asked him to take advantage...

Is Facebook Hooking Children on Social Media?

Photo by paz.ca | CC BY 2.0 Over the past few months, social media companies have come under increasing scrutiny from media critics, watchdog groups,...

Facebook payout to girl, 14, who had naked ‘revenge porn’ photos posted on social...

Facebook has paid compensation to a 14-year-old girl after naked revenge porn photographs of her...
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Video: German 17yos aspire to join army after schools campaign & social media drive

The German army is recruiting an increasing number of minors. According to figures from the country's Defence Ministry, over two-thousand teenagers are now volunteering...

Woman returns ‘dead’ Christmas tree for full refund, social media can’t handle it —...

Published time: 10 Jan, 2018 20:10 Customers at a Los Angeles, California Costco were astounded when...

‘Fake news’ could spell ‘beginning of the end’ for social media giants

Published time: 29 Dec, 2017 09:58 Fake news may spell the “beginning of the end”...

Social media smears GOP Rep Rooney as Russian stooge after call to ‘purge’ FBI...

Published time: 27 Dec, 2017 18:16 Edited time: 28 Dec, 2017 10:11 Representative Francis Rooney (R-Florida)...

Social media mock WaPo’s Alice Donovan story as dud — RT US News

Published time: 26 Dec, 2017 21:47 Edited time: 26 Dec, 2017 22:06 The Washington Post’s latest...
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Video: ‘The Twitter Purge’: Social media giant blocks accounts, fails to stop threats against...

British lawmakers have slammed social media giants for failing to crack down on hate speech. One MP was particularly tough on a Twitter official,...
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Video: Savvy Granny: 101yo Russian woman surfs the web & handles social media like...

An elderly woman from a small Russian town is proving the Internet is for everyone. She's surfing it like a pro at the age...

‘Internet is Free Again’ angers social media after net neutrality repeal — RT US...

Published time: 15 Dec, 2017 16:08 Edited time: 16 Dec, 2017 08:15 A day after the...
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Video: ‘US Tech giants happy to hand over social media users’ data to govt’...

Tech giants in the US are reportedly helping to widen the surveillance net for the country's immigration authorities, planning even tighter vetting of visa...

Idiot Voters and Trolling the Internet: Russia, Social Media Giants and US Elections

The program usually pokes fun, riddles and irks a fourth estate that has long given up the chase for verity.  Media Watch, after years...

‘String of brain-dead slogans’ – Social media reactions to RT’s foreign agent registration —...

The US Department of Justice’s demand that RT America register as a foreign agent or face...
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Video: Poroshenko’s fake news: Holocaust twisting social media post still online after 4 days

The president of Ukraine posted on Twitter to commemorate the deportation of many thousands of Ukrainian people to Siberia during the Soviet Union. But...

Bi-partisan Senate bill regulates political ads for ‘honesty’ on social media — RT America

Democratic and Republican senators are seeking to put restrictions on political ads on social media similar...

Malala Yousafzai targeted on social media for wearing ‘skinny jeans & heels’ at Oxford...

Published time: 19 Oct, 2017 11:50 Women’s education activist Malala Yousafzai has faced backlash on...

Journalists Express Concerns Over New York Times’ New Social Media Rules

Journalists expressed concerns about potential fallout from the New York Times' unveiling of its new social media policy for its employees on Friday, with...

Social media companies don’t need government ‘Ministry of Truth’ fact-checkers – analysts

Published time: 10 Oct, 2017 11:28 We should abandon the idea Facebook or similar companies should...

US Senate pressures social media over 'foreign ads' as it hunts for 'chaos-creating Russians'

Facebook, Google and Twitter need to tell Americans what they will do to make sure ads...
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Video: Ron Paul on ‘Russian social media meddling’ (Streamed live)

RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air Subscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaToday Like us on Facebook ... Via Youtube
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Video: Track & Trap: US plans to collect social media data on all immigrants

The US Department of Homeland Security is planning to collect social media information and search results on all immigrants to the United States, starting...

Ron Paul talks to RT about ‘Russian social media meddling’ (VIDEO)

Published time: 29 Sep, 2017 17:00 Edited time: 29 Sep, 2017 17:41 The investigation into the...

#BoycottRyanair: Budget airline roasted on social media over flight cancellations

Published time: 28 Sep, 2017 14:50 Passengers left stranded by Ryanair’s ongoing flight cancellations have...

ACLU Comment on Homeland Security Notice on Immigrants’ Social Media Information

ACLUFaiz Shakir, American Civil Liberties Union national political director, had the following reaction to the Department of Homeland Security’s notice on immigrants’ social media...

The War on Social Media is Being Stepped Up

A really social media, one where we can freely express ourselves and where we alone control the content, is the problem. It must be...
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Video: Keiser Report: Social Media Making Hillary Great Again (E1120)

Check Keiser Report website for more: http://www.maxkeiser.com/ In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max and Stacy discuss social media cracking down on ... Via...

‘Can they twist history any more?’ Social media backlash after UK silences RT’s reenactment...

Published time: 4 Sep, 2017 19:45 Edited time: 4 Sep, 2017 19:48 The perplexing decision...

New Tory youth group targeted by full-on social media #meme assault

Published time: 29 Aug, 2017 16:14 A new Tory grassroots campaign which aims to copy...

2017 Solar eclipse: Best social media pictures & videos

Published time: 21 Aug, 2017 21:39 Edited time: 21 Aug, 2017 21:53 The August 21 solar...

New privacy laws will offer Brits ‘right to be forgotten’ from social media

The government will soon give British citizens the ability to see what social media firms...

Social media a hotbed for Holocaust deniers, warns memorial chairman

More people are likely to deny the Holocaust because a growing number are using social...

US court upholds ‘gag’ rules on surveillance of social media users

Privacy advocates suffered a stinging defeat by a federal appeals court which ruled in favor of...

Tory social media star Jacob Rees-Mogg welcomes 6th child ‘Sixtus’

Published time: 5 Jul, 2017 11:47 Conservative backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg delighted his fans on Wednesday...

Germany Raids Homes of 36 People Accused of Hateful Postings Over Social Media

In a coordinated campaign across 14 states, the German police on Tuesday raided the homes of 36 people accused of hateful postings...

‘Cocky’ Britain caves to EU Brexit demands on day 1, gets trolled on social...

By the end of day one of Brexit negotiations in Brussels, the man responsible for...

Barring sex offenders from social media unconstitutional – Supreme Court

A North Carolina law banning sex offenders from social media sites accessible by children is unconstitutional,...

Trump’s social media director violated Hatch Act targeting GOP congressman on Twitter

An independent investigation has found that White House social media director Dan Scavino violated federal law...

#LastMinuteCorbynSmears: Social media hits back at pre-election tabloid attacks on Labour leader

Published time: 7 Jun, 2017 10:39 Jeremy Corbyn supporters have stormed the social media barricades...

Kathy Griffin Posts a Video of Trump's 'Severed Head' on Social Media

Kathy Griffin has apologized for posting a video of President Trump's severed head after a furious backlash, sparking the Secret Service into an...

‘Profit from hate’: UK govt calls out social media giants for failing to curb...

A damning report by the British Commons Home Affairs Committee has claimed social media companies...

British police & schools issue warning over 'Blue Whale' social media ‘suicide game’

A number of local police forces and schools have issued warnings to parents over a...

Groups Decry Trump Plan to Demand Social Media Passwords at US Border

Raising concern about the violations of privacy occurring in the name of U.S. border security, a coalition of consumer rights groups on Tuesday launched...

Russian Lawmakers Propose Ban on Social Media for Children Under 14

Russian children under 14 could effectively be banned from using social media networks under a new draft bill prepared by the legislative...

Pickup without STIs: Free condom drive to target Tinder, social media

Published time: 6 Apr, 2017 21:24Edited time: 6 Apr, 2017 21:25 New guidelines from the National...

Germany Approves Bill Targeting Hate Speech, Fake News on Social Media

Germany's Cabinet on Wednesday approved a new bill that punishes social networking sites if they fail to swiftly remove illegal content such...

Brexit Day: EU divorce met with sadness & celebration on social media

Britons spared no time in making their thoughts heard on social media about the triggering...

Marine nude photo-sharing scandal prompts new social media policy

The Marine Corps introduced new social media guidelines in response to an ongoing nude photo-sharing scandal....

Home Office staff ordered to stop criticizing Trump on social media

Staff at the Home Office have been told to stop criticizing US President Donald Trump on social media ahead of his state visit some...

Hammond’s U-turn on National Insurance savagely mocked on social media (TWEETS)

Published time: 15 Mar, 2017 15:19 The internet did not look kindly at Chancellor Philip Hammond’s...

Theresa May’s terrifying PMQs laugh mocked on social media (VIDEO)

Published time: 8 Mar, 2017 14:02Edited time: 8 Mar, 2017 14:08 Social media exploded when UK...

The Great Social Media Purge of 2016 – 2017

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IDF crackdown on soldiers’ social media activity a ‘problem of free speech’

Published time: March 26, 2013 10:35
Screenshot from YouTube user אני גבר

Social media crazes in the Israeli military have seen a number of soldiers behaving in ways “unbecoming of the spirit of the IDF" – videos of soldiers dancing to Internet fads like the Harlem Shake could damage the IDF's image, officials said.

It is believed that viral videos run against the government's attempts to use social media as an effective propaganda tool. Although the IDF boasts its own official Facebook page and Twitter feed, there are fears that 'unauthorized’ materials could harm the image of the military where most young Israeli men and women aged 18 to 21 are required to serve.

“Just as the government uses social media for explaining, for campaigning, for propaganda or for spinning, it also has to deal with private soldiers using new media. Every soldier is a broadcast station,” Israel’s Center for the Protection of Democracy Executive Director Yizhar Be’er told RT.

Israeli military commanders have been recently told to prevent soldiers from uploading material “not appropriate” to the IDF’s “spirit.”

“It’s the problem of free speech… I don't see how you can control it,”
said Dr. Yuval Dror, head of digital media studies at the Middle East college of management-academic studies.

The punishment for such behavior “unbecoming of the spirit of the IDF" can be strict. Earlier this year, two soldiers were sent to military prison for several weeks for posting a clip of their artillery battalion performing a version of the Harlem Shake.

Screenshot from YouTube user אני גבר

“Under the military code of justice, there is an offense... I think it is sergeant and above... which says in effect any conduct which is unbecoming an IDF soldier would therefore potentially at least expose you to criminal liability. Could actually find yourself in jail if you made an offense under that,” former IDF legal advisor David Benjamin told RT.

IDF officials were also incensed when a group of soldiers turned their patrol in Hebron into a dance number: A video titled 'Battalion 50 Rock the Hebron Casbah' featured six armed soldiers in bulletproof vests who start a Macarena-like dance after a Muslim call to prayer is heard.

“You have to remember that soldiers are 18-year-old kids,”
Gil Yogev, who was once an officer with the paratroopers' unit, told RT. Yogev said he would brief his soldiers regularly about what they could and could not post online, but many were careless or childishly unaware of the impact such material could have.

“It is not misuse of power, for them it is just fun,” Yogev added.   

“I don't think that the dancing is abusing power, I do think that putting your sniper aim on an innocent person is an abuse of power and I think that this is the distinction that the army should make,” Yuval Dror said.

Screenshot from YouTube user ניר הירשמן

“You have to remember that soldiers are 18-year-old kids,” Gil Yogev, who was once an officer with the paratroopers' unit, told RT. Yogev said he would brief his soldiers regularly about what they could and could not post online, but many were careless or childishly unaware of the impact such material could have.

“It is not misuse of power, for them it is just fun,” Yogev added.   

“I don't think that the dancing is abusing power, I do think that putting your sniper aim on an innocent person is an abuse of power and I think that this is the distinction that the army should make,” Yuval Dror said.

Sacha Dratwa, the head of the IDF’s social media unit, sparked controversy when he uploaded a Facebook photo with dark mud from the Dead Sea smeared on his face, and a caption reading “Obama style.” The picture provoked mixed reactions, with some accusing the 26-year-old of racism. Dratwa claimed he had been misinterpreted.

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Government Workers Sacked For ‘Misuse Of Social Media’

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Rape in the Age of Social Media

From Steubenville to India, videos and tweets are being turned against perpetrators of sexual violence

January 10, 2013  |  

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A video of a gleeful teenage boy crowing, “She is so raped” and “They raped her quicker than Mike Tyson!” An Instagram image of the same girl of Steubenville, Ohio, limply borne by boys holding wrists and ankles. An 11-year-old girl whose gang rape in Texas last year was discovered by adults via cellphone video, a video she then had to  watch when she took the stand. A teenage boy in Canada who posted photos on Facebook of a 16-year-old girl being gang-raped, sentenced last year to probation and  ordered to write an essay on “the pros and cons of social media.”

They are a loop of retraumatization, these images replaying sexual violence and the culture around it, but they are something else, too: evidence. They are proof not just for a courtroom that formally recognizes the existence of rape and sexual assault, but for a culture prone to denying it or explaining it away. The evidence is made not by concerned bystanders seeking to document crimes but by the victimizers themselves, who chronicle their actions because they see nothing wrong with them or because they think nothing will happen to them. Often the images are made by people who see only spectacle, not reason for intervention. But in all of these cases, the recorders eventually lost control of their own productions — in Steubenville, for example, the kids’ careless tweets were  screen-grabbedby an enterprising blogger. Their own creations were turned against them in the service of justice, if far too late and too often incomplete.

In the crudest journalistic terms, rape is having a moment, from India to Ohio. (Recall how much of last year’s widespread anger at Republican politicians had to do with rape at least as much as reproductive freedom. They’re intimately related, and both concern ownership over bodies that are considered collective property, but not everyone sees the connection.) It’s having a moment on the streets, in both of those places, though even that has had a virtual element, as people all over the world have  watched and live-tweeted the livestream of the Steubenville rallies and passed around stories of the Indian protests. Sexual violence remains something that is rarely openly discussed in daily life, but has become something that is urgently talked about on the Internet — by introverts, the semi-anonymous, those with too much to lose, those who named what happened to them too late, all rendered angry activists and confessors.

Sometimes, the survivors of such reproduced assaults take matters into their own hands. “There you go, lock me up. I’m not protecting anyone that made my life a living Hell,” wrote 16-year-old Savannah Dietrich on Twitter after naming, in defiance of a court order, the boys who had sexually assaulted her — and photographed it — while she was passed out. “I just wanted to stand up for myself,” she told the Daily Beast recently. “I’ll never take those tweets down.” That same story quoted a legal advocate saying that the new technologies are increasingly used “as a weapon to harass and humiliate the victim,” adding up to  “an invasion of privacy beyond what we’ve seen before.” That’s undeniable, but Dietrich chose to use another virtual platform to turn the glare back on the perpetrators.

For survivors of sexual assault for whom there is no public record, creating one by choice — as opposed to your victimizer taking yet another choice away by publicizing it — is a fraught decision. Jaclyn Friedman, co-editor of “Yes Means Yes! Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape,” first  wrote about her own experience with rape in 2007, years after it happened, and was immediately subjected to wild claims by people who said they had (totally made-up) information on the case.  “When you talk on the Internet about being a survivor of sexual violence, two things will invariably happen,” she said. “You will be surrounded by support and you will be called hateful names and hear abusive things.” She added,  ”The Internet is an accelerant, of both the bad and the good. It has the potential to make those violations much worse and much more public, and repeat them in ways that go beyond the most physical act. But it also makes it plain so that anyone can see.”

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news1

On March 9, 1995 Edward Bernays died at the age of 103. His professional endeavors involved seeking to change popular attitudes and behavior by fundamentally altering social reality.[1] Since he laid the modern groundwork for deceiving the public we are for better or worse living out his legacy today.

Several years ago Project Censored directors Peter Phillips and Mickey Huff identified and explained the “truth emergency” that is among the greatest threats to civil society and human existence. This crisis is manifest in flawed (or non-existent) investigations into 9/11 and other potential false flag events, fraudulent elections, and illegal wars vis-à-vis a corporate-controlled news media that fail to adequately inform the public on such matters. While neglecting or obscuring inquiry into such events and phenomena major media disparage independent and often uncredentialed researchers as “conspiracy theorists” or, more revealingly, “truthers.”[2]

The truth emergency continues today, and social engineers like Bernays long understood the significance of undermining the use of reason, for it is only through reason that truth may be determined and evaluated. To be sure, individuals and institutions that have successfully achieved legitimacy in the public mind are recognized as having a monopoly on the capacity to reason and are thus perceived as the foremost bearers of truth and knowledge. Through the endorsement of “experts”—figures perceived as authoritative in their field—the public could easily be persuaded on anything from tobacco use and water fluoridation to military intervention abroad.

Today reason is defined one dimensionally; its relationship to truth largely taken-for-granted. Yet as Leibniz observed, reason marks our humanity, suggesting a portion of the soul capable of a priori recognition of truth. With this in mind the modern individual in the mass has been rendered at least partially soulless through her everyday deferral to the powerfully persuasive notion and representation of expertise. However narrowly focused, under the guise of objectivity the institutionally-affiliated journalist, academic, bureaucrat, and corporate spokesperson have become the portals of reason through which the public is summoned to observe “truth.”

These agents of reason are largely bereft of emotion, moderate in temperament, and speak or write in an unsurprisingly formulaic tone. The narratives they relate and play out present tragedy with the expectation of certain closure. And with a century of commercial media programming the mass mind has come to not only accept but anticipate such regulation and control under the regime of institutionally-sanctioned expertise.

The selection and arrangement of experts by corporate media guarantees a continued monopoly on “truth,” particularly when presented to an uninquisitive and politically dormant public. Yet this phenomenon extends to ostensibly more trustworthy media outlets such as public broadcasting, where a heightened utilization of credentialed expertise is required to ensure the consensus of those who perceive themselves as more refined than the Average Joe.

This preservation of what passes for reason and truth cannot be sustained without a frequent dialectical struggle with unreason and falsity. Since many individuals have unconsciously placed their genuine reasoning faculties in abeyance and often lack a valid knowledge of politics and history, their unspoken faith in government and the broader political economy to protect and further their interests is groundless. Against this milieu those genuinely capable of utilizing their reasoning capacities in the pursuit of truth are often held up as heretical for their failure to accept what is presented as reality, with the requisite “conspiracy theory” label wielded in Orwellian fashion to denote such abnormal intellectual activity.

Lacking the autonomous use of reason to recognize truth, form often trumps substance. For example, a seemingly obscure news website with unconventional graphics or an emotional news presenter purporting to discuss the day’s affairs is typically perceived as untrustworthy and illegitimate by a public conditioned to accept forms of news and information where objectivity and professionalism often camouflage disinformation.

In 2013 the truth emergency is greater than ever, and in the era of seemingly never-ending pseudo-events and Potemkin villages presented by major media as the reality with which we must contend, the application of independent reason in pursuit of truth has all too frequently been replaced with an unthinking obeisance toward the smokescreen of expertise disguising corporate power and control.

Notes

[1] Peter Phillips and Mickey Huff, “Truth Emergency and Media Reform,” Daily Censored, March 31, 2009.

[2] “Edward Bernays, ‘Father of Public Relations’ and Leader in Opinion Making, Dies at 103,” New York Times, March 10, 1995.

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