1 Comment · Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Though we’re only about seven weeks into
2013, many of this year’s top stories (or, rather, the stories the media
has made into “top stories”) share a common thread — often, people are
not what they seem.
0 Comments · Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Cincinnati’s largest cable provider
announced Jan. 3 that it will drop Current TV after its sale to Pan-Arab
news network Al Jazeera.
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Anyone who cares already knows that the contents of
the “official” Congressional Record are bullshit. Members can delete
things they’ve said and add things they’ve never said.
Moroccan contractor leaks secret document revealing strange guidelines
Never piss off the proletariat.Upset about his low pay and dismal working conditions, a worker at one of Facebook’s Third World contractors has leaked the social media site’s ultra-secret document about what type of content it censors.Amine Derkaoui, a 21-year-old Moroccan man, worked for an outsourcing firm last year that scanned Facebook members’ pages for banned content. Given Facebook’s profitability, Derkaoui became angry about its stinginess with workers.As a result, Derkaoui gave a copy of Facebook’s internal guidelines about what content it will delete to Gawker, a top Internet gossip site.Some of the forbidden items are obvious like racial slurs, depictions of human or animal mutilation, photographs or cartoons of sexual activity, violent speech and content that organizes or promotes illegal activity.But some of the other verboten items are more unusual, if not downright strange.For example, naked “private parts” including female nipple bulges and butt cracks are forbidden, but male nipples are allowed. The list specifically mentions “mothers breastfeeding” as unacceptable.Also, most depictions of bodily fluids are unacceptable, but not all. It lists “urine, feces, vomit, semen, pus and ear wax" as unacceptable (yes, ear wax). But, it helpfully notes, “cartoon feces, urine and spit are OK; real and cartoon snot is OK.” Well, that's good to know.Other items subject to deletion include cartoon nudity, images of internal organs, bones, muscles, tendons and “deep flesh wounds,” along with “blatant (obvious) depiction of camel toes and moose knuckles.” (Confession: I had to Google “moose knuckle” to know what that meant.)Images of “crushed heads, limbs, etc. are OK,” however, as long as “no insides are showing” and the person posting them doesn’t express delight or gratification.Moreover, all criticism of Ataturk, the founder of the nation of Turkey, along with images depicting the burning of Turkish flags are forbidden. It’s believed this restriction is due to certain European laws that, if violated, could cause the site to be blocked in Turkey.The 17-page manual includes a one-page “cheat sheet” so workers can quickly reference it when making decisions about what to delete.Gawker said Derkaoui found his job through the outsourcing firm oDesk, which provides content moderation services for Facebook and Google. About 50 people across the globe — mostly in Turkey, the Philippines, Mexico and India — work to moderate Facebook content. They work from home in four-hour shifts and earn $1 per hour plus commissions."It's humiliating. They are just exploiting the Third World," Derkaoui told Gawker.
by Martin Brennan
Last week I blogged about SOPA, or the Stop Online Piracy Act, a bill being proposed in Congress that, if passed, would allow both copyright holders as well as the US Department of Justice to severely restrict access to and advertising on any website accused of facilitating copyright infringement. Needless to say the bill’s sparked a huge controversy on the web. Many sites such as Reddit.com blacked out their services on Jan. 18 in protest, and those against the bill are saying the bill inhibits free speech and will effectively “ruin the Internet” if passed.