Facebook’s rhetoric on misinformation doesn’t match its actions

Facebook has said it finds claims that survivors of a violent tragedy are actually actors duping the public to be “abhorrent.” The company has said that content with such claims violates its community standards, and has pledged to remove such posts.

But when contacted by CNN over the last week about two InfoWars videos on Facebook which strongly suggest survivors of the Parkland shooting were acting, the company chose to leave the videos online.

…The company has pledged to tackle the issue of false news and misinformation, but it has allowed pages like InfoWars that produce such content to remain on the platform and to escape punitive measures it says are in place to stop bad behavior.

…Facebook has failed to affix much of InfoWars’ conspiratorial and false content with fact checks. A Facebook spokesperson said when a piece of content is fact-checked, it is demoted and its audience is reduced by about 80% on average.

…In a video it created in May promoting its efforts to combat misinformation, Facebook specifically pointed to PizzaGate, a fringe right-wing conspiracy theory that falsely linked top members of the Hillary Clinton team to an underground child sex ring, calling it “dangerous.” But multiple posts on InfoWars’ Facebook page share the theory — and do not appear to be affixed with a Facebook fact check. Nor was one added after CNN brought the posts to Facebook’s attention.

…On Wednesday, when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg attempted to explain Facebook’s position on the matter, he gave new fuel to the controversy by saying he did not know if Holocaust deniers intended to deceive others when sharing Holocaust-denying material. Zuckerberg later walked back his comments.

Facebook’s rhetoric on misinformation doesn’t match its actions



Mueller team wants to talk to ‘Manhattan Madam’

Davis, who went to jail as a part of the scandal surrounding former Democratic New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, has worked for Roger Stone, an outside political adviser President Donald Trump. They are close — Stone is the godfather to Davis’ son.

The same source said Davis did clerical and website work for Stone.

Mueller team wants to talk to ‘Manhattan Madam’ – CNNPolitics


My Great-Grandfather, the Nigerian Slave-Trader

“Are you not ashamed of what he did?” I asked.

“I can never be ashamed of him,” he said, irritated. “Why should I be? His business was legitimate at the time. He was respected by everyone around.” My father is a lawyer and a human-rights activist who has spent much of his life challenging government abuses in southeast Nigeria. He sometimes had to flee our home to avoid being arrested. But his pride in his family was unwavering. “Not everyone could summon the courage to be a slave trader,” he said. “You had to have some boldness in you.”

…During the ceremony, I was overwhelmed with relief. My family was finally taking a step beyond whispering and worrying. Of course, nothing can undo the harm that Nwaubani Ogogo caused. And the ohu, who are not his direct descendants, were not invited to the ceremony; their mistreatment in the region continues. Still, it felt important for my family to publicly denounce its role in the slave trade. “Our family is taking responsibility,” my cousin Chidi, who joined from London, told me. Chioma, who took part in Atlanta, said, “We were trying to make peace and atone for what our ancestors did.”

My Great-Grandfather, the Nigerian Slave-Trader | The New Yorker


Michael Cohen recorded Trump discussing payment to ex-Playboy model

The FBI is in possession of a recording between President Donald Trump and his former personal attorney Michael Cohen in which the two men prior to the election discuss a payment to a former Playboy model who has alleged an affair with Trump.

…Part of the criminal investigation of Cohen by the US attorney’s office has examined possible election law violations related to payments made to women who alleged sexual encounters with Trump. One focus of the searches in April, CNN has reported, was to seek records on Cohen’s payments to Daniels, who has alleged such an encounter, and on an agreement set up between McDougal and American Media Inc., the company that owns the National Enquirer tabloid and whose chairman and CEO is a close friend of Trump.

Michael Cohen recorded Trump discussing payment to ex-Playboy model – CNNPolitics


Woman harassed over Puerto Rican flag shirt says officer “blatantly ignored” her pleas for help

Irizarry, a veterinary technician, said Friday Trybus and two other people were sitting in a picnic shelter for which she had purchased a permit, so she approached them and asked them to leave. Trybus asked her twice if the flag on her T-shirt was a Texas flag, she said, and she replied both times that it was a Puerto Rican flag.

That’s when she said Trybus moved closer to her and stepped on a table.

…In the video, Trybus is seen telling Irizarry not to wear a T-shirt celebrating Puerto Rico if she’s an American citizen — despite the fact that Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens.

…Officer Connor then arrived, but the video shows he didn’t intervene even as the Trybus invaded Irizarry’s personal space and continued to harangue her as she asked for assistance.

…Her cousin, who had stepped away before the encounter, returned from the car and intervened. At that point the officer told the cousin to step back. 

…Cook County Commissioner Luis Arroyo called the video of “appalling, gut-wrenching, and a real wake-up call to everyone.” 

…The officer “embarrassed many of our law enforcement officers and tarnished the whole department with his failure to act,” Arroyo said.

….Irizarry said she finds the actions of Trybus and the officer “equally offensive.” She said she was “severely disappointed” that the officer stepped down from the force before he explained his motivations.

“I will never get to hear from this man, this protector, the reason for why my safety — no, my life — had such little value to him,” Irizarry said. “Why an American citizen would not reap the benefits of the police force when it was most needed.”

…Irizarry called the officer a “coward” for resigning.

“I just want justice for the whole thing, and I want the ex-officer to really be held accountable, whatever that looks like,” Irizarry said. “Of all the people who have apologized to me, the one person that hasn’t is him.”

Woman harassed over Puerto Rican flag shirt says officer “blatantly ignored” her pleas for help – CBS News