A 12-year-old conservative boy from Georgia says he’s been kicked off Facebook after posting a fiery YouTube video that defends former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s questioning of President Obama’s love of America.
CJ Pearson, whose public Facebook page has more than 22,000 likes — Sen. Rand Paul among them — has made the sensational claims after finding himself suddenly booted, particularly while receiving growing attention for his outspoken, political opinions.
While a Facebook spokesman insists that it’s because of his age, with their terms of service requiring users to be at least 13 years old, the seventh-grader told the Daily News that the social media site appears to have targeted him.
“Due to the fact that approximately 7.5 million kids (under the age of 13) log in to Facebook, I would most definitely have to say the removal of my account was due to partisan politics, rather than actually upholding their actual Terms of Service agreement,” he stated in an email Tuesday while citing figures from a 2011 Consumer Report.
“To me, you either enforce a policy all of the time or not at all. Freedom of speech is a constitutional right that shouldn’t be hindered by any entity, public or private,” he continued.
The passionate middle schooler’s tough words follow his even tougher three-minute video posted on Feb. 21 that’s since amassed more than 1.6 million views and led to his appearance on Fox News.
In it, CJ accuses the President of not loving his country but instead misaddressing the Islamic State’s motives and stealing from the American people.
Category Archives: Facebook
Emoji are the language of our online era, the thumbs-up to a question, the wink to our wit, the peach to our eggplant. They’re a splash of color in black and white communication, conveying things mere words often cannot. We send emoji to improve upon, even expand, our words and bring emotion—affection, frustration, love, anger—to the conversation. Now, like the tweets, posts, and texts that are a crucial part of the way we communicate today, emoji are, finally, getting their due in court. And like everything we love online, it’s complicated, kind of.
Several recent arrests and prosecutions have included, at least in part, emoji. At the beginning of the recent Silk Road trial of Ross Ulbricht, US District Judge Katherine Forrest ruled “the jury should note the punctuation and emoticons” in all evidence. (In the trial, attorneys then, quite literally, said “emoticon” when the symbols appeared in chat conversations.) In a case currently pending before the US Supreme Court, Anthony Elonis, a Pennsylvania man who was convicted for using Facebook posts to threaten his ex-wife, has claimed that a threatening post toward her was clearly meant in “jest” because he included a smiley sticking its tongue out.
None of these cases relied solely on the emoji, of course. Evidence, arrests, and prosecutions are far more complicated than that. But, as social media becomes increasingly important evidence for law enforcement, so too do emoji. When the digital symbol for a gun, a smile, or a face with stuck-out tongue comes up in court, they aren’t being derided or ignored.
So, remember, anything you ; ) can and will be used against you in a court of law – but, that’s true of what you say, too. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Parents can become less sensitive to violence and sex in movies after watching only a few scenes with disturbing content, according to a study published in Pediatrics that was conducted by researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center.
Parents viewed three brief pairs of movie scenes featuring either violent or sexual content. After seeing the first movie clip, the parents thought the minimum age on average to see a movie with that content should be 16.9 years old for violence or 17.2 years old for sex. After watching the sixth and final scene, the parents were more willing to let younger teens see the movies, 13.9 years for violence and 14 years for sex – lowering the minimum age by three years or more.
“We know these scenes are somewhat disturbing to parents,” said Dan Romer, associate director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) and the study’s lead author. “When they first see them, they say you shouldn’t let someone younger than 17 see them – which is comparable to an R rating. But they get more and more accepting of that content as they’re watching it.”
The study “Parental Desensitization to Violence and Sex in Movies,” will be published in the November 2014 issue of Pediatrics. It was made available online on Oct. 20. The findings were based on an online survey of 1,000 parents who have children from ages 6 to 17. The movie scenes came from popular films targeted at youth (PG-13), rated R (under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian) or unrated in DVD versions.
The study comes as scenes of sex and violence become more prevalent in movies aimed at youth. A 2013 study in Pediatrics from APPC researchers showed that the amount of violence in PG-13 movies tripled in the most popular movies since 1985. That study also found that the amount of gun violence in popular PG-13 movies in 2012 actually exceeded that in popular R-rated movies. Another APPC study in Pediatrics in 2013 found that movie violence was associated with sex and alcohol use as often in PG-13 as R-rated movies.
The page in question, is named, “Death to zionst baby killer israeli jews.” The page, which spells “Zionist” incorrectly, features an Image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a vampire with blood dripping down his chin as he feasts on a child. It was started on July 25.
Individuals complaining about the page were greeted with the following message (screen captured below):
We reviewed your report of Death to zionst baby killer israeli jews. Thank you for taking the time to report something that you feel may violate our Community Standards. Reports like yours are an important part of making Facebook a safe and welcoming environment. We reviewed the Page you reported for containing hate speech or symbols and found it doesn’t violate our Community Standards.
Last Thursday, a mob of more than a dozen men assaulted a Jew in his suburban Paris home who had been identified through a French Facebook page that listed the faces and identities of Jews to be attacked. The social network declined to remove the page until after the assault had taken place.
UPDATE: Facebook has since removed the page.
When young Bertrand Might was born, his parents at first thought nothing was amiss. But then they began to worry, as his body appeared to be constantly moving, a state they called “jiggly.” Then, he seemed to be constantly distressed, and the efforts of his father Matt to calm Bertrand “enraged” him. Matt and his wife Cristina had a series of tests done on Bertrand, which first indicated brain damage. Then that theory was ruled out, and more tests suggested Bertrand had a fatal “error in metabolism”. But that hypothesis got nixed too. The whole saga is told by Seth Mnookin in The New Yorker, and you should read it.
After what sounds like an unimaginably difficult time, the parents finally found a team of researchers who found the source of Bertrand’s ills–a mutation in a group of genes called NGLY1 that make an enzyme vital for recycling cellular waste. But the bad news, which the parents already basically knew, was that this was an incredibly rare disease, and nothing could really be done unless more patients were found.
The Mights took action. Matt authored a blog post about his son’s “killer” that went viral. This helped connect him with other patients around the world that also turned out to have NGLY1 mutations, and the Mights, along with another family who has a child with a similar disorder, the Wilseys, have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars funding research on the topic. That culminated in a gathering of NGLY patients at a meeting of the Rare Disease Symposium at Sanford-Burnham earlier this year, which was solely devoted to NGLY1. It’s an inspiring story of parents’ willingness to do anything to help their children, and a demonstration of the immense power–and limitations–of science.
A study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed on the weekend that in January of 2012, Facebook manipulated the feeds of 689,003 English language users, making slight alterations to see if they could change the large scale mood of the populace. The answer was a resounding yes, a terrifying and appalling yes. The most obvious scandal here is that Facebook is willing, just to see how strong it really is, to experiment with its users’ happiness and sadness. But what is most troubling about the PNAS study is the simple fact that a new force for social control has emerged. It makes the powers of previous surveillance states looks negligible. Joseph Goebbels would have rubbed his hands in glee. What Facebook has revealed, with its little experiment, is that Facebook is too important to be left in the hands of Facebook.
Several critics have compared Facebook’s mood experiment with the Milgram experiment. In that famous series of tests, a group of psychologists proved the willingness of people to obey authority by creating scenarios in which subjects believed they were torturing their fellows under the directions of doctors. The Milgram subjects had never agreed to have their evil revealed, and because of the trauma they suffered a series of new protocols that were designed to ensure the ethics of future experiments. The parallels between Milgram and the Facebook experiment are obvious although the scale is much larger: Literally thousands and thousands of people were made to feel slightly worse without their knowledge in order to find out whether they could be made to feel worse.
What are the possibilities of this new reality in which a private company, responsible only to its shareholders, can change the mood of whole populations? The obvious question: Why advertise at all anymore? There is a direct and quantifiable way to change what society feels.
Steve should be happy.
Tech pundit Farhad Manjoo gives us this reason, among others, to rejoice.
Facebook’s latest study proved it can influence people’s emotional states; aren’t you glad you know that? Critics who have long argued that Facebook is too powerful and that it needs to be regulated or monitored can now point to Facebook’s own study as evidence.
This is like telling a woman who was startled by a Peeping Tom while she disrobed, “Aren’t you glad you know that men can see you naked through those venetian blinds? After all, there are some creepy men out there who would love to get a peek at your birthday suit.”
The voyeur could tell the judge, “I was just peering into her bedroom to confirm that she’s at risk of being seen in the buff. I was going to call her the next day to inform her of the threat, which is now much more than conjecture.”
After reading Steve’s piece, and then Farhad’s, I’d plunk down $59.99 on a pay-per-view bout to see Green v. Manjoo in a no-holds-barred debate on this topic…and then I’d put all the rest of my nickels on Green in 3.
And that’s when an odd thing happened. As the Wall Street Journal reports, “hours after a shooting rampage in this coastal college town that the alleged gunman said was ‘retribution’ against women who’d rejected him, a woman launched a conversation on Twitter about what it’s like to feel vulnerable to violence. ‘As soon as I reached my teens, I didn’t feel comfortable being outside in the evening on my own street,’ the woman wrote in one of her first posts under a Twitter hashtag called #YesAllWomen.”
#YesAllWomen immediately caught fire. Hundreds of thousands of tweets later, the hashtag emerged as the top trend on Twitter, dominating the Memorial Day weekend. Women from all over the world joined in. “It’s probably one of the most important tags on Twitter yet,” declared Cosmopolitan; on Sunday, Vox.com called it “the most important thing you’ll read today.” Over at the Atlantic, one article declared the #YesAllWomen movement a “sobering reminder of how commonly [women’s] full personhood is denied.” Time, NBC News, and the Los Angeles Times all took approving note.
For certain people, the Internet offers a compelling, powerful alternate universe in which to dwell. Press reports describe the accused murderer as living in a lonely world of YouTube videos, video games, and twisted representations of reality. In his mind, everything—every loss, every perceived failure, every tiny personal slight, real or imagined—was blown out of proportion. Everything was taken personally. Everything, in the end, was all about him and his imagined victimhood.
Scarily, many of the posters on #YesAllWomen, to varying degrees, seem to share the same problem. For all of his hatred of women, the crazed, lonely murderer and the impassioned “feminist” Twitter activists might have something in common after all. Yikes, ladies. Yikes.
“I am who the media says I am. I say what they say I say. I become who they say I’ve become.”—Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope, 2006.
“The White House has effectively become a broadcast company,” says Michael Shaw, publisher of Bagnewsnotes.com, a site dedicated to the analysis of news images. Shaw explains how strategically composed photos, taken by official White House photographers, travel from social media sites that are controlled by the administration to the front pages of newspapers around the world.
The press publishes the official White House photographs because independent photographers and videographers are increasingly barred from covering the president. This practice has diminished the power of the independent media as an exclusive distribution channel while empowering official photographers such as Pete Souza, who are on the presidential payroll.
And so, says Shaw, the public has been fed a steady diet of whatever kind of president the news cycle demands. When conspiracy theorists questioned Obama’s patriotism, we saw images of Obama the American everyman. To celebrate the anniversary of Rosa Parks’ 1955 refusal to move to the back of a public bus in Montgomery, Alabama, we saw Obama reenact her famous image. Time and again, we see Obama striking poses out of John F. Kennedy’s repertoire. The official White House photographers have created a presidential identity for every conceivable occasion—as long as the image is flattering, and almost always, larger than life.
Social media is an effective marketing and informational tool but terrorists are defeated by force, not sternly worded tweets. We’d all like to believe, as the New York Times’s Nicholas Kristof does, that education would defeat Boko Haram in the long run. But an administration that waited years before designated this al-Qaeda affiliate as a terrorist group, and whose “lead from behind” tactics created the power vacuum in Libya that led to it being armed, cannot evade some of the responsibility for the fact that it now operates with apparent impunity.
Like it or not, the West is locked in a long war with Islamist terror. Retreating from Iraq and Afghanistan won’t end it. Nor will détente with Iran or pressure on Israel. It will require patience that democracies often lack and a willingness to maintain both vigilance and an aggressive policy that keeps America engaged even when we’d rather stay at home and tend our own gardens. But most of all it will require Americans, both the ordinary person in the street as well as the Hollywood elite, to understand that incidents like the Boko Haram abduction can’t be isolated from a conflict they would rather forget or pretend was merely a function of Bush administration policy.
So tweet about the girls all you want, Hollywood. But while you’re tweeting about the girls in between attending fundraisers for the president who has weakened our ability to influence events abroad, just remember that if you really want to help the girls and the countless other potential victims of Islamist terror, you need to also support a strong America and the use of force to defend the values we all believe in.