For months now, political observers have believed that something fishy was going on in the realm of democratic social media.
Certain aspects of this tomfoolery are fairly obvious: Google’s blatant burying of certain stories, Facebook’s algorithmic malfeasance, and Reddit’s shadow banning all come to mind.
But Twitter is another animal altogether. This real-time platform could very well be one of the most important tools that Americans have when it comes to protecting the First Amendment and, thusly, preserving our democracy.
That is why it is of the utmost importance that we remain vigilant to any and all egregious behavior by the blue bird posse.
Geoff Golberg from Medium.com has done just that, by exposing how democratically-driven spambots were pushing the narrative that Andrew Yang would beat Donald Trump in a head-to-head race – despite the obvious flaws in that claim.
The #YangBeatsTrump hashtag began trending on Twitter earlier this afternoon after a poll showed President Trump trailing Andrew Yang by 8 points in New Hampshire.
Let’s take a look at some of the more active accounts pushing the hashtag.
Meet “BRI” (@comeatmeehoe), who according to their Twitter bio is from Queens, NY…
“Bri” has tweeted more than 600 times today (September 10th, 2019) and more than 1,600 times over the past 3 days.
Moreover, @comeatmeehoe has retweeted tweets that include #YangBeatsTrump 387 times today (inclusive of retweets, it has tweeted the hashtag a total of 419 times today).
Golberg went on to expose several more of these dubious accounts, concluding:
At the time of data collection, #YangBeatsTrump had clocked around 15K tweets.
It certainly appears that coordinated inauthentic activity has contributed to #YangBeatsTrump trending.
For example, the 4 accounts reviewed in this post have tweeted the hashtag 1,151 times alone! (8% of the 15K tweets).
So, what has this intrepid journalist received for his work?
Democracy is dependent upon the freedom of speech. Period. Twitter’s inability or unwillingness to allow criticism of their platform’s shortcomings is an affront to our freedom and to the American Dream.
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Look Not to Sweden: A Pandemic Failure
From the mid 1930´s though to the early 1990´s, most Western nations planned to be self-sufficient in case of closed borders and wars.
Probably the worst, and most naïve, example is the Kingdom of Sweden. (more…)
Rare, Powerful Idaho Earthquake Raises Alarms About ‘Big One’ as Yellowstone ‘Pulses’
If it’s not one thing, it’s another.
As if we don’t already have enough to worry about, now there are whispers of a possible earthquake-related cataclysm on the horizon.
Nearly the entirety of the world is in the midst of a lockdown the likes of which we’ve never seen in our modern era. Sure, there was the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, but few of us alive today remember much about that, and we are living in an entirely different world than that of a century ago.
In the USA alone, there is the possibility of 100,000 deaths – nearly twice as many American casualties as we suffered during the two decades of the Vietnam War.
Now, in the middle of all of this, we have some unusual seismic activity out west to worry about.
A preliminary magnitude 6.5 earthquake rattled Idaho on Tuesday with shaking felt across the region, including Washington state, Utah, Nevada and Canada.
Tuesday’s quake was the strongest in the state since the 1983 Borah Peak earthquake and reportedly killed two people. This earthquake was so strong that the eruptions of Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park were noticeably longer.
It is that last bit about Yellowstone that has some folks worried.
An area the size of Chicago in Yellowstone National Park has been inflating and deflating by several inches over the past decade
The Norris Geyser Basin, the oldest, hottest and most dynamic thermal area in the park, was observed to rise 5.9 inches each year from 2013 to 2015 – an unusual event that left researchers baffled.
Now, using satellite radar and GPS data, experts have determined the ground deformation was caused by magma intrusions trapped below the basin’s surface.
As magma made its way to the surface, the pressure pushed rocks above it up and created an erratic pulsating effect, according to National Geographic.
The Yellowstone Caldera has been fodder for conspiracy theorists and doomsday prophets for years, with many believing that the entire region could one day erupt violently, in what would trigger a mass extinction event here on planet earth.
We Told You So
On February 26, the world was warned about the growing extent of the Coronavirus. Our Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) company, IA Analytica tweeted;
“OSINT analysis: Coronavirus will be declared global Pandemic. All of Europe & U.S. will be infected. Our simulation also suggests that the Pandemic will expand into Africa and SE Asia and run for about two years. Potential risk that the current virus strain will mutate.” @analyticaia (more…)
Soros Wants Zuckerberg Removed from Facebook for ‘Helping’ Trump Reelection Efforts
Soros is apparently ignoring the years of conservative censorship that the platform has engaged in.
There are some folks who are just far too removed from reality to make sense of what they are saying. Liberal billionaire George Soros may very well fit into that category.
Soros has an immense amount of wealth, that’s for certain. He’s not like you or I in that regard. Instead, the Hungarian leftist lives in the ivory towers of the world, as part of the infamous 1%.
This distance between Soros and the rest of humanity was on full display this week.
The Daily Mail reports that leftist billionaire George Soros has called for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg to be removed from their positions at the company as he believes they are “helping Trump get re-elected” by refusing to fact check political ads.
In a letter to the Financial Times, Soros accused Zuckerberg and Sandberg of having a “mutual assistance agreement” with Trump that would “help him get re-elected.” Soros made similars claims in an op-ed published in the New York Times earlir this month titled “George Soros: Mark Zuckerberg Should Not Be in Control of Facebook.” Soros discussed the social media giant Facebook and stated that he doesn’t believe the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg — who controls 53 percent of voting shares of Facebook — should be in charge of the platform.
What’s missing from Soros’ comment is context, however.
Facebook has been working diligently over the course of the last several years to subvert conservative viewpoints, both by employing algorithmic adjudicators and human censors alike. There is no conspiracy to have Trump reelected, not by a long shot, but Soros is far too removed from the regular world to understand this.
Parody Video of Pelosi Tearing SOTU Speech Stays Online Despite Democratic Protests
Facebook doesn’t care about your feelings, and that has irked the Democrats to no end.
Tuesday night’s State of The Union address was one for the history books, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attempting to steal the spotlight from President Trump at the event’s conclusion.
With the rip heard ’round the world, Pelosi fomented her place in the pantheon of the progressive “resistance”, tearing a gifted copy of the President’s address in half while the rest of the chamber politely applauded the achievements outlined by Trump in the speech. The moment immediately went viral, with predictably divided opinions as to how the gesture fits into the national narrative.
Many saw the act as a show of disrespect for those whom the President lauded during the State of The Union address itself, including a member of the fabled Tuskegee Airmen.
Now, an edited video that made it appear as though the ripping stunt was in direct relation to the celebration of the brave service member is making the rounds online, and the left is helpless to stop its spread.
Within hours, the speaker’s office was demanding both social media companies remove the video, arguing it was unfair to Pelosi, who actually stood and applauded the airman during the speech.
Both Facebook and Twitter decided against removing the Trump video, although the companies cited different reasons for their decisions.
The dispute became public Friday when Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, posted a link to a criticism of the video Friday afternoon, writing “The latest fake video of Speaker Pelosi is deliberately designed to mislead and lie to the American people, and every day that these platforms refuse to take it down is another reminder that they care more about their shareholders’ interests than the public’s interests.”
The argument turned fierce in a hurry.
Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesman, replied to Hammill on Twitter: “Sorry, are you suggesting the President didn’t make those remarks and the Speaker didn’t rip the speech?”
Hammill fired back: “What planet are you living on? This is deceptively altered. Take it down.”
Critics of Facebook have repeatedly chastised the platform for allowing misleading content, which often remains on the site for the purpose of financially capitalizing from the controversy that it creates.
Teen Shocks NASA by Finding New Planet 3 Days Into Internship
A New York high school student shocked the scientific establishment by identifying a new planet only three days into his internship.
A New York high school student shocked the scientific establishment by identifying a never before seen planet only three days into his internship.
Wolf Cukier, 17, was interning at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland last year when he uncovered what became known as TOI 1338 b — a planet orbiting two stars instead of one, Yahoo News reports.
The teen caught the telltale signs of a planet while reviewing data captured by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), NASA said.
“I was looking through the data for everything the volunteers had flagged as an eclipsing binary, a system where two stars circle around each other and from our view eclipse each other every orbit,” Cukier said. “About three days into my internship, I saw a signal from a system called TOI 1338.”
“At first, I thought it was a stellar eclipse, but the timing was wrong. It turned out to be a planet,” he added.
The teen chalked up some scientific firsts with his identification:
TOI 1338 b is the first circumbinary planet discovered by TESS, according to NASA. The planet is around 6.9 times larger than Earth — nearly the size of Saturn — and lies in a system 1,300 light-years away in the constellation of Pictor.
The world orbits the two stars every 95 days, the agency said. One star is about 10 percent bigger than our sun, while the other is a cooler and dimmer M dwarf that is only a third of our sun’s mass.
Cukier likened his discovery to the Star Wars planet, Tatooine.
“I discovered a planet, which has two stars that orbit around. So, if you think to Luke’s homeworld, Tatooine, from Star Wars, it’s like that. Every sunset, there’s going to be two stars setting,” Cukier said.
The high schooler joked that the rest of his internship didn’t live up to its first 72 hours.
“Funny thing is, I didn’t find anything else for the rest of the internship, even though I found one on like day three,” he said.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.
FBI Issues Warning Over Black Friday Television Sales, Citing Cybersecurity Risk
It might not be your fellow shoppers that you need to worry about.
If we’re being honest, Black Friday might be one of the most disturbing pop culture events in the United States.
It’s consumerism run rampant, and it reeks of excess in ways that few other materialistic machinations do. It’s a declaration to the rest of the world that Americans are so focused on what they have, that they are willing eschew their own morality to get more for less.
Witnessing the inevitable violence and chaos of these Black Friday events can be more than a little bit disheartening, and there are certainly dangers to be had for those foolish enough to brave the doorbuster madness.
But what if it were the items themselves that you need to be wary of, and not the lesser inclinations of your rival shoppers?
The FBI’s Portland, Oregon, field office shared some tips this week for anyone who needs to secure a smart TV.
Some models of smart TVs include built-in cameras. They can be used for video chatting with friends and family, and some can let the TV recognize who is watching and suggest programming based on their past preferences.
To prevent being a victim of hackers via your new television, the FBI has a few tips for would-be buyers.
Because each smart TV is different, owners should search for the exact model number online and words like “microphone,” “camera” and “privacy” to learn how to control those features.
Don’t leave security settings on the default option and chance passwords if possible. It’s also a good idea to check how to turn off microphones, cameras and personal data collection ahead of making a purchase, and considering a different model if they can’t be turned off.
A piece of black tape can help when a camera can’t be turned off.
Check whether the manufacturer can and whether it does update the device with security patches.
The FBI is also concerned that some smart TV’s could be used as a sort of backchannel into accessing your home router and wifi, which could lead to any number of issues more devastating than unwanted camera access.
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