“The way this happened took us off guard. An individual on Facebook decided to report several hundred of these accounts as fake. These reports were among the several hundred thousand fake name reports we process every single week, 99 percent of which are bad actors doing bad things: impersonation, bullying, trolling, domestic violence, scams, hate speech, and more—so we didn’t notice the pattern. The process we follow has been to ask the flagged accounts to verify they are using real names by submitting some form of ID—gym membership, library card, or piece of mail. We’ve had this policy for over 10 years, and until recently it’s done a good job of creating a safe community without inadvertently harming groups like what happened here.”—
From Facebook’s apology to the LGBT community for its treatment of hundreds of people—including drag queens, transgender individuals, and others—who found themselves kicked off the social network due to the company’s real-name policy.
The company’s going to change its policy. The jerk who reported these people goes unnamed.
“The Internet is not broken, and does not need to be fixed. Left-wing extremists have been crying wolf for the past decade about the harm to the Internet if the federal government didn’t regulate it. Not only were they wrong, but the Internet has exploded with innovation. Do not regulate the Internet. The best way to keep it open and free is what has kept it open and free all along—no government intervention.”—
There’s an organization out there called American Commitment that is preying on stupid people who see things through Amurikkah-tinted glasses by reframing the debate on net neutrality into a “government takeover” of the internet. If you are one of the 2.4 million people who signed this petition, you are among the 2.4 million stupidest people in the country. Just thought I should tell you so you can learn to embrace your stupidity and realize that you’re letting some jackasses paid for by the Koch family feed your brain with mind-numbing bullshit.
May you see the error of your ways and spend a couple of minutes researching the jerks that are brainwashing you. Thanks. — Ernie @ SFB
“It’s a very big, epic sci-fi movie. This isn’t a movie with a bunch of lines running around the page. We’re not giving feet to the geometric shapes.”—They’re making a movie based on Tetris for some reason. The director is the guy who did Mortal Kombat.
“Some schools, such as Princeton and Harvard, have fewer than five veterans in their undergraduate student bodies.”—The Ivy League has pretty much been off-limits to vets, though there are a couple nonprofits working on that.
“We’re so busy worrying about the CMYK hue of the flowers that we’re failing to actually notice if the flower smells like a rose or like a corpse flower.”—Catching up to the Ello hype today, and so I ranted about it on Ello. May the thinkpiece die a short, painful death.
“The only, and essential, characteristics of parody are, on the one hand, to evoke an existing work while being noticeably different from it and, on the other, to constitute an expression of humour or mockery.”—The European Copyright Directive, taking effect in the U.K. October 1, finally makes it OK for British comedians to parody stuff without having to worry about the risk of a lawsuit from the copyright-holder. Not allowed, though, are parodies that convey “a discriminatory message”—i.e., no racism.
The tech firm Cloudflare just made the internet a helluva lot safer today, and at the cost of short-term profits, even. More details:
The team at CloudFlare is excited to announce the release of Universal SSL™. Beginning today, we will support SSL connections to every CloudFlare customer, including the 2 million sites that have signed up for the free version of our service.
This morning we began rolling out the Universal SSL across all our current customers. We expect this process to be complete for all current customers before the end of the day. Yesterday, there were about 2 million sites active on the Internet that supported encrypted connections. By the end of the day today, we’ll have doubled that.
4,700the number of days since January 1, 1978 that both chambers of Congress have been in session at the exact same time, out of 13,000-plus total days. To put that another way, Congress works a little fewer than half of all weekdays on average—and they really like taking Fridays off. source
Esquire ties one of the darkest stories it has ever written, a tale about an unknown man who jumped from the North Tower of the World Trade Center 13 years ago, with another story of weighty importance—the murders of James Foley and Steven Sotloff by Islamic State. Its goal—to create something positive from both experiences through a paywall, all proceeds from which will go to a scholarship in Foley’s name.
Tom Junod’s “The Falling Man” has been read by nearly 20 million people since we first published it in September 2003. It’s the story behind a single image from September 11th that struck such a raw and terrifying nerve that it was almost immediately banished from public view. It came immediately to mind when photos and video of James Foley’s beheading by ISIS began circling the globe, followed two weeks later by the devastating video of Steven Sotloff’s murder. We wondered whether there was something we could do to honor their courage as journalists. And that’s when we came back to those 20 million readers.
We’ve teamed up with Creatavist and Tinypass on a fundraiser to sell a re-issue of “The Falling Man,” with a new introduction about James Foley. All revenue will go to the James Foley Scholarship Fund at Marquette University’s Diederich College of Communication. Our audacious goal is to raise $200,000, enough to cover a full four-year scholarship. We may fail miserably, or we might surprise ourselves. Either way, we hope you’ll help.
For those who don’t have $3.99 to offer, the paywall is optional.
“You are not safe. You need to get out of where you are as soon as possible before these people harm you. Thank you for inventing Bitcoin.”—Someone appears to have hacked Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto’s account on the PHP Foundation website, leading to a cryptic message claiming that the anonymous enigma has been doxxed. (Nakamoto first posted his idea for Bitcoin on the site back in 2009, then disappeared shortly thereafter.) Clearly, Leah McGrath Goodman did it.
The Justice Department intends to launch a civil rights investigation of the entire Ferguson, Missouri, Police Department, according to administration officials.
An announcement of the investigation is planned for Thursday.
With the help of the FBI, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division has been investigating last month’s fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager, Michael Brown, who was wounded several times by a Ferguson police officer. The shooting touched off several days of sometimes violent protest.
But this new investigation would be much broader, looking at the conduct of the entire Ferguson Police Department over the past several years.
The Justice Department will also look at the practices of the county police department, but that will be a more cooperative investigation, an administration official said.
The wide scope of this investigation is a big deal.
“As soon I started to move it, she just full force, blasted the seat back, right on the laptop, almost shattered the screen. My laptop came flying onto my lap.”—James Beach, the man who used the “Knee Defender” on a reclining airline passenger and caused a plane to divert its flight path, tells his side of the story.
The militant group released a gruesome new video on Tuesday
This comes a week after Steven Sotloff’s mom pleaded with Islamic State to let her son go. Just awful. Don’t post it. Don’t even look at it. Don’t give them what they want. And don’t buy the New York Post or Daily News tomorrow.
$1.4Mthe size of the sign-on bonus Eric Cantor received for joining a Wall Street bank after resigning from Congress. It’s part of a $3.4 million compensation deal with the investment bank Moelis. Cantor, the former House Majority Leader, left his post after losing a primary earlier this year. Nice cushion. source
If your iPhone 5 has a sucky battery, this is why:
Apple has determined that a very small percentage of iPhone 5 devices may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently. The affected iPhone 5 devices were sold between September 2012 and January 2013 and fall within a limited serial number range.
If your iPhone 5 is experiencing these symptoms and meets the eligibility requirements noted below, Apple will replace your iPhone 5 battery, free of charge.
My iPhone 5, as it turns out, has a sucky battery. So this excites me.
This morning, The New York Times published a piece declaring Ferguson shooting victim Mike Brown to be “no angel.”
Keep that in mind when you’re reading this Washington Post piece, which points out that Darren Wilson, who shot Brown, had been on a police force so tarnished by racism allegations—not unlike the ones already facing Ferguson’s police force—that it had to disband.
The small city of Jennings, Mo., had a police department so troubled, and with so much tension between white officers and black residents, that the city council finally decided to disband it. Everyone in the Jennings police department was fired. New officers were brought in to create a credible department from scratch.
That was three years ago. One of the officers who worked in that department, and lost his job along with everyone else, was a young man named Darren Wilson.
“She got a free drink from the previous customer. She was happy about that. But she didn’t want to pay for the next patron.”—A Florida Starbucks manager, on the woman who decided to break a 10-hour-long string of paying it forward, by choosing not to pay for the drink of the person behind her. Enjoy your free coffee, lady.
“So ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday, and for what they do every single day. ISIL has no ideology of any value to human beings. Their ideology is bankrupt. They may claim out of expediency that they are at war with the United States or the West, but the fact is they terrorize their neighbors and offer them nothing but an endless slavery to their empty vision, and the collapse of any definition of civilized behavior.
And people like this ultimately fail. They fail, because the future is won by those who build and not destroy and the world is shaped by people like Jim Foley, and the overwhelming majority of humanity who are appalled by those who killed him.”—From Obama’s statement on the killing of James Foley.