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Worker-owner at Agaric web development collective, co-author of the Definitive Guide to Drupal 7, and person who gives a damn about justice, liberty, and gaining the most power possible for all people over our own lives.

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benjamin melançon

Yesterday Monika Bickert of Facebook talked at Harvard about content moderation. I fear for we 2 billion using Facebook for communication.

Basic gist is that their protected groups categories are race neutral, their credible calls to violence decisions blind to power imbalances.

Deciding what gets shared or suppressed is a hard job in a group of 2,000. I'm not denying the difficulty for more than 2,000,000,000.

The problem is Facebook's well-spoken, thoughtful head of global policy management doesn't understand how hard or how *important* it is.

Bickert said Facebook relies on news media to keep them aware when their ethical or practical decisions get out of whack.

But humanity relies on Facebook to do a better job allowing a free flow of communication to make facts known when news media fails.

Facebook seems determined to do worse than the news media it and Google are starving to death for want of ad dollars or attention.

Content Facebook usually removes may be allowed when it really becomes a topic of news, Bickert said, to allow people to discuss it.

What if the only way to get an important matter of life or death into the news in the first place is to share it on Facebook?

That was the situation for Korryn Gaines, who shared on Facebook in justified paranoia that police would kill her http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/41298-twenty-three-years-of-resisting-police-brutality-the-life-and-death-of-korryn-gaines

No one at Harvard asked about Facebook permitting authorities to censor inconvenient livestreams while murdering Facebook users.

In the short Q&A time, no one asked a question about the urgent need for Rohingya in Myanmar to be seen on Facebook https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/sep/20/facebook-rohingya-muslims-myanmar

The Rohingya face premeditated mass murder, forced deportation, and theft of their land. Put pressure on Myanmar: https://allrohingyanow.org/

The US needs to stand with the Rohingya just to counter the perception that there is no violence against Muslims we won't do or allow.

Facebook needs to rush to tweak its sharing algorithms to help stop this long-building genocide, let alone avoid suppressing the evidence.

Bickert said the point of Facebook is to connect people with people they don't know. Must be why it now tells me to follow Zuckerberg.

Bickert helps Facebook ensure people feel safe expressing themselves there. Could this please include a commitment to keeping us alive?

Facebook played a minor role in helping misinform us into the Trump regime. Is it obligated to help unite those who would lose health care?

The millions of us dying (even) earlier won't connect and express ourselves. For Facebook's sake, stop ACA repeal https://www.humorlessqueers.com/2017/09/20/all-out-to-stop-graham-cassidy-trumpcare-3-0-e38/

Then ask your public servants in Congress to pressure Myanmar to give the Rohingya their citizenship back.
For background see http://www.rohingyablogger.com/ (via Delete Your Account, https://www.patreon.com/posts/episode-65-14380770 ).

As https://drutopia.org gains power to help people connect and express themselves, we will do better than Facebook.

We need more than Monika Bickert's and Facebook's network of academics to consult with. We need people most affected by oppression in charge.

benjamin melançon

Yesterday Monika Bickert of Facebook talked at Harvard about content moderation. I fear for we 2 billion using Facebook for communication.

benjamin melançon

Whichever Senators you have, CALL to ensure their firm opposition to ANOTHER attempt to deny healthcare to millions https://5calls.org/issue/recT4p3RFsud6rxuf

benjamin melançon

An astute friend pointed out that a main reason Hillary Clinton lost (or that the election was close enough in some states to have it stolen through voter suppression, undercounting of votes in urban areas) is that she did not lie. Promise free college tuition, medicare for all, a ten thousand dollar tax credit for every person— even if she had no intention of trying to deliver any of such thing or honestly believed any left-of-Reagan economic program to be politically infeasible. And she may be more scrupulous than most politicians when it comes to honesty and precision in policy matters. And she may have been trying to strategically sharpen the distinction between her carefully considered policy and reasonable statements and Donald Trump's wild lies (if only the Washington Post's PolitiFact gives her a six point spread over her opponent, surely she must be elected? Mostly false). But I think the main reason is that being true to the extremely wealthy people who support her and form her chosen network of friends and acquaintances was even more important that increasing the odds of being elected. These are the people who have successfully pushed Democrats and Republicans to support so-called Free Trade agreements (capital privileges trojan treaties), financial deregulation, giveaways to insurance companies and countless other unaccountably rich corporations, and, far from expanding medicare, have wanted to privatize social security for a long time and got perilously close in the 1990s under Bill Clinton— see https://www.counterpunch.org/2004/10/30/how-monica-lewinsky-saved-social-security/ and http://www.epi.org/publication/briefingpapers_fixsocsec/ and https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2008/05/29/the-pact-between-bill-clinton-and-newt-gingrich

benjamin melançon

I have never been prouder to not be affiliated in any way with Harvard University than i am today. Spineless craven cowardly fascist bootlickers.

At its highest levels, Harvard chooses CIA prevaricators and torture apologists over courageous truthteller and exposer of war crimes. Chooses rightwing trolls in the media over Michelle Jones.

A local perspective: http://www.cambridgeday.com/2017/09/15/harvard-dishonors-itself-with-rejections-proving-kind-of-institution-it-wants-to-be/

benjamin melançon

One of the United States' many political prisoners was assaulted last week; long past time to release him http://freehermanbell.org/Assaulted.html

benjamin melançon

Black friends & family in NYC who make movies or other TV or film art (or want to!) https://www.blacktvfilmcollective.org/ (via a web dev friend helping)

benjamin melançon

Call on your Congresspeople to oppose HR 620, which blocks enforcement of ADA, the Americans with Disabilities Act: https://5calls.org/issue/recjoK0T59c8ItXeK

benjamin melançon

Harvard routinely has torturers, warmongers, and war criminals as honored lecturers, but the gov't school dean rescinds Chelsea Manning's invite for a day as a Visiting Fellow because she followed the uniform military code and international law and exposed US war crimes— including blatantly callous murder of civilians including Reuters journalists, and for this she herself was subject to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and served time: https://consortiumnews.com/2017/01/25/the-injustices-of-mannings-ordeal/ —and her invitation upset the same torturers, warmongers, and war criminals that Harvard so regularly fetes and fosters.

benjamin melançon

John Conyers (D-MI), introducing Medicare for All to the House since 2003, welcomes Sanders and Senate Democrats https://conyers.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/conyers-applauds-bernie-sanders-senate-introduction-medicare-all