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Facebook touts fight on fake news, but struggles to explain why InfoWars isn't banned

jwz
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If you work for Facebook, quit.

After a short presentation showcasing Facebook's efforts to fight misinformation, John Hegeman, the head of Facebook's News Feed, and Sara Su, a Facebook product specialist for News Feed, took questions from reporters.

When asked by this reporter how the company could claim it was serious about tackling the problem of misinformation online while simultaneously allowing InfoWars to maintain a page with nearly one million followers on its website, Hegeman said that the company does not "take down false news."

"I guess just for being false that doesn't violate the community standards," Hegeman said, explaining that InfoWars has "not violated something that would result in them being taken down."

Hegeman added, "I think part of the fundamental thing here is that we created Facebook to be a place where different people can have a voice. And different publishers have very different points of view."

While publishers may certainly have a different point of view, InfoWars is no ordinary publisher, and the content it produces does not just offer "different points of view." The media organization is notorious for spreading demonstrably false information and conspiracy theories on a host of issues, including suggesting that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax staged by child actors. Earlier this year, the outlet smeared student survivors of the Parkland shooting with baseless attacks, portraying them in one video as actors.

Even on Wednesday, before and after Facebook defended its decision to allow InfoWars to operate on its website, InfoWars used the social media platform to spread baseless conspiracy theories. In one video posted to Facebook, InfoWars claimed billionaire George Soros wanted to "seize US voting machines." In another post, InfoWars, which has suggested that the September 11 terrorist attacks were an inside job, asked, "Will Trump expose the truth behind 9/11?"

Previously, previously, previously, previously.

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wmorrell
3 days ago
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«If you work for Facebook, quit.» Truth.
acdha
3 days ago
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Washington, DC
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Scoop: Trump wants tough new Air Force One paint job

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President Trump wants to update the paint job on the next version of Air Force One, ditching the iconic robin's-egg blue (which he calls a "Jackie Kennedy color") for a bolder, "more American" look.

The big picture: Trump rarely gets into the weeds of government negotiations. But he sat down in the Oval Office with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg in February to personally hammer out the $4 billion deal for a pair of replacement 747s for use as Air Force One (the call sign for whatever aircraft the president is on).


Axios has learned that Trump had one specification for the plane that could cause tension with the Air Force and surprise around the world:

  • Trump wants to change the plane's signature blue-and-white look that goes back 55 years, to a redesign of the presidential aircraft by President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy in the early 1960s.
  • We’re told that Trump wants a color scheme that "looks more American" and isn’t a "Jackie Kennedy color." He doesn’t think the current blue (technically "luminous ultramarine") represents the USA.
  • The president's preferred design is believed to include red, white and blue.

"He can do it," said a source familiar with the negotiations, when asked about whether Trump can make the change:

  • But the change could cause friction with the Air Force. We're told some top officers like the current look, which they point out is "known around the world."

Another upgrade: Trump is quite proud of his personal Boeing 757, which he used as his campaign plane:

  • We're told he wants the presidential bed aboard Air Force One to be larger and more comfortable — more like the executive livery package on his personal plane than the current, couch-like sleeping configuration aboard Air Force One.
  • Trump may only get to enjoy his dream ride if he's reelected: The new 747s are very unlikely to be in presidential service before Jan. 20, 2021. Two planes still need to be converted from commercial aircraft into flying White Houses.

When I told presidential historian Michael Beschloss about Trump's plans, he replied: "Why would anyone want to discard an Air Force One design that evokes more than a half-century of American history?"

  • "Every time you see that blue trim and the words 'UNITED STATES OF AMERICA' spelled out in that same typeface as an early version of the Declaration of Independence, it brings back JFK landing in Germany to speak at the Berlin Wall, Richard Nixon flying to China, Ronald Reagan stepping off the plane to see Gorbachev in Iceland and a thousand other scenes of Presidents in our past."
  • "JFK and Jackie Kennedy approved that timeless design (created pro bono by the premier mid-20th century industrial designer Raymond Loewy) to replace an earlier version of Air Force One that had simply said 'MILITARY AIR TRANSPORT SERVICE' and which made conspicuous use of the color orange, which Kennedy rightfully found 'gaudy.'"
  • "It was JFK who chose what Loewy called the 'luminous ultramarine blue' that has appeared on every version of Air Force One (and some other Presidential aircraft) from 1962 on."
  • "Anyone who doubts how strongly Americans feel about the way Air Force One looks should go to the Reagan Library in California and see how many people go there to look at the plane that Ronald Reagan flew on while he was President."
JFK and Jacqueline Kennedy arrive in Houston on November 21, 1963, less than a day before his assassination. (John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, from the collection of Michael Beschloss)
How Air Force One looked under President Eisenhower (1959, before JFK’s 1962 redesign. (U.S. Air Force, from the collection of Michael Beschloss)

Go deeper:

Editor's Note: This article first appeared in my daily morning newsletter, Axios AM. You can sign up here.



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wmorrell
3 days ago
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That concept at the end cannot be right. There's no gold-plating. 45* would never accept something so un-gilt.
wreichard
3 days ago
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Eye roll.
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Wittgenstein's Lion

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wmorrell
6 days ago
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jlvanderzwan
6 days ago
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Wittgenstein's Teenager
tante
6 days ago
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Wittgenstein's Lion
Oldenburg/Germany

RT @shepgo: @NewsBlur @newsblursupport @samuelclay Stylish has been pulled from Firefox & Chrome stores after it was reported to be trackin…

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@NewsBlur @newsblursupport @samuelclay Stylish has been pulled from Firefox & Chrome stores after it was reported to be tracking users.

robertheaton.com/2018/07/02/sty…


Posted by shepgo on Wednesday, July 4th, 2018 8:08pm
Retweeted by NewsBlur on Wednesday, July 4th, 2018 8:10pm


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wmorrell
11 days ago
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Well crap.
wreichard
11 days ago
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WTH.
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denubis
10 days ago
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Sydney, Australia
kazriko
9 days ago
Makes me glad I have very few browser extensions installed. (In this browser? Exactly 1, which is my password manager.)
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It’s a shame that we’re relying on 28 year old Latina waitresses to do all the work of saving us

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This is what I want to see more of. A progressive socialist clobbered a party Democrat in New York. And she did it by focusing on progressive issues.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old Latina running her first campaign, ousted 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th congressional district on Tuesday, CNN projects, in the most shocking upset of a rollicking political season.

An activist and member of the Democratic Socialists of America, Ocasio-Cortez won over voters in the minority-majority district with a ruthlessly efficient grassroots bid, even as Crowley — the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House — outraised her by a 10-to-1 margin.

Look at the shocking message she has sent: Ocasio-Cortez beat Joe Crowley campaigning on Medicare for all, guaranteed jobs and abolishing ICE.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 28, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, ran on issues well outside the mainstream of the Democratic Party, including health care, the environment and criminal justice.

Wait. Those are issues “well outside the mainstream of the Democratic Party”? That just goes to tell you how fucked up the Democrats have become. No wonder they struggle to win elections, when they always strive for Republican Lite candidates rather than aspiring to something genuinely good.

Also, Ocasio-Cortez was working as a waitress a year ago. She was an unknown, ignored by all the major newspapers, and she had far less money than the opposition. She won because of her agenda. This agenda.

When did that become “well outside the mainstream of the Democratic Party”, and if it is, why should I ever vote for a Democrat? I want that to become the Democratic Party platform. I suspect that there are a lot of people who would be surprised to learn that the Democrats think those are foreign ideas.

While they’re absorbing that agenda, could they also add support for labor unions to that list? And reproductive health? That thing is just the start.

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wmorrell
18 days ago
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How They Defend the Indefensible

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You can call it a “policy” (Jeff Sessions) or you can call it a not-policy (Kirstjen Nielsen) or you can call it a “law” (Sarah Huckabee Sanders). You can say that yes it’s a policy but nobody likes it (Kellyanne Conway) or you can say it’s a “zero-tolerance” enforcement of a Democratic law (Donald Trump) or a zero-tolerance enforcement of an amalgam of various congressional laws (Nielsen) or a zero-tolerance enforcement of the Department of Justice’s own preferences with respect to enforcing prior laws (Sessions).

You can say the purpose of the Justice Department’s family separation policy is deterrence (Stephen Miller, John Kelly) or you can claim that asking if the purpose of the policy is deterrence is “offensive” (Nielsen). You can claim in your legal pleadings that the family separation policy is wholly “discretionary” and thus unreviewable by any court, meaning that only the president can change it (Justice Department in Ms. L v. ICE). Or you can claim that only Congress can “fix loopholes” (Nielsen) or you can say that Congress as a whole can’t fix anything because congressional Democrats are entirely to blame (Trump, Mike Huckabee).

You can blame all this newfound “loophole” action on a consent decree from 1997 in a case called Flores (Sessions, Paul Ryan, Chuck Grassley) or on a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that interpreted Flores (Nielsen) or on a 2008 law called the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (Nielsen). Better yet, you can fault some magical mashup of “the law” that forces you to defend every statute to its most absurd extreme (Sanders). By this logic, you can also claim that Korematsu—the case authorizing the removal and detention of Japanese Americans during World War II—is still on the books and thus needs to be enforced because it’s also “the law,” but that would be insane. Oh, but wait. Trump proxies made that very claim during the campaign (Carl Higbie).

You can pretend that by turning every adult who crosses the border into a presumptive criminal your hands are tied, so you need to jail children to avoid jailing children (Nielsen). You can insist that the vast majority of children who cross the border are being smuggled in by gang members (Nielsen) or that all asylum-seekers are per se criminals (which they are not) or that lawful asylum-seekers should just come back at a better time (Nielsen). You can claim you never intended your policy (if it is in fact a policy) to have any impact on asylum-seekers at all (Nielsen) but of course it would turn out you were lying and this has been the plan all along (John Lafferty, Department of Homeland Security asylum division chief).

You can say the Bible wants you to separate children from parents (Sessions). You can say again, incredibly, that the Bible wants you to separate children from parents (Sanders). But that would be pathetic (Stephen Colbert).

You can blame the press for the photographs they take (Nielsen) and for the photographs they don’t take (Nielsen). You can suggest that the children in cages are not real children (not linking to Ann Coulter) or that the cages are not in fact cages (Steve Doocy) even though government officials admit that they are cages. You can claim that the detention facilities are “summer camps” or “boarding schools” (Laura Ingraham). You can take umbrage that the good people of DHS and CBP and ICE are being maligned (Nielsen).

You can say that separating children from their parents is a strategic move to force an agreement on Trump’s wall, which would make the children purely instrumental (Trump). Or you could say that this is a way to protect children by deterring their parents, which would also make the children purely instrumental (Kelly). Or you can instead say you are protecting the children from all the harm that happens to children transported over borders by doing untold permanent damage to them as they scream in trauma (Nielsen). Because the best way to deter child abuse is through child abuse.

You can fight to the death about comparisons to Nazis or you can celebrate a candidate (Corey Stewart) who is a hero to Nazis or you can merely show a staggering lack of comprehension about what Nazis actually did (Sessions).

You can fact check and fact check and fact check these claims and it won’t matter that they are false. And the fact that nobody in this administration even bothers to coordinate their cover stories at this point reflects just how pointless it is to fact check them anyhow. It’s an interactive game of choose your own logic, law, facts, and victims, but every single version of this story ends with screaming children in cages, sleeping under foil blankets as strangers change their diapers. The trick is twisting and dodging and weaving until you get to that final page.

It is very sad (Melania Trump). Something should be done (Ted Cruz). If only there were some mechanism to stop torturing children. If only there were some way to stop litigating why we’re doing it and who is doing it and just stop doing it.



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wmorrell
25 days ago
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If only.
popular
24 days ago
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wreichard
26 days ago
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Earth
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skorgu
24 days ago
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GOP. Delenda. Est.
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