Freedom of speech in the digital age - "Speech that disseminates ideas is more valuable than speech whose purpose is to intimidate others." [more inside]
"We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we've sucked at it for years. It's no secret and the rest of the world talks about it every day. We lose core user after core user by not addressing simple trolling issues that they face every day. I'm frankly ashamed of how poorly we've dealt with this issue during my tenure as CEO. It's absurd. There's no excuse for it. I take full responsibility for not being more aggressive on this front. It's nobody else's fault but mine, and it's embarrassing."Twitter CEO Dick Costolo addresses the platform's persistent harassment issues in an internal memo.
On Monday, the Supreme Court (with a recovering Ruth Bader Ginsburg) will hear argument in Elonis v. United States, a case where a man was convicted for posts and messages on Facebook that prosecutors treated as threats of actual violence. (trigger warning: descriptions of violence) [more inside]
Thanks To That Shirt, We May Get a Shirt Celebrating Women In Science by Mika McKinnon for io9:
"Along with [the newly-designed shirt] provoking quite a few giggles, Elly Zupko, the woman behind the design has been talked into trying to make the shirt for real with the intention of donating proceeds to science diversity programs. She's soliciting names and images of women in science who should be featured on the fabric. Zupko has a lot of logistics to figure out, but she's enthusiastic and buoyed by the support of others eager to celebrate the wide diversity of women in science who have contributed so much over the years. If all goes well, the take-away of this mess will be the Project Scientist for the another incredible space mission wearing another shirt covered in ladies, but this time celebrating them instead of objectifying them.[more inside]
"While we still live in a sexist society, any woman who sticks her head above the parapet will encounter misogynistic abuse."
"You should have your tongue ripped out." Female bloggers speak out about misogynist comments, rape threats and death threats. [more inside]
American academic Frances Fox Piven has been heavily criticised by Glenn Beck as a threat to the American way of life. She is not for turning.
You are more likely to be killed by a pig than a shark. You run a greater risk of dying from an asteroid impact than a terrorist attack. You would have to fly an average of 38,000 years in commercial aviation before suffering a fatal crash. The fears parents have for their children have nothing in common to what will actually kill or hurt them. Our perception of risk has very little relation to threat: some helpful visual guides [PDF] and reasons why.
The FBI has released their extensive files on US Senator Edward M. Kennedy to the public, covering their relationship with him between 1961 and 1985. The seven files, totaling more than 2,200 pages of documents reveal (among other things,) the perhaps unsurprising news that the late Senator received "scores" of death threats from radical groups, including the Ku Klux Klan, “Minutemen” organizations, and the National Socialist White People’s Party. The release was initiated by a Freedom of Information Act Request from Judicial Watch on May 3, 2010, (Complaint pdf) but the FBI gave the Senator's family the "rare opportunity" to raise objections before releasing the file.
DHS's CyberStorm-- --Recognizing the imminent threat hippies and assorted leftists obviously pose to us all, a massive cyber terror simulation (international and involving 115 organizations) recently came to light: ...The attack scenario detailed in the presentation is a meticulously plotted parade of cyber horribles led by a "well financed" band of leftist radicals who object to U.S. imperialism, aided by sympathetic independent actors. At the top of the pyramid is the Worldwide Anti-Globalization Alliance, which sets things off by calling for cyber sit-ins and denial-of-service attacks against U.S. interests. WAGA's radical arm, the villainous Black Hood Society, ratchets up the tension on day one by probing SCADA computerized control systems and military networks ...
Eighth grader Anthony Soltero shot himself on Thursday, March 30, after the assistant principal at De Anza Middle School told him that he was going to prison for three years because of his involvement as an organizer of the April 28 school walk-outs to protest the anti-immigrant legislation in Washington. The vice principal also forbade Anthony from attending graduation activities and threatened to fine his mother for Anthony's truancy and participation in the student protests." Anthony was learning about the importance of civic duties and rights in his eighth grade class. Ironically, he died because the vice principal at his school threatened him for speaking out and exercising those rights," ...
Liberal comedian sues blogger. Spread the word.
Integrated Planning Guidance, Fiscal Years 2005-2011 --a Dept. of Homeland Security document outlining groups to watch out for in the coming years completely omits rightwing and militia groups and individuals as a threat. Clearly listed in the document? ELF and ALF--leftwing groups that destroy property, but have never murdered, unlike Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph and the many others who have arsenals and plenty of hatred, and have already proven themselves killers.
Have a good day Ms. Beyer! "Before you are rude to another telemarketer, you should keep in mind that he or she has your phone number and your address." Texas Telemarketer sends a threatening letter to a hanger-upper.
Another salvo in the growing culture war. PABAAH (Patriotic Americans Boycotting Anti-American Hollywood) takes on Skinny Puppy and college radio. College radio mostly yawns; Some fans resort to bad language and idle threats, a few others offer highly eloquent and reasoned replies.
Mel Gibson wanted Frank Rich's bloody entrails on a stick, wanted to kill Rich's dog. But now... In the buildup to his new film, Mel Gibson said, about Frank Rich, "I want to kill him. I want his entrails on a stick I want to kill his dog" (The New Yorker, September 15) . Any american non-celebrity teenager who uttered such threats would have been immediately arrested, interrogated, and forced to submit to lengthy counseling. Yet to right wing US press media, it seems, the "entrails" threat was immaterial. Indeed, chirps WorldNet's Barbara Simpson, "Gibson is the bravest man in Hollywood. Perhaps, he's the bravest in the country....Gibson's hell has been very public. " Now, on Leno, Mel has granted Rich forgiveness and absolution for Rich's sin of criticizing "The Passion" : "You try to perform an act of love even for those who persecute you", said Gibson to Leno.
Interesting Debka post re: Al-Queda and a scheduled nuking on 2/2/04 of NYC. Supposedly the original web site was removed from the Internet by the FBI.
Cheer for Bush, or face arrest, OSU grads informed. A first person account of how Bush's speech at the Ohio State Graduation today resembled nothing so much as a fascist rally - as graduates who had planned to protest by simply turning their backs to Bush during his speech were informed that if they did so they would be arrested and expelled (no diploma). Inside the stadium, crowds of Bush suppporters had been bussed in from miles away. And everyone was instructed to cheer loudly for the president.
Felt threatened since 9/11? Take this survey. It attempts to link our perception of threats with our exposure to particular media -- good approach, unlike some other 9/11 surveys.
The Columbus Day Threat "Let the whole world know that we shall never accept that the tragedy of Andalusia be repeated in Palestine," Osama bin Laden said in his taped cave-side address. "We cannot accept that Palestine will become Jewish." Reuven Koret's Israel Insider column may explain the FBI's alert to terrorist activity: "Columbus Day, October 12, commemorates the founding of America in 1492, and 1492 represents the year in which Islam was driven out by Christianity. In bin Laden's mind, these two events are inextricably linked."
Good breakdown of complex free speech case in Canada involving student's threat speech, famous writers (e.g. King, Atwood). (from wood s lot)
October Coffee Crisis. Montreal Gazette: "In its communiques, the BAF warned that Second Cup franchises were to be 'in the line of fire' and warned of an escalation of violent acts if Second Cup and other chains insist on keeping their trademark English names." More Trudeau nostalgia?