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Now That The Election Is Over, Will Republicans And Democrats Learn How To Love One Another?

arguing-public-domainThe 2016 election will be remembered as perhaps the most contentious election in modern American history, and things often got extremely angry and bitter on a personal level. If you spend much time on Facebook or Twitter you know exactly what I am talking about. The vitriol on social media has been off the charts, and there are some people that are actually unfriending anyone that supported the candidate that they were against. This election has also torn apart families, friends and even entire churches. Relationships that took decades to build in some cases are now permanently shattered because of fighting over Trump and Clinton. (Read More...)

Massive Cyberattack Hits America – Will Russia Take Down The Entire Internet If We Go To War?

cyberattack-globe-public-domainWe just learned a very important lesson about how exceedingly vulnerable our Internet truly is. On Friday, three massive waves of cyberattacks took down some of the biggest websites on the entire Internet. Amazon, Twitter, Netflix, Reddit, Etsy, Business Insider, Github, Spotify, the New York Times and the Boston Globe were among the prominent websites affected. Security experts tells us that with each passing month these kinds of attacks are becoming larger and more sophisticated. And most Americans don’t realize this, but nations such as Russia, China and North Korea have been feverishly developing extremely advanced cyberwarfare capabilities. So could a day come when one of our enemies takes down our Internet completely for an extended period of time? (Read More...)

Government Trolls Are Using ‘Psychology-Based Influence Techniques’ On YouTube, Facebook And Twitter

Troll Warning - Photo by GilHave you ever come across someone on the Internet that you suspected was a paid government troll?  Well, there is a very good chance that you were not imagining things.  Thanks to Edward Snowden, we now have solid proof that paid government trolls are using “psychology-based influence techniques” on social media websites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.  Documents leaked by Snowden also reveal that government agents have been conducting denial-of-service attacks, flooding social media websites with thinly veiled propaganda and have been purposely attempting to warp public discourse online.  If we do not stand up and object to this kind of Orwellian behavior, it is only going to get worse and worse. (Read More...)

Has Caitlyn Jenner Become The Most Popular Woman In America?

Caitlyn JennerAt the age of 65, Caitlyn Jenner has become far more famous than Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner ever was.  She is the most high-profile American to ever identify as transgender, and right now she is getting a global tsunami of media attention – most of it extraordinarily positive.  When Caitlyn’s Vanity Fair cover was released on Monday, it was front page news for almost every major news source in the western world.  But it isn’t just the media that is fawning over her.  Within just a few hours, Caitlyn Jenner received more than 100,000 likes on a brand new Facebook page that she set up for her new identity.  On Twitter, the euphoria was even greater.  Within fours hours and three minutes of setting up her new Twitter account, she had a million followers.  That beat the official world record that had previously been held by Barack Obama.  As I write this, she now has more than 2.2 million followers.  So precisely why has Caitlyn Jenner become such an overnight sensation, and could it be possible that she is now the most popular woman in America? (Read More...)

The Worst Trolls On The Internet Are The Government Trolls

Troll Warning - Photo by GilWe have all run into them.  All over the Internet, there are horrible trolls that seem to delight in making life miserable for other people.  But the worst trolls of all are the government trolls.  And thanks to Edward Snowden, we now have some startling new evidence of what really goes on behind the scenes.  According to newly revealed documents, British spy agency GCHQ is manipulating online discussions, infiltrating the computers of specific targets, purposely destroying reputations, altering the results of online polls, and using Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for propaganda and espionage purposes.  If people don’t start getting outraged about this now, the governments of the western world are going to see it as a green light to do even more.  Eventually, it might get so bad that we won’t be able to trust much of anything that we see on the Internet. (Read More...)

New Bill Would Make It Legal To Target Propaganda And “Psychological Operations” Directly At U.S. Citizens

Should it be legal for the U.S. government to spend billions of dollars on propaganda designed to change public opinion in the United States?  Should it be legal for the U.S. government to use television, radio, newspapers, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs and Internet forums to conduct “psychological operations” targeted at the American public?  An amendment that has been added to a new defense bill in Congress would make it legal to target propaganda and “psychological operations” directly at U.S. citizens.  The latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act would overturn the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 and the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 1987.  Those two laws essentially make it illegal for propaganda that is used to influence public opinion overseas to be targeted at U.S. citizens back here at home.  If those two laws are struck down, there will be essentially very few limits to what the U.S. government can do to shape our opinions.  The government would be able to bombard us with propaganda messages on television, on the radio, in our newspapers and on the Internet and there would not even be a requirement that those messages be true.  In fact, just as happens so often overseas, it would likely be inevitable that the government would purposely disseminate misinformation to the American public for the sake of “national security”.  That is why it is imperative that this bill not become law. (Read More...)

The FBI, The CIA, Homeland Security, The Federal Reserve And Potential Employers Are All Monitoring You On Facebook And Twitter

Why is there such a sudden obsession with monitoring what average Americans are saying on Facebook and Twitter?  To be honest, the vast majority of what is being said on Facebook and Twitter is simply not worth reading even if you could understand it.  But for the FBI, the CIA, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Reserve, Facebook and Twitter represent a treasure trove of intelligence information.  Tens of millions of us have compiled incredibly detailed dossiers on ourselves and have put them out there for the entire world to see.  Since the information is public, the various alphabet agencies of the federal government see no problem with scooping up all of that information and using it for their own purposes.  Many potential employers have also discovered that Facebook and Twitter can tell them an awful lot about potential employees.  Social media creates a permanent record that reflects who you are and what you believe, and many Americans are finding out that all of this information can come back and haunt them in a big way.  In the world in which we now live, privacy is becoming a thing of the past, and we all need to be mindful of the things that we are exposing to the public. (Read More...)

Don’t Worry, The Federal Reserve Just Wants To Be Your “Online Friend”

According to CNBC, the Federal Reserve “is planning on monitoring what you say about it on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook”.  Apparently we are not supposed to be alarmed though, because as the CNBC headline states, the Federal Reserve just “wants to be your Facebook friend“.  In fact, the CNBC article says that anyone that feels threatened by the fact that the Federal Reserve will be monitoring what we say on Facebook and Twitter is just “paranoid“.  Well, if it came out that Barack Obama was setting up a system that would identify “key bloggers” and monitor “billions of conversations” on the Internet to see what was being said about him, wouldn’t there be thousands of articles expressing outrage?  Sure there would be.  The Federal Reserve is supposed to be an independent central bank that is above politics.  So why in the world would they need to perform “sentiment analysis” on what is being said about them on “Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Forums and YouTube“?  The Federal Reserve obviously intends to identify the negative things that are being said about it and the specific people that are saying those things.  So is it really being “paranoid” to point out that all of this is more than a little bit creepy? (Read More...)