Coffee Talk Sunday

Coffee. Photo by Jonathan Thursfield.

It’s Sunday.

I don’t attend Church, but I do like this song.

My favorite Craig Morgan song…

It’s just fun.

So, coffee a cup number 2 had me traveling to YouTube to pull both videos, and YouTube gave me my typical Disney Live streams, some news, and then I found this…

The footage is from October 1982…I watched the first 6 minutes and the feels. I mean, I was 8 years, and remembered the opening video which was Kim Carnes singing Voyeur. Carnes is most famous for this song…(well, to me this is her most famous song…).

Anyway, after I told my husband, you’ll never guess what I found on YouTube!, I got more coffee, and settled in to find something to talk about today.

Since it’s Sunday, and I was honestly going to save the White House social media thingy shared yesterday for today, I was behind on this weirdly overcast CA Sunday in July. It’s weird cause it’s not blistering hot already, or very humid…

So, we move on to last night when I saw a trend that made me go WTAF, why is this news…

Because it was night, I was on my iPad, that means you get both the trend and the explanation at the same time.

I took this last night via my iPad.

Apparently the “news” came from this quote from this July, 12th, 2021, Politico article.

Biden allied groups, including the Democratic National Committee, are also planning to engage fact-checkers more aggressively and work with SMS carriers to dispel misinformation about vaccines that is sent over social media and text messages. The goal is to ensure that people who may have difficulty getting a vaccination because of issues like transportation see those barriers lessened or removed entirely.

[maybe it was placement, because right under that statement, that clearly says “allied groups” and not the White House, they quote a White House spokesperson.]

“We are steadfastly committed to keeping politics out of the effort to get every American vaccinated so that we can save lives and help our economy further recover,” White House spokesperson Kevin Munoz said. “When we see deliberate efforts to spread misinformation, we view that as an impediment to the country’s public health and will not shy away from calling that out.”

Politico. 07/12/2021.

The article apparently sparked “outrage”, like this…

Operation Butthurt wasn’t alone in their outrage…

Fox News…shocking right, published this article “Critics slam Biden administration’s reported plan to monitor vaccine misinformation in text messages”.

They share the usual suspects in the whole “who can be the more outraged Republican Lawmaker game…”

Side bar: He to the Haw needs to shut the fuck up, I can’t stand him. I hate him with the passion of a thousand burning suns.

Anyhoo, this “outrage” led to fact-checking the “outrage.”

First, we have AP News: False. The DNC has “no ability to access or read people’s private text messages” and is “not working with any government agency (including the White House) to try to see personal text messages,” according to Lucas Acosta, a senior spokesperson for the committee. The DNC does report fraudulent mass texts to SMS aggregator companies when it hears about them, Acosta said.

We pause there, as AP News directs us to one of the authors of the Politico article tweeting attempt to clarify her reporting…

USA TODAY who shared the Fox News linked article above also got in on the fact-checking, reporting that of course he would Tucker “that Fucker” Carlson repeated the claim aka lie, on his show. 🙄

In an email to USA TODAY, Lucas Acosta, the spokesperson for the DNC as seen via the AP fact-check, said the following; Of course the DNC has no ability to access or read people’s private text messages, and we are not working with any government agency, including the White House, to try to see personal text messages.

They go on to quote the email as follows; when the DNC’s counter disinformation program receives complaints or reports of fraudulent broadcast SMSs that we believe violate the text aggregators’ terms of service, we notify the broadcast text platform to help combat this troubling trend.

USA TODAY concludes by explaining; Broadcast SMSs are mass messages organizers send to lists of subscribers. Organizers use third-party applications (known as SMS APIs), like Twilio or Bandwidth, to contact mass audiences via text message on their cellphones. Political campaigns often use broadcast SMSs to reach voters and donors. Many of these SMS APIs prohibit organizers from using their services to send fraudulent messages. 

The gist, the summary of this, campaigns, businesses, use SMS aka text messages in mass, both sides sign up for the other sides mass mailers, and when they see something they don’t like it gets tattled-on aka reported to the cell provider as being bad. And then some IT person or Message monitor has to “investigate” if the text message violated the terms of service.

Alright, so, I’m ten minutes from post date, and should very much stop there, but as I was gathering the tweets for the above, I found this…

First, I note on the record, that I don’t dislike Amy Klobuchar, (I shouldn’t have to note that for the record, but I’m going to anyway), I do dislike, a government person trying to threaten a private business, because they do not like something that private business is legally doing. Illegal activity is different. So, her use of I’m a fan of using antitrust laws as a hammer to get Facebook to remove posts they don’t like, makes my teeth itch.

But, there is more, something not quoted she said is; changing the liability standards when it comes to vaccine misinformation.

That means IMO messing with Section 230 protection which would mean legally speaking Facebook itself would be liable for all the covid-19 deaths. And that is not something I can support.

I think people misunderstand moderation, having done that for 3 plus years now, I can say even for our little corner of the internet; moderation is hard work, we miss things, especially when the spammers get spamming. Removing them, quickly takes work, effort, especially, in the mornings, because I’m busy writing, and we are just a volunteer based blog, who doesn’t have a computer program set to autoblock or auto-remove them. We have to do it, by hand. Well, by using our hands to click the right check-boxes via our mouse. But it’s all manual. We see the post, remove them, or you the user flag them and we remove them that way.

Now imagine trying to filter a billion insta-posts, FB reportedly has over a billion users, all of those status updates, shares, or whatever, cannot be moderated in real-time, a computer has to do it, or software rather has to do it.

They don’t have people reviewing each post, that’s illogical to expect them too. Plus how do you filter out someone’s reporting the misinformation as misinformation?

The cycle goes like this, a person shares some blog post or “report” from somewhere, say Blah.Blah.Blah dot whatever, the headline reads: Barber says a customer got an extra head after getting the vaccine.

Is the headline enough to get the post removed? Or does the content need to be read to see that Blah.Blah.Blah dot whatever, is a satire site, making fun of the misinformed?

So, now, we aren’t talking about software that can detect false claims, we are talking about a human person clicking on the linked Blah Blah Blah site and actually reading the article, which might be “you’ve been Rick Rolled!”

So, does the Rick Rolled post get the boot? Or does it pass the “it’s just a joke post”, standard.

I do understand the issues, hell, I’m dealing with the real consequences of misinformation in my own family, but what can Facebook do, to change it? How can Facebook be made wholly responsible for my family being misinformed?

Shouldn’t we actually focus on the person(s), themselves? The people who believe “door-to-door” vaccination efforts =’s the government is going to force you to be vaccinated? Or the people that believe the vaccine actually changes our DNA? Or the people that believe the data is “fake news,” or whatever the information they are sharing at the time is?

Why does where they share that information matter more than the person(s) actually responsible for spreading the misinformation?

I’m 100 percent in favor of Facebook pulling content unsuitable for their platform, but at the end of the day, that is Facebook’s decision, not mine, not the governments. I can simply delete my Facebook account, or attempt to counter the misinformation with other information.

This is an Open Thread.

P.S., I got super distracted trying to counter disinformation while writing the section of the article regarding disinformation. Cause irony is funny.

About the opinions in this article…

Any opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this website or of the other authors/contributors who write for it.

About Tiff 2186 Articles
Member of the Free Press who is politically homeless and a political junkie.