Tag Archives: social media

Podcast #86 with Cory Massimino

Cory Massimino is a Young Voices advocate published this week in Rare, on the topic of immigration & surveillance. He joins the podcast today to share what Homeland Security has been doing on the border to screen immigrants and citizens alike. Is your social media off limits? Find out.

Follow Cory @CoryMassimino and Stephen @Stephen_Kent89

Becoming China’s Surveillance Software Designer Is Consistent With Facebook’s Dangerous Authoritarian Progression

Authoritarian states, hungry for data on dissenters’ habits and eager for new methods of censorship, salivate at the surveillance capabilities of Facebook. And as the social network’s user base approaches one-third of the world’s population, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has evinced a happy willingness to help the authoritarians in their cause.

Over the Thanksgiving week, anonymous sources at Facebook revealed that the tech corporation has developed a content-suppression program which can be used by Chinese authorities to control viewable subject matter.

As Facebook continues to expand, its dedication to corporatized nanny-monitoring may turn it into the Skynet of our age: an all-encompassing technology whose power is restrained only when the program itself decides not to exert that power. By the by, the exercise of such a power has the tremendous potential to amplify the hollow one-mindedness of social media’s homogenous, politically correct user base.

Considering that Facebook may someday reach half the world’s population, its selective smothering of content, ranging from censoring the controversial, for example images of the Prophet Muhammed, to the historical, such as pictures of the Vietnam War, means it will have absolute power over what half the world watches and reads. When Facebook responds to Chinese pressure to censor controversial images like the self-immolation of a Tibetan monk, the concern over its reach is worsened by the realization that China’s oppressors have the ear of Mark Zuckerberg.

Continue reading at Forbes.

Why Prosecutors Shouldn’t Tweet: The Lesson Of Bill Cosby

Libel, imprisonment, or execution: where prosecution is the public concern, the game of social-media Russian roulette is as random as it is dangerous. Ultimately, a defendant’s fate may be determined by a tweet or a Facebook post. Innocence, guilt, these are only trifling concerns.

Just so with Bill Cosby, whose lawyers filed a motion this week objecting to his renewed prosecution, on the basis that a ten-year delay in criminal charges violated his right to a fair trial. Cosby’s objection is one that may become more common, as his defense team and other attorneys acclimate to a persecutory social media climate uninterested in careful inquiry.

Ideally, in situations like this case, prosecutors will abide by the ethical canon that forbids public statements “likely to increase public condemnation of the accused.” In practice, this ethical restraint is seldom exercised.

The solution is for state, city, and federal prosecutors’ offices to institute bans barring their attorneys from using social media.

Why the absoluteness of a complete ban? For the same reason Batson strikes and Brady violations exist: to stack juries based on race, hide evidence from the defense, or taint the public’s view so they’re incapable of objectivity, can irreversibly contaminate a courtroom. As Justice Robert Jackson aptly observed, “[t]he prosecutor has more control over life, liberty, and reputation than any other person in America.” That sort of power shouldn’t go unchecked.

Other figures, like judges, are severely limited in regards to political activity because of their institutional neutrality. But prosecutors aren’t neutral. Practically speaking, most chase the twin goals of winning elections and maintaining high conviction rates. When those goals overlap, justice may emerge stillborn.

Continue reading at The Daily Caller.