The California Righteous prevent me from sharing fireworks porn

We’re gearing up for one of the three days per year when it is legal to terrify canines in Florida (July 4, Dec 31, Jan 1; contrast to up north: “All fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts for private residents”).

I posted the two pictures below from the Walmart here in Jupiter, Florida on Facebook with the caption “Safe and Sane’ way to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Florida.”:

The post was removed three days later by Facebook:

Taking a picture inside a Walmart is interpreted as an attempt to buy/trade/sell:

I requested a review and there is no way to tell them “I was not buying or selling anything”. Nor to enter any free text, explanation, or defense. Here are the options:

It looks like Facebook has amped up their moderation in general. Here’s something from earlier the same day:

I certainly don’t remember posting anything nude/sexual, not even pictures of brave Virginia Democrat Susanna Gibson. Facebook is where I post Florida beach scenes, pictures of the kids and Mindy the Crippler, etc. There doesn’t seem to be any way to figure out either the date of the offending nude/sexual post or the content. It’s a totalitarian system in which the accused is supposed to know his crime (updated to “his/her/zir/their crime”).

Here’s the rule:

Other than showing Mindy the Crippler’s naked body, I can’t imagine what they’re talking about.

My recent Facebook posts that haven’t been removed…

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Why isn’t Facebook’s software smart enough to add “you already have a friend with the same name” to scam friend requests?

One popular fraud technique on Facebook:

  • copy some public elements from a profile, e.g., Mahmud Mohammed Ahmed’s
  • create a fake account with the same name and profile image
  • make friend requests of the people who are friends with the real Mahmud Mohammed Ahmed

Quite a few people seem to accept these fake friend requests, not checking to see if they are already friends with Mahmud Mohammed Ahmed. Why isn’t the Facebook software so say “This may be from a fake account; you’re already friends with someone named Mahmud Mohammed Ahmed” and display the profile pictures side by side?

Speaking of profile pictures, why isn’t the Facebook fraud software smart enough to check new accounts to see if anyone by the same name has exactly the same profile images? Maybe there are multiple Mahmud Mohammed Ahmeds out of 8 billion humans, but what are the odds that they look exactly the same and have chosen to dress and pose in the same way for a photo?

It looks as though approximately 10 percent of people will fall for the above scam. Here’s a request from a month ago:

Here’s the real person:

The scammer got 35 friends out of 299.

It’s the third night of Kwanzaa. What do we find on Facebook? A “Professor at … Professor” who purportedly lives in Maryland, but whose profile image seems to be Prof. Prof. Dr. Dr. Maulana Karenga, Ph.D., Ph.D.‘s.

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The profitable side of DEI

“Former Facebook employee pleads guilty to stealing $4 million” (CNN):

An Atlanta woman pleaded guilty to stealing more than $4 million from Facebook while she was an executive at the company.

Barbara Furlow-Smiles who worked as a lead strategist, global head of employee resource groups and diversity engagement at Facebook, Inc., now known as Meta, from about January 2017 to September 2021 according to U.S. Attorney Northern District of Georgia Ryan K. Buchanan’s Office.

“This defendant abused a position of trust as a global diversity executive for Facebook to defraud the company of millions of dollars, ignoring the insidious consequences of undermining the importance of her DEI mission,” said Buchanan in a statement.

That last paragraph is my favorite. The U.S. government employee implies that the mission of DEI, despite its having been found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, is sacred.

The other interesting aspect is that she stole $4 million via expense account fraud. Where can the rest of us get an expense account big enough that $1 million per year in fraud isn’t detected for more than 4 years?

Loosely related… a Maskachusetts Congresswoman says that the Supreme Court is “corrupt”:

Maybe this is why federal employees can ignore the Court’s ruling that the principal objectives and methods of DEI are unconstitutional?

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CDC director highlights the success of a state that ignored CDC advice

From #Science itself:

If we accept the CDC’s premise that humans are in charge of viruses, the map demonstrates that Science-deniers Ron DeSantis (Yale/Harvard grad) and Florida surgeon general Joseph Ladapo (Harvard MD/PhD in Science Denial) are doing a great job in Florida! The people who did the opposite of what the CDC suggested are “doing the best” (if we accept the public health premise that COVID-19 infection/death rates are the appropriate measure of a society’s success).

How could the CDC’s social media nerds not have waited for these data to change before highlighting this map to hundreds of thousands of Americans?

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How’s Twitter doing, one year after Muskification?

It has been a year since Elon Musk took over Twitter. Is that a long enough period to determine which side of the fine line between stupid and clever the acquisition fell on?

After half a year, Elon had cut the number of employees by 80 percent (CNN).

Here’s my 15 minutes of fame on Twitter:

The tweet in context, replying to a tweet from state-sponsored National Public Radio:

Correction: An earlier tweet incorrectly stated there is limited scientific evidence of physical advantage. Existing research shows that higher levels of testosterone do impact athletic performance. But there’s limited research involving elite trans athletes in competition.

The glorious like itself:

Note that Twitter’s software didn’t highlight this to me. Elon Musk was lumped in with “and N others” in the notifications. I probably wouldn’t have noticed my brief moment of Twitter fame if not for the separate notification of the ELON ALERTS tweet.

The financials sound bleak. Despite all of the payroll cuts, the company was losing money as of July 2023 (Reuters).

And, more importantly, how is our democracy doing after a year of being attacked with misinformation? Will the biggest beneficiaries of freedom of speech on Twitter turn out to be supporters of Hamas? In the pre-Musk days, Facebook and Twitter might have prevented the righteous from expressing their hatred of Israel, Jews in general, etc. On the other hand, Facebook doesn’t seem to be censoring anti-Israeli posts. Example:

It is not “misinformation” by Facebook standards to refer to what is happening as “Israel’s war on the people of Palestine” nor to assert that Israel bombed a hospital despite the fact that nobody at Facebook has seen a picture of a bomb crater.

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Who was able to listen to the Ron DeSantis-Elon Musk discussion?

After 3 years of operation, Clubhouse has a 5,000-user/room limit. Zoom offers video as well and limits to 1,000 users for their high-end subscriptions (another 49,000 can listen passively). Elon Musk tried to push the everyone-can-talk-to-everyone software frontier out to 500,000+ users and, at least for me, failed.

Who was able to listen to Ron D and Elon chatting? What did they say?

(I’m not going to cover the Ron DeSantis Presidential campaign too heavily here in this blog, despite the Florida angle, because I don’t think he is prepared to tell Americans what they want to hear (e.g., that they will become richer without working harder) and, therefore, cannot win a general election.)

The Zoom page:

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Why are we afraid of TikTok?

“China says it ‘firmly opposes’ a potential forced sale of TikTok” (CNN):

China said it would “firmly oppose” any forced sale of TikTok, in its first direct response to demands by the Biden administration that the app’s Chinese owners sell their share of the company or face a ban in its most important market.

The comments came as TikTok CEO Shou Chew testified in front of US lawmakers amid mounting scrutiny over the app’s ties to Beijing.

China’s commerce ministry said Thursday that a forced sale of TikTok would “seriously damage” global investors’ confidence in the United States.

Why is TikTok more of a security concern than apps from other countries, which might or might not be backed by China ultimately? TikTok is, at least, obviously prominent and can be monitored carefully. I would think the worst computer security problems are the unknown unknowns.

Separately, is the deeper problem with social media apps that they are addictive, especially for young people? Instead of forcing a TikTok sale, would it be smarter to require all of the social media apps to set a 30-minute daily limit per user? (of course, some addicts could get around this by creating multiple accounts, but those would seem to be edge cases)

I’m not a TikTok user, but I logged in with my Google credentials and gave the app my birthdate (Jurassic!). The algorithm is purportedly awesome, but I didn’t find any videos that I wanted to watch on the default home screen. A search for COVID doesn’t yield anything as brilliant as Adley’s April 20, 2020 explanation of Faucism. A search for “Robinson R44” does not yield better content than on YouTube:

I’m following one friend on TikTok, but he keeps his likes private (and maybe there is no way to share them just with me?) so I can’t use his favorite videos as a gateway into the service.


  1. What’s great about TikTok?
  2. Should we force a sale due to TikTok’s Chinese connections?
  3. Should we use regulation to protect ourselves from ourselves via a 30-minute limit on each social media platform?
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The hate-filled anti-hate folks in Maskachusetts

Shortly after landing in Maskachusetts last month, I posted the following on the Book of Face:

Note that I said nothing about the photo other than that it was taken at Boston’s Logan Airport in early January. Any inferences about the photo or the individual would therefore have to come from the minds of commenters. Here are some of the exchanges with the righteous:

  • anti-hater: Did you ask to take, and then (publicly?!) post, this person’s photo? Since they would be recognizable from this image, I feel very uncomfortable about this post. I’m also wondering what else you are “communicating” by posting this particular photo.
  • me: Thanks for the welcome! In keeping with its reputation as an artistic backwater, Boston does not have a rich tradition of street photography, which is more associated with New York (Helen Levitt; Garry Winogrand), Chicago (Vivian Maier) and Paris (the pioneers, such as Atget). However, the smartphone has democratized this genre and asking permission from each subject isn’t conventional.
  • (anti-hater): interesting. So you’re an aspiring street photographer, and this image is an artistic expression that you feel doesn’t merit consent? Would it be fine for someone to take a picture of your children and post publicly when their interpretive intent seems to be weaponization of an apparent part of your kids’ appearance or other aspect of their identity? C’mon, please entertain embracing more human kindness and general consideration of others than all of this suggests. Especially now that you’ve returned north.
  • me: also, if a photo makes you uncomfortable then it might be art: “Art Should Comfort the Disturbed and Disturb the Comfortable” (various attributions; Cesar A. Cruz is a common one)
  • (anti-hater): sure, but I wonder how comfortable this particular person might be if Philip is outing them in some way they are unaware of. Also, my sense is this post is to poke fun of — not honor or celebrate — freedom of expression. I might be wrong, I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am.
  • (Trump-hating, Biden-loving Manhattan immigration profiteer weighing in): I call bullshit. You took and posted this photo for one reason: to make fun. If this is your art, I’d say it needs work.
  • (Pennsylvania Deplorable): You have yourself a complete makeover! The new you has returned to Boston! Impressive.
  • (anti-hater): ✨ Allyship and advocacy ✨ for the lgbtq+ community (anonymous or otherwise) matters, in more life-significant ways than I gather many of the folks commenting here might be aware.
    Please, embrace learning:
    Since I have reason to strongly question Philip’s “artistic intent,” below are Philip’s public blog-thoughts on a recent local MA Pride event — and I’ll add, the town’s inaugural Pride celebration, initiated and organized by its middle schoolers ( 🌈 Amazing, right!?! 🏳️‍⚧️ )…/official-lincoln…/ [a pro-2SLGBTQQIA+ post, in my opinion!]
    !! Importantly for contextualizing my concern about the initial photo on thjs post: “LGBTQ youth are not inherently prone to suicide risk because of their sexual orientation or gender identity but rather placed at higher risk because of how they are mistreated and stigmatized in society.”
  • (Florida pilot, formerly of the Boston suburbs): This is a nice gentle reminder of why I relocated.

To the extent that any negative inferences were made about the photo or individual by the anti-haters, doesn’t that show that they, in fact, are intolerant of the lifestyle that they imagine this individual to be leading?

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Did Elon Musk break Facebook?

We were informed that Elon Musk’s firing of more than half of the paycheck-collectors at a social media company would result in a social media company’s service melting down, coughing up errors, etc. At first, Twitter soldiered on, but now the prediction has come true… about Facebook.

Has anyone else noticed how poorly Facebook works when a discussion gets complicated? I’m notified that someone responded and I click on the notification and get taken to an unrelated part of the discussion. I’m notified that someone responded and the response is not visible until I close the browser window and restart my Facebook web page (i.e., single-page app). Sometimes I respond and the text never appears in my own view, though it has been posted to the thread and can be viewed later. What I initially see is whitespace.

Readers: Which site is performing better right now from a purely technical point of view, Facebook or Twitter? Also, how do people feel about the 50,000+ people that Elon Musk fired at Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Meta/Facebook, and other Silicon Valley companies?

Separately, Facebook decided that I violated Community Standards by posting a reply that included the Web address of a local pinball dealer:

The pinball link was treated like content that questioned Anthony Fauci or the CDC or, even worse, one that expressed skepticism regarding the ability of a cloth mask to block an aerosol virus. Speaking of cloth masks, here’s the one that Dr. Fauci recommends wearing while playing pinball…

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Should Twitter ask you every hour or two what you want to see?

The Silicon Valley religion is that robot software can figure out what you want based on what you’ve done in the past. The result is that Twitter shows you tweets that are a lot like tweets with which you’ve previously interacted. But what if you’re in the mood for something different? Suppose that you’ve spent a lot of time on Twitter condemning hate, ridiculing Deplorables for their refusal to wear masks and accept experimental vaccines, exhorting young people to get out and vote for Democrats, and demanding additional investigations of the January 6 insurrection. If you open up the Twitter app as you’re settling down for the night, the application will show you political tweets. But what if you don’t want to see the same stuff at 9 pm that got you riled up at 9 am?

Suppose that Twitter had a “laugh” emoji option for a reaction to a tweet. Then it would be possible for a user to click “entertain me” and see the recent tweets that other users thought were funny. Based on text analysis, the system could respond to a “teach me” click with tweets that were educational in nature and/or linked to thoughtful tutorials. With a bit of merging of ChatGPT into Twitter search, perhaps this could be done as freeform text rather than a set of predefined moods, but I think the moods/interests button would be better (less effort) for most users.

Note that this could be done without cooperation from Elon Musk & Co. as a skin on top of Twitter by a search engine that had ingested at least a significant subset of tweets.

How does it work now? Spectacularly badly. If I type “funny” into the search box, the results are mostly people fighting. “funny tweets” works on Google to find Twitter accounts that offer hand-picked items.

Here’s a site that tries to do the third-party skin… Some of the tweets were a lot funnier than people hitting each other, but they can’t take advantage of anything known about an individual user, e.g., that he/she/ze/they likes knitting or aviation or whatever. Examples:

Readers: What do you think about this idea? Twitter should track your moods and figure out your mood by asking you… What are you in the mood to see?

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