Category Archives: social media

The New York Times responds to attacks on its writers by saying it’s the victim of a right-wing conspiracy to discredit the paper

Three days ago I reported about the decade-old tweets of New York Times senior staff editor Tom Wright-Piersanti, who when younger issued a spate of anti-Semitic and anti-Indian tweets that were pretty vile.  Although another Times writer had been fired for tweets just as bad, the paper also decided not to fire Sarah Jeong, a […]

Never read Twitter comments

The header above is sound advice for anyone who posts anything more controversial than cat pictures, and I almost never read comments under my tweets, which I usually don’t see anyway as most of them go directly to Twitter from my website. But I made an exception for this one, which just confirmed the wisdom […]

An unwise tweet by Neil deGrasse Tyson, and some statistics on gun deaths

I guess Tyson was trying to make a point about data and how we receive it when he issued the tweet below yesterday, but it was surely ill-timed—and also somewhat misleading. In the past 48hrs, the USA horrifically lost 34 people to mass shootings. On average, across any 48hrs, we also lose… 500 to Medical […]

If Pinker is bad, I must be worse

The other day I posted Steve Pinker’s discussion of his connections with convicted sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein, now facing additional charges in New York that will likely put him away for the rest of his life. Pinker, who had been accused of consorting with Epstein—indeed, of being complicit in Epstein’s crimes by ignoring them or […]

Twitter starts censoring speech, beginning with speech about religion:

Diana MacPherson called my attention to this new post by Twitter on conduct that they’re going to block. And they’re starting with religion. Click on the screenshot to read: Here’s what Twitter says: We create our rules to keep people safe on Twitter, and they continuously evolve to reflect the realities of the world we […]

A new forum for exchanging thoughts

A reader told me about a new forum for exchanging thoughts online, via exchanges of letters, that allows far more space than Twitter but promises to be less toxic. It’s called “Letter“, is associated with Areo Magazine, and accommodates back-and-forth discussions between scholars and generally intelligent folk. Click on the screenshot to go there: I […]

Google refuses Pakistan’s request to remove a Pakistani petition for academic freedom

UPDATE: I gave erroneous figures in the earlier post, and have been corrected in a comment by reader Michael. I’ve emended the post to eliminate the errors. ______________ It’s shameful but true that American social media companies censor or warn people at the behest of Muslim countries—often Pakistan—when social-media content “offends Muslim sentiments.” In my […]

In which I unfriend people on Facebook for wishing that Trump would sicken and die

A few days ago  one of my Facebook friends posted a comment on their timeline wishing that someone would send Donald Trump E. coli-contaminated romaine lettuce, with the clear implication that this would sicken or kill him.  Much as I despise Trump and his views, I found that comment insupportable, and after a testy remark […]

Facebook finds parts of Declaration of Independence to be “hate speech” and “racist”, removes them

To be fair, the hate speech appears to have been detected and removed by a robot analyzer, but shouldn’t some human check content before they remove it? Facebook did, however, later allow the impure parts of the Declaration of Independence to be posted. From the BBC (click on screenshot): Here’s the story (my emphasis): In […]

Facebook now asks if every post contains “hate speech”

UPDATE: After only an hour or two, Facebook has pulled the “hate speech” icons. What gives? Did we see a planned program rolled out accidentally? Or was it a trial that quickly went wrong? Who knows—it’s Facebook, Jake. _______ Is this Facebook’s way of policing its site? Because if it is we’re all doomed.  As […]