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How the internet will fall, step one: Remove anonymity

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How the internet will fall step one Remove anonymity

Should I have the right to spread “disinformation” on the internet? Some would say I do not. Thankfully, I have no intention of ever knowingly doing such a thing, but knowing that I can is part of what makes the internet what it is. More importantly, the anonymity the internet provides is one of the cornerstones for its usefulness in modern society.

If a leaked memo last week is any indicator of what’s to come, then my anonymity may no longer be sacred online.

Senate Democrats Are Circulating Plans for Government Takeover of the Internet

https://reason.com/blog/2018/07/31/democrats-tech-policy-plans-leakedHere’s how Warner is suggesting we deal:

Mandatory location verification. The paper suggests forcing social media platforms to authenticate and disclose the geographic origin of all user accounts or posts.

Mandatory identity verification: The paper suggests forcing social media and tech platforms to authenticate user identities and only allow “authentic” accounts (“inauthentic accounts not only pose threats to our democratic process…but undermine the integrity of digital markets”), with “failure to appropriately address inauthentic account activity” punishable as “a violation of both SEC disclosure rules and/or Section 5 of the [Federal Trade Commission] Act.”

Bot labeling: Warner’s paper suggests forcing companies to somehow label bots or be penalized (no word from Warner on how this is remotely feasible)

Define popular tech as “essential facilities.” These would be subject to all sorts of heightened rules and controls, says the paper, offering Google Maps as an example of the kinds of apps or platforms that might count. “The law would not mandate that a dominant provider offer the serve for free,” writes Warner. “Rather, it would be required to offer it on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms” provided by the government.

Considering how bad the likely interference by Russian operatives through social media really was, it’s easy to see why many would embrace these measures. Nobody wants foreign entities swaying our elections, but what cost are we willing to pay to be protected?

This is a clear example of DC once again attempting to overstep its own powers. We do not need them telling private internet companies what to do and how to handle their members. If Facebook wants to implement these types of measures, so be it. As long as they’re doing so willingly, it’s fine. However, the government does not need to step in. They do not need to “protect” us from our own stupidity.

If I fall for a hoax article claiming President Trump urinated on Russian prostitutes, that’s on me.

Anonymity sucks, but it’s important

To be fair, I have been victim to anonymous trolls on the internet. It bugs me that they can say what they want about or towards me while hiding behind the moniker braveliberal1949, but I would never condone taking his/her right to troll me. They have their reasons for being anonymous and I will fight for their right to remain hidden behind their online persona.

Some would point to Russian interference as a reason to support attacks on our online privacy. It sucks that they can have teams of meat puppets out there trying to mislead as many people as possible. But that’s part of the game. It’s a tactic in the online war we all fight wittingly or not, one that requires diligence but NOT government interference. If they want to help expose foreign actors, that’s on them. They should not use Russia or anyone else as a reason to take away our digital rights just as they shouldn’t have used 9/11 as a reason to take away our other freedoms.

It’s a pretty crazy world online. There’s plenty of bad ideas, false concepts, fake news, and actors intent on hurting us. We have to deal with them. The government cannot provide us with a solution that won’t do more harm than good.

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Education

George Washington University students triggered by their mascot

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George Washington University students triggered by their mascot

George Washington University is the home of the Colonials. You know, those people who came to America from Europe and eventually fought against the oppressive government of England in order to win independence for America. These heroes of the American Revolution are now being condemned by the students of George Washington University itself.

While the movement and attached petition haven’t reached a tipping point, the idea of changing the mascot to the “Hippo” is gaining momentum. Why? Well, we’ll let the students themselves tell you what they think.

This video by Campus Reform takes us into the wacky world of triggered college students who are so much in opposition of the people who made this country possible that they’d rather be named after the “river horse” of sub-Saharan Africa.

 


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Media

Trump to Acosta: ‘You have an agenda. You’re CNN. You’re fake news.’

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Trump to Acosta You have an agenda Youre CNN Youre fake news

During President Trump’s press conference announcing his declaration of a national emergency, CNN’s Jim Acosta asked whether the President was concocting the national emergency in order to build his border wall because he couldn’t get it done through Congress. The President responded in standard fashion, attacking Acosta’s question itself as biased.

“You have an agenda. You’re CNN. You’re fake news,” the President said to the reporter.

Acosta has been at the center of controversy throughout President Trump’s term, tussling with members of the administration and the President himself at times. He lost access to the White House in November, 2018, after an altercation with a White House staffer.

This time, the President answered Acosta’s question about whether or not the emergency was manufactured by telling him to ask the Angel moms sitting in the front row if they thought the emergency was manufactured. Acosta did not.

 


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Immigration

President declares national emergency. Now the craziness begins.

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President declares national emergency Now the craziness begins

As expected, President Trump signed the omnibus to keep the government from a second shutdown. Then, as expected, he declared a national emergency at the southern border to allow his administration to free up funds for the building of a wall at our southern border.

Now, the expectations shift to how Democrats will attack this move. During his announcement of the national emergency, the President noted he’s aware of how the process is going to go: lawsuits, appeals, more lawsuits, more appeals… and eventually it will be decided by the Supreme Court.

Reactions on social media were mixed.

My Take

From here, it goes insane. It should be noted the President made what many are considering a mistake when he said he “didn’t have to” declare an emergency but wanted the wall built faster. That seems like grounds to attack the declaration itself.

 


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