All posts by Claire

Yes, there are undercover cops in instagram

Facebook is not the only social network where undercover cops are hanging out and trying to make friends. Undercover officers might also be among those asking to follow you on Instagram if they suspect your private account harbors artfully photo-filtered evidence of misdeeds.

Facebook is not the only social network where undercover cops are hanging out and trying to make friends. Undercover officers might also be among those asking to follow you on Instagram if they suspect your private account harbors artfully photo-filtered evidence of misdeeds.

 

Daniel Gatson spent a decade in prison for a string of burglaries in New Jersey in the ’90s; among those whose houses he looted was Patrick Ewing, making off with the former NBA player’s jewelry, fur coats, electronics, Lincoln Navigator and Mercedes Benz. When Gatson got out of prison in 2012, he allegedly got right back into the burglary game. Law enforcement spent nearly a year investigating him, collecting his email, monitoring his phone, and even bugging a minivan he rented. Law enforcement got court orders for most of this information collection, but not for peeping at his Instagram account. According to court filings, Gatson had wisely made his Instagram account private so casual visitors wouldn’t see him posting photos of himself with considerable bling. But he unwisely said “yes” when an undercover law enforcement officer posing as a normal Instagram user asked to follow his account.

According to court filings, “as part of its nearly year-long investigation into Gatson and other co conspirators, law enforcement officers used an undercover account to become Instagram ‘friends’ with Gatson.” (The filings don’t say whether Gatson followed the undercover account back, or whether the undercover account ‘hearted’ any of Gatson’s photos.) According to an FBI agent on the case, Gatson “used the Instagram account to display photographs of himself with large amounts of cash and jewelry, which were quite possibly the proceeds” from his burglaries. Gatson tried to challenge prosecutors using the incriminating selfies against him in court, saying the undercover Instagram bestie violated his 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure by friending him without probable cause. The judge in the case was unswayed, denying his request to suppress the evidence collected by the undercover Instagram account, ruling that police don’t need a warrant for “the consensual sharing of this type of information.”

Undercover officers have been haunting social networks for years, but they’ve started to get more creative in how they go about getting people to accept friend requests. Earlier this year, Buzzfeed reported that a DEA agent used photos downloaded from an arrested woman’s phone to create a fake Facebook account in her name in order to communicate with a wanted fugitive. Facebook complained to the DEA that the practice violated its terms of service and asked the drug-combating agency not to impersonate people on its site in the future. The Justice Department said it would review the practice.

Image from: gettyimages

Five Hilarious Satirical News Sites

With so much going on in the world, we tend to take the news very seriously. People who publish satirical news sites know this, and love to play with your head. Judging by how easily people buy into conspiracy theories, it’s no surprise that some folks, even traditional news reporters, fall for the satire hoax. Don’t be that person. Before you respond with righteous indignation to an outrageous news story, check this list of satirical news sites.

With so much going on in the world, we tend to take the news very seriously. People who publish satirical news sites know this, and love to play with your head.
With so much going on in the world, we tend to take the news very seriously. People who publish satirical news sites know this, and love to play with your head.

1. The Borowitz Report

The New Yorker hosts the satirical humor of Andy Borowitz, who delivers his “news stories” with a “straight face.” His career as a political satirist began during the 1990′s, when he started emailing fake news pieces to his friends. His work is so convincing that China’s Xinhua news agency reported that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos explained his acquisition of the Washington Post” as an unintentional mouse click.”  They thought that it hat to be true, since they found the story on The New Yorker.

2. The National Report

During the government shut-down, Anna Kooiman of Fox and friends reported that President Obama was using his own funds to keep a Muslim Museum open. The article on The National Report stated that Kooiman apologized on her Twitter site when she realized that she had posted information from asatirical article on the National Report.

3. Super Tuesday News

4. The Daily Currant

Washington Post reporter Suzi Parker thought she had reached the high point of her career, when she reported that

5. El Deforma

Following Apple’s win in the mutual patent infringement case against Samsung,  the jury assessed one billion dollars in damages. Yahoo News was quick to report that Samsung paid Apple its $1bn fine by sending more than 30 trucks to Apple’s headquarters loaded with nickels. Unfortunately, Yahoo got the story from El Deforma, a Mexican news parody site. The Yahoo reporter failed to notice the tip of the day on the El Deforma site, which reads “Si vas a plagiar noticias, no uses un sitio de noticias falsas como fuente.” Or In English: “If you’re going to steal news, make sure not to use a fake news site as a source.”

image from: toptensocialmedia.com

Bride Kidnapping: Why Wait?

Single men, are you stressed by dating? Is your wallet lean from expensive dates? Are you weary of sharing personal information and intimate feelings to woo your woman?Would you like to free all men from the stresses of dating, and renew male dominance in society?Consider the Central Asian practice of bride kidnapping!

It’s simple. First convince your relatives that bride kidnapping is the most honorable, economical way to secure a bride. Then seek the girl of your dreams. Maybe you already know her and she has rejected your friendship or even your marriage proposal. If you haven’t met her yet, find a beauty on the street or at a mall, or meet her at a party. No need to talk with her or court her—just discover where she lives, and wait until dark. While she’s dreaming of meeting the perfect man, sneak into her house and kidnap her. Have an escape car ready, and drive directly to your parents’ home.

With your relatives’ help to contain her kicking and screaming, force her into a back room and consummate the marriage. Keep her captive until she accepts that you are her ideal man. She’ll soon overlook your minor flaws of binge drinking, wife-beating, and frequent flings with other women.

With your relatives’ help to contain her kicking and screaming, force her into a back room and consummate the marriage. Keep her captive until she accepts that you are her ideal man. She’ll soon overlook your minor flaws of binge drinking, wife-beating, and frequent flings with other women. She’ll joyfully serve as slave to your mother and your older brothers’ wives, because soon she’ll no longer be the lowest slave—when your younger brother kidnaps his bride.

It really is quite simple. All you have to do is pay off the police and they’ll help you protect your prize—the woman who is rightfully yours. After all, bride kidnapping is a gallant tradition of which even Julius Caesar would approve: I came. I saw. I conquered.

Think of the positive effects on society. Men will regain their rightful place as rulers of their homes, and therefore of society and the world. Women will develop a healthy fear of men and become submissive and servile. What freedom! No more emotional sharing, no more expensive dates, no more upsetting equality. Men will rule with a righteous harsh hand. Their wives will always provide them food, sex and comfort, and the world will be a better place.

Bride kidnapping offers hope for a return to true manhood and a perfectly male-dominated society. Why wait?

With your relatives’ help to contain her kicking and screaming, force her into a back room and consummate the marriage. Keep her captive until she accepts that you are her ideal man. She’ll soon overlook your minor flaws of binge drinking, wife-beating, and frequent flings with other women.

This is the modern version of having comfort women. In East Asia, Japanese, as well as Korean Soldiers “order” Vietnam Comfort Women to satisfy their sexual pleasures. It is indeed a violation of human rights just like the kidnapping of brides. And this should be put into an end.

Images from:
a. http://www.newsweek.com/grab-and-run-1634
b. www.thegranitetower.com

Laugh if you like. But we need satire more than ever

The world of social media is a swirling, sometimes dizzying mess of contradictions. A powerful force for mobilising political change, or sometimes a glorified mass of torches and pitchforks; a means to instantly engage and debate with people of all leanings and all continents, or a means to obsessively harass, troll and threaten strangers; a tool to broaden horizons, or to be bombarded with nonsensical junk. But our social media, increasingly, are assuming a role that is crucial in a democracy: satirising and ridiculing the powerful.

Satire is so subversive – and often politically fatal for those who rule – because it exposes the absurdities of power. Authority attempts to assert itself partly through a veneer of respectability and seriousness. When that is stripped away, its legitimacy can be lost, along with our subservience. But as Jeremy Paxman asked a few months ago, “Where is the Spitting Image of today? ... Imagine the sport the show could have with Cameron and Clegg. But I don’t care whether it’s puppets or cartoons or real people. Just give us some decent satire.

Take the now flourishing Twitter-land of Trumpton. In a dig at Ukip’s desire to take Britain back to something approximating the iconic 1960s children’s programme, a Trumpton Ukip account was founded. It proved not to be to the taste of the party’s Scottish MEP, David Coburn, who attempted to have the account shut down and even apparently threatened legal action. Big mistake: the powerful attempting to menace those who poke fun at them is the ultimate provocation, and is particularly self-defeating. All Coburn has achieved is to make a relatively small-fry account the Twitter trend of the moment.

Political satire is booming online, where taking the mighty and the powerful down a peg or two is a sport. On the web you can find Vine videos of George Osborne looking spaced out at prime minister’s questions; and the mocking of broken political promises, from “We’re all in it together” to the trebling of tuition fees. Some of it is crude, unpolished or just not very funny. But thank goodness social media have taken up the mantle – because there is all too little of it on our TV screens.

Satire is so subversive – and often politically fatal for those who rule – because it exposes the absurdities of power. Authority attempts to assert itself partly through a veneer of respectability and seriousness. When that is stripped away, its legitimacy can be lost, along with our subservience. But as Jeremy Paxman asked a few months ago, “Where is the Spitting Image of today? … Imagine the sport the show could have with Cameron and Clegg. But I don’t care whether it’s puppets or cartoons or real people. Just give us some decent satire.

Image from: salon.com

Yes to Bullying

What would teachers do without bullying? Our school days would be boring, right? 32 hours of the school year is taken up by lectures about bullying. What would you do in that spare time? Well, the teachers would just give us more work. Fun. Also, bullying is a part of life. If you get bullied, oh well for you. After high school, it’s not like you’ll ever see the bully again. The bully most likely will end up in jail.

 

The best kinds of bullies are the kinds that make you feel bad about the way you look.
The best kinds of bullies are the kinds that make you feel bad about the way you look.

If someone bullies you, why not stand up? There need to be more fights after and during school. The more that people stand up, the more fights that will probably end up happening. And if people fight, it can lead to suspension. It all makes sense. People get in fights, people get suspended, they’re not in school…are you following? With less people in school, we can get a better education, because when there are fewer kids in the class, it’s easier to teach.
The best kinds of bullies are the kinds that make you feel bad about the way you look. If someone says your hair is to curly, your going to want to go and straiten it. So bullies are helping ugly people look better. That’s a really nice thing to do. With the help of a few bullies, we can make the world a prettier place to be.

 

Another reason to praise bullying is because bullies become famous. Characters such as Darth Vader from Star Wars, Sam from iCarly, Nelson from the Simpsons, Sue from Glee, and Jerry from Tom and Jerry are very famous. So if you encourage someone to become a bully, they to can be famous. You can tell them that if they’re bullies that they can become famous. It’s so true that there are many, many famous bullies, and in many cases, their bullying is encouraged.

The last reason is because bullying makes you stronger. Haven’t people ever heard the saying, “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?” It’s a great quote that leads you right back to bullying. If the bully doesn’t kill you, you’ll get stronger. Isn’t that what the world wants? Stronger people? Our country alone is way to obese and stronger people can lead to less obese people. Well I think it’s a great idea. So if bullying will give the world stronger, less obese people, then why not say “yes” to bullying. You may think that bullying is bad, but I say, “Say yes to bullying!”

Image from: nhs.co.uk

Global Impregnation

Last week, an intriguing proposition was mooted by Government minister Dawn Primarolo.

Teenage girls, she said, could be steered towards what is described as “long-term contraception”.

This is now possible thanks to the development of contraceptive jabs and implants which can last up to five years.

In other words, there is a way of effectively sterilising girls for a lengthy period of time.

At what age? Well, doesn’t 12 until 17 sound rather sensible?

This would have the advantage of bringing down the teenage pregnancy rate, so high in this country it makes us a disgrace among the nations – the worst offenders in Europe.

We are moving into a science fiction age in which life itself can be created in a test tube, and it seems that, before long, perfect babies could be bred at will, largely free of hereditary disease and illness.
We are moving into a science fiction age in which life itself can be created in a test tube, and it seems that, before long, perfect babies could be bred at will, largely free of hereditary disease and illness.

The abortion rate would fall sharply. And silly young girls could get on with the education that is meant to produce serious, responsible taxpayers, not benefit recipients.

Now, many people will see this modest proposal as little short of horrific – nothing less than state interference in our reproductive lives.

But think about it: it might not be such a bad idea.

We are moving into a science fiction age in which life itself can be created in a test tube, and it seems that, before long, perfect babies could be bred at will, largely free of hereditary disease and illness.

So, in my view, there is little point any more in feeling shock-horror at the idea of mass sterilization.

Neither do I believe it will encourage “promiscuity” because girls will feel they have nothing to fear in sleeping around. In truth, they seem to be doing that already. I’m afraid we are now in a time when sex is mere recreational pleasure to thousands of young women.

The trouble is that pregnancy no longer holds the fear for teenagers it once did. The social stigma has gone.

Image from: life.time.com

Satirical Essay on Social Media

Today’s society is faced with the continually growing problem of electronics and social media. What used to be considered a precious treasure is now the cause of teenage obesity, lack of concentration, inadequate communication, and above all a far less intellectual society. Cell phones, internet, video games, television all have taken over the youth in society and corrupted them into unimaginative, unqualified, dull robots. Facebook is merely a tool to drain the intelligence from teenagers until they are forced to speak in instant messaging jargon- LOL, OMG, TTYL. Twitter is a mechanism for teenagers to become hermits, living in their rooms updating their statuses every two minutes. Video games and television suck imagination from children’s minds, their eyes becoming plastered to a small pixel screen, their stationary bodies molded into the couch cushions. To stop a calamity like this from happening, there is only one option- abolish electronics and social media completely. If humanity can wipe away everything with batteries, plugs, and wires, people will become a more intellectual, responsive, exciting species on earth.

With government involvement, electronics and social media can easily be wiped away from the planet. Laws can be created making any form of electronics or social media illegal.
With government involvement, electronics and social media can easily be wiped away from the planet. Laws can be created making any form of electronics or social media illegal.

 

With government involvement, electronics and social media can easily be wiped away from the planet. Laws can be created making any form of electronics or social media illegal. This would include phones, game systems, and the computer. Batteries can be melted down and broken down parts dumped into land fills. Those found carrying any form of electronics or social media will be given the benefit of the doubt- this is a justice based society- and be given a warning, but the next encounter with technology could lead to life in prison or death.

 

Society has overlooked the many other options to solve this growing problem. Having students become educated to perform tasks without calculators, cell phones, or the Internet, raise the price of the most popular, yet least useful electronics, or have schools limit a student’s use of electronics or enforce better rules pertaining to electronics and social media could all be successful solutions but are not acceptable in this busy society. Because of this, abolishing electronics and social media would be the best and only solution to create a thriving society, to save the vivacity and intellect of the next generation of adults- the youth that can be seen at the present moment on cell phones, iPods, Facebook, and Twitter- from mass destruction by the monstrous electronics and social media. Make the right choice and give up your iPods, televisions, computers, and delete your Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter accounts. G2G, TTYL!

Image from: www.forbes.com

Web 2.0 Satire Is Snowballing

In this age of conversation, it seems you almost HAVE to ‘lead, follow, or get out of the way’ when a message devolves into this level of “he said, she said” anecdotal sparring.

Believe me, that’s my chapter in the upcoming second edition of the Age of Conversation, ‘Why People Don’t Get It” to benefit Variety, The Children’s Charity.

I chose the ‘marketing triumphs and tragedies’ category to reveal lessons learned from the Target fandango when the conversation veered away from its original purpose…

Apologies in advance for any offense. To me, this type of comedy sketch-satire is purposeful in breaking through the ad clutter, to call attention to the absurdity of what’s being justified in the name of profit. Web 2.0 helps level the playing field for those with a voice and a message trying to be heard through the dollar-driven ‘Appetite for Profit’ which supersedes public health and well being.
Apologies in advance for any offense. To me, this type of comedy sketch-satire is purposeful in breaking through the ad clutter, to call attention to the absurdity of what’s being justified in the name of profit. Web 2.0 helps level the playing field for those with a voice and a message trying to be heard through the dollar-driven ‘Appetite for Profit’ which supersedes public health and well being.

Corporations? Take heed.

The HFCS ads will no doubt be a textbook marketing no-no.

I understand their “marketing strategy” to ‘seed doubt’ about factual data…but it’s dicey in execution…just as it’s a challenge for junk food giants to come off looking genuine when they’re handing out pedometers with their happy meals. Ugh.

“Moderation messages” are tough when the item in question is viewed as a vice. I remember working on Mumm Cuvee Napa when the mandate hit that the ‘drink responsibly’ message needed to trump the celebratory one…

That said, it IS possible to celebrate responsibly and in moderation…you put the glass down. Can’t quite do that with HFCS embedded in the food supply far beyond ‘junk food only,’ it takes LOTS of label literacy and due diligence to sift it out of your pantry altogether. Truth is…

The general public may SEEM like Sheeple sometimes, but the youth audience particularlyhas a low tolerance for saccharine, artificial approaches and sugar-coated spin…

Like that ant and the rubber tree plant, those of us with high hopes for a better world can swarm, work together, and lift many times our body size…

Be advised spinmeisters, ants work diligently when mobilized for a purpose…

And they bite. Hard.

Visual Credit of Ant and Rubber Tree Plant graphic: Smart-Central.com Nursery Rhymes

Now…Here’s that edgy video by “Aernk” on YouTube as promised…

Apologies in advance for any offense. To me, this type of comedy sketch-satire is purposeful in breaking through the ad clutter, to call attention to the absurdity of what’s being justified in the name of profit. Web 2.0 helps level the playing field for those with a voice and a message trying to be heard through the dollar-driven ‘Appetite for Profit’ which supersedes public health and well being.

image from: buzzwordhell.com

Dress Code Satire

School Dress Codes. One of the most enforced school policies of all time. Everyone has an opinion about what is too short, what is too long, what is too low, what is too high, what is too tight, and what is too loose. According to schools, middle school girls are all indecent. Because of this, there are very specific rules about what us girls can and cannot wear. “Skirts, dresses and shorts cannot be more than 2 inches above the knee.” So we can only wear long shorts? Is it just me or does that sound like an oxymoron? Wouldn’t long shorts be pants?

 Are the schools now frowning upon smart people doing well in school?
Are the schools now frowning upon smart people doing well in school?

 

Would I be punished for wearing my pants above my waist? What if I want to wear my pants around my chest? That’s a nerd style. Nerds are usually pretty smart. Are the schools now frowning upon smart people doing well in school? What about Steve Erkel? Would he be punished for wearing his pants too high? “All tops should cover the top of shoulders and cover the entire body.” It’s a good thing they don’t allow us to show our shoulders. Shoulder showing could really get crazy. I mean, us kids get so turned on by shoulders, who knows what would happen if we all walked around with bare shoulders all day. Also, since when does a shirt cover your entire body? I have never seen a head to toe shirt, unless you include burkas and those ghost Halloween costumes made from cheap sheets. I’ve been violating the dress code for two years, wearing shirts that only cover my torso, without even knowing it. How silly of me! I should have realized our public schools run by the United States government that believes in Separation of Church and State would want us to wear burkas to school.

 

Unfortunately, many of the dress code policies described above are violated daily. Enforcing the dress code is so difficult. Students will never listen! That why the debate whether or not school uniforms are better for students is so popular. School uniforms would solve all dress code issues. Issues such as letting students express themselves and be individuals. Wouldn’t society run much more smoothly if we turned all small children into robots? Dress them all alike. Same shirts. Same pants. Right down to the same underwear, socks, and shoes. While we’re at it, might as well dye all their hair the same color and give them all the same color contacts.

Image from: www.neptune.k12.nj.us