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Jirel's Journal
Jirel's Journal
December 23, 2019

Facebook removes accounts with AI-generated profile photos

Source: Ars Technica

Facebook on Friday removed what it called a global network of more than 900 accounts, pages, and groups from its platform and Instagram that allegedly used deceptive practices to push pro-Trump narratives to about 55 million users. The network used fake accounts, artificial amplification, and, notably, profile photos of fake faces generated using artificial intelligence to spread polarizing, predominantly right-wing content around the web, including on Twitter and YouTube.


The images were used to enhance the authenticity of some of the 610 Facebook accounts, 156 groups, 89 pages, and 72 Instagram accounts associated with “The BL,” a digital news outlet that described itself as a “pure mountain spring, moistening the heart of every reader” on Facebook before it was removed. Facebook’s investigation connected The BL to The Epoch Times, a conservative media organization with ties to Chinese spiritual group Falun Gong and a history of aggressive support for Donald Trump.

Ostensibly a US-based media organization, The BL network’s pages were operated by users in Vietnam and the US, who Facebook says made widespread use of fake accounts to evade detection and funnel traffic to its own websites. A report by Graphika and DFRLab researchers, found that the majority of The BL network’s fake accounts were used to maintain a cluster of over 80 groups and pages promoting President Trump. The accounts acting as administrators for these pages—which boasted names such as “America Needs President Trump,” “Trump for America’s President,” and “WE STAND WITH TRUMP & PENCE!”—were predominantly fake and created in Vietnam.


Read more: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/12/facebook-removes-accounts-with-ai-generated-profile-photos/

This is the latest in the international work by fascist groups to support fascism in the US and around the world. We need to be looking not just to foreign interference in our elections, but to the pattern of extremely high-tech attacks against democracy, progress, and social and economic justice by both state and non-state actors (i.e. decentralized terrorists) promoting fascism.
December 9, 2019

Amazon: Trump used "improper pressure" to block AWS from DOD cloud contract

Source: Ars Technica

In a redacted filing released today by the US Federal Court of Claims, attorneys for Amazon asserted that Amazon Web Service's loss of the Department of Defense Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud computing contract to Microsoft's Azure was the result of "improper pressure from President Donald J. Trump, who launched repeated public and behind-the-scenes attacks to steer the JEDI Contract away from AWS to harm his perceived political enemy—Jeffrey P. Bezos, founder and CEO of AWS' parent company, Amazon.com, Inc. ("Amazon&quot , and owner of the Washington Post."

The suit cites Trump's instructions to former Secretary of Defense James Mattis to "screw Amazon" out of the contract, as recounted by Mattis' former chief speechwriter, and numerous other incidents of direct interference by Trump in the contract competition, including ordering an "independent" review of the contract by Defense Secretary Mark Esper in August of 2019.

Read more: https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/12/amazon-sues-dod-claims-trumps-improper-pressure-blocked-cloud-contract-win/?amp=1

Donnie Dumpsterfire gets caught again misusing his public office, this time as a personal vendetta and an attempt to take a shot at the Washington Post through its owner. Newsflash, Donnie - actual billionaires with a grudge can afford lawyers to investigate and kick your ass.

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