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ItsjustMe's Journal
ItsjustMe's Journal
October 19, 2020

With Zuck's Blessing, Facebook Quietly Stymied Traffic to Left-Leaning News Outlets: Report


When Facebook tweaked its newsfeed algorithm in 2017 to reduce the visibility of political news, the company’s engineers intentionally designed the system to disproportionately impact left-leaning outlets, effectively choking off their traffic in the process.

According to a Wall Street Journal report this week, Facebook bigwigs at the time were concerned about how these changes would affect right-leaning news outlets and wanted to avoid adding fuel to critics’ argument that the platform has an anti-conservative bias. However, in its attempt to appear unbiased, the company evidently overcorrected (which it has a history of doing). Facebook’s engineers overhauled the update to affect left-leaning sites more than previously planned, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself OK’d the redesign, sources told the Journal. The changes weren’t aimed at any particular outlet, the company later said.

“We did not make changes with the intent of impacting individual publishers,” a Facebook spokesperson told the outlet.

One of the sites the report cited as being negatively affected by this redesign is Mother Jones, a renowned investigative news outlet. In response to the Journal’s exposé, Mother Jones editorial director for growth and strategy Ben Dreyfuss wrote a scathing critique of Facebook that details years of frustrating and strained relations with the company. He said that in multiple meetings with Facebook execs in 2017 and 2018, he was assured that while publishers could expect traffic to lag after the algorithmic changes, it was “not in a way that favored or disfavored any single publication or class of publisher.”
October 18, 2020

'No surprise' we're seeing coronavirus surge in Republican areas, ER doctor explains


There are 8 million confirmed U.S. cases of coronavirus, and yet the pandemic is politicized.

President Trump largely eschews mask wearing and falsely claimed during a town hall this week that “85% of the people wearing masks catch” Covid-19 despite becoming infected himself. At the same time, Republican-leaning areas of the U.S. are now experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases.

“To the extent that public health measures have become politicized, it really should be no surprise that we see that the spread of the disease also runs along political lines,” Dr. Steven McDonald, a New York-based emergency medicine physician, said on Yahoo Finance’s The Ticker (video above). “When you have a Republican president telling Republican supporters that mask wearing is not necessary, even after he’s had coronavirus from a maskless event, it’s no surprise that we see surges in Republican areas.”

Data compiled by web developer Dan Goodspeed shows just how badly Republican-leaning areas have been hit in the last four months as compared to Democratic-leaning states:
October 18, 2020

5-hour Empathy - SNL

October 18, 2020

Rudy Giuliani said there's a '50/50' chance he worked with a Russian spy to obtain harmful ...

Rudy Giuliani said there's a '50/50' chance he worked with a Russian spy to obtain harmful information about the Bidens


Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City and one of President Donald Trump's personal lawyers, said in an interview with The Daily Beast that there was a "50/50" chance one of his associates was a spy for Russia.

"The chance that Derkach is a Russian spy is no better than 50/50," Giuliani said, referring to his associate, the Ukrainian government official Andrii Derkach whom the US Treasury Department in September designated for sanctions over his "attempting to influence the US electoral process."

The former mayor told The Daily Beast he believed the sanctions against Derkach were the result of "an intelligence ploy to try to create problems for Trump." As The Daily Beast noted, a number of Giuliani associates have been arrested by US law enforcement or otherwise barred from entering the US.

When asked if he was worried that the information he had provided to The New York Post as part of its recent series of reports about stolen data from a hard drive that supposedly belonged to Democratic nominee Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, was the result of the 2019 hacking of Ukrainian natural-gas company Burisma Holdings, where the younger Biden served on the board beginning in 2014, Giuliani told the outlet it "wouldn't matter," and asked "what's the difference?"

October 17, 2020

Trump wanted John McCain to apologize to him after the 2016 election, longtime aide says in new book


President Donald Trump and late Sen. John McCain had an introductory phone call shortly after Trump's January 2017 inauguration in which the newly installed president lashed out at the widely respected statesman.

Mark Salter, McCain's longtime confidant and aide, recounted the conversation in a book released this week, "The Luckiest Man: Life with John McCain."

The call began with heated remarks, McCain told Salter. Trump started off saying he was hurt after McCain withdrew his endorsement during the 2016 presidential election.

McCain, as the Republican presidential nominee in 2008, was initially hesitant to endorse Trump. He did so reluctantly because he had "to respect the process," Salter wrote.
October 17, 2020

Rapper Who Boasted on Youtube About Getting Rich From Unemployment Fraud Gets Arrested

He appears in a music video called "EDD'' in which he boasts about doing "my swagger for EDD'' and, holding up a stack of envelopes from EDD, getting rich by going "to the bank with a stack of these'' -- presumably a reference to the debit cards that come in the mail, according to court papers. A second rapper in the video intones, "You gotta sell cocaine, I just file a claim.''


A rapper who boasted in a YouTube music video about getting rich from committing unemployment benefits fraud was arrested Friday in Los Angeles on federal charges of carrying out that very scheme by fraudulently applying for more than $1.2 million in jobless benefits, including by using stolen identities, federal prosecutors announced.

Fontrell Antonio Baines, 31, who uses the stage name "Nuke Bizzle,'' was arrested on federal charges alleging he fraudulently obtained unemployment insurance benefits under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Baines who's from of Memphis, Tennessee, and currently resides in the Hollywood Hills, is expected to make his initial appearance Friday afternoon in Los Angeles federal court.

October 16, 2020

Donald Trump Has At Least $1 Billion In Debt, More Than Twice The Amount He Suggested


No aspect of Donald Trump’s business has been the subject of more speculation than his debt load. Lots of people believe the president owes $400 million, especially after Trump seemed to agree with that figure on national television Thursday night. In reality, however, he owes more than $1 billion.

The loans are spread out over more than a dozen different assets—hotels, buildings, mansions and golf courses. Most are listed on the financial disclosure report Trump files annually with the federal government. Two, which add up to an estimated $447 million, are not.

It is important to note, as Trump did Thursday night, that he also has significant assets. Forbes values them at $3.66 billion, enough to make his net worth an estimated $2.5 billion. He is not broke, despite what many critics claim.

Some people also like to suggest that Deutsche Bank is the only institution willing to lend to Trump. That’s not true. The president’s creditors include at least six other institutions, two of which began or reworked deals while the president was in office.

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