In some ways, the often informal and unsupervised channels through which remote work takes place can actually enable increased harassment—because of both the lack of oversight and witnesses to employee interactions and the blurring of barriers between professional and personal spaces. “We often hide for a reason, and for many of us, the pandemic made that covering impossible,”
Adding to an already ridiculously long list of complaints, now Facebook’s content moderators say a higher-up asked company-appointed counselors to share information from their sessions, according to a new report from the Intercept.
Numerous investigations have described this workforce as notoriously underpaid and overworked in crappy working conditions that require them to scan through some of the most disturbing posts the internet can offer. You know, all the things it might behoove someone to see a therapist about.
This most recent criticism comes from a site in Austin, Texas, led by Accenture, an independent contractor Facebook hired to oversee 1,500 of its content moderators. Accenture and Facebook also employ trauma counselors, a.k.a. “wellness coaches,” to help staff cope after screening all that potentially graphic content to judge whether it violates the company’s terms of service.
A former student says she’s suing the University of Cambridge over the way it dealt with her harassment complaint.
Dani Bradford, 21, says she’s taken the action because she “wants things to change for other students”.
The university upheld a complaint she made about being sent “sexualised” text messages – but Dani isn’t happy with the way it handled her case.
Cambridge University says it “takes the personal safety of its students very seriously”.
Silicon Valley’s biggest companies have partnered with a single organization to fight sex trafficking — one that maintains a data collection pipeline, is partnered with Palantir, and helps law enforcement profile and track sex workers without their consent. Major websites like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and others are working with a nonprofit called Thorn (“digital defenders of children”) and, perhaps predictably, its methods are dubious.
Thorn offers internet companies its content moderation tool “Safer,” and for law enforcement, its separate data-mining and user-profiling tool “Spotlight.” Both use data sources and AI to automate policing of sex content. Of Thorn’s 31 nonprofit partners, 27 target adults and vow to abolish consensual sex work under the banner of saving children from sex trafficking.
Last week, Mark Chambers, the mayor of Carbon Hill, Alabama, shared an image on his Facebook page that read, in all-caps, “WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY WHERE HOMOSEXUALS LECTURE US ON MORALS, TRANSVESTITES LECTURE US ON HUMAN BIOLOGY, BABY KILLERS LECTURE US ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIALISTS LECTURE US ON ECONOMICS.”
SOUNDS LIKE AN OKAY WORLD TO ME!
In case the post wasn’t clear enough on just where he stands on the issue of LGBT rights (or abortion, or socialism), after a friend commented that it “will take a revolution” to change society, Chambers then replied, “The only way to change it would be to kill the problem out. I know it’s bad to say but with out killing them out there’s no way to fix it.”
Has anyone talked to Kesha about the 2020 election recently? Based on the new track she dropped on Monday, she is mad as hell and ready for change. “Rich, White, Straight Men” is a droll, tongue-in-cheek critique of the United States’ treatment of women, immigrants, and same-sex couples who want to get married. Kesha also takes serious issue with the country’s reluctance to adopt universal healthcare and free college for all. The message is clear! (Is she voting Warren?)
Sonically, this song is unlike any other Kesha’s ever released; there are no thumping club beats or glittery opening chords. This is far from the perfectly manicured pop songs that were once her calling card. “Rich, White, Straight Men” opens with the unsettling sound of cashiers opening and coins falling, and then Kesha begins to dryly check off a list of policies that would materially improve our lives, if only the people in power would enact them. The best part, though, is the song’s literal chorus of voices demanding to know “What if the rich, white, straight men didn’t rule the world anymore?” The melody is almost… swashbuckling? Burlesque? Kesha’s voice uncharacteristically slides up and down as she sings “Guess what, God is a woman, I know her.” The whole thing feels slightly uncomfortable, I guess rather like the political climate. It’s an unprecedented and ultimately enjoyable change for her; what would it sound like if this Kesha made a whole album? I look forward to finding out.
Women in Japan are asking that the government ban employers from discriminating against women who don’t wear high heels to job interviews or work. The movement was started by freelance writer and actor Yumi Ishikawa, who submitted a petition with more than 18,000 signatures to the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare on Monday, according to BuzzFeed News Japan.
As a recently out gay woman, I was a little unsure at first about how to talk with my kids about LGBTQ+ topics. But, even before I accepted my identity and told my family I was gay, having these conversations was something that was important to me. I wanted my kids to be allies, not just for me, but for the queer community at large. I also wanted to make it clear to them that if they fall anywhere within the beautiful LGBTQ+ rainbow, I will accept and love them for who they are.
Still, I understand that if you’re not surrounded by queer folks, it can feel arbitrary or forced to suddenly start talking to your kids about “gay” topics. It helps to keep in mind, though, that you are talking about diversity of love and gender expression. We can all relate to being true to ourselves, right? But what if you don’t really know what to say? What if you yourself feel under-informed? And how the heck does one even begin to explain all of this to a kid?
Bias on social media has become a highly politicized topic in the US—started mainly by right-wingers crying foul at having their accounts suspended or banned, and snowballing in a series of congressional hearings on the subject. The White House itself spun up a website last week for people to report incidents of censorship due to political beliefs.
We can argue as to whether the fears of the Trump administration or its various howling Twitter goons are grounded in reality (many have), but the fact is: social media platforms are lousy arbiters of speech. Their rules tend to be opaque and their enforcement is capricious. At least, that’s what a newly-launched project from the Electronic Frontier Foundation contends.
Last week, Taiwan became the first place in Asia to legally recognize same-sex marriage. And on Saturday, over a thousand people celebrated that landmark ruling with a massive wedding banquet.
According to NPR, the celebration included a big group wedding, with about 20 couples tying the knot in Taipei, Taiwan’s capital city. In addition to the couples, there were about 1,600 supporters and other guests in attendance, all of whom watched the newlyweds walk down a red carpet. There were rainbow flags, lots of food, and festivities galore.