Undercover Facebook Moderator Was Instructed Not to Remove Hate Speech

Nick Statt, writing at The Verge:

An investigative journalist who went undercover as a Facebook moderator in the UK says the company lets pages from far-right fringe groups “exceed deletion threshold,” and that those pages are “subject to different treatment in the same category as pages belonging to governments and news organizations.” The accusation is a damning one, undermining Facebook’s claims that it is actively trying to cut down on fake news, propaganda, hate speech, and other harmful content that may have significant real-world impact.

Burn it all down.

Spotify Won’t Let Users Block Harassers

Davey Alba, writing at BuzzFeed:

Since at least 2012, Spotify users like Meghan have been asking the music streaming giant for a block feature for a simple reason: Over the years, harassers and abusers have used the service to stalk and intimidate victims. […] A company representative told BuzzFeed News that Spotify “does not have any timeline on plans for a block feature.”

Mark Zuckerberg Interviewed by Kara Swisher

Kara Swisher sat down with Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. It did not go well:

Swisher: Okay. “Sandy Hook didn’t happen” is not a debate. It is false. You can’t just take that down?

Zuckerberg: I agree that it is false.

I also think that going to someone who is a victim of Sandy Hook and telling them, “Hey, no, you’re a liar” — that is harassment, and we actually will take that down. But overall, let’s take this whole closer to home…

I’m Jewish, and there’s a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened. I find that deeply offensive. But at the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong. I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong, but I think—

Swisher: In the case of the Holocaust deniers, they might be, but go ahead.

Zuckerberg: It’s hard to impugn intent and to understand the intent. I just think, as abhorrent as some of those examples are, I think the reality is also that I get things wrong when I speak publicly. I’m sure you do. I’m sure a lot of leaders and public figures we respect do too, and I just don’t think that it is the right thing to say, “We’re going to take someone off the platform if they get things wrong, even multiple times.”

You know who isn’t coming into any argument in good faith? Holocaust deniers. Big tech’s inability to grasp what their moral obligation is given the power and influence they now have is one of the biggest crisis facing us today. They simply don’t want the responsibility for what they’ve built.

One of the Last Interviews With Anthony Bourdain

One of the last interviews with Anthony Bourdain has been published. It’s full of wonderful anecdotes and stories:

I do find that my happiest moments on the road are not standing on the balcony of a really nice hotel. That’s a sort of bittersweet — if not melancholy — alienating experience, at best. My happiest moments on the road are always off-camera, generally with my crew, coming back from shooting a scene and finding ourselves in this sort of absurdly beautiful moment, you know, laying on a flatbed on those things that go on the railroad track, with a putt-putt motor, goin’ across like, the rice paddies in Cambodia with headphones on… this is luxury, because I could never have imagined having the freedom or the ability to find myself in such a place, looking at such things.

To sit alone or with a few friends, half-drunk under a full moon, you just understand how lucky you are; it’s a story you can’t tell. It’s a story you almost by definition, can’t share. I’ve learned in real time to look at those things and realize: I just had a really good moment.

Patrick Stump Composing Score for ‘Alice in Wonderland’

Dana Schwartz, writing for Entertainment Weekly:

“When you’re doing a score, it’s kind of like acting, really, because you have to get in the head of a character,” said Stump, “whereas with Fall Out Boy, if I’m writing a song, I’m going to have to get on stage every night and sing that. It’s really for me. Writing a song is more — not selfish, but you’re focused on what you would want, whereas in a film you’re just focused on telling the story.”

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Alkaline Trio to Release New Album in August

Well, it looks like Interpunk spilled the beans. Alkaline Trio will release their new album, Is This Thing Cursed?, on August 31st via Epitaph Records. The lead single “Blackbird” is up on streaming services in places like Brazil. My guess is it hits everywhere shortly. I’ll update this post with more information as it comes in but our forums will probably be first to the news if you want up-to-the-minute information.

Oh, and holy fucking shit.

Update: The song is now up on Spotify and Apple Music.