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Facebook jail, Grant's Tomb, Für Elise, why McDonalds ice cream machines are always broken
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Published Tuesday, April 27, 2021 @ 12:01 AM EDT
Apr 27 2021

I'm scheduled to be released from Facebook "jail" today, a week after I was suspended from the social networking platform for a satirical cartoon I posted six years ago that supposedly violated "Community Standards." My only guess is that it popped up in the daily "Memories" feed and got tagged there. Bear in mind, the post was perfectly okay in 2015, when I shared it from another account.

Ah, Community Standards... a vague set of rules established to protect Facebook from criticism that it harbors Bad People Thinking Bad Thoughts. But the standards are subjectively interpreted, and randomly and arbitrarily enforced by buggy AI software that doesn't understand the concepts of satire, sarcasm, and parody.

I was suspended two years ago for this picture, which Facebook's artificial intelligence bots tagged as "hate speech":

It's an obvious, self-deprecating male joke. I was offending men? Women? The dog?

Facebook has an appeal process, and for several times each day in the past week I stated my case in the form supplied, hit the send button, and received this:

I think it's hard coded into the page.

What's particularly frustrating is the whole banning business is totally opaque. You're told you can't post for a specified period of time, and then are directed to review the Community Standards to make certain you don't do it again. But in many cases, Facebook doesn't tell you what it was you were doing that triggered the censorbot: violating some advertising rule, promoting hate speech, etc. It's like being pinched by the feds, having them hand you the U.S. Code, and telling you to read it to discover why you were arrested.

And of course, there's no way to actually contact a human being at Facebook. If you go to the page to report a problem and send them the details, you just get a pop-up acknowledging submission.

The guy in the video sums up the whole thing. Understandably NSFW language, but it's no worse than some of the stuff that appears on Facebook that, for some reason, doesn't get flagged for violating community standards:

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Thought of the day: "I rise only to say that I do not intend to say anything. I thank you for your hearty welcomes and good cheers." (Known as Grant's perfect speech.)
-Ulysses S. Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant, April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885) (More Ulysses S. Grant quotes)
Speaking of dead presidents... on this day in 1994, Richard M. Nixon was buried on the grounds of the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California.

Contemporary Thought of the Day: Just think, in 30 years this country will be run by people who were home schooled by alcoholics.

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Among other things, today is Babe Ruth Day, Marine Mammal Rescue Day, Matanzas Mule Day, Morse Code Day, National Devil Dog Day, National Prime Rib Day, National Tell a Story Day, International Design Day, and World Tapir Day.

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On this date in 1810, Ludwig van Beethoven wrote Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor (WoO 59, Bia 515) for solo piano, commonly known as Für Elise. One of his most popular compositions, and one of the most famous piano pieces of all time, it was not published during his lifetime, only being discovered (by Ludwig Nohl ) 40 years after his death.

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On this day in 1897, Grant's Tomb was dedicated. Officially the General Grant National Memorial, President Ulysses S. Grant and his wife Julia Grant are entombed there. Thus, "Who is buried in Grant's Tomb?" is a pedantic, trick question. No one is buried there.

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Sheena Easton (b. Sheena Shirley Orr, 27 April 1959) is 62 today. She had 15 US Top 40 singles, seven US top tens and one US No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1981 and 1991.

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The current junior United States Senator from New York, Cory Booker, (b. Cory Anthony Booker, April 27, 1969) is 52 today. Notable quote: "Before you speak to me about your religion, first show it to me in how you treat other people. Before you tell me how much you love your God, show me in how much you love all His children." (More Cory Booker quotes)

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On this date in 1981, Xerox introduced the first commercially available computer mouse.

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On this date in 2011, the 2011 Super Outbreak devastated parts of the Southeastern United States, especially the states of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee. 205 tornadoes touched down on April 27 alone, killing more than 300 and injuring hundreds more.

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Florida man indicted for selling over $1 million worth of toxic COVID-19 'miracle cure' that was bleach.

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Why the world should worry about India. The world's largest vaccine producer is struggling to overcome its latest COVID-19 surge—and that's everyone's problem.

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When you see a headline like Biden isn't banning meat, USDA chief says, you just know it's just another conservative delusion.

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Now this is great investigative journalism, no sarcasm intended: the REAL reason McDonalds' ice cream machines are always broken.

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This looks interesting, but is it really necessary? Of course, the original 1961 film was a yet another take on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, which itself was based on the 1562 narrative poem The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet and a 1556 work by William Painter.

And speaking of movies, the television rating for the Oscars® plunged 58% from 2020, with less than ten million viewers tuning in.


Categories: Computers, Cory Booker, Covid-19, Facebook, Florida, Ice Cream, Ludwig Nohl, Ludwig van Beethoven, McDonald's, Oscars, Republicans, Richard Nixon, Romeo and Juliet, Sheena Easton, Steven Spielberg, Ulysses S. Grant, Weather, West Side Story, Xerox


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Ramblings
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Published Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 1:27 PM EST
Feb 26 2013

I imagine our Shelties all would have Scottish accents if they could speak, and Lucy, the oldest, would sound just like Deborah Kerr in the original Casino Royale.

They should just create a "Best Quentin Tarantino Film" category and be done with it.

How can you not like an Oscars show with two Captain Kirks?

I wish Spielberg had won best director. How great would it have been for him to talk too long and to have the Jaws music start..

The Pope's tweets come from an Apple device, which is kind of funny when you think about it...

Since I'm not a fan, I was a bit apprehensive about Seth McFarland hosting the Oscars. His performance reminded me of Calvin Trillin's suggested state motto for New Jersey: "Not as bad as you might have expected."

"Why Seth MacFarlane's Oscars were mean spirited and misogynistic, coming up next after our review of the worst dressed women."
-@Crutnacker

Totally unrelated: It turns out Person of Interest is more of a documentary...


Categories: Apple, Calvin Trillin, Dogs, Jaws, Nova (PBS), Observations, Oscars, Person of Interest, Quentin Tarantino, Religion, Seth McFarlane, Star Trek, Steven Spielberg, Video, YouTube


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