(JUST IN TIME FOR THE 2020 ELECTIONS) – Facebook hiring editors to pick stories for ‘News Tab’, that didn’t work out well last time

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Facebook will hire a “small team” of journalists to select featured content for its much-hyped ‘News Tab’ section, which the platform will begin testing across its US user base later this year.

What could go awry with human editors in charge? Facebook should know, since the company was forced to fire its last team of human content-pickers over revelations of bias against conservative viewpoints.

READ MORE: Facebook tells Trump ads can’t appeal to ‘strong women LIKE YOU,’ caving in to ex-Clinton staffer

The platform said Tuesday that the new team — which will likely be fewer than 10 employees at the beginning — will choose the content for the ‘Top News’ section of the News Tab. Stories found in the other sections will be chosen by algorithms and determined by specific user interests, the New York Times reported.

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‘Trending’ no more: Facebook removing controversial news feature

Facebook said it made the decision to go after human curators after discussions with publishers convinced them that algorithms would not be capable of “news judgement” the way real journalists would and that it would take too long to train an algorithm to that level.

But there are pitfalls to consider with human editors, too. Facebook ditched its ‘Trending Topics’ section last year after being plagued by accusations that it was politically biased and amplified “fake news.” 

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An explosive Gizmodo story put the spotlight on Trending Topics in 2016, revealing that human editors, independently contracted by Facebook, were asked to suppress conservative news and even stories about Facebook itself.

The contractors were also told to artificially “inject” preferred stories into the trending module, even if they were not trending organically. Rather than relying on algorithms (as it claimed), Facebook was acting like a traditional news organization and reflecting the personal biases of its employees.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that Facebook is planning to pay publishers “millions of dollars” to include their content in its News Tab.

A source told Digiday that the new batch of curators will be given the option to include that content in the Top News section, but they will not be obliged to. The new hires will be full-time employees, unlike the contractors used for the doomed Trending Topics section.

As Facebook rolls out the News Tab, users will no doubt be waiting to see if it has learned its lesson after the last debacle.

READ MORE: Google is censoring political content? *Gasp!* Who knew?

Sanctuary City New York Likely Freed 3K Criminal Illegal Aliens in Last Year

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), officers arrest an undocumented Mexican immigrant during a raid in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn on April 11, 2018 in New York City as part of "Operation Keep Safe." JOHN MOORE/GETTY

By John Binder

The sanctuary city of New York likely freed from custody close to 3,000 illegal aliens arrested for various crimes, city records reveal.

New York Police Department (NYPD) records reviewed by the New York Daily News finds that law enforcement officials released likely more than 2,900 illegal aliens back into communities despite their having been arrested for crimes.

Specifically, the NYPD failed to honor 2,916 requests by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency between July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 to hold criminal illegal aliens in local custody and turn them over to federal agents for arrest and deportation.

According to the analysis, NYPD law enforcement officials only provided ICE with data in seven cases where criminal illegal aliens had been arrested. That data included incarceration status, the scheduled release date of the illegal alien, and potential court hearings where the illegal alien would be present.

These seven cases in which ICE was provided with data by the NYPD included illegal aliens who had previously been convicted for at least one violent crime.

Not only has New York City been one of the most high-profile sanctuary cities in the country, shielding thousands of illegal aliens from deportation every year, but the state of New York will soon allow eligible illegal aliens to obtain driver’s license — which could potentially lead to illegal aliens voting in local, state, and federal elections.

New York state is home to at least 725,000 illegal aliens, making it the fourth most illegal-populated state in the county, following California, Texas, and Florida.

‘Russians killed Epstein’: Go home everyone, Alec Baldwin is on the case

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Alec Baldwin, you are a talented and likeable actor, but why do so many of your political pronouncements sound like you are trying to sabotage your own side?

I mean why in the world would you just tweet, “The Russians killed Epstein. They’re in charge of everything now.”

If so, perhaps you would like to elaborate. You’ve definitely got our attention.

Or is this satire?

I won’t list your numerous comedy credits, you give a funny interview, and do a mean Trump impression.

Maybe, you are inhabiting the role of a paranoid Democratic conspiracy theorist who blames even the most random of unfortunate coincidences on the dark hand of the Kremlin.

If so, this is very convincing.

However, if you wrote this in earnest, and you think that you know this stuff just because you KNOW IT, then I am not just bemused. I am a little disheartened.

By Igor Ogorodnev

Facebook had human contractors ‘reviewing’ users’ Messenger voice chats

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Facebook says it has stopped feeding users’ audio chats to human reviewers for transcription, similar to what other Big Tech were recently caught doing. Facebook’s contractors were reportedly kept in the dark about their job.

The company “paused human review more than a week ago,” Facebook said in a statement on Tuesday, adding that the audio being reviewed was from Messenger users who opted in to having their voice chats transcribed to text by AI. The human transcribers were merely checking whether the AI transcriptions were correct, the company said.

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Monopoly? What monopoly? Facebook to consolidate empire by branding Instagram, WhatsApp

Contractors often caught snippets of intimate or “vulgar” chats, though the messages were anonymized, and they were not told why they were transcribing the audio, where it came from or how it was obtained, contractors told Bloomberg. Some said the uncertainty and apparent duplicity – Facebook doesn’t tell users third parties may review their audio – troubled them.

While the company admits it collects “content, communications and other information you provide [when you] message or communicate with others,” there is no mention in its data use policy of humans processing the information. Instead, it’s Facebook’s “systems” that are supposed to “automatically process content and communications you and others provide to analyze context and what’s in them.” Even the list of third parties who might potentially receive users’ information doesn’t explicitly include human transcription teams, only “vendors and service providers who support our business” by “analyzing how our products are used.”

Further adding to contractors’ concerns about eavesdropping on users’ private messages is the fact that Facebook forbids at least one outsourcing firm from referring to them by name. Santa Monica, California-based TaskUs instead refers to one of its largest and most important clients only by the code-name “Prism” – which is, ironically, also the name of the NSA initiative exposed by Edward Snowden that installed backdoors in popular online platforms like Google, Skype, Twitter, and…Facebook.

TaskUs contractors also moderate content for policy violations, screen political ads, and work on “election preparation,” an ominous term Bloomberg opts not to define but which has previously coincided with mass deplatforming of political accounts in the months preceding elections. Facebook’s content-moderation contracting practices were exposed earlier this year after ex-contractors from outsourcing firm Cognizant complained that the work was giving them PTSD, leading them to drown their traumas in drug use and casual sex, and shaking their beliefs in the “official” versions of historical events like 9/11 and the Holocaust. Those employees, too, were forbidden from referring to Facebook by its given name.

Facebook added the AI transcription function to Messenger in 2015 and claims it is switched off by default. Its documentation, however, reveals that only one participant in a chat needs to opt in for the audio to be transcribed.

After similar practices were exposed by Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple Siri, all three have promised to end the human eavesdropping – or at least give users the option of avoiding it. Apple has reportedly ended human “grading” of Siri recordings until a future software update gives users the option of participating, while Amazon has added an opt-out setting and Google has promised to suspend human review…in Europe, for at least three months.

THE MEMES “YOU CAN’T REFUSE” – INTERNET USERS MOCK CHRIS “FREDO” CUOMO

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Anti-Trump CNN anchor compared to traitorous brother from The Godfather series

By Kelen McBreen

Internet users flooded Twitter with memes mocking a viral video of CNN’s Chris Cuomo threatening to assault a man who called him “Fredo,” a fictional character from The Godfather film trilogy who betrayed his own family.

In the footage, Cuomo claimed “Fredo” was “like the N-word” for Italians and threatened to throw the man down a flight of stairs.

Below are the best memes to come from the trending video:

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Even President Trump chimed in, saying, “I thought Chris was Fredo also. The truth hurts. Totally lost it! Low ratings @CNN.”

Whistle-Blower Reported Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Suicide’ on 4Chan Before the News Went Public

The details surrounding Epstein’s mysterious death paint a dark picture.

By Shane Trejo

The case of Democrat-affiliated sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein, who died in prison on Saturday morning in what has been called a suicide by the fake news media, is becoming more scandalous with every detail that emerges about his mysterious death.

A post on the free speech forum 4Chan reported about Epstein’s death before the details were made known to the public, the New York Posthas revealed. The whistle-blower reportedly made the post around 40 minutes before the Post and other news outlets broke the story.

“[D]ont ask me how I know, but Epstein died an hour ago from hanging, cardiac arrest. Screencap this,” the 4chan post said.

The New York City Fire Department (NYCFD) announced they were reviewing the matter, as it was suspected that the post was made by a first responder among their ranks. However, the NYCFD told Buzzfeed News that authorities “determined this alleged information did not come from the Fire Department.”

It is more likely the information came from an emergency medical technician (EMT). Oren Barzilay, union president for the EMT workers Local 2507 in New York, said there could be serious consequences if the whistle-blower’s identity was uncovered as an EMT because “our members do not release this type of confidential information, this looks like a 3rd party info.”

“There’s serious consequences for those violations. Discipline. Suspensions. Civil penalties, etc,” Barzilay said in an email to BuzzFeed, adding that the union may investigate a potential confidentiality breach “if such a claim came forward.”

Dr. Keith Wesley, who has written EMS manuals, told Buzzfeed that his analysis of the whistle-blower’s subsequent 4chan posts indicated that the individual was likely an EMS worker due to the industry-specific language he used in describing the details of medical procedures performed on Epstein before he was pronounced dead.

“This sounds like standard American Heart Association guidelines, which most EMS agencies use,” Wesley said.

“If one of the medics posted this separately that’s a breach of protocol,” he added. “If there was identifying information on the patient, that is a violation of Federal HIPPA law.”

The Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Prisons said in a statement that “staff requested emergency medical services (EMS) and life-saving efforts continued” until “Mr. Epstein was transported by EMS to a local hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries, and subsequently pronounced dead by hospital staff.”

The investigation into Epstein’s criminal continues as various law enforcement authorities conducted a raid on the late predator’s former private island, Little St. James on Monday. The footage of the raid was caught by a citizen journalist, with authorities blocking the view once they caught a drone with a camera mounted upon it observing their behavior.

That footage can be seen here:

The world is waiting for the results of the coroner’s report, which is taking an abnormally long time to take place and be reported to the public. President Donald Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr have called for a full investigation into the suspicious circumstances surrounding Epstein’s death.

Bernie Sanders: Trump Is the ‘Most Dangerous President’ in U.S. History

Bernie Sanders in Littleton, New Hampshire (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)

By Joel B. Pollak

LITTLETON, New Hampshire — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) rounded out his two-day swing through New Hampshire at an ice cream social on Tuesday afternoon, telling a packed crowd at the Littleton Opera House that Donald Trump is “the most dangerous president” in American history.

Sanders’s pitch to the audience of 327 people — some of whom had traveled from Vermont and Massachusetts to see him — was that his campaign is best placed to defeat Trump nationwide.

A new poll Tuesday showed Sanders leading in New Hampshire, where he defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016. During that campaign, Sanders told voters that he had a better chance of defeating Trump than Clinton. Nearly four years later, many of his supporters feel that prediction has been vindicated.

Sanders touted Medicare for All, as well as proposals for gun control. He called for expanding background checks, banning “assault weapons,” ending the “gun show loophole” that allows people to purchase guns at gun shows without background checks, and for shutting down what he called the “straw man provision” — which he claimed would allow someone to “walk into a gun store, buy a dozen guns, and sell those guns to criminal elements.”

(In fact, according to the pro-gun control Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, straw purchases are already illegal under federal law: “Federal law prohibits straw purchases by criminalizing the making of false statements to an FFL [federal firearms-licensed dealer] about a material fact on ATF Form 4473, or presenting false identification in connection with the firearm purchase.”)

Sanders also told the audience that “Medicare for All” enjoyed majority support — which is true, though polls also show “Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents” prefer a policy that builds on Obamacare, rather than replacing it with a single-payer system, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Sanders concluded by telling the audience that he was fighting the “corporate power elite in America whose greed and corruption has destroyed the middle class of the country.”

“I cannot take them on alone,” he added, urging them to join his effort to win the presidency. “That’s what this campaign is about … I am asking your help, the day after we are inaugurated, to work with me to stand up to the corporate elite and tell them that this country does not belong to a handful of billionaires. It belongs to all of us.”

During the question-and-answer session, answering a query about the Department of Veterans Affairs from a young veteran with a large blond Afro, Sanders quipped: “That’s what my hair looked like a few years ago.”

Edith Labonte, who drove to the event from Cabot, Vermont, told Breitbart News that she is confident Sanders will win the state.

“He’s gonna win. He has to,” she said. “He’s for the people. There’s no other president that has been directly for the people like he has … I love Bernie.”

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