Categories
Media NEW YORK CITY ARCHIVES NEWS & POLITICS ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES Technology THE FRONT ARCHIVES

The Three Worst Facebook Spams!

Why do these same old annoying, fake, potentially viral messages keep popping up on my page?

3) “Hey Michael, I can’t believe it, I actually got a free ipad to test out and keep. They are only giving away a limited supply, so I’m showing you this. I absolutely LOVE the iPad :)” blah blah..  

Sorry, I’m busy buying the Brooklyn Bridge.

]

2) “Check out this video of a baby. It’s so cute!”  Hey, everyone loves a cute baby. But this ain’t it!

And the most irritating of all…

1) “Look at you in this video. What are you doing? LOL”.

This is the kind of link all narcissists want to open, even after it turns out to be bogus the first time. And the second time. But by now, it’s become the devil — a hideous nuisance that still makes absolutely no sense to me.

And I always blame the person who “sent” it even though they had nothing to do with it!

Death to Facebook spams!

Categories
Media NEW YORK CITY ARCHIVES NEWS & POLITICS ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES Technology THE FRONT ARCHIVES Washington, D.C.

Willow Palin’s Homophobic, Illiterate Facebook Remarks

Sarah Palin‘s TLC show Sarah Palin’s Alaska is a touching, beautiful tribute to the state Palin basically said “fuck you” to by dropping out of the governorship to grab more money and power.

Well, in defending the show on Facebook, her 16-year-old daughter Willow Palin told someone, “Your so gay” and “you such a [f word].”

The grammatical idiocy of her remarks isn’t that surprising, but the blatant homophobia is, since I assumed the Palin clan would be better trained not to defecate in public.

[NY Daily News]

 

Categories
Equality Media NEW YORK CITY ARCHIVES NEWS & POLITICS ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES Technology THE FRONT ARCHIVES

I Have 5,000 Friends on Facebook

And three in real life!

But the important thing is that on Facebook, I have achieved my goal of 5,000 pen pals, and now I don’t have to be pestered all day by people begging for my confirmation anymore.

I simply said yes to everyone in the last nine months so I could fill up my popularity plate and go on with my little life, unfettered by the nattering and the pleading.

]

And now I no longer wake up every day to literally 50 emails from people with moist eyes begging to be my virtual confidante.

That’s 50 fewer “confirms” or “ignores” a day and about 100 fewer “Please ‘like’ Hubba’s Hair Salon and Barbecued Ribs” to deal with!

It’s a way lower risk of carpal tunnel and/or emotional overload.

And I’m already missing all that! Where did the constant parade of ego boosts go?

As an ominous silence fills my computer screen, it feels like no one wants me as a friend anymore, just the 5,000 ones I already have in my pocket.

Waah. Be careful what you wish for.

Categories
Equality Media NEW YORK CITY ARCHIVES NEWS & POLITICS ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES Technology THE FRONT ARCHIVES

Let’s Answer That Arkansas Hatemonger!

You know, the idiotic Midland School Board member who wrote on Facebook that he wouldn’t wear purple in memory of the teen gay suicides because, “The only way I wear it for them is if they all commit suicide.

“We are honoring the fact that they sinned and killed therselves because of their sin.

REALLY PEOPLE.”

]

Aside from the terrible grammar and lapsed spelling, this dummo–Clint McCance — needs to hear our replies, spoken in a very loud voice, or at least capital letters.

I’ll start:

WE DIDN’T KILL OURSELVES BECAUSE OF OUR SIN.

WE HAVEN’T COMMITTED ANY SIN.

WE KILLED OURSELVES BECAUSE MORONS LIKE YOU DECIDED IT WAS A SIN AND SHAMELESSLY BULLIED US ABOUT IT.

YOU’RE THE SINNERS.

Categories
Media NEW YORK CITY ARCHIVES NEWS & POLITICS ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES Technology THE FRONT ARCHIVES

Join “National Anti-Bullying Day–November 1st” on Facebook

Organizer Oscar Aydin just sent out this impassioned letter:

“November 1st has been selected as ‘National Anti-Bullying Day’, as it coincides with November being National Child Safety and Protection month.

“I’ve taken the liberty of beginning to send letters to all the elected officials in our government to declare November 1st as ‘National Anti-Bullying Day’. If you’d like to send a letter please let me know and I’ll forward you mine.

]

“On November 1st, whether it is declared a national holiday or not, I am trying to organize a march/rally which ends in Union Square.

“If you are not in NYC and would like to organize your own rally, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do so. We need support from all across this country!

“I ask that each of you take 5 minutes of your day and invite 20 people to join.

“If each person were able to get 20 people, there would be over 20,000 members. I’D LIKE TO GET 5,000 members by this Friday and I know we can do it.

“As a victim of bullying, this is very important to me! Not only was I bullied by my classmates, I was also bullied by my teachers, which only made my life worse…but I got through it…and we have to let all victims know, they’ll get through it too and it will get better!

“Thank you again for joining this cause, no one deserves to live in fear and pain, no one!

“Best,

Oscar Aydin”

So please go on Facebook and join this anti-bullying campaign pronto, folks. I’ll keep bullying you till you do so.

Categories
CULTURE ARCHIVES Equality FILM ARCHIVES Media NEW YORK CITY ARCHIVES NEWS & POLITICS ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES Technology THE FRONT ARCHIVES

I Talked ‘Facebook Movie’ on MSNBC

On Saturday, I popped by MSNBC to discuss the young-ambition epic The Social Network with anchor Alex Witt, a conversation that many people felt compelled to turn off their computers and phones to watch.

I described Facebook as the place where you share such important factoids as your ongoing lust for potato leek soup and your sudden need for a new batch of carpet cleaner.

I also said I’m hooked on it like candy.

And I talked about the movie’s content and whether or not you should confirm it as a friend.

After that, we went on to discuss the 50th anniversary of that prehistoric cartoon sitcom The Flintstones, but I yabba-dabba-don’t have video of that, so you’ll just have to take my word for it while imagining all the hilarious things I must have said about Ann Margrock and Stony Curtis!

Categories
Media NEW YORK CITY ARCHIVES NEWS & POLITICS ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES Technology THE FRONT ARCHIVES

Why Do Your Facebook Friends Insist on…

Suggesting other people for you to be friends with?

I find it really irritating — like when relatives used to whisper, “You should hang out with the loser down the block. You two really belong together!”

What do the FB freaks get out of this nudgy gesture?

]

Does it make them feel like some kind of magnanimous social networker, a nouveau Pearl Mesta bringing people together who don’t even care about them, let alone their friends?

Do they get points with those friends by hooking them up — potentially, anyway — with someone else that they’ve already connected with, someone that might give them a tiny bit of bragging rights?

(“I know someone who was in the audience for Judge Judy. No, really. I can suggest that he ‘friend’ you, OK? Amazing, right? But then you’ll owe me dinner and an outfit.”)

I’d sincerely love it if these busybodies minded their own business, mainly because whenever I’ve confirmed the new “friends” they suggest, those people don’t confirm me back!

Categories
Media NEWS & POLITICS ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES Technology THE FRONT ARCHIVES

Breaking: Mark Zuckerberg is Shady, Facebook is Shady, The Internet is Shady

So, get this shit. Business Insider reports that six years ago, someone invented a product that both revolutionized the way in which we connect with other people, as well as the way in which we share pictures of that one time we got extraordinarily drunk at that donkey show in TJ. And when they did it, they were sketchy.

Yes, yet again, another story about how you are being like, Stop, no, don’t by which you mean Please, more, this is hot and Eazy-E Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is like Biiiiiiiiiitch.

Facebook’s finely cultivated reputation for being a little too touchy-feely with your privacy is pretty out in the open, now, thanks to a bunch of bloggers, who basically looked at Facebook and explained how, in very plain sight, they are taking advantage of information you gave them that you had assumed was private. Much of the story of how it was founded by a savvy, hyper-capitalist Harvard kid is also kinda out in the open now, thanks to a book and an upcoming Aaron Sorkin-penned movie based on that book. People still don’t care, and they’ll continue to use it. Which is why it comes as a bit of a surprise that Business Insider is trying so hard today to push this story they have on yet another instance of Mark Zuckerberg being shady.

The story B.I.’s Nicholas Carlson posted today regards itself with a pretty grand title:
“How Facebook Was Founded.” Sounds definitive. Basically, their story boils down to this:

  • Eduardo Saverin, a shady Brazillian kid, was Facebook’s first investor.
  • Mark Zuckerberg IM’d Saverin one night, and told Saverin that he was asked to make a website just like Facebook, called Harvard Connection, for two twin brothers named Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. And that he was delaying it for the launch of Facebook. And he basically IM’d Saverin telling him that he was going to “fuck” them. In the entrepreneurial sense.
  • But there’s no evidence to suggest that Zuckerberg totally ripped his idea for Facebook from Team Harvard Connection, and nothing to really justify the $65M settlement the Winklevoss twins later received.
  • Also, Zuckerberg hacked into a Harvard Crimson reporter’s Facebook account one time in 2004.
  • And also hacked into Winklevoss venture Connect U in 2004, wrote some dumb shit in their profiles, and made them harder to find on their own social network.

Does any of this come as a surprise, though? Entrepreneurs have competition; this is not the first time in modern American history winning competitions over money has been shady. Facebook is a product predicated on you giving someone information that you once considered private. Why? Because you trust them with it! Even though someone once told you not to trust strangers, even if those strangers claim to be friendly people.

No doubt the Winklevoss brothers knew at some point that Zuckerberg had caused some mischief, but didn’t make a stink about it because they probably have done some shady shit while founding a company, too. The question of what gives a reporter the ability to assess the value of a settlement also comes up: If I could pay $65M to get some people who bug the shit out of me to go away, then yes, I’d absolutely pay up. That price is a bargain for some people. Besides which, aspects of these things (like Saverin’s participation in Facebook’s creation) have already been detailed elsewhere.

On the other hand, whether you read Business Insider reporter Nicholas Carlson’s (otherwise entirely commendable) Facebook reporting or not, and whether it’s true or not — where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And here, there’s yet another headline and more allegations of Mark Zuckerberg building a billion-dollar baby by playing with his elbows out and being a sneaky little fuck. More allegations of really rich people who got really rich off of a product that you give your otherwise private information to by being cunning. And?

It’s difficult to contain anything but a kneejerk sigh; it’s hard not to be jaded about it. Because like most evidence that people have ensnared themselves in a corrupt system built with and by behaviors and ideas that our world would be better without, it’s ostensibly a fun, exciting, scandalous yarn. But really, though, it’s just another reminder of how long ago we became resigned to both condoning and contributing to the success of these enterprises. In order to stand against this kind of thing, I’d have to, at the very least, and as the very first step, give up my Facebook account. And I really don’t care enough to do that.

Also, those donkey show photos are hysterical.

Categories
Media NEWS & POLITICS ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES THE FRONT ARCHIVES

Why This Decade Sucked, Reason #10: Social Media Ruined the Internet

We will, in the closing days of this wretched decade, list the Top Ten reasons why it sucked, starting from the bottom.

Remember back in the 90s, when you loved the internet? When you saw it through a child’s eyes, and clapped with delight at dancing hamsters, cruddy Flash animations, and Suck.com? Everything was shiny and new, and every innovation was a revelation that made you eager to see what the wizards would come up with next.

Now look at the damn thing. It’s TV with an endless number of stations — except the flipper gives you carpal tunnel. It’s an endless time-suck, a global addiction, and a drag.

You say it’s brought many wonders into your life? No doubt. You can shop for cars, books, jobs, etc. You can join communities you never even knew you wanted to join. Porn is free as the wind blows, free as the grass grows. The internet has everything and gives it to you fast. You can’t imagine life without it.

Which is part of why it sucks: it has become depressingly indispensable, like a car or a microwave. It has evolved to the point where it can’t do much more for you. Which is to say, it isn’t going to get any better: it will add features, but will basically remain the same tool: a super TV that you can talk back to.

Ah, talking back — now, there was an innovation: Social Media, the last significant piece in the internet evolution, and beginning of the end of the dream.

In this decade that is winding down, an enormous number of people came to believe that the internet was going to become a conduit of people power that would change life as we know it, as surely as the Internet Bubble was going to make us all millionaires and Urban Fetch was going to be everyone’s butler.

Remember when the big thing was blogs? When people were calling the first social media tool “people’s media,” “we-dia,” and other such self-bestowed honorifics? When Megan McArdle said blogs would turn the internet into “a very advanced, processing brain,” a self-correcting mechanism that would perfect journalism and advance human thought into a golden age?

We should have known from blogging’s early successes what was really going to become of it. Those successes were not about enlightenment — elucidating issues, or spurring debate — but about taking down public figures obnoxious to bloggers.

Online Journalism Review called 2004 “the year bloggers made a difference,” not because it had improved the national discourse, but because it had destroyed the career of Dan Rather. When bloggers helped take down Trent Lott, John Podhoretz called him “The Internet’s First Scalp,” and exulted, “there’s nothing more exciting than watching a new medium mature before your eyes” — as if the ability to ruin a politician, as newspapers had done for decades, were a sign of maturity.

And with the rush to war in Iraq came the phenomenon of “warbloggers” — online belligerents who hollered for invasion and denounced all foot-draggers as traitors. They thought themselves a new breed of patriot, rescuing the nation from post-Vietnam drift, but were merely a useful feeder stream for a new jingoism that enmeshed America in foreign morasses wherein we remain hopelessly bound today.

One of the warblogs OGs, Matt Welch, looked back in 2006 on those heady times and reflected, “Man, was I wrong.” Nonetheless he admitted, “I can’t shake the feeling of nostalgia for a promising cross-partisan moment that just fizzled away.” By “cross-partisan,” of course, he meant that some people joined his bellowing who later grew hoarse and unsure; there were others who disagreed from the start, but they were disregarded, because they were not part of the great new blog thing.

No wonder Welch was nostalgic for those days of heady, righteous certainty. Like William Allan White, who admitted years after his infatuation with the Bull Moose cause, “TR bit me and I went mad,” Welch had been swept up in a movement that promised to change everything, and saw that it had only changed the design template of ancient political instruments.

It turned out that the internet wasn’t an advanced, processing brain, after all, nor an agent of meaningful change. In the political realm, it has revealed it only had one enduring value: as a propaganda tool.

A few people have become better informed about national issues because of it, but far more have been made to know to a certainly that the Congressional health care plan includes “death panels,” that Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya who will turn America socialist, and that his wife is Marie Antoinette. We admit our own part in this, for we would rather focus on the latest batshit crazy thing Michele Bachmann said than on the details of the East Anglia email scandal (which has proved for many that “global warming is a fraud“).

Take, as a small but tellingly insane example, a recent commenter at the Staten Island Advance who lashed out at local congressman Michael McMahon; the commenter had been taught by blogs that McMahon supported “Next Left Notes, a rabid, evil, leftist organization dedicated to the overthrow of America, and it’s reconstuition as a Marxist utopia.” Michael McMahon — as mainstream a party hack as you might find anywhere, an agent of Marxist revolution! Thanks to blogs, our political discourse now reads like Red Channels mixed with an Andrew Breitbart monologue.

And all the social media devices that have emerged since then have added nothing to improve the situation. Did you see the top Twitter “news events” trends of 2009? #1 was #iranelection. Ah, that takes us back. Everyone was turning their icons green and retweeting the latest 140-character samizdat from the streets of Tehran. Keep up the pressure! the optimists cried. The green revolution is within our grasp!

Now see where we are: Iran is still a dictatorship, and Billy Kristol is back to thinking up new reasons to invade it.

Politics isn’t everything, of course. The non-news Top Twitter Trending Topics of the year include Michael Jackson, Harry Potter, and American Idol. Perhaps you feel as if you became better informed on these subjects because of Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and Digg. More likely, you were just more inundated with them; you got more video and audio clips, saw more trailers and red-carpet photos, and read more gossip and reiterations of the same bare facts about them. What did social media teach you about Michael Jackson, besides how big a deal it was that he was dead?

And as for Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc, we can hardly tell you anything you haven’t discovered yourself. You have XXX friends; you have XX invitations; so-and-so likes this; view all X comments. These are wonderful tools for shut-ins, of which they have made us all.

That the grand hopes for we-dia and all the crap that came with it would prove a catastrophic bust is no surprise to students of history, who know what became of the Journals-Affiches of the French Revolution, and all the proletarian outlets thereafter.

But it is important to note not only what, but who failed in this case. It is tempting but too easy to lay the blame at the doorstep of one political faction or other. The real force behind blogs, Twitter, and all other social media is its users, which is to say, practically everyone of the internet. And this is the saddest part of the demise of the internet as anything other than a microwave for the mind: we are the ones who killed it. And no matter how feverishly we click and scroll and friend and block, nothing we do can bring it back to life.

Categories
Datebook FOOD ARCHIVES Healthcare Listings NEW YORK CITY ARCHIVES NEWS & POLITICS ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES THE FRONT ARCHIVES

More Ways to Waste Time on the Internets!

We have just discovered yet another outlet for our self-important restaurant critiques. As if this blog wasn’t enough. We have already found out our “Food IQ” on Facebook, and of course you can virtually bake a pie for your friend, or make a meatpie out of her(?), figure out what fast food chain you would be, what type of bagel you are, tell you friends about your diet (boo!), share “food porn”… and way too much more.

But there are also Menu Pages-esque applications that let you keep your friends up to date with where you’ve been eating and why the sauce was too rich or the service was excellent. This, like sharing movie recommendations or music picks, could actually be useful, since you know where the advice is coming from, and whether you tend to agree with the reviewer (unlike many sites, which are frequented by anonymous wingnuts). Plus you never have to talk to anyone in person again. Maybe you can just bring your blackberry to dinner.