Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Meme War!!! - What I am reading 7/5/2017

NY Times - How a CNN Investigation Set Off an Internet Meme War -
On Monday, a CNN reporter tracked down the identity of the user, who quickly deleted his posts, renounced his meme-creating ways, and apologized in a long, seemingly sincere post to /r/The_Donald. CNN declined to name the user, but said, somewhat mysteriously, that it “reserves the right” to publish his identity in the future if he continued to create offensive content.
To many on the right, that caveat felt like a threat issued by a powerful news organization to a private citizen: Fall in line, or we’ll expose you.
I read the article in question, my first thought before I even knew all this had ignited into a controversy was, "Wow, that seems a little over the line", followed by, "Why was CNN even investigating this?  It was stupid meme."  I guess I am a little naive about what matters to other people.  Given that I have a couple journalist followers on twitter, whom I respect and like, I might have been inclined to give the author of the piece the benefit of the doubt, but then it was pointed out that he was one of those leading the charge to destroy Justine Sacco back in 2010 so his goodwill is used up.

On the other had the Washington Post reports that groups are threatening to dox innocents including kids:
Others called for a very personal form of revenge against CNN, and Kaczynski specifically. A link to a pastebin page that appeared to contain the personal identifying information of Kaczynski, some of his family members and his colleagues circulated on 4chan Wednesday morning. And the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer website called for even more. A popular post called for CNN employees to quit their jobs and denounce the network, or face consequences if they didn’t:
“We are going to track down your parents.
We are going to track down your siblings.
We are going to track down your spouses.
We are going to track down your children. Because hey, that’s what you guys get to do, right? We’re going to see how you like it when our reporters are hunting down your children.” 
Definitely not cool (doxxing anyone that is)

A Little Clarification - If I thought Trump was seriously calling for violence against any news agency (or any group for that matter) my thoughts on this would probably be totally different, but I saw this meme over the weekend and I thought it was Trump (who I STILL think is totally unsuited to be President BTW) was celebrating the fact that the Supreme Court had basically given him a victory on his executive orders, and that CNN had to retract a story about a friend engaging in illegal activity with Russia.  A retraction which followed pretty closely on the heels of a pretty embarrassing correction on Jmaes Comey's testimony.  Taunting not incitement in other words.

Hell even Glenn Greenwald agrees with me:

There is also something untoward about the fact that CNN — the subject of the original video — was the news outlet that uncovered his identity. That fact creates the appearance of vengeance: If you, even as a random and anonymous internet user, post content critical of CNN, then it will use its vast corporate resources to investigate you, uncover your identity, and threaten to expose you if you ever do so again.


If you’re someone who believes that media corporations should expose the identity even of random, anonymous internet users who express anti-Semitic or racist views, then you should be prepared to identify the full list of views that merit similar treatment. Should anyone who supports Trump have their identity exposed? Those who oppose marriage equality? Those with views deemed sexist? Those who advocate communism? Are you comfortable with having corporate media executives decide which views merit public exposure?

Motherboard Hackers Linked to NotPetya Ransomware Decrypted a File For Us -

 Hackers linked to the crippling NotPetya ransomware attack, which encrypts files on infected machines, have proved to Motherboard they have the ability to decrypt some locked files.

Security researchers have spent much of the last week debating whether victims of NotPetya will ever get their files back, with many arguing that the malware was designed to cause disruption rather than generate funds.
I don't think this means much.  I think everyone expected they would be able to decrypt files that weren't erased.  

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