Ultron Two-Point-Oh

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So the other day I had a troll visit my Facebook…or rather, some sort of “bot.” It was nothing really directed towards me, but rather some short, asinine, vaguely ideologically-driven, near word-salad commentary left on a major news story I posted.

And I would imagine they fish for the trending keywords and then deposit this near word-salad on a bunch of random accounts, for whatever purpose; to spam-promote a pyramid scheme, to assist in the continuing takeover of our country by foreign powers, or perhaps simply to make friends and influence people.

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The Future Of Humanity Is Elsagate

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A few major mainstreamy articles have come out spotlighting what has been known in the fringe community as “Elsagate”—basically, those weird & often fetishistic videos for children featuring knock-offs of popular characters such as Elsa from Frozen, Spider-Man, and the Joker. (I’ve done my own “exposé” on the subject here)

And to my shock this whole sordid kiddie-vid enterprise extends way past the comic book superhero/Disney princess thing and embraces pretty much every main children’s fandom, including Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol—videos for both blithely showing characters being tortured in dentist’s chairs, pissed on, eaten, hypnotized, murdered, going to strip clubs, and committing suicide. You know: “the new normal.”

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The Age Of The Revelatory Matrix

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The problem is that we (most of us, run-of-the-mill humans) have already opened our lives up to the vast digital matrix that is Facebook/Google/Amazon/Apple. We are already “in the system.” We have signed off on perfectly legal “backdoors” to our own histories, our digital “footprint.”

We did this a long time ago—not just with these gigantic corporations, but with every online tom, dick, and harry that came along. We ensconced ourself into that vast matrix.

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Frog Hunt: The War For Pepe

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First Matt Furie killed his troubled meme-hijacked creation, Pepe the Frog. Then he crowdfunded the cartoon amphibian’s resurrection. Now he’s sending an army of lawyers to clean Pepe’s image and remove unauthorized versions of him off the internet. Will these latest legal efforts end the saga of Pepe as an “alt-right” icon once and for all? Or will this all result in just another case of the Streisand Effect?

Lawyers representing Furie have sent cease-and-desist letters to a number of prominent far right figures and groups—including Mike Cernovich, Richard Spencer, and the Donald Trump subreddit—as well as Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown requests to Amazon regarding the sale of certain products containing the Pepe image.

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The Internet Canonization Of Karin Catherine Waldegrave

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On April 14 2010, an apparent human by the name of Karin Catherine Waldegrave (Von Berg Habsburg) discovered Facebook. Like to many people who first use the social media platform, it was a bit like getting a new toy. She started off with the basics: filling out her Hometown, Looking For and Interested In fields; uploading some family photos; adding a few people as friends.

By June of 2010 Waldegrave began to post long, rambling messages on Facebook. Some of these started out seemingly benign and even witty—”Looking for a Waldorf (a good salad, not a boutique school)?”—but would quickly branch out into sprawling, massive messages to which she (and seemingly, often, she alone) answered with even more sprawling messages. Sometimes, as much as 200+ responses, by Waldegrave, would follow a post.

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Somebody Said The Wrong Thing On The Internet

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Somebody recently misspoke on the internet: using an incorrect term, making a problematic joke, expressing an opinion that did not fit in closely enough with official societal norms.

Perhaps it was an off-hand comment impulsively tweeted without close scrutiny of the political implications, or perhaps the person in question meant well, but did not have a full enough understanding of the issue at hand.

Maybe they meant every word they said and are unrepentant.

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Online Reality IS A Reality (It’s Just Not “Reality”)

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I’m reading with interest the saga of “Nicole Mincey”—the namesake of a self-described “black conservative” pro-Trump Twitter account that the President recently thanked. The avatar on the account turned out to be a stock photo. The person attached to the account was tracked down and was verified to indeed be “a” Nicole Mincey (with a slightly different name)…but almost everything else about the account was fake—all apparently part of a “bot” scheme.

As the Twitter “friends” of the ersatz Nicole Mincey were examined…many turned out to be fakes and stock photos as well.

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