Twitter, Facebook, And Ethics

dc-mayor-lewd-anime-meme

First let’s do Twitter….

  • The image above was tweeted out by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. It really was. It was also deleted in seconds, but not before enough people and bots captured it to set the stage for her to get swamped by online mockery.

How much crap is it fair and ethical to give a public official who has this happen to her? My answer: an endless amount. Obviously Bowser didn’t do this; the incompetent she assigned to send out tweets in her name did. Too bad. If you delegate your identity, you are responsible for what goes out under your name. Should Bowser get more or less flack than, just to pick an example out of the air, Donald Trump, who sent out his own tweets and was widely mocked for every typo, poor chosen re-tweet, or dumb comment.?

Exactly the same amount.

  • This meme has been going around on Twitter…

True Story

Boy, I didn’t see that ending coming. I thought we would learn that the one hired was the interviewee who left first….which would have been me, after about 30 minutes.

Anyone who would agree to work for a manifest asshole like the employer in the story is such a pathetic weenie that he or she deserves the abuse that such a job would inevitably entail.

I sure hope it’s not a true story. And I hope only a tiny percentage of those seeing the meme are not so foolish and submissive as to think this was a test of “patience.”

These tweets have not made me regret my decision to get off of Twitter.

Now on to Facebook, which is evidently trying to make me quit that platform too…

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Unethical Tweet Of The Month And Ethics Dunce: ACLU National Legal Director And Georgetown Law Prof. David Cole

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David Cole, ACLU National Legal Director and Professor at Georgetown University Law Center, tweeted in response to the SCOTUS ruling striking down California’s law making it mandatory for non-profits to disclose the names of their biggest donors,

Cole tweet

Gee, that’s funny! The ACLU filed an amicus brief supporting the majority’s decision in AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY FOUNDATION v. BONTA, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF CALIFORNIA.

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A Follow-Up, An Apology, And A “Bite Me, Daily Wire!”

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The previous post was one of the relatively few in which Ethics Alarms was suckered by bad information. As always when this happens, I am awash with regret and shame. Here is how it now begins, in bold:

“This is the revised part. The retraction is that despite the headline and what I wrote below, Twitter didn’t suspend New York Times columnist Bret Stephens account for violating Twitter’s rules with his recent op-ed calling anti-white measures showing up in the Biden Administration and elsewhere what they are: racism. The Daily Wire, a conservative website that was founded by right wing gadfly Ben Shapiro, wrote the post based on “a Twitter user” as its source,” and I foolishly assumed that the site would have checked out the claim before posting on it. It turns out the Stephens’ account says it’s “suspended” because he suspended it himself, in 2019.

Thus I am made an accomplice to this confirmation bias chain reaction, and I resent it. This is the kind of crap I experienced more than once from Breitbart and The Gateway Pundit, both of which are no longer cited as sources on Ethics Alarms, and whose stories I will not believe unless I find a credible source that independently confirms it. Now I’m adding the Daily Wire to that blacklist. There are plenty of left-leaning sites on that list as well, but since it is virtually impossible to ensure that a story that reflects poorly on the allies of progressive propaganda hasn’t been obscured or deliberately distorted by the mainstream media, conservative media has to be trustworthy and professional, and far too often, it just isn’t. Situations like this make it easier for the mainstream media to call every report they wish would disappear “conservative disinformation.”

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RETRACTED And Revised: “Scared Yet? Twitter Censors A Times Op-Ed Columnist For Calling Anti-White Racism What It Is”

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This is the revised part. The retraction is that despite the headline and what I wrote below, Twitter didn’t suspend New York Times columnist Bret Stephens account for violating Twitter’s rules with his recent op-ed calling anti-white measures showing up in the Biden Administration and elsewhere what they are: racism. The Daily Wire, a conservative website that was founded by right wing gadfly Ben Shapiro, wrote the post based on “a Twitter user” as its source,” and I foolishly assumed that the site would have checked out the claim before posting on it. It turns out the Stephens’ account says it’s “suspended” because he suspended it himself, in 2019.

Thus I am made an accomplice to this confirmation bias chain reaction, and I resent it. This is the kind of crap I experienced more than once from Breitbart and The Gateway Pundit, both of which are no longer cited as sources on Ethics Alarms, and whose stories I will not believe unless I find a credible source that independently confirmed it. Now I’m adding the Daily Wire to that black list. There are plenty of left-leaning sites on that list as well, but since it is virtually impossible to ensure that a story that reflects poorly on the allies of progressive propaganda hasn’t been obscured or deliberately distorted by the mainstream media, conservative media has to be trustworthy and professional, and far too often, it just isn’t. Situations like this make it easier for the mainstream media to call every report they wish would disappear “conservative disinformation.”

Meanwhile, The Daily Wire just notes (a few minutes after I’ve posted relying on its fabricated story) that the post had been “corrected.” It was originally titled, “Twitter Suspends NY Times’ Columnist’s Account After He Denounces Equity as ‘Racism.” NOW it is headlined “NY Times Columnist Denounces Equity as ‘Racism’” which is both inaccurate and not news, since Stephens’ column is three days old. He also never called “equity”racism. That’s like something they would say on MSNBC to distort what was written. I thought the phrasing was strange and sloppy in the first version, but since the topic was Twitter’s censorship, I didn’t bother with it. Now, the misrepresentation is the subject of the whole post. Then, in the body of the piece, it now says, “On June 30, a Twitter reader erroneously claimed that Twitter had suspended Bret Stephens’ Twitter account.” What it should have said is On June 30, a Twitter reader erroneously claimed that Twitter had suspended Bret Stephens’ Twitter account, and we, because we were looking for another reason to bash Twitter, believed him without checking. We apologize to our readers and any other websites, commentators or blogs who were misled due to our mistake.”

But I DO apologize (and thank to JutGory for the prompt alert). Confirmation bias also played a part in my gullibility: I do not trust Twitter, and what was represented is just a bit beyond what Jack Dorsey’s arrogant cyber-creature has done already. The last line of the post is still valid, though the rest was built on garbage: “Boy, am I glad I quit Twitter. But I’m ashamed that I didn’t do it sooner”

Like Bret Stephens.

The rest of what follows, except for that last part, is retracted.

***

I didn’t see this one coming, because I am an idiot.

Two days ago, I wrote in the morning warm-up, (Item #2),

“Today [The New York Times] allowed Bret Stephens , one of the endangered species in their op-ed stable, a conservative, to write an anti-antiwhite racism piece under the Times’ main editorial gaslighting those who see Critical Race Theory for what it is. (On the opposite page, one of the Times’ usual far-left shills has another op-ed defending the teaching of Critical Race Theory in the schools, so the Times makes sure that Stephens is shouted down by his own paper, 2-1.) Stephens’ op-ed is called “The New Racism Won’t Solve the Old Racism,” which one would think is self-evident, but in the Year of the Great Stupid, it certainly is not. His “money quote” comes at the very end:

“Thoughtful liberals who think this is much ado about nothing should spend some time pondering how perfectly people like [ Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who has announced that she won’t be interviewed by white journalists] are now playing into right-wing stereotypes. They should also spend time wondering whether the ideal for which they have long fought — a society that, if not colorblind, can at least see past color — is being jeopardized by progressives who apparently can see only color. Whichever way, it shouldn’t be hard to see that trying to solve the old racism with the new racism will produce only more racism. Justice is never achieved by turning tables.”

Obviously, he’s racist, or so the totalitarianism-enabling censors at Twitter decided. Yesterday, Twitter suspended Stephens’ Twitter account which now just says, “Account suspended.” His opinion, you see, violates Twitter rules, primarily the unwritten one that holds that any statements that in any way undermine the credibility and effectiveness of the Left’s efforts to undermine the Constitution and core American values will be censored so as few citizens get to ponder non-conforming arguments as possible.

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Tuesday Afternoon Ethics Tunes, 6/8/21: The Mean Fundraiser, And More

Quite a while ago—I’m afraid to check—I asked readers to submit nominees for popular songs with an ethics theme or lesson. Lorne Greene’s one hit recording ( his vocal version of the “Bonanza” song did not fly off the shelves) was “Ringo,” a pretty blatant rip-off of Jimmy Dean’s “Big John,” was one of the first on the list. I received quite a few suggested songs but events overtook me, and I never finished the project. It is in a growing list of promised future content that I have yet to deliver, including missing parts to multi-part posts. I apologize to readers for all of them, but I also intend to make good on all of them, though the ethics songs compilation is understandably low priority. I was happy to finally finish the Ethics Guide to “Miracle on 34th Street” after it languished for a year. The top priorities on the catch-up list right now are Part II of Three Ethics Metaphors: The Rise, The Presidency And The Fall Of Donald J. Trump—that will be on the “Animal House” parade plot metaphor for Trump’s election—and, of course, the long-delayed Part III of The Pandemic Creates A Classic And Difficult Ethics Conflict, But The Resolution Is Clear.

Back to Lorne: I met him once, on a Santa Monica beach. He was in swimming trunks, and with his family, extremely friendly, tanned and wearing his hairpiece, which was fantastic. Like several other stars I have met in person, Greene was so strikingly attractive that he would make anyone turn their heads on a street even if you had no idea who he was. Unlike most of the others, he appeared to be a genuinely nice guy.

1. Proud to be off Twitter, Reason #569: After Twitter received notice of its noncompliance with India’s information technology laws, demanding that the company remove content critical of the government’s handling of the pandemic and about farmers’ protests, including tweets by journalists, activists and politicians, Twitter pulled itself up to its full metaphorical height, puffed itself up like blowfish, and protested in part, “We are concerned by recent events regarding our employees in India and the potential threat to freedom of expression for the people we serve.”

Twitter actually said that it cares about freedom of expression! Then, last week, after Nigeria blocked Twitter, it had the gall to tweet…

Twitter Nigeria

This, from the platform that censored the Hunter Biden laptop story and banned President Trump. The Hanlon’s Razor question of whether these are bad people or just stupid people now becomes irrelevant. It’s unethical to operate a powerful communications platform when you are so stupid.

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Now I Almost Regret Quitting Twitter…

Mace tweet

There have been a lot false flag vandalism and supposed racial harassment episodes lately, like here, and here. This one, if it is what it appears to be, is special. A Republican congressional candidate in South Carolina named Nancy Mace took to Twitter to bemoan the state of the nation after, she said, her home had supposedly been vandalized with “antifa symbols” and other attacks.

Fox News and other conservative sources quickly reported the story and extended their sympathies and expressions of horror. On Twitter, however, a string of cyber-sleuths poked holes in her account, and even made a credible case that the candidate’s handwriting matched the writing on her sidewalk. It’s a very entertaining thread that would make a good movie. Read it all. Suspense! Comedy!

No, I’m not 100% convinced that Mace faked the vandalism, but it sure looks suspicious, and if she did fake it, she’s an idiot for the ages.

______________________

Pointer: valkygrrl

Regarding “Uncle Tim”: Everybody’s Wrong.

Scott response

South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott delivered a rarity, an opposing party “replay” to a Presidential address that was eloquent, powerful, and relevant. However, Scott also fell into the ethics abyss by demanding that Twitter take down tweets that included the hashtag “Uncle Tim.” Scott called the trend “upsetting” and “so disappointing” this morning, saying that it shows the left “are literally attacking the color of my skin.”

Well yes, they are. That shouldn’t be surprise, since they have also been attacking the color of MY skin.

The conservatives, as the mainstream media likes to say when Republican point out hypocrisy, “pounced”:

Tim tweet 1

Tim tweet 2

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Announcement: I’m Deleting My Twitter Account. It Is An Unethical Platform, And No One Should Support It

Twitter, which has already shown that it is willing and ready to use it power to control whose opinions reach the public, admitted this weekend that it has agreed to a request from the Indian government to censor tweets from that nation been critical of Prime Minister Modi and his administration’s disastrous response to the Wuhan virus pandemic.

That’s from Prof. Turley’s article on this disgraceful conduct by an American corporation. Local Indian legislators are among those being silenced with Twitter’s complicity:

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The Corruption Of Education In America, Public And Private: A Tweet And A Parent’s Letter

Yes, that’s the tweet. No, I’m not kidding: that’s a real tweet. The Tweeter is the head of the American Federation of Teachers, herself a teacher. You can’t get more res ipsa loquitur than that, can you? Don’t tell me that anyone can make a mistake: THAT 115% mistake can only be made by a rank incompetent, and she’s the leader of the national teacher’s union. She’s a teacher, and yet she made a second grade-level math error on a tweet she knew would be circulated nationally. And about 200 teachers, who have been teaching children while suffering from Randi’s level of ineptitude, with perhaps some victims of the educational system they have polluted mixed in, actually liked this message.

Yet the math mistake isn’t even the worst aspect of the tweet. The message is also outright deceit: it isn’t “child care” that made mothers leave their jobs. It’s the unnecessary shutting down of public schools that was engineered in great part by Weingarten’s members and has been extended by them for their own political and financial agenda. These are the people we entrust the minds of our children to when we use the public schools by necessity or choice. Far too many of them are not qualified to teach, intellectually or ethically. If they were, they would not tolerate leaders like Randi Weingarten.

The tweet, however, is just a small piece of evidence in a much longer indictment. That indictment can be found here, in a letter by brave parent, Andrew Gutmann, to his daughter’s $54,000 a year private school, Brearley, an all-girls institution on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He shared it with New York Times expatriot Bari Weiss, now writing at substack as so many rebel journalists and pundits are now.

His indictment applies equally to private and public schools for the most part, as well as colleges and universities. Liyyle of it, perhaps none of it, will surprise anyone who has been reading here at Ethics Alarms, or who has been paying attention.

Gutmann writes,

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Morning Ethics Warm-Up I Expected Not To Get Posted In The Morning, 3/26/2021: “Ouch!” Edition

Dentist

Therein lies a tale

I arrived at the appointed time for my triple tooth extraction to be told that I would be required to pay the entire cost of my surgery on the spot, and the amount was a cool $4000. This, despite the fact that I had been told (by the doctor) that I could wait before deciding on the various treatment options, and having not received clear (to me, at least) information that the office took no general medical coverage at all, just dental insurance, and my dental insurance was not among the blessed. (Raising the related issue of why my dentist would refer me to an oral surgeon who did not accept the insurance that the dentist did, without alerting me in advance. “We tried to call you,” the snotty desk staff said. Really? I had no messages on my home or office lines. “We only call our patients on their cell phones,” I was told. Then why do you ask for the other numbers? If you have essential information to convey, and you can’t reach a patient by cell, why wouldn’t you try the other contact options? Where on the form does it say that the only number you will use is the cell phone? I only included the cell number because it was asked for: I use cell phones when traveling, period, and during the lockdown it is usually uncharged. If I am going to be expected to hand over 4 grand on the spot, I need to be told, and the information I provided gave an easy means to tell me. What I suspect is that the 20-somethings behind the desk, living on their smart phones themselves, would never dream that anyone wouldn’t do the same. It wasn’t a policy, it was an unwarranted and incompetent assumption.

I informed the staff that its conduct was unethical and unprofessional, and that its attitude was arrogant and obnoxious. Then I walked out. I don’t care if the next oral surgeon costs as much or more: I don’t trust people who treat me like this. Screw ’em.

1. It’s a banner day in the history of “the ends justifies the means” medical ethics! On this date in 1953, American medical researcher Dr. Jonas Salk announced on national radio that he had successfully tested a vaccine against poliomyelitis, the virus that causes polio. Salk had conducted the first human trials of his vaccine on former polio patients, on himself, and his family. The general consensus among ethicists is that self-experimentation is ethical: as one scholarly paper put it, “Organizational uncertainty over the ethical and regulatory status of self-experimentation, and resulting fear of consequences is unjustified and may be blocking a route to human experiments that practicing scientists widely consider appropriate, and which historical precedent has shown is valuable.” But using one’s family as guinea pigs? Unethical, absolutely. The researcher, in this case Salk, has undue influence over such subjects, and consent cannot be said to be voluntary.

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