Unethical Tweet Of The Week: Pabst Blue Ribbon

Yes, apparently Don Lemon is moonlighting as Pabst Blue Ribbon’s social media flack. This enthusiastically vulgar tweet, an instant classic, appeared this morning because of only one of a few reasons: the low-level schmuck who has the job of tweeting out stuff for the maker of this long-reviled beer couldn’t take it any more and snapped like a dry twig in the wind; he or she picked a highly unethical way to quit after making up and thinking, “Oh god, what am I doing with my life?”; or this was a well planned, brilliant way to get everyone talking about a beer that few thought was still being brewed.

Regardless, its not the kind of thing any company should inflict on social media users, even those who favor Twitter, the bottom of the barrel.

Alas, the that remains on Twitter is this sad remnant of what was…

Oh Right! THAT’S Why I Quit Twitter…And Also Why We Can’t Trust The CDC [Correction Corrected!]

The new regime at Twitter announced that it will begin punishing users who tweet that vaccinated people can spread the Wuhan virus.

“When tweets include misleading information about Covid-19, we may place a label on those tweets that includes corrective information about that claim,” the Twitter website says addressing pandemic “misinformation.“We may apply labels to tweets that contain, for example… false or misleading claims that people who have received the vaccine can spread or shed the virus (or symptoms, or immunity) to unvaccinated people.” Users who pass on such ‘lies” might receive a permanent ban.

[Notice of Correction : Okay, now I’ve got all the information. Twitter did a stealth edit even as I was writing the post. The original text DID say “virus,” as EA stated above. Yesterday Twitter changed the word to “vaccine,” which is ridiculous, and claimed that virus was a typo. I do not believe it was a typo. I believe that once various web sources pointed out the CDC contradictory statements, Twitter tried to save face by the “typo” excuse. It is also a stealth edit, as the page itself never acknowledges the change. After several commenters told me that I had wrongly published “virus” when Twitter had used “vaccine,” I assumed it was my mistake. It wasn’t. My original source was correct regarding what the new Twitter rules were at the time I wrote this post.]

This is interesting, because in June of this year, the CDC announced that “the vaccinated public” could “unknowingly transmit virus to others, including their unvaccinated or immunocompromised loved ones.”

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Ethics Hero: Twitter

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Ethics Alarms has honored some unlikely people as Ethics Heroes—Bill Clinton, Bill Maher, and Terry McAuliffe, for example. Twitter nabbing the distinction may be a record for cognitive dissonance, though. It is an unethical company, with a platform that does more damage than good. And yet…

Twitter announced that it was expanding its private information policy to forbid posting the ” media of private individuals without the permission of the person(s) depicted.

Good.

Not that this policy is remotely possible to enforce; it isn’t. “When we are notified by individuals depicted, or by an authorized representative, that they did not consent to having their private image or video shared, we will remove it,” Twitter explains. “This policy is not applicable to media featuring public figures or individuals when media and accompanying tweet text are shared in the public interest or add value to public discourse.”

Yes, the policy goes well beyond any legal restrictions: that’s what makes it ethical rather than compliant. What is ethically admirable about the rule is that it calls attention to an ethical violation so common that few think it is a violation at all. When I allow a friend to take a photo of me, that is consent for that friend to make and have a copy of my likeness. It is not consent for my likeness to be circulated to the world on social media, included in facial recognition databases, be manipulated digitally to embarrass or humiliate me, or any other purpose. No law will help me claim that I did not consent to circulation of my likeness, which is why Naked Teachers have a problem. The law assumes that such use can and should be anticipated when I let myself be photographed. That, however, is a legal fiction. I have seen, online, photos of me when I wasn’t aware that I was in the picture. I hate photos of me.

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To Be Fair, Sometimes Twitter Justifies Its Existence: The Hilarious Maria Shriver Takedown

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Maria Shriver, once a Peabody and Emmy award-winning journalist for NBC News and now an occasional guest host, took to Twitter to post, “I’m trying to take a beat to digest the Rittenhouse verdict. My son just asked me how it’s possible that he didn’t get charged for anything. How is that possible? I don’t have an answer for him. The idea that someone could be out with a semi-automatic weapon, kill people, and walk is stunning. I look forward to hearing from the jury. This is a moment for them to explain how they came to their decision.”

Shriver’s brain fart is reminiscent of Jimmy Carter’s fatal debate fantasy on 1980 when he claimed that had been discussing nuclear policy with his daughter Amy. If anything, Shriver’s tale is more unlikely: her sons are 24 and 28. Aren’t these products of the best private schools better educated than to be mystified by the basics of criminal law? And how could Shriver think that Rittenhouse wasn’t charged with any crimes?

Knowing a hanging curve right over the plate when he sees one, Ted Cruz, as they like to say of Republicans, “pounced.” He tweetstormed,

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Unethical Tweet Of The Month With Signature Significance: New York Times Contributor Sarah Jeong

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Most tweets, even the very stupid and vicious ones, are not truly unethical because they are just opinions, and as opinions, simply self-indictments by nasty, bigoted, or not very smart people. However, the tweets of certain individuals—elected officials, scholars, journalists, scientists, experts in various fields and, unfortunately, celebrities—carry extra weight and the potential to persuade. When tweets by those people are dishonest or misleading they are irresponsible, and to be irresponsible is to be unethical.

Sarah Jeong is on the New York Times editorial staff, which means that she is trusted by the nation’s (supposedly) most trustworthy newspaper. Yet that tweet is one more example of the mainstream media denying or distorting reality to bolster the party and administration they put in power. The Biden administration is desperately spinning to deny the seriousness of the out-of-control inflation on its watch, but for journalists and pundits to assist them is unethical and despicable. The consumer price index indicates that, from last September to this September, Americans have seen beef prices rise by 18%; gas prices by 42%; furniture prices by 11%; electricity by 5%; and used car prices by 24%. Consumer prices for October, the most recent month with data, jumped by 6.2% compared to what they were a year prior. That’s the highest yearly jump in three decades. But a Times staffer of some notoriety says it’s a nothingburger, affecting the rich more than the rest.

Twitter, of course, doesn’t regard this as disinformation, since it supports a Democratic President’s disastrous fiscal policies.

Liz Wolf points out the obvious at Reason:

Inflation is not a frivolous concern created by panicking, self-interested rich people; nor are rich people currently “flipping their shit” because their assets aren’t doing as well as they’d like. Inflation is something that’s making things significantly harder for the non–”pajama class”—those roughly 79 percent of workers (estimates vary) who do not work remotely, but must commute to their in-person jobs day in and day out, incurring the burden that comes with the rising price of gas. It’s something that’s making it significantly harder for families to feed their kids. It’s something that’s throwing a wrench in some people’s plans to travel for the holidays, as rental cars and hotel rooms have gotten a good deal pricier than before. And it’s something many Americans probably don’t appreciate being lied to about….choosing flippant tweeting over thoughtful analysis is a bad look for New York Times contributors who really ought to be more concerned with the plights of everyday Americans forced to tighten the purse strings for reasons far beyond their control.

It’s worse that that. Allowing a proven bigot, sexist, anti-white racist and extreme ideologue like Jeong to represent it is signature significance for any news organization. An ethical company doesn’t do it; a responsible company doesn’t tolerate it; a trustworthy company doesn’t have someone like Jeong around at all. You may have forgotten this post, which is relevant to this morning’s first as well, when the Times first hired Jeong: Continue reading

Unethical Tweet Of The Month, And Company Most Deserving A Boycott: Ben & Jerry’s

Ben Jerry smear

I personally decided that Ben &Jerry’s outrageously expensive ice cream for the Woke and Wonderful would never cross through Marshall doors when it created a flavor honoring partisan hate-monger Stephen Colbert. The company’s cynical political pandering has only gotten worse since. Perhaps the most nauseating aspect of the company’s pose is that it’s obviously a marketing plan to appeal to ice-cream loving progressives. The real Ben and Jerry sold off the brand years ago, like any good socialists, accepting millions to allow a multi-national corporation to pretend it’s the founder as it spouts simple-minded leftist talking points. This tweet, however, charged into Ethics Alarms Popeye territory…

See?

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Good “Misinformation” vs. Bad “Misinformation”

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I was hit between the eyes by another example of this hypocrisy this morning, when I read the “Letters to the Editor” section of the Times. A reader named Roger Hirschberg—yes, own it Roger, you shameless propagandist—authored a letter that the Times headlined “Facebook Misinformation.” In the first paragraph, Roger decries Facebook policies that “enable and protect misinformation.” In the very next sentence, he condemns Facebook management for allowing such misinformation “in pursuit of profits,” and cites Facebook’s entries related to “the January 6 insurrection.”

Isn’t that amusing? Roger puffs himself up like a bullfrog in indignation over a communications company pandering to the mob while cashing in, and then gives the Times a chance to do the same, allowing his false characterization of the Capitol riot as an “insurrection,” because that’s the current Big Lie being weaponized by the Left.

Now, I wouldn’t want the Times to censor Roger’s deliberate misinformation—the FBI, if one considers it trustworthy, has definitively debunked that description, as did Merrick Garland in last weeks hearings—because we benefit from revelations with signature significance: if you call the riot an “insurrection,” you’re a lie-spreading jerk or a lazy fool who believes whatever your favorite party tells you. I would expect an ethical publication that respects its readers to acknowledge Roger’s hypocrisy if it chooses to publish his letter, however. If it doesn’t, then the Times is deliberately advancing misinformation….but then it’s the good kind. You know: the kind that can be used to smear Donald Trump and Republicans. Thanks, Roger!

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Stop Making Me Defend Nicki Minaj!

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It was only two days ago—less, really—that I highlighted performer/celebrity logorrhea victim Nicki Minaj’s cretinous statements about the Wuhan virus vaccine, which, naturally, have been cheered by various conservative trolls like Tucker Carlson as if Minaj ever gives any thought to what she opines before she broadcasts it to her fans. Now I have to defend the rapper whom I had the misfortune to become acquainted with when she was an American Idol judge and made poor Mariah Carey roll her eyes so hard I was afraid they might pop out of her head when Minaj offered one ridiculous thought after another.

You see Twitter, which I quit a few months ago for exactly this reason, banned Minaj for tweeting her dumb story about her cousin’s friend in Trinidad supposedly becoming impotent after being vaccinated after ”his testicles became swollen.” The theory, I gather, is that Nicki was spreading “misinformation.”

Minaj is angry about this, and in the blunt, crude, self-important stream of consciousness manner for which she is famous, expressed her pique. She said in a video directed at her fans and Twitter followers [Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy read…]:

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Chilling Tales Of The Great Stupid: Bette Midler’s Tweets

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Midelr tweet 3

I love these tweets! The pop music and Broadway diva and actress has provided a cultural, political, anthropological and philosophical artifact for the ages. I could write a book about these twin tweets and what they tell us, not just about Midler, but about a society that produces the kind of celebrity who would produce them.

Where to begin? Well, taken together they are not unethical tweets: I might even argue that they are ethical, because they publicly declare to the world, “I am a complete and utter idiot, and not only do I lack the critical thinking skills of a three-toed sloth, I suffer from a near terminal level of the Dunning-Kruger Effect, being both unable to discern just how stupid I am, but also unable to comprehend the consequences of advertising my disability to the public.” Now there is no excuse for anyone considering having an interaction of any kind with Midler that involves trust—letting her baby-sit a child, for example, or even a guppy—and thus to make the mistake of relying on her judgment. She has none, and has been considerate enough to proclaim it. (Not that she hadn’t provided plenty of evidence before.) The tweets make the world safer. How many social media posts do that?

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Twitter, Facebook, And Ethics

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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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