Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Monday, October 29, 2018

Straight Out Of The Facebook Cooler

A note in advance: there's a bit of foul language involved in what lies ahead. Justified in this case.

Of course it happened again. 

It was inevitable. 

Yes, I was in Facebook Jail again for thirty days.

And as usual, no matter how many times I tried to complain that I didn't agree with this and I thought it was wrong, the system said, 'we're sorry, this isn't working, try again later.' And as usual there was silence from Facebook. If it was possible to post in their Help Center (it isn't when you're under suspension) there wouldn't be answers from there. Because nobody from Facebook actually works there, or is held accountable in any way. And so I was stuck, not able to like, comment, or post birthday wishes. I resorted, as usual, to using my shadowy alter ego for the month.

Where did it all start? Late in September I was scrolling through Canadian media pages on the site. Municipal election campaigns were underway in the province of Ontario. Mayor and city council posts were being contended. In Toronto, the mayoral election included the incumbent, who won, and a series of other candidates. One of whom happens to be a white supremacist.

Faith Goldy is the white supremacist in question. A former contributor for a right wing 'media' website, (if you want to call it media; the site pretty much can be summed up as Angry Old White Guys Yelling), she had a checkered past in terms of her media assignments, contributing for a variety of publications before that website. Finally the site owner, a snivelling little spineless bastard with a mad-on for the world, even had enough of her when she made an appearance on a neo-Nazi website and fired her.  She mocked counter-protestors at Charlottesville, claimed that the police were biased against the tiki torch polo shirt wearing alt right marchers at Charlotteville (the very people who were screaming 'blood and soil' and marching like something out of a Leni Reifenstahl propaganda film).

She's used white supremacist slogans, said things that fit right in with that extremist mentality, and refused to back down from that world view. She's made it brutally clear where her sympathies lie- with the conspiracy theorists and the white power groups and the manifestos of dirtbags like Richard Spencer,  So yes, her own record establishes her as a white supremacist. Call her what you want- white supremacist, white nationalist, alt right, far right. Either way, she's a hate mongering bigot. Who has a following of hate mongering bigots.

And so she ran for mayor of Toronto. Three percent of voters in the city actually voted for her, which means there are a lot of bigots in Toronto. Enough for a few thousand votes her way. And it gave her the attention she so desperately craves. She behaved as you'd expect- disrupting a debate she was not invited to, complaining about the media who would not give her a platform for her right wing views, and inspiring a pack of hate mongering jackasses just like her to follow her like a pack of rats following the pied piper.

Where did I get in trouble for all this? In late September, one of those followers was persistently posting Faith for Mayor hashtags in multiple Canadian media pages on Facebook. I get it, fine. She thinks the way you do, says the things you say to your bartender every night about how 'those people' are getting ahead and you're not (note to the average Faith supporter: it's not them that's the reason your life is such a clusterfuck, it's you), and she's easy on the eyes, right? That's the draw for you.

So I did what I tend to do when dealing with idiots, assholes, and bigots. I treat them with ridicule, scorn, and the contempt that they so richly deserve. That's my go to response. I see a supporter of a woman who's an avowed and established white supremacist and peddler of hatred and racism, and as far as I'm concerned, that supporter is a white supremacist too. I see no reason in being polite or civil to a white supremacist. Ever. 

What did Facebook do to me? Well, for a comment that didn't come anywhere near to violating their community standards (they never do, but that doesn't stop Facebook from going to the same response), they turfed me for thirty days. This time they actually gave me an option- to write a response as to why I felt this was incorrect. I stressed that Faith Goldy was a well established white supremacist in Canada, and that by extension her supporters were as well. I noted that in protecting the individual I heckled, Facebook was protecting a white supremacist. Taking the side of a bigot as opposed to taking the side of someone standing up to a bigot.

Facebook's response? We don't care, go to hell, thirty days in the hole.

And so from that point on, total silence from Facebook. No appeals, nothing. No posting in the Help Center, no likes, no comments, nothing under my regular name. The only thing I could do under my regular name was to report things that supposedly violate their community standards. Which I did on occasion. And I can tell you that 99 times out of a hundred when I do that, the same response always comes back. "This does not violate our community standards." I've reported things that constitute hate speech in the past. I've repeatedly reported an immigration consultant of all things (once based out of Britain, now apparently in South Africa) for things that are vicious, vile, and hate mongering bigotry. Facebook claims he's fine. I've reported people threatening death or harm on others. I've reported remarks about musing on raping a woman. All perfectly fine as far as Facebook is concerned. And yet they slap me around with thirty day suspensions for things that never come anywhere near to that. It's two faced fucking hypocrisy.

During this latest stint in the cooler, one of the things I reported was a series of comments from someone  with a serious grudge against police. His comments included a series of hashtags- save a life; kill a cop. Death penalty for cops. That sort of thing. Obviously a problem just waiting to happen, the sort of person who ends up on the news someday for all the wrong reasons.

It's one thing to criticize the police. You can point out the statistics about a disproportionate number of young African-American men getting killed by police. Many of them doing nothing that would warrant getting gunned down during a routine traffic stop, for instance. You can point out the fact that so often the response of police to any accusation is to circle the wagons around their own- good cops protecting the bad ones who don't deserve protection. These are legitimate concerns that I have, and that many people would have.

It's quite another to post death wishes repeatedly about the police.

But no, Facebook thinks that's just fine. "This does not violate our community standards." As usual, that's the response I got for flagging it.

So, as usual I got put into a time out for treating a bigot the way he more than has coming. While the bigots just routinely get away with everything. And as usual there's never a response out of Facebook. It's not as if complaining about this in their Help Center will ever lead anyone. No one from Facebook actually goes there. There's no accountability, no appeals, nothing. Facebook just silences you. 

Congratulations, Mark Zuckerberg. You've created a monster. Or maybe the monster is you.

Maybe both. 

Because as long as you give a free pass to hate speech while treating people standing up to hate speech like the way I've been repeatedly treated, as long as your site refuses to actually deal with the public in a meaningful way, as long as your community standards remain persistently two faced and hypocritical, this problem is only going to get worse.

In closing, Mark, someday when you find yourself passing from this world into the next, I mean this from the bottom of my heart.

Give my regards to hell, you bastard.

Friday, October 26, 2018

The Secretary Of State Scam

I've said it many times. They never give up. The spammers keep trying to infest our email and our blogs with comments that have absolutely nothing to do with anything but the crap they're selling or the attention they want for their meaningless site (Gmail Sign Up spammer, I'm looking at you, you bloody wanker). Sometimes they get past the filters and get a comment (or more than one comment) published. Such has been the case in recent days with a waste of oxygen calling himself Jagbir, spamming his Hallowe'en goods site (note to Jagbir: do us all a favour and contract yourself a nice case of Ebola). Of course those comments inevitably get summarily banished to the spam folders where they belong. And then there are the internet scammers, with their emails out of nowhere promising riches and swearing all of this is on the up and up.  Have a look at the following, for instance, which came to my email some days ago... from an email address different than what the actual official address of the real person would be.

State Department
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520.

Dear Beneficiary,

Your ATM Visa Card will be shipped through (USPS) to your address. I am Mr. Michael Richard Pompeo, Secretary of State for International Finance & Development. This is to inform you officially that after our investigations with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and other Security Agencies in the Country for the year 2017 and 2018, we discovered that you have not yet received your over due fund.

I have made it my first point of call since taking office to settle all Outstanding Payments accrued to Individuals or Corporations with respect to local and overseas contract payment, Debt Rescheduling and Outstanding Compensation payment.This is to make sure all Outstanding payments are settled beginning of this fiscal year 2018. On Behalf of the entire staff of the State Department and the United Nations in collaboration with World Bank, we apologize for the delay of your contract payment, Winning or Inheritance funds from most of African Countries and all the inconveniences you encountered while pursuing this payment.However, from the records of outstanding beneficiaries due for payment with the U.S Secretary of State, your name was discovered as next on the list of the outstanding payment who has not yet received their payments.

Note: That from the record in my file, your outstanding contract payment is $1,550,000.00 USD (ONE Million, FIVE Hundred And Fifty Thousand United States Dollars) loaded in an ATM Visa Card that allows you to make a daily maximum withdrawal limit of $3,000 three Thousand Dollars) YOUR ATM PIN CODE ( 5250 ).I have your file here in my office and it says that you are yet to receive your fund valued at $1,550,000.00 USD (ONE Million, FIVE Hundred And Fifty Thousand United States Dollars). This Funds will now be delivered to your designated address or your preferred payment (option).We have perfected all modules on how to bring this fund to your house without any problem, but be aware that United Nations and the United States Government has only authorized my office to release the Sum of $1,550,000.00 USD to you as true beneficiary of the Fund.

Note: That your loaded ATM Visa Card will be mailed to you through Priority Mail Express (USPS) to your designated address immediately you admit full compliance to this email. Due to my busy schedules, you are advised to kindly get in contact with our correspondent Attorney Matt Wood the below details enclosed to help ensure safe mailing of your ATM Visa Card:

Your Full Name:
Your Contact House Address:
Name of City of Residence:
Country of Residence:
Direct Mobile Telephone Number:
ID Card, DL or Passport Copy:
Age and Occupation:

Contact Attorney Matt Wood immediately by replying to this email or emailing with the address below:

Name:  Attorney Matt Wood

He is obliged to treat your case with utmost urgency as soon as you contact him and fill out your correct details including all reachable phone numbers for him to get in touch with you via phone and email.

NOTE: Every documentation proof for your fund have been packaged and sealed to be mailed together with your Visa Card to your address. Therefore, the only obligation required of you by the laws of the Government of United States and the financial Monetary Policy of the Supreme Court, states that; you as a beneficiary must officially obtain the irrevocable LEGAL STAY OF PROCEED from the Supreme Court of USA, as a means to justify the legitimacy, transparency and clean bill of funds from USA so that by the time your funds gets to you, no authority will question the funds as it has been legally certified free from all financial Malpractices and facets. The LEGAL STAY OF PROCEED is valued at a cost of just $615 please take note of that.

As soon as the above mentioned $615 is received, The LEGAL STAY OF PROCEED will be secured on your behalf immediately. I need all the compliance that I can get from you to ensure we get this project accomplished. Personally, I am very sorry for the delay you have gone through in the past years. Thanks for adhering to this instructions which are meant for your sole benefit, once again accept my congratulations in advance.Thanks for your cooperation as your quick response to this email notice with adherence to the above instructions is highly anticipated.

Yours Sincerely,
Mr. Michael Richard Pompeo.

So, our scamming friend here is claiming to be Mike Pompeo. The Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Yes. That guy. And even adding on 'for International Finance And Development', though that's not actually the title the real Pompeo holds. We see some of the usual tell tales of the internet scammer showing themselves- capitalizing words that don't need it (a lot of words, even every letter of those words, which usually indicates you're doing the writing equivalent of screaming), the spacing issues, the formal way of phrasing that doesn't read like something a native English speaking person would write, the spelling out in letters and numbers of a convenient sum of money that I'm supposedly due. 

He claims that after investigations of several agencies that I have not yet received my over due funds. For contract payments. In the amount of $1 550 000 to be loaded onto an ATM Visa Card (wow, that's one valuable card) and sent to me via Priority Mail Express and the USPS (well now I know I'll never get it, because hey, it's the mail, and they're too busy waging war with dogs). 

He adds that 'on behalf of the entire State Department and the United Nations in collaboration with World Bank' (side note, it's the World Bank. Nobody says just World Bank. If you were the real Mike Pompeo, you'd know that. Maybe not. I mean, look who the real Mike Pompeo calls boss, and that tells you a lot about his intelligence) 'we apologize for the delay of your contract payment.' Oh, sure you do. 

He can't make up his mind as to if this sudden surge of money coming my way (note to scammer Mike: I don't believe one word you're saying) is a lottery, an inheritance, or a contract payment. He adds that I'll be able to withdraw a maximum of three grand a day on this million and a half and change that totally doesn't exist (only three grand? What kind of rule is that?), but it's all mine, as long as I send in a processing fee to Attorney Matt Wood (whose name he repeats below, and sure, that email address is totally trustworthy). 615 dollars for a legal stay of proceed. 

First off, nitwit: it's called a legal stay of proceedings. Basic element of law. You know, the law? Something scammers like you break every day. There is no such thing as a stay of proceed. Second, that $615 you're beckoning out of a sucker who buys that is about the only honest thing you've said in this whole line of nonsense. Because that $615, once sent by the sucker you're targeting, is the only real number involved. Mind you, it won't do what you claim it'll do. After disappearing through that daisy chain of email addresses you've got set up, that money will get into your hands while the mark wonders where his payday is. 

Second, using Mike Pompeo as your cover? Where's the classic Nigerian prince/ general/ minister/ benevolent warlord/ overthrown cabinet secretary and the story from the wife/ daughter/ mother/ personal masseuse/ secretary? Where's the beloved in the Lord introductions, and the bless your heart dear one entreaties? You're using Mike Pompeo to try to scam people? Fine, I get it, he's part of an administration founded on scamming people. So you figure, why not? I've looked, and this whole Mike Pompeo scam thing has been done before. Variations on that letter are found elsewhere online.

But you're trying this? With me?

You are aware of what I think of the real Mike Pompeo's boss, right?

That I think he's the biggest asshole on the planet.

That I think he's the worst human being alive today.

That's right. That guy.

And you think I'd buy that someone who works for him would award me a totally non existent contract now worth a million and a half?

Nice try, scumbag.

You'll have to try someone else. Maybe someone else on that list of half a million email addresses that you're randomly writing to might be dumb enough to say, 'hey, Jeb, can you spot me six hundred? I need to send Mike Pompeo's lawyer some money.'

In an ideal world, my internet scamming friend (oh, who am I kidding, you're not my friend, you're an asshole who, though I've never met you in person, I already hate and if you were on fire and I had a glass of water, I'd drink it), you would get tossed out of an airplane. Without a parachute.