Get ready for your taxpayer-funded Twitter ‘truth database’

Fortunately all of America’s problems appear to be solved, and the government is swimming in cash, because a million federal dollars have been poured into what the Washington Free Beacon describes as “an online database that will track ‘misinformation’ and hate speech on Twitter.”

The National Science Foundation is financing the creation of a web service that will monitor “suspicious memes” and what it considers “false and misleading ideas,” with a major focus on political activity online.

The “Truthy” database, created by researchers at Indiana University, is designed to “detect political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution.”

The university has received $919,917 so far for the project.

“The project stands to benefit both the research community and the public significantly,” the grant states. “Our data will be made available via [application programming interfaces] APIs and include information on meme propagation networks, statistical data, and relevant user and content features.”

“The open-source platform we develop will be made publicly available and will be extensible to ever more research areas as a greater preponderance of human activities are replicated online,” it continues. “Additionally, we will create a web service open to the public for monitoring trends, bursts, and suspicious memes.”

“This service could mitigate the diffusion of false and misleading ideas, detect hate speech and subversive propaganda, and assist in the preservation of open debate,” the grant said.

Worried that this system might be corrupted into a partisan political tool?  Why, that’s as silly as worrying that someone might turn a unit of the Internal Revenue Service into a partisan voter-suppression hit machine!  You’ll be relieved to know that the project’s lead investigator is a scrupulously fair-minded and non-partisan fellow who supports “President Barack Obama’s Organizing for Action, MoveOn.org, Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, Amnesty International, and True Majority.”

The government-funded researchers hope that the public will use their tool in the future to report on other Twitter users.

“Truthy uses a sophisticated combination of text and data mining, social network analysis, and complex networks models,” the website adds. “To train our algorithms, we leverage crowdsourcing: we rely on users like you to flag injections of forged grass-roots activity. Therefore, click on the Truthy button when you see a suspicious meme!”

What could go wrong?  Hey, remember the “spam-flagging” epidemic, when mobs of left-wingers used Twitter’s “flag for spam” feature to mount organized attacks against their political opponents and force them off the social media platform?  I’m sure we’re past all that, and nobody would ever dream of organizing online flash mobs to distort “Truthy” algorithms, assuming the people who design them don’t pre-distort them with a dash of ideological spice.  Anyone who watched “fact-check” sites twist themselves into pretzels to rate Obama’s 2012 campaign B.S. “half-true” knows that efforts to objectively define truth often go awry.

There’s a lot of interest in studying online behavior and the formation of viral memes.  I’m intrigued by astroturfing and efforts to manufacture false consensus with Internet tools myself, having written about such tactics as the organized use of phony online reviews to manipulate product ratings.  But why should anyone support pouring a million dollars of federal money into this?




Source: Breitbart Feed

Ebola Kills Liberian Doctor Despite Receiving ZMapp Drug

Liberian doctor Abraham Borbor died from Ebola, though he received ZMapp, the experimental Ebola drug. 

Borbor was one of three Africans who took ZMapp. There is no word on the conditions of the other patients.

Information Minister Lewis Brown told the Associated Press that Borbor had been doing better, but he “took a turn for the worse” on Sunday.

“He was walking around yesterday and the doctors were hopeful that he would make a full recovery,” he said. He added, “He was a classmate in high school, so this hits close to home.”

Borbor was Liberia’s only internist doctor.

American doctor Kent Brantly and aid worker Nancy Writebol took ZMapp and survived. CNN was quick to credit the drug for their survival, but the Center for Disease Control (CDC) urged caution instead of jumping to conclusions. The drug is still in its early stages and has been tested on a few animals. A Spanish priest took the drug, but he died. Ebola also infected Dr. Phillip Zokonis Ireland, who did not take the medicine. He was isolated with Dr. Borbor, but he left the ward with a clean bill of health.

British national William Pooley was infected at a hospital in Sierra Leone. Britain flew him back on a special jet from the Royal Air Force to London’s Royal Free Hospital, and experts will treat him in an isolation ward. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that one of their workers, an epidemiologist, is infected. No details were released on the patient, but WHO said he is “receiving the best care possible.”

Even if the drug does help patients, there are no more samples; six were made and used. Experts said it could be months before more ZMapp is developed. In total, there are 2,473 confirmed cases and 1,350 deaths in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. Congo reported two deaths from Ebola but said it is another strain, and Nigeria reported fourteen cases of Ebola with five deaths.




Source: Breitbart Feed

CNN Admits: Ferguson a ‘Media Spectacle’

CNN anchor Don Lemon referred to the events in Ferguson after the shooting of Mike Brown were a “media spectacle” during his live coverage from Brown’s funeral on Monday’s “CNN Newsroom.”  “It’s important … that this turns into something other than just a media spectacle” he said.

Lemon further reported, “I was speaking to Sybrina Fulton, yesterday, Trayvon Martin’s mother, and she said, ‘if I had it my way, I would tell all the dignitaries, all the people who didn’t know him would be cordoned off somewhere out of the camera’s view. This should be for family members and people who knew him. Because those people didn’t know him. They come here for a day or for a week, and they get in the camera spotlight and what have you. They take part in the moment, and then when the cameras go away, they’re gone, as well.'”  

Just before that statement, Lemon read a list of the celebrities and public figures that plan on attending Brown’s funeral.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett




Source: Breitbart Feed

Lee Rigby Killer Mosque Tries to Distance Itself from Latest Jihadi

One London mosque that seems to be fast acquiring a reputation for producing Britain’s most ‘famous’ terrorists has taken steps to distance itself from a recent alumnus, who has demanded equal rights for Jihadists and said she wants to be the first female to execute a UK or US ‘terrorist’.

The Lewisham Islamic Centre in south-east London has been on the government’s radar for the best part of a decade and counts amongst its former worshippers Drummer Lee Rigby killers Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, as well as female jihadist Khadijah Dare.

Ms. Dare took to twitter after the execution of American Journalist James Foley to express in her own broken English “Any links 4 da execution of da journalist plz. Allahu Akbar. UK must b shaking up ha ha. I wna b da 1st UK woman 2 kill a UK or US terorrist!”. 

The shock at apparent blood-thirst of women in Jihad has again focussed attention on the UK, which by far is the home of more terrorists fighting with ISIS than any other European country.

Despite this the leaders of the mosque insist they are innocent of extremism, and have been made ‘guilty by association’ because of the beliefs of it’s members. The Guardian reports the Mosque made the following statement after Dare’s links to them became apparent:

“It is rather unfortunate that time and time again, the media do not seem to understand that whether or not any individual who has ever prayed in the mosque has gone on to be involved in acts that are considered to be illegal, that this should in no way reflect on the mosque or on the message the mosque imparts.”

According to a Daily Telegraph report from 2013 the mosque is one that ‘attracts radicals’. It’s former Senior Imam Sheik Shakeel Begg who died earlier this year was reportedly close to Woolwich terror killer Muslim convert Michael Adebolajo. Begg had a habit of being caught on tape making controversial statements; the Times reported on a secret recording in 2006 urging University students to “take some money and go to Palestine and fight, fight the terrorists, fight the Zionists”.

Further videos available on YouTube show the preacher praising Jihadists and calling Guantanamo bay inmates ‘inspirational’. The website of Unite Against Fascism, the hard-left authoritarian group also records Imam Begg as having addressed their rallies before his death.

Even if it may lose some of it’s attendees to international Jihad as they get older, the Islamic Centre works to teach the young of Lewisham about Islam. It operates it’s own primary school, academy, Islamic football club, and Scout troop.  OFSTED’s 2009 report accused the school, which teaches children from five to eleven years old charges over £2,200 a year of suffering from ‘weak management’.




Source: Breitbart Feed

FBI Director Interviews with Breitbart Texas on Terrorism

MCALLEN, Texas — Breitbart Texas traveled to San Antonio to talk with James Comey, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) who was visiting Texas, as well as to meet with part of the bureau’s executive management about the new challenges they face. 

Two of the primary missions of the FBI have always been counterterrorism and counterintelligence, the two have taken greater importance in the years following the terrorist attacks of 9-11, Comey explains.

“There will come a day when these groups will try to carry out new attacks on the American people and we will be ready for it,” he said, “We are determined.”

Since taking over the agency 11 months ago and having switched from the private sector, Comey quickly realized how things have changed in recent years. Terrorist and criminal organizations have evolved into recruiting foreign members as well as influencing homegrown terrorists. 

“Terrorist groups like the Islamic State also known as ISIL or ISIS are different than other groups and present a unique challenge that the agency has been working closely to monitor and fight,” Comey said.

While the organization currently operates in the Middle East, the group has foreign members who might be able to travel into Europe and possibly into America. That is why the FBI has been working to monitor any attempts of such travel as well as their efforts to recruit individuals in the United States, Director Comey said. 

One of the possibilities that the agency has been keeping an eye on in South Texas is for extremists to enter the country through the Southern border. The agency has been coordinating with other local agencies to prepare for it, however, so far that has not been the case. 

“Because the people who are going to see a Syrian traveler, or some homegrown violent extremist, in that short window between emergence and killings is likely going to be a sheriff’s deputy or a police officer on patrol,” Comey said.   

The most direct threat to America comes from the radical individuals who are already in America. They are not directly linked to terrorist groups, but getting influenced by them and learning how to make explosive devices on the internet, the director said asking the public to report anything suspicious. 

“We have a tendency to rationalize and minimize things,” Comey mentioned adding that his bureau is able to investigate tips in a confidential manner. “Report it to us we will look into it, if it is nothing, that person will never know, but at least let us look into it.”  

In addition to their work in counterterrorism, the agency in Texas has been working closely to investigate cases of public corruption, violent crimes, and transnational criminal organizations better known as drug cartels. In South Texas, the FBI has carried out various investigations that have led to the arrests of school board officials, mayors, and other elected officials. 

Follow Ildefonso Ortiz on Twitter: @ildefonsoortiz




Source: Breitbart Feed