Archive for August 7th, 2018

Privatized Post Office Would Tank Sears Catalog Orders

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(2018-08-07) — A Trump administration plan to privatize the U.S. Postal Service would “virtually sound the death knell of the Sears catalog, thus decimating consumer shopping and gutting the U.S. economy,” according to a new report from the Inspector General.

The report describes, in apocalyptic terms, a post-Postal Service America “where people communicate only electronically, pay their bills impersonally, send their packages via predatory overnight delivery services, lose touch with pen-pals, and get forced to order products through apps and websites, without the dignity of paper catalogs, stamps, envelopes, saliva, checks, neat penmanship, and lengthy periods of delicious anticipation.”

In addition, the report warns, taking daily postal operations out of the hands of the federal government would “cut loose hordes of former USPS employees whose personalities severely limit their job prospects, outside of professional journalism.”

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Alex Jones Threat Spurs Facebook ‘Don’t Click’ Button

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(2018-08-07) — To combat the threat of internet hate-speech from Alex Jones and others, Facebook, Apple, and YouTube, among other social media platforms, today announced a new “Don’t Click” button. The feature will offer “another option” to users who feel compelled to watch or listen to hate speech and other material that “violates community standards.”

The new option comes after many social media platforms this week announced the removal of Alex Jones’ InfoWars pages, videos and podcasts as a way to “pro-actively protect Americans from unpopular ideas.” Jones’ reckless violation of “community standards” spurred action by the democratically-elected Social Media Standards Councils in thousands of communities worldwide, which then rose as one to order the Joint Community Standards Enforcement Brigade to remove and ban Jones’ content.

The communities then realized the scope of the threat, since Alex Jones does not hold a monopoly on unpopular ideas.

The global consortium of standards councils formed a joint committee to investigate alternatives that would “protect users from seeing or hearing things with which they disagree, things that are wrong, or things that inspire bad feelings.”

“Then it hit us,” said a member of the committee. “All of the complaints came from people who didn’t like Alex Jones, disagreed with his opinions, and didn’t want to watch him. If people could simply click a ‘Don’t Click’ button, they’d have a way out. They wouldn’t have to watch things they don’t want to watch.”

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