Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Quick Hits: Volume CXXVII

- Facebook is headed up by snot-nosed progressives. Why should it be any shock that they would attempt to control "trending topics?"

Facebook workers routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers from the social network’s influential “trending” news section, according to a former journalist who worked on the project. This individual says that workers prevented stories about the right-wing CPAC gathering, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, and other conservative topics from appearing in the highly-influential section, even though they were organically trending among the site’s users.

Several former Facebook “news curators,” as they were known internally, also told Gizmodo that they were instructed to artificially “inject” selected stories into the trending news module, even if they weren’t popular enough to warrant inclusion—or in some cases weren’t trending at all. The former curators, all of whom worked as contractors, also said they were directed not to include news about Facebook itself in the trending module.

In other words, Facebook’s news section operates like a traditional newsroom, reflecting the biases of its workers and the institutional imperatives of the corporation. Imposing human editorial values onto the lists of topics an algorithm spits out is by no means a bad thing—but it is in stark contrast to the company’s claims that the trending module simply lists “topics that have recently become popular on Facebook.”

I had seen this story shared a lot on several social media sites, especially Facebook. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess this somehow avoided being a "trending topic."

- Perhaps the most high profile 7th round draft pick in NFL history believes he should still be in the league.

Two years ago, Michael Sam made history when he became the first openly gay man ever drafted by an NFL team. Now, in an interview on the Edge of Sports podcast with Dave Zirin, Sam says that decision is likely a reason he still hasn’t officially been signed to an NFL roster.

“I think if I never would have came out, never would have said those words out to the public, I would still be currently in the NFL. But because of me saying those words, I think it could have played a huge part in my current situation,” he said.

Even though the Rams ended up releasing Sam, the NFL allegedly called other teams in an attempt to persuade organizations to consider signing him. So it would appear the exact opposite of Sam's assertion is true. He didn't have the talent to be an NFL player but the only reason he was able to hang in for any extended period was due to his "coming out."

- I love when a community comes together to aid fellow residents in times of trials, adversity or tragedy. The community where my wife and I currently reside did just that Tuesday evening.

An Anoka County business is stepping up to help the children of a woman who was killed in a heart-wrenching episode of domestic violence, hoping to help them move forward after the unthinkable.

Authorities say Courtney Monson was fatally shot April 22 by her husband Bryce, who then turned the gun on himself. The murder-suicide left four young children without a parent as they move forward.

The incident left a community grasping at ways to help. Among those wanting to step forward was the McDonald's at 720 West Main Street in Anoka, owned by Kris Genck and her son Tim. On Tuesday May 10 the restaurant will stage a benefit from 5 to 8 p.m., donating at least 25 percent of all sales to a fund set up for the Monson children. The percentage of profits donated could actually increase, depending on the success of the event.

As it turns out, the event was an enormous success. The manager of this McDonald's store owns eight franchises total, and the sales within the first half hour alone broke a record for all eight!


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