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TikToks data mining is more than a conspiracy theory.

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TikToks data mining is more than a conspiracy theory.

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Much like how Netflix and Instagram use interactions with media as ways to gauge interest, TikTok does as well. However, the thing that sets TikTok apart is its ability to gauge nontrivial information. It can analyze the music in the background, the caption, and most importantly, the content itself.

Instagram wont know your political affiliation just based on the photos you like. The photo could say I love Republicans but if it was posted by someone Instagram thinks is a Democrat, Instagram is likely to think you are a Democrat. TikTok, on the other hand, is able to gauge analyze the material of the content itself. This leads to inevitable bias, which again is worthy of its own article, but based on its analysis, it can say that if a white girl uploads a video of her dancing, its likely to be more popular than an Indian boy doing the same dance. Forbes talks about this too.

Daksh Trehan put together an article that goes more in depth about potential methods TikTok might actually employ to analyze this data. Im not really going to touch on that here.

Thats just the tip of the iceberg. By these complex analyses, TikToks profile of you is much, much stronger than anything Cambridge Analytica could have put together in 2016. The average user spends 46 minutes a day on TikTok. If we conservatively estimate the average TikTok to be 30 seconds, that means we have 92 TikToks per user that can be analyzed per day. 92 pieces of content to determine what a user likes, what a user doesnt like, what a user really likes, and what a user really doesnt like.

Based on the videos you interact with, TikTok can easily determine your gender, your race, and even your political affiliation based on how you interact with political content. Combine this with information on your location, and what you get is a supercharged Cambridge Analytica data mine of knowledge about you.

It would be plain ignorant of me to hint that TikTok is doing all of this to make it seem like theyre the only ones doing it. Facebook, Google, and every major company that provides free software is doing the same thing.

As we progress in these seemingly scary digital times, its important to note that if theres a big company providing a free service, youre not the consumer, youre the product. Your data is the asset the company is using to make money. With Facebook and Google, your data (hopefully) isnt being sold to other companies; rather its being used to suggest targeted ads.

In conclusion, it is scary to think about how all these companies are taking data from us, and more scary that its happening right under our noses, to say the least. However, when its an American company, we have some amount of hope in that if the company does something wrong, we can at least do something to regulate them. Just this week, we had a hearing where the CEOs of Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook, all came together to testify about their companies before Congress. You cant always do that with a foreign entity.

I know the TikTok debate can foster a lot of anti-Asian sentiment, and Im not trying to promote any of that here. Im just saying that TikTok is an example of how every free software from a large company isnt taking our data we give it to them. It just so happens that TikTok cant easily be regulated by the US.

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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories – KTVZ

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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories - KTVZ

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Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York are calling on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to create a new bipartisan committee focused on election integrity and schedule hearings to reassure Americans over a process President Donald Trump has repeatedly sought to undermine.

There is growing anxiety among Democrats, and some Republicans, that Trump will not only continue to sow doubt over the legitimacy of the coming election but throw the subsequent count into chaos by declaring victory before all the votes can be tallied, including the millions that will arrive by mail.

In a letter to McConnell, Sanders and Schumer quote back the Kentucky senator’s own words, in which he attested to the reliability of mail-in voting by citing its successes in Oregon, Washington and Colorado, which have been using the system for years.

Trump has repeatedly questioned the validity of mail-in voting, promoted conspiracy theories questioning election security, called on supporters to act as unsanctioned “poll watchers,” and suggested that the absence of a clear result by the evening of November 3 would in some way cast doubt on the eventual outcome. Key allies in powerful positions, like Attorney General Bill Barr, have followed suit. Barr has persisted in puffing up a debunked claim that ballots received by mail would somehow strip the sender of their privacy — ignoring well-established safeguards.

By escalating the matter now, Sanders and Schumer are responding to growing concern, in partisan and nonpartisan spaces, that Americans are not adequately prepared for the potential of a longer-than-usual wait for results or Trump’s willingness to short-circuit the democratic process if he smells defeat.

“Democrats and Republicans in Congress must come together to ensure that we have a free and fair election where every vote is cast and counted without intimidation,” Sanders told CNN, “where no one has to put his or her health in danger to cast a ballot, and where we have full confidence in the results.”

The proposed hearings would invite a cross-section of election officials from across the country to testify to the security and reliability of mail-in, early- and in-person voting — subjects on which Sanders and Schumer, again, referenced McConnell’s own words.

“Despite the clear security of our vote-by-mail system, some have continued to undermine it with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud,” they wrote. “As you have correctly said, people ‘can vote early, you can vote on Election Day, or you can drop it in the mail,’ and that voters should ‘not worry about your vote not counting.’”

The minority leader and Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, also want more detailed discussion about the fraught hours, or days, after the polls close and a real-time watch of the election horse race potentially swings from one candidate to another.

“We know a number of states may well be counting ballots for a period of time after Election Day, and that those votes may be determinative in this election,” the senators wrote to McConnell. “To avoid disinformation, conspiracy theories, and suspicion about results, we must understand the likely timeline for this process.”

The letter goes on to reference the recent war games-style preparations conducted by a group called the Transition Integrity Project, a bipartisan gathering of operatives and academics that made headlines when some of the outcomes of their exercises — including “both street-level violence and political impasse” — were reported on in late July.

“A bipartisan group of experts and officials have studied multiple scenarios where the outcome of the election was not immediately known. Some of these scenarios resulted in unrest and even violence,” Sanders and Schumer wrote, suggesting the Senate should elevate similar discussions and familiarize the public with the uncertainties ahead. “We would like to hear from the most knowledgeable people in the country as to how we can do everything possible to make sure that the election and the period afterward is secure and peaceful.”

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS supported Caputo, with a statement that called him a critical, integral part of the presidents coronavirus response, leading on public messaging as Americans need public health information to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was no immediate statement from the White House.

Attempts to reach Caputo were unsuccessful.

On Capitol Hill, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., called on Azar to fire Caputo, accusing the spokesman of trying to interfere with CDC reports to the medical and scientific community, as well as the public at large. And Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called on Azar himself to resign, citing interference with the CDC as one example of what he termed the administration’s failures.

Officials at CDC have privately complained of recent efforts by political appointees at main HHS to try to edit or press for changes in the agency’s weekly MMWR publications, a go-to resource for public health professionals.

MMWR articles are technical, but they reveal telling details. One published earlier this year noted that while Trump’s travel restrictions dramatically reduced travel from China in February, nothing was being done at that time to restrict travel from Italy and Europe, where the coronavirus was spreading widely and rapidly. Analysis of virus samples from hard-hit New York in March suggested it was introduced there from Europe and other parts of the U.S., the CDC article reported.

Caputo is an unswerving Trump loyalist. His recent book, The Ukraine Hoax, claims the presidents phony impeachment was rooted in a vast conspiracy.

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS…

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS...

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My RSS Feedunwinona:

This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS and Polio narrative (among others), only we’re seeing it escalated to weeks and months instead of years or decades.

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