aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Rumormonger: Newmark quit? Nope.
The AJC article about Mayor Shirley Franklin singling out Craigslist for promoting child prostitution in Atlanta quoted Susan MacTavish Best, Craigslist spokeswoman and girlfriend of CEO Jim Buckmaster, as saying that Craig Newmark “is no longer is involved in the company’s daily affairs.”
I read that and thought nothing of it.
In a couple of conversations on phone and Facebook, Newmark said he was still working at the company as a “customer service representative.” He had no explanation for Best’s comments about his lack of involvement in the company’s “daily affairs”—“customer service” seeming to be one of those “daily affairs” companies must deal with—save to say that she told him she didn’t make the comments attributed to her by the Journal-Constitution, and that he’s still engaged in “heavy customer service” every day. As to his disappearance from the Craigslist management page, Newmark didn’t know why it had been recently changed to remove him, but pointed out that the updated page now matched his claims, put forward for years, not to be involved in the company’s management.
Wal-Mart offers 94Ã‚Â¢ DRM-free songs
Wal-Mart’s online music store started selling songs free of copy-protection technology Tuesday for 94 cents per tune.
The songs from the Rolling Stones, Coldplay and Maroon 5, among others, will play on most portable media devices, including Apple Inc.’s iPod.
Via Cory Doctorow, “a marked contrast from Wal-Mart’s downloadable video store, which sucks so hard it practically implodes...”
Barrow targeted for insufficient war support
Our own Blue Dog John Barrow has been added to the list of Republicans targeted in a $15 million advertising campaign funded by an organization called “Freedom’s Watch.” It looks like we’ll see the ads on our local stations.
“For those who believe in peace through strength, the cavalry is coming,” said former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, who is a founding board member of the group.
The big ad buy, funded by high-profile Republicans who were aides and supporters of President Bush, reflects a furious public relations battle that will unfold as Congress debates the crucial progress report by Gen. David Petraeus, which is due Sept. 15.
MoveOn.org’s Washington Political Action Director and campaign manager for Americans Against Escalation in Iraq Tom Matzzie croons:
Our researchers tell us your ads are targeting 90% Republicans (37 out of 41). We’ve had strong fundraising but we never thought a $15 million TV buy was in the works. Every extra minute of TV time talking about Iraq is another drip, drip, drip of bad news for politicians who won’t break with Bush. So, thanks.
Pandering pols or protecting minors?
We’re pretty well aware these days of the problem of predator priests in the Catholic church. Now the Southern Baptists stand accused of ignoring the sex predator pastor problem in its rank; just yesterday Pam pointed to this example.
...to pressure MySpace, Facebook Inc. and other Internet social-networking sites to put in place greater parental controls and age-verification tools so minors can’t access the sites so easily.
Led by Richard Blumenthal and Roy Cooper, the attorneys general of Connecticut and North Carolina, respectively, the group is working together to pressure the social-networking sites for changes and push for new laws.
The facts about online youth victimization are clear. It’s politics - a politics of fear - that is dragging us down this road and keeping us from more effectively assessing and addressing the very real problems. On Boing Boing danah boyd reacts to the WSJ piece:
The AGs have been perpetuating a culture of fear around SNSs for a long time now, but most of their fears are ungrounded. Research by Ybarra, et al. has shown that safety efforts have focused on the wrong things. (A broader roundup of research in this area is discussed at the Internet Caucus’ seminar on the topic; video, audio, and transcripts can be found here.) The AGs have also been screaming danger since they learned that 29K people on MySpace are on the sex offenders list. BBC reports that there are over 600K people registered in the States (meaning that less than 5% of sex offenders have profiles, indicating that sex offenders are far less likely to have profiles than average adults). On top of that, most sex offenders on the list have nothing to do with children. (Stephanie Booth does a great job of discussing who all is on these lists and why.) Combine this with the National School Boards Association report that less than .08% of teens meet someone offline without parental permission and you realize that very few teens are at risk. MySpace and Facebook are far far far safer than most places that teens hang out (including their own homes, schools, churches, etc.), but the AGs gain a lot more public credibility by screaming “danger!” when talking about social network sites than they do when talking about homes, schools, churches, etc.