Women across Iran are posting photos of themselves without the hijab to a dedicated Facebook page called “My Stealthy Freedom”…The Facebook page was set up just over a week ago, and already has 130,000 “likes”. Almost all are from people in Iran, both men and women.
So far the page has around 150 photos. They show women on the beach, on the street, in the countryside, alone, with friends or their partners – but crucially – all without the headscarf. Most include a few words, for example: “I loathe the hijab. I too like the feel of the sun and the wind on my hair. Is this a big sin?”
Ever since the Islamic Revolution 35 years ago, it has been illegal for a woman to leave the house without wearing a headscarf. The punishment ranges from a fine to imprisonment. “My hair was like a hostage to the government,” says Masih Alinejad, an Iranian political journalist who lives in the UK and who set up the Facebook page. “The government still has a lot of hostages,” she adds.
Alinejad got the idea after she posted some photos of herself without the hijab to her own Facebook page. The images were liked thousands of times. So many women began to send her their own pictures that she decided to set up a dedicated page. Though she’s well-known for being critical of the government in Iran, she insists the page is not political. “These are not women activists, but just ordinary women talking from their hearts…”
The hijab is a controversial issue in Iran. A recent billboard campaign reminding women to cover themselves up, was mocked on social media for comparing women to chocolates in a wrapper. But many support the wearing of the hijab, arguing it’s an important part of Islamic law – there was a demonstration in Tehran last week, with protesters calling for a more strict implementation of the rules.
Letting religion order your clothing, your nutrition – or lack thereof – is absurd. I can’t say much more than that because this is the kind of question I sorted out well before I left my teens. That was a very long time ago.
So, folks who get hung up into deep discussions about the flavors that differentiate religion really aren’t getting a whole boatload of commentary from me. Difficult enough restraining my native crankiness. :)
Oklahoma’s Cyber Command Security Operations Center said state employees on the state computer network made 2,008,092 visits to Facebook in a three month span.
The agency, which is aimed at protecting the state computer system from cyber attacks, said its tracking of the state computer network found state employees made 2,008,092 visits to Facebook between July and September, but officials said the number may be inflated as Facebook registers a page view every time a website is brought up that includes an embedded Facebook widget…
The operations center said Google registered 1,074,684 page views during the same time period and Twitter and YouTube had 272,661 and 225,228 page views, respectively.
Preston Doerflinger, director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, which oversees the Cyber Command Security Operations Center, is implementing a policy to block state employees from using their work computers to access Facebook unless they can demonstrate a legitimate need to access the site as part of their jobs, an agency spokesman said.
What constitutes a legitimate need to access Facebook as part of your job? Unless you’re paid to be a snoop.
Some of America’s largest technology and telecoms companies, including Facebook, Microsoft and AT&T, are backing a network of self-styled “free-market thinktanks” promoting a radical rightwing agenda in states across the nation, according to a new report by a lobbying watchdog.
The Center for Media and Democracy asserts that the State Policy Network (SPN), an umbrella group of 64 thinktanks based in each of the 50 states, is acting as a largely beneath-the-radar lobbying machine for major corporations and rightwing donors.
Its policies include cutting taxes, opposing climate change regulations, advocating reductions in labour protections and the minimum wage, privatising education, restricting voter rights and lobbying for the tobacco industry.
The network’s $83.2m annual warchest comes from major donors. These include the Koch brothers, the energy tycoons who are a mainstay of Tea Party groups and climate change sceptics; the tobacco company Philip Morris and its parent company Altria Group; the food giant Kraft; and the multinational drugs company GlaxoSmithKline.
More surprisingly, backers also include Facebook and Microsoft, as well as the telecoms giants AT&T, Time Warner Cable and Verizon…
The U.S. Justice Department has told a secret surveillance court that it opposes a request from technology companies to reveal more about the demands they receive for user information, according to court papers released on Wednesday.
Negotiations between the federal government and companies such as Google have gone on for months, and while U.S. spy agencies said they plan to be more transparent, they have opposed company requests to disclose more detailed data…
Microsoft, Yahoo!, LinkedIn and Facebook are among the companies seeking permission to publish statistics about the extent of the demands placed on them.
Britain’s Guardian newspaper and the Washington Post, using former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden as a source, reported beginning in June the companies’ deep involvement with U.S. surveillance efforts.
The companies said some of the reporting was erroneous, so they want to reveal, for example, how many of their users are encompassed in surveillance demands and the total number of compulsory requests under specific laws.
The Justice Department said in its response: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!
The surveillance court has not yet ruled publicly on the companies’ request.
RTFA if you honestly feel you need to read the crap the DOJ released as an answer to the questions raised in this confrontation.
Frankly, I think the average 6th grader has heard sufficient phony-baloney press releases read on the evening news by TV talking heads to be capable of coming pretty close to reproducing the excuses offered by any group of American politicians.
Texas police said they were holding a suspect who allegedly tried to withdraw money from a bank in Bryan while claiming to be Michelle Obama’s adopted son.
Johnnie Gooden, 29, College Station, told a bank teller he had been adopted recently by the first lady, whom he claimed he had met on Facebook and had asked him to take some money out of her account at the Chase Bank branch.
Bank employees said Gooden refused to leave after being told the first lady did not have an account at the bank, so they contacted the authorities.
The Houston Chronicle said police found a bag of marijuana in Gooden’s pocket and learned he had a rap sheet and outstanding warrants for resisting arrest and assaulting a public servant. He was taken away on the warrants and a new arrest for pot possession.
Dude has got to quit smoking the seeds.
Press TV file photo
A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced seven cyber activists to between five to 10 years in prison for inciting protests, mainly by using Facebook…The men were arrested in September last year, according to Human Rights Watch and their trial began in April.
They were charged with posting online messages to encourage protests, although they were not accused of directly taking part in demonstrations.
It is seen as the country’s latest move against online political dissent…
The longest sentence of 10 years was reportedly given to an activist who set up two Facebook groups allegedly explaining the best protest techniques.
The rights group said the men had all admitted contributing to Facebook pages supporting the leading Shia cleric Tawfiq al-Amer, who was held in February 2011 after calling for a constitutional monarchy.
His arrest provoked anti-government rallies inspired by a wave of popular revolt in the country’s Eastern Region, where much of its crude oil is sourced.
The seven men were sentenced on 24 June for “allegedly inciting protests and harming public order, largely by using Facebook“…
Several of the defendants said they had been tortured into signing confessions, according to HRW.
The case contained two elements that the Saudi authorities are particularly sensitive about, the BBC World Service’s Middle East editor Sebastian Usher reports – political criticism expressed online and protests staged by the Shia minority in the east of the country.
Life in a world full of peace. How peace is achieved – or is it controlled – is another matter. From here, it looks like the peaceable kingdom is working harder than ever to shut down dissent.
Alan L. O’Neill discovered another reason to keep your private life off Facebook.
A Tacoma, Wash., resident was slapped with a bigamy charge when Facebook suggested that his wife friend a woman who turned out to be his other wife, the Oakland Press reported Tuesday.
Court documents say that O’Neill changed his name after separating from his original wife in 2009. He then married another woman without divorcing his first wife…
“I’ve never done anything intentionally wrong in my life,” O’Neill said.
O’Neill, due in court later this month, faces up to a year in jail.
Some of things folks do to save money – end up costing more than you ever can expect.
Facebook has come under fire from those who say the network is turning down the volume on their posts, but the bottom line is that the network can — and will — do whatever it wants with the algorithms controlling its news feed.
Facebook seems to be making users upset and/or confused again with the way it handles its news feed. A few months ago, it was actor George Takei and billionaire Mark Cuban who were upset with what they saw as changes to the Facebook algorithm that made their content less visible, and this time around it’s New York Times writer Nick Bilton, who complained that his posts haven’t been getting as many likes or shares as they used to. The assumption is that Facebook wants you to pay to get this kind of reach, but regardless of whether that’s what is happening, it still sends a valuable message: you are not in control — Facebook is.
Bilton described in a piece for the Bits section of the Times how his posts used to get as many as 50 or even a hundred likes and shares, from users of Facebook who had signed up to get his feed using the network’s relatively new Subscribe feature. But even though the number of users who subscribe has soared from just 25,000 after the feature was launched to almost half a million now, Bilton said that he gets far fewer responses to his posts — sometimes as little as 10 or 15 likes and shares. After paying Facebook to promote his posts, however, that number increased by almost 1,000 percent..
The conclusion that everyone seems to be jumping to is the same one that Mark Cuban arrived at when he complained in November about the increasing difficulty of reaching his fans on the network: namely, that Facebook is deliberately tuning out (or at least turning down) the signal coming from some users so that it can convince them to use promotional tools like ads and “sponsored stories.” Cuban said he was so irritated by the move that he was diverting almost all of the marketing budget from his various brands away from Facebook to Twitter and other platforms.
…An official post on the Facebook site entitled “Fact Check” says:
“Our goal with News Feed is always to show each individual the most relevant blend of stories that maximizes engagement and interest. There have been recent claims suggesting that our News Feed algorithm suppresses organic distribution of posts in favor of paid posts in order to increase our revenue. This is not true…”
The bottom line, of course, is that there is no real way for anyone to know why Facebook’s algorithm behaves the way it does, any more than it’s possible for us to know why certain pages rank high in Google. They are both a black box, and the way they function is a mystery. As I tried to point out to Cuban, Facebook is entitled to do whatever it wants with your news feed, including using it to convince you to pay for promotional tools, because it owns your news feed — not you. It’s good to be reminded of that sometimes.
Being a political animal, first, I’m glad to catch any page views I do. We live in society that has always discouraged dissent. The penalties can run from ignoring you – to prison. And don’t kid yourselves, I’ve had friends who experienced the latter.
But, my experience online has continued to be one of growth and concurrent acceptance. Yes, my experience was much the same when I was a performing artist. But, then, I had to put up with all the crap that comes with the territory. I finally quit the circuit – because I wasn’t satisfied with what I was able to do. Online, it’s all pretty much my own responsibility, my choices.
That’s good enough for me whether posting here at my personal site or at one of the Big Sites where I’m one of several contributing editors.
Gay-marriage advocates, aiming to show broad support as the U.S. Supreme Court takes up the issue for the first time, have enlisted Apple, Morgan Stanley and dozens of Republicans who once held top government positions…
The justices will hear arguments March 26 on California’s Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot initiative that halted gay marriage in the state after it was allowed for five months.
The corporate group, which also includes Facebook and Intel will argue in its brief that gay-marriage bans in 41 states harm workplace morale and undermine recruiting.
“No matter how welcoming the corporate culture, it cannot overcome the societal stigma institutionalized by Proposition 8 and similar laws,” the companies will argue.