sportsevent:nfl

  • Colin Kaepernick, Nike, and the Myth of Good and Bad Companies

    The brand’s alignment with the embattled NFL star is nothing more than smart business.

    Par Joshua Hunt

    https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2018/09/nike-kaepernick/569371

    One of capitalism’s most enduring myths is the idea that there are good corporations and bad corporations. The truth is far more simple: Colin Kaepernick has a dream, and selling dreams is Nike’s business.

  • Announcing IoT Inspector: Studying Smart Home IoT Device Behavior
    https://freedom-to-tinker.com/2018/04/23/announcing-iot-inspector-a-tool-to-study-smart-home-iot-device-be

    Finding #3: Many IoT Devices Contact a Large and Diverse Set of Third Parties
    (...)We have found that many IoT devices communicate with third-party services, of which consumers are typically unaware. (...)
    Samsung Smart TV. During the first minute after power-on, the TV talks to Google Play, Double Click, #Netflix, #FandangoNOW, #Spotify, #CBS, #MSNBC, #NFL, #Deezer, and #Facebook — even though we did not sign in or create accounts with any of them.

  • Trump’s sending troops to the border to take on 200 kids and parents

    According to President Donald Trump, the mightiest, richest country in the world is under a threat so huge and scary that it will require the deployment of military forces — as many as 2,000 to 4.000, Trump said Thursday — along its 2,000-mile southern border. The danger consists of a ragtag caravan formed by several hundred impoverished people, many of them children from tiny Central American nations. Yes, the time has come to protect America from marauding youngsters and their parents.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2018/04/05/opinions/trump-has-no-shame-on-immigration-fernandez-kelly-opinion/index.html?sr=twCNN040518trump-has-no-shame-on-immigration-fernandez-ke
    #Trump #frontières #armée #militarisation_des_frontières #USA #Etats-Unis

    • The cost of 2 National Guard border arrests would help a homeless vet for a year

      President Donald Trump’s decision to send #National_Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border has drawn a mixed response. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey welcomed the move, while California Gov. Jerry Brown’s National Guard said it would “review” the request.

      Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., had a specific complaint: He said it was a poor use of tax dollars.

      “Using the National Guard to do border security is very expensive,” Gallego tweeted April 3. “For what it would cost the Guard to make just TWO arrests at the border, we could give a homeless veteran permanent housing for an entire year.”


      http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2018/apr/05/ruben-gallego/arizona-rep-cost-2-national-guard-border-arrests-w
      #USA #Etats-Unis #coût #économie #prix #surveillance_des_frontières

    • Guard border deployment creates issues for Pentagon

      Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) have now sent two requests for assistance to the Pentagon’s new Border Security Support Cell, which was hastily established to help coordination between the Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Homeland Security.

      It’s estimated that it will cost $182 million to keep 2,093 guardsmen at the border through the end of September, which represents just more than half of the personnel approved.

      The amount covers $151 million in pay and allowances for the 2,093 personnel, as well as $31 million for 12,000 flying hours for 26 UH-72 Lakota helicopters, according to a defense memo on the amount.

      http://thehill.com/policy/defense/386617-guard-border-deployment-creates-issues-for-pentagon

      #CBP #gardes-frontière #frontières

    • The Cal. National Guard Is Working At the Mexican Border, But Mostly Behind The Scenes

      In California - a state with strong differences with the White House on immigration policy - about 400 troops are on border duty. But they’re keeping a low profile.


      http://tpr.org/post/cal-national-guard-working-mexican-border-mostly-behind-scenes

      Signalé par Reece Jones sur twitter, avec ce commentaire:

      What are US National Guard troops doing at the border? Analyze intelligence, work as dispatchers, and monitor cameras “but not cameras that look across the border into Mexico”

    • L’armée américaine mobilisée pour défendre la frontière

      En campagne pour les élections américaines de mi-mandat, le président Trump a focalisé son discours sur la caravane de migrants d’Amérique centrale qui fait route à travers le Mexique. Il a promis de tout faire pour empêcher ces demandeurs d’asile de pénétrer sur le territoire américain (“Personne n’entrera”), y compris de déployer “entre 10 000 et 15 000 soldats” en plus de la police aux frontières et de la police de l’immigration.

      L’armée estime que seuls 20 % des migrants, soit 1 400 selon les estimations les plus hautes, iront jusqu’à la frontière qui se trouve encore à quelque 1 300 kilomètres et plusieurs semaines de marche, rapporte le Los Angeles Times. Le chiffre de 15 000 hommes correspond à peu près au nombre de soldats déployés en Afghanistan, observe le même quotidien. Les militaires envoyés à la frontière peuvent se poser des questions sur le sens de cette mission, comme l’illustre ici le dessinateur Chappatte.


      https://www.courrierinternational.com/dessin/larmee-americaine-mobilisee-pour-defendre-la-frontiere

    • U.S. Troops’ First Order at the Border: Laying Razor Wire

      Soldiers fill local hotels, joke about finding ways to keep busy.
      On Monday morning in this border town, about a dozen U.S. Army soldiers unfurled reams of razor wire on top of a wrought-iron fence alongside a bridge to Mexico.

      The soldiers from the 36th Engineer Brigade at Fort Riley, Kan., who wore helmets but didn’t appear to be armed, are among thousands of troops deployed in recent days to the southwest U.S. border as part of Operation Faithful Patriot.

      Around border crossings throughout Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, military personnel have filled up hotels and delivered trucks packed with coils of razor wire as they begin to support U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.
      The personnel were sent in advance of the anticipated arrival of thousands of Central Americans, including children, traveling in caravans currently several hundred miles south of the nearest U.S. border crossing.

      At the DoubleTree Suites Hotel in McAllen, Texas, the bar did brisk business Sunday night as soldiers who had changed into civilian clothes chatted over drinks. Some joked about needing to find ways to keep soldiers busy during their deployment.

      The Anzalduas International Bridge, where the Kansas-based troops were working, is used only for vehicle traffic to and from the Mexican city of Reynosa. The wire was placed on top of fences at least 15 feet high along each side of the bridge that sat several dozen feet above an embankment.

      Outside the port of entry where vehicles from Mexico are stopped after crossing the bridge, shiny razor wire recently placed around the facility glistened in the afternoon sun.

      Migrants seeking asylum who cross the border illegally generally don’t come to the port, but swim or wade across the Rio Grande and turn themselves in to Border Patrol agents.

      Near another bridge connecting Hidalgo, Texas, to Reynosa, a concertina wire fence was recently erected along the river edge, a placement more likely to impede illegal migrants who arrive on foot.

      U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have determined where the military placed razor wire, Army Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters Monday during a briefing.

      It is part of an effort previously announced by Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, commander of the U.S. Northern Command, to “harden the points of entry and address key gaps.”

      Near the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge about 22 miles southeast of McAllen, troops on Monday were working on what looked to be a staging area to prepare for coming work. Two armed military police officers stood guard, opening and closing a gate as flatbed trailers carrying heavy military trucks and transports with troops inside arrived. At least one tent apparently intended to house troops was in place Monday.

      President Trump ordered the deployment last month after the first caravan made its way into Mexico. He had described the impending caravan’s arrival as an “invasion.”

      The Pentagon said Monday that more than 5,000 troops are at or would be on their way to the U.S.-Mexico border by the end of the day, with about 2,700 in Texas, 1,200 in Arizona and 1,100 in California. Eventually, nearly 8,000 will be deployed, according to a U.S. official. Officials from the Department of Homeland Security have said the troops won’t be used to enforce immigration laws but will provide backup for Border Patrol agents and Customs and Border Protection officers.

      At the Vaquero Hangout, an open-air bar within eyesight of the Anzalduas bridge, a flag declaring support for the U.S. military hung from the rafters. It was business as usual on Sunday evening. Some patrons watched the Houston Texans’ NFL game, while others were focused on a live band, George and the Texas Outlaws.

      A few folks briefly took notice of flashing lights from a U.S. Customs and Border Protection vehicle parked on the bridge as the soldiers lay down razor wire, an effort they would continue the next day.

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-troops-first-order-at-the-border-laying-razor-wire-1541509201
      #fil_barbelé #barbelé

    • Pentagon to begin drawdown of troops at border: report

      The Pentagon is planning to begin a drawdown of troops at the southern border as soon as this week, the Army commander overseeing the mission told Politico on Monday.

      Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan told the news outlet that the 5,800 active-duty troops sent to assist Customs and Border Protection at the U.S.-Mexico border should be home by Christmas.
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      “Our end date right now is 15 December, and I’ve got no indications from anybody that we’ll go beyond that,” said Buchanan, who is overseeing the mission from Texas.

      Buchanan said engineer and logistics troops, which make up the largest parts of the deployment, will begin returning home soon.

      According to Politico’s report, some troops will begin leaving the area before the so-called migrant caravan arrives at the border.

      The news of the troops’ return comes as critics call President Trump’s request to send thousands of troops to the border a “political stunt.”

      Trump before Election Day stoked fears over an approaching group of Central American migrants heading towards the southern border, which he referred to as an “invasion.” He requested the deployment of thousands of troops to the border in a support mission just before Nov. 6.

      Some lawmakers have accused Trump of wasting resources and manpower on the mission, as reports have emerged that the troops are restless and underutilized.

      Thousands of participants in the caravan over the weekend reached Tijuana, Mexico, where they were met with vast protests. Some of the protesters are echoing Trump’s language, calling the group a danger and an invasion, The Associated Press reported.

      Most of the members of the caravan are reportedly escaping rampant poverty and violence in their home countries.

      https://thehill.com/policy/defense/417503-pentagon-to-begin-drawdown-of-troops-at-border-report

      –-> commentaire sur twitter:

      Just 3 weeks after deployment, Trump’s Pentagon is sending the military home from the border. They’ve served their purpose as the GOP’s 11th hour campaign force. Now we’re stuck with a hundred miles of trashy concertina wire and a $200 million bill.

      https://twitter.com/LaikenJordahl/status/1064644464726048768

    • Troops at U.S.-Mexican border to start coming home

      All the troops should be home by Christmas, as originally expected, Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan said in an interview Monday.

      The 5,800 troops who were rushed to the southwest border amid President Donald Trump’s pre-election warnings about a refugee caravan will start coming home as early as this week — just as some of those migrants are beginning to arrive.

      Democrats and Republicans have criticized the deployment as a ploy by the president to use active-duty military forces as a prop to try to stem Republican losses in this month’s midterm elections.

      The general overseeing the deployment told POLITICO on Monday that the first troops will start heading home in the coming days as some are already unneeded, having completed the missions for which they were sent. The returning service members include engineering and logistics units whose jobs included placing concertina wire and other barriers to limit access to ports of entry at the U.S.-Mexico border.

      All the troops should be home by Christmas, as originally expected, Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan said in an interview Monday.

      “Our end date right now is 15 December, and I’ve got no indications from anybody that we’ll go beyond that,” said Buchanan, who leads the land forces of U.S. Northern Command.

      The decision to begin pulling back comes just weeks after Trump ordered the highly unusual deployment.

      In previous cases in which the military deployed to beef up security at the border, the forces consisted of part-time National Guard troops under the command of state governors who backed up U.S. Customs and Border Protection and other law enforcement agencies.

      But the newly deployed troops, most of them unarmed and from support units, come from the active-duty military, a concession the Pentagon made after Trump insisted that the deployment include “not just the National Guard.”

      Buchanan confirmed previous reports that the military had rejected a request from the Department of Homeland Security for an armed force to back up Border Patrol agents in the event of a violent confrontation.

      “That is a law enforcement task, and the secretary of Defense does not have the authority to approve that inside the homeland,” Buchanan said.

      The closure earlier Monday of one entry point along the California border near Tijuana, Mexico, was only partial and did not require more drastic measures, Buchanan said.

      “About half of the lanes were closed this morning, but that’s it,” he reported. “No complete closures.”

      Other ports might be closed fully in the future, he said, but he did not anticipate any need to take more drastic measures.

      “If CBP have reliable information that one of their ports is about to get rushed with a mob, or something like that that could put their agents at risk, they could ask us to completely close the port,” Buchanan said. “You understand the importance of commerce at these ports. Nobody in CBP wants to close a port unless they’re actually driven to do so.”

      The troop deployment should start trailing off as engineer and other logistics troops wind down their mission of building base camps and fortifying ports of entry for the Border Patrol.

      Army and Marine engineers have now emplaced about 75 percent of the obstacles they planned to, including concertina wire, shipping containers, and concrete barriers at ports of entry. “Once we get the rest of the obstacles built, we don’t need to keep all those engineers here. As soon as I’m done with a capability, what I intend to do is redeploy it,” Buchanan said. “I don’t want to keep these guys on just to keep them on.”

      Logistics troops, too, will be among the first to head home. “I will probably ask to start redeploying some of our logistic capability,” Buchanan predicted. “Now that things are set down here, we don’t need as many troops to actually build base camps and things like that, because the base camps are built."

      Among the troops who will remain after construction engineers and logisticians start departing are helicopter pilots, planners, medical personnel, and smaller “quick response” teams of engineers who can help Border Patrol personnel shut down traffic at their ports of entry.

      In contrast to the speed of the deployment in early November and the fanfare surrounding it, the withdrawal promises to be slower and quieter — but Buchanan expects it to be done before Christmas.

      “That doesn’t mean it’s impossible,” he added. “But right now, this is a temporary mission, and we’re tasked to do it until the 15th of December.”

      https://www.politico.com/story/2018/11/19/troops-us-mexico-border-come-home-1005510

    • Trump’s Border Stunt Is a Profound Betrayal of Our Military

      The president used America’s military not against any real threat but as toy soldiers, with the intent of manipulating a domestic midterm election.

      A week before the midterm elections, the president of the United States announced he would deploy up to 15,000 active duty military troops to the United States-Mexico border to confront a menacing caravan of refugees and asylum seekers. The soldiers would use force, if necessary, to prevent such an “invasion” of the United States.

      Mr. Trump’s announcement and the deployment that followed (of roughly 5,900) were probably perfectly legal. But we are a bipartisan threesome with decades of experience in and with the Pentagon, and to us, this act creates a dangerous precedent. We fear this was lost in the public hand-wringing over the decision, so let us be clear: The president used America’s military forces not against any real threat but as toy soldiers, with the intent of manipulating a domestic midterm election outcome, an unprecedented use of the military by a sitting president.

      The public debate focused on secondary issues. Is there truly a threat to American security from an unarmed group of tired refugees and asylum seekers on foot and a thousand miles from the border? Even the Army’s internal assessment did not find this a very credible threat.

      Can the president deny in advance what could be legitimate claims for asylum, without scrutiny? Most likely, this violates treaty commitments the United States made as part of its agreement to refugee conventions in 1967, which it has followed for decades.

      The deployment is not, in the context of the defense budget, an albatross. We are already paying the troops, wherever they’re deployed, and the actual incremental costs of sending them to the border might be $100 million to $200 million, a tiny fraction of the $716 billion defense budget.

      Still, we can think of many ways to put the funds to better use, like improving readiness.

      It’s also not unusual for a president to ask the troops to deploy to the border in support of border security operations. Presidents of both parties have sent troops to the border, to provide support functions like engineering, logistics, transportation and surveillance.

      But those deployments have been generally in smaller numbers, usually the National Guard, and never to stop a caravan of refugees and asylum seekers.

      So, generously, some aspects of the deployment are at least defensible. But one is not, and that aspect is the domestic political use — or rather, misuse — of the military.

      James Mattis, the secretary of defense, asserted that the Defense Department does not “do stunts.” But this was a blatant political stunt. The president crossed a line — the military is supposed to stay out of domestic politics. As many senior military retirees have argued, the forces are not and should not be a political instrument. They are not toy soldiers to be moved around by political leaders but a neutral institution, politically speaking.
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      Oh, some might say, presidents use troops politically all the time. And so they do, generally in the context of foreign policy decisions that have political implications. Think Lyndon Johnson sending more troops to Vietnam, fearing he would be attacked for “cutting and running” from that conflict. Or George W. Bush crowing about “mission accomplished” when Saddam Hussein was toppled. Those are not the same thing as using troops at home for electoral advantage.

      Electoral gain, not security, is this president’s goal. Two of us served in the military for many years; while all troops must obey the legal and ethical orders of civilian leaders, they need to have faith that those civilian leaders are using them for legitimate national security purposes. But the border deployment put the military right in the middle of the midterm elections, creating a nonexistent crisis to stimulate votes for one party.

      When partisan actions like this occur, they violate civil-military traditions and erode that faith, with potentially long-term damage to the morale of the force and our democratic practice — all for electoral gain.

      The deployment is a stunt, a dangerous one, and in our view, a misuse of the military that should have led Mr. Mattis to consider resigning, instead of acceding to this blatant politicization of America’s military.


      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/19/opinion/president-trump-border-military-troops.html

    • The Military Is ’Securing’ a 1,900-Mile Border with 22 Miles of Razor Wire

      #Operation_Faithful_Patriot” is nothing more than a very expensive, politically motivated P.R. campaign.
      Skim through the Pentagon’s media site for Operation Faithful Patriot—the fittingly ridiculous name for the deployment of some 7,000 American troops to various spots along the Mexican border—and you’ll see lots of razor wire.

      There are photos of American troops laying razor wire (technically known as concertina wire) along the California-Mexico border. Of wire being affixed to the top of fences and to the sides of buildings. Everywhere you look on the Pentagon’s site, you find wire, wire, and more wire. Photos of soldiers carrying rolls of unused wire, snapshots of forklifts bringing more of the stuff to the border, and even videos of wire being unrolled and deployed. It’s thrilling stuff, truly.

      The message is not subtle. President Donald Trump might not have convinced Congress to blow billions for a fully operational border wall, but good luck to any immigrant caravan that happens to stumble into the thorny might of the American military’s sharpest deterrents.

      The focus on concertina wire isn’t just in the Pentagon’s internal media. The Wall Street Journal dedicated an entire Election Day story to how troops in Granjeno, Texas, had “unfurled reams of razor wire on top of a wrought-iron fence alongside a bridge to Mexico.” Troops stringing wire also appeared in The New York Post, The Washington Post, and elsewhere.

      There is so much concertina wire deployed to the southern border that if it were all stretched out from end to end, it would reach all the way from Brownsville, Texas, on the Gulf Coast to....well, whatever is 22 miles west of Brownsville, Texas.

      Yes. Despite the deluge of photos and videos of American troops are securing the southern border with reams of razor wire, Buzzfeed’s Vera Bergengruen reports that “troops have deployed with 22 miles of the wire so far, with 150 more available.”

      The U.S.–Mexico border is roughly 1,950 miles long.

      The wire doesn’t seem to be getting strung with any sort of strategic purpose, either. That WSJ story about the troops in Texas hanging wire from a bridge says that the “wire was placed on top of fences at least 15 feet high along each side of the bridge that sat several dozen feet above an embankment” while the bridge itself remains open to vehicle traffic from Mexico. If there is a goal, it would seem to be making the border look more prickly and dystopian while not actually creating any sort of barrier.

      It’s no wonder, then, that the troops deployed to the border are confused about why they are there. On Wednesday, when Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited some of the troops stationed near McAllen, Texas, he was met with lots of questions and provided few answers.

      “Sir, I have a question. The wire obstacles that we’ve implanted along the border....Are we going to be taking those out when we leave?” one of the soldiers asked Mattis, according to Bergengruen. Another asked Mattis to explain the “short- and long-term plans of this operation.”

      “Short-term right now, you get the obstacles in so the border patrolmen can do what they gotta do,” Mattis responded. “Longer term, it’s somewhat to be determined.”

      Even at a time when most American military engagements seem to be conducted with a “TBD” rationale, this feels especially egregious. Mattis did his best on Wednesday to make the effort seem like a meaningful attempt to secure the border, while simultaneously admitting that he does not expect the deployed troops to actually come into contact with any immigrant caravans. Lately he’s been talking about how the deployment is supposedly good training for unconventional circumstances.

      It’s becoming increasingly obvious that Operation Faithful Patriot—a name so silly that the Pentagon has decided to stop using it—is nothing more than a very expensive, politically motivated P.R. campaign. Of the 39 units deployed, five of them are public affairs units. There seems to be no clear mission, no long-term objective, and no indication that the troops will add meaningful enforcement to existing border patrols.

      As for all that wire? It doesn’t really seem to be working either.

      https://reason.com/blog/2018/11/19/the-military-is-securing-a-1900-mile-bor
      #Faithful_Patriot #barbelé

  • What Happens When We Let Tech Care For Our Aging Parents | WIRED
    https://www.wired.com/story/digital-puppy-seniors-nursing-homes

    Arlyn Anderson grasped her father’s hand and presented him with the choice. “A nursing home would be safer, Dad,” she told him, relaying the doctors’ advice. “It’s risky to live here alone—”

    “No way,” Jim interjected. He frowned at his daughter, his brow furrowed under a lop of white hair. At 91, he wanted to remain in the woodsy Minnesota cottage he and his wife had built on the shore of Lake Minnetonka, where she had died in his arms just a year before. His pontoon—which he insisted he could still navigate just fine—bobbed out front.

    Arlyn had moved from California back to Minnesota two decades earlier to be near her aging parents. Now, in 2013, she was fiftysomething, working as a personal coach, and finding that her father’s decline was all-consuming.

    Her father—an inventor, pilot, sailor, and general Mr. Fix-It; “a genius,” Arlyn says—started experiencing bouts of paranoia in his mid-eighties, a sign of Alzheimer’s. The disease had progressed, often causing his thoughts to vanish mid-sentence. But Jim would rather risk living alone than be cloistered in an institution, he told Arlyn and her older sister, Layney. A nursing home certainly wasn’t what Arlyn wanted for him either. But the daily churn of diapers and cleanups, the carousel of in-home aides, and the compounding financial strain (she had already taken out a reverse mortgage on Jim’s cottage to pay the caretakers) forced her to consider the possibility.

    Jim, slouched in his recliner, was determined to stay at home. “No way,” he repeated to his daughter, defiant. Her eyes welled up and she hugged him. “OK, Dad.” Arlyn’s house was a 40-minute drive from the cottage, and for months she had been relying on a patchwork of technology to keep tabs on her dad. She set an open laptop on the counter so she could chat with him on Skype. She installed two cameras, one in his kitchen and another in his bedroom, so she could check whether the caregiver had arrived, or God forbid, if her dad had fallen. So when she read in the newspaper about a new digi­tal eldercare service called CareCoach a few weeks after broaching the subject of the nursing home, it piqued her interest. For about $200 a month, a human-powered avatar would be available to watch over a homebound person 24 hours a day; Arlyn paid that same amount for just nine hours of in-home help. She signed up immediately.

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    A Google Nexus tablet arrived in the mail a week later. When Arlyn plugged it in, an animated German shepherd appeared onscreen, standing at attention on a digitized lawn. The brown dog looked cutesy and cartoonish, with a bubblegum-pink tongue and round, blue eyes.

    She and Layney visited their dad later that week, tablet in hand. Following the instructions, Arlyn uploaded dozens of pictures to the service’s online portal: images of family members, Jim’s boat, and some of his inventions, like a computer terminal known as the Teleray and a seismic surveillance system used to detect footsteps during the Vietnam War. The setup complete, Arlyn clutched the tablet, summoning the nerve to introduce her dad to the dog. Her initial instinct that the service could be the perfect companion for a former technologist had splintered into needling doubts. Was she tricking him? Infantilizing him?

    Tired of her sister’s waffling, Layney finally snatched the tablet and presented it to their dad, who was sitting in his armchair. “Here, Dad, we got you this.” The dog blinked its saucer eyes and then, in Google’s female text-to-speech voice, started to talk. Before Alzheimer’s had taken hold, Jim would have wanted to know exactly how the service worked. But in recent months he’d come to believe that TV characters were interacting with him: A show’s villain had shot a gun at him, he said; Katie Couric was his friend. When faced with an onscreen character that actually was talking to him, Jim readily chatted back.

    Jim named his dog Pony. Arlyn perched the tablet upright on a table in Jim’s living room, where he could see it from the couch or his recliner. Within a week Jim and Pony had settled into a routine, exchanging pleasantries several times a day. Every 15 minutes or so Pony would wake up and look for Jim, calling his name if he was out of view. Sometimes Jim would “pet” the sleeping dog onscreen with his finger to rustle her awake. His touch would send an instantaneous alert to the human caretaker behind the avatar, prompting the CareCoach worker to launch the tablet’s audio and video stream. “How are you, Jim?” Pony would chirp. The dog reminded him which of his daughters or in-person caretakers would be visiting that day to do the tasks that an onscreen dog couldn’t: prepare meals, change Jim’s sheets, drive him to a senior center. “We’ll wait together,” Pony would say. Often she’d read poetry aloud, discuss the news, or watch TV with him. “You look handsome, Jim!” Pony remarked after watching him shave with his electric razor. “You look pretty,” he replied. Sometimes Pony would hold up a photo of Jim’s daughters or his inventions between her paws, prompting him to talk about his past. The dog complimented Jim’s red sweater and cheered him on when he struggled to buckle his watch in the morning. He reciprocated by petting the screen with his index finger, sending hearts floating up from the dog’s head. “I love you, Jim!” Pony told him a month after they first met—something CareCoach operators often tell the people they are monitoring. Jim turned to Arlyn and gloated, “She does! She thinks I’m real good!”

    About 1,500 miles south of Lake Minnetonka, in Monterrey, Mexico, Rodrigo Rochin opens his laptop in his home office and logs in to the CareCoach dashboard to make his rounds. He talks baseball with a New Jersey man watching the Yankees; chats with a woman in South Carolina who calls him Peanut (she places a cookie in front of her tablet for him to “eat”); and greets Jim, one of his regulars, who sips coffee while looking out over a lake.

    Rodrigo is 35 years old, the son of a surgeon. He’s a fan of the Spurs and the Cowboys, a former international business student, and a bit of an introvert, happy to retreat into his sparsely decorated home office each morning. He grew up crossing the border to attend school in McAllen, Texas, honing the English that he now uses to chat with elderly people in the United States. Rodrigo found CareCoach on an online freelancing platform and was hired in December 2012 as one of the company’s earliest contractors, role-playing 36 hours a week as one of the service’s avatars.

    After watching her dad interact with Pony, Arlyn’s reservations about outsourcing her father’s companionship vanished.

    In person, Rodrigo is soft-spoken, with wire spectacles and a beard. He lives with his wife and two basset hounds, Bob and Cleo, in Nuevo León’s capital city. But the people on the other side of the screen don’t know that. They don’t know his name—or, in the case of those like Jim who have dementia, that he even exists. It’s his job to be invisible. If Rodrigo’s clients ask where he’s from, he might say MIT (the CareCoach software was created by two graduates of the school), but if anyone asks where their pet actually is, he replies in character: “Here with you.”

    Rodrigo is one of a dozen CareCoach employees in Latin America and the Philippines. The contractors check on the service’s seniors through the tablet’s camera a few times an hour. (When they do, the dog or cat avatar they embody appears to wake up.) To talk, they type into the dashboard and their words are voiced robotically through the tablet, designed to give their charges the impression that they’re chatting with a friendly pet. Like all the CareCoach workers, Rodrigo keeps meticulous notes on the people he watches over so he can coordinate their care with other workers and deepen his relationship with them over time—this person likes to listen to Adele, this one prefers Elvis, this woman likes to hear Bible verses while she cooks. In one client’s file, he wrote a note explaining that the correct response to “See you later, alligator” is “After a while, crocodile.” These logs are all available to the customer’s social workers or adult children, wherever they may live. Arlyn started checking Pony’s log between visits with her dad several times a week. “Jim says I’m a really nice person,” reads one early entry made during the Minnesota winter. “I told Jim that he was my best friend. I am so happy.”

    After watching her dad interact with Pony, Arlyn’s reservations about outsourcing her father’s companionship vanished. Having Pony there eased her anxiety about leaving Jim alone, and the virtual dog’s small talk lightened the mood.

    Pony was not only assisting Jim’s human caretakers but also inadvertently keeping an eye on them. Months before, in broken sentences, Jim had complained to Arlyn that his in-home aide had called him a bastard. Arlyn, desperate for help and unsure of her father’s recollection, gave her a second chance. Three weeks after arriving in the house, Pony woke up to see the same caretaker, impatient. “Come on, Jim!” the aide yelled. “Hurry up!” Alarmed, Pony asked why she was screaming and checked to see if Jim was OK. The pet—actually, Rodrigo—later reported the aide’s behavior to CareCoach’s CEO, Victor Wang, who emailed Arlyn about the incident. (The caretaker knew there was a human watching her through the tablet, Arlyn says, but may not have known the extent of the person’s contact with Jim’s family behind the scenes.) Arlyn fired the short-tempered aide and started searching for a replacement. Pony watched as she and Jim conducted the interviews and approved of the person Arlyn hired. “I got to meet her,” the pet wrote. “She seems really nice.”

    Pony—friend and guard dog—would stay.
    Grant Cornett

    Victor Wang grew up feeding his Tama­got­chis and coding choose-your-own-­adventure games in QBasic on the family PC. His parents moved from Taiwan to suburban Vancouver, British Columbia, when Wang was a year old, and his grandmother, whom he called Lao Lao in Mandarin, would frequently call from Taiwan. After her husband died, Lao Lao would often tell Wang’s mom that she was lonely, pleading with her daughter to come to Taiwan to live with her. As she grew older, she threatened suicide. When Wang was 11, his mother moved back home for two years to care for her. He thinks of that time as the honey-­sandwich years, the food his overwhelmed father packed him each day for lunch. Wang missed his mother, he says, but adds, “I was never raised to be particularly expressive of my emotions.”

    At 17, Wang left home to study mechanical engineering at the University of British Columbia. He joined the Canadian Army Reserve, serving as an engineer on a maintenance platoon while working on his undergraduate degree. But he scrapped his military future when, at 22, he was admitted to MIT’s master’s program in mechanical engineering. Wang wrote his dissertation on human-machine interaction, studying a robotic arm maneuvered by astronauts on the International Space Station. He was particularly intrigued by the prospect of harnessing tech to perform tasks from a distance: At an MIT entrepreneurship competition, he pitched the idea of training workers in India to remotely operate the buffers that sweep US factory floors.

    In 2011, when he was 24, his grandmother was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia, a disease that affects the areas of the brain associated with memory and movement. On Skype calls from his MIT apartment, Wang watched as his grandmother grew increasingly debilitated. After one call, a thought struck him: If he could tap remote labor to sweep far-off floors, why not use it to comfort Lao Lao and others like her?

    Wang started researching the looming caretaker shortage in the US—between 2010 and 2030, the population of those older than 80 is projected to rise 79 percent, but the number of family caregivers available is expected to increase just 1 percent.

    In 2012 Wang recruited his cofounder, a fellow MIT student working on her computer science doctorate named Shuo Deng, to build CareCoach’s technology. They agreed that AI speech technology was too rudimentary for an avatar capable of spontaneous conversation tailored to subtle mood and behavioral cues. For that, they would need humans.

    Older people like Jim often don’t speak clearly or linearly, and those with dementia can’t be expected to troubleshoot a machine that misunderstands. “When you match someone not fully coherent with a device that’s not fully coherent, it’s a recipe for disaster,” Wang says. Pony, on the other hand, was an expert at deciphering Jim’s needs. Once, Pony noticed that Jim was holding onto furniture for support, as if he were dizzy. The pet persuaded him to sit down, then called Arlyn. Deng figures it’ll take about 20 years for AI to be able to master that kind of personal interaction and recognition. That said, the CareCoach system is already deploying some automated abilities. Five years ago, when Jim was introduced to Pony, the offshore workers behind the camera had to type every response; today CareCoach’s software creates roughly one out of every five sentences the pet speaks. Wang aims to standardize care by having the software manage more of the patients’ regular reminders—prodding them to take their medicine, urging them to eat well and stay hydrated. CareCoach workers are part free­wheeling raconteurs, part human natural-­language processors, listening to and deciphering their charges’ speech patterns or nudging the person back on track if they veer off topic. The company recently began recording conversations to better train its software in senior speech recognition.

    CareCoach found its first customer in December 2012, and in 2014 Wang moved from Massachusetts to Silicon Valley, renting a tiny office space on a lusterless stretch of Millbrae near the San Francisco airport. Four employees congregate in one room with a view of the parking lot, while Wang and his wife, Brittany, a program manager he met at a gerontology conference, work in the foyer. Eight tablets with sleeping pets onscreen are lined up for testing before being shipped to their respective seniors. The avatars inhale and exhale, lending an eerie sense of life to their digital kennel.

    CareCoach conveys the perceptiveness and emotional intelligence of the humans powering it but masquerades as an animated app.

    Wang spends much of his time on the road, touting his product’s health benefits at medical conferences and in hospital executive suites. Onstage at a gerontology summit in San Francisco last summer, he deftly impersonated the strained, raspy voice of an elderly man talking to a CareCoach pet while Brittany stealthily cued the replies from her laptop in the audience. The company’s tablets are used by hospitals and health plans across Massachusetts, California, New York, South Carolina, Florida, and Washington state. Between corporate and individual customers, CareCoach’s avatars have interacted with hundreds of users in the US. “The goal,” Wang says, “is not to have a little family business that just breaks even.”

    The fastest growth would come through hospital units and health plans specializing in high-need and elderly patients, and he makes the argument that his avatars cut health care costs. (A private room in a nursing home can run more than $7,500 a month.) Preliminary research has been promising, though limited. In a study conducted by Pace University at a Manhattan housing project and a Queens hospital, CareCoach’s avatars were found to reduce subjects’ loneliness, delirium, and falls. A health provider in Massachusetts was able to replace a man’s 11 weekly in-home nurse visits with a CareCoach tablet, which diligently reminded him to take his medications. (The man told nurses that the pet’s nagging reminded him of having his wife back in the house. “It’s kind of like a complaint, but he loves it at the same time,” the project’s lead says.) Still, the feelings aren’t always so cordial: In the Pace University study, some aggravated seniors with dementia lashed out and hit the tablet. In response, the onscreen pet sheds tears and tries to calm the person.

    More troubling, perhaps, were the people who grew too fiercely attached to their digi­tal pets. At the conclusion of a University of Washington CareCoach pilot study, one woman became so distraught at the thought of parting with her avatar that she signed up for the service, paying the fee herself. (The company gave her a reduced rate.) A user in Massachusetts told her caretakers she’d cancel an upcoming vacation to Maine unless her digital cat could come along.

    We’re still in the infancy of understanding the complexities of aging humans’ relationship with technology. Sherry Turkle, a professor of social studies, science, and technology at MIT and a frequent critic of tech that replaces human communication, described interactions between elderly people and robotic babies, dogs, and seals in her 2011 book, Alone Together. She came to view roboticized eldercare as a cop-out, one that would ultimately degrade human connection. “This kind of app—in all of its slickness and all its ‘what could possibly be wrong with it?’ mentality—is making us forget what we really know about what makes older people feel sustained,” she says: caring, interpersonal relationships. The question is whether an attentive avatar makes a comparable substitute. Turkle sees it as a last resort. “The assumption is that it’s always cheaper and easier to build an app than to have a conversation,” she says. “We allow technologists to propose the unthinkable and convince us the unthinkable is actually the inevitable.”

    But for many families, providing long-term in-person care is simply unsustainable. The average family caregiver has a job outside the home and spends about 20 hours a week caring for a parent, according to AARP. Nearly two-thirds of such caregivers are women. Among eldercare experts, there’s a resignation that the demographics of an aging America will make technological solutions unavoidable. The number of those older than 65 with a disability is projected to rise from 11 million to 18 million from 2010 to 2030. Given the option, having a digital companion may be preferable to being alone. Early research shows that lonely and vulnerable elders like Jim seem content to communicate with robots. Joseph Coughlin, director of MIT’s AgeLab, is pragmatic. “I would always prefer the human touch over a robot,” he says. “But if there’s no human available, I would take high tech in lieu of high touch.”

    CareCoach is a disorienting amalgam of both. The service conveys the perceptiveness and emotional intelligence of the humans powering it but masquerades as an animated app. If a person is incapable of consenting to CareCoach’s monitoring, then someone must do so on their behalf. But the more disconcerting issue is how cognizant these seniors are of being watched over by strangers. Wang considers his product “a trade-off between utility and privacy.” His workers are trained to duck out during baths and clothing changes.

    Some CareCoach users insist on greater control. A woman in Washington state, for example, put a piece of tape over her CareCoach tablet’s camera to dictate when she could be viewed. Other customers like Jim, who are suffering from Alzheimer’s or other diseases, might not realize they are being watched. Once, when he was temporarily placed in a rehabilitation clinic after a fall, a nurse tending to him asked Arlyn what made the avatar work. “You mean there’s someone overseas looking at us?” she yelped, within earshot of Jim. (Arlyn isn’t sure whether her dad remembered the incident later.) By default, the app explains to patients that someone is surveilling them when it’s first introduced. But the family members of personal users, like Arlyn, can make their own call.

    Arlyn quickly stopped worrying about whether she was deceiving her dad. Telling Jim about the human on the other side of the screen “would have blown the whole charm of it,” she says. Her mother had Alzheimer’s as well, and Arlyn had learned how to navigate the disease: Make her mom feel safe; don’t confuse her with details she’d have trouble understanding. The same went for her dad. “Once they stop asking,” Arlyn says, “I don’t think they need to know anymore.” At the time, Youa Vang, one of Jim’s regular in-­person caretakers, didn’t comprehend the truth about Pony either. “I thought it was like Siri,” she said when told later that it was a human in Mexico who had watched Jim and typed in the words Pony spoke. She chuckled. “If I knew someone was there, I may have been a little more creeped out.”

    Even CareCoach users like Arlyn who are completely aware of the person on the other end of the dashboard tend to experience the avatar as something between human, pet, and machine—what some roboticists call a third ontological category. The care­takers seem to blur that line too: One day Pony told Jim that she dreamed she could turn into a real health aide, almost like Pinoc­chio wishing to be a real boy.

    Most of CareCoach’s 12 contractors reside in the Philippines, Venezuela, or Mexico. To undercut the cost of in-person help, Wang posts English-language ads on freelancing job sites where foreign workers advertise rates as low as $2 an hour. Though he won’t disclose his workers’ hourly wages, Wang claims the company bases its salaries on factors such as what a registered nurse would make in the CareCoach employee’s home country, their language proficiencies, and the cost of their internet connection.

    The growing network includes people like Jill Paragas, a CareCoach worker who lives in a subdivision on Luzon island in the Philippines. Paragas is 35 years old and a college graduate. She earns about the same being an avatar as she did in her former call center job, where she consoled Americans irate about credit card charges. (“They wanted to, like, burn the company down or kill me,” she says with a mirthful laugh.) She works nights to coincide with the US daytime, typing messages to seniors while her 6-year-old son sleeps nearby.

    Even when Jim grew stubborn or paranoid with his daughters, he always viewed Pony as a friend.

    Before hiring her, Wang interviewed Paragas via video, then vetted her with an international criminal background check. He gives all applicants a personality test for certain traits: openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. As part of the CareCoach training program, Paragas earned certifications in delirium and dementia care from the Alzheimer’s Association, trained in US health care ethics and privacy, and learned strategies for counseling those with addictions. All this, Wang says, “so we don’t get anyone who’s, like, crazy.” CareCoach hires only about 1 percent of its applicants.

    Paragas understands that this is a complicated business. She’s befuddled by the absence of family members around her aging clients. “In my culture, we really love to take care of our parents,” she says. “That’s why I’m like, ‘She is already old, why is she alone?’ ” Paragas has no doubt that, for some people, she’s their most significant daily relationship. Some of her charges tell her that they couldn’t live without her. Even when Jim grew stubborn or paranoid with his daughters, he always viewed Pony as a friend. Arlyn quickly realized that she had gained a valuable ally.
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    As time went on, the father, daughter, and family pet grew closer. When the snow finally melted, Arlyn carried the tablet to the picnic table on the patio so they could eat lunch overlooking the lake. Even as Jim’s speech became increasingly stunted, Pony could coax him to talk about his past, recounting fishing trips or how he built the house to face the sun so it would be warmer in winter. When Arlyn took her dad around the lake in her sailboat, Jim brought Pony along. (“I saw mostly sky,” Rodrigo recalls.)

    One day, while Jim and Arlyn were sitting on the cottage’s paisley couch, Pony held up a photograph of Jim’s wife, Dorothy, between her paws. It had been more than a year since his wife’s death, and Jim hardly mentioned her anymore; he struggled to form coherent sentences. That day, though, he gazed at the photo fondly. “I still love her,” he declared. Arlyn rubbed his shoulder, clasping her hand over her mouth to stifle tears. “I am getting emotional too,” Pony said. Then Jim leaned toward the picture of his deceased wife and petted her face with his finger, the same way he would to awaken a sleeping Pony.

    When Arlyn first signed up for the service, she hadn’t anticipated that she would end up loving—yes, loving, she says, in the sincerest sense of the word—the avatar as well. She taught Pony to say “Yeah, sure, you betcha” and “don’t-cha know” like a Minnesotan, which made her laugh even more than her dad. When Arlyn collapsed onto the couch after a long day of caretaking, Pony piped up from her perch on the table:

    “Arnie, how are you?”

    Alone, Arlyn petted the screen—the way Pony nuzzled her finger was weirdly therapeutic—and told the pet how hard it was to watch her dad lose his identity.

    “I’m here for you,” Pony said. “I love you, Arnie.”

    When she recalls her own attachment to the dog, Arlyn insists her connection wouldn’t have developed if Pony was simply high-functioning AI. “You could feel Pony’s heart,” she says. But she preferred to think of Pony as her father did—a friendly pet—rather than a person on the other end of a webcam. “Even though that person probably had a relationship to me,” she says, “I had a relationship with the avatar.”

    Still, she sometimes wonders about the person on the other side of the screen. She sits up straight and rests her hand over her heart. “This is completely vulnerable, but my thought is: Did Pony really care about me and my dad?” She tears up, then laughs ruefully at herself, knowing how weird it all sounds. “Did this really happen? Was it really a relationship, or were they just playing solitaire and typing cute things?” She sighs. “But it seemed like they cared.”

    When Jim turned 92 that August, as friends belted out “Happy Birthday” around the dinner table, Pony spoke the lyrics along with them. Jim blew out the single candle on his cake. “I wish you good health, Jim,” Pony said, “and many more birthdays to come.”

    In Monterrey, Mexico, when Rodrigo talks about his unusual job, his friends ask if he’s ever lost a client. His reply: Yes.

    In early March 2014, Jim fell and hit his head on his way to the bathroom. A caretaker sleeping over that night found him and called an ambulance, and Pony woke up when the paramedics arrived. The dog told them Jim’s date of birth and offered to call his daughters as they carried him out on a stretcher.

    Jim was checked into a hospital, then into the nursing home he’d so wanted to avoid. The Wi-Fi there was spotty, which made it difficult for Jim and Pony to connect. Nurses would often turn Jim’s tablet to face the wall. The CareCoach logs from those months chronicle a series of communication misfires. “I miss Jim a lot,” Pony wrote. “I hope he is doing good all the time.” One day, in a rare moment of connectivity, Pony suggested he and Jim go sailing that summer, just like the good old days. “That sounds good,” Jim said.
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    That July, in an email from Wang, Rodrigo learned that Jim had died in his sleep. Sitting before his laptop, Rodrigo bowed his head and recited a silent Lord’s Prayer for Jim, in Spanish. He prayed that his friend would be accepted into heaven. “I know it’s going to sound weird, but I had a certain friendship with him,” he says. “I felt like I actually met him. I feel like I’ve met them.” In the year and a half that he had known them, Arlyn and Jim talked to him regularly. Jim had taken Rodrigo on a sailboat ride. Rodrigo had read him poetry and learned about his rich past. They had celebrated birthdays and holidays together as family. As Pony, Rodrigo had said “Yeah, sure, you betcha” countless times.

    That day, for weeks afterward, and even now when a senior will do something that reminds him of Jim, Rodrigo says he feels a pang. “I still care about them,” he says. After her dad’s death, Arlyn emailed Victor Wang to say she wanted to honor the workers for their care. Wang forwarded her email to Rodrigo and the rest of Pony’s team. On July 29, 2014, Arlyn carried Pony to Jim’s funeral, placing the tablet facing forward on the pew beside her. She invited any workers behind Pony who wanted to attend to log in.

    A year later, Arlyn finally deleted the CareCoach service from the tablet—it felt like a kind of second burial. She still sighs, “Pony!” when the voice of her old friend gives her directions as she drives around Minneapolis, reincarnated in Google Maps.

    After saying his prayer for Jim, Rodrigo heaved a sigh and logged in to the CareCoach dashboard to make his rounds. He ducked into living rooms, kitchens, and hospital rooms around the United States—seeing if all was well, seeing if anybody needed to talk.

  • Who’s Afraid of George Soros? – Foreign Policy (10/10/2017) http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/10/10/whos-afraid-of-george-soros

    BUCHAREST, Romania — Last winter, in the middle of anti-corruption demonstrations, a television broadcaster accused George Soros — the Hungarian-born, Jewish-American billionaire philanthropist — of paying dogs to protest.

    The protests in Bucharest, sparked by dead-of-night legislation aimed at decriminalizing corruption, were the largest the country had seen since the fall of communism in 1989. Romania TV — a channel associated with, if not officially owned by, the government — alleged the protesters were paid.

    “Adults were paid 100 lei [$24], children earned 50 lei [$12.30], and dogs were paid 30 lei [$7.20],” one broadcaster said. 

    Some protesters responded by fitting their dogs with placards; others tucked money into their pets’ coats. One dog stood next to a sign reading, “Can anyone change 30 lei into euro?” Another dog wore one that read: “#George_Soros paid me to be here.”

    “The pro-government television, they lie all the time. In three sentences, they have five lies,” investigative journalist Andrei Astefanesei told Foreign Policy outside a gyro shop in Bucharest. “I told you about that lie, that Soros paid for dogs. ‘If you bring more dogs in the street, you get more money.’” He laughed.

    Romania TV was fined for its false claims about Soros. But the idea — that roughly half a million Romanians, and their dogs, came to the streets because Soros made them do it — struck a responsive chord. It’s similar to the idea that Soros is personally responsible for teaching students about LGBTQ rights in Romanian high schools; that Soros manipulated the teenagers who led this year’s anti-corruption protests in Slovakia; and that civil organizations and what’s left of the independent media in Hungary wouldn’t exist without Soros and his Open Society Foundations.

    The idea that the 87-year-old Soros is single-handedly stirring up discontent isn’t confined to the European side of the Atlantic; Soros conspiracies are a global phenomenon. In March, six U.S. senators signed a letter asking Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s staff to look into U.S. government funding going to Soros-backed organizations.

    “Our skepticism about Soros-funded groups undermining American priorities goes far beyond Eastern Europe,” said a spokesperson for Utah Sen. Mike Lee, who led the initiative, when asked if there was some specific piece of evidence of Soros-funded activity in Eastern Europe that prompted the letter or if concerns were more general.

    Soros has even been linked to former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who knelt during the national anthem to protest police brutality. “Congrats to Colin Kaepernick for popularizing the hatred of America. Good work, bro,” Tomi Lahren, a conservative commentator, tweeted during the controversy. “Your buddy George Soros is so proud. #istand.”

    On Twitter, Soros has also been held responsible for the recent Catalan independence referendum and the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

    But one of the places in which suspicion of Soros is most obvious is Central and Eastern Europe. There, Soros is not unlike the Mirror of Erised in Harry Potter, except that while the fictional mirror shows what the viewer most desires, Soros reflects back onto a country what it most hates.

    In Romania, where the head of the ruling party said Soros wants to do evil, the billionaire is not to be trusted because he’s Hungarian. In Hungary, where Prime Minister Viktor Orban has reportedly declared that Soros will be a main campaign theme in next year’s general election, he’s a traitor. And everywhere, he is Jewish, his very name a nod to the anti-Semitism that runs deep throughout the region.

    Now, Soros’s effectiveness as a bogeyman for conservative governments will be put to the test, literally. This week, Hungary is holding a “national consultation,” essentially a referendum designed to condemn Soros and his views on immigration. The government-funded questionnaire will be open to the country’s adult citizens and is meant to solicit their views on the Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor.

    “George Soros has bought people and organizations, and Brussels is under his influence,” Orban said in a radio interview Friday in the run-up to the consultation. “They want to demolish the fence, allow millions of immigrants into Europe, then distribute them using a mandatory mechanism — and they want to punish those who do not comply.”

    Soros declined an interview for this article, but a spokesperson for the Open Society Foundations, the main conduit for Soros’s philanthropic efforts, chalked up the backlash to his outspokenness. “He’s a man who stands up for his beliefs,” Laura Silber, a spokeswoman for the foundation, told FP. “That’s threatening when you’re speaking out against autocrats and corruption.”

    Blame and hatred of Soros are, to borrow from Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, a specter haunting Central and Eastern Europe. But how did an 87-year-old billionaire thousands of miles away become the region’s most famous ghost?

    #conspirationnisme

    • George Soros lègue 18 milliards de dollars à sa fondation
      http://www.latribune.fr/economie/international/george-soros-legue-18-milliards-de-dollars-a-sa-fondation-754607.html

      Open Society Foundations (OSF) a reçu 18 milliards de dollars (15,2 milliards d’euros) de ce grand donateur du parti démocrate américain, a indiqué à l’AFP une porte-parole. « Cette somme reflète un processus en cours de transfert des actifs » de M. Soros, « qui prévoit de laisser la vaste majorité de sa fortune à Open Society Foundations », a-t-elle souligné.

      Cette donation fait d’Open Society Foundations la deuxième plus riche ONG aux Etats-Unis après la Fondation Bill et Melinda Gates, qui dispose de 40 milliards de dollars pour promouvoir les problématiques de santé publique et de développement à travers le monde, d’après la National Philanthropic Trust.

      L’OSF est un réseau de 39 entités aux opérations interconnectées à travers le globe et fait la promotion de ses valeurs dans plus de 120 pays. La première a ouvert ses portes en 1984 en Hongrie, pays d’origine de M. Soros. La dernière a vu le jour en 2016 en Birmanie. George Soros en est le président et ses fils Alexander et Jonathan sont membres du conseil d’administration. D’autres de ses enfants sont également impliqués.

      Le milliardaire américain d’origine hongroise, connu pour ses paris financiers risqués, avait donné jusqu’à ce jour 12 milliards de dollars (10,2 milliards d’euros) de sa fortune à des oeuvres caritatives. Depuis des décennies, il donne environ entre 800 et 900 millions de dollars à des associations chaque année d’après des chiffres mentionnés par le New-York Times. C’est en 1979 que le financier avait fait son premier don en attribuant des bourses d’études à des élèves noirs sud-africains en plein Apartheid, rappelle OSF sur son site internet. Selon le président de la Ford Foundation, Darren Walker interrogé par le quotidien américain :

      "il n’y a aucune organisation caritative dans le monde, y compris la Ford Foundation, qui a plus d’impact que l’Open Society Foundations durant ces deux dernières décennies. [...] Parce qu’il n’y a aucun endroit dans le monde où ils ne sont pas présents. Leur empreinte est plus importante et plus conséquente que n’importe qu’elle organisation de justice sociale dans le monde".

      v/ @hadji

    • Soros turns antisocial: Billionaire says Facebook & Google manipulate users like gambling companies
      https://www.rt.com/news/417065-soros-social-media-blame

      Soros, whose investment fund owned over 300,000 shares in #Facebook until last November, said social media platforms are deliberately engineering “addiction to the services they provide.” Facebook and Google deceive their users by “manipulating their #attention and directing it towards their own commercial purposes,” he said.

      In this respect, online platforms have become similar to gambling companies, Soros asserted. “#Casinos have developed techniques to hook gamblers to the point where they gamble away all their money, even money they don’t have.

      “Something very harmful and maybe irreversible is happening to human attention in our digital age,” he said. Social media companies “are inducing people to give up their autonomy,” while the power to shape the public’s attention “is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few companies.”

      The billionaire financier, whom the Hungarian government has labeled a “political puppet master,” then struck an even gloomier tone by offering a full-on dystopian conspiracy theory.

      In future, there could be “an alliance between authoritarian states and these large, data-rich IT monopolies,” in which tech giants’ corporate surveillance would merge with “an already developed system of state-sponsored surveillance,” he said.

      That “may well result in a web of totalitarian control the likes of which not even Aldous Huxley or George Orwell could have imagined,” he said, referring to the British authors of two famous dystopian novels.

      Last year, some tech corporations fell out of favor with Soros when his investment fund sold 367,262 shares in Facebook, although he chose to keep 109,451 of the network’s shares. Soros’ fund also offloaded 1,700 shares in Apple and 1.55 million in the owners of Snapchat. It also reduced its stake in Twitter by 5,700 shares, while still holding 18,400 shares in the social media service.

      Soros was not the only Davos speaker to launch a verbal attack on Big Tech. American entrepreneur and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said on Tuesday that Facebook should be regulated just like a tobacco company.

      “I think you’d do it exactly the same way you regulate the cigarette industry. Here’s a product, cigarettes, they are addictive, they are not good for you,” Benioff said. “Maybe there is all kinds of different forces trying to get you to do certain things. There are a lot of parallels.”

  • Eminem Rips ’Kamikaze’ Trump Over NFL, Gun Control and Puerto Rico in Shocking Freestyle | Alternet
    https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/eminem-destroys-kamikaze-trump-over-nfl-gun-control-and-puerto-rico

    Eminem, the rapper who built a deeply problematic career by portraying a misogynistic villain, is letting the world know via freestyle that he actually “f*cking hate[s]” President Donald Trump and disavows everything the president’s been doing.

    The explosive segment comes courtesy of the BET Hip-Hop Awards.

    The diss is notable, given Eminem’s huge popularity with the white male demographic that voted for Trump.

    #Politique_USA #Eminem #Trump

  • Pentagon Paid for NFL ’Patriotism’
    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/pentagon-paid-nfl-displays-patriotism

    A key component is missing from the current controversial discussion surrounding football players and the national anthem. In the recent days of argument over whether NFL players have the right to protest racial inequality and systemic injustice in the United States, few have brought up the fact that less than a decade ago, professional football players didn’t even appear on the field during the national anthem.

    That changed in 2009, as the Department of Defense poured millions of dollars into the NFL in exchange for displays of patriotism during games. “Until 2009, no NFL player stood for the national anthem because players actually stayed in the locker room as the anthem played,” ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith explained in 2016. “The players were moved to the field during the national anthem because it was seen as a marketing strategy to make the athletes look more patriotic. The United States Department of Defense paid the National Football League $5.4 million between 2011 and 2014, and the National Guard $6.7 million between 2013 and 2015 to stage onfield patriotic ceremonies as part of military-recruitment budget line items.”

    #hymne #etats-unis #patriotisme

  • The unexpected connection between slavery, NFL protests and the national anthem - CNN
    http://edition.cnn.com/2016/08/29/sport/colin-kaepernick-flag-protest-has-history-trnd/index.html

    “I am not looking for approval,” he said at the time. “I have to stand up for people that are oppressed.”
    For some black NFL stars, like Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch and Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, taking a knee, sitting or standing with a fist raised has become a common pre-game practice in the ensuing year. Slowly, but very visibly, others have joined in.
    Jenkins’ teammate, Chris Long, who is white, put his arm around Jenkins in solidarity as Jenkins raised his fist high before a mid-August preseason game. It is worth noting that Long, who is vocal about his political views, played college ball in Charlottesville, at the University of Virginia.
    “I think it’s a good time for people who look like me to be here for people fighting for equality,” Long said after the game.
    Whether these players know it, and whether they kneel with the fact in mind, the connection between race and the national anthem has a painful yet little-known root.
    The national anthem’s forgotten lyrics
    “The Star-Spangled Banner” was written by Francis Scott Key in 1814 about the American victory at the Battle of Fort McHenry. We only sing the first verse, but Key penned three more. This is the third verse:
    And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
    That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
    A home and a Country should leave us no more?
    Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
    No refuge could save the hireling and slave
    From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    The mere mention of “slave” is not entirely remarkable; slavery was alive and well in the United States in 1814. Key himself owned slaves, was an anti-abolitionist and once called his African brethren "a dis

  • CTE found in 99% of studied brains from deceased NFL players - CNN.com
    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/07/25/health/cte-nfl-players-brains-study/index.html

    Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, known as CTE, was found in 99% of deceased NFL players’ brains that were donated to scientific research, according to a study published Tuesday in the medical journal JAMA.

    The neurodegenerative brain disease can be found in individuals who have been exposed to repeated head trauma. The disease is pathologically marked by an buildup of abnormal tau protein in the brain that can disable neuropathways and lead to a variety of clinical symptoms. These include memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, aggression, depression, anxiety, impulse control issues and sometimes suicidal behavior.
    […]
    The study points out potential bias because relatives of these players may have submitted their brains due to clinical symptoms they noticed while they were living. It also acknowledges the lack of a comparison group that represents all individuals exposed to college-level or professional football. Without that, the study lacks an overall estimate on the risk of participation in football and its effects on the brain.

    Out of 202 deceased former football players total — a combination of high school, college and professional players — CTE was neuropathologically diagnosed in 177, the study said. The disease was identified in 110 out of 111 former NFL players. It was also found in three of the 14 high school players and 48 of the 53 college players.

    #football_américain

  • Grosse enquête du Washington Post qui, se basant sur sa connaissance approfondie de l’internet et de ses vagues d’indignation, expose enfin la pire saloperie commise par Trump depuis qu’il est Président : President Trump angers golf fans by driving golf cart on green. He apparently does this a lot.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2017/06/22/what-the-hell-trump-president-upsets-golf-fans-after-driving-cart-on

    It’s unclear whether Trump knew he was violating one of the unwritten (and actually, most of the time it is written down) rules of the game when he took to the course the weekend of June 9. But if he did realize his faux pas, he didn’t acknowledge it to the golf club patrons who caught him on tape.

    Trump rolled his golf cart off the green and right up to them, where he ended up complaining he was playing “well until this hole.” It’s unclear what hole Trump had just played, as well as how many he had already completed.

    This is not the first time Trump has been caught on camera driving on one of his golf course’s greens. According to Ken Bass, who said he’s a former member of Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va., Trump regularly drives on the greens there. In early June at this course, which is located in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., Trump reportedly drove on the green while playing with retired NFL quarterback Peyton Manning.

    Oui, il y a beaucoup de “it’s unclear”, mais beaucoup de citations de messages indignés de Twitter. Je pense qu’on peut enfin fermer l’internet. Et le Washington Post.

  • The Platform Press : How Silicon Valley reengineered #journalism - Columbia Journalism Review via @opironet
    https://www.cjr.org/tow_center_reports/platform-press-how-silicon-valley-reengineered-journalism.php

    Avec une chronologie bien dense à la fin.

    2000

    October 23: Google AdWords launches.

    2002

    October 4—21: Harvard study finds 113 white nationalist, Nazi, anti-Semitic, and radical Islamic sites, and at least one fundamentalist Christian site, were removed from French and German Google listings.

    2004

    February 2: Facebook launches as a Harvard-only social network.

    2006

    January 23: Google News formally launches; had been in beta since September 2002.
    January 25: Google launches Google.cn, adhering to China’s censorship policies until March 2010.
    July 15: Twttr (later renamed Twitter) is released. “Tweets” can only be 140 characters.
    September 5: Facebook News Feed launches and displays activity from a user’s network.
    September 10: Google delists Inquisition21, a website seeking to challenge potentially incorrect child pornography convictions in the UK. Google implies the delisting is because Inquisition21 tried to manipulate search results.

    2007

    January 10: Facebook launches mobile site m.facebook.com.
    April 16: Google’s Terms of Service unveiled, including provisions granting Google “perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which [users] submit, post or display on or through, the Services.”

    2008

    October 7: Apple launches iOS App Store.
    October 22: Android OS Google Play store launches.
    December 30: Facebook removes a photo of a mother breastfeeding babies, leading to protests.

    2009

    February 4: Facebook’s Terms of Service altered to remove the automatic expiry of Facebook’s license to use individuals’ names, likenesses, and images if an account was deleted.
    February 24: WhatsApp, a mobile messaging app company, is founded, and the app is released in May of 2009.

    2010

    January 14: Links to Encyclopedia Dramatica’s “Aboriginal” article removed from Google after complaint; Google defended decision on grounds that the content represented a violation of Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act.
    March 22: Google announces it will no longer adhere to Chinese censorship policies by redirecting Chinese users to its Hong Kong domain.
    October 6: Instagram, a photo-based social network, is released.
    October 21: News Corporation axes “Project Alesia,” a potential competitor to Google News, over concerns about cost and readiness of proposed partners.

    2011

    September 26: Snapchat, a mobile app for disappearing messages, is released.
    October 12: iOS Apple Newsstand app to read a variety of publications is released.
    November 2: Twitter begins to “curate” results on its timeline.

    2012

    February 16: Facebook’s internal “Abuse Standards” leaked, including policy to filter out content containing images of maps of Kurdistan and of burning Turkish flags.
    March 1: Fundamental rewrite of Google’s Terms of Service, adding rights for Google to “use, host, [and] store” any content submitted by users.
    April 9: Facebook buys Instagram for $1 billion.
    May 31: Google launches a feature that informs Chinese users which keywords are censored. (The feature is removed in early December.)

    2013

    January 19: After backlash, Instagram scales back earlier announcement on changing Terms of Use to allow for selling user data.
    June 20: Announcement that video is coming to Instagram
    October 1: Canadian photographer Petra Collins’ Instagram account deleted because of a selfie which displayed visible pubic hair beneath her bikini bottom; challenged by Collins as it did not break Instagram’s terms.
    October 3: Snapchat Stories, a compilation of “snaps” a user’s friends see, launches.
    November 11: Update to Google’s Terms of Service, clarifying how profile name and photo might appear in Google products.
    November 20: Android OS Google Play Newsstand app to read a variety of publications launches.

    2014

    January 30: Facebook launches Paper, an effort at personalized news, and Trending.
    February 19: WhatsApp bought by Facebook for $19 billion.
    April 1: Algorithm introduced on Instagram to tailor the “Explore”/“Popular” tab to each user.
    April 14: Update to Google’s Terms of Service, including provision to automatically analyze content such as emails when content is sent, received, and stored.
    April 24: Launch of Facebook Newswire, powered by Storyful. While it was eventually folded, it allowed publishers to embed “newsworthy” content from Facebook into own material, use platform for newsgathering and storytelling.
    May 19: In Russia, Twitter blocks pro-Ukrainian accounts following threats to bar the service if it did not delete tweets violating Russian law.
    May 30: Google launches tool that enables Europeans to request “right to be forgotten” in response to ruling by European Court of Justice.
    June 13: Google ordered by Canadian court to remove search results that linked to websites of Datalink, which sold technology alleged to have been stolen from a competitor.
    June 17: Snapchat Our Story, a public Story aggregating many users’ activity around an event launches.
    June 23: Facebook News Feed algorithm altered to increase priority of video.
    July 15: Geofilters on Snapchat are released.
    July 25: Twitter blocks an account belonging to @boltai, a hacker collective that leaked internal Kremlin documents.
    August 25: Facebook News Feed algorithm altered to reduce priority of clickbait.
    October 22: German publishers concede defeat to Google in long-running dispute over attempt to charge license fees.
    December 18: Google removes links to articles that criticized Australian organization Universal Medicine, an alleged cult.

    2015

    January 12: Instagram deletes account of Australian photo and fashion agency due to a photograph with pubic hair outside bikini bottoms. (Account reactivated January 21.)
    January 20: Facebook News Feed algorithm altered to “show fewer hoaxes.”
    January 21: WhatsApp Web launches.
    January 27: Snapchat Discover launches. Selected publishers create a daily Discover channel, like a mini interactive magazine with an advertising revenue split arrangement where publishers can sell for 70 percent of revenue, or let Snapchat sell for 50 percent.
    March 3: Instagram carousel ads launch.
    March 9: Twitter acquires live streaming app Periscope.
    March 31: Twitter rolls out Curator, which allows publishers to search and display tweets based on hashtags, keywords, location, and other specific details.
    April 13: Snapchat gets rid of brand stories, also known as sponsored stories, after six months.
    April 21: Facebook tweaks News Feed to emphasize family and friends because people are worried about “missing important updates.”
    April 27: Snapchat hires Peter Hamby from CNN and announces plans to hire more journalists for the election.
    April 27: Google announces Digital News Initiative with eight European publishers.
    May 7: Facebook releases internal research on filter bubbles that finds “most people have friends who claim an opposing political ideology, and that the content in peoples’ News Feeds reflect those diverse views.”
    May 7: Snapchat will charge advertisers 2 cents per view for ten second ads in between Discover slides (up to four slots) and during videos. This plan is called Two Pennies. It was previously 15 cents.
    May 12: Facebook announces Instant Articles, faster loading articles on Facebook for iPhone,and original launch partners. Ads are embedded in article, and there is a 70/30 revenue share with publishers if Facebook sells the ad.
    June 8: Apple News app announced to replace the Newsstand app. Like Facebook Instant Articles, a 70/30 revenue share with publishers if Apple sells ads against their content.
    June 15: Facebook’s News Feed algorithm updated to prioritize time spent on a story above engagement.
    June 22: Google News Lab announced to support technological collaborations with journalists.
    June 23: Instagram changes Explore to allow users to follow real-time news more easily by sorting by location and recency.
    July 1: Automatic bans imposed on Facebook accounts using an offensive slang term for Russians. Similar Russian insults towards Ukrainians (such as ‘hohol’) were not deleted.
    July 27: Snapchat axes Yahoo! and Warner Music from Discover, replaces them with BuzzFeed and iHeartRadio.
    Late July: Snapchat’s ad team starts selling against Discover.
    August 5: Facebook Live video launches for public figures.
    August 27: Snapchat Discover expands from 12 to 15 partners. In the past, they cut old partners to add new ones so all 12 fit on one screen.
    September 9: Using the Facebook ad platform technology, Instagram’s advertising platform expands globally, allows for more targeting and ad format flexibility.
    September 22: Facebook allows publishers to create Instant Articles in their own content management systems.
    September 23: Facebook releases 360 video. Users can move their phones for a spherical view within a video.
    October 6: Twitter Moments, curated tweets around top stories, launches.
    October 7: Google announces Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project, which will allow publishers’ stories to load more quickly from search results.
    October 21: Twitter announces partnerships with firms such as Spredfast, Wayin, Dataminr, ScribbleLive, and Flowics at its developer conference.
    October 22: Google announces it has signed up over 120 news organizations for its Digital News Initiative, including the BBC, The Economist, and Der Spiegel.
    October 27: Twitter announces it will discontinue video-sharing app Vine.
    October 28: Snapchat Terms of Service updated: requests right to reproduce, modify, republish, and save users’ photos, specifically in relation to Live Stories.
    October 29: Instagram allows businesses to use Facebook’s Ads Manager and to run campaigns across Facebook and Instagram.
    October 31: Instagram conducts its first video curation for Halloween.
    November 10: Instagram partner program launches; a group of 40 adtech, content marketing, and community management companies that work to help businesses on Instagram.
    November 11: Facebook Notify, a real-time notification news app, is launched.
    November 13: Snapchat launches Official Stories, Stories from verified brands or influencers.
    November 23: Snapchat launches Story Explorer, which allows users to focus on a specific moment from a story, but from additional users and perspectives.
    November 30: Snapchat allows publishers to deep link back to Snapchat content from elsewhere, like other social platforms.
    December 3: Facebook releases Live video to the public.
    December 9: Facebook tweaks News Feed so it works with poor connections, like 2G. Facebook also allows publishers to sell Instant Article ad campaigns instead of having to make those ads part of their own site package, to have one ad for every 350 words of an Instant Article (up from one ad per 500 words), and to control link outs at bottom of Instant Articles.
    December 2: Snapchat makes a Story for live/breaking news during San Bernardino.
    December 9: Google announces AMP rollout timeline; pages will go live in February.
    December 15: German government strikes deal with outlets who agree to delete hate speech from their sites within 24 hours, in response to increasing racism online.

    2016

    January 5: Digiday reports that Snapchat, up to 23 Discover partners, is rumored to be building their own ad interface API, like Facebook, to target ads to users instead of publications.
    January 11: Instagram publishes its first live video curation for the Golden Globes.
    January 19: Nielsen expands Twitter TV Ratings to include Facebook conversations around TV shows, called Social Content Ratings.
    January 21: Facebook opens Audience Optimization to publishers to target specific readers.
    January 26: The Facebook Audience Network can be used by publishers to sell ads on their mobile sites.
    January 26: Apple plans to make subscription-only content available in the News app; publishers can only post free articles or excerpts that drive people to subscribe.
    January 27: Facebook reveals forthcoming “reactions” in the US, which had already been tested elsewhere in the world.
    January 28: Facebook Live expands to all iPhone users.
    January 28: Snapchat launches a show called “Good Luck America” with Peter Hamby.
    February 4: WhatsApp increases group chat user limit to 256 people, aiming to increase enterprise appeal, including to publishers.
    February 9: Google AMP announces solutions for subscription-supported publications, and Adobe Analytics integration.
    February 10: Twitter changes algorithm to make sure users see tweets they are likely to care about.
    February 10: On Instagram, publishers can now see video views and can do account switching. Instagram hits 200,000 advertisers, and 75 percent are outside of the US.
    February 12: Reports that Snapchat will let users subscribe to Discover channels and that it will go from logo button to magazine cover look by May.
    February 24: Google AMP articles go live.
    February 25: Snapchat partners with Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings to measure, transparently, the effectiveness of ad campaigns.
    February 26: Facebook Live rolled out to all Android users.
    February 28: Snapchat Live Stories, beginning with the Oscars, will be viewable on the web for special occasions.
    March 1: Facebook changes algorithm to prioritize Live Video, especially Live video that is broadcasting.
    March 15: Instagram announces that starting in May users’ feeds will be algorithmically driven, instead of real-time.
    March 15: Apple News app opens to all publishers.
    March 24: On Facebook, publishers can see daily activity around a video.
    March 29: Snapchat Terms of Service updated to add the potential to incorporate third-party links and search results in Snapchat services.
    March 31: Facebook creates option for publishers to autoplay and non-autoplay video ads in Instant; can have pre-roll video ads in any editorial video; and can have one more ad unit at the base of articles.
    April 5: Twitter announces live video deal to stream NFL games, and begins pushing for live video deals with publishers.
    April 7: Facebook allows Live Video within groups and events, live reactions from viewers, live filters, the ability to watch live with friends, a live map, and also live video in trending and search.
    April 8: Branded content will be allowed as Facebook Instant Articles with the sponsor tagged.
    April 12: Facebook makes several announcements at F8 that are relevant to publishers: the Live video API will be open for publishers who want to experiment/innovate; Instant Articles is open to all publishers; publishers will be able to use messenger bots to distribute stories.
    April 21: Facebook tweaks the algorithm to focus on articles people are likely to spend time viewing.
    April 28: Twitter moves to the News category in the Apple app store.
    May 9: Gizmodo reveals details that Facebook’s Trending Topics is actively curated by people who “suppressed” conservative news.
    May 12: Facebook releases a 28-page internal document outlining guidelines for staff curating Trending Topics, in response to media reporting suggesting potential bias.
    May 19: Instagram adds video to carousel ads.
    May 23: Facebook’s general counsel responds to Congress Republicans concerned about bias with a letter; the previous week, Facebook’s legal team met with Chairman of the US Senate Commerce Committee John Thune.
    May 24: Instagram adds media buying as fourth advertising partner category.
    May 24: Facebook says it will revise the way it curates its Trending topics section, including no longer using external websites to validate a story’s importance.
    May 24: Twitter announces changes to simplify Tweets including what counts toward your 140 characters, @names in replies and media attachments (like photos, GIFs, videos, and polls) will no longer “use up” valuable characters.
    May 26: Facebook allows for their Audience Network to be used for ads to be seen off-Facebook, a move seen as competitive with Google.
    June 2: Facebook Notify is shut down.
    June 2: Google AMP launches in France, Germany, Italy, UK, Russia, and Mexico.
    June 7: Google announces preliminary results from AMP showing that 80 percent of publishers are seeing higher viewability and 90 percent are seeing higher engagement.
    Between June 6 and 12: Intel becomes the first brand to publish content directly to Instant Articles.
    June 9: Facebook launches 360 photo. Users can move their phones for a spherical view within a photo.
    June 16: Snapchat announces an online magazine called Real Life.
    June 21: Twitter Engage launches, allowing for better insights and data. Also, the length of user video is increased from 30 to 140 seconds.
    June 22: The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook has made deals worth more than $50 million with 140 video creators, including publishers, to use Live, since those partnerships were first announced in March.
    June 29: Facebook’s algorithm changes to place further emphasis on family and friends and on creating a feed that will “inform” and “entertain.”
    July 6: Snapchat introduces Memories.
    July 14: Facebook Instant Articles can be posted to Messenger.
    July 19: Google announces AMP for ads, to bring ads to the same load time as AMP articles.
    July 11—12: Twitter announces multiple live video deals, including with CBS, Wimbledon, and Bloomberg.
    August 2: Instagram Stories launches. A compilation of updates a user’s friends see; a Snapchat Stories clone.
    August 4: Facebook tweaks the News Feed to reduce clickbait.
    August 9: Facebook blocks ad blockers.
    August 11: Facebook’s News Feed is modified to place emphasis on “personally informative” items.
    August 26: Facebook Trending becomes fully algorithmically driven.
    August 27: Apple changes its Spotlight feature so that articles open in-app, hurting publishers.
    September 7: Snapchat axes Local Stories.
    September 8: Google releases a study of more than 10,000 mobile domains showing that speed matters for engagement and revenue.
    September 12: Twitter announces a live streaming partnership with Cheddar.
    September 15: Publishers can sell subscriptions within the Apple News app; Apple keeps 30 percent of subscriptions made through the app, and 15 percent of renewals.
    September 15: Improvements are made to call to action button on Instagram ads to make them more visible; with video, though, the destination URL opens first within Instagram with the video continuing to play at the top.
    September 20: All Google search results, not just the carousel, now show AMP pages.
    September 23: Snapchat announces Spectacles and becomes Snap, Inc.
    September 29: Twitter opens Moments to everyone.
    September 30: Updates to Google AMP so it better supports a variety of ad sizes.
    October 12: Facebook also allows for additional ad formats for publishers in Instant Articles.
    October 17: Signal, for newsgathering on Facebook, will include a Live Video column.
    October 18: Snapchat switches from a revenue sharing arrangement with publishers on Discover to an up-front licensing arrangement.
    October 20: Facebook allows 360 photo and video within Instant Articles.
    October 28: Facebook rolls out a voting planner for users where they can view and save the initiatives and candidates they will select.
    November 10: Instagram introduces ability to add “see more” links to Instagram Stories.
    November 11: After controversy, Facebook will curb ethnic affinity marketing by advertisers focused on, for example, credit or housing, who target users based on whether Facebook has determined they are likely Latino or Asian American, for example.
    November 11: Facebook buys CrowdTangle, which is used by publishers for analytics.
    November 11: Vertical ads are allowed on Instagram.
    November 16: Facebook will work with more third parties to ensure the integrity of their metrics after they miscounted publisher performance.
    November 19: In response to post-election pressure, Mark Zuckerberg addresses Facebook’s role in fake news.
    November 21: Instagram Stories introduces Live Stories for live video streaming.
    November 22: To be allowed into China, Facebook built a censorship tool into its platform.
    December 5: Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube partner to address terrorism content online.
    December 5: In an effort to combat misinformation, Facebook prompts users to report “misleading language.”
    December 5: Google updates its search bar so that there is no longer an autocomplete that reads “are Jews evil.”
    December 12: Facebook launches Live 360 video. Users can have a spherical view of live video.
    December 14: Facebook begins talks with video producers and TV studios for original content.
    December 20: Facebook launches Live Audio. Allows for formats like news radio.
    December 22: Business Insider reports that Twitter inadvertently inflated video ad metrics.

    2017

    January 9: Recode reports that Facebook will allow mid-roll video ads, with 55 percent of revenue going to publishers.
    January 11: Facebook announces the Facebook Journalism Project, to work with publishers on product rollouts, storytelling formats, promotion of local news, subscription models, training journalists, and, on the fake news front, collaborating with the News Literacy Project and fact checking organizations. On the same day, TechCrunch reports Facebook agrees to censor content in Thailand at government’s request.
    January 11: Instagram Stories will now have ads, and insights are increased, as the platform hits 150 million users.
    January 12: Snapchat releases a universal search bar.
    January 17: News that Facebook will end Live video deals with publishers in favor of longer more premium video.
    January 19: Snapchat will allow ad targeting using third-party data.
    January 23: Snapchat updates publisher guidelines: content must be fact checked and cannot be risqué, and will offer some an “age gate” and will require graphic content warnings.
    January 24: Instagram makes Live Stories available globally.
    January 25: News that Facebook begins testing Stories, like those on Instagram and Snapchat, at the top of the mobile app in Ireland. Facebook also updates Trending to show publisher names, identify trends by number of publishers and not engagement on a single post, and show everyone in a region the same content. In Thailand and Australia, Facebook will have ads like the ones that are in News Feed inside of Messenger.
    January 25: Recode reports that more than 200 publishers have been banned from Google’s AdSense network in an effort to combat fake news.
    January 26: Facebook’s News Feed algorithm will reward publishers/videos that keep people watching and mid-roll ads won’t play until 90 seconds.
    January 26: Twitter’s Explore tab will allow users to see trends, Moments, Live, and search.
    January 30: Twitter’s VP of engineering announces an effort to combat harassment.
    January 30: Snapchat announces IPO.
    January 31: Facebook updates the algorithm to prioritize “authentic” content and will surface posts around real-time/breaking news. Facebook also announces new and expanded partnerships with Nielsen, ComScore, DoubleVerify (for a total of 24 third-party entities) to give better insights into performance of ads.
    February 1: Instagram introduces Albums feature in limited release. Widespread release later in the month.
    February 2: Snapchat IPO documents show that media partners were paid $58 million, and that Snap-sold ad revenue was 91 percent.
    February 6: Google allows for AMP articles URL to indicate the publisher’s name and not just Google.
    February 6: News surfaces that a Syrian refugee identified as a terrorist pursues legal action against Facebook on grounds of “fake news.”
    February 7: Twitter continues efforts to combat harassment and improve quality, by “stopping the creation of new abusive accounts, bringing forward safer search results, and collapsing potentially abusive or low-quality Tweets.”
    February 8: News surfaces that French publishers complain of effort required for anti-fake news partnership with Facebook.
    February 10: Facebook further pushes for transparency around ads and says it will allow for a third-party audit.
    February 13: The Washington Post joins Snapchat Discover as Discover shifts to allow for breaking news.
    February 13: TechCrunch reports that Twitter will reduce its support for ad products that are not drawing advertisers.
    February 14: Facebook announces an app for Apple TV and Amazon Fire that will allow people to watch Facebook videos on their TVs.
    February 14: Autoplay videos on Facebook will play with sound.
    February 14: Google pulls two anti-Semitic sites off its ad platform.
    February 16: Mark Zuckerberg writes a nearly 6,000 word manifesto, “Building Global Community,” on the future of Facebook and global civil society.
    February 17: Facebook invites media companies to its offices to talk about products to come throughout the year.
    February 20: Facebook allows users to send photos and videos from the in-app camera.
    February 20: WhatsApp launches Snapchat clone, Status.
    February 23: Mid-roll video ads begin on Facebook, following an announcement in January.

    #journalisme
    #médias_sociaux