Ryan Mac 🙃 Profile picture
20 Jan, 10 tweets, 4 min read
I’m in Phoenix at the Arizona State Capitol for the inauguration. A handful of reporters and one dude in a MAGA hat. There are now two fences plus barbed wire around the Capitol. For now, looks like Trump supporters heeded the call to stay home from local GOP leaders. Image
Arizonans, digging the fruit trees around the Capitol. Is it ok to pick an orange?
I have been informed by @DrShaena that the oranges are ornamental and taste bad.
A few protestors are now here and some dudes with rifles. I’ve been around guns before but it never gets less intimidating.

This guy now being told off by the cops for pointing his barrel outward. It’s getting heated. They told him “up or down” or they’ll take it away. Image
Small group of Trump protestors are congregating but more importantly I met Roxy who doesn’t like posing for photos. ImageImageImageImage
One protestor here is using a trash can to prop up their flag. Is that a metaphor ImageImage
Some of the dozen Trump supporters, who came with a pretty stocked deli meat tray and Dr. Pepper, are now screaming “FREEDOM” at the Capitol building.
The Trump supporters are now having a picnic. One guy is milling about reading 1984. Some have put up Confederate flags here in Arizona, the 48th state admitted to the Union. Image
Just saw a protestor get his Don’t Tread On Me Flag caught on a cactus, which is a pretty good sign that I should leave.
Folks Image

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More from @RMac18

21 Jan
Faceboook's company-wide employee Q&A starts now. Some top questions:
-Facebook's brand has become toxic. How can we improve it?
-What could we have done better with the WhatsApp changes rollout?
-Why are journalists still able to find Stop The Steal groups with 10k members?
Zuckerberg spent the start of today's meeting complimenting Biden and the transition of power. "No matter where you are on the political spectrum, I hope that we can all be rooting for his success," he says.

He called the executive orders signed yesterday as "positive steps."
Zuckerberg today said he looks forward to working with the Biden administration, starting with Covid response.

Biden in Jan 2020 to the NYT: “I’ve never been a big Zuckerberg fan. I think he’s a real problem.”
nytimes.com/interactive/20…
Read 16 tweets
19 Jan
Last week, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said that Capitol insurrection was "largely" planned on other platforms. New evidence and screenshots show the extent to which extremists on Facebook planned and coordinated the Capitol unrest. Here are the receipts:
buzzfeednews.com/article/davidm…
I had monitored some of the Capitol planning on Facebook, but the report from @TTP_updates is perhaps the most comprehensive I've seen about pre-Insurrection activity on the platform. It captures explicit calls for unrest. The full report is here: techtransparencyproject.org/articles/capit…
Sandberg's comments last week evidence a disconnect between what Facebook execs think happens on their platform and what actually takes place.

Here is one post to a now-removed 23,500-member group calling for people to "Occupy Congress".

buzzfeednews.com/article/davidm…
Read 5 tweets
18 Jan
On Sat, Facebook said it would temporarily suspending ads for gun accessories and "protective equipment" through the inauguration, following our reporting and pressure from lawmakers and activists.

Those types of ads are still running as of this morning.
buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanma…
On Sun, after the announcement of the temporary ban, Facebook ran a 45 min video ad for rifle ammo — which is supposedly prohibited by the platform, regardless of the inauguration.
Over the weekend, FB employees continued to flag examples of body armor ads internally.

This morning @TTP_updates, using an account meant to mimic the activity of a right-wing extremist on Facebook, got *three* different body armor ads on one screen.
Read 4 tweets
18 Jan
WaPo's video investigation of the Capitol riot was pretty good, but the way facial recognition is used and posed as an absolute truth here, without much transparency, is worrying. The Post doesn't disclose what technology it used, leaving many questions.

washingtonpost.com/investigations…
What algorithm was used, and how accurate is it? We know from various reports that FRT, even from the biggest companies (see: Amazon Rekognition), can have significant error rates. WaPo (and other outlets) have reported this: washingtonpost.com/technology/201…
The actual WaPo video is more worrying. It poses the facial recognition tech as absolute, and there are no questions over its accuracy. That sets a troublesome precedent, when the merits of FRT, which remains federally unregulated, are very much up for debate.
Read 4 tweets
17 Jan
The irony of all these dudes congregating to talk about the power of big tech is that many have associations with Peter Thiel, a Facebook board member who has openly advocated for tech monopolies.
You have a Texas AG leading a major antitrust lawsuit against Google mingling with the former chief of staff of a guy who wrote this. Image
If anyone knows about “new slave power,” it’s def a bunch of white dudes. Image
Read 4 tweets

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