This photo turned up yesterday on the feed of one of my European correspondents on Facebook. I was curious, and when I looked into into its background, I found the picture first appeared a year ago, also on Facebook, from which it was promptly removed on grounds of allegedly violating FB’s “community standards.”
The original poster (possibly the photographer?), one Jim Harris, responded indignantly to FB’s censorship on HuffPo.
More than 15,700 mostly male & female soldiers from military forces of nations worldwide (I saw Germany, Russia, Spain, Canada, Italy, and Israel in there), who have been joined by some civilians as well, have come to the defense of Britain’s Prince Harry by posting unclothed photos of themselves online via a Facebook group titled: “Support Prince Harry with a naked salute!.”
One US Navy seal added a particularly nice clothed salute:
The general sentiment is that the Prince, who served in a combat unit in Afghanistan, is entitled to recreation and privacy in Las Vegas during his off-duty time, just like anybody else.
Wasting time reading Facebook at work and worried about getting caught? This handy web-site, developed by a 20-year-old Yale undergraduate, converts your Facebook feed into the format of an Excel spreadsheet giving at least the superficial appearance that you are doing something productive.
John Pistole, the head of the Transportation Security Administration, announced yesterday that full body scanners at airports across the nation will be seamlessly integrated with Facebook next month, allowing travelers to save, tag, and share their near-naked security photos with friends, family, and co-workers through the popular social networking site.
This amusing web-site inserts you and a selection of your Facebook friends in the just over 3-minute trailer for one of those teenage scary movies. It’s automated choice of photos is really awfully good.
George Lucki, a friend from Polish heraldic study circles, posted on Facebook a Photoshopped version of Jan Matejko’s Portrait of Artur Wladyslaw Potocki (1850-1890) with his own head replacing the original.
Actually, I think Mr. Lucki’s countenance looks even better than Mr. Potocki’s in the portrait. In fact, I did not recognize it as a Photoshopped image, until George told me.
This would be a very becoming outfit for formal evening wear, if one could only find a tailor able to do an equivalently elegant set of zupan, kontusz, and pas kontuszowy.
“Ever complained about your boss to your boss? Told your son you’re getting divorced through a wall post? Lied about your grandma dying only to be called out by your own electronic trail?” HuffPo collects a selection of Facebook postings demonstrating technology’s ability to take carelessness and ineptitude to interesting new places.
Hat tip to Matthew MacLean.
It turns out (inevitably) that there is an entire website devoting to collecting Facebook gaffes. It’s called Failbook.
FaceBook shut down Burger King’s Whopper Sacrifice promotion, citing privacy concerns. I agree with Michael Arrington that the decision was the kind of triumph of corporate stodginess over creativity and humor that demonstrates that the people in charge, with the power, haven’t a clue.
Burger King is running a promotion called Whopper Sacrifice. The idea is that FaceBook members can receive a coupon good for one free Whopper for every ten persons they eliminate from their friendship list.
Obama defeated Hillary by out-spending her, which he was able to do by raising staggering and stupendous mountains of money. How did he do that?
Kyle-Anne Shiver explains that Obama raised his cash using the organizing techniques of leftist Saul Alinsky with a little help from FaceBook.
During this campaign season, Barack Obama has raised such unprecedented mountains of cash that he has broken every record in the annals of political fundraising. It’s enough to make him appear a veritable money wizard. If his own “high-flying words” are being “deployed in the service of cynical aims,” his contributors don’t seem aware of it, and the cash keeps rolling in. ...
But what exactly is in it for them? What is Obama selling to his contributors that causes them to open their wallets and whip out those Visa cards over and over again?
Obama has appropriated one of the most successful ad campaigns in the history of American advertising and revived it for a voting bloc that has probably never heard of it. The old Prudential tagline from the 1950s and 60s, “Own a piece of the rock,” has become “Own a piece of the Movement,” or sometimes “Own a piece of this campaign.”
This sort of clever manipulation was at the heart of Alinsky-style “community organizing” in the interest of revolutionary change. He taught, through his books and seminars for radical acolytes, how to convince the common folks that the organizer was merely their tool, willingly offering his own time and service so that they could succeed in throwing off the yoke of their masters. This, Alinsky taught, would ingratiate the organizer with the ones he needed to organize.
Alinsky showed how Marxism would take over America, not through violence, but by organizing the power of the vote. Power came from two sources in American society, Alinsky believed: Money and people. If one lacks money, one uses people. Different means, same end. In fact, it was Alinsky himself who advised ‘60s radicals to eschew violence for law degrees and politics. Writing Rules for Radicals a year after the intense riots that accompanied the 1968 Democratic National Convention, Alinsky advised patience, persistence, and working within the system:
Dostoevsky said that taking a new step is what people fear most. Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and chance the future. — Rules for Radicals, p. xix
The last 40 years have been merely the prelude, it would seem, to Obama’s candidacy. He’s the man of whom Alinsky and his Marxist acolytes dreamed.
The leftist network within the mainstream media and the various blogs of the 527s has blared a constant message for the past eight years, bashing Bush, Bush’s war, Bush’s economy, Bush’s failures to the people, all to set the stage for the political savior, who has now emerged. The people indeed seem ready for the revolutionary “change” that Alinsky foretold.
If anyone wonders why college campuses are agog with Barack Obama, why the youth are falling all over themselves in their rush to join the movement, one need look no further than to the guru of Facebook, Chris Hughes. Hughes became a full-time member of the campaign early on, and his intimate knowledge of the social network he co-invented has helped Obama accumulate not only all that cash, but more than a million “friends” as well.
Want to get tens of thousands of people to show up at an Obama rally? Go to MyBarackObama.com and tell all your “friends” about it. What may look like magic is just an updated version of: “I’m going. Are you? Everyone who’s anyone will be there.”
Alinsky himself pioneered a non-tech form of this type of manipulation, urging his organizers to use social self-interest as a way to bolster attendance at meetings. But while the Alinsky method involved corralling the most popular community members as leverage, Facebook allows “friends” to connect with “new friends” with the touch of a button, without even having to get out of bed.
For those under 30, Facebook is the high-tech version of the burger joint and the cruising strip of earlier decades, with seemingly limitless possibilities for connecting with other like-minded folks. Using this social network for political power is an Obama first. While Howard Dean used the power of the blogs to temporarily boost his candidacy in 2004, Hughes has created a firestorm of campus support for Obama with a social network that elevates the trivial and encourages the many small contributions that add up to record-breaking numbers.
It’s all in the network; no wizardry here. Just lever-pulling.
Facebook is designed around the shallow and social. Networkers are not “commentators,” as they would be on a blog; they are “friends.” Friends do not need to agree on ideas; they just need to like the same kind of music. Friends do no need to agree on ways to improve society; they just need to like a candidate’s cadence, his body, or his clothes.
As each day of this campaign passes, it becomes more and more like 1968, with the generation gap between young and old emerging as the factor of difference between our candidates. Obama is the Facebook candidate, and he has an awful lot of folks merrily following his yellow brick road. It may lead to the White House, I fear, and Obama may become our very first Wizard in Chief.