Facebook

Facebook’s Collusion


cjones09092017

At this rate, I’m kinda expecting a revelation that Mark Zuckerberg was at the Donald Trump Jr. Russian meeting.

Like you, I’m constantly annoyed with Facebook while utilizing it on a daily basis. The bothersome stuff, while annoying me, doesn’t affect my life in the slightest…or it didn’t until now.

I’m the type of person where a messed-up food order at McDonald’s won’t faze me, while I’ll watch a good friend of mine use the opportunity to go ballistic, and the next thing you know he returns an hour later from his food run with my Big Mac and the full story on how he unloaded what-for and made a 16-year-old struggling with acne cry. While I’ll get over that there are pickles on my sandwich, other little things will totally piss me off.

I’m annoyed with the petty stuff on Facebook. Your food pictures irk me. Why do you do that? Am I supposed to be impressed you ordered sushi? Do you want an “attaboy?” One of my friends posts nearly every single meal she eats. She once posted a picture of cereal. I shit you not. But c’mon. Any doofus with opposable thumbs can put a sandwich together.

Another annoyance; vacation pictures. Vacation slides have been joked about, derided, and hated ever since the photo slide technology was invented. It was why people in the 1970s couldn’t get their friends to come to their dinner parties. Nobody wants to see your vacation photos. I’m telling you this as your friend. Cut it out. You have turned Facebook into one, long, boring vacation slide. I don’t even need to know you went on vacation, but if I do know then I’m going to assume you enjoyed yourself. I don’t need the pictures of you giving the devil-horn sign with your tongue out while you’re at Sandals. I’m not against vacations and I hope to take one again someday…but if I do take one, I know without a doubt that nobody is going to need evidence that it actually happened. OK, maybe in my case they will.

Tagging your location isn’t just annoying, it’s stupid. Like the vacation pics, you’re just bragging about how great your life is, and convincing no one. What you’re actually doing is making stalking you very convenient and alerting burglars that right now is a great time to break into your house. And thanks to Facebook they know what breed of dog you have.

Other annoyances are game requests (I don’t want to play Candy Crush with you), Facebook Live notifications (I get these things from people I didn’t even know I was friends with), the vague post (which are the only type of posts my teenage nieces give and I never respond to, because I’m afraid they’ll tell me), the social experiments (the “let’s see how far this posts can go” and the “if you love Jesus, you’ll share.” Fuck you), pokes (people still do that and I still don’t know why), selfies (We get it. You’re pretty and insecure), and political memes. I hate political memes. I could easily write another 1,000 words ranting about political memes.

Some people hate political posts or that cartoonist who shares his cartoons every time one of his clients publishes them online. You have every right to hate those and, you can bite me.

But now, there is something annoying about Facebook that may have affected our lives. Russians.

Facebook was the target for Russian trolls and useful idiots sharing fake news during the campaign, but Facebook assured us that no foreign outlets were purchasing ads from them. And just like every single member of the Trump campaign, they had collusion with Russia that they conveniently forgot about.

Now, it turns out that $100,000 was spent on political campaign ads that Facebook has traced back to a “Russian Troll Farm.” I don’t want the troll farm image in my head, but I think that crop is yielding in the White House. Also, expect more revelations about Russian ads. I don’t believe for a minute that it stopped at $100,000.

Russians didn’t just purchase a few ads. They engineered these things to select certain demographics and particular regions. For example, white housewives in Wisconsin. Investigators want to know if they had any help from U.S. political operatives who may have pointed them in which direction to target these demographics. Maybe, but the American operatives working for Hillary Clinton weren’t smart enough to go after demographics in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Anyone with a basic understanding of math with a copy of an electoral map should know where to target political ads, and where the stupid people live.

Most of all, I believe this destroys an argument Republicans and people in American intelligence agencies have been using. That argument is; Russian meddling had no effect on the outcome of our election.

Facebook says the Russians used the ads to “manipulate.” No shit, Sherlock. Every ad in the world is created to manipulate. How many will purchase a Kia this year because of Motorhead and a guinea pig? I don’t know, but someone somewhere believes that’s going to happen because they put a lot of money into that campaign.

Whether someone’s pitching Coca-Cola or Donald Trump, they’re not spending ad money just to blow through a budget. They expect results. I do believe that if a high tide throws an octopus into the backseat of my car through the sunroof that Farmers insurance won’t let me down….or that if I have Allstate then my children will be better behaved while we stand gleaming and lovingly together in front of the Statue of Liberty. But, not every ad works that well. Like, Domino’s telling you that their pizza doesn’t suck anymore, or Panera telling me that their salads are “clean,” or that new car commercial giving me the impression that I’ll find riding in a boxcar with hobos much more comfortable than their automobile.

The Russians expected their ads to work. They wanted chaos for their money and nobody can say that we didn’t get chaos. Nobody can say the Russians didn’t get the election results they wanted. We got a hell of a lot more than $100,000 worth of chaos.

I believe the Russians affected our election. We are a nation that gave us Duck Dynasty and Honey Boo-Boo, but I’m not entirely convinced that we’re dumb enough to elect Donald Trump as president on our own. I’d like to think we’d need a push. I know there’s a large portion of our nation who can be manipulated to vote for fuckery. We’re stupid. But are we stupid enough to do this on our own?

Mark Zuckerberg and all the other Facebook executives want us to believe they had no influence on the election. I’d try to believe that too if I wanted to sleep well at night. But, Facebook is worth over $435 billion dollars. Your social media platform doesn’t acquire that much wealth without it having some influence.

Unfortunately, Facebook isn’t just cat and food pictures. It’s a news outlet for many of us. It’s very influential. It’s also complicit.

I want to thank everyone who has donated in the past. Your support helps me continue creating cartoons and columns with a little less stress in my life. Between competing syndicates with much larger resources, timid editors, and Trump supporters who attempt to intimidate the editors who do publish anything that criticizes their idol, it’s a challenge to make a career out of this. So your support (if you can) is appreciated. Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing (pissing off conservatives)? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through PayPal. Every $40 donation will receive a signed print. All donations will receive my eternal gratitude.

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Hostile Social Media


cjones06072017

Criticism for the way social media, and the internet in general, as to how terrorists and other extremists use it isn’t anything new.

Facebook was blamed back in 2014 for failing to pass on information that could have helped prevent the murder of a British soldier by Islamist terrorists. The London attacks from Saturday has renewed the criticism, specifically from British Prime Minister Theresa May.

It is difficult for companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google to eliminate extremists from using their platforms. YouTube alone has over 400 hours of video uploaded every minute (they’re all Nickelback). Usually, the only way these companies can be made aware of hostile content is when users bring it to their attention. I’m sure those notifications are lumped in with each complaint a user sends that someone hurt their feelings in a debate of Pearl Jam versus Incubus (Pearl Jam is better).

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced last month that his company will add 3,000 employees to scrub harmful content from the network. The director of policy at the media giant says they want “Facebook to be a hostile environment for terrorists.” So basically they want Facebook to treat terrorists like it does the casual user.

May wants to tighten Internet regulation in order to deny terrorists a tool for planning attacks and spreading extremism. That’s where things get tricky when it comes to free speech in open societies. Do you really want Donald Trump deciding what is extreme?

Social media is very friendly to extremists. Whether those extremists are jihadists, conspiracy theorists pushing a story about Hillary Clinton murdering people and selling child-sex-slaves out of a pizza parlor, or Nazis sharing links to Breitbart (tell your uncle to stop that). Facebook is annoying enough with pictures of vacations (yay, you’re living so well!), people who are determined to show you what they’re eating every day (A friend actually posted a photo of Cheerios last week), and yeah….cat pictures. Dog pictures and their crazy antics are always acceptable. Your cat is boring.

While Facebook is great for keeping up with old friends from high school that you’ll never see in the flesh ever again, it annoys the hell out of me by giving me a notification every time a friend is conducting a live video, or when I’m added to a group I never had the intention of joining. I have thousands of “friends.” I don’t need this crap.

I do believe companies, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, are better at regulating their content, as sucky as they may be, than the government. The internet is a place for ideas, even bad ones. If you own a platform then you have the right to decide what stays and what is trashed. I don’t think we need new laws making those decisions for us.

Just as a business can reject your patronage, media giants have the right to deny you service on their platforms. Their judgement is better than the government. That’s good for you, me, and Mr. Whiskers Kills.

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For Gwen Ifill


cjones11152016

Everyone who uses social media is in a bubble. You’re in a bubble, I’m in a bubble, your mom is in a bubble, and we all know your crazy uncle is in a bubble. The thing about bubbles is that your news feed gives you information that you want to read, whether you are a conservative or a liberal.

Personally I like to stick my head out of my bubble which is why I’m friends with very conservative people on Facebook (and quite a few in the real physical world). I get to read the information they’re sharing….or is often the case, misinformation.

A lot of people, myself included, get their news from social media. I do too while my TV is also on CNN all day and I personally subscribe to The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Seattle Times. Getting your news from social media could have been a good thing but it’s turning into a wasteland of fake news, or what I like to refer as “bullshit news.”

The headlines in my cartoon are examples of actual bullshit news. Conservatives reading this may still believe these headlines. They love the crap news and it’s really hard to shake them when they believe it. If you thought memes with fake quotes and news was bad, it gets even worse with actual fake news sites, and I’m not talking about the satire sites like The Onion. There are sites that pose as ABC, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, and such. It’s not always Breitbart, Infowars, and The Daily Caller. It’s very irresponsible. What really gets under my skin are the people who don’t trust the “mainstream” media yet they rely on the bullshit news. Nobody vets on Facebook.

It’s not just conservatives either. If you’re a liberal you probably saw several memes about how Donald Trump once said if he ever ran for president that he would do it as a Republican because their voters are stupid. Guess what. That’s fake. If you’re a leftie reading this you might be saying to your computer screen “Nuh uh!” but I’m telling you, “uh huh.” Another popular example is one I’ve seen shared by both sides about Obama banning the pledge of allegiance. Someone actually blocked me after I pointed out that story wasn’t true. That person was a liberal. Go figure. Don’t get me started on the stories about all the people Hillary Clinton supposedly killed.

We are in an age where many believe they’re not just entitled to their own opinion, but to their own facts. This is where I call bullshit. Journalism is very important to me. It’s important to democracy. While the media is hated more than Congress, Nickelback, grown men who say “anyhoo,” and people who walk too slowly in front of you at the grocery store, I have a high regard for it. Conservatives roll their eyes at me when I express my belief that The Washington Post and CNN are doing a good job. OK, CNN does play the ratings game a bit too much but I don’t buy the liberal-bias argument.

If you’re a purveyor of the bullshit news then you probably didn’t know who Gwen Ifill was if the news of her death from cancer on Monday fell into your news feed. She never reported that the Obama spent trillions of dollars of taxpayer money on a private vacation. Ifill reported real news. Information that was actually true. I’m saddened by her passing for the same reasons I was sad when Tim Russert died. We’re losing very ethical and principled people in our industry and for many people they’re being replaced by the Steve Bannons of the world. That does more than make me sad. It makes me sick.

Ifill was a highly respected journalist for PBS. She got her start working for newspapers in Boston, Baltimore, and Washington. She moderated the 2004 and 2008 vice-presidential debates. You may remember her being parodied by Queen Latifah on Saturday Night Live when they spoofed the Biden/Palin debate.

Gwen Ifill was only 61, two years older than my mother when she died. That is way too young.

I think it would be great if future journalists would aspire to be more like Ifill than the Steve Bannons or Sean Hannitys of the industry. It’d be really awesome if all those fake newsers on social media would attempt to be more like her, though they probably wouldn’t know where to start.

Did you like this cartoon? Want to help a cartoonist make a living? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. I need to buy pens, paper, sandwiches, and dog food. The starving cartoonist and his Beagle appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

The Morning After


cjones11072016

I am drawing for the days after the election. As I wrote yesterday, the window for election cartoons is closed. I still might do something on Jim Comey as that’ll probably be discussed beyond Tuesday.

I know you’re on Facebook. Everyone is on Facebook. I have friends whose dogs are on Facebook. Those dogs might be the only members of the social media community who haven’t unfriended someone over political beliefs.

There’s been a lot of talk about people unfriending and blocking others for disagreeing. I have seen people post “if you’re voting for Trump unfriend me now.” I think that’s extreme. Personally I want to know the arguments of people I disagree with, even the most hateful and vile people. I want to know what they’re saying. If they’re really stupid and engage in conspiracy theories I tend to ignore them. If there’s one good thing about social media and this election is that now you know which of your friends are racists. And to think before all this all you had were suspicions.

Despite my open mindedness toward people I disagree with I have had to block a few people. Not so much because they disagree but for other reasons. I blocked one person for constantly bombing my wall with memes and harassing my friends. I had to block a couple others for similar reasons. And I block people who tag me in those stupid Ray-Ban ads but that doesn’t count (someone once put a porn picture on my wall too which had to go). But usually I’m the one who is unfriended. I have been unfriended a lot. Conservative cartoonists have been unfriending me waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay before Donald Trump announced he was running for president. You name the cartoonist, yeah he’s probably unfriended and blocked me. In their defense I am kind of a jerk.

I have two sisters and neither are my friends on Facebook but in my defense they’re both insane (still love them). I’ve heard of a lot of other people who can’t talk to family members right now which makes me feel a little better (I still have my big brother, son, and several nieces and nephews who probably never read this blog). My best friend from high school, who is still married to the woman I introduced him to, has unfriended me (and I never even talked to him about this election). However, his wife is still my friend. A friend I’ve known for 16 years and who I helped move once unfriended me a couple days ago (he was always kind of a stupid baby about everything anyway. And he likes Nickelback so no big loss there). There’s probably a dozen others I’m not even aware of. At some point I’ll think of someone and wonder how come I never see their posts anymore and then figure it out. I didn’t even know one of my sisters had blocked me until the other texted to inform me (neener neener). But this election has brought me more readers, friends, and fans. I look forward to many years of annoying them.

To my Facebook friends who’ve argued with me and have remained mature enough not to unfriend, thank you. I’m sure we’ll bicker in the future. I don’t get angry or take it personal with stuff like that. I can argue with you and then share a sandwich together. A few of my Republican friends can vouch for that. One of them helped me set up this website and he knew I was going to use it to publish godless liberal cartoons drawn for heathens. He also fed me ribs that night. Nice guy.

But you know what? If you don’t want to talk to people you disagree with about politics then maybe you shouldn’t talk about politics. Don’t make political posts if you don’t want knuckleheads coming in and disagreeing with you. And if you don’t like seeing what your friends post, then don’t join the conversation. Move on with your life. Just keep scrolling. There are plenty of selfies, food and cat pictures on social media (which annoys me more than any pro Trump posts). Seriously, people. How come that crap hasn’t gotten old to you yet? I’m not interested in your fascination with your face, your cat, and unless you’re buying me lunch I really don’t need to see a picture of it.

But come Wednesday morning, call your mom. Call your dad. Call your crazy uncle. Call your brother. Call your sister. Well…you might wanna give the sisters a few more extra days (in my case, years). Actually, if they supported Trump they’re really not going to be in a good mood for a while so you might wanna give them a month….or two…..just forget it. They’ll call you.

Then buy them a sandwich.

Psst. There’s a few Easter eggs in this cartoon. Give yourself ten points if you can find one.

Did you like this cartoon? Want to help a cartoonist make a living? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. I need to buy pens, paper, sandwiches, and dog food. The starving cartoonist and his Beagle appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

Facebook News


cjones05162016

When conservatives complain about the media being liberal, what they’re really upset about is the media reporting facts. Sure there’s bias in the media, but it’s not a massive agenda being carried out just because you’re not hearing what you want to hear, or believe.

The “mainstream” media is not liberally biased. If anything, the number one cable news network has a conservative bias, with that being Fox News. Here’s a news flash for those watching the news and whining that it’s not on their side: The media, cable news, newspapers, and websites, number one agenda is to make money. It’s all about ratings, circulation and advertising. If we’re to believe the media is actually biased then right now the media wants Donald Trump to become president. Only the political cartoonists actually want that to happen.

If you really want honest news then you would not demand more conservative or liberal news. You would demand news. Even if the media is biased one way or another, creating more biased media does not balance anything. Misinformation and lies doesn’t correct another source of misinformation and lies. I demand facts and comprehensive coverage. That’s what I use to form my petition.

This week conservatives are complaining about a report that Facebook is suppressing conservative news from trending. Trending is that thing on the right hand side of your Facebook page, which I know you have open right now. At this very moment what’s trending on my Facebook is: London mayor Sadiq Khan, climate activists protesting in Anacotes, Washington, Zika in Singapore, fishermen in Melville Island, Australia caught a cod with a snake in its mouth, the tiny Vaquita Porpoise, a missing 81-year-old man in Spotylvania County, Virginia (that one targeted me), Angry Birds the movie (maybe Facebook doesn’t know), world’s biggest plane lands in Australia and lands in a fish’s mouth (I made that last part up), Nevada Democratic Convention, and Facebook’s CEO delivers a commencement speech.

Unless that tiny dolphin is claiming Donald Trump made odd sexual remarks at her back in the 90’s, I’m not detecting a liberal bias in that list.

My main news source is Google News. I scroll there and click on articles from multiple outlets. It’s the best resource for me. I flip channels between CNN and MSNBC during the day and will occasionally watch Fox News to see how they’re spinning something. MSNBC is conservative in the morning, straight forward from midday to the evening, and at night liberally biased at night. CNN is straightforward and they balance their panels on their nightly shows. Fox News, where every female is required to be a blonde and they’re not allowed to wear sleeves,M is just always biased toward conservatives. The ONE America News makes Fox News look like the BBC.

Are you really complaining you’re not getting enough Breitbart and Daily Caller through Facebook? Do you know how to bookmark? Does your current news filter not provide enough racist comments that fit your agenda? Bookmark. Learn it. Use it. Shut up.

One fact is that a lot of people are getting their news from Facebook. Facebook doesn’t gather news. They share it. They don’t employ any political cartoonists, the bastards.

Facebook does select what’s trending and they target their readers toward their habits. Every time you click “like” on a photo (or a cartoon) or click on one of those sites that click bait you to inform you of your Jedi name or if your cat was Al Capone in a previous life, Facebook is gathering information about you. Each time you post a selfie, Facebook knows you’re a narcissist and attempts to sell you a selfie stick. Each time you post a food picture, Facebook knows you’re lonely and crying for help but directs you toward Taco Bell instead. Every time (Every. Single. Freaking time) you announce you’re a vegetarian, everybody already knows because you won’t shut up about it (and those food pics are about as alluring as that nude portrait of Trump with the tiny penis making the rounds. Oh you haven’t seen that? Do NOT go looking for it!).

Mark Zuckerberg is going to meet with conservative news leaders like Glenn Beck this week to talk about Facebook’s trending news. There’s nothing he’s going to say to the perpetual victims that will satisfy them so if I was him I’d rather just tell them to go suck a lemon.

Stupid, low informed people have a very low bar for their news source. Since Zuckerberg is attempting to appease them anyway, I suggest he tag all of them with memes.

Did you like this cartoon? Want to help a cartoonist make a living? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. I need to buy pens, paper, sandwiches, and dog food. The starving cartoonist and his Beagle appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

Time To Unfriend


cjones12172015

I made comments about making a Star Wars analogy this week but I honestly didn’t plan to. What do you know, I got one in anyway.

There’s been a social media trend over the past few weeks to ditch friends on social media who support Trump. I’ve seen posts stating “if you support Donald Trump then go ahead and unfriend me now.” A lot of people don’t have patience or tolerance for the Trump Trolls.

I think most people don’t like to hear anything they disagree with. But c’mon. It didn’t take Donald Trump to reveal which of your friends are bigots, racists, homophobic, xenophobic jerks.

Yes, it’s hard to tolerate someone who supports a candidate who runs a campaign like a school yard bully without any specifics. It’s hard to reason with someone who supports bigotry and can’t grasp nuance. But I take the position that it’s good to know which of my friends are idiots and support the total and complete destruction of the United States of America.

I’m not unfriending anyone for supporting Trump. It goes the other way too and if they’ve spent all these years tolerating my liberal views, which they hate, then I can put up with their being a troll. Well, at least the ones who haven’t blocked me yet.

Sloppy, hateful politics I can tolerate. If you spoil Star Wars for me I’ll kill you. Not literally, but in the virtual world I will do to you what Obi Wan Kenobi did to Darth Maul. Yes, I will chop you in half and drop you down a seemingly bottomless energy shaft on Naboo.

In fact, anytime I see “Star Wars” in a post I continue scrolling. I won’t finish reading the sentence. I will not read a review, no matter how bold the text claims it doesn’t contain spoilers. I’m going to see the movie anyway so no review can influence whether I see the movie or not. The bad thing is, I might be the last person to see the movie. I need to find a way to go into a Facebook/Twitter carbonite freeze until I see the movie.

Did you like this cartoon? Want to help a cartoonist make a living? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. I need to buy pens, paper, sandwiches, and dog food. The starving cartoonist and his Beagle appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

Facebook Jumpers


cjones09292015

Of course I’m on Facebook. Isn’t everybody?

Facebook is very useful for me. I mostly use it to promote my cartoons but I get a lot of personal use out of it also. It’s great to stay in contact with friends from high school, old work colleagues I haven’t seen in 20 years, family members I haven’t seen in over a decade and people I still see in the real world. I also like to talk politics and argue with conservatives (to a point. You eventually realize that arguing with a conservative isn’t a fair fight as they’re ill equipped to deal with actual information).

I also like to turn it off sometimes and ignore it. That can be difficult as the settings on my phone make it beep every time I get an update on Facebook. But when I’m able to ignore it for eight hours or so I usually come back to about 50 notifications. That’s a good thing because it means people are reading my cartoons. They click the like button (I’m looking forward to the upcoming dislike button, by the way), leave comments and they share the cartoons, which gets shared by their friends which gets shared by their friends, etc.

Apparently Facebook went down Monday. I think it was the third time over the past month. I never noticed. All I noticed were posts informing me that it had gone down, which is like getting a phone call informing you that your phone is working.

People freak out when Facebook goes down. When I worked at The Free Lance-Star the human resources department decided one day that they should block Facebook from all the company computers. It took about four seconds for the entire newsroom to notice. It was like a wave at a sporting event. All down the newsroom heads were popping up from cubicles screaming about Facebook being down. It was a huge revolt. Facebook was unblocked within the hour. If only we could have rallied the troops as well to fight for restoring the pay they had cut, or hours, or our 401K, or our benefits, or our jobs. I’ve only seen a newsroom freak out to that extent over two other issues. Free food and an earthquake. The earthquake probably comes in third.

There’s also a couple of Facebook hoaxes currently making the rounds. If you’re on Facebook (and you are) you’re aware of it and may have fallen for it. I haven’t. I’m trained to be suspicious about everything. The new hoax is that you need to copy and paste some legal jargon or your photos and statuses will be less private. Don’t fall for it. Nothing is going to change the way everyone can see those selfies and cat pictures.

The other hoax is that you need to post the legalese to avoid being charged $9.10 to remain private.

 

One other thing, and it has to be true because I read it on the internet. More people are killed taking selfies than killed by sharks. So if you must take a selfie, do it with a shark.