Tag Archives: Facebook

Using lies to make Obamacare look incompetent

The graphic above has managed to be upvoted on Reddit to the point where it stands today at number 9 in the Hot category on the Front Page of the news aggregation site.

It was posted by user JoeInJapan on the /facepalm subreddit. 

It’s not until comment number 4 where user DancingCorpse has this to say about it:

That’s not Healthcare.gov and anyone who has ever actually used the site would know that. If I remember correctly, this image was taken from some stupid survey site or was spoofed using a survey maker. Probably easily verifiable by going to Snopes and searching “healthcare.gov have you died question”. This was a common Facebook propaganda spam two years ago.

The real face palm is that someone reposted this.

Snopes does have something to say about the graphic:

“The survey question was not related to Obamacare enrollment or Healthcare.gov.”

It should be noted that, against what seems logical to me, Snopes rated the graphic as Mostly False.

The question about death was not asked about Obamacare or on HealthCare.gov. Rather it does appear to have been asked in a survey, possibly a satirical one. somewhere at some time.

Just to be clear, the survey question was asked online somewhere starting about 2015, just never about Obamacare on HealthCare.gov.

Rating it as Mostly False instead of entirely false strikes me as Snopes splitting hairs and it gives the wrong impression if you don’t decipher the weird way this is explained on the Snopes page.

Rather than trying to explain it all away as humor from somewhere, I will offer another explanation.

It is entirely possible, based on what we know already about how they operate, that right-wing trolls purposefully introduced this graphic into the social media stream as just one small part of a larger effort to discredit Obamacare

After all, if the people who run Obamacare are so stupid that they put forth a survey question asking you if you died, how can they possibly be competent enough to manage your health care?

It’s part of the ongoing effort by conservatives to approach killing Obamacare with the death of a thousand cuts. If they cannot get rid of it outright — because a lot of conservative voters found they like many of Obamacare’s provisions once it became law — then they will try to slowly kill it through smaller steps.

Another way they have been doing this is by slowly chipping away at the administrative supports behind Obamacare. They’ve also been making it harder for insurance companies, many of whom have dropped out of Obamacare entirely, which is then blamed on the law itself and not the Republicans who are trying to undermine it.

This one graphic posted on Reddit — with 250 million users — is not the end of the world. But it has been picked up and shared across Facebook and elsewhere millions of other times.

So the next time someone tells you that HealthCare.gov asked this question as part of Obamacare enrollment, you can tell them they are wrong by sending them to this link

Internet trolls are masters at inserting right-wing talking points into the social media stream. Some of the efforts are well-organized. Click on the troll for information about one of those efforts.

Illinois Republican still hiding from constituents

Roskam, far left, during a Congressional hearing.
Roskam, far left, during a Congressional hearing.

Community groups in the Illinois Sixth Congressional District — including six chapters of the League of Women Voters from within the district — are not having any luck getting Republican Peter Roskam to come out of hiding and agree to an open town meeting.

Instead Roskam agreed to a phone-in meeting for which he and his handlers vetted the questioners and there was no follow-up allowed. Also, the robocalls announcing the long sought phone-in were reportedly done in a haphazard manner, with many calls going to people outside the district. Additionally, many interested parties, including the local Patch newspapers, were either never given notice of the event or were not followed-up upon after they used the e-mail sign-up system Roskam used for the event.

This is part of a pattern by Roskam of avoiding any public group contact with his constituents, meetings he calls “a circus.” This is also beginning to be a pattern for Republicans across the country, who are facing swarms of angry constituents when they do hold town meetings. Some are even being confronted at their homes or at airports by people angry about, among other things, continuing GOP support of Donald Trump and the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Meanwhile a Facebook group has been formed to try and influence Roskam and policies in his district. That group, Action 6th District Illinois, has the following on its About page: 

This group was created by the people of the 6th Congressional District of Illinois in order to seek change and responsive leadership. Our goal is to make our voices heard, and bring attention to the needs not addressed by our elected representative, Peter Roskam. We will work together to bring positive change within our district.


A few basic rules for posting on this page: This is a page dedicated to the 6th district of Illinois and the current Representative, Peter Roskam. This page is not about Donald Trump or Paul Ryan, unless Peter Roskam is involved.

The goal is to be bipartisan group of positive change agents. Trolls and personal attacks will also not be tolerated. Nor will third party sales of any type. Any posts of this type will be deleted and trolls will be removed from the group altogether.

This group will not request monetary contributions. Upon such time members will be notified and information disclosed.

Sharing screen shots of posts or member information outside a closed group without members consent is absolutely prohibited. If you are caught you will be removed from Action 6th District Illinois.

Contact Roskam:



Follow us on Twitter @Action6thDistIL


Research Sites:






I was impressed when I first saw all of that information. Clearly these people mean business in terms of keeping on top of things.

And isn’t that what the purpose of marching ultimately is? To get people involved? (Although it should be made clear that this Facebook group pre-dated all of this year’s marches.)

More information can be found on the group’s Facebook page. It is a closed group and you have to ask the moderator to add you.

There is another group  — 6th District of Illinois – Holding Rep. Peter Roskam Accountable — on Facebook. Click on the link for more information. I had not had a chance to check them out before I wrote this and am not yet a member, though I did request membership as of this writing. They are a public group, whereas the previous one mentioned is a closed group.

The 6th congressional district of Illinois covers parts of Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane and McHenry counties, as part of the redistricting which followed the last census. All or parts of Algonquin, Barrington, Carol Stream, Carpentersville, Cary, Downers Grove, Elgin, East Dundee, Fox River Grove, Gilberts, Glen Ellyn, Hoffman Estates, Lake in the Hills, Lake Zurich, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Sleepy Hollow, South Elgin, St. Charles, Wayne, West Chicago, West Dundee, Westmont, Wheaton and Willowbrook are included.

Ars Technica: Stop calling it a “news feed,” Facebook. Because it’s not.

I think this piece from Ars Technica makes perfect sense:

Facebook wants to have it both ways, both ethically and legally. The company wants to be seen as a source of news. The company offers media outlets a chance to use Facebook Instant, because having native content from the New York Times enhances Facebook’s credibility. And yet it also wants to retreat into the safe harbor of being a mere intermediary that does not distinguish between Uncle Tommy’s rants and a Washington Post investigation. That’s why Zuckerberg has responded to criticisms of fake news by saying Facebook’s job is not to determine what’s true.

Facebook needs to to stop playing both sides, but it keeps trying to walk the line. Vice correspondent Nellie Bowles said on Twitter, “On the phone with Facebook PR and they literally ask me ‘what is truth’.” As Bowles pointed out in an article later, Facebook already has an answer to this question: the company just officially banned fake news sources from buying ads. Clearly, Zuckerberg et al know how to distinguish real from fake, but are choosing to feign ignorance when it suits them.

Facebook, stop it. Stop calling it a “news feed.” Call it a “friend feed.” Call it a “fun feed.” Call it whatever you want—just don’t call it news, because it’s a dangerous misrepresentation for those 44% of Americans who choose to look to Facebook for actual news.

Source: It’s time to get rid of the Facebook “news feed,” because it’s not news | Ars Technica

Snopes update: Pope tablecloth trick edition

snopesCheck out this week’s update from Snopes, the website that keeps the internet honest by looking into rumors, pop legends and deliberate misinformation.

If you look at no other post, look at the one on Ben Carson and the alleged Popeye’s robbery. He is either shameless or mentally unbalanced. And do read the page about Armstrong Williams, his spokesperson. Another huckster.

Now, on to Snopes.

NEWS: Did Dr. Ben Carson say that he has  no idea how gravity works while asserting that climate change is a  hoax ?

FACT CHECK: Did Dr. Ben Carson say that  anatomically, a Muslim’s brain is wired differently than ours ?

FACT CHECK: Does an image show a photograph of Umpqua shooter Chris Harper-Mercer altered by CNN to make him appear white?

FACT CHECK: Was Umpqua Community College a  gun-free zone when nine people were fatally shot there in October 2015?

FACT CHECK: Did a 14-year-old girl become pregnant after receiving a flu shot?

FACT CHECK: Is an image contrasting radically different gun laws and homicide rates in Honduras and Switzerland accurate?

FACT CHECK: Are workplaces banning ham, sausages, and other pork foods because Muslims are offended by them?

Pope Tablecloth jefferly.com snopes
The Pope and a tablecloth: low comedy?

FACT CHECK: Does a photograph depict a school art project titled  candlelight  that yielded unexpectedly suggestive paintings?

FACT CHECK: Does the same crying woman appear in photographs taken at the scenes of massacres in Sandy Hook, Aurora, Boston, and Oregon?

FACT CHECK: Does a photograph capture Albert Einstein playing an electric guitar?

FACT CHECK: Was a man named Dontray Mills convicted of trafficking guns but pardoned by President Obama?

FACT CHECK: Does a video show a shark swimming down a flooded street after heavy rains in West Ocean City, Maryland?

FACT CHECK: Did a man spit in the face of a young Marine holding the door open for him because the American people no longer support the military?

FACT CHECK: Are Donald Trump’s  Make America Great Again  caps manufactured in China?

FACT CHECK: Does Facebook consider military emblems inappropriate and delete them from Facebook pages?

FACT CHECK: Did animals die during flooding at a PetSmart location in South Carolina after employees left them to drown?

FACT CHECK: Has ESPN issued a gag order preventing coaches and players from thanking God on television?

FACT CHECK: Does the United States have the third-highest rate of homicides worldwide, but drops dramatically in the rankings if four major cities are excluded from the stats?

FACT CHECK: Did a study prove that Republicans (primarily supporters of Donald Trump) have weaker grammatical skills than Democrats?

FACT CHECK: Did Mexican drug lord Joaquin  El Chapo  Guzman put a $100 million bounty on Donald Trump s head?

FACT CHECK: Have McDonald s restaurants in Colorado turned their Play Place areas into marijuana-friendly smoking zones?

FACT CHECK: Did a Georgia teen contract HIV while getting a sew-in hair weave?

FACT CHECK: Was Pope Francis filmed performing a tablecloth trick during his visit to the United States?

NEWS: Residents of a condominium complex in Des Plaines, Illinois claimed hot dogs injected with rat poison were scattered on their lawn.

FACT CHECK: Did Muslim refugees outside Macedonia refuse assistance from the Red Cross because the aid packages were marked with the Christian cross symbol? 

FACT CHECK: Did President Obama sign a bill barring the media from naming mass shooting suspects?

FACT CHECK: Was a school shooter in Pearl, Mississippi, stopped by an assistant principal with a gun?

FACT CHECK: Does the smell of a rare mushroom cause women to have spontaneous orgasms?

NEWS: Some pundits are skeptical of Ben Carson’s account of experiencing an armed robbery at a Popeye s restaurant.

FACT CHECK: Did a mandatory gun ownership law in Kennesaw, Georgia, cause the town s crime rate to plummet?

FACT CHECK: Did President Obama open FEMA’s  first  concentration camp in Wilcox, Arizona with plans to detain conservatives? 

So much nuttiness this week. I can’t take it all in.

mushroom orgasm Snopes women spontaneous jefferly.com
I’ll have one order of mushrooms to eat here and 20 to go, please.

jefferly.com has a Facebook page

I’ve created a Facebook page for jefferly.com, where I share a link to every post here, along with all the things I find elsewhere which I think many of you might find interesting.

You can find it here. Feel free to go like the page if you have the chance. I would very much appreciate it.

If I get 200 likes, my landlord gets a new liver.

Ha, kidding! Nothing happens except you have my gratitude.

You can find my personal Facebook page here, which I use primarily for acquaintances, colleagues, friends and relatives. 

I also use that personal profile for more adult-oriented humor and NSFW stuff so that none of you gets in trouble if you visit the jefferly.com page while working, or if perhaps you just don’t want to see that kind of thing at all.

The home page of jefferly.com on Facebook.

Target posts genius “endorsement” of phantom customer service rep


He got away with it for 2/3 of a day. And fooled a lot of right-wingers along the way.

AskForHelp, the not all that mysterious fake Target customer service rep who took to the giant retailer’s Facebook page to make fun of wingnuts over the outrage at the Minneapolis-based chain’s decision to remove gender-based labeling of its toy aisles, was removed after 16 hours. 

AskForHelp’s real name is Facebook user Mike Melgaard, and he even managed to get himself noticed in the pages of Adweek:

Melgaard tells AdFreak that he was just surfing Facebook on Sunday night when he noticed that Target was moving away from gender-based labels in both the toy and children’s bedding sections.

“Immediately, I knew there would be your typical outraged American spouting emotional reactions on their Facebook page,” he says. “After taking a look, I was literally laughing out loud at my computer. A few more minutes in and it struck me how hilarious it would be to portray myself as a parody customer service rep. So, I did just that, and the rest was history. Honestly, it was like striking comedy gold. Every one of these people gave me the ammunition I needed for a great response.”

A self-described “pot-stirrer,” Melgaard says his stunt was more about the comedy than taking a stance on the issue. “I definitely side with Target and support their decision wholeheartedly,” he says. “That being said, this was, for me, more about the laughs. I absolutely love satirical humor, and I think America could use a little more laughter.”

Target gave this statement to AdFreak on Thursday: “At Target, we are committed to providing outstanding guest service to our guests wherever we engage with them—in our stores, online, or on our social pages. Clearly this individual was not speaking on behalf of Target. Should guests ever have questions on whether a communication from Target is legitimate, we encourage them to reach out to guest relations at 1-800-440-0680.”

Clearly the guy was not speaking on behalf of Target. Except…

Then Target did something remarkable and issued a sort of non-endorsement endorsement of AskForHelp by posting the epic picture below, commented upon by Melgaard himself, as a stick in the eye to right-wing trolls everywhere.

And why not? Wingnuts have been trying to organize a disastrously unsuccessful boycott of Target for a very long time over its progressive policies.

Yet another reason to choose Target over Walmart.

Source: Man Poses as Target on Facebook, Trolls Haters of Its Gender-Neutral Move With Epic Replies – Adweek



John Russell Houser: Tea Partier who hated Obama, admired Hitler and wanted women to shut up in church

john russel houser

It’s all well and good to use so much space in the excerpted article to make fun of this guy, but harping on the fact that he was the wackiest of wacky right-wingers misses the main point.

In no way do I believe that most Tea Partiers are like this guy. They may have more than their share of whack jobs because they attract the chronically aggrieved and angry, but most of them are not homicidal misanthropic maniacs.

This guy was deeply, profoundly mentally ill.

The question becomes how did he get guns when he was this batshit crazy?

The answer: it’s just not that difficult.

The gunman who killed two moviegoers and wounded nine others had a prolific online commenting history that revealed a fascination with censorship, Iran, and right-wing politics.

John Russell Houser, of Phenix City, Alabama, posted frequently across a variety of online forums — from political discussions to message boards for Oldsmobile enthusiasts — where he complained about “moral decay” and media brainwashing.

“America is so sick that I now believe it to be the enemy of the world,” he wrote under the name Rusty Houser in a December 2013 comment on Fellowship of the Minds. “I know next to nothing about Iran, but the little I do know tells me they are far higher morally than this financially failing filth farm.”

The 59-year-old Houser, who told acquaintances that voting was waste of time, was less active on Facebook and Twitter, although he left behind some clues about his beliefs on those social media networks.

“If you don’t think the internet is censored, try reading a newspaper from a country that hates liberals the way I do,” reads his second — and last — Twitter post, from June 2013. The first argues that “Westboro Baptist Church may be the last real church in America [members not brainwashed].”

His Facebook account shows just two likes — the “I hate liberals!” political organization, which uses an avatar that reads “Stand with Rand,” and the Crossroads Irish-American Festival.

Posts on his Facebook page reveals an interest in limiting women’s influence over the church, a hatred for American culture, and complaints about liberals “brainwashing” Americans into hating their own country.“

The bible doesn’t ask me to like what it says, only to obey it,” Houser wrote. “Death comes soon to the financially failing filth farm called the US.”

Everyone seemed to know this guy was a powder keg. Yet he still got a gun.


The NRA has blood on its hands for this one and every killing like it because they fight the tightening of gun control laws no matter their form.

Gun owners —not necessarily the same things as gun nuts — ought to lead the charge to tighten these sorts of regulations. 

Source: La. gunman was a Tea Partier who hated Obama, admired Hitler and wanted women to shut up in church

Diner owner under fire for yelling at misbehaving toddler

There are many seemingly intractable divides in our society: Israel, abortion — and whether parents should remove a misbehaving toddler from a restaurant:

child misbehavior
Marcy’s Diner owner Darla Neugebauer is interviewed by local Portland (ME) news about her yelling at the screaming child in her restaurant.

The owner of a Portland diner is defending her actions – and comments she made on social media – that have left many outraged.

Marcy’s Diner on Oak Street in Portland’s downtown is a busy place on the weekends. Owner Darla Neugebauer said that’s partly what led her to snap at a child on Saturday.

Neugebauer said the child’s parents had ordered three pancakes and then didn’t feed them to the girl, causing the child to cry loudly. After attempts to get the family to leave, or to take the girl outside, the diner owner said she slammed her hands down on the counter and told the girl to be quiet.

If a child screams in the forest and there are no bloggers there to witness it, can it still cause an uproar on Facebook?

I watched the clip below a couple of times and, while the actions of owner Darla Neugebauer might shock someone outside of New England, she doesn’t strike me as someone who is more menacing than just being a bit too brash for her own good — or for people outside of that part of the country.

I also wouldn’t have given the story legs by continuing it online.

Nonetheless, if the child had screamed for more than an hour, that seems well over the time limit required for Neugebauer to have simply offered crayons or a ramekin of Cheerios in an attempt to nicely quiet the child and make the meals of her other paying customers bearable. It appears the parents of the child in question had wrongly decided that they could react to the kid’s acting out in public in the same way they might do at home: let her scream until she wore herself out.

I was eating in a restaurant the other night and at the table next to me were what appeared to be a grandparent and parent, who seemed willfully unaware that the two toddlers with them were screaming and running around the other tables in the restaurant taunting one another and laughing. One child even ran into me and another person seated at another table. Everyone seemed annoyed by it but the two adults in a position to stop it.

Finally what appeared to be a manager of some sort came over and stood near the offenders’ table and glared at the parents and kids. They got the message— this time — and left.

I feel for parents whose kids act out in restaurants, crying or throwing tantrums. One more meal ruined by something that can be largely beyond your control no matter what non-parents think. What is not beyond their control is whether a misbehaving toddler rises to the level of ruining the dining experience of others around them.

Also, this was the “other top story” for the news broadcast that night? I wonder what that other story was? Perhaps a fight on Twitter over Ariana Grande licking donuts?

I had the video on live connect on this page, but it autostarts and that is annoying, especially since it starts so loudly.

Go to the link below to watch.

Source: Portland Diner owner under fire for yelling at toddler, Facebook posts

How to not get eaten by sharks

Or bears. Or something like that.

Her name is Veronica Pooh Nash Poleate and she posted this video on her Facebook account.

So that all you non-Facebookers can enjoy it, I post it here.

If this is an act of some kind, she is brilliant.

If this is just Veronica Pooh Nash Poleate free associating and being plain ol’ Veronica Pooh Nash Poleate she’s just awesome.

Shark bait! That all any of you are! Shark bait!

Also: meat ministry?

No, it’s Meet Ministry. Or I think it is. I’m still not sure whether she says at one point that she will “rejoice and eat meat.” If she does say that, I’m sure it’s mentioned in Leviticus somewhere. They cover in that book of the Bible all the pervy or offbeat stuff that make The Gay look like choir practice.

According to Google there is a Meat Ministry somewhere that hands out food to the poor, the name of which I’m sure drives PETA to distraction.

“Welcome to the Flesh Of The Lamb BBQ, Butcher Shop and Anointment Church of God In Christ.”


26 million people changed to a rainbow picture on Facebook

Pretty amazing:

As anyone with a Facebook account can attest…, this weekend saw rainbows sweep across the social media site. In honor of Pride, and in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, Facebook developed a program to allow users to quickly and easily add a rainbow filter to their profile images. Originally created by two interns, the company saw the concept’s promise and streamlined the process.

The reaction was nothing short of viral, with more than 26 million people across the world turning their profiles into visible statements of LGBT pride and support. So far the photos received more than half a billion likes and comments, and the momentum shows no sign of slowing down.

Now, on to ENDA!

Via:  26 Million People Change Profile Pictures With Facebook’s Rainbow Pride Filter | Out