Thursday, Dec 15, 2016

It has been a gloomy gray day. I kept waiting for the sun to come out to go outside and enjoy the day, and it didn’t happen. By mid-afternoon it became obvious the sun wasn’t going to appear, and as I was weighing whether it was worth going outside anyway, it started to lightly rain. Decision made: inside day.

The problem with having a blog and not doing anything is what the hell do you write about? Since I was inside I was reading a bunch of news articles. One article was about Facebook and their attempt to address fake news. Hallelujah!

FB is going to have an easy to press button on posts that a user can flag as fake. They have hired a third-party to review the validity of the post when flagged, and if it is determined to be false or inaccurate it is flagged with a red icon and identified as not checking out as true by a third-party. People can still share and post it, but it is now tagged for everyone to see.

Better than that, once such a post is tagged, it cannot be used for placement of advertisement. This is a big deal. During the election process, teenagers in Macedonia were creating fake news and making tens of thousands of dollars per month from advertisers. The incentives have been huge to produce fake news, and the consequences have only created divisiveness and fueled hatred.

I wrote an article for the Good Men Project, that is in the pipeline to be published, addressing the importance for each of us to research and verify the accuracy of anything we use to form our beliefs and opinions. We live in a world where this is no longer optional.

Because of social media and technologies available to every person to publish whatever they like, we must take ownership to vet the information we receive. If we don’t, what we believe and how we come to believe it will risk being built upon lies, conjecture, and imaginations. This is not the world I intend to help create. I hope you feel the same way.

I don’t think fake news is tolerated in Ecuador. In fact it seems that even publicly telling the truth about an individual can create some legal issues for the person doing the telling. This is problematic because people who are being dishonest in their dealings with others can fly under the radar. Free speech is not necessarily a value held sacred by the government here.

Chase took the Christmas cookies to his school today. They were a big hit. He helps with an after school program and the kids do their homework there. The teacher told the kids they couldn’t have a cookie until their homework was finished. It seemed they all completed it faster than usual today. Rewards are an important part of helping us get things done!

I came across this Rumi quote and pic on FB. It is something I believe in.rumi-quote

And today I choose to be living mad in Cuenca.