A New Jersey judge has ordered a woman to perform 500 hours of community service for scamming relatives and others into thinking she was dying of cancer.
Lori Stilley pleaded guilty to theft by deception for receiving nearly $12,000 in donations from more than 300 people in 20 states, who even paid for her wedding. She was sentenced Thursday.
Prosecutors say the 41-year-old former Delran resident told relatives and posted on Facebook in 2011 that she had been diagnosed with bladder cancer. But they became suspicious when Stilley said she was feeling better.
Hey, did you know that Obama didn’t beat Romney because he ran a much better campaign, or because Romney was a lousy candidate, or because of the shifting demographics of the nation, or because Republican policies are way more unpopular than anyone on the right can bear to admit?
No, Obama won because he cheated!
Thanks to Stewart Baker over at the Volokh Conspiracy (which is normally not quite this batshit crazy), the claim is now being made that the Obama campaign’s high-tech doohickeys and GOTV efforts broke the law (specifically the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the same thing Aaron Swartz was prosecuted under) by violating Facebook’s Terms of Service, and that the only reason the DoJ didn’t go after them for this criminal conspiracy is, well, I’ll let Baker explain it:
The Obama campaign doesn’t seem to have been deterred by the possibility that it was violating federal law. I can think of at least four reasons why that might be. Three of them are scandals.
Maybe the campaign never thought about the possibility that it was violating federal law. That’s not a scandal, though it strikes me as unlikely that not one of these tech-savvy geeks failed to notice that they were breaching Facebook’s terms of service.
The other possibilities are all much more troubling. Perhaps the campaign, or some official in the administration, checked quietly with Justice and got an assurance that its prosecutors would not inconvenience the campaign. Or perhaps the campaign thought about the risk and said, “Pff! Those guys work for us. They’ll never prosecute, especially if we win.” Or perhaps the Obama campaign went to Facebook and got a quiet waiver of the terms of service.
Of course, Baker’s assumption that the law was broken in the first place is based on a laughably ignorant understanding of Facebook’s ToS and how the internet works. His ridiculous theory gets justifiably torn apart in the comments section of his post, as people point out that if the Obama campaign broke the law so is the very Disqus commenting system the Volokh Conspiracy uses, but something tells me that won’t stop the usual suspects from jumping on this bandwagon…
UPDATE: the original, very silly blog post Baker cites as his ‘authority’, which was originally down when I posted the Page, can be found here.
UPDATE #2: there have now been two other posts about this non-issue over at VC, by Profs. Ilya Somin and Orin Kerr, and both of them take it as a given that the Obama campaign broke the law. The first says yeah, sure, Obama’s guilty, but that’s not why Romney lost, and the second says that the original blog post Baker cited was attempting a reductio ad absurdum on the DoJ’s interpretation of the CFAA, and that while the Obama campaign was guilty so is everybody else. Neither of them make more than a backhanded reference to the incontrovertible fact that the Facebook ToS was not violated, and that no law - under anybody’s interpretation of the CFAA - was broken.
Facebook on Friday revealed that a bug inadvertently exposed the contact information of 6 million of its users via the social network’s download your information (DYI) tool.
The glitch has since been fixed, and affected members are being notified, Facebook said in a post on its security blog.
The problem stemmed from a tool that allows users to upload their contact lists or address books to Facebook so that the social network can serve up friend recommendations or invite people to join Facebook.
“Because of the bug, some of the information used to make friend recommendations and reduce the number of invitations we send was inadvertently stored in association with people’s contact information as part of their account on Facebook,” the company wrote in the blog post.
As a result, when members used Facebook’s DYI tool, which provides them with a copy of all their Facebook data, some were also provided with email addresses or phone numbers they did not previously have. “This contact information was provided by other people on Facebook and was not necessarily accurate, but was inadvertently included with the contacts of the person using the DYI tool,” Facebook said.
The companies are trying to strike a difficult balance between protecting freedom of expression for users while also creating an open and welcoming community.
With the increasing international use of social media, these companies are also learning how to deal with foreign free-speech laws that are often harsher than America’s.
Facebook accused of allowing anti-women content
Facebook came under fire in May for allowing groups to promote violent and hateful rhetoric against women.
Groups with names like “Violently Raping Your Friends Just For Laughs” posted content that included pictures of women beaten, bruised, tied up, drugged and bleeding, with captions such as… ‘Next time don’t get pregnant.’
In response, concerned users convinced advertisers like Dove to pull their advertisements from the site until the content was removed. Dove, whose advertising campaigns promote female empowerment and self-esteem, released a statement saying, “we are working with Facebook to prevent our ads from appearing on these pages.”
“Women, Action, and The Media,” a women’s rights group that wrote an open letter that started the movement, objected to Facebook policies that blocked images of women after a mastectomy or breast-feeding a baby, but allowed “Violently Raping Your Friends Just For Laughs” to continue.
Facebook’s initial response was that these accounts did not violate the terms of service.
After a large social media push in which users tweeted using the hashtag #FBrape, 15 companies removed their advertising from the site. Facebook responded, saying that they would reevaluate their policies.
Google, Facebook and Microsoft on Tuesday asked the government for permission to reveal details about the classified requests they receive for the personal information of foreign users, Claire Cain Miller reports in The New York Times.
They made the request after revelations about the National Security Agency’s secret Internet surveillance program, known as Prism, for collecting data from technology companies like e-mail messages, photos, stored documents, videos and online chats. The collection is legally authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which forbids companies from acknowledging the existence of requests or revealing any details about them.
Google for the first time publicly acknowledged it had received FISA requests and said it had complied with far fewer of the requests than it received. Facebook and Microsoft did not go as far as discussing requests they had received but, like Google, said it wanted to be able to publish information on the volume and scope of the government requests.
Facebook Inc. said it would make a greater effort to identify and remove hate speech after a group of protesters convinced more than a dozen advertisers to boycott the giant social network unless it cracked down on content that encourages violence against women.
Facebook said it would review how it evaluates reports of hate speech and improve training for online moderators. The Menlo Park, Calif., company said it would also pay closer attention to “cruel or insensitive” content even if it does not technically qualify as hate speech.
Facebook is overwhelmingly popular with women. More than half of Facebook users are women.
Women, Action, and the Media, a group that focuses on gender bias, and other activists wrote an open letter to Facebook last week complaining about disturbing content on the service. They pointed to pages with titles such as “Kicking your girlfriend in the fanny because she won’t make you a sandwich” and “Violently raping your friend just for laughs” and photographs of women bruised, tied up and bleeding with captions such as “Next time don’t get pregnant.”
Women, Action, and the Media called on Facebook in the open letter to take action against “groups, pages and images that explicitly condone or encourage rape or domestic violence or suggest that they are something to laugh or boast about.”
The statement said: “A man was spotted wearing a latex pigs mask which did come off and may at some point have been thrown in the crowd during the protest.
“But at no point were protesters seen throwing animal parts of any kind.”
However, after evidence was published on Facebook and Youtube, the force has now released a new statement.
A spokesman said: “Having viewed subsequent footage of the demonstration and spoken directly with officers involved we can confirm there was a pig’s head found on the floor in the crowd which was quickly removed by officers and disposed of.
“This was in addition to the latex mask.”
An angry Egyptian mob has lynched the teenage son of a Muslim Brotherhood leader, accusing him of killing a man over Facebook comments critical of the Islamist movement, said security sources on Saturday.
The violence that took place on Thursday in the Nile Delta was the latest in a spate of vigilante killings in the region amid growing lawlessness since the 2011 revolution that toppled former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Yussef Rabie Abdessalam, 16, pulled out a gun and opened fire indiscriminately, killing a passerby and wounding another after a heated argument with a man who had openly criticized the influential Brotherhood on the Internet, sources said.
His action sparked fury in Qattawiya, a village in the Nile Delta province of Sharqiya, where Abdessalam’s father, Rabie Abdessalam, is an official at the local branch of the Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood from which President Mohamed Mursi hails.
An angry mob surrounded Abdessalam’s house seeking revenge, but the family refused to give Abdessalam up and hurled stones from inside the house at the protesters.