Friday, January 3, 2014

The Huffington Post Wants To Know Who You Are.... Why?

A few days ago, December 10th, 2013, I went to my usual stomping grounds at the Huffington Post (Huff Po) and I found that I could no longer post comments and replies to other posts and articles published there.  Huffington Post has a new "state of civility" to enforce and they are doing it by requiring your Huffington Post account be linked to your Facebook account.

Oh Joy!

I read Huff Po's blog about the change and after a few days mulling it over, I decided to try it out.  I clicked on a "reply" icon to someone's post and was presented with a show stopping notification that read,
"To promote more civil discussion and accountability in the Huffington Post community, beginning today, all of those who wish to make a comment will be asked to verify their HuffPost account. For further info and access to the verification process, click to continue."
There were two choices: "Cancel" or "Continue".  Next to the cancel it reads " - I only want to fave comments and fan other users".  Next to Continue is " - Tell me more about how to verify my account."

Of course I clicked cancel and left it at that. About a week later I decided to check it out a little further and gave it a shot.  Their FAQ's said that I could choose to display my full name, first initial and last, or first and initial of my last name.  So, OK, I can get comfortable with that.

This time I clicked on Continue.

From here I clicked on the FAQ's and privacy policy links. I then learned what they want access to. "friend list, email address, news feed, birthday, interests, current city, personal description and likes"

Then I clicked cancel again.

Now I'm trying to think of some reasonable purpose for Huff Po to require all of this information.  I can understand a business wanting to gather personal information for targeted advertising, but what will they do with your friends list?  Target them as well? Frankly, I prefer not to give away personal information to monolithic corporations that have little in the way of accountability and have them bothering my friends and acquaintances while they are at it.

It also gives them much more insight into who you are, what you think of various topics that make news these days such as politics, gay activism, religion, the healthcare debate, and which politicians you support and which ones you don't.

And let's be clear.  The left, the progressives, and their politicians cannot withstand the light of truth and absolutely cannot have their poor performance made into an issue. Fortunately for them the legacy media keeps that in check.  They rely on Orwellian politically based spin and shared talking points to get ahead in government. Even the label "liberal" is Orwellian when you see what these people are up to.  They preach tolerance but only tolerate views that mimic their views.  One example of their If you think that doesn't happen, see how the vindictive gay community came down on Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty for paraphrasing a Bible verse when asked but homosexuality.  Just look at the war on marriage, on Christmas, on religion, on wages and on healthcare.  It's all part of the progressive agenda.

With that in mind, and after reading posts from liberals, progressives and hard core partisans on the Huffington Post, I can easily predict that the information they gather would be used to help keep the opposition in line: to shut them up by exposing them to the leftists in media and be publicly ridiculed, marginalized, while not caring that it costs people their jobs in a time when a job is a precious commodity.  No doubt this will happen to some unsuspecting conservative when they find out who he/she is.  And why would I think that?

I've read thousands of posts that are downright hateful.  This group will attempt to marginalize anyone who disagrees with them.  That is why it is important to keep your cool when reading responses to your own posts.  I have been called every disparaging name you can think of from Tea bagger to bigot, racist, anti-gay, stupid, uneducated, low information voter, faux news mouthpiece, corporate tool, backwards, mouth breather, superstitious and hateful.  Of course knowing that it's a tactic rather than an analysis, and are far far from reality, I can ignore it in my responses.  This leads me to why I think making your life an open book to Huff Po could turn out to be an extraordinarily bad thing. After all, there is no guarantee that an Edward Snowden type of employee or contractor isn't going to give your information to other self-styled high minded progressives to shut the offender down.

It's clear to me that this Facebook link is a bad idea dreamed up people on the losing side of political debate.  The only way progressives can gain support and win political power is by lying, distracting, hiding, delaying and blaming others for their own shortsightedness and failed programs*. So it is only logical that they would try to prevent opposing opinions from being spread around.  For your evidence, just look at some of the progressive politicians actions.

This is a bad move by Huffington Post and will cost them many followers. I'd be interested in knowing how many others decided the risk wasn't worth it either.

* It may intentional.  The policies that kill family economies drives people to the government's benevolence. The government has pretty much replaced more traditional forms of charity as is their goal, IMHO.

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