Facebook Drove Away Alex Jones, Anti-Vaxxers, Alt-Righters and Now Crossfit?! | HBR News 211

Join us on the HBR News show as we discuss the news of the week, including Facebook Censoring posts put out by low-carb diet enthusiasts, a false rape claim that caused someone to die, the science of sexist air-conditioning, and more! Tune in @6pm Eastern

Show notes:

Breaking (and Entering) News From Vice

By Mike J.

Vice journalists stand accused of breaking into the Philippines home of the owner of 8chan in an attempt to interview him. Jim Watkin's, owner of the website 8chan, posted to the official 8chan Twitter on May 18th, "@elspethreeve [Elle Reeve] with a filmmaking crew just broke and entered into Jim's bedroom and were ordered out of the property. @elspethreeve and her producer @lani_levine [Lani Levine] have now protected their tweets. The Filipino authorities have already been notified." Along with this tweet, Watkins posted photos of the journalists and film crew outside of his house. Watkins also posted an extensive email chain which details Reeve's repeated attempts to solicit him for a face to face interview. The emails show Watkins giving a polite, yet firm, denial to any sort of interview short of a brief off the record phone call. Despite over a week passing since the initial story broke, little else has come to light. The Twitter accounts of Reeve and Levine remain protected, Watkins has made no further comment, and Vice has not yet responded to the allegations.



Feminist Blood Magic

By Mike J.

Self-proclaimed "blood witch", shocks fellow guests, audience members, and the hosts of an Australian television show by smearing her face with period blood. Yazmina Jade Adler appeared on an episode of the Australian TV show 'Medicine or Myth' to discuss her strange method of relieving pain caused by menstrual cramps. Adler explained the practice stating, "I would normally connect with the blood, and by doing that it instantly does something to me. I use blood in a way to connect either through putting it on my hand or anointing it on my third eye. Doing this, it has relieved me of discomfort. I’ve painted my whole face before. Every time is different. I’ve been using this remedy now for about 10 months to a year and my cramping has gone.” Adler believes menstruation has been unfairly made taboo and knows exactly who is to blame for that, “I know what women go through I know that pain, that shame. I feel for the women who are struggling with this. We have shamed ourselves as women for bleeding, men have placed this taboo on us for bleeding. It’s a time to reclaim our power through reclaiming that which comes naturally for us. It’s a blessing."


Pummeled Over Pizza

By Mike J.

A woman from the United Kingdom has been convicted of attacking her former boyfriend with a crowbar. The cause of the incident? Her boyfriend dropped a slice of pizza off of the table. Kirsty Saccani, age 31, initially berated her, at the time, boyfriend for the mistake at the table, but when he attempted to apologize, that's when she began waving a kitchen knife around and saying, "You'll get this in your throat." Disturbed by her behavior, her ex-boyfriend then went upstairs to change his clothes and collect his car keys in order to leave. That is when Saccani confronted him, this time with a baseball bat. After a brief scuffle, the ex-boyfriend managed to wrestle the bat away from her and leave. As he turned away, attempting to leave once again, Saccani attacked him with a crowbar. Saccani landed at least one severe blow which caused a six centimeter, or roughly two and one-third inch, laceration on his head which would later require eight stitches to close. He somehow managed to make it to his vehicle and drive to his Mother's house before contacting police and seeking medical attention. Saccani was arrested shortly afterwards.

Interestingly, Saccani tells a very different version of events. She claims her ex-boyfriend had been the one that initially assaulted her. She asserts he had been upset with her the whole day and had thrown the piece of pizza at her. She then asked him to leave, but he would not stop taunting her. Eventually she brandished a baseball bat in an attempt to get him to leave, but that's when a scuffle broke out around the door to the house. In struggling over the baseball bat the door hit both her and him, Saccani claimed she was the more injured of the two and denies deliberately attacking him in any way.

Despite the ex-boyfriends version of events being the one that the court believed, Saccani received a seemingly light sentence consisting of a suspended sentence of eighteen months and one-hundred and fifty hours of unpaid work. At the sentencing, the Judge told her the following, "You were in a volatile on off relationship and you admit yourself that you are your own worst enemy. An argument erupted with your then partner over something being dropped on the floor. When he got up and went to leave you picked up an ornament and hit him over the head resulting in a cut which needed stitches. This was all aggravated by the fact it took place in the victim’s home. It is my public duty to give you a custodial sentence but the question is whether that sentence has to be immediate. I am convinced that this has been something of a wake up call for you. And that you are now in the process of sorting yourself out and setting a better example for your children."


# = White Supremacy


The hacker known as 4chan is at it again. Soon everything will be a Nazi dog-whistle.

The troll campaign, “Bash the Hash”, encourages people to use the “# to represent the swastika on memes and social media”. The 4chan user who started the idea writes:

“It will be a perfect win-win situation. […] Either Twitter will have to accept blatant Nazism on its forums or it will effectively have to find a way to get rid of the site’s core mechanics.” Bash the Hash “will also force corporations to stop putting hashtags on every fucking ad ever.”

Source: https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/4chan-troll-campaign-bash-the-hash/

Another False Rape Accusation leads to a Man’s Death


Largo, Florida- Brittany Sorey, 30, told police a stranger sexually assaulted her. According to her, a Hispanic man broke into her apartment and violated her with a broken broom handle and box cutter.

Some time later Brittany Sorey and her husband moved out of the apartment and let a friend move in. The friend, Timothy Hignite, was then exposed to a neighbor who, believing the couple still lived there, came knocking and yelling about wanting his money back. He even threw a beer bottle against the door.

The neighbor, Michael Peterson, 60, had lent Sorey and her husband $442 for a lawyer, bug exterminator and phone minutes. The night he came to the apartment believing Sorey was inside, Hignite (the new tenant), called Sorey and described the belligerent man outside his door. Sorey told him that sounded like it could be the person who raped her and Hignite said he’d try to get a photo of the man.

He opened the door with a phone in one hand and a knife in the other and the dispute turned physical. Peterson tried to pepper spray him and Hignite stabbed Peterson several times as a neighbor called the police. Hignite said he acted in self-defense and neighbors were in agreement that Peterson was the aggressor.

However, the stabbing led to the unraveling of Sorey’s rape allegation. Detectives re-interviewed her where she confessed to lying. She told them she was depressed and going through marital problems. Sorey was arrested for making a false report of a crime and booked into the Pinellas County jail to be released the next day after posting $150 bail.

From the Tampa Bay Times:

“Michael Peterson’s family struggles with the consequences of that false rape allegation. […] They don’t understand why Hignite couldn’t have kept the door closed and just called the police. Nor do they understand why Sorey, when relayed a description of the neighbor who helped her and lent her money, told Hignite that it sounded like the man who she falsely claimed attacked her.


When he wasn’t drinking, his family said the Army veteran and former cabinet maker was one of the kindest men they knew. Michael Peterson had his demons, struggling with alcoholism his whole life, they said, but he didn’t deserve to die.

“I cannot wrap my head around that he went the way he did,” [Peterson’s brother] said, “and there’s no consequences.”

Source: https://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/a-fabricated-rape-a-fatal-stabbing-the-bizarre-backstory-of-a-largo-mans-death-20190521/

Censorship in the name of SCIENCE!111


On the internet you can find out that the earth is flat, you shouldn’t vaccinate your children or that men need rights.

Ridiculous right?  

Groups holding unpopular opinions, especially popular groups, have been the targets of censorship of social media companies. Now Facebook has pissed off Crossfit after they shut down a low-carbohydrate support group with 1.65 million followers.

From their website: “CrossFit, Inc., as a voluntary user of and contributor to this marketplace, can and must remove itself from this particular manifestation of the public square when it becomes clear that such responsibilities are betrayed or reneged upon to the detriment of our community.” In the statement is a list of eight complaints, including:

“Facebook’s news feeds are censored and crafted to reflect the political leanings of Facebook’s utopian socialists [...]”


“Facebook is acting in the service of food and beverage industry interests by deleting the accounts of communities that have identified the corrupted nutritional science responsible for unchecked global chronic disease.”

It all started when on May 14th, with no warning or explanation, Facebook unlisted the group’s platform. It was reinstated 48 hours later, again without explanation. The group, Banting 7-day Meal Plans, was started by Cape Town low-carb advocate Rita Venter. “Banting” is the common South African name for a low-carb, high fat or ketogenic diet and the groups followers shared recipes, support and before-and-after pictures to show their success.

Although Venter was the one who started the group to “share what helped [her] lose weight & get healthy”, Tim Noakes, is the more prominent figure behind the South African Ketogenic Nutrition & Treatments.

Kevin Bass sided with Facebook, tweeting:

“Facebook group of @ProfTimNoakes deleted today. Facebook make the right move. Noakes claims carbohydrates are THE cause of cancer, denies statins work, denies that vaccines work, and spreads much other misinformation. Professor Noakes's garbage is a threat to public health.”

Venter tweeted back at Bass: “We are not anti vaxxers. I have 4 adult kids all vaxxed. We are a LCHF support group. I don’t know where you got your information. It’s wrong.”

And another reply from author of The Paleo Solution, Robb Wolf: “Yes, censorship has always worked better than debate and discourse. Great work Kevin Bass, you will make an awesome doctor. […] So, on this censorship gig: many of you support deplatforming for a variety of reasons. If you step back, do you see that process making all this worse or better? Do you not see potentially terrible consequences? I’d be just as upset if vegans were attacked. That asymmetry...”

It may not be a coincidence that last month, a self-proclaimed “bi-partisan” organization called Science Feedback announced it will be partnering with Facebook as a fact-checker. Science Feedback’s network of experts are to review and analyze Facebook posts for scientific validity.

...I’ve heard stories about scientists in the middle ages being censored by religion and it makes you wonder what "science" means today when it is used as a tool to censor.





Breaking: Proof Women are Oppressed by Air conditioning


A study has been published this month that shows female cognitive performance increases at higher temperatures. From the study “Battle for the thermostat: Gender and the effect of temperature on cognitive performance”:  

“At higher temperatures, women perform better on a math and verbal task while the reverse effect is observed for men. The increase in female performance in response to higher temperature is significantly larger and more precisely estimated than the corresponding decrease in male performance.”

Their sample size of 543 students (approximately 41% of whom were female) were exposed to temperatures of about 16°C  (~61 F) or 32°C (~90 F) and then given a set of math, verbal and cognitive reflection tasks. They found an increase in the number of math questions correctly answered by women.

From the study’s discussion:

“The increase in female cognitive performance appears to be driven largely by an increase in the number of submitted answers. We interpret this as evidence that the increased performance is driven in part by an increase in effort.” And they found no difference, by temperature or gender, in the cognitive reflection tests.

They conclude “our results suggest that in gender-balanced workplaces, temperatures should be set significantly higher than current standards.”

Source: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0216362

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