"Je n'ai pas vécu la liberté, mais je l'ai écrite sur les murs" (la révolution syrienne)

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Gab – a platform fight against deplatforming

in Médias etc./Other Languages by

Far Right freedom of expression Gab severely suffered from being blacklisted from all the internet service providers who suddenly cut their ties with the website. The move happened after it was revealed that the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter killing 11 in 2018 was a regular Gab user using the platform to promote its ideology. Gab is a platform preferred by many disinformation or hate speech actors. Like with other alternative platform, users like to benefit from having multiple accounts on other platforms and advertise for them. La Croix Du Sud, an account specialised in translating conspiratorial or disinformative content here promotes his Rumble and Odysee channels. Gab is openly dealing in the Free Speech marketing, branding themselves as protecting free speech and being the safe place for everything that is not unlawful in the US. They brand it in their 2020 annual report. When the internet infrastructure does not want you Gab came under real pressure after one discovered a Gab account attributed to Robert Bowers, the 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue shooter, charged with killing 11 people. After the massacre, Gab was exposed as a hate platform and subsequently dropped by its partners and had to struggle to stay online and with still accepting regular antisemitic posting on its platform. Gab history since that day, is a very interesting tale on how third-party services can be pressured for regulating alternative platforms when it comes to a certain point, and what can alternative platform do to avoid being regulated. After Pittsburgh, PayPal and…

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Access to platforms’ data for vetted researchers? not a smart move

in Médias etc./Other Languages by

It is an idea that managed to reach a consensus among lobbyists, researchers, lawmakers, platforms and made its way to the Digital Services Act, the regulation that will be one backbone of how European democracy deals with the Internet. Access to data for vetted researchers is article n31 of the Digital Services Act and it is a bad idea. At first, sight it may sound good to put together “access”; “data” and “researchers” in the same regulation, and to secure it by adding “vetted”. But when looking in-depth the picture is more troubling. Let’s ask ourselves the following three questions: what kind of access, what is “data” and what is a “vetted researcher”? What we really need is platform transparency, public access and whistleblowers (and the Facebook papers leaked by Frances Haugen to be made available for everyone). Dura Lex Sed Lex Officially called “Data Access and Scrutiny” the article 31 of the DSA considers that platforms would grant access to “data” for some “vetted researchers” “for the sole purpose of conducting research that contributes to the identification and understanding of systemic risks” What is a systemic risk one may ask? Systemic risks are defined in article 26 of the DSA and cover the following: Dissemination of illegal content. Negative effects for the exercise of the fundamental rights to respect for private and family life, freedom of expression and information, the prohibition of discrimination and the rights of the child. Intentional manipulation of their service, including by means of inauthentic…

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From Christchurch to El Paso, the “White” guy only exists by blood

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On August 3rd 2019, in El Paso, Texas, Patrick Crusius traveled a thousand kilometers then, armed with an AK 47 gun, shot dead 20 people in a mall, including children. The young man is 21, he was described as rather lonely and he was mocked in high school. He left a few-pages-long very methodical manifesto, explaining he was acting against the Great Replacement perpetrated by Mexicans. Patrick Crusius is not a lonely wolf. Brenton Tarrant, the Christchurch killer, was not a lonely wolf. The jihadist killers without concrete links with Daech are not lonely wolves. On the contrary, they perfectly are politically socialized killers, but this is a phantom sociability, or at least that is how it is understood by societies where the technological revolution is still unfolding, where the criteria for identifying « real » and « virtual » sociability are outdated, giving the former the essence of « absolute reality » but a feeble and illusive nature to the latter. Patrick Crusius is in the same political organization as Brenton Tarrant. The first line of his manifesto is a tribute to his brother and comrade, whose vision of the world and political fighting methods he shares : the mass murder considered a merciless war. The words we use to qualify the facts don’t matter much: hundreds of people are killed each year by soldiers of an ideological army. It’s just that this army has no need for generals or t mission orders for actions to happen on the ground. In Europe, in the USA, in…

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Trump is Death, Abortion is Life.

in Other Languages/Prises de positions by

J’ai avorté. Pourquoi, ce n’est l’affaire de personne, sauf la mienne. La semaine dernière, j’ai participé à un rassemblement local de la Journée d’action pour défendre le droit à l’avortement. Parallèlement aux demandes de dons et à la participation sur le terrain, les organisateurs ont demandé à celles qui avaient bénéficié d’un avortement de partager leurs histoires. Les organisateurs ont théorisé qu’en parlant de nos expériences, nous pouvions personnaliser l’acte, l’humaniser. Comme pour la sexualité ou le genre, peut-être, devions-nous nous définir par nos avortements. Mes fils d’actus de réseaux sociaux sont remplis d’histoires d’âmes courageuses offrant leurs traumatismes en sacrifice à la justification de l’avortement. Pour beaucoup, il y a un élément émotionnel profond dans la décision d’avorter. Elles confessent toutes les raisons de leur décision comme si elles demandaient pardon. Victimes de viol. Victimes d’inceste. Victimes d’abus. Foetus non viables. Complications potentiellement mortelles pour la mère ou l’enfant. Mon coeur a mal pour elles , vraiment. Je crois que leurs motivations sont nobles. Mais leurs histoires détournent l’attention de la manière dont cet argument devrait vraiment être encadré. Qu’en est-il de celles d’entre nous qui ne sont pas victimes? Qu’en est-il de celles qui se sont simplement retrouvées enceintes? L’avortement ne doit pas nécessairement être motivé par un traumatisme. J’ai avorté. Je ne vais pas vous dire quel âge j’avais, ou quelle était ma situation à l’époque. Je ne vous dirai pas si j’avais utilisé ou pas une autre méthode de contraception. Je ne vais pas vous dire…

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The “Décathlon hijab” case: secularism in the broad sense or racism?

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The “affair” of the running hijab is the latest development in the debates on the place of Islam in France. These debates seem endless since 1989 in a context of increasing influence of fundamentalist tendencies among Muslims in France (without any possiblity of accurately determining which ones can be grouped under the term Islamists). It is also the context of a greater visibility in the public space of the presence of the adherence to this form of Islamic practice, particularly by women, through the display of clothing. This development is taking place in a context marked by terrorist attacks claimed by Islamist jihadism, and committed by French people or young men who grew up on French soil. This can only lead to be suspicious that any form of Islamist fundamentalism could be colluding with this violence. A violence that is never blind, since it has targeted victims and places that are quite clearly identified. The decision taken by a wholesaler to market this garment to women could only provoke tensions, because it was once again bringing back to the centre of the debate the question of the place of women in the Muslim religion and its relationship to men. Behind this anecdotal fact lies the haunting question of women’s control of their bodies, the question of the obligation that can be imposed on them to cover themselves or even hide in a society that has seen French women, through their mobilization, gradually become masters of their bodies since the 1960s…

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DAU: the art of making money with exploitation and human suffering

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I saw, in my Facebook contacts, several dithyrambic posts about “DAU”, a gigantic project of film and art installation, halfway between reality TV, immersive theatre and totalitarian experience. DAU is the project of a director named Khrzhanovsky, who seems to have unlimited power and means at his disposal. He created a set of filming in Ukraine, reproducing a city, full of hidden cameras, and in which, 400 people lived for three years more or less in immersion and in an imitation of a totalitarian system. Immersive Dictatorship for customers spectators… The cinematic images produced will be broadcasted in Paris, as part of a kind of immersive show, at the “Théâtre de la Ville” in Châtelet. To view them, one has to fill out a Visa application that asks highly personal questions (by allowing the use of our personal data without any restrictions to DAU), to pay an expensive price, and to commit to staying between 6 to 24 hours inside the facility. Initially, I was obviously intrigued by this project that seems to be out of the ordinary, but several things in the (very positive) articles, shared by my contacts, quickly made me feel uncomfortable. In several of these articles, it was mentioned in passing, as if it was only a detail, of unpaid work, authoritarianism of the director, crises of madness or violence, unsimulated and filmed… This alarmed me and added to the mistrust I already had about the idea of privileged people in France paying to give themselves…

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Yellow Vests: violence and anomy

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The Yellow Vest movement (Gilets Jaunes in French) is practically an anti-barrier to fascism. The exact opposite of what took place in the second round of the presidential elections when Macron was elected to prevent the fascist politician Marine le Pen from becoming president. The slogan « Macron Démission » – Macron Resign ! Allows this movement to unite the ones with no political horizon on one hand and those having the desire to rerun the second round of the presidential elections or to abolish the republic on the other hand. In this fashion this movement is a fascist movement, because it has the power to convince people to turn towards fascism. The anti-barrier to fascism is also what is expressed by the part of the left in France tempted to join the Yellow Vest movement. This left abhors facing the fascism inside the Yellow Vest movement it seeks to support and therefore develops an argumentative arsenal aimed at bypassing, breaking, forgetting the anti-fascist barrier France endured throughout the elections. « They are not all like that, criticizing them is class contempt, we must walk on one ground with the extreme right to prevent the extreme right from gaining ground; I have a friend from an anti-racist movement that was there so it proves the movement is not entirely racist; The fascist acts or slogans do not embody the movement; fascists are everywhere so we can’t do anything, it is a normal thing to also have fascists inside a social movement » etc. The left…

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On the difference between clogging an artery and creating a heart

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It is significant that, all of a sudden, one remembers there that Arab springs happened in 2011. But using this recollection to legitimize the French Yellow Vest movement, is showing a misunderstanding of these two movements, which remain very different despite formal similarities. These comparisons are not made for the glory of the Arab Spring, but rather to reinforce another comparison, the one with the French Revolution. Well, but the French Revolution it is far, so one will use the Arab Spring for making the connection. What is interesting however, is that by highlighting everything that opposes the Yellow Vests and the Arab Springs, one can highlight how the Yellow Vests is remote from a revolution.

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History curriculars, transmitting the past, writing the future

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Noise, confusion, immigration. The current logic of political debates. A summary of present times that, once again and without surprise, spread on the subject of the new history curricular. It has become impossible to speak about the latter without taking this logic as a starting point. The history of immigrations was absent of working documents that were made public by a teacher’s union. The minister however states that it will not disappear. Meanwhile, some are utterly convinced of the contrary and again others will express during the next days they actually preferred its absence. In any case, a strong feeling of discomfort will prevail for all those with an immigration background. As usual, all the debaters will repeat that they wished for this subject to remain a subject like any other subject-matter and that those directly concerned would not be stigmatised or left apart from the common narrative. But the damage has already been made and once again, students, their parents and all those with this history as background find themselves objects of the political debate – reified as symbols of much larger political rifts. And by consequence, what is most urgent is to close up this debate, for the Minister to stand to his word and for the history of immigration to obviously be present in what is proclaimed our common history, shared by all students. In the current political situation and until the new history curriculums are made public, nothing proofs that this will be the case. On…

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