The future of "fake news": Pepsi gets Facebook to censor jokes about plastic in its Kurkure corn puffs

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Calling Saint Barbara…


So what if I, a US citizen, post on a US website that Kurkure contains plastic?
What if I post to an Indian website that Kurkure contains plastic?
What if I am an Indian citizen, and I post on BoingBoing that Kurkure contains plastic?
What if I am non-Indian, and BoingBoing is non-Indian, but my packets are routed through India? What if they could be routed through India, but aren’t? What if nobody knows just where my packets went?
What if Kurkure production is relocated to a factory in the US? Does the case have to be relitigated in US courts?

Nobody knew how complicated this series of tubes could be.


I’ve been threatened by a company behind a rich-people-only terminal at a major airport for making fun of it; by a celebrity seller of “remedies,” and other rich, powerful people

…whom I picture all sitting in that very terminal eating Kurkure & smearing themselves with…“remedies”…while awaiting their long-delayed flight to the moon


someone explain to me how anything on facebook, twitter or any other social media site with personal accounts for self-posting has any kind of news “authority” that people take it seriously?

I mean before myspace, etc. existed, everyone just made their own blog and if you read something on someone’s blog, you’d give it the little weight it deserves. But suddenly it’s on Facebook and it’s automatically valid?

Are people really that stupid? I mean they must be if Russia somehow used social media to change people’s opinions or even voting decisions.

Maybe we need to raise people’s education level. Because there’s no way the problem is ever going away on facebook, they can’t hire a human reviewer for every single poster who will make the correct decision every time about the content. Yesterday it was myspace, today it’s Facebook, tomorrow it’s something else, you can’t single out a site, you gotta get people to think twice, or better yet block bad content themselves.

Maybe FB should lock people down to their literal, physical family and friends by default until they pass a content test and prove they can determine “fake news” on their own.

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I’ve been writing Boing Boing since 2001, and this year has seen more legal threats for critical posts about big companies than any time since our inception.

And that’s just the activity of wealthy entities trying to use the good ol’ American civil justice system to try (and fail) to bully and intimidate BB authors into silence. Imagine an alternate court system that would just act on the wealthy entity’s word and … well, you don’t have to imagine it, that’s Facebook or any other walled-garden media environment.


That’s not so much of an issue. The issue will be when a Pepsico citizen, temporarily residing in General Motors on a work visa, posts a satiric comment that is routed through Dow Chemicals.

Well, the issue will be that the citizen has to report for disintegration.

But just think of the marginal, opportunity cost of re-training a new citizen!


I wonder if they can get around it by saying “non bio-degradable oil byproduct” instead of “plastic”?

Or, “crushed pieces of Atari 2600 ‘ET’ cartridges”?

“Shredded and bleached green army men from the movie Toy Story”?

The ways around it may be limitless, and the creative people in India should see what they can come up with.

Then, Facebook India may find that the only solution is to ban any mention of “Kurkure”… problem solved.

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In the old days people spread rumors about brand names/products (and joked about how ridiculous those rumors were), and there was nothing the corporation could do (see: “Wendy’s hamburgers are made from earthworms” and “Proctor and Gamble donates money to the Church of Satan”), but in the age of “digital speech” there are ways to censor that kind of discussion. Making it easier to communicate with lots of people also makes it easier to silence that speech. (I guess this is obvious, I’m just musing here.)


Given that I’m always saying how Facebook and Twitter should unilaterally delete asshole accounts, I suppose I should take this concern seriously. It’s a big part of the nineties cyber-utopianism that these companies (ab)use to justify their lack of human policing, and even if it’s used cynically, that original idea wasn’t completely wrong. Taking the men out of the loop might be the only way to stop money and power taking over the conversation.

Then again, that’s already happened (e.g. @RealDonaldTurmp), even with the minimal policing they already do. The concern would be more apt if PepsiCo were censoring a genuinely laissez-faire platform like 4chan, and that’s unlikely because those platforms are so toxic anyway that no one even worries about them influencing decent people.

Also, personally, I never thought user-driven moderation was much of a solution to anything. I think the solution is for platforms to decide who they are, and summarily remove users and content that aren’t compatible, and that’s probably a bit less open to corporate subversion. I mean, that’s how newspapers operate, and yeah, they’re influenced by advertisers (and cultural cliques), but if it gets too brazen that hurts their business. And ad-free platforms could be much more independent.

Answer to every one of your questions is : Prison.

Maybe not today, but decades from now when the corpocracy has supreme control over world affairs they can retroactively punish people because everything today is logged and recorded.

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Yes. Yes they are.

Yes. Yes we do. But those with power to do it, do not want it. Ignorance serves their purposes.

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So Facebook can fix this, but they are incapable of fixing their Alan Jones problem.


Tell me about it. While traveling abroad, I just happened to log on to my account on my broker’s website, feeling safe doing so thanks to 2FA. I observed that I couldn’t transfer funds to my already-verified bank accounts, and assumed it was a security issue related to hacking based out of the country I was visiting – no sweat, thanks for protecting my account.

But no, it turns out that it’s because this country got invaded by some nasty people that my government doesn’t like, So now I can’t access my funds, even from home, even to move them to a decade-sold domestic account, until I fax (!) in a short questionnaire that my broker can wave in front of our government to show that they’ve taken reasonable steps to make sure I’m not laundering funds on behalf of those nasty people or their country.


Oh, please tell me that the “celebrity seller of “remedies”” is less than tangentially connected to this:

What does this mean? (For those of us raised as Methodists, or some other Protestant sect.)

or Saint Chuck Tingle. . .

How about poly(2,3-dihydrothieno[3,4-b][1,4]dioxine)-compl-poly(vinylbenzenesulfonic acid)?

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I also think the story of Megan Phelps-Roper is extremely instructive. She was a member of Westboro Baptist Church, the rabid protestors most are familiar with. Was. She isn’t any longer. And her realization of the harm being done by her church and family came about through “combative” experiences on Twitter. If she had been banned for posting hate speech, she would still be a member of the church and still increasing the number of protestors appearing at soldiers funerals and similar things. If the person who challenged her deeply held personal and religious beliefs had been banned for hate speech or classified as a ‘troll’ for expressing disagreement, her sister, who left the church with her, would also still be a member and there would be at least 2 less people currently fighting for gay equality and 2 more people advocating for the death of homosexuals.

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