Facebook Alleged Arbitrary Bans

Apparently when someone appears as deactivated in one’s friends list, this may not always be the case and can sometimes mean they’ve been thrown into Facebook Jail. Usually the first thing I noticed when a friend has their account deactivated (voluntarily or not) is that their profile picture has disappeared and then when you click on the friend’s profile, this message comes up…

Friends’ Facebook Account shows as deactivated, but she claims that Facebook has banned her. This friend also happened to be a huge fan / supporter / advocate for using Facebook.

Have had some friends over the years mentioning they were blocked without any sort of warning and it has taken ages, sometimes a month before they are allowed back on. Often they show up as being deactivated in my friends list.

This is a timely reminder that we shouldn’t rely solely on Facebook, run by a single for-profit company, as our sole means of staying in contact with Friends and Family, ever.

Remember, you aren’t the customer here (you don’t pay anything financially towards using Facebook), you’re the product being milked for your personal data.

I have been hearing more and more of these anecdotes and in behoves that people ensure they maintain a separate means of contact, least you end up like this guy mentioned in the Elliot Advocacy article, who has been unable to ever get his account back.

As an aside, a mass concerted movement off of Facebook I strongly feel is long past overdue. I would also even go as far as to state there is perhaps a moral obligation for the more tech inclined among us to lead the way and make the effort to make ourselves available on other (preferably federated, decentralized) platforms and gradually remove our dependence on Facebook for the purposes of staying in contact with friends and family.

 

 

Facebook Alleged Arbitrary Bans

Need to maintain vigilance regarding COVID-19

I feel Ashley Bloomfield’s (NZ’s Director General of Health) concerns are valid. Feeling the pulse in general, I am sensing…

  • An up tick of sentiment against the counter measures in general, including the prospect of lock downs and mask wearing in New Zealand, particularly on the more conservative side of the political spectrum.
  • People not getting tested or otherwise refusing a test when showing respiratory symptoms or when otherwise directed to do so by their doctor.
  • A general feeling that most people have become unduly complacent, prematurely patting ourselves on the back and living like the Virus won’t ever come back.

The thing I feel is that all it takes is one case to come undetected into the community and can possibly see this whole situation go up in flames like a tinderbox.

Need to maintain vigilance regarding COVID-19

Pi-Hole on a Raspberry Pi 4

Experimented with running Pi-hole on the Raspberry Pi 4 that I have.

5 Minutes in, Pi-Hole showing how tragically ad ridden the modern web has become.

The Set up at least for the more tech inclined is very easy, all you had to do was launch a command line prompt and type this command…

curl -sSL https://install.pi-hole.net | bash

After running it for an evening. Thoughts and findings so far…

  • Predominantly Does a DNS level block with a blocklist of known advertisement serving IP addresses.
  • YouTube is a moving target whereby ads are served from youtube.com itself and therefore very difficult to (completely) block with Pi-Hole.
  • Mobile devices with Ad laden apps will perhaps see the greatest reduction in ads.
  • The default configuration doesn’t block nearly as many ads as say uBlock Origin installed on Desktop Firefox. This is not a replacement to having Client side ad blocking.

Curiously noticed these appearing in the query-log…

  • www.collab.apps.mil
  • www.gov.teams.microsoft.us
  • www.dod.teams.microsoft.us

Why would Teams try and poll for these addresses is beyond me. It does raise a sufficient level of curiosity that I will be checking this out.

 

Pi-Hole on a Raspberry Pi 4

This picture can not be explained

Update: 1st August 2020 – The Agent rang thanking me and mentioned it was given to someone in Ngāruawāhia intended to be distributed by local children for a local letterbox drop (possibly as part of a fundraiser I believe). Still strange where it ended up though.

Box of about 1,500 Real Estate flyers left under a tree in a ditch at the Waterworks Dam on Hakarimata Trail. I really don’t understand why anyone would go to the trouble of hiking in a box load of glossy flyers, then leave it under a tree all alone. Very weird and odd…

Box of Real Estate flyers dumped on Hakarimata Trail

Initially though it was gear or supplies for track maintenance and/or weed control, but seemed really weird to keep it in a cardboard box, so peered through the opening.

Took the box out of the reserve and dropped it off to Lugtons (Hamilton based Real Estate agency). While I was initially hesitant to touch it, It didn’t appear to be used to transport/hide drugs or any other nefarious activity, and I did not think the colourful flyers made for healthy fertilizer hence the reason to remove it.

In hindsight… Could be as innocuous as someone wanting extra weight to hill train with but simply aborted the idea halfway with the intention of picking the box back up upon coming back down (but never did or otherwise forgot).

This picture can not be explained