Facebook faces outrage over amplifying outrage

Social media giant Facebook faced fresh allegations Monday that its angry algorithms amplified outrage over agreeability.  These revelations are among the latest to emerge out of the Facebook Papers, a trove of internal company documents made public by the Facebook Whistleblower.  

Oddly, the tech giant has responded by using this new round of allegations to condition its algorithm into promoting even more anger and hostility, creating a seemingly infinite vortex of outrage.  “When the world’s throwing a hissy fit, we’re down in the basement printing money,” joked Facebook communications official Tucker Bounds in an internal email.

According to the Washington Post, Facebook engineers gave more points to news stories that elicited an angry response over ones that garnered a ‘like’ by a five to one margin.  This ranking system prompted the company’s cranky old algorithm to promote stories that incited anger over all the feel good, human interest stories the media churns out everyday. 

“In turn, this has caused the world to become engulfed in flames,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, chair of the Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee at a hearing Monday.  “There’s a lot to discover in these papers about how the platform promotes extremism and hurts our communities, but here’s what is clear: Facebook knew.”

Another revelation in the Facebook Papers exposes efforts early on to build an algorithm for promoting and disseminating information on the platform.  

“They basically sent teams of researchers out to coffee shops to observe what types of news stories got cranky, old retired dudes all riled up,” internal memos revealed.  “They built the algorithm based on what they discovered conducting these ‘field expeditions.’”   

Facebook is facing intense pressure from congress and media outlets regarding why they would knowingly choose to promote outrage over sensible, mild-mannered discussions of the day’s top stories.  

“We’re just flabbergasted that Facebook would intentionally encourage outrage just for clicks and shares,” said Brian Stelter, host of CNN’s Reliable Sources.  “At least when we in the traditional media promote hysteria over measured conversations, it’s because we don’t have a clue what we’re doing.  Facebook knew exactly what they were doing.”

Fauci emerges as critics’ choice to play next Bond

Riding a wave of critical success from the blockbuster documentary that bears his name, Dr. Anthony Fauci has rocketed to the top of most critics’ lists to replace Daniel Craig as the new James Bond.  With No Time To Die solidly at the top of the box office rankings, critics are already putting pressure on Broccoli and Wilson to lockdown Fauci as the next 007.

“The world’s number one villain is quite clearly COVID,” says LA Times film critic, Robert Abele.  “I think it’s high time someone cast an infectious disease doctor in the role of 007.”    

“We need a Bond for our time,” critics demand.  On screen, Fauci is mesmerizing.  His intellectual heroism, style and sophistication make him an obvious choice for an era forever altered by COVID.  He’s a man entirely accustomed to dancing with danger.  Clear-eyed and debonair, Fauci would make the perfect pairing for the right Bond girl.  “Masked or unmasked,” he entreats his sexy female foil.    

“In an era of vaccine hesitancy, what better way to make the jab seem cool and glamorous than casting COVID’s greatest enemy in the role of the cinema’s most beloved spy,” says the New York Times Manohla Dargis. 

Even more compelling than his stirring profile in Fauci, Fauci as Bond would drown out the mixed messages and misinformation and provide the final impetus to get all the remaining doubters and non-believers inoculated.  

Critics have always had a deep and abiding connection with the movie-going public.  With Fauci as Bond there can be no doubt they’ve picked a winner. 

Mass cancellations after university launches Two Girls For Every Boy marketing campaign

Officials at Northern Tech University are reeling today following the mass cancellation of over 200 of its faculty and staff.  At issue is the university’s new marketing campaign which seeks to attract more male students to the campus by boasting Two Girls For Every Boy.  Officials seem to have underestimated the amount of offense generated by the slogan and are now facing a merciless backlash.  Across the campus Tuesday, emotional apologies were issued and resignations were flying as university officials sought to minimize the damage.

“Look, we’ve got a big problem here,” said university president Miles Stanley.  “We’ve basically got two chicks for every dude.  Now how is a female student who enrolls at our school supposed to find someone who’ll support her through life if we got too few potential breadwinners on campus?  I’m mean, you can see the problem here, right?”

Posters portraying young men carrying books and escorting pairs of buxom young women to class were torn down and burned outside the Student Union.  Brochures guaranteeing parents their socially awkward son “is sure to meet the girl of his dreams or your money back” were also thrown into the fire.   

Officials launched the campaign to combat a growing trend at Northern Tech and nationwide where fewer young males are enrolling in college while female enrollment continues to rise.  Nationally, the breakdown of females to males at colleges and universities is 60 percent to 40 percent.  However, at Northern Tech the difference is even more extreme with 66 percent female enrollment to just 34 percent male.

“You know, people don’t think about the hidden costs of running a university so heavily skewed toward the fairer sex.  For instance, vehicular mishaps are up 27 percent,” said Stanley.  “Also, we anticipate having to acquire additional kitchen and sewing equipment for our Home Economics Department.”

Across campus, protests have broken out regarding the university’s founder Simpson Wetherby, who at the school’s founding denied enrollment to women.  The father of five daughters and no sons, Wetherby established the college in 1829 as a means of cultivating suitable young men to marry his daughters and to whom he could bequeath his vast fortune.      

Caving to student pressure, university officials announced Tuesday that the “Surf City” themed homecoming event would be canceled and replaced by a tribute to Helen Reddy.  However the action prompted a new round of protests and cancellations after non-gender specific and gender fluid students objected to the implication in Reddy’s 1971 hit “I Am Woman” that only women could be strong and invincible.

Son presents dad with $20 school lunch bill wrapped in larger bill containing $35,000 in additional spending

Chuck Perkins got quite a surprise yesterday when his son’s normally reasonable school lunch bill came with an eye-popping $35,000 in additional outlays.

“I nearly swallowed my pipe,” said Perkins, who was relaxing in his favorite chair and reading the newspaper after a long work day.  “I’m used to just handing my son a twenty and getting back to my crossword, but oh my golly!”

The cause of Perkins’ distress had to do with a number of costly proposed spending items his son had added into the bill.

“There was $2000 for a new laptop, $900 for headphones, $24,000 for a 2018 Dodge Charger and $5000 for a spring break trip to Cancun, among other things,” Perkins explained.

However, Perkins was even less prepared for the reaction he got when he rejected the additional spending items and tried to give his son just the $20.   

According to Perkins, “Things got a little heated.  He said it was all or nothing and then proceeded to guilt trip me, claiming I was withholding life-sustaining nourishment and other items crucial to his happiness and well-being.  I explained that I didn’t have the money.  He informed me that the original bill came to $70,000, so by saving me $35,000, the cost to me would actually be $0.  I asked him to empty his backpack to see if he was holding any of that giggly weed.” 

As of this writing, the two sides are at a stand-off with the son claiming his human infrastructure is crumbling, he’s likely to literally collapse into a pile of rubble at any moment, and it’s all dad’s fault because he’s the only remaining holdout to this transformative and life-changing spending package.