Report Expresses Concern for Facebook Moderators’ Human Rights (While They Revoke Yours)

Facebook is notorious for censoring individuals based on their political beliefs. But The Guardian newspaper has rushed to the defense of the company’s moderators, saying they are left with “psychological scars” and “pushed towards the far right by the amount of hate speech and fake news they read every day.”

One of Facebook’s contractors told The Guardian: “I think it’s a breach of human rights. You cannot ask someone to work fast, to work well and to see graphic content. The things that we saw are just not right.”

Another moderator expressed concerns over a shift in political views due to exposure to the censored material:

“Maybe because all this hate speech we have to face every day affects our political view somehow. So a normal person, a liberal person, maybe also a progressive person, can get more conservative, more concerned about issues like migrants for example.”

According to Facebook moderators, and The Guardian, becoming right wing is a violation of human rights.

There is legitimately graphic and concerning material on Facebook the employees describe, such as the sexual exploitation of minors in private conversations.

However The Guardian dedicates just as much if not more of the article to Facebook moderators shifting in their political views than them having to see genuinely graphic and inappropriate material.

The newspaper has essentially equated the psychological impact of viewing right wing material to that of viewing the sexual exploitation of minors.

What is The Guardian‘s real concern? Do they genuinely care about the human rights and mental health of the employees, or do they just fear the right?

Sofia Carbone is a reporter for and tweets at @SiCarbone_

EU Rules eBook Resale Illegal.

EU courts have ruled that it is now illegal to resell ebooks.

Previously, the resale of ebooks was thought to be protected under the exhaustion of intellectual property rights.

The precedent for this thought was the 2012 ruling by the EU court which legalized the resale of used software licenses.

The 2012 ruling outlined that once you buy a software license it is yours to resell and the original author of the software has no right to oppose subsequent sales – their ownership rights expire after the original sale.

Under the impression the exhaustion of intellectual property rights included ebooks, a website called Tom Kabinet allowed individuals to resell their ebooks when they were done with them – much like you may a physical book.

EU Advocate General Maciej Szpunar ruled yesterday that this is not the case.

Now when you buy an ebook, you have no rights over the book – so you don’t really own it. Ebooks cannot be resold, loaned, gifted, et cetera by anyone other than the original publisher.

The ruling hurts consumers and libraries whilst giving the large publishing corporations more rights and power.

Sofia Carbone is a reporter for and tweets at @SiCarbone_

1 in 5 UK Teens Have Felt Suicidal, Male Suicide Rates Climb.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the United Kingdom released their 2018 suicide report, revealing a dramatic increase in suicides last year – the highest rates since 2002.

Suicide rates had been on the decline since 2013. Yet there were 6,507 suicides registered in 2018 compared with 5,821 in 2017 – an 11.8 per cent increase.

While the general female suicide rate rose, ONS determined the rise to be comparable to previous years at 5.4 deaths per 100,000 people. The rise in female under-25 suicides is considerable:

“Despite having a low number of deaths overall, rates among the under 25s have generally increased in recent years, particularly 10 to 24-year-old females where the rate has increased significantly since 2012 to its highest level with 3.3 deaths per 100,000 females in 2018.”

Nonetheless it appears as though the overall rise in suicides is predominantly driven by men.

Males comprise three quarters of the deaths (4,903 of the 6,507 suicides). The male rate has jumped from 15.5 per 100,000 in 2017 to 17.2 per 100,000 in 2018. 

Research also found 17 per cent of school children ages 11 through 16 have felt suicidal as a result of bullying.

In addition, due to bullying and harassment, 78 per cent of children surveyed revealed feeling anxious and 56 per cent said they have been unable to sleep.

The survey was conducted by The Diana Award, an anti-bullying charity in honor of the late Princess Diana.

The Diana Award has launched an anti-bullying campaign, offering free training to become an ‘Anti-Bullying Ambassador’.

 In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email or In the U.S., the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at

Sofia Carbone is a reporter at and tweets at @SiCarbone_

Facebook Slaps Kassam With 30 Day Ban Ahead Of Brexit Deadline

Raheem Kassam, former senior advisor to Nigel Farage and former editor-in-chief of both Breitbart London and Human Events, has been temporarily banned from Facebook as the Brexit deadline rapidly approaches, with no reason given.

Kassam, one of the original ‘Bad Boys of Brexit’, has helped disseminate pro Brexit messages with to his large fan following on social media over the past few years.

With big tech’s constant onslaught against conservatives, the idea Kassam was banned simply for being a conservative with a large following, as he receives ten million page views per month, is not far fetched.

However Facebook banned him for thirty days over what they claim to be a post that violates the community standards.

Facebook failed to provide a post which violates the community standards. Actually, they failed to provide any post at all.

This is not the first time Facebook has censored Kassam – it’s the fourth time this year.

The first incident occurred at the end of February. Kassam was banned with no explanation whatsoever a few days prior to when he was set to take the main stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C..

After the ban went viral on Twitter, Donald Trump Jr. joined in in tweeting about it. Facebook then seemingly reversed the ban – again with no explanation, comment, or notification to Kassam.

The second temporary suspension came at the end of April, two days before Kassam was launching Human Events as the editor-in-chief. He was suspended for three days on his personal account and locked him out of both his fan page and the Human Events page.

Facebook did provide a reason for this ban: an 11 year old post that read, “men can’t be women”.

Once his account was functional again, an individual at Facebook emailed Kassam personally and explained he had engaged in “hate speech” and subsequently violated the terms of service.

The third ban lasted for seven days and occurred on election day in the UK for the European Union Parliament.

“I was trying to post an update about how people still had time left to vote, but apparently, that would have been too much democracy for Facebook. Or probably too much democracy on the side of which they know my followers would vote: Brexit.”

They banned him over the same 11 year old post.

And that brings us to today, with another ban ahead of the Brexit deadline.

The timing of the bans and lack of reasoning provided by Facebook raises questions over the validity of the supposed ‘violations’.

Raheem Kassam’s only violation of the Facebook community standards is being conservative.

Sofia Carbone is a reporter at and tweets at @SiCarbone_

Leading LGBT Website: 50% of Satanic Temple is LGBT… ‘It’s Hard Not To See The Appeal of Satanism’

Leading LGBT website Pink News has made the stunning claim that almost half of the Satanic Temple’s members are from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender community, while claiming “it is not hard to see the appeal of Satanism”.

The recently published piece entitled ‘The Satanic Temple is in favor of equal rights for LGBT+ people’ quotes from an interview the Satanic Temple leader – Lucien Greaves – with the UK’s Attitude magazine, also an LGBT publication.

“It would be a conservative estimate to say that more than 50 per cent of our membership is LGBTQ,” Greaves began before going on to discuss how he believes, despite moves from many Christian denominations to adopt more “inclusive” policies, LGBT people feel “disenfranchised” as if religion were a political party.

“I think that’s because [LGBT people] feel disowned and disenfranchised from the traditional religious institutions. So, you have a population willing to embrace a religious identification that is boldly willing to speak out to the contrary.

“From the start, when one of our early actions was the Pink Mass, a lot of LGBTQ people were looking for another community that didn’t see them as defined by their sexual orientation.

“Within the Satanic Temple, we’re all pretty much one and the same.

“We’re all Satanists and it’s not like we have ‘tolerance’ for trans people or gay people or sex workers, we just don’t f**king care, and a lot of people in those communities appreciate that.”

Pink News said of his comments: “When most major religions still directly discriminate against LGBT+ people, it’s not hard to see the appeal of Satanism.”

This is not the first time The Satanic Temple has ignited controversy.

Co-founder Lucien Greaves appeared on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight to discuss a veteran memorial and free speech debate in a small town in Minnesota.

Carlson questioned the group’s identification as a religion, given the Temple is non-theistic. He also shared his speculations with Greaves that the group was purposely trolling and stirring up controversy.

Greaves stood by The Satanic Temple being a religion, and claimed the organization and its actions are true to its tenants.

Pink News however, the Satanic Temple’s latest major new fan after The Guardian newspaper, says: “A commitment to Satan is not required to join the Temple, although a commitment to trolling anti-LGBT evangelicals is desirable.”

“Satanists don’t actually believe in Satan,” the news site claims.

The Satanic Temple’s website elaborates on the idea: “As such, we do not promote a belief in a personal Satan. To embrace the name Satan is to embrace rational inquiry removed from supernaturalism and archaic tradition-based superstitions.”

The group’s continuous statements and actions on political and social stances – such as the LGBT+ statements in their latest interview – support the idea the organization may be more concerned with trolling than being a genuine religious sanctuary for those lost in other religions.

Sofia Carbone is a reporter at and tweets at @SiCarbone_

Obama Blasts Buying Big Houses, Then Gets A Mansion for $14.8 Million.

Just last year former President Barack Obama made a speech in South Africa where he criticized wealth inequality, stating: “There’s only so much you can eat. There’s only so big a house you can have. There’s only so many nice trips you can take. I mean, it’s enough.”

Then he bought a $14.8m beachfront house.

The Obama family is dropping nearly $15m on the 7,000-square foot, 29-acre house in Martha’s Vineyard.

It has seven bedrooms, eight and a half baths, a chef’s kitchen, master bedroom with a private deck, a pool – the house has everything.

Maybe the house needed to be 8,000-square-foot to qualify for Obama’s definition of “enough”.

“I’ll pay a little more in taxes… It’s okay, I can afford it,” The former President also stated in his speech.

Reports suggest Michelle and Barack Obama have a combined net worth of around $70 million.

The couple only recently spent $8.1 million on a mansion in Washington, D.C. that they were previously renting.

They also own a home in Chicago, Illinois.

Having and spending earned wealth is of course no bad thing. But hypocrisy is.

The former President’s practices are not aligning with what he has been preaching to others. 

The Obama’s will happily decry wealth inequality, then turn around and buy a nearly $15 million estate.

But hey, at least it only has a 2-car garage, which means their new digs will help them cut their carbon footprint, right?

Because running three massive houses, traveling between them, and jet-setting around the world lecturing poor people on wealth and climate change is just soooooo environmentally friendly!

Sofia Carbone is a reporter for and tweets at @SiCarbone_

CNN Contributor’s Bodyguard Charged After Forcibly Removing Reporter from Speech

CNN political analyst and D.C. bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks April Ryan does not practice what she preaches when it come to the First Amendment.

The outspoken free speech and press advocate who authored Under Fire: Reporting from the Front Lines of the Trump White House and consistently criticizes the Trump administration over their treatment of the press would presumably be exceedingly transparent and allow the press access to her, right?


The supposed First Amendment defender was giving a speech at the New Jersey Parent Summit in early August when Charlie Kratoliv, the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, had his camera equipment removed from the conference room by Ryan’s body guard and then was allegedly forcefully removed from the hotel lobby himself.

Ryan’s bodyguard, 30-year-old Joel Morris, has been charged with assault, New Jersey local news reports.

“A criminal complaint dated August 19 charges 30-year-old Joel Morris of Country Club Hills, Illinois, with harassment, assault and theft. It alleges Morris took Kratovil’s arm and shoved it behind his back, injuring his forearm and shoulder. The harassment and theft charges stem from Morris taking the camera, according to the complaint.”

New Brunswick Today released the video Kratovil managed to record on their YouTube detailing the incident.

“This moment in time is a historic moment, because you have to remember every time there’s a challenge to one of the amendments or freedom, you know, it sets a moment where it could go one way or the other. And if it goes in the wrong way, we lose access. We lose the freedom that the founding fathers put in place,” Ryan stated on CNN in November 2018.

It appears that her views on freedom of the press have since changed – or she applies the amendment in a double standard, dependent on political beliefs.

“When I speak, I do not have news covering my speeches,” Ryan can be heard saying in the video.

She says this as the camera suddenly moves and Kratoliv can be heard saying the following:

“Don’t touch my camera, please. Don’t touch my camera, please. Put that down. Don’t you dare. Put that down, sir. That’s my camera.”

A few moments later, Kratoliv’s equipment is moved into the lobby and he can be heard on the video telling the bodyguard, “give me my camera, let go of my camera.”

Kratoliv then says, “don’t touch me.” Multiple voices can be heard, saying things such as “out” repeatedly.

Which is it, Mrs. Ryan? Are you in favor of the First Amendment, or only when it benefits you?

Sofia Carbone is a reporter for and tweets at @SiCarbone_

Italian Elections: Are We About to Witness Another Berlusconi Comeback?

With Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigning, an election to determine who will head Italy’s 68th government in just 74 years is on the horizon.

Italy is currently run by a left-right populist coalition compromised of the League and the Five Star Movement.

The turbulent relationship has finally reached its breaking point, with Deputy Minister Matteo Salvini (League) pushing for a snap election.

The League currently polls in the mid thirties, while the Five Star Movement polls steadily around 17.5 per cent.

The League’s numbers may seem small for a general election when compared to the United States, but there are over twenty political parties in Italy, dividing the vote up so much it is exceedingly rare for a single party to gain a governing majority. Coalitions, therefore, are a regular affair.



With the left-right coalition crumbling, the two potential coalitions in the upcoming election are centre-left and centre-right.

On the left, the Five Star Movement is discussing a potential coalition with the left-wing Democratic Party. Together, they would still fall just short of a majority.

The League, having worked very closely with Brothers of Italy party, has also been in talks recently with Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party.

With both Forza Italia and Brothers of Italy under ten per cent, Salvini would need to form an alliance with both to compete with a Five Star/Democratic Party coalition.

Beppe Grillo. Photo by Niccolò Caranti

The Five Star Movement (M5S) is led by Luigi Di Maio and is the left side of the left-right coalition currently in power. Di Maio currently serves alongside Salvini as a Deputy Prime Minister of Italy as well as Minister of Labor.

M5S is populist, anti-establishment, and seems to oppose near all legislation the League proposes.

The party was founded by Beppe Grillo, a comedian and blogger, in 2009. Grillo, an anti-establishment outsider himself, founded the party to be just that.

Once regarded as anti-mass migration, the Movement’s views are currently a little for fuzzy on this issue. They have been against the Bossi Fini law, which outlines the expulsion and imprisonment of illegals.

Other main policy points of the Five Star Movement include universal income support, cutting regulations, and raising taxes on banks and oil and gas companies.

However the two lasted as long as they have due to shared anti-establishment, nationalist, and Eurosceptic beliefs.


The Democratic Party (PD) of Italy as we know it today was established in 2007, when multiple centre-left parties from the 2006 coalition government and Olive Branch list merged.

However it is not a Democratic Party as we know the name to mean in America, even with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar in Congress.

The Italian PD is an entire party of AOCs and Omars, defined as ‘social democrats’ (which is just a different way of saying ‘socialist’).

One of the major parties that merged into the Democratic Party was the Democrats of the Left, socialist successors of the Italian Communist Party founded in 1921.


The League (Lega), led by ‘il Capitano’ Matteo Salvini is a right wing nationalist, populist party known for its strength on immigration. Salvini currently serves as Minister of the Interior and Deputy Prime Minister of Italy.

The League was formerly known as the Northern League due to its geographical founding. As its popularity grew, the League dropped the geographical title and rose to the national stage.

Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen

As Minister of the Interior Salvini closed the nation’s ports and tightened up the pathway to citizenship. One of the biggest platforms for the League is ensuring Italian citizens are put before refugees.

‘Italy first’, closed ports, and a flat tax are amongst the platforms that have aided in rapidly increasing the League’s poll numbers.

The main nationalist, anti-establishment message of the League echoes that of the Trump administration in the Unites States, though the League is admittedly more to the right.

The turnout for Salvini’s events all around Italy have never before been seen.


Georgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy (FDI) is a nationalist, conservative party that shares many core beliefs with the League, including being exceedingly Eurosceptic.

Brothers of Italy is “based on the principles of popular sovereignty, freedom, democracy, justice, social solidarity, merit and fiscal equity.”

The main difference between the League and Brothers of Italy is their geographically support. Whilst the League’s base remains largely in the north, Brothers of Italy’s supporters are more centrally and southernly located.


Named after a soccer chant, Forza Italia (FI), or ‘Go Italy’, is led and founded by the eighty-two year old member of parliament Silvio Berlusconi.

Forza Italia is described as centre-right, liberal Catholic, and liberal democratic, but is more in favor of the EU than the League and Brothers of Italy.

Berlusconi has served as Prime Minister of Italy under four governments and is one of the richest men in Italy. He founded Forza Italia in 1993, then the party dissolved in the late 2000s and relaunched in 2013. Berlusconi continues to the lead the party today.

Berlusconi, accused of corruption multiple times and convicted on tax fraud in 2013, owns Mediaset which controls Italy’s three largest television stations.

Forza Italia has partaken in coalitions before, including with the League in 1994.

If the coalitions form as expected and outlined above, the election is too close to predict based on current poll numbers.

However if the Five Star Movement keeps sinking and the League keeps growing, a Salvini-headed centre-right coalition government is certainly plausible.

Sofia Carbone is a reporter for and tweets at @SiCarbone_

Italy Will Get Its 68th Government in 74 Years Following PM’s Resignation.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella on Tuesday, perhaps prompting yet another change in government in the southern European nation.

Conte’s resignation comes during escalating turbulence in the left-right, populist coalition government.

Announcing his resignation with Deputy Ministers Matteo Salvini of the right-wing League party on his right, and Luigi Di Maio of the left-leaning Five Star Movement to his left, Conte added to the turbulence.

The PM slammed Salvini as “irresponsible and opportunist”, saying he showed “grave lack of constitutional culture” by triggering the government crisis.

But Salvini and his party currently lead in national polls, raising questions over Conte and Five Stars’ relevance in government.

The outgoing PM’s statements coincide with a surge in the League’s poll numbers. He says this demonstrates Salvini’s “political opportunism”.

“I would do it all again,” Salvini blasted back, adding that he is “not afraid of the judgment of the [Italian voters]”, and asserting that some in the Italian parliament “are afraid of the judgement of the Italian people”.

Recent European Union parliamentary elections showed anti-establishment views, including those of Salvini, are not “confusing” to European voters as Conte claimed in his earlier statement. Rather, Italians seem very keen on handing Salvini and the League the full power of the Italian government.

Britain’s Brexit Party won by nearly eleven per cent in the EU elections, gaining 29 seats; while Salvini’s League won by nearly twelve per cent.

Tecnè Election Survey 08.08.2019

In the 2018 general election the League collected only 17.4 per cent of the vote, whilst the Five Star Movement had the plurality at 32.7 per cent.

A year and a half later, the parties have traded places and the margin has grown in the League’s favor.


Although yet to be confirmed, an election is on the immediate horizon for Italy, and will usher in Italy’s 68th government in just 74 years.

With Prime Minister Conte looking to exit, the government has all but officially fallen apart. Moreover, the Five Star Movement may have just lost its most powerful ally, spelling trouble for the populist, anti-establishment left.

Italy’s Democratic Party is polling ahead of the Five Star Movement at 22.4 per cent, which has led to speculation about a potential coalition between the socialist Democratic Party (PD) and the Five Star Movement.

Although falling short of a majority, the potential center-left coalition could win a plurality over the League on its own.

The League and Salvini know this, and are scouting a coalition of their own which could include the increasingly popular Brothers of Italy alongside Silvio Berlusconi’s party Forza Italia.

If an alliance was to form amongst the three parties, they would be comparable to, if not a few points ahead of the centre-left coalition.

Assuming the alliances form as speculated, the current polling would put the two coalitions too close to call.

Sofia Carbone is a reporter for and tweets at @SiCarbone_