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News agencies are now reporting that ISIS has release a video and still photos of the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley.

Per NBC:

The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) claims to have beheaded an American photojournalist and has threatened the life of another American journalist if President Obama doesn't stop airstrikes in Iraq.

A graphic video obtained by NBC News purportedly shows James Wright Foley, a freelance journalist for the U.S.-based news service GlobalPost who was kidnapped while reporting from Syria two years ago, reciting threats against America before he is executed by an ISIS militant. The militant heard in the video speaks in English.

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Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 05:39 PM PDT

Twitter: last night in Ferguson

by CenPhx

I've been trying to follow what is happening in Ferguson by reading the Twitter accounts of a few people there, watching their Vines, looking at their pictures, and reading their first hand account of what is happening in addition to whatever the news media has reported.

We know that the Ferguson police department was warned not to release the video of the theft at the convenience store specifically because it might ignite tensions in the community. From a New York Times article, we know the Justice Department asked the Ferguson Police Department not to release the video because of concerns that “it would roil the community further.” The Justice Department said that it had opposed the release of the video. But the Ferguson police release it anyway.  

You are already probably aware of how peaceful the protests were initially when the Missouri Highway Patrol and Captain Johnson took over, so I won’t rehash all that here. But last night, even after the release of the convenience store video, the protests were peaceful early in the night. But I have collected some of the information from Twitter about how police officers behaved late in the night and how the protestors reacted and then the looters reacted.

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According to their Twitter accounts, officers just arrested two journalists in Ferguson Missouri.

Wesley Lowery, from the Washington Post, and Ryan Reilly, from HuffPo, were inside a McDonalds when officers confronted them. Here are the tweets:

Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery)
8/13/14, 4:53 PM
Police come into McD where me and @ryanjreilly working. Try to kick everyone out.

Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery)
8/13/14, 5:39 PM
Was arrested

Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery)
8/13/14, 5:40 PM
Also Ryan Reilly of Huff Po. Assaulted and arrested

    Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery)
8/13/14, 5:41 PM
Released without any charges, no paperwork whatsoever

    Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery)
8/13/14, 5:44 PM
Officers slammed me into a fountain soda machine because I was confused about which door they were asking me to walk out of

    Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery)
8/13/14, 5:41 PM
Refusing to give us any names of the officers

    Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery)
8/13/14, 5:44 PM
Was waiting to be taken away, large black man SCREAMING for help in back of police truck

    Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery)
8/13/14, 5:44 PM
They refused his several calls for paramedics

    Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery)
8/13/14, 5:45 PM
"I'm dying. I'm dying. Please call help he screamed." They mocked him

    Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery)
8/13/14, 5:46 PM
Detained, booked, given answers to no questions. Then just let out

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Sat May 10, 2014 at 08:35 AM PDT

What passes for moderation

by CenPhx

I asked the following question at the help desk about a user who generated upwards of 10 hiddens comments over the course of a few days:

Home → Community and Moderation Issues →
Timeout bot?

CenPhx
May 07, 2014 @ 07:06 PM
I am not entirely clear on what circumstance triggers the timeout bot to kick in, but I would've thought the following series of comments by one user was exactly the situation a timeout was designed for - to cool someone down. I know some of these comments were uprated out of the hiddens after they went in, but I thought that did not affect the fact it was considered a hidden comment for timeout purposes? If the uprating did in fact cause the timeout not to work , it might be worth looking at whether the uprates should be sanctioned, as uprating a user on a streak like this doesn't do him any favors.

In reverse chronological order, here are the comments that were hidden, some of which were then uprated, all by "joe from lowell":

Wed: Comment.

Mon: Comment.

Sun:Comment.

That one is especially bad because it followed on the heels of a retaliatory hr: Comment.

Sun: Comment.

Sun: Comment.

Sun: Comment.

Sun: Comment.

Sun: Comment.

Sat: Comment.

Sat: Comment.

You don't have to tell me anything about the decision on Joe or the uprates, but if you have time eventually to tell me if I am wildly misunderstanding how the timeout works, that would be cool. Thx!

2 Posted by CenPhx on May 07, 2014 @ 08:37 PM

Here is another, hidden then uprated:

Wed: Comment.

SUPPORT STAFF3 Posted by elfling on May 08, 2014 @ 09:27 AM

Here is the algorithm:

Every time a comment goes hidden, the robot checks to see if there are now three comments, posted within the last 24 hours, from this user, that are currently hidden.

Comments that may have been hidden and are now not hidden don't count. Comments that are hidden but were posted 25 hours ago don't count either.

Certainly this is a corner case and skating very close to the edge. What is happening is that comments are getting hidden and then uprated out of hidden status. The robot is doing his job as it has been instructed, and this is a case for humans to decide if the situation is fine as is, if upraters are abusing the situation, or if downraters are abusing the situation. It has been forwarded on to the moderation team for review.

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