This is what real hate speech looks like – part 1

Hey, it’s day 4 of the new year and I’m not banned on Facebook yet! Wowsers… here’s the thing… I’m normally banned for “hate speech” or “harassment and bullying”, when I respond to hate speech and/or harassment. Because responding to hate triggers the algorithms that detect hate, apparently.

So instead of responding there, from now on I’m going to call out typical examples of real hate speech that’s allowed on the platform whenever I see it. Hence the “part 1”. All posts like this one will be tagged hate speech.

As always, real hate speech is subtle enough that it doesn’t trigger algorithms. In this case, we have a Christian claiming that LGBTQ people are paedophiles. Specifically, it is targeting transgender people.


It’s often a Christian being hateful, but not always. It is almost always someone on the political right. Also look at the reactions… This is from a group that’s turned into an echo chamber for bigots. I reported it to Facebook, but I am willing to bet it the post will not be removed. They never remove real hate speech.

And by the way, if you agree with the meme, you’re trash. I hope you choke on a chicken wing or something.

Botting Helena? Fake Russian Facebook accounts… Why?

Well, this is odd. I noticed last night that I had a bunch of Facebook posts liked by someone who isn’t a friend (friend of a friend), but the activity looks highly suspicious…


Immediately that looks off because

  • They happened very quickly in succession. In fact they’re the top few posts if you go directly to my page, the last things I posted before my current ban.
  • They’re only “like” reactions… no laughs or more specific reacts. Actual humans tend to choose the more specific reactions.

That aside… the second one “she” liked is this:

That’s right… “She” liked a post that can’t even be seen anymore. It’s a share of something that has by now been set to private or removed. Why like it if you can’t even read it? (Because you’re a bot.)

So this looks like a bot. No friend request though. How odd. Going to the Facebook wall of this stranger, this gets even stranger… Her posts are nothing but leftist US political links and profile pics.

Here’s the thing… You can normally reverse image search the profile pictures of fake accounts and find their source fairly quickly, be it an Instagram model, porn star, escort, or maybe a picture regularly associated with scammy dating sites. They’re very easy to find. Normally.

But not this one. I get nothing. All the images are obviously of the same person. The profile is 100% fake – I guarantee it. And the model used even has a very prominent tattoo with “Life is beautiful” on her right shoulder blade. Yet I find nothing when I search these images.

So this is a carefully created fake account, with images that I couldn’t trace. I wonder why that is? Why go to such trouble to create a fake account? I can only guess the like reacts were made to generate “real” looking account activity.

Here’s a copy of one of the images where you can clearly see the tattoo… although this is image is so heavily airbrushed, she could be one of millions of models, so this is a bad sample for searching anyway.
May be an image of 1 person

I’ve linked to the Facebook image but that might get removed at some point. Probably no point in reporting it because Facebook never takes down the fake profiles – they only seem to go after real people who post stuff that isn’t popular.

The search engine that’s generally the most reliable for finding scammers returns no exact matches this time. The closest ones, but I can’t say for certain because I don’t see any with that tattoo, appear to come from Russian escort sites. So I’m guessing that this is a Russian propaganda bot of some sort. But what for? Seems somewhat pointless, don’t you think?

Here are a some more images… Note that the tattoo is reversed because they are mirror images, but clearly the same model. I get zero results for any of these images, even on Yandex which tends to be very good for finding the prostitutes and other dodgy sources of Facebook scammer profile photos.

…Update. See? They never take down fake profiles…

According to Facebook, I harassed and bullied the USA

Several of my friends are banned, seemingly all the time. And I am once again banned for 30 days because of this:


Where is the lie? The only nation that always seems to have troops elsewhere in the world is the USA. Outside of fiction, they’re the de facto bad guys. Them and their buddies in Israel.

And as usual, the algorithms like to kick me when I’m down… So a few minutes after the ban, I got busted for something “evil” I posted in June 2020. It’ unclear whether this is a 30 or 60 day ban now.


I support consequences for using the wrong words, but come on… no one was harassed or harmed here and no one was sexually exploited by reading the word “cum”. Why would anyone even read a status I posted around a year ago?

Seriously… I can find alt-right outright fascist comments every day, as well as misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and rape jokes that don’t violate community standards. But a harmless (and true) quip and a little bit of sexual innuendo is baaaaad? Give me a fucking break.

I don’t smoke weed, and even if I did…

I still wouldn’t accept a friend request from a fucking scammer using fake photos. I’m still on a Facebook ban so I can’t do my usual thing of mocking them on there, so this post is mostly a reminder to me to do so when I can…

Why do I keep getting these weird friend requests from obvious scammers and bots? I must be on some kind of list.

This one is somewhat unusual – they don’t normally pretend to sell weed, but whatever… I know a fake profile when I see one.

Heads up, Nigerians… You have to at least change your name to look a little less African, for fuck’s sake. Does the stock photo chick look like a Ngota to you? Also WeEdWiFe implies the person is married, so maybe don’t list the bio as single. Random capitalization for the win though, right?

Is Google reverse image search sexist?

A quick one and rhetorical question for you today…

I’ve become quite fascinated with, which generates random real-looking faces. Most of the time. Sometimes it generates people with half glasses, messed up ears, or creepy meat bag half formed faces to the side. You just hit refresh and every time you do so, it generates a new face. (If you search for the URL, you will find articles explaining the technology behind it. Quite fascinating.)

But here’s an odd behaviour of Google’s reverse image search, after searching on two randomly generated images…



(Edit: I’ve set the images above to link to the image search so you can see for yourselves. They do actual reverse image searches using the images I uploaded to Facebook, so if ever the algorithm changes, the results you’ll see will be different.)

  • A reverse image search of a young man, who does not exist, comes back as gentleman.
  • A reverse image search of a young woman, who does not exist, comes back as girl.

Hey Google, what’s up with that?

My career seems to have gone off the rails

Every year around December or January, I upload my CV to a local careers website. It’s never even my latest CV and I have in the past included a note to say I am not on the market – but they don’t read that shit anyway. Then, normally I get a number of calls from recruiters, and they send me job specifications. This enables me to:

  1. Gauge whether or not my salary is still in the right range for my job experience.
  2. Compare the job specs to the technologies that I use at work, and get a check-point for what I should be using.

This year, for the first time, something is off.

  • Normally I get twenty or thirty calls within two days. This time I got two or three calls weeks later.
  • From the few I did receive, it’s become clear I’m no longer working on the right technologies.
  • I’m being significantly underpaid.

What to do? What to do?

There have been discussions about updating our server and services infrastructure, and the technologies to be used will put that back on track for me. If it happens.

But being underpaid is an issue. My expenses have just gone up, since I now have to have my son at aftercare every day, and have somebody help keep my flat clean. And I was already in arrears with the levy, since the body corporate where I live failed to send me an invoice for an entire year.

Meanwhile, we are short-staffed at work and unless they get more developers soon, it could get worse. In order to be able to approach my employer, I need more than a gut feel to say that I am being underpaid, but I don’t actually want to go to interviews and waste anybody’s time. I’m in a peculiar position because at the moment, I do have a decent position where I am, and I know the systems I’m working on. So I have good knowledge and am respected there. But respect doesn’t pay the bills and it’s difficult not to let my dampened spirits come across as a bad attitude. So it seems I must ask for more money and I am bad at that.

"You are a fool", says the scammer I didn’t give money to, just like the preacher who likes to quote the Bible claim that atheists are fools.

Funny how this works, eh?

I’ve wondered for some time how these Facebook Messenger scams make money for the cons. I mean, apart from the many men who claim to run orphanages in Uganda, all of whom use the same photos… I wonder about the pretty girls (and in this case not really pretty) who send friend requests, only to immediately chat to you if you accept them, and then ramp up to Facebook calling you a few days later.

What are they? Scammers, catfish, bots… Who knows? Maybe they are not all the same – I don’t know. But every now and then, I accept such a request, reply mostly one word “OK” responses to their comments, and string them along hoping to find out just how the scam works. Unfortunately, they normally bore me before ever getting to the point. Once before it reached the point where one of them actually called me, and I immediately blocked “her”. But finally yesterday one of them hit pay dirt, or so she thought.

She asked me for a voucher to upgrade her phone for reasons unclear, right after I did not answer her Facebook call. Like I am going to pay money to have the privilege of chatting to someone I don’t care to chat to, who will most likely disappear right after taking my money anyway. So I shared this image yesterday, with text similar to this paragraph.

30-07-2018 14-13-10

And last night when I checked my phone, I found her reply: “You are a fool.” Yup-yup, in that scammer’s world, someone who isn’t stupid enough to buy her bullshit is a fool. I do find it amusing, because that’s almost exactly what many theists like to attack atheists with in debates… Psalm 14:1 “The fool says in his heart, there is no god”.

Just like the theists, she has it backwards: It is wise not to fall for a scam. It is not wise to accept anyone’s word, or any written word, without evidence; even if that word was taught to you by peers/parents brainwashed before you. When those words come from a theist debater, they are paramount to, “Look, this claim that I demand you believe claims what it claims and it also claims that those who don’t believe it are unwise to do so”. Not terribly convincing because (and I shouldn’t have to spell it out), if I don’t believe your claim, then I don’t believe anything it says about people like me who don’t believe either. In fact, there isn’t much difference between that and a scammer calling me a fool because I didn’t give her my money.

Fret not, little scammer, you will find a sucker for your scheme elsewhere. Maybe you should try church groups? (I can’t link to her account since I blocked it, but you might find this particular scammer if you search for “Christina Mayda Mitchel”.)

Anyway, it amazes me that anyone falls for these scammers. In case you didn’t know, real potential friends do not start messaging you the minute you accept their requests, or they might send a general introductory message that tells you about themselves. They don’t bombard you with random personal questions as soon as you accept their requests. And decent people don’t Facebook call you, ever. I wonder if these scammers use tactics designed to find only the most stupid people, or if they are stupid themselves. I’m betting on the latter, and they get the former more by accident than design.

The most annoying kind of error message?

What is the most annoying kind of error message, from a technical perspective? Or from the perspective of an error that was reported from an end user where you are a developer or in technical support?

I’ve changed my mind over the years. It used to be “the operation completed successfully” or “catastrophic failure” but nowadays I rate those as amusing.

There’s always the dreaded NullReferenceException:


But as a programmer, I see that more as an embarrassing error. If someone reports one of these to the company I work for, it probably means a sloppy programming error. It also happens to be the easiest error to get, when one is being sloppy. So it can be annoying. But it isn’t the worst.

Actually I have two errors that annoy the shit out of me. I can’t say which is worse, so I’ll describe both…

The “error in someone else’s code incorrectly reported to us” error

Sometimes we receive error reports from a client liaison, someone who deals with clients who integrate with our software.

To give you a hypothetical example:

  1. I wrote a piece of software, a service that takes some info about doodads that people claim to own, and then queries the World Doodad Consortium to check if the doodads are valid and really belong to those people.
  2. People then use my service, by calling it programmatically inside their own software.
  3. Then tech support sends me an email that says the doodad service is not working. The email contains a screenshot of software I have never seen, which is displaying an error message, “the doodad service is offline”.
  4. Actually number three is the paraphrased version of the error message. To see it, one must scroll through thirty pages of email messages, several replies, angry rants demanding that this should be sorted out immediately, and so on, from three weeks ago… all of which only reach me now.

The kicker: My software never, under any circumstances, ever returns an error with the text “the doodad service is offline”. Hence I do not have any way of knowing what the error means.

It might mean:

  • The World Doodad Consortium returned invalid results because there was an issue there. My service reported this as per the software manual that their implementing developer should have read.
  • Everything is working perfectly but the integrator’s code failed to parse the response and their code fell into a catch-all that displayed an irrelevant general error, because their code assumes that if anything goes wrong in this block of code, it means the doodad service must have failed.
  • Their code never called us at all, but put the request into a queue to send later, and then because of some issue, maybe they set up a new client installation and didn’t configure it correctly, the queue never gets emptied.
  • In rare circumstances, perhaps 0.1% of all errors reported, the service genuinely failed, by returning something unexpected, which crashed the integrating client software.

Of course I have to take every error report seriously, and find out at the very least if:

  1. The request actually reached the service.
  2. If it did, whether or not we returned a valid response to the client.

Of course, more than nine times out of ten the request never reached the service, and the error actually means something went wrong in their software. And in the rare cases where the requests can be found on this end, more than nine times out of ten it turns out that we returned a perfectly valid response. Hence these errors are annoying.

Of course, there are some factors to keep in mind: The person who reported the error is a client liaison. His or her job is to keep the customer happy. He or she may not have enough context to determine the error is probably on the client system. Furthermore, the person who reported the error from the client side may be a manager, who also has no context on how or why the error happened. It would be extremely unprofessional not to give all those involved the benefit of doubt and treat their errors as important. Failing to attend to them and take them seriously may involve losing an important client.

The “system is behaving as designed” error

I’ll illustrate this kind of error with a hypothetical email… Note that the subject and message body contradict one another.

Subject: User Jack Ass can not access the High Security Risk page!!!

Message: I created user Jack Ass on the Doodad system, and gave him access to the High Security Risk page.

But Jack can access the High Security Risk Page! He should not be allowed to access that page! Please investigate and advise.

I don’t think this kind of error needs any further comment.