And what a week it was!
A week in which Facebook had some tough questions to answer! A week in which Facebook talked about how seriously they were taking these questions! And a week in which most people noticed that wasn’t the same thing as actually answering them!
But what else happened?
Let’s look back and see:
A Russian spy was recently poisoned in Britain, and there’s a very good chance Russia did it. Following the incident, Jeremy Corbyn called for international law to be respected, which means there’s a very good chance he’s the reincarnated spirit of Stalin.
Hats off to them
Off The Perch caught up with Miss Infa Mation – the BBC’s head of explaining why all complaints are in fact baseless whinging:
OTP: Did you really think this image was appropriate?
IM: Look, despite what Owen Jones said, we didn’t photoshop the hat. We altered everything else obviously, but the hat stuff is conspiratorial nonsense.
OTP: Forgetting the hat for a moment, would you not agree that picturing Corbyn high-fiving Stalin during the middle of an international incident might lack impartiality?
IM: I agree that it lacks hat photoshopping.
OTP: I feel like you might be focusing on the trivialities of this to deflect from the more serious issue at hand.
IM: No one complained when we ran a picture of Boris Johnson high-fiving a Russian oligarch.
OTP: Yes, but that picture was real. As was the one of them go-karting.
IM: I suppose you probably think we photoshopped his helmet to look more communist.
OTP: While we’re on the subject, you are aware that the Soviet Union fell, right? Russia hasn’t been communist for some time.
Some people have argued that if the left can photoshop images of David Cameron being friendly with pigs, why can’t the BBC do this?
The answer is that:
- People on Twitter aren’t beholden to a code of impartiality.
- Images of Cameron being friendly with pigs never helped deflect attention from the Tories accepting Russian blood money.
Facebook was allegedly aware of some very dodgy stuff going on with its users’ information. Shining a light on this stuff is bad news for Facebook, as using personal information for dodgy stuff has been a big earner for them.
Businesses that make money by collecting and selling detailed records of private lives were once plainly described as "surveillance companies." Their rebranding as "social media" is the most successful deception since the Department of War became the Department of Defense.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) March 17, 2018
Off The Perch caught up with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to find out more:
Obviously it will be difficult to regain people’s trust. We know exactly what people like, though, and we’ve got some great targeted ads that we just know you’re going to love.
Zuckerberg then handed me a Cadbury’s Double Decker – a strange coincidence as it was my grandfather’s favourite chocolate bar, and it was the anniversary of his death.
“How did you know?” I asked, as the tears began to well.
“Shh,” Zuckerberg said, as he put a finger on my lips and pulled me into a hug.
“LIKE,” I whispered in response.
I later realised that Zuckerberg had used my personal information to elicit a predictable response from me.
This is the unique selling point that Facebook has for advertisers, though. As such, it will be interesting to see if it can carry on earning the big bucks after it stops treating its users like cattle.
If it stops treating them like cattle, obviously.
What’s less well known is that he actually has a rare medical condition. A condition which means his skin will turn inside out if he goes two days without publicly humiliating himself.
And presumably, this is what led to his latest endeavour.
Farage declares war on the fish
Farage summoned a gaggle of journalists to his boat the S.S. Cunty Snark. He told them:
People have often told me that I have the face of a trout.
But do you know who really have the faces of trout?Trout.
And I just won’t take it any longer!
Farage then produced a live fish which he proceeded to punch to death with his pale fists. When his gawping foe was slain, the pinstriped warrior tossed the corpse like it was yesterday’s Daily Express.
A confused journalist asked if this was another display of ultra-nationalism – like when Farage declared war on migratory birds.
“No,” he answered. “I simply don’t like fish.”
His speech over, the former UKIP leader gripped a Bowie knife between his teeth and leapt into the Thames. He then spent the next hour splashing about and punching the water. There were no reported casualties.
So long, and thanks for all the fash!
Some people mistakenly thought the display was a protest against EU fishing lanes. But obviously, that’s somewhat preposterous. Because if Farage cared about British fishing, he wouldn’t have attended only one meeting out of 42 when he was a member of the European Parliament Fisheries Committee.
One leader is a corrupt ideologue who hopes to stay in power by turning their electorate against a malign outside power. The other is – well – exactly the same thing basically. And now, they’ve met up to discuss how a cold war could be great for them in the popularity polls.
Putin is an old hand at drumming up international beefs for his benefit. May is less experienced. She’s also just generally bad at politics, which is why she’s made a pig’s ear of the situation already.
In theory, the two leaders were supposed to be meeting to publicly face one another down. May got a bit carried away though, and was walking around the gathered journalists giving out high fives.
When May approached Putin (smirking and offering a fist-bump), her Russian counterpart frowned and shook his head.
Propaganda is a dish best served cold
It’s been suggested that the best way of dealing with Putin is to freeze out his oligarch friends. Because if we did that, they’d realise Putin wasn’t good for business, and his power would wane.
When this was put to Theresa May, the startled PM asked:
As in turn down money from them when it’s offered? How would that work then?
Someone pointed out that it is indeed possible to refuse money that’s being offered to you. May and her team looked confused.
“I don’t think that’s right,” she said. “Because we’ve never refused money from anyone.”
Ever since Russia (allegedly) poisoned a former spy in Salisbury, there’s been talk of how we’ll retaliate. At first, we threatened to boycott the World Cup altogether. Then we said we’d go, but Prince Harry would have to stay home and catch up on Match of the Day.
It wasn’t clear how this constituted a ‘threat’, however, as Harry isn’t a player, and Russia isn’t that keen on royals. Not living ones anyway.
Our latest threat could be another own goal too.
Football’s coming home (early (again))
England manager Gareth Southgate told Off The Perch:
Russia needs to know who’s boss. That’s why – after a series of disappointing performances – we’ll be going out in the group stage.
We asked what would happen if by some strange fluke England actually went through:
Well, if that happened we’d go out in the next round obviously.
But what if we made it to the final?
Losing in the final would be the biggest f-you of all. Unless we won, of course, in which case that would be.
But to reiterate, our original plan is the most realistic – err – I mean best plan. And that’s why we’ll be knocked out early.
Putin it on?
When informed of our plan, Vladimir Putin screamed:
NO! NOT THE THREE LIONS!
He then threatened to halt the export of our top Russian import. As said import is radionuclide polonium-210 though, that might actually be a good thing.
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