Inside The Shady World Of DNA Testing Companies

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Should you drunkenly celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or Oktoberfest? Can you brag about your ancestors having first-class seats on the Mayflower? Do you need to feel extra, extra bad about slavery? All these questions and more can be answered by sending a vial of your spit off to a company like Ancestry.com, 23andMe, or Living DNA … in theory. But the reality of those businesses is a lot less science, and a lot more hustle. We talked with Morgan, who works for one of the major ancestry testing companies. He had some interesting things to say …

6

The Tests Aren’t As Accurate As They’re Claimed To Be

DNA is one of the most aggressively scientific acronyms in the English language. Look at this test results page!

You got numbers, shapes, some words. You got everything!

But when Inside Edition had a set of triplets send their spit in to Ancestry.com and 23andMe, they got wildly different results from both services. Neither gave each triplet the same ancestry results — which, considering they all came from the same womb, is pretty weird.

“Tests can be a crapshoot. For DNA tests, they use genetic markers, which are little variations in the DNA one or several groups may have, but others do not. The more markers there are, the more accurate the test will be.”

Some companies may use 12, 37, or 67, while others claim to use more than 700,000 different markers. Any of those numbers can sound impressive with the right marketing spin behind them, but the simple fact of the matter is that nobody’s method is perfect. “The best we can do is give a certain range based on those markers (or show who they are most similar to), and sometimes we’ll move up a percentage point of an ethnic group if it doesn’t add up to 100 percent.”

Inside Edition found differences of over 10 percent between the triplets they tested. That is not a small gap. If you were off by 10 percent on a DNA test, you could technically be a mouse. Maybe it’s unreasonable to expect perfect accuracy from saliva you mailed to a lab. But a lot of people do anyway, and Morgan winds up dealing with their complaints.

“At least once a week, we’ll get a call from somebody who took two or three other tests and then ours, and complains about how different they are. Usually it’s 5-20 percent off, but we got an email from a guy showing how in one test he was 7 percent Irish, Scottish, and Welsh, then on another he was 33 percent, and then on ours 45 percent, and he wanted to know what was wrong with everyone. We wrote to him that each test is different because of the number and types of genetic markers used, which can skew data, but he wrote back and said that we were con men.”

Genetics experts from the University of Texas and the University of North Carolina have gone so far as to say that these companies are preying on people, because they don’t truly have the information they need to pinpoint your origins on a map, and that it’s not possible to trace unique ancestry that way. As they put it, “That’s the beauty of this scam. The companies aren’t scamming you. They’re not giving you fraudulent information. They are giving you data, real data, and allowing you to scam yourself.”

Even though Morgan works for one of these companies, he doesn’t buy into the accuracy of the product. How could he? “We were doing our own internal tests when I started, and I took the same test five times in five weeks, and I got different results each time. One of the lab assistants wasn’t upset about it. He told me, ‘Look at the range there. That’s about where your ancestors are from.’ Somebody asked him, ‘We promise accurate results. How is it accurate if he got different results each time?’ And the lab assistant said, ‘If you average them all, you have a good idea, right?'”

On one hand, these tests are definitely a con. But on the other hand, the customers are as guilty as the companies. People want to know where they come from so they can brag about being 1/64th Cherokee in internet arguments. No one actually wants to spend hours studying genealogy and pay hundreds of dollars for a dozen different, possibly more accurate tests. “If you get a high percentage, it’s a safe bet that you have ancestors from there. I’m talking about a 50-60 percent on your test. Anything lower, and take it with a grain of salt.”

5

They Might Tweak Results To Avoid Pissing People Off

Morgan admitted to having changed people’s results. “We only did this on rare occasions, when we knew they weren’t using it as means to harm someone.” A lot of this is done under the guise of having the tests line up with what the business already knows of the customer’s expectations. It’s easier to do that than to deal with an endless parade of clients who are intensely pissed off because they aren’t as Dutch as they expected to be.

“If the results only added up to 99.5 percent, we’d say, ‘Let’s stick that 0.5 percent under Scandinavian.’ Other times, when we ask their family name (for women, their maiden name), and we see what country that last name came from, we’ll add it there, because they’ll be more proud of that heritage more often than not.” As scientific as DNA tests seem, we’re still talking about a customer-focused industry. It pays to suck up to the people who pay you.

“One woman sent the packet out with green shamrocks and a green leprechaun hat on it. She was really proud to be Irish. She even said she was excited to see if she was 100 percent Irish. But the test found no Irish blood. It was half Eastern Europe, then a mix of different places in Germany and Italy, and even Greece.” Clearly, this woman’s family had either lied to her, been lied to themselves, or she was one of those stealth adoptions that happen every so often. “The consensus was that she would send a huge fit if she was shown not to be Irish at all, so we made her 20 percent Irish and highlighted our disclaimer about results not being accurate.” Or they could have put down “100 percent” on St. Patrick’s Day and still technically be right.

Morgan wasn’t at all ashamed or guilty about this. And we can’t really blame him. If you’ve ever waited tables, you know how fucking crazy people can get when their expectations are challenged in any way. Now take the anger of someone not booking a reservation they really wanted, and amplify that by someone learning for the very first time that Great Uncle O’Leary’s tales about the Emerald Isles were a pack of lies.

“We actually started it here, because during our first year, a woman found out that all of her parents’ stories about her ancestors coming on the Mayflower were lies (She was nearly 100 percent German). [She] came to our physical offices, cracked her way inside, and confronted the staff in person. I wasn’t with the company then, but it’s still talked about here. They had to call the police because all the security staff in the building couldn’t get her out.”

It’s not unheard of for genetic tests to be altered. New York crime lab workers have sued the police for forcing them to change or ignore results, and The New York Times found that anything related to DNA, from Ancestry results to crime scenes, can be fabricated easily. North Korea disavows that Kim Jong-Un is a quarter Japanese, despite a lot of evidence to the contrary. So Morgan and his co-workers aren’t even close to alone in their little DNA-based white lies.

4

It’s Really Easy to Mess Up The Tests

There are a lot of ways to get DNA: blood, semen, bloody semen, etc. But Morgan’s company, and most of the industry, prefers to use spit. “We use saliva for our test. You get this vial in a packet we send, and after washing out your mouth with Listerine to kill all germs, you spit.” (If it’s just chewing tobacco spit, they’ll mark you down as “Alabaman” and leave it at that.)

It sounds simple enough. But people fuck it up all the time, because people fuck everything up all the time. It’s our prerogative. “One out of four people we need a new vial for, because something went wrong. We’ll often get food in there, or they drink something, then spit and not realize it.”

And yes, sometimes they “fuck up” literally. “Once a man sent us a vial full of semen, and I don’t know HOW he could have gotten that part wrong. Our lab assistants were originally going to rule it out immediately because of how cloudy they thought the ‘saliva’ was, but one of them decided to see anyway. She opened it up to begin testing, but as soon as she saw the viscosity, she dropped it and said, ‘That’s semen!’ One of us had to call him directly and tell him what he did wrong, and to his credit, he did give a mortified apology.”

Another thing that complicates DNA test results: interracial lovemaking. “Sometimes the saliva looks good and we test it, but then the results show something really messed up. We had a few tests where the genetic markers where everywhere, on five continents. It’s really rare for that to happen. The percentage points were 10 percent in India, 10 percent in China, 5 percent Native American, 10 percent Sub-Saharan Africa, 20 percent Scandinavia-Norway. You can imagine. I called [some of these customers], I explained what the situation was and went down the results, and what always happened was that they would say yes to half, and no to the other half of the ancestry they knew. When we asked if they knew anyone who fit the other ancestry results, they would say, ‘Oh, my husband/wife/fiancee/boyfriend/girlfriend is!'”

It’s not uncommon for tests to take way more than one vial to work. There have been cases of users repeatedly sending in vials, as many as eight times. “It’s not unheard of. And I’ve had more than eight. We had someone who tried 14 times before it finally worked. They had bad teeth, and little tooth bits kept going in the saliva and messing up the results. They weren’t big pieces, maybe like grains of sand. But it was enough. By the sixth time it happened, she was known as ‘Tooth Girl,’ and I would get a message saying, ‘Tooth Girl struck again.’ She never called once, either. Usually, by the third time, they’ll ask what went wrong and how to do it better. Maybe they didn’t clean good, or maybe something bled. It happens. But she never asked, and kept sending in vials with tiny bits of teeth.”

Eventually, Tooth Girl’s tests worked out and they were able to send her useful information. Morgan and his co-workers would never fuck with someone for having bad teeth. Not when there are so many better reasons …

3

They Will Screw With Racists

“I only know of two times somebody wanted to be tested for being another ethnicity because they didn’t like that ethnicity. Both times, [they were] white people not wanting to believe they had black ancestors.” The first of these made an offhand remark that, “‘I’m hoping it will show people I’m not black.’ And not as a joke. He was serious.” The second customer was even less subtle: “He caught himself from saying the N-bomb. He said, ‘I want to know if any of my family are ni- black.'”

Morgan and his colleagues were caught between a rock and a really-want-to-mess-with-racists place. It would’ve been fun to throw a “10 percent West African” in there, but then they might have a pissed-off, dangerous person at their office, waving a gun. “Since we couldn’t do anything to the results (and we wanted to), what we did was add ‘< 1 percent’ to each African category of ethnicity. That way we weren’t lying, and they would both be wondering how much under a percentage point was. We always try to round to the nearest number because we sometimes hear about percentage points, but for them, we leave it open to whether it’s a one or a zero.”

It’s a compromise that’s elegant in its passive-aggressive simplicity. And it got a result. “The near-N-bomber wrote to us asking what that meant, and we wrote back that it meant it was under 1 percent. And we were not saying zero. Unless they got another test, that was going to bother them. Maybe they weren’t 100 percent Caucasian. I mean, they were, according to the results, but this way it leaves it open, and they’ll always be wondering.”

Bravo. Bravissimo!

2

They Uncover Hidden Family Secrets

Genetic ancestry tests have caused a lot of problems, from cops being treated differently when they suddenly learn they’re of mixed race to happy marriages ending when a test reveals hidden infidelities. So Morgan gets lots and lots of calls.

“The number one reason they call us after they get their results back is to contest something that exposed a family secret. Sometimes it was a parent not really being their parent, or an orphan who didn’t know their history now finding out that they were half Native American this entire time and needing someone to talk to.” Obviously, that kind of news would be shocking for anyone. But sometimes it goes well beyond mere shock.

“A few new adopted people even called me to say how the test ruined their lives, because it encouraged them to dig or confront their parents. I had a woman who was OK with being adopted, but mortified to know that she had been born in South Carolina, and she threatened to sue us because she found that out. We had to let Legal handle it as soon as ‘suing’ was said, but I really couldn’t believe she was crying over being born in South Carolina.”

DNA testing has apparently been a real nightmare for parents who casually lie to their children. “A man who also found out he was adopted called us to say that he and his parents were now no longer on speaking terms. Everything had been fine until he took the test. His family was 100 percent Scots-Irish, and the tests showed him as 100 percent Eastern European. His family had never told him, and he made it until his 20s before finding out. There had been some big blowout, and he told me, ‘Your company ruined my entire life. I don’t even know who I am anymore,’ and he started crying. We didn’t ruin the relationship with his family, but I concede we probably provided the spark for it.”

But for every heartbreaking revelation of lies and infidelity, Morgan has stories like this: “I didn’t talk to him, but someone who called us had lost his parents and his brother in an accident, was left with no family, and then decided to do a DNA test. It led him down a rabbit hole of finding out that he had been adopted, and that he had a completely different birth family welcoming him in open arms.”

1

People Demand They Forge Their Results

“You would think there would be a lot of racists wanting black ancestry changed, but except for maybe two incidents, it hasn’t happened. Most white people who found out that they’re part black or part Native American have been quite accepting, if not a little excited. And black people who found out they’re part white have been the same way. It’s the sub-areas or implied ancestry that make people mad enough to call us.” Oddly enough, “most of our calls have been from people wanting to be changed from Italian.”

Usually, such demands are a matter of pride. People want to be able to wave around a sheet of paper that says they’ve got whatever in their background because it makes them feel fancy. “We had a Jewish man in Canada ask us to make it look like he was from Israel. His results showed him to be from Eastern Europe, and based on his last name, we said it was all but certain his ancestors were from Poland. Judging by his family history, they probably came over around WWII, for reasons you can probably imagine. But no, he said he was Jewish and wanted ‘Eastern European’ changed to the area Israel is in.”

As you might guess, being Jewish doesn’t work that way. There’s a big difference between Jewish people who came from European ancestry and someone whose family has been living in the land currently occupied by Israel for thousands of years. “Israel is new … and by saying he’s from there by blood, we’d be saying he was Arab. We have changed things on occasion … and we played along with him over the phone. ‘Sure, we can change your ancestry to being from the near Middle East.’ We gave him the option of being more from Egypt, more from Syria, or more Arab. He wasn’t what you would call happy that those were his only options, and when operator asked him, ‘Would you like to be Arab?’ he slammed the phone down.”

It all comes down to pride, and the unfortunate fact that race matters a lot more to most people than they’re willing to admit. There are millions of folks out there who’d never argue one race is superior to another, but who’d fight you to the death if you dared to suggest they were German instead of Scottish. “I’ve had boyfriends wanting to impress girlfriends, somebody who wanted to get into the Knights of Columbus, and I even had someone trying to prove he was part Native American to join a tribe. We won’t change for fraudulent reasons, and besides, even if we did, these tests only give an indication. They aren’t 100 percent. A man who wanted the results changed to being more Native American told us from the first sentence that he was trying to join a tribe, but no test gave him any Native American blood. Ours didn’t either.”

We’d bet our life savings that he still tells girls at parties about his tribe, though.

Evan V. Symon is an interviewer, interview coordinator, and journalist for the Cracked personal experience team. Have an awesome job/experience you’d like to talk about? Then hit us up at tips@cracked.com today!

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For more, check out The 6 Creepiest Things Hiding in Your DNA and 5 Insanely Frivolous Uses of DNA Technology.

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Check out Robert Evans’ A Brief History of Vice: How Bad Behavior Built Civilization, a celebration of the brave, drunken pioneers who built our civilization one seemingly bad decision at a time.

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-2522-inside-shady-world-dna-testing-companies.html

These Elders Reacting To The New iPhone Are Basically All Of Us

Elderly people are not known for their extensive knowledge about technology.

Heck, my mom is middle aged and still complains every chance she gets about how much she hates computers. But a lot of the misconceptions about elder and technology just come from them not having a lot of time to interact with and figure out the system, without judgment.

When it comes to the new iPhone X, there was a lot to figure out, even for the most seasoned tech users! That’s why, as part of the Elders React series, they let the elders run wild with a new iPhone, and the result is a joy to watch.

I love when they start using the facial recognition software to create emojis. Too funny!

Youtube / FBE

These folks are going to be iPhone experts in no time. Tell us your favorite stories about technology gone wrong in the comment section!

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/elders-react-iphone/

30 Millennial Instagram Accounts I Want To Create But Am Too Lazy To Manage


Matheus Ferrero

My life was changed recently when a friend sent me a link to “Hot Dudes Reading” and another friend sent me a link to Lorde’s onion ring account. Naturally, being a Millennial, I said to myself “I could totally do this, but better.” Here’s everything I came up with, but don’t have time to actually see through because I am also a Sagittarius. We are full of ideas that never really amount to anything…

1. Moderately Attractive Women Reading (While Crying) On Public Transportation

2. Millennials At Brunch Deciding How Much To Venmo Each Other

3. Girls Making Friends With Each Other While Waiting In Line For The Bathroom At The Bar

4. 26 Year-Olds Who Only Eat Food Typically Reserved For Children

5. Boxed Mac N’ Cheese, Prepared, And Their Definitive Rankings Against Each Other

6. Good Hair Days

7. Bad Hair Days

8. Severely Hung Over People Walking Into Work

9. Bad Insults Your Friends Make About People Who Were Mean To You In Order To Sound Supportive

10. Picture Of Pens, Paper, And Stationary For People Who Hate Technology But Love The Internet

11. Bad Make-outs At Bars

12. Good Make-outs At Bars You Stare At Just A Little Too Long And Then Suddenly Realize Your Mouth Is Open

13. Ariana Grande’s Ponytail With A Cartoon Face That Says Funny Things

14. I Photoshop Myself Into A Bunch Of HAIM Pictures And Pretend To Be Their Unknown Fourth Sister Who Is Too Cool For Fame Or Just Totally Horrible At Music

15. Kate Middleton Wearing Jeans

16. Evidence That Nicole Kidman Is A Real Life Benjamin Button And Just Getting Younger

17. Hot Uber Drivers

18. People Spilling Coffee On Themselves

19. Tourists Asking For Directions

20. World’s Worst Parking Jobs

21. People Putting On Makeup During Their Morning Commute

22. Children With Better Fashion Sense Than Me

23. All The Articles Of Clothing I Try On At Stores And Don’t End Up Buying Resulting In Absurd Amounts Of Folding For Retail Employees Of America

24. Messages I Sent From My Friend’s Bumble Account And How Men Responded

25. Inappropriate Faces I Make Because I Am Incapable Of Controlling My Reaction To Anything

26. Worst Compliments Of All Time

27. Decent Compliments That Were Poorly Executed

28. Best And Worst Of Uber Pool

29. People Falling On Ice

30. Millennials Taking Pictures Next To Expensive Cars, Boats, And Houses They Don’t Actually Own

Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/nicole-stawiarski/2017/10/30-millennial-instagram-accounts-i-want-to-create-but-am-too-lazy-to-manage/

Dem politician sees #Science disaster brewing at the White House (others, not so much)

Democrat Maryland legislator and candidate for U.S. Congress Aruna Miller sees a science emergency in the Trump administration:

Read more: https://twitchy.com/dougp-3137/2017/11/25/dem-politician-sees-science-disaster-brewing-at-the-white-house-others-not-so-much/

Facebook to Show Users Which Russian Propaganda They Followed

Facebook Inc. will show people which Russian propaganda pages or accounts they’ve followed and liked on the social network, responding to a request from Congress to address manipulation and meddling during the 2016 presidential election.

The tool will appear by the end of the year in Facebook’s online support center, the company said in a blog post Wednesday. It will answer the user question, “How can I see if I’ve liked or followed a Facebook page or Instagram account created by the Internet Research Agency?” That’s the Russian firm that created thousands of incendiary posts from fake accounts posing as U.S. citizens. People will see a list of the accounts they followed, if any, from January 2015 through August 2017.

It’s Facebook’s most direct effort to explain to users how they may have been affected by the IRA’s postings, which reached an estimated 150 million people and stirred up controversy over gun rights, immigration, race relations and religion in the U.S., sometimes prompting real-world protests on both sides of a debate. 

“It is important that people understand how foreign actors tried to sow division and mistrust using Facebook before and after the 2016 US election,” the company said in the post.

Facebook, Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Twitter Inc. appeared in early November for hours of congressional testimony to explain how Russia used the platforms to manipulate U.S. citizens. The companies vowed to do more to prevent anything similar from occurring in the future, and said they would look into the possibility of informing users about their exposure.

“I hope that Google and Twitter will follow Facebook’s lead,” said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Those companies have not responded to a similar request, according to Blumenthal’s office.

Representative Adam Schiff, a California Democrat and a member of the House Intelligence Committee, called Facebook’s move “a very positive step.”

“We look forward to additional steps by the companies to improve transparency with respect to Russian abuse of their platforms,” Schiff said in a statement.

Facebook will only be showing people the names of the pages and accounts, not the content. A user will only see what they liked or followed, so if they simply saw IRA content in their news feeds, they won’t be notified. 

It’s “much more challenging” to reliably tell people if they were exposed on an individual basis, Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch told Congress earlier this month. When people like or comment on a post, that post is eligible to show up in any of their friends’ news feeds — helping the content go viral. Facebook argued it couldn’t say for certain who paid attention to what content. That position fell flat when senators noted that Facebook’s business model is based on the targeting and tracking of ads.

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-22/facebook-to-show-people-the-russian-propaganda-they-followed

    Everyone’s Favorite Superhero Family Is Back In ‘The Incredibles 2’ Teaser

    Disney/Pixar has unveiled the first teaser trailer for “The Incredibles 2,” which promises to bring back the superhero family last seen in 2004.

    “It’s fundamentally a story about family,” director Brad Bird said back in July. “The technology has gotten so much better; we can get them close to what we wanted to do in the [original]. It’s like driving a better car.”

    The sequel is set to open on June 15. The plot is still unclear, though Collider reported earlier this year that it will focus on the adventures of Holly Hunter’s Elastigirl. Meanwhile, her husband, Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), will be home caring for baby Jack-Jack. Based on the teaser clip released Saturday, he’ll have his hands full.

    Watch the new teaser above.

    Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/incredibles-2-teaser_us_5a105db3e4b0e97dffedbc0c

    Meet the Porn Star Running for President in 2020

    Cherie DeVille reasons that if a reality TV personality with zero previous political experience can be voted into office, then why not her? She feels just as qualified, if not more. The physical therapist has firm opinions on immigration, education, environmental reform, and how to handle the war on drugs.

    Shes also a porn star.

    The 39-year-old caused a bit of a stir when she, during a press conference, announced her bid to run for President of the United States in 2020. She was joined by her running mate Coolio, the rapper of Gangstas Paradise fame; Press Secretary Alix Lynx, herself a porn star as well; and DeVilles bodyguard, the WWE wrestler Virgil, who will serve as head of security.

    Virgils familiarity and relationship with Donald Trump can help smooth over the transition process when Cherie DeVille is named President, the announcement read, alluding to the fact that Virgil and Trump crossed paths a few times when the 45th president hosted WrestleMania in the aughts, including his infamous Battle of the Billionaires with WWE owner Vince McMahon. DeVilles campaign, sponsored by the mens clothing brand Fucking Awesome, isnt the first time a porn star has announced a bid for U.S. public office. In 2003, adult actress Mary Carey ran for governor of California in the recall election (then lieutenant governor in 2005), and in 2009, Stormy Daniels launched a brief bid for Louisiana state senator. While Carey ran as an independent and Daniels a Republican, DeVille is representing the Democratic Partywhich makes sense, given the GOPs aversion to porn.

    DeVille, meanwhile, considers the notoriety shes gained working in the adult entertainment business for the past six and a half years more of an asset than a hindrance.

    In an interview with The Daily Beast, DeVille explains how serious she is about her run for the White House, and that this isnt just another desperate bid for attention. The slogan for her 2020 presidential campaign: Make America Fucking Awesome Again.

    Do you have any background in politics?

    Cherie DeVille: I dont. I grew up in the Washington D.C. area so Ive been somewhat surrounded by it but Ive never held political office.

    All of my skeletons are on the internet for all to see. If you discount porn I have zero moral scandals. Id be a breath of fresh air.
    Cherie DeVille

    Why run for President?

    It began when Trump was elected president. I always took it for granted that whether the Republicans or the Democrats won, someone reasonably appropriate was in office even if they werent my choice. Until this election cycle. I was incredibly disappointed in the political processand thats when I realized Trump basically won because hes a celebrity. It made good television. If Americans are going to vote based on celebrity and scandal, well, I can give them that.

    What would you change if you were in office?

    Im most passionate about health care, education, and immigration.

    How would you handle the health care issue?

    Im an adult actress and a physical therapist but Ive spent more of my life as a physical therapist. Over the seventeen years Ive spent as a physical therapist, Ive seen the repercussions of poverty and middle class Americans with staggering health care bills making choices about their bodies based not on their health or their needs but money. Health care is a basic human need that should and can be met.

    You mentioned being passionate about education, what would you change about it?

    Im not like some hardcore Democrats that feel all higher education should be free. I think college is the new high school. If we want our country to be competitive with the rest of the world, then our state-run educational institutions should be free. Im not suggesting we socialize all educationwe can still have private schoolsbut high school today is not the minimum; its not what our citizens need to succeed in the current economy.

    How do you expect people to react to you as a porn star running for POTUS?

    Negatively. Im not saying this to insult myself or my profession. I did my first scene as a personal larkit was something I wanted to say Ive done. Even if I dont win the bid for Democratic candidate I hope that my run can at least make enough of a splash to get some of my ideas out there, for people to see me as a sex worker and a human being. I want to expand the perception of sex workers.

    What do you say to critics out there who are concerned with your lack of experience in politics? And your background in porn?

    If Trump hadnt won Id have said no one without political experience can run for office, it cant be donebut clearly we as a country have decided you dont need political experience to run for the highest political office. Negative expectations? All of my skeletons are on the internet for all to see. If you discount porn I have zero moral scandals. Id be a breath of fresh air.

    What would you try to legalize if you were voted into power?

    I know this is controversial but I feel complete drug decriminalization is important. In poor communities, doing illegal things is the only chance some people have for advancement and they choose it, which forces them outside of the law. I think we could decrease the violence in underserved and poor communities by decriminalizing all drugs, not just marijuana. At the end of the day, not everyones going to start using heroin. Lets be honest: if someone wants to use heroin in any part of the country theyll find a way to get it. Decriminalizing it will keep the people who started selling drugs as a way to survive out of jail.

    What about porn? Would you want to legalize filming everywhere?

    Its absurd that its not legal in every state, but at the same time the adult community has to centralize somewhere. There are only a few hundred people making porn for the world, so wed congregate somewhere anyway.

    Why should people vote for you?

    Because I really do want to make America great again like Trump said, but in a way that helps all of the people. Every politician says they will help the middle class but few of them have ever been middle class. Ive actually lived my life as a middle and upper middle class citizen, and Coolio has grown up in poverty, so we understand what its like not to have decent health care or educational opportunities handed to us in a way most politicians cant understand. How can we ask the ultra-rich to make choices about something they dont have a handle on? They cant comprehend how the American people really live.

    What would you do differently?

    I have faith in the American people to do the right thing. Certain choices should be left up to them.

    Do you really think people are that responsible?

    Weve been pampered. We are a society of entitlementlook at our youngest millennial generationWe need to engage, we need to feel responsible for ourselves and the world, we need to get in the game. We cannot be passive and allow the Donald Trumps of the world to step all over us. We do have power and we need to wake up. I do have faith in people. We created this problem and now we need to snap out of it.

    Do you think its cultural or generational?

    Its a cultural thing. These kids are not at fault they were raised like thisthis is the advent of technology. Society has changed and we need to help the new generation of workers be strong and responsible. We need to help them, not roll our eyes at them.

    What are your opinions on the sexual harassment allegations in the media?

    Its disgusting. If youre an actor, actress, singer, or comedian in Hollywood it happens and I know people in all of those professions at the highest levels. When I go out with friends who are in those various professions, Im the only one whos never sucked a dick for a job and that is ridiculous. My comedian friends, my mainstream actress friends, and absolutely my fashion model friends have all felt pressure or been directly asked to perform sexual favors in the direct or indirect promise of work, and its disgusting. The male culture in Hollywood is disgusting to me and Im thrilled that these ladies are speaking out. I want those men to know we wont take this anymore.

    Youve named the rapper Coolio as your running mate. How did you decide on him?

    I knew I needed to do something crazy to get the American peoples attention. I needed someone that was passionate and well-known but it was also for shock value.

    What steps have you taken to make your bid for president a reality?

    Ive been testing the waters to see if anyone cares, and the past three weeks cemented it for me. It seems like the public is interested in hearing what I have to say, so Im doing this. Im going to find investors, file the paperwork, and do this.

    How do you plan to finance your campaign?

    Itd be silly to say the obvious. Im not going to take money from big lobbyists, not that theyd give it to me anyway. So Im going to go the grassroots way and start small.

    Are you launching this campaign for attention?

    My vagina gets more attention than this. Millions of people watch me everyday around the world. Im not trying to be conceited but as one of the few performers that works nearly every day of the week my porn is more prevalent than almost anybody elses. Whether people want to admit to knowing me or not, if youve watched porn youve watched me. My pornography has already and will continue to get more attention than this bid for president.

    Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/meet-the-porn-star-running-for-president-in-2020

    Obama Appears To Zing Trump With Twitter Followers Boast

    Former President Barack Obama appeared to throw subtle shade at President Donald Trump for having fewer Twitter followers than himself during a forum in India on Friday.

    In a conversation with journalist Karan Thapar at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi, Obama boasted on stage about having “100 million Twitter followers”.

    “I actually have more than other people who use it more often,” he added, prompting laughter from the audience who interpreted it as a ding against Trump. (For the record, Obama actually has 97.4 million followers. Trump has 43.8 million).

    “I think it’s important to be mindful about both the power of these tools and also its limits and to understand it can be used for both good or for ill,” Obama added, during a more general discussion on technology.

    Obama later issued this advice for people using social media:

    “Don’t say the first thing that pops into your head, just have a little bit of an edit function, that’s wise for life generally. You see people getting in all kinds of trouble because they sent out some tweet and then they’re trying to erase it afterwards but somebody’s screenshot it and they’re getting embarrassed.”

    “Think before you speak, think before you tweet, same principle,” he added.

    The full interview is below, with Obama’s Twitter comments at the 34:30 mark.

    Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/barack-obama-donald-trump-india-twitter_us_5a2258a6e4b0a02abe9157d6

    Here’s How the End of Net Neutrality Will Change the Internet

    Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon may soon be free to block content, slow video-streaming services from rivals, and offer “fast lanes” to preferred partners. For a glimpse of how the internet experience may change, look at what broadband providers are doing under the existing “net neutrality” rules.

    When AT&T customers access its DirecTV Now video-streaming service, the data doesn’t count against their plan’s data limits. Verizon, likewise, exempts its Go90 service from its customers’ data plans. T-Mobile allows multiple video and music streaming services to bypass its data limits, essentially allowing it to pick winners and losers in those categories.

    Consumers will likely see more arrangements like these, granting or blocking access to specific content, if the Federal Communications Commission next month repeals Obama-era net neutrality rules that ban broadband providers from discriminating against lawful content providers. The commission outlined its proposed changes on Tuesday, and published them Wednesday. The proposal would also ban states from passing their own versions of the old rules. Because Republicans have a majority in the agency, the proposal will likely pass and take effect early next year.

    Because many internet services for mobile devices include limits on data use, the changes will be visible there first. In one dramatic scenario, internet services would begin to resemble cable-TV packages, where subscriptions could be limited to a few dozen sites and services. Or, for big spenders, a few hundred. Fortunately, that’s not a likely scenario. Instead, expect a gradual shift towards subscriptions that provide unlimited access to certain preferred providers while charging extra for everything else.

    Net neutrality advocates have long worried that these sorts of preferential offerings harm competition, and by extension, consumers, by making it harder for smaller providers to compete. A company like Netflix or Amazon can likely shell out to sponsor data, but smaller companies don't necessarily have the budget.

    "Net neutrality is incredibly important for small startups like Discord because all internet traffic needs to be treated as equal for us all to have access to the same resources as the big companies," says Jason Citron, co-founder and CEO of the videogame-centric chat and video-conferencing app Discord. Citron's company is well funded and boasts 45 million users. But it competes with larger players like Microsoft's Skype, Google's Hangouts, and Facebook's WhatsApp. Even if Discord can offer a better experience for gamers, bigger companies might be able to gain an advantage by partnering with broadband providers to prioritize or subsidize their apps.

    For even smaller video providers, the end of net neutrality could be dire. "We believe this would affect more than just our voice and video equipment, but our entire ability to host folks interacting across our services," says Nolan T. Jones, managing partner and co-creator of Roll20, a video-conferencing and community platform for tabletop role-playing gamers.

    It can be hard for smaller companies to even get a meeting with large broadband providers. In 2014, when T-Mobile launched a program that exempted music streaming services from its users’ data caps, the founder of streaming service SomaFM complained that his company had been left out. T-Mobile added SomaFM to the program a year later, but it’s not clear how many customers SomaFM may have lost in the interim.

    The FCC ruled earlier this year that these data exemptions, known as "zero rating," are permissible under the current net-neutrality rules. Once those rules go away, the companies will be free to experiment with more drastic measures, like slowing connections to data-hungry apps.

    Even Verizon's "unlimited" plans impose limits. The company's cheapest unlimited mobile plan limits video streaming quality to 480p resolution, which is DVD quality, on phones and 720p resolution, the lower tier of HD quality, on tablets. Customers can upgrade to a more expensive plan that enables 720p resolution on phones and 1080p on tablets, but the higher quality 4K video standard is effectively forbidden.

    Meanwhile, Comcast customers in 28 states face 1 terabyte data caps. Going over that limit costs subscribers as much as an additional $50 a month. As 4K televisions become more common, more households may hit the limit. That could prompt some to stick with a traditional pay-TV package from Comcast.

    It's not hard to see how companies could push these ideas further. Comcast could take a page from Verizon and stop customers from accessing any 4K content unless they pay for an unlimited account. And it could charge companies to sponsor data for their customers.

    For now, Comcast says that’s off the table. “Comcast does not and will not block, throttle, or discriminate against lawful content,” Comcast Cable president and CEO Dave Watson wrote in a blog post Tuesday. AT&T and Verizon did not answer questions about future plans, but spokespeople pointed to blog posts saying the companies support the open internet.

    But even without a dramatic departure from current practices, the future internet, then, could look a more extreme version of today's mobile plans, with different pricing tiers for different levels of video quality for different apps. That means more customer choice, but perhaps not in the way anyone actually wants.

    Republican FCC Chair Ajit Pai argues that Federal Trade Commission will be able to protect consumers and small business from abuses by internet providers once the agency's current rules are off the books. But that’s not clear.

    Democratic FTC commissioner Terrell McSweeny tells WIRED that the FTC is only an enforcement agency. It doesn't have the authority to issue industry-wide rules, such as a ban on blocking lawful content. In many cases, she says, the agency might not be able to use antitrust law against broadband providers that give preferential treatment to their own content or to that of partners.

    "The FTC stands ready to protect broadband subscribers from anticompetitive, unfair, or deceptive acts and practices,” acting FTC Chair Maureen K. Ohlhausen said in a statement Tuesday.

    The good news is the internet won't change overnight, if it all. Blake Reid, a clinical professor at Colorado Law, says the big broadband providers will wait to see how the inevitable legal challenges to the new FCC order shakeout. They'll probably keep an eye on 2018 and even 2020 elections as well. The courts could shoot down the FCC’s order, or, given enough public pressure, Congress even could pass new net neutrality laws.

    UPDATED, 1:10 PM: This article was updated after the FCC published its proposal to eliminate net-neutrality rules.

    Read more: https://www.wired.com/story/heres-how-the-end-of-net-neutrality-will-change-the-internet/

    10 Cyber Monday Deals You Can’t Afford To Pass Up

    Cyber Monday’s here, and these are the kind of deals that won’t break your bank, sending you into a state of self-encouraged stress sweats. 

    • 1

      Mini Happy Kit

      Pin It
      Via Fail Blog

      This one’s a must have for the committed smoker: no more stuffing papers and pipes in the vulnerable confines of an unprotected pocket. Instead, opt for the happy kit. This clutch bag fits in your pocket, and ensures Mary Jane safe travels. Grab yours over here!


    • 2

      Luxuriously Soft Queen Chevron Blanket

      Pin It
      Via Fail Blog

      Winter is here, guys. This is the kind of plush blanket that can entirely change the cozying up nap game, while you cave up and succumb to bouts of legendary Netflix bingeing. The blanket’s too good to be real life. It’s not fair. Like, you’ll be hard-pressed to NOT want to wear this 24/7. Can we just make it socially acceptable to rock this as a criminally comfy cape out in public, or what? Grab yours over here!


    • 3

      The Voting Game

      Pin It
      Via Amazon

      This game’s all about the cringe-inducing kind of conversations that amount to exposing who your friends really are. Awkwardness is inevitable, and hopefully the revelations themselves aren’t entirely ruinous to relationships. Grab yours here!


    • 4

      Poopyhead Card Game “Where Number 2 Wins!”

      Pin It
      Via Amazon

      Had to drop this on our Cyber Monday list, guys. Was it bring your angry kid to work and let ’em name a product day? Apparently, it was. Grab the game here, cause honestly, it’s some humorous room decoration at the very least. 


    • 5

      Beard Bib

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      Via Amazon

      This is easily one of the more ridiculous products we came across today amidst sifting through the slush pile of Cyber Monday deals. While the picture itself is a bit comical, the product absolutely serves a helpful purpose. Let’s get a round of applause for hoping this could help further the cause in the fight against perpetually clogged sinks out there! Grab one over here for your SO or yourself! 


    • 6

      Exploding Kittens Card Game

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      Via Amazon

      With a game that covers a variety of things like the (ever lovable) kittens or laser beams, and sometimes even GOATS, there’s a little bit of something for everyone. Snag yours over here!


    • 7

      MiP the Toy Robot

      Pin It
      Via Amazon

      This is easily one of the cutest little artificially intelligent robo-bros we’ve yet to come across. Miip’s gesture-based technology allows it to react to gestures like claps, touch, and more. Plus, you can connect it with your smart devices, and it reacts to apps like Spotify in adorable fashion. All in all, grab yourself one of these over here, and watch as your environment vastly improves. 


    • 8

      Grumpy Cat

      Pin It
      Via Amazon

      This one speaks for itself. Every person’s life stands to benefit with a side of Grumpy Cat hanging around. No matter how sour of a mood you’re in, this dude always stands to top it, with a profound frown on his face. Grab your new best pal over here!


    • 9

      Award-Winning Personal Water Filter

      Pin It
      Via Amazon

      This award-winning aptly named, “lifestraw” allows for you to drink water from any lake or stream around the world without the added hassle of boiling that water down till it’s safe. 


    • 10

      BL20 LED Projector

      Pin It
      Via Amazon

      Take your next movie night to the next level with this projector that has built-in high quality speakers, to boot! Grab one here.

    Read more: http://cheezburger.com/4100613/10-cyber-monday-deals-you-cant-afford-to-pass-up

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