Online Influencers Look Out The FTC is Coming for You

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Instagram, TikTok and YouTube

Cristal M Clark 

Personally, I don’t watch online influencers just not my thing, I also don’t read articles entitled “I tried…so you don’t have to.” Online influencers get paid to endorse products, services and the like.

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The Federal Trade Commission has required influencers to disclose sponsored posts, but that doesn’t have much of an effect when it comes to whether or not those influencers have actually vetted those products. 

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Recently the FTC charged Lord and Taylor with deceiving the public for a campaign where they paid 50 social media influencers to post about a dress on Instagram, but didn’t require them to disclose that the posts were sponsored. Hence the campaign was in fact, a paid for advertisement. 

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The reality is that companies behind such campaigns are laundering advertising by paying an influencer to pretend that their endorsement or review is the real deal rather than a paid for ad campaign. 

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This fraudulent advertising scheme has drawn the ire of the FTC stating companies have pressured influencers to hide the fact that their endorsements are paid advertising. 

Back in 2016, video network Machinima got into hot water with the FTC for deceptive advertising for failing to disclose that it paid YouTubers to make endorsements of the Xbox One, and telling them to position their opinions as independent reviews.

And these lawsuits have done nothing to discourage these paid endorsements or rather authentic paid for advertising campaigns because the FTC has failed to punish these companies financially. Instead they are going to take a stern look at the platforms the influencers are using where you can post pretty much anything, where friends are fake and the facts are made up. 

My guess is that the FTC is going to pressure these platforms to deal with the issue rather than hit the offenders in the pocketbook as they should. 

Cristal M Clark

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Border Agents Nab Bag of Dead Birds Headed to Virginia from China 

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U.S. Customs – Dulles International Airport

Cristal M Clark 

Customs does score some pretty interesting things at airports throughout the US, Cooper action figures, A whole brisket, Live lobsters, Vaccines and immunizations, a Seal’s head, just to name a few of the delights customs has seen. 

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In true zombie comic fashion recently, border agents caught someone from China heading into the US with a bag full of tiny dead little itty bitty birds, in what the passenger told agents was cat food. Well that is plausible actually and the packaging after all did appear to look like pet treats of some sort so it does make even more sense. 

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection intercepted the package at Dulles International Airport after the passenger landed on a flight from China on January 27. They describe the dead birds as roughly 2.5 inches to 3.5 inches long and of course all dead. 

Imagine the initial scary moment at the sight of that since Coronavirus is spreading globally. The agents more than likely had to take a moment mentally to absorb what they were seeing. 

The birds are barred from importation to the U.S. to prevent the spread of avian flu. And the package of pet treats was incinerated promptly after being discovered, according to Customs agents. 

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That of course has hopefuls of a zombie apocalypse sitting back and waiting for something to happen because in some of the zombie comics, the virus is in fact airborne, like smoke in the air. 

At any rate, I’ll continue feeding my furry feline cooked chicken over dead birds. 

Cristal M Clark

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FBI Expanding it’s Domestic Terrorism Focus 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation seal is seen at FBI headquarters before a news conference by the FBI Director the inspector general's report in Washington

Director Christopher Wray Dishes Dirt 

Cristal M Clark

In what some are calling absolute nonsense the usually quiet, FBI Director Christopher Wray has detailed to the House judiciary committee that the bureau has recently “changed our terminology as part of a broader reorganization of the way in which we categorize our domestic terrorism efforts.”

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Which many of us will applaud because of the rise of white-supremacist terrorism. One of 4 categories included as part of the changes of domestic terrorism that the FBI confronts, Per Christopher Wray happens to be “abortion violent extremism.” Which means it doesn’t matter which side of abortion you stand on. 

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And that is the part that is leaving some scratching their heads, unless you are in Colorado. On November 27, 2015 Robert  Robert Lewis Dear Jr walked into a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, opened fire injuring 9 individuals and killed 3 individuals. If you support, encourage and applaud that, you are in fact the type of individual who carries an extremist view. 

Between 1993 and today, anti-abortion activists murdered 11 people and attempted to kill another 26. 

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Theodore Schulman on the other hand is the self proclaimed “first pro-choice terrorist.” He had a long history of making threats to those who do not support abortion up to and including threatening to kill someone in response to defendant Scott Roeder should he be found not guilty for the murder of abortion provider George Tiller. The murder by the way took place in the foyer of a Wichita church in 2009. 

The announcement of the abortion violent extremism did draw the ire of many critics who hesitated not, to mention that abortion related violence is and has been rare, which is true. However, Christopher had an answer for that: “Well, we’ve actually had a variety of kinds of violence under that, believe it or not.” And even if they do not have high enough documented numbers of that, one would be hard pressed to disagree with the fact extremism regardless of the belief or cause one passionately believes in is in fact on the rise. 

In 2017, the FBI distributed a brief “Abortion Extremism Reference Guide” at a counter-terrorism training for local law enforcement, listing “pro-choice extremists” as a group of domestic terrorists. The document, first reported by Jezebel, claimed that these extremists “believe it is their moral duty to protect those who provide or receive abortion services.”

Now they have expanded that view to include both sides of the equation which would be the correct move. 

Christopher did admit that abortion extremism is only a small fraction of terrorism cases it deals with while “the top threat of domestic terrorism comes from racially and/or ethnically motivated violent extremists.”

It’s been reported that about half of the terrorism cases the FBI has been looking at concern anti-government extremism (we can all thank Donald for that one) and another 40% concern racist terrorism. Around 85 cases are of violence motivated by animal rights, ecological degradation, abortion and then the miscellaneous cases.

Not that many of you get to see this much but in my line of work, I have met, heard from and spoken to quite a few extremists, what I can tell you is that for the most part these individuals can be frightening, the things they believe, the idea’s they have. The FBI adding abortion extremism is a logical way of thinking, extremist views and thoughts can and eventually do translate into some type of extremist action or behavior at some point or another. 

Cristal M Clark

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Teacher Tries To Get Meth Delivered To School During Class 

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Clay County, Florida 

Cristal M Clark 

I’ve always heard teaching is a tough gig, in fact I know what some of my friends and I were like as kids in school so it’s no wonder teachers are driven to drinking or worse meth. As it turns out one teacher in Clay County Florida was having such a rough day that she decided to call her dealer to have him deliver to her an 8-ball of meth, at school, during regular school hours. 

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Jacksonville Heights Elementary School, First-grade teacher Valerie Lee Prince, 43, called a dealer to bring her an eight ball of meth at the school stating she would step out of class when the dealer showed up with the goods. 

That’s lovely, just lovely. Dealers are like Uber Eats now. 

“You call me, I can just say I have to use the phone real quick I could step out and come right back in.”

Unfortunately for Valerie her dealer was also an informant who decided to rat her out to the police. That’s right, her dealer was an informant who worked with police narcotics officers and recorded the call. Lt. Domenic Paniccia told a press conference that: “she planned to consume some of the narcotics and return to the classroom.”

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An undercover officer later delivered her $85 of meth, outside of school hours mind you then, Valerie was charged with purchasing and possessing meth, a felony and promptly arrested with said crime.

Once busted Valerie admitted to the use of methamphetamine on multiple occasions in the last six months and also confessed to the school-delivery deal. Which of course begs the question, how many times had she purchased drugs during school hours?

At any rate, let’s hope she is stripped of her teaching privileges at least refrain from allowing her to teach elementary kids, then again this is Florida and they tend to tolerate a lot of crazy shit. 

Cristal M Clark

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Drug Dealers Getting into the Online Shopping Game

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Instagram and Snapchat – A Drug Dealers New Turf

Cristal M Clark 

Let’s admit it, we all love the convenience of online shopping, not having to go to the store for everything from car parts, to booze and groceries, so is it really that hard to imagine that drug addicts would also appreciate the idea of being able to purchase their goods online as well?

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They are in luck because Instagram and Snapchat just to name a couple of social media platforms that do cater to drug dealers and customers with just a simple DM. Dealers have finally stopped hanging out in seedy alleyways to sell their drugs and are now treating the sales of drugs as an actual business. 

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Yes an actual business with sales goals, advertising and investing in selling. 

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According to Voltface, 1 in 4 individuals is selling drugs on social media, using creative advertising gimmicks such as but not limited to, high quality professional images of said product, giveaways, cold contacting. The majority of listings seen were for cannabis however, cocaine, MDMA, Xanax and nitrous oxide were also high up on the list. That is sadly naming just a few of the drugs you can buy through social media, not surprisingly users can score a lot more than just that. 

Nice, very comforting for parents. 

NHS reports that Class A drug use among 11 to 15-year-olds is in fact on the rise, not to mention that there have been a number of high-profile cases of children fatally overdosing. The truth of the matter is kids are not using drugs at younger ages, they are just using more deadly drugs these days and the number of adults looking for a way to cope has also more than tripled over the last decade, so the ability to obtain drugs online outside of the heavily policed dark web where it’s easier to hide from law enforcement is highly appealing to both users and dealers alike.  

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Users who sell drugs via social media are reporting that it’s easy to set up an account and locate potential customers to approach and sell their goods to. 

That of course is problematic to law enforcement because the social media platforms continually do things so as to shut the prying eyes of the system out, in fact the majority of social media platforms do everything that they can to protect the identities of their users and the account’s of their users. With the exception of Facebook, law enforcement can pretend to be some type of company that wants to “purchase” user information unbeknownst to the users and Facebook will just sell it to them. 

Now that dealers are treating the sales of drugs as a business and moving it to social media it’s only a matter of time before the cartels catch on to the game leaving the war on drugs standing on losing playing ground. 

Cristal M Clark

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Member of Motorcycle Club Slugs Guy for Wearing Fake MC Vest 

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Key West Florida, Sloppy Joe’s Bar 

Cristal M Clark 

In an incident caught on the security cam footage at Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Key West Florida, Pagans Member 52-year old Michael Robbins took offense to a vest a fellow bar patron was sporting Saturday night. 

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Michael was so enraged by the dupe that he was subsequently arrested and charged with, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, robbery, misdemeanor battery, criminal mischief and a felony charge of gang-related activity. He is being held on a $100,000 bond which I am guessing is a bit excessive. 

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At any rate, the victim, 36, hails from Virginia Beach, reported that he and some friends decided to wear “fake motorcycle vests,” purchased from Amazon, for fun while riding their “bicycles” to a Key West bar on Saturday night.

Wait, they rode actual bicycles not motorcycles? They then thought it would be funny to mock a club by wearing fake vests that didn’t even sport a real club’s patches? Turns out the vests these morons were wearing sported a logo depicting “Roman Empires Oceana.”

Patrons from Sloppy Joe’s Bar reported that Michael and fellow Pagans were giving the victim and his pals a hard time for wearing the vests, so the victim decided to leave the bar and head to his hotel room. As he walked out on Duval and headed toward his bicycle he was approached by Michael, who of course made some colorful references to the vest.

Before the victim could answer, Michael punched him in the face and then ordered him to hand over the vest, then promptly informed the victim that this was “Pagan territory,” and that if he saw him in Key West again, he and his Pagan friends would beat him up. 

The victim then told Michael his cut was part of a military group, to which Michael responded by ever so nicely asking the victim to follow him around the corner and the two were standing outside the General Horseplay bar on Caroline Street. Michael was heard saying: “If you ever come back to Key West, I will kill you,”  as he used his knife to cut patches off the vest of the victim.

Video shows Michael putting the patches in his back pocket. 

Now here is where things don’t make complete sense, if Michael had hit the victim hard enough to warrant felony charges, the guy wouldn’t have been able to follow him around here, not to mention inform Michael he was part of a military group. 

The incident was captured by a bar’s security camera and the footage shows Robbins putting the patches into his back pocket, police said.

Either way, Michael should not have punched the guy or destroyed the vest by cutting the patches off of it, yet again it’s sort of also a form of a harassment which could loosely be translated to a form of a hate crime, to sport a fake motorcycle club vest mocking members of actual motorcycle clubs for one’s own entertainment. 

Cristal M Clark

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Police Impersonator Selling PCP

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Oklahoma City Drug Dealers Impersonating Cops These Days

Cristal M Clark 

I suppose these days everything is a thing up to and including impersonating a police officer and then selling some PCP. 

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Recently in Oklahoma City, 3 people were arrested for allegedly selling PCP at an apartment complex, one of which just so happened to be attempting to impersonate a police officer. 

Not super smart when dealing with real actual cops, but you know sometimes criminals are not the brightest bulbs in the box. But her getup, that is what takes the cake here. 

When officers with the Oklahoma City police department arrived at the scene, the woman who is identified as Shirlene Nelson, told them she was a police officer.

She was reportedly wearing a pink duty belt with pepper spray, two knives, handcuffs, brass knuckles and a “special police brass badge.”

Maybe it was the pink utility belt or the brass knuckles that gave it away. 

Either way perhaps this police impersonator needs to stop hitting the product prior to impersonating a cop. 

Cristal M Clark

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E-Skimming Getting Worse by The Day

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FBI Issues Warning 

Cristal M Clark

I’m sure you all know about card skimming at the fuel station, the market and just about anywhere you swipe a card, we also need to worry about E=Skimming which is not a new thing. 

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E-Skimming, is an internet based card fraud where malware is injected into the payment page of a website to steal consumers’ payment details which of course happens when the hackers have unleashed malware on the payment page of the website. They then collect  customer card data when customers pay during the checkout process. 

Of course this has been a small problem since online shopping became a thing however, it’s now getting worse as each year passes. In fact according to the FBI, millions consumers’ data has been compromised by this kind of online scheme over just the past 2 years, and that my friends is just a stab in the dark at just how many individuals have had card data stolen through an online store because the FBI is having a difficult time obtaining a more precise count. 

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Unfortunately, consumers never see this or get a warning when any sites payment system has been compromised so, we can’t really tell. 

So what are we consumers to do here?

Experts suggest using a credit card for all online purchases over using a debit card because the money on a debit card comes out of your account right away and in some cases it can take a while to see the funds returned to the account. 

Consumers can also check with the bank that they use, most banks now have a feature included with most mobile banking apps that alert the user if a charge is run on his/her debit card and that alert is in real-time.

Banks are also really coming around in terms of fraudulent charges on cards, they don’t let the fund’s come right out before checking with the consumer in some cases where things seem off and they are getting faster at returning funds that were not authorized. 

Either way, the FBI does not see an end to this situation anytime soon, so when you shop online, keep an eye out for charges that don’t belong to you. 

Cristal M Clark

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Want to Fight Off Coronavirus? Drink Some Bleach

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QAnon Urging People to Drink Bleach to Ward Off Virus

Cristal M Clark

Did you just read that headline and think WTF? Me too, me too, yet sadly according to the Daily Beast, influencers popular within the QAnon conspiracy are in fact encouraging their followers to buy a mixture called Miracle Mineral Solution, also known as MMS, also known as well good old fashioned bleach.

So what, you eat a tide pod then wash it down with some bleach?

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Some fringe groups of QAnon for whatever reason consider the liquid solution of sodium chlorite to be a cure all for autism, hepatitis, the flu, cancer, and HIV. 

Which couldn’t be further from the truth. Usually lemon juice or another citric acid is added to the MMS to make it into a beverage. That’s when the trouble starts because when the acid is added, the concoction then becomes chlorine dioxide, hence a bleaching agent.

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The delightful side effects of the mixtures ingestion include but are not limited to: severe vomiting and diarrhea, a potentially deadly drop in blood pressure, and acute liver failure; the benefits of ingestion are none, and certainly not the prevention of coronavirus, HIV, Hepatitis, the Flu or Cancer.

QAnon influencer Jordan Sather proudly stated on YouTube and Twitter recently: “I’m going to have to get home and MMS the whole state.” 

Another supporter of QAnon urged his followers to the tune of over 17,000 to take the following steps to protect themselves: “purchase a bleach spray,  I use this all the time to protect myself and my family. It kills viruses quick.” He then provided a link to a website that gave actual detailed information on how to make then use the concoction: “spraying this mixture in your mouth & swishing it around and swallowing.” This incredibly intelligent individual ended his presentation by providing instructions for how to use the mixture on your face, and to your fucking eyes to help with vision. 

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Of course QAnon believe that the Coronavirus is a new fad illness, yes a fad illness that was created by Bill and Melinda Gates as part of a eugenic plot and “depopulation agenda” to be achieved primarily through mass vaccination.

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The ineptitude of QAnon and it’s supporters is astonishing, just astonishing. I really do hope that none of QAnon and it’s supporters are gun owners, they seem to lack an overall level of intelligence that blows my mind. 

Cristal M Clark

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