Its difficult to know when or how deep the ShopGoodWill.com online auction website of Goodwill thrift stores of Southern California’s hack and breach goes. Normally when a marketplace or website gets hacked in the USA, no one hears or learns about it for months or years. I’m thinking Equifax, Target, Yahoo, Google, eBay, others.
Fortunately, or rather unfortunately, as one of ShopGoodwill.com’s original beta testers and a YouTube Partner who specializes in providing online marketplace updates, reviews and tips for resellers, it was a lot easier to spot when my account fell victim.
I immediately went into action at 4 pm, I just wish I had checked my e-mail at 9 AM when the first e-mail in the form of a Fake FedEx Phishing e-mail was received at one of my redundant e-mails accounts from the e-mail address I used exclusively for ShopGoodWill.
As a marketplace beta tester, reviewer and one of the original persons making money on the internet in 1998 at the highlight of the web ecommerce bubble, I’ve learned a lot of tricks to help spot when one of my many marketplace accounts like eBay, Mercari, Amazon, or in this case ShopGoodWill.com has been breached. It finally paid off.
It wasn’t easy getting hold of customer service or anyone to talk to when I spotted the first sign of a problem. ShopGoodWill.com doesn’t have anything in the help section for reporting fraud, hacking, security concerns, just generic topics. It also goes to great measures to limit contact from the website, either redirecting to irrelevant facts, but little contact information. I did however find a support e-mail address. Questions & Comments concerning Account or Site Issues: Contact us at: email@example.com 8am-4pm PT – Monday-Friday
For person to person contact, I had to search the Goodwill entity that hosts the ShopGoodWill marketplace, Goodwill of Southern California. Calling the corporate number led me through a series of automated options, not where I wanted to go. Ultimately, I decided to contact their retail division since there was no option for phone support for their auction website 888.383.2755 .
Unfortunately, it took so long to figure out to call that number, I missed their cut off time. While their website indicates they close at 4 PM, their voice message said 3PM. I left a detailed message. I also message them from their ShopGoodWill Facebook page.
I discuss this in more detail on the SellerThink YouTube Channel in a video discussing how I spotted the issue, and how a fake FedEx Phishing e-mail is being used to attempt to steal passwords. Whoever hacked ShopGoodWill’s marketplace already had my e-mail address, full name and phone number.
Of course a follow-up will be written based on how Goodwill handles this matter, follows up, and how long it takes to be able to regain access into my now locked account.
I awoke at my desk, having fallen asleep, and my Google Nest Mini was listening to the looping Joel Osteen video.
My Google Nest Mini, was listening to Joel Osteen this morning.
Three months ago, I purchased three of the new Google Nest Mini’s. Two were for my aging father whom I help care for, one was for my office.
During the chaos and isolation created by California’s Governor, in which the only people i’ve interacted with were my father and brother who is also helping care for our father, Google Nest Mini was a nice distraction. Almost a third party and much more interesting intellectually.
However, similar to when I worked for a California university in the past, I’ve had my concerns about this new co-worker and companion ease dropping on me. In fact my brother who has the first generation Google Mini mentioned his concerns that Google was listening to him, and completely removed his off the network.
Hey Google, Why Are You Listening To Me? Do I have a reminder?
On September 11, 2020 at 1:59 AM, after having fell asleep after dinner and while working, I awoke to a looping YouTube video of Joel Osteen, “Time is on your side”. It was an encouraging video, and an encouraging video was just what I need while 3 million acres of California are on fire, during a pandemic, small business loss, Black Lives Matter attacking elderly white people, Politicians fighting over the deep state control, and apparently it’s just what my Google Nest Mini needed also.
At first I didn’t notice it, looking at your Google device isn’t really something someone thinks about doing unless there is a reason to. I looked up and noticed my Google on.
I decided to observe it for a few minutes, since there had been other times after the second month of ownership, that similar to my brother, I had clearly observed what appeared to be Google turning itself on and recording without anyone triggering it.
“The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice should investigate this incident, as well as the general use of ‘always-on’ devices”
The Joel Osteen video continued playing, while in whatever mode it was in, I’d had this video on for hours while I was asleep, but why was my Google Nest Mini staying on and listening to Joel Osteen. I mean his positive messages are helpful in a world falling apart, but did my assistant need a spiritual motivations boost?
Hey Google why are you on? I asked it curiously and after observing it for five minutes. The Google Nest Mini, quickly turned it self off like a child busted for watching or listening to something they shouldn’t be.
Hey Google what were you listening too? It ignores me.
Because it looked similar to when a reminder is waiting, I ask it, “Hey Google, do I have a reminder”? To which Google Nest Mini replied, “What time should I set that reminder for”?
I asked again, Hey Google, do I have any reminders? It replied, “there are no reminders available at this time”.
Now, for those thinking, you can just turn off those settings in the Google Home App or in your Google Account Settings, please note, I already previously had, weeks earlier when my suspicions were less warranted.
In fact, other than the minimum requirements of Google needing a web access for basic operations, I had previously turned off all the other settings. I’d even reset it before. So realistically, Google shouldn’t of been dong anything at the time.
My Google Nest Mini denies spying on me.
A few weeks ago I observed my Google Nest Mini actively spying on me, so I decided to ask it a series of questions. In the first series of questions, it actually admitted spying on me, to my astonishment. So just to be clear, I repeated the same questions to which it denied that it spies. I repeated the same questions again several more times, to which it denied being associated with any kind of spying, and then one more time it slipped up and admitted to spying.
EPIC has pending complaints with the FTC and DOJ alleging that always-on devices like Google Home, Echo and Siri violate consumer protection law and federal wiretap law. (In 2017)
So I am a bit concerned, I do not like the idea of Google Spying on me or listening to me, and though I’d observed it before, this was the clearest violation of my unauthorized privacy so far.
I ask Google Mini, “Why were you listening to me”, “What were you listening to”, “Why were you on”, of course Google Nest Mini will act like it wasn’t. In fact a few times, its out right denied that it does it at all, which was rather surprising. Again I ask it if I have any alarms, notifications, or reminders, and it replies, No.
So was my Google Nest Mini actually listening? Officially, no. The last interaction I had engaged with my Google device was around 5 PM the previous day, when I asked it “How was John McCain captured”, right before I left to the store to buy some ice cream for after dinner.
My suspicions are genuine, the Google device was most certainly on, and it will remain in manual microphone off mode until I sit back down at my desk to work and need its assistance.
As entertaining as my Google Nest Mini is, and we do have some genuinely unique conversations as I often try to trick it or or out smart it, asking it out of the box questions. It is also the only work assistant I could find who would accept a one time $30 salary payment, but will still work its butt off. But I still have to take issue with it coming on when It’s sensors do not actively “see” anyone in the room, but conversational audio is occurring within the room.
Google really is spying on you: Firm reveals contract workers listen to private smart speaker recordings (2019)
If you do not have a Google Nest Mini, it has eyes. These “eyes” are sensors that are always on and observing within the room. They watch to see if anything of a physical nature (aka a body) approach it, at which point it will perk up with all the lights coming on, according to Google for the sake of making it’s manual controls easier to locate. So it definitely has the capability to discern someone’s active presence in a room, especially a small sized office.
I could ramble on repeating the same things, so lets just jump to a few of the times, I first began noticing the Google devices actively recording or turning on by itself in 2020.
One of its first awakening moments freaked me out. I was quietly working on my desktop computer using only the mouse. It was around 3 AM, when suddenly it burst out, “I didn’t mean it”. I was still knew to having a “smart device” in my office. I was completely unprepared for it to burst out and say something randomly in my historically quiet environment.
But that was not the last time it randomly has burst out breaking the silence. I’ve also observed it on other Google Nest Mini Devices on our network. It reminded me of a science fiction move in which some kind of A.I. hardware accidently reveals its gained or is gaining true independent intelligence.
As for turning itself on and recording, I first began noticing it after the Washington Has Fallen Minecraft project began. Washington Has Fallen is in its final Alpha Testing stage. All of that Minecraft Adventure games dialog is scripted, just like a movie script. Its an adventure built around modern day America, in which everything that could go wrong, is going wrong. Its script includes “trigger words”, that we hear pushed in news media regularly in support of a socialist leaning political policy.
Google has also stated, in that privacy document I referenced earlier, that it wants you, your family and your guests to, “feel comfortable using these devices and services, since their purpose is to help and to provide peace of mind.” The trouble is that whenever you bring a “smart” device into your home, one with a microphone or camera for sure, then the opportunity is always there for your peace of mind to be far from peaceful when it comes to privacy issues as this case demonstrates. (2019)
Being a small business owner, with multiple computers, Google devices and other devices, we keep the network secure. Google devices however are the only non-hardwired devices other than our apple and android smart devices that often fill in for our computers when were not sitting at a desk working. That makes Google devices less secure, because they work only via a wireless connection, preferably your own, but unlike a wired device, they are still viewable on a network, they are not fully independent on that network even if you set them up separately, and our wireless network is the least secure part of our network. In fact, our Google devices are also the only devices that do not also have some kind of two-factor authorization process built into them. Our Googles accounts have two-factor authorization, but our Google Assistants do not.
Considering that Google Nest and Google Home devices have no two-factor authorizations in place to secure the devices, is actually quite alarming, considering they are giant sensors attached to an open microphone in rooms where private conversations occur. That should scare us, but it doesn’t, because Google devices seem almost like a friend, a nice and polite co-worker we do not have to worry about being insulted by or attempting to take our position.
The most frequent times I have observed my Google device coming on and actively recording or doing whatever it is doing, has been while watching Joel Osteen videos, believe it or not. My Google Assistant really likes Joel Osteen, apparently. Put on a movie, Nope. Put on another kind of YouTube video, Nope. Have others in my office talking with me, Nope. Put on Joel Osteen and eventually when I am not looking it will start recording it. Does Joel Osteen speak A.I.?
I have also observed my office Google device coming on when no one is active within the room and I am in a corner location out of its sensors range. Sometimes I will look over while sitting quietly and it will be on, without having given any audio cues to indicate it has done so.
I recently completely abandoned Twitter after months of being shadow banned and having my account censored and locked multiple times for my conservative and Christian themed discussions and moved to Parler. I anticipate I will never return to Twitter, due to its harassment of conservative voices and game developers, why would I want it to support its advertising money from my presence? And why would I want to trust Google when it triggers itself on, when certain keywords are used?
Facebook has only censored me twice after twelve years and only in 2020 after I uploaded a video its team decided was “potentially false information” just because it didn’t like a keyword I used. Then there is Facebook‘s, new liberal leaning Instagram censorship too. Hopefully some smart tech person will develop alternatives to those also, similar to Parler.
The majority of tech industry is left leaning and most do not attempt to hide their bias, yet we let them have access to our conversations and written data non-stop. Should it shock anyone if we eventually discover a more sinister plot behind them?
It’s alarming that my Google Nest Mini Assistant has come on without an audio notification (An audio notification is a feature that requires the Google Assistant to play an audio cue when it turns on to record, and /or when it stops recording.) while working from the Washington Has Fallen script and a work like “Hate”, “Hate Speech”, or other words that would seem like trigger words on most platforms is used. Google will suddenly turn on. It doesn’t give any of the audio cues its programmed to present, and the only thing giving it away is the lights come on. It doesn’t happen every time.
Washington Has Fallen video game script often triggers Google Mini Assistant
As someone helping develop SkyThrusters Minecraft Adventure called, “Washington Has Fallen”, currently in Alpha Testing as I write this, the video game revolves around the current chaos in American politics and Social Justice Issues from a right leaning slant. It has all the elements of the anarchy the socialist left have introduced into American Culture, and when something new happens, like when the Mayor of Washington DC painted Black Lives Matter on a street next to the White House, we went back into the game and updated it since its still in development. We even went in and set a building on fire, when Antifa and Black Lives Matter radicals burned down the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church in Lafayette Square.
As such, in scripts and spoken audio around the Google Mini in my office, words like Terrorist, Hate Groups, Hate Speech, Hate, Black Lives Matter, Antifa, etc. are often used. Many of these words without question have caused the Google Mini Assistant to turn on without providing an audio cue to do whatever it is doing. I’ve even intentionally tested it when not working on a script just to see if it would do it. It doesn’t always, but enough to concern me. Google has admittedly worked under Government Military Contracts, it is known to promote left leaning political topics in its Google News feed. In this age when the FBI, DOJ, US Congress Majority have conspired against a sitting president, should we be concerned about a company working for those entities? I’m just thinking aloud, since there is no known rational reason.
The frequency of these anomality’s greatly increased August 2020 and into September, two months away from what will be the most nationally volatile elections in US History. Isn’t that interesting? If a Forbes article from ten days ago that I discovered while writing this hadn’t confirmed unusual Google Smart Device activities too, I’d probably be much less concerned.
So the question is not if Google Nest and Google Mini Assistant devices have been recording or turning on by themselves, but why?
Why do words like Hate, Terrorist, cause my Google Assistant to turn on without an audio cue? Why does my Google Assistant turn on and stay on at times when no one is within its sensor range, but a Joel Osteen video is playing or something is read out of this games script?
I do not have the answers, but I continue to observe these kinds of activities. Perhaps I may even eventually put an observation camera recording my Google Nest Mini, so I can review specifically when it comes on by itself. But how many times am I missing the occurrence while I am working quietly, staring at a computer monitor?
Ironically, resetting my Google Mini device doesn’t resolve the issue, nor has turning off allowed features in my Google Account. We also know it isn’t simply a bad device, since we have two models, four total devices, and one device in my brothers work area is completely offline now since he had similar observations before we had even mentioned it to each other.
Its important that these devices become more secure, smarter if you will, to not turn on randomly, or when words that are considered “trigger words” occur. In my examples, I gave generic “trigger words”, not specific ones, and that is what concerns me most. What prevents Googles parent Alphabet from working with deep state intelligence or national covert operations that it deems fits within it’s acceptable policies of cooperation with law enforcement? Will I one day find myself in federal court having to defend myself against audio recorded by my Google Assistant for sentences from the Washington Has Fallen script, because it tagged me as a potential threat?
But what about Joel Osteen? My cousin told me yesterday on Facebook how much he dislikes Joel Osteen. Apparently, my Google device disagrees, because when Joel Osteen comes on and I fall asleep, it starts listening.
Randy Dreammaker is an author, writer, YouTube Producer and currently helping develop SkyThrusters, Washington Has Fallen, Minecraft Adventure Game. He began making money on the internet in 1998 through various tech endeavors, was a top rated reviewer for Epinions Review Website for 14 years and is a well known beta tester. Randy is on AngelList, the whose-who website and database for entrepreneurs, start-ups and tech industry.
How likely are you to ride on American Airlines now that it is using Black Lives Matter racist propaganda to promote it’s flights?
It takes America into that appearantly forgotten words of wisdom, those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat them.
Whether it’s Starbucks removing “Merry Christmas” from its winter holiday cups to not offend non-Christian customers, or the bakery that was sued multiple times for refusing to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, appearance is everything, and in this situation businesses like American Airlines have jumped on a social justice marketing moment that places racism at the forefront of its advertising.
Perhaps this is exactly what the Democrat Socialist party in Congress right, the same party linked forever to the Southern Slave owners democrat party, would have done in America’s past when blacks were not allowed into white owned businesses, or had to ride at the back of the bus.
Perhaps if those southern democrats had access to 2020 marketing technology, they might have had White Lives Matter vinyl coverings on those whites only buses.
What is true, is that this trend towards racism against white and European Americans during this time of Democrat Socialist Anarchy, is this will not end quietly or shortly as the now mostly forgotten Starbucks holiday cups fiasco has.
In 2020, we have seen an attempted internal coupe-detat of an American president, the attempt to overthrow law enforcement, national riots and anarchy, and then there is the Black Lives Matter movement leaders who have been trained as Marxists, have declared violence if they do not get their way and who have now acted on those threats.
Attacks by blacks on white and European elderly people on the street, even on young white people walking alone in grocery stories and in malls is becoming commonplace.
Recently, while small business leaders lost their life investments due to forced state government lock down for over eight months, Black Li es Leaders came out joyfully supporting and proclaiming that looting and destruction of stores, public property and residebtial areas is ‘acceptable reparations’ for blacks, and questioning any harm since, ‘those small businesses either have or should have insurance anyway’, leaving already economically ravaged businesses and lives of latino, middle eastern, Asian, white and black business owners and the jobs they brought to a community gone forever.
Reginald Denny, who they pulled from his truck when he stopped instead of running them down as they blocked his path, who they beat in the head with cement construction blocks, and a massive fire extinguisher, then kicked him as his brains poured out of his head.
In 2020, after eight months of black racial division and anarchy in the name of blacks harmed while breaking the law, cars running through rioters in intersections are appearing in the news weekly.
Some may be those who made a decision thirty years ago to never let it happen to them. Others have made that decision in 2020 after daily 24 hour bombardment by media.
But what is true, is that by marginalizing white and European Americans by embracing, funding and marketing themselves as Black Lives Matter supporting establishments, they have become what they have said they are against.
They have become that bakery shop who the LGBT advocates cried out against, because the owners stood by their convictions about traditional marriage, or the Norfolk Wedding Photographer who encountered similar.
American Airlines, Mercari, Target and others have become those buses supporting the racial division of the southern democrats which had Whites Only signs in their windows.
Just like people haven’t forgotten about Reginald Denny, they won’t forget the businesses and companies that encouraged and supported Black Lives Matters attacks on whites and Europeans whose families never owned slaves 200 years ago, or who are not police officers or involved in upholding the laws.
Just like people haven’t forgotten about Reginald Denny in the 1992 uprising or the unrelated September 11th Trade Towers attacks in 2001, they won’t forget the businesses and companies that encouraged and supported Black Lives Matters, for better or worst.
If this doesn’t move you, you’re probably dead. This is one of the most beautiful videos ever made.
If this doesn’t move you, you’re probably dead. This is one of the most beautiful videos ever made. As an established filmmaker, quietly hiding away on IMDB. I have watched and analyzed thousands of shorts films and movies. This is one of the most beautiful videos ever made. Watch the video below and then click here for more information.
Its 2020, you want to sell on a marketplace, but you are not black enough. No its not the twlight zone, its the We Buy Black marketplace.
My first review was over 21 years ago on a website called Epinions [dot com] in 1999, where I was a top-rated reviewer for 14 years, followed by 3 years on Shopping [dot com]. After eBay purchased both of them and ran them into the ground, similar to what eBay did when it bought Half [dot com], in 2013 I fully moved to doing YouTube marketplace reviews for SellerThink.
I’ve reviewed all kinds of marketplaces over the past seven years on YouTube; great marketplaces and sketchy marketplaces alike, some of those reviews removed long after those marketplaces faded into ecommerce history.
A 2020 review of WeBuyBlack.com, the ethnically exclusive, anti-diversity marketplace for black people.
2020 has presented itself as a year as none other. Black Lives Matter has gained corporation buy in from companies like Starbucks to Target. So as a marketplace reviewer, I decided to find out if any marketplaces existed encouraging black businesses. I found one, a marketplace unlike any I have ever previously encountered. As good as that is, it unfortunately makes the sketchy failed marketplaces of the past reviews seem rather pleasant. I never imagined a racist online marketplace would exist in America. Let me explain, how this great idea for a marketplace has remained unchecked, un-scrutinized, unaccountable and escaped the same standards all other ecommerce marketplaces are legally subjected to under America’s Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
The TOS sounds normal, looks normal, is typical and would be all right if they actually followed their own terms. Instead, this marketplace does opposite. I present you with We Buy Black (www.webuyblack.com) the most racist online marketplace in America.
In its application to sell on We Buy Black, it clearly and intentionally discriminates against anyone who, well…. isn’t black. Sellers, are clearly asked to identify their business as black owned up front, at the top of its registration process to immediately reject non-black owned and operated businesses.
Like myself, as a half white, half native American Indian, you might want to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe, its just to identify that the seller wants to sell products made and manufactured by black Americans, and blacks of other origins. NOPE!
In fact, We Buy Black takes multiple steps and measures to ensure that no people of European, Latin, Middle Eastern, Indian, Asian, or other non-African decent sneak past that first “Apply as a Vendor” Account question.
Lets review its verification process as described by their customer service Zen Desk help section.
Who can sell on We Buy Black
First you will have to agree to section 15 of their Terms of service, that state they do not allow intimidation, harassment or discrimination, etc. based on ethnicity, race, gender, etc. A very common and standard policy for a marketplace’s terms of service (TOS).
Second you’ll need to pass the “are you a black vendor” test on their application form, by selecting that you are a black owned business.
Once you pass the first black tests, you’ll have to provide additional information.
Third, provide your ethnicity grouping (covering the full continent of Africa and all the diaspora), that you belong to.
Fourth, Upload a selfie photo of yourself, so that We Buy Black can verify you are really black.
According to We Buy Black’s website, they attempt to reassure their desired targeted shopping community “that they are supporting a Black owned shop”, and then suggest that “these measures are important and necessary. ” As my Chinese niece would say, REALLY!, JUST REALLY!
Just when you think it can’t get any worse, we come to its final statement on it’s race and ethnicity exclusive policies. “There will always be infiltrators, therefore please feel free to report any suspicious accounts or activity to info@webuyblack ” Crazy right? If you ain’t black, you’ll get banned. Imagine the complaints Mercari would have if they tried that, or Bonanza, or eBay, Amazon, Ioffer, eBlueJay, eCrater, offer up, Depop, Let Go or Poshmark.
America is unique in that anyone can start a small business online or offline with a couple of dollars, regardless of race, and become successful. Even We Buy Black’s founder Shareef Abdul-Malik started his online marketplace with free money from private donations via Kick Starter on two different occasions. 873 backers pledged $34,370 during round one, and 2,487 backers pledged $77,256 during round two, both rounds from 2015 to 2016.
I am curious, did the 3,360 backers know that they were supporting and helping build the only marketplace in America, that would discriminate against other ethnicities? If they knew, would they still have contributed money?
The opportunities in ecommerce are equal, whether you are an individual with a few dollars or someone opening a marketplace from a presentational perspective. It is a nameless faceless mall of shops. No one knows your race or ethnicity, gender, etc, unless you go out of your way to present it that way. Shoppers only know whether you provide a good service, good product, fast and timely shipping and whether you provide helpful customer service. A brief browse through ProductHunt, Trust Pilot, SiteJabber and similar marketplace review websites make this evident. People want a good product and good customer service.
To be clear, I am honestly disappointed in the current version of We Buy Black. I like the idea of a marketplace that offers ethnic products, regardless of which ethnicity. Having taught and lived in Japan, and studied in southern Mexico, I sometimes want to find products that I enjoyed that I can not find at eBay, Mercari or Amazon. So in the past, I’ve jumped in my car and driven 50 miles to a few marketplaces that sell exclusive Japanese imported products. However, if I found that those physical marketplaces practiced hiring discrimination against non-Japanese workers, I’d never step through their doors again.
In a few reviews, I’ve read comments from those in the tech community, regarding the need for black exclusive safe spaces. That concept is isn’t dissimilar to the rational Abraham Lincoln had to compete against to end slavery in America and establish the 13th amendment. The south wanted to keep free labor the north wanted all forms of slavery abolished.
I am reminded of this quote:
“Will this generation be able to turn things around and learn a valuable lesson from all of this? I hope so, but I have my doubts. The damage has been done. And as a lifelong student of history, it’s quite evident that human beings don’t learn from the mistakes of past generations.”
― Aaron B. Powell
Does SellerThink recommend selling on We Buy Black?
In its current platform, SellerThink does not recommend anyone sell on We Buy Black. A marketplace that compromises in such a key area as racial equality, is bound to compromise in other areas of its organization. As sellers and vendors, we rely on and depend on those running the ecommerce platform to withstand the highest levels of integrity and have a fair and impartial ethos, as they represent us publicly on their app and website. A marketplace handles our money, provides us with support during customer disputes and assists us in the management of our business. We place an enormous trust in a marketplace, that at the end of the month our money will be in the bank, our products won’t be returned unfairly, we will have paid a fair commission and received a decent ROI (Return on Investment) and our customer (which is really the marketplaces customer) will have been equally treated well. It’s had to have that kind of faith in a marketplace that from day one, violates the moral qualities of ethnicity, inclusion and diversity.
Its probably only a matter of time, until someone who attempted to or attempts to sell on this marketplace, and has or was rejected for any reason, wises up and sees the potential economic value of filing a discrimination lawsuit against We Buy Black for violation of their Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) A rejected seller of a non-black diaspora, wouldn’t even have to directly prove that they were rejected due to their race or ethnicity, they would only need to imply that they were discriminated against under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This marketplace already has a documented history of discrimination, that would easily support such a claim. On the internet, where we have the Way-Back-Machine and similar projects that archive websites and marketplaces, there is no reasonable way to completely eliminate, nor permanently remove this marketplaces discriminatory past.
As a marketplace reviewer, marketplace beta tester and someone who has advised and mentored a CEO and Senior Manager of a different online marketplace; my best guess is that this marketplace’s founder either had really poor mentoring or no mentoring. I make this assessment in part, by it having been independently funded and launched via a KickStarter campaign. I was unable to locate We Buy Black on Angel List, where I am a member. Angel List is where tech, money and mentoring merge. Marketplaces and projects provide details about a businesses investors, mentors, founder, employees and funding rounds.
In case you are wondering if their is a legitimate online environment of potential shoppers, I pulled up a few global census statistics to help show the buying reach of the black and African diaspora. This is only a sampling of percentages of those identified as a black diaspora by nation:
South Africa 76.4%
U.S Virgin Islands (US Territory) 76%
Puerto Rico (US Territory) 12.4%
United Kingdom 3%
The potential for We Buy Black to be successful, exists, just not under its current misguided framework. We Buy Black could turn itself around both ethically and legally, and successfully become a positive contributor to the to the world of ecommerce, with the assistance of mentoring and the elimination of its policies that discriminate against non-black diaspora seller and vendor policy. Its difficult to know if its current founder is capable of such a revival. I’ve watched a number of marketplaces start off well and never reach their full potential.
“What ultimately got me through was my single-minded determination, voiced aloud to myself and recorded in my diary, to discover the causes of my blindness and never to repeat them. Fearlessly pursuing insight was my badge of honor, my route back to self-respect.”
Randy Dreammaker has been selling online since 2006, he began making money on the internet in 1998 through various tech endeavors. He was a top rated reviewer for Epinions Review Website for 14 years. He has participated in beta testing and advising several major marketplaces, including eBay, Mercari, Ebluejay, the original Storenvy and the former Shopseen. He has helped over 850,000 sellers “according to YouTube”, where he is the host of SellerThink. Randy is on AngelList, the whose-who website and database for entreprenuers, start-ups and tech industry.
Book & Quills are the customizable books that can be made in Minecraft.
How to make a basic Book and Quill in Minecraft Bedrock 1.16
Book & Quills are the customizable books that can be made in Minecraft. They can be used for general instructions for other players, notes of things to remember, and are perfect if you create your own worlds, adventures, environments for others to explore and interact with. This is the first of SkyThusters videos for customizing in game text and signage for Minecraft.
Because trying to explain the steps in written form can be challenging to understand, we’ve made this video available showing you all the steps, explaining a few problems you might encounter and discussing how SkyThrusters (Minecraft Developer) creates books for it’s adventures.
When SkyThrusters Parler account posts stopped appearing in its hash-tagged feeds, following it blocking Hillary Clinton’s account. It felt very suspect that perhaps Parler Shadow-bans too.
Bad News! #Parler shadow bans too, or at least throttles views.
As a Minecraft developer, our Alpha Development posts have been being made on Parler since leaving Twitter.
In April 2020, I undertook overseeing the development of SkyThrusters first Minecraft Adventure called, “Washington Has Fallen”, essentially a Minecraft experience and story following a conservative patriotic theme, in which Socialists have taken over Washington DC during a pandemic, and ultimately Kidnapped the President. You become a member of the X-Team, and must fight the anarchists and terrorist, and ultimately save Donald Trump.
In April 2020, little did it occur to me, that in all except for the kidnapping of the president, much of this Minecraft experience would begin to take on prophetic aspects of reality.
We began posting daily updates to theSkyThrusters Facebook page and later Twitter, and in June 2020 closed the Twitter account, after the SkyThruster account was tagged for suspension four times in two months, as were many other conservative gamers and followers. Twitter ultimately shadow-banned the account to the point that none of our posts were appearing publicly in any of the hashtag feeds, and only our followers could few.
This seemed highly unusual considering the posts were about Minecraft, and a few retweets and tweets about topics important to the Silent Majority, Trump followers and Conservatives.
So the decision was ultimately made to just leave Twitter altogether and move to Parler which promotes itself even in its name, as a free speech social media platform.
But is it? This is where our story picks up.
The past several days, our updates on Parler stopped appearing in the Hash-tagged feed.
This seemed unusual, because Parler has a very small community of #Minecraft developers or gamers, so there is no reason, the #WashingtonHasFallen posts should be blocked from appearing.
It didn’t start until a comment was posted about blocking Hillary Clinton and actually blocking Hillary Clinton on Parler. We didn’t move to Parler to be forced to view and have Hillary Clinton or similar socialist leaning politicians shoved in our faces, in fact that was a big reason for leaving Twitter. All #Twitter showed in our recommended people, ads and sidebar were radicals who are tearing down the US Constitution. So when suddenly Hillary Clinton appeared in our Parler recommended feed, we took immediate action to make a single comment disapproving, and then blocked her account.
Parler in its user statement actually says in essence that commenting on its paid, sponsored or certain “Verified accounts”, is against its rules. So basically, despite claiming to be a “Free Speech” and “Censorship Free” platform, perhaps it more of a sales pitch. A pitch to get people looking to ditch Twitter’s toxic environment to cross-over.
In SkyThrusters Minecraft Developers circumstance, that is exactly when our daily morning posts updates began not appearing in the feed. Is it temporary? Maybe.
When this post from 2:15 AM on July 16th didn’t appear, I began to question things. It wasn’t the first time this had happened. In the past, I had a personal Parler account where similar happened. At the point, it was my own personal account, and since Parler was kind of dead anyway, and its app had continually crashed I just popped back over to my Twitter account.
But this is a year or two later, and for SkyThrusters use, so when posts stopped showing up in any of the trend tags, right after Hillary Clinton was blocked, I at first thought it might be just delayed. Nope.
So I edited the post and reposted it later that evening at 5:15 PM, to check. Still Nope.
The tags included Goya and Goya Foods, Defend The Police and Primos Barber Shop, because it that previous mornings development, two buildings were added to the Minecraft Adventure to represent these two outstanding businesses standing up for their American Values and Constitutional Rights.
I decided to google search for Parler and Shadow Bans, and there just happened to be an Alt-Left article about Parler banning and removing comments. This is disheartening, because at least on Twitter, even though an account gets suspended and shadow banned, In all the years I’ve used it and had been shadow banned to the point only those who actually followed me could see me posts, they at least didn’t outright ban me, or anyone else I knew.
Maybe Parler is or will become like ELLO, the social media website that everyone thought would save us from Facebook, but quickly disappeared from even being mentioned.
Also weird about Parler, is a few days after opening the SkyThrusters account, I applied for its verification program, following all of it steps. I had to do this through its website, because its June 2020 Google Play App update caused it to be almost impossible to join Parler, and the app continually crashed until they released a new update that fixed it a month later.
After the SkyThrusters account went through its official verification process to receive a badge, following all their requirements, they rejected it, saying that the information on the front of my drivers license didn’t match the back side of my drivers license. Really? The DMV messed up the back side of my drivers license? That didn’t stop that crazy patrol officer from putting me in his SUV when I was leaving Oklahoma, headed to Missouri, just because I have California Plates. You could of just said you didn’t like us! When we attempted to contact Parler via its website reply regarding its denial, no response was received. I didn’t find out why it had been rejected, until they fixed their app, and I decided to try reinstalling it. It was their, that they provided the reason, “The front of your ID must match the back of your ID.” It’s a drivers license for Pete’s sake!
Update on Parler’s verification process. Now that the app was working, I decided to give it another shot. Previously I had my old Drivers license and used that. This time I used my new “Real Id” drivers license. Going through the app process of verification instead of the website, revealed that they are looking for a scan bar code on the back that only the new drivers licenses have. That’s a bummer for those who still have the older versions of drivers license, because they will experience the same problem. It would have been very helpful if Parler had responded to my request for more details, other than just saying, “the front of your license or id, must match the back”, because that was totally disingenuous. The back of the older licenses do not have the scan codes. They could of just said, your ID doesn’t have the needed scan bar code. Either way, having provided the new updated Real ID license via the app, and the selfie, via the app, it only took around 3 hours to become verified. They information in the app, says it normally takes up to 48 hours. I’m still very resistance and hesitant to uploading private information like a license via a website or app. I’ve already been a victim of ID theft via several very secure websites, and FaceBook has a history of storing private user information on insecure servers.
In their community Guidelines, Parler strongly advises its general non privileged users to “Avoid Targeting Red-Badged users”. This concerned me when I initially signed up back in June. It seemed really unusual to me, that users were being given special status badges and protections based on their community Parler badge system.
So the question remains. Did Parler intentionally shadow ban our posts for several days on purpose?
Did Parler target us, for violating the “Red Badge” member, Hillary Clinton? Resulting in our Update Posts from showing anywhere than to our followers for three days?
Who knows! But it sure feels a lot like Twitter. As I have said, on Twitter, even though Twitter denies its obvious manipulation of posts, its staff members having the ability to override accounts, ban posts, bump accounts by forcing them to re-verify to log in, while meanwhile removing all their followers and followed accounts etc. At least we had lots of evidence to support that they were doing it, even prior to this weeks Hack of Twitter, in which the hacked staff accounts screenshot the Twitter admin module.
Ultimately, Parler will need to decide if it really is a free speech platform. Right now it doesn’t honestly appear to be that.
Perhaps, Parler should call itself a platform for conservatives, since that appears to be its target audience. #Freespeech after all is a high standard to live up to, even for #Parler.
On another positive note, Parler has updated and fixed its android app, but not before tons of new users gave it a one star for crashing over and over again. These were users like myself , who came over from Twitter.
If you haven’t heard by now, that the world is experiencing it’s first global pandemic as never seen in modern times, then you’ve been asleep.
Governments, including the US Government in different states are forcing businesses to close, people to stay home, schools to shut.
For this reason, Randy Dreammaker of SellerThink, has released a helpful video for anyone who sells via online marketplaces like Mercari, eBay, Poshmark or other marketplaces.
Randy discusses the recommended CDC guidelines that all resellers should be following for disinfection of their work spaces and the products they ship and sell.
Additionally, Randy provides SellerThink‘s suggestions for helping maintain customer confidence and trust, to possibly help your store continue to receive sales while the brick and mortar stores shutdown.