HIGH COST SPYING AND BETRAYAL: FACEBOOK DOWN $60 BILLION!

Facebook, Twitter shares tank in light of Cambridge Analytica exposé

Establishment duplicity: When Facebook ‘allowed’ Obama campaign to mine data in 2012, mainstream media, stock market cheered

Facebook and Twitter both took a beating on the stock market today. By early afternoon, Facebook had lost about $60 billion, or over 11% since its closing price on Friday. Twitter dropped by over 10% or $2.4 billion.

Why?

I would like to think it was because I quit Facebook on Feb 3, and Twitter in mid-2017. 🙂

“Why should I waste my time and emotional and intellectual capital on a platform which will eventually self-destruct and collapse?” – I wrote at the time {see I QUIT! – Feb 3, 2018 – https://wp.me/p1jFeo-2sd).

And now, Facebook has started doing just that – “self-destruct and collapse.”

Levity aside, the real reason both stocks are now tanking is actually the same as that which had caused me to quit them both. They sold our their users. They became  establishment whores, spying on and censoring its customers, while serving the interests of government and corporate advertisers.

In short, they killed their golden goose in pursuit of more gold. Greed 101!

This brouhaha broke out after the disclosure last week by a Facebook whistleblower that the firm Trump campaign used for data mining during the 2016 election – Cambridge Analytica – absconded with some 50 million Facebook user profiles while the social media giant looked the other way.

At first, Facebook lamely denied that it had any knowledge of it. But subsequent firsthand testimony by an ex-Facebook insider proved the company was lying and being dishonest in addition to greedy.

Sandy Parakilis, the platform operations manager at Facebook responsible for policing data breaches by third-party software developers between 2011 and 2012, confirmed that such covert data harvesting was routine at the social networking giant.

Parakilas

Parakilis told the Guardian he had warned senior Facebook executives that its lax approach to data protection risked a major breach says numerous companies deployed these techniques – likely affecting hundreds of millions of users – and that Facebook executives told him to look the other way.

“They felt that it was better not to know, Parakilis said. “I found that utterly shocking and horrifying.” (for more, see… https://goo.gl/jixJKi).

WHAT’S GOOD FOR THE GOOSE ISN’T GOOD FOR THE GANDER

‘They were on our side’: Facebook ‘allowed’ Obama campaign to mine data

The Facebook-Twitter debacle also exposed the hypocrisy and duplicity of the liberal mainstream media. As you saw, Parakilis said that harvesting of user data for profit and political gain was common practice at Facebook as far back as 2011-2012.

It turns out that the social media giant had allowed Barack Obama campaign to do the same thing in 2012 as what the Trump campaign is being vilified for.

Carol Davidsen, former director for media analytics for Obama’s 2012 campaign, has poured oil onto the fire by reveling in a series of tweets that Facebook allowed them to do “things they wouldn’t have allowed someone else to do.”

That reportedly included “suck[ing] out the entire social graph” – an individual’s network of friends on Facebook – in a bid to target more and more potential voters through friends’ friends on social media.

For more, see… https://on.rt.com/91gw


UPDATE MARCH 21, 2018

HOW THE BRITS, NOT THE RUSSIANS, FIXED THE US ELECTION 2016

This is a fascinating story from today’s Guardian (London).
This update includes two “must watch” videos – one by UK’s Channel 4, which did undercover recording to expose the Cambridge Analytica methods of data gathering and mass election manipulations. And another – a firsthand account of the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower about HOW they swung the election Trump’s way.

He went on to describe how political candidates are manipulated.

“They don’t understand because the candidate never, is never involved. He’s told what to do by the campaign team.” The reporter asks if that means the candidate is just a puppet, and Nix replies simply: “Always.”

images.duckduckgo-2 7.44.00 PM

Execs from firm at heart of Facebook data breach say they used ‘unattributable and untrackable’ ads, according to undercover expose

Senior executives from the firm at the heart of Facebook’s data breach boasted of playing a key role in bringing Donald Trump to power and said they used “unattributable and untrackable” advertising to support their clients in elections, according to an undercover expose.

In secretly recorded conversations, Cambridge Analytica’s CEO, Alexander Nix, claimed he had met Trump “many times”, while another senior member of staff said the firm was behind the “defeat crooked Hillary” advertising campaign.

“We just put information into the bloodstream of the internet and then watch it grow, give it a little push every now and again over time to watch it take shape,” said the executive. “And so this stuff infiltrates the online community, but with no branding, so it’s unattributable, untrackable.”

Caught on camera by an undercover team from Channel 4 News, Nix was also dismissive of Democrats on the House intelligence committee, who had questioned him over Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign.

Senior managers then appeared to suggest that in their work for US clients, there was planned division of work between official campaigns and unaffiliated “political action groups”.

That could be considered coordination – which is not allowed under US election law. The firm has denied any wrongdoing.

Cambridge Analytica said it had a firewall policy in place, signed by all staff and strictly enforced.

The disclosures are the latest to hit Cambridge Analytica, which has been under mounting pressure since Sunday, when the Observer reported the company had unauthorised access to tens of millions of Facebook profiles – and used them to build a political targeting system.

In Tuesday’s second instalment of an undercover investigation by Channel 4 News in association with the Observer, Nix said he had a close working relationship with Trump and claimed Cambridge Analytica was pivotal to his successful campaign.

“We did all the research, all the data, all the analytics, all the targeting. We ran all the digital campaign, the digital campaign, the television campaign and our data informed all the strategy,” he told reporters who were posing as potential clients from Sri Lanka.

The company’s head of data, Alex Tayler, added: “When you think about the fact that Donald Trump lost the popular vote by 3m votes but won the electoral college vote that’s down to the data and the research.

“You did your rallies in the right locations, you moved more people out in those key swing states on election day. That’s how he won the election.”

Another executive, Mark Turnbull, managing director of Cambridge Analytica’s political division, was recorded saying: “He won by 40,000 votes in three states. The margins were tiny.”

Turnbull took credit for one of the most well known and controversial campaigns of the last presidential campaign, organised by the political action group Make America Number 1.

“The brand was ‘Defeat Crooked Hillary’. You’ll remember this of course?” he told the undercover reporter. “The zeros, the OO of crooked were a pair of handcuffs … We made hundreds of different kinds of creative, and we put it online.”

Turnbull said the company sometimes used “proxy organisations”, including charities and activist groups, to help disseminate the messages – and keep the company’s involvement in the background.

When the undercover reporter expressed worries that American authorities might seize on details of a dirty campaign, Nix said the US had no jurisdiction over Cambridge Analytica, even though the company is American and is registered in Delaware.

“I’m absolutely convinced that they have no jurisdiction,” he told the purported client. “So if US authorities came asking for information, they would simply refuse to collaborate. “We’ll say: none of your business.”

Turnbull added. “We don’t talk about our clients.”

Speaking to Channel 4 News before seeing the undercover film, Hillary Clintonsaid: “There was a new kind of campaign that was being run on the other side, that nobody had ever faced before. Because it wasn’t just all about me. It was about how to suppress voters who were inclined to vote for me … when you have a massive propaganda effort to prevent people from thinking straight, because they’re being flooded with false information.”

In the report, Nix also implied that it was possible to mislead authorities by omission, discussing his appearance in front of the House intelligence committee, for its inquiry into possible Russian election meddling.

The Republicans only asked three questions, which took five minutes, he told the reporter. And while the Democrats spent two hours questioning him, he claimed they were so far out of their depths that he didn’t mind responding.

“We have no secrets. They’re politicians, they’re not technical. They don’t understand how it works,” he said, when asked about whether he was forced to testify.

He went on to describe how political candidates are manipulated.

“They don’t understand because the candidate never, is never involved. He’s told what to do by the campaign team.” The reporter asks if that means the candidate is just a puppet, and Nix replies simply: “Always.”

In another exchange, Tayler describes an apparently planned division of spending on the campaign trail, with the candidate organising “positive” messages, with negative attack ads left to the super Pacs, which may engage in unlimited political spending independently of the campaigns.

“As part of it, sometimes you have to separate it from the political campaign itself … campaigns are normally subject to limits about how much money they can raise. Whereas outside groups can raise an unlimited amount.”

“So the campaign will use their finite resources for things like persuasion and mobilisation and then they leave the ‘air war’ they call it, like the negative attack ads to other affiliated groups.”

Play Video 13:04
Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wiley: ‘We spent $1m harvesting millions of Facebook profiles’ – video

This raises questions over whether Cambridge Analytica blurred the boundaries between official campaign groups, which have spending limits, and unaffiliated political action groups or super Pacs.

The latter can spend as much as they want but must not coordinate with the candidate they support.

The Campaign Legal Center has accused Cambridge Analytica over allegations of illegal coordination of this nature.

It has filed evidence with the FEC alleging that the super Pac Make America Number 1 made illegal contributions to Trump’s campaign, “engaging in unlawful coordinated spending by using the common vendor Cambridge Analytica”.

Cambridge Analytica said it had never claimed to have won the election for Donald Trump.

“This is patently absurd. We are proud of the work we did on that campaign, and have spoken in many public forums about what we consider to be our contribution to the campaign.”

It said there was no evidence of coordination between the Make America Number 1 super Pac and the Trump campaign. The company said it was not under investigation.

It has accused the Channel 4 News undercover investigation of grossly misrepresenting how the company conducts its business.

However, speaking to the BBC on Monday, Nix said he had “huge amounts of regret that we undertook this meeting and spoke with a certain amount of hyperbole”.

On Tuesday the website Politico reported that Trump’s 2020 campaign was moving to distance itself from Cambridge Analytica. A campaign official told Politico it had no existing contracts with the firm and no plans to hire it in the future.

For more, see… https://goo.gl/bYPCgj

 


Feb 3, 2018

I quit! J’arrête! Lo dejo! Уходить в отставку!

So that’s it. I am quitting Facebook. Ironically, it’s happening a few hours after they had released me from my latest stint in the FB jail. Oh well, at least now more people will find out that I quit and why.

Nine (9) years and three (3) months has been a good ride. I learned a lot. But now it’s time to forget and move on.

facebook-quit-2

NOT ALL “FRIENDS” ARE EQUAL

One thing I learned is that a Facebook “friend” is not necessarily the same as a real life friend. Here’s why not…

As of right now, Feb 3, 2018, I supposedly have 4,630 FB “friends.”  Guess how many bother to reply to my yesterday’s “QUIT FACEBOOK?” post as of this morning?

Three (3) directly. And three (3) through various groups I had founded for a total of six (6). Six out of 4,630! That’s 0.13%. In other words, only one (1) out of 772 of my DB “friends” cares whether or not I stay or go.

And I am not even counting here the 25,656 “friends” I have in the three groups I manage who also had a chance to see my yesterday’s post.

APATHY AND INDIFFERENCE REIGN

So what does that say? To me, it says, that APATHY and INDIFFERENCE reign supreme on Facebook as they do elsewhere in America (see my Nov 2014 election column – DISGUST & APATHY: BIG WINNERS IN 2014 ELECTIONS).

none-of-the-above

Freedom, including the freedom of speech, is disappearing in America faster than a piece of cheese in a rat’s mouth. The US Constitution has become a dead letter, something that both our government and large corporations can trample at will.

FB cover freedom of speech

Yet, most people just shrug and carry on. Hoping for miracles? Or just that “crocodile would eat them last?” as Winston Churchill put it in reference to Hitler appeasers in 1938.

IF ALL OF US QUIT, FACEBOOK WOULD STARVE

As you saw from my yesterday’s post, I have been teeter-tottering on the decision to leave FB for over 4 years now. I was hoping things might get better. Instead, they’ve gotten worse. FB is abusing the trust of its customers. No wonder 60% of Facebook users are spending LESS time now “socializing” on it.

There is one absolute right every customer has: LEAVE. The right to QUIT. And the only thing businesses like FB react to is a loss of user base. Trust me on that. When I ran my own business, I used to consult for top executives of major multinational computer companies.

I am not frustrated or angry. Just pragmatic in how and where I want to spend my time. FB is not the only game in town. So why should I waste my time and emotional and intellectual capital on a platform which will eventually self-destruct and collapse?


UPDATE APRIL 11, 2018

Zuckerberg 4-11-18.png

Facebook / Zuckerberg tells Senate hearing ‘we will fight election meddling’

Isn’t that also “election meddling?”

I thought the social media have duty to stay out of the political fray and defend everyone’s right to free speech.

But maybe that was in another America, in another century.

For more on FB’s own meddling, check out my “I QUIT” editorial (Feb 3, 2018)


 

UPDATE 2 – APR 11, 2018

FIX FAKEBOOK – 100 ZUCKERBERG CUTOUTS ON CAPITOL HILL

As Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg testified on Capitol Hill for the first time, an unnerving sight greeted visitors outside: an “army” of 100 life-sized cutouts of the CEO.

The display was meant to protest “disinformation” ahead of the tech giant’s congressional hearing. The campaign organized by Avaaz, a global activist group, featured 100 cutouts of Zuckerberg wearing a t-shirt that said “fix Fakebook.”

For more, see… ‘Army’ of 100 Zuckerberg cutouts protests Facebook CEO on Capitol Hill https://fxn.ws/2qnQx97

 

4 Replies to “HIGH COST SPYING AND BETRAYAL: FACEBOOK DOWN $60 BILLION!”

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