I HAD QUIT (FB, Twitter) OVER CENSORSHIP; INFOWARS NOW BLOCKED

NOTE FROM EDITOR: Today’s RT.COM OpEd elicited my response which was also published at their website (see below). I am also republishing here my Feb 3, 2018 editorial about quitting Facebook and Twitter (in 2016).

Chilling precedent? InfoWars block exposes Big Tech as no friend of free speech (RT.COM, Aug 7)

A for ALTZAR web Excellent OpEd! Kudos to Nebojsa Malic, RT! Your piece says almost exactly the same thing I wrote in my August 1997 Washington Times editorial DANCING ‘ROUND THE GOLDEN CALF (originally titled “Dumbing Down of America”). Here’s the opening: “Our country’s traditional character is being systematically destroyed by nihilistic ‘liberals,’ the New World Order’s centurions whose only God is the Almighty Dollar. It is a multi-pronged process carried out by the Wall Street elite and their vassals in government, education, media and the entertainment industry.” 

It is for this very reason that I canceled my Facebook and Twitter accounts last year. If all of us BOYCOTTED them, their censorship would be IRRELEVANT.


REPUBLISHED ON AUG 7, 2018 FROM THE ALTZAR.NET WEBSITE

Feb 3, 2018

Facebook quit 2

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.

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.

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?

I QUIT TWITTER IN 2016! WILL YOU JOIN ME?

I never did like Twitter. Maybe it was because it was meant for people who can only put one or two sentences together (140 character limit). [SNIP – I had just reached that Twitter limit]

Or maybe it was because Hollywood and the Washington politicians loved it. (Back to speaking in sound bites).

But when I really started to hate it to the point of deleting my Twitter account was when I realized that Twitter is just the tool of the New World Order “elite.” In March of 2016, they censored some of my posts (see TWITTER CENSORSHIP – https://www.facebook.com/groups/truthinmedia.org/permalink/834223520057596/).  And in July 2016, Twitter tried to suppress the Wikileaks release of the damning DNC/Hillary emails (among other LAMESTREAM MEDIA, MAJOR INTERNET COMPANIES, COLLUDE TO SUPPRESS THE NEWS OF DNC TRYING TO RIG DEMOCRATIC PRIMARIES IN HILLARY’S FAVOR – https://www.facebook.com/groups/439921809487771/).

So after the election was over, and Twitter and all the lamestream media were totally discredited, I quit Twitter and closed my account. I invite you to do the same. Because now you have yet another big reason to do it.

FOR THOSE WHO CARE ABOUT FREEDOM AND TRUTH, LET’S STAY IN TOUCH… VIA OTHER UNFILTERED AND UNCENSORED CHANNELS

To those of you who care about FREEDOM and TRUTH, I say, THANK YOU for your support over the years. Let’s stay in touch. FB is not the only game in town. There are other channels available for me to broadcast the truth. Just as I had been doing for decades before FB was even around.So here are my websites to which you can subscribe.

Just click on the FOLLOW button at the bottom right corner of each home page:

ALTZAR – music, film, arts and spirituality: http://altzar.net

TRUTH IN MEDIA – geopolitical news and analysis: http://truthinmedia.net

YINYANGBOB – personal blog and travelogues: http://yinyangbob.net

STEWARDS OF THE EARTH – https://gaiasteward.wordpress.com/

Hope to hear from you again at one or all of my above websites. You can submit your comments there just as you could on FB. But WITHOUT CENSORSHIP.

Bye, bye… and good luck!

Bob

I-love-you-all


FEB 2, 2018

QUIT FACEBOOK? Is it time to hang it up after almost 10 years?

Four signs I have received in last 3 days that it may be time to jump off his bad habit called Facebook: What do you think?

I have been a Facebook user since Nov 2008. But I never really used it until July 2012, when my spirit guides suggested I give it a try. Now I feel I am getting signs from them that I need to get off this bad habit that Facebook has become.

1. The first hints came from Facebook itself. Since late November, I seem to be spending more time in the FB jail for no good reason that I know. Except that someone somewhere in Facebookland doesn’t like my posts and opinions.

And willy-nilly, without any explanation, this PUBLIC (!) company decides to violate my right of free speech under the First Amendment. I find that unacceptable in the US of A.

2. Second, on Jan 31, I was guided by my spirit guides to post this commentary – about the declining business at Twitter and Facebook. Evidently, many other people are starting to feel the same way. https://www.facebook.com/bob.djurdjevic/posts/10212790825020362

3. Third, just today, Feb 2, a post came up from four years ago when I finished my month of voluntary silence. It was the second time in just over a year that I had done something like that: Turned off most of my man-made technology.

BREAKING THE SILENCE: MAN-MADE TECHNOLOGY SUCKS… …SUCKING OUT OUR FREEDOM AND PRIVACY – For more, see… https://wp.me/p1jFeo-uO.

“Will you join me in this “silent revolution”? – I asked at the end of that 2014 editorial.

Alas, I did not heed my own recommendation. The US-engineered coup in Ukraine later that month in 2014 suck me back into geopolitical reporting and analysis. Just like when I worked as a war correspondent for over a decade in the 1990s.

And starting with that coup, things went from bad to worse… in this country and around the world. So I hung in there with developing news.

4. Fourth, I just saw this guest post by Mary about what happened when she quit Facebook in 2015. In word, NOTHING BAD. She can only cite GOOD experiences as a result.

FB cover freedom of speech

Check out what she said:

“Last month, I made the decision to say goodbye to my personal Facebook account. It was a decision that was in the back of my mind for a while. I took the plunge on May 6, 2015.

Since then, I’ve learned five important lessons.

1. I Don’t Have As Many Friends As I Thought

One my personal Facebook page, I had hundreds of “friends”. Once I said goodbye to my account, only a handful of them stayed in contact with me.

My birthday was less than two weeks after I made the decision to quit Facebook. In the previous years, most everyone on my friends list posted “happy birthday” to me.

Guess how many thought to call or text me? FIVE.

Most of them were family… which leads me to the next lesson.

2. I Don’t Care

Learning lesson one taught me lesson two. I don’t care about the lack of communication from my former Facebook “friends”.

The true friendships that I have are even more precious to me before. I value the few close friends I have more than I ever valued the fake ones I thought I had.

3. I Have More Free Time

I am amazed at how much time I really do have in a day. I knew I spent a good bit of time on Facebook, but I had no clue exactly how much.

I no longer feel the need to check my feed because I’m bored or out of habit. Instead, I use that time to do something productive or something I really enjoy.

4. I Am Happier

Let’s face it. Facebook is FULL of negativity… and I don’t want that in my life.

I am not the type of person who can just forget about something. So, when I would see a troubling post/picture, it would stay with me for days. I don’t want to focus on negativity in my life. I want to embrace the positive.

Since quitting Facebook, I am happier.

5. I Don’t Feel “Left Out”

I honestly thought that I would feel left out of the loop since quitting Facebook. I’ve found that I don’t. My friends and family inform me of any pertinent information I need to know.

Bonus Lesson #6: My Phone Battery Lasts Longer

It’s amazing how long a phone battery lasts when you are not constantly checking for updates and messages!  – http://moneysavingmom.com/2015/06/5-lessons-i-learned-after-quitting-facebook.html


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


UPDATE AUG 8, 2018

Further on the Truth in Media story I HAD QUIT (FB, Twitter) OVER CENSORSHIP; INFOWARS NOW BLOCKED (Aug 7)

“At a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act” (George Orwell)

A 25-year veteran of the US House of Representatives and a former presidential candidate, Ron Paul, echoed today in his own words the above famous George Orwell sentiment.

‘Truth is treason in empire of lies’: Ron Paul on Big Tech censorship

Ron Paul .png

After the executive director of the Ron Paul Institute got suspended on Twitter, the former congressman from Texas told RT that social media crackdowns are part of a broader effort to silence dissent in the US.

While social media could be a “real delight” and very informative, the biggest role social networks are playing is “working with the government,” Ron Paul told RT on Tuesday. The government is indirectly regulating speech through companies like Twitter and Facebook, he added.

“You get accused of treasonous activity and treasonous speech because in an empire of lies the truth is treason,” Paul said. “Challenging the status quo is what they can’t stand and it unnerves them, so they have to silence people.”

Paul served in the House of Representatives for over 25 years before retiring in 2013 and setting up the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. The institute’s executive director, Daniel McAdams, found himself suspended from Twitter on Monday, apparently for retweeting a comment by radio show host Scott Horton.

Horton, who is also the editorial director of Antiwar.com, was suspended for criticizing journalist Jonathan M. Katz, after Katz complained to Twitter and got former former State Department employee and author Peter Van Buren banned from the platform.

“I’m just hoping that technology can stay ahead of it all and that we can have real alternatives to the dependency on Twitter and other companies that have been working hand in glove with the government,” Paul told RT.

“And if we, some of us, tell the truth about our government, they call us treasonous and say we’re speaking out of line and they’d like to punish us, and I think that’s part of what’s happening with social media,” he added.

Also, see… RON PAUL SPEAKS OUT: HAS US LIED ABOUT MH-17 TO JUSTIFY CONFRONTATION WITH RUSSIA? (Aug 12, 2014)


UPDATE AUG 13, 2018

Social media censorship blowback

The blowback from attempting to stifle ideas and speech has a long history, matched only by the history people have failed to learn from.

Infowars’ Alex Jones claims 5.6 million extra subscribers since being censored, so did he win?

“Infowars has had the highest traffic it’s ever had – 5.6 million new subscribers in the past 48 hours – and so has my radio show,”Jones told the Daily Mail, referring to his newsletter and podcast.

That claim means over 5 million extra subscribers, in just a matter of days, may have signed up to watch him and his Infowars organisation deliver their little nuggets of hate and conspiracy. Not exactly the outcome the would-be censors were looking for. The blowback from attempting to stifle ideas and speech has a long history, matched only by the history of people failing to learn from it.

Social media platforms risk creating the right-wing answer to Star Wars’ Obi Wan Kenobi: strike him down and he will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

There have been a range of high profile voices warning against censoring Jones who, while widely-watched, appears to the majority like little more than a vicious but comic figure screaming red-faced diatribes.

Jordan Peterson, the highly-popular Canadian psychology professor who is himself often the target of the political left, commented on Twitter about the Jones case saying: “never persecute someone paranoid, lest you justify his paranoia.”

For more, see… https://on.rt.com/9c27

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

…AND HOISTED TRUMP UPON THE WORLD

unnamed 12.45.41 PM Alexander Nix

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


Also see… HIGH COST SPYING AND BETRAYAL: FACEBOOK DOWN $60 BILLION! – 

5ab14ddffc7e9326078b45a4

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