Facebook Is Falling Apart so Fast We Can’t Keep Up
Anyone who reads The Daily Stirrer regularly will know we have never been fans of Facebook, Google or any of the other multi – billion dollar internet corporations which operate business models based on abusing users privacy. We have always predicted retribution would one day be delivered when the public finally woke up to how these companies trick users into revealing personal information about themselves and all their friends and contacts, and then try to use that data to manipulate the way users behave.
It seems retribution has arrived for Facebook at least, after a year of alienating public opinion through a series of public relations disasters, a new scandal seems to be the straw that broke the Camel’s back.
US Senator Demands Zuckerberg ‘Be Subpoenaed’ to Testify Under Oath
from The AntiMedia
As the damning details of Facebook’s largest-ever data breach at the hands of pro-Trump data firm Cambridge Analytica continue to pour in — and as the social media giant’s share price continues to plummet as a result—Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on Monday called on CEO Mark Zuckerberg to “testify under oath” before Congress to explain why his company took so long to notify users that their information had been compromised.
“Zuckerberg ought to be subpoenaed to testify if he won’t do it voluntarily,” Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters late Monday, echoing demands of other lawmakers. “He owes it to the American people who ought to be deeply disappointed by the conflicting and disparate explanations that have been offered.”
Blumenthal’s request comes amid growing calls — both in the U.S. and overseasfor Zuckerberg to answer for his company’s failure to ban Cambridge Analytica in 2015, when the platform first, discovered that the personal information of millions had been harvested in violation of company policy.
Since details of Cambridge Analytica’s exploitation of Facebook were published by the New York Times and the Observer over the weekend, the social media giant has downplayed the incident, argued that it doesn’t constitute a data breach at all, and maintained that Cambridge Analytica is solely to blame for the improper harvesting of personal data.
But privacy advocates have argued that while Cambridge Analytica should be held accountable for its actions, Facebook cannot be let off the hook.
Facebook Lost $50 Billion in Market Value In Two Days Over Privacy Scandal
The scandal that has hit Facebook over IT firm Cambridge Analytica using Facebook to trick users into revealing information in exactly the same way as Facebook itself pulls off the scam has hit Facebook investors where it hurts most — in their bank accounts.
Investor confidence hhas been hit too, as the world speculates on which of Facebook’s many unethical business practoces will be put under the microscope next. Last Friday, before the full impact of the story was felt, the social media giant’s closing stock price was $185.09, making it worth about $538 billion, vastly overvalued for a company that has never paid a dividend, but but sanity and stock market valuations for tech corporations never had a working relationship. The scandal went viral over the weekend as it emerged thatdata consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked with Donald Trump on the 2016 election, had allegedly obtained unauthorized access to some 50 million Facebook accounts.
The effects were felt immediately, and not just in the area of privacy concerns. Facebook shares tumbled nearly seven percent on Monday. That’s a loss of about $35 billion in market value, making it the worst day of trading the company has seen in four years.
The slide continued on Tuesday, spurred on by the news that the <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-20/ftc-said-to-be-probing-facebook-for-use-of-personal-datFederal Trade Commission will launch an investigation into the handling of user data and calls from lawmakers for Facebook executives to testify before Congress on the subject.
The further 2.6 percent drop, which put the stock price at around $168, means that Facebook lost roughly $50 billion in market value over the course of two days. That’s after slightly recovering from an even further dip of around six percent.
But it’s not just the company as a whole that’s hurting. The Cambridge Analytica debacle is affecting the man at the top, as well. CNBC reported on Tuesday:
“Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth status has changed — he’s lost more than $9 billion in stock wealth over the past 48 hours.” Well it couln’t have happened to a more deserving piece of shit.
Lawsuits Accumulate As #DeleteFacebook Movement Grows
After the mayhem of earlier this week, Facebook must have hoped things would start to stabilise on Wednesday as CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he would publicly address the company’s relationship with Cambridge Analytica some time during the next 24 hours.
At the same time however, another lawsuit has been brought against the company, the second since the New York Times and the Observer reported over the weekend that the company had failed to stop CA from using data improperly gathered from tens of millions of users, a Maryland woman sued Facebook Tuesday in a San Jose, Calif. court. Her suit was filed on behalf of other Facebook users whose data were accessed by CA without their explicit permission, Bloomberg reported.
Zuckerberg, the company’s founder and CEO said the delay in his making a statement was due to his desire to say something “meaningful” rather than delivering a quick, boilerplate comment, Axios reported.
On Tuesday, a group of Facebook investors filed a lawsuit against the company in a San Francisco federal court. The class action claims investors had suffered losses after the company disclosed that it had severed ties with Cambridge Analytica after blaming the company for “misleading” Facebook by saying it had deleted a cache of user data, when Facebook says it actually kept the data. CA has denied the allegations and said it didn’t use Facebook data for its work on the 2016 Trump campaign. Investors who purchased shares of Facebook between Feb. 3, when it filed its annual report and cited security breaches and improper access to user data, and March 19, the Monday after the exposes were published, are eligible to join the lawsuit.
Throughout that period, “defendants made false or misleading statements and failed to disclose that Facebook violated its own data privacy policies by allowing third parties access to personal data of millions of Facebook users without their consent,” according to the complaint.
As Bloomberg explains, investors have a strong case so long as they can prove their decisions to invest in Facebook were based on false or misleading information released by the company. By not policing app developers’ use of its users data, it could be argued that Facebook misled investors about how it handled and safeguarded private user data.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has opened a civil probe into the company and Connecticut AG George Jepsen has sent a written inquiry to answer questions about Cambridge Analytica. The Federal Trade Commission has also opened a data-privacy investigation into the company.
European Union Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova plans to meet with Facebook officials in Washington on March 21. She called the data misuse “horrifying, if confirmed” and “not acceptable.”
Four days after the allegations first surfaced, #DeleteFacebook started trending on Twitter late Tuesday as users complained about “trust issues” regarding how the company shares their personal data. It gained a notable booster when WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton tweeted that the time has come for Facebook users to delete their accounts.
Information Technology firm Cambridge Analytica are being attacked by the hysterical mainstream media mob for their alleged role in Russiagate, the alleged collusion between The Kremlin and Donald Trump to steal the US Presodency in 2016, and similar abuse of private date to influence the result of the Brexit vote earlier that year. It should be Facebook under attack, Cambridge Analytica only took advantage of a deal Facebook offers on the open market, to acquire millions of user profiles built up from data Facebook acquired using methods of dubious legality, and certainly without users knowing what was going on. These user profiles may or may not have used to help the campaigns, but were without doubt available to managers of the opposing campaigns.
There’s no service Cambridge Analytica could have performed that Facebook itself doesn’t offer political clients.
Here’s the quick version of the CA scadal saga, we’d bring you the full version but out serer only has 500gbytes storage available, and most of the stuff is incedibily boring anyway.
Aleksandr Kogan, an academic of Russian origin at Cambridge University in the U.K., in 2014 built a Facebook app that paid hundreds of thousands of users to take a psychological test. Given that only the terminally bored click ‘yes’ to open these tests one has to wonder what kind of information can be gained from such people and what possible use it is. Here’s the catch though.
Apart from their test results, the users also shared the data themselves and their Facebook friends with the app. and allowed Facebook to plant tracker cookies on the devices of people who took the test. Kogan sold the database built from his psych test to CA, which Facebook considers a violation of its policies. The terms and conditions stated the app was not allowed to use the data for commercial purposes. Had Kogan sold the data to Facebook, they would have sold it on to clients, that is their business model.
The controversy then is a legal wrangle over who owns data stolen from users by Facebook apps, the app developer or Facebook.
Throughout 2017, unbiased commentators were pointing out that if the Trump campaign bought Facebook user data harvested through an app, it was only emulating Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign which used targeted ads and messages to voters identified through stolen data. Nobody has yet leaked information on how Obama’s team gathered vast amounts of data on potential supporters, but anyone who knows the tech side of the data industry has a good idea how, to quote technology journalist Sasha Issenberg, “‘targeted sharing’ protocols mined an Obama backer’s Facebook network in search of friends the campaign wanted to register, mobilize, or persuade.”
To do this, the protocols would need to use features on the Facebook developers platform Kogan used, which were discontinued in 2015 after a public outcry, that allowed apps access to a user’s friends’ profiles – with the user’s consent, as Facebook likes to point out, but not that of their friends.
Facebook users are routinely tricked to obtain such consent. Tech companies make giving it, or agreeing to complex terms of service, look like a low-engagement decision.
“Is it okay if we look at your friends’ info?” they ask in phrases that suggest an attitude of gung – ho bonhomie.
“Sure, why not? It’s only Facebook,” we answer .
Usually only Facebook is interested in the legal technicalities of what permissions it gave to which developers, and how the data they gathered can be used. As far as everyone else is concerned, it doesn’t matter whether an app gathers data for research purposes or for political or commercial ones. Average users worry more about convenience than privacy.
What is more relevant, however, is what a political or advertising campaign do with such data. CA’s is accused of having developed Artificial Intelligence techniques far in advance of any other current technology which enable it to use the Facebook information to build psychological profiles that reveal a person’s propensity to vote for a certain party or candidate, buy certain products or eat certain foods.
But one must be sceptical of the psychobabble. No academic studies have yet linked personality traits, especially those built from the the self – aggrandizing bolocks people write about themselves on Facebook, to political choices. There is, however, research showing that moral values or even genetic factors are more reliable guides to personality traits.
Martin Selmayr – would you buy a used car from this man? (Image: Daily Mail)
The former Prime Minister of little Luxembourg (population less than Leicester,)Jean-Claude Juncker who now struts the world stage as if he is important, has worked one of the slimiest political stitch ups ever to ensure his favourite sycophant and chief of staff (pictures above, right) was installed as the new Secretary-General of the European Commission, in what one senior Eurocrat has called “an impeccably prepared and audacious power-grab” at the top of the European Union.
At a surprise press conference in February, Jean-Claude Juncker announced he had been keeping a secret: the commission’s top civil servant, the secretary-general, was retiring. Martin Selmayr would take his place.
It emerged that Mr Selmayr had applied for the role of deputy secretary-general, got that job and was then instantly promoted.
It has been suggested that the only other candidate in the race to become deputy unexpectedly and without explanation withdrew, meaning Mr Selmayr became deputy secretary – general by default.
But then the story of the power grab Juncker engineered for his favourite sidekick gets even sleazier.
The coup began at 9.39 a.m. on 21 February, when 1,000 journalists were sent an email summoning them to a 10.30 a.m. audience with Jean-Claude Juncker. The short notice suggested something big was going on — especially as Juncker regards members of the press corps as even lower on the evolutionary scale than citizens of EU member states. And as Jucker is known to loathe press conferences (they keep him away form his beloved of Chateau Petrus (€3000 per bottle) that the meeting had been called was unusual in itself.
The news broken by the President of the European Commissionws was the surprise promotion of deputy secretary general Selmayr, effectively Juncker’s Chief of Staff, to the position of Secretary-General, in charge of the Commission’s 33,000 staff. The reaction from the journalists present was astonishment. No one had been aware of a vacancy. There was no sign that the 61-year-old incumbent Secretary – General, Alexander Italianer had been thinking of retiring. But as Juncker announced other appointments, it quickly became clear what had happened. Selmayr had been given control by Juncker, and anyone who resisted the move had been unceremoniously fired. Juncker had handed control of the European Union’s administrative branch to his favourite Eurocrat.
It has been alleged that members of the European Commission were offered more generous severance packages as inducements to smooth Mr Selmayr’s path, which is vigorously denied. What does the commission’s public relations office say, apart from “Ve haff vays of making you akcept our authority”?
The European Commission’s spokespeople have endured hours of questioning about the promotion. Many of the stories are described as “post-truth”, especially the one about commissioners’ retirement pay-offs. But isn’t everything connected with the EU post truth, perception is everything.
And they say the recruitment process was followed “religiously” which prompted a social-media meme of Mr Selmayr dressed as a nun, but he’s German, the joke would be lost on him.
Martin Selmayr, known as The Beast and The Monster by EU colleagues in Brussels and Luxembourg has always dreamed of being known beyond the Brussels bubble. His wish has now been granted, albeit in not quite the way he might have hoped. It has arrived in the form of a brilliantly executed coup that has handed this 47-year-old German bureaucrat near-total control of the EU machine at a time when in the wake of Brexit and the Italian election and with opposition to the European federalisation project growing throughout the remaining 27 member states, the Union looks to be staggering towards disintegration.
The unseemly hate with which the unpopular Selmayr has been shoehorned into power pushed that process a few more wobbly steps forward.
The usual hysteria which seems to inform any writings from the scientific community on climate change seems to have cooled significantly in recent months. Doomsday scenarios predicting the catastrophic effects of global warming are being dismissed as the work of research grant phishing frauds who cite output from mathematical models which use ‘adjusted data’ to perform their calculations. The ‘scientists’ involved in this scam are working for disaster capitalists who hope to profit from hugely costly schemes to mitigate the non – existent effects of marginal increases on atmospheric carbon dioxide. Their predictions are false and the human race will be able to accommodate whatever “climate change” throws at us, claims an unusually level – headed essay in Scientific American.
The essay, penned by John Horgan, the director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology, analyzes two recent reports by “ecomodernists” who reject climate scaremongering look at the issue of climate change from the perspective of humanity’s ability to cope with it, in radically new terms.
One of the reports, titled “Enlightened Environmentalism” by Harvard iconoclast Steven Pinker, urges people to develop a logical perspective on climate, especially in the context scientific and technological benefits industrialization has brought.
Pooh-poohing “the mainstream environmental movement, and the radicalism and fatalism it encourages,” Pinker argues that humanity can solve problems related to climate change the same way it has solved myriad other problems, by harnessing “the benevolent forces of modernity.”
Separating himself from environmentalists who seem to think our salvation lies in medieval technologies such as windmills, Pinker asserts that industrialization “has been good for humanity.”
“It has fed billions, prolonged lifespans, reduced extreme poverty, and,through mechanisation and automation has feed the majority of people from a (short) lifetime of backbreaking, soul – destroying labour. All of this contributed to the emancipation women, and the availability of education to children form even the poorest backgrounds. It has allowed people to read at night, travel freely, stay warm in winter, see the world, and multiply human contact. Any costs in pollution and habitat loss have to be weighed against these gifts,” he says.
And just as human ingenuity has allowed us to overcome countless obstacles in the past, he notes, it is more than reasonable to suppose it will do so in the future as well.
I do not take such a rosy view, while medical science, technology and civil engineering have greatly increased longevity they have also caused new problems to replace those they solve, problems such as the population explosion in the third world and its attendant humanitarian crises, which we seem unable to propose any effective solutions to.
The other report cited by Horgan is arecent article by Will Boisvert titled “The Conquest of Climate,” which contends that the “consequences for human well-being will be small” even if human greenhouse emissions significantly warm the planet.
Boisvert, no “climate change denier,according to his track record has beendescribed as a “left-wing environmental expert, is ” yet he calls on warmageddonists to step back from doomsday forecasts that are unlikely to resemble with what will actually happen through the remainder of this century and beyond.
The report ridicules a 2016 Newsweek article predicting “Climate change could cause half a million deaths in 2050 due to reduced food availability,” which forecast the effects of climate change on agriculture, while failing to note that the study actually predicts much more abundant food availability in 2050 thanks to advances in agricultural productivity. These advances will “dwarf the effects of climate change,” he contends, and the “poorest countries will benefit most.”
In this case Boisvert is likely to be as far off target as those he criticizes, there are serious doubts about the claims of biotech companies about the assumed benefits of genetically modified seed, but like Pinkers, Boisvert tries to factor in what climate alarmists ignore: the capability of human beings to react to changing scenarios in remarkably ingenious ways.
He is correct however, in reminding his readers that: “Throughout history humans not only weathered climate crises but deliberately flung ourselves into them as we migrated away from our African homeland into deserts, mountains, floodplains and taiga.” To underline his point he notes the remarkable ingenuity shown by the Inuit in adapting to a hostile environment.
Greens, liberals and socialists have been getting their knickers in a twist over the impending disaster of climate change for twenty years and yet to date none of their predictions have come true. Polar bear numbers are increasing, the northern ice cap and Himalayan glaciers are still with us and the fifty million refugees displaced from their homes by rising sea levels are presumably hiding under a gigantic version of Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility. The current climate change “crisis” that has just isn’t that big a deal, Boisvert argues and empirical evidence backs him up. It is merely the “latest episode in humanity’s ongoing conquest of extreme climates,” which will likewise “amount to just another problem in economic and technological development, and a middling-scale one at that.”
While sceptics and realists will welcome this departure from the usual climate change doom – mongering in Scientific American, establishment climate alarmists will undoubtedly be chagrined by the fact that both reports are published in the now discredited yardstick of scientific integrity, peer reviewed academic journals, will seek to discredit the reports, knowing they could affect not only the funding they depend on, but the ideologically driven left wing political programs they seek to impose on the world.
After all, if the world is not under imminent peril from climate change, who will listen to—and fund—the prophets of doom, or the Cultural Marxists’ demands for an authoritarian global government to save the planet.
Poland, one of the countries opposed to the creation of the international project known as Nord Stream 2 pipeline, to deliver gas and oil from Russia’s energy fields to Europe has proposed an alternative project which would create its own pipeline, dubbed Baltic Pipe. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has criticized the Nord Stream 2 project, Polish Radio reported on Friday (9 March).
“Poland achieved independence from Russia’s Gazprom long ago; we’ve created a terminal in the city of Swinoujscie and are now planning to increase its processing capabilities, Moreover, we are now in talks with Denmark and Norway,” Morawiecki said during a press conference after talks with his Lithuanian opposite number.
The official noted that Poland and other Baltic states considers Nord Stream 2 “highly dangerous for this part of Europe.” This is understandable as in the past Russia has tended to treat Poland as a semi – autonomour province. The Poles also have little reason to trust their southern neighbour Germany, which also has a track record for using Poland as a training ground for its combat troops.
The head of the German energy company Uniper took a different line, saying that the completion of Nord Stream 2 was necessary to provide security for gas deliveries to Europe.
Last month it was reported that Poland intended to launch its own gas pipeline project, Baltic Pipe, which, in contrast to Nord Stream 2, would lead from Denmark instead of Russia. It is hard to see any logic in this as North Sea gas fields are becoming depleted and rumours of massive, unexplored oil and gas fields off The Shetland Islands are unconfirmed as yet. Poland has already tried to block the construction of Nord Stream 2, with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki asking US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to make sure that US sanctions cover Nord Stream 2 and those European companies that involved in the project be fined.
A press release by Nord Stream 2 suggests the first pipes for the Nord Stream 2 project are being fabricated at a plant of OMK, which is one of the three pipe suppliers selected by Nord Stream 2 AG, in Vyksa, Russia, in this undated photo provided to Reuters on March 23, 2017. Poland claimed that Nord Stream 2 would increase Europe’s dependence on imported Russian gas.
Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture of Russia’s Gazprom with France’s Engie, Austria’s OMV AG, UK-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell, and Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall. It aims to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas a year to the European Union across the Baltic Sea to Germany.
The pipeline project has been welcomed by some countries in Europe and opposed by some others, including Ukraine and Poland, while the United States has also expressed its opposition.
The Home Office will in future give a one-off maternity grant introduced for asylum seekers in Britain to victims of modern slavery who have been brought into the country illegally by human trafficking gangs after a new report into pregnant survivors of human trafficking revealed that some women pregnant on entering the U.K. having been raped by the ruthless gangsters who operate illegal immigration rackets.
Last year 671 women found in the London area were victims of modern slavery and about seventy percent of them were trafficked for the sole purpose of sexual exploitation through work in strip clubs, lap dance establishments and as prostitutes, escort workers or ‘acting’ in porn videos. A new report by the charity Hestia, published on International Women’s Day, reveals one in four victims were pregnant when they escaped and sought support.
According to Hestia’s report, Underground Lives, Pregnancy & Modern Slavery, 25 percent of women who sought support from the charity after escaping from traffickers / owners were expecting a baby; one in three had contemplated suicide and many longed for contact with their own mothers while a baby grew inside them.
“To be craving that very ordinary contact and not be able to have it is tragic,” Patrick Ryan CEO of Hestia said at the launch of the publication. “For me, above the graphic and awful brutality exposed in the report, it’s the number of pregnant women who craved contact with their own mother,” he said.
Survivors of human trafficking often cannot talk to anybody outside the group they are housed with for fear of punishment from their traffickers, or fear of reprisals being carried out up their families. The report analysed data from the Initial Assessment Records of 147 women who were pregnant in 2017 and the study revealed 16 percent of those had slept rough and all of the women enrolled in the National Referral Mechanism process relied on charitable donations and food banks for their basic needs.
“A third of these women reported feeling suicidal whilst pregnant” Mr. Ryan told Sputnik. “Hestia has worked with men and women since 2011 and it’s about understanding the real challenges victims of modern slavery face. They need a safe place to stay, free from those who trafficked and exploited them but they need more than just a safe place,” he added.
“These women need perinatal care in NHS hospitals but are denied it by their masters who fear hospital staff will involve the police. Some women have previous health issues, including FGM or HIV or sexually transmitted infections and are at risk but are too scared to undergo tests or interventions. They’re often dealing with a diagnosis and a pregnancy at the same time.
“They’re duped with promises of a better life, dumped in the UK and isolated. Many have a limited command of the English language and don’t know how to get help, apart from the language barrier many come from countries where it is unwise to trust the authorities,” he concluded.
source: South Africa Today
Violence against South African white farmers is reaching epidemic proportions and many people believe that Marxist billionaire, investor and political meddler Soras is financing evil plans for Africa. Is this a plan to wipe out the white race. (see video below)
George Soros is routinely accused of being behind almost every violent, disruptive, racially divisive, trouble making group of political activists on the planet, from the “colour revolutions” in Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine and elsewhere to the civil war in Syria and the Muslim violence in European cities. Almost everybody who follows world news, including government leaders of every country on earth knows this. In fact Soros is a much more likely bet to be the influence behind alleged Russian meddling in the UK Brexit referendum, the 2016 US Presidential election, and elections in France, The Netherlands, Greece and Spain than “Russian Hackers”, the myth created by mainstream media.
For reasons that should be obvious but will get you labelled as a ‘conspiracy theorist’ if you comment on them, Soros is allowed to continue with his meddling, intsigating and nefarious acts. Why? Because the governments answer to agents further up the ladder, those at the top whose faces we would not recognise and whose names are barely known. We recognize those at the top as the elite puppet masters of this system we live in. These super – elitists control the politicians, the courts, the corporations, the banks (our money system), the military industrial complex.
They control the puppet politicians and tell them what to do. Soros? He is to be left alone to do his dirty work. He is an agent of the elite puppet masters who control it all. That is why although Soros dastardly acts are well known and recognized by the governments they do absolutely nothing to prevent him from carrying out his loathsome acts against humanity. On and on it goes.