Can We Control Big Tech Corporations

We learned today that the British government is to fine Facebook £500,000 for its part in the abuse of uers’ private information in the Cambridge Analytica scandal which doinated the news for a couple of weeks earlier in the year. At the same time Google is facing much larger fines imposed by the EU, for the offence of manipulating search results to benefits its own interests. These amounts are unlikely to make any difference as they are paltry to the big tech companies. Google, we hear, are so worried by the fine that they are in business as usual mode.

So how can we bring the big tech companies to heel, break up their monopolies and convince the arrogant, inexperienced CEOs that LAWS apply to everybody.

There was a well thought out article in The Guardian a few days ago that takes a constrictive look at the problem

Advertisements

Has The Tech Backlash Begun

The world of high tech, Internet based businesses have had things all their own way as governments and regulators meekly stood aside while tech companies played fast and loose with users data, (not talking about the data gathered from our explorations of their sites or personal details we volunteer, but the practice of ‘data mining,’ scraping up personal details from our hard drives,) destroyed whole industries, turned the high streets of our towns and shopping centres of our cities into deserts, made “not-fit-for-purpose” an acceptable quality for goods on sale, and dehumanised the whole process of buying and of socialising.

It was inevitable there would be a backlash, not from business rivals, politicians sweetened by campaign contributions and fearful of being dubbed anti – progress or anti – science have let the tech industries get away with murder – literally in some cases. The resistance was always going to come from ‘we the punters’.

For almost two decades we have complied with exhortations to ’embrace change’ even when it was clear the change was not for the better, we have been pushed into shifting most of our financial business online, trusting financial details and our money to a notoriously insecure medium, we have been squeezed into buying from online retailers, knowing through mainstream media that ‘customer service’ was a completely alien concept to the bosses of these organisations, and we have accepted an increasingly impersonal world where increasingly our interfaces are with robots.

AND ALL THE TIME WE WERE ABLE TO SEE THIS BRAVE NEW WORLD WAS JUST NOT WORKING.

So it is encouraging that we are seeing headlines like:

What’s happening? Bernie Sanders Agrees With Trump: Amazon Has Too Much Power

Independent Vermont senator and 2016 presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders echoed President Donald Trump in expressing concern about retail giant Amazon. Sanders said that he felt Amazon had gotten too big on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, and added that Amazon’s place in society should be examined.

“And I think this is, look, this is an issue that has got to be looked at. What we are seeing all over this country is the decline in retail. We’re seeing this incredibly large company getting involved in almost every area of commerce. And I think it is important to take a look at the power and influence that Amazon has,” said

Sanders.

After the backlash against Facebook over the past few weks for privacy abuses, and the backlash led by President Trump against Amazon, is there something bigger going on. Are these things connected? Yes, they probably are, but not in a way that either Trump or Sanders has clued in to. Someone who has, a for now lone voice, is Dave Stockman, a financial pundit who describes himself as a Washington insider turned iconoclast. Here’s what he wrote last week.

It is said that even a blind squirrel occasionally finds an acorn, and so it goes with The Donald. Banging on his Twitter keyboard in the morning darkness, he drilled Jeff Bezos a new one – or at least that’s what most people would call having their net worth lightened by about $2 billion:

“I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election. Unlike others, they pay little or no taxes to state & local governments, use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy (causing tremendous loss to the U.S.), and are putting many thousands of retailers out of business!” You can’t get more accurate than that. Amazon is a monstrous predator enabled by the state, but Amazon’s outrageous postal subsidy – a $1.46 gift card from the USPS stabled on each box – isn’t the half of it.

The real crime here is that Amazon has been exempted from financial regulations, and the culprit is the central banks’ malignant regime of Bubble Finance. The latter has destroyed financial discipline entirely and turned the stock market into the greatest den of speculation in human history. That’s why Bezos can kill established businesses with impunity.

The casino allows him to run a pernicious business model based on “price to destroy”, rather than price for profit and a return on capital.Needless to say, under a regime of sound money and honest capital markets Amazon would be a far more benign economic creature. That’s because no real investors would value AMAZON’s money-loosing e-Commerce business at $540 billion – nor even a small fraction of that after 25-years of profitless growth.

The bubble economy that was forced into being by Barack Obama’s stupid and economically illiterate Quantitative Easing policy and ultra-low rates, which saw central banks buying up trillions in what used to be sound assets, corporate bonds, and allowing massive buybacks that allow companies to While stocks nominally trade at astronomical rates, but actual traded volumes are low. Buybacks allow companies to reward managers and senior staff with stock, and then buy back the shares they have paid in lieu of salary or bonus, thus avoiding tax and holding their own stock while running on borrowed money, escaping financial scrutiny. The system allows them to inflate stock market capitalisation and raise their ‘value’ to astronomical levels by inflating the value of shares and capital assets. The system enabled a company like Amazon to kill off its competition, which consists of many thousands of retailers, all the time running a balance sheet loss on paper.

These financial policies have allowed not just Amazon, which though Trumps favourite target currently, but many of the most ‘valuable’ tech companies to expand at an exponential rate without having to account to investors for absence of dividends and thus elbow their way into our lives in ways designed to seem beneficial to us at first, but in reality resulting in less variety, less competition, and thousands fewer jobs. For too long they were the darlings of the media and the stock markets; the creations of the brightest and best among us, according to ‘the narrative.’

For some of the creations of our tech Olympians it’s easier to see the inevitability of disaster than for others. Tesla, Uber, Airbnb are all struggling right now, but more will follow. What you may notice is that two of the three sell noting but ‘cool.’ Tesla also may pretend to be a real car company, but in reality they sell stocks to investors, basing their pitch on promises they cannot fulfill.

Even Apple may not be immune from the carnage even though they make and sell real things they make real things! Apple CEO Tim Cook may have sought to distance his company from the likes of Facebook on morals and ethics, he can’t deny that Apple sells a zillion phones to a large extent because everybody uses them not so much to look at Facebook and Alphabet, Uber and Air BNB apps because there are many cheaper pieces of kit out there that will do the job just as well. People buy Apple in order to be seen using Apple gadgets, so what Apple really sell is social kudos. If data ethics are the only problem Cook sees ahead, he’s in trouble.

Silicon Valley infighting shows that the industry does have an idea what is going wrong, in ways that should have already led to many more pronounced worries and investigations.

Mr. Cook, who has long sought to differentiate Apple on privacy matters, contrasted its focus on selling devices with Facebook and Google’s ad-based businesses that are built on user data. Asked what he would do if he were Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Mr. Cook replied: “I wouldn’t be in this situation.”

Facebook hasn’t responded specifically to criticisms, but the hostility of those who live in the same glass palaces has provoked adverse comments from its own former vice president of growth, Chamath Palihapitiya. “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works,” Mr. Palihapitiya said at a talk at Stanford University in November.

We can expect to hear much more in the same vein over the remainder of this year. Big Tech is changing the world in more ways than one. And spying on people Facebook-style is merely one of a long list of them. Facebook doesn’t build the devices people use to see what their friends had for breakfast, Apple does that, but it’s the way Apple sells those gadgets that makes it vulnerable. Moreover, Apple profits hugely from stock buybacks, the practice of rewarding senior staff with company stock which they can then sell back to the company, thus incurring a lowrer tax liability than income from salary, so it fits in Stockman’s bubble finance definition of Amazon, too.

The failure of politics to investigate, and act against Facebook style ‘dopamine – driven’ feedback loops which exploit a vulnerability in human psychology in order to maximally waste your time and sell you product after product that you never (knew you) wanted is bordering on criminal negligence. They all made the mistake of thinking they could get away with it forever. What was that somone once said about not being able to fool all the people all the time.

IBM Lays Billion Dollar Bet On Artificial Intelligence System Called Watson: They’ll Lose
This publication has always been sceptical of the claims made by computer scientists that’the thinking computer is just around the corner’. The fact is pointy heads have been saying arificual intelligence would be with us in two or three years for the past forty years. And the old computer professional who owns the site says we are no nearer than when he wrote his fisrt program.

Nothing Good Has Come Of The InternetWhen a technophobe denounces the internet as anti – social, anti jobs, a force for dumbing down or a waste of time it can easily be dismissed but when the CEO of a major technology company like Sony saays nothing good has ever come of the internet we should perhaps listen..

The Robotification Of Human Society Is being Implemented

Are you ready to surrender your humanity to science, accept having computer chips implanted in your skull that will link your brain to the internet (via a Google server) and let your life be controlled by machines? That’s what The Controllers are planning for you …

Internet Access As A Human Right?A survey carried out by the BBC found a majority of people around the world believe internet access should be a basic human right. We suspect a bit of statistical rigging because the majority of people in the world live below the poverty line and probably have more urgent priorities than surfing the net.

Is The Internet Making Us All Stupid.The more gullible and wide eyed among academics like to burble ecstatically about how the internet has ushered in a new age of creativity. We have to wonder just how much time these self styled experts have spent surfing scial networking sites

Web Induced DementiaIn most civilised societies there are laws governing what outrageous claims advertisers can make for their products. This does not apply on the web it seems, where ‘revolutionary new world changing technology’ means ‘not fit for purpose’

Computer Cops Will Arrest You Before You Commit A Crime
Innocent until proved guilty has always been a basic principle of British and before the Union, English and Scottish justice. Since late in the ninth century when King Alfred signed into law the Liber Judicialis, the presumption of innocence has stood.Thinking of committing a crime was not punishable, only in George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984” has Thought Crime ever been a punishable offence. Until now …

Is Technology Creating Physical and Psychological Hazards In The Digital Age?
Scientific research used to be the area of work that trailblazers, those with an unquenchable desire for new experience and a hyperactive sense of adventure wanted to be involved in. Now those who label themselves ‘scientists’ seem to have become the high priests of an ultra – conservative religion, determined at all costs to block progess that may lead to understanding that the dogmas of the past are just wrong

The Mummers: The Controlling system And The Illusion Of Freedom
We live in a world of deception, where truth is an ephemeral thing, slippery as an eel and shadowy as a spectre. What we are expercted to perceive as reality is just spin and misinformation designed to ensure the elite maintain their control. There’s eff all you can do just get on with your life, say the shills for big government and authoritarianism. But are we really nothing more than slaves of the system?

Google’s Brave New World Of Artificial Intelligence – And The Destruction Humanity
Almost every day we hear scientists burbling about artificial intelligence and how very soon machines will be smarter than humans. As scientists are nowhere near as smart as humans its hard to see how science can build something smarter. The problem is of course we don’t understand what contsitutes intelligence – those who think academic qualifications are the only indicator are retards. So where will this madness to replace us with machines end?

Transhumanism – What The Elite And Their Science Whores Have Planned For You
Transhumanism, the creation of – or turning us into – part human, part machine cyborgs is generating a lot of discussion and a lot of spontaneous ejaculations in the scientific community as they contemplate having their brains replaced by a computer. There are no limits on the ambitions of scientists fantasies, they even envisage creating robots that can interbreed with us, but how much is realistic?

Don’t be Evil, Google Will Do It For You
Google have abandoned their “Don’t Be Evil motto. Good thing really, they are becoming more evil every day. The latest plans to integrate our brains with their servers may seem like a science fiction freaks wet dream, but these creepy nerds are serious …

Google wants to change the way you see the world
News Used To Be Important – Now It’s Just EntertainmentPeople talk about technology, mainly television, cellulat telephones and the internet having given us an unprecedented ability to communicate. But have they? OK, we can trade meaningless messages with strangers on the other side of the world, we can join the cacophony of social netwoks where everybody yells at once and nobody listens, or we can sit in isolation, shouting inmto the void. But none of those are communicating. Technology has actually inhibited communication. …

Google Evil Empire In New Privacy ViolationOnce again the neo-Nazi nerds at Google are in trouble for playing fast and loose with our privacy. Google have bypassed browser privacy setting to track our movements on the web, the bettrer to target us with ads for poxy shite no sane person would buy. What is it these arseholes find difficult to understand about the idea that in the real world or cyberspace same rules apply …

Google Has Comptely Forgotten ‘Don’t Be Evil’ As The World Domination Agend Gathers PaceAt last Google has been caught stealing information from a business rival rather than private induviduals. Will people now wise up to these scumsucking pirates of the internet search engine world.

Science Brings Doomsday Closer – scientists announced we are nearer to a global catastrophe than we were a year ago

A Chronicle Of Decay
Slaves Of The Machine

Facebook Scuicide

You Get What You Deserve.

Anti – Social Networking

Internet technology

What role did Cambridge Analytica play in the Brexit vote?

That Christopher Wylie, the whistleblower at the heart of the Facebook scandal is a delusional nerd who believes the UK wouldn’t have voted for Brexit without Cambridge Analytica’s intervention is entirely predictable. Whistleblower Wylie told a UK parliamentary committee during a hearing on Tuesday that a firm linked to Cambridge Analytica helped the official Vote Leave campaign circumvent campaign financing laws during the Brexit referendum.

Leaked documents published this week show that the Vote Leave campaign, the official pro-Brexit group headed by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, paid an alleged £625,000 (€711,000, $882,000) to a little-known Canadian data firm called AggregateIQ (AIQ) through a far smaller pro-Brexit group.

The Vote Leave campaign has claimed that the payment to the smaller group, known as BeLeave, was a donation and that each group worked independently from one another. However, documents leaked last weekend by whistleblower Shahmir Sanni apppear to suggest the Vote Leave and BeLeave were effectively the same entity, with the latter even located inside the former’s offices.

Wylie said on Tuesday that BeLeave, which was founded by 22-year-old fashion student Darren Grimes, was effectively used as a money laundering vehicle.

Facebook has been slammed for failing to protect the data of more than 50 million users. Their data was used to further conservative political projects, including Brexit and Donald Trump’s presidential victory. From a former White House strategist to a Canadian whistle blower, here are the people involved in what some are describing as Facebook’s largest data breach.

Campaign finance records showed that BeLeave spent the 625,000-pound donation on services from AIQ just days before the referendum vote. Wylie said that the official campaign’s “cheating” may well have swayed the EU referendum result given the effectiveness of AIQ’s online campaign. He is totally off his head, the Remain campaign spent far more on similar services and still lost. Computer nerds have no difficulty deluding themselves that their app are far more effective than results repeatedly show.

Overall, various pro-Brexit group spent 3.4 million pounds for AIQ’s services during the EU referendum campaign. Some 2.7 million pounds of that money was spent by Vote Leave, making up 40 percent of the group’s campaign budget.

However, Wylie said he was “absolutely convinced” Vote Leave also worked with other groups to circumvent campaign spending rules.

“I am absolutely convinced that there was a common plan and common purpose with Vote Leave, BeLeave, the DUP, and Veterans for Britain. All of these companies somehow, for some reason, all decided to use AIQ,” he said. “When you look at the accumulation of evidence, I think it would be completely unreasonable to come to any other conclusion other than this must be coordination, this must be a common purpose plan.”

NOW THAT’S WHAT WE CALL A CONSPIRACY THEORIST!

Facebook Plunges After FTC Probe, German Sanctions Headlines

The Federal Trade Commission has confirmed that it has opened a nonpublic probe into Facebook’s privacy practices, saying it’s committed to protecting consumers’ privacy and data and will hold accountable companies that abuse the FTC guidelines.

facebook privacy scandal

In a statement, the FTC said it takes “very seriously” recent press reports raising concerns about the data security at the social media giant, according to Bloomberg.

And with that, the public is getting an important early clue into the shape of the federal response to revelations about Facebook’s handling (abuse?) of user data for commercial purposes.

Additionally, German Justice Minister Barley said Monday in Berlin that Facebook’s data practices couldn’t be tolerated and that sanctions against the company should be levied at the EU level. He added that the company needs to be more transparent about its algorithms.

Facebook shares, which plunged into correction territory last week, collapsed further on the news.

And it’s not helping that Mark Zuckerberg is dumping his shares into this freefall…

RELATED POSTS:

Lay Off Cambridge Analytica, Facebook Are The Evil Doers



Zuckerberg reveals Facebook Working On Apps ‘Smarter Than Humans’

Facebook begins Europe-wide censorship campaign against free speech.
Corporate plundering of the UK purse has to stop – Facebook pays zero tax again
Philanthropic” Mark Zuckerberg Will Place Facebook Shares In A For-Profit LLC

Bored With Watching The Facebook Slow Motion Train Wreck?

by Arthur Foxake

We have to admit we are bored with reporting the latest developments in the disintegration of Mark Zuckerberg and his stategic partners (The US government and their security agencies the CIA and NSA) attempt to put everybody in the world under surveillance. It’s a story our editor, Ian foresaw several years ago because as a data networks expert before he retired he knew the potential of social media for capturing and analyzing user data.

And it was inevitable that at some point such potential would be abused. The inevitable has now happened so we will simply offer summaries of mainstream news unless we have something out of the ordinary to report.

Between fake news and data harvesting, Facebook has no way to win

from The New York Post

Mark Zuckerberg is stuck in a catch-22. Any fix for Facebook’s previous big problem — fake news — would make the current big problem with data harvesting worse.

As a media company and one of Americans’ top sources of information, Facebook’s de facto anonymity and general lack of responsibility for user-generated content make it easy for propagandists to exploit. Making matters worse, it isn’t willing to impose tighter identification rules for fear of losing too many users, and it doesn’t want to be held responsible in any way for content, preferring to present itself as a neutral platform.

So Zuckerberg has been trying to fix the problem by showing people more material from friends and family and by prioritizing “trusted publishers” and local news sources over purveyors of fake news.

But the Cambridge Analytica scandal shows people may not be OK with Facebook’s data gathering, improved or not.

Continue reading

RELATED POSTS:


Lay Off Cambridge Analytica, Facebook Are The Evil Doers

Information Technology firm Cambridge Analytica are being attacked by the hysterical mainstream media mob for their alleged role in the alleged collusion between The Kremlin and Donald Trump to steal the US Presidency in 2016, and similar abuse of private date to influence the result of the Brexit vote. It should be Facebook under attack, Cambridge Analytica only took advantage of a deal Facebook offers on the open market …


US Senator Demands Zuckerberg ‘Be Subpoenaed’ to Testify Under Oath

Facebook begins Europe-wide censorship campaign against free speech.

Philanthropic” Mark Zuckerberg Will Place Facebook Shares In A For-Profit LLC

How Google Destroyed the Internet

Corporate plundering of the UK purse has to stop – Facebook pays zero tax again

Has Zuckerbugger Been Messing With Your Mind?

Facebook boss Zukerberg Wants To Own The Internet

damning details of Facebook’s largest-ever data breach at the hands of pro-Trump data firm Cambridge Analytica

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”Zuckerbrg to appear before Congress to explain why his company took so long to notify users that their information had been compromised.

Commerzbank, Mozilla, Suspend Facebook Ad Campaigns As Advertisers Start Pulling Out

As we reported yeserday, the backlash against Facebook over the Cambridge Analytics data harvesting story continues to grow. At first it seemed fairly innocuous, some crazy scientist had developed an app that tricked people into granting access to their personal details and activity records. Then it emerged that even though the guy had been naughty, claiming he was collecting datas for research, when in fact his plan was to sell the database to commercial outfits, for which he should have paid Facebook a fee for using their site.

Then it dawned on people that although Cambridge Analytics, which bought the unethically obtained data was being demonised in mainstream media because they numbered among their clients Donald Trump;s 2016 campaign and the Leave campaign in the british EU referendum campaign, but in fact what they did was what facebook’s business is built on, all those quizzes, tests, memes, like buttons etc. are about commecting personal data without users being aware of what is going on. And that started a public backlash (which we reported yesterday).

Now the blight has spread to advertisers: first it was Mozilla, now Germany’s Commerzbank has also suspended a Facebook advertising campaign, Unilever is in the process of pulling what’s left of its campaigns after announcing last year that Facebook adverts were not effective and several agencies have announced their clients will no longer use the platform.

“Brand safety and data security are very important to us”, German daily Handelsblatt quotes Commerzbank brand management chief Uwe Hellmann as saying. “We want to give ongoing investigations enough space, and decide how to proceed at an appropriate time.”

Just a week ago, before the scandal story broke, Commerzbank had launched a large-scale image campaign, which was planned to be broadcast on selected TV channels as well as online, including on Facebook. The campaign is tied to a repositioning of the Frankfurt company’s brand.

Facebook advertisers have threatened to abandon the platform in the wake of the massive data harvesting scandal which began after it was revealed that an app created by two psychologists gathered data on over 50 million Americans and then sold it to political data firm Cambridge Analytics and several others, who used it without consent.

Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of the social media giant and a well know world domination wannabe gave several creepy interviews Wednesday after spending three days in hiding, ostensibly with a crisis management team which advised him not give wholly unsatisfactory answers to one of the largest data breaches in history. Naturally the answers he gave questioners were totally unsatisfactory, and were also not believed because Zuckerberg and his company have a track record of priomising one thing and doing the opposite.

ISBA, a British group of advertisers that spend hundreds of millions of pounds a year on Facebook, demanded answers. It is understood that some of the 3,000 brands it handles, which include those of the consumer goods companies Unilever and P&G, will not tolerate association with Facebook if it emerges that users’ data has found its way into the hands of brokers and political campaigners without authorisation. Sources close to the trade body said that if the company’s answers were unsatisfactory, advertisers might spend their money elsewhere. ISBA will meet Facebook executives this week.

Other major clients, such as Mozilla, the the Firefox browser company, have already pulled out, or as a spokesperson said, have “pressed pause” on Facebook advertising. In a scathing post, Mozilla said that “when Facebook takes stronger action in how it shares customer data, specifically strengthening its default privacy settings for third party apps, we’ll consider returning.” Until then, “Mozilla will advertise elsewhere.”

Facebook knows a great deal about Mozilla’s two billion users, perhaps more intimate information than any other company does. They know everything we click and like on their site, and know who our closest friends and relationships are, because despite its denials, Facebook is known to install tracking cookies on the device of anyone who visits a page with a Facebook ‘like’ button. Because of its scale, Facebook has become one of the most convenient platforms to reach an audience for all companies and developers, whether a multibillion corporation or a not-for-profit.

It is believed that Facebook took steps to limit developer access to friends’ data beginning in 2014, but can any=thing Facebook reveals about its business be trusted (sic)?. When we consider the assurance was given after Facebook started its relationship with Cambridge University Professor Aleksandr Kogan, whose decision to share data he collected from Facebook with Cambridge Analytica is behind the current scandal.

We believe still more will be revealed about Facebook’s lax attitude to privacy and ethics, for example its current default settings leave access open to a lot of data – particularly with respect to settings for third party apps.

Meanwhile, Facebook shares continue to slide – falling approximately 8.6% in three trading sessions and down again on Thursday premarket as investors – particularly “ethical” investment funds – reconsider their decision to hold the increasingly toxic company.

Who’s Really Behind Snopes, Facebook’s New “Fact Checkers”
Few people who use the net as a source of news and informaion are unaware of the ‘fact checker’ agency, Snopes. In fact Snopes has for some time been the wesite of record for ‘liberal’ and left wing activists, and just recently has been appointed Factchecker Pursuivant (oe something like that) to Facebook in spite of many complain from right of centre and unalinged commentators that Snopes never seems to find anything critical of or derogatory to left wing or liberal figures to be true.

Zuckerberg’s Plan For World Domination
We are not fans of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. In the past we have exposed how Facebook was started by CIA seed money because it offered a chance to collect vast amounts of private data, how Zuckerberg & Co have collaborated with government to work against the interests of freedom, and how Facebook’s annual profits are linked to the handouts of taxpayers’ money the social media site gets from US Government

The Internet Purge Of Politically Incorrect (aka truthful) Content Begins
When US President barack Hussein Obama (the cocksucker president) in one of his moves aimed at sucking off up to the globalist millionaires who are trying to abolish free speech and democracy signed over (ilegally and unconstitutionally) to the United Nations the USA’s control of ICANN, the nearest thing the internet has to date had to a governing body, it was obvious that censorship of web content was coming soon.

Hillary’s Facebook Attempt To Connect With Voters Misses Target Again
The biggest advantage Donald Trump has in the US Presidential race is that his opponent Hillary Clinton not only has a terrible reputation for being involved in dodgy dealings is but is a cold, unlikeable person who is seen as selfish, egotistical, petulant and inclined to gloat in moments of triumph. In an attempt to redress some of the harm this impression is doing to her campaign, Hillary has taken to Facebook

Little-Known Facebook Feature Causing Users to Think Twice About What They Say
The debate over Internet privacy and the responsibility of for protecting user privacy never ceases to spark controversy. But while Facebook struggles with accusations of news suppression and even fraud, a new report on the network’s microphone settings is reigniting past fears of surveillance that were never fully addressed.

Facebook begins Europe-wide censorship campaign against free speech.
Facebook Inc (FB.O) has commenced the Europe-wide censoring of posts and comments the ruling elite do not like, thus making good the promise given to Hausfrau – Volksfuhrer Merkel by the social media and data theft site’s founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Philanthropic” Mark Zuckerberg Will Place Facebook Shares In A For-Profit LLC
Sorry to seem the The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, but somebody has to blow the whistle on the latest self serving stunt of the self server in chief, Mark Zuckerbugger but the great act of philanthropy with which the Inyaface Datatheft Book chief celebrated the birth of his child is, like everything else billionaire philanthropists do, not quite as straightforward as it has been presented in mainstream media.

How Google Destroyed the Internet
The idea of the internet was that it would be a communications tool that freed information by making all public domain documents, libraries and archives accessible for everyone. Unfortunately the corporate monopoly men of Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and Facebook and political control freaks had other ideas. They also understood the technolgy while the hippies and liberals ignored professionals warnings that internet systems would become a perfect toool of censorship.

Corporate plundering of the UK purse has to stop – Facebook pays zero tax again
Our finance expert looks at the latest tax avoidance scandal and wonders why the governments financial agencies are always to eager to go after small time tax and benefit fraud and yet year after year turn a blind eye to the blatant criminality of global corporations in their tax evasion techniques.

Has Zuckerbugger Been Messing With Your Mind?
It has been revealed that Facebook has been collaborating with the US government and creepier fringes of the academic community in carrying out experiments to manipulate users emotions. “Facebook users have reacted angrily to a “creepy” experiment carried out by the social network and two American universities to manipulate their emotions.”

Facebook boss Zukerberg Wants To Own The Internet
Facebook’s latest acquisition Whatsapp cost $19bn, that’s $40 per user. Whatsapp charge their users $1 per year. That means it will take Facebook 40 years to recover their outlay. And people are buying shares in this company? Insane.

Facebook Are Nazis – We Told You So
All the Greenteeth Labyrinth pages have consistently warned that the most successful internet companies, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Twitter etc. are led by people with authoritarian, even fascistic tendencies and a world domination complex which manifests itself as a desire to establish a monopoly position in their field. Facebbk are at the forfront of this fascist cartel.

Facebook’s Stockmarket Launch Fizzles Out

Facebook’s much hyped stock market launch fell flat. We examine the folly of trying to pass off a social networking fad as a real, monrey making business.



Google’s New Privacy Policy: ‘All Your Base Belong Us’.Google has defended its decision to change the way it handles users’ personal data as its new policy comes into force today. The internet search giant will now be able to use information about what people are entering into its search engine to target adverts according to users’ interests under the changes.

Facebooks Latest Violation Of Users PrivacyThe Daily Stirrer looks at Facebooks latest embarrassing climbdown after initially denying a new data mining scheme covertly violates users privacy …

Google’s Schmidt Tells US Senators “We’re Not MocrosoftGoogle executive chairman Eric Schmidt, giving his testimony to the Senate Judiciary subcommittee that focuses on antitrust began by recalling a ghost of the committee’s past: Microsoft. Schmidt never actually mentioned its arch enemy but it is clear …

Facebook’s Privacy Priacy
Once again Facebook are in trouble over their contempt for users privacy. It is quite astounding that this upstart corporation that is quite open about its ambition to control the internet does not seem to understand there are lines that cannot be crossed when it comes to broadcasting or “sharing” details of users private lives.
Webupon Facebook – privacy issues

Internet Technology

The Demise of Dissent: Why the Web Is Becoming Homogenized

Increasingly what we see on the web is chosen for us, search results and category listings are filtered by algorithms, “Artificial Intelligence” as some insist on calling it. One of the things it is being used for is to fill our newsfeeds with content ‘based on your interests,’ that does not present us with controversial ideas to consider, and silences certain voices and certain opinions.

Post an article critical of the ‘open doors’ uncontrolled immigration policies operated by many nations in the developed world and if it is not removed by search or hosting companies as ‘hate speech’ the chances of it showing up in search results on Google, Bing or Yahoo, or in a users newsfeed on facebook or any of the bigger social media sites are slim and will soon become anorexic as politicians and left wing activists demand constant narrowing of what is considered acceptable within the definition of free speech.

Use DuckDockGo or Dogpile and you will see much more diverse results at the top of your listing. Wolfram Alpha is not exactly a search engine but as the owners put it, “a computational knowledge engine.” Pretentious maybe, but their product is good. One of the main attractions of DuckDuckGo is it does not track users, which is ideal for privacy nerds like myself.

Bing and Yahoo are still around and while they share many of the drawbacks of Google, they are not so inclined to take liberties with our privacy.

One rather unusual choice many are making is to use the Internet ArchiveAlternative (also known as Wayback Machine,) as their search tool of choice. But it’s not my intention to name the best alternatives, a search for “Alternative search engines to google will offer you plenty to choose from.” I did my search on DuckDuckGo and obtained many listings a user could browse.

One of the excuses for the clampdown on diversity of ideas (which comes from those who screech the loudest about diversity of skin colour,) is that it is necessary to prevent the spread of ‘fake news.’

If we do not push back the danger is, we will be left with officially generated and sanctioned fake news and “approved” dissent. Which would be rather like the public debate, such as it is, in Russia, a place the people screeching about the threat posed by fake news to democracy seem to spend a lot of time demonizing.

We’ve all heard a the problem of fake news, i.e. unsubstantiated or erroneous content that’s designed to mislead or sow confusion, on the web, in fact many of the reports about it would leave one thinking it is a new phenomenon, which makes these reports themselves fake news.

Until the mid 1970s my dear old Dad worked for the right wing British newspaper, The Daily Express. This might lead contemporary readers to conclude he was a right wing conservative. On the contrary, like most of his colleagues on the Express news staff he was very liberal in his politics.

“Why did they work for a right wing newspaper then?” modern liberals might well ask. It’s very simple really, they had families to feed and clothe, they had to pay rent or mortgage to keep a roof over their heads and they had to keep themselves supplied with rather disreputable looking raincoats and trilby hats.

Dad told me in the early 1960s, when I was becoming old enough to understand, that everything in newspapers or on television or radio news should be questioned. “It is not fabricated,” he’d say, it just represents a point of view the editor thinks will appeal to people who buy the paper.

Most of the news community in the area he covered, like Dad, had as younger men supported The Laour Party, Britain’s socialist party but being in the news industry were aware that many of the party’s senior figures had, in the 1930s, thought Britain should be making alliance with a certain German gentleman, Herr Hitler. It was a dirty little secret the party did not want not widely known among the public. And as newsmen depend on information from sources with inside knowledge they could not afford to alienate the fast rising left wing party.

I mention this to illustrate how silly the current obsession with fake news is. While I suspect that what is written or said about election meddling by Russia or whoever is nothing but propaganda, most of what is labelled ‘fake news’ is simply news reported from a perspective that people of a certain political position disagree with. It applies to both sides.

But as Dad taught me news publishers and broadcasters are in business to make a profit and sensation sells. And in Britain where the traditional wrapping for our traditional fast food, fish and chips, was a sheet of greaseproof paper for cleanliness and a sheet of newspaper for insulation, there was a saying, “Todays news is tomorrow’s fish and chip wrapper.”

The problem isn’t just fake news of course -it’s the threat to free speech, one of the foundations of a democratic society, by the homogenization of the web, and the elimination or marginalization of independent voices of skepticism and dissent.

There are four political drivers of this push to control information:

The suppression of free speech under the guise of ridding the web of ‘hate speech’ propaganda and mischievous falsehood (aka humour and satire), when diversity of thought is labeled fake news as a cover for silencing critics of the orthodoxy and skeptics who question such dogmas as climate change.

The rapid decline of sales due to the trivial and anodyne nature of published content and the sharp fall in advertising revenues as budgets have been reallocated to web publishers, both major traffic gatherers and small independent publishers like Of Two Minds.

Thanks to a lot of help from governments, the majority of advert revenues now flow into the coffers of the quasi-monopolies Facebook and Google rather than to small publishers representing the true diversity of ideas current in society.

With progressively less diversity in the search market and social media, small publishers have been made increasingly dependent for readers and visibility on these quasi-monopolies most of which share a commitment to the politically correct thinking of parties which though described as left wing or liberal by mainstream media, are in fact illiberal and authoritarian. Thus any publisher who runs incurs the wrath of automatic moderation software used by Facebook and Google, is sent to a digital equivalent of The Chateau d’If, and like the man in the iron mask of Alexander Dumas’ novel, effectively vanishes.

The reason why publishers’ advert incomes are plummeting are four-fold:

Most advertising revenues in the digital market are skimmed by Facebook and Google, whose ‘Artificial Intelligence’ software favours their own business model. This skimming is achieved by the simple expedient of forcing business clients to pay for traffic, no pay, no display.

As the web became more corporate, and the global advertising agencies muscled in on the web market, the ad servers directed increasingly intrusive adverts to web users desktops. Users responded by becoming increasingly ad blind.

Ad blockers have become ubiquitous.

Few people who actually see the ads will click on the display panels that are the standard in desktop web publishing; in other words, these ads are simply not effective, and much of the revenue (up to 60% according to estimates,) is being generated is from bots, software which follows every link on a page, or click fraud, people clicking on adverts not but to generate revenue for the adverstiser. As a result, advertisers are pulling away from these type of ads as they search for advert models that aren’t so vulnerable to click-fraud.

The web is increasingly shifting to mobile, a development I’m not part of as I can’t stand Smart Phones, when I’m not in I am out, end of conversation,) but obviously a phone a smaller display area and responsive page design will move ads out of sight in favour of content.

This systemic loss revenues for everyone other than FB and Google is increassingly evident from the smallest publisher to the giants: Buzzfeed, which attracts millions of page views per day was reported by WSJ to be Set to Miss Revenue Target, Signaling Turbulence in Media. Prospects for a 2018 initial public offering by the high-profile publisher now look likely to be deferred.

BuzzFeed’s troubles are the latest sign that the online-ad business is in trouble, making it tough for new-media startups to live up to expectations and ludicrously inflated stock valuations of recent years.

As a result of this censorship of dissenting views (and sensation which according to my Dad is what sells news,) under the excuse of limiting fake news, and the erosion of advert income reaching independent publishers, those sites that try to offer an accurate and thoughtful news service are losing ground. While private individuals who post on on Facebook and other social media sites have little expectation of monetizing their content, many web publishers have in the past made enough income off adverts or affiliated income (from YouTube channels, for example) to justify the enormous time and effort they expended keeping their channel/site going.

One of the changes now happening in the world of online content is that income generation is switching from advertising to sponsorship vial small donations. PayPal and other systems for processing small transactions make this possible for individials publishing online, services like Paetreon act as collectors for small donations, and there are signs that users are coming round to the idea that if they want to read well written content with well chosen graphics, hear decent music or talks, see well put together video, and all of it well presented, then the people who create such content deserve to be paid.

People who do not agree are welcome to the piano playing cats, sad eyed puppies and selfies on Facebook.

<!– ***********************

Never Miss Another Story

Get Our Free Daily Newsletter

No Advertising – No Government Grants – This Is Independent Media

As advert income has dwindled, there are only two other revenue models available to publishers: a subscription service or donations button, i.e. the direct financial support of users/readers/viewers. Major publishers are struggling to build a subscription base large enough to fund their operations, a task made more difficult by the expectation that all content is free or should be free.

Patreon has been a boon for thousands of independent writers, journalists, cartoonists, filmmakers and other creators of content. The Patreon model (as I understand it, and yes I have a Patreon campaign) is not based on content that’s behind a paywall available to subscribers only, but on providing incentives in the form of content or other rewards to those who choose to contribute.

The Patreon model only works if enough users/readers/viewers step up to support content creators they value. I think the success of Patreon suggests that many people are willing to support the content creators they value. But like all voluntary revenue models, there’s the free-rider issue: people who may have the income to pay a bit for content choose not to, and in essence free-ride on those few who do contribute/pay for content.

Some people have advanced the model of micropayments as the solution to the problem of compensating content creators fairly. While this model has some obvious benefits–pennies charged for access to content might add up to a living for content creators if their audience was large enough–it would still be a voluntary system, and thus it would have the same free-rider issue as every other voluntary payment-for-content idea.

Posting “free” content on social media ends up driving advert revenues to the social media and search monopolies, leaving nothing for the content creators. There is only so much serious content that can be created for free.

If what we’re left with is “free” content (i.e. the creator gets no income for creating and posting content), Facebook, Google and click-bait link farms of sensationalist headlines, we’ll end up with a thoroughly homogenized web of “approved content” underwritten by lobbyists, the entertainment industry and elitist foundations/think tanks, and little in the way of real dissent or diversity of independent analysis.

In other words, we’ll be left with officially generated and sanctioned fake news and “approved” dissent: unemployment is at record lows, inflation is near zero, the “recovery” is alive and well, Russia is the enemy and any suggestion to the contrary is propaganda that must be eradicated as fake news, etc.

Simply put, the web is becoming Orwellian. There’s plenty of approved “diversity of opinion,” but dissent is being sidelined to the fringes as a risk to the perfection of managed content.

 

Charles Hugh Smith – Check out both of his new books, Inequality and the Collapse of Privilege ($3.95 Kindle, $8.95 print) and Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform ($3.95 Kindle, $8.95 print, $5.95 audiobook) For more, please visit the OTM essentials website. –>