The Zuck Meets Congress

Closing Thought–11Apr18

Yesterday was the big day….Facebook honcho begins his 2 day Congressional testimony….I admit that I watched on TV for I wanted to hear his lame ass excuses….I was not disappointed.

He was given softball questions that he was allowed to evade at all costs….we could say that the time constraint did not bode well for a substantive answers.

In case you were smarter than I and avoided the TV BS show let me fill in the blanks for you…..

The first couple hours of Mark Zuckerberg’s Senate testimony Tuesday were, as Time puts it, “tedious.” Lawmakers’ questions made it clear they don’t quite understand all the ins and outs of social media (the Week says Zuck spent a fair amount of time explaining how the internet works), and that made it easy for Zuck to give sometimes evasive answers without much pushback. But when Ted Cruz questioned Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder actually appeared to be “on edge,” giving us, in Time‘s words, “the most explosive part” of the hearing. The exchange had to do with whether Facebook is a neutral public forum, with Cruz rattling off a number of instances in which the social network appeared to show its political bias by leaning left. Cruz specifically asked Zuckerberg about Palmer Luckey, a former Facebook employee who left the company after his conservative political views were revealed; Zuck denied those political views had anything to do with his departure. Time has more on Luckey and the Zuck-Cruz exchange.

  • Things did get a bit less tedious as the hearing wore on; Kamala Harris, at one point, called Zuckerberg out for deflecting questions, per the Raw Story; Slate looks at a particularly “awkward” exchange between Zuck and Dick Durbin about Zuck’s hotel; and CNN highlights an exchange in which a senator told Zuckerberg bluntly, “your user agreement sucks.” Roll Call has a look at some of the other key exchanges between Zuck and lawmakers.
  • Fast Company explains how Zuck “dodged” a question about Facebook’s ability to follow users around the internet even when they’re not logged in. Meanwhile, Slate says he “struggled” to answer uncomfortable questions about Facebook board member Peter Thiel.
  • Roll Call offers up photos from the day, including the veritable army of Zuckerberg cutouts adorning the East Lawn of the Capitol; the Week has photos and videos illustrating the “zoo” Capitol Hill became; and Mashable zeroes in on photos of Zuck’s face throughout the day to look at his “emotional journey” as the day progressed.
  • Zuckerberg, who is 5’7″, reportedly sat on a “booster seat” during his testimony. Gizmodo has pictures.
  • Might there one day be a paid version of Facebook? Zuck revealed he apparently isn’t ruling it out, per the Verge.
  • Time and Mashable round up some of the best jokes and memes to come out of the testimony.
  • Vanity Fair says this is “just the beginning of what could become a fraught regulatory battle with Congress,” and offers up a ranking of Zuck’s “regulatory nightmares.”
  • Speaking of Facebook scandals, NPR has a primer on how to check whether your data was used by Cambridge Analytica, and the New York Times reports that some of the data collected by the quiz app included private messages. Facebook is offering up a “bounty” to anyone who can find the next Cambridge Analytica, CNBC reports.
  • Fast Company takes a look at the “brain trust of advisers” helping Zuck through all this controversy.
  • The Atlantic offers up a list of the day’s 13 strangest moments.
  • Zuck will testify before the House of Representatives Wednesday. While you wait, AdWeek offers up five things we learned during today’s testimony.
  • This whole thing makes the Edward Snowden affair “look quaint,” writes Anne Applebaum at the Washington Post.

That pretty much covers the first day of this  Greek comedy…..Tuesday will produce more crap that wasted the Congress’ time.

If the Zuck-ster sez anything important I shall give my readers another look.  I expect a replay of the comedy of Monday.

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The Sins Of Social Media

The Zuck-meister is testifying before Congress….he will be apologetic hoping that it will ward off any action by Congress….protect the cash, screw the user.

With the latest news of the use of Facebook’s members info has led to a new and fresh look at social media….new warnings, new worries, new possibilities……

The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data exploitation crisis seems to be waking up a new wave of Americans to the fundamental downsides of our purposeful addiction to social media providers. Russia’s information war, designed to foment domestic unrest, exposed more of us to the reality of online manipulation, but many viewed this as a willful attack by an outsider, not reflective of a base problem with the social media platform business model.

This week’s outing of how and why Cambridge Analytica extracted vital, personal information on more than 50 million Americans for political reasons amplifies how dangerous the fundamental business model is to our national cohesion.

https://www.thecipherbrief.com/column/expert-view/seven-deadly-sins-social-media

Do you remember the Dark Ages?

That historic age when all progress stopped and the world went into a period of ignorance……could this new info about what is going on with social media could it be leading us into a new form of the Dark Ages?

The Cambridge Analytica scandal is the latest in a series of incidents that, taken together, have contributed to a rising sense of alarm over the effects of social media — on human behaviour, on civil discourse, on democratic politics. A growing number of commentators have concluded that social media — shorthand for Facebook, Twitter and Google — are more a force for harm than good, whether in their own lives or society at large.

Certainly the effects are not trivial. Whether or not you think the more underhanded uses of social media — fake news, Russian bots, or the exploitation of improperly obtained personal data to compile detailed psychological profiles of tens of millions of voters — decided the course of the last U.S. presidential election, they plainly were of some importance, or those responsible would not have gone to such lengths to deploy them.

Andrew Coyne: The pessimists might be right, social media may have plunged us into a new dark age

Just a few thoughts in the aftermath of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica fiasco……

Beware of social media….best advice that I can give.

Trust No One But Yourself!

How About Facebook?

Ever sine I have been writing a blog (a total of 12 years) visitors would comment and send me a link to a Facebook post….I would thank them for the link but tell them that I was not on Facebook for I did not trust them to keep my info secure…

Looks like my fears were well founded…..

Facebook is reeling from a series of revelations about private user data being leaked to Cambridge Analytica, a shadowy political consulting firm that did work for the Donald Trump campaign.

Last Friday, reporters from The New York Times and The Observer of London told Facebook that Cambridge had retained copies of private data for about 50 million Facebook users. Facebook says Cambridge promised in 2015 that the data would be deleted. Facebook responded to the new revelations by banning Cambridge and several of its associates from Facebook.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/03/facebooks-cambridge-analytica-scandal-explained/

Recently I was told that this breech was no big deal….apparently the markets do not agree…..

Facebook shares fell nearly 7 percent Monday amid controversy over how Cambridge Analytica, which was hired by President Trump’s 2016 campaign, was able to harvest personal data from more than 50 million Facebook users.

The 6.8 percent drop lopped nearly $40 billion off Facebook’s market value.

Equity analysts with Raymond James said in a report to clients that “continued concerns over Russian targeting and data misuse are clearly weighing on the shares.”

Facebook says it initially gave out the data to a researcher who claimed it would be used only for academic purposes. Facebook claims the researcher then “lied to us” and passed the content onto Cambridge Analytica. That firm then used the data to build “psychographic profiles” about voters.

Investors are worried about the fallout for Facebook from prosecutors, regulators, and advertisers.

I realize that followers on Facebook add to the number of total followers for the blog….but my security is more important than the number of followers to feed my ego.

Security measures are important to all us bloggers only some of us are a bit sharper than others.  I can state that none of my info was compromised by Facebook….can you?

Closing Thought–21Apr17

The Left Shall Rise Again!

Since the last election there has been a new wild swing of young Americans looking into the “Left” of days gone by….

Social media seems to be the meeting place for these “newcomers”……

From Axios:

NewsWhip spokesman Liam Corcoran says general news sites don’t always post about political news, which lowers their average, but when they do, the uptick in engagement is significant. CNN, for example, saw an increase of over 68% in Facebook engagement year over year due to a higher volume of politically-related posts.

Facebook is a good tool for observing the rise of political movements: And its role in activism will only grow bigger. New tools, like call-to-action buttons, fundraising buttons and buttons to contact elected officials, combined with traditional tools, like mass-event invitations, make it easy for political groups to form and spread on Facebook. For example, The Women’s Marches that made national headlines all over the country in January were organized by one woman on Facebook and according to a University of Maryland study cited by CNN, 70% of people who attended the march in Washington heard about the event on Facebook.

It does this old radical’s heart good to see the interests in Left politics…..some further reading on this phenom……

Source: The Millennial Generation Is a Perfect Fit for Socialism | Alternet

Source: More Americans joining socialist groups under Trump | USA | Al Jazeera

Source: Socialism’s Return | The Nation

I feel this is a good thing….because that would give us a truly accurate political system….as it is now we have a one party system with slightly different views on issues…..there is NO opposition other than the silly theatrics of our Congress.

I be finished for the day…..I be weary and must relax and unwind…I shall return tomorrow to begin my weekend and my cleansing of the mind….thanx everyone for all your visits and comments for the past week……I appreciate each and every one of you……chuq

Closing Thought–26Dec16

‘Tis the day after Christmas and I hope all went well on that special day for all my readers and followers…..now we prepare for the next big day…New Year’s.

One thought before I start……..Christmas that magical time for Christians….but did anyone notice that those good Christians in a time of “good will toward men” could not cease their vulgar attacks on any one that does not agree with their perverted mindset?  Good Christians everyone.

Enough…time to move on….

I am not a techno geek and I am a blogger and I use Twitter basically for news but many of my friends and readers are on Facebook….I am not one of those….I did not trust the Facebook format at all from the very beginning so I avoided it like a plague….these days our intel group is visiting our social media outlets regularly….at least they could do is leave a positive note……

But I read something about Facebook that is disturbing to me……

Facebook released its latest transparency report today, detailing government requests for user data for the first half of 2016. According to the report, government requests for account data increased by 27 percent globally as compared with the last half of 2015. The number of requests grew from 46,710 to 59,229, Facebook said.

The majority of the requests (56 percent) received from U.S. law enforcement contained a non-disclosure clause that prevented Facebook from notifying the user in question, the company noted.

As with prior transparency reports, Facebook also detailed the number of content restriction requests — that is, the requests from governments in response to postings that violate local laws.

Source: Government requests for Facebook user data up 27 percent in first half of 2016 | TechCrunch

I wonder how many “hacks” were done without the official “request”?

Call me paranoid if you like…but I would sooner kiss a rattlesnake than trust Facebook.

Thoughts?

See you guys tomorrow….have a day….chuq

Closing Thought–18Nov16

Media distrust and Fake News……

This past election illustrated just how much social media can play in the election of a president….

Take Facebook for instance…..on a personal note….I do not and will not ever use FB for anything….mostly because I do not trust them at all….and the news coming out of the site does nothing to erase my suspicion…..

No, the pope didn’t endorse Donald Trump, and, no, Hillary Clinton didn’t sell weapons to ISIS. But those fake stories and others like them spread more widely on Facebook than actual news stories before the election, a new BuzzFeed analysis reveals. Specifically, the top 20 fake election stories racked up 8.7 million shares, reactions, and comments in the final three months of the election versus 7.4 million for stories from the likes of the New York Times and the Washington Post. The trend accelerated as Election Day drew near, and all but three of the 20 top performers were pro-Trump or anti-Clinton stories. “I’m troubled that Facebook is doing so little to combat fake news,” Dartmouth political science professor Brendan Nyhan tells BuzzFeed.

That may be changing. While Mark Zuckerberg initially dismissed the idea that fake news might have played a role in election results, he subsequently acknowledged that Facebook could do more about the problem. Since then, both Facebook and Google have moved to restrict such stories via ads, including Google barring fake websites from using its AdSense advertising program, reports Reuters. The Washington Post, meanwhile, interviews Paul Horner, one of the leading purveyors of fake stories, who says that “people are definitely dumber. They just keep passing stuff around. Nobody fact-checks anything.” And he adds this line sure to upset Clinton supporters: “I think Trump is in the White House because of me.”

If I read or hear something that I think would make a good post….I spend a lot of time verifying the info….if I cannot verify I let my readers know.

This is a list of things to do to determine the validity of a news article….

  • Avoid websites that end in “week” ex: Newsweek. These sites take pieces of accurate information and then packaging that information with other false or misleading “facts”.
  • Watch out if established mainstream media news sites are reporting on the story. Sometimes established media coverage is the result of corporate media bias and other factors, but there should typically be a good un-bias alternative media source reporting on a topic or event.
  • Odd domain names generally equal odd domain names.
  • Lack of author attribution may, but not always, signify that the news story is suspect and requires verification, or that the author decided to not publish his/her name.
  • Check the “About Us” tab on websites or call the website landline number to chat with Editors and make sure that they are good guys.
  • Bad web design and use of ALL CAPS can also be a sign that the news source doesn’t know dick about web design.
  • If the story makes you REALLY ANGRY it’s probably a good idea to calm down and realize that it is just a news story. Go out and grab a beer with friends.
  • It’s always best to read multiple sources of information if you want. Or just read one source of information. Or don’t read at all. It is up to you.

I guess it is true….that it you say something long enough it will eventually be believed…..

I am just funny that way…..I want to give my reader as accurate info as I can without the filter of lies…..

Then we come to propaganda….the media is the biggest purveyor….the news is used to influence the public’s thinking….I would go into the use of propaganda but that would be a waste of time……instead if you can read then do it…..

https://lobotero.com/2014/01/06/propaganda-2-0/

https://lobotero.com/2013/01/11/what-is-propaganda/

Yes is why I have archives……

Are They Just That Stupid?

Saturday and my weekend begins……spend all my time as far away from the chaos of the society as I can get……some good food, good wine and companionship of my lady love….gets NO better than that.  But since I will not be posting on the collapse of civil society I chose another topic to attack….

Social media!  I use Twitter for news….I get breaking news at the moment it breaks….I do not use Facebook for I do not trust them to guard my info and since if there is anything people need to know about me I shall tell them I do not need a middle man.

I am beginning to think that this techno age is making people more thick and ignorant.  They all seem to be in the moment and looking for that 15 minutes of fame….no matter what they do they post it so the rest of the world can see their accomplishment……I would go along with it if they were truly accomplishing something good and honest….but there are many that will post stuff that they do just because they can…….like this…….

(Newser) – Shahmell Robinson, a 21-year-old man from Rochester, NY, is facing state and federal charges for allegedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl on camera. The person who allegedly filmed the act on his phone, 22-year-old Jordon McCloud, has yet to be found, though authorities say the cell phone footage is incriminating: McCloud not only allegedly filmed the girl unconscious on a bathroom floor, but also turned the camera on himself and laughed, reports the Democrat and Chronicle. The footage somehow made its way onto Facebook.

The alleged rape happened at an apartment in Greece, NY. The victim told police she didn’t remember having sex with anyone and had been drinking the night it happened. She says she woke up next to Robinson on a couch. Investigators have managed to seize McCloud’s phone, on which there is another video of the girl passed out on a bed and yet another showing unidentified people in a car talking about the rape and acknowledging they knew the girl’s real age, reports the Democrat & Chronicle in an earlier story.

Now I ask…..just how f*cking stupid are they?