Tuesday 10 April 2018

Facebook on trial...perhaps

Sadly our American cousins are afflicted with sae jumped-up hysterical political generation that we have here in the UK.

A classic example of this will be seen today when two congressional hearings will get to grill Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.

Facebook has apparently a lot to answer for. Sharing cat videos and one-year old's birthday party pics has proven to be a dark road for the world indeed, soon, it started trying to sell you a sofa that you had purchased last year and from then on it was not long before the only thing appearing on Facebook was doing it yourself Sarin kits and guides from Moscow.

Anyway, that is how the congressmen will put it. Asking over the top questions to try and get onto the news and twitter by going gung ho on Zuckerberg. I am a total bystander having never signed up to this over-sharing fantasy world that people enjoy so much. Good luck to them, the idea that you share all your most personal data freely then get annoyed when the company you gave this all to sold the data to make money.

Umm, that is the business model of social media, after all, it is free at the point of use so how are the companies going to make money?

Yet the Congressmen, exactly like our pathetic Select Committees, will grandstand instead of questioning the underlying nature of the business model and how this works. Indeed, Zuckerberg can probably win just by reminding everyone of quite how desperate politicians are to throw money at his company - money raised from their own brand of suckers, and how he will promote some sort of restriction on political advertising. Boy will they not like that.


Anonymous said...

It's remarkable. Only six months ago Zuck was touring 'flyover America' having his picture taken with Iowa dairy farmers and generally pretending to be a normal human being. Zuck 2020 was a definite possibility.

I think Brexit and Trump shocked our elites*, and SOMEONE MUST BE GUILTY. Unfettered social media has been blamed, along with Russian hacking and too many old white people. Social media is on notice that it needs to be fully aligned with elite views, like wanting to replace your population, rather than extremist ones, like not wanting to be replaced.

* hence the gigantic struggle to replace or neutralise both.

Swiss Bob said...

An easy day for Zuckerberg. He can apologise - without admitting liability - and say "lessons will be learned", that he's personally taken charge of this issue and that Facebook will always do the right thing.

He'll have been coached for the session and I wonder how much of this involved voice work and learning cute lines to deliver? Just as the congressmen will have practised their soundbites. Then the media can package it into a 90 second highlight clip which people can "like" online.

Graeme said...

If people were really worried about social media, I would be seeing fewer pictures of cats and meals. I haven't done a count but there does not seem to be a noticeable decline

Nick Drew said...

Slightly OT, but there has recently been a rash of "find out what Google has got on you" articles

Now I am a big gmail fan - right from the start - and of course Blogger, Android, and g-maps which I use a great deal (though I've never done G+)

and I know they "read" my emails because (e.g.) whenever I get a hotel confirmation it automatically plots the hotel and dates on g-maps, and sends me reminders the day before travelling

so I was kind-of expecting Big G to know quite a bit about me

but it turns out they know bugger-all, which leads me to conclude one or all of the following:

(a) I may have been quite good in selecting my privacy options over the years, and they've honoured them
(b) they don't actually go for heavy-duty data-mining or inference-algorithms
(c) they lie about what they know!

FB knows nothing about me, BTW, because I've never used it

Graeme said...

If any of your friends mentions your name then an avid Facebook crawler or bot could construct something fairly trivial. But as for Google its profile of me is a mix of fact - age, name, websites visited - and wild supposition such as an interest in cooking and extreme sports. Somehow it thinks I have visited places where I have never gone and yet its timeline for my actual travels is incredibly fragmentary. Facebook is not much better. All those claims of cunningly targeted adverts seem a bit Baldrick to me

estwdjhn said...

The best account (by miles) of the whole saga, what this "data" was etc is from Dominic Cummings's blog - he basically points out that what was occurring was normal practice, and it was pretty irrelevant to Brexit as the data CA held was almost entirely on people in the US.
The main issue (gathering "friends" data) was turned off in 2014 anyway...


dearieme said...

It's a big nothing-Zuckerberger.

King Kevin said...

No-one's forced to use it.

Anonymous said...

ND - if you have location on with an Android phone Google will have all your movements since you turned it on.

Electro-Kevin said...


I'm more bothered about the seeming determination to go to war with Russia.

We have an underfunded military (because high taxes would be unpopular) and a political class that likes to throw its weight around.

Britain would be wiped off the map and - from a neutral perspective - she doesn't deserve to exist.

Sorry to go off topic. Zukerberg did mention something about Russians, I suppose.

Nick Drew said...

Anon - ah, but I don't have location on!

(it keeps asking me to ...)

Sebastian Weetabix said...

We are living in an age of derangement. The government has gone literally mad over Skripal & Syria.

Electro-Kevin said...

It's being stoked up by the BBC and the liberal class. The problem is with being a multi cultural society all are now our 'brothers' and 'sisters' and everything is in our 'back yard'. We have made dangerous pacts and alliances in unstable places.

It doesn't matter that the news sources are unverified and from unsavoury people.

Throw in the pact made with homosexuals globally and you have fault lines everywhere near certain to cause an outbreak of conflict with a more traditional and manly type of society - Russia, China.

Fucking virtue signallers.

Just who do they think we are ? The World Police ?

andrew said...

Not so many years ago what the Russians did to the skripals would be viewed as an act of war.

However caution over Syria is good not because of the Russian threats but after 6? years still no one has come up with an idea of what victory is or a proper plan to achieve it. "Assad bad must go" is neither a goal or a plan.

Anonymous said...

andrew - what the UK has done in Syria - arming, training and funding the headchoppers, actually sending troops there with zero authority - an SAS guy was killed there a week or two ago - would also be viewed as an act of war. The trouble is Syria has quite enough war already.

I find it hard to believe that after the Iraqi and Libya shambles the UK is prepared to openly f*** up Syria (they've been doing it covertly since at least 2013). I find it even more amazing when so much propaganda has been chucked at Brits and failed to stick (the huge kerfuffle over Aleppo in 2015, while ignoring the vastly greater death tolls in Mosul and Yemen (done by the "good guys" apparently), previous "chemical attacks").

a) Assad is winning the civil war.

b) Last week Trump said he wanted to get out of Syria (they should never have been there and Obama denied they were - "no boots on the ground" were his words)

c) FBI raid Trumps lawyers office a couple of days later

d) alleged chemical weapons use, all evidence provided by the bad guys. How very convenient for the war party. Assad's not stupid whatever he is.

e) Trump comes over all belligerent when Candidate Trump said (correctly IMHO) that the US has no vital interest in Syria and should get out.

Are we really stupid enough to fall for propaganda from evil people, and go for a hat trick of wrecked countries with a side order of possible nuclear war?