“At Facebook, we’re focused on giving people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. It’s exciting to work with a team of smart people who want to solve problems and make the world a better place. “
Mark Zuckerberg, has the sublime ability to actually say the above with a straight face. His stunning hypocrisy is epic as he appears on the cable news channels with an, ‘Ah shucks,’ ‘Oh My’, ‘My bad,’ ‘Sorry,’ ‘We’ll fix it ,’ squeaky clean all American boy geek demeanor.
My response is echoed in the remarks a close friend has recently posted on Facebook: “the Revolution will not be elected. This is a huge project and demands that you not be distracted by all this silliness.”
Commander Nero is offering two choices: the Blue pill or the Red pill. I strongly urge you read the ‘Society of the Spectacle’ before choosing. The Blue pill gives us cute kittahs and puppies, Pitiful narrative stories; Delicious recipes; Beautiful nature vignettes ; World Travel; Exquisite music; Militarized coproaches murdering people of color with impunity; Mom’s with cancer and small children who will be orphaned; The rising tide of feminist civil rights and parity; A moron president as a repulsive clown; Beautiful genre photos of the idyllic American life; and an endless host of topics, hot or cool to stir the passions and convince us that our mass delusions are in fact the good wiled loving community Facebook pretends we are so as to monetize our most intimate data for the endless reaching profit of late stage capitalism. Our delusions that Facebook is some kind of utopian world wide community is dissuaded by the swallowing the red pill and realizing with the horror of a satori that we live and survive, if lucky, in a monstrous dystopian morass.
The truth is hidden in plain sight. Billions of humans use Facebook and learn rather quickly if tripping its algorithm censor complexities that our friendly, loving, world community Facebook has NO CUSTOMER SERVICE. Oh, there is a smiley face impotent HELP page, but it like all clicks for communication with the main frame are dead ends; As one Facebook customer has opined; “They don’t respond because they don’t exist … I’m beginning to believe that there are no humans left at Facebook, just transaction-processing software connected to a large computing Cloud in the ethernet. No one responds to our frustration because there’s no one there – no “live human,” anyway. Only platforms, aps, bits and bytes, which are not programmed to feel frustration or sense it in others. They don’t hear or see us as humans expecting a response, just as a source of data to be categorized and stored. When we write these plaintive pleas for help and clear instruction, these machines don’t sense our anger and frustration – they word-search our typed text for key words that trigger pre-programmed, impersonal (and usually, inaccurate) responses. Isn’t it amazing how digitalization continues to make 21st century communications so much more efficient and effective than back in the Stone Age when live humans answered phones and engaged in real, interactive conversations with their customers/clients? . Now I think I’ll shut down Facebook, get off the computer and go outdoors to see some of that summer sunshine I have been missing, while I sit here typing on this keyboard.” I hope our friend here runs into the rogue app cookie lady and joins the revolution.
“Facebook really only has itself to blame for this mess. Even with tweaks, the company has consistently privileged data collection and monetization over user privacy,” argued The New Republic’s Alex Shephard . This has allowed it to become one of the most powerful and valuable corporations on the planet. But it has also made it the perfect platform for shady influence campaigns. Of course, the biggest problem with this scandal isn’t that Cambridge Analytica is shady — it’s that Facebook is.”
“PRISM is a code name for a program under which the United States National Security Agency (NSA) collects internet communications from various U.S. internet companies. The program is also known by the SIGAD US-984XN. PRISM collects stored internet communications based on demands made to internet companies such as Google Inc. under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 to turn over any data that match court-approved search terms. The NSA can use these PRISM requests to target communications that were encrypted when they traveled across the internet backbone, to focus on stored data that telecommunication filtering systems discarded earlier, and to get data that is easier to handle, among other things. PRISM began in 2007 in the wake of the passage of the Protect America Act under the Bush Administration. The program is operated under the supervision of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court, or FISC) pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Its existence was leaked six years later by NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who warned that the extent of mass data collection was far greater than the public knew and included what he characterized as “dangerous” and “criminal” activities. The disclosures were published by The Guardian and The Washington Post on June 6, 2013. Subsequent documents have demonstrated a financial arrangement between NSA’s Special Source Operations division (SSO) and PRISM partners in the millions of dollars.”
“Documents indicate that PRISM is “the number one source of raw intelligence used for NSA analytic reports”, and it accounts for 91% of the NSA’s internet traffic acquired under FISA section 702 authority.” The leaked information came to light one day after the revelation that the FISA Court had been ordering a subsidiary of telecommunications company Verizon Communications to turn over to the NSA logs tracking all of its customers’ telephone calls.”
“U.S. government officials have disputed some aspects of the Guardian and Washington Post stories and have defended the program by asserting it cannot be used on domestic targets without a warrant, that it has helped to prevent acts of terrorism, and that it receives independent oversight from the federal government’s executive, judicial and legislative branches. On June 19, 2013, U.S. President Barack Obama, during a visit to Germany, stated that the NSA’s data gathering practices constitute “a circumscribed, narrow system directed at us being able to protect our people.”
Obama’s pleasant reassuring lie that State sanctioned data mining of US citizen’s is a circumscribed, narrow system directed at us being able to protect our people is patently laughable. Facebook, a publicly traded corporation is responsible for the sale and mining of 50 million of its users private data.
“Facebook makes their money by exploiting and selling intimate details about the private lives of millions, far beyond the scant details you voluntarily post,” Snowden said. “They are not victims. They are accomplices.” While we may not know the details of the PRISM presence exactly, most of us feel that we know we have no ultimately secure privacy. This complacency may prove to be deadly. HEED Snowden’s warning.
The current ‘distracting’ kerfuffle will be passed by as entertainment by the mechanics of the Spectacle and the next porn star revelation will take its place. If you chose the red pill you know the war has only begun. Facebook sold the data of several hundred thousand customers to a Russian asset at Cambridge University, who then sold it to the fascist pro Trump Cambridge Analytica, which managed to mine the data and expand it to 50 million Facebook users. Think about that! Think about Orwell’s 1984:
Cambridge Analytica on Saturday denied any wrongdoing, issuing a statement that said the firm “fully complies” with Facebook’s terms of service. This perfectly snarky announcement is beautifully ironic.
My friend was quite spot on in her warning: “the Revolution will not be elected. “This is a huge project and demands that you not be distracted by all this silliness.” Those of the resistance must up our game. Facebook in our age is the equivalent of the invention of the printing press in the Middle Ages. Its power and worldwide presence is threatening at best and its algorithm indifference to the human condition, let alone Democracy, is dangerous in the extreme.
“In a lifetime of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” Orwell