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Monday, March 19, 2018

Why conservatives enjoy Facebook's pain

In January, John Hawkins of Right Wing News wrote, "How Conservatives Are Being Destroyed by Facebook, Twitter and Google Without Even Realizing It." A tad hysterical (he said he was shutting down his site but it is still there), nevertheless Hawkins understood that the Social Justice Fascists had turned social media sites and Google's You Tube into censors of conservatism.

Today, Facebook (and sadly Standard and Poor's 500) paid a price for its politicking. Its share prices tumbled.

The disclosure is Cambridge Analytica used Facebook's harvesting of data on users to help elect President Trump.

"Facebook fell after reports said political analytics firm Cambridge Analytica was able to collect data on 50 million people's profiles without their consent. Cambridge Analytica worked on Facebook ads with President Donald Trump's campaign in 2016," CNBC reported.

Anyone was able to do that. All you had to do was pay Facebook. That is the scandal.

Citing sources in the company, CNN reported, "It will now take a Herculean effort to restore public trust in Facebook's commitment to privacy and data protection, they said. Outside observers think regulation has suddenly become more likely, and yet CEO Mark Zuckerberg appears missing in action."

How odd that censoring conservatives did not do the company in, but helping them did.

But users pay a hefty price for free use Facebook, Twitter, and other sites. They lose their privacy. As Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit puts it, if you are not paying for it, then you are the product.

However, pay sites such as the New York Times also harvest your personal information -- browsing history -- by inserting cookies in your computer. You used to be able to easily delete them, but Windows through its upgrades has eliminated that capability. Bill Gates is not your friend.

Getting back to Facebook, Hawkins wrote, "You see, what Facebook giveth, Facebook can take away. So, why would Facebook want to kill extremely successful Facebook pages that its users enjoyed?

"One of the reasons goes back to something I told multiple reporters during the 2016 election. I believe that all of the thriving right wing Facebook pages activated large numbers of what I like to think of as instinctive conservatives. You know, the sort of people who love God, guns and America, but who don’t follow politics day to day, read National Review or consume any of Milton Friedman’s books.

"From what I could see on Facebook, that group of people LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Donald Trump and I believe they were responsible for getting him the GOP nomination and probably even got him over the hump in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. I think the liberals that run Facebook came to that same conclusion."

The Establishment press called this competition from the grassroots "Fake News."

I wrote a book documenting the Fake News in the press.

Nevertheless, peer pressure got Zuckerberg to hire a bunch of Marxist loonies -- PolitiFact is power mad with its Pulitzer -- to fact-check, which segued into censoring conservatives. That was the plan.

Other sites also censor. When Twitter suspended Reynolds over a tweet, he reconsidered his use of it. Why was he giving Twitter free content?

Indeed.

I use these sites to promote my blog. I have little else to do with them. The loss of privacy does not bother me. I knew once I went online 23 years ago that I would lose that.

But give the enemy free content? Get bent.

Hawkins feared the worst.

"We’ve already lost the schools, Hollywood and the mainstream media. What happens when you can’t get out conservative opinion via social media because they block, shadow ban and demonetize everyone who gets any traction? What happens if they put rules in place that essentially make expressing conservative opinions something that gets you kicked off their service? You’re pro-gun? Sorry, not allowed. You don’t like gay marriage? Get out of here. Criticizing Black Lives Matter? Out of bounds! We can hope for the best, but that seems like the future we’re headed toward and it’s one that will leave conservatism weaker than ever," Hawkins wrote in January.

The paper loss today on Facebook stock was $23.8 billion-with-a-B.

Today's stock plunge is satisfying. Zuckerberg may end up a millionaire by the time this is over.

I just cracked me up.

23 comments:

  1. You used to go “From shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves” in three generations, now you can do it three of the seven stages of a single life.

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  2. Yes indeed; I love me sum #FacebookTears . Another Chinese Burrito for traders gone rancid.

    There's a bit of confusion in the reports for the last 24 hours or so. Actually, Cambridge Analytica was set up to benefit Cruz's campaign. It was partially a brain child of the tech-enamored Mercers (R), basically a snake oil project staffed by a bunch of (mostly British) geeks that had very little specific training--they just data mined. Sorta the climate change of social opinion polling. Don't believe me--Look at the terminal degrees of those that were around at the time. Terminal post-docs that couldn't find a job somewhere. But, perfect for a fat cat donor and/or silicon valley.

    By the time that Cruz was toast, Bannon brought CA over to Trump. It was a done deal by then, and Trump probably didn't rely much on it. You'd have to talk to Brad to gauge the degree of use.

    But, like everything else it's Trump's fault.

    Meh.

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  3. Th NYT said Obama was genius in 2012 for using data mining but now it says Trump was a gangster. I wonder how much Clinton spent on such projects. Whatever it was it could never have been enough. The presidency has a lot to do with being likable. He was and she wasn't.

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  4. I remember reading that Facebook offered this analytic data to both campaigns, but only the Trump campaign took advantage because Hillary and her boi genius Robbie Mook already had the World's Best Data Operations. Which is why Hillary was ahead by 50 points. I love death-by-hubris.

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  5. Obama used it.

    And, yes, this was Cruz’s till he flamed out.

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  6. I use gab now. Facebook has gotten by without me for months, except when I want to look at someone else's page. And I do not have to log in to do that! -- BJ54

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  7. “Facebook's commitment to privacy and data protection.” Funniest thing I’ve read today.

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    1. Jumbo shrimp ... open secret ... lesbian/feminist comedian

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  8. I don’t use Facebook. I have a profile with a fake name because you sometimes need a Facebook ID to comment on a site. Those sites want you to agree to allow them to slaccessnall of your Facebook contacts. I hate that, but since it is not me and I have no contacts, I agree.

    I wouldn’t be too sad to see these social media sites getting creamed or replaces by something else.

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    1. Ditto on the fake profile. Sometimes a friend says, "Take a look at my Facebook page," so I do so pretty much anonymously.

      I also use it for posting comments on various sites occasionally, but not under "Elric."

      I do a bit of computer repair and cleanup, and the majority of the nasty viruses I've cleaned up have been because of an infection from Facebook.

      - Elric

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  9. "It will now take a Herculean effort to restore public trust in Facebook's commitment to privacy and data protection."

    Ha, ha, ha, ha. Facebook NEVER had a commitment to privacy and data protection. Violating your privacy and selling your data is the only way they've figured out to make money.

    Maybe the fact that the data was used by conservatives is what's causing the uproar in the media, but the real cataclysm will occur when most Facebook users finally grasp how the company has been playing them.

    Full disclosure--never been on FB. From the beginning, it felt far too invasive for me to even try it out.

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  10. Facebook is going the way of those music sharing sites - what was it Madster? Hamster? I forget - that were so popular around the turn of the century. Can't believe I just wrote that. Yeah, folks, 18 years ago. FB had its day in the sun. Never been on it. Nor my wife. Both kids are. A Millenial thing. But my sister in law often knows things about the kids that I don't because she's an FB addict.

    Oh, and dear readers, they're tracking and collecting what we post on this site too. Eye In The Sky. A little Alan Parsons Project for ya there.

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  11. I know we're watched, too, but the difference is, FB has always been about the personal. Giving my political opinion is one thing, but all that about your status, where you are, tracking you, who your contacts are....FB never interested me. And I always got the idea it was boring people talking about "small talk" things -- what we made for dinner, who got an A today, here's a picture of us at the park....no interest at all in that. (No offense to all here -- love reading your comments, but don't want to know about your family and life story and don't want to tell you about mine.)

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    1. I'll upvote that. Wife does the social media thing; not I, said the fly.

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  12. When internet use first started taking off there was an obscure program mentioned on Drudge Report called "carnivore" unleashed during the Clinton years in the 90s. Under this program all internet traffic was supposedly being captured. This has been going on a long time in one form or another.

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  13. The young crowd is drifting away from Zuck also, I read somewhere, so he's looking at the possibility of being a thousandaire.

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  14. Watched a TV news report about this. The message was: Evil Republicans stealing your personal information to manipulate you into voting for Trump! Hidden message: If Republicans can do such vile things with your personal information from FB, what do you think FB, the Democrats, the CIA, the FBI, and other corporations have been doing with your information all along?

    The press is using the same language and tone in this as if it was a huge leak of information from the IRS, a big bank, or a payroll data processing company. The upshot of this is that while Zuckerberg may have intended this "scandal" to hurt Trump, it has ended up with people questioning the use of social media to parade their personal information.

    I think FB will turn out to have been a generational fad whose impetus cane from the generation of people raised on reality TV. The psychology involved is that putting one's face and lifestyle out for everyone to see made them a sort of mini-celebrity. Being "famous" in this little sphere gives them a dopamine hit that the TV shows conditioned them to have, and the "status" they acquired in doing so ended up being a bit of an addiction. Actual celebrities become addicted to their own status, average folks are finding out that they do as well.

    So there are FB users who will find out how they are being used and will stop; and there are those who cannot control their addiction.

    I think the ultimate decline in FB will be when they run out of people who have been conditioned, groomed if you will, to become addicted to their own celebrity. The death of TV is causing the death of FB.

    Of course, I could be wrong,and this could simply be a self fulfilling prophecy, but I think it is an interesting hypothesis.

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    1. My son tells me that many of the profiles on FB are embellished or made up to enhance standing. I notice on Power line blog everybody is a "Star commentator" although most of the comments there are not as good as here. There is a lot of power in the ability to bestow the feelgoodness of recognition. How long these illusions will last is hard to say but the profits are huge.
      Much of the anger against FB is because Z acted like the capitalist he really is and sold data to the Right as well as left. The Left is upset he turned out to be just a pragmatic Rich guy concerned about Jim's(10:27) share value rather than owing them power forever no matter what. Nothing like angry swine facing a trough still only half full at noon.

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  15. Not all conservatives are enjoying FB pain. I bought 500 at 18.54. Still have it.

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  16. Shouldn't you mammon worshippers see Zuckerberg as many times the man Trump is? He has a successful, publicly traded tech company. He's never degraded himself by hosting a reality show. He's never laundered money for mobsters.

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