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Monday, April 16, 2018

Facebook hypocrites

The jowls of the editorial boards Mercury News and East Bay Times quivered indignantly in an editorial on Sunday, "What Facebook won’t do, California lawmakers must." The subheadline was "It’s appalling that the U.S. is the only nation in the developed world without online privacy protections."

I cannot tell you more than that because when I went to read it, the Mercury News blocked me.

It blocks ad blocker browsers, with a notice, "To read the full story please log in, subscribe or disable ad block."

That's not as bad as some other sites. The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and other paywall sites keep track of how many times a month you visit them. They do this with a cookie. I did not give them permission to put this bug in my laptop, but they did.

Now they could say that they have a right to do that to visitors. It is their site, blah, blah, blah.

But Facebook can make the same argument.

As far as being "the only nation in the developed world without online privacy protections," we also are the only nation in the developed world without proper libel protections.

A decade ago, you could delete cookies. Windows upgraded that out of their operating system.

I doubt how many times I click on the Times is all that NYT Inc. tracks. They may know more about me than I do.

There is no privacy online. Let's stop pretending there is. Google tracks where you go online. Others as well.

We traded in our privacy for the convenience of being online.

Freedom isn't convenient. Tyranny is.

Oh, and if you think Congress or any other governmental entity will protect you, I have a bridge for sale in Brooklyn. Just what part of "tyranny is" do you not understand?


  1. You can say the same thing about your medical records. HIPAA was passed off as a guarantee of your privacy. But what it did was give providers an out on sharing your information. Many of them insist on you signing a HIPAA form when you register as a patient, and won't see you without your having signed it. What does it do? It gives them permission to share your records without having to ask you first. The law merely provided medical practitioners and institutions with a means of forcing you to sign away your rights.

    When you go to the doctor's office, you aren't talking to a regular guy in a white coat. You're talking to Big Brother.

    While I'm at trashing my chosen profession, I'd like to point out that perhaps your biggest enemy in terms of personal privacy is also your biggest enemy in terms of gun rights. The AMA is front and center on gun control.

    We need to rid ourselves of this monopoly, even if radical action is necessary. Abolish licensing.

    1. Doc - the joke is that the HIP in HIPAA stands for “Health Insurance Portability” not Privacy. It was also originally called “the Kennedy/Kasenbaum bill”. Kennedy never introduced a bill with a name conveying its true intent.

    2. Kassebaum, Schlongy. Another RINO. Otherwise, agree with everything you said.

    3. Doc - you make so much sense on a wide variety of subjects, that I'd like to ask you a serious question:

      If licensing for Doctors were abolished, how would we poor, ignorant schlubs be able to tell what "Doctor" to see, should we become sick?

  2. The AMA destroyed American medicine by giving bootlicking endorsements to every government program ever proposed. It Never had a proactive plan for it's members to assert what was best for them and their patients. In fact it pitted it's own members against each other in a race to the bottom, and there it dwells now and forever.

  3. You can still delete coookies.

  4. Win7 allows cookie deletion. DuckDuckGo doesn't track you. VPNs offer privacy from your ISP. FB can be cut way, way back from its default setting where they get to know everything about you & sell it to anybody.

    I don't go to sites that block me. If they have something to say worth reading, it'll be on another site somewhere- if not, it probably isn't that important.

    Some of the information that Google/FB/etc "knows" about me just might be wrong. Not that I'd ever put false information in, so some busybody might be misled, heavens no! Accidents do happen, though.

    1. So does Win 10.

      In IE11 under Tools you go to Internet Options - Browsing History Settings - View Files

      Then make that path a folder on your desktop and delete cookies you don't want as they arrive (I just deleted a WaPo one just now :) ).

    2. "Some of the information that Google/FB/etc "knows" about me just might be wrong. Not that I'd ever put false information in, so some busybody might be misled, heavens no! Accidents do happen, though."

      Esky -

      Of course you would do no such thing.

      Heh! If I hit a paywall or am asked to drop my ad check r do a whitelist, I let it go - as you said. Nuts to them. Other sites will have the info.

  5. Facebook is an evil monopoly. Bust it up.

  6. Big D, wear this as a badge of honor.

  7. Deleting cookies on a Mac using Safari is trivially easy. If I get a message to disable my ad blocker and I am sufficiently interested in reading the article, I sometimes will disable my ad-blocker temporarily. However, it is usually not worth the effort, so I move along. Soon enough the ad-blockers will find a way to get around those pop-up messages.

  8. Don,
    Use Seamonkey browser.It has a setting to delete all cookies every time you close the browser.Also run your browser as a portable version,not installed to your hard

  9. Want to beat the pay wall and ad-blocker crybabies? Use Simply copy/paste the URL of the page you wish to read. (Just make sure you c/p it before the pay wall pops up.) You'll be able to view a very readable version of your post with NO ads.

  10. I guess I'm still stunned that people didn't realize they were what was being monetized by Facebook.

  11. I use Pale Moon (Firefox stripped of its monitoring elements) with Self-Destructing Cookies for Pale Moon. Every time I close a window the cookies go "poof!", and I like it. ;-)