Hudlin Entertainment Forum

How Ya Livin' => Technology => Topic started by: Reginald Hudlin on May 16, 2012, 05:04:42 am

Title: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on May 16, 2012, 05:04:42 am

May 14, 2012
Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
SAN FRANCISCO — Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief, has managed to amass more information about more people than anyone else in history.

Now what?

As Facebook turns to Wall Street in the biggest public offering ever by an Internet company, it faces a new, unenviable test: how to keep growing and enriching its hungry new shareholders.

The answer lies in what Facebook will be able to do — and how quickly — with its crown jewel: its status as an online directory for a good chunk of the human race, with the names, photos, tastes and desires of nearly a billion people.

Facebook’s shares are expected to begin trading as early as this week. Already, lots of investors are scrambling to buy those shares, with giddy hopes that it will become a big moneymaker like Google. Because of that high demand, Facebook is expected to increase its offering price from its initial range, giving the company a valuation possibly as high as $104 billion.

In the eight years since it sprang out of a Harvard dorm room, Facebook has signed up users at breakneck speed, kept them glued to the site for longer stretches of time and turned a profit by using their personal information to customize the ads they see.

Whether it can spin that data into enough gold to justify a valuation of as much as $104 billion remains unclear.

“We know Facebook has an awful lot of data, but what they have not worked out yet is the most effective means of using that data for advertising,” said Catherine Tucker, a professor of marketing at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “They are going to have to experiment a lot more.”

Analysts, investors and company executives can rattle off any number of challenges facing the company. As it works to better match ads to people, it has to avoid violating its users’ perceived sense of privacy or inviting regulatory scrutiny. It needs to find other ways to generate revenue, like allowing people to buy more goods and services with Facebook Credits, a kind of virtual currency. Most urgently it has to make money on mobile devices, the window to Facebook for more and more people.

All the while, its ability to innovate with new features and approaches — to “break things,” in the words of Mr. Zuckerberg — may be markedly constrained once it has investors to answer to.

“They are going to have to think about whether they can continue with the motto ‘Done is better than perfect,’ ” said Susan Etlinger, an industry analyst at the Altimeter Group. “When you’re operating as a public company, life is very different. We haven’t seen that play out yet. It’s going to take a few quarters to figure out what a public Facebook is going to look like.”

Skeptics point out that the company’s revenue growth showed signs of slowing in the first quarter of 2012. And a Bloomberg survey of 1,253 investors, analysts and traders found that a substantial majority were dubious about the eye-popping valuation Facebook was seeking. “It’s a risky asset. No doubt about that,” said Brian Wieser, of Pivotal Research Group. “Google was less risky.” No matter. Mr. Wieser says he thinks that Facebook is worth $83 billion and that its revenue will grow by at least 30 percent for the next five years.

The comparisons to Google are inevitable. When that company went public in 2004, there were so many doubters that the company lowered its offering price to $85 a share. It closed at just over $100 on the first day of trading, and now sells for more than $600. Facebook is farther along than Google was in terms of revenue, having brought in nearly $4 billion last year, or $5.11 a user, compared with Google’s $2 billion in 2003.

One Facebook investor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of market regulations as the offering draws near, noted that when Google went public it already had a clear business strategy. By contrast, he described Facebook this way: “They have built an incredibly valuable asset — as opposed to a business they have executed well.”

The most pressing issue for Facebook executives may be the mobile challenge. Already, over half of Facebook’s 901 million users access the site through mobile devices. In regulatory filings, the company says mobile use is growing fastest in some of Facebook’s largest markets, including the United States, India and Brazil. Facebook goes on to acknowledge that it makes little to no money on mobile and that “our ability to do so successfully is unproven.”

There is not much space on mobile screens to show advertisements. And Google and Apple, two of Facebook’s biggest rivals, control the basic software on most smartphones, which could make it harder for the company to make inroads there. Facebook’s response to this challenge so far has been to aggressively acquire companies focused on mobile, including Instagram, for which it paid $1 billion in April. But it warned in a revision to its offering documents last week that the mobile shift meant it was adding users faster than it was increasing the number of ads it displayed.

What Facebook already has — more than any other digital company — is a spectacularly rich vault of information about its users, who cannot seem to stay away from the site. Americans, on average, now spend 20 percent of their online time on Facebook alone, thanks to the ever-growing menu of activities the company has introduced, from playing games to sampling music to posting pictures of baby showers and drunken escapades. Some 300 million photos are uploaded to the site daily.

How Facebook exploits its users’ information — and how those users react — is the next reckoning. David Eastman, worldwide digital director for the advertising agency JWT, said Facebook would need to give marketers more data about what kinds of users click on what kinds of advertising, and about their travels on the Internet before and after they click on an ad. Most brands want to have a presence on Facebook, he said, but they do not quite understand who sees their pitches and whether they lead to greater sales.

“They need to make the data work more,” Mr. Eastman said. “They need to provide deeper data. Right now the value of Facebook advertising is largely unknown.”

While the bulk of Facebook’s revenue comes from North America, it is banking on international growth. The company has expanded its global footprint so rapidly that four out of five Facebook users are now outside the United States. It is the dominant social network in large emerging markets like Brazil and India, though it shows no signs of penetrating China — where it would face not only government censorship but stiff competition from homegrown social networks.

Mr. Zuckerberg, who has studied Mandarin, signaled his ambitions to crack the vast Chinese market as far back as 2010. He suggested that Facebook would first try to advance deeper into markets like Russia and Japan before it took on a country as “complex” as China.

With international growth comes international regulatory headaches. Facebook already faces audits in Europe on whether the company is living up to promises made to consumers about how it uses their data — and now, a stringent new data protection law. In India, it has been sued for spreading offensive content. And in the United States, it faces privacy audits by the Federal Trade Commission for the next 20 years. In its offering documents, Facebook repeatedly warns of legislative and regulatory scrutiny over user privacy, “which may adversely affect our reputation and brand.”

Maintaining brand loyalty is excruciatingly difficult in the Internet business. Across Silicon Valley, investors are plotting the next big thing in social networks. Already, the clock may be ticking for Facebook.

“There is no consumer-facing Internet brand or site that ever keeps consumers’ attention for more than 10 years,” said Tim Chang, a managing director at Mayfield Fund. “It is not hard to imagine that in 10 years, people are going to be off of Facebook even.”

Mr. Zuckerberg has an answer to that. In the video for investors released this month, Mr. Zuckerberg hinted at the ambitions he had for the company. Facebook, in his vision, will hook itself into the rest of the Web, making itself indispensable. Already Facebook serves as a de facto Internet passport, allowing users to log in with their Facebook identities and explore millions of other Web sites and applications.

“I think that we’re going to reach this point where almost every app that you use is going to be integrated with Facebook in some way,” Mr. Zuckerberg says in the video. “We make decisions at Facebook not optimizing for what is going to happen in the next year, but what’s going to set us up for this world where every product experience you have is social, and that’s all powered by Facebook.”

Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on September 20, 2017, 08:25:32 pm
I've only had 1 FaceBook account since 2008 and got dinged for entering the wrong password many times for years and years but today was the first time I actually got locked out (seems like permanently this time), and was prompted to provide photo ID & all kinds of  bull____.

All I really wanted to do was log in to find out more about Rachel Maddow's Emmy nomination and did she win it? If so, wanted to congratulate her.   Can't do that If I'm locked out.  >:(

I'm in agreement with all concerned that mark zuckerberg should indeed be summoned to testify before Congress regarding the Russia investigations and what role did FaceBook play during the 2016 presidential campaign run for the record just to make sure that there was no coordination/connection with those dubious accounts from Russia.
Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on October 19, 2017, 03:45:55 pm
Next month mark zuckerberg was scheduled to appear before Congress to explain to the American people how involved was Facebook in the 2016 presidential campaign run but has declined to testify and will send his lawyer instead.

I strongly urge all interested in this matter to relay to the investigating Committee to issue a subpoena directly to Mr. zuckerberg to speak and be heard before Congress.

No one is interested in what his lawyer has to say.

Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on October 29, 2017, 12:12:02 am
Here's a question for the Congressional committee members to ask when it convenes regarding social media's involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign run:

Considering that digital social media can be used to undermine American democracy which poses a national security risk affecting the accuracy & influence of our democratic elections, would you[facebook, twitter, snapchat, etc.] be willing to shut down all services until we find a solution to our problem?

If not, would you[facebook, twitter, snapchat, etc.] be willing to accept any consequences, violations and/or  penalties in our findings that implicates your company's involvement with a foreign power during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign run?
Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on March 19, 2018, 06:42:31 pm
According to all the headline news:

It was Cambridge Analytica that was hired to steal unsuspecting HEF members private messages for ted cruz's 2016  presidential campaign.  The idiot [cruz] even went as far as plaigerizing entire sections of my pitch in his announcement speech to begin his presidential run.

Cambridge Analytica also coordinates and collects with Facebook to steal unsuspecting users info for drumpf.

These are ______ing good for nothing, cheating thieves.  These M/Fers literally steal from the poor & give to the rich.

I'm in agreement with all concerned that mark zuckerberg & ted cruz should indeed be summoned to testify before Congress regarding the Russia investigations and what role did FaceBook play during the 2016 presidential campaign run for the record just to make sure that there was no coordination/connection with those dubious accounts from Russia.
Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on March 20, 2018, 08:01:36 pm
Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on March 22, 2018, 08:57:10 am
Just Remember: the lil' weasel is "...really sorry" because he got caught.


Please note: the artist drew puppetine's hands very tiny in proportion to his body-type for a reason!   ;)
Just thought I'd put that out there!
Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on March 23, 2018, 06:17:25 pm
Later that evening...

Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on March 29, 2018, 01:56:03 pm
Doesn't Facebook creator mark zuckerberg resemble Myron, the self-described genius from the classic post nuclear role-playing game FALLOUT 2? (



Both characters have a lot of things in common. One is the creator of an addictive electronic bulletin board service and the other is the creator of the highly addictive drug, Jet.

Will Ferrell says he can 'no longer, in good conscience' use Facebook
by Sarah Salinas
Thursday MARCH 29, 2018

Comedian Will Ferrell has joined the small chorus of public figures signing off of Facebook for good.
"I know I am not alone when I say that I was very disturbed to hear about Cambridge Analytica's misuse of millions of Facebook users' information in order to undermine our democracy and infringe on our citizens' privacy," Ferrell wrote in a Facebook post.

He said he'd leave the page live for 72 hours in order to let the post circulate. That puts Ferrell's Facebook expiration date around 2 p.m. Friday.

"In this day and age, with misinformation running rampant, it's important that we protect the truth, as well as those who work to bring it to light. I can no longer, in good conscience, use the services of a company that allowed the spread of propaganda and directly aimed it at those most vulnerable," Ferrell said. (Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)

Facebook is still reeling from reports that research firm Cambridge Analytica improperly gained access to the personal information of more than 50 million Facebook users. The social media giant has in recent weeks lost billions in shareholder value and made several changes to its privacy policies.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said last week that he hadn't seen a "meaningful number of people" deleting Facebook after the leak. Still, some public figures have abandoned the platform.

Billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk said on Twitter that he'd be deleting the Facebook pages for Tesla and SpaceX.

Those pages have since disappeared.

Would You Like To Know More? (
Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on March 29, 2018, 06:47:20 pm
Dag!  You can't even permanently delete Facebook even though the option is made available!

If you want to permanently delete your Facebook account, you get slapped with this:


If you refresh the page over and over again, you still get slapped with no option to delete without a code.  >:(
Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on October 27, 2018, 03:15:30 pm
Thursday, 25th October 2018
‘The Facebook Dilemma’ Review: A Message That Can’t Be Ignored
An unrelenting ‘Frontline’ documentary wants you to know that Facebook is not your friend.

by John Anderson


The overarching theme of “The Facebook Dilemma”—an aggressive, indignant, illuminating two-nighter presented by “Frontline”—is the blissfully amoral way a social-media site has morphed into a sociopolitical evil. But what viewers will also come away with is a sense of something else—something entirely relevant to the situation: That Mark Zuckerberg is the worst company spokesman in the history of corporate America. If he told you the sky was blue, you’d wonder what his agenda was.

And it’s Mr. Zuckerberg’s innate sense of shiftiness that perfectly reflects his company as profiled by a “Frontline” team that includes reporters Anya Bourg and Dana Priest, and James Jacoby, the film’s director, writer, producer and on-air presence. Mr. Jacoby goes in with all the hard questions and has enlisted a group of eight former senior Facebook staffers to address his concerns—ranging from hate speech to Russian election interference to Facebook’s alleged complicity in the genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar to its weaponization by the likes of Philippine strongman Rodrigo Duterte.

He was also “given”—he makes this clear a couple of times—five members of Facebook’s upper management to answer his questions. That they come off like deer in Mr. Jacoby’s headlights is revealing in itself: Their answers are mealy-mouthed at best, and the defensive posture they assume, and their evident fear, indicates a company unable to cope with, or confront, the corruption that has accompanied its absolute power in the social-media marketplace.

There’s not a lot of TV that’s genuinely “must see,” but “The Facebook Dilemma” qualifies. Part 1, which airs Monday night, concerns itself with the warnings that arose, very early on, about the dangers Facebook posed to democratic institutions. Tuesday’s Part 2 deals with the company’s response, or lack thereof, to charges that it has enabled “fake news” and the disruption of electoral politics. It’s no small thing that the program clarifies vital issues raised about Facebook—algorithms, for instance—so obscure to so many. Or that it so concisely tells its very disturbing story.

The Facebook Dilemma
Monday at 9 p.m., Tuesday at 10 p.m., PBS
Check Your local Listings

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Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on December 23, 2018, 01:20:49 pm
It only took over a year to write a simple program for 2 mere mouseclicks to permanently delete my fakebook account that gets me this notice:


The way the notice is worded, gives me the impression that the account may still be there, just that the user simply cannot access it.

I believe it is time for mr. zuckerberg be approached by the proper authorities for lying to Congress.
Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on January 01, 2019, 10:58:20 am
The government will never crack down on him.  They want the information too. 
Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on January 30, 2019, 12:42:05 am
Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on February 17, 2019, 11:04:29 pm
Sunday, 17th February 2019
Facebook can no longer govern itself, UK lawmakers say
by Makena Kelly


Facebook should no longer be allowed to govern itself and it’s time for the government to step in as the cop on the beat, according to a new parliamentary report released tonight by the United Kingdom.

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee of the UK Parliament has published its final report after more than 18 months of investigation into Facebook and its privacy practices.

Members of Parliament (MPs) have requested that social media companies be required to remove “harmful” or “illegal” content on their platforms and be held liable for it according to a compulsory code of ethics, a policy that has been hotly contested in the US.
This new report lays the groundwork for further legislation that could officially codify these requests into law.

“Our inquiry over the last year has identified three big threats to our society,” Damian Collins, DCMS chair who has led this investigation said.

“The challenge for the year ahead is to start to fix them; we cannot delay any longer.”

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The committee also requested that the government reform some of its own laws involving political advertising and asks that it further investigate foreign influences in political campaigns.
“Among the countless innocuous postings of celebrations and holiday snaps, some malicious forces use Facebook to threaten and harass others, to publish revenge porn, to disseminate hate speech and propaganda of all kinds, and to influence elections and democratic processes,” the report says.
“Much of which Facebook, and other social media companies, are either unable or unwilling to prevent.”

In the committee’s interim report last summer, it called for a code of ethics in which all tech companies would agree to uphold.

After months of contentious parliamentary inquiries, the committee now recommends an even stronger measure, requesting that platforms be subject to a Compulsory Code of Ethics that would be overseen by an independent regulator.

According to the MPs, that regulator should have the ability to pursue legal action if companies like Facebook refused to remove the unlawful content.
This same public body, according to the lawmakers, should be given statutory powers that would allow it to obtain any information from social media platforms that could be relevant to any inquiries.

These authorities could range from being allowed access into algorithms or security mechanisms.

The committee was personally critical of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has refused public requests to answer the members’ questions, per the report.

“Even if Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t believe he is accountable to the UK Parliament, he is to the billions of Facebook users across the world,” the committee wrote.

“Mark Zuckerberg continually fails to show the levels of leadership and personal responsibility that should be expected from someone who sits at the top of one of the world’s biggest companies.”

Last week, it was reported that a US regulatory body, the Federal Trade Commission, is in negotiations with Facebook to levy a multi-billion dollar fine as a consequence of its deceptive privacy practices following Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Now, it appears the UK is preparing to take its own measures to rein in the platform’s power.

“Democracy is at risk from the malicious and relentless targeting of citizens with disinformation and personalised ‘dark adverts’ from unidentifiable sources, delivered through the major social media platforms we use every day,” Collins said.

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Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on March 28, 2019, 08:37:39 am
Thursday, 28th March 2019
Facebook charged with racial discrimination in targeted housing ads...FINALLY!!!

by Reuters


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) charged Facebook Inc on Thursday with violating the Fair Housing Act, alleging that the company's targeted advertising discriminated on the basis of race and color.

HUD said Facebook also restricted who could see housing- related ads based on national origin, religion, familial status, sex and disability.

Facebook said it was surprised by the decision and has been working with HUD to address its concerns and has taken significant steps to prevent ads discrimination across its platforms.

The social media giant said last week it would create a new advertising portal for ads linked to housing and employment that would limit targeting options for advertisers.

"Facebook is discriminating against people based upon who they are and where they live," HUD Secretary Ben Carson said.

"Using a computer to limit a person's housing choices can be just as discriminatory as slamming a door in someone's face."

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing and related services, which includes online advertisements, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or familial status.

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Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on April 24, 2019, 05:44:33 pm
Wednesday, 24th April 2019
Facebook Expects to Be Fined Up to $5 Billion by F.T.C. Over Privacy Issues
by Mike Isaac and Cecilia Kang


(SAN FRANCISCO) — Facebook said on Wednesday that it expected to be fined up to $5 billion by the Federal Trade Commission for privacy violations.

The penalty would be a record by the agency against a technology company and a sign that the United States was willing to punish big tech companies.

The social network disclosed the amount in its quarterly financial results, saying it estimated a one-time charge of $3 billion to $5 billion in connection with an “ongoing inquiry” by the F.T.C. Facebook added that “the matter remains unresolved, and there can be no assurance as to the timing or the terms of any final outcome.”

Facebook has been in negotiations with the regulator for months over a financial penalty for claims that the company violated a 2011 privacy consent decree.

That year, the social network promised a series of measures to protect its users’ privacy after an investigation found that its handling of data had harmed consumers.

The F.T.C. opened a new investigation last year after Facebook came under fire again.

This time, the company was accused of not protecting its users’ data from being harvested without their consent by Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm that was building voter profiles for the Trump campaign.

Facebook also suffered a  data breach that exposed the personal information of nearly 50 million users.

Levying a sizable fine on Facebook would go against the reputation of the United States of not restraining the power of big tech companies.

For years, American regulators have faced criticism that they allowed Silicon Valley firms to grow unchecked, even as their European counterparts aggressively brought actions against tech companies — including fining Google a record $5.1 billion last year for abusing its power in the mobile phone market.

For the Trump administration, penalizing Facebook would be a defining action.

Although President Trump has rolled back scores of business regulations, he and others in Washington — including Democrats — have coalesced around calling for greater scrutiny and enforcement of tech companies.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts and presidential candidate, has called for the breakup of Amazon, Google and Facebook.

And Mr. Trump has sounded alarms over the dominance of the firms and their control over speech and the distribution of information.

It would also be a milestone for the F.T.C., whose biggest fine for a tech company was $22 million against Google in 2012 for misrepresenting how it used some online tracking tools.

The agency, which is charged with overseeing deceptive and unfair business practices, is riding a wave of anti-tech sentiment as questions about how tech companies have contributed to misinformation, election meddling and data

Facebook must be held accountable — not just by fines — but also far reaching reforms in management, privacy practices and culture,” Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, added in a tweet.

The F.T.C. declined to comment.

Officials at the agency have not reached a final decision on Facebook, said two people with knowledge of the situation, who were not authorized to speak publicly.

In recent weeks, the agency’s chairman, Joseph Simons, sent strict orders to all commission offices and staff in the consumer protection, enforcement and privacy bureaus to not discuss the Facebook case, two people said.

But Facebook’s estimate of a fine signaled that a settlement with the F.T.C. was near.

The Securities and Exchange Commission typically requires that a company notify investors of any significant financial hits.

For Facebook, a $5 billion fine would amount to a fraction of its $56 billion in annual revenue.

Any resolution would also alleviate some of the regulatory pressure that has been intensifying against the company over the past two and a half years.

“This would be a joke of a fine — a two-weeks-of-revenue, parking-ticket-level penalty for destroying democracy,” said Matt Stoller, a fellow at the Open Markets Institute, a think tank that is a vocal critic of the power of tech companies.

More meaningful to Facebook would be any regulatory mandates that curbed its ability to share data with business partners or required it to take more measures to inform consumers when and how it collected data.

“Those will have the most lasting impact on consumers’ privacy,” said Ashkan Soltani, a former chief technology officer for the trade commission.

Even as the negotiations continue, Facebook’s business remains robust.

The company said Wednesday that its revenue increased 26 percent in the first quarter to $15 billion from a year earlier.

Net income dropped 51 percent from a year ago to $2.4 billion because of the expected one-time charge related to the F.T.C. investigation.

The company has more than $40 billion in cash reserves.

New users continue flocking to Facebook.

More than 2.7 billion people use one of the company’s so-called family of apps — Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp — each month.

The company said about 1.56 billion people use Facebook every day, up 8 percent from a year ago.

Last month, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and chief executive, said he planned to start shifting people toward private conversations and away from public broadcasting on social media, which is likely to help the company manage issues of toxic content and misinformation.

On Wednesday in a conference call, Mr. Zuckerberg repeated that vision.

“People want a platform that is as strong on privacy as possible,” Mr. Zuckerberg said.

He added that “we just don’t know” how the change would affect the company’s business.

Mr. Zuckerberg also said he welcomed regulations, an idea that he has increasingly been vocal about this year.

“I think it’s necessary,” he said.

“Getting these issues right is more important than our interests. And I believe that regulation will help establish trust when people know that the right systems of governance and accountability are in place.”
Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on May 09, 2019, 05:29:35 pm
Time To Shut Down Fakebook

The last time I saw Mark Zuckerberg was in the summer of 2017, several months before the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke.

We met at Facebook’s Menlo Park, Calif., office and drove to his house, in a quiet, leafy neighborhood.

We spent an hour or two together while his toddler daughter cruised around.

We talked politics mostly, a little about Facebook, a bit about our families.

When the shadows grew long, I had to head out.

I hugged his wife, Priscilla, and said goodbye to Mark.

Since then, Mark’s personal reputation and the reputation of Facebook have taken a nose-dive.

The company’s mistakes — the sloppy privacy practices that dropped tens of millions of users’ data into a political consulting firm’s lap; the slow response to Russian agents, violent rhetoric and fake news; and the unbounded drive to capture ever more of our time and attention — dominate the headlines.

It’s been 15 years since I co-founded Facebook at Harvard, and I haven’t worked at the company in a decade.

But I feel a sense of anger and responsibility.

Mark is still the same person I watched hug his parents as they left our dorm’s common room at the beginning of our sophomore year.

He is the same person who procrastinated studying for tests, fell in love with his future wife while in line for the bathroom at a party and slept on a mattress on the floor in a small apartment years after he could have afforded much more.

In other words, he’s human.

But it’s his very humanity that makes his unchecked power so problematic.

Mark’s influence is staggering, far beyond that of anyone else in the private sector or in government.

He controls three core communications platforms — Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp — that billions of people use every day.

Facebook’s board works more like an advisory committee than an overseer, because Mark controls around 60 percent of voting shares.

Mark alone can decide how to configure Facebook’s algorithms to determine what people see in their News Feeds, what privacy settings they can use and even which messages get delivered.

He sets the rules for how to distinguish violent and incendiary speech from the merely offensive, and he can choose to shut down a competitor by acquiring, blocking or copying it.

Mark is a good, kind person.

But I’m angry that his focus on growth led him to sacrifice security and civility for clicks.

I’m disappointed in myself and the early Facebook team for not thinking more about how the News Feed algorithm could change our culture, influence elections and empower nationalist leaders.

And I’m worried that Mark has surrounded himself with a team that reinforces his beliefs instead of challenging them.

The government must hold Mark accountable.

For too long, lawmakers have marveled at Facebook’s explosive growth and overlooked their responsibility to ensure that Americans are protected and markets are competitive.

Any day now, the Federal Trade Commission is expected to impose a $5 billion fine on the company, but that is not enough; nor is Facebook’s offer to appoint some kind of privacy czar.

After Mark’s congressional testimony last year, there should have been calls for him to truly reckon with his mistakes.

Instead the legislators who questioned him were derided as too old and out of touch to understand how tech works.

That’s the impression Mark wanted Americans to have, because it means little will change.

We are a nation with a tradition of reining in monopolies, no matter how well intentioned the leaders of these companies may be.

Mark’s power is unprecedented and un-American.

It is time to break up Facebook.

We already have the tools we need to check the domination of Facebook.

We just seem to have forgotten about them.

America was built on the idea that power should not be concentrated in any one person, because we are all fallible.

That’s why the founders created a system of checks and balances.

They didn’t need to foresee the rise of Facebook to understand the threat that gargantuan companies would pose to democracy.

Jefferson and Madison were voracious readers of Adam Smith, who believed that monopolies prevent the competition that spurs innovation and leads to economic growth.

A century later, in response to the rise of the oil, railroad and banking trusts of the Gilded Age, the Ohio Republican John Sherman said on the floor of Congress:

“If we will not endure a king as a political power, we should not endure a king over the production, transportation and sale of any of the necessities of life. If we would not submit to an emperor, we should not submit to an autocrat of trade with power to prevent competition and to fix the price of any commodity.”

The Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 outlawed monopolies.

More legislation followed in the 20th century, creating legal and regulatory structures to promote competition and hold the biggest companies accountable.

The Department of Justice broke up monopolies like Standard Oil and AT&T.

For many people today, it’s hard to imagine government doing much of anything right, let alone breaking up a company like Facebook.

This isn’t by coincidence.

Starting in the 1970s, a small but dedicated group of economists, lawyers and policymakers sowed the seeds of our cynicism.

Over the next 40 years, they financed a network of think tanks, journals, social clubs, academic centers and media outlets to teach an emerging generation that private interests should take precedence over public ones.

Their gospel was simple:

“Free” markets are dynamic and productive, while government is bureaucratic and ineffective.

By the mid-1980s, they had largely managed to relegate energetic antitrust enforcement to the history books.

This shift, combined with business-friendly tax and regulatory policy, ushered in a period of mergers and acquisitions that created megacorporations.

In the past 20 years, more than 75 percent of American industries, from airlines to pharmaceuticals, have experienced increased concentration, and the average size of public companies has tripled.

The results are a decline in entrepreneurship, stalled productivity growth, and higher prices and fewer choices for consumers.

The same thing is happening in social media and digital communications.

Because Facebook so dominates social networking, it faces no market-based accountability.

This means that every time Facebook messes up, we repeat an exhausting pattern:

first outrage, then disappointment and, finally, resignation.

In 2005, I was in Facebook’s first office, on Emerson Street in downtown Palo Alto, when I read the news that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation was acquiring the social networking site Myspace for $580 million.

The overhead lights were off, and a group of us were pecking away on our keyboards, our 21-year-old faces half-illuminated by the glow of our screens.

I heard a “whoa,” and the news then ricocheted silently through the room, delivered by AOL Instant Messenger.
My eyes widened.

Really, $580 million?

Facebook was competing with Myspace, albeit obliquely.

We were focused on college students at that point, but we had real identities while Myspace had fictions.

Our users were more engaged, visiting daily, if not hourly.

We believed Facebook surpassed Myspace in quality and would easily displace it given enough time and money.
If Myspace was worth $580 million, Facebook could be worth at least double.

From our earliest days, Mark used the word “domination” to describe our ambitions, with no hint of irony or humility.

Back then, we competed with a whole host of social networks, not just Myspace, but also Friendster, Twitter, Tumblr, LiveJournal and others.

The pressure to beat them spurred innovation and led to many of the features that distinguish Facebook:
simple, beautiful interfaces, the News Feed, a tie to real-world identities and more.

It was this drive to compete that led Mark to acquire, over the years, dozens of other companies, including Instagram and WhatsApp in 2012 and 2014.

There was nothing unethical or suspicious, in my view, in these moves.

One night during the summer of the Myspace sale, I remember driving home from work with Mark, back to the house we shared with several engineers and designers.

I was in the passenger seat of the Infiniti S.U.V. that our investor Peter Thiel had bought for Mark to replace the unreliable used Jeep that he had been driving.

As we turned right off Valparaiso Avenue, Mark confessed the immense pressure he felt.

“Now that we employ so many people …” he said, trailing off.

“We just really can’t fail.”

Facebook had gone from a project developed in our dorm room and chaotic summer houses to a serious company with lawyers and a human resources department.

We had around 50 employees, and their families relied on Facebook to put food on the table.

I gazed out the window and thought to myself, It’s never going to stop.

The bigger we get, the harder we’ll have to work to keep growing.

Over a decade later, Facebook has earned the prize of domination.

It is worth half a trillion dollars and commands, by my estimate, more than 80 percent of the world’s social networking revenue.

It is a powerful monopoly, eclipsing all of its rivals and erasing competition from the social networking category.

This explains why, even during the annus horribilis of 2018, Facebook’s earnings per share increased by an astounding 40 percent compared with the year before.

(I liquidated my Facebook shares in 2012, and I don’t invest directly in any social media companies.)

Facebook’s monopoly is also visible in its usage statistics.

About 70 percent of American adults use social media, and a vast majority are on Facebook products.

Over two-thirds use the core site, a third use Instagram, and a fifth use WhatsApp.

By contrast, fewer than a third report using Pinterest, LinkedIn or Snapchat.

What started out as lighthearted entertainment has become the primary way that people of all ages communicate online.

Even when people want to quit Facebook, they don’t have any meaningful alternative, as we saw in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. ("This Ain't True."

Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on May 09, 2019, 05:35:55 pm
Worried about their privacy and lacking confidence in Facebook’s good faith, users across the world started a “Delete Facebook” movement.

According to the Pew Research Center, a quarter deleted their accounts from their phones, but many did so only temporarily.

I heard more than one friend say, “I’m getting off Facebook altogether — thank God for Instagram,” not realizing that Instagram was a Facebook subsidiary.

In the end people did not leave the company’s platforms en masse.

After all, where would they go?

Facebook’s dominance is not an accident of history.

The company’s strategy was to beat every competitor in plain view, and regulators and the government tacitly — and at times explicitly — approved.

In one of the government’s few attempts to rein in the company, the F.T.C. in 2011 issued a consent decree that Facebook not share any private information beyond what users already agreed to.

Facebook largely ignored the decree.

Last month, the day after the company predicted in an earnings call that it would need to pay up to $5 billion as a penalty for its negligence — a slap on the wrist — Facebook’s shares surged 7 percent, adding $30 billion to its value, six times the size of the fine.

The F.T.C.’s biggest mistake was to allow Facebook to acquire Instagram and WhatsApp.

In 2012, the newer platforms were nipping at Facebook’s heels because they had been built for the smartphone, where Facebook was still struggling to gain traction.

Mark responded by buying them, and the F.T.C. approved.

Neither Instagram nor WhatsApp had any meaningful revenue, but both were incredibly popular.

The Instagram acquisition guaranteed Facebook would preserve its dominance in photo networking, and WhatsApp gave it a new entry into mobile real-time messaging.

Now, the founders of Instagram and WhatsApp have left the company after clashing with Mark over his management of their platforms.

But their former properties remain Facebook’s, driving much of its recent growth.

When it hasn’t acquired its way to dominance, Facebook has used its monopoly position to shut out competing companies or has copied their technology.

The News Feed algorithm reportedly prioritized videos created through Facebook over videos from competitors, like YouTube and Vimeo.

In 2012, Twitter introduced a video network called Vine that featured six-second videos.

That same day, Facebook blocked Vine from hosting a tool that let its users search for their Facebook friends while on the new network.

The decision hobbled Vine, which shut down four years later.

Snapchat posed a different threat.

Snapchat’s Stories and impermanent messaging options made it an attractive alternative to Facebook and Instagram.

And unlike Vine, Snapchat wasn’t interfacing with the Facebook ecosystem; there was no obvious way to handicap the company or shut it out.

So Facebook simply copied it.

Facebook’s version of Snapchat’s stories and disappearing messages proved wildly successful, at Snapchat’s expense.

At an all-hands meeting in 2016, Mark told Facebook employees not to let their pride get in the way of giving users what they want.

According to Wired magazine, “Zuckerberg’s message became an informal slogan at Facebook:

‘Don’t be too proud to copy.’”

(There is little regulators can do about this tactic: Snapchat patented its “ephemeral message galleries,” but copyright law does not extend to the abstract concept itself.)

As a result of all this, would-be competitors can’t raise the money to take on Facebook.

Investors realize that if a company gets traction, Facebook will copy its innovations, shut it down or acquire it for a relatively modest sum.

So despite an extended economic expansion, increasing interest in high-tech start-ups, an explosion of venture capital and growing public distaste for Facebook, no major social networking company has been founded since the fall of 2011.

As markets become more concentrated, the number of new start-up businesses declines.

This holds true in other high-tech areas dominated by single companies, like search (controlled by Google) and e-commerce (taken over by Amazon).

Meanwhile, there has been plenty of innovation in areas where there is no monopolistic domination, such as in workplace productivity (Slack, Trello, Asana), urban transportation (Lyft, Uber, Lime, Bird) and cryptocurrency exchanges (Ripple, Coinbase, Circle).

Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on May 09, 2019, 05:40:07 pm
I don’t blame Mark for his quest for domination.

He has demonstrated nothing more nefarious than the virtuous hustle of a talented entrepreneur.

Yet he has created a leviathan that crowds out entrepreneurship and restricts consumer choice.

It’s on our government to ensure that we never lose the magic of the invisible hand.

How did we allow this to happen?

Since the 1970s, courts have become increasingly hesitant to break up companies or block mergers unless consumers are paying inflated prices that would be lower in a competitive market.

But a narrow reliance on whether or not consumers have experienced price gouging fails to take into account the full cost of market domination.

It doesn’t recognize that we also want markets to be competitive to encourage innovation and to hold power in check.

And it is out of step with the history of antitrust law.

Two of the last major antitrust suits, against AT&T and IBM in the 1980s, were grounded in the argument that they had used their size to stifle innovation and crush competition.

As the Columbia law professor Tim Wu writes,

“It is a disservice to the laws and their intent to retain such a laserlike focus on price effects as the measure of all that antitrust was meant to do.”

Facebook is the perfect case on which to reverse course, precisely because Facebook makes its money from targeted advertising, meaning users do not pay to use the service.

But it is not actually free, and it certainly isn’t harmless.

Facebook’s business model is built on capturing as much of our attention as possible to encourage people to create and share more information about who they are and who they want to be.

We pay for Facebook with our data and our attention, and by either measure it doesn’t come cheap.

I was on the original News Feed team (my name is on the patent), and that product now gets billions of hours of attention and pulls in unknowable amounts of data each year.

The average Facebook user spends an hour a day on the platform; Instagram users spend 53 minutes a day scrolling through pictures and videos.

They create immense amounts of data — not just likes and dislikes, but how many seconds they watch a particular video — that Facebook uses to refine its targeted advertising.

Facebook also collects data from partner companies and apps, without most users knowing about it, according to testing by The Wall Street Journal.

Some days, lying on the floor next to my 1-year-old son as he plays with his dinosaurs, I catch myself scrolling through Instagram, waiting to see if the next image will be more beautiful than the last.

What am I doing? I know it’s not good for me, or for my son, and yet I do it anyway.
The choice is mine, but it doesn’t feel like a choice.

Facebook seeps into every corner of our lives to capture as much of our attention and data as possible and, without any alternative, we make the trade.

The vibrant marketplace that once drove Facebook and other social media companies to compete to come up with better products has virtually disappeared.

This means there’s less chance of start-ups developing healthier, less exploitative social media platforms.
It also means less accountability on issues like privacy.

Just last month, Facebook seemingly tried to bury news that it had stored tens of millions of user passwords in plain text format, which thousands of Facebook employees could see.

Competition alone wouldn’t necessarily spur privacy protection — regulation is required to ensure accountability — but Facebook’s lock on the market guarantees that users can’t protest by moving to alternative platforms.

The most problematic aspect of Facebook’s power is Mark’s unilateral control over speech.

There is no precedent for his ability to monitor, organize and even censor the conversations of two billion people.

Facebook engineers write algorithms that select which users’ comments or experiences end up displayed in the News Feeds of friends and family.

These rules are proprietary and so complex that many Facebook employees themselves don’t understand them.

In 2014, the rules favored curiosity-inducing “clickbait” headlines.

Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on May 09, 2019, 05:50:29 pm
In 2016, they enabled the spread of fringe political views and fake news, which made it easier for Russian actors to manipulate the American electorate.

In January 2018, Mark announced that the algorithms would favor non-news content shared by friends and news from “trustworthy” sources, which his engineers interpreted — to the confusion of many — as a boost for anything in the category of “politics, crime, tragedy.”

Facebook has responded to many of the criticisms of how it manages speech by hiring thousands of contractors to enforce the rules that Mark and senior executives develop.

After a few weeks of training, these contractors decide which videos count as hate speech or free speech, which images are erotic and which are simply artistic, and which live streams are too violent to be broadcast.

(The Verge reported that some of these moderators, working through a vendor in Arizona, were paid $28,800 a year, got limited breaks and faced significant mental health risks.)

As if Facebook’s opaque algorithms weren’t enough, last year we learned that Facebook executives had permanently deleted their own messages from the platform, erasing them from the inboxes of recipients; the justification was corporate security concerns.

When I look at my years of Facebook messages with Mark now, it’s just a long stream of my own light-blue comments, clearly written in response to words he had once sent me.

(Facebook now offers this as a feature to all users.)

The most extreme example of Facebook manipulating speech happened in Myanmar in late 2017.

Mark said in a Vox interview that he personally made the decision to delete the private messages of Facebook users who were encouraging genocide there.

“I remember, one Saturday morning, I got a phone call,” he said, “and we detected that people were trying to spread sensational messages through — it was Facebook Messenger in this case — to each side of the conflict, basically telling the Muslims, ‘Hey, there’s about to be an uprising of the Buddhists, so make sure that you are armed and go to this place.’ And then the same thing on the other side.”

Mark made a call:

 “We stop those messages from going through.”

Most people would agree with his decision, but it’s deeply troubling that he made it with no accountability to any independent authority or government.

Facebook could, in theory, delete en masse the messages of Americans, too, if its leadership decided it didn’t like them.

Mark used to insist that Facebook was just a “social utility,” a neutral platform for people to communicate what they wished.

Now he recognizes that Facebook is both a platform and a publisher and that it is inevitably making decisions about values.

The company’s own lawyers have argued in court that Facebook is a publisher and thus entitled to First Amendment protection.

No one at Facebook headquarters is choosing what single news story everyone in America wakes up to, of course.

But they do decide whether it will be an article from a reputable outlet or a clip from “The Daily Show,” a photo from a friend’s wedding or an incendiary call to kill others.

Mark knows that this is too much power and is pursuing a twofold strategy to mitigate it.

He is pivoting Facebook’s focus toward encouraging more private, encrypted messaging that Facebook’s employees can’t see, let alone control.

Second, he is hoping for friendly oversight from regulators and other industry executives.

Late last year, he proposed an independent commission to handle difficult content moderation decisions by social media platforms.

It would afford an independent check, Mark argued, on Facebook’s decisions, and users could appeal to it if they disagreed.

But its decisions would not have the force of law, since companies would voluntarily participate.

In an op-ed essay in The Washington Post in March, he wrote, “Lawmakers often tell me we have too much power over speech, and I agree.”

And he went even further than before, calling for more government regulation — not just on speech, but also on privacy and interoperability, the ability of consumers to seamlessly leave one network and transfer their profiles, friend connections, photos and other data to another.

I don’t think these proposals were made in bad faith.

But I do think they’re an attempt to head off the argument that regulators need to go further and break up the company.

Facebook isn’t afraid of a few more rules.

It’s afraid of an antitrust case and of the kind of accountability that real government oversight would bring.

We don’t expect calcified rules or voluntary commissions to work to regulate drug companies, health care companies, car manufacturers or credit card providers.

Agencies oversee these industries to ensure that the private market works for the public good.

In these cases, we all understand that government isn’t an external force meddling in an organic market; it’s what makes a dynamic and fair market possible in the first place.

This should be just as true for social networking as it is for air travel or pharmaceuticals.

In the summer of 2006, Yahoo offered us $1 billion for Facebook.

I desperately wanted Mark to say yes.

Even my small slice of the company would have made me a millionaire several times over.

For a 22-year-old scholarship kid from small-town North Carolina, that kind of money was unimaginable.

I wasn’t alone — just about every other person at the company wanted the same.

It was taboo to talk about it openly, but I finally asked Mark when we had a moment alone,

“How are you feeling about Yahoo?” I got a shrug and a one-line answer:

 “I just don’t know if I want to work for Terry Semel,” Yahoo’s chief executive.

Outside of a couple of gigs in college, Mark had never had a real boss and seemed entirely uninterested in the prospect.

I didn’t like the idea much myself, but I would have traded having a boss for several million dollars any day of the week.

Mark’s drive was infinitely stronger.

Domination meant domination, and the hustle was just too delicious.

Mark may never have a boss, but he needs to have some check on his power.

The American government needs to do two things:

break up Facebook’s monopoly and regulate the company to make it more accountable to the American people.

First, Facebook should be separated into multiple companies.

The F.T.C., in conjunction with the Justice Department, should enforce antitrust laws by undoing the Instagram and WhatsApp acquisitions and banning future acquisitions for several years.

The F.T.C. should have blocked these mergers, but it’s not too late to act.

There is precedent for correcting bad decisions — as recently as 2009, Whole Foods settled antitrust complaints by selling off the Wild Oats brand and stores that it had bought a few years earlier.

There is some evidence that we may be headed in this direction.

Senator Elizabeth Warren has called for reversing the Facebook mergers, and in February, the F.T.C. announced the creation of a task force to monitor competition among tech companies and review previous mergers.

How would a breakup work?

Facebook would have a brief period to spin off the Instagram and WhatsApp businesses, and the three would become distinct companies, most likely publicly traded.

Facebook shareholders would initially hold stock in the new companies, although Mark and other executives would probably be required to divest their management shares.

Until recently, WhatsApp and Instagram were administered as independent platforms inside the parent company, so that should make the process easier.

But time is of the essence:

Facebook is working quickly to integrate the three, which would make it harder for the F.T.C. to split them up.

Some economists are skeptical that breaking up Facebook would spur that much competition, because Facebook, they say, is a “natural” monopoly.

Natural monopolies have emerged in areas like water systems and the electrical grid, where the price of entering the business is very high — because you have to lay pipes or electrical lines — but it gets cheaper and cheaper to add each additional customer.

In other words, the monopoly arises naturally from the circumstances of the business, rather than a company’s illegal maneuvering.

In addition, defenders of natural monopolies often make the case that they benefit consumers because they are able to provide services more cheaply than anyone else.

Facebook is indeed more valuable when there are more people on it:

There are more connections for a user to make and more content to be shared.

But the cost of entering the social network business is not that high.

And unlike with pipes and electricity, there is no good argument that the country benefits from having only one dominant social networking company.

Still others worry that the breakup of Facebook or other American tech companies could be a national security problem.

Because advancements in artificial intelligence require immense amounts of data and computing power, only large companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon can afford these investments, they say.

If American companies become smaller, the Chinese will outpace us.

While serious, these concerns do not justify inaction.

Even after a breakup, Facebook would be a hugely profitable business with billions to invest in new technologies — and a more competitive market would only encourage those investments.

If the Chinese did pull ahead, our government could invest in research and development and pursue tactical trade policy, just as it is doing today to hold China’s 5G technology at bay.

The cost of breaking up Facebook would be next to zero for the government, and lots of people stand to gain economically.

A ban on short-term acquisitions would ensure that competitors, and the investors who take a bet on them, would have the space to flourish.

Digital advertisers would suddenly have multiple companies vying for their dollars.

Even Facebook shareholders would probably benefit, as shareholders often do in the years after a company’s split.

The value of the companies that made up Standard Oil doubled within a year of its being dismantled and had increased by fivefold a few years later.

Ten years after the 1984 breakup of AT&T, the value of its successor companies had tripled.

But the biggest winners would be the American people.

Imagine a competitive market in which they could choose among one network that offered higher privacy standards, another that cost a fee to join but had little advertising and another that would allow users to customize and tweak their feeds as they saw fit.

No one knows exactly what Facebook’s competitors would offer to differentiate themselves.

That’s exactly the point.

The Justice Department faced similar questions of social costs and benefits with AT&T in the 1950s.

AT&T had a monopoly on phone services and telecommunications equipment.

The government filed suit under antitrust laws, and the case ended with a consent decree that required AT&T to release its patents and refrain from expanding into the nascent computer industry.

This resulted in an explosion of innovation, greatly increasing follow-on patents and leading to the development of the semiconductor and modern computing.

We would most likely not have iPhones or laptops without the competitive markets that antitrust action ushered in.

Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on May 09, 2019, 05:55:36 pm
Just breaking up Facebook is not enough. We need a new agency, empowered by Congress to regulate tech companies.

Its first mandate should be to protect privacy.

The Europeans have made headway on privacy with the General Data Protection Regulation, a law that guarantees users a minimal level of protection.

A landmark privacy bill in the United States should specify exactly what control Americans have over their digital information, require clearer disclosure to users and provide enough flexibility to the agency to exercise effective oversight over time.

The agency should also be charged with guaranteeing basic interoperability across platforms.

Finally, the agency should create guidelines for acceptable speech on social media.

This idea may seem un-American — we would never stand for a government agency censoring speech.

But we already have limits on yelling “fire” in a crowded theater, child pornography, speech intended to provoke violence and false statements to manipulate stock prices.

We will have to create similar standards that tech companies can use.

These standards should of course be subject to the review of the courts, just as any other limits on speech are.

But there is no constitutional right to harass others or live-stream violence.

These are difficult challenges.

I worry that government regulators will not be able to keep up with the pace of digital innovation.

I worry that more competition in social networking might lead to a conservative Facebook and a liberal one, or that newer social networks might be less secure if government regulation is weak.

But sticking with the status quo would be worse:

If we don’t have public servants shaping these policies, corporations will.

Some people doubt that an effort to break up Facebook would win in the courts, given the hostility on the federal bench to antitrust action, or that this divided Congress would ever be able to muster enough consensus to create a regulatory agency for social media.

But even if breakup and regulation aren’t immediately successful, simply pushing for them will bring more oversight.

The government’s case against Microsoft — that it illegally used its market power in operating systems to force its customers to use its web browser, Internet Explorer — ended in 2001 when George W. Bush’s administration abandoned its effort to break up the company.

Yet that prosecution helped rein in Microsoft’s ambitions to dominate the early web.

Similarly, the Justice Department’s 1970s suit accusing IBM of illegally maintaining its monopoly on personal computer sales ended in a stalemate.

But along the way, IBM changed many of its behaviors.

It stopped bundling its hardware and software, chose an extremely open design for the operating system in its personal computers and did not exercise undue control over its suppliers.

Professor Wu has written that this “policeman at the elbow” led IBM to steer clear “of anything close to anticompetitive conduct, for fear of adding to the case against it.”

We can expect the same from even an unsuccessful suit against Facebook.

Finally, an aggressive case against Facebook would persuade other behemoths like Google and Amazon to think twice about stifling competition in their own sectors, out of fear that they could be next.

If the government were to use this moment to resurrect an effective competition standard that takes a broader view of the full cost of “free” products, it could affect a whole host of industries.

The alternative is bleak.

If we do not take action, Facebook’s monopoly will become even more entrenched. With much of the world’s personal communications in hand, it can mine that data for patterns and trends, giving it an advantage over competitors for decades to come.

I take responsibility for not sounding the alarm earlier.

Don Graham, a former Facebook board member, has accused those who criticize the company now as having “all the courage of the last man leaping on the pile at a football game.”

The financial rewards I reaped from working at Facebook radically changed the trajectory of my life, and even after I cashed out, I watched in awe as the company grew.

It took the 2016 election fallout and Cambridge Analytica to awaken me to the dangers of Facebook’s monopoly.

But anyone suggesting that Facebook is akin to a pinned football player misrepresents its resilience and power.

An era of accountability for Facebook and other monopolies may be beginning.

Collective anger is growing, and a new cohort of leaders has begun to emerge.

On Capitol Hill, Representative David Cicilline has taken a special interest in checking the power of monopolies, and Senators Amy Klobuchar and Ted Cruz have joined Senator Warren in calling for more oversight.

Economists like Jason Furman, a former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, are speaking out about monopolies, and a host of legal scholars like Lina Khan, Barry Lynn and Ganesh Sitaraman are plotting a way forward.

This movement of public servants, scholars and activists deserves our support.

Mark Zuckerberg cannot fix Facebook, but our government can.

Chris Hughes, a co-founder of Facebook, is a co-chairman of the Economic Security Project and a senior adviser at the Roosevelt Institute.

Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on July 05, 2019, 04:28:10 pm
Tuesday, 2nd July 2019
Germany Slaps Facebook With $2.3 Million Fine for Handling of Hate-Speech Complaints
by Marianne Dodson


Germany is fining Facebook $2.3 million for allegedly under-reporting complaints about illegal content, including hate speech, and misrepresenting the number of violations on the social-media platform.
Germany’s Federal Office of Justice said on Tuesday that the social-media giant had only tallied certain categories of complaints received, therefore manipulating the actual extent of the results.

German Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht said Facebook also makes it more difficult to file a complaint under the transparency law than it is to complain about a post violating Facebook’s community standards, adding that the community standards do not “correspond to the standards of the law.”

Under Germany’s network transparency law, social-media companies must report how many illegal content complaints they receive, Reuters reports.

Facebook reported receiving 1,048 complaints about illegal content during the second half of 2018, versus Twitter reporting over a quarter of a million for the entire year.

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Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on July 12, 2019, 09:01:38 pm
Friday, 12th July 2019
FTC votes to approve $5 billion settlement with Fakebook in privacy probe
by Tom Romm


The Federal Trade Commission voted this week to approve a roughly $5 billion settlement with Facebook that could end an investigation into its privacy practices, according to a person familiar with the matter but not authorized to speak on the record, a deal that could result in unprecedented government oversight of the company.

The settlement -- adopted with the FTC’s three Republicans supporting it and two Democrats against it -- could end a wide-ranging probe into Facebook’s mishandling of users’ personal information that began more than a year ago

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Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on September 09, 2019, 11:35:00 pm
Monday, 9th September 2019
Judge lets Facebook privacy class action proceed
by Johnathan Stempel


A federal judge on Monday ordered Facebook Inc (FB.O) to face most of a nationwide lawsuit seeking damages for letting third parties such as Cambridge Analytica access users’ private data, calling the social media company’s views on privacy “so wrong.”

While dismissing some claims, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco said users could try to hold Facebook liable under various federal and state laws for letting app developers and business partners harvest their personal data without their consent on a “widespread” basis.

He rejected Facebook’s arguments that users suffered no “tangible” harm and had no legitimate privacy interest in information they shared with friends on social media.
“Facebook’s motion to dismiss is littered with assumptions about the degree to which social media users can reasonably expect their personal information and communications to remain private,” Chhabria wrote.

“Facebook’s view is so wrong.”

A Facebook spokeswoman said the company considered protecting people’s information and privacy “extremely important,” but believed its practices were consistent with its disclosures and “do not support any legal claims.”
Lesley Weaver and Derek Loeser, two of the plaintiffs’ lawyers, said in a joint statement that they were pleased with the decision, and “especially gratified that the court is respecting Facebook users’ right to privacy.”

The litigation followed a series of data privacy issues involving Menlo Park, California-based Facebook.
These included the 2015 breach that allowed Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm, to access data for an estimated 87 million Facebook users.

That breach was not revealed until March 2018.

In their 414-page complaint, users said Facebook misled them into thinking they could keep control over personal data, when in fact it let thousands of “preferred” outsiders such as Airbnb, Lyft and Netflix gain access.

Chhabria faulted Facebook for treating privacy as an “all-or-nothing” proposition, where users would forfeit their privacy by sharing data even in a “limited” fashion.

He said Facebook had taken different positions elsewhere, including in a California case where it likened information kept on social media accounts to information stored on smartphones, where privacy concerns might be greater.

That position is “closer to the truth than the company’s assertions in this case,” Chhabria wrote.

“Sharing information with your social media friends does not categorically eliminate your privacy interest in that information.”

The litigation covers Facebook users in the United States and United Kingdom whose information was shared with third parties without their consent since 2007.
The case is In re Facebook Inc Consumer Privacy User Profile Litigation, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 18-md-02843.


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Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on October 18, 2019, 07:10:09 am
Friday, 18th October 2019
Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t know his civil rights history.
by Sherrilynn Ifill


In a speech Thursday at Georgetown University, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg invoked Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King Jr., Black Lives Matter and the struggles of the civil rights movement to defend his company’s policy exempting politicians from the platform’s policies against false speech and misinformation.

This is a profound misreading of the civil rights movement in America.

And a dangerous misunderstanding of the political and digital landscape we now inhabit.


Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s indictment of Russian operatives last year confirmed other official reports that Facebook had been a particularly useful tool in a misinformation campaign that targeted African Americans more than any other voters.

In recent months, civil rights groups such as mine worked to convince Facebook that the problem extended beyond foreign interference to the use of Facebook by domestic political forces engaged in their own dangerous campaigns of racial division and voter suppression.

We argued that Facebook failed to understand how its platform has been manipulated and weaponized in ways that endanger racial and ethnic groups.

We also challenged — including in court — practices by the tech giant that permitted the explicit use of racism by ad purchasers — and demanded that the firm undertake a civil rights audit.

Although Facebook has undertaken commendable measures to address the ways that foreign and fake accounts engage in election interference, the company has refused to fully recognize the threat of voter suppression and intimidation here at home, especially from users that the company refers to as “authentic voices” — politicians and candidates for public office.

Facebook insists it does not allow voter suppression on its platform.

But that statement is more aspiration than fact.


After nearly two years of conversations between the company and our groups, I am convinced that Facebook simply is ill-equipped to define what constitutes voter suppression — especially at the local level.

To help Facebook understand, we have provided the company with multiple examples of voter suppression practices we have seen at the local level that would survive their policies.

Here’s an example.

Imagine a candidate is running for sheriff in a border-state county.

On the Sunday night before Election Day, the candidate posts the following on Facebook:

“If you’re an illegal, you will not vote in our election Tuesday. Only citizens, legally registered to vote in our county are able to vote. We’ll have an armed citizen patrol watch on duty. Our citizens patrol will out in force outside the polls, exercising our Second Amendment rights and protecting the integrity of our elections. If you’re illegal, you and anyone who tries to help you is going to jail.”

If this were a flier posted in a Latino community, we would recognize it as an attempt at voter suppression.

But posted on Facebook by a candidate, such a post would be part of the “newsworthy” content that Zuckerberg believes will spark debate.

In his speech, Zuckerberg invoked King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail as an example of the tension that comes with free expression — a tension Zuckerberg encouraged us to embrace.


What Zuckerberg failed to note is that King was the subject of violent assaults (and finally assassination) that were the result of the same kind of hate-fueled disinformation campaigns that infect the Internet and are now aimed at a different generation of civil rights leaders.

At the height of the Cold War, segregationists and racists — often led by politicians — falsely and repeatedly claimed that King was a communist.

Many of those who harassed King and civil rights protesters believed themselves to be patriots acting in defense of America, precisely because of the concerted disinformation campaigns advanced by elected officials, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and others.


As a result, a climate of violence and danger followed civil rights activists and King every day.

The civil rights movement was not fought to vindicate free speech rights under the First Amendment.

It was a fight to fulfill the promise of full citizenship and human dignity guaranteed to black people by the 14th Amendment.

To use the struggle of those extraordinary heroes as a rationale for protecting Facebook users who seek to incite the same kind of division and violence those heroes faced turns that history on its head.

Facebook must do more than stand in the reflected glory of those who sacrificed much to create our modern democracy.

It must stand in the harsh light of truth and confront the enormous responsibility of stewarding a platform that influences hundreds of millions of people and the potential uses of that platform that threaten our democracy.

Sherrilyn Ifill is the president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on October 18, 2019, 05:31:31 pm
Friday, 18th October 2019
Fakebook Is Threatening Our Elections—Again
by Vanita Gupta


After Facebook was implicated in the 2016 election wreckage, the company made strides to shore up the platform against future harms to our democracy.

But now, Facebook is sabotaging its own efforts through a new policy:

the explicit exemption of politicians’ speech from its community standards.

Since 2016, Facebook has maintained a “newsworthiness” exemption, meaning content that violates community standards—including hate speech and harassment—can still be posted when the public interest in viewing the content outweighs the risk of harm.

With its new policy, Facebook will automatically presume speech from politicians to be newsworthy.

Simply put:

While major news organizations are strengthening fact-checking and accountability, Facebook is saying:

If you are a politician who wishes to peddle in lies, distortion and not-so-subtle racial appeals, welcome to our platform.

We will not fact-check.

You are automatically newsworthy.

You are automatically exempt from scrutiny.

This is extraordinarily reckless.

In effect, Facebook is providing politicians free rein to spread misinformation and racially divisive content with no accountability.

As a former deputy legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union, I understand and support the importance of protecting freedom of expression, regardless of who the speaker is.

Yet, a complete exemption for politicians—unless you can meet the high hurdle of showing their speech will incite violence—is simply not a reasonable approach.

Free expression is a core principle of our democracy.

But so are fair elections.

Just this week, the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee confirmed that Russia used Facebook and other platforms to inflame racial tensions ahead of the 2016 election and to target black voters with disinformation, using fake accounts to discourage people from voting.

Some politicians—candidates and elected officials—fed into these divisive narratives and amplified racial appeals for electoral gain.

One would think that for the next U.S. presidential election, Facebook would take every precaution to prevent a repeat performance.

It’s true that the 2016 election fallout forced Facebook to acknowledge civil and human rights violations on the platform.

The company has since engaged with my organization, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and other civil rights groups to address the social network’s vulnerabilities, particularly concerns about voter suppression and 2020 census participation.

Under the supervision of COO Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook began conducting a civil rights audit in the spring of 2018 to ensure that the platform was not used to drive bigotry and stoke racial or religious resentment and violence.

Sandberg has since won praise for her willingness to take key steps in the right direction.

But in a blow to the civil rights community’s already thread-bare trust in Facebook, the company announced the exemption for politicians’ speech late last month, on the eve of an unprecedented gathering of civil rights advocates and Facebook leaders in Atlanta that was organized by the advocacy group Color of Change.

My colleagues and I arrived prepared to discuss solutions—not to fight new and flagrantly harmful policies.

As I said at the closing of the conference, we had traveled to Atlanta with confidence and left disturbed that the Facebook exemption would unravel our progress.

This all raises the question:

How can Facebook commit to preserving the integrity of our democracy while exempting politicians who deliberately violate the company’s community standards?

It seems Facebook does not want to be an arbiter of political speech.

As Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs and communications, recently said in explaining the policy,

“We don’t believe … that it’s an appropriate role for us to referee political debates and prevent a politician’s speech from reaching its audience and being subject to public debate and scrutiny.”

But no one who cherishes democratic values can simply hide behind the view that elected leaders should freely use a communications platform to divide and deceive voters.

Through this policy, Facebook made an intentional decision to permit authoritarian politicians to use the world’s largest megaphone to broadcast racial appeals.

Let us not forget how autocrats throughout history have relied on unregulated media to rise to power.


To the degree that Facebook made this decision as a response to accusations of anti-conservative bias, that only promotes a dangerous false equivalence:

The idea that preventing the weaponization of racism for political gain is a conservative versus liberal issue.

It is not.

It is about the basic values of our nation.

What’s more, allowing politicians to fuel racial tensions undermines our elections, and chills civic participation.

Racism is shape-shifting and highly adaptable.

It often permeates the public dialogue through coded language and dog whistles.

As a leading technology company, Facebook must acknowledge this and embrace policies that define voter and census suppression as broadly as possible.

Such an oversight proves the company’s willful ignorance of racism and voter suppression in America today.

How might racism implicitly show up on Facebook today?

Imagine the mayor of a large city claiming that police officers should be stationed at polling places in black neighborhoods to protect against voter fraud.

Or, imagine politicians coordinating messages, stating that if you fill out the census form, your information will be shared with law enforcement and you could face deportation.

The new exemption would allow this content—even though it is meant to fearmonger and dissuade communities of color and immigrants from participating in our democracy.

Elected officials have historically been responsible for perpetuating discrimination and erecting barriers to voter participation.


By protecting the agents of voter suppression, Facebook is signaling that it would rather coddle the powerful and privileged—even when they pursue anti-democratic goals—at the expense of the people.

Facebook can fix this crisis by closing this exemption now.

If Facebook is truly committed to building community and combating voter and census suppression, it must require politicians to abide by the same community standards as everyone else.

Anything less will swallow the efforts the platform has already made and profoundly subvert our democracy


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Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on October 24, 2019, 09:28:22 am
Thursday, 24th October 2019
Mark Zuckerberg Doesn’t Know What the First Amendment Is For
by Masha Gessen


What is the First Amendment for?

I ask my students this every year.

Every year, several people quickly respond that the First Amendment guarantees Americans the right to speak without restriction.

True, I say, but what is it for?

It’s so that Congress doesn’t pass a law that would limit the right to free speech, someone often says.

Another might add that, in fact, the government does place some limits on free speech—you can’t shout “fire” in a crowded theatre, or say certain words on broadcast television and radio.


I ask the question a third time:

What is the First Amendment for?

There is a pause as students realize that I am asking them to shift their frame of reference.

Then someone says that the First Amendment is for democracy, for the plurality of opinions in the national conversation.

My students are undergraduates, some of whom will become journalists.

Before they leave the confines of their small liberal-arts college, they will develop a more complicated view of politics and the media than the one they started with.

The adult world they are entering, however, generally sticks to an elemental level of discourse.

Last week, for example, the head of the country’s largest media company, Mark Zuckerberg, of Fakebook, gave a nearly forty-minute lecture in which he reiterated that the right to free speech was invented so that it wouldn’t be restricted.

In Zuckerberg’s narrative, as my colleague Andrew Marantz has written, freedom of speech, guaranteed by technological progress, is the beginning and the end of the conversation; this narrative willfully leaves out the damage that technological progress—and unchallenged freedom of all speech—can inflict.


But the problem isn’t just Zuckerberg; more precisely, Zuckerberg is symptomatic of our collective refusal to think about speech and the media in complicated ways.

“People having the power to express themselves at scale is a new kind of force in the world,” Zuckerberg said in his address.

“It’s a fifth estate, alongside the other power structures in our society.” Zuckerberg was appropriating a countercultural term:

beginning in the nineteen-sixties, “the fifth estate” referred to alternative media in the United States.

Now the head of a new-media monopoly was using the term to differentiate Fakebook from the news media, presumably to bolster his argument that Fakebook should not be held to the same standards of civic responsibility to which we hold the fourth estate.

This strategy of claiming not to be the media has worked well for Fakebook.

On Monday, when Bloomberg broke the news that Zuckerberg has advised the Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg on campaign hires, the story called Zuckerberg “one of tech’s most powerful executives.”

CNN referred to him and his wife, Priscilla Chan, as “two of America’s most influential businesspeople and philanthropists.”

Vox’s Recode vertical called him “the world’s third-richest person” and observed that he had become so toxic that “accepting a political donation from Mark Zuckerberg in 2020 is nowhere close to worth the money.”

(The Times appears not to have covered the story for now.)

Any one of these frames makes for an important and troubling story:

a Presidential campaign in bed with a major tech corporation, influenced by and possibly intertwined with one of the country’s richest men—that is bad.

It’s worse when one recalls Buttigieg’s attempts to go after Elizabeth Warren during last week’s Democratic debate.

Warren has called for breaking up Fakebook’s social-media monopoly, and Zuckerberg has referred to Warren as an “existential” threat to the company.

Now imagine if it were the head of ABC or CNN or the New York Times Company who had served as an informal hiring consultant to a Presidential candidate.

It would almost certainly be a bigger story and more broadly perceived as troublesome.

Most of us still believe that the media are an essential component of democracy, and that a media outlet that is partisan or committed to a single candidate, but not in a transparent way, is a bad democratic actor.

The news media have traditionally borne the responsibility for insuring that the actual purpose of the First Amendment is fulfilled.

Yet Americans are content to leave this essential component of democracy to profit-driven corporations with next to no regulatory oversight.

We accept it as the natural order of things that the flow and volume of news is largely determined by the needs of advertisers, and that, when advertising dollars dry up, so does the news.

We are so afraid of censorship—or, perhaps more accurately, we have such lazy ways of thinking about accountability—that we would rather let newspapers die and media corporations form monopolies than consider government regulation and public funding.

In the past three decades, most of the public conversation about news media—as facilitated by the news media—has devolved to the level of my students’ initial, knee-jerk response to the First Amendment question.

Much like Zuckerberg in his free-speech speech, or in his stubborn refusal to remove misleading political ads, we talk about rights without talking about responsibilities.

This is what has allowed Fakebook to evade responsibility, and to avoid even being identified as a media company.

With Fakebook and other new media, technology has accelerated and amplified existing processes and problems.

Fakebook is not an anomaly in the American media system—it is precisely the result of rampant profit-seeking, lazy thinking, and a lack of civic responsibility.


Of course Zuckerberg tells Buttigieg whom to hire.

Of course he sees Warren, and not puppetine, as an existential threat.

Of course Facebook allows puppetine to run false ads.

The company doesn’t know what the First Amendment is for—and we are not making it learn.

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Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on October 30, 2019, 03:50:19 pm
Wednesday, 30th October 2019
Twitter bans political ads after Fakebook refused to do so
by Lauren Feiner


Twitter is axing political ads from its site, CEO Jack Dorsey announced Wednesday.

The move sets Twitter in stark contrast to Fakebook, which has received criticism from lawmakers and its own employees in recent weeks over its policy to neither fact check nor remove political ads placed by politicians.

Fakebook has argued it should not be the one to make decisions about its users' speech and that politician's speech is newsworthy.

Dorsey explained the company's reasoning behind the decision in a series of tweets.

"A political message earns reach when people decide to follow an account or retweet," Dorsey wrote.

"Paying for reach removes that decision, forcing highly optimized and targeted political messages on people. We believe this decision should not be compromised by money."

Fakebook once considered banning political ads as well, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a recent speech at Georgetown University, adding that they do not make up a significant portion of the business.

But ultimately, Zuckerberg warned about the difficulty of drawing a line in such a policy and said, "when its not absolutely clear what to do, we should err on the side of greater expression."

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Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on April 19, 2020, 08:58:05 pm
Sunday, 19th April 2o2o
Australian government to force Google and Fakebook to pay for news content
by Sunrise



The move follows a collapse in advertising revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to many newsrooms closing or scaling back their operations.

Fakebook and Google have a stranglehold over the digital advertising market and benefit greatly from the content of news publishers on their platforms, social media, search queries and digital video.

“We are making the decisive decision to create a mandatory code, seeking to become the first country in the world to ensure that these social media giants pay for content,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Sunrise.

“Hard-working journalists across the country are generating content all the time and the social media giants are using that content to get traffic to their websites - but not paying for it.”

A total of $47 in every $100 of digital advertising goes to Google, $24 to Fakebook and $29 split between all other parties, including mainstream media outlets.

“What we want to see is a level playing field,” Frydenberg said.

The draft mandatory code will be finalised by July with time for final consultation before it being enforced before the end of the year.

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Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on June 05, 2020, 12:50:12 pm
Friday, 5th June 2o2o
by Associated Press


(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Twitter has blocked a trunk campaign video tribute to George Floyd over a copyright claim, in a move that adds to tensions between the social media platform and a common federal employee, one of its most widely followed users.

The company put a label on a video posted by the trunk's account that said,

“This media has been disabled in response to a claim by the copyright owner.”

The video was still up on trunk’s YouTube channel and includes pictures of Floyd, whose death sparked world wide protests, at the start.

“Per our copyright policy, we respond to valid copyright complaints sent to us by a copyright owner or their authorized representatives,” Twitter said in a statement.

The three minute and 45 second clip is a montage of photos and videos of peaceful marches and police officers hugging protesters interspersed with some scenes of burning buildings and vandalism, set to gentle piano music and trunk babbling incoherently.

It’s the latest action that Twitter has taken against trunk, who has threatened to retaliate against social media companies.

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Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on June 29, 2020, 07:37:22 pm
Monday, 29th June 2o2o
by David Thier


Popular video game streaming website Twitch has temporarily suspended team trunk, the account tied to trunk’s campaign.

When contacted for comment, a Twitch representative said that the account had been suspended for violating the company’s policy on hateful conduct.

"Hateful conduct is not allowed on Twitch. In line with our policies, trunk’s channel has been issued a temporary suspension from Twitch for comments made on stream, and the offending content has been removed."

The company pointed to two examples of offending statements from recent and older rallies:

1. 2016 campaign rally, recently rebroadcast on Twitch: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people. But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we’re getting. And it only makes common sense. It only makes common sense. They’re sending us not the right people.”

2. Tulsa Rally:  “Hey, it’s 1:00 o’clock in the morning and a very tough, I’ve used the word on occasion, hombre, a very tough hombre is breaking into the window of a young woman whose husband is away as a traveling salesman or whatever he may do. And you call 911 and they say, “I’m sorry, this number’s no longer working.” By the way, you have many cases like that, many, many, many. Whether it’s a young woman, an old woman, a young man or an old man and you’re sleeping.”

trunk has been increasingly been at odds with the social media networks that have proved such a key component to his rise to power and have continued to be crucial parts of how he communicates with the public.

Twitter has flagged several of trunk’s tweets for misleading or dangerous information over the past few months, drawing ire from trunk and his henchmen.

fakebook has taken a more hands off policy, refusing to flag or remove some of the same posts that Twitter took action against.

The social media company has faced significant backlash for its decisions, facing a broad advertiser retreat from companies ranging from Unilever to Starbucks.

The company unveiled new labels for some posts in response.

In the past few weeks, a string of sexual misconduct and harassment accusations have rocked the world of Twitch and video game streaming, leading to renewed promises from the service to become more aggressive with bans and punishments, even against large accounts.

Last Friday, Twitch also suddenly banned Dr. Disrespect, one the service’s most popular streamers.

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Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on June 29, 2020, 07:54:19 pm
Monday, 29th June 2o2o
--- AND AGAIN!!!
by Bobby Allyn


Reddit announced on Monday that it is shutting down a forum dedicated to trunk's most ardent fanatics, saying it repeatedly violates the online platform's rules against harassment, hate speech and content manipulation.

The community forum, known as a subreddit, was called The_donald and had nearly 800,000 users.

trunk himself has been known to share memes that posted to The_donald and other parts of Reddit.

Long a magnet for conspiracy theories and sharp attacks on trunk's critics, The_donald has faced backlash before.

Reddit has taken action over content encouraging violence and had threatened to block the subreddit completely if the moderators — who are volunteers — did not take down the abusive material.

Now, officials at Reddit have determined that the forum where die-hard trunk fans congregate online cannot police itself.

"Reddit is a place for creating community and belonging, not for attacking marginalized or vulnerable groups of people. Everyone has a right to use Reddit free of harassment, bullying, and threats of violence," the company said in new content rules it unveiled on Monday.

Reddit, which is the sixth most popular website in the U.S., announced the crackdown on The_donald as part of a wider enforcement of its hate speech policies.

It said it was banning some 2,000 Reddit communities, including the left-leaning subreddit Chapo Trap House, over rule violations.

Reddit said the vast majority of the subreddits affected were already inactive.

Reddit has introduced eight additional rules for its content, including measures intended to prevent harassment and respect personal privacy.

Examples of the type of content Reddit will ban include "mocking people with physical disabilities" and "describing a racial minority as sub-human and inferior to the racial majority," the company said in a statement.

"Communities and users that incite violence or that promote hate based on identity or vulnerability will be banned," Reddit said in its new policy guidelines.

After Reddit closed The_donald, its former moderators took to Twitter to point out that many trunk loyalists have already abandoned Reddit for an alternative site known as

Geared toward conservatives, it looks and functions similar to Reddit but without the rules against hate speech and violence.

"Well, Reddit accomplished one thing today. They got people to go there for the first time in months to see if we were really banned. Myself included!" one former moderator tweeted.

Reddit is the latest social media company to announce new limits on what users can post.

It is part of a broad shift away from the hands-off approach long embraced by online platforms that have claimed to be neutral in the face of whatever users publish.

Now, Reddit and other popular sites that help define political discourse are drawing lines that the companies say cannot be crossed on speech that glorifies violence or hate.


Twitter has placed labels on trunk tweets deemed to include factual distortions or be seen as inciting violence.

fakebook, which had been reluctant to take any action on trunk's posts, recently has removed trunk content.

Last week, it announced it will be placing warning labels on problematic posts and will remove content that incites violence or attempts to suppress voting.

fakebook's policy reversal arrived as a growing number of major advertisers, including Starbucks, Ford Motor Co. and Cola-Cola, join a boycott of the social network that's meant to draw attention to hate speech and misinformation on the platform.

Snap, which owns Snapchat, has said it will no longer promote trunk's account after determining that comments to the president's posts could be seen as encouraging violence

Also on Monday, Twitch, the Amazon-owned site for streaming games, said it temporarily suspended trunk's account, according to a Twitch spokesperson.

The decision was made following the president rebroadcasting on his Twitch channel a 2015 campaign speech in which he disparaged Mexican immigrants and remarks he made at a recent Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally linking Hispanics to crime.

"Hateful conduct is considered a zero-tolerance violation," said the Twitch spokesperson.

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Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on October 15, 2020, 08:02:09 pm
Thursday, 15th October 2o2o
by Elizabeth Culliford in London and Nandita Bose in Washington; Additional reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru, David Shepardson and Susan Cornwell in Washington and Katie Paul in San Francisco; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli, Lisa Shumaker, Grant McCool & Nandita Bose


Individual-1’s re-election campaign’s Twitter account was briefly restricted on Thursday, causing an outcry from republican lawmakers who accused social media companies of acting like “speech police” and vowing to hold Twitter responsible.

Twitter temporarily blocked Individual-1's account from sending tweets after it posted a video about Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son that it said violated its rules.

The video referred to a New York Post story from Wednesday that contained alleged details of Hunter Biden’s business dealings with a Ukrainian energy company and said the former vice president had met with an adviser of the company.

Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement that republican-led Senate committees have previously concluded that Joe Biden engaged in no wrongdoing related to Ukraine.

He also denied such a meeting had taken place.

A Twitter spokesman said earlier on Thursday that Individual-1's account, and the accounts of the Executive Mansion Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany and the New York Post, had been blocked from tweeting because of the company’s policies on hacked materials and posting private information.

He said the accounts may need to delete the rule-breaking posts to continue tweeting.

The Individual-1 campaign, with 2.2 million followers, was sending tweets again on Thursday afternoon.

It said in a new tweet it was “re-posting the video Twitter doesn’t want you to watch.”

A Twitter spokesman told Reuters that the site would not take action as alterations to the video meant it no longer violated its policies.

“It’s going to all end up in a big lawsuit and there are things that can happen that are very severe that I’d rather not see happen, but it’s probably going to have to,” Individual-1 said when asked about the move by Twitter.

McEnany likewise began tweeting again on Thursday, saying she regained access after deleting her post on the report.

Both fakebook Inc and Twitter took proactive steps on Wednesday to restrict dissemination of the Post story in the hours after it was published.

fakebook reduced how often the story shows up in users’ news feeds and elsewhere on the platform, an action spokesman Andy Stone said the company takes temporarily pending fact checker review “if we have signals that a piece of content is false.”

fakebook did not respond to Reuters questions on whether its fact-checking partners were working on rating the Post’s story.

Twitter prohibited its users from posting links to two New York Post articles about Hunter Biden, saying they violated its policies against posting private information and “hacked materials.”

But Twitter’s Chief Executive Jack Dorsey tweeted on Wednesday “our communication around our actions on the @nypost article was not great. And blocking URL sharing via tweet or DM with zero context as to why we’re blocking: unacceptable.”

A Twitter spokesman declined to answer Reuters questions on whether Mr. Dorsey had been involved in the decisions on these restrictions on Wednesday or Thursday.

republicans on the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee responded to Twitter’s actions by tweeting a link to a copy of the New York Post’s story on its website.

Twitter blocked the link but later said this had been in error and reversed the action.

The @nypost has not tweeted in over a day, suggesting that they are still blocked from posting.

A spokeswoman for the New York Post declined to comment, other than referring Reuters to the Post’s own coverage.

republican lawmakers slammed the social media companies’ actions on Thursday.

U.S. Senate majority leader mitch mcconnell said the blocking of the story was “reprehensible” and that there should be no “speech police” in the United States.

After Twitter imposed the restrictions, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee moved to subpoena Dorsey.

Committee Chairman lindsey graham and republican senators ted cruz and Josh Hawley said the committee will vote on sending the subpoena on Tuesday, October 20th and plans to have Dorsey in front of the committee by October 23rd.

Hawley also called for sending a subpoena to fakebook.

“We’re going to finally have an accounting that is long overdue,” graham said.

“This to me crystallizes the problem better than anything I could think of.”

Senator Marco Rubio urged Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to re-examine Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

The CEOs of Twitter, fakebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google are set to appear before the Senate Commerce Committee later this month at a hearing to discuss Section 230 - a legal immunity which offers tech companies protection from liability over content posted by users and enables them to act in “good faith” to remove objectionable content.

Pai said on Thursday the agency will move forward to set new rules to clarify the meaning of the provision.

The calls to reform Section 230 and penalize tech companies have been intensifying but it is unlikely there will be action on the law by Congress this year.

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Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on November 21, 2020, 02:22:55 pm
Saturday, 21st November 2o2o
Twitter to automatically transfer @POTUS handle from Indy-1 to Joe Biden on Inauguration Day
by Kelly Tyko, Michael Collins and Jessica Guynn


This is one part of the upcoming presidential transition that will happen automatically – even without a concession.

Twitter says it will automatically transfer the @POTUS Twitter handle from Individual-1 to President-elect Joe Biden the moment Biden is sworn in on Inauguration Day, according to Politico.

“Twitter is actively preparing to support the transition of Executive Mansion institutional Twitter accounts on January 20th, 2021,” Twitter spokesperson Nick Pacilio told Politico.

“As we did for the presidential transition in 2017, this process is being done in close consultation with the National Archives and Records Administration.”

Individual-1 regularly tweets using his ___________ handle and then the @POTUS account retweets many.

He has not conceded the election, which while not required is a tradition.

Several other verified government accounts associated with the presidency including @whitehouse, @VP and @FLOTUS, also will be handed over to the Biden administration, Politico reported.

Biden turned 78 on Friday, two months before he will take the oath of office as the nation's 46th president.

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Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on February 06, 2021, 07:42:40 pm
Saturday, 6th February Two Thousand and Twenty One
Twitter permanently suspends Gateway Pundit founder's account
by Celine Castronuovo


Twitter on Saturday issued a permanent suspension for the account run by Jim Hoft, founder and editor-in-chief of far-right news website Gateway Pundit, for violations of its "civic integrity policy."

A Twitter spokesperson confirmed the news to The Hill, citing "repeated violations" of its policy that bars users from tweeting messages "for the purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes," including misinformation regarding the outcome of an election.

The policy includes a series of punishments depending on the frequency of violations, with five or more strikes resulting in a permanent suspension.

Gateway Pundit was among the conservative media outlets that had advanced unsubstantiated claims from Individual-1 and his allies of widespread voting irregularities and voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

According to an archived version of Hoft's account, his most recent tweets came on January 29th, when he shared criticisms of COVID-19 restrictions and claims that certain ballots cast for President Biden were illegal.

Bloomberg reported Saturday that Hoft was photographed at Individual-1 rally on January 6th, ahead of the violent mob attack at the Capitol, in which several people were killed amid the chaos.

Last month, CNN reported that Gateway Pundit was among the groups utilizing christian fundraising website in efforts related to challenge the results of the presidential election.

Hoft's outlet raised more than $135,000 to investigate alleged voter fraud in Michigan and to "take on the tech giant censorship of conservative voices."

Saturday's Twitter suspension comes as one of the latest issued by Twitter in connection with users repeating unsupported claims of a "rigged" election in favor of Biden more than two weeks after he was inaugurated.

Twitter on Tuesday officially suspended the MyPillow company Twitter account after founder Mike Lindell used it to make several posts attacking Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and promoting claims of election fraud.

The move came just one week after Lindell's personal account was suspended.

Lindell among other claims, has stated that problems with Dominion Voting Systems machines led to irregularities in ballots.

Dominion Voting Systems has filed a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani, Individual-1's personal attorney, over false claims about the company, and also sent a letter to Lindell threatening him with legal action for leading a "misinformation campaign."

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Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on March 24, 2021, 05:32:22 pm
Wednesday, 24th March Twenty One (orignally published Friday, 5th March Twenty One)
What's An NFT? And Why Are People Paying Millions To Buy Them?
by Bobby Allyn


The artist Grimes recently sold a bunch of NFTs for nearly $6 million.

An NFT of LeBron James making a historic dunk for the Lakers garnered more than $200,000.

The band Kings of Leon is releasing its new album in the form of an NFT.

At the auction house Christie's, bids on an NFT by the artist Beeple are already reaching into the millions.

And on Friday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey listed his first-ever tweet as an NFT.

Safe to say, what started as an Internet hobby among a certain subset of tech and finance nerds has catapulted to the mainstream.

Which leads to some obvious questions.

Chief among them: What on earth is an NFT?

NFT stands for what now?


It stands for "nonfungible token."

Nonfungible, meaning you can't exchange it for another thing of equal value.

A $10 bill can be exchanged for two $5 bills.

One bar of gold can be swapped for another bar of gold of the same size.

Those things are fungible. An NFT, though, is one of a kind.

The token refers to a unit of currency on the blockchain.

It's how cryptocurrency like Bitcoin is bought and sold.

"Remember those days where people would line up for the newest Nike Air Jordan sneakers at the physical store? This is the new digital equivalent," said Katie Haun, a general partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

"It's everything that brings together culture, and it's also a bet on the future of e-commerce," Haun said.


What exactly do you get when you buy an NFT?

This question unleashes a fury of debate among NFT enthusiasts.

The answer is not simple.

Are you buying what amounts to an Internet trophy?


A feeling?

A digital collector's item?

Perhaps, but you are also purchasing a kind of bar code, almost a certificate of authenticity that serves as proof that a certain version of something is uniquely yours.

"The underlying thing that you're buying is code that manifests as images," said Donna Redel, who teaches courses on crypto-digital assets at Fordham Law School.

"You're buying a different format of art."

But note that when you buy an NFT, you're usually not getting the copyright or trademark to the item.

And just because you own an NFT doesn't mean there aren't endless other versions of that thing on the Internet.

There will be.

It's the Internet.

Still, NFT enthusiasts say owning a piece of code in a blockchain has shown itself to be an incredibly valuable thing.

"You're not buying the picture," said Jake Brukhman, founder of cryptocurrency investment company CoinFund.

"You're buying the property rights to the picture."

Why don't people just right-click on an image instead and save it to their desktop?

That's free.


But like with other collectables, whether it's baseball cards, rare books or fine art, having an original is special.

Take CryptoPunks, pixelated avatars that have fetched millions of dollars.

Sure, you could download one of the alien avatars, but collectors would not consider it authentic.

A real alien CryptoPunk costs, on average, $900,000.

To be clear, there's no visual difference between an original and a copied version.

And to make it even more confusing, not all NFTs are originals.

Many are the digital equivalent of a reprint.

But in this case, the reprint has what is essentially a unique bar code, or "token," on the blockchain, which is a type of decentralized record-keeping system.

In other words, instead of one institution, like a bank, having a ledger of transactions, a blockchain uses a vast network of computers that all hold each other accountable on a shared public record.

That makes it hard to remove an NFT from the Web entirely.

It also means there's a way to trace an NFT's origin and transaction history.

How do you buy or sell an NFT?

It takes some steps.

First, you usually have to buy a cryptocurrency, like Ethereum.

That's a process in and of itself.

But once you do, you can go to an NFT marketplace.

Some of the popular ones include KnownOrigin, Rarible and OpenSea.

There, you can bid on an NFT and wait for the auction to end.

If no one outbids you, you get the bragging rights.

How do you make an NFT?

Log on to one of the NFT marketplaces and upload a file.

This process is called "minting" an NFT.

You'll usually be asked if it's a one of a kind, if there are multiple copies or if it's part of a collection.

(A quick glance at an NFT marketplace shows just how easy the process is — maybe too easy. Some people are trying to sell tweets and even colors as NFTs.)

Once you're done, collectors can start bidding.

Digital artists can build a royalty into their NFTs, even for future sales, which is why many artists see promise in NFTs: It can cut out the middleman and open up a new way to make money.

If you're not interested in buying or selling them, why should you care?

As tens of millions of dollars in transactions pour in for NFTs, enthusiasts say, NFTs will soon expand beyond trading art, music, video clips and memes.

One startup lets people use their NFTs as collateral for loans.

Silicon Valley investors say the moneymaking possibilities in the NFT world are limitless.

"At the time the iPhone was created, nobody would've thought that one of the killer apps was going to be hailing a ride," said Haun of Andreessen Horowitz.

What are the risks?

There's always a chance that a tech frenzy is a passing fad or is stoking a speculative bubble.

If you spend a pretty penny on an NFT and then enthusiasm and values suddenly plummet, you could be in for a big loss.

But NFT backers say the system's built-in scarcity should keep values up, as long as the surge of interest persists.

Be cautious about works that appear to be created by famous artists.

NFTs resembling pieces by the artist Banksy have netted $900,000, but they have turned out to be fakes.

Then there is the environmental impact of NFTs, which has attracted real scrutiny.

The computing power required to operate the underlying blockchain system of NFTs is immense.

By some estimates, one crypto transaction could gobble up more power than the average U.S. household uses in a single day.

One artist estimated that generating six NFT pieces consumed more electricity than his entire physical studio did in two years.

"The energy production infrastructure is out of our sight," wrote Brussels-based artist Joanie Lemercier.

"And we often have the feeling that electricity is abundant, limitless and we disregard its impact."

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Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on April 05, 2021, 07:46:33 am
Monday, 5th April Twenty One
by Melissa Quinn


(Washington, D.C.) — The Supreme Court on Monday ordered a dispute over individual-1's ability to block his critics on Twitter to be tossed out, bringing the battle over individual-1's Twitter account to a close as he is no longer in office and has since been banned from the platform.

The high court vacated a decision from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals against the acting-president and sent the case back to the lower court with instructions to dismiss it as moot.

The New York-based 2nd Circuit found individual-1's decision to block seven users from interacting with his Twitter account was unconstitutional, as the space associated with the former acting-president's account was a designated public forum.

In an opinion concurring with the court's decision to throw out the case, clarence thomas said the dispute "highlights the principal legal difficulty that surrounds digital platforms — namely, that applying old doctrines to new digital platforms is rarely straightforward."

"As Twitter made clear, the right to cut off speech lies most powerfully in the hands of private digital platforms," thomas wrote.

"The extent to which that power matters for purposes of the First Amendment and the extent to which that power could lawfully be modified raise interesting and important questions.

This petition, unfortunately, affords us no opportunity to confront them."

individual-1 created his Twitter account in 2009 and amassed more than 88 million followers.

Over the course of his monarchy, individual-1 used the forum to air his grievances on an array of issues and announce official policies of his administration and personnel changes.

Twitter, however, permanently banned individual-1 from the platform in the wake of the January 6th assault on the U.S. Capitol.

Between May and June 2017, the acting-president blocked Twitter accounts registered to seven people who were critical of him and his policies, which kept them from being able to interact with his account.

In response to individual-1's action, the Twitter users filed a lawsuit against the acting-president and Dan Scavino, the former White House director of social media, arguing the blocking of their accounts violated the First Amendment.

A federal district court in New York ruled in favor of the users, finding that the blocking of their accounts was unconstitutional.

The 2nd Circuit affirmed the district court's ruling, concluding that individual-1's use of the account during his presidency was "governmental" as opposed to "private," as his tweets often involved official matters.

In asking the Supreme Court to take up the dispute, the Justice Department argued the 2nd Circuit's "novel" ruling would "jeopardize the ability of public officials — from a real president of the United States to a village councilperson — to insulate their social-media accounts from harassment, trolling, or hate speech without invasive judicial oversight."

"By ignoring the critical distinction between the acting-president's (sometimes) official statements on Twitter and his always personal decision to block respondents from his own account, the opinion blurs the line between state action and private conduct — notwithstanding this court's repeated and recent exhortations to heed that line carefully in applying the First Amendment," former Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall told the Supreme Court.

The Justice Department, however, asked the Supreme Court in January to dismiss the case as moot, noting individual-1 was sued in his official capacity and would be leaving office.

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Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on April 05, 2021, 09:13:19 am
Monday, 5th April Twenty One
His Argument For Making fakebook, Twitter and Google utilities
by Issie Lapowsky


Last fall, clarence thomas argued that it was time to rein in Section 230 immunity.

Now, thomas is laying out an argument for why companies like fakebook, Twitter and Google should be regulated as utilities.

On Monday, the Supreme Court vacated a lower court ruling in finding that individual-1 had acted unconstitutionally by blocking people on Twitter.

That case, which the justices deemed moot, hinged on the idea that the individual-1 account was a public forum run by the acting-president of the United States, and therefore, was constitutionally prohibited from stifling private speech.

In his concurrence, thomas agrees with the decision, but argues that, in fact, Twitter's recent ban of the individual-1 account suggests that it's platforms themselves, not the government officials on them, that hold all the power.

"As Twitter made clear, the right to cut off speech lies most powerfully in the hands of private digital platforms," thomas writes.

"The extent to which that power matters for purposes of the First Amendment and the extent to which that power could lawfully be modified raise interesting and important questions."

thomas argues that some digital platforms are "sufficiently akin" to common carriers like telephone companies.

"A traditional telephone company laid physical wires to create a network connecting people," thomas writes.

"Digital platforms lay information infrastructure that can be controlled in much the same way."

thomas argues that while private companies aren't subject to the First Amendment, common carriers are unique to other private businesses in that they do not have the "right to exclude."

thomas suggests that large tech platforms with substantial market power should be bound by the same restrictions.

"If the analogy between common carriers and digital platforms is correct, then an answer may arise for dissatisfied platform users who would appreciate not being blocked: laws that restrict the platform's right to exclude," thomas writes.

Such a restriction would substantially curb tech giants' ability to moderate content, a proposal that both tech giants and those on the left who want to see more aggressive content moderation online would almost certainly reject.

thomas goes on to describe the sheer scope of fakebook and Google's market power, citing fakebook's roughly 3 billion users and Google's 90% market share in search.

"It changes nothing that these platforms are not the sole means for distributing speech or information. A person always could choose to avoid the toll bridge or train and instead swim the Charles River or hike the Oregon Trail," thomas writes.

"But in assessing whether a company exercises substantial market power, what matters is whether the alternatives are comparable. For many of today's digital platforms, nothing is."

thomas states that in order for an account like individual-1 to be truly classified as government controlled, "the power of a platform to unilaterally remove a government account" would have to be "reduced."

thomas acknowledges that it would be up to "a legislature" to impose such a restriction and that the Twitter blocking case before the court didn't offer an opportunity to grapple with those questions.

But, he writes:

"We will soon have no choice but to address how our legal doctrines apply to highly concentrated, privately owned information infrastructure such as digital platforms."

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Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on July 28, 2021, 08:30:17 am
Wednesday, 27th July  Twenty One
Black woman's car buying experience turns sour with racist fakebook post
by Michael Lozano


(LUMBERTON, North Carolina) -- A Cumberland County woman says her first car-buying experience was tainted because of an offensive fakebook post made by the Lumberton Honda dealership.

Trinity Bethune said she purchased her first car at the dealership on Wednesday.

She was excited to be able to do all of this with her own money.

However, that quickly changed when Bethune looked on fakebook on Thursday and saw a post on the dealership's page that read,

"Congratulations to Bon Quisha on her 2016 Toyota Camry."

Bethune, in shock and disbelief, responded to the post.


"I'm not sure if this is a 'joke' or something but my name is definitely Trinity Bethune," she said.

"I'm very offended by this post, it's almost a racial slur. If I'm not addressed by MY name then please don't address me at all."

Bethune says the post was up for more than an hour before it was deleted.

The screenshots quickly spreading on social media and went viral on TikTok.

"The name 'Bon Quisha' it seems like a stereotype for someone, you know, for them to be like ghetto," Bethune said.

"It's something people use towards Black people as a racial slur and as an offensive term."

The 21-year-old works as a personal care assistant in Cumberland County.

She said it's hurtful to be reduced to a stereotype.

"I feel like my character was played with. I mean, I think I carry myself in a very well manner," she said.

ABC11 spoke to the dealership owner off-camera.

He said that the employee who made the offensive post has been fired.

They also reached out to Bethune to apologize on Thursday.

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Title: Re: Facebook’s Prospects May Rest on Trove of Data
Post by: Battle on September 13, 2021, 08:18:25 pm
Monday, 13th  September ~ Two Thousand & Twenty One
FEC finds Twitter didn't break law by blocking spread of Hunter Biden story


The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has ruled that Twitter did not break election laws in October when it blocked users from sharing links to a New York Post story about President Biden's son Hunter Biden, according to The New York Times.

The Times, citing a document it obtained outlining the decision, reported Monday that the FEC said Twitter's actions in blocking the spread of the article were undertaken with valid commercial reason — not a political purpose — making them legal.

It said the company “credibly explained” that stopping the spread of the article, which was based on an email retrieved from the hard drive of a laptop that was said to belong to Hunter Biden, was a commercial decision in line with existing policies that pertain to hacked materials.

The commission reportedly made the decision last month in private and will reveal it in public soon.

The final vote of the commission — which is made up of of three Democratic-aligned commissioners and three republicans — remains unknown.

The controversy began when the New York Post published a story in October 2020 — less than a month before the presidential election — alleging that Hunter Biden used his influence to connect a Ukrainian businessman, and fellow board member at the gas company Burisma, with his father when he was serving as vice president.

The Post said it had received documents used for the story from individual-1’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and that the information was discovered on a laptop that was dropped off at a repair shop in April 2019 and never retrieved.

Twitter and fakebook took steps to limit the spread of the story after questions sparked regarding its sourcing.

The platform prevented users from sharing links to the story in tweets or direct messages based on its hacked materials policy, which sparked outrage among republicans.

Days after, however, Twitter decided to reverse its decision.

CEO Jack Dorsey later said banning the sharing of the story was a “mistake.”

The republican national committee (rnc) filed a formal FEC complaint against Twitter contending that the platform's decision to block the sharing of the story was an “illegal in-kind contribution” to then-candidate Biden’s campaign.

The FEC in its ruling also reportedly dismissed claims that Twitter breached election laws by “shadow banning” republican users, or appearing to decrease the visibility of their posts without giving an explanation.

The commission also dismissed claims that Twitter violated election regulations by suppressing other content that was unfavorable to President Biden and labeling individual-1’s tweets with warnings for misinformation.

The commission said those allegations were “vague, speculative and unsupported by the available information.”

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