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To your second point, I argued this sort of data was weaponsized and not just in an election (http://www.armyupress.army.mil/Journals/NCO-Journal/Archives...).

To the third point, focusing on Facebook seems like that scene from Casa Blanca though: "There's gambling going on, I'm shocked, shocked" "Your winnings, sir" Not confident FTC fines would actually change any trends.




I was the technology lead at Myspace for the Games Platform during the 2011 crackdown by the FTC. We took the FTC filings seriously and spent large amounts of cash and resources to prevent our data from making it to databrokers. Fines are one thing. FTC can shutdown or cripple your business.

I bet if Facebook is found not to take reasonable steps to mitigate issues raised during the 2011 FTC investigation, they'll be forced to do yearly audits of every app on the platform and require KYC(know your customer) process for all app publishers. This will be very costly and we'll probably see the end of the FB graph API except for trusted and highly capitalized partners.


I have not been involved in FTC decisions but I have worked at companies subject to FTC consent decrees. I agree with adrr's comment. The initial fines are not that big a deal; the work required to demonstrate compliance is non-trivial.


Last I saw there were over 1 million accounts distributed by CA.

Even assuming they were only distributed 3 months (unlikely) and there were only 1 million accounts (also unlikely) the maximum fine is:

1000x1000000x90 = 90 billion dollars.

Imposing the maximum fine would be more than double their entire 4th quarter earnings last year.

That's a bite. That would hurt any company.


From this article:

> If the FTC finds Facebook violated terms of the consent decree, it has the power to fine the company more than $40,000 a day per violation.

> Facebook Inc. is under investigation by a U.S. privacy watchdog over the use of personal data of 50 million users

So I think the maximum (assuming this went on for 90 days) would be:

40,000 x 50,000,000 x 90 = 180,000,000,000,000

180 Trillion.


I think the world would be a better place if they just pulled the plug on the fb. Donald Trump is one really really bad outcome.


Hillary lost because she was the worst Democrat candidate in history. She had MSM, the entirety of liberal America, all major tech companies, most/all colleges, illegals voting en masse -- all of these organizations were united in their support for Hillary, and she still lost.

The Dems had the election on a silver platter and they still lost because Hillary was awful.

Hillary lost the election, if it wasn't her it would've been a win.


Calling Hillary the "worst Democratic candidate in history" is just a meme - she was perfectly qualified for the job, more so than Donald Trump, anyway. What she wasn't was photogenic, charismatic or capable of not coming across as "a politician" at a time when both parties were in a disgruntled, antiestablishment mood. I think she and the DNC felt it was finally "her time," and she didn't take Trump seriously, perhaps because she felt the winds of destiny were at her back.

Unfortunately for her, Julian Assange decided to make it his religion to ruin her and Donald Trump happens to be very good at channeling populist antipathy. So it goes.

>She had MSM, the entirety of liberal America, all major tech companies, most/all colleges, illegals voting en masse

Ok. Let's go through this one by one...

- The Democrats/leftists/DNC do not control the mainstream media. That's a conspiracy theory started by the right-wing fringe and Fox news, and of course, canonized by Trump and his supporters, in order to dismiss all criticism in the media as being manufactured.

- The entirety of liberal America does not think and act in unison, nor were they entirely behind Hillary. Both parties were fractured this last election, and many Democrats who couldn't get Bernie wound up voting for Trump or stayed home.

- All major tech companies are not liberal or leftist. There is a deep wellspring of right-wing, alt-right and libertarian ideology in tech and SV.

- "most/all colleges" are also not automatically leftist. Plenty of right-wing, alt-right and libertarian ideology there as well.

- "illegals voting en masse" is just a baseless conspiracy theory.

You are correct that the race was Hillary's to lose. Unfortunately you couldn't resist running through the typical Trumpist hyperbole. Sad.


"Hillary lost because she was the worst Democrat candidate in history"

Because she was a woman? I mean, in 1984 Walt Mondale got 13 electoral votes and just 37 million votes. I think this qualifies as much worse.

But I get you.


How revolting, between nitwits who voted for Hillary purely because she was a woman and nitwits that dismiss votes against Hillary as purely a masculine act of defiance towards women in positions of power -- I don't know what's worse. Clearly some people are only capable of reducing others to arbitrary superficial qualities inferred from their own prejudices.

Is it really beyond your comprehension that someone would judge Hillary based on the quality of her character rather than her gender?


Sure you voted for Trump because you want a tax cut. I'll give you that.

But on the other hand, you brought up the "worst candidate in history" thing because of other reasons. Its just not mathematically true, man. So bringing up bias is fair game; you aren't using math as a judge. But I guess it could be a bias of recent events. Who knows - either way its not true.

I'm sorry I triggered you with the word "Trump" and I'm sorry you triggered me with just saying something that is mathematically false.

I also looked at your hacker news profile and it looks like you only only talk about politics here - this is a technology forum so I think you have the wrong audience. I'm sorry you are so angry but Jesus Christ, lets talk about computers here.

PS - If I could save your blood pressure; I'd down vote this response for you. I don't care about internet points here.


Your concern is touching but unnecessary, and, while you are correct that Mondale faired terribly, the basis of my reasoning is that a significant portion of those 62M votes that went to Trump could've easily went to the Democrats but didn't because of explicit and universal distaste for Hillary.

Mondale may have received only 40.6% of votes but Trump, as a general rule, shouldn't have had a chance. It was a Black Swan event of epic proportions and the Democrats made a mistake every step of the way, the statistical likelihood of that happening was so astronomically low but Hillary's involvement made it a guarantee.


Facebook didn’t elect trump. The us populace did.


The US populace that lives in key electoral college swing states... what a convoluted system.


Thanks for clearing this matter up.


I'm not sure I follow your math. Facebook had the following figures at the close of 2017 per https://investor.fb.com/investor-news/press-release-details/...:

Earnings (Q4 2017): $4B

Earnings (Y2017): $16B

Revenue (Q4 2017): $13B

Revenue (Y2017): $40B

So, maybe you're confusing revenue with earnings (net income) and a quarter (3 months) with the entire year (12 months). Because $90B is over 20x FB's Q4 2017 earnings and over 5x their entire 2017 earnings.


I messed up.

I saw their Q4 revenue statement and read the year end 40B as the Q4 revenue.

My bad.


i find it depressing that 90 billion dollars is only double the 4th quarter earnings.


> To the third point, focusing on Facebook seems like that scene from Casa Blanca though

It's mere coincidence, but your spelling "Casablanca" as two words (Casa Blanca) put into my mind that the literal translation of that place is "white house" (two words, natch). [0]

To your point, yes, Facebook knows user data trafficking (gambling) goes on as well as the stakes of such trafficking. Facebook is the gatherer and ostensible guardians of such data, but they directly profit from such trafficking. Very likely their "interest" in user data security is pretense.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casablanca#Etymology

EDIT: recast second paragraph to more clearly convey intended meaning.


I just went and read the linked article -- it's definitely worth a look. Personally I hadn't seen media coverage of the evolving relationship between Russia and DPRK, so I learned something new.




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