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Blocked by Facebook and the Vulnerability of New Media (craigmurray.org.uk)
69 points by bainsfather 9 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 20 comments

> I do not know if I am blocked by Facebook as an alleged Russian bot, or for any other reason. I do know that it appears to have happened shortly after I published the transcript of the Israeli general discussing the procedures for shooting children.

Another day, another argument for returning to RSS readers so we can filter for ourselves.

Specifically not something like Google Reader either. I'm using FeedWrangler to manage syncing of unread/read status across multiple clients and worst case, I can dump out my OPML file and take it local or somewhere else if any of these apps or services decide to start filtering out articles or blocking feeds.


Probably just coincidental. My post will be deleted for pointing this out.

If you want to be generous, you could say that Facebook simply doesn't understand or grasp the power it has right now.

The less generous take is that they don't want to understand because it would obligate them to grapple with the ethics of having that power and the least generous take is that they understand full well and simply do not care.

No matter what take you subscribe to, almost everyone can agree that as long as the money flows and the government (US and EU) stays at bay, nothing will change with that company.

From its foundation, from the beginning, Mark's university were working on plans to launch an online version of what they called -- facebooks -- however they were slower to launch because they had concerns, concerns for student privacy and the like; http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2004/2/9/hundreds-register...

In contrast, Mark purposely lied to mislead the brothers who hired him for UConnect so he could launch Facebook before they could launch, he used the name and concept of facebooks from his university and skipped the whole process of caring and worrying about things like privacy, ethics. There are also the transcripts of him calling his users "dumb fucks" for trusting him with their data.

There's never been accountability for Mark, he's never cared for it, and he's only been excessively rewarded by it. He's only learned to control and control his image more and more tightly.

20/20 hindsight, is obvious now that this would evolve like this based on Facebook's beginnings.

To add, FaceMash that Mark had started - https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/04/11... - what kind of game is it of trying to confuse people by using phrases like "unclear truth" as an answer, it's almost in line with "fake news." And I don't care he was younger or the other details, I care that he still hasn't owned up to it, taking responsibility, being an adult about it to help build our trust with him. Instead he continues to play these games, and certain people want him to because it makes them/keeps them rich.

The sinister side of me saw an orchestrated attack by the media (lets call them the establishment) that FB or Zuck can not be trusted to manage FB [1]. There has been a constant narrative, just google around these keywords. Surprisingly from the same "journalistic" machine that pushed a pro-Iraq war narrative without asking the questions they should have asked for [2].

My cynical view is, that this was a way to push FB to censor media content in favor of the establishment. Essentially, FB should allow Washington Post, NY Times, etc. to be shared with no shadow censorship, but the lesser established journalistic outlet should be censored.

You can see it from their side. NY Times or Washington Post are brands. But with FB, their brand value is not bringing them as much traffic as lesser entities. So, if I'm Bezos or others who own these entities, I would be unhappy to see FB providing an equal playing field to everyone.

I think the "RussiaGate" provided the best push for this argument. That if there is no censorship by FB, foreign players can influence our election. Though Comey's letter shown to have impacted the election [3], the $50k of ad buying on FB, made the news round and continues to pervade among many people that these ads probably changed the outcome of the election.

I'm sad to see Zuck and FB have succumbed to these pressures and are closing down venues for alternative journalist to state their views.

[1] http://time.com/5125267/mark-zuckerberg-facebook-news-feed-r... [2] http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/btw/watch.html [3] https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-comey-letter-probab...

After finishing The Red Web[0], reports like this absolutely freak me out. This sort of censorship is a totalitarian government's dream, and there's no way to verify who or what is influencing Facebook's timeline algorithms, not to mention that it's simply annoying to not be able to actually control what you see.

[0] https://www.amazon.com/Red-Web-Struggle-Dictators-Revolution...

> I do know that it appears to have happened shortly after I published the transcript of the Israeli general discussing the procedures for shooting children.

That's probably the reason, FB seems to give preferential treatment to some governments.


This is very analagous to the relationship Google has with SEO operators.

When Google changes policies, they have to scramble. The only thing that's different is that some (not many) of these sites have valuable content, so that gives them a soapbox to stand on.

In the spirit of transparency, it would be neat if Facebook would show you, how many people saw a post at least then they couldn't just subvert the communication channel, they would have to actively lie to their users. Also, has some other interesting attacks that are possible. I haven't posted anything in over a year though, but I can see that this might be an issue of arbitarry censorship, where fancy AI takes over and noone knows what's going on.

Facebook has never been interested in the spirit of transparency.

One day not too long ago I changed my Facebook News Feed settings from "Top Stories" (the default), to "Most Recent". It was eye opening -- so many friends (and "friends") whose posts I hadn't seen in months or years. I hadn't even noticed they were gone.

On the other hand, the posts of close friends were just us likely to be lost thirty pages down in my feed as were those of people I knew only peripherally.

I haven't even been seeing the "Most Recent" option anymore.

Adding ?sk=h_chr to the url of Facebook gives me the "Most Recent".


So is this solvable by writing an app that downloads updates for all of friend/page's walls regularly and creates its own aggregated newsfeed/filter? Or is this not accessible in Facebook API?

I don't use FB anymore, but that's what I'd do. Data is there, so it's only the matter of storing them locally, creating my own wall, and then linking back to facebook for interaction/comments if necessary.

> creates its own aggregated newsfeed/filter

I am trying to build this very thing but Facebook's recent privacy issues have caused it to over react and I keep getting the below error:

"Access to this data is temporarily disabled for non-active apps or apps that have not recently accessed this data due to changes we are making to the Facebook Platform."

The API call getting the error is to retrieve the list of posts from a page. Getting an error for that is just silly. If anyone can help please contact me!

I guess scraping their UI is not an option either, is it? It looks like it could be quite a bit of pain with all that ajaxy incremental loading, lot of variation in what can be on the wall and obfuscated CSS.

Collect content feeds and build a big site aggregator, maybe even distributed DB of them, add a search engine, advertising, crowd sourcing, paid feeds. Kickstarter and gofundme are creating their own advanced pateron clones. You could make a wordpress/drupal theme so people dont have to find all plugins and set it up. Have a dedicated site to collect all the RSS "Content" feeds, and you basically out classed facebook and youtube.

Apple seems to control the podcast database, and its just people submitting RSS feeds.

I've been using IFTTT to build sites that are just feeding multiple sites into 1 location, reddit subs, youtube channels, etc.

The tech is out there, but everyone seems to be thinking they need to be facebook/youtube clones.

That's why I left FB, Twitter (Google not yet... although it does the same). And I was not even writing about big politics issues, only about mathematics and open access, open science. Sure, we are paranoid, especially because nobody can verify the evidence.

Craig Murray has been deeply involved in covering the Syria/Skripal poisonings taking a line that is questioning. I do not think he has been actively censored with Theresa May going out of her way to ask GCHQ to silence the chap, however, there is a lot going on at Facebook at the moment and they might be blanket banning topics in a shadow-ban way.

Craig Murray is also soliciting donations these days, this only started a week ago. I think he comes across as a bit paranoid.

Hopefully he won't do what that orthorexic vegan did at the YouTube HQ for monetization issues.

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