> There’s an old-fashioned word for this: corruption. In corrupt systems, a few bad actors cost everyone else billions in order to bring in millions – the savings a factory can realize from dumping pollution in the water supply are much smaller than the costs we all bear from being poisoned by effluent. But the costs are widely diffused while the gains are tightly concentrated, so the beneficiaries of corruption can always outspend their victims to stay clear.
Spot on. Google's in exactly the same boat, it's just that they provide a few services which are legitimately useful (Search, Gmail), so they're targeted less right now.
How we will get out of this, I have no idea...
The real damaging data to people and society at large is a different set of data. It's the publicly visible counts next to every thought and utterance reinforcing misguided beliefs and behaviour up and down the food chain constantly. Any experienced shrink, psycologist or educator, marketing/PR expert knows applying the right amount of feedback at the right time is critical to how people process info.
Remove/delay/reduce the visibility of like counts/view counts/upvotes/retweet counts that are displayed and the world will be a different place overnight.
Hmm, I disagree. It seems to me that both sources of data are dangerous. Yes, showing "You have 10 likes" is bad for users as social media companies iterate their way towards addiction but your search data is a toxic asset beyond just showing ads. Let's say google leaked everyone's search history tomorrow. How many marriages are going to be ruined? How many politicians are going to resign? How many future politicians will decide to never run? How many firings and never-hirings will there be based on that history?
People should be able to live normal lives without being surveilled - by governments or corporations.
What about when all those celebrity nudies leaked? Did people stand up and say "maybe taking and sending nude photos isn't something we should be embarrassed about"? No, they said "look at this crazy photo of <Celebrity>!"
Given equal access to the sources of shame of all three, would we really expect society to apply equal judgement standards to a mother, a billionaire asshole white guy, and a black guy from the inner city?
I think that notion is false because the negative effects of the loss of privacy will spread unequally and opportunity created for those to exploit the unequal consequences against their foes.
So yeah, maybe you could make a big deal about congressman so-and-so having a diaper fetish or whatever, but then people will probably want to look into your porn browsing history.
I know it seems like universal surveillance could level the field and make people less likely to judge, but in practice it doesn't work that way. You say "people will probably want into [the judger's] porn browsing history", but in reality, they don't. The preemptive strike generally wins, and counterstrikes generally look like defensive posturing. So removing all privacy just gives more power to the bigger asshole.
Imagine ten years in the future: you did something to upset the local police officer. Maybe you didn't pick up a can like he ordered. In any case, imagine he takes a photo of you with his body camera and then using Amazon's machine learning, they're able to find likeness of you doing "illegal" things and immediately write you a ticket. Resist more? Maybe Amazon can dig deeper and find out the faces you are around often and dig out treasure trove about someone.
I agree. Without universal enforcement, universal surveillance is pointless. This is why I was glad to see TSA selecting old women on wheelchairs with oxygen masks for searching while boarding onto airplanes because what we had before that was not random searching at all. It was profiling.
I'm amazed nobody in New York talks about NYPD reflective vests in a car's dash. Clearly, the car owner is communicating that the car belongs to a police officer to avoid a ticket. Anyone who does this does not belong in our police force. However, people just don't care about it.
Lisa: I can't believe I'm jealous of a baby!
Bart: Hey, so am I! When you're a baby, you can just spend all day rolling around on the floor. (sighs) I miss those days.
Nelson: Then roll, baby! (Bart rolls on the bus floor) Ha Ha! Floor Baby!
Lisa: You're laughing at him for something you made him do.
Nelson: Well… you're gay!
Lisa: People who call other people gay are often covering up their own latent homosexuality.
How well do you expect things to go if you move these sorts of situations into a context without any kind of strong, positive emotional bond?
A liberal society works not because things are allowed, but because people don't know. (And are taught to not stick their noise into other people's business).
Not many, considering marriages are less popular among young people nowadays.
> How many politicians are going to resign?
Not many, considering older politicians maybe don't spent their time on internet, and younger politicians are aware of the state of privacy on internet
> How many future politicians will decide to never run?
Maybe we will discover than many more people are "cleaner" than we thought, and will become influencers
> How many firings and never-hirings will there be based on that history?
That's a good point. However, the mega-corporation isn't 100% of the employment. Small enterprises and freelancer just want the work to be done and get pay, without wondering about who did what in their lives.
As another comment said, maybe watching porn and being interested in more than one partner isn't that bad after all. It only shows the dumbness of the artificial rules older authorities (such as religion, army, states, etc) imposed on crowd to keep control on them.
Edit : anyway, I support the idea of a private internet space for everyone, where people can express their ideas and experience with new concepts without fearing retribution. Words don't kill people.
> How we will get out of this, I have no idea...
How does one get out of a Faustian Bargain, anyway?
I didn't make that bargain, but I think the real problem these days is that it doesn't matter if you made it or not. All it takes is one weak link in the chain and suddenly you're under surveillance from a company you had no intention of being involved with.
I don't, for example, use GMail but if I communicate with people who do then my mail falls under Google surveillance. I don't use Google Drive but if I do business with a company that does then some of my data has been forked over to Google and I'm unlikely to ever know about it. I don't use Facebook but if I appear in a photo that someone else uploads and annotates then Facebook has a photo ID of me without my say-so.
It's difficult to stay clear of surveillance companies when you're constantly being undermined by the unintentional (or, perhaps more precisely, unthinking) actions of even just a few people. My data's being bought and sold every day and there is no way I can control that, opt out of it, or even get a list of companies who have my information or what they're doing with it.
If this is the information age and if information has value, then my information is my asset and I want control of it. Without the ability for a person to assert sovereignty over their own data, how can there be a balance of power between the individual and large organizations seeking to exploit everyone's data?
I do block FB, Google and a bunch of others at the IP level. There are fallbacks, but I do end up leaking when they stand up new IP blocks, and the smaller surveillance shops are impossible to keep up with.
I also pee in their datasets sometimes, but that's a more experimental/entertainment activity. And I'm playing with some other ideas not ready for prime time.
> how can there be a balance of power between the individual and large organizations seeking to exploit everyone's data?
Regulation. That's what you do with antisocial behavior, negative externalities and worse. The transnational nature of the net adds complications and freeholds, but the big boys absolutely could be brought to heel, if people wanted to. Politically, the winds seem to be blowing in the other direction in the US, and the GDPR has been argued to death here.
But that's how the situation improves. (It will never be "fixed", absent an event that destroys the ability to run networks.)
Tools - I use Charles Proxy and perl with WWW::Mechanize (substitute your recreational language of choice). Sometimes JMeter is helpful, but that's kind of a rathole if you haven't had reason to subject yourself to it before.
I use a combination of CookieBro and Umatrix on Firefox for this. Cookies are only allowed for sites I actively want to log into. For sites that require cookies to function, periodic auto-deletion via CookieBro handles those.
> ... it doesn't matter if you made it or not.
I always get downvoted for FB criticism, perhaps by their employees, but I have evidence for what I just said: Zuck's many, many, many public apologies.
> Did nobody stop to think ...?
There were the mildly provocative arguments about facebook users being "the product". Like cattle. Many just assumed they were not susceptible to ads or strong enough not to be manipulated. Folks were thinking about this on an individual basis, assuming that yes, some dumbasses would get sucked in by Farmville but that they themselves were impervious.
Turns out it doesn't matter what any one individual thinks. Facebook is all about scale and knowledge. They're selling enormous social power to whoever forks over the money. It doesn't matter to facebook if the real customer is selling soap or authoritarian government.
I think only now are we getting wise to the full implications of Facebook and the like.
"Facebook was not originally created to be a company, it was built to accomplish a social mission—to make the world more open and connected."
I wrote a tweet series critiquing this:
The privacy concerns were pretty much hidden from the public the entire time.
Polite advertising combined with targeting is also potentially very problematic. Passive targeting (people who are interested in X do Y so I will advertise X near Y) seems fine, but it in this day and age it intersects with tracking... which brings us back around the circle.
> It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.
As someone who for years often pointed out the bargain, I am not sympathetic to your position. Almost everyone I know who knew the price did pay it. Often, it was not merely the lack of knowledge, but actively putting their fingers to their ears to drown out inconvenient voices like mine.
The doomsayers were prescient, and to say they weren't there isn't just unfair, it's actively hostile towards societal growth and detecting this as it happens again. The first step to growth is accepting fault, otherwise there's nothing to fix.
That's why people used gmail and it's why people still use gmail and why even the people arguing in this thread that google are evil are all still using gmail! (I'm generalising but I'm betting most do)
When it comes down to it, despite what people say they care more about getting good services at no cost to themselves than they do about their privacy.
While I used spamassassin (not simple), my friend used Thunderbird which did a good enough job.
>That's why people used gmail and it's why people still use gmail and why even the people arguing in this thread that google are evil are all still using gmail!
In the early Gmail days, I didn't know anyone who used Gmail for anti-spam use. It was all about:
1. Space (1GB)
2. Nice interface was a distant second.
Most average people I know did not care about spam during those days. I mean, they cared and complained a lot about it, but getting anyone to change their provider (or software) to handle spam better was an exercise in futility.
Keep in mind - this is during the days when IE 6.0 reigned supreme and had something like 90% of the browser share. Almost no one I knew was willing to change browsers, despite IE not having tabs, not having banner ad blocking or any other extension, and causing all kinds of Windows issues. If they're unwilling to change browsers, I can assure you they're unwilling to change email providers so easily. What tipped things in Gmail's favor was the extra space, when 50MB was advertised as large).
>When it comes down to it, despite what people say they care more about getting good services at no cost to themselves than they do about their privacy.
Err, what? SpamAssassin is a filtering system and framework, Thunderbird is a MUA. There were plugins to use ApamAssasin in Thunderbird, and there may have been some built in filtering in Thunderbird, but you'll have to do a lot better than just saying it was good to convince me it existed as anything other than a joke.
My job during the time Gmail launched and the years following was administering portions of an ISP, including mail servers and a separate set of SpamAssassin processing servers, as well as separate consulting work setting up SpamAssassin and a mail server for colocation customers.
I also used Thunderbird off and on for a number of years during this same period (when it wasn't Thunderbird, it was Mutt). No MUA without something like SpamAssasin (or some paid for service or package) was even passable during this time period, to my recollection.
> In the early Gmail days, I didn't know anyone who used Gmail for anti-spam use. It was all about:
Believe me, they did. People noticed it. ISPs noticed it. The ISP I worked for thought about shifting over all email for our customers to hosted Gmail, because the spam solution was actually better than SpamAssassin usually could do and it would offload a lot of work. It didn't happen, but it was at least thrown around as a possibility.
> Most average people I know did not care about spam during those days.
My experience fielding support requests during this time period points towards the opposite conclusion. People cared a lot more, it was much more of a problem then. Google trends backs this up. It was bad enough that legislation about spam was being passed during this period, such as the CAN-SPAM act of 2003.
I think perhaps you've forgotten just how bad it was, or were lucky enough to have an address that wasn't very badly affected. You were running SpamAssassin, so you would likely have been one of the better protected (and you could tweak your own rules, which might have helped if you did so).
I think my larger point, that Spam was a major problem of the time period, and that Google was seen as having very good spam detection, still stands.
Well, Goethes Faust got away pretty well, beeing gods favourite .. and a grammar exploit in the bargain.
(the bargain was, Mephistopheles serves him, until he says some specific words (Verweile doch, du bist so schön) ... and in the end Faust says, now I feel like I could say "Verweile doch..."
Mephistopheles thinks thats it, summons his demons, to prepare for it. Faust dies, beeing old ... but since god was the all powerful judge and Faust his favourite, ... well that was enough to save his soul. And the demons had to go away accomplishing nothing)
So any lessons for the real world?
I don't see any...
maybe to give more context: Faust made the deal, because he was not content, mainly about the limitations about understanding the world, but also in general. And the words of the bargain mean something like, now I am content. So Mephistos part was to make him content, or even too full of this world. But it is somewhat complicated, beeing Goethe.. but worth a read, at least in german. Don't know, if the translations are good enough, because much of the greatness of the book, is the powerful language and verses, which at least I could never translate adequately.
Nay we are but men!
This is what's scary. The ugly part is just starting, because we haven't even gotten to the point where their AI systems have super-human intelligence and can use all of your "whole-life/everything you've ever done" data against you.
How bad is this going to be in 20 years? And does anyone really think Google and Facebook will "self-regulate" sufficiently on this, without extreme outside pressure?
Sure, DDG is not quite there, but for most of my queries it's just fine.
Having "deleted" my Facebook account some four years ago was a real liberator, though.
While DDG does use Bing (and others), the DDG searchers are getting the same results because Bing can't track and tailor your results.
Many also like DDG's bang which easily lets you direct your search elsewhere. For example if you search for "example" and don't like the results, then "example !g" sends it to Google. I like it for slightly more obscure stuff - eg "example !homedepot" does what you'd expect. For us python folk, it is nice to do "example !py2" or "example !py3" depending on the codebase.
That said DDG often does get reasonable results. And if you don't like them, just add in !g to see what google gets. (Conceptually I like to give DDG first crack at a search, and then fallback to google if DDG didn't do well.) What I have noticed is google's results are getting worse, as sites are getting better at gaming google.
"DuckDuckGo gets its results from over four hundred sources. These include hundreds of vertical sources delivering niche Instant Answers, DuckDuckBot (our crawler) and crowd-sourced sites (like Wikipedia, stored in our answer indexes). We also of course have more traditional links in the search results, which we source from Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex."
I use DDG because I like its !bang searches and I genuinely prefer its Instant Answers and page layout over Google's.
Is the web too big for a new search engine company to compete with its own crawler? Or are Google, Bing, Yandex, and Baidu the only search engine companies big enough to crawl the web effectively?
> Bing and Google each spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year crawling and indexing the deep Web. It costs so much that even big companies like Yahoo and Ask are giving up general crawling and indexing. Therefore, it seems silly to compete on crawling and, besides, we do not have the money to do so. Instead, we've focused on building a better search engine by concentrating on what we think are long-term value-adds -- having way more instant answers, way less spam, real privacy and a better overall search experience.
I agree it may not be easy. But we desperately need more tech-savvy politicians in these technological times.
If Tesla kills a driver, it's Tesla and Waymo.
If Facebook is selling your data, it's Facebook and Google.
Why don't we stop pretending and just say we all hate Google, irrespective of who is actually at fault? That will save us trouble of having to find any evidence proving our claims.
It's not about hating Google, it's about recognizing the power and ubiquity they have, and how for many in HN, it dwarfs Facebook in terms of potential personal impact.
Without the presumption that the micro-targeting is super effective, nothing looks like it's on fire.
> Research discussed by Brendan Nyhan of Dartmouth College showed that it is extremely hard to alter voters' preferences, because many likely voters are already committed partisans; as a result, it is easier to simply mobilize partisan voters.
A friend of mine volunteered on the Clinton campaign in the months before the election. The strategy wasn't to knock on random doors and convince people to vote for Hillary, it was to find people who are already likely to lean left (but maybe aren't likely voters), and remind them of the upcoming election and where to vote, etc. Online ads take the same approach, just subconsciously.
And how did they want us to locate them? Through Facebook.
I'm worried about the surveillance system for other reasons, like finding targets for censorship, discrimination, and hatred.
If your party can identify and connect with those individuals and spark a sense of outrage in them, you are likely to be able to get some portion of them to the ballot on election day.
So it is more meta than educating somebody on Trump/Clinton's politics; it is more about behavioral manipulation via outrage, fake news, etc. The goal isn't to change knowledge or opinions (which is extremely difficult), it is to fan the flame of targeted groups' collective outrage enough to bump election day participation. In many places getting just a 1-3% edge is the difference between winning and losing the election.
My personal takeaway from this is that improving general access to the ballot by making it easier to participate and vote should obviate the effectiveness of this strategy. Each step approaching 100% voter participation forces smaller and smaller returns on the strategy of motivating extremist voters.
If one is easier than the other, then this article does indeed explain things. Cambridge Analytica may be unable to change political views, but it may have been capable of mobilizing a select group of disenfranchised voters that it carefully selected.
Given low voter turnouts, you can increase chances of your candidate winning by merely improving turnout for a select group.
Also via politicizing their identity, their gender etc. Taken to the extreme, anything that has emotional impact can manipulate people. Taken to further extreme, such an argument means that democracy is useless and based on very flimsy and wrong assumptions about human nature. But we can be reasonable instead of extreme.
Given the number of trackers that my ad-blocker blocked while reading this, isn't this article, Locusmag.com, and Cory Doctorow himself sprinkling just a little more oil on the pile of rags?
Don't forget to smash that share button!
I just looked, and this is mirrored on his blog, and it appears to have very little or no tracking set up. Feel free to read it there.
I have a hard time faulting Doctorow for choosing to be relevant.
I wonder what Viktor Orbán has done according to Doctorow to be put in the same ballpark as Erdogan.
From https://turkeypurge.com/ :
Turkey’s post-coup crackdown:
151,967 dismissed / 140,452 detained / 79,774 arrested / 3,003 schools, dormitories and universities shut down / 5,822 academics lost jobs / 4,463 judges, prosecutors dismissed / 189 media outlets shut down / 319 journalists arrested
since July 15, 2016 / as of June 25, 2018
It's not quite so advanced in violence as Turkey, but it's definitely along the same path.
Sure, there's lots of innuendo about how the EU is trying to teach a lesson about democracy and human rights to a reluctant Hungary.
The thing is, if we have to choose among Orbán and Jüncker the leader with the most democratic legitimacy, then Orbán wins hands down.
Hardly anyone in the EU voted for Jüncker, except for a few Luxemburgers. Hardly anyone knew what the program of his party, the EPP, was at the time of the election.
Orbán on the other hand enjoys a huge amount of support from the Hungarians. You may disagree with his viewpoints, but that doesn't make his leadership any less democratic.
He is careful not to follow the example of Western Europe with its disastrous policies of mass immigration and - as a result - islamisation. This viewpoint is shared with all governments in Eastern Europe and - at last - a growing number of people in Western Europe.
He tries to raise awareness about the Soros-funded no-borders NGOs, which are an attempt from outside the country to make the Hungarian press and politicians talk and behave a certain way. The article in the Independent tries to paint this as anti-Semitism, but in another article they admit that even Israel disagrees with this viewpoint: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/george-soros...
The only reason the unelected leaders of the EU put pressure on Orbán is because he poses a threat to their power. Of course they use words like "human rights" and "democracy" to cover their real motivations. Look at the non-reaction of the EU when the Spanish Rajoy government locked up Catalonian political prisoners (by the way, do you know of any polical prisoners in Hungary?). Why didn't they defend democracy and human rights at that time? The reason is that the current EU leaders see the Catalonian independence movement as a threat to their power.
From my point of view, Orban is using Soros as a boogeyman, with huge over-emphasis on this single personality, far more than Soros's actual impact in Hungary, to project disagreement with certain attitudes and things going on in the world. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/once-fringe-soro...)
In Turkey, many of the statistics you cite are in part because Erdogan also had a boogeyman: Fethullah Gülen. Many of the statistics you cite for Turkey were "justified" by Erdogan's accusation that the coup was part of a Gülen plot. (It is uncertain, of course, that this was actually the case, but it was certainly a convenient excuse for rounding up all the "adversaries").
Hungary may be nothing like Turkey at this time, but never trust a leader with an authoritarian streak and a convenient "enemy boogeyman" to demonize against.
But he and his cronies have pocketed a lot of EU money, that's for sure.
That's the biggest insight of the article. That's exactly what the likes of Facebook and Google (and telecoms, and data brokers, etc) are doing.
When a for-profit company ("commercial") gathers large, detailed dossiers of millions of people ("surveillance").
For example, if you use Twitter, go to https://twitter.com/settings/your_twitter_data and look at the stuff under "Interests and ads data". That's the tip of the iceberg.
> What are "risks associated with mass surveillance"?
Like the article says, when a company has access to detailed personal information about lots and lots of people, many bad things can happen:
* That information can be stolen by hackers and then used for identity theft or social engineering to gain access to private accounts. Think about how to reset your bank password your bank asks you questions like "where did you meet your first significant other?" Then consider how that event is probably on your Facebook feed.
* Companies like Cambridge Analytica can buy "ads" that are precisely targeted using that data to persuade certain groups of people to show up or not show up at polls and influence elections in non-Democratic ways.
Any organization with massive surveillance data that lacks beneficent leaders may harm people.
Q: How do I permanently delete my account?
So I'm confused as to why this is a necessity. What services do you use that won't function without your Facebook account?
As for authentication, thankfully most sites let you register an account with them. It's a little inconvenient, but with a password manager it's simple. Still, I wish OpenID was more widespread.
It’s more valuable and more personal than, say, a blog, because:
* my post + all the comments show up in the same UI where people go to see dumb videos or cute photos of friends’ families
* I can share a link or thought, and have more follow up with these friends and family, because they know me on a personal level, and know that the conversation is limited to people who at least somewhat know me, rather than all manner of internet trolls.
They trust me more than random other person on the Internet who might share the exact same information... just like I trust them more than random people on the internet.
If Facebook is going to keep a shadow profile on me anyway, I want to get a little something out of it. Whether they should be allowed to keep the shadow profile on me or not, though, is a different question altogether. And I think only legislation could decide that effectively.
My friends and family aren't interested in most the stuff I'm interested in. I'll call and text them, talk to them about our lives. I'll post my interests in places where people who share them can consume.
I mostly just felt paralyzed by the platform. Not wanting to put personal info because it would be used to build a profile on me, and not wanting to interact with a lot of media because it would then use that as an excuse to promote it to my friends and family.
I was largely using it as an event planner, but found that I could just subscribe via email lists or other ways for the venues I cared about keeping up with.
It also helps that I don't know a majority of my outer circle's daily status updates and when I see them at mutual engagements like birthday parties or house warmings, I'm more interested in talking to them and catching up.
At the moment they are just trading on the reputation of early pioneers who at least professed some ethics and commitment to public good to pretend they are part of the same group.
They continue to posture on public discussions while implementing dark patterns and surveillance as a matter of course in their workplace. This is the fact, the tech community led by SV have sold out and they know it. Their main priority is pretending its not happening or diminishing the consequences.
If there is a backlash it will be well deserved as these people are selling out the rest of the world for profit, greed and personal gain.
"Everybody wants to believe they are a good person, if you try to convince them otherwise they will attack you and refuse to listen" - tmpz22
Everyone is a whole lot more susceptible to propaganda than anyone admits. Doctorow presents this as Klansman getting the message that Trump is their guy. Mao, Goebbels and any other obvious-baddies are perfect for making the point. By pretending like it doesn't happen TO YOU, you'll accept that it can possibly happen to humans (that are not you).
But it happens to everybody, all the time.
The only propaganda we notice is the stuff that is so far from targeting us we see it's comically incongruity. But propaganda isn't meant for the hard sell. Propaganda doesn't change your mind. Propaganda gets you to cross the threshold and do something you were already positioned to do, by giving you meaning for doing it.
There is a line of criticism I see often that goes something like this "$thing is convincing people $bad_idea." (Sorry for the vague way of presenting this, but I can't abstract it more clearly.)
I take that criticism and see the natural next step as reducing the amount of influence that $thing has over people in specific, and in general give them the tools to evaluate unfounded ideas and manipulation. I find this conclusion blindingly obvious, and is where I depart from would-be political allies who conclude with the same obviousness: "lets re-engineer $thing to manipulatively spread $good_idea."
Absolutely hilarious that all it took was one anonymous comment to "convince" you of this despite the fact that you hoped you were wrong. This thread made me lol so thanks for that.
Read the rest of the article, it kinda goes there.
Don’t underestimate it.
Essentially, gaslighting you. Gaslighting the whole society, in fact.
If Cambridge Analytica and the people who employed them were at all effective, it was because they identified personality traits that some voters have and spoke to them about things they were concerned about.
What really motivated Trump supporters was a message that there is an epidemic of illegal immigration which rule-followers view as lawlessness and rule-breaking. Obviously, in their minds, this is caused by innumerate, one-world leftists who care nothing about cultural dissolution because they have no culture and observe no traditions themselves, and love moral hazard as long as they're not the ones paying.
This is a bit silly, of course, but calling people bastards isn't going to convince this group to Vote Democrat next time around.
(1) Sadly, yes. However, racism shouldn't really have won the election as it isn't a majority viewpoint.
(2) Even if racists are allowed to vote, there is a limit to the racism that you can put into public policy, at least with a simple majority.
(3) A democracy is actually allowed, and even required, to defend itself against certain types of ideas, for example fascism. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streitbare_Demokratie https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance
Right now the left and the right are aligned in their loathing of Facebook -- but every time the message "Facebook helped Trump get elected because his supporters are racists and easily manipulated" is parrotted it serves to encourage them to take the opposing side to defend themselves and claim Facebook's tactics are being overblown. They'll never defend Zuck, but they will fight against clamping down on tech companies in the name of defending capitalism and American jobs (and, without saying so, as a way to assert they were not manipulated and resent being called racists.)
I would add to that his infamous “god and guns” speech, and his behavior in the primaries, including his shameful dance around the Jeremiah Wright issue.
Did his Facebook ads specifically take advantage of the fact that he was black? Did his ad campaign benefit from inflaming racial divisions?
To be fair, advertising from the trump campaign may not have played on racial tensions either. The thing people are upset about is the russian interference. The russians bought ads and made posts that clearly stoked tensions, and Facebook was negligent in preventing this.
That was not the claim. The claim was that he "harvested" racial tensions. And of course he did.
Blacks were 19% more likely to vote for Obama because he was black and 2% less likely. Whites were 5% more likely to vote for Obama because he was black and 6% less likely.
Obama ended up with near-unanimous support from the black vote in the primaries, beating Hillary.
I think the result was largely in support of pushing back against the ideas of political correctness. I know many fine people who voted and support Trump. It isn't that they are racist, bigoted, etc. It's that they believe our country was spiraling into a state where you couldn't be, and that was too much an affront to free speech. (For example, wanting to secure our borders so that your own children born here would have a better chance at finding a job was becoming "racist")
The Trump campaign, on the other hand, struck me as trying to put down the others. Totally negative.
I don't think those two are equivalent.
Part of the reasons conservatives see Obama as divisive is because conservatives tend to believe that most wealth in America is earned through hard work and sacrifice, and many believe that they can better their own financial means through these things. So even for those that aren't at the level of wealth being targeted by the politicians, this language is negative and divisive to conservatives in general because it instills a deep sense of unfairness and mistrust by targeting those who "earned" their wealth and painting them as takers.
Ha. Citation needed.
Most wealth in America is concentrated in the hands of a small number of incredibly wealthy families. It is plainly ridiculous to suggest that someone with billions of dollars has worked harder or sacrificed proportionally more than a single mother working two jobs.
Hard and sacrifice are simply not the driving factors in wealth generation.
Re-read my post: you're yelling at a strawman. Conjecture: seeing the sequence of words "most wealth in America is earned through hard work and sacrifice" immediately blinded you to the context they were written in (namely: my observation that this is a belief of a large part of America and their actions are a logical induction from those beliefs) and you flipped the bit and went right into attack mode.
Reflect on that, and realize that this kind of blinded reaction lies at the core of why lots of things are being said but no actual communication is occurring between people around these subjects.
edit: I'd also like to suggest that uncritically parroting false assertations like the one you posted is a poor way to advance discourse.
The place that I think we might disagree is in the value of neutrally presenting positions in the way that you did. Have you ever listened to an NPR piece on climate change? NPR tries very hard (too hard, in my opinion) to present "both sides" of an argument. The impact is that they tend to do something like, "today we have a leading scientist, and Joe who works in the local coal mine." Joe's opinion is simply not as valuable as the leading scientist, and by uncritically presenting them as equal they muddy the issue and ultimately spread disinformation. The whole "both sides" thing is just not as valuable as we tend to act like it is, in my opinion.
Yes, it is valuable to understand where people are coming from. It is more valuable to be correct.
Those who ask for citations should also give them...
Your claim is therefore either poorly worded, or unsupported by your citation.
And if I'm going to complain about your lack of citation, I should give one. Wikipedia (yeah, I know) says in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth_inequality_in_the_Unite... that "Currently, the richest 1% hold about 38% of all privately held wealth in the United States." That's a lot, but it's not enough to make "most wealth in America is concentrated in the hands of a small number of incredibly wealthy families" accurate.
You are correct that comparing the top 1% to the bottom 90% is mildly hard to reason about due to leaving out the 2nd through 9th percentile, but I feel like the overall point stands. (Well, and in general, I think it's pretty clear that hard work and sacrifice simply do not usually result in wealth. That was my original point.)
In the absence of hard data, I would accept that 5% of the country is a reasonable guess as to the who controls 51% of the wealth.
(Edited: I didn't realize this wasn't the original poster I replied to.)
Media company with built-in social proof.
He is insulting large swathes of reasonable non-racist voters, who chose Trump as a protest to the status quo. They looked at Hillary, and saw four more years of kowtowing to corporate interests, and ignoring working class voters. They saw crappy jobs replacing the jobs they'd had before the recession. They saw that no bankers went to prison. They saw the Democrats' shoddy treatment of Sanders, and figured the Dems needed a spanking.
That's why we're stuck with this self-promoting windbag: not because voters are stupid, but because they made a rational decision, and chose a clown over a corporate crony.
This is one part of the protest voting that's consistently left out, but I think is more important than people realize.
Trump and Sanders had one thing in common: They didn't pander to corporations, though for different reasons. Sanders wanted to get that money out of politics, and Trump had no use for their donations. After Sanders was out of the running, the mixture of how he was treated and the DNC having chosen the corporate candidate led quite a few in my circles to vote Trump specifically in protest.
1) Facebook made easy to find the "latent Klansman" in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
2) There are large swaths of working class white people in the middle of the country unhappy with how their economic prospects have been trending in the last 10 years.
>We created a stereotyping scale which measures views like believing people of color are more violent or lazier than whites, but it was not included in our final models because it did not predict voting behavior.
Let's just ignore the thing that disproves our premise.
The lousy job market cost Hillary the presidency too.
Trump is a protest candidate. His supporters are not knuckle-dragging troglodytes who crawled to the voting booth, drooled on the voting machine, and grunted "make America great again!". They are rational beings, who looked back at Obama's presidency, and were not impressed.
Yes, employment improved during Obama's tenure, but new jobs have been low-paying and low-status. No bankers went to prison. The corporate-friendly policies of the Obama era didn't earn him friends in the working class. And Hillary promised more of the same.
Targeted advertising can prod racists to vote, as the OP suggests, but that only works if the non-racist voting majority feels some hope.
The Leave campaign broke funding rules; took money from the Russians; and ran a campaign that is widely recognised to have contained a range of misinformation from deliberate lies to heavily spun info.
Remain's campaign was only piss-poor.
You may not agree, but it shouldn't be mindblowing that reasonable people hold this view.
As an American you have presumably been affected by eg GDPR and should therefore recognise this is not true.
Leaving the EU means we have removed ourselves from that decision making process. We will still be affected by any decisions they make.
For some reason people read a couple of articles and become experts on really complicated, multi faceted, non deterministic systems and decide to expound their opinions on those around them.
The same as the author, I have serious problems believing this but it has become a common place now even in mainstream media.
In a way, I worry more about this, than about the others dangers that we can read in the article (I agree with those also).
It seems that, now, whenever people vote for somebody or something that they are not "suppose" to vote, they have been "manipulated" and it's the fault of Russian bots.
I'm not saying that, like always, there are not forces in play trying to move things their way, but I find worrisome how easily that narrative is accepted. It's a kind of mainstream paranoia conspiracy or, maybe, a too convenient excuse for not finding the real reasons why people feel disgruntled.
But it's insidious precisely because of this Patomkin-effect: it makes it unclear how many real supporters the issue has, and it gives an easy cop-out for people who would be otherwise responsible for their own defeat.
In a way, it becomes a scapegoat that can unite friend and foe.
(Although I think Doctorow is steering clear from the very stupid interpretation of this effect)
More like a quarter-truth that allow to forget the other three quarters.
Economic policies dismantle the welfare state in the U.K. but the people vote Brexit because some adds.
Part of the population in the USA is left economically behind but the reason Trump is elected is because some Facebook advertisements.
One thousand years of history but part of the Catalan people search independence from Spain because the 'Russian bots'.
The economy is not working but people is sceptic about the European Union 'because Internet'.
And you heard all that in mainstream media and in the mouths or politics.
It seems to me that happy people don't vote revolutions, never mind the advertisements. It's when people is angry or scared that they search for "strong leaders" and "guilty parties".
And they are used, I think, like a distraction, instead of looking into the real issues.
>>> Facebook isn’t a mind-control ray.
Cory is fine but here, he's wrong. FaceBook is a mind control tool. It is a mind control because when you send it some information, you know that friends, facebook employees, facebook algorithm, potentially marketeers, potentially state agencies, etc. will read read it. So you inflict yourself some degree of censorship. You basically alter your behaviour. So, in a sense, it is a mind control machine.
"The media doesn't tell you what to think, it tells you what to think about"
In that context, "The media doesn't tell you what to think, it tells you what to think about" is meant to be taken as "The media doesn't control how you think, but it defines the discussion." I think this is just a case where an author decided for alliteration over clarity. Sometimes that's a useful path, as alliteration can help phrases stick in the social consciousness. In this case it's just confusing.
The better Facebook can convince you to take an action, the more value its platform has. The Darwinism of the ad industry meant that the top ad-tech companies were eventually going to be really, really good at changing people's behavior.
Those tools are just media and offer you visibility to a certain degree.
And of course you adapt your presentation style to reach a specific audience.
And in a way: Spot on!
Is it really that hard to believe that people voted for something you don’t like because they think you’re wrong and not because they were brainwashed?
This is where the argument collapses. It's well known that the right-wing have carefully and diligently constructed their own parallel reality . There are endless right-wing news sites, blogs, and forums that tirelessly aggregate these people and pump them full of propaganda . Facebook here is acting, at best, as a viral multiplier. Even if Facebook were to disappear tomorrow there are a plethora of sites ready to leap in at a moment's notice. Facebook's disappearance would not degrade the propaganda effort. Heck, there's always email.
Cory doesn't have the courage to say it but his real issue must be with the internet as a whole. Propaganda is the internet's real killer app. You can see just how nicely this works: propaganda relies completely on repetition and copying . And what is the one thing the internet does better than anything else?
It may feel good to blame Facebook but this will ultimately accomplish nothing. Propagandists will literally build their own social networking sites if Facebook goes away. The sort of people who obsess over immigration aren't going to simply log off. They are connected now and there are plenty of people out there eager to connect with these people and validate their most elaborate paranoid fantasies. Where there is demand, there will be supply.
(I should note that I'm genuinely not being an ass, I'm just trying to figure out your level of experience with the platform. My education is in marketing, I've run many campaigns across many platforms, yet I have never found a tool anywhere that lets me target ads the way Facebook does.)
Ironically an extremely tech-UNsavvy young woman I know makes sure to minimize her usage of these services (never had FB, instagram etc.) and is actually quite protective of her data.
(Proceeds to inject his political agenda that, while it has many truths, is written in a way that will completely alienate anyone not far-left)
Why? Because too often, each side tries to paint the other as the center of all evil. And people of both sides get really tired of being painted that way. They tune out very quickly when they run into something that paints them that way. So if you want both sides to hear you, you have to not shoot only at one side.
> Sorry, but this one is on the hard right. Don't tune out. Own it. Live it. Take some responsibility for it.
First of all, I'm not part of the hard right, so no, I don't own it, nor do I take some responsibility for it. I lean right, but not hard right or alt right or racist right, and I didn't vote for Trump. Don't tar me with this mess.
Second, though, how is Trump being authoritarian? Well, he's acting through executive orders rather than through Congress. Who else did that? Obama. Now, Obama was more competent and more sane than Trump, but did that make Obama less authoritarian? Or just a better authoritarian? One who was authoritarian in directions that were more to your liking?
You may raise the issue of deporting immigrants. Who else did that? Obama did it in large numbers. But people screamed much less. Why? Because Obama was their guy.
Don't paint the problems as all on one side. They're not.
It is a kind of "left" that maybe front some social issues (in particular gender as of late) but that can't bring themselves to really question the way things work on a really deep level.
The kind of left that would not know a industrial or service job if it landed on their head.
Looking over the wikipedia article on him, Doctorow may well be described as a professional activist.