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[flagged] How Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, Brexit funders, and others broke the law (threader.app)
46 points by mariedm 11 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 30 comments





Am I the only one that hates reading what's essentially a full-fledged story via tweet-sized chunks that are smashed together?

I get that Twitter is great for blasting small pieces of content into the world, but stitching tweets together into a a news story creates zero cohesion because Twitter doesn't allow users to write with form in mind.


I found it very hard to read - especially as they seem to have made scrolling slower. On the flip side, I am thankful every paragraph links to the original tweet.

Hi, creator of Threader here, can you tell me on what device/config you have the scroll issue?

I was so very confused! It seems like the website gathers all the tweets and turns them into an article. I was confused why the starting of the article was so odd. It’s ok to share information through twitter but don’t write an article out of the tweets please.

No, but it seems slightly ridiculous to complain about cosmetic things, given the message behind the structure of the piece.

I'm almost not able to parse it at all.

An article or even a blog post usually aims to prove a point, and it is structured to introduce the issue, make the author's point and give some conclusions.

In this case the effort is all on part of the reader, to piece togheter what is the actual point being made, it's really not a "cosmetic thing".



It's horrible. It's literally unreadable. The first "sentence":

> that's interesting news: Aleksandr Kogan refused to be interviewed by ICO Commissioner Denham's investigation. Yes, same Kogan who allegedly with his equal partner, Joseph Chancellor, harvested 80+ million Facebook records and sold tens of millions to SCL/Cambridge Analytica.

What's the ICO Commissioner's investigation? What's the ICO? Obviously I have the Google available to search, but this "Twitter as Journalism" needs to stop.


In the UK, where this tweetstorm was targeted, the ICO is well known - just like in the USA it is commonly understood what the IRS is.

> We are at a crossroads. Trust and confidence in the integrity of our democratic processes risks being disrupted because the average person has little idea of what is going on behind the scenes. ... This must change.

Funny, I would have thought that it would be the integrity of our democratic processes that must change, and that trust and confidence in it were secondary effects.

Also it seems overly optimistic to think that when the average person has a better idea of what is going on behind the scenes that their trust and confidence in the process would _improve_.


In case anyone would prefer to look at it the original format: https://twitter.com/jason_kint/status/1059758943474454528

Democracy=when the voting results are in line with my vote. Populism=when they are not.

They also investigated the Brexit Remain campaign. I don't think anyone has clean hands in this.

The question is what do you do when someone is found to have cheated on their campaign funding? You can fine them, throw them in jail, but what happens to the referendum result? If you don't have a do-over, people will learn there's not really a consequence. If you do, a lot of people who legitimately voted will be annoyed.

Other people will be annoyed if you don't, there is no solution that pleases everybody or even a majority.

What if both sides were funded? Do you think people can't think for themselves?

That’s a bad way of phrasing it. Democracy requires a well-informed electorate to function. If the electorate is badly informed or misinformed then it doesn’t function as a democracy, but as a (Propaganda-ocracy?). The complexity of the world that leads to economic specialisation also precludes informed decision making by a conventional electorate. I don’t have a solution to this yet. I don’t even know if there is a solution — I’ve heard that humanity has swung from democracy to aristocracy and back over the ages for this exact reason, but the very specialisation that has me concerned is also making me unsure about that.

One of the modifications of democracy we discussed in A-level philosophy was getting one vote for existing, another for having a degree, another for being a parent, etc.


So only propaganda peddled by the state is valid? These days every outlet has an agenda and blocking one just because it is coming from Russia is a false economy. Either block all propaganda or none and let people figure out the truth.

By what chain of reasoning did you go from what I wrote to that response?

Of course state propaganda is as invalid as anyone else’s! And all states equally, too!

Neither attempting to block nor failing to block solves the problem of discovering what the truth is. The former because it presupposes you already know the answer, the latter because it’s trivial to algorithmically create endless variations and combinations of lies and truths so that there literally isn’t enough time to decide what to believe.

Even intelligence agencies fall for fabrications. What hope do the rest of us have?


>Do you think people can't think for themselves?

I think they can.

They largely don't however, otherwise advertising wouldn't be such a successful industry.


That's why democracy is legal so that government can push their views through licensed media and people will vote accordingly.

> Do you think people can't think for themselves?

No, of course they can't. Is it not generally the case that most people do not know anything about the basic facts of how their country is governed? And roughly the history of the place? Isn't it the case that most people don't bother with following politics most of the time?


Has the remain campaign been referred to the police for breaking the law?

From the ICO Report:

>> During the course of our investigation, we obtained information that the Liberal Democrats had sold the personal data of its party members to BSiE [Britain Stronger in Europe] for approximately £100,000.

>>Both the Liberal Democrats and Open Britain denied that party members’ personal data had been sold. Instead, both confirmed that the In Campaign bought Electoral Register information from the Liberal Democrats.

>>We are still looking at how the Remain side of the referendum campaign handled personal data, including the electoral roll, and will be considering whether there are any breaches of data protection or electoral law requiring further action.


So, no then?

It's "not yet", not "never will".

Unfounded, unsupported whataboutism to muddy the waters.

From a throwaway account, lol.

Page 54 in the report from the ICO: https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-taken/reports/2260277/i...


My "throwaway" account is 5 years old and has 2500+ karma.

Your link confirms my statement. In 64 pages there is one section about Remain with the mild statement, "We are still looking at how the Remain side of the referendum campaign handled personal data, including the electoral roll, and will be considering whether there are any breaches of data protection or electoral law requiring further action."... That is a very mild statement, and the rest of the 98% of the document is about much more serious Leave investigations.

You are conflating their findings that there was a coordinated effort with law-breaking activities in the Leave campaign, with ongoing investigations and crimes, with the Remain campaign, where they are looking at whether much more minor to clean up and analyze data that was 100% legally acquired didn't violate privacy agreements.

There is no equivalence whatsoever.


It means they are being investigated on the basis of the LibDems selling them their data, and the other shoe hasn't dropped yet.



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