Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Facebook Fortunes Fall

In July 2011 I wrote an article in my blog titled Exposing a Facebook Failure  outlining the flaws of fake company accounts.   In August 2012, I wrote another article Facebook Fake, Google Real; Social Networth about the lack of value in the social network Facebook. 

Lots of suckers believed Facebook had the most valuable information on a social network.   Also, the people trying to make money from Facebook's data are going to be disappointed too.   Google on the other hand is steadily increasing in stock market value.  It may have something to do with "like" enforcing principles of "like" integrity and honesty.   :)  
http://blog.iamerika.com/2012/08/facebook-fake-google-real.html, Accessed 4/26/2018

Infact informed consent has been an issue with Facebook for many years, as demonstrated in the legal courts with the following testimony.

The words "Sponsored Story" do not appear at all in the Terms of Use/Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, and the entire topic of permission to use the name profile, and picture in advertising is relegated to two sentences buried in the middle of a 7-page document. The user is told that they can use the Privacy Settings to limit how their name and picture will be used with advertising, but the user is not allowed to actually see that Privacy Settings page until they have signed up and thereby accepted all the terms. This is hardly an example of "Informed Consent."
David TABER, Farley vs. Facebook, Case3:11-cv-01726-RS, Document287-9, Filed 01/02/13
http://blog.iamerika.com/2012/08/facebook-fake-google-real.html, Accessed 4/26/2018

Another case of uninformed consent was proven on 11 April 2018 when Nick Cubrilovic notices that Facebook cookies are storing data between log in sessions.  Not only does Facebook track you after clicking the like button, or use the pixel tool, but they are also gathering data from the Messenger App, taking names, phone numbers, photos, and other sources of content.

Shadow profiles are friends’ full address book from their phones, photos and other data sources, hardly informed consent from the 2,700-word data policy.

Nik Cubrilovic first discovered that Facebook was apparently tracking users’ web browsing after they logged off in 2011. That explains why you see ads for products and services you have already been looking at online appear in your Facebook feed.

On 22 May 2018 Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Capitol Hill and 43 times he couldn't answer a question but promised to follow up.  Senator Dianne Feinstein asked him how many fake accounts Facebook has removed.
A Comprehensive List Everything Mark Zuckerberg Will Follow Up On, https://www.wired.com/story/mark-zuckerberg-will-follow-up/, Accessed 6/12/2018

Mr Zuckerberg ...said his firm removed "580m fake accounts" earlier this year.
Mark Zuckerberg asked about Ronan Hughes case, http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-44216808, Accessed 5/24/2018

In addition to gathering data, Facebook polices free speech on their social network with paid intervention providers.
Facebook employed 11 "intervention providers" - either former extremists, survivors of terrorism or trained counsellors, who were paid £25 per hour for eight hours' work a week.
Facebook Messenger used to fight extremism, http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-43170837, Accessed 4/26/2018

In April 2018 Facebook revealed their anti-terrorism unit.  This is Orwellian, or a political system in which the government tries to control every part of people's lives.  Governments are demanding access and control over users accounts.

Zuckerberg’s biggest talking points about security is that Facebook is hard at work on AI-powered tools ... for its anti-terrorism unit, which he says catches 99 percent of terrorist-related content immediately.
A normal person's guide to this week's Facebook Congressional testimony, https://www.popsci.com/facebook-testimony-guide#page-6, accessed 5/16/2018

A solution to catching revenge porn, pornography, and terrorist related activities is to improve the artificial intelligence software as the security gate.

Word Mark ONNX
Serial Number 87725026
Filing Date December 18, 2017
IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: Artificial intelligence software; application programming interface (API) for use in developing AI (artificial intelligence) software; software for converting natural language into machine-executable commands; software for facilitating interaction and communication between humans and machines. FIRST USE: 20170907. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20170907
USPTO, http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4806%3Ak0tih6.2.6, accessed 5/16/2018

The first use of the AI tools was too obtrusive.  On 27 September 2017 one user remarked on the removal of his account based on a newsworthy image.
Facebook said my post's image of a violent FBI raid 'incorrectly triggered our automation tools.' But it wasn't the first time an iconic image vanished.
...the 1972 photo of a young Vietnamese girl running naked after a plane dropped napalm on her village.
Facebook censored me. Criticize your government and it might censor you too., https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/10/27/facebook-censored-cross-your-countrys-government-and-they-might-censor-you-too-james-bovard-column/795271001/, accessed 5/16/2018

With regards to the 1972 Vietnamese photo, Facebook complies with foreign governments on what they believe, not what they can prove invalid, but what they call "inaccurate statements".
While Facebook said its policies in Vietnam have not changed, and it has a consistent process for governments to report illegal content, the Vietnamese government was specific. The social network, they have said, had agreed to help create a new communications channel with the government to prioritize Hanoi’s requests and remove what the regime considered inaccurate posts about senior leaders.

Around 27 October 2017 Facebook revealed that it often complies with U.S. and foreign government requests.  Most request are to remove political activists, but many are activists that may influence  others enough to make economic changes.
In Turkey, India, Pakistan and Morocco, Facebook routinely suppresses comments from regime opponents. Facebook cooperates closely with the Israeli government and "Palestinian groups are blocked so often that they have their own hashtag, #FbCensorsPalestine." Even in the United States, tech giants are facing heightened scrutiny from the government. Facebook recently cooperated with investigators for Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the American presidential election. In recent weeks, politicians on the left and the right have also spoken out about the excess power of America’s largest tech companies.

As nations try to grab back power online, a clash is brewing between governments and companies. Some of the biggest companies in the world — Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Alibaba among them — are finding they need to play by an entirely new set of rules on the once-anarchic internet.

During the European Parliament testimonials on 22 May 2018, Facebook was heavily criticized.
Guy Verhofstadt MEP had asked Mr Zuckerberg if he wanted to be remembered as "the genius who created a digital monster", which the Facebook boss did not answer.
Zuckerberg's European Parliament testimony criticised, http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-44210800?, accessed 5/24/2018

On 11 April 2018 Zuckerberg reiterated his power with these governments and control over those users that are determined to be spreading "misinformation."
"It’s not enough to just connect people, we have to make sure those connections are positive," Mr. Zuckerberg said in one of his more impassioned moments. "It’s not enough to just give people a voice, we have to make sure people aren’t using it to hurt people or spread misinformation. It’s not enough to give people control of their information, we have to make sure developers they’ve given it to are protecting it too."
Mr. Zuckerberg paused and said Facebook needs to do more to police certain types of content. He also reiterated his belief in the importance of artificial intelligence. "The sheer volume of content on Facebook means no amount of people can vet all content on Facebook," Mr. Zuckerberg said.
In Facebook Hearings, Lawmakers Ramp Up Talk of Regulation, https://www.wsj.com/articles/congressional-hearing-on-facebook-turns-up-heat-on-mark-zuckerberg-1523464332, accessed 5/16/18

On top of the data scandal of the largest social network, Cambridge University academic publicly denounced the value of Facebook on 24 April 2018.
There is a huge spectrum of opinion on the value of the Facebook data that Cambridge University academic Aleksandr Kogan gave to Cambridge Analytica's parent company, SCL.
Dr Kogan told a parliamentary committee: "Given what we know now, nothing, literally nothing - the idea that this data is accurate I would say is scientifically ridiculous."
Also, Dr Kogan argues that trying to assess the personality of an individual gives too large a margin of error so the predictions are reliable only if you're taking averages across larger groups. But looking at larger groups may be helpful during an election, when you might be trying to decide where to buy advertising on local radio or where to hold an election rally, for example.
Reality Check: Was Facebook data's value 'literally nothing'?, http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-43502366, Accessed 4/26/2018

Finally on 19 April 2018  Rolling Stone published an article calling Facebook an Orwellian Surveillance megavillian.  Even their mention of a tossed off hook up site is a parody of their next venture to turn Facebook into a dating application.

(Facebook is a) tossed-off hookup site turned international cat-video vault turned Orwellian surveillance megavillain.
We “make sure the news people see, while less overall, is high quality.” Mosseri, who’s been with the company since its earlier days, tells Rolling Stone that Facebook’s original developers never imagined being in the position the firm is in now.
“I don’t think anyone foresaw the scale that we got to,” Mosseri admits.

Zuckerberg, on his profile in the days of “thefacebook.com,” even listed himself as “Enemy of the State.”
TAIBBI M. THE FACEBOOK MENACE. Rolling Stone [serial online]. April 19, 2018;(1311/1312):42. Available from: MasterFILE Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed May 24, 2018.

Perhaps I was the only one that foresaw the failure of Facebook when I exposed it.  It was obvious at the time and it is evident now. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Domestic Terrorism Act Threatens Publishers

Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act

Publish any videos online of farm conditions taken as part of undercover animal activist operations is a felony punishable by years in prison.

The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), co-sponsored in the Senate by Senators Inhofe and Feinstein, was drafted with technical assistance from counter-terror experts at the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

Silencing activists began long ago but in 1988 a significant document from the American Medical Association ("AMA") titled "Animal Research Action Plan" was leaked to the animal rights organization PETA. The document recommended that "the animal activist movement must be shown to be not only anti-science but also a) responsible for violent and illegal acts that endanger life and property and b) a threat to the public's freedom of choice."
The Monkey Wars, By Deborah Blum,  Page 145 - Google Books, https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0198025408, accessed 2/13/2018

Fran Trutt an animal rights supporter, on November 11, 1988, after she placed a pipe bomb at U.S. Surgical's headquarters."' Trutt was charged with attempted murder." U.S. Surgical was quick to condemn the act as "an example of growing fanaticism in the animal-rights movement."'
Hill, Michael. "United States V. Fullmer and the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act: 'True Threats' to Advocacy." Case Western Reserve Law Review, no. 3, 2011, p. 981.

 43. Force, violence, and threats involving animal enterprises
(a) OFFENSE.—Whoever travels in interstate or foreign commerce, or uses or causes to be used the mail or any facility of interstate or foreign commerce—
(1) for the purpose of damaging or interfering with the operations of an animal enterprise; and

Some courts have concluded that the term "interfere" is incapable of being limited to a time, place, and manner restriction and it is, therefore, necessarily overbroad. Either way, AETA violates the First Amendment over breadth doctrine.

(2) in connection with such purpose—
(A) intentionally damages or causes the loss of any real or personal property (including animals or records) used by animal enterprise...
(B) intentionally places a person in reasonable fear...
(C) conspires or attempts to do so; shall be punished ...

This "terrorism" law is violated if one "intentionally damages or causes the loss of any real or personal property (including animals or records) used by an animal enterprise … for the purpose of damaging or interfering with" its operations. If you do that — and note that only "damage to property" but not to humans is required — then you are guilty of "domestic terrorism" under the law.

AETA's failure to define "real or personal property" means that under well settled judicial decisions it includes good will and reduced profits. Under the plain language of the statute, an individual who videotapes or even attempts to videotape the inside of an animal enterprise for the purpose of disclosing the information to the public violates its provisions.

When an undercover activist gained access to a slaughterhouse in 2008 and videotaped footage of cows going into the kill lot so sick that they could not stand, footage which led to the recall of 143 million pounds of meat, the largest in American history, there were concerns over whether the activist would be prosecuted.

Video image credit: https://www.yahoo.com/news/bills-seek-end-farm-animal-abuse-videos-181902626.html

(b) PENALTIES.—The punishment for a violation of section (a) or an attempt or conspiracy to violate subsection (a) shall be—
(1) a fine under this title or imprisonment not more than 1 year, or both, if the offense does not instill in another the reasonable fear of serious bodily injury or death and...
(2) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or both, if no bodily injury occurs and...
(3) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both, if...
(4) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 20 years, or both, if...
(5) imprisonment for life or for any terms of years, a fine under this title, or both, if the offense results in death of another individual

On January 18, 2018 two boys were charged with agricultural animal facilities offences for killing half a million bees at the Wild Hill Honey farm in Sioux City. They face up to 10 years in prison, fines of up to $10,000 and a felony record for life.

RESTITUTION.—An order of restitution under section 3663 of this title with respect to a violation of this section may also include restitution—
(1) for the reasonable cost of repeating any experimentation that was interrupted or invalidated as a result of the offense;
(2) for the loss of food production or farm income reasonably attributable to the offense; and
(3) for any other economic damage, including any losses or costs caused by economic disruption, resulting from the offense.

Free communication of thoughts and opinions is one of the invaluable rights of man, and every citizen may freely speak, write and print on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty (John Marshall Harlan II, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States).

In conclusion AETA's vagueness creates the appearance of infringement and the threat of prosecution has the potential to silence debate on a wide range of important public issues.  Anyone that supports animal rights activists with the intent to reveal abuse, exploitation, and the torture of animals used as commodities in agribusiness is a domestic terrorist