Social media

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Abhibhushan
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Social media

Postby Abhibhushan » 23 Jul 2019 10:49

I got this mail by WhatsApp. I am sharing it on BRF because I feel that it should be read, be thought-about and be discussed. It is scary.

https://singjupost.com/facebooks-role-in-brexit-the-threat-to-democracy-carole-cadwalladr-transcript/

ramana
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Re: Social media

Postby ramana » 24 Jul 2019 02:58

Abhibhushan wrote:I got this mail by WhatsApp. I am sharing it on BRF because I feel that it should be read, be thought-about and be discussed. It is scary.

https://singjupost.com/facebooks-role-in-brexit-the-threat-to-democracy-carole-cadwalladr-transcript/



I am going to post the text for discussion.



Facebook’s Role in Brexit & The Threat to Democracy: Carole Cadwalladr (Transcript)
Education / By Pangambam S / June 16, 2019 8:13 am

In this TED2019 talk, British investigative journalist Carole Cadwalladr digs into one of the most perplexing events in recent times: the UK’s super-close 2016 vote to leave the European Union.

Following is the full text of the presentation talk in Vancouver.

Carole Cadwalladr – TED Talk TRANSCRIPT

So, on the day after the Brexit vote, in June 2016, when Britain woke up to the shock of discovering that we’re leaving the European Union, my editor at the “Observer” newspaper in the UK asked me to go back to South Wales, where I grew up, and to write a report.

And so I went to a town called Ebbw Vale. Here it is. It’s in the South Wales Valleys, which is this quite special place. So it’s had this very, sort of rich, working-class culture, and it’s famous for its Welsh male voice choirs and rugby and its coal.

But when I was a teenager, the coal mines and the steelworks closed, and the entire area was devastated. And I went there because it had one of the highest “Leave” votes in the country. Sixty-two percent of the people here voted to leave the European Union.
And I wanted to know why.

When I got there, I was just a bit taken aback, because the last time I went to Ebbw Vale, it looked like this.

And now, it looks like this. This is a new 33-million-pound college of further education that was mostly funded by the European Union. And this is the new sports center that’s at the middle of 350-million-pound regeneration project that’s being funded by the European Union.

And this is the new 77-million-pound road-improvement scheme, and there’s a new train line, a new railway station, and they’re all being funded by the European Union. And it’s not as if any of this is a secret, because there’s big signs like this everywhere.

[EU Funds: Investing in Wales]

I had this sort of weird sense of unreality, walking around the town. And it came to a head when I met this young man in front of the sports center.

And he told me that he had voted to leave, because the European Union had done nothing for him. He was fed up with it.

And all around town, people told me the same thing. They said that they wanted to take back control, which was one of the slogans in the campaign. And they told me that they were most fed up with the immigrants and with the refugees. They’d had enough. Which was odd.

Because walking around, I didn’t meet any immigrants or refugees. I met one Polish woman who told me she was practically the only foreigner in town. And when I checked the figures, I discovered that Ebbw Vale actually has one of the lowest rates of immigration in the country.

And so I was just a bit baffled, because I couldn’t really understand where people were getting their information from. Because it was the right-wing tabloid newspapers which printed all these stories about immigration. And this is a very much left-wing Labour stronghold.

But then after the article came out, this woman got in touch with me. And she was from Ebbw Vale, and she told me about all this stuff that she’d seen on Facebook. I was like, “What stuff?”

And she said it was all this quite scary stuff about immigration, and especially about Turkey. So I tried to find it. But there was nothing there.

Because there’s no archive of ads that people had seen or what had been pushed into their news feeds. No trace of anything, gone completely dark.

And this referendum that will have this profound effect forever on Britain — it’s already had a profound effect: the Japanese car manufacturers that came to Wales and the north east to replace the mining jobs — they are already going because of Brexit.

And this entire referendum took place in darkness, because it took place on Facebook.

And what happens on Facebook stays on Facebook, because only you see your news feed, and then it vanishes, so it’s impossible to research anything. So we have no idea who saw what ads or what impact they had, or what data was used to target these people.

Or even who placed the ads, or how much money was spent, or even what nationality they were. But Facebook does.


Facebook has these answers, and it’s refused to give them to us.
Our parliament has asked Mark Zuckerberg multiple times to come to Britain and to give us these answers. And every single time, he’s refused. And you have to wonder why.

Because what I and other journalists have uncovered is that multiple crimes took place during the referendum. And they took place on Facebook. It’s because in Britain, we limit the amount of money that you can spend in an election. And it’s because in the 19th century, people would walk around with literally wheelbarrows of cash and just buy voters.

So we passed these strict laws to stop that from happening. But those laws don’t work anymore. This referendum took place almost entirely online. And you can spend any amount of money on Facebook or on Google or on YouTube ads and nobody will know, because they’re black boxes. And this is what happened.

We’ve actually got no idea of the full extent of it. But we do know that in the last days before the Brexit vote, the official “Vote Leave” campaign laundered nearly three quarters of a million pounds through another campaign entity that our electoral commission has ruled was illegal, and it’s referred it to the police.

And with this illegal cash, “Vote Leave” unleashed a fire hose of disinformation. Ads like this.

[Turkey’s 76 million people joining the EU]

This is a lie, it’s a total lie. Turkey is not joining the European Union. There’s not even any discussions of it joining the European Union. And most of us, we never saw these ads, because we were not the target of them.

“Vote Leave” identified a tiny sliver of people who it identified as persuadable, and they saw them. And the only reason we are seeing these now is because parliament forced Facebook to hand them over.

And maybe you think, “Well, it was just a bit of overspending. It’s a few lies.”

But this was the biggest electoral fraud in Britain for 100 years. In a once-in-a-generation vote that hinged upon just one percent of the electorate. And it was just one of the crimes that took place in the referendum.

There was another group, which was headed by this man, Nigel Farage, the one to the right of Trump. And his group, “Leave.EU” — it also broke the law. It broke British electoral laws and British data laws, and it’s also being referred to the police.

And this man, Arron Banks, he funded this campaign. And in a completely separate case, he’s being referred to our National Crime Agency, our equivalent of the FBI, because our electoral commission has concluded they don’t know where his money came from. Or if it was even British.

And I’m not even going to go into the lies that Arron Banks has told about his covert relationship with the Russian government. Or the weird timing of Nigel Farage’s meetings with Julian Assange and with Trump’s buddy, Roger Stone, now indicted, immediately before two massive WikiLeaks dumps, both of which happened to benefit Donald Trump.

But I will tell you that Brexit and Trump were intimately entwined. This man told me that Brexit was the petri dish for Trump. And we know it’s the same people, the same companies, the same data, the same techniques, the same use of hate and fear. This is what they were posting on Facebook.

And I don’t even want to call this a lie, [Immigration without assimilation equals invasion] because it feels more like a hate crime to me.

I don’t have to tell you that hate and fear are being sown online all across the world. Not just in Britain and America, but in France and in Hungary and Brazil and Myanmar and New Zealand. And we know there is this dark undertow which is connecting us all globally.

And it is flowing via the technology platforms. But we only see a tiny amount of what’s going on on the surface. And I only found out anything about this dark underbelly because I started looking into Trump’s relationship to Farage, into a company called Cambridge Analytica.

And I spent months tracking down an ex-employee, Christopher Wiley. And he told me how this company, that worked for both Trump and Brexit, had profiled people politically in order to understand their individual fears, to better target them with Facebook ads. And it did this by illicitly harvesting the profiles of 87 million people from Facebook.
ALSO READ: Why We Can't Fix Our Healthcare System: Ayesha Khalid at TEDxBeaconStreet (Transcript)

It took an entire year’s work to get Christopher on the record. And I had to turn myself from a feature writer into an investigative reporter to do it. And he was extraordinarily brave, because the company is owned by Robert Mercer, the billionaire who bankrolled Trump, and he threatened to sue us multiple times, to stop us from publishing.

But we finally got there, and we were one day ahead of publication. We got another legal threat. Not from Cambridge Analytica this time, but from Facebook. It told us that if we publish, they would sue us. We did it anyway.

Facebook, you were on the wrong side of history in that. And you were on the wrong side of history in this — in refusing to give us the answers that we need. And that is why I am here.

To address you directly, the gods of Silicon Valley. Mark Zuckerberg…and Sheryl Sandberg and Larry Page and Sergey Brin and Jack Dorsey, and your employees and your investors, too.

Because 100 years ago, the biggest danger in the South Wales coal mines was gas. Silent and deadly and invisible. It’s why they sent the canaries down first to check the air. And in this massive, global, online experiment that we are all living through, we in Britain are the canary.

We are what happens to a western democracy when a hundred years of electoral laws are disrupted by technology. Our democracy is broken, our laws don’t work anymore, and it’s not me saying this, it’s our parliament published a report saying this.


This technology that you have invented has been amazing. But now, it’s a crime scene. And you have the evidence. And it is not enough to say that you will do better in the future.

Because to have any hope of stopping this from happening again, we have to know the truth. And maybe you think, “Well, it was just a few ads. And people are smarter than that, right?”

To which I would say, “Good luck with that.” Because what the Brexit vote demonstrates is that liberal democracy is broken. And you broke it. This is not democracy — spreading lies in darkness, paid for with illegal cash, from God knows where. It’s subversion, and you are accessories to it.

Our parliament has been the first in the world to try to hold you to account, and it’s failed. You are literally beyond the reach of British law — not just British laws, this is nine parliaments, nine countries are represented here, who Mark Zuckerberg refused to come and give evidence to.

And what you don’t seem to understand is that this is bigger than you. And it’s bigger than any of us. And it is not about left or right or “Leave” or “Remain” or Trump or not. It’s about whether it’s actually possible to have a free and fair election ever again.

Because as it stands, I don’t think it is. And so my question to you is, is this what you want? Is this how you want history to remember you: as the handmaidens to authoritarianism that is on the rise all across the world?

Because you set out to connect people. And you are refusing to acknowledge that the same technology is now driving us apart. And my question to everybody else is, is this what we want: to let them get away with it, and to sit back and play with our phones, as this darkness falls?


The history of the South Wales Valleys is of a fight for rights. And this is not a drill — it’s a point of inflection. Democracy is not guaranteed, and it is not inevitable, and we have to fight and we have to win and we cannot let these tech companies have this unchecked power.

It’s up to us — you, me and all of us. We are the ones who have to take back control.

ramana
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Re: Social media

Postby ramana » 24 Jul 2019 03:10

Abhibhushan is a leader as usual.

So Congress tried to do the same trick on India. They hired Cambridge Analytica to do micro-targeting of Indians via Whats App and FB. Twitter was too open.
At the same time NCBN created his own micro-targeting database under guise of Real Time Governance (RTG) many desi millionaires were thrilled to work for CBN creating this database. One person walked me thorough the whole process and I was shocked and asked what if this is misused for the Govt (big brother) will know everything about every household in the AP state. The person said off course they need to know that to ensure they get the benefits due to them. I said what you are doing is what Snowden was complaining about and you are essentially creating a monitoring society to keep politicians in power for ever. He had no answer. Sure enough we heard reports about how Aadahar cards were leaked and some company on contract to CBN govt based i Hyderabad i.e. out side AP govt Police control was deleting voter names of Jagan Reddy supporters and everyone was shrugging shoulders and whistling in the dark.
Micro targeting works when margins are small. And margins are small in small voter turnout.
If you note in 2019 elections the voter turnout was massive. This is the second pro-incumbent vote in India after the 1956 elections for Nehruji. And at that time there was a lot of rejigging the candidates to pick the erstwhile Raibhadur class to dropping the freedom struggle stalwarts.
So its not the same thing!

pandyan
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Re: Social media

Postby pandyan » 24 Jul 2019 18:52

Abhibhushanji - Very interesting ted talk and hits the nail on the head. She is very brave to bell the cat!

Rajeev Chandrasekhar accuses social media platforms of bias, demands law to fix accountability
https://www.financialexpress.com/india- ... y/1647443/

Algorithmic Accountability Bill: Tech entrepreneur and Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar Wednesday accused the social media platforms of using automated computer codes to violate the freedom of expression guaranteed under the Indian Constitution. Raising the issue of use of algorithms, a kind of automated software code, to filter out or amplify certain conversations, BJP’s Rajya Sabha member demanded a law to regulate the content propagation policy of these social media giants such as Twitter, Facebook, and others.


“Article 19 (1) of the Constitution protects Freedom of Expression to all citizens of this country.[b] There is trend in Social Media now about the use of Algorithm to suppress, deny, amplify, not amplify certain conversations[/b],” Rajeev Chandrasekhar said in the Rajya Sabha


The Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka accused social media platforms of hiding behind the use of algorithm or use of automated software codes whenever these tech giants receive complaints from the users.


These social media platform have also deployed automated and other methods to fight fake news, particularly during the important elections such as recently concluded Lok Sabha elections. Most of these measures are self-regulation as there is no government agency or statutory regulator to audit the process adopted by these tech giants.


The Rajya Sabha member said that these algorithms are developed and designed by humans therefore they are not immune from human biases.

Unlike European Union which has drafted and implemented an exhaustive data protection policy in form of General Data Protection Rules (GDPR), India is yet to enact a law to protect the privacy of user’s data.

Lamenting at the inadequacy of existing laws, industrialist turned politician Rajeev Chandrasekhar demanded the government to pass a law to check the problem.

He said an algorithmic accountability bill should be passed barring algorithmic discrimination on the basis of gender, caste, religion, sexual orientation, disability, etc in both the public and private sectors.
Last edited by pandyan on 24 Jul 2019 20:50, edited 1 time in total.

nandakumar
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Re: Social media

Postby nandakumar » 24 Jul 2019 20:36

There was a roundtable discussion in some American website or radio talk show about monopoly in bigtech (I can fishout the link if anyone is interested, I am speaking from memory here). The economists who participated said that it was in the very nature of digital products that monopoly is an inevitable outcome sooner or later. We saw that with operating systems. We saw it demonstrated in the phenomenon of monopoly or near monopoly in application software, search engines and so on. If we want a social media platform that too will veer around to a monopoly if these economists were to be believed. Unless we move towards a totalitarian regime such as China when we can impose a public or a private monopoly that the State can access it is difficult to see how we can avoid the phenomenon that the article is pointing out.

vishvak
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Re: Social media

Postby vishvak » 24 Jul 2019 20:46

UK is at very top of financial wealth management in the world and look what brexit has done. And here we have tukde tukde gang, BIF, outside ideological institutions, et al running around.

pandyan
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Re: Social media

Postby pandyan » 24 Jul 2019 20:56

Peter Thiel talks fairly in-depth on philosophy of modern startups in his book Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

His view is capitalism is a profit killer as it tries to level the playing field for everyone. According to him, to make money in capitalistic society/economy, you need monopolistic technology that nobody has.

He and Musk and other paypal founders are known of "paypal mafia" for their impact and success in tech. He is also founder of Palantir

UlanBatori
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Re: Social media

Postby UlanBatori » 25 Jul 2019 08:31

All said and done, the complaint is that ppl are using their brains to achieve their objectives, through means which are not (yet) illegal. it is doubtful that they can be prosecuted based on laws that did not exist.

This will become louder as "AI" applications are revealed for their effects rather than their glitz. The only way around is to be ahead of the "smart" ppl - or create laws that have broad reach based on intent **AND*** unintended effect. Of course that will chill innovation, so how to beat that?

plushyphen
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Re: Social media

Postby plushyphen » 25 Jul 2019 11:05

Kindly Pardon me saars for the simplistic views:

The borders of country, race, religion are all imagined realities that have been created in minds of people to satisfy certain fundamental requirements like security, development and overall well-being of its citizens/communities/followers. The idea of nation state is a recent one in the time scale of human evolution. The idea of a nation-state was necessary to prevent/allievate the violence and scarcity of the last 3000-odd years. The current rules of cross border trade, immigration, taxation, investment, election funding are all still hinged on this imagined reality called the nation state. The internet (along with its younger siblings e-commerce/e-banking) has successfully brought people onto a platform where the deeply-ingrained concept of nation-state doesn't count for much. Quite understandably, sectors like cross-border trade, immigration, taxation and election funding have now gone bonkers.

Some rules in investment, taxation and trade are being modified to tackle these changes but it looks much more is required.

ricky_v
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Re: Social media

Postby ricky_v » 22 Aug 2019 18:40

the chans are on twitter now subverting jews and this is a good opportunity for us to take note of their disinformation tactics, sample:
https://pasteboard.co/ItSaubB.png

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Re: Social media

Postby A_Gupta » 23 Aug 2019 03:11

plushyphen wrote:Kindly Pardon me saars for the simplistic views:

The borders of country, race, religion are all imagined realities that have been created in minds of people to satisfy certain fundamental requirements like security, development and overall well-being of its citizens/communities/followers. The idea of nation state is a recent one in the time scale of human evolution. The idea of a nation-state was necessary to prevent/allievate the violence and scarcity of the last 3000-odd years. The current rules of cross border trade, immigration, taxation, investment, election funding are all still hinged on this imagined reality called the nation state. The internet (along with its younger siblings e-commerce/e-banking) has successfully brought people onto a platform where the deeply-ingrained concept of nation-state doesn't count for much. Quite understandably, sectors like cross-border trade, immigration, taxation and election funding have now gone bonkers.

Some rules in investment, taxation and trade are being modified to tackle these changes but it looks much more is required.


excuse me for simplistic views but everything we think about humans is imagined reality apart from the facts that we are onlee feeding, farting, fornicating, defecating fauna.


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