Tag Archives: Facebook

Killing Free Speech in France, Germany and on the Internet, by Judith Bergman

France and Germany are even farther along killing free speech than the US. From Judith Bergman at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • In early July, France’s National Assembly adopted a draft bill designed to curtail online hate speech. The draft bill gives social media platforms 24 hours to remove “hateful content” or risk fines of up to 4% percent of their global revenue. The bill has gone to the French Senate and could become law after parliament’s summer recess. If it does, France will be the second country in Europe after Germany to pass a law that directly makes a social media company censor its users on behalf of the state.
  • Knowing that a mere Facebook post could end you up in front of a judge in court is very likely to put a decisive damper on anyone’s desire to speak freely.
  • If Facebook’s agreement with France is replicated by other European countries, whatever is left of free speech in Europe, especially on the internet, is likely to dry up fast.
  • While Facebook eagerly claims to be fighting hate speech online, including claiming to have removed millions of pieces of terrorist content from its platform, according to a recent report from the Daily Beast, 105 posts of some of Al Qaeda’s most notorious terrorists are still up on Facebook, as well as YouTube.
  • When will Facebook — and YouTube — make it a priority to remove material featuring the terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki, whose incitement has inspired actual terrorists to kill people?

In May, France called for increasing government oversight over Facebook. Now Facebook has agreed to hand over to French judges the identification data of French users suspected of hate speech on its platform, according to France’s Secretary of State for the Digital Sector, Cédric O.

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Did Mark Zuckerberg Really Create Facebook? by Richard Enos

This is one of the more intriguing conjectures we’ve seen lately. From Richard Enos at collective-evolution.com:

IN BRIEF
  • The Facts:A letter alleged to be written by a Facebook insider who was Mark Zuckerberg’s lover from their freshman year at Harvard brings into question the notion that Mark Zuckerberg was the creator of Facebook.
  • Reflect On:Can we feel that larger and larger revelations from insiders, challenging our mainstream perception of what is real and true, are starting to awaken us from a controlled illusion put in place by powers that do not have our best interests at heart?

An explosive letter alleged to be written by a Facebook insider who was Mark Zuckerberg’s lover from their freshman year at Harvard was hand-delivered to a member of the Anonymous Patriot’s Conclave a few days ago and published on their American Intelligence Media website (aim4truth.org).

For those with any interest in knowing whether or not Mark Zuckerberg is really the boy-genius founder of Facebook and author of the essential computer source code that anchors today’s social media giants, calling this letter ‘explosive’ may even be an understatement.

In terms of its authenticity, AIM said this as a preamble to the letter:

American Intelligence Media has been able to quickly verify that many of the claims insinuated in this “Zuckerberg Dossier” are true and this leads us to conclude that the document is authentic and exactly what it appears to be. The true authorship of this Zuckerberg Dossier is evident to members of the Conclave, but that supposition is speculation and the Conclave does not deal in speculation. Though, if one were to listen carefully to the admission of guilt by Sean Parker (a long-time executive of Facebook) which he made repeatedly before the press, you will hear that Sean knew all about the true creation of the social media giant and its evil intents and fingers the culprits.

Therefore, it is not hard at all to figure out who may have written this expose on Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook evil. You can even see the true motivation for writing this “tell all” about Zuckerberg at this time in history, just as Facebook is facing all kinds of charges, including  anti-trust violations.

From my perspective, I have tried to establish the credibility of this letter in terms of its consistency and its coherence with established facts, as well as with many of the other allegations surrounding this matter. Piecing together many aspects of this story, let’s see if we can arrive at a cohesive whole that appears to be the likeliest of explanations for what is going on now at Facebook and in the social media arena in general.

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It’s No Bitcoin: Facebook’s Libra Currency Is Tied to Government Currencies, by Ralph Fucetola

The Libra cryptocurrency will be, unlike many cryptocurrencies, closely linked to existing currencies. From Ralph Fucetola at mises.org:

Nobel laureate F.A. Hayek was, as he says in the 1990 introduction to his Denationalization of Money: The Argument Refined, one of the chief “gold bugs” of the 20th century. And he reminded us, so long as politicians want to control money, gold-backed currency is essential to protect our liberty from the politics of inflation.

But his concern for money and market reached back to his earlier work, as noted in a number of articles posted in recent years at mises.org. As noted by Nikolay Gertchev:

In a series of five lectures delivered in 1937, and published under the title Monetary Nationalism and International Stability, Hayek offers an in-depth analysis of the main deficiencies of the present-day monetary system. In a nutshell, he identifies two factors that disrupt international economic relations: the fractional reserve commercial banks and the national central banks. The former are the primary source for the international transmission of the business cycles, while the attempts of the latter to correct the imbalances de facto amplify the resulting instability.

And Demelza Hays writes:

n 1975 Hayek eventually gave a lecture entitled “Choice of Currency,” in which he articulated for the first time the provocative demand that the state monopoly on money should be repealed. The publication of the monographs Free Choice in Currency and The Denationalization of Money followed a year later, in which he expanded in greater detail on his ideas on competition between private money issuers. …

What shape would an order reflecting these power-sharing principles take, and how could it emerge? Hayek argues that such an order would take shape if the following liberties were granted:

Fast forward nearly a half century and Hayek’s call for the denationalization of money seems to be a real possibility, not just a crank libertarian position safely ignored by the monetary authorities.

The coming of the block chain technology and cryptocurrencies certainly suggest that the original post-World War II Bretton Woods “settlement” of the status of money, that gold and US dollars, redeemable in gold, were the basis for international settlements, failed. As have later revisions of the idea. Thus, an era of monetary uncertainty may give rise to possibilities for market-oriented reforms.

Bitcoin, as an example of “virtual gold,” gains its value from the limited number of units of that cryptocurrency and the expense in “mining” more of those units, not unlike real gold. While Bitcoin is the best known of the cryptocurrencies, CoinMarketCap.com lists over a thousand crypto currencies that are traded (though a significant percentage of these are actually ICOs — Initial Crypto Offerings — a way to raise funds for a particular project). Much of the power of the cryptos is that they can be easily, and privately, bought, sold, and exchanged.

Hayek predicted that normal market forces would apply to the goods we use to facilitate exchange (“currencies”) if only governments would get out of the way. In a free market for money he suggested that major financial institutions would sponsor competing currencies, probably defined by “baskets” of commodities. He speculates on how the market would maintain the value and stability of such currencies, far better than any political system of legal tender.

To some degree, this seems to be happening with cryptocurrencies.

And then along comes the 900 pound gorilla. Facebook, with two billion users, has decided to enter the cryptocurrency market with its Libra coin. Since the Libra would be usable as a currency on Facebook itself, the company probably has calculated that it will have a strong competitive advantage over any of the competing currencies.

Ah, but … and here is the rub, the Libra is not a naturally limited good, as Bitcoin is, but can be multiplied to infinity. It is not stabilized by reference to a basket of commodities as Hayek recommended. Rather, it will be defined by a changeable basket of fiat currencies!

That’s right. Facebook and Libra’s cooperating founding organizations (including PayPal, Visa, Uber …) hope to provide a stable cryptocurrency by tying it to a group of government currencies! According to Techcrunch:

A Libra is a unit of the Libra cryptocurrency that’s represented by a three wavy horizontal line unicode character like the dollar is represented by $. The value of a Libra is meant to stay largely stable, so it’s a good medium of exchange, as merchants can be confident they won’t be paid a Libra today that’s then worth less tomorrow. The Libra’s value is tied to a basket of bank deposits and short-term government securities for a slew of historically stable international currencies, including the dollar, pound, euro, Swiss franc and yen. The Libra Association maintains this basket of assets and can change the balance of its composition if necessary to offset major price fluctuations in any one foreign currency so that the value of a Libra stays consistent.

Well, that’s it. Zuckerberg is no Hayek. And the Libra is no Bitcoin.

Ralph Fucetola, JD, is a retired lawyer (1971–2006), teacher, and writer who offers legal consulting services to the natural-products-and-services market through his website, www.VitaminLawyer.com. He graduated Rutgers University in 1967, B.A. with Distinction, and from Rutgers Law School in 1971. Counsel Fucetola is a trustee of several religious bodies and foundations, including the Natural Solutions Foundation and LifeSpirit Center.

 

Texas wants to make sex jokes illegal, by Simon Black

There are so many idiotic laws and regulations being passed or under consideration that Simon Black can run a week column detailing them. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:

Here’s our Friday roll up of the most absurd and concerning articles we came across this week.

UK bans advertisement with “harmful gender stereotypes”

UK bureaucrats will now decide if ads and commercials are too offensive.

New regulations ban advertisements with gender stereotypes “that are likely to cause harm, or serious or widespread offence.”

So a woman cleaning while a man is being lazy– banned.

Suggesting a poor physique caused other failures– banned.

Emphasizing energetic boys compared to caring girls– banned.

It seems that, in 2019, consumers are far more capable of regulating a company’s advertising decisions.

If people don’t like a company’s ads, they’re free to boycott the product. And if enough companies catch grief over their ads, they’ll change the ads or go out of business.

Having a government commission to regulate this sort of thing is going to be simply comical.

We have a feeling this isn’t what the Brexiters had in mind when they voted to leave.

Click here for the full story.

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FacebookCoin is a Trojan Horse of Corporate Oligarchy, by Michael Krieger

Mark Zuckerberg is not to be trusted. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

ZUCK: yea so if you ever need info about anyone at harvard
ZUCK: just ask
ZUCK: i have over 4000 emails, pictures, addresses, sns
FRIEND: what!? how’d you manage that one?
ZUCK: people just submitted it
ZUCK: i don’t know why
ZUCK: they “trust me”
ZUCK: dumb fucks

– Leaked messages sent by Mark Zuckerberg to a friend at Harvard as he was building Facebook

Years ago, Mark Zuckerberg made it clear that he doesn’t think Facebook is a business. “In a lot of ways, Facebook is more like a government than a traditional company,” said Mr. Zuckerberg. “We’re really setting policies.” He has acted consistently as a would-be sovereign power. For example, he is attempting to set up a Supreme Court-style independent tribunal to handle content moderation. And now he is setting up a global currency.

– From Matt Stoller’s recent article: Facebook’s Undemocratic Currency

For a long time, I’ve maintained there’s no doubt the current system/paradigm we live under will collapse under its own weight, but that doesn’t keep me up at night. What keeps me up at night is understanding we still have no idea exactly what will replace it. It could very well be a more decentralized and free world, a world less defined by brute force, grotesque power concentrations and coercion, but it could also very easily go the other way. The coming out party for FacebookCoin (aka Libra) is in my view the first real indication the forces of corporate oligarchy are determined to ensure the new world reflects their vision and is under their control.

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Libra: Facebook’s Crypto Trojan Rabbit, by Tom Luongo

Anyone with half a brains knows to beware Zuckerbergs bearing gifts, so the announcement that Facebook is getting into cryptocurrencies should be greeted with immense skepticism. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

Cryptocurrencies are winning. If you need proof look no further than Facebook’s proposed Libra stablecoin. While the details are scant, the salient point is Libra is another attempt by the current banking establishment to slow the flow into the world of hard money.

In this respect Libra is no different than Ripple or dollar-settled Bitcoin futures contracts. These are products designed to slow the exodus out of the shadow banking system. Ripple is a way to lower foreign exchange fees and off-chain futures settlement is a way to control Bitcoin prices and exacerbate volatility to slow crypto-adoption by so-called normies.

Now we have Facebook and Libra. As Caitlin Long points out in her excellent Forbes’ article, Libra will get major financial players backing it. The goal is to become a standard creator in the vein of the Dow Jones Committee or the IMF since it will determine the basket weighting of Libra.

It won’t, however, be a cryptocurrency in the traditional sense. It won’t have a limited supply, defined inflation rate or any commodity character whatsoever.

Proof-of-work? Phsaw! Every good Friedmanite knows that opportunity cost in creating new monetary units is simply wasted capital!

Only mouth-breathing rubes stuck in the 19th century think that’s important.

Instead Libra’s supply will be regulated just like every other fiat currency, by a central authority. Facebook already wants all your data, whether you’re an account holder or not.

Now they want to control your currency as well.

The Central Bank of Facebook

When you extrapolate out the power of Facebook’s platform to where this coin will be marketed to, emerging markets, Libra is looking for all the world like Facebook’s application into the cartel of price-setting central banks.

Ms. Long even hints at this in her article. In fact it’s her first of six important points about Libra.

1. Facebook’s cryptocurrency will be a powerful force for good in developing countries, which is where Facebook intends to market the product.

Why? Because central banks in developing countries are notorious for their lack of discipline in maintaining the value of their fiat currencies, which too often lose purchasing power. The best example among many is Venezuela, which is experiencing hyperinflation worse than that of Germany after World War I. By providing citizens of developing nations with access to a store-of-value that is more reliable than their government-backed currencies, Facebook’s cryptocurrency will indirectly exert fiscal and monetary discipline on developing nations—which will improve the lives of many people globally.

Leaving aside the fact that much of Venezuela’s hyperinflation stems from the U.S. sanctioning and cutting Venezuela off from the global banking system, she has a strong point.

Governments are terrible at managing the value of their currencies for all the reasons Austrian economists have laid out in painstaking detail for decades.

Think this through for five seconds and you get to the obvious conclusion. Facebook and the Wall St. banks which actually control it are creating a coin to do away with national currencies in the countries most vulnerable to the Fed’s control over the global monetary system.

This is the next step in the quest to create a world currency.

And if the current system’s long-term health is threatened by, oh I don’t know maybe, the implosion of a bunch of SIFI banks like Deutsche Bank sparking a global sovereign debt crisis, then a stablecoin like Libra to replace a discredited dollar/euro/yen/pound makes some perverse sense.

If the plan has always been, as Jim Rickards has been saying for years, that the response to a collapsing monetary system would be national currencies replaced with IMF SDR’s as the reserves of the banking system, then having a ‘cryptocurrency’ Trojan Horse to bait and switch with has to be part of the plan to maintain confidence in the institutions that fomented the crisis in the first place.

And what better platform to do that with than Orwell’s Panopticon itself, Facebook?

The Crypto-Antibody

As I pointed out at during last year’s meltdown in cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin was needed to replace these Ponzi schemes masquerading as money.

… Bitcoin was born out of the extreme fraud of the financial system under Greenspan and Bernanke.

They used leverage ratcheted up post-Y2K to levels which could only be supported through legislative fiat to wall off capital fleeing the system.

And the response was a group of folks applied the teachings of Austrian Economics and Ludwig von Mises’ Regression Theorem to create a digital asset which became more resistant to fraud the more it was adopted.

The result was Bitcoin.

Bitcoin was a catastrophic mutation.  A thing born out of necessity to free human beings from a central issuing authority of new monetary units.  That relationship needs to be broken if we are going to free ourselves from the cycle of tyranny of the few at the expense of the many

In short, Government ineptitude and/or fundamental evil created Bitcoin.

This is the essence of what Ms. Long talked about around the same time as that post in her Mises Weekend talk “Will Blockchain Free Us from Wall St.”

It’s a wonderful talk that focuses on the domestic reasons why the dollar is yet to collapse and why Bitcoin provides the framework in which we can craft money that isn’t controlled by a central issuing authority.

This is the key point that she mentions but doesn’t emphasize in her talk. For the first time in history we have been presented the option to choose money whose new units are not subject to the whims and corruption of humans.

That’s set by math. And math both determines the rate of inflation and the rate of trust developed by the money itself. This continues to be Bitcoin’s biggest advantage as long as the economic incentives to maintain the network remain positive and are not perverted.

A Farewell to Kings

It means no philosopher kings deciding the rate of inflation or deflation. It means minimizing rent-seeking behavior. It means an end to counterfeiting as we have experienced in the past.

But as I said earlier, things like off-chain settled futures contracts create ‘Paper Bitcoins’ which suppress its exchange rate versus the U.S. dollar. They are an attempt at counterfeiting through through leverage. So are stablecoins like Tether, if not managed properly and, don’t kid yourself, Libra.

Facebook and Wall St. are banking on Facebook’s pervasiveness to drive mass adoption to build an adjunct to the existing financial system which slows the growth of the real cryptocurrency marketplace.

They value blockchain to lower costs and replace antiquated clearing systems of increasingly opaque ledgers, as Ms. Long points out in her talk. But they still want to retain control over the value of the money itself and what that money represents.

They want to retain the system of perverse incentives they have created which rolls up the wealth of the world to them.

It was, as I said earlier, these perverse incentives that created Bitcoin in the first place. And with each new attempt to co-opt the technology and/or suppress its usage through ridiculous laws they validate cryptocurrencies all the more.

Which is Ms. Long’s conclusion in her recent article:

6. Facebook’s cryptocurrency will turn out, in the end, to be a Trojan horse that benefits Bitcoin.

During a period of monetary upheaval, one in which the faith in the Institutional Order tends towards zero, there will be a fundamental shift away from public-issued money as trusted media of exchange.

If Martin Armstrong is correct and we are approaching the end of a mega-cycle in Public trust and a massive shift in consciousness to Private assets as stores of wealth, then it again makes sense for the powers that be, those I like to call The Davos Crowd to create a private-in-name-only “cryptocurrency” to co-opt that shift and remain in control.

But it also means that these same people, who have fed at this trough for so long, aren’t any more capable of managing it successfully than they were the dollar and the euro.

So we really do have little to fear from Facebook and Libra in the long run, because as we know from the Trojan Rabbit, it came back to land squarely on their heads.

Vicious Cycle: The Pentagon Creates Tech Giants and Then Buys their Services, by T.J. Coles

How the military-industrial-intelligence complex works. From T.J. Coles at counterpunch.org:

Photograph Source: DoD photo by Master Sgt. Ken Hammond, U.S. Air Force – Public Domain

The US Department of Defense’s bloated budget, along with CIA venture capital, helped to create tech giants, including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and PayPal. The government then contracts those companies to help its military and intelligence operations. In doing so, it makes the tech giants even bigger.

In recent years, the traditional banking, energy and industrial Fortune 500 companies have been losing ground to tech giants like Apple and Facebook. But the technology on which they rely emerged from the taxpayer-funded research and development of bygone decades. The internet started as ARPANET, an invention of Honeywell-Raytheon working under a Department of Defense (DoD) contract. The same satellites that enable modern internet communications also enable US jets to bomb their enemies, as does the GPS that enables online retailers to deliver products with pinpoint accuracy. Apple’s touchscreen technology originated as a US Air Force tool. The same drones that record breath-taking video are modified versions of Reapers and Predators.

Tax-funded DoD research is the backbone of the modern, hi-tech economy. But these technologies are dual-use. The companies that many of us take for granted–including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and PayPal–are connected indirectly and sometimes very directly to the US military-intelligence complex.

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