Tag Archives: Facebook

U.S. Unleashes Military to Fight Fake News, Disinformation, by Pete Norman

There’s nothing disconcerting at all about having the military play an active role in the government’s disinformation and propaganda effort. From Pete Norman at bloomberg.com via news.yahoo.com:

(Bloomberg) — Fake news and social media posts are such a threat to U.S. security that the Defense Department is launching a project to repel “large-scale, automated disinformation attacks,” as the top Republican in Congress blocks efforts to protect the integrity of elections.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants custom software that can unearth fakes hidden among more than 500,000 stories, photos, video and audio clips. If successful, the system after four years of trials may expand to detect malicious intent and prevent viral fake news from polarizing society.

“A decade ago, today’s state-of-the-art would have registered as sci-fi — that’s how fast the improvements have come,” said Andrew Grotto at the Center for International Security at Stanford University. “There is no reason to think the pace of innovation will slow any time soon.”

U.S. officials have been working on plans to prevent outside hackers from flooding social channels with false information ahead of the 2020 election. The drive has been hindered by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s refusal to consider election-security legislation. Critics have labeled him #MoscowMitch, saying he left the U.S. vulnerable to meddling by Russia, prompting his retort of “modern-day McCarthyism.”

Risk Factor

President Donald Trump has repeatedly rejected allegations that dubious content on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google aided his election win. Hillary Clinton supporters claimed a flood of fake items may have helped sway the results in 2016.

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Tulsi’s Fight Against Big Tech, by Atilla Mert Sulker

The solution to big tech censorship is found in the market, not government regulation. From Atilla Mert Sulker at lewrockwell.com:

Recently, Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard went on Tucker Carlson, defending her decision to sue google for suspending her campaign ads. According to Gabbard, this move on behalf of google constitutes “election interference”. Gabbard further went on to say that her lawsuit would underscore the extensive power of big tech, and shed light on its violation of free speech. Gabbard’s gripes are very reminiscent of the feelings many conservatives also have towards big tech.

Day by day, big tech companies such as Facebook and Twitter have been shutting down the accounts of various figures they deem “controversial”. Among these, are of course Alex Jones and Louis Farrakhan. Like Gabbard, many conservatives proclaim that this is an infringement on the right to free speech, and liken big tech companies onto monopolies. Thus the solution is for the government to punish these companies, they assert.

This line of thinking has been the traditional method in which conservatives have sought for repercussions against the so called injustices of censorship. But what many people have failed to realize, is that this pursuit in favor of regulation, has only made matters worse. It has guided many well intentioned people down a path of unfruitfulness.

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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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