Lion of the Blogosphere

What is the Facebook “scandal” about?

https://www.theverge.com/2018/3/21/17146342/facebook-data-scandal-cambridge-analytica-aleksandr-kogan-scapegoat

It appears to be all about Trump, people who hate Trump trying to blame someone for Trump winning, and this week the blame is on Facebook.

“Black hat” internet marketing has been rampant since the early 2000s, and hardly anyone one has paid any attention to it. For example, all social media are full of bots and the owners of such media platforms were too lazy to do anything about botting until bots were blamed for Donald Trump winning the election. And I can assure you that Instagram (the only big social media platform I currently use) is still full of bots.

There was a lot less outrage when millions of credit card numbers, passwords, and email addresses were stolen from various companies. All that we are talking about here is data gathered from an app that lets people take a bullsh** personality quiz.

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Black hat internet marketing, however, has a big impact on the validity of libertarian economics. Libertarians believe the amount of money you make is exactly equal to how much you contribute to the economy, but how does it contribute to society by using black-hat cheating methods to boost yourself (as an influencer) or your brand on social media and the internet and thereby make a lot of money from such black-hat cheating?

* * *

This article at The Hill is a must read. Basically, Obama’s people did the EXACT SAME THING that Cambridge Analytica did, but Facebook didn’t care because Obama was the good guys.

http://thehill.com/opinion/technology/379245-whats-genius-for-obama-is-scandal-when-it-comes-to-trump

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 21, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Technology

26 Responses

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  1. “Libertarians believe the amount of money you make is exactly equal to how much you contribute to the economy,”

    No they don’t. You’ve been repeating that same straw man lie for years.

    destructure

    March 21, 2018 at EDT pm

    • Well if libertarians agree that people become rich by sneaky underhanded unethical tactics, why do they get so outraged about taxing the rich?

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 21, 2018 at EDT pm

      • You’ve created a false dilemma between 1) “the amount of money you make is exactly equal to how much you contribute to the economy” and 2) “people become rich by sneaky underhanded unethical tactics”.

        The amount of money one makes need not be exactly equal to how much they contribute to the economy for it to be honestly earned. For example, JK Rowling made over a billion from her Harry Potter franchise. I don’t personally think she contributed a billion dollars worth of value to the economy. But value is subjective. And the simple fact is that her money was honestly earned. People willingly and cheerfully paid for the books, movie tickets, action figures, etc. Sneaky, underhanded and unethical tactics had nothing to do with it. If anything, she’s been robbed by people who pirate her stuff.

        destructure

        March 21, 2018 at EDT pm

      • ” And the simple fact is that her money was honestly earned.”

        How do we know she didn’t use black-hat marketing tactics to make her first book famous?

        When she published a book under a pseudonym, no one bought it at all. Proving that someone who, by definition is just as skilled at writing novels as J.K. Rowling, could easily write a book and have practically no sales at all.

        Marketing is inherently a NEGATIVE SUM GAME. J.K.Rowling can only sell sequel after sequel by taking sales away from other just-as-capable writers.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 21, 2018 at EDT pm

      • The battle to orient and re-orient human “currency” is perpetual. Yet, human “currency” at the individual level is “spirit” and otherwise unquantifiable at the end of the accounting cycle.

        Libertarians would be wise to START with a spirited economy and regress from here.

        thordaddy

        March 22, 2018 at EDT pm

    • Marxists believe in the labor theory of value. Lion’s strawman is only valid against Marxist economists. Some “libertarian” economists are actually Marxist economists.

      Libertarian economists believe that somebody’s labor is worth exactly what somebody else is willing to pay for that labor.

      Rotten

      March 22, 2018 at EDT am

      • But this is just egalitarianism at the end of the accounting cycle.

        An individual’s currency is of a spirited reserve and only partially quantifiable at trans-action.

        thordaddy

        March 22, 2018 at EDT pm

  2. As far as I can tell, a Russian professor at Cambridge who also had a joint appointment at a Russian university convinced Facebook to let him give a personality quiz to a few hundred thousand Facebook users. He then harvested data on all their friends too, somehow getting data on tens of millions of Facebook users. Facebook apparently allowed him to do this.

    He then shared this data with Cambridge Analytica, which Facebook says violated their agreement. This data was only suppose to be used for research and not for commercial purposes. Cambridge Analytica has claimed they deleted all this data and at other times claimed that they used this data.

    One of the early employees of Cambridge Analytica, Christopher Wylie, has gone public with claims that the heads of Cambridge Analytica felt they were fighting a culture war and rules did not matter. They believed to have developed personality based targeting techniques and they needed the personality data so they took it.

    It is debatable how effective the Cambridge Analytica Trump campaign ads were. Many people doubt these ads were that big a factor. What has many people puzzled is how the Russian toll farms were able to so effectively target voters in the critical swing states. They used techniques to swamp peoples’ Facebook news feeds with links to false stories. Likely Clinton supporters were swamped with stories intended to make them less likely to vote. Likely Trump supporters were swamped with stories to get them excited about voting for Trump. The Russians also bought a few Facebook ads, but this was a minor part of their operation. Where did the Russian toll farms get the Facebook data in order to target people like this? Did they get the data from Cambridge Analytica? Cambridge Analytica is known to have done some work for a Russian oil company that wanted information on influencing Americans, which seems very odd. It is also possible that they got it from the Russian professor that gave the data to Cambridge Analytica.

    I don’t use Facebook and never have. The thing people have to understand in using these free internet services is what product is Facebook selling? If you sign up and use Facebook, you are the product they are selling.

    MikeCA

    March 21, 2018 at EDT pm

    • And not one bit of this is illegal, because First Amendment.

      hard9bf

      March 21, 2018 at EDT pm

      • Facebook is an interntational company and they surely have a LOT of vendors/customers with whom they share data who are not int he United States.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 21, 2018 at EDT pm

      • Mueller indicted 13 Russian who were connected to the Russian toll farms. Obviously he thinks there is something illegal in what they were doing.

        MikeCA

        March 21, 2018 at EDT pm

    • Yes… But the whole story is premised on Russia desiring Trump to win/Hillary to lose or Hillary to lose/Trump to win. Which, from the perspective of “us” Cold War children is absurd AT FACE VALUE. Russians are still commies, by-and-large and SO is Hillary. Of course, then you assume is some chess move so that the Russians get something later by forsaking something now. BUT…. Who wants the toppling of the United States tomorrow when they can have it today? Especially, Russians?

      thordaddy

      March 22, 2018 at EDT pm

      • Probably, Putin wanted Hillary to lose (which doesn’t mean he actually had a hand in it).

        Throughout the cool war, the Soviet Union wanted Democrats to win, and they actively propagandized to get that to happen, and when Republicans brought it up they were poo-pooed as paranoid.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 22, 2018 at EDT pm

  3. This may be all about Trump, but I love the fact that it’s Zuckerberg—the shameless liberal stalwart—who’s being made to feel the pain in this case.

    Roli

    March 21, 2018 at EDT pm

    • I must say, as much as I don’t like this autistic creature he is not the worst. The guys in twitter or reddit were much more vocal with their SJW ways. I don’t think Zuckerberg feels or care about anything, he is just going through the motions.

      Hashed

      March 21, 2018 at EDT pm

      • Zuckerberg isn’t smart enough to be autistic.

        Panther of the Blogocube

        March 21, 2018 at EDT pm

  4. Honestly I’ve been trying to figure out what the illegality of this is supposed to be. It’s like a scandal that’s only a scandal because it was a tactic that helps the guy you hate.

    Mike Street Station

    March 21, 2018 at EDT pm

  5. When Obama used social media to fuel his campaign he was crowned a cutting edge genius by the media.

    toomanymice

    March 21, 2018 at EDT pm

  6. Since the muh Russia red scare isn’t bearing fruit, the snowflakes have trained their guns on a different scapegoat. There’s zero evidence that Fakebook influenced anyone’s vote in any way.

    Why is it so hard for Democratic snowflakes to admit that Mrs. HR Clinton lost because she was an awful candidate?

    hard9bf

    March 21, 2018 at EDT pm

  7. Ben Shapiro nailed it.

    The same tactics are genius when Obama did it, but are evil when Trump does it.

    http://thehill.com/opinion/technology/379245-whats-genius-for-obama-is-scandal-when-it-comes-to-trump

    JA

    March 21, 2018 at EDT pm

  8. This “scandal” also has the effect of neutralizing Zuckerberg’s 2020 Presidential ambitions. Not that Zuckerberg ever stood a chance but the Democrats just want to clear the field for their girl Kamela Harris to run.

    NotWesley

    March 21, 2018 at EDT pm

  9. The Trump haters have thrown everything and the kitchen sink at Trump, and yet Trump doggedly remains in power, and his poll numbers tick upwards. Watching the progressive/ leftists/ democrats/ douchebags marinating themselves in frustration is nice enough, but feels supremely gratifying when Trump trolls them to boot.

    Roli

    March 21, 2018 at EDT pm

  10. The facebook scandal is more Russian bots spin. People voted for Trump because they are stupid and they were tricked. Hilary didn’t lose the election; Americans are just too stupid to decide these things without top down control.

    bobbybobbob

    March 21, 2018 at EDT pm

  11. This is really about publishers angry at Facebook for killing their access to the newsfeed. A lot of sites like Vox have seen big traffic declines because Facebook is not featuring them in the newsfeed. So these publishers saw their Facebook traffic plummet after Facebook promised to treat them well and so every publisher in the US is furious at Zuck and this is just the pretext for getting Facebook regulated and punishing Zuck for destroying their business.

    God Shammgod

    March 21, 2018 at EDT pm

  12. I worked for a pollster when I finished grad school in 2008.

    As a statistician, my primary task was to design and analyze personality surveys for the company’s political and corporate clients, including the Hilary Clinton campaign, Microsoft, IBM, and others. They would correlate the personality factors to demographic variables that could be used to target advertising. Nowadays, the demographic part isn’t so important because you can target individuals better, so the personality study results can be used more directly.

    This is was so common that they hired a fresh out of grad school person at 65K per year to do this analysis. Nothing about this CA scandal is new, it’s all just fear mongering based on the fact that people aren’t terribly familiar with market research methodology.

    zz

    March 22, 2018 at EDT am


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