Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Almost All of Facebooks Top Christian Page Run by Foreign Troll Farms

 If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read "President Can't Swim."

 - Lyndon B. Johnson

Facebook is in trouble.

Not financial trouble, or legal trouble, or even senators-yelling-at-Mark-Zuckerberg trouble. What I’m talking about is a kind of slow, steady decline that anyone who has ever seen a dying company up close can recognize. It’s a cloud of existential dread that hangs over an organization whose best days are behind it, influencing every managerial priority and product decision and leading to increasingly desperate attempts to find a way out. This kind of decline is not necessarily visible from the outside, but insiders see a hundred small, disquieting signs of it every day — user-hostile growth hacks, frenetic pivots, executive paranoia, the gradual attrition of talented colleagues.

Why Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp All Went Down Today Wired. When Wired writes the “Facebook family of apps,” they are genteelly failing to mention that Facebook, a ginormous monopoly, purchased the firms that created those apps. Then Wired writes: “The fundamental issue… is that Facebook has withdrawn the so-called Border Gateway Protocol route that contains the IP addresses of its DNS nameservers.” No. What’s “fundamental” is Facebook assimilating Instagram and WhatsApp. The technical failure is a mere artifact of Facebook doing business. Obviously, if Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp were three separate firms, Facebook couldn’t bring the other two down. AWS, on the other hand….

Almost All of Facebooks Top Christian Page Run by Foreign Troll Farms

The mainstream critique of Facebook is surprisingly compatible with Facebook's own narrative about its products. FB critics say that the company's machine learning and data-gathering slides disinformation past users' critical faculties, poisoning their minds.

Meanwhile, Facebook itself tells advertisers that it can use data and machine learning to slide past users' critical faculties, convincing them to buy stuff.

THE ATLANTICFacebook is acting like a hostile foreign power; it’s time we treated it that way. “Perhaps Americans have become so cynical that they have given up on defending their freedom from surveillance, manipulation, and exploitation. But if Russia or China were taking the exact same actions to undermine democracy, Americans would surely feel differently. Seeing Facebook as a hostile foreign power could force people to acknowledge what they’re participating in, and what they’re giving up, when they log in. In the end it doesn’t really matter what Facebook is; it matters what Facebook is doing.”

New York Times op-ed:  The Dangerous Politics of ‘We Will Not Forgive’, by Esau McCaulley (Wheaton):

President Biden, in the somber tone and muted dress indicative of responding to tragedy, addressed the nation late last month. The Kabul airport attack had just claimed the lives of 13 American troops and over 60 Afghan civilians. He spoke movingly of the ultimate sacrifice made by our servicemen and -women. Then he turned his attention to our enemies. He said, “We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay.”

Australia returns world’s oldest tropical forest to indigenous owners France24

Future Fund worth $250bn says FoI requests ‘administratively burdensome’ Guardian. “The $250bn Future Fund says receiving 10 to 20 freedom of information requests a year is “administratively burdensome” and has confirmed proposed changes by the Morrison government would have shielded it from the kind of request that exposed investments in a company linked to the Myanmar military.”

Data of Over 1.5 Billion Facebook Users Sold on Hacker Forum

Privacy Affairs: “The private and personal information of over 1.5 billion Facebook users is being sold on a popular hacking-related forum, potentially enabling cybercriminals and unscrupulous advertisers to target Internet users globally.…Data Obtained by Scraping – The traders claim to have obtained the data by scraping rather than hacking or compromising individual users’ accounts. Scraping is a process of web data extraction or harvesting where publicly available data is accessed and organized into lists and databases. While technically, no accounts have been compromised, this is little solace to those whose data may now end up in the hands of unscrupulous internet marketers and likely also in the hands of cybercriminals. Unethical marketers may utilize this data to bombard specific individuals or groups of individuals with unsolicited advertising. The fact that phone numbers, real-life location, and users’ full names are included in the data is especially concerning. In addition, SMS and Push notification spam are becoming increasingly more prevalent even though most countries made these practices illegal many years ago…”

The 12 Best Deep Search Engines to Explore the Invisible Web - Make Use Of: “Google or Bing can’t search for everything. To explore the invisible web, you need to use these special deep search engines. Not everything on the web will show up in a list of search results on Google or Bing; there are lots of places that their web crawlers cannot access.To explore the invisible web, you need to use specialist search engines. Here are our top 12 services to perform a deep internet search…”

The Facebook Files – A Wall Street Journal investigation – “Facebook Inc. knows, in acute detail, that its platforms are riddled with flaws that cause harm, often in ways only the company fully understands. That is the central finding of a Wall Street Journal series, based on a review of internal Facebook documents, including research reports, online employee discussions and drafts of presentations to senior management. Time and again, the documents show, Facebook’s researchers have identified the platform’s ill effects. Time and again, despite congressional hearings, its own pledges and numerous media exposés, the company didn’t fix them. The documents offer perhaps the clearest picture thus far of how broadly Facebook’s problems are known inside the company, up to the chief executive himself…”

Leaked Documents Show How Amazon's Astro Robot Tracks Everything You Do

The most productive writers know that writing is only one step in a larger process