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Old 2018-10-19, 03:17   #1
ewmayer
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Default Censorship, Government and Big Data Inc

This set of interlinked-theme threads didn't seem to fit comfortably into any existing Soapbox thread ... since the kinds of dissent-silencing described are becoming ever more widespread and pernicious, time for a new thread.

======================

The World Socialist Website, in the following March article, has an interesting contrary take on the #MeToo identity-politics-warriordom which featured in the Kavanaugh confirmation fight:

The lawless frontier of the #MeToo campaign | WSWS
Quote:
Fundamental to all civilised systems of criminal law is the doctrine nulla poena sine lege—no punishment without a law…. #MeToo has expressly rejected the role of due process, the presumption of innocence, the careful, dispassionate consideration of evidence, the right of a defense, and the central democratic axiom that there should only be punishment where there is a law…

The last time in western society an open and direct attack on the doctrine “no punishment without a law” was undertaken, was in Nazi Germany, under the leadership of the Nazi crown jurist Carl Schmitt. As leader of the “Rechtserneuerung” project (Legal Renewal), Schmitt articulated a distinctly National Socialist (Nazi) legal philosophy. Such a philosophy had to represent a total break with the norms of the “Rechtsstaat” (Rule of Law State) and he made it clear that one of its fundamental principles—no punishment without a law—would have to be completely rethought, if not discarded...

The #MeToo campaign, a movement of the privileged, upper middle class, is of a piece with the general assault on constitutional norms and legal principles undertaken by the ruling class since the stolen election of 2000. This self-absorbed and self-righteous milieu long ago abandoned any adherence to constitutionalism. Its outlook was most cogently expressed by Obama’s attorney general, Eric Holder, when he declared that due process did not require courts. #MeToo agrees with that perspective.

The great crisis and decomposition of American capitalist society is creating monsters. Donald Trump is one such monster. The #MeToo witch hunt is another. They are both on the road to creating a “Just State” according to the [Nazi crown jurist Carl Schmitt]ian conception.
The article concludes with a postscriptive "Google is blocking the World Socialist Web Site from search results." Google's blacklisting practices fit in quite well with the above mention of Nazi jurisprudence. More on that below.

And more recently, on the latest Facebook ban-fest. PropOrNot rears its ugly little head again:

Pages purged by Facebook were on blacklist promoted by Washington Post | WSWS
Quote:
These comments by PropOrNot make clear where the censorship measures supervised by the US government and implemented by the internet companies are going. While these organizations still “have websites,” the authorities are handling “one thing at a time.”

The clear implication is that censorship will not end with Google’s manipulation of its search platform or the removal of accounts by Facebook and Twitter. The ultimate aim is the total banning of oppositional news web sites.

The publication of the PropOrNot blacklist and its promotion by the Washington Post helped trigger a wave of censorship measures against oppositional news sites by the major technology companies, working at the instigation of the US intelligence agencies and leading politicians.

Last year, the World Socialist Web Site reported that it an other sites, including Global Research, Counterpunch, Consortium News, WikiLeaks and Truthout, saw their search traffic plunge after search giant Google implemented a change to its search ranking algorithm.

In the subsequent period, search traffic to these sites has fallen even further. Search traffic to Counterpunch has fallen by 39 percent, and Consortium News has fallen by 51 percent.

These developments confirm the analysis made by the World Socialist Web Site in its open letter to Google alleging that it was censoring left-wing, anti-war and socialist websites.

“Censorship on this scale is political blacklisting,” the letter declared. “The obvious intent of Google’s censorship algorithm is to block news that your company does not want reported and to suppress opinions with which you do not agree. Political blacklisting is not a legitimate exercise of whatever may be Google’s prerogatives as a commercial enterprise. It is a gross abuse of monopolistic power. What you are doing is an attack on freedom of speech.”

On Tuesday, Google admitted in an internal document that it and other technology companies had “gradually shifted away from unmediated free speech and towards censorship and moderation.” The document stated that an aim of the censorship was to “increase revenues” under conditions of growing government and commercial pressure.

The document acknowledged that such actions constitute a break with the “American tradition that prioritizes free speech for democracy.”
Self-Censorship: Where The Real Damage Is Being Done | Caitlin Johnstone
Quote:
And that ultimately is precisely the point. If the social engineers can make an example of a few dissident voices in the public eye, everyone else will rein in their own speech and behavior to avoid the same fate. The overall effect of this phenomenon is actually far more effective in suppressing dissident speech than the overt censorship is by itself, because self-censorship actually silences exponentially more anti-establishment opinions. For every one voice you crack down on overtly, a thousand more silence themselves out of self-preservation, not saying things they would otherwise say and not doing things they would otherwise do.
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Old 2018-11-25, 17:18   #2
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The UK Parliament suddenly flexes its muscles:

Quote:
A cache of Facebook documents has been seized by MPs investigating the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
Press article: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-46334810
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Old 2018-11-25, 23:37   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
The UK Parliament suddenly flexes its muscles:

Press article: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-46334810
And the Crowd Here (of 2) goes wild. It is about time some of these screws were being turned. Leave aside Russian interference. Cambridge Analytica's influence on our election was far more direct and precise.

Facebook scares me, in some way, every occasional time I log in there. Yesterday, I had a brief look, and discovered that a close friend "tagged" me in a photo. I sent a PM saying, "I prefer not to be tagged." Of course, that horse is long gone at this point. The deed is done.
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Old 2018-11-26, 09:13   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
And the Crowd Here (of 2) goes wild. It is about time some of these screws were being turned. Leave aside Russian interference. Cambridge Analytica's influence on our election was far more direct and precise.

Facebook scares me, in some way, every occasional time I log in there. Yesterday, I had a brief look, and discovered that a close friend "tagged" me in a photo. I sent a PM saying, "I prefer not to be tagged." Of course, that horse is long gone at this point. The deed is done.
Make that 3.

I long ago vowed never to use Facebook because of their appalling approach to privacy.
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Old 2018-11-26, 14:56   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
The UK Parliament suddenly flexes its muscles:

Press article: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-46334810
Make that four.

Moi, sign up for Facebook? Just like Facebook's policy on privacy: "You have got to be joking!"

Quote:
Facebook told the Observer: "The materials obtained by the DCMS committee are subject to a protective order of the San Mateo Superior Court restricting their disclosure.
A San Mateo Superior Court order covers the UK Parliament in an official inquiry, under UK jurisdiction? They have got to be joking! If nothing else, disclosure by Parliament would, I imagine, be covered by "sovereign immunity."

The article has a link to another story I'd seen on the news:

Matthew Hedges: British academic pardoned by UAE.

He had just been sentenced to life in prison as a spy.

The conviction and sentence looked to cause problems in the relationship between the UK and UAE.

Problem solved!

Last fiddled with by Dr Sardonicus on 2018-11-26 at 15:13 Reason: Fignix topsy. Adding commentary on quoted post.
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Old 2018-11-27, 02:57   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
Facebook scares me, in some way, every occasional time I log in there. Yesterday, I had a brief look, and discovered that a close friend "tagged" me in a photo. I sent a PM saying, "I prefer not to be tagged." Of course, that horse is long gone at this point. The deed is done.
I've watched as others have tried, and failed, to tag me in photographs on facebook. I have never had a account on FB, and never will. Because of that I can't be tagged. BUT that doesn't mean that FB is simply ignoring the tag. They don't display it since it matched no account. Not displaying it doesn't mean they haven't secretly kept a record of it.

I am slightly curious to learn about what information FB have collected about me (and others) in their shadow profiles. But I am not curious enough that I want to make an account just so I can request to see what they have. Besides, I doubt I could sign-up, even if I wanted to; without any form of device to receive text messages there is no way for me to "verify" myself.
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Old 2018-11-27, 04:54   #7
Prime95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retina View Post
I am slightly curious to learn about what information FB have collected about me (and others) in their shadow profiles.
My wife created a FB account 3 months ago. She was instantly prompted with 20 or 30 suggestions for people to friend. Some were of the "how on earth did FB determine I know that person" variety.

People should have a right to demand corporations drop all data on an individual -- especially since there is a near-zero penalty for misusing or failing to protect such data. I don't believe that right be enacted in the U.S. in my lifetime.
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Old 2018-11-27, 05:02   #8
retina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prime95 View Post
My wife created a FB account 3 months ago. She was instantly prompted with 20 or 30 suggestions for people to friend. Some were of the "how on earth did FB determine I know that person" variety.
Because others are coerced into giving FB access to their contact lists. So FB learns people's associations from there. Plus all the "invite a friend" popups that people obediently fill in that tells FB who knows whom.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prime95 View Post
People should have a right to demand corporations drop all data on an individual -- especially since there is a near-zero penalty for misusing or failing to protect such data. I don't believe that right be enacted in the U.S. in my lifetime.
Agreed.
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Old 2018-11-28, 00:09   #9
chalsall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prime95 View Post
My wife created a FB account 3 months ago. She was instantly prompted with 20 or 30 suggestions for people to friend. Some were of the "how on earth did FB determine I know that person" variety.
Anyone who has signed up for a FB et al account will be prompted with something along the lines of "Let us help you connect with friends. Just give us your log-in credentials to your email account(s), and we'll facilitate that.

You wife didn't have to do that; just one of her distant email contacts...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prime95 View Post
People should have a right to demand corporations drop all data on an individual...
Yeah. Run with that (jump and down and scream, even), and see how far it goes....
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Old 2019-03-16, 15:53   #10
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Default Imagine Baby Face Zuckerberg with a craggy face...

Facebook faces criminal investigation over controversial data sharing deals
Quote:
As if today couldn't get any worse for Facebook, the company is now facing a criminal investigation as the result of its controversial data sharing practices.

Federal investigators are scrutinizing partnerships that allowed other companies to access users' data without their consent, according to a new report in the New York Times.
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Old 2019-03-16, 17:33   #11
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Meanwhile, The Guardian reports that we here in the UK will have to buy a £4.99 "porn pass" for each device used from our newsagents. Apart from the tax revenue, I can't see this preventing much exposure to youngsters who are more tech-savvy that any minister of parliament.
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