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Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

The Military Origins of Facebook

Posted by M. C. on October 25, 2021

Facebook’s growing role in the ever-expanding surveillance and “pre-crime” apparatus of the national security state demands new scrutiny of the company’s origins and its products as they relate to a former, controversial DARPA-run surveillance program that was essentially analogous to what is currently the world’s largest social network.

In light of this, it was no exaggeration when New York Times columnist William Safire remarked that, with TIA, “Poindexter is now realizing his twenty-year dream: getting the ‘data-mining’ power to snoop on every public and private act of every American.”

https://unlimitedhangout.com/2021/04/investigative-reports/the-military-origins-of-facebook/

by Whitney Webb

In mid-February, Daniel Baker, a US veteran described by the media as “anti-Trump, anti-government, anti-white supremacists, and anti-police,” was charged by a Florida grand jury with two counts of “transmitting a communication in interstate commerce containing a threat to kidnap or injure.”

The communication in question had been posted by Baker on Facebook, where he had created an event page to organize an armed counter-rally to one planned by Donald Trump supporters at the Florida capital of Tallahassee on January 6. “If you are afraid to die fighting the enemy, then stay in bed and live. Call all of your friends and Rise Up!,” Baker had written on his Facebook event page.

Baker’s case is notable as it is one of the first “precrime” arrests based entirely on social media posts—the logical conclusion of the Trump administration’s, and now Biden administration’s, push to normalize arresting individuals for online posts to prevent violent acts before they can happen. From the increasing sophistication of US intelligence/military contractor Palantir’s predictive policing programs to the formal announcement of the Justice Department’s Disruption and Early Engagement Program in 2019 to Biden’s first budget, which contains $111 million for pursuing and managing “increasing domestic terrorism caseloads,” the steady advance toward a precrime-centered “war on domestic terror” has been notable under every post-9/11 presidential administration.

This new so-called war on domestic terror has actually resulted in many of these types of posts on Facebook. And, while Facebook has long sought to portray itself as a “town square” that allows people from across the world to connect, a deeper look into its apparently military origins and continual military connections reveals that the world’s largest social network was always intended to act as a surveillance tool to identify and target domestic dissent.

Part 1 of this two-part series on Facebook and the US national-security state explores the social media network’s origins and the timing and nature of its rise as it relates to a controversial military program that was shut down the same day that Facebook launched. The program, known as LifeLog, was one of several controversial post-9/11 surveillance programs pursued by the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that threatened to destroy privacy and civil liberties in the United States while also seeking to harvest data for producing “humanized” artificial intelligence (AI). 

As this report will show, Facebook is not the only Silicon Valley giant whose origins coincide closely with this same series of DARPA initiatives and whose current activities are providing both the engine and the fuel for a hi-tech war on domestic dissent.

DARPA’s Data Mining for “National Security” and to “Humanize” AI

In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, DARPA, in close collaboration with the US intelligence community (specifically the CIA), began developing a “precrime” approach to combatting terrorism known as Total Information Awareness or TIA. The purpose of TIA was to develop an “all-seeing” military-surveillance apparatus. The official logic behind TIA was that invasive surveillance of the entire US population was necessary to prevent terrorist attacks, bioterrorism events, and even naturally occurring disease outbreaks. 

The architect of TIA, and the man who led it during its relatively brief existence, was John Poindexter, best known for being Ronald Reagan’s National Security Advisor during the Iran-Contra affair and for being convicted of five felonies in relation to that scandal.

See the rest here

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Facebook has ruined human social interaction and now Zuckerberg’s ‘metaverse’ wants to destroy whatever’s left — RT Op-ed

Posted by M. C. on October 24, 2021

Literally faced with the dilemma ‘Who’re you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?’ metaverse users will have the vision in those ‘lying eyes’ corrected with a few tweaks to their Oculus headset.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/DARPA-facebook-metaverse-zuckerberg-privacy-trap/

Helen Buyniski

Helen Buyniski

is an American journalist and political commentator at RT. Follow her on Twitter

Having bulldozed most real-life relationships already, Mark Zuckerberg is now moving to strip away what’s left of our expectations of privacy by dragging us kicking and screaming into an online padded cell called the ‘metaverse’.

The emergence of all-too-perfect whistleblower Frances Haugen, backed by a bevy of PR valkyries declaring Facebook a profit-seeking hive of hate, might suggest to some that the social network’s goose is cooked. But while the government and censor-happy NGOs delusionally battle over how best to carve up Facebook’s carcass, CEO Mark Zuckerberg is busy leveling up, leaving the wreck of real-life social interaction behind while he crafts a new virtual holding pen for the millions daily glued to Facebook and Instagram.

Under fire politically for putting profits before users’ welfare – an attribute that describes every corporation in existence – Facebook’s m.o. has been clear since the platform’s early days. The platform exists to slurp up as much data as physically (and metaphysically) possible before the user realizes he’s being used and stops logging in. Now that there’s no longer any doubt about that in the public eye, Zuckerberg is free to go full Manifest Destiny, reaching into users’ minds in search of ever more data to pimp out.

They trust me, the dumb f**ks,” Zuckerberg acknowledged confiding in a friend back in the platform’s early days, when Facebook was still busy wrenching social norms in the direction of full disclosure. But after more than 15 years of data leaks and other ‘accidental’ info spills, users no longer have any expectation of privacy. This places them in an ideal frame of mind to join the Facebook CEO’s metaverse. After all, if you’re going to pilot a virtual version of yourself around a virtual world, wouldn’t you want to tell the software as much about you as possible? Just to get the avatar right, of course.

Facebook has all but reduced online socializing to a choice of five reaction emojis, actively discouraging the expression of meaningful sentiment. Anything that forces the reader to think for more than a few seconds, let alone type out a response, reduces the potential of a “like” or reaction GIF. Users are thus encouraged to fill their timelines with as many banalities as possible. In the metaverse, the user won’t even have the option to display a complex emotional state – their avatar will presumably come with a fixed set of expressions, and the more time spent jacked into the system, the less likely the user will be able to actually feel emotions they can’t display online. Imagine forgetting what it’s like to feel nostalgic for pre-Facebook social interaction – you can bet the metaverse won’t offer that option.

The metaverse will also deal the killing blow to logic and reason, already dangling by a thread after Facebook taught users to outsource their critical thinking to dodgy ‘fact-checkers’. This insidious process began in earnest following the 2016 election and has left users unable to judge new information for themselves. Rather than teach critical thinking – or at least a healthy suspicion of whatever they read on the internet – Facebook and its partners in crime promised an angry Deep State that they’d protect Our Democracy™ itself by walling off controversial ideas. Multiple studies conducted since then have shown users actually becoming more trustworthy of fake news that fact-checkers haven’t gotten around to labeling. Oops!

The platform’s rogue’s gallery of ‘fact-checkers’ include the Atlantic Council (a warmongering think tank sponsored by the likes of NATO and Lockheed Martin), Snopes (run by a prostitute-loving cretin and his overweight cat), and Lead Stories (a group of embittered CNN employees determined to crush conservative viewpoints). They will be the gatekeepers of Zuckerberg’s metaverse, where their opinions, presented as facts, will become even more effective at crowding out reality. 

Literally faced with the dilemma ‘Who’re you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?’ metaverse users will have the vision in those ‘lying eyes’ corrected with a few tweaks to their Oculus headset. One need only think of the entire avenues of discussion that have been cut off since 2016 by newsfeed censorship and deplatforming alone to get a chill thinking of how easily ideas (and the people behind them) can be memory-holed in Zuckerberg’s digital playground.

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Erie Times E-Edition Article-Facebook: We agree it’s past time for Congress to set clear and fair rules

Posted by M. C. on October 14, 2021

If FB wants regulation it is a cinch that the rules they have in mind will benefit their agenda and be to the detriment to the competition. Lots of rules makes it tough for the little guy.

Look for FB to be part of the regulatory body.

“We agree that Congress should act to make rules clarifying…” This is a joke. Right?

https://erietimes-pa-app.newsmemory.com/?publink=112a20aa7_1345f6a

Nick Clegg Special to USA TODAY Much has been said about Facebook recently, but there’s one thing we agree on: Congress should pass new internet regulations.

We’ve been advocating for new rules for several years. For too long, many important issues have been left to private companies to decide.

But while new internet rules are being written in Europe, India, Australia, the United Kingdom and elsewhere, the U.S. tech regulation efforts have stalled. Here are some areas where Congress could act:

We’ve argued for creating a new digital regulatory agency to navigate competing trade-offs in the digital space – much like the Federal Communications Commission oversees telecoms and media.

We’ve proposed ways to reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, including requiring platforms to be more transparent about how they remove harmful and illegal content – and requiring large companies like Facebook to demonstrate they comply with best practices for countering illegal content to earn the law’s protections.

We support efforts to bring greater transparency to algorithmic systems, offer people more control over their experience and require audits of platforms’ content moderation systems – which, of course, include algorithms. We also support standards-setting processes that tackle questions like how to measure ‘bias’ in an algorithm that – once established – could be required across the industry.

We agree that Congress should act to make rules clarifying how platforms can or should share data with university-affiliated researchers for research purposes, potentially through a new Federal Trade Commission division.

We’ve called for Congress to do more to protect against influence operations, by creating deterrence no industry effort can match. Congress could act now to mandate platform transparency, enable lawful information sharing, and impose liability directly on the people and organizations behind malicious influence operations.

And Congress can break the deadlock on federal privacy legislation. The United States is watching from the sidelines as others write the global playbook on privacy. A comprehensive federal privacy law could enshrine consumers’ rights and enhance corporate accountability. We also need data portability legislation giving people the ability to take their data to other services while protecting privacy.

It’s long past time for Congress to set clear and fair rules. That’s how we’ll make the internet safer, while also ensuring that creativity and competition continue to thrive online.

Nick Clegg is vice president of global affairs at Facebook, a former deputy prime minister of the United Kingdom and a former member of the European Parliament.

A protest sign outside the U.S. Capitol depicting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg surfing on a wave of cash on Sept. 30. Eric Kayne/AP Images for SumofUS

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The political power of Facebook Thierry Meyssan

Posted by M. C. on October 14, 2021

In the global imagination, Facebook would be a responsible social network that allows everyone to connect confidentially while censoring messages contrary to local laws. In practice, it is quite different. Facebook collects information about you for the NSA, censors your opinions and mints its own currency. In a few months, this company has become one of the most influential players in world politics.

Edward Snowden revealed that Facebook had joined the ultra-secret PRISM electronic surveillance network allowing the National Security Agency (NSA) to access the personal data of all its customers. But nothing has leaked out about what use the NSA makes of it.

https://www.voltairenet.org/article214354.html

by Thierry Meyssan

Facebook as a social network

The most important political player on the Internet is the social network Facebook. As of January 1st, 2021, it had 2.85 billion monthly active users and 1.88 billion daily active users worldwide. The social network routinely censors posts that include nude photos, sexual activity, harassment, hate speech, forgeries, spam, terrorist propaganda or violence using particularly crude and unfair artificial intelligence. It shuts down accounts that it deems dangerous, either because they have been censored several times or because they are linked to enemies of the United States.

Facebook is a huge company that includes Instagram, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Oculus, Workplace, Portal, Novi. It employs over 60,000 people.

Facebook as a bank

Facebook now issues its own currency as a state, the Libra. It is backed by a basket of currencies composed of 50% dollars, 14% yen, 11% Serling pounds and 7% Singapore dollars [1].

By becoming a bank whose currency is progressively accepted by Internet sales sites, Facebook is building a parallel economy, both virtual and global, that is larger than the economy of many states.

Facebook and its users

Facebook calls on its users to detect accounts that violate its rules. It opens a file on each of its informants and notes them [2].

Facebook, which claims to treat every user equally, has secretly compiled a list of 5.8 million VIPs to whom its rules do not apply. Only they can say and show everything [3].

Cambridge analytica and the NSA

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Facebook Announces Sweeping New Speech Restrictions

Posted by M. C. on July 23, 2021

Anti-discrimination comes to mean enforced silence on behalf of protected groups, no matter how central the issue in question is to the nation’s political and social future.

https://www.city-journal.org/facebook-announces-sweeping-new-speech-restrictions?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Organic_Social

Arthur Milikh

The battle over permissible speech in American society was helpfully, and predictably, elaborated by Facebook last week in an update to its “hate speech” rules. The social media giant’s changes are a signal of the new limits being placed on political expression and the freedom of the mind. Other major American institutions are almost sure to follow its lead.

Until recently, most online platforms largely defined “hate speech” as speech that could lead to imminent physical harm. But Facebook now demands that its users “not post” speech critical of “concepts, institutions, ideas, practices, or beliefs associated with protected characteristics, which are likely to contribute to imminent physical harm, intimidation or discrimination against the people associated with that protected characteristic.”

“Protected characteristics,” according to Facebook, include “race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity and serious disease.” On its face, this sounds neutral and universally applicable. Yet anyone following the matter knows that it is inconceivable, for instance, that Facebook would ban critiques of “cisgenderism,” a concept whose purpose is to attack heterosexuality and the legitimacy of the generative family. It is similarly unimaginable that protected groups would be blocked from criticizing American constitutionalism as a construct of “whiteness.” Oppressor groups, after all, do not possess “protected characteristics.”

Discrimination once meant denying housing, access to public accommodations, or employment to people based on immutable characteristics. This, of course, was corrected by civil rights laws. But discrimination now means speech that protected groups find insulting. In other words, the last place where discrimination exists is in the minds of oppressor groups.

This new view of discrimination conflicts with the basic requirements of political liberty. It means, for instance, that speech defending the traditional family harms the self-respect of LGBTQ people; that arguments in favor of secure borders harm the self-respect of illegal immigrants; and that analyses of the different rates of criminality among demographic groups harm the self-respect of some groups, while also lowering their stature in the eyes of the oppressor group. Anti-discrimination comes to mean enforced silence on behalf of protected groups, no matter how central the issue in question is to the nation’s political and social future.

Serious political deliberation in a nation devoted to constitutional self-government is circumscribed or even prohibited under such restrictions. Big Tech platforms are undeniably the major, if not the essential, forum for political debate today. Pew Research reports that 36 percent of Americans receive news from Facebook. YouTube, whose “hate speech” rules are similar to Facebook’s, accounts for 75 percent of the world’s video viewing.

Forbidding the discussion of “concepts, institutions, ideas, practices, or beliefs associated with protected characteristics” also hobbles the use of speech as a tool for discovering the truth about basic matters. Leading “hate speech” restriction advocates already demand the banning of factual claims, should they harm the self-respect of protected groups. Facebook’s guidelines could preclude the critical discussion of dogmas claiming that all oppressor-group members are unconsciously biased, or that only racism accounts for disparities among groups.

By this logic, the speech of protected groups becomes sacred, insofar as it cannot be subjected to rational inquiry, critique, or even calls for clarification. Liberal democracies separate church and state, but protected groups now form a new priestly class, not only with power over social life and death, but with the capacity to make unfalsifiable declarations.

Facebook’s reasons for these changes are murky. At their most hopeful, Facebook executives once seemed to believe that by connecting the entire world, their platform would help erase the causes of strife and war—like loyalties to nations and gods—without which, they hoped, human beings could live in harmony. “If people are asking the question, is the direction for humanity to come together more or not? I think that answer is clearly yes,” Mark Zuckerberg enthused several years ago.

More cynically, however, prohibiting “hate speech” coheres with Facebook’s business model: users with heightened, enraged tempers do not yield authentic user data that reflects their sellable tastes and preferences. As Facebook knows, “people use their voice and connect more freely when they don’t feel attacked on the basis of who they are.” So, too, is the Left’s pressure apparatus—which now includes the federal government—more effective at compelling corporate decision-makers to listen.

Facebook is one of the referees of our public square, a privilege that grants it the power to determine the thoughts, ideas, concepts, and even political direction of the nation. This immense power must not be permitted to warp the ability of citizens to exchange their thoughts freely and fearlessly.

Arthur Milikh is the executive director the Claremont Institute’s Center for the American Way of Life.

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Facebook Warns Anyone Attending 4th Of July Fireworks That They May Have Been Exposed To Extremist Activity

Posted by M. C. on July 5, 2021

https://babylonbee.com/news/facebook-warns-that-anyone-attending-4th-of-july-fireworks-may-have-been-exposed-to-extremist-content

U.S.—According to reports, millions of Americans will be attending 4th of July celebrations today, many of which will feature problematic displays of the American flag and extreme levels of patriotism. 

“Latest government intelligence says that people who feel proud to live in America are more likely to be insurrectionist Trump supporters or colorblind racists,” said Facebook content moderator and CCP party member Xiu Zhao. “We want people to realize they are putting themselves in danger by attending these hotbeds of extremist activity.”

Facebook will be sending notifications to any user found to have attended a patriotic parade, fireworks show, or cookout. Users will be directed to totally confidential resources to help cure them of their extremism.

“I’m glad Facebook is taking steps to prevent people from going down these dangerous roads,” said Robin Diangelo, racism expert and author of White Fragility. “We as Americans must always remember that America is not for people of color. It’s only for white people. Every time a white person acts in a patriotic manner, he is reminding BIPOCS that they have no place here.”

According to sources within Facebook, users who ignore the extremism warnings will have all their personal information sent directly to the FBI.

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Conspiracy: Theory and Practice – Continuing Ed — with Edward Snowden

Posted by M. C. on June 30, 2021

https://edwardsnowden.substack.com/p/conspiracy-pt1

Edward Snowden

I.

The greatest conspiracies are open and notorious — not theories, but practices expressed through law and policy, technology, and finance. Counterintuitively, these conspiracies are more often than not announced in public and with a modicum of pride. They’re dutifully reported in our newspapers; they’re bannered onto the covers of our magazines; updates on their progress are scrolled across our screens —  all with such regularity as to render us unable to relate the banality of their methods to the rapacity of their ambitions.

The party in power wants to redraw district lines. The prime interest rate has changed. A free service has been created to host our personal files. These conspiracies order, and disorder, our lives; and yet they can’t compete for attention with digital graffiti about pedophile Satanists in the basement of a DC pizzeria.

This, in sum, is our problem: the truest conspiracies meet with the least opposition.

Or to put it another way, conspiracy practices — the methods by which true conspiracies such as gerrymandering, or the debt industry, or mass surveillance are realized — are almost always overshadowed by conspiracy theories: those malevolent falsehoods that in aggregate can erode civic confidence in the existence of anything certain or verifiable.

In my life, I’ve had enough of both the practice and the theory. In my work for the United States National Security Agency, I was involved with establishing a Top-Secret system intended to access and track the communications of every human being on the planet. And yet after I grew aware of the damage this system was causing — and after I helped to expose that true conspiracy to the press — I couldn’t help but notice that the conspiracies that garnered almost as much attention were those that were demonstrably false: I was, it was claimed, a hand-picked CIA operative sent to infiltrate and embarrass the NSA; my actions were part of an elaborate inter-agency feud. No, said others: my true masters were the Russians, the Chinese, or worse — Facebook.

Contrary to what a surprisingly large number of people on Twitter believe, that is very much not me.

As I found myself made vulnerable to all manner of Internet fantasy, and interrogated by journalists about my past, about my family background, and about an array of other issues both entirely personal and entirely irrelevant to the matter at hand, there were moments when I wanted to scream: “What is wrong with you people? All you want is intrigue, but an honest-to-God, globe-spanning apparatus of omnipresent surveillance riding in your pocket is not enough? You have to sauce that up?”

It took years — eight years and counting in exile — for me to realize that I was missing the point: we talk about conspiracy theories in order to avoid talking about conspiracy practices, which are often too daunting, too threatening, too total.


II.

It’s my hope in this post and in posts to come to engage a broader scope of conspiracy-thinking, by examining the relationship between true and false conspiracies, and by asking difficult questions about the relationships between truth and falsehood in our public and private lives.

I’ll begin by offering a fundamental proposition: namely, that to believe in any conspiracy, whether true or false, is to believe in a system or sector run not by popular consent but by an elite, acting in its own self-interest. Call this elite the Deep State, or the Swamp; call it the Illuminati, or Opus Dei, or the Jews, or merely call it the major banking institutions and the Federal Reserve…

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How Facebook Turned its Market Success Into a Culture War on America | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on June 5, 2021

Those who dislike these companies don’t like to hear it, but this is the reality: Google, MLB, Facebook, et al. are powerful companies not simply because they are big and enjoy some regulatory advantages. They’re winning mostly because the general public either actively likes them or at least can’t be bothered with finding alternatives. 

https://mises.org/wire/how-facebook-turned-its-market-success-culture-war-america

Ryan McMaken

In twenty-first-century America, millions of Americans—Christians and social conservatives especially—are finding that the nation’s most influential institutions appear to be implacably hostile toward them.

These institutions include universities, public schools, the news media, and government bureaucracies. Moreover, corporate America has increasingly embraced a posture of hostility toward groups considered to be “right wing” or conservative.

Recent examples are numerous, to say the least. Major League Baseball, for instance, recently moved its all-star game out of the state of Georgia with the explicit purpose of punishing voters and policymakers who supported policies MLB didn’t like. These “objectionable” policies were mostly supported by conservatives. Meanwhile, YouTube—owned by Google—bans content creators who express opinions Google’s employees and leaders disagree with. These opinions are usually ones we would consider to be “conservative” or at least “anti-Leftist.” Twitter and Facebook employ a similar bias when actively intervening to ban users and opinions deemed unacceptable by corporate personnel.

In other words, corporate power is being used to wage ideological battles far beyond the usual issues of minimizing the firm’s tax burden or avoiding regulatory compliance costs. Corporate America has chosen a side in the culture war.

This evolution from market entrepreneur to exploitive plutocrat illustrates a problem with the interventionist state in a mixed economy: economic power tends to be converted into political power. Moreover, so long as consumers continue to pour resources into powerful firms through the marketplace, these firms’ exploitation of competitors, taxpayers, and ideological adversaries is likely to continue. 

Market Democracy: How Firms Get Rich in the Marketplace

Ludwig von Mises understood that in a market economy, the firms that are most successful are those that succeed in the “democracy” of the marketplace. Mises describes this “consumers’ democracy” in Socialism:

When we call a capitalist society a consumers’ democracy we mean that the power to dispose of the means of production, which belongs to the entrepreneurs and capitalists, can only be acquired by means of the consumers’ ballot, held daily in the marketplace.

In other words, the money goes where the consumers want it to go, as directed in their daily spending decisions in the marketplace. Those business owners who convince consumers to willingly hand over their money are the business owners who end up controlling the most resources.

This is a frequent theme in Mises’s writing. If we imagine the market economy as an immense seafaring ship, Mises notes, the capitalists are only the “steersmen” of the ship. If they wish to succeed, the capitalists must ultimately take orders from the consumers, who are the real captains of the ship.

This is generally the case with most of the firms which we today find are increasingly and openly political and ideological. Firms like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and the like became megacompanies by delivering a product or service that a large number of people freely chose to use.

This doesn’t make these firms superior on a moral or philosophical level, of course. Just because a firm is good at delivering what the consumers want doesn’t mean it is spiritually edifying, or morally upright. These firms’ success merely means people like to use their products. The end. That’s it.

After all, we can point to plenty of successful enterprises that aren’t exactly laying the foundation for a virtuous and prosperous commonwealth. Pornographers, for instance, make boatloads of money. They’re very popular with consumers. At least with male ones. This doesn’t make pornographers national treasures. 

Corporate Welfare Is Only Part of the Picture

But it is hard to deny that firms like Google and Facebook got to where they are by winning “votes” in the “consumers’ democracy.” Nonetheless, some critics of today’s corporate jihad against ideological adversaries insist that these firms are only successful because they are “monopolies” or that they only gained so much market share by dirty tricks and corporate welfare schemes.

These claims are generally unconvincing. Certainly, these firms are today able to gain some advantages by manipulating the policy environment through lobbying and other political efforts. Yes, these firms have likely managed to increase profits and diminish competition through intellectual property laws, through tax breaks, and through regulations that favor large firms over small firms. These are bad things, and these firms increase the profitability of their companies at the expense of both competitors and taxpayers. 

[Read More: “The Plutocrats of Wall Street and Silicon Valley Are Scamming America“ by Ryan McMaken]

But the primary and most fundamental reasons that these firms became large and powerful in the first place is the fact they were skilled at the game of market democracy. Direct competitors to Google, Facebook, and Twitter exist. Few people choose to use them. There are plenty of things to watch on television other than Major League Baseball—many of which are a lot less boring than baseball. Yet countless consumers continue to watch MLB games anyway. 

Those who dislike these companies don’t like to hear it, but this is the reality: Google, MLB, Facebook, et al. are powerful companies not simply because they are big and enjoy some regulatory advantages. They’re winning mostly because the general public either actively likes them or at least can’t be bothered with finding alternatives. 

If we are upset with the fact that these companies command immense amounts of resources and can use these resources for political purposes, it’s easy to find who is most to blame: the American consumer. 

The Losing Side of Market Democracy

In a system of market democracy, the consumers chose the winners. But since we live in a mixed economy and under an interventionist regime, those winners are now using their resources to crush their ideological opponents. 

This is very frustrating to those on the receiving end of this corporate political aggression, of course. Perhaps even more discouraging is the fact that everywhere they look, conservatives and Christians see relatives and neighbors continue to voluntarily pour their own money and resources into the firms that are avowed enemies of anyone skeptical of today’s corporate ideological zeitgeist. No matter how hostile or condescending these firms and their leaders get, hundreds of millions of consumers of all ideological bents just keep slavishly logging in to Facebook and watching many hours of videos on YouTube.

What Can Be Done?

For those who keep losing to their ideological opponents in the marketplace, this raises a question: If a large number of consumers insist on supporting firms and CEOs who are openly hostile to a certain segment of the population, what can be done?

There are three possibilities:

  1. Use the regime’s coercive power punitively against one’s ideological opponents.
  2. Use regime power to strip opponents of any advantages they may enjoy in terms of monopoly power, regulatory favors, tax advantages, and political influence.
  3. Deprive these ideological opponents of resources by successfully competing against them in the democracy of the marketplace.

The first option is the most attractive to the average American playing a shortsighted game. It’s the usual political “solution”: I see a problem, so let’s pass new government regulations to “fix” things! In this case, we might envision laws designed to make social media companies be “fair.” Of course, we’ve seen attempts at making media be “fair” before. Federal regulators spent much of the twentieth century regulating “fairness” in media. To see the success of that effort, we need only look at most TV news. Regulation fails again and again. Moreover, it only paves the way for larger amounts of bureaucratic control over the lives of ordinary Americans. When the other side again gains control of the regime, these regulatory powers are then used against those who naïvely thought the regulations would fix anything.

The second option is more promising. It is always a good idea to seek out and destroy any regulations, statutes, or taxes that favor large firms over smaller firms and potential competitors. This means abolishing any tax “incentives” that can be accessed by large firms, but not by smaller firms. It means slashing the duration of patents and other forms of intellectual property. It means ending any special legal protections enjoyed by these firms—such as those in so-called Section 230

But even with all those legal advantages and tricks removed, these firms may continue to be successful and influential firms for many years to come. So long as these firms enjoy the votes of consumers in the “consumers’ democracy” the firms are likely to be profitable. The firms will consequently have access to immense amounts of resources, with which they can buy political influence and promote their own vision for American society. 

Only when these firms face real competition from successful competitors—or when consumers change their buying habits in other ways—will the situation change. That’s bound to happen eventually. But for those who fear the political clout of these corporate behemoths, it’s imperative to speed up the process. Author:

Contact Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken (@ryanmcmaken) is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. Send him your article submissions for the Mises Wire and Power&Market, but read article guidelines first. Ryan has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado and was a housing economist for the State of Colorado. He is the author of Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre.

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Only You Can Beat Big Tech Censorship

Posted by M. C. on January 29, 2021

Think it through folks. Amazon’s AWS doesn’t become a dominant player without those vaunted contracts with the CIA. Parler, at a minimum should have an expectation of service per any legal contractual arrangement, and as such is due damages from Amazon for unilaterally breaching that basic trust.

Facebook doesn’t grow to become the monster it is without strategic investments by quasi-governmental companies like Goldman-Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

Google doesn’t become the ad revenue generating machine if it had had to properly pay its bandwidth costs for the content they forced on us.

https://tomluongo.me/2021/01/27/only-you-can-beat-big-tech-censorship/

Author: Tom Luongo

This article originally appeared at Daily Libery News

When Facebook censors Ron Paul, or Twitter bans President Trump, is that censorship?

Or because these are private companies, does that automatically make it NOT censorship?


Amazon banned Parler, but is it their right as a private company to choose their customers?

That’s the crux of the issue I need to address with you in today’s post-Trump world of social media.

Because make no mistake “Big Tech” repression is a foundational problem facing any society that considers itself even somewhat free. In the wake of the allowed ‘assault on the Capitol’ and the confirmation of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the U.S., the big tech firms which control access to speech went ballistic.

Conservatives along with President Trump himself were wiped from the public square. Any mention of the election being stolen or open support on Twitter of Trump himself was flushed down the memory hole.

This is censorship of the highest order by these firms to put parameters around political speech in the U.S. where such a right is enshrined in the Constitution. None of it is constitutional.

But the problem is far deeper than that. The deplatforming of Parler, one alternative social media platform to Twitter, via corporate collusion by Apple, Google and Amazon was something far more sinister than Twitter silencing the sitting president of the U.S.

This was a blatant hit job by companies stifling competition in the public square for hosting material which is constitutionally protected as ‘free speech.’

But these firms, especially Amazon, who terminated Parler’s server hosting agreement with 24 hours’ notice, lazily applied their vague and ever-changing ‘Terms of Service” to single out Parler and hide behind their status as a private company.

The worst part about this is that libertarians see this as a rational and defensible free market action. And for years adolescent libertarian arguments about corporations being private actors preferable to governments have now been turned around by authoritarians who hang us with our own words.

And we wonder why conservatives look at us like we have four-heads when we make such arguments?

When this attack on free speech began, during the 2016 presidential campaign with the first deplatforming of alt-right provocateurs like Richard Spencer and Andrew Anglin of the Daily Stormer website, it was obvious then that these were dry runs for the mass action we’re seeing today, in the name of creating an information-free literal one-party police state.

It was this that prompted former Silicon Valley programmer Andrew Torba to start Gab. Crazed liberals then said,

“If you don’t like Twitter, leave and build your own.”

So, he did. And after the attack on the Pittsburgh Synagogue in 2018, Gab was given the even worse treatment than Parler got last week.
They survived that.

All the while myself and people like Torba were screaming about the duopoly controlling the on-ramp to the mobile web, and no one cared. But we could see this day coming.

And now it’s here.

But this is most certainly not a private property issue as much as it is a contract law issue allowed to fester because of government interference into the marketplace for communications.

Government interference altered the landscape these companies operate in. The grew to the size they are now because of government largesse and federal and state tax revenue into the networks and systems they depend on.

It doesn’t matter that the duopoly is Google and Apple. It could have been Palm and Microsoft. Or Blackberry and IBM. What matters is that the environment wasn’t a level playing field between the companies and the people using the services.

They were paying not only for access but at the same time subsidizing the revenue streams by accepting costs these companies outsourced to government.

It is a cozy arrangement.

The companies outsource their fixed costs and the government outsources their censorship desires that pesky First Amendment forbids them from doing directly.

No wonder the response to the allowed assault on the Capitol was so swift and coordinated.

Think it through folks. Amazon’s AWS doesn’t become a dominant player without those vaunted contracts with the CIA. Parler, at a minimum should have an expectation of service per any legal contractual arrangement, and as such is due damages from Amazon for unilaterally breaching that basic trust.

Facebook doesn’t grow to become the monster it is without strategic investments by quasi-governmental companies like Goldman-Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

Google doesn’t become the ad revenue generating machine if it had had to properly pay its bandwidth costs for the content they forced on us.

Trump nixing ‘Net Neutrality’ put some of that onus back on them, giving ISP’s some latitude to price usage according to their needs rather than Google’s.

All of the above companies, including Microsoft, have been chosen by our government to succeed in this tilted marketplace.

Apple doesn’t dominate the mobile internet in the U.S. without all those user fees and taxes tacked onto the cost of your monthly cellphone bill.

If these companies were operating on their own private satellite and wire networks then they would absolutely be in the right, via the application of private property rights, to set whatever terms of service they wanted.

I, as a libertarian, fully support that.

And also, as a libertarian, understand that public property always creates a tragedy of the commons scenario.

But when you operate in the public sphere, when you move your goods and services on the digital equivalent of the public road system (not a digression I want to get into today) and your corporate charter exists within the framework of U.S. and state contract law it is clear that these companies are neither wholly private entities with respect to their customers nor neutral actors trying to enforce public decency standards.

They are acting in their best interest to stifle competition – Gab, Parler, Minds, etc. – while setting precedents to allow for even further restrictions of speech through lawfare thanks to a complicit and fully cowed legal system.

And herein lies the smart path to reining them in, if it is at all possible at this point, since it’s clear the Biden Administration is ready to reframe all speech critical of the U.S. government as ‘domestic terrorism’ giving all of these companies the legal justification into the future to unperson all dissent.

Removing their Section 230 immunity under the Communications Decency Act is paramount. It will not happen now. The government is in on the grift, folks, so looking ahead to the 2022 election cycle isn’t an option.

They just proved to you your vote doesn’t count, so it means hitting them in the only place they truly care about, their bottom lines.

So, the first thing to do is sue them into the ground. It will be up to the people themselves to hound these companies through both contract law violations and shareholder revolts because they have done irreparable damage to their brands and their future revenue streams.

That is what has to happen right now. Parler’s suit against Amazon is a good start. A class-action lawsuit by every small business in America now wondering about Amazon’s policies should end this nonsense quickly.

A good judge in a sympathetic jurisdiction should side with anyone making a strong case that modern tech company Terms of Service are ‘contracts of adhesion,’ defined as contracts entered into where one party is so much stronger than the other the weaker party is, in effect, coerced into signing it.

The second thing to do is to simply jack-out. Put the screen down. Stop using it as a substitution for real communications and pull back from the brink.
De-google your life, as I have. Close your Facebook account permanently. You will feel better immediately, trust me. I did this two years ago, to the detriment of the marketing efforts of my business, and I have never looked back.

If you need a social network, use Twitter for keeping tabs on things but save your thoughts and your content for Gab or some other, smaller private community you are a part of.

Being a global citizen is a canard they sold us as some true net positive. But it was something designed wholly to drive us mad and deracinate us to the point of having no home, no culture and no real friends.

It’s no wonder they are trying so hard to shut off the escape routes and only allow certain platforms to exist forcing us to interact with people we don’t like while locked in our homes over a wholly contrived public health emergency.

It was always part of the globalist plan.

Ending this starts with the very libertarian idea of simply opting-out. We don’t need to be plugged into their reality-generating nightmares every moment of every day.

But the thing about the web is that it is built on protocols which are themselves censorship resistant. So, the tyrants of today will be the footnotes of tomorrow. We’ve seen early attempts at censorship-proof blockchain platforms like Steemit. It’s still running even though its growing pains nearly killed it.

The next great service is just around the corner because necessity is the mother of innovation. But the first step is accepting the fact that they’ve won this round and it is now time to change the rules of the game.


P.S.: If you want to see what this looks like, just look at what the guys at Wall Street Bets are doing to the capital markets today. Brokerage outages, trading suspended, newly-minted millionaires.

All because a bunch of hedgies got over-confident of their one-way skimming and thinking no one would press their luck to the breaking point.

They have and it is glorious.

You beat them by turning their supposed advantages and bought-and-paid-for rules of the game back on them.

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Why Twitter and FB must ban the NY Times

Posted by M. C. on January 20, 2021

TAKEAWAY FROM THE TIMES: The vaccine clinical trials are ONLY designed to show effectiveness in preventing mild cases of COVID, which nobody should care about, because mild cases naturally run their course and cause no harm. THERE IS NO NEED FOR A VACCINE THAT PREVENTS MILD CASES.

Therefore, the leading vaccine clinical trials are useless, irrelevant, misleading, and deceptive.

Therefore, what rational human would choose to receive the COVID vaccine?

https://blog.nomorefakenews.com/2021/01/19/why-twitter-and-fb-must-ban-the-ny-times/

by Jon Rappoport

Message to Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey: you have to ban the NY Times. Now.

I’ve got the hard evidence.

The Times, on at least three separate occasions, has published terribly corrosive information that would destroy the official COVID narrative.

Do you realize what that means? People could form a different picture of the pandemic. They could, after reading the Times, decide the situation ISN’T DANGEROUS, AND THE LOCKDOWNS AREN’T NECESSARY. THEY COULD DECIDE ONLY A FOOL WOULD LINE UP FOR THE VACCINE.

I’ll lay it all out for you, dear reader. I’m sure you’ll agree Twitter and FB must take action at once.

ONE: September 22, 2020, the Times: “These Coronavirus Trials Don’t Answer the One Question We Need to Know”:

“If you were to approve a coronavirus vaccine, would you approve one that you only knew protected people only from the most mild form of Covid-19, or one that would prevent its serious complications?”

“The answer is obvious. You would want to protect against the worst cases.”

“But that’s not how the companies testing three of the leading coronavirus vaccine candidates, Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca, whose U.S. trial is on hold, are approaching the problem.”

“According to the protocols for their studies, which they released late last week, a vaccine could meet the companies’ benchmark for success if it lowered the risk of mild Covid-19, but was never shown to reduce moderate or severe forms of the disease, or the risk of hospitalization, admissions to the intensive care unit or death.”

“To say a vaccine works should mean that most people no longer run the risk of getting seriously sick. That’s not what these trials will determine.”

TAKEAWAY FROM THE TIMES: The vaccine clinical trials are ONLY designed to show effectiveness in preventing mild cases of COVID, which nobody should care about, because mild cases naturally run their course and cause no harm. THERE IS NO NEED FOR A VACCINE THAT PREVENTS MILD CASES.

Therefore, the leading vaccine clinical trials are useless, irrelevant, misleading, and deceptive.

Therefore, what rational human would choose to receive the COVID vaccine?

TWO: On August 29, 2020, the New York Times published a long article headlined, “Your coronavirus test is positive. Maybe it shouldn’t be.”

Its main message? “The standard [COVID PCR] tests are diagnosing huge numbers of people who may be carrying relatively insignificant amounts of the virus…Most of these people are not likely to be contagious…”

“In three sets of testing data…compiled by officials in Massachusetts, New York and Nevada, up to 90 percent of people testing positive carried barely any virus, a review by The Times found.”

“On Thursday, the United States recorded 45,604 new coronavirus cases, according to a database maintained by The Times. If the rates of contagiousness in Massachusetts and New York were to apply nationwide, then perhaps only 4,500 of those people may actually need to isolate and submit to contact tracing.”

TAKEAWAY FROM THE Times: The 90% of people tested, who “carry barely any virus,” are FALSE POSITIVES. Up to 90% of ALL people who have been labeled “COVID cases” are not COVID cases. This fact would downgrade the pandemic to “just another flu season.” And there would be no reason for lockdowns.

THREE: NY Times, January 22, 2007, “Faith in Quick Tests [PCR Tests] Leads to Epidemic That Wasn’t.”

“Dr. Brooke Herndon, an internist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, could not stop coughing…By late April, other health care workers at the hospital were coughing…”

“For months, nearly everyone involved thought the medical center had had a huge whooping cough outbreak, with extensive ramifications. Nearly 1,000 health care workers at the hospital in Lebanon, N.H., were given a preliminary test and furloughed from work until their results were in; 142 people, including Dr. Herndon, were told they appeared to have the disease; and thousands were given antibiotics and a vaccine for protection. Hospital beds were taken out of commission, including some in intensive care.”

“Then, about eight months later, health care workers were dumbfounded to receive an e-mail message from the hospital administration informing them that the whole thing was a false alarm.”

“Now, as they look back on the episode, epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists say the problem was that they placed too much faith in a quick and highly sensitive molecular test [PCR] that led them astray.”

“There are no national data on pseudo-epidemics caused by an overreliance on such molecular tests, said Dr. Trish M. Perl, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins and past president of the Society of Health Care Epidemiologists of America. But, she said, pseudo-epidemics happen all the time. The Dartmouth case may have been one the largest, but it was by no means an exception, she said.”

“Many of the new molecular [PCR] tests are quick but technically demanding, and each laboratory may do them in its own way. These tests, called ‘home brews,’ are not commercially available, and there are no good estimates of their error rates. But their very sensitivity makes false positives likely, and when hundreds or thousands of people are tested, as occurred at Dartmouth, false positives can make it seem like there is an epidemic.”

“’You’re in a little bit of no man’s land,’ with the new molecular [PCR] tests, said Dr. Mark Perkins, an infectious disease specialist and chief scientific officer at the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, a nonprofit foundation supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. ‘All bets are off on exact performance’.”

“With pertussis, she [Dr. Kretsinger, CDC] said, ‘there are probably 100 different P.C.R. protocols and methods being used throughout the country,’ and it is unclear how often any of them are accurate. ‘We have had a number of outbreaks where we believe that despite the presence of P.C.R.-positive results, the disease was not pertussis,’ Dr. Kretsinger added.”

“Dr. Cathy A. Petti, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Utah, said the story had one clear lesson.”

“’The big message is that every lab is vulnerable to having false positives,’ Dr. Petti said. ‘No single test result is absolute and that is even more important with a test result based on P.C.R’.”

TAKEAWAY FROM THE TIMES: No large study validating the uniformity of PCR results, from lab to lab, has ever been done. At least a dozen very large studies should have checked for uniform results, before unleashing the PCR on the public; but no, this was not the case. It is still not the case.

Now imagine the scandalous information in these three NY Times articles appearing everywhere—on Twitter, FB, Instagram, etc. It would be terrible for Bill Gates, Fauci, and other great leaders in the Holy Church of Biological Mysticism.

Political leaders and public health experts would have, on their hands, a major refutation of their whole narrative about the “deadly pandemic.”

We can’t allow that.

We must protect the public from the Times.

The only way to achieve this is through censorship.

Ban the NY Times from Twitter and Facebook.

Do it now.

If Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg refuse, Attorneys General of all 50 states should sue them at once.

Freeze their personal and corporate bank accounts.

Place them on a special list of “COVID insurrectionists.”

As for the Times, seize their assets, remove them from online platforms, stop the distribution of their newspapers—using military force, if necessary—and cut off all communication from their wire service to other news outlets.

Keeping the public safe is paramount. This is our duty.

CENSORSHIP IS FREEDOM.

MIND CONTROL IS LOVE.

LOCKDOWNS LEAD TO PROSPERITY.

That is all for now.


SOURCES:

[1] nytimes.com/2020/09/22/opinion/covid-vaccine-coronavirus.html

[2] nytimes.com/2020/08/29/health/coronavirus-testing.html

[3] nytimes.com/2007/01/22/health/22whoop.html


The Matrix Revealed

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Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.

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