Tag Archives: Facebook

Gangsters of tomorrow?

I was alerted to an article regarding ‘Facebook labelled ‘digital gangsters’ by report on fake news‘ on LinkedIn. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/feb/18/facebook-fake-news-investigation-report-regulation-privacy-law-dcms) is an interesting read, but there are issues (they always are). First of all Facebook is not innocent, Facebook has bungled a few items and they have done so several times, we have all seen that. Yet the report (at https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmcumeds/1791/1791.pdf) has a few issues too and it starts in the summary. It starts with “We have always experienced propaganda and politically-aligned bias, which purports to be news, but this activity has taken on new forms and has been hugely magnified by information technology and the ubiquity of social media. In this environment, people are able to accept and give credence to information that reinforces their views, no matter how distorted or inaccurate, while dismissing content with which they do not agree as ‘fake news’. This has a polarising effect and reduces the common ground on which reasoned debate, based on objective facts, can take place“, the issues here are:

  1. Magnified by information technology and the ubiquity of social media.
  2. People are able to accept and give credence to information that reinforces their views.
  3. Dismissing content with which they do not agree as ‘fake news’.
  4. Reduces the common ground on which reasoned debate, based on objective facts, can take place.

First of all, these are not lies, they are correct as elements. Yet we need to take another look at these issues. In the first the common side of social media is the part that makes all people talk to one another, even as we agree that when it comes to the display of news people do not really tend to talk, they often merely voice an opinion or a thought. Having an actual conversation in mobile distance based events is as rare of finding a £10 in the jeans you just took out of the washing machine. The second is obvious, it always has been so even before the age of social media, and the difference is that they now voice it to thousands of people at the same time, exposing millions of people to millions of voiced views. When it comes to item three, try to find an accepted labour idea in a conservative house of commons and vice versa, debunking each other’s views is a state of active mind and the non-elected get to have a lot more attention than the elected one (a weird logical truth), it has been the clear path of exposure since even before WW2, the fact that the loudest voice gets the room is not new, it is merely the fact that we get to hear twenty thousand loud mouthing opinions. It is number 4 that is the one issue that gives additional rise to the first three. When I search ‘News’ in Facebook I get the BBC, Nine News, ABC News, News.com.au, and several more. Yet the issue is not that they are there, it is what they state is very much the issue and the report is seemingly interestingly ignoring that part.

For News.com.au I get ‘Kate Ritchie smokin’ undies shoot‘ linking to: ‘Nova radio host Kate Ritchie stars in sexy underwear campaign‘, ‘Woolworths to axe $1-a-litre fresh milk but Coles refusing to follow’, and ‘Sailor from World War II kissing photo dies at age 95’, so as ‘news value’ goes, the value of news is very much a discussion a well, these organisation use social media to the max as to increase exposure to self, which is what it is supposed to do, the committee seems to have forgotten that part. The BBC is all about news, even as ’50 Cent: Claims police told to ‘shoot’ rapper investigated’ stands out a bit (it is still news). 9 News gets the attention with: “Human remains have been found during the search for a woman who went missing more than 300km away, with two people in custody over her suspicious disappearance“, it is all about the clicks as the article (on their site) gives us from the beginning “Human remains have been found in Victoria’s east“, the news themselves are exploiting social media to improve circulation (clicks are everything), yet that part is missing in all this. When it comes to ‘fake news’ the media is equally to blame, yet that part was clearly missed by the committee.

And as we see the news “There’s nothing new about personalised number plates, but soon drivers will be able to go a step further and add emojis!“, all this 2 hours ago whilst,

  • Hamas enlists female participation in border riots
  • London social housing block residents warn of ‘death trap’ conditions
  • Terror expert warns Sweden against repatriating Syria jihadists

They are merely three out of a whole range of news items that do not make it to social media. The issue of ‘the common ground on which reasoned debate‘ requires a much wider base and the media is not using social media for that, it makes the media equally to blame, a part that has not been put under the spotlight either. The media uses social media as it is supposed to be used and it seems that the committee is a little too much in the dark there.

On page 10 we get: “In our Interim Report, we disregarded the term ‘fake news’ as it had “taken on a variety of meanings, including a description of any statement that is not liked or agreed with by the reader” and instead recommended the terms ‘misinformation’ and ‘disinformation’. With those terms come “clear guidelines for companies, organisations and the Government to follow” linked with “a shared consistency of meaning across the platforms, which can be used as the basis of regulation and enforcement”.” You see ‘fake news’ is at the heart of the matter and when we see ‘disregarded’, as well as ‘a variety of meanings’ we get the first part that this is about slamming Facebook (always entertaining mind you), yet the media is at the heart of the matter and they too need to be held to account in all this. It is enhanced by statement 16 on the next page: “proliferation of online harms is made more dangerous by focussing specific messages on individuals as a result of ‘micro-targeted messaging’“, it sounds nice until you realise that the media themselves are doing this too, so the overall view gets to be skewed by the media from the start. So consider ‘Start-up founder says employees should only work six-hour days’, whilst in the text we see (amongst more) “Next, we should cut down or get rid of tasks that “don’t add value” such as slashing wasteful meetings in half and switching off distracting notifications. For process-oriented jobs, Mr Glaveski said it was a good idea to automate where possible, and where it wasn’t, the option of outsourcing should be explored“, which largely impedes the existence of places like IBM, Microsoft, and a few other large players. Yet the idea is concept based and the optional loss of 25% income is not expressed as to the stage of who can afford to continue on that premise.

In all this, the media has its own need for micro-targeted messaging, where that ends is not a given and that part does not matter,  it does matter that the message micro and macro is enhanced by the media themselves, yet where is their part mentioned in all that?

When the reports finally makes it to Data use and Data targeting we get: “We have instigated criminal proceedings and referred issues to other regulators and law enforcement agencies as appropriate. And, where we have found no evidence of illegality, we have shared those findings openly. Our investigation uncovered significant issues, negligence and contraventions of the law“, which we wold expect, yet in light of the larger issue where we see: “the use of data analytics for political purposes, which started in May 2017. It states that it “had little idea of what was to come. Eighteen months later, multiple jurisdictions are struggling to retain fundamental democratic principles in the fact of opaque digital technologies”“, I taught it 20 years ago, although not in a political setting, yet the use of data analysis was used in political fields as early as the mid 80’s, so the confusion is a little weird, especially when the footnote linked to the report (at https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-taken/2260271/investigation-into-the-use-of-data-analytics-in-political-campaigns-final-20181105.pdf) gives us on page 8: “Particular concerns include the purchasing of marketing lists and lifestyle information from data brokers without sufficient due diligence, a lack of fair processing and the use of third party data analytics companies, with insufficient checks around consent“, the issue not given is that marketing lists have been available for 20 years, laws had the option of being adjusted for well over 15 years, yet the players only realised too late (some never did) how affordable Facebook and other social media players made this route towards creating awareness, as well as using media to adjust a person’s view became a cheap solution for political players that had little or no budget. The paths were there for well over a decade and nothing was done, now Facebook is lashed at whilst the lists of Dunnhumby and like-minded owners (Dutch Airmiles) and several others are ignored to a larger degree, a path that has been open to adjustment for decades. The law could have been adjusted, but no one bothered, now we see the impact and the lashing out at Facebook, whilst the players were clueless to the largest extent, the 2015 evidence seen as we see: ‘dunnhumby: how Tesco destroyed £1.3bn of value in 9 months‘, the initial moment already showed the failing of insight (as I saw the entire Tesco disaster unfold when it happened in 2015), and with:

In haste to ready Dunnhumby for sale, Tesco made two critical errors that left the company unsellable:

First, Tesco terminated its 50/50 joint venture with Kroger, instead restructuring in such a way that Kroger bought out Tesco and formed a new wholly-owned data company called 84.51°. In this new arrangement, Dunnhumby USA retained its other clients and was now free to pursue new business with Kroger competitors, but no lost its access to Kroger’s customer data.

Second, Tesco capped the length of time that Dunnhumby would have exclusive rights to use the data from the 16 million Tesco Clubcard users. As outlined above, Dunnhumby relies on this data not only to derive profits from its partnership with Tesco but also from reselling this data to the manufacturers.

(source: https://digit.hbs.org/submission/dunnhumby-how-tesco-destroyed-1-3bn-of-value-in-9-months/) we see just how clueless the larger players have been and there are additional questions that this committee should be able to answer, yet they cannot and as you can read they decided not to address any of it.

Its members:

  • Damian Collins MP (Conservative, Folkestone and Hythe) (Chair)
  • Clive Efford MP (Labour, Eltham)
  • Julie Elliott MP (Labour, Sunderland Central)
  • Paul Farrelly MP (Labour, Newcastle-under-Lyme)
  • Simon Hart MP (Conservative, Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire)
  • Julian Knight MP (Conservative, Solihull)
  • Ian C. Lucas MP (Labour, Wrexham)
  • Brendan O’Hara MP (Scottish National Party, Argyll and Bute)
  • Rebecca Pow MP (Conservative, Taunton Deane)
  • Jo Stevens MP (Labour, Cardiff Central)
  • Giles Watling MP (Conservative, Clacton)

They should also be held to a much higher account, as I personally see this situation. Not that they have done anything wrong officially. Yet the consideration that we see on page 87 where we are treated to: “As we wrote in our Interim Report, digital literacy should be a fourth pillar of education, alongside reading, writing and maths. In its response, the Government did not comment on our recommendation of a social media company levy, to be used, in part, to finance a comprehensive educational framework“, the fact that digital literacy is missing on a global scale is a much larger concern, one that political players on both sides of the isle in the House of Commons seem to have been ignoring to the largest extent. It should be part of primary school education nowadays, yet it is not.

We see supporting evidence in the ‘Impact of social media and screen-use on young people’s health‘ publication. When we read: “In 2017, however, the Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, reported that children were “not being equipped with adequate skills to negotiate their lives online” and that they needed help from adults to “develop resilience and the ability to interact critically with the world”“, we see one part, it comes from oral evidence Q566, which gives us the question by Stephen Metcalfe ‘There is a lot of emphasis on preparing children and young people for a digital life—on making them digitally literate. What do you think digital literacy actually means? What are the boundaries? What should we be teaching them, and at what age should we start?‘, the response is “A report I put out earlier this year, “Life in Likes,” which dealt with eight to 12-year-olds, focused heavily on emotional literacy. Schools seem to have done a decent job in looking at safety online. Children will now tell you that you should not put out a photograph of you wearing your uniform. People go to great lengths to trace you. Safety within school has really progressed, but the emotional resilience to be able to deal with it is not there yet. The key age for me is about year six and year seven. Beyond that, it is to do with the mechanics: how it works and algorithms. You do get targeted with stuff. It is not just everyone getting this. There are things coming your way because the machine is set up to work out what interests you. There are things around terms and conditions and knowing what you are signing up to. We did a big piece of work last year with lawyers that reduced and simplified terms and conditions from 17 pages to one. Of course, when people read it and it says, “We own all your stuff and we’ll do what we like with it,” it gets a different response. That is probably not the thing that will make us all turn off, but it might make us think twice about what we are doing.” Longfield gives us a good, yet in this case incorrect (read; incomplete) answer.

From my point of view through the abilities within Facebook we forget that ‘There are things coming your way because the machine is set up to work out what interests you‘, yet the numbers do not add up, you see the bigger issue behind it is that people can buy likes and some do, so the person clicks on something that has 50,000 likes, yet if they knew that 45,000 likes were bought they might not have clicked on it. It becomes the consideration of likes versus engagement. That elementary lack is important. Engagement is everything and in the consideration of item 4 earlier where we saw ‘reasoned debate, based on objective facts‘, we might seem to think that clicks are an objective fact, yet they are not. The amount of people engaged in the conversation is a subjective fact, yet an actual fact, bought clicks are not and that is an important failure in all this. So when we are confronted with upcoming 2% digital services tax, which is merely a cost of doing business, whilst the lack of digital literacy that is spawned from a lack of education is a difference that most are not made aware of.

When we finally get to the Conclusions and recommendations we might focus on: “Social media companies cannot hide behind the claim of being merely a ‘platform’ and maintain that they have no responsibility themselves in regulating the content of their sites. We repeat the recommendation from our Interim Report that a new category of tech company is formulated, which tightens tech companies’ liabilities, and which is not necessarily either a ‘platform’ or a ‘publisher’. This approach would see the tech companies assume legal liability for content identified as harmful after it has been posted by users. We ask the Government to consider this new category of tech company in its forthcoming White Paper” we do see a truth, yet again an incomplete one. The media is equally to blame and not holding them to account, letting them focus on populist views and pressures (apart from the authentic news bringers like the BBC, Washington Post and the Guardian), we are pushed into a skewed view from the very beginning, that part was equally important and avoided throughout the report. For example the Daily Mail gives us ‘amazing footage‘ of ‘Heartwarming moment Syria’s White Helmets rescue two puppies from being crushed to death by rubble after a building was torn apart by heavy shelling‘, yet the news given several hours ago ‘Saudi Arabia has provided more than $13 billion in support to Yemen since 2014‘ never made it did it? The Daily mail was all about on how to not open a beer keg (by making a hole in the side using a spigot and a piece of wood) and ignoring ‘UK-based man charged with inciting attack in Germany‘ (source: Washington Post). So when it comes to the entire matter of social media and their ability of being merely a ‘platform’ (which they are) the accountability of the media as a whole is a much larger failure and the fact that the committee decided to leave that on the side invalidates the report to a much larger degree (not completely though) as I personally see it.

Facebook might not be innocent, yet the media as a whole is just as guilty. They have made the consideration of what is ‘fake news’ a much larger issue. The few that do a good job are filtered into silence by the hundreds of media outlets that do what social media is supposed to do, create awareness of self through promotion of ‘self’ on a granular population, as granular as possible.

The fact that the word ‘engagement‘ is only seen three times in the report, ‘click‘ is only seen twice, ‘filter‘ (like: filtering, filtered) is seen once and so is ‘selected‘, yet the last word is not see in regards to what the user of a social media account chose to observe.

All elements at the very foundation of: ‘Disinformation and ‘fake news’‘, in that light, just how valid is that report and what else are the people not made aware of? So in light of the members of that committee and the amount of money they made (and the costs that they gave the taxpayers) through lunches, travel expenses and all other forms of remunerations: Can we get that back please?

 

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The Australian Catastrophic Colliding Canine

I tend to keep my eyes on Europe, mainly because what impacts the UK today will have an impact on Australia a week later; in addition to that, what happens in Japan today when it comes to consumer electronics and mobile events will get to Australia 3-5 years later. In that respect having a larger view on matters is essential to keep an eye on what could become an impact tomorrow.

Yesterday was different, with ‘Regulation needed to save Australian journalism from Facebook and Google, watchdog says‘ we see the impact for Australia now and to be honest, I can’t stop laughing at present. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/feb/11/regulation-needed-to-curb-facebook-and-google-competition-watchdog-says)

When I read: “Rod Sims, said the digital platforms inquiry, which delivered its preliminary report in December, reveals that the market power enjoyed by the digital behemoths is weakening Australian media“, the giggles increase. Especially when we consider ‘the platforms are not creating any original, quality Australian news’, well we could consider that the Australian media is for the most not doing that either. For the most Australian media is weakening Australian media plain and simple. To name but a one issue, October 2012, I alerted the media to an issue impacting 30 million gamers within the commonwealth. I directly alerted Channel 7, Channel 9 and the Sydney Morning Herald; the all ignored it to the largest degree. There were clear screenshots on how the impact was given, yet the left it on the left of what was important. A change by Sony for their gaming community 3 weeks before the PS4 was released, they all (except for the Australian Guardian) ignored it for the most, and perhaps it was not news? What they (as I personally see it) intentionally ignored is that the Sony Terms of Service is a legally binding contract, the mention of a memo is merely a piece of paper that could be ignored the very next directors meeting. The press needed advertisement dollars and Sony is high on that list of needs, PlayStation 4 was big bucks, plain and simple. In addition there were debatable reviews of Microsoft for the period of two years and the least said about Apple the better, as I see it Australian Media is its own worst enemy. It is my personally view to size up global media as a collection of prostitutes with a priority towards the shareholders, the stake holders and the advertisers, the audience comes in 4th position at best. So when I see: “However, while taking the lion’s share of advertising revenue, the platforms are not creating any original, quality Australian news“, we need to wonder where Australian quality news is found. I will agree that this is found at SBS and ABC, but they are the two exceptions to all this.

When the British Daily Mail gives us on the 9th of February “Respected Channel 7 news reporter Emily Angwin (pictured) was said to be furious at a number of work emails questioning the integrity of the newsroom in Melbourne” is anyone actually surprised? Is it true? We cannot tell because in many ways most of the Australian media is no longer that reliable. And from my vantage point it becomes worse when we go to https://au.news.yahoo.com/. Here we see above the fold ‘Hero pitbull breaks out of home to find help for owner during gas leak‘, ‘Restaurant blames waitress for ‘incredibly racist’ receipt‘, and ‘‘Whoah!’ Man’s breath test returns ‘biologically impossible’ result‘. This is the kind of emotional reporting that gives news a bad name. Compare that to abc.net.au where we see: ‘Global drug trafficking operation run out of Villawood detention centre, phone taps reveal‘, ‘Missing persons expert slams investigation of young mother’s suspected homicide‘, as well as ‘Why the AWU wants to question Michaelia Cash in court over union raids‘. So one is clearly about news, the other is about creating emotional events. I let you decide which is which, and as we take notice of: “Given all this, it is also vital that media businesses are not disadvantaged through the exercise of market power or other mechanisms that make it difficult for them to compete on their merits” We see that the there is another case in dispute. The dispute is ‘media businesses‘ versus ‘journalism‘, so I hope that the ACCC realises that not only are they not the same, they are at present mere dimensions apart.

And questions need to be asked at the Channel 9 address as well. We can agree that the headlines are better than those of Channel 7 when we see: ‘Exclusive: Vampire Killer Tracey Wigginton’s disturbing new posts‘, ‘Man found with gunshot wound to his stomach in Melbourne’s north-west‘, as well as ‘Snorkeller found dead on sea floor off Mornington Peninsula‘, yet there too we have issues as every news item gives us headers and banners of advertisement. News is news and the main players have resorted to self-indulgence of advertising, reloading at every page. The journalism is merely second best at best.

It becomes a different puppy when we look at the mention “The financial viability of these businesses is also not assured as demonstrated by BuzzFeed and Vice recently announcing redundancies in Australia, as well as worldwide“, you see from my point of visibility, we see the Wikipage part (for mere illustration) where the visible information is: “Originally known for online quizzes, “listicles”, and pop culture articles, the company has grown into a global media and technology company, providing coverage on a variety of topics including politics, DIY, animals, and business.” Now, I have seen those buzzfeeds on my Facebook page and I decided not to give them any consideration (as a news source). Even as we now see (I was honestly not aware) “In late 2011, Buzzfeed hired Ben Smith of Politico as editor-in-chief, to expand the site into serious journalism, long-form journalism, and reportage.” We can accept and appreciate that Buzzfeed was taking a serious gander into journalism, yet when people are not aware (or another part of them has created more awareness), we get the impact of consideration versus awareness and non-awareness loses clicks, it is that simple, and the same applies for Australian sources. For the most, the only Australian sources I give consideration to are: ABC, SBS, the Guardian (Australian edition) and that is pretty much it; the rest is too often a waste of time. When we are serious about news, we go to the places where they offer it, not where they claim to offer it. That is how I personally see it and I use the Guardian as a source (as it is free) and I neglect the Times (most often) as I am not a paid subscriber and I feel it is money not greatly spend when I am, like most others on a budget, as such it is not money I have available to do that. It is an important factor as I am merely one of many that need to get by on a budget, that too impacts the news and the ACCC is a little ignorant on that part as well.

They might want to strike out at Google and Facebook. Yet Google News gives us ALL the headlines, from almost every source and that links to the local news articles. So when we see “The preliminary report recommended a powerful new authority to oversee the commercial activities of Google and Facebook” My question becomes ‘How is that going to make a difference?‘ In the end this is not about journalism, but about media and they are not the same, if the ACCC wants to make an actual impact, looking at the quality of journalism we will see that Australia will be left with the Guardian, ABC and SBS. When we were introduced to: “The Turnbull government has announced a funding freeze for the ABC but a boost for the Special Broadcasting Service“, whilst the boost is a mere $14.6 million over two years, when we realise that this all reads like a joke, how useless is the ACCC in all this and whilst we see the decimated pool of journalists, what are they doing (apart from wasting our time on something that the seemingly see as a waste of effort and budget), it is from my point of view a mere article on the foundation that reads: “Australian media is seen as irrelevant, we do not know what to do“, and it is shown against the likes of Facebook and Google, where we need to realise that they are also two different dimensions. Facebook is a mass advertisement channel, a channel that assumes that they know what their granular population wants through scripted likes and the scripted likes of the connections of that person, and Google shows the news in directions that the people searched in, or searched for. One is budget based, the other is user keywords based and the ACCC is seemingly in the dark on the fact that for the most people no longer see Australian media as relevant. That is shown a mere 34 seconds ago when I searched for “Channel 7 News” in the News tab, I was treated to: ‘Channel 7 presenter makes heartbreaking plea‘, ‘Ripped bodybuilder ends TV interview on a wild note‘, as well as ‘Caesarean birth to be broadcast live on Channel 7‘. As I see it, when it comes to visibility is seems to me that Channel 7 has a lot to learn as to the bidding on keywords as well as their methodology on how to properly position news, as well as their approach on how they want to present the ‘news’ (https://7plus.com.au/seven-news-sydney), for most people a 44 minute newscast is not the way to go (having one is still important for many though).

In the end, as I see it, the ACCC is up against the image of certain channels, their digital policies, as well as the approach they have towards news and advertisers. It is becoming less about journalism and merely about the positioning of media which is done tremendously below average. If you want to see how it should be done, watch The Guardian (UK) and BBC News (also UK), for those with language skills, the Dutch Volkskrant (at https://www.volkskrant.nl/), as well as The Swedish SVT (at https://www.svt.se/). As I personally see it Australian media has a lot to learn and that lacking part is not up to the ACCC, apart from them bashing the Australian media from drowning people in advertisements to a level that is just making them irrelevant. It is merely my point of view and I might be wrong, yet I personally do not think so. The foreign amount of visitors to the Guardian, the NY Times, the LA Times, the Washington Post, and the French Le Monde (at https://www.lemonde.fr/) are indicative of my views.

So in all that, how are regulations going to solve anything in any near future?

 

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The way of cowards

This is not the first message we see in the news and it will not be the last. We see the everlasting rumble of facilitation and the need to sweep under the carpet the actions of others and never holding them to account. Last week many in the UK were given ‘Instagram bans ‘graphic’ self-harm images after Molly Russell’s death‘, the article (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/feb/07/instagram-bans-graphic-self-harm-images-after-molly-russells-death) gives us a scenario that should kick us all into action, yet not in the way that some believe is the right one.

Even as we saw: “After days of growing pressure on Instagram culminated in a meeting with health secretary Matt Hancock, the social network’s head Adam Mosseri admitted that the company had not done enough and said that explicit imagery of self-harm would no longer be allowed on the site“, we should be angered by the words of Adam Mosseri, yet we are not. The image in this is not as simple as it is given, but it should be. 2 days ago we see ‘Instagram urged to crack down on eating disorder images‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/feb/08/instagram-urged-to-crack-down-on-eating-disorder-images) where the quote: “The Guardian has discovered thousands of hashtags and accounts promoting anorexia, including diaries of weight loss, alarming pictures and comments on goal weights“, we get the advice “Please don’t report, just block,” and that is also the first path where the solution is found. It should instantly apply to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and all other forms of social media.

The simple solution

You as the poster are responsible for the content you post, you can be prosecuted and sued if need be, if a case goes to court all data and information of the account, as well as its posting history will be made available to the prosecuting parties. You are responsible for the created account and the content posted through it.

It is this simple; those who are on that path of chaos and anarchy must bear the responsibilities of the impact. No matter your age ‘I did not know’ is not a valid defence in court. Your life over, no tertiary education (the fast food industry always needs fresh blood).

It is time that we stop facilitating to social media to grow their numbers any way they can, even as the death of Molly Russell is out now, we need to realise that the matter is worse than: “But critics said the changes should have already been made and remained skeptical they would be enough to tackle a problem that some said has grown unchecked for 10 years“, political inaction and facilitation are a direct cause here and it is time to stop fretting and apply every brake we can. The measure ‘including the removal of non-graphic images of self-harm‘, the poster needs to be dealt with, In case of self-harm it might have meant that the proper people talked to Molly Russel immediately, which now implies that Molly Russel could have been alive today if action had been taken earlier. Those who posted fake alerts might find themselves prosecuted, their equipment seized and they can revert to spending hours reading, their library card giving a clear “no internet access” part. There needs to be a price for the damage inflicted. The response ‘I thought it was fun!‘ will not hold water, we have given enough leeway for the longest of times and we need to realise that the parents are often not blameless either.

Dangerous message!

So as we are given: “young people also faced being confronted with pro-anorexia images” we need to be extra alarmed. So when we are confronted with that slogan, how can this be seen as “an ascetic Journey“? If we look at ascetic we see “characterized by severe self-discipline and abstention from all forms of indulgence, typically for religious reasons“, yet most of the younger people will have considered that they meant aesthetic which means “concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty”, what I would call miscommunication through words that sound alike. You see, ”abstention from all forms of indulgence“, does not include do not eat what your body requires to stay healthy, because the message bringer was pretty clear of remaining in the dark to what constitutes indulgence, and whilst we see: the element of “more than is good for you” to be ignored, we see the sliding scale of danger towards that persons health. So even if we agree with “There is a social obligation and whether there is also an industry obligation is an important point that is coming out at the moment as well.” We see that in the end, the poster is not held to account and whilst we look at the statement of images, it is clear that there is every change that the slogan is kept online, which is more dangerous as slogans can become meme’s in the mind of the troubled person hammering second after second until it grabs hold in daily life. The damage is done!

When we set into law the prosecution of the poster, we also see a first step into resolving the state of cyber-bullying, these cowards are hiding in the shadows, feeling that they have fun, yet when the data becomes available for prosecution as they can no longer delete their activities, we see the impact of their fear reversed, we enable the bullied to go after those bullies. These people will now step into the spotlight and they tend to not like it at all.

All elements solved by properly holding the poster to account and that is what most social media fear, because when accountability comes into play posts decline by well over 30% and that is the fear of social media, to be made responsible is also to be made less flammable and social media grows with every online flame, it is a consequence of participation and when there is an emotional flame everyone wants to participate and have their say in it all.

It is Jade (19) who gives us more in the Guardian, who at age 11 engaged in “When my eating disorder and depression were at their worst, I scoured apps like Instagram to find these images which only worsened my self-image. At this time the posts were few and far between. Clearly the amount of images is now vast across almost all social media platforms,” Now we can understand that this is not the fault of social media that people ignore age requirements, yet this is the common issue that has been around for too long, so when we see “It isn’t only Instagram that is riddled with these potentially distressing images, sites or apps like Tumblr, Pinterest and Weheartit are also full of these posts.” we see the stage where the poster needs to be held to account, we see the stage that has been avoided for a decade and all the players know that they have been avoiding the stage. Now there is a new trend, the image of cutting, even as some sources are about the dream, about: “Cutting oneself indicates family problems“, it is now linked in several ways to self-harm and as such the picture becomes less and less transparent to resolve, yet the first option, hold the poster to account is still there and this path has been avoided for close to a decade, the question becomes why?

Age is no longer a valid point, the transgressors had no issues lying about their age, as such they need to directly feel the impact as they throw away their lives, it puts them and their parents in the picture, it needs to become about this as overworked parents all rely on giving their child a tablet or mobile as a toy so that they can be quiet as they are too exhausted, all replacement towards the failure of raising a child (in some cases). In other cases it is the lack of discipline and peer pressure, it has to stop, holding the poster to account has become an essential first step. There is a secondary need to do this, we see in some parts of the world how social media is used to spread extremism (Indonesia), how long until they start looking for tools to do their work for them? How long until we start seeing the impact of “extremist network Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), which has pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS)“, via a fictive 17 year old boy named Kevin living in Springfield (IL) or Richmond (Vi)? He’ll tell you that they gave him a cool video game for promoting and retweeting something he could not read, and his classmates all did the same because Kevin got a really cool video game, that was money in the bank. For the JAD in the end it would have been money in the bank all that visibility for $59 (plus shipping), Google Ads could not have given them a better deal ever. The federal investigation teams will unable to untangle that mess for months, the perpetrators will have moved on weeks before.

That is how I see it!

We need to change gears on all social media fronts and holding the poster to account is a first step. To remove dangers form people like Molly Russell is a first, but it goes beyond that. Even when we see the sceptical foundation of: “Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s PM programme, the digital minister, Margot James, said the government would “have to keep the situation very closely under review to make sure that these commitments are made real – and as swiftly as possible”” people like Margot James and her various international counter parts need to realise that it is way too late for ‘keep the situation very closely under review‘, it is over half a decade too late already, we need to change gears and make a first step towards holding posters accountable for what they post, when it results in fatalities a freedom of expression will not hold water and even if the court decides to do just that, the people have a right to know who that poster was. It gets to be even worse when we consider the factor that Apple played in all this. Their part is less easy to see because privacy is set and at times privacy is just that nobody’s business, yet when it results in the death of a 14 year old and it was a cyberbully that was behind it all? Should Apple be allowed to protect the identity of the murderer? It is not an easy matter and some drawers should justifiably be kept closed, yet the image still remains and that too is a moment where the poster could have been held accountable and holding them to account might have stopped a worse matter earlier on, it was not to be the case.

I believe that dozens of lives could have been saved if political players had acted a lot earlier and a lot more decisive.

 

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Facebook Folly and 5G

There was an article in the Guardian last Thursday. I had initially ignored it for all the usual reasons, yet when I sat down this morning, there was something that made me take another look and the article is actually a lot more important than most people would think. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jan/31/apple-facebook-campus-permissions-revoked-teens-access-data-iphone-app) named ‘Apple leaves Facebook offices in disarray after revoking app permissions‘ shows a different side that goes a lot further than merely Facebook. We see this with: “We designed our Enterprise Developer Program solely for the internal distribution of apps within an organisation. Facebook has been using their membership to distribute a data-collecting app to consumers, which is a clear breach of their agreement with Apple”, this statement alone shows the failing of their legal department, as well as their senior board that works under the strict sense of assumptions. We see this not merely with ‘Facebook had allegedly exploited a loophole in Apple’s approval system to bypass rules that banned the harvesting of data about what apps are installed on a user’s phone.‘ We see another level when we reconsider “Facebook Research, an app the company paid users as young as 13 to install that routed their iPhone traffic through the company’s own servers“. This is not merely about hijacking data; it is about the fact that both the IOS and Android paths are a little too transparent. Academically speaking it would be possible for Apple to distribute a similar app guiding Android people to the IOS data path.

The fact that we now see that others are affected through: “According to an internal memo, obtained by Business Insider, apps including Ride, which lets employees take shuttles between buildings on the company’s sprawling campus, and Mobile Home, an employee information portal, were down“. And it is not merely the Guardian, the Apple Insider gives us: “A report from December claimed Facebook had made special data sharing arrangements with other tech companies, enabling Facebook to collect more data on its users generated on Apple devices, without either Apple or the users’ permission or knowledge.” This now gives the setting that Facebook is getting desperate, when any company needs to rely on Data snooping to keep their momentum up that is the moment we see that any tower, data based or not will fall over.

Part of that came from an article last December giving us: “A damning report on Tuesday provides further details on Facebook’s shady data sharing practices, already under intense scrutiny for the Cambridge Analytica fiasco, suggesting the social media giant enabled Apple devices to surreptitiously collect information about users without their — or apparently Apple’s — knowledge” and the nightmare scenario is not merely that Facebook is gathering data, it is the ‘data sharing‘ part and more important, who it is shared with. This has over the last two months changed my position from waiting what is actually afoot into investigation into actively prosecute Facebook for their actions.

I am certain that the prosecution goes nowhere, mainly because the legal departments allowed for the loopholes to get into position in the first place. It enables the train of thought on how involved Apple was in all that. That train of thought continues when we revisit the Apple Insider quote: “It was revealed yesterday Facebook paid users $20 to sideload a VPN onto their devices, allowing the social network to monitor what participants aged 17 to 35 did online. Claimed to be a “social media research study,” the Facebook Research iOS app took advantage of Apple’s Enterprise Developer Certificates to allow the apps to be distributed separately from the main App Store, as well as effectively providing root access to a user’s device.” In all this the legal teams did not consider the usage and installation of linked VPN applications? Is that not weird?

Bloomberg is trying to water down the event with “Facebook seems clearly to have earned its latest privacy black eye, but it’s important not to overstate what’s going on here. This is essentially a contract dispute“, is it? It seems that the users are victims of deceptive conduct; it seems to me that root access clearly implies that all data and content of the mobile device was made available to Facebook, was that ever clearly communicated to the users installing that?

It is my sincere belief that this was never ever done. So as Bloomberg in trying to add more water to the wine with “Apple’s concern about it’s “users and their data” might well be sincere, but this particular dispute isn’t about the fact that Facebook collected user data; it’s about the way that Facebook collected user data.” Here we see more than merely deceptive conduct, or to use the quote: “I’m not suggesting that what Facebook has done isn’t serious. But neither is it the end of user privacy as we know it“. You see, when you had over root access it means that you had over everything and at that point you have revoked your own right to privacy. And at the top of the watering down of wine, making it impossible to distinguish between the taste of either we see: “But users seemed to know what they were getting into — and were also paid for the privilege“, likely to be Bloomberg foulest statement of the day. Not only do they knowingly hide behind ‘seemingly’ they know for certain that no one will ever knowingly and willingly hand over root access to an unknown third party. It also tends to introduce security flaws to any phone it was installed to, when exactly were the users informed of that part?

So whilst we get another version of: “Twenty dollars per month might not sound like a lot to, say, the typical Bloomberg reader. So imagine Facebook instead had promised one free local Uber ride per month” you all seemingly forget about the international community, who like all others will never get to cash in on those events, or paid responses or alleged dollars for donuts deals. That becomes for the most direct profit for Facebook, access without a fee, how many of those people were part of that event?

Cnet phrases it a lot better with: “I think it’s highly unlikely that the vast majority of the people who went through this whole process really knew the kind of power they were giving Facebook when they clicked OK to install this (app),“, which we see (at https://www.cnet.com/news/facebook-shuts-down-ios-research-app-it-used-to-access-user-data/) by Bennett Cyphers, a staff technologist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

And that is not the only part, not when we enlarge the circle. Two days ago, my predictions become fact after the Sydney Morning Herald gives us: ‘Optus concedes 5G service without best technology after Huawei ban‘, which is awesome, as the IP I came up with does not affect either and allows for Global Huawei (or Google) continued growth. So as we are treated to: “”From a pure technology perspective, Huawei is probably ahead of the other three “Mr Lew said after Optus unveiled plans for a $70-a-month unlimited service with guaranteed minimum speeds of 50Mbps. “But what we’ve got from the other suppliers will enable us to provide a globally competitive service.”” This is actually a lot more important than you think, when mobile app users seek the fastest solution, the more bang per gigabyte, the Huawei solution was essential in all this. So as Optus chief executive Allen Lew now concedes that those not using Huawei technology will be second best in the game at best, my solution will set a new level of e-commerce and information on a global scale and all I asked for was $25M upfront and 10% of the patents, the rest was for Google (or Huawei). It is a great deal for them and a really nice deal for me to, a win-win-win, because the consumer and SMB communities will equally profit. I merely circumvented paths that were not strictly legally required; merely a second tier to equal the first tier and when the speed map drives us forward, the players using second rate materials will end up losing customers like nothing they have ever seen. It’s good to use political short sighted policies against them. So whilst the world is listening on how Apple and Facebook values are affected, no one is properly looking on how Huawei and Google have a much clearer playing field on how 5G can be innovated for the consumers and small businesses. It will be on them to restart economies and they will. They are moving from ‘Wherever the consumer is‘ to ‘Whenever the consumer wants it‘, the systems are there and ready to be switched on, which will be disastrous for many wannabe 5G players. I am giving a speculative part now. I predict that Huawei holding players will be able to gain speed over all others by 0.01% a day when they go life. This implies that within 6 months after going life they can facilitate 2% better than the others and within a year is double that. These are numbers that matter, because that means that the businesses depending on speed will vacate to the better provider a hell of a lot faster than with other players. This effect will be seen especially in the Middle East and Europe. And before you start screaming ‘Huawei’ and ‘security threat’ consider that the entire Facebook mess was happening under the noses of that so called cyber aware place America. It happened under their noses and they were seemingly unaware (for the longest of time), so as security threats go, they are more clueless than most others at present. It boils down to the boy howling Huawei, whilst his sheep are getting eaten by fellow shepherds, that is what is at stake and it shows just how delusional the Huawei accusations have been form many nations. How many of them were aware of the Facebook data syphoning actions?

This gives us the final part where we see the growth of Huawei as we see ‘Saudi-based Telco opens joint ICT Academy with Huawei‘, you might not find it distinct and that is fine, yet this is the same path Cisco took a decade ago to grow the size it has now and it was an excellent example for Huawei to adopt. The middle East is the global 5G growth center and with Qatar 2022 introducing maximised 5G events, we will see that Huawei took the better path, feel free to disagree and rely on AT&T and their 5G Evolution, yet when you learn the hard way that it is merely 4G LTE and now that we also see that ‘Verizon likely halting its ‘5G Home’ service roll-out after test cities, waiting for 5G hardware to actually exist‘, we see the events come into play as I have said it would, America is lagging and it is now likely to lag between 12 and 18 months at the very least, so whilst the world is starting their 5G solutions, America gets to watch from the sidelines, how sad it all is, but then they could still intervene into the Facebook events. They are not likely to do so as they do not see that as a ‘security threat‘. So as we are given: “As reported by VentureBeat, Verizon has detailed that it won’t have true 5G hardware for its 5G Home service ready until later this year. That means expansion to more markets beyond Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Houston won’t be likely until the second half of 2019“, how many people have figured out that ‘expansion to more markets beyond Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Houston‘ implies the largest part of the USA and they are not up for anything before 2020 (and that is me being optimistic).

It is he direct impact of a stupid policy, which in the end was not policy at all, it was merely stupid and we all get to witness the impact and the carefully phrased political denials linked to all that; funny how evidence can be used to sink a politician.

This reminds me of my blog of August 2018 (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/08/23/liberalism-overboard/) where I opened the premise of “the topic would be ‘How to assassinate a politician‘“, I should sell it to Alibaba Pictures or Netflix, it could be my Oscar moment (and cash in the wallet). So, it is true, political folly is good for the wallet, who would have thunk it?

 

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Does smoke mean fire?

We have all heard the expression before: ‘Where there is smoke, there is fire‘, yet what happens when no fire is found, what happens when certain involved parties are all combined in the need for deception?

That is the question; it is not a direct accusation, as I am not aware of all the facts. I am merely in possession of a whole heap of doubt. The latest is given with: “On Thursday, communications giant Vodafone said it is pausing the deployment of new Huawei equipment in its core networks across the globe. The core networks are particularly sensitive as if they are compromised, mass spying can be conducted across them“, the operative part is ‘if they are compromised‘, there is no evidence, there is no case, it is merely Vodafone sucking the proverbial addendum of America. This comes with the addition of “the University of California at Berkeley and UC San Diego — are removing Huawei equipment and shunning its cash. They apparently don’t want to lose funding under the terms of last year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which banned federal funding recipients from using certain products and services“. The mess is increasing and the whole fiasco is all connected to the fact that there is no evidence. At least with Alex Younger (MI6), the premise was that no government should be allowed to be in an optional point of weakness through foreign technology. I do not believe that was the cleverest step to make, but we can argue that it should be seen as a valid national reason, which is fair enough.

There is of course concern in opposition and the Guardian gives is (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jan/27/huaweis-problems-deepen-as-western-suspicions-mount) with: “Critics say Huawei’s rapid expansion is suspicious. Founded in 1987 and focused on selling telecom equipment in rural areas of China, it has grown into the world’s largest supplier of telecoms equipment and second largest smartphone maker. It operates in more than 170 countries, employing about 180,000 people“. OK, I am willing to give that thought, because there is suspicion on that level, yet there is also Facebook, it grew to a multibillion dollar behemoth in less than a decade. At least with technology there are supporting investors when they comprehend the technology and it has been clear in the last 10 years that Huawei was ahead of the curve. My initial assessment in 2014 was that Huawei would soon have at least 20% of the mobile market. I was laughed at by several people, now when I remember them of their short sightedness, they seem to react in denial with statements like ‘I don’t know what you mean‘ and ‘Well, you should have communicated it better‘. Although I did state that Huawei will soon have well over 20% of the mobile market‘ seems to have been clear enough. Now they surpass that with a comfortable distance, and they are not done growing. When I initially discussed my $2B IP idea there were only two players. Google and Huawei, now my benefit to only consider Huawei will have a few more tactical benefits as well as leaving me with a larger slice of that cake which I find appealing as well. that is beside the point of me sticking it to Microsoft and Apple to show them how stupid their path of iterative technology was, in addition, if Huawei pulls it off, it will create a very new cloud technology based growth system. they will do so because all these jokers who are hiding behind ‘security concerns‘ will soon learn that evidence is still adamant and the people are finding out that getting sold short for the benefit of specific Telecom operators come with a massive price tag.

So I found a way around it and create a second system that avoids them altogether, that also means that these players will lost on terabytes of data per day making their losses increasingly uncomfortable. I do have an issue with the quote: “Ren went on a media blitz, breaking years of silence to say the company has never engaged in espionage on behalf of Beijing. “China’s ministry of foreign affairs has officially clarified that no law in China requires any company to install mandatory back doors. Huawei and me personally have never received any request from any government to provide improper information,” he said” I have no doubt that Ren Zhengfei is speaking the truth, yet I am also aware that someone like Chen Wenqing will never knock on the door of Ren Zhengfei, he will find a way around it and get what he needs in another way. By the way that same picture applies to Gina Cheri Haspel and General Paul Nakasone and their links to Microsoft, IBM, Facebook and Apple. You better believe that they are very much on the same page when it comes to their national security, your rights be damned (when National security is discussed).

So let’s not have that pot, kettle and black conversation, shall we?

Then we get to the trade secret part of it all. Oh, and before you get any crazy idea’s. Perhaps you have heard of how in the mid 60’s Israel, through Mossad acquired (read borrowed) the blueprints from the French and when the ban for Israel was clear, they producing an uncanny identical likeness of the Mirage 5, I believe it was called the Nesher, with technical specifications for several main parts to be as perfectly identical as a fingerprint. We were not really that surprised when it happened, yet what was less known was that some documents in the mid 90’s implied that the CIA was very aware of it all before the operation was completed, which shines a light on their need of what they regard to be a trade secret.

This part is important when we realise that the accusation reads: ‘conspiring to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile US Inc.‘. The question is: ‘What Trade Secrets?‘ You see Huawei is a lot more advanced than T-Mobile. Perhaps it is what BGR Media LLC claimed with: “unscrupulous T-Mobile sales reps lie to customers and open lines on their accounts without permission, all to meet unrealistic sales goals“, which is interesting as this is not a think Huawei does, they merely sell hardware and services to companies, not to individuals. Or perhaps the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) findings with: ‘EFF Confirms: T-Mobile’s Binge on Optimization is Just Throttling, Applies Indiscriminately to All Video‘, so how is any of that interesting to Huawei? So what exactly is the formal brief for the case? You see, the media does not divulge that, they give us all the innuendo but not the facts. And when it comes to the accusation ”Huawei used a Hong Kong shell company called Skycom to sell equipment in violation of the US sanctions in Iran“, which might hold water (I actually do not know), yet if the US is unwilling to set that stage by “The U.S. has agreed to let eight countries — including Japan, India and South Korea” to let the Iran sanctions be waived, why are they so specific? Is it merely because their financial and economic setting demands it? How is that proper sanctioning? All that, whilst the media at large is not making any mention of the other 5, we need to see that the entire Iran Sanction is to be seen as a cloak of corruption, if that was not allowed, the oil price would suddenly soar and at that point the US economy would be in deep drenching goo, is that not an interesting side as well? Or perhaps a better clue on how Cisco, Sun and HP equipment makes it to Iran without any hassle, an event that has been going on since 2012, so in all this, the entire Huawei discrimination debacle reads like a joke.

to be quite honest, if there was an actual security issue, I would go after Huawei without a moment’s hesitation, I know I can best Director Igor Kostyukov (GRU), yet going after Chen Wenqing, a man who eats, dreams and lives by the Art of War and optionally one of the few people on the planet whose eyes have seen the actual original version, he would be a lovely challenge for the likes of me. I am no Steinitz, Karpov, Kasparov or Carlsen, but I could be a crazy Bobby Fischer, he’ll never see me coming! (OK, that was my ego talking for a second).

You see, I look beyond the data, beyond what people and politicians hide behind and the entire Huawei mess is a political play of nepotism and fear, because those getting momentum in 5G will set the pace and win the race, that is what America fears it was that simple all along. That truth is easily found, the orchestration (read: rigging) of what would be global 5G rules and the FCC of setting a different stage, the non-accountability of AT&T in all this and that list is growing almost on a daily basis, it gets to be more interesting now that the Democrats from the “Leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission today demanding information concerning possible coordination between FCC officials and carriers in an ongoing legal fight” (source: the Verge) and a few more like them. In the last 15 days we have seen more orchestration and the setting of the stage with specific judges, to get a more appealing situation, when we see that part, we see that the technology gap in America is a lot larger than we think and it is setting the stage of fear against an advanced players like Huawei on an almost exponential growing path. America has seemingly no other optional left. That is why I saw from the beginning that places like Saudi Arabia could fuel exponential growth in 5G and making Huawei larger by the day. It also fuels the growth path back to Europe, because the moment Huawei proves that they have the good stuff, the EU will chose profit over short sighted American policies, because those policies do not pay the bills, profit does and the EU is desperate for any profit it can get.

Consider the billions of value of those networks and the billions of revenue that these networks make in addition through information, advertisement and data collection. America is starting to lose out because they were asleep at the wheel for close to 3 years, it is enough to miss out on an entire technology generation. That is the danger that iterative technology brings. For now I merely wonder what Google can do to stay ahead of it all, because their lives depend on the technologies that Huawei has, when Google search becomes less and less at the point of the spear, merely to be laughingly called Bing v2.1, how do you think Google will react? They optionally have the path to equal Huawei in a new network facilitating stream giving them additional revenue in a new dimension. We might initially think Saudi Arabia and Neom city in the pilot stage, yet that could so one thereafter evolve towards London, Paris and other places to grow strong and fast, because in the end all these policies sound nice, but they all forget the number one clause required. It all requires users and that is the part both Google and Huawei figured out a decade before the sheep (read: IBM and Microsoft) started to get a proper clue.

Too many intelligence wannabe’s focussed on Mark Lowenthal’s Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy, which is an awesome book, and when you consider the simple: “on how the intelligence community’s history, structure, procedures, and functions affect policy decisions“, which is also an absolute truth, yet behind what you would like to have, these people all forgot about the consumers and what they demanded to be their right, that is where their gravy train became another Titanic and the greed driven path went not by one iceberg, but it steered towards one every other hour making it a wreck in the making, the entire 5G debacle in the US is no difference in that regard and I will be around to laugh at those in denial thinking and parroting ‘security concern‘ on all the media without any proper cause or evidence to show for it. Oh, and I am not the only one, a whole score of cyber experts are on that same path, so I am not alone in seeing through the media stupidity, merely seeing on how much bigger experts like me are totally ignored on several levels giving merely the rise and early expectation to someone screaming in some policy department ‘Iceberg dead ahead‘, whilst none of them are qualified or sanctioned to alter course, going straight for the natural Whiskey coolant.

Life can be exceedingly entertaining at time, but for all the tea (and Huawei mobiles) in China, I never expected them to be this hilarious. Sometimes smoke is not fire, it is the steam of a ship striking an iceberg and going down. For those on that ship do not worry, the direct path to land is only 3800 meters away (straight down).

 

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Three privacies walked into a bar

It is not merely the beginning of a bad joke; it has become a distasteful one. Now, for the most I have never really been against social media like Facebook, as it was free and nothing comes for free. Yet in this, I have always advocated and expected certain levels of decency. The Guardian revealed two days ago that large levels of decency have been trampled on to a much larger degree than ever contemplated, and the people remain silent. The people are so uppity uppity on possible transgressions by governments seeking criminals and terrorists, yet they will allow for any transgression towards greed and exploitation, how can we accept any of it?

  1. Show us your tits

It is an old expression, and I heard it first somewhere in the early 80’s. It broadly represents: ‘What have you got to offer?‘ Mostly used by people with absolutely no adherence to either diplomacy or good manners (unless a guy makes the joke to a good male friend). It is the first part in the stage that the Guardian offers in an article (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/dec/19/facebook-shared-user-data-private-messages-netflix-spotify-amazon-microsoft-sony) where we see not merely ‘bending’ the rules; it is the breaking of basic rights towards privacy that is now out in the open. Even as we accept to the smaller degree: “making user data available through loopholes to companies including Amazon, Microsoft and Sony“, can we even contemplate the impact that we would have to face through: “Facebook gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read and even delete users’ private messages“, the fact that these two were allowed to ‘delete’ messages is crossing a line the width of the grand canyon and the fact that those fruits and nuts on Capitol Hill (aka Senators and Congressmen) are clueless in their interviews, showing one stupidity tainted example after another and questions like ‘giving away rights to delete private messages‘ remained largely undisclosed shows just how useless the elected officials have become towards the larger fields of technology.

  1. Merely the tip, or can I shove my whole penis in there?

A small reference to the comedian Jimmy Carr, who once stated: “I can’t get a word in there, let alone my cock“, and that setting gives us the New York Times view of: “Facebook allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent, the records show, and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users’ private messages” (at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/18/technology/facebook-privacy.html#click=https://t.co/p565d1TX5L). As we contemplate: “Acknowledging that it had breached users’ trust, Facebook insisted that it had instituted stricter privacy protections long ago. Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive, assured lawmakers in April that people “have complete control” over everything they share on Facebook“, we see a much larger field opening up. We can think on one side that Mark Zuckerberg had become clueless on what is going on, or he remains intentionally silent on what he believes are personal rights of privacy, the mere realisation that Facebook acknowledges that not one user on Facebook has any rights to privacy is at the core of this stage. It goes further with: “the deals described in the documents benefited more than 150 companies — most of them tech businesses, including online retailers and entertainment sites, but also automakers and media organizations. Their applications sought the data of hundreds of millions of people a month, the records show. The deals, the oldest of which date to 2010, were all active in 2017. Some were still in effect this year” there is a clear transgression going on, and it is merely speculative on my side when we considered the impact of Bing and Microsoft. They have become so afraid of what Google has become that they are willing to stage new settings of alliances against whatever fictive war they face, the innovations that Google has brought and the innovations that Chinese player Huawei is bringing is scaring these large players beyond belief. If they cannot get up to their imaginative version what it means to be ‘on par’ they feel that they will be considered as derelict and considered as merely trivial in the 5G field. That is a much larger realisation and people need to be aware that as they contemplate of what it means to be a major player in the 5G field, the mere perception that they are not that, that they have lost the trust of the people is a much larger hurdle.

The NY Times shows that part in their article with: “Mr. Zuckerberg was determined to weave Facebook’s services into other sites and platforms, believing it would stave off obsolescence and insulate Facebook from competition. Every corporate partner that integrated Facebook data into its online products helped drive the platform’s expansion, bringing in new users, spurring them to spend more time on Facebook and driving up advertising revenue. At the same time, Facebook got critical data back from its partners“. We could contemplate that this is optionally the Ponzi version of a data scheme, but it is as I personally see it more sinister than that. You see, the lower levels would never advance to a higher level and the data would merely flow up to the tip of the pyramid, leaving the rest as mere exploitable facilitators in all this.

  1. Supply Filofax’s to the Russians, it is very organised crime

There is one additional part in all this that could be the beginning of the end for Facebook, as the NY Times gives us: “Facebook, in turn, used contact lists from the partners, including Amazon, Yahoo and the Chinese company Huawei — which has been flagged as a security threat by American intelligence officials — to gain deeper insight into people’s relationships and suggest more connections, the records show“, we are introduced to a much larger issue. Not only has the US been unable to prove the lie (read: non-truth) that Huawei is a National Security danger. We see the makings of the fact that American Corporation (read: Facebook) has been handing over the data voluntarily. As a business solution, Huawei had been able to see where the interactions were the largest and also predict where hardware and software would make it a much better regarded update for consumers, the fact that this data became available gives the first rise (after shown levels of non-comprehension) that technology firms are replacing politicians, politics and policy making them useless as these technology firms have been setting the beat of who gets what data and at which price, yet the US government is not allowed access, not when it can be sold at $14.99 per kilobyte of raw data.

This remains an evolving field and it is not until we get to the part “Apple devices also had access to the contact numbers and calendar entries of people who had changed their account settings to disable all sharing, the records show. Apple officials said they were not aware that Facebook had granted its devices any special access. They added that any shared data remained on the devices and was not available to anyone other than the users“, so not only does the new iPad pro bend under the smallest pressure, which Apple claims is normal (something the consumer was not informed about), we see that the ignorance of their own technology is now a much larger issue all over the playing field. the mere fact that disabled sharing of data still allowed for sharing is an architectural failure of much larger proportions than ever contemplated. In all this data sharing in Huawei devices remains unproven and in all this it seems that Google is not the black sheep some proclaim it is, all whilst Facebook is showing to be without ethics, without regards and without morals, so at what point will we relabel Facebook to Faecesbook?

So as the article ends with: “How closely Facebook monitored its data partners is uncertain. Most of Facebook’s partners declined to discuss what kind of reviews or audits Facebook subjected them to. Two former Facebook partners, whose deals with the social network dated to 2010, said they could find no evidence that Facebook had ever audited them. One was BlackBerry. The other was Yandex” gives a much larger rise to the lack of privacy that up to two billion users have not had for the longest of times. We could argue that it is in the interest of Google, to fix Google+ and allow people to port away from Facebook. When we look at the two players, it seems that Google+ is not nearly as dangerous as Facebook is more and more showing to be. Even as we are considering that Washington DC is suing Facebook, the realisation we get from: “Washington DC has sued Facebook for allowing the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica to gain access to the personal data of tens of millions of the site’s users without their permission“, when we set it against the stage that the guardian, the Times and the New York Times have shown the people. We merely have to print the log of all data shared and number all instances of data transgression will optionally show Facebook to be the most reckless and unethical corporation in the history of technology, that is quite the achievement, and it works for Microsoft as they might proclaim themselves to be saints in a tar pit.

When we consider the quote: “According to a letter that Facebook sent this fall to Senator Ron Wyden, the Oregon Democrat, PricewaterhouseCoopers reviewed at least some of Facebook’s data partnerships“, we see a massive failure by Facebook to police and protect the data of others, and as we already know, those who have the latest mobile phone, we need to realise that this is no longer a mobile phone, the latest phones and the ones for 5G are no longer merely mobile phones, they have become personal data servers and as we are seeing the impact where Facebook has made most of all that data shareable, with people you never agreed on having access, in how much anger will you be from January 1st 2019 and onwards? For me it works out nicely, it merely increases the value of my new IP, which is currently on the rise to a much larger degree than even I contemplated. 2019 might be finally be the year where my life turns largely to the better and at present I feel a lot safer handing that IP to Huawei than to anyone else, that is one reality that Washington DC has shown to the largest of degrees (Mountain View remains a strong contender for now).

The only part in all this is why large parts of all this was not shown clearly in the senate hearing of September 2018. Just contemplate this weekend, what else did that so called Senate hearing not figure out, and how unsafe would you like your personal data end up being in 2019?

 

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The danger of not learning

When do we stop enabling a dangerous setting? That is at the foundation of all this. And the cause of it is not Facebook; it is LinkedIn that makes the error. First of all, when we consider the entire mess, LinkedIn did not break any law, they did nothing incorrect on an academic level, yet they were wrong to allowing this to happen.

The subject here is Zendesk. First of all, there is nothing wrong with Zendesk; they seem to be on the roll to get a service software solution sold. They have a proper website (www.zendesk.com), they have all the checks and marks in place. From my personal view, I do not believe that they have a proper designed website, but that might just be me. I personally do not believe in a web page that scrolls for almost a mile and has a dozen images replacing each other. It is what I would call a bad mobile site, and as the bulk of the decision makers are on mobile, this was not a good step. It has good parts too; their Career page has an original approach (post stamp view) which is very artsy. Their way to bring it is great, yet the execution is not great, so what gives?

It started when I started to get the promoted ads from Zendesk, now there is nothing wrong with that, I have been in customer service for well over a decade on an international level, so that I get this ad makes total sense. The issue starts that EVERY promoted part, demo, white papers and whatever else they are trying to bring, you cannot get them without filling in a form, and there is the first issue, the ‘Zendesk Capture’; Full Name, Work Email and Phone Number. Now, to be fair, their visibility is clear and as I said, they didn’t break any laws. Yet in this age, after all the hassle of Cambridge Analytica, after all the screw ups that Facebook has been tainted with, LinkedIn should not have allowed for this. I think that Zendesk made a massive mistake taking this marketing path in a day and age where details are captured all over the place. We might wonder if someone hacks that Zendesk computer, how many details would be captured.

Yet, when you look at their offering, they have a suite of arrangements, where the cheapest option is an annual plan from ‘Free – $9, per agent, per month‘, so they have the pricing right, they have the options and the seemingly have set it all in perfect motion, so why capture the data? True service minded corporations should be walking down the door.

And as I said, this is not about Zendesk, this is about LinkedIn. I consider the allowance of this path a massive mistake. It was only last week when we were alerted to another Facebook mishap with: “Approximately 15 million of the victims had their name and contact details disclosed. While the hackers were able to see personal information, including education and employment background and location check-ins, of a further 14 million.“, this was only last week and we see additional news a mere 8 hours ago, so when it comes to personal data, LinkedIn should not allow for ANY kind of data collection if someone wants to show how good they are and not allow any promoted material to be linked to data capture.

Is there an exemption?

Yes, I think it is not wrong that someone would merely hand out their email (not necessarily their work email) to receive the link to a white paper, although we can equally argue that the link could have been in the story they promoted. Optionally that paper could have been uploaded to LinkedIn and distribution went via LinkedIn, as this is a promoted ad, so we can assume that it had to be paid for and LinkedIn had a service minded need to complete the (optional) distribution. None of that was done.

All optional solutions to keep their user base data safe and LinkedIn did none of these.

And when we do get to LinkedIn, we get more (at https://www.linkedin.com/legal/ads-policy). Here we see:

Phishing. Do not use an ad to promote a website that tricks a user into providing personal or other information that can be used to exploit or cause harm to the users.

Well, clearly Zendesk is not into Phishing, and they never tricked anyone, yet the words “providing personal or other information that can be used to exploit or cause harm to the users“, you see, in the end Zendesk cannot guarantee the part of ‘exploit or cause harm to the users‘. If they get hacked that part becomes an issue and again, Zendesk had never done anything incorrect.

In the end, the policies of LinkedIn are flawed as I see them. LinkedIn should never have allowed for these steps to happen, if trust and data is their trademark, then they lost a container load of value just there. The capture of personal data is becoming more and more an issue and as such using advertisement to capture data (I admit that it must be freely given), we see a larger issue. People have shown to be not too bright at times, carelessly handing over their personal and work details.

So the actions of LinkedIn in this matter are regarded as highly questionable by me.

As for Zendesk? They might have made the wrong call to pursue a certain path, yet it seems that they are driven to visibility and growth, with a directors board that is 50% female (I think that this is a first for me to see one that is actually 50/50) and a global drive that could make them a serious player down the track. They have the suite, they seemingly have all the software elements (optionally missing a dashboard element) and they offer nearly all with free trials, so they have a serious A-game in place. I partially wonder why they even bothered trying to capture details in the first place. Ah, and they also have something called Zendesk Sunshine (at https://www.zendesk.com/blog/relate-announce-sunshine-sell-explore/), so as it seems, they have the makings of a dashboard solution too.

They could have gone with: “We have the best customer service software solutions. Prove us wrong!

So this is about the danger of not learning and LinkedIn is in the stage where they aren’t learning and optionally endangering the data (and profiles) of their customers. You see, in the end they might have a policy in place, yet data can end up going somewhere else and as such, in that shown danger a dozen times over, LinkedIn should never allowed for this step to happen in the first place, it does not matter who wanted to capture the data, or what for, it should not have been allowed for.

In this age where data details go somewhere else by the size of millions of users per transgression, not allowing this to happen would have been a first need and that was not done.

Bad LinkedIn, bad doggie!

 

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