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When politicians rely on terrorism

Something really bad happened in New Zealand last week, no one denies that. The impact and repercussions are staggering and will be for some time. Yet he politicians need to wake up and take a long hard look into the mirror. That is the view that ABC News left me with yesterday. The article (at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-19/new-zealand-facebook-christchurch-shooting-video-sheryl-sandberg/10915184) gives us ‘New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern leans on Facebook to drop Christchurch shooting footage‘, I get it, it needs to be deleted, everyone (99%) agrees on that. We were also told on the day after the event “Facebook said it had removed 1.5 million videos from its platforms within the first 24 hours of the shootings and was removing all edited versions of the video, even if they did not show graphic content“, even as we see the added “Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s YouTube said they were also using automated tools to identify and remove violent content” yet still we hear: “Ms Ardern said despite those assurances, the “graphic” vision was still available online“, it becomes time for Jacinda Ardern to wake up and take a long hard look at the state of the situation. I get it, she is in a really bad place having to deal with it, yet the political lack of common sense is now becoming an issue. As I wrote the day before this article (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/03/18/media-out-of-bounds/) in ‘Media out of bounds‘: “This is seen with the Twitch statistics that report “As of May 2018 there are 2.2 million broadcasters monthly“, that comes down to 72,330 streamers every day, there is no technology that will monitor it; there is no AI that could intervene. That solemn common sense moment makes the involved politician part of the problem, not part of the solution. Consider that out of all 0.000138% uploads one is optionally an extremist (this implies one extremist every day), so the number ends up being 0.000003% is optionally too dangerous. We cannot get politicians to put in the effort of keeping up a decent information system that is 75%-80% efficient and they demand 99.999997% efficiency from technology platforms?” That was one source. Now add the YouTube statistics (Jan 2019) “300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute! Almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day” and in addition when we consider that 17 minutes out of 300 hours represents a mere 0.00944% and that is one instance of a total of video’s that is 1440 times the total daily uploaded size, the chance of finding it becomes harder and harder. More important, more changes imply a different digital footprint. That is besides certain tricks that I will not name here. So 100% is scanned, mostly automated. Yet to find that one video places like Google would require an additional 2500 staff members to be hired, and that is YouTube alone. The burnout factor will be massive. That is before someone figures out the solutions that the Mafia employed in the 80’s and 90’s against wiretapping, when that is applied to digital media the manpower solution will fall apart. And it does not end with her, because she at least is up in arms to deal with something that happened on her watch, in her domain. It is the ABC quote: “Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he wanted world leaders to discuss how they could crack down on social media companies to prevent similar videos from being spread online.” It is my question on how idiotic any Prime Minister could get. We do not see the state: ‘he wanted world leaders to discuss how they could crack down on people uploading terrorist video, preventing them from being spread online‘, he goes straight for the tech firms whilst simple top line reports show the delusional state of some of these politicians. The problem has gotten to be too large. Yet according to some news Brenton Tarrant acted alone, so how exactly is all this possible? the issue is a much larger one and it is time for the politicians to do more than to merely nod their heads, they need to become active in hunting down these elements, but that does not look too good on their resume, so like confused sick puppies, they do what was done in 1934, they find a scapegoat and blame those people, so how did that work out in 1934?

I hereby also demand clear presentation of evidence regarding the statement: ‘Social media platforms ‘unable or unwilling’ to take action‘, it becomes even worse when we see: “if the site owners can target consumers with advertising in microseconds, why can’t the same technology be applied to prevent this kind of content being streamed live?” It almost feels like a discussion with a surgeon stating: “Listen, I took out your gallstones, so I reckon that it will be the same with Overian/Testicular cancer, I will just cut out the bad part, OK?” It is not the same, it is something entirely different. The fact that every minute 18,000 minutes of video is uploaded, which is merely YouTube, makes the issue a very different part. When we add the mobile uploads directly to Facebook, Twitch and the two Chan channels that number becomes close to horrendous. For the most, whatever solution you want to employ, there will be a way to diffuse the effectiveness of the digital solution making matters worse every second.

In all this, the media is making matter worse. This is seen with: “In one email exchange New Zealand police requested an American-based website preserve the emails and IP addresses linked to a number of posts about the attack, but were met with an expletive-filled reply. In a reply posted on the site, its founder described the request as “a joke” before calling New Zealand as a “s***hole country” and an “irrelevant island nation”” (at https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/us-website-labels-nz-s-hole-country-refuses-help-police-in-christchurch-terror-attack-investigation), let quality hackers have a go at them, see how they like that.

So if this truly matters, than you will give us all the name of that ‘American-based website‘, the people have a right to know, don’t they? What do you think happens to the funds of that ‘American-based website‘ when everyone is informed that they are supporting terrorism? Make sure that you repost that information on 9/11, let’s see how much of a shithole that place will be soon thereafter. And the news in Auckland gave us additional info I gave earlier. With “technology firms including Facebook, Google and Twitter – said it shared the digital “fingerprints” of more than 800 edited versions of the video“, yes 800 versions. This is not someone merely being sickly curious wanting to see what happened, 800 versions were made, and is the police still thinking that ‘the shooter acted alone’? There was a support system in place. I got that much within 12 minutes of reading the presented information (aka evidence). The 800 versions give rise to a sympathiser platform and still we see the overly less intelligent Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison trying to crack down on social media companies? Give me a break please!

I personally believe that certain politicians are trying to push their own social media agenda and to achieve that, they are conveniently looking at the options that Brenton Tarrant left at their feet. Yet when you look at the foundation of the numbers and the realisation that this extreme video is a lost smaller than 0.000003% of all uploaded videos (and that is merely founded on one day of videos, we should realise that there is an overreaction. Is it not interesting that over the last decade when it came to taxing these tech firms their diligence was a lot less (optionally 87.5446% less) diligent. Why do you think that was?

It is time to take a hard look at what is realistic and what is not and judge some politicians for their actions. In this specific case New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gets a pass, as this happened on her watch in her yard. She gets to take it to emotional levels, yet we will watch for how long those buttons are being pushed, that seems only fair.

 

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Media out of bounds

This time I am at a loss. I know that discrimination and racism are entities that exist, yet until last weekend I had no idea that governments would be condoning it. There is absolutely no other way to see it. There is close to 0% of the educated world that does not know that something horrific happened in New Zealand last weekend, 50 lives were lost. So for the most, the entire planet is capturing the moment for their audience, their readers, or so one would think.

There were some rumblings via Al-Jazeera initially, but I was focussed on other matters. Yet when a friend gave awareness to a front page of what might be the biggest newspaper in the Netherlands, it is time to look at the issue at hand. So this large newspaper (large in size as well) decided to use 2/3rd of a page for a photograph of a formula one racer ending in 3rd position taking a selfie. Now in fairness, it is a Dutch racer, so there is national pride at play, but for a newspaper that always has been on the front seat to blow terrorist actions out of proportions (the emotional drive) to take this step is just insane. As such a 3rd position is more important than 50 dead Muslims killed by a Christian?

Because that is the setting!

The Daily Mirror made it worse by having in one instance the stage of an ISIS Maniac (a previous event), yet in the case of New Zealand it is an Angelic boy who grew into a mass killer. The images are also staged for maximum effect. So how islamophobic has the Christian world become?

Because if this continue we are merely one step away from the stage where niggers go into the back of the bus, and will anyone react when it happens to the busses in London and the trams in Amsterdam? If this upsets you, good you should be! You need to get angry because this is just insane; to allow for two measurements, one for Christians and one for the rest? Even as a Christian I find that method of measurement revolting.

At least the Sun gave the goods and a lot more, merely on the front page. It should be offensive for the Dutch Telegraaf to be seen as inferior to the Sun, yet they pulled it off that day. I have looked at hundreds of images of newspapers, plenty in languages I cannot read (and cannot state what they say), yet nearly all papers, except the Daily mirror, all saw a monster, a madman and a terrorist, none of them saw some angelic boy reference.

There is something wrong, it has been wrong for a long time, yet this event is probably the first time that the issue gets pushed to the foreground this clearly. I have stated several times (my personal point of view) that the media facilitates to their shareholders, their stakeholders and their advertisers in that order, beyond that the audience gets served. When we take that into consideration, I wonder which individual was so set on getting the Angelic reference printed, the Catholic Church perhaps? As for the Netherlands, a nation filled with business driven needs, the idea that the front page required a 2/3 page for a photo of a driver making a selfie is equally weird. In that view, was it so weird for me to make the claim that the actions in New Zealand are seemingly just the beginning?

This view is only enhanced when we see the Financial Times giving us yesterday (at https://www.ft.com/content/13227c90-487b-11e9-bbc9-6917dce3dc62) ‘Police believe New Zealand shooter may have acted alone‘; the reports in the last 36 hours contradict this strongly. The spread of the manifest, all set to the stage mere minutes from the attack, the stage of reloading, the setting of time until capture whilst the video and stills had been uploaded to a whole range of locations. So when I see: “Security services under pressure to explain why Brenton Tarrant was not on a watch list“, I see a much bigger issue. I think they are aware that he did not act alone, they have no way to find them at present and that is the larger issue. When Mike Bush gives the Financial Times: “He also defended the police response to the mass shootings on Friday, which saw 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant target Muslims praying at the Hagley Park mosque in central Christchurch and then drive about 5km to the Linwood Mosque, where he shot more worshippers“, I will not disagree. This is not something that New Zealand was prepared for, the fact that this person went to a second place is a larger issue and when we see: “within 36 minutes we had that mobile offender in our custody“, we see the issue. He ‘wanted’ to get captured (massive speculation on my side), more importantly in that time frame he could not have done the digital part. It shows that he was not alone in this; there was a support system in place. Another source gave us that this had been planned for two years. That might hold a truth, but the entire setting with the Bangladesh Cricket team a mere 50 meters away gives rise to slightly bad timing, this means orchestration. It is massively unlikely he had all those parts available. In this the politicians are making matters worse. This is seen with: Technology platforms, including Facebook Twitter and YouTube, are also facing growing criticism from politicians over their failure to prevent the gunman live streaming the shootings on the internet and subsequently allowing the sharing of the video“. This is seen with the Twitch statistics that report “As of May 2018 there are 2.2 million broadcasters monthly“, that comes down to 72,330 streamers every day, there is no technology that will monitor it; there is no AI that could intervene. That solemn common sense moment makes the involved politician part of the problem, not part of the solution. Consider that out of all 0.000138% uploads one is optionally an extremist (this implies one extremist every day), so the number ends up being 0.000003% is optionally too dangerous. We cannot get politicians to put in the effort of keeping up a decent information system that is 75%-80% efficient and they demand 99.999997% efficiency from technology platforms? Politicians have become that delusional. And in addition, there is no way to get them all aboard, making it an exercise in technology discrimination, so in light of what the newspapers get away with, we see no validation on these politicians being loud to get some limelight.

The ‘evidence’ that he did not act alone is seen with “She also revealed that the gunman emailed a copy of a manifesto, which outlined his extreme right-wing, white supremacist views, to her office nine minutes before the attack began. She said it did not include a location or specific details that might have enabled authorities to respond faster. The manifesto was also sent to media groups“, the flaws and other parts showed that his agenda was not some clockwork orange, and the expression fits. When you consider “something bizarre internally, but appearing natural and normal on the surface” we see the larger failure. His actions, his manifesto and his preparations, bizarre on several settings, yet he raised no flags. This is not an attack on the intelligence groups (not this time anyway), yet to do all this, to not raise flags, that requires training and coaching. Even if he was super paranoid, the weapons and ammunition required would need all kinds of assistance (optionally from the criminal elements), but when someone buys all this hardware and ammunition, there is a trail, there are other paths that would have raised a flag or two, yet apparently he had none, this can only be done if others did part of that; an IT ‘friend’ setting up the accounts, the scripts and the stage of forwarding all the images and streams to multiple locations. Was the setting of the Cricket day predetermined? That might have been very likely, yet to know where they would all go for the religious service, how did he get that information? Too many elements cannot be answered with ‘lucky’. My point of view becomes a lot more acceptable when we see: “In the first 24 hours we removed 1.5m videos of the attack globally, of which over 1.2m were blocked at upload” and that was only Facebook, so they blocked less than half at upload, yet the amount of uploads and sharing gives rise to a much larger issue and even as we accept that many are not from extremists, merely from people forwarding what they saw, this was ONE channel. 4Chan, 8Chan, YouTube, Twitch, Twitter links, the list goes on and all can link to one another. This was more than being prepared; Brenton Tarrant had either direct support or a support system at his disposal. They are not the same yet at present the police and the Intelligence community cannot answer which is which. In that same light, I am not entirely sure if tightening gun laws will solve anything. It is so easy to look at guns and their laws, yet the oldest rule applies. Guns do not kill people, people kill people.

In this we must admit that PM Jacinda Ardern has a close to impossible task at present, not merely because of how rare gun violence is in New Zealand, it is the response that some of the media is giving. From my personal point of view some are facilitating to anti-Muslim events. I see the Dutch Telegraaf and the UK Daily Mirror as direct evidence of this. If there was a united front the news would have reported it as such, yet as one twitch was not stopped and 100% more in news coverage was able to give a presented minimised violence footprint, we can say that the technology platforms are a lesser concern than the media is currently showing to be.

It is in that same view that I oppose: “Terrorism experts said the Christchurch attacks showed there was a need for police to focus more on far-right extremism“, I oppose it because the statement is against one successful attack. The issue is not the person; most extreme right people tend to be dumb as fuck (a mere casual observation on American far right wing elements). The elements that made this a success is more important, the timeline, the hardware and the software shows that Brenton could not have done this alone, even if he did do most executions alone, someone taught him to remain under the radar; especially when it comes to the weapons, the ammunition, the IT requirements, the streaming and editing. He would have been on someone’s radar, the fact that he was not makes it a larger issue, not merely some extreme right issue. I can to some extent agree with Jose Sousa-Santos, director of the Strategika Group when I see “there may exist within the security and intelligence community an institutional culture in which Muslim, indigenous and activist individuals and groups are perceived to be the greater threat to national security than right-wing extremism“, yet that does not deter from the fact that Brenton should have been flagged at least once, the fact he was not gives rise to the larger concern of support towards his actions.

So in the end The Financial Times got a lot right, yet the title will remain under debate making it a much larger issue for Mike Bush and Rebecca Kitteridge for the foreseeable future.

 

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Darkness in Kiwiland

The end is nigh was my first thought. The one nation that has more sheep than people, the one nation where a mutant sheep would be the most dangerous creature to behold on either island now got their hands filled with terrorism, not any kind of terrorism mind you. In this case we see: “Forty-nine people have been confirmed dead after shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch“, in addition we get “Christchurch hospital is treating 48 people, including young children“. So far we know that the victims are citizens form Pakistan, Turkey, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. Four were arrested, one is likely to be innocent, the three others are not, arrested with guns, and one has been positively identified. One of them is not merely a terrorist; he is an Australian making matters worse (for Australians that is). The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/15/new-zealand-shooting-what-we-know-so-far) gives us: “A man identifying himself as Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old born in Australia, posted online before the attack saying he was a suspect. He posted various images of what appear to be machine gun magazines and a link to what is being described as a manifesto for his actions.” It is not the end, merely the beginning. The Sun (at https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/8649326/east-london-mosque-attack-new-zealand-shooting/) gave us only three hours ago: ‘MOSQUE ATTACK London mosque attack – ‘Racist thug’ calls Muslim worshippers ‘terrorists’ in hammer attack hours after New Zealand shooting‘.

This is a growing concern. My personal view is simple, if I have no issue ending the lives of Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists, I will apply the same filter to Christian terrorists and white supremacists. In my personal book they are all equally unworthy. Yet I also look beyond and I was not alone in that. It is seen in the New York Times who gives us ‘The New Zealand Massacre Was Made to Go Viral‘, which is an opinion piece by Charlie Warzel. He (and others) give us: “The act of mass terror was broadcast live for the world to watch on social media” and more important he gives us: “A 17-minute video of a portion of the attack, which leapt across the internet faster than social media censors could remove it, is one of the most disturbing, high-definition records of a mass casualty attack of the digital age — a grotesque first-person-shooter-like documentation of man’s capacity for inhumanity“, as well as “what makes this atrocity “an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence,” as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described it, is the methodical nature with which it was conducted and how it was engineered for maximum virality“.

There are two sides to that. Nothing is that well engineered off the bat. It implies that this was not merely staged; this was long contemplated on how to execute the event for maximum footage; to give rise to that I need to take you to the setting of a movie to illustrate the issue. The movie Russian Ark used 2000 actors, was shot in 32 locations in one place (the Hermitage), all were rehearsed; all were on queue including three complete orchestra’s. Yet the big element is missing, the entire 97 minute movie was done IN ONE TAKE. A titanic, almost impossible feat was shown by Alexander Sokurov. It was a stage that took months of preparations to get it all in one take. Now we go back to New Zealand. As we are exposed to ‘the methodical nature with which it was conducted and how it was engineered for maximum virality‘, some might consider the part behind this. That person was not alone in the planning; he had help and a decent amount of it. Apart from the shooting which most people can do in a video game, the setting of the locations, the actions taken as well as the stage of filming and making it stream live. All elements that one person needs to plan for, we should consider what was done ‘behind the screens’. If you ever get into a situation like that your body will be so pumped with adrenaline, the acts we see with “In minutes, the video was downloaded and mirrored onto additional platforms where it ricocheted around the globe. Screen shots were created from still frames of bodies and uploaded to sites like Reddit, 4chan and Twitter where they were shared and reshared“. The perpetrator could not have done this to that degree, as I said earlier; he had support and a decent amount of it.

We see part of that in Forbes through Thomas Brewster (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2019/03/15/after-the-new-zealand-terror-attack-should-8chan-be-wiped-from-the-web/#5c2239e36263). Here we see: “Social media channels later struggled to remove copies of that stream, while his 74-page “manifesto” also spread from 8chan across the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Long known as a haven for extremist, right-wing thought, and a wilder version of the already unruly 4Chan, the 8chan forum has courted controversy in the past. In 2015, for instance, users of the fringe site started a campaign to boycott Star Wars because it had black and female leads. In the same year, child pornography appeared on 8chan, leading Google to delist it. Channels that appear to advertise child-abuse material remain live on the site today.

Most people who want to get viral know of the machines available to them, some employ them for marketing and other options, yet what I see here is that this was an attack that had been thought through, I might go as far as speculating that he never expected to get away with it, as long as it hit the internet. That is seen when we look at the CNN quote: “there were just 36 minutes from the time police received the call about shots fired until they had the offender in custody“, I would contemplate that no police force in the world is that effective, but the readers might misinterpret that, and this is not about making some cheap jab at the police.

Part of my thought is seen to some extent in the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/15/i-couldnt-save-my-friend-carnage-leaves-christchurch-stunned).

It is the step list.

  1. Gunman parks in alleyway.
  2. He walks into the mosque through the front door then moves from room to room firing.
  3. Gunman leaves at least once to rearm.
  4. Gunman shoots people in the street, before driving off.

He rearms? I have walked around (in my far military past mind you) holding 4 FN FAL clips, each having 30 bullets giving me a 100+ kill option, and this guy rearms?

The final giveaway is: “the suspect said he had chosen New Zealand because of its location, to show that even the most remote parts of the world were not free of “mass immigration”.

Something is not on the right rails, the man is guilty, there is no doubt about it, but all I see is ‘patsy’ (a murdering patsy mind you) he was used to start something. Even as the Guardian gives part of the Manifesto, as well as giving us “Tarrant describes himself as a “regular white man from a regular family” who “decided to take a stand to ensure a future for my people”. He said he wanted his attack on the mosques to send a message that “nowhere in the world is safe”“, as well as “The document says his parents are of “Scottish, Irish and English stock” and that he was born into a “working class, low-income family”. When he was young, he was “a communist, then an anarchist and finally a libertarian before coming to be an eco-fascist”, he says“. I disagree, someone like that seeking the limelight to this degree is not regular, now it does not mean that regular people do not seek the limelight, they tend to not kill 49 people to get there, and in all this even his political path is up for debate.

To go from a person who is part of a system of social organization in which all property is owned by the community and each person contributes and receives according to their ability and needs (by not killing people), so he moves towards the anti-authoritarian political stage that advocates self-governed societies (a view by self-governing people not inclined to kill others) and then he apparently becomes a libertarian seeking maximised freedom and autonomy, emphasizing freedom of choice, voluntary association and individual judgment again by not seeking violence. So basically he was rejected by all and became as he puts it an eco-fascist. That group will take any member as no one wants to be a member of that group in the first place. I don’t believe he has any significant level of intelligence. This all reads like a stage put in motion, the attack in London might link to it; it might merely be a coincidence of a few drunks being angry hearing about the New Zealand attack. I do however believe that the entire New Zealand event is giving rise that this might be larger and there are other players behind that event. The element that he was arrested in under 40 minutes, as well as the stage of “Screen shots were created from still frames of bodies and uploaded to sites like Reddit, 4chan and Twitter where they were shared and reshared“. Consider that 17 minutes needed to get downloaded to a device for uploading passed through for the screenshots, those and the movie needed to be uploaded, the timeframe does not match, he had support! The cyber specialists will have to look at the digital evidence on how fast and how evasive it was all done, more important there is every indication that there is a mirror to the dark web, implying now that this will resurface soon enough. In the next 15 hours the entire world will have woken up to the events in New Zealand and billions will be aware, after that I feel certain that the materials will surface again. It does not need to rely on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, there will be other pastures sowing the fields of discord with the video and images. The small matter of the Cricket match, and the fact that the New Zealand and Bangladesh test would have been on in Christchurch gives rise to that thought too. It might be mere coincidence that the Bangladesh team was in that mosque, the luck might have been that he missed that group by mere minutes; the event could have been a lot worse if these players would have become victims as well. The BBC quote: “Bangladesh cricketers were “minutes” from being inside a mosque in which a fatal mass shooting in New Zealand took place, says team manager Khaled Mashud. Players and coaching staff were “50 yards” from the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, when the shooting began” makes me think that this is larger than we can see at present. This was more than an attack; it was a planned strategy of slaughter and all the elements that I see is that a person like Brenton Tarrant lacks a massive amount of brain cells to do all this to the degree we are seeing at present, item three on that event list gives additional rise to my doubts.

I would want to state that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Commissioner Mike Bush have a problem, yet I am not entirely convinced that this is merely a New Zealand problem. There is no way to tell, but I reckon in a few days the cyber dudes (as well as cyber dudettes) will have a better timeline and a better comprehension on what methods, what software and hardware was used to get this all maximised, it might reveal more over time, but we will have to wait for evidence on that. part of that is also seen when we contemplate ‘The suspects were unknown to the police‘, the planning part and the fact that no red flags were ever raised makes me think that there are more players involved, the viral part of the attack is partial evidence. I reckon that more evidence will come to light soon enough proving my point.

 

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The assassin’s methodology

In the intelligence world methodology matters, it is actually a game maker in that setting. We seem to think that some parts were fabrication, we seem to hide behind the slogan ‘If it looks like Hollywood, it is fake‘, yet that premise is not quite accurate. In the 90’s there was a time where the Wetwork business had a massive shortage of recruits and volunteers. That all changed when someone decided to park a 747 in a building in New York, but before that there was a shortage. Those people worked all over Europe, usually in construction, often well-educated with a focus to be placed all over the EMEA region. They were often called Technical Account Managers (or Technical Consultants). Often not linked to a company, self-employed short term hires that got in did what needed to be done and left. It is that era where the strategic sense of segregation, isolation, assassination comes from.

To make another leap, some might remember the Austrian raid on its own intelligence service in 2018, if it was only that simple. When Reuters gave somewhere in May 2018 “That led some allied countries to fear that intelligence they had given to Austria might have been compromised“, if it was only that simple, the raid was 24 years late. The independent had part of it in 1994. It took me a while to find it, yet (at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/russian-mafia-summit-in-austria-1425805.html) we merely see: “Russia’s crime bosses held an unusual mob summit in Austria last month to discuss gambling, contract killings and other shady business back home, AP reports. The daily newspaper Izvestia reported that ‘Participants (also) enjoyed an extensive cultural programme. They even went skiing in the Alps.’“, there were two additional participants, two elements that would be speaking to a few only; they were one senior plus one additional representative from the FSB. It was not what they did and where they went, those bosses got a clear message where not to go and who not to bother. They already had a spread system in place, from Katendrecht (Rotterdam harbour district) to Antwerp and Monchengladbach Germany, they had channels in place and they were making a bundle (read: serious amounts of cash). So for these Wetwork TAM’s to stay under the radar was quite the challenge over there. The Russians were almost everywhere. Yet it changed, somehow in 1997/1998 the Germans got the upper hand in Germany and cleaned the place up by a lot. Some of the Russians went underground, some merely changed positions; there was an impact. One of these moments was seen in the Dutch newspapers (at https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/1997/07/29/man-ontvluchtte-moskou-politie-voert-onderzoek-uit-7362317-a714933), the case is larger than shown. What was not widely known was that there was some kind of an agreement between the FSB (read: former KGB people) and the Russian mafia itself. Germany got a handle on it somehow and even as the ‘evidence’ was staring them in the face, it was ignored. The firm Lorit was quite literally Tirol (his Moscow office) backwards. The newspapers at that point mentioned “Rozenbaoum kocht het huis in 1993 voor acht ton. Op het dak staan twee satellietantennes. Daarmee hield hij contact met zijn vrachtwagenchauffeurs die door Europa reden” which translates to: “Rozenbaoum bought the house in 1993 for 800K. There are two satellite antennas on the roof. He kept in touch with his truck drivers who drove through Europe“, it was 60Km from the German border and 92Km from the German base monitoring a lot of traffic. A lot more was going on, even then and as some issues were buried into miscommunication and a considerable amount of cases linked to the response: ‘I am unable to recall the precise details of those events‘, there were several indirect links to Austria, yet those were seemingly never proven.

How does this relate to today?

This relates to an article in ‘The Hill’ (at https://thehill.com/policy/technology/433497-trump-admin-threatens-to-withhold-intelligence-from-germany-unless-it-drops) 4 hours ago when we were introduced to: ‘Trump admin threatens to withhold intelligence from Germany unless it drops Huawei‘, so not only is the Trump Administration dumb and ignorant. not only have they not ever found, or produced any evidence that Huawei equipment was an actual security danger (not since 2012 have they given anything). They are now ready to alienate the one nation in Europe that had success against Russian operatives as well as against Russian organised crime (often linked to FSB priorities) and we are introduced to “The Wall Street Journal obtained a letter dated Friday from U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell to Germany’s economics minister saying that intelligence sharing would be limited if Huawei or other Chinese vendors are allowed to participate in building Germany’s 5G network“, so in that one place where the CIA has been useless for the longest of times (an exaggeration, read: a little too often), they are now biting the hand that has been feeding THEM intelligence. So when I presented: ‘segregation, isolation, assassination‘, I did so for a reason, I have never seen a target do this to their own survival chances, which is a novel experience to read. Even as the Germans offer: “Germany says it has seen no evidence that Huawei had or could use its equipment to spy on its users and that it should be allowed to bid for the country’s 5G network if it meets security criteria“, we see clear evidence of the Americans remaining utterly stupid. If only they had adopted the speech Alex Younger (MI-6) had. We can argue against that, but the premise was at least sound, the Americans did not even bother with that part, they have not bothered with that part of the equation since 2012. This is what I would call the result of taking intelligence out of ‘intelligence services‘, it merely becomes a speaking stage of services to whoever is a competitor of Huawei (they must be a non-Chinese or Russian player though).

We have seen several actual experts on 5G voice the issue that leaving out Huawei will delay true 5G for years that is what is in play and the Americans need to wise up fast. This seemingly implies that America has additional losses to register, not only in technology, not only in cloud issues, the German intelligence data that is a lot more important than anyone gives it credit to is likely to stop flowing to the US and to other players, which is not a good turn of events. In addition, the collected information on lone wolves, intelligence France needs might end up in a holding pattern if wrong pressure is applied. If quality intelligence equates to time, what else will France (or the Dutch) lose out on? There is no way to tell, I cannot even speculate on that. The issue will however become a lot more clear if both nations will have to deal with successful actions by extremist groups, as well as lost revenue by certain ‘entrepreneurial Russian entities’, something that was always going to happen, but perhaps not to the degree these places might see in 2019-2020.

So whilst we give consideration of ‘U.S. officials are increasingly sounding the alarm over the potential for Chinese spying‘, all whilst Facebook is giving away the data for free, we see a loaded cannon and the US is aiming it at their own needs. The US has had almost 7 years to collect evidence and present this, it was never done. In addition some of the true top ranking experts in that field have not been able to present any evidence, and finally, the US credibility is just too low. Perhaps some remember US Secretary of State Colin Powell and his silver briefcase giving evidence behind closed doors on the evidence of WMD’s in Iraq. How did that end? Does anyone remember? So when it is merely ‘adaptable’ telecom equipment, they better show the goods. The Americans has thus far not done that and the utter complacency of US tech corporations have become a joke to say the least. In this age of re-engineering, to end up 3 years behind China requires a truly new level of stupidity (read: short coming) and it is time for the people to realise that. Once the evidence comes out that there is no evidence, make sure that people making bold statements (like former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull) get their honours stripped, they facilitated directly against the needs of the Australian people and that should come at a price. Of course the US could clearly present the evidence and get that same former Prime Minister off the hook mind you.

I see merely cogs that are greased through nepotism, facilitation and the need for greed by some tech companies who could not get their ducks in a row in time. We really need to put the spotlights on those people too. In the end methodology is a simple approach, it goes from evidence, what we know, where someone will be, where something will appear and we act on that. The US fictive side in all this tends to go via the cloud solution called ‘delusion’ it has no grasp of evidence, it has no stage of reality and is merely the stage for people on what they desire whilst the do not have what the consumer needed in the first place, how was that ever an acceptable pasture to place your herd of needs?

 

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In support of others

Sometimes we have to put our own differences aside and stand with others. There is absolutely no chance that this will not happen to you. At some point, you will go in the ‘damn the torpedo’s’ direction and give support to those who fight the good cause. This is where I found myself when I was confronted with ‘Anti-vaxx ‘mobs’: doctors face harassment campaigns on Facebook‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/feb/27/facebook-anti-vaxx-harassment-campaigns-doctors-fight-back). First of all, there is no way anyone could support trolling, no matter what the cause is, and in the second degree there is the need to stand up for the issue at hand, it is our health and those of our children, it is important to make a stand.

Now we get to a side that is important. I am in favour of vaccination to a degree, I fully support children vaccination. I also support the bill to eliminate personal and philosophical exemptions for childhood vaccinations. I saw it in the Netherlands, the place where for religious reasons vaccinations were rejected, that place is where there was an outbreak of whooping cough, not something you want a child to experience ever. Other places we see the renewed introduction of measles. All issue that could have been prevented. As such I support that side of vaccination. So when we are introduced to the naturopath Elias Kass, his statements at the Senate committee and five days after his brief testimony, he had compiled a photo gallery with hundreds of screenshots of abusive comments, largely through anti-vaxx Facebook pages. It becomes worse, when we see the quote “an online ecosystem rife with anti-vaccine misinformation, thanks in part to Facebook’s recommendation algorithms and targeted advertising” we see how complete the failure of Facebook is at present. We also see the accusation of “partially instigated by Larry Cook and Erin Elizabeth, two anti-vaccine activists who have built large Facebook platforms“, it comes with the added statement “Cook has gained notoriety as a full-time anti-vaxxer who has raised nearly $80,000 on GoFundMe to pay for fear-mongering anti-vaccine Facebook ads which he targets at mothers. His Facebook page, Stop Mandatory Vaccinations (SMV), has about 130,000 followers, while the related closed SMV Facebook group has more than 150,000 members“. A system that sets close to 250,000 guns aimed at a single target and that is an issue that needs to be addressed.

There are two sides to nearly every story, yet the danger of not vaccinating is just too high to contemplate. People are directed through lies and these anti-vaxx people start it with ‘Vaccines are dangerous and unnecessary for vibrant health‘ (at http://www.stopmandatoryvaccination.com/), A small part is seen when we consider a source: “Measles is one of the leading vaccine-preventable disease causes of death. In 1980, 2.6 million people died of it, and in 1990, 545,000 died; by 2014, global vaccination programs had reduced the number of deaths from measles to 73,000“, it is worse when we consider ‘Measles Elimination in the United States‘ (The Journal of Infectious Diseases, Volume 189, Issue Supplement_1, 1 May 2004, Pages S1–S3). Here we see two parts that are a direct setting. In the WW1 era we get “an average of 5300 measles-related deaths during 1912–1916 (26 deaths/ 1000 reported cases)“, 2.6% of the population would dies of the disease and those were the lucky ones. The rest was rewarded with extras, an average of 150,000 patients had respiratory complications and 4000 patients had encephalitis each year. An estimated 48,000 persons with measles being hospitalized every year, and that is merely the US, in Europe that number would be higher. So when the website gives us: ‘Vaccine Free Living: The Unvaccinated Are Not A Problem‘, we see what I consider to be a lie, the non-vaccinated are the problem, plain and simple, as we see the ‘return’ measles, polio and other diseases, the claim that unvaccinated are not the problem is pretty much blown away. In the Netherlands there was a resurgence of polio in the Bible belt area (no vaccinations through religious convictions) and the impact was huge, 71 people ended up with polio, 71 people confronted with the risk of paralyses. And in the end only 10 recovered, two died and the others ended with paralyses, 59 sitting mostly in a chair not able to move, so parents need to consider the real sources and those who are merely claiming to know the truth. I am not telling you to trust or believe me. I am telling you to go to an educated person, your GP, or an actual a medical professional. The fact that in the last outbreak only 14% recovered from the disease, only 14%, the rest ended up in a bad place, we see that vaccination was essential and there are more diseases where this is the case. And that does not exempt the 14% group, they will optionally face complications down the time track.

When we see the numbers and the statistics on the impact of these diseases, the position of Elias Kass makes perfect sense as does the bill to remove philosophical objection. When we consider the associated press last week with: “Of the 63 cases confirmed in Clark County, 55 were not immunized against measles, immunization status couldn’t be verified for six cases, and two cases involved a child who had received only a single dose of the MMR vaccine“, we see a direct danger when we consider the impact as it was, when the measles get a revitalisation through stupidity, we need to take another look at the site, and we need to set the stage where we can hold Larry Cook, Kelly Galagher and Julianna Pearce financially accountable for the inflicted damage they catered for. In this case ‘freedom of speech’ should not apply, not when it endangers the lives of children; that needs to be a first. Larry might be standing there with a big smile, but he is not laughing. Another blog (at https://www.patheos.com/blogs/withoutacrystalball/2019/02/larry-cook-scared-his-financial-misdeeds-will-be-exposed/) gives us a few points. The piece refers to a piece with a journalist who took an investigation on the money trail. The blog gives us: “Cook told the group he knows the article will paint him in a very negative light. His assumption is probably accurate given his shady background of soliciting money from his followers“, whilst his open response (on that page) includes “She made it seem like it is illegal to earn money online in any way, shape or form” here we see the issue, as he is not denying that he was making money, yet is he an educated and graduated medical professional? He is allegedly making money on the backs of gullible people, in addition, it is a path that endangers the lives of children and that is where parents need to wake up and get the right information, from the right people, not some activist, not a blogger (me), but from a trained medical practitioner.

And the blog gives another part. With: “Two weeks ago Cook opened a new GoFundMe campaign titled “Save Vaccine Exemptions in the USA.” He started the campaign due to the growing pressure in Washington to stop personal exemptions for vaccines. Initially, he said the money would help the parents affected in the area, but he decided to change the fundraiser days later to support the ‘nation.’“, the setting of a changed formation of funding gathering is one that is debatable even under the most positive views.

And Facebook is facilitating this dangerous path; indeed, it is possible that Google facilitates this as well as most video’s use YouTube to get as wide an audience as possible.

We have to be in support of others at times, and when the debate on the actions are optionally endangering children, those who supported that path need to be put into the limelight and the world needs to be made aware that their efforts endangered the lives of children, it is the only way to get the truth out. This was never about some finger pointing at pharmaceutical industries, I know, because when I was inoculated (the first post WW2 generation) I saw the impact, I was almost never ever sick, I avoided the diseases that plagued some, but I remained healthy, and in those days pharmaceutical industries did not have political power, not to the degree they have today. Perhaps I was lucky, perhaps not. I only know that the child vaccinations were effective, when we see that the 50’s had 542.000 cases reported, and we now see that this number has been diminished to 0.1%, we see that the vaccination was a success and vaccination was essential to get there. To have a disease that covered 1% of the population and diminish it to 1 per 100,000, we know that vaccination was the only way to get there. The same for polio, where it once ruled the lives of half a million cases to a mere 22 reported cases in 2017, we need to see another side. As the anti-vaxx people are so intent on blaming greed driven pharmaceutical industries (not entirely unwarranted), we see that the inventor of the polio vaccine Jonas Salk did not make a penny out of it, he never patented it and gave the cure away, the act of something that would have made him richer than Bill Gates and Larry Ellison combined, his act instigated the option to truly eradicate a debilitating disease from this world.

And all this comes with a second side as well, can we allow for the freedom of speech to continue when it endangers the lives of children, more important, when a non-medical professional makes claims that pushes mothers to endanger the lives of their children, is it freedom of speech or would it optionally be negligent homicide?

 

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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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