Tag Archives: Rebekah Mercer

The contemplation

We all have things to contemplate, for me this all started a while ago, but it got to the forefront yesterday after a call with a friend. We disagree on something and it is not about right or wrong, even if I believe I am right, I see that he in NOT wrong. My setting is data and I have been around it for decades, I have been in specific fields, he has not, but he has a real good grasp of data. So as I made a joke about not forgetting the population of zero for Parler, he dismissed it as zero data groups do not matter, and for a lot it does not, but it actually does.

So how to bring it to the forefront? In this (as a Republican) we can look at the stupid, stupid left and can coin a few phrases. There was the Washington Post ‘Parler, a Platform Favoured by Trump Fans, Struggles for Survival’, my by-line? ‘Rebekah Mercer just got a $23,000,000 tax deductibility option’. USA Today gives us ‘Parler goes dark: Amazon suspends the social platform from its web hosting services’, there is a lot more, but the setting is made, no more Parler and now we get to the zero part. You see, the one thing that President Trump achieved was a larger polarisation, the left thought that they had won, but players like Rebekah Mercer, one the people behind Cambridge Analytica and Parler have settings, they have larger plans. You think that she gives away $23 million without a larger gain somewhere else? It was the nightmare scenario, a unified place for right splinter groups and extremists. You think that people like John Matze will sit still? Uniting right wing splinter groups can be massively profitable, when no one will do business with you, losing 10% on the one who does business with you is still appealing, and splinter groups that cumulatively surpass the 50 million member marker is  still worth the effort.

How does this relate?
Even if Parler is at zero, its members will go somewhere else. There is Telegram, Signal and these people need attention and they will go where they can find it. Even now we see the Financial Times give us ‘WhatsApp fights back as users flee to Signal and Telegram’, and even as we see the quote “Facebook is scrambling to deal with a sudden competitive threat to its messaging platform WhatsApp after a change to its terms of service sparked privacy concerns and prompted users to turn to rivals such as Signal and Telegram in droves” (at https://www.ft.com/content/ee1b716d-4ed2-4b26-8da1-40c98db7b9b6), the stupid stupid left just doesn’t learn, presenting that a thing is doesn’t make it so, and the setting that the media cannot be trusted is out there in big letters. So when I say that Parler: n=0 is important. These people find other means and even as not all will go over, and not all will go to the same solution, if Parler had 100,000 voices, we need to find where at least 80,000 went, we need to tag and identify the extremists, I reckon the US Capitol setting made that clear. 

In this we could consider the work of Marina Soley-Bori ‘Dealing with missing data: Key assumptions and methods for applied analysis’, it was written in 2013, but it is quite good and we start with the premise “the precision of confidence intervals is harmed, statistical power weakens and the parameter estimates may be biased. Appropriately dealing with missing can be challenging as it requires a careful examination of the data to identify the type and pattern of missingness, and also a clear understanding of how the different imputation methods work”, it is a decent starting point. In this stage, the report gives us a group NMAR (Not missing at random) that is the stage we have and it is an important stage. In the report she quotes Allison, 2001 “They lead to an underestimation of standard errors and, thus, overestimation of test statistics. The main reason is that the imputed values are completely determined by a model applied to the observed data, in other words, they contain no error”, the NMAR group is largely ignored and we can accept that in this work, yet in real life, the QAnon group and the Parler users are a larger stage and those who do not flee to 4Chen are in the wind and that is where we do not want them to be, so pushing these people to the dark-web was a silly move. Perhaps some might notice that I bolded one word, one word made the difference. Bias is the setting in missing values that is the dangerous one, most who know what they do see that, they tend to call it ‘arbitrary decisions’ but it remains a form of (whether good or not), of bias and that is where the train goes of the rails (without it being a maglev). The stage to find the NMAR is becoming increasingly important. It is not merely those that move there, it is the group they drag along that becomes a lot larger. You see, they might only gain the interest of an additional 2%, on a stage of 50,000,000 extremists, that is one million votes, that much changes an election, the silly democrats making presentations should have considered that in a much earlier stage. Yes, we see that pornhub can no longer use credit cards, but as these so called hypocrites will still cater to child labor and implied slavery, how much was gained? Especially as one stage was founded on consenting adults, the other was not. We see one side of the story, and the left keeps on hiding the other side, that does not mean that the other side does not exist. The democrats have an ‘out-of-sight-out-of-mind’ approach, that is unless they get hit directly, then they become vindictive. That was never a stage that would ever work, but they will learn at some point. The problem is not their mindset, it is their inability to follow through and people like Rebekah Mercer have the goods to unify one side and get rich in the process. All whilst players like Google pull up their nose at a $25,000,000 bill for a 60% share, they say that they can solve it themselves (they wish), and when they rely on ‘EVERYONE LOVES GOOGLE TV’, all whilst the consumer, when the $65 bill is due and the people see their budget melt away, do you still believe that everyone stays happy and loving? So when I make my solution public domain, do you think that there will be zero cease and desist messages? 

In this the stage is rather large, the splintered right have moved somewhere else and now the larger stage cannot be predicted, when the Parler group goes dark-web, the stage changes even further and earlier some had days to prepare, now hours, how is that a better stage? 

There is no population zero, unless they are all dead they merely vacated somewhere else and that somewhere else is the problem. This population is not missing at random, they are shunning the media and as we are given ‘An Absurdly Basic Bug Let Anyone Grab All of Parler’s Data’ by Wired (at https://www.wired.com/story/parler-hack-data-public-posts-images-video/) a mere 11 hours ago, do you think that it will be that easy, a person like Rebekah Mercer learned from Cambridge Analytica, was at a bug or an open backdoor? So when we see “The truth was far simpler: Parler lacked the most basic security measures that would have prevented the automated scraping of the site’s data. It even ordered its posts by number in the site’s URLs, so that anyone could have easily, programmatically downloaded the site’s millions of posts”, anyone thinking that things where that simple are out of their mind, this is a setting where some had the lowdown on millions, and as Wired gives us “I wouldn’t even call it a rookie mistake because, as a professional, you would never write something like this”, they touch on the stage that matters, when someone has the lowdown on a group of millions of people and they can unite them, do you think that no one looked at something out there for 2 years? Do you think that this is merely seen 11 hours ago (plus a few weeks to write the article), this issue has been out for a while and now that these people go to other means and other voices (the same voices in other accounts), the problem becomes a lot larger and more real. The people of Parler did not stop being an issue as Parler has population zero, now the people who needed to keep informed need to go back to square one and find them first. So how silly was the move we see now?

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Pirates of a feather

For me this is a little new ground, until recently I was not aware of the ability to speak ‘Parler’, as I see it, they refined it from Parley, which comes from the French ‘Parler’ meaning ‘to speak’. The event was set to “a discussion or conference, especially one designed to end an argument or hostilities between two groups of people”, as such I was aware of the term, but not the setting that President Trump uses. CNN (at https://edition.cnn.com/2020/11/15/media/rebekah-mercer-parler/index.html) gave us a little while ago ‘Meet Rebekah Mercer, the deep-pocketed co-founder of Parler, a controversial conservative social network’, and the co-founder to Cambridge Analytica and a few others, so when I saw the Cambridge link, I wondered what data Parler is capturing. This is added in other ways too, but let’s keep to the CNN story for now. And when the article start with the quote “John and I started Parler to provide a neutral platform for free speech, as our founders intended, and also to create a social media environment that would protect data privacy”, all whilst another source gives us “journalists and users have criticised the service for content policies that are more restrictive than the company portrays and sometimes more restrictive than those of its competitors” (source: Washington Post July 2020), and it basically goes from bad to worse. That is given with the quote “The ever increasing tyranny and hubris of our tech overlords demands that someone lead the fight against data mining, and for the protection of free speech online. That someone is Parler, a beacon to all who value their liberty, free speech, and personal privacy.”” And let not forget that this comes from the co-founder of Cambridge Analytica. I still wonder what Parler was capturing, especially with the restrictive rules in place. And if these restrictions were limited to the stage of “But Parler is quickly discovering the limits of free expression. On June 30, Matze used Parler to explain its house rules, apparently frustrated with some of Parler’s new users testing the limits of its free-expression motto by posting pornographic images and obscenities”, I believe that this is up for debate. So even as I take notice of “Wernick wrote a Fox News opinion piece in support of Parler this month, saying Twitter and Facebook are using “technology intended to liberate, instead to subjugate”, I wonder what we will learn when we make a cross section of those on Parler AND on 4Chan, I even wonder if the FBI is not already on this. You see, there is a problem with ‘philanthropists’, the true philanthropist not, but the stage we see “Robert Mercer, who helped oversee Renaissance Technologies hedge fund, and his wife Diane, donated more than $23 million to groups that backed conservative candidates, according to a tally by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics”, in light of Cambridge Analytica, I am still in the personal opinion, that these people would not set $23,000,000 out in the open, unless they can bank at least double that, and with them owning Renaissance Technologies hedge fund, I feel certain I am right. The power of $110,000,000,000 reaches far and too many want scraps from that table of plenty. In this I wonder if Parler is a way to identify and unify the scattered right, it is not a bad plan, if they succeed they have the means to oppose the Democratic side of things to a much larger extent than anyone is willing to give them credit for.

Even as the Wall Street Journal (at https://www.wsj.com/articles/parler-backed-by-mercer-family-makes-play-for-conservatives-mad-at-facebook-twitter-11605382430) gives us ‘Parler Makes Play for Conservatives Mad at Facebook, Twitter’, I believe this goes deeper. Even as the blinker are attached with “After The Wall Street Journal reported on the Mercers’ ties with Parler, Chief Executive John Matze confirmed that Ms. Mercer was the lead investor in the company at its outset and said that her backing was dependent on the platform allowing users to control what they see”, the seting given to us in the beginning, gives us a different tory, and when ‘allowing users to control what they see’ falls away, the one important part remains is identity, when you look in the past, no one has tried to unify the extreme right, there is every chance that the Mercer family see the power and the massive amount of gains that this optionally brings. It took me less than a day to figure out the parts that the media was so eager not to mention, I wonder who else is on tht train, actually, I believe that they all are, even big tech. I expect that they too want the bucket of gold at the and of that nightmare rainbow, and Mercer might have gotten way more than double the investment on that 23 million dollar train, if he unites the right wing and far right wing, the democrats have much to be worried about, they have been used to a scattered opponent in the last 25 years, a unified one is an opponent that they haven’t faced before. And as I see it, the Mercer family is at the speculated centre of all that. 

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How Facebook data flows

This started just 4 hours ago when the Guardian gave us ‘50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/17/cambridge-analytica-facebook-influence-us-election). Even when we see “Whistleblower describes how firm linked to former Trump adviser Steve Bannon compiled user data to target American voters“, we tend to wonder, because me getting any data from my own account in Facebook is a stretch under the most optimal of conditions. So when we see “how Cambridge Analytica – a company owned by the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, and headed at the time by Trump’s key adviser Steve Bannon – used personal information taken without authorisation in early 2014 to build a system that could profile individual US voters, in order to target them with personalised political advertisements“, so in all this I am not saying it is not possible and that it did not happened. The video that the Guardian offered, the interview with the whistle-blower is nice, but it is quite something else. You see, what I got out of that interview is not answers, but questions. So when I heard “grossly unethical experiments” and “you are playing with the psychology of an entire nation in the context of the democratic process“. Here I wonder (for a mere moment) if something wrong was done at all. This is social media; social media is something that has no boundaries and no actual setting of limits.

We tend to set the bar of any social given at whatever level it should be according to us, but in reality, there is no social setting, not until enough people complain. I have seen many apps that are out there that do not only want your name, gender, age and so forth. They also want your religious and other settings and most people are happy to click ‘OK’. So this is something we are walking into and the given stupidity of many Americans means that a free game is something that comes for free and whatever it stated with the ‘allowed access to‘ is pretty much ignored, especially when the people around them state that it is a very cool free game. So when I see “built models to exploit what we knew about them and target their inner demons. That was the basis the entire company was built on.”” we see that Robert Mercer has found a business model that works. The question merely remains on how that data was captured, if it was through ‘cool apps’ there is little that Facebook can do, unless it has exact legislation at their fingers to state that the law was broken. Yet in all this the fact that this happened in 2014 and that the Guardian (and the Observer) had the scoop 4 years later gives rise that the farmed data is not merely still in use, it is actively used for whatever endeavour Robert Mercer has in play to gain maximum profit, because that is what a billionaire does. So when we see “Documents seen by the Observer, and confirmed by a Facebook statement, show that by late 2015 the company had found out that information had been harvested on an unprecedented scale. However, at the time it failed to alert users and took only limited steps to recover and secure the private information of more than 50 million individuals” the outrage should follow, but with ‘it failed to alert users‘ implies that Facebook did not care about the users, but about the business model, as well as ‘took only limited steps to recover and secure the private information‘ gives rise that their data was merely secure enough and no actual loss was found, that is the view we get when a firm where data is their direct market value data and ‘secure the private information of more than 50 million individuals‘ was not done. It is actually that simple, those who claim it not to be are merely hiding in the margins, hoping to strike it rich themselves, because that is what the data of 50 million people offers.

It goes further when we see the NY Times claim. With ‘How Trump Consultants Exploited the Facebook Data of Millions‘ (at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/17/us/politics/cambridge-analytica-trump-campaign.html), we see “During a week of inquiries from The Times, Facebook downplayed the scope of the leak and questioned whether any of the data still remained out of its control. But on Friday, the company posted a statement expressing alarm and promising to take action“, not only does it imply that the data is beyond their control, it gives rise that others have access to it which is more alarming. The Facebook system has failed its members to the extent that their privacy did not exist for close to 4 years. So how much data have you shared in the last 4 years thinking it was only for your friends?

In addition, the claim we see in the NY Times “Alexander Nix, the chief executive of Cambridge Analytica, and other officials had repeatedly denied obtaining or using Facebook data, most recently during a parliamentary hearing last month. But in a statement to The Times, the company acknowledged that it had acquired the data, though it blamed Mr. Kogan for violating Facebook’s rules and said it had deleted the information as soon as it learned of the problem two years ago“, when combined with what the Guardian is giving us is a rise to the setting that both Alexander Nix of Cambridge Analytica and the speakers of Facebook are both incorrect, insincere and without any doubt cause for great concern and so far the Facebook users are in the dark on a near global level.

I can applaud Robert Mercer to some extent, you see with “The conservative donor Robert Mercer invested $15 million in Cambridge Analytica, where his daughter Rebekah is a board member” we see one side, the other side is that all things being equal the return on his investment is close to five-fold, making is a wise investment when the goal is merely $$$$.

In all this we can give the Facebook users the bird, not because we hate them, but for years I have spoken out clearly that these users are all about stating ‘privacy’ no the NSA whilst at the same time sharing indiscriminately on social media like Facebook, whilst not comprehending the system because it was ‘free’. This is the direct consequence and these users will be used again and again because that is what they signed up for. So when Robert Mercer is offered a $25 million deal with an international IT firm like Vintage Alternating Java Academy or Medicinal Office of International Studies, we will see a CEO who will happily oblige, yet have you figured out yet where that data ended up? That is how the game is played, so when they cannot sell the data and the firm gets taken over by a Chinese multinational, do you think that the data stays in that one place? This is what you all signed up for. You might be in denial and you might state that it should not happen, but the law is very easy on what should happen and what is legally possible, the ‘should happen‘ group loses without a moment’s hesitation. The only part that I am not getting is what I would personally describe as ‘the Facebook level of ignorance’. You see, either some players were intentionally extremely stupid, or they were in on it form the beginning. They were in on it as they did not address the flaw they had exposed themselves to and they thought they had stopped the fear for 3 years, but now as we see merely two days ago, over three years after the fact has happened “a Russian-American academic, from Facebook. “We will take whatever steps are required to see that the data in question is deleted once and for all — and take action against all offending parties”“, as well as ““This was a scam — and a fraud,” Paul Grewal, a vice president and deputy general counsel at the social network” they are now realising that they set themselves up for a much larger negative boost. You see, when these 50 million users find out that they have been had, will they remain with Facebook? So what happened when the global wave starts and Facebook optionally loses 10% users, how will they sell that? It was the short-sighted prospect of meeting the sales needs and targets that got them in hot water. That is the foundation of the loss they set themselves up for and in all this, Americans far and wide have given their privacy up for a much larger extent that they realise and this path will take at least a few weeks as Facebook is setting all their guns to downplay any information that the public is exposed to.

So as we are ‘exposed’ to ““Protecting people’s information is at the heart of everything we do,” Mr. Grewal said. “No systems were infiltrated, and no passwords or sensitive pieces of information were stolen or hacked.” Still, he added, “it’s a serious abuse of our rules.”“. So is that true? You see the data shows that he is not truthful, because if that was an actual setting than Facebook would have had their own cloud for analytical solutions that did not require the export of data, but we see that this did not happen. So as we see the altered statement of ‘No systems were infiltrated, and no passwords or sensitive pieces of information were stolen or hacked‘, we could paraphrase this into ‘we voluntarily handed over the data to be used outside of the Facebook system‘. So does this make Robert Mercer the most intelligent entrepreneur, or is he merely the first one who got found out. So when we take a look at the flowchart in the Guardian article we see that Alekandr Kogan is linked to Cambridge University, St Petersburg State University, the Russian Government, as well as Global Science Research (GSR), which he founded, we see the setting that as academics are all about reselling their solutions for maximised economic profit, we see that the link between GSR and SCL Election Ltd (which now links Alexander Nix, we see that the data has likely gone a lot wider than anyone expected and there we have the setting that Facebook and their position of ‘it cannot be used legitimately in the future and must be deleted immediately‘, when data is out there it is NEVER deleted, whomever thinks that this actually happens will be delusional at the very best.

So when we see “That to me was the most astonishing thing. They waited two years and did absolutely nothing to check that the data was deleted. All they asked me to do was tick a box on a form and post it back“, which we get from former employee Christopher Wylie, gives the rise of the delusional settings that are seemingly available at Facebook. This now gets us to the final part “Paul-Olivier Dehaye, a data protection specialist, who spearheaded the investigative efforts into the tech giant, said: “Facebook has denied and denied and denied this. It has misled MPs and congressional investigators and it’s failed in its duties to respect the law“. I personally see this as the fallout to keep the billions of advertisement revenue rolling, because the larger the revenue stake, the less oversight is given to that firm. That is a view we have seen with the larger players for close to a decade. So is anyone actually surprised to see the Facebook data flow far beyond the borders of Facebook?

We as users have merely ourselves to thank for the shortcomings that exposes our privacy all over the world making it non-existent.

 

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