Facebook’s Dangerously Political Ban Over Trump And Brexit

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Facebook has banned two data analysis firms over what they claim are breaches of the terms and conditions. That may be entirely correct by the way – but it does all look rather dangerously political. For the two firms worked on what were not, to put it mildly, bien pensant and liberal (in the American sense) campaigns for Trump and in favour of Brexit. Leading to a certain wonder whether everyone else using the same data and the same T&Cs has been treated exactly the same.

Facebook Inc on Friday said it was suspending political data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked for President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, after finding data privacy policies had been violated.

They worked for a flavour of the Leave campaign over Brexit too.

Although Kogan gained access to this information in a legitimate way and through the proper channels that governed all developers on Facebook at that time, he did not subsequently abide by our rules. By passing information on to a third party, including SCL/Cambridge Analytica and Christopher Wylie of Eunoia Technologies, he violated our platform policies. When we learned of this violation in 2015, we removed his app from Facebook and demanded certifications from Kogan and all parties he had given data to that the information had been destroyed. Cambridge Analytica, Kogan and Wylie all certified to us that they destroyed the data.

Breaking the Rules Leads to Suspension

Several days ago, we received reports that, contrary to the certifications we were given, not all data was deleted. We are moving aggressively to determine the accuracy of these claims. If true, this is another unacceptable violation of trust and the commitments they made. We are suspending SCL/Cambridge Analytica, Wylie and Kogan from Facebook, pending further information.

Well, OK. After all, it is their gaff, their business, their rules.

But that’s exactly where this becomes ever so slightly troublesome. Because there are very loud cries from certain quarters that all of this needs to be regulated. The tech giants must be just because they’re giants, data must be because…..and so on. But those arguing for the regulating are largely those bien pensant and liberal in that American sense. As is near all politics within the giant tech companies as well. Which leads to the thought that OK, let us say that all of these things are as important as is said. Even that regulation must take place. And so, those of us who are not bien pensant and liberal, we want them to be writing all that regulation, do we?

Well, if it means that companies – rightly or wrongly this is an impression of what is happening – working for our side against the bien pensants cannot access this vitally important data then perhaps not, eh?

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Bloke on M4
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Bloke on M4

Haha. Like anyone but a few boy scouts aren’t going to analyse, process and sell on fucking Facebook data. This isn’t banking stuff or recording your trips to see escorts. It isn’t even *personal* data. It’s just analytic stuff. How many people in Wisconsin are into collecting teaspoons or furry porn or something.

Mark my words: social media is going to go through a next generation revolution pretty soon. The current companies are overrun by SJW types and trying to control what’s going on towards what they think of as OK. People are going to leave and join other places.

NiV
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NiV

“This isn’t banking stuff or recording your trips to see escorts. It isn’t even *personal* data. It’s just analytic stuff. How many people in Wisconsin are into collecting teaspoons or furry porn or something.” Where did you hear that? As I understand it, what they did was pay the costs of an academic who distributed an App that gave users the results from a standard personality test. The users got the results of their personality test, the academic got the data for his research, and the analytics companies got individual psychometric profiles that they could connect to individual voters. This… Read more »

Spike
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Copypaste forgery.

Rhoda Klapp
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Rhoda Klapp

Well, I didn’t write it.

Spike
Member

Exactly; or to the point, you didn’t post it.

Spike
Member

Two things going on here: Facebook realizing that its content needs moderation in order to keep the website attractive – at a time when Washington is wondering whether the F-A-N-G corporations are essentially ungoverned and need “moderation” by Congress.

Second, the fact that all the San Francisco to Seattle high-tech companies are captives of the left-wing culture and openly biased against Trump, the GOP, heterosexual monogamy, and any discussion of returning America to its limited-government and low-tax origins.

JerryC
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JerryC

This has nothing to do with the content on Facebook. It’s about Facebook refusing to sell its product to people with the wrong political views.

Spike
Member

Facebook doesn’t know anyone’s political views. It sees only content that suggests the authors have political views it disfavors. Therefore, it has directly to do with the content on Facebook, and censorship there and on Twitter is content-based.

JerryC
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JerryC

Facebook’s core business is selling user data, not selling those dumb ads that pop up in your feed or providing any other type of content. That is what is at issue here. Cambridge Analytics bought data from Facebook that helped the Trump campaign target their advertising better. For instance, what type of news stories are white women aged 35-55 sharing on Facebook? It worked, so now only Zuck-approved outfits are allowed to do it anymore.

NiV
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NiV

They didn’t buy it from Facebook. They bought it from Aleksandr Kogan at Global Science Research.

JerryC
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JerryC

Regardless, they’re not allowed to buy it anymore.

NiV
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NiV

What else would you expect for breach of contract?

Spike
Member

I agree that “Facebook’s core business is selling user data.” Selling views of an advertisement is small potatoes; selling information for a corporate customer to pester the customer himself is big. I think this is why the F-A-N-G companies have such high market valuation. For Google, this is nearly its only business, apart from the nuance of sorting ads in favor of payers. With Amazon, remember Jeff Bezos vowing to “build a machine that knows what you want to buy before you do.” This means effective AI manipulation of billions of people. What could these corporations do if they discovered… Read more »

jgh
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jgh

Things like Facebook are essentially today’s “the telephone”. Would you expect the telephone company to ban people from using the telephone because of their political views?

jgh
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jgh

..and if you answer “yes”, you’re aspiring to live in a country I don’t want to live in.

Bloke on M4
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Bloke on M4

I disagree. There’s lots of communication channels doing similar things to Facebook. Many people aren’t on Facebook, don’t aspire to be on Facebook.

jgh
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jgh

40 years ago you could have said: many people aren’t on the telephone, and don’t aspire to be on the telephone. But, like it or not, Facebook and the like ***ARE**** today’s equivalent of “being on the telephone”.

Spike
Member

The thing about comparisons between social media and the telephone, is that the telephone is obviously a medium and its operators are not held responsible for any information passed through it. For a while, social media and blogs were the same way – “You can’t hold the owner of a bulletin board responsible for what someone tacks onto it” – but now the corporations themselves are leading the push to police content – and doing so in biased ways, perhaps deliberately to advance their biases. Maybe we should return to “Let the blog-reader beware.”

NiV
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NiV

If you want an analogy, it’s like the telephone company offers you free telephone services if you agree to let advertisers eavesdrop on your telephone conversations so they can cold call you about stuff they want to sell you, and similar purposes. People are free to do such deals, so long as they know about the monitoring and exactly what rights they’re giving in exchange. So one company run by an academic researcher offers a telephone service offering psychological assessments (“… Press ‘2’ if you dream about your mother…”) and puts in the terms and conditions that this is to… Read more »

Fred Z
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Fred Z

Anyone who uses facebook deserves to have their data harvested, and also their organs.