3 March 2019 / Recent Events Roundup Saturday – The Faceborg: Resistance is Futile [Every week, I always see lots of headlines and news stories that I don't have the time, interest, or instinct to analyze or give full treatment to, but I know that my readers like to inform themselves about various goings-on in the world. Roundup Saturday treats on those stories. Read on & caveat emptor…] The Faceborg and its subsidiaries continue to demonstrate that any confidence placed in them either by the public or government that they might do the “right thing” with regard to self-regulation of their operational reach, administration of online communities, privacy of users, truthful content in their news feeds, and so forth, is totally misplaced:The Privacy IllusionYou Give Apps Sensitive Personal Information. Then They Tell Facebook (paywall)The Wall Street Journal publishes a concerning report that supposedly "independent", "third-party" apps on your mobile device send personal and potentially sensitive data collected from you directly to The Faceborg without your permission or even your awareness. This report was so concerning that NY Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered a state probe thru two state agencies – but wait, there's more! CNet has more details thankfully not behind a paywall:Facebook Receives Personal Info from Popular AppsFacebook Execs Planned to Snoop on Android Users to Increase RevenueOh yeah – they're watching on the desktop too. Your Microsoft web browser is "at risk" – better make that "compliant":Microsoft Edge Browser lets Facebook run Flash codeHere is the primary sourceBut don't panic! It may not be as bad as all that! This fellow here is ready to explain the confusion, and let you know that The Faceborg may not be totally at fault in this privacy case. (Wanna bet?)Censoring the TrollsMeanwhile, you will no doubt be thrilled to know that Zuckerberg & Friends are protecting you from the dreaded wrongthink on the Internet! What? You aren't thrilled?Facebook Insider Leaks Docs; Talks "Political Targeting"Project Veritas publishes a report with an ex-Faceborg employee as the source that well-known right-wing writers and political commentators such as Mike Cernovich and Steven Crowder have had their content "throttled" or controlled by The Faceborg as an intentional effort to disrupt the authors' audiences. Crowder already had a dispute with The Faceborg in 2016, which was settled out of court. Tim Pool examines their report, and talks about the deleterious and potentially socially and politically disuniting effect of sidelining people and their discussions, and pushing them to create alternate, parallel societies:Donald Trump Jr. wrote about this issue with respect to Facebook subsidiary Instagram here, and then spoke on FOX & Friends here.Last week, the media watchdog Media Research Center sent a letter to US Attorney General William Barr to alert him about online censorship on multiple well-known and widely-used social media sites, including Google, Facebook, and Twitter, and to recommend a federal investigation into these practices. This week, that seems right on target.Mark Dice discusses the Project Veritas report, and also reminds us of other Faceborg AI-driven "moderating" (read: "overreach") from the past:In July 2018, the Texas local newspaper The Vindicator was publishing excerpts from the US Declaration of Independence just before the Fourth of July until The Faceborg flagged it as "going against our standards on hate speech":Facebook's program thinks Declaration of Independence is hate speechThis story was later reported on by the Telegraph and Fortune Magazine, and Snopes wrote a fact-check about the incident.At this point, after years of privacy abuse, the corporate backpedaling, the Cambridge Analytica scandal, allegations of Russian campaign bots, the almost/not quite election meddling, and so much more, there is no excuse for anyone to stay ignorant, misunderstand, or misconstrue what this constellation of social-media manipulators truly is: the demonstrated enemy of Free Peoples and their attempts to observe, interact, organize, and unrestrictedly talk to each other. The Faceborg has consistently shown its true colors as a dishonest, overreaching, greedy corporation that disregards any limits or safeguards that prevent its domination of digital information in whatever way it sees fit. It exists only to serve itself and its own interests – your concerns be damned. You shouldn't be surprised when this kind of untrustworthy activity happens, because this is how The Faceborg and their cronies operate. If you think that you can evade the dragnet policies, or have nothing to fear because you neither know nor care about some of the people mentioned above, then you intentionally ignore warning signs that should cause most to think thrice. But of course, why are you here? You doubtless do not need any warnings at all.If you lie down with dogs, you'll get up with fleas. Disconnect from the hive mind, deny your enemies what they crave most from you (your passive distinctness that they consume as never-ending data), and do freely as you ought. Find your directive, and watch your step.