Cambridge Analytica

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Re: Cambridge Analytica

Postby acewiza » 2018-03-21 15:45

It's all just marketing. The marketing people have been going insane for years over how much money they can collect with widely-cast Internet campaigns. It's not just politics either - anything bought or sold (including politicians) is now subject to media amplification on an unprecedented scale. The money-grubbers are like kids in a candy store with all sorts of media networked in the wild-west Internet setting these days. There's nothing that cannot be sold online to the highest bidder and anything can be sold to the people stupid enough to believe a scammer. Easily and quickly - online.
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Re: Cambridge Analytica

Postby debiman » 2018-03-21 19:24

i don't know what triggered it originally - i think a combination of ongoing investigations into trump's campaign AND christopher wylie deciding to finally blow the whistle, but i could be wrong - but by now this is clearly a global issue, totally independent from US politicks.
i actually think the outrage is much greater in the UK and Europe.
And yes, it's been going on for years. brexit, obama, etc. etc. and that's only cambridge analytica - there's of course other companies who "haven't been caught yet" i hope.

i have been following news stories from at least 3 countries, and it is pretty clear:
a) the "general public" finally starts noticing and is upset
b) this will very likely go to court both in the EU and the US, and not only against cambridge analytica but also against facebook itself.

i think this is a good thing. i personally - and we linux forum dwellers - have of course known and seen the writing on the wall for years, but now more people than ever see it, and maybe start realising that the old "i-have-nothing-to-hide" argument is backfiring.
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Re: Cambridge Analytica

Postby bw123 » 2018-03-21 19:28

debiman wrote:i don't know what triggered it originally - i think a combination of ongoing investigations into trump's campaign AND christopher wylie deciding to finally blow the whistle - but this is clearly a global issue.
<snip>


I think the trigger is the desire by governments to regulate (censor) the internet as a whole for content, either through taxation or some other means... The press is obviously not a disinterested party, because they make a lot of money using the internet (and from direct subsidy/bribes by govt), and have a lot of skin in the game.

p.s. I didn't say I was for or against, just setting out some parameters for a discussion of, "... if ; then"
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Re: Cambridge Analytica

Postby Wheelerof4te » 2018-03-21 19:51

I think the reason for getting firmer grip on the Internet in the West (also in the East, example China) is even more dire. But I'm not going to speculate it here, since it's not allowed.
When you look at everything that's being broadcasted through media, you see fear and war morgering left and right. We are heading for some dark times, I'm afraid.
EDIT: OT:
https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/101 ... nref=story
Mark finally responds.
I've been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn't happen again. The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago.

Yeah, keep patting yourself on the back, Mark.
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Re: Cambridge Analytica

Postby debiman » 2018-03-21 20:12

I've been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn't happen again. The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago.
idk wtf that's even supposed to mean.
according to various articles facebook knew exactly what cambridge analytica (amongst others, i presume) were doing, and decided to turn a blind eye.
of course now this is all going south, they are more than willing to turn on their former partners in crime.
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Re: Cambridge Analytica

Postby bw123 » 2018-03-21 21:16

debiman wrote:
I've been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn't happen again. The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago.
idk wtf that's even supposed to mean.
according to various articles facebook knew exactly what cambridge analytica (amongst others, i presume) were doing, and decided to turn a blind eye.
of course now this is all going south, they are more than willing to turn on their former partners in crime.


1) what exactly "happened?"
2) what exactly do we want to "prevent from happening again?"
3) what exactly do you mean by "...facebook knew exactly what cambridge analytica (amongst others, i presume) were doing?"
4) what do you mean by, "...facebook... decided to turn a blind eye?" BLIND EYE ABOUT WHAT?
5) What crime was commited that they are, "...willing to turn on their former partners in crime?"

I'm not a lawyer, but you can't just acccuse people of crimes, can you? I am not fan of facebook, I have never used it, but this is insane. Check the logic.

This kind of crap is a prime example. Anybody who thinks https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... the-victim is a credible source of anything is an idiot. These people are WAY plugged into goverernment, check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloomberg_News

IMO, what you are seeing is a political effort to sway public opinion in favor of allowing govt to regulate the internet.

One [unnamed facebook] employee told a [also unnamed] Bloomberg Businessweek reporter that the only time he’d felt as uncomfortable at work, or as responsible for the world’s problems, was the day Donald Trump won the presidency.


Is this kind of statement credible journalism?
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Re: Cambridge Analytica

Postby debiman » 2018-03-22 05:47

bw123 wrote:1) what exactly "happened?"
2) what exactly do we want to "prevent from happening again?"
3) what exactly do you mean by "...facebook knew exactly what cambridge analytica (amongst others, i presume) were doing?"
4) what do you mean by, "...facebook... decided to turn a blind eye?" BLIND EYE ABOUT WHAT?
5) What crime was commited that they are, "...willing to turn on their former partners in crime?"

i cannot answer the first 2 because mr zuckerberg uttered these words, not me.
what i wrote, is a summary of what i've been listening to on various talk/news radio stations (german, US american and british to be precise).
since their articles largely tell the same story, i think it's a fair assumption that the truth lies somewhere in that vicinity. and i can vouch for at least 2 of those stations for providing credible journalism.
and yes, crime. this is being treated as a crime as we speak. maybe not condemned and judged yet, but definitely in the process. scroll back to my previous posts.

it appears you are not in the habit of listening/reading/watching news regularly (that's ok, i don't always do that either), so i suggest you start doing that and then answer your own questions.
(instead of accusing me of distributing unfounded FUD, as you no doubt will do now)
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Re: Cambridge Analytica

Postby Lysander » 2018-03-22 09:30

bw123 wrote:I think the trigger is the desire by governments to regulate (censor) the internet as a whole for content, either through taxation or some other means... The press is obviously not a disinterested party, because they make a lot of money using the internet (and from direct subsidy/bribes by govt), and have a lot of skin in the game.


This is a highly pertinent comment and worthy of further discussion. The internet is far more regulated than most people realise. If you think about it, most people tend not to visit more than ten websites daily and mostly the same ones. Gmail, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and probably two or three websites related to their hobbies/work platforms. Most people just go round in loops on the internet. If you use a service like StumbleUpon, you'll see just how much of the internet you're missing and how much has been kept from you by consolidation.

Now, most of us in this forum are lucky enough to remember the internet in the late 90s/early 2000s when there were far more websites we visited. The search engine was key. Now it's all about bookmarks, app shortcuts or speeddials. What these tools do, through supporting routine, is to regulate the course of people's interests on the internet, and in doing so their internet practices become predictable and controllable. Also sites like Facebook try - with great success - to be a "one-stop shop" and gather and link to all peoples' interests and friends groups. Now, some people say that the argument of "I only use FB to keep in contact with friends" holds no water but this isn't totally true. You'll find that if you do delete your account, the large majority of your FB friends will never contact you again. Yes, your very best friends and family can keep in contact through other means, but people have become so addicted to the site that communication has become about platforms rather than individuals. We don't care who we're talking to, as long as our brain is being fed enough dopamine to keep us occupied.

The result is a global generation who is addicted to social media. FB has its fingers in two other major pies - Whatsapp and Instagram. When FB bought WA for billions of dollars, many were left scratching their heads over the deal. It's clear now why they bought it. But most people have decided - through act or omission - that the benefits of these programs far outweigh their disadvantages. The only way that people will leave FB en masse is if it gets shut down, but FB is, at this point, far too lucrative and powerful for that. Alternatively, another way the site could meet its end is if its advertising firms leave. As much as I would like to see it happen, I imagine this whole issue will be dragged through the press and maybe the courts to little end.

Wheelerof4te wrote:I think the reason for getting firmer grip on the Internet in the West (also in the East, example China) is even more dire. But I'm not going to speculate it here, since it's not allowed.


Is there an anti-speculation policy? Please speculate away.
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Re: Cambridge Analytica

Postby pawRoot » 2018-03-22 11:02

debiman wrote:what i wrote, is a summary of what i've been listening to on various talk/news radio stations (german, US american and british to be precise).


Most of these media spread the same bollocks.
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Re: Cambridge Analytica

Postby bw123 » 2018-03-22 11:12

debiman wrote:<snip>
it appears you are not in the habit of listening/reading/watching news regularly (that's ok, i don't always do that either), so i suggest you start doing that and then answer your own questions.
(instead of accusing me of distributing unfounded FUD, as you no doubt will do now)


I like to try and understand, that's all. No, I don't think this is FUD, but I am always suspicious when the wolves and billionaires attack each other openly in the press. People put on staged arguments/disagreements all the time for different reasons. I used to like talk radio myself, but gave it up because all they do now is talk about what they read on the internet, and heck I can read.

I saw a man this morning on TV (journalist) say that the people are outraged by this, that using their personal info in politics is the line that shouldn't be crossed. People have been using the press to manipulate elections/public opinion in the US since Geo. Washington was President, Hamilton and Adams in particular were both invloved in mudslinging through their friends using pseudonyms in the newspapers of the day to argue back and forth. They staged arguments at public dinners, etc... it's theater of a sort.

Thanks for posting the topic, and thanks for the info you posted, but I still don;t see what was the crime?
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Re: Cambridge Analytica

Postby Wheelerof4te » 2018-03-22 11:17

@Lysander
Great assessment of the current generation's mentality regarding usage of Internet.

Lysander wrote:Is there an anti-speculation policy? Please speculate away.

I wanted to avoid it because it's heavily related to today's politics. Internet has become main medium for propaganda as tool used against individuals and "undemocratic, dictatorial regimes" for subversive purposes. Clearly, it's being centralised, controlled to filter out any "extreme" though, "naratives that don't coincide with the right way of thinking".
True, there are alternative media outlets, but vast majority of general public doesn't know or care enough about them.
As you have said, everything is becoming squashed into "social media" and heavily biased news sites. Seems to me like they are sounding the drums of another major war, or a rather big international escalation.
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Re: Cambridge Analytica

Postby n_hologram » 2018-03-22 11:30

I think this entire conversation is a result of the modern era's desire to use the internet for entertainment over information.
Exhibit A:
Lysander wrote:some people say that the argument of "I only use FB to keep in contact with friends" holds no water but this isn't totally true. You'll find that if you do delete your account, the large majority of your FB friends will never contact you again...communication has become about platforms rather than individuals. We don't care who we're talking to, as long as our brain is being fed enough dopamine to keep us occupied.

Two profoundly important points were brought up here: platforms and dopamine. Look no further than modern teenagers for countless examples. There's still SO much they don't understand, really basic principles, about how programs like Snapchat are used; the platform is all that matters. If you ever want to make a really good impression, ask them explain to you how to prevent tracking, and then explain the role of the IP address, which has been around for awhile, and cannot be disabled. They have no idea that THIS is even one data point that can be used, not to mention what the app harvests about other apps based on API rules (not leaks or exploits, but rules).

The dopamine effect is a recently-studied idea, and I'm still doing my own research about it. However, with absurd teen-suicide rates, I'm interested to learn what role dopamine plays, particularly for a developing brain. I don't think the rule would apply in quite the same way to adults. The teenager, though, is pretty unique, because their entire world -- and self-esetem -- IS social networking; not to mention the part of the brain that is inhibited when one drinks alcohol is also inhibited during puberty. Classically, the network is developed in real-life, with all its benefits and caveats; the entertainment-driven internet era has broadened not just the scope of showing-off and bullying, but the frequency as well, and also justifies the previous comment about platform usage. ("If all of your friends leaked data to the NSA, would you?" The answer from a teenager is, maybe.) So, the kid who is bullied online is going to feel those effects offline, and because all their other friends -- and, therefore, their self-esteem -- are online, it becomes a vicious circuit. Long story short, it's not as simple as "just unplug," because if every teenager's friends use a platform, there's little incentive to "just stop," regardless how the data is being [mis]handled.

I think it's important to start conversing about real issues (not hypothetical, long-term possibilities), and focusing on device-free blocks of time. Have those meaningful, non-aggressive conversations while they're still impressionable, because they are the future infrastructure-makers and users.
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Re: Cambridge Analytica

Postby oswaldkelso » 2018-03-22 12:26

"I still don't see what was the crime?"


They took information that was supposedly for academic research and used it improperly for commercial and political gain.

In short. if it was the stock market, insider trading. They fixed the market with their inside information to convince stockholders what to do with their shares.
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Re: Cambridge Analytica

Postby acewiza » 2018-03-22 12:36

oswaldkelso wrote:In short. if it was the stock market, insider trading.

The line between inside and outside information is blurring.
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Re: Cambridge Analytica

Postby Lysander » 2018-03-22 13:56

Wheelerof4te wrote:Clearly, it's being centralised, controlled to filter out any "extreme" though, "naratives that don't coincide with the right way of thinking".


Just one example of this is the regulation of pornographic material in the UK. In the late 2000s the government passed a law against "extreme pornography" where anyone who possessed pornography which related to non-consent, BDSM etc could be arrested. Since then there have been multiple arrests because of possession of "extreme" porn [child porn was already illegal, this was supplementary].

This year, the UK is now seeking to make all pornographic websites age-verifiable. Users will have to hand over credit card details to gain access. This was originally going to be enforced next month but now it's been pushed back to the end of the year. Gradually there is a knock-on effect as forms of media are processually considered unsuitable and furthermore restricted or illegalised. It is slow erosion of fringe interests that do not fall in line with mainsteam thinking.

Quoth Groucho Marx:

If any form of pleasure is exhibited
Report to me and it will be prohibited
I'll put my foot down, so shall it be
This is the land of the free


Wheelerof4te wrote:True, there are alternative media outlets, but vast majority of general public doesn't know or care enough about them.


I take it you're referring to the newspapers and online 'media' but the same can be said of alternative subcultures and their outlets. In London there is hardly any subcultural representation anymore. One no longer sees punks, goths, ravers, metalheads etc on the streets here - and for such a diverse city, that is surprising. Everyone looks the same. It can be no coincidence that the younger generations spend so much time on social media, which has a profound effect on how we see ourselves and others.

n_hologram wrote:However, with absurd teen-suicide rates, I'm interested to learn what role dopamine plays, particularly for a developing brain. I don't think the rule would apply in quite the same way to adults. The teenager, though, is pretty unique, because their entire world -- and self-esetem -- IS social networking.... So, the kid who is bullied online is going to feel those effects offline, and because all their other friends -- and, therefore, their self-esteem -- are online, it becomes a vicious circuit. Long story short, it's not as simple as "just unplug," because if every teenager's friends use a platform, there's little incentive to "just stop," regardless how the data is being [mis]handled.


I would not be surprised - in fact I fully expect - the governments/tech firms to have conducted tests to see how much the effects of social media can replicate [or even give] similar pleasures as those derived from soft drug use. The same could be said for smartphone gaming, e.g. gem games. These games are graphically attractive and brightly-coloured, giving constant rewards to the user. They're almost psychedelic. People do not read books as much as they used to on public transport either: literature is provided for them in newspapers such as Metro or Evening Standard which are free and funded by advertisers. This is, in all senses of the word, the Orwellian 'prolefeed' that was written about in the '40s. The irony is that any mention of such in social circles will be deemed as 'tin foil hat' since people are in denial as to the true state of society and like to think of themselves as individuals who are free-minded and unmanipulatable when in truth, manipulation - by its very nature - must be covert and undetectable.

You're correct in that it's not as simple as "just unplug": one can switch off one's phone and walk away from social media temporarily but words can still linger in our subconscious, exerting all-too-real effects in the physical world. A recent example is the tragic death of a young porn star, August Ames, who killed herself following a backlash on Twitter.

This is what happens when everyone gets a voice. Up till the 21st century, only the words of the influential, powerful and knowledgeable were heard en masse. Those who had - for better or worse - worked to get to their positions of national or international renown. Now absolutely anyone can be heard by anyone, but the issue is that the large majority of people have little useful to say and will resort to emotional, cheap methods of attention-seeking or the fostering of political microissues to get noticed. Social media helps all of this material proliferate, to mostly negative - or even disastrous - effect. If you quiz the average FB user you'll find that they know its use has negative ramifications but they feel they can't stop using it, which is the text-book definition of addiction.
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