Saturday 23rd of October 2021

friends...

friends.friends.

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd has called for Australians to resist the Murdoch media empire “culture of fear” and the emerging monopolies of Google and Facebook.

Proposed bargaining laws simply entrench the power and reach of the Murdoch media empire, he warned on Friday as a witness at a parliamentary inquiry into media diversity.

He called for Parliament to listen to the more than half a million people who had signed a petition calling for action.

“It’s not simply a random call for a royal commission. They know something is crook,” Mr Rudd said.

“The truth in this building is that everyone’s frightened of Murdoch.

“What the Murdoch mob is after is compliant politicians who won’t rock the boat.”

He says monopolies are wrong and lead to corruption that is buried, denied and not investigated, and also change behaviour over time that skew the national debate.

The “Fox News-isation” of the Australian media was well under way, breeding climate change denialism and encouraging far-right political extremism, Mr Rudd said.

“The Murdoch media empire has campaigned viciously against one side of politics.”

Senior executives from News Corp and Nine Entertainment will also attend the hearing, arguing Australian consumers have access to diverse news and information, with very few readers accessing only one news brand.

Australian Associated Press will be represented at the hearing by chief executive Emma Cowdroy, chairwoman Jonty Low and editor Andrew Drummond.

They will argue one of the most efficient ways of supporting media diversity is to ensure the national news wire is properly resourced.

The competition watchdog has said its two key concerns about diversity are the impact of big platforms such as Google and Facebook and ensuring the viability of an independent national news wire.

 

Read more:

https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2021/02/19/media-code-entrenches-murdoch-empire-rudd/

survey...

fill in boxes

 


canada with australia...

Following Australia’s lead, Canada has announced that it aims to force Facebook to pay for news content. Ottawa said it would not be intimidated if the tech giant seeks retribution.

Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault said on Thursday that he would begin drafting legislation that could resemble Australia’s bid to make Facebook and other companies pay a licensing fee to feature domestically created content on their platforms. 

Canada is at the forefront of this battle... we are really among the first group of countries around the world that are doing this,” the minister told reporters. 

He said that Ottawa was also considering a less forceful approach. France, for example, has required tech companies to enter into negotiations with publishers regarding financial compensation, without forcing the issue. Guilbeault said the government was still deciding which model would be “the most appropriate,” adding that he was in consultations with colleagues in France, Australia, Germany and Finland about how to best secure compensation from Facebook.

The minister predicted that soon more than a dozen countries could adopt rules requiring the Silicon Valley behemoth to pay for news content.

The announcement comes days after Facebook blocked all Australian news content on its platform in response to draft legislation that would require it to pay fees to domestic outlets and publishers whose links and content appear on the site. 

Guilbeault said that Facebook would be unable to take similar actions if more countries followed suit, describing the company’s approach to the issue as “totally unsustainable.”

Facebook isn’t the only tech giant in Ottawa’s crosshairs. Guilbeault said that Google could also be subject to future legislation. At the moment, the company is currently in talks with Canadian publishers about using content for its News Showcase service. Google has already reached a deal with Australian outlets, bypassing the current conflict between Canberra and Facebook. 

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/515999-canada-facebook-australia-pay-content/

 

Facebook could be working with the CIA, who knows... 

 

vaccination caper...

Australia’s mass vaccination drive is set to get a publicity campaign, the country’s health minister has said. There will be no advertising on Facebook, however, as the government remains locked in a bitter row with the platform.

As Australia launched its mass vaccination using the Pfizer jab on Sunday, Health Minister Greg Hunt promised a wide-ranging communication campaign to promote inoculation. The publicity drive will take place both offline and online – but nothing will be posted to Facebook, Hunt told national broadcaster ABC.

On my watch, until this issue is resolved, there will not be Facebook advertising. There has been none commissioned or instituted since this dispute arose. Basically, you have corporate titans acting as sovereign bullies, and they won’t get away with it.

Exclusion of the platform from the Covid-19 vaccination promotion comes as the months-long row between the Australian government and the tech giant escalated this week. The feud stemmed from a new Australian legislation that would oblige the tech giant and other companies to pay a licensing fee to local publishers to feature domestically created content on their platforms.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/516191-australia-facebook-covid-vaccine/

 

 

No need to get excited. Scomo, our Prime Minister, is as much of a bully than Facial-book is... Tonight, as a publicity stunt for being jabbed, Scomo was being "vaccinated" alongside an old woman from WW2... Scomo showed her how to do the "V" victory sign after being pricked but with a wry smile she did an "up-yours" sign that Scomo tried to change by twisting her hand the other way... Lucky he did not break her wrist... Classic...

 

On the Futilebook front for collecting friends like stamps, the boffins changed the access for "better" management of my data which they collect like horseshit with a shovel. Having changed the settings, I can't access the gizmo because I need to reset my "password" and blah blah blah so it can link with other sucking functionalities... So I have given up on Fartbook...

creepy and ruthless facebook...

Creepy and ruthless Facebook has again impressed with its steely indifference to civic responsibility, as if a company established by a sociopath could ever be a model of human improvement. On February 18, Mark Zuckerberg’s antisocial company took aim at Australia by blocking those in that country from sharing local and international content.

As the company notice to those trying to share material went:


In response to Australian government legislation, Facebook generally restricts the posting of news links and all post from news Pages in Australia. Globally, the posting and sharing of news links from Australian publications is restricted.”

 

As with previous thugs of mercenary trade (the Dutch East India Company and its British equivalent come to mind), Facebook is keen to make the rules it likes, and ignore those of the commonweal. 

It is a plundering pioneer in the world of surveillance capitalism, which has led to what Shoshana Zuboff calls an “epistemic coup” with “unprecedented computational concentrations of knowledge and power” gathered by extracting data elitists. These elitists, in turn, trash such concepts as the rule of law and democracy in the name of profits. 

As she explained in her keynote speech at last year’s EU Parliament’s Science and Technology Options Assessment panel: 


These corporations are not publishers, they are not distributors, they are not merely adtech providers; they are indiscriminate, radically indifferent all-you-can-eat extractors of everything forever, all for the sake of prediction that become more lucrative as they approach certainty.”

 

Australia’s News Media Bargaining Code is one such proposed imposition on these extractive qualities, though it does little to actually redress the central principles Facebook and Google operate under. 

The Code, as it stands, is a compendium of defects sold as politics rather than sound structural change. In it, the Australian government hopes not to restrict surveillance capitalism so much as redirect it.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission,the Code would:


address the fundamental bargaining power imbalance between Australian news media businesses and major digital platforms.” 

 

It’s all a problem of revenue: the fourth estate is dying, having lost its classified advertising base; the Australian government, unenthused by ideas of creating funding schemes or taxing Big Tech, has come to the conclusion that these giants will subsidize and ultimately regenerate old media outlets. To do so, it proposes making companies reach, through goodwill negotiations, bargains by which revenue can be distributed.

While making wild presumptions of what platforms such as Facebook do with the news (referrals, shares and so forth), the government will also require these Silicon Valley hulks to notify media organisations of any change in their search algorithms and abide by an arbitration mechanism. Disputes on the amount of revenue will then go to an arbitration body. Such scenes promise to be messy: media moguls hunkering down to discussions with such amoral practitioners as Facebook.

The blocking of news content on the Facebook platform precipitated a range of consequences, some of them possibly surprising to Zuckerberg and his crew. The Facebook pages of news organisations were immediately emptied of content. Australia’s ABC put it like this

 

If you search for the Facebook pages of (for example) ABC News, the Sydney Morning Herald, the New York Times, and the BBC, you’ll see a blank feed saying ‘No posts yet.’” 

 

This was not all. The draft Code has a definition of news content of some breadth, which purports to be any material that “reports, investigates, or explains issues that are relevant in engaging Australians in public debate”. When approached for comment on the issue, Facebook confirmed it has pushed its own reading to the limits, citing a lack of clarity. 


As the law does not provide clear guidance on the definition of news content, we have taken a broad definition in order to respect the law as drafted.”

 

Not that the law has been implemented, but Facebook has been quick on the draw. Snottily, the company promises to “reverse any Pages that are inadvertently impacted.”

Government pages were also caught up in the dramatic scrub, including the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland Health and an assortment of commercial and retail outlets. 

The blocking of content on the bureau’s site was considered particularly galling, given cases of flooding in Queensland and fire danger in Western Australia. “Warnings need to get to as wide an audience as possible as a matter of safety,” tweeted ABC weather presenter Nate Byrne. “Shocking.”

Smaller community news outlets, trade unions, homeless charities, and various local controlled health services were also enveloped in the information clean. Indigenous communities have been particularly bruised.

According to the National Indigenous Times


Indigenous health and media groups fear Facebook’s pushback will have a dangerous impact on regional and remote communities during [the] wet season and the COVID-19 epidemic, with concerns communities will not have access to vital updates on flood warnings or the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations.”

 

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services saw the issue of blocking content on its site as a matter of rights, restricting an invaluable means of connecting with the community. 


This is a human rights issue, silencing the voices of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people, our representative peak bodies.”

 

In going for the Australian throat, Facebook has resorted to a different approach from that other giant of amoral propensities, Google. Google has repeatedly threatened to withdraw its search engine from Australia for similar grievances against the draft Code. But the company has been aggressively negotiating and buttering up Australian media outlets for its News Showcase

The Australian government sees this as a triumph, a strange interpretation given the positively pyrrhic nature of any such outcomes. Google can well argue to have come out better in the deal, its business model left intact.

The time has come to reconsider the very operating rationale of such companies in an effort to address their singular monopoly position. Solutions are not merely to be found in government regulation and antitrust approaches. The very allegiance shown to such platforms by their captive users will have to change. The time has come to save the human project from surveillance capitalism.

 

 

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: [email protected]

 

Read more:

 

https://off-guardian.org/2021/02/20/facebook-unfriends-australia-the-triumph-of-epistemic-chaos/

 

facecrap, facebuck, grooble and gobble scrunchie...

It was the Facebook ad for a mask doubling as a hair scrunchie that pushed Dan Castle to despair.


His company, CastleGrade, makes a reusable, high-filtration face mask that has been popular among dentists, teachers and those who work in proximity to others — and willing to pay $44.99.


But he has been unable to sell his wares on Facebook since August, when the company abruptly blocked his ads, citing a policy aimed at ensuring medical-grade masks are reserved for health care workers. Since then, he said, sales have plummeted to $5,000 a day from $40,000. And yet, he sees ads for nonmedical grade masks all of the time.


“These companies have such a monopoly that you really can’t be in business without them,” he said. “The policy just doesn’t make sense.”


Mr. Castle’s experiences with Facebook echoed those of other small mask producers who have recently began making N95s and other medical grade masks. Largely shut out by hospital networks, they had hoped to sell their high-filtration products online, where Americans do much of their shopping. But the tech giants have not made it easy, even as scientists have urged the public to upgrade their face coverings to those that can block the tiny pathogens that cause infection.

Google and Facebook ban the sale of medical-grade masks, and Amazon limits their availability to shoppers — policies born during the early months of the pandemic, when hospitals were scrambling to obtain protective gear.


But some public health experts and mask manufacturers say these rules are outdated, especially given the spread of more infectious coronavirus variants and the abundance of domestically made masks that are gathering dust in warehouses across the country. The restrictions, they say, may hinder the country’s ability to limit new infections in the months before vaccinations become more widely available.


“Even though cases are coming down right now, we need people to be wearing high-filtration masks to prevent any sort of super spreading resurgences, particularly with these new variants,” said Dr. Abraar Karan, a researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School who has been pushing for a national program to subsidize and distribute high-filtration masks to the public.

 

 

Read more:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/26/health/n95-masks-facebook-sale-amazon.html

 

 

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See also: "the media heist" — a theatre play by uncle rupe...

 

facebook is about MONEY...

Facebook may have started as connecting friends and still does it. But in order to pay for the operation, Facebook needed cash. Here comes advertising. Then comes regulations of what is allowed to be said or not. Some of what is said is paid advertising: this will mostly be allowed even if it contravenes common sense or scientific status. But what is politically sensitive will be moderated and ELIMINATED. Here are two cases. That of Hunter Biden's lost laptops (now numbering 3 (three)... But first advertising for the fossil fuel lobby...

 

Oil and Gas Inundated Facebook With Election Season Ads After Biden Released Climate Plan

 

ExxonMobil and the American Petroleum Institute were top spenders in a $9.6 million election-year fossil fuel marketing blitz targeting U.S. Facebook users.

 

Ads promoting fossil fuels reached Facebook users in the U.S. at least 431 million times in 2020, a new analysis by watchdog organization InfluenceMap finds, with the bulk arriving after the release of then-candidate Joe Biden’s $2 trillion climate plan and in the lead up to the presidential election. Ads specifically focused on marketing fossil fuels as clean, green, or part of a climate change “solution” were viewed more than 122 million times by Facebook users in the U.S., the report finds.

The 25 oil and gas companies and advocacy groups covered in the report paid Facebook a total of $9.6 million to share the ads with social media users.

About 200 million people in the U.S. use Facebook at least once a month — meaning that for less than $10 million, the oil and gas industry bought enough ad space to expose all of Facebook’s users in the U.S. to their messages at least twice on average.

“Despite Facebook’s public support for climate action, it continues to allow its platform to be used to spread fossil fuel propaganda,” Bill Weihl, Facebook’s former director of sustainability, said in a statement accompanying the report. “Not only is Facebook inadequately enforcing its existing advertising policies, it’s clear that these policies are not keeping pace with the critical need for urgent climate action.”

Facebook Feeds Flooded with Pre-Election Oil Ads

The vast majority of the oil and gas industry’s ads were paid for between July and November 2020, InfluenceMap found, adding that there appeared to be a sharp uptick immediately after Biden released his sweeping climate plan last July.

 

Read more:

https://www.desmog.com/2021/08/05/oil-gas-facebook-election-ads-biden-climate/

 

Second case:

 

Earlier, social media giants Facebook and Twitter were blasted after it became clear both platforms were deliberately disabling the sharing of articles regarding a missing laptop and emails said to belong to US President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter. At the time, officials explained the move as part of an effort to limit the spread of misinformation.

Months after being blasted for having intentionally limited the sharing of articles tied to Hunter Biden, Facebook is at it once again, but this time the focus isn’t on reports from the New York Post. Now, it’s all about an exclusive report released by the UK’s Daily Mail.

The story at the center of this latest case was published on Wednesday and centers around newly surfaced video footage of a naked Hunter Biden in bed with an unidentified woman who is described as being a “prostitute.” 

In the footage, Biden is heard claiming that “Russian drug dealers” stole one of his laptops as part of a blackmail scheme when he was parktaking in illicit drugs during a 2019 stay at an unspecified hotel room in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“They have videos of me doing this,” Biden is heard claiming in a video recording obtained by the Daily Mail, referring to his habit of filming his sexual encounters. “They have videos of me doing crazy f***ing sex f***ing, you know.”

 

The story, especially in light of the fact that footage was pulled from a laptop owned by Biden, raises strong similarities to the October 2020 case in which the New York Post shared an exclusive story purporting to reveal Biden’s 2014 invocation of his father’s name during business dealings in Ukraine.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/us/202108131083593316-facebook-strikes-again-tech-giant-censors-latest-hunter-biden-story-months-after-new-york-post-saga/

 

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See also: hooking up...

 

FREE JULIAN ASSANGE NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (SEE ALSO: where was the scientist?...)

zuckerberg's billions...

When the average person thinks of Facebook, they tend to think of a social media platform, and a dated one at that. But Facebook, Inc., is in fact a multi-headed hydra composed of 78 different companies, including the extremely popular WhatsApp and Instagram. If Facebook happened to be a human being, where would he or she currently find themselves? In a federal prison, I imagine. The company’s transgressions, too numerous to list, are as varied as they are outrageous. But Facebook is now one of the most profitable companies in the world, with a market cap of more than $1 trillion.

Led by Mark Zuckerberg, the conglomerate’s power is vast. As the pandemic brought the world to its knees, the Facebook CEO became wealthier, much wealthier. In 2020, he had a net worth of a mere $82 billion; twelve months later, he is now worth $124 billion. The conquest of the social media market is not enough for Zuckerberg, however. The 37-year-old is now embarking on his most ambitious project to date: the creation of the metaverse.

The average person now spends a large part of their life living on the internet. However, once the metaverse arrives, users will live out their lives in the internet. Yes, in it. In a recent interview with the Verge, Zuckerberg referred to the metaverse as an “embodied internet,” where we won’t just view content, we will find ourselves living “in it.” A portmanteau of “meta,” which means beyond, and “universe,” the metaverse combines elements of the physical world and merges them with all things digital.

Thirty years ago, the sci-fi author Neal Stephenson coined the term in his novel Snow Crash. Then, the metaverse was a thing of fiction. That was then, as they say, and this is now. Yesterday’s fiction is today’s reality. There is plenty of room for concern. As Wired’s Toby Tremayne notes, conglomerates like Facebook are little more than “walled gardens increasingly centralised and controlled by corporate interests.” Facebook, Inc., already “owns WhatsApp, Instagram and Oculus, giving them ownership of our friends, our behaviour, our gait, eye movement and emotional state.”

With the metaverse, how much more of us will Facebook, Inc., control? If you think data issues are bad now (and they are), then just wait until the metaverse arrives. To access the metaverse, biometric data will most certainly be required. This will include face scans, iris scans, speaker identification, and hand geometry recognition. Will you trust Facebook, a company that has a history of misusing our data, with such personal information? It looks to be just a few years away.

In this near-future metaphysical Wild Wild West, what laws will apply? What if I find myself in the metaverse and decide to commit a crime? Will I be arrested, or will my avatar be arrested? Will the laws of the physical world apply, or must new laws be drafted? How do we legislate for the metaverse when we can’t even regulate cryptocurrencies?

In search of answers, I interviewed Matthew Ball, a metaverse guru of sorts. It’s best to think of Ball as, for a certain kind of technofuturist, the Dalai Lama, Steve Jobs, and Malcolm Gladwell rolled into one. An essayist, entrepreneur, and Silicon Valley veteran, his metaversal knowledge is unparalleled.

“The very premise of the metaverse,” Ball tells me, “means that more of our lives will be online, rather than just data relating to our lives.” What about the world’s economies? They “will run virtually rather than just be augmented digitally (i.e. via email, ecommerce, etc.).”

Relocating to the metaverse comes with significant risks. In fact, according to Ball, relocating there (wherever there may be) “intensifies many present-day risks, such as those of misinformation, data security, data rights, etc.” I asked if it would be possible to regulate the metaverse. Ball’s response, “I don’t have a good answer for you,” left me more than a little uneasy.

The reason for Ball’s uncertainty is understandable. We are entering uncharted waters. In “the United States, there’s over a century of regulatory frameworks and anti-trust precedents spanning countless products, issues, and markets,” he told me. However, “they’ve proven to be a poor fit for the digital era in which strength comes from intangible network effects and data, the best businesses are platforms, and most revenues have little-to-no-marginal cost.” Around the world, governments are asking themselves “is Apple too powerful, and if so, why, how, and what do we do?”

“The metaverse will not develop as the internet did,” cautions Ball. With the world wide web, “public institutions, military research labs, and independent academics” led the internet’s development, as “they were effectively the only ones with the computational talent, resources, and ambitions” available at the time. “None of this is true when it comes to the metaverse.” Now it’s the Big Tech giants involved in an arms race of sorts.

The push for a metaverse appears unstoppable and Facebook, at this point in time, appears to be winning. Is Facebook the best company to lead us into the metaphysical unknown? No, most definitely not. However, the likes of Microsoft and Amazon will take over if Facebook drops out. There are no good options.

Before we parted ways, Ball left me with a quote from Tim Sweeney, the CEO of Epic Games: “This metaverse is going to be far more pervasive and powerful than anything else. If one central company gains control of this, they will become more powerful than any government and be a god on Earth.”

This should comfort no one except, of course, Mark Zuckerberg. Interconnected simulations, Ball told me, are inevitable. In other words, if one attempts to avoid the metaverse, then they will find themselves, almost certainly, left behind by the rest of society. Have you tried existing without the internet lately? I didn’t think so. Other than a social exit of that nature, when it comes to the metaverse, resistance may be futile.

 

 

John Mac Ghlionn is a researcher and essayist. His work has been published by the likes of National Review, New York Post, South China Morning Post, and the Sydney Morning Herald. He can be found on Twitter at @ghlionn.

 

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freefree

joining the power dots...

The political power of Facebook

 

by Thierry Meyssan  

In the global imagination, Facebook would be a responsible social network that allows everyone to connect confidentially while censoring messages contrary to local laws. In practice, it is quite different. Facebook collects information about you for the NSA, censors your opinions and mints its own currency. In a few months, this company has become one of the most influential players in world politics.

 

FACEBOOK AS A SOCIAL NETWORK

The most important political player on the Internet is the social network Facebook. As of January 1st, 2021, it had 2.85 billion monthly active users and 1.88 billion daily active users worldwide. The social network routinely censors posts that include nude photos, sexual activity, harassment, hate speech, forgeries, spam, terrorist propaganda or violence using particularly crude and unfair artificial intelligence. It shuts down accounts that it deems dangerous, either because they have been censored several times or because they are linked to enemies of the United States.

Facebook is a huge company that includes Instagram, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Oculus, Workplace, Portal, Novi. It employs over 60,000 people.

FACEBOOK AS A BANK

Facebook now issues its own currency as a state, the Libra. It is backed by a basket of currencies composed of 50% dollars, 14% yen, 11% Serling pounds and 7% Singapore dollars [1].

By becoming a bank whose currency is progressively accepted by Internet sales sites, Facebook is building a parallel economy, both virtual and global, that is larger than the economy of many states.

FACEBOOK AND ITS USERS

Facebook calls on its users to detect accounts that violate its rules. It opens a file on each of its informants and notes them [2].

Facebook, which claims to treat every user equally, has secretly compiled a list of 5.8 million VIPs to whom its rules do not apply. Only they can say and show everything [3].

CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA AND THE NSA

The personal data of at least 87 million users was targeted and siphoned off by the British company Cambridge analytica (of billionaire Robert Mercer and Steve Bannon) and its Canadian subsidiary, AggregateIQ [4]. They were used at least : 
 for the election of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014 [5], 
 for 44 local elections in the US in 2014, 
 for Mauricio Macri in the Argentine presidential election, 
 for Nigel Farage in the UK Brexit referendum in 2016. 
 And above all during the US presidential campaign also in 2016, successively for Ben Carson, 
Ted Cruz [6], 
 and finally for Donald Trump and his campaign manager... Steve Bannon.

According to The Observer, Cambridge analytica employed many figures from the British military-industrial complex and MI6 propaganda services [7]. Perhaps this is just the tip of the iceberg: Edward Snowden revealed that Facebook had joined the ultra-secret PRISM electronic surveillance network allowing the National Security Agency (NSA) to access the personal data of all its customers. But nothing has leaked out about what use the NSA makes of it.

According to Newton Lee, a former researcher at the Institute for Defense Analyses, the PRISM network is the avatar of the Total Information Awareness (TIA) project that Admiral John Poindexter developed under Donald Rumsfeld at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) [8].

MARK ZUCKERBERG’S PERSONAL COMMITMENT TO ISRAEL

In 2011, Facebook, at the request of Israel, censored accounts calling for an uprising in the Palestinian territories

In 2012, Mark Zuckerberg, personally committed himself to Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Perez. He oversaw the creation and promotion of the Israeli president’s official page, and created a video campaign called "Be my friend for peace", featuring Nicolas Sarkozy, David Cameron, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan or even Queen Elizabeth II of England, among others.

In 2015, Facebook declared Hezbollah and the Syrian Arab Republic "terrorist organisations". It closed the accounts of several TV channels including Al-Mayadeen (then the most watched news TV in the Arab world), Sama and Dunia (two Syrian public TVs) and Ikhbariya (a Syrian private channel). At the same time, it provided trainers to the jihadists fighting the Syrian Arab Republic.

In this regard, Facebook does not censor all messages of hatred or violence. For example, it encourages the account of opponents of Syria that collects information (name, address, photo) of Syrian nationalists in order to assassinate them.

POLITICAL PROJECT

In 2010, Nature published a study on "An experiment in social influence and political mobilisation on 61 million people" [9]. Researchers from the University of California show that political messages on Facebook during the US mid-term elections had a very large impact not only on the users of the social network, but also on their friends and even on their friends’ friends.

In 2014, Facebook, without the knowledge of its subscribers, conducted a study on "Experimental evidence of large-scale emotional contagion via social networks" [10].

In 2018, Facebook partnered with the Atlantic Council, an influential think tank funded by NATO, to "promote US leadership and engagement in the world with its allies". The specific aim of the partnership is to ensure "the proper use of Facebook in elections around the world, monitoring misinformation and foreign interference, helping to educate citizens and civil society" [11].

Ultimately, in 2020, Facebook engaged in colonial politics in Africa with its proposed undersea cable encircling the continent, 2Africa. This network would link the main ports, but would not penetrate inland [12]. It is only a question of serving the elites who participate in the plundering of the continent and the shipping of its wealth to the West.

Internationally, Facebook’s director of public relations is the Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg. He was a deputy to British Prime Minister David Cameron. Facebook France is headed by Laurent Solly, former chief of staff to President Sarkozy and then second in command of the private television channel TF1. He is the husband of Caroline Roux, a star journalist for the public television channel France2.

Facebook is neither in the service of the Democrats nor the Republicans. It is a company that defends the interests of the "American Empire" by using both its knowledge of its users and the emotions it spreads among them.

From this point of view, it is particularly interesting that in 2017 Mark Zuckerberg thought of becoming President of the United States without having to run for office. He had put together a campaign team before giving up. His plan was to lean on the Democratic Party to remove President Donald Trump from office, then get close to Vice President Mike Pence so that Pence would hand over the office to him when he automatically became president, and finally lean on the Republicans to get Pence to resign and become president himself. [13].

POLITICAL ACTION

In 2008, candidate Barack Obama relied on former Facebook spokesman Chris Hughes, director of My.BarackObama.com (MyBO) and designer of Obama’s Online Operation (OOO), to reach and mobilise five million voters via Facebook [14].

In 2010, Facebook censored Wikileaks, the association that revealed the Pentagon’s practices and thus undermined the "American Empire".

In 2010-11, the platform, officially supported by the US State Department, exploded during the ’Arab Spring’ in the ’wider Middle East’.

In 2018, Facebook banned the intergovernmental TV channel TeleSur, which then included Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Uruguay and Venezuela.

In 2020, Facebook closed accounts linked to the French army in Central Africa and Mali. The latter were running a campaign that did not correspond to that of the Pentagon.

In 2021, Facebook closed the accounts of the incumbent presidents of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, and the United States, Donald Trump.

FACEBOOK AND THE MEDIA

A British association, Full Fact, has created a coalition between the competent ministries of the United Kingdom and Canada on the one hand, and information giants (Facebook, but also Twitter, Alphabet and Reuters) on the other, in order to fight misinformation on the English-speaking Net.

Facebook does not limit itself to fighting against Fake News. It has just created a programme, "News Innovation", to support the written press. It has already been deployed in Canada, Argentina and Brazil. It has signed more than $10 million worth of contracts focusing on media that support Justin Trudeau in Canada or are hostile to Alberto Fernandez and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in Argentina and Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil.

THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION AND FACEBOOK 

The Biden administration worried - before the public - about the rise of Facebook, which it sees as a rival. The company sets its own borders, enforces police and justice on its network, and issues its own currency. It may currently serve the Pentagon, but all it needs is an army to become a state.

This is why the Biden administration introduced whistleblower France Haugen to The Wall Street Journal and then to the Senate. The debates focused on the deleterious influence of Facebook on certain children. This is a way to put the social network in its place without asking the political questions we have just listed.

The only person in the US today who is asking the question of the political influence of digital giants is former President Donal Trump. He has just filed a lawsuit against Twitter for taking his account offline while he was still the sitting president of the United States. Trump is relying on the confidences of Democratic senators who have boasted of having pressured Twitter. This proves, he says, that the censorship is not a business decision, but a political one; that it violates the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution on free speech. His lawyers make it clear that Twitter has never censored violent speech. It hosts an account of the Taliban government of Afghanistan.

 

Thierry Meyssan

 

Translation 
Roger Lagassé

 

 

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