But our Facebook AI algorithms will solve everything!

FACEBOOK says it “regrets” an algorithm blunder that caused balloons and confetti to appear in posts about the deadly earthquake in Indonesia

because the same spelling of a word means “I’m unhurt” or “congratulations” depending on context. Facebook automatically displayed animated festive balloons on people using FB to tell their friends they were safe by mistakenly thinking the messages contained congratulatory quotes.

Facebook has repeatedly said it will use artificial intelligence (aka artificial stupidity) algorithms to identify and halt hate speech and fake news. What could possibly go wrong?

Source: Facebook ‘regrets’ Indonesia earthquake balloons gaffe that saw festive animations added to quake messages

It’s not just Russia: Everyone is deploying computational propaganda on social media

“Social media manipulation is big business,” the researchers found. “We estimate that tens of millions of dollars are being spent on social media manipulation campaigns, involving tens of thousands of professional staff.”

While there is nothing new about political parties and governments using disinformation to manipulate elections at home and abroad, the Oxford researchers note that the massive, easily accessible, and lightly regulated platforms offered by Facebook and Twitter have become enormously powerful tools in the hands of political actors, who have used social media to kick their propaganda campaigns into overdrive and cast doubt on science and public institutions.

Source: Russia Was Just the Beginning: Here’s How Social Media Became Infested with ‘Computational Propaganda’ Designed to Control Society | Alternet

Journalists and Academics seek special privileges on Facebook

Facebook restricts certain conduct on its platform. However, journalists and academics are seeking to be treated as special, and receive special privileges to do things that are prohibited for others.

Journalists and academics, for example, would be permitted to set up fake accounts with fake or curated content, for the purpose of studying users.

Individuals, however, would be banned from conducting the exact same research and thus, would be prohibited from verifying or evaluating the work of journalists and academics. Basically, the proposal is to have a group of “elite” Facebook users and everyone else are lab rats.

Detailed voter information and profiles for millions of American’s leaked to the web

Social media companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Google attempt to discern our interests and voting profile by interpreting the text we write, the texts we receive, the posts we like and share, the web sites we visit, and combine that with data purchased from third party companies that collect our credit card purchases and store loyalty card purchases. Google is just as bad as Facebook.

This information is compiled into a dossier on each of us and is sold to others for the purpose of influencing us – usually to buy something but also to adopt someone else’s ideology. Many of the conclusions are based upon unverified assertions – and are often not true.

However, this data is widely distributed. Unfortunately, one company stored the information in an unsecured cloud (they believe they inadvertently marked it as “public” rather than “private”) and now these detailed profiles of millions of Americans, including their name, address, phone number, salary and estimated wealth, political affiliation, hobbies, interests and more has been leaked.

Some of the files, which were primarily Excel spreadsheets, contained details about specific voters that went far beyond information that is publicly available through voter rolls compiled by state governments, which often include name, address, phone number, and party affiliation.

 

One spreadsheet described voters in the Bronx with labels such as “Fragile Families” and “Meager Metro Means.” Another estimated the net worth and annual income of individual Floridians. Others listed specific hobbies and interests for each voter, such as NASCAR, woodworking, and scuba diving. Several noted whether or not someone owned a gun.

Source: Millions of U.S. Voter Records Exposed on Robo-Call Company RoboCent’s Poorly-Configured AWS Cloud Storage – IEEE Spectrum

This data is collected by third parties. We have no control over the data they collect nor any way to correct assertions that are wildly inaccurate or out of date. Facebook, for example, believes I am both a Republican and a Democrat, simultaneously, but in reality I belong to neither party.

Essentially all data about each of us – including the assertions that may not be true – has been released to the wild due to numerous security leaks at multiple services. Hell, earlier in July 2018, Dignity Health emailed me, in the clear, the 101 page medical history of one of their patients. Information security is viewed as a suggestion, not a mandate. RoboCent, who leaked the voter records, does no business with the people it impacted – thus, the people are powerless to provide a market-based response to the incompetent leadership of RoboCent.

Smart TVs track everything you watch, and link that to your computer and smart phone connected devices too

Once enabled, Samba TV can track nearly everything that appears on the TV on a second-by-second basis, essentially reading pixels to identify network shows and ads, as well as programs on Netflix and HBO and even video games played on the TV. Samba TV has even offered advertisers the ability to base their targeting on whether people watch conservative or liberal media outlets and which party’s presidential debate they watched.

….

Samba TV can also identify other devices in the home that share the TV’s internet connection.

Source: How smart TVs in millions of U.S. homes track more than what’s on tonight :: WRAL.com

The primary business of the Internet is surveillance and propaganda.

“#Facebook Gave Some Companies Special Access to Additional Data About Users’ Friends – WSJ”

This is separate from the apps that had access to friends of friends data such as those affiliated with Cambridge Analytica, and many others.

This is separate from the 60 hardware partners like Chinese phone maker Huawei, that were given access to private data on Facebook.

This is new – Facebook gave secret access to many additional partners too:

Facebook Inc. FB 0.49% struck customized data-sharing deals with a select group of companies, some of which had special access to user records well after the point in 2015 that the social-media giant has said it cut off all developers from that information, according to court documents, company officials and people familiar with the matter.

Source: Facebook Gave Some Companies Special Access to Additional Data About Users’ Friends – WSJ

Facebook did announce this week that it has cut off Huawei’s data sharing agreement as of this week. But that is not relevant to anyone who has owned a Huawei product the past year or two or three. What happened to our data? Is the data sharing burned into the existing phone’s firmware – hence, ending the agreement is irrelevant?

Facebook has been reckless in its disregard for privacy and continues to steadily obfuscate its tall tales about how they have shared our private data with everyone on the planet – and presumably well beyond the planet, at this point.

Zuckerberg and Sandberg are liars.

“There is nothing wrong with your social media feed. We are controlling transmission”

A long time ago, in a generation far away from the present, there was a TV show called “The Outer Limits” famous for its opening sequence narration:

There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to – The Outer Limits.

Little did they know then, they were describing the future Facebook and Instagram services which use algorithms to determine what you see in your news feed. Both services control the content you see – imagine the possibilities for propaganda when all you see is what a giant corporation’s secret algorithms choose to show you.

Instagram says it uses three main factors, based on your past actions and behaviors, to determine how to build your feed: Interest: How much Instagram predicts you’ll care about a post, with higher ranking for what matters to you, determined by past behavior on similar content and potentially machine vision analyzing the actual content of the post. Recency: How recently the post was shared, with prioritization for timely posts over weeks-old ones. Relationship: How close you are to the person who shared it, with higher ranking for people you’ve interacted with a lot in the past on Instagram, such as by commenting on their posts or being tagged together in photos.Instagram adds that it also considers the frequency with which you open Instagram, the number of people you follow, and how long you generally spend in the app during each session.

Source: Instagram explains how its feed algorithm works, and says it’s not considering a chronological option | 9to5Mac

George Orwell’s 1984 was not intended as operating instructions for the future, but as a warning.

Sadly, Mark Zuckerberg adopted 1984 as the operating guidelines for Facebook and Instagram.

#Facebook used to brag about its ability to influence elections #DeleteFacebook

Facebook’s website had an entire section devoted to touting the “success stories” of political campaigns that used the social network to influence electoral outcomes. That page, however, is now gone, even as the 2018 congressional primaries get underway.

Source: Facebook Quietly Hid Webpages Bragging of Ability to Influence Elections

#Facebook is a platform for mind control #DeleteFacebook #Zuckerberg

Perhaps at some point in the past few years you’ve told Facebook that you like, say, Kim Kardashian West.

….

What you probably missed is that researchers had figured out how to tie your interest in Ms. Kardashian West to certain personality traits, such as how extroverted you are (very), how conscientious (more than most) and how open-minded (only somewhat). And when your fondness for Ms. Kardashian West is combined with other interests you’ve indicated on Facebook, researchers believe their algorithms can predict the nuances of your political views with better accuracy than your loved ones.

Facebook creates a detailed psychological profile of you, to determine your weaknesses, vulnerabilities and key times to “see you something” via advertising or propaganda messaging. “Something” may be a product, a service or someone’s ideology.

More on this in the next post.

#Facebook admits: Most of its 2 billion users have had their data scraped #DeleteFacebook

Facebook said Wednesday that most of its 2 billion users likely have had their public profiles scraped by outsiders without the users’ explicit permission, dramatically raising the stakes in a privacy controversy that has dogged the company for weeks, spurred investigations in the United States and Europe, and sent the company’s stock price tumbling.

It seems likely that more than just “public” data was taken. Facebook is not telling anyone what was taken (why the secrecy?)

It seems highly likely that the vast amount of private data, detailed in my other post, was also taken, through the “Apps Others Use” data theft system built by Facebook. Effectively, everything everyone ever posted, Liked, plus Facebook’s assessment of each of us – was lifted by potentially hundreds of thousands of apps.

Apps were also able to scrape the posts and profiles of private groups.

Source: Facebook said the personal data of most of its 2 billion users has been collected and shared with outsiders – The Washington Post

Their privacy violations have been vast. It is difficult to see how Facebook remains a sustainable business.

Mark Zuckerbeg is a lying scoundrel.