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Facebook Relationship Status? It’s Complicated.

2018-April-13

 


Recently, Facebook has been in the news, and Mark Zuckerberg has been testifying before Congress, for violating their users’ trust and privacy by selling their users’ personal information, which they collect on and off Facebook, from other companies and across the web. It is their business model.

You, the Facebook user, are their product…and you, too, NON-Facebook user, because they collect your data, as well, and compile it into ‘Ghost Profiles.’

In the last couple of weeks, I have vacillated between deleting my account or using it to inform those still on Facebook. I chose the latter. I began by deleting all my past postings and photographs, as well as “unfriending” everyone — it took hours to delete everything one-by-one. Then, I went through the mazes of privacy settings and set them to their most restrictive and safest. And then, I started posting.

If you go to ‘my’ Facebook page — which you will only find if you are on Facebook because I have disabled search-engines from listing it — you will see only articles and resources about Facebook and their breach of trust. After you read a few, you might want to reconsider trusting Facebook with your personal and private information.

As for my relationship status with Facebook? Well, it’s complicated. -Martie


Blue Beach Song Facebook - 2018-April-10 - Supposed Public View

‘My’ Facebook Page

‘My’ Facebook page no longer feels mine. It was never the way I connected with people, but it was one of the vehicles through which I shared my blog posts, music, photography, and other creations. Now, I just see that page with distance and distrust.

Over time, I have used it rarely and primarily for non-personal use. A better part of a year can go by before I bother to post something and, no, I don’t read the “news” feed. Clearly, I am not an addicted nor avid Facebook user, I never was. So, I have repeatedly contemplated deleting my Facebook account, if only to have one less thing whose Terms and Conditions and Privacy Notices and Settings I have to monitor.

However, the latest violations of Facebook users’ privacy, the breach of trust, and the more information that comes out about Facebook’s role in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, Cambridge Analytica, their attempt to surreptitiously collect patient health data, and a history of dishonest and questionable practices, was enough to make me want to delete my account and be done with them.

But it’s complicated.

For years, I have been banging the privacy-warnings drum with regard to mobile apps and social media platforms, with specific concerns about Facebook. I have found that Facebook users – especially those avid, maybe even addicted users of Facebook – are difficult to convince about the dangers of using it. My family included.

Many older users don’t really understand the legalese, the technical language, and what exactly they are giving access to and giving up, as members of Congress proved this week. Most younger users have grown up in a time when giving up their privacy is secondary to being included in the groups and the gossip and the know and the latest technology.

Have you read the entire terms of the user agreement, including the links, that comprise hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of pages you agreed to before you could use Facebook? Do you re-read them periodically, especially when they change the privacy and security terms? And even if you do, how does it help when Facebook violates the terms by lying to you about not selling your information or verifying the security of apps or promising to get your permission before sharing your information? (See the FTC charges below.)

Can they be trusted? Each of us will have to answer that for ourselves, but when someone repeatedly lies to you, and steals from you, and then promises not to do it again when they get caught, but then they do it again…well, the answer is obvious. Isn’t it?

No, they cannot be trusted.

In the end, if Facebook wants to regain a modicum of trust, they will need to overhaul their operations and business model; they will need to put the user in verifiable control of, with the power to personally delete, their own personal data; and Facebook will need to earn our trust with honesty, integrity, and time – time to prove that they will not revert to their pattern of rinse and repeat. For now, I will continue to bang the drum and use my Facebook page to post articles and information about Facebook’s violations of trust and privacy.

At some point, I will probably deactivate my account, because if I delete it, I will lose control of my username, Blue Beach Song. If I delete it, it will be impossible to keep up with Facebook’s changes to the privacy agreements. If I delete it, I would have to create it again, since Facebook collects the data of NON-Facebook users across the web and the only way to opt-out of Facebook collecting and using all my data is to create a Facebook account, so…it’s complicated.

In any relationship, you eventually come to realize that the only things you can control and change are your own actions. I can choose to no longer give Facebook anything they can sell. I can choose to refuse to post personal information and photos. I can choose to share only articles exposing Facebook’s many breaches of trust and their predatory practices.

In the end, perhaps nothing I do will change anything Facebook does, but I can choose to walk away and say goodbye.

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

On the day I tried to delete my account, a number of years ago, I found out that I could not delete my account, I could only ‘deactivate’ it and Facebook would keep access to all my content and data. What?

Since, I wanted to stay in what little control I seemed to have over my own content, I did not ‘deactivate‘ my account. What I did do was to immediately begin deleting and stopped posting anything remotely personal.

Now, supposedly, Facebook will allow you to “delete” your account. They say it may take them three months to do it, but if you try to login during that time – like to check if your account has been deleted – they will cancel your request for deletion.

One has to wonder if they really do delete all of your data, when it seems so valuable to them; when they repeatedly violate your privacy; when they back it up in multiple servers and sub-systems around the world; when they collect data from NON-Facebook users, as Mark Zuckerberg admitted this week.

By the way, there are plenty of things about you that will not be deleted, like all those photos other people tagged you in or which you shared, or things they commented on about you, and a myriad of other data points they don’t tell you about. Yep, those stay.

“Specifically for photos and video uploaded to the site, Facebook has a license to use your content in any way it sees fit, with a license that goes beyond merely covering the operation of the service in its current form. Facebook can transfer or sub-license its rights over a user’s content to another company or organisation if needed. Facebook’s license does not end upon the deactivation or deletion of a user’s account, content is only released from this license once all other users that have interacted with the content have also broken their ties with it (for example, a photo or video shared or tagged with a group of friends)” 

The Telegraph: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/social-media/9780565/Facebook-terms-and-conditions-why-you-dont-own-your-online-life.html

So, will they delete all my content? Probably not. How would I be able to check and know that all that content Facebook collected about me won’t reside in some dark corner of their servers? I would have to trust them when they tell me my content has been deleted. And they have broken that trust.

How about all the data analytics they have collected about me across the web? Does that get deleted or do they keep that to continue selling? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Given their history, I just don’t trust them to fully delete my content and data. It is too valuable to them.

But let’s start at the beginning.

Just Say ‘No’

On the day you sign up with Facebook, you will be presented with the hundreds of pages of legalese that let you know, in effect, that they will collect all your most personal details and photos and videos that you share and don’t share, and use them to make money by selling you to third party app developers and advertisers. (By the way, did you know that you are also agreeing to let them conduct social experiments and research on you?)

You, the Facebook User, are their product. Their business model is the selling of your private and personal information.

Somewhere in the sign-up, they will ask you to give them permission to take the contact information of all the people you have in your email Contacts list, which could include friends, family, work colleagues, your doctors, lawyers and accountants. Anyone on that list will receive repeated emails from Facebook telling all those people that you want them to join Facebook and to follow you on your new Facebook page.

However, if you read carefully, you will notice that you can choose to not give them your Contacts’ information, and you should. To me, that alone seemed like an unreasonable invasion of not only my privacy, but of all the people on my Contacts List who had entrusted me with their emails, phone numbers, and home addresses. And, so, I did not let them take the contact information of everyone I know.

Just say ‘no’ to sharing your contact list.

If you try to check your page on your phone’s web browser, Facebook will push for you to download and use their app on your phone. If you do use the Facebook app, and even if you don’t, they will collect, timestamp, and map information about every place you go in the real world, through your phone’s GPS feature. They will collect information about where you eat and go shopping, where you bank, what websites you visit, what other apps you use, what you read and search, the people you have on your phone’s contacts list, who calls you, whom you call, when you call, how long you talk, your text messages – sent and received, your audio and video recordings, your photos, and more than I can list. It might be easier to list what they don’t collect from your phone.

Just say ‘no’ to the app and don’t check Facebook on your phone’s browser.

Facebook tries to convince you they are trustworthy with their touchy-feely cult-like philanthropic mission of connecting the world, but their real mission is to lure you into a false sense of security and intimacy, which in turn makes you want to share more and more about you and everyone you know, becoming addicted to the likes and friends, which will keep you hooked, needing validation and information hits throughout the day, and Facebook will quietly collect it all and sell it.

Facebook is not content with the data they collect about you through their platform on your phone and computer; nor are they happy with the content you give them through what you choose to post on your Facebook page and with whom you choose to interact. No. They also collect information about you from other data brokers and websites and companies. They track you across the Internet and around the world wide web. They know more about you than you will ever know about yourself.

They not only sell information they collect about you when you use an app or click on a link or play a game, but when you do that, Facebook allows those third-party developers to collect your friends’ personal data, as well. Third-party developers – the people or companies who make those games and apps and links you click on – pay Facebook to not only collect your user-data, but to also collect information about everyone you follow or who follows you, people who did not use the app or play the game or click on the link. And vice versa. Your data is being collected not only by the apps you play with or use on Facebook, but by all the games and apps your friends use.

For instance, in the case of Cambridge Analytica (C.A.) in the news right now, Facebook allowed C.A. to send out a survey to 270,000 Facebook users and in return they collected the data of 87 million Facebook users. The people who agreed to take the survey, and were paid for doing so, wittingly or otherwise, also agreed to turn over all the personal data Facebook had collected on them over the years. And, by taking that survey, those users also handed over all of their Facebook friends’ data, without their permission. So, Facebook, in effect, gave Cambridge Analytica the private and personal data of 87 million Facebook users, over 86 million of them did not give their permission to allow C.A. to take and use their personal data. And Facebook did not even notify them.

Note: Mark Zuckerberg claimed this week that Facebook changed the ability for third-party apps to take the user’s friends data as well. In the last week or so, they have changed a number of things in preparation for Mr. Zuckerberg to answer to Congress this week. Will those changes last or revert to previous practices? Time will tell.

Facebook’s customers are the third-party data brokers and advertisers and app developers and political campaigns and anyone who wants to buy Facebook users’ data.

Facebook’s product is you, their users and non-users. They sell your information. They sell the information you share and don’t share, on and off Facebook; where you live and work and go to school; your life’s personal highlights and low-lights; your postings by and about your family and friends; who you befriend and who you follow; what you like and dislike; what you read and think; where you go on the Internet and where you go in real life; what you buy and where you buy; what you search on Facebook and on your web browser; private photos and videos tagged with your name, which you or others share; and anything else about your life that they can scoop up.

You are the product Facebook sells.

What’s Past is Prologue

Can we trust Facebook? Their history and current practices shout loudly, “No!”

There are movies and books and plenty of articles that you can find on the Internet about the ethically questionable beginnings of Facebook and its proclaimed founder, Mark Zuckerberg, but none of them paint a good picture. Either he stole the idea from a couple of brothers who hired him to do some programming or he started a version of Facebook by hacking and stealing his college’s student data and photos – without permission – so that other students could rate girls and compare them to farm animals. And perhaps versions of each are true. Whatever you believe, there is sufficient evidence – past and present – of repeated instances where deception and disregard for others’ privacy and personal information appears to be foundational to the Facebook we know today.

Recently, when Mark Zuckerberg was approached by The Guardian and The New York Times about the Cambridge Analytica data breach of 87 million users, Facebook threatened to sue them if they published their stories.

The newspapers published their stories anyway.

The investigative reporter at the center of this massive story, Carole Cadwalladr, had bylines in both articles that appeared on March 17 in The Guardian and The New York Times. The stories revealed, through whistleblower Christopher Wylie’s documented evidence, that 87 million users’ profiles and data were harvested by Cambridge Analytica in 2014 and that Facebook knew about it since 2015.

Revealed: *50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach

“The data analytics firm that worked with Donald Trump’s election team…harvested millions of Facebook profiles of US voters…and used them to build a powerful software program to predict and influence choices at the ballot box.

Cambridge Analytica – a company owned by the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, and headed at the time by Trump’s key adviser Steve Bannon – used personal information taken without authorisation in early 2014 to build a system that could profile individual US voters, in order to target them with personalised political advertisements.

Christopher Wylie, who worked with a Cambridge University academic to obtain the data, told the Observer: “We exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people’s profiles. And built models to exploit what we knew about them and target their inner demons. That was the basis the entire company was built on.”

Documents seen by the Observer, and confirmed by a Facebook statement, show that by late 2015 the company had found out that information had been harvested on an unprecedented scale.”

The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/17/cambridge-analytica-facebook-influence-us-election

*NOTE: Facebook increased the number from 50 million to 87 million users’ data taken by Cambridge Analytica since the article was written.

Why did Facebook threaten to sue? Why was that their response?

Ethical behavior would have dictated a different response. Shock? Surprise? A request for more information? A call for corrective action? Apparently, Facebook was more concerned with covering up the story, than informing their users, and correcting the breach. Facebook has known about this since 2015, why didn’t they notify their users?

Rinse & Repeat

Eventually, Facebook gave a public relations response and apologized for giving Cambridge Analytica the data of 87 million of their users. That’s what they do. They apologize. They make promises. They violate their users’ data and privacy again. Rinse and repeat.

The day after the Cambridge Analytica story broke, The Washington Post published their story explaining how Facebook may have violated the 2011 settlement they had with the Federal Trade Commission regarding previous violations of their users’ data and privacy.

“Two former federal officials who crafted the landmark consent decree governing how Facebook handles user privacy say the company may have violated that decree when it shared information from tens of millions of users with a data analysis firm that later worked for President Trump’s 2016 campaign.”

The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/03/18/facebook-may-have-violated-ftc-privacy-deal-say-former-federal-officials-triggering-risk-of-massive-fines/

In 2011, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settled charges against Facebook who had repeatedly deceived their users and violated privacy promises. A few of these violations and deceptions included the following:

  • Facebook promised not to share their users’ data with advertisers, but they did.
  • Facebook made public certain information their users had designated private, without seeking their permission.
  • Facebook gave third party apps access to nearly all of their users’ personal data, even though they stated that apps would only be able to access the data they needed to operate, sharing even “Friends Only” designated data.
  • Facebook promised that when users deactivated or deleted their accounts that their photos and videos would be inaccessible, but they were.
  • Facebook claimed to verify the security of the apps on their site, but they didn’t.

Facebook Settles FTC Charges That It Deceived Consumers By Failing To Keep Privacy Promises

November 29, 2011

The social networking service Facebook has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, and then repeatedly allowing it to be shared and made public. The proposed settlement requires Facebook to take several steps to make sure it lives up to its promises in the future, including giving consumers clear and prominent notice and obtaining consumers’ express consent before their information is shared beyond the privacy settings they have established.

The FTC’s eight-count complaint against Facebook is part of the agency’s ongoing effort to make sure companies live up to the privacy promises they make to American consumers. It charges that the claims that Facebook made were unfair and deceptive, and violated federal law.

“Facebook is obligated to keep the promises about privacy that it makes to its hundreds of millions of users,” said Jon Leibowitz, Chairman of the FTC. “Facebook’s innovation does not have to come at the expense of consumer privacy. The FTC action will ensure it will not.”
The FTC complaint lists a number of instances in which Facebook allegedly made promises that it did not keep:

  • In December 2009, Facebook changed its website so certain information that users may have designated as private – such as their Friends List – was made public. They didn’t warn users that this change was coming, or get their approval in advance.
  • Facebook represented that third-party apps that users’ installed would have access only to user information that they needed to operate. In fact, the apps could access nearly all of users’ personal data – data the apps didn’t need.
  • Facebook told users they could restrict sharing of data to limited audiences – for example with “Friends Only.” In fact, selecting “Friends Only” did not prevent their information from being shared with third-party applications their friends used.
  • Facebook had a “Verified Apps” program & claimed it certified the security of participating apps. It didn’t.
  • Facebook promised users that it would not share their personal information with advertisers. It did.
  • Facebook claimed that when users deactivated or deleted their accounts, their photos and videos would be inaccessible. But Facebook allowed access to the content, even after users had deactivated or deleted their accounts.
  • Facebook claimed that it complied with the U.S.- EU Safe Harbor Framework that governs data transfer between the U.S. and the European Union. It didn’t.

The proposed settlement bars Facebook from making any further deceptive privacy claims, requires that the company get consumers’ approval before it changes the way it shares their data, and requires that it obtain periodic assessments of its privacy practices by independent, third-party auditors for the next 20 years.

Specifically, under the proposed settlement, Facebook is:

  • barred from making misrepresentations about the privacy or security of consumers’ personal information;
  • required to obtain consumers’ affirmative express consent before enacting changes that override their privacy preferences;
  • required to prevent anyone from accessing a user’s material more than 30 days after the user has deleted his or her account;
  • required to establish and maintain a comprehensive privacy program designed to address privacy risks associated with the development and management of new and existing products and services, and to protect the privacy and confidentiality of consumers’ information; and
  • required, within 180 days, and every two years after that for the next 20 years, to obtain independent, third-party audits certifying that it has a privacy program in place that meets or exceeds the requirements of the FTC order, and to ensure that the privacy of consumers’ information is protected.

The proposed order also contains standard record-keeping provisions to allow the FTC to monitor compliance with its order.

Facebook’s privacy practices were the subject of complaints filed with the FTC by the Electronic Privacy Information Center and a coalition of consumer groups.

FTC Press Release: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2011/11/facebook-settles-ftc-charges-it-deceived-consumers-failing-keep

In the case of the FTC charges, Facebook once again apologized. They made promises. And…Facebook appears to have violated the terms of that FTC settlement by giving Cambridge Analytica the user-data of over 86 million Facebook users, without notifying them or getting their permission. Rinse and repeat.

In 2009, Mark Zuckerberg did an interview with the BBC, in which the journalist asked him if he would be collecting, sharing, and/or selling the users’ personal data. Mr. Zuckerberg asserted that Facebook users’ information belongs to them and they would decide with whom they would share their information. But we know through the FTC charges that he was already monetizing Facebook users’ information at the time of the interview without their permission or notification. He was lying. Rinse and repeat.

And, speaking of not notifying their users, Facebook, as recently as last month in March 2018, had a plan to collect patient data from hospitals and doctors to match it up with the user data Facebook had already collected. They sent a doctor on a “secret mission” to ask hospitals to share their patient data. Individuals who heard the pitch, were concerned that patient consent or getting Facebook users’ permission was not mentioned.

“The issue of patient consent did not come up in the early discussions, one of the people said. Critics have attacked Facebook in the past for doing research on users without their permission. Notably, in 2014, Facebook manipulated hundreds of thousands of people’s news feeds to study whether certain types of content made people happier or sadder. Facebook later apologized for the study.”

CNBC: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/05/facebook-building-8-explored-data-sharing-agreement-with-hospitals.html

Facebook has been known to conduct experiments and research on their users without their specific permission or notification.

How is that possible?

Through the user agreement most people don’t read, Facebook, let its users know that they can use their users or their users’ data for research. That’s great, except that Facebook conducted an experiment on 700,000 Facebook users in January 2012, before they added that research clause into the agreement in May 2012 – four months later. Which means that, once again, they violated their users’ privacy and used their data without their permission. Rinse and repeat.

Despite that “research clause,” you may have been surprised to learn that Facebook experimented on nearly 700,000 Facebook users for one week in the summer of 2012. The site manipulated their News Feeds to prioritize positive or negative content, attempting to determine if emotions spread contagiously through social networks. There was no age restriction on the data, meaning it may have involved users under 18. Cornell researchers then analyzed Facebook’s data. The resulting study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that emotional states can be transferred via social networks. Company executive Sheryl Sandberg has since apologized for the study, calling it “poorly communicated.”

Andrew Ledvina, a former data scientist at Facebook from early 2012 to the summer of 2013, told the Wall Street Journal that Facebook did not have an internal review board monitoring research studies conducted by the data science team. He said that the team had freedom to try nearly any test it desired, so long as it didn’t interfere with the user experience. He added that the sheer mass of the experiment’s subjects was at times difficult to really comprehend, numbering in the hundreds of thousands of users. As he put it, “You get a little desensitized to it.”

Forbes points out that the “research” part of the User Data policy was not added until May 2012, while the research was conducted in January of 2012.

Huffington Post: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/21/facebook-terms-condition_n_5551965.html

After news of the experiments are leaked, Facebook executives do their usual apology tour, as they are doing now over the Cambridge Analytica story, apologizing for their ‘mistake‘ and promising to do better in the future…and then they rinse and repeat.

This is Facebook’s response to the CNBC story about their plans to collect patient health information: “This work has not progressed past the planning phase, and we have not received, shared, or analyzed anyone’s data. Last month we decided that we should pause these discussions so we can focus on other important work, including doing a better job of protecting people’s data and being clearer with them about how that data is used in our products and services.

What?!?

So, Facebook is saying that as of last month they were moving ahead with collecting patient health information and matching it to their Facebook users without their permission, but because they were caught before they could implement their plan, they have put it on hold because they are dealing with the Cambridge Analytica backlash.

And, oh, by the way, as the Facebook executives go on their apology tour, they have pointed out that the changes they are making will take three years to implement. The changes will happen behind the scenes and users won’t know that anything has been done because their daily interaction with Facebook won’t change.

What?!?

How will we know that Facebook has made their platform secure?

How will users know that they are not the guinea pigs in Facebook’s social experiments?

How will they gain their users’ trust, if the users cannot perceive any changes in the Facebook platform and interactions?

How many times does Facebook think they can get away with not asking their users’ permission to do whatever they want, apologizing later when caught, and then doing it again?

How about 15 years?

In 2003, 15 years ago, Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg appeared before the Harvard Administration Board, much like he appeared before Congress this week, to apologize for stealing Harvard student photos to use in his website, Facemash, a site where students could compare and rate the attractiveness of female students. Mr. Zuckerberg also faced accusations of breaching security, violating copyrights, and violating individual privacy.

In his apology to the Harvard Administration Board, he said:
“I hope you understand, this is not how I meant for things to go, and I apologize for any harm done as a result of my neglect to consider how quickly the site would spread and its consequences thereafter. Issues about violating people’s privacy don’t seem to be surmountable. The primary concern is hurting people’s feelings. I’m not willing to risk insulting anyone.”

In the 15 years since, Mr. Zuckerberg has learned only that he can get away with violating people’s privacy and trust and there are no repercussions or penalties to pay. After he gets caught, he knows his playbook works: apologize, promise to never do it again, and then…Rinse and Repeat.

The collection and selling of information has made him the 5th wealthiest man in the world. Great wealth comes with great power, especially when you are the keeper of everyone’s information and secrets.

Information is Power

Facebook collects vast amounts of personal and uncomfortably intimate information about its users – on and off Facebook. They collect users’ data from every non-Facebook source they can, like their plan last month to collect patient health data from doctors and hospitals, without patient or user permission.

Facebook lures its users into sharing their private, intimate, and deeply personal information with their friends and family. They make it too easy for someone to steal a user’s identity. They make it convenient for a burglar to know someone’s daily patterns and when they will be on vacation. They give access to anyone who may be an undeclared pedophile to enjoy your children’s photos and videos. They share your deepest fears, and hopes, and biases, and loves, and passions with companies who use that information to manipulate you. And they have become immensely wealthy selling you, their product.

Information is power. Power to persuade, to manipulate, to blackmail. George Orwell wrote about it quite eloquently and eerily. So, when Facebook sells that information, whom are they empowering over us?

How about empowering employers over us? Facebook could sell its users’ patient health data to employers who may not want to hire someone who has cancer or some other pre-existing condition. We would never know the real reason why we did not get a particular job or promotion.

How about empowering foreign governments over us? Facebook has already done that in the 2016 Presidential election, when they facilitated Russia’s efforts to interfere with the election and manipulate voters’ passions and votes. Mr. Putin did not need to swing millions of voters. By micro-targeting specific voters in specific districts, the Russians were able to swing 30-40 thousand votes that were critical to Mr. Trump’s electoral victory, as happened in Michigan and Wisconsin.

“A day after Facebook disclosed that ads purchased by Russia before and after the 2016 election may have reached as many as 10 million people in the United States, a clearer picture of the Kremlin’s micro-targeting operation has emerged. Sources tell CNN that Russia took aim at two swing states that ultimately proved critical for Trump’s victory in the 2016 election: Michigan and Wisconsin, states where Trump beat Hillary Clinton by just over 33,000 votes in total. The ads, which CNN reports were “highly sophisticated” in their targeting of key demographic groups, are the first indication of what parts of the country Russian operatives may have tried to sway during the election and raises new questions about whether they had any help.”

Vanity Fair: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/10/russias-highly-sophisticated-facebook-op-raises-new-questions-for-mueller

We have all witnessed and experienced the consequences of Facebook’s inordinate power to control or affect elections. The manipulation of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election via Russian “fake news” stories and groups, and companies like Cambridge Analytica who worked with the Trump campaign, creating psychographic profiles and dossiers on voters, empowering their client to micro-target us, lie to us, manipulate us, and ultimately alter the course of history.

Facebook sells the information they collect to third-party data brokers and advertisers and domestic government agencies and foreign governments and political campaigns and universities and companies and anyone who is willing to pay for it.

Amassing and selling vast amounts of information on over 2 billion people has brought Facebook great wealth and great power. That kind of power to manipulate others demands selfless and enormous restraint and responsibility.

Can Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg be trusted to exercise either?

No.



Martie Hevia (c) All Rights Reserved

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Facebook Breach-of -Trust and Related Articles/Reports:

  1. Mark Zuckerberg has been apologizing for online privacy problems since he was a student at Harvard | CNN, 2018-April-11: https://edition-m.cnn.com/2018/04/11/us/zuckerberg-harvard-congress-trnd/index.html
  2. Transcript of Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance before the House hearing | The Washington Post, 2018-April-11: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/04/11/transcript-of-zuckerbergs-appearance-before-house-committee/
  3. Transcript of Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance before the Senate hearing | The Washington Post, 2018-April-10: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/04/10/transcript-of-mark-zuckerbergs-senate-hearing/
  4. Facebook sent a doctor on a secret mission to ask hospitals to share patient data | CNBC, 2018-April-05: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/05/facebook-building-8-explored-data-sharing-agreement-with-hospitals.html
  5. Mark Zuckerberg Tried To Censor Me When I Published His Harvard Application. Here It Is Again. | Yahoo!, 2018-March-21: https://www.yahoo.com/news/mark-zuckerberg-tried-censor-published-155417917.html
  6. Facebook may have violated FTC privacy deal, say former federal officials, triggering risk of massive fines | The Washington Post, 2018-March-18: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/03/18/facebook-may-have-violated-ftc-privacy-deal-say-former-federal-officials-triggering-risk-of-massive-fines/
  7. Revealed: 50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach | The Guardian, 2018-March-17: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/17/cambridge-analytica-facebook-influence-us-election
  8. How Trump Consultants Exploited the Facebook Data of Millions | The New York Times, 2018-March-17: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/17/us/politics/cambridge-analytica-trump-campaign.html
  9. Didn’t Read Facebook’s Fine Print? Here’s Exactly What It Says | Huffington Post, 2014-July-21/Updated 2017-Dec-06: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/21/facebook-terms-condition_n_5551965.html
  10. Russia’s “Highly Sophisticated” Facebook Op Raises New Questions for Mueller – How did Moscow know to micro-target swing states that would prove critical for Trump? And did they have help on the inside? | Vanity Fair, 2017-Oct-04: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/10/russias-highly-sophisticated-facebook-op-raises-new-questions-for-mueller
  11. We’re learning more about how Russia weaponized Facebook, Twitter, and Google — and it was remarkably easy | Business Insider, 2017-Oct-04: http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-russia-google-twitter-2016-election-trump-2017-10
  12. Did Russians Target Democratic Voters, With Kushner’s Help? | Newsweek, 2017-May-23: http://www.newsweek.com/did-russians-target-dem-voters-kushners-help-613612
  13. Revealed: Facebook’s internal rulebook on sex, terrorism and violence – Leaked policies guiding moderators on what content to allow are likely to fuel debate about social media giant’s ethics | The Guardian, 2017-May-21: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/may/21/revealed-facebook-internal-rulebook-sex-terrorism-violence
  14. Inside Russia’s Social Media War on America | 2017-May-18: http://time.com/4783932/inside-russia-social-media-war-america/
  15. What Facebook Knows About You review – Start Panicking Now! | The Guardian, 2017-May-09: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/may/09/facebook-panorama-bbc-what-knows-about-you-mark-zuckerberg-comedy-loaded
  16. The 9 Places That Really Mattered in 2016 | Politico, 2016-Dec-31: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/12/the-9-places-that-really-mattered-in-2016-214588
  17. Donald Trump Won Because of Facebook | New York Magazine, 2016-November-09: http://nymag.com/selectall/2016/11/donald-trump-won-because-of-facebook.html
  18. Data Brokers: A Call for Transparency and Accountability – Appendix B: Illustrative List of Data Elements and Segments | FTC, 2014 May: https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/reports/data-brokers-call-transparency-accountability-report-federal-trade-commission-may-2014/140527databrokerreport.pdf#page=97
  19. Facebook terms and conditions: why you don’t own your online life | Telegraph, 2013-Jan-04: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/social-media/9780565/Facebook-terms-and-conditions-why-you-dont-own-your-online-life.html
  20. Facebook Settles FTC Charges It Deceived Consumers By Failing to Keep Privacy Promises | FTC Press Release, 2011-November-29: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2011/11/facebook-settles-ftc-charges-it-deceived-consumers-failing-keep
  21. Facemash Creator Survives Ad Board (Student Facemash Creator, Mark Zuckerberg, Survives Harvard Administration Board) | The Harvard Crimson, 2003-Nov-19: http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2003/11/19/facemash-creator-survives-ad-board-the/

 Facebook Breach-of -Trust Videos:

Mark Zuckerberg in 2009: Facebook privacy is central | BBC News, 2009:


Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower reveals data grab of 50 million Facebook profiles (Note: The number was updated to 87 million) | Channel 4 News, 2018-March-17:


Everything You Need To Know About The Hidden Ways Facebook Ads Target You | Vice News, 2018-April-13:


 

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