Zuckerberg: Facebook developing AI to suppress free speech?

 

 

This week while testifying to a congressional committee in Washington DC, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of one of the largest tech companies in the world, told the lawmakers inquiring into Facebook's issues with protecting users privacy that the company was developing Artificial Intelligence systems to censor controversial content on the platform.

Besides highlighting the fact that most United States senators, like most of the ordinary people they represent,  do not understand Facebook’s data - mining based business model or the user agreement they’ve already consented to while using Facebook. With pundits who witnessed the spectacle describing Zuckerbrg's responses to questions as robotic and his reliance on copious notes leading to numerous long pauses in dialogue, some people mush have wondered if Zuckerberg is an Artificial Intelligence system rather than a human being.

Over his two days of in the hot seat, Facebook's plan for using algorithmic AI for potential censorship practices was discussed multiple times, with Zuckerberg deflecting questions about Facebook's failure to protect privacy trying to justify his planned suppression of free speech by claiming his censorship plans were in the interests of containing hate speech, fake news, election interference, discriminatory ads, and terrorist messaging.

The problem with that is opinions differ on what constitutes hate speech or any of those other categories up for cybercensorship. Some would say that mentioning Islam's promotion of acts that are illegal in western nations (e.g. wife beating, sex with under age girls,) is hate speech, but would give a free pass to Muslim preachers who remind their audience the Holy Koran calls on the faithful to kill all who will not convert to Islam.

The track record of Zuckerberg and his company for jumping on every politically correct bandwagon that rolls past is no secret, so obviously they are not suitable people to manage algorthithms which determine what is and is not acceptable content online.

Although nobody raised that specific point, AI was mentioned at over 30 times as Zuck extolled the virtues of technology. He claimed Facebook is five to ten years away from a robust AI platform. All four of the other Big 5 tech conglomerates — Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft — are also developing AI, many for the shared purposes of content control. The fact that all of them have proved not fit for purpose in their efforts to control internet users' activities did not appear to concern the committee.

For obvious reasons, this push for control of so much information by some of the greediest, most amoral and fascistic corporations on the planet should worry civil liberty activists and anyone concerned about the erosion of free speech and other civil rights online. The encroaching specter of a corporate-government propaganda alliance is not a conspiracy theory, it is there, staring us in the face in everything the internet companies do.

Barely a month ago, Facebook, Google, and Twitter testified before Congress to announce the launch of a ‘counterspeech’ campaign in which positive and moderate posts will be targeted at people consuming and producing extremist or radical content, which will of course go down like the proverbial lead zepplin with net users

Like the other major social networks, Facebook has already been assailed by accusations of censorship against conservative and alternative news sources.

 

 

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Comments

Kerem Oner Added Apr 13, 2018 - 3:59pm
Great points that are usually lost on our 'progressive' friends!
Dino Manalis Added Apr 13, 2018 - 4:52pm
Controversial content isn't criminal, there are lots of controversial material, he should be called Suckerburg!
Jeff Jackson Added Apr 13, 2018 - 5:53pm
Great post, Ian. I would guess that they have minimal, if any, political scientists helping with the AI. Hate speech and political correctness do not always go together, but it depends on who is being hated. Political correctness, and I kind of hate to say it, (but not really) is the twisting of history, and the rejection of conservative principles, and the institutionalization of liberal values, along with the ultimate goal of destroying conservatism in whatever form it might take.
Conservatives would like to see less government, less regulation, and more personal decisions left to the individual. Political correctness intends to brainwash everyone into thinking that certain principles apply everywhere, and every decision, (if it happens to be left to the individual, and that idea is fading fast) must take into account prior bad acts, even if the person making the decision wasn't influenced by them.
Given the abject failures of Facebook and others, to have any optimistic view that they will improve is terribly wishful thinking. They are already on course to create a liberal society, where thinking is left up to the elites, and all of the others just need to go along. Conservatism has, for almost all of its existence, relied on the abilities of individuals to make good decisions. That mentality does not conform to political correctness.
James Travil Added Apr 13, 2018 - 6:07pm
Informative article. Isn't it time to ditch garbage like Facebook yet? If not now, when? 
Stone-Eater Added Apr 13, 2018 - 6:17pm
I'm not on it anymore. What for ? I'm too old to waste more time on such shit.
Stone-Eater Added Apr 13, 2018 - 6:18pm
BTW: I never liked Zuckerberg. Why ? Sugar is no good for your teeth, and I hate mountains anyway.
George N Romey Added Apr 13, 2018 - 6:26pm
The stupidity of man never ceases to amaze me. In the 70s people complained about the quality of tv. Heaven forbid they would have turned off the “idiot box” and read a box or go for a walk.
 
Today people complain about FB but there they are letting entire world into their underwear drawer. They could actually watch something informative on YouTube or go for a walk. But they need their 15 minutes of self induced fame in front of allegedly 3,000 “friends.” FB is just another form of entertainment for the dumb.
Stone-Eater Added Apr 13, 2018 - 6:39pm
George
 
Andy Warhol made that up :-) War Hole. Hmmmmmm LOL
Tamara Wilhite Added Apr 13, 2018 - 9:09pm

Who’s Checking the Fact Checkers?
A new study sheds some light on what facts the press most likes to check.
https://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/peter-roff/2013/05/28/study-finds-fact-checkers-biased-against-republicans
Katharine Otto Added Apr 13, 2018 - 9:57pm
Ian,
The conglomerates may want to tame the internet, but I suspect they will only hurt themselves.  People seem to find ways around controls.  More laws (or rules) only make more outlaws; and they lead to more people disrespecting all laws.  
 
Anything you post on any forum can come back to haunt you, or can get distorted or used against you, so people need to be aware of that.  I don't think it's possible for Facebook or any other forum to protect privacy.  It's like leaving your living room curtains open and resenting people who look inside.  Don't post what you don't want the world to know.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 14, 2018 - 1:40am
Fuck Zuck and the duck he rode in on.
 
Can you imagine how awful it must be to go through life a sub-human POS like he is? 
Pardero Added Apr 14, 2018 - 2:49am
Ian Thorpe,
First, they will go after the fringe types, like me and my associates.
Most people will cheer. They will find some more, such as conspiracy theorists. People will cheer. They will find some more non maintream groups, and people will start to worry.
Pardero Added Apr 14, 2018 - 2:50am
Once free speech is compromised, the slippery slope begins.
Dr. Rupert Green Added Apr 14, 2018 - 7:16am
If we consider Facebook as the only game in town there is a reason for concern. FaceBook is about dumbing down individuals to deviate from Descartes: I think, therefore I am. FBers are being conditioned to click "LIKE" as a trained slug can.  The comment is a red herring, as such is a danger to the like framework. Commenters could be mined to focus on those who are to be reconditioned. Did the Brave New World speak of the FB like individuals as minions trained to hate schooling and thinking to serve as menial laborers?  It is then incumbent on us to expand and preserve WB for those who can fog up a mirror placed under their nose by the fact they can offer an opinion notwithstanding its outlandish nature.
Doug Plumb Added Apr 14, 2018 - 8:26am
The search engines will be set to flag any message about Islam or Judaism by a white user but will not likely search out the word "West" or Christian" as used by Islamic or Jewish users.
Facebook will not expose their algorithm citing their intellectual right being more important than our right to the common law and its required fair treatment.
 
Doug Plumb Added Apr 14, 2018 - 8:27am
People will just use facebook for videos of their pets doing things that pets do. I learned from facebook that cats are afraid of cucumbers. If you are looking for a laugh, check out cats and cucumbers on youtube.
Leroy Added Apr 14, 2018 - 9:02am
I'm not a big fan of Facebutt.  I use it occasionally.  I can keep track of people I know or knew in the past.  I virtually never comment and avoid liking anything.  I downloaded the information that Facebutt shares with me about the information it has on me.  No big deal.  The only misinformation was hundreds in not thousands of pictures from a group that I am not associated with.  Someone I know associated me with the group.  I know a few of them.  I never approved any association.  I can live without Facebutt.
 
In light of the above, Zuckerberg is a nerd who made it.  I salute him for that.  He provided a service that people found beneficial.  It's free as long as you are willing to share your data.  Otherwise, you would have to be a fee.
 
I was shocked the first time I was requested by Google requested a review of the restaurant where I had just eaten.  I'm like, "Holy crap!  Google is tracking me."  I turned off everything with Google.  I found that Google provides a lot of services that I like.  I turned it back on. 
 
I visit the Home Depot, Lowes, Amazon, etc sites, then, the next thing I know ads for the products appear on other sites.  I guess it is better than ads for things which I have no interest.  I am able to block most ads, but it is becoming increasingly difficult.
 
The Techs are all between a rock and a hard place.  They want to stay in the good graces of the governments of the world to expand their reach and profits.  China is a tremendous market.  Facebutt and Google would like to access this market.  Europe wants its cut of the profits.  It beats American techs over the head with privacy concerns, often fining them huge amounts.  Europe would sell out its citizens in a heartbeat for a cut of the profits. 
 
Ultimately, because of the politicians, information will be dumbed down to the lowest common denominator.  Isalm is oppressed; therefore, it will always get a pass.  Christians oppress, so they will be suppressed.  BLM is part of an oppressed group, so it gets a pass.  It's a perverted world.  Either we have free speech, or, we don't.  WB is the only place I know where we have nearly 100% free speech.
Michael B. Added Apr 14, 2018 - 9:03am
I never even considered joining FB. Zuckerberg looks exactly like the slimy, smug little shit that he truly is. Didn't he get his neighbors evicted so he could build a bigger mansion in Hawaii? Fuck that asshole, and everyone like him.
George N Romey Added Apr 14, 2018 - 9:39am
I’ve never posted on FB yet I’m able to continue to breath and live. FB is for chumps.
Leroy Added Apr 14, 2018 - 11:02am
"Didn't he get his neighbors evicted so he could build a bigger mansion in Hawaii? Fuck that asshole, and everyone like him."
 
I didn't say I liked the guy.  I do respect his ability.  I respect Bill Gates ability, although I detest the man.  When you are as wealthy as he, you find out just what kind of person you are.  He can hire lawyers to bend the law and bribe politician.  The most honest lawyer I know became a judge and used his position to block the sale of property adjoining his own.   As a person, I have to agree with you.  He an arrogant asshole.
 
"FB is for chumps."
 
I guess that I am a chump but only a lightweight one, since I don't use it that much...lol.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 14, 2018 - 11:21am
Thanks for your comments everybody, I expected a good response on this because everyone has something to say about Zuck. But I'm surprised at so many without my havin fed the thread.
OK, here we go from the top.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 14, 2018 - 11:25am
Kerem, you are correct but our progressive friends to tend to be quite shallow, "embrace change" they tell us, ingoring the fact that change is not necessarily for the better.
And if we point out that it is wise to discriminate between change that is for the general good and change which benefits the rich and powerful to the detriment of the majority we get told discrimination is wrong.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 14, 2018 - 11:28am
Dino, quite so. If liberals like Suckerberg are so keen on diversity they should welcome diversity of ideas.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 14, 2018 - 11:36am
Jeff, I'm not fond of the term 'political science' as politics is an art but I know exactly what you mean. In the academic world and in the hi tech industries far to many people seem to have heads full of 'book learning' while lacking the life experience, which is the only means by which we gain understanding of human nature.
Thus the progressives are not aware of the limits on how far people can be pushed towards a certain position. i think we are close to that limit if we have not reached it. And that's a good thing.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 14, 2018 - 11:38am
James, from what I read people are ditching facebook in vast numbers. More satisfying though is that advertisers are pulling out - and BIG advertisers at that.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 14, 2018 - 11:40am
Stone eater, you're a wise man. I look in occasionally to see if anyon's trying to get in touch. Otherwise I have various accounts linked to it to post automatic notifications of new posts, which makes sure search engines see them within seconds.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 14, 2018 - 11:42am
Stone, a sugar mountain and too much time on social media are both recipes for obesity. So the little faygele is a health risk.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 14, 2018 - 11:49am
George, read a box? I though people only did that when they're cast away on a desert island with only a carton of breakfast cereal LOL.
You're right though, too many people are easily persuaded that there is no alternative cure to boredom than what the government / corporate propaganda people are pushing.
I get called anti - progress for my opinions, but one innovation I have embraced is electronic paper, I enjoy my kindle just as much as print books and it keeps my wife off my back about the space my bookshelves occupy.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 14, 2018 - 12:05pm
Tamara, in Britain the bias have become blatant. On TV panel shows with audience participation there is often one moderate right person with three or four lefties and an audience packed with supporters of the left. Producers on radio talks shows often cut off articulate callers who are challenging left wing hosts or studio guests, and now they want to control the internet.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 14, 2018 - 12:23pm
Katherine; yes I've always wondered why people are surprised when what they post online comes back to bite their arse. What's difficult to understand about the phrase "public domain."
What has always concerned be about the push to put all our activities online is not the threat to privacy, we should all take responsibility for our own privacy, but the potential internet technologies offer for suppressing certain ideas and shades of opinion.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 14, 2018 - 12:28pm
Jeffry,
"Can you imagine how awful it must be to go through life a sub-human POS like he is?"
It probably doesn't bother him, does a bacterium know it's a bacterium?
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 14, 2018 - 12:37pm
Pardero, from what I see around the web fringe types are already marginalised and some more mainstream ideas are being targeted. 'The agenda' is very extreme so they have to cast moderates as the dangerous extremists.
A case in point is the Brexit debate here in Britain, those still trying to overturn the referendum result are clinging to the line that all the 17.5 million people who voted to leave the EU are ignorant, uneducated xenophobes who fear immigration. This is because they cannot counter the economic arguments against the EU and cannot justify the single European superstate project given the chaos in the EU now.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 14, 2018 - 12:46pm
Dr. Rupert, fortunately Facebook is not the only game in town though some in the NSA / CIA / Homeland Security dept. wish it was.
Social media does support the dumbing down policy in education, but I think part of the success of social media has been due to the failures of education in recent decades (oops, that will upset Opher.)
The likes and comments system on FB is quite cunning so I suspect it was designed with an ulterior motive. Each like or comment adds a link to the post. FB posts do not have titles relevant to the content so someone posts "Can we get 1000 likes / comments for the sick child / puppy / piano playing cat," his their target and then switch the content to support some ad campaign - and they have a very powerful page to link back to their website.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 14, 2018 - 12:51pm
Doug, good point about automatic flagging. I have observed that people arguing in support of 'British values' are quickly banned, yet people calling on Muslims to rise up and kill the infidel or advocating the extermination of 'white males' seem to get a free pass.
I know white Europeans and Euro - Americans tend to be more mature and so take such idiocy with a pinch of salt but I can't believe that nobody at all complains about such posts.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 14, 2018 - 1:02pm
Leroy, for people like yourself and me, who use it wisely FB has its uses. What is unacceptable is that they attach themselves to your computer and tack you even if you have never visited their site. Once you visit any site with a 'Like' or 'Share' button for FB (and they are very difficult to avoid,) they have a tracker on your machine.
I delete all cookies and browsing history every time my browser closes, but a lot of people are not aware how they are being tacked.
What has really turned me against Facebook is that they have been taken to court and ordered by the court to cease doing some of the things mentioned by various people in this thread, and they promise to comply but simply disguise the tracking technique and carry on.
Any corporation that thinks it is above the law must be shut down, broken up or severely regulated, and Zuckerber's past utterances show he does think his creation is above the law.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 14, 2018 - 1:04pm
Mike B, yes he is a creepy looking little paskudniak isn't he?
I hadn't heard about him getting his neighbours evicted but it seems completely in character.
Tom C. Purcell Added Apr 14, 2018 - 1:15pm
Zuckerberg would fit perfectly as a character in the Sitcom, 'Seinfeld'.  But I'm not convinced that he isn't part robot or extraterrestrial...just based on his mannerisms and behaviors.  IDK what drugs would do that and still allow him to speak so clearly.
Doug Plumb Added Apr 14, 2018 - 4:22pm
Whitey has an effective and real remedy for stuff like this kind of abuse. Data scientists could do well financially by proving that Zuckerberg is practicing racism. His disclaimers could be thrown out of court easily with common law, it doesn't like it when one side deliberately tries to confuse the other.
The problem is that getting Whitey together on one subject and acting in a uniform way is like herding cats, as has been said so often.
If someone figures out a way to herd cats, we win, hands down, the other side runs. The only way I know of is to get us all laughing at the same thing and realizing there is money in it.
We could win big $$. All those out of work White execs could ban together, create a formidible foe of wisdom and understanding, and a darling for public opinion, and give the NWO pounding from the rear that they would soon not forget. We could save the world. If only someone could find a way to herd cats.
Leroy Added Apr 14, 2018 - 5:52pm
"Any corporation that thinks it is above the law must be shut down, broken up or severely regulated, and Zuckerber's past utterances show he does think his creation is above the law."
 
I take a laissez-faire attitude towards business.  Nevertheless, Facebook is a monopoly and it can effectively shut down the competition.  It can buy the competition, if necessary.  Maybe it is time to break it up, but what would be the pieces?  It seems to be a monolithic product.  Yeah, maybe the news side of it could be separated, but who reads the news on Facebook?
 
Many of the tech startups seem to operate outside the law.  Uber would be a case in point.  Taxi drivers must have a license to operate.  Uber is a bunch of individuals.  Maybe it shouldn't be outside the law, but it is.  The attraction of cryptocurrencies is that they operate outside the law.  Many are now starting to operate under government control.  Seems to defeat the purpose.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 15, 2018 - 3:32pm
Tom, good point about the similarity to a Seinfeld character. It has been said Zuck passed a Turing test, but the organisers have not revealed how the test was set up.
The last machine to pass the test benefitted from a bit of cheating, the organisers told judges they were having a chat session with a 12 year old Ukranian boy whose English was not very good.
Maybe for Zuck they were told he is a twelve year old Silicon Valley boy who suffers from a rare form of dyspraxia.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 15, 2018 - 3:37pm
Doug, get everyone laughing at the same thing? The Roseanne Barr show would not be helpful then?
 
From my book Cat Herding For Beginners: "First open a tin of sardines ..."
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 15, 2018 - 3:47pm
Leroy, Facebook isn't a monopoly, they'd like to be and the security agencies would like them to be, but a few other social networks stand in the way. That said, they have become far too powerful and lack of ethical awareness allows them to simply buy out rival start ups.
I'm all for laissez faire but when there are existing laws, particularly consumer protection laws, no corporations should be allowed to bypass them simply by claiming, "But we're a new technology, you don't understand what we do."
Uber is an excellent example. They are not a ride sharing app, they are a cab company, and the moment people are asked to pay for their ride, all around the world all sorts of driver registration and insurance regulations kick in. To let some people bypass those is unfair competition.
Stephen Hunter Added Apr 15, 2018 - 5:03pm
Hopefully they will try harder on the privacy thing however anything that one puts out there, can be tracked down and linked to you. For example those ads that keep following you around the internet. 
Bill H. Added Apr 15, 2018 - 5:33pm
 
FB's algorithms will turn lefties lefter and righties righter. I've seen what you describe go both ways, almost exactly how Google's algorithm also puts people in bubbles.
I stay away from all of them.
Overriding and capitalizing on people's privacy is the FB business model.
John Minehan Added Apr 15, 2018 - 5:38pm
"Kerem, you are correct but our progressive friends to tend to be quite shallow, "embrace change" they tell us, ingoring the fact that change is not necessarily for the better."
 
Which is why we have to "embrace" it, as it will come no matter what and we have some obligation to make it work as well as it can.  We, likewise, have to allow people we disagree with their say.
 
Life is about doing the best thing you can under the circumstances, not necessarily having that work out well for you personally.  
Robert Burk Added Apr 16, 2018 - 6:14am
I think it is funny. Capitalism is always such a good system until we look at is results. Its as if people cannot equate smart phones with control over content, as if these things are in two different realities. If you have a private company controlling information their goal is profit not your convenience or rights. I am sure you all hate communism which may be good but until you can stop your hate of communism from pushing you into a love affair with capitalism you are going to remain blind to the fact there is a third economy based on Scripture, that builds the church which I refer to as Pacifarianism as it is based on a peace model. Not passivity, nor pacifism, ... Peace, there is a difference.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 16, 2018 - 9:57am
Stephen H, I have no problem with what I put out there being traced back to me, in fact I usually use my own name, sometimes as it appears above, sometimes Ian R Thorpe to distinguish me from the Australian swimmer, (I still get mails and replies from people hoping I'll tell them how to improve their front crawl) or ianrthorpe which was a name I used in my early blogging days.
What I have a problem with is details that are only on my PC being mined by data miner cookies, or my activity being tracked because I visited a site with Facebook 'like' buttons on articles, even if I do not click those like buttons. Facebook have previously had court orders imposed on them to cease such practices but are known to be continuing to use them.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 16, 2018 - 10:04am
Bill H, agreed. The AI driven newsfeeds are designed to give us more of what we like, thus putting people in boxes, or bubbles as you say. This is of course intended to make us feel good so we are more likely to click on like buttons or click through to other pages on the site.
The big sites don't have to rely on clicking on ads (CPC - cash per click) for revenue, they negotiate CPM (cash per mille) deals and get paid for eyes on pages.
This relegates good quality content to a back seat as it is never going to get as many views as clickbait or piano-playing-cat memes.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 16, 2018 - 10:10am
John M, I'm not quite sure what you mean. Why would we embrace change that is not to our benefit. A few years ago people were being told to embrace social media, it was the new way of communicating, making friends etc.
The latest FB scandals have at least prompted many people to unembrace social media and join those of us who were always sceptical of 'free stuff.'
There is still no such thing as a free lunch.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 16, 2018 - 10:37am
Robert Burk, I would not describe Facebook (or Google) as capitalist, in both cases the founders did not supply the initial funding (that came from CIA front venture capital firm In Q Tel,) and in their early years both sustained losses that would be unsustainable to a truly capitalist organisation.
Neither Google nor Facebook pay dividends and both claim vastly inflated market capitalisation measure by the usual P/E ratio yardstick.
The main trade in shares is by both companies issuing shares to execs and managers in lieu of cash rewards and then buying back the issued shares at the market rate. This is not illegal in either US or European law, but it is not capitalism.
So what we see in these internet technology enterprises at work is a perverted version of free enterprose manipulated by governments for the purpose of controlling information. Anyone who doubts me should inform themselves on Google's particularly cosy relationship with The White House in the Obama years.
Bill H. Added Apr 16, 2018 - 11:33am
 
Ian - These same algorithms are now being applied to "smart speakers", such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home. This article describes how Amazon is working even harder with these devices to virtually spy on every conversation within the user's home that is within range of the device.
This article gives even deeper insight to these devices and also the "digital assistants" that are now part of most operating systems, along with how the vendors are constantly trying to sneak in more methods of collecting information with them.
Users must realize that many of these devices are constantly sending virtually all intercepted conversations to their servers, not just words preceded by the activation keywords.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 16, 2018 - 1:57pm
Thanks for the links Bill. The good news is most of us have become ad - blind. I had an article on the ineffectiveness of web advertising and use of big data as a predictor of human behaviour almost finished when the FB scandal broke but I'll have to revise it now.
If people are stupid enough to indulge in 'intimate activities' with the web enabled TV, the digital assistant and the computer with built in webcam switched on I've no sympathy.
It hardly needs saying that I use Linux for most online work and only have external webcam and mic. Some may say I'm paranoid but ..................
Bill H. Added Apr 16, 2018 - 3:27pm
Ian - Most likely the first indication one would get if they indulged in "intimate activities" near their "smart speaker" or "digital assistant" would be an abnormal number of Viagra ads popping up while online or being inserted by the cable company if you live in a cable system that has implemented tailored ad insertion based on mined personal data.
I don't look at trying to preserve one's privacy (what's left of it) as being "paranoid". I believe it is common sense, and anyone who doesn't care about what is going on is asking for trouble and deserves the outcome. 
If people really read and understood all of the details in "user agreements" with entities such as FB, Google, WAZE, Twitter and others, they might think twice before agreeing to them. 
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 17, 2018 - 2:09pm
Bill H, I've laboured through those some of those T&Cs, they are stacked against the user, but that's all we can expect when we sign up for 'free' services. 
Viagra ads, which filled my email inbox on a daily basis when I was in my 50s, have been absent for a while. Perhaps they think at nearly 70 I'm completely past it.
Dave Volek Added Apr 17, 2018 - 5:12pm
Ian
 
I think the pattern is clear. FB will do something inappropriate. Mr. Z will apologize and promise it won't happen again. Then FB will be caught again doing something inappropriate.
 
It's time individuals took responsibility for their own FB usage--and accept the consequences.
 
I have been on FB for about 10 years now. I seem to sense when the algorithms change and my wall looks different. These days, my posts are barely getting through to my base. It seems the algorithms are deeming my posts as "not exciting enough" for my friends and family.
 
 
Doug Plumb Added Apr 17, 2018 - 5:38pm
re "Cat Herding For Beginners" If you have figured this out, then you have the keys to restoring the universe. Is the book political or for humour?
Bill H. Added Apr 17, 2018 - 8:22pm
Ian - I'm a week away from turning 69, and I still get the Viagra ads. I guess surprisingly I don't require the assistance from Viagra to get the job done, but I am told that the use of Viagra is supposed to enhance the experience.
I find that consuming a bit of Cannabis works just fine with me (not to mention it is much less expensive).
If you (or anyone reading this) has issues that require Viagra, I would recommend the alternative. From what I hear from former Viagra users, it spins circles around Viagra.
A. Jones Added Apr 17, 2018 - 9:49pm
Much as my politics differs from that of Zuckerberg's, I have to admit I have no problem with a private owner of a private media venue deciding what kind of content he wants to host and what kind of content he refuses to host. Private action on private media venues is not censorship. It might be bias, but it isn't censorship: Zuckerberg isn't coercively preventing others from webcasting opinions or content with which he disagrees by means of force or threats of force; he's simply protecting his own property.
 
If, however, government dictated to Zuckerberg what sort of content was permitted or forbidden, then that, of course, would be censorship.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 18, 2018 - 10:45am
Dave, I know very little of what is on my Facebok wall is seen by anyone. That's why usually the only things on there are automated notifications from wordpress and blogger and shares from site like Writer Beat.
And they have my name, date of birth and the area I live in. They don't need any more.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 18, 2018 - 10:47am
Doug, Cat herding For Beginners was a title made up for the comment, but now you mention it, maybe I should start researching :-)
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 18, 2018 - 10:49am
Bill, no need for Viagra or Cannabis, a woman half my age is my aphrodisiac of choice.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 18, 2018 - 11:02am
If Zuckerberg was the private owner of a private media company then I would agree with you. Once Facebook shares were offered on stock markets however, the position changed and the company became publicly accountable.
At the moment Facebook's business model is at odds with what is set out in the articles of incorporation, which state that all content will be treated equally.
In view of Facebook's promises and commitments it is had for them to justify their liberal bias.
And then you have the issue of the funds (US taxpayers' money) that Facebook has been paid by the NSA for aiding and abetting illegal surveillance.
Stone-Eater Added Apr 18, 2018 - 3:25pm
Ian
 
You see, I might be prejudiced, but the alarm goes off each time I read names like Zuckerberg, Greenberg, Bloomberg, Horowitz, Perle, Cohn or Koch in high positions and then see a picture of NetanYahoo.
 
I wonder why LOL
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 18, 2018 - 3:43pm
Aw Stoney, don't you think you're making a berg out of a molehill? They're not all bad, when in my misspent youth I was working the street markets in northern England, people with names like Stewie Tauber, Benny Rubin, Jeff Hyman, Monty Jacobs and Ian Lippman were among my best friends. Also I was and am a huge fan of Leonard Cohen and I have verrrrrry fond memories of Rachel Creeme and Karen Margolis ;-)

I know what you mean though, names linked to a certain ethnicity do crop up disproportionately in the world of big business and high finance.
Stone-Eater Added Apr 18, 2018 - 3:54pm
Ian
 
names linked to a certain ethnicity do crop up disproportionately in the world of big business and high finance.
 
Exactly. Especially when they don't live in their native country, or maybe through their history never had a native country so they decided to make the whole world their home country ;-)
 
I mean I had a friend named David Zucker here in Switzerland as a kid. We were really good friends until one day he told me he won't be my friend anymore since his parents have other plans with him, and finally I live downtown and he lives in a villa on the hill.
 
BTW: I grew up in a village on Lake Zurich where we had three classes. The first was the one with a house on the shores of the lake. The second was the one with a house overlooking the lake. The third was us - the in-betweens.
Stone-Eater Added Apr 18, 2018 - 3:55pm
....but I love 10cc. Lol Creme and Stewart Goldman were Jewish LOL
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 19, 2018 - 1:16pm
You hit the nail on the head Stone Eater, the aforementioned Karen Margolis and I were a really hot couple and things looked at though they might get serious though we were only 19 and 20, then her family found out her boyfriend was a goy. And suddenly she had to choose between me and her family, not just Mum and Dad, the entire family, the whole support network, her home, job in the family wholesale baking business, everything.
The way they acted made me wish we hadn't been so careful and I'd left her one in the oven. That might have widened their horizons.
Ian Thorpe Added Apr 19, 2018 - 1:29pm
Stone, 10CC - almost a local band for me when I was in my teens, Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman were with Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders, who for a while vied with The Hollies to be the city's biggest band and Godley and Creme went through various bands playing most of their gigs in the north and Midlands.