Whenever the Fourth Reich creates a new category 5 shit storm, you can be assured that part of the calculus is to distract us from something else, usually worse. Don is the con who is very good at yelling squirrel while he picks your pocket. Metaphorically speaking, though the squirrel is probably real and an employee of the Trump Organization. But I digress
So the question is, what did Comrade Prznint want us to not see or not pay attention to when he fired FBI Deputy Director McCabe late on a Friday night on St. Patrick’s Day weekend? You know, maybe a story about how Facebook has suspended Steve Bannon’s voter data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica? And possibly leads us to The Kremlin?
“As the upstart voter-profiling company Cambridge Analytica prepared to wade into the 2014 American midterm elections, it had a problem.
“The firm had secured a $15 million investment from Robert Mercer, the wealthy Republican donor, and wooed his political adviser, Stephen K. Bannon, with the promise of tools that could identify the personalities of American voters and influence their behavior. But it did not have the data to make its new products work.
OK, that’s a problem, which they solved the old-fashioned way: they stole the data!
“So the firm harvested private information from the Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users without their permission, according to former Cambridge employees, associates and documents, making it one of the largest data leaks in the social network’s history. The breach allowed the company to exploit the private social media activity of a huge swath of the American electorate, developing techniques that underpinned its work on President Trump’s campaign in 2016.
OK, that’s a solution! An illegal solution, but one nonetheless. Christopher Wylie, who worked with Cambridge University professor Aleksandr Kogan to
steal harvest the data, says that:
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.
OK, that’s all true, but what does this Faceberg scam have to do with the Kremlin?
“Cambridge Analytica, the data firm the Trump campaign used during the 2016 election, met with Russian business executives, The New York Times reported Saturday.
“The firms’ employees had been in contact with executives from Russian oil giant Lukoil in 2014 and 2015, according to company documents. “
There were reportedly three meetings with Lukoil executives in London and Turkey and Lukoil was interested in how data was used to target American voters.
You don’t have to try very hard to find a connection between Lukoil and Pooty-Poot (just Google Lukoil and Putin and be amazed at the number of hits). Also/too: where ‘ere there is Russian Oil, there is Putin.
Anyway, Faceberg has suspended Cambridge Analytica and all the other parties involved. (Boy, that will show ’em!)
“Facebook says that the information obtained by Kogan was accessed “in a legitimate way and through the proper channels that governed all developers on Facebook at that time,” and that it has “made significant improvements in our ability to detect and prevent violations by app developers,” in the last five years, requiring developers to justify the use of the data that they collect. But this incident highlights a key feature of Facebook, to utilize personal information to deliver specific advertising to individuals, and only goes to underscore a critical weakness in the American electorate: that this information can not only be used to manipulate an election, but it can be obtained relatively easily, with few checks.”
So here’s the nexus: the Russians are propaganda experts, and Cambridge Analytica had the harvested data and the modeling expertise to show the Russians the demons of 50 Million American voters. You do the math.
OK, you don’t have to do the math:
The data that Facebook leaked to Cambridge Analytica is the same data Facebook retains on everyone and sells targeting services around. The problem is not shady Russian researchers; it's Facebook's core business model of collect, store, analyze, exploit. https://t.co/Xm9w8Ue2vN
— Pinboard (@Pinboard) March 17, 2018
…in other words, this is simply what Facebook is: a massive surveillance machine.
Keep an eye on this story, if it doesn’t bring down The Russian Usurper, it will bring down Faceberg. I think that there is no way that Facebook gets out of this unregulated.