August 8, 2017

"The fault here is not with search and social networking, per se. Those services have enormous value."

"The fault lies with advertising business models that drive companies to maximize attention at all costs, leading to ever more aggressive brain hacking. Anyone who wants to pay for access to addicted users can work with Facebook and YouTube. Lots of bad people have done it. One firm was caught using Facebook tools to spy on law abiding citizens. A federal agency confronted Facebook about the use of its tools by financial firms to discriminate based on race in the housing market. America’s intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia interfered in our election and that Facebook was a key platform for spreading misinformation. For the price of a few fighter aircraft, Russia won an information war against us. Incentives being what they are, we cannot expect Internet monopolies to police themselves..."

From "I invested early in Google and Facebook and regret it. I helped create a monster," by Roger McNamee (at USA Today).

30 comments:

AJ Lynch said...

He sounds like a bigger drama queen than John McCain.

Laslo Spatula said...

Men are now Googe Stooges.

Yeah: I wrote that.

I am Laslo.

Lewis Wetzel said...

The Power McNamee describes can only be entrusted to government bureaucrats, politicians like Hillary Clinton, or Trump voters. Or maybe it could be safely wilded by religious organizations?
McNamee is a moron.

Michael K said...

Google has reached peak penetration and will decline from here.

This was so stupid but they are in a bubble and can hear no one outside.

richard schaaf said...

Incredible combination of self-righteousness and hypocrisy. Nauseating.

Angel-Dyne said...

"A federal agency confronted Facebook about the use of its tools by financial firms to discriminate based on race in the housing market. America’s intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia interfered in our election and that Facebook was a key platform for spreading misinformation. For the price of a few fighter aircraft, Russia won an information war against us. Incentives being what they are, we cannot expect Internet monopolies to police themselves..."

There is so much mindless partisan stupidity packed into these four sentences that it isn't even worth the trouble of trying to salvage the legitimate point about the threat that the "Goolag" poses to citizens.

That monster you helped create still owns you, dipshit.

Sebastian said...

"Russia won an information war against us" In the sense that they triggered Dems (and part of the GOPe) into going batshit crazy for domestic political reasons, trying to tear down American institutions, degrade the intelligence services, obstruct the president, and after 8 years of coddling reset the reset to give the 1980s their foreign policy back by imposing sanctions.

Yancey Ward said...

You can tell what the real target of the essay is though the author went to great pains to try to hide it, but let the cat peek out of the bag right at the end.

This tag needs the "Trump Derangement Syndrome" tag.

Yancey Ward said...

The author's complaint isn't really about the spread of misinformation, but rather that control of the definition of "misinformation" has been lost.

Mountain Maven said...

We want the govt to rescue us from Google. They would have us back reading print newspapers and dusty encyclopedias.
Use Bing if u are "terrified" of Google. Sissies

Angel-Dyne said...

Yancey Ward: The author's complaint isn't really about the spread of misinformation, but rather that control of the definition of "misinformation" has been lost.

Bingo.

J2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rehajm said...

America’s intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia interfered in our election and that Facebook was a key platform for spreading misinformation

Hillary is winning!!!

madAsHell said...

It's a humble-brag. He really wanted to say "I made a lot of money, and fuck you."

cubanbob said...

To cut to the chase what is being argued here? That the Russians for a few bucks used social media and the internet to manipulate millions of voters who were going to vote for Hillary to vote for Trump instead?

stlcdr said...

Apart from the real point of this piece, I'm confused about the phrase: "One firm was caught using Facebook tools to spy on law abiding citizens. "

What 'firm' is this referring to? Usually, the phrase 'law abiding' refers to a government entity. Are there firms that are allowed to gather information on non- law abiding citizens but not law abiding?

This kind of word sloppiness, to me, sounds like someone trying to justify their end-point.

Bob Ellison said...

Mountain Maven is right: Bing is just as good as Google, and Microsoft offers a suite of similar things (calendar, email, etc.) similar to Google's.

And Microsoft is a trustworthy company, by and large. Google is not.

Amazon is also trustworthy, mostly, but they aren't playing that game yet.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Are there firms that are allowed to gather information on non- law abiding citizens but not law abiding?"

-- It is more an attempt to make you think: "Wow! They even spied on people they didn't need to." I have a feeling a lot of the "spying" people complain about, are people who just click "OK" to every terms of service they have and don't realize that Target, Facebook and Google all want something from you, and you've just agreed to give it to them.

Known Unknown said...

"Russia won an information war against us."

How, exactly?

stlcdr said...

"Amazon is also trustworthy, mostly, but they aren't playing that game yet."

Maybe there are other services I'm not aware of, but with amazon, you pay for something and get something in return. There is a service that is worth something (movies, a gigantic shopping mall). With Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. it's up to them what the payment is going to be, and the service offered is of questionable value.

When offered something for 'free' always turn it down. I had an argument with a cashier at Sears to sign up for a sears card and get 20% off. I said no but they started insisting: 'it's free money!' I told them if it was 'free money' then just give me the discount right now. Of course, they fell back to that's not how it works...

Matthew Sablan said...

"How, exactly?"

-- For that, you'll have to pay Clinton to find out What Happened?

Laslo Spatula said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laslo Spatula said...

8/8/17, 11:14 AM "Men are now Googe Stooges."

Googe is whatever information you willingly put into Google.

You splooge your Googe into the body of Google and it is now out of your control.

All your Googe splooge can be used however the receiving body of Google sees fit.

It can be censored / aborted, or your Googe may be used against your desires.

You thought you hid your tracks? Google can suck your Googe out of a used condom, metaphorically speaking, and you are still on the hook: you can no longer DELETE your Googe. Sorry.

Google is the Herpes of your Identity.

I am Laslo.

SeanF said...

stlcdr: When offered something for 'free' always turn it down.

If you're not paying for it, then you're not the customer - you're the product being sold.

Left Bank of the Charles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Left Bank of the Charles said...

I wonder if Putin thinks he won the war, as he did just lose on the new sanctions bill.

Bruce Hayden said...

Not sure why anyone would trust Microsoft, but do understand why that company would be trusted above Google. Keep in mind that the only product that Microsoft actually invented itself was a line of good compilers. Everything else were knockoffs, where they used their market (or other) power to appropriate technology invented by others. DOS was a knockoff of CP/M 86. Internet Exploder from Mosaic. Word (somewhat) from WordPerfect. Excel from Lotus 123. Windows from Apple (they got an early preview, since they were providing the compilers). Etc. Rarely, were they the better product, at least initially. Often inferior. Yet, the company was able to leverage their products into dominance. Still, they haven't had the incentive that Google has had to monetize the information that they have collected on their customers, so haven't. Yet. One thing that I found interesting is that they seem even more incapable than their competitors at commercializing their acquisitions - for example, they bought Skype, then changed to a Teletubbies type interface, impossible to read. And, most recently, disabled my account until my parents (both now deceased, but would be in their mid 90s if still alive) verified my age. So have mostly moved to Wire, which has better encryption, and no big company temped to monetize information they might acquire about me.

richardsson said...

I've become very cynical about the "social networking" aspects of the web. On facebook, I began to feel like I was back in junior high with hall monitors and b.s. I got used to being a loner at a very early age because I lived out in a remote rural community with 10 kids in total, all but one of whom were much older than me. So, I never really cared much about what other people thought of me because being alone was my default. I survived Junior high, because my fondest memories were of reading in the library. So, here I am on facebook and there are not only likes and dislikes (like I care.) But then, the facebook p.c. politburo flunkies started altering my posts in subtle ways. Well, I quit. It's not easy to quit facebook. I figured out how, but I guess they got even with me. Then, I got on Linkedin which was much better, but then I started getting networking request from "Nigerian Scam" types so I dropped LinkedIn. The firing of that guy at Google might be the last straw for me with them.

Martin said...

He's right on the big stuff. The "social networks" have become a disease on the public and the economy in many ways.

I would not trust the govt to regulate them is a detailed way, like Dodd-Frank does financial institutions. Just make it illegal to monitor and store user data. The EU might be edging in that direction.

If I search for something on Google or comment on something on FB, in a few seconds my screen is full of targeted ads and Google and FB are richer for having sold those "targeted" ads at a premium rate.

Supposedly that is to my benefit, but that is all lies. Google and FB get monye, teh advertiser gets eyeballs, and I get a mess I do not want on my screen.

It would be nice to think this will eventually be self-correcting, and maybe it will, but before that happens a few people and corporations will become wealthy and influential beyond the fondest dreams of a Rockefeller or Carnegie or Gould, and they are already using that wealth and power to re-shape our society.

I don't have much hope, but we really need this to stop. Right now.

0_0 said...

Does nobody here use AdBlock and NoScript?