March 20, 2018

"'Utterly horrifying': ex-Facebook insider says covert data harvesting was routine/Sandy Parakilas says numerous companies deployed these techniques – likely affecting hundreds of millions of users – and that Facebook looked the other way."

The Guardian reports (and this is different insider from the one I quoted earlier today).
Sandy Parakilas, the platform operations manager at Facebook responsible for policing data breaches by third-party software developers between 2011 and 2012... [said] “My concerns were that all of the data that left Facebook servers to developers could not be monitored by Facebook, so we had no idea what developers were doing with the data” ... Parakilas said Facebook had terms of service and settings that “people didn’t read or understand” and the company did not use its enforcement mechanisms, including audits of external developers, to ensure data was not being misused....

“It has been painful watching,” he said. “Because I know that they could have prevented it.” Asked what kind of control Facebook had over the data given to outside developers, he replied: “Zero. Absolutely none. Once the data left Facebook servers there was not any control, and there was no insight into what was going on.”
Here's the earlier post: "'Facebook allowed the Obama campaign to access the personal data of users during the 2012 campaign because they supported the Democratic candidate...'"

And here's my post from 2 days ago, criticizing Facebook for making a narrow, legalistic argument Facebook... for itself." I said: "That's not going to work. We didn't give it to X. We gave it to Y who gave it to X. It's a laundering argument." And I recommended that Facebook fall back onto the argument that "It's good to use this data to facilitate communication, especially on topics of great public concern."

I'm still trying to get a grip on this story, but my orientation to it is that I'm skeptical that there was any "leak" or "breach" of security. It think Facebook did what it intended to do, but there's just some static over that choice because it became apparent that Mercer money had energized a right-wing use of the data.

ADDED: Bloomberg reports this morning that the Federal Trade Commission is investigating Facebook for possibly violating a consent decree:
Under the 2011 settlement, Facebook agreed to get user consent for certain changes to privacy settings as part of a settlement of federal charges that it deceived consumers and forced them to share more personal information than they intended. That complaint arose after the company changed some user settings without notifying its customers, according to an FTC statement at the time.
Did Facebook make changes that they didn't tell users about or did users just not "read or understand" what Facebook told them?

169 comments:

rhhardin said...

The data is Facebook's property. They sell it to people because it has value of this or that kind.

What you can do with it is a subject of ongoing invention and research.

rhhardin said...

Data laundering could be used with jokes, especially dirty jokes.

rhhardin said...

The internet affects hundreds of millions of users.

Click bait is one of the ways, but people like it until they get jaded.

Cat video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KIKrSG-Xzc

via Lem.

Fernandinande said...

rhhardin said...
The data is Facebook's property. They sell it to people because it has value of this or that kind.


And Facebook clearly says so in their "privacy" statement.

"Parakilas says numerous companies deployed these techniques – likely affecting hundreds of millions of users – and that Facebook looked the other way."

"Affecting" meaning they saw some type of advertisement rather than some other type of advertisement.

It's not like nefarians were showing up at Facebookers' homes in the middle of the night making threats about what kind of audio speakers and flashlights they should vote for.

Maybe the Facebook hysteria will go away now that it's more than just "Trump did it!"

Robert Cook said...

Why are people surprised? This is how Facebook and other social media make their money! This is like rushing to print with headlines screaming that Keebler makes food products packed with sugar!!!

Wince said...

I've been thinking it might be time to short sell Facebook stock.

Levi Starks said...

It was all perfectly fine as long as Obama was getting elected.

Fernandinande said...

rhhardin said...
Cat video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KIKrSG-Xzc


You manipulated me into looking at it, but not playing it cuz it looked fakey, with your weaponized data science.

Come for the biology and such, stay for the cat videos. And wildlife photos and videos.

Patrick said...

I do not, and hsve never had a Facebook account. I wonder how much information they have on me. I bet it's more than nothing

Ann Althouse said...

Note to commenters who copy and paste URLs into comments and call it "click bait": It's not click bait if it can't be clicked. The idea that people will copy and paste that into a search bar themselves is nearly delusional.

If you're just doing that for effect, the effect seems to be to be annoying or aesthetically displeasing. That's how I interpret it. Come on. We can do better.

rhhardin said...

I don't see any ads at all so have no idea what demographic I'm in.

ublock origin.

Ann Althouse said...

When the government gets your information from businesses to whom you provide it, they say you have no privacy interest and therefore no 4th Amendment right and the courts have agreed for many many years.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

It's only OK when it HELPS DEMOCRATS.

rhhardin said...

I prefer the unlinked format for short urls. It shows you where you're going.

Firefox has an "open link in new tab" that works if you just select it. No copy and paste.

robother said...

Without the Left-wing Right Side/Wrong Side of History prism, there is no scandal. As long as Lefty politicians were using the data to target their messages, no big deal. Indeed, it was further evidence of who the cool kids were and that they were on the Right Side of History. But any use of Facebook data to target voters by Trump or Russians is Evil!

Henry said...

I assumed from the beginning that my data was distributed to everyone everywhere. Luckily, I'm boring.

Fernandinande said...

Robert Cook said...
Why are people surprised?


I don't think anyone was really surprised; I think the people pretending to be surprised and outraged are doing so to generate more more fake news involving Trump.

rhhardin said...

Try it if you have it. the select is as fast as a click the way Firefox does it.

Nonapod said...

That Facebook is a completely opportunistic and mercenary was obvious from its inception. I'm still surprised that anyone is surprised, or are they all just feigning surprise? I mean, really?

But beyond that... it's the internet. A good rule is to just assume anything you say, any picture or video you upload, and any personal information you post is potentially going to be used in some way that you may not be thrilled with. Anything you do or say may be used against you in the court of public opinion. Any information you reveal will be used to market to you. And, the internet never forgets.

Henry said...

I quite Facebook earlier this year partly out of boredom, partly out of disgust at how the Parkland shooting was playing out in scapegoat memes.

I wonder how the kids on Facebook are talking about the horrors of Facebook?

mockturtle said...

As the 'Cow Man' just interviewed on Stuart Varney said, it's more about personal accountability. Which is one reason I chose not to do FB. OTOH, Google is every bit as bad, maybe worse, so...

As rhhardin reports, no ads with Firefox Adblock features and Ghostery at least stops a lot of information mining.

Fernandinande said...

Ann Althouse said...
Note to commenters who copy and paste URLs into comments and call it "click bait": It's not click bait if it can't be clicked.


Left click three times then rt-click->open in new tab; it's barely more effort - clickclickclick - than a normal link and people can see the URL without hovering, so it's a wash.

The idea that people will copy and paste that into a search bar themselves is nearly delusional.

You should learn more keyboard 'n' mouse shortcuts.

Hari said...

At the very least, I would like FB to enable people to easily and permanently delete their accounts, and require that when people do so that FB purges it's history for that account.

Wilbur said...

"The idea that people will copy and paste that into a search bar themselves is nearly delusional"

I've thought so for years (although I have done it once or twice myself). That and believing anyone's going to read those lengthy song lyrics or poetry pasted into the comments.

Fernandinande said...

mockturtle said...
As rhhardin reports, no ads with Firefox Adblock features and Ghostery at least stops a lot of information mining.


Check out "umatrix". It's a lot smarter about blocking stuff from third-party sites rather than using brute force. (e.g., youtube videos are blocked here, but not on youtube.) A bit of a learning curve, though.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Bueller... Bueller... I mean Mueller Mueller - any indictments on the way for Facebook?

Unknown said...

Isn't all the business model of google and facebook to sell profiles?

You agreed to it when you used the service. If you want to blame someone look in the mirror.

> When the government gets your information from businesses to whom you provide it, they say you have no privacy interest and therefore no 4th Amendment right and the courts have agreed for many many years

This is worth repeating. Ask Petraeus, McCabe, evenyone the IG nabs, the IRSA...

e stands for evidence.

Chuck said...

Rand Paul's general take on this was interesting. He's such an ideological libertarian, it is kind of funny sometimes. I do like him and am always interested in hearing from him.

Paul was -- as everyone would expect -- concerned about any governmental access to data. But he was also concerned about government regulating these giant data collectors (Facebook, Google, etc.) So he wasn't the full-throated critic of the situation that you might expect.

Interesting. Not much political; almost purely ideological.

Sebastian said...

Not surprised. Also not on FB. But Google knows more about me than I'd like. Still, can't say it has "affected" me greatly, apart from the odd ad here and there. So far.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

There is no such thing as guaranteed privacy on the internet or actually in any public space.

When you sign up for Facebook, Gmail or any other social media internet technology, you need to be aware that what you do, what you say, where you go is being surveyed, stalked and data captured.

You can do your best to try to minimize the stalking and be careful about what you "put out" on the net. Be aware that those nifty personal aides like Alexis are just another way to, even more creepily, stalk you.


I'm Full of Soup said...

Libruls getting the Vapers that Repubs are fighting fire with fire. I bet some of the big MSM companies do the same thing as Facebook with their subscription data by selling it or renting to third parties.

n.n said...

Facebook is in the business of harvesting and selling your personal habits and orientation. Yahoo does it. Google does it. The only question is to what end. Does, for example, NYT (a Mexican affiliate), as a consumer and producer, use this information to target and influence our elections?

Browndog said...

Yes, it is hard to understand how this is even a scandal. Unless, you apply the template 'Everything and anything Trump used to get elected must be destroyed'.

The same template the British used for Maggie Thatcher.

Scooter P said...

Remember Obama and his "Catalist"? The media reported it as the most important advancement in voter turnout technology. Highly praised at the time. Where do you think that database came from?

Chuck said...

Ann Althouse said...
Note to commenters who copy and paste URLs into comments and call it "click bait": It's not click bait if it can't be clicked. The idea that people will copy and paste that into a search bar themselves is nearly delusional.

If you're just doing that for effect, the effect seems to be to be annoying or aesthetically displeasing. That's how I interpret it. Come on. We can do better.

I have done it many times in comments. Ann Althouse is the only person who has complained about it as far as I am aware.

Copying and pasting the url is something that I have done because I am simply too lazy to type in the requisite code to make it a hyperlink. If the blog had a simpler, more clickable method for embedding hyperlinks, I'd probably use it. But doesn't the proliferation of hyperlinks (as opposed to straight text, be it a copied url or not) pose even more problems for the blog? I honestly don't know; I'm not a blog operator.

So anyway; others can copy url's into their browser bar, or not. Their choice. At least it is there, for those who are interested.

I wouldn't click on every hyperlink, just like I wouldn't past every url. But I would click on some hyperlinks, and I would cut and paste some url's, and the difference for me is not something that I'd categorize as "delusional."

And one nice thing about a copied url as opposed to a hyperlink is that you can see from the url (which you might not from a hyperlink) the nature of the webpage. You can see if it is a link to the Wall Street Journal, or Mother Jones, or some weird domain in Tuvalu.

You could even tell if it is a link to Monmouth University.

MadisonMan said...

When the government gets your information from businesses to whom you provide it, they say you have no privacy interest and therefore no 4th Amendment right and the courts have agreed for many many years.

This is why you don't put anything on Facebook that you wouldn't mind seeing on the front page of the local Paper.

Anything on your computer, or on "the cloud" (that is, on someone else's computer) is not yours to control. It's plain silly to think that it is.

MadisonMan said...

(Obvious link).

Earnest Prole said...

I'm still trying to get a grip on this story, but my orientation to it is that I'm skeptical that there was any "leak" or "breach" of security. It think Facebook did what it intended to do.

Exactly right. Facebook is not selling data obtained illegally through your "privacy settings"; it's selling data obtained legally through your normal use of their product combined with your normal use of other programs or apps on your computer or device. The "scandal" is that they sold the data to benefit a man with orange skin.

exhelodrvr1 said...

No one cared when it was the left that was benefiting. Just another example of that.

Bad Lieutenant said...


I have done it many times in comments. Ann Althouse is the only person who has complained about it as far as I am aware.


Dear Chuck,

You, literally, do not know when to shut up.

PS Don't ever change

Henry said...

(Obvious child)

Ray - SoCal said...

FB has a culture of basically just do it, and worry about the consequences later. Ruthless in some areas and very driven. The positive of having the founder in control, that does things his way - right or wrong.

A headache, is FB and other Silicon Valley companies have imported the top college SJW Culture, and are forcing this culture on their users. Since the management comes from these top colleges such as Stanford, Harvard, Berkeley, Yale, etc..

And now Silicon Valley has a President in power they hate, the EU hates American Tech Companies, and they have made a lot of stupid actions lately that are alienating at least 50% of their potential users. Plus, other countries (China, Germany, UK, etc) are applying pressure on them for censorship.

Kevin said...

Anything on your computer, or on "the cloud" (that is, on someone else's computer) is not yours to control. It's plain silly to think that it is.

That's not what FB told you. It's not what their elaborate menu of privacy settings communicates to their user base.

You can argue people shouldn't trust them anyway, but FB can't argue it had no responsibility to control the data you gave it.

Kevin said...

When the government gets your information from businesses to whom you provide it, they say you have no privacy interest and therefore no 4th Amendment right and the courts have agreed for many many years.

At what point does it become clear FB was just a CIA front to subvert the fourth amendment?

roesch/voltaire said...

Most IT folks I know encrypt all their messages, buy very little on line and have warned me that our cable carrier has access to every key click I make--so yes someone is able to watch and exploit our on-line information whether we post on FB or not.

Pookie Number 2 said...

Why are people surprised?

The only people that should be surprised are those (like Robert Cook, I think) that naively believe that people won’t abuse their power.

SDaly said...

The data is Facebook's property. They sell it to people because it has value of this or that kind.

The data may be Facebook's property, but there are, in fact, laws (particularly in Europe) and a Facebook agreement with the FTC that limit what Facebook may do with their property, and what form of user-consent Facebook needs get before that data is shared/used.

I don't know whether laws or the FTC consent decree were violated, but the attitude that Facebook can legally do whatever it wants with the data is wrong.

Ambrose said...

I can't get worked up about this. Of course Facebook is engaged in data mining and enabling others to do the same. Don't post info on Facebook if you don't want that.

mockturtle said...

The only people that should be surprised are those (like Robert Cook, I think) that naively believe that people won’t abuse their power.

In defense of Robert Cook, his idealistic views do not extend to social media or technology. He has been rightly suspicious of privacy violations.

AllenS said...

Facebook Basic Privacy Settings $ Tools

Selecting an Audience for Stuff You Share
When I post something, how do I choose who can see it?
How can I use lists to share to a specific group of people?
How do I change the audience of a post I've shared on my timeline?
How do I control who can see what's on my profile and timeline?
How do I choose who can see previous posts on my timeline?
Manage Settings for How You Connect
How can I adjust my privacy settings?
What are my privacy shortcuts?
What's the Privacy Checkup and how can I find it?
How do I change who can add me as a friend on Facebook?
Who can see my profile picture and cover photo?

Seems to me that Facebook gives no indication that they are going to share your information. When I cancelled my FB page yesterday, I had to (required) choose a reason why I was deleting my account, and they gave me an impression that I should have no worries if I just changed my settings.

Anyone with a FB account here? Try (you don't have to follow through with deleting your account) clicking on the drop down menu, choose settings, and see what happens when you want to leave.

MacMacConnell said...

Who ever thought FaceBook didn't sell your info? There is a reason, like Google it's "free".

rhhardin said...

They sell why you deleted your account.

YoungHegelian said...

@AllenS,

Here's a question: When a user deletes his FB account does FB simply permanently de-activate the account, but maintain the data in their databases, or do they purge the data from their databases?

There's a big difference between the two. For example if the user's account data is not purged from the databases, it's still there as a record that can be sold to advertisers. No FB users can access the data, but FB tech staff & FB's advertising clients can still access it.

My guess is that FB simply marks users who "delete" their accounts as a de-activated record, & preserve the client's data. But this is just a guess, & I really have no evidence either way.

Fernandinande said...

AllenS said...
Seems to me that Facebook gives no indication that they are going to share your information.


Facebook Privacy Explanation:

"We collect the content and other information you provide when you use our Services, including when you sign up for an account, create or share, and message or communicate with others."

What do they do with the data?
"[We] show and measure ads and services.
We use the information we have to improve our advertising and measurement systems so we can show you relevant ads on and off our Services and measure the effectiveness and reach of ads and services."

Who gets it?
"We transfer information to vendors, service providers, and other partners ..."

Gk1 said...

I'm trying to understand why this is a big thing all of a sudden? Is it just a news cycle to dump shit on trump, delegitimizing his election? Or is it an actual epiphany that silicon valley will do whatever it wants with information it gathers? I'm guessing the former.

rhhardin said...

Shortest path through the thesaurus from honest to dishonest

honest authentic accurate careful canny crafty dishonest

(When done right, any 3 in a row mean the same thing and 4 in a row don't)

That's a data structure that finds a new use (shortest path) through its construction.

PB said...

If you are going to let people access your data, you can't control what they do with it, BUT you should openly post who accessed the data, how much they accessed, and when they accessed the data, even allowing others to perform the exact same extractions. This sunlight would be part of a self-policing mechanism.

Matt said...

Privacy and the internet do not go together. I think most people know this but they get outraged when someone they don't like (a politician for instance) who uses the information to build a campaign. It only becomes a problem when sites like Facebook say they don't do this and then they do. Or they look the orher way and don't attempt to remedy the situation. But is anyone really surprised?

rhhardin said...

One price of seeing no ads is that youtube videos crap out at 23 minutes (audio goes on 5 minutes longer) unless you move the cursor to where it is already, which resets the timer. I take it it's wanting some evidence that you saw an ad and doesn't find any. Or it may just be incompatible software on my machine.

mccullough said...

Zuckerburg getting the back of the hand now.

Poor Mark. Suckerburg

Yancey Ward said...

For all you without Facebook accounts, I can assure you that they have almost as much information on you that they have those with accounts. The problem is your family and friends (to a lesser extent) post intimate information about you. I tried once, very gently, to tell my family to not post anything about me but, of course, it didn't work.

Like I wrote the other day when this story first appeared- had Hillary! won, the story would have been how Clinton's campaign brilliantly used social media to win an election over troglodytic conservatives who couldn't tell their social meme structure from their own assholes.

traditionalguy said...

OMG! Advertising uses psychologists. Yup.

The Nazi Propagandists learned their craft from the Madison Avenue gurus.And after WWII the CIA determined to never let a Psyops gap with the Russians become a threat. So they copied the Paperclip imported Nazi scientists at brainwashing methods using words and Psycho active drugs. Voila: Facebook is suddenly created, financed by your local friends at Langley Headquarters. The boy tech genius types are chosen actors under control of those owners.

Which is why they CIA guys are hyper enraged at DJT for out doing them at propaganda persuasion and Stealing the Government from their Clinton II. It was rigged to be hers or at the worst, Bush III's.

Big Mike said...

Over at the National Review Michael Brendan Dougherty describes how the Facebook data was used (abused?) by the Obama campaign in 2012.

Here's the money quote:

"Obama’s campaign began the election year confident it knew the name of every one of the 69,456,897 Americans whose votes had put him in the White House. They may have cast those votes by secret ballot, but Obama’s analysts could look at the Democrats’ vote totals in each precinct and identify the people most likely to have backed him. Pundits talked in the abstract about reassembling Obama’s 2008 coalition. But within the campaign, the goal was literal. They would reassemble the coalition, one by one, through personal contacts."

roesch/voltaire said...

To see how this was used see the British Channel 4 undercover expose of Cambridge Analytica YouTube)-- unfortunately as they say there is not reason to use facts because elections are decided by emotion and false information they claim and have proved?

AllenS said...

I joined FB in the early 2000s, and I can't remember any Facebook Privacy Statements, but an assurance that I could choose my privacy settings. They still offer everyone privacy settings. One would think that a privacy setting means that your information is private. FB gives you that impression.

How would their business model look if they told everyone upfront that they were going to sell everything that you post?

Pookie Number 2 said...

In defense of Robert Cook, his idealistic views do not extend to social media or technology. He has been rightly suspicious of privacy violations.

Fair point. A better way of making my point would have been to suggest that if we imbue government with all the power that he wants to see, then those people currently pursuing corruption through other channels will simply go into government.

Roughcoat said...

I just deleted my account.

Roughcoat said...

If you're just doing that for effect, the effect seems to be to be annoying or aesthetically displeasing. That's how I interpret it. Come on. We can do better.

How to insert clickable URLs?

Paul Snively said...

Robert Cook: Why are people surprised? This is how Facebook and other social media make their money! This is like rushing to print with headlines screaming that Keebler makes food products packed with sugar!!!

I can't recall ever agreeing with Robert Cook before. But intellectual honesty compels me to say: he's exactly right here.

If you want privacy online, you can have it. You just have to act like you're Snowden and use something like the Tails OS or at least the Tor onion-routing software, a browser that uses it, etc. If you don't do that, you basically don't have the right to complain that the government, corporations, etc. use the data you completely willingly are giving them.

Ray - SoCal said...

>I'm trying to understand why this is a big thing all of a sudden

Because it's a firm that helped Trump. That is why the Guardian opened up this entire can of worms.

They did not ask, what could go wrong?

I believe the Guardian is going to regret opening this can of worms. It's Pandora's box.

FullMoon said...

Firefox has an "open link in new tab" that works if you just select it. No copy and paste.

Well, I'll be darned, it works. Learned something useful.

You don't need no stinking code to easily include hyperlinks, ya lazy bastard

the 4chan Guy who reads Althouse said...

What is interesting about the political firestorms lately is how they seem to all be aimed one direction, but upon closer examination they instead show worse behavior on the other side.

Russia collusion? Dig deeper and: FBI and CIA collusion with Hillary and cohorts.

Facebook mining? Look closer and: Facebook hand-in-hand with the Obama campaign.

The cliche has been said many times: whatever the left are angry about, they are the ones guilty of it in spades.

At this point the dishonesty and hypocrisy are there on the table, and people have become so fatigued with distrust that it is simply accepted.

Which means banana republic, as Buwaya has pointed out many times.

The difference is we are a banana republic that the world lets print its own money, so the payoffs to various voter groups can be paid and the Ponzi scheme goes on.

The idea being that America is Too Big To Fail.

I remember hearing about things Too Big To Fail a few years back; I seem to recall it turned out that they weren't quite THAT big.

Our fucking government would collapse if it were subjected to the RICO Act.

Or.

Our country could be saved if Congress, the FBI, the CIA, Facebook and the Media were subjected to the RICO Act.

But, as we have learned: it mostly depends on who gets to decide charges and who gets to prosecute.

Beria, etc etc etc.

The Germans have a word for this.

mccullough said...

What effect has Social Media had on the Witness Protection Program

Bruce Hayden said...

“A headache, is FB and other Silicon Valley companies have imported the top college SJW Culture, and are forcing this culture on their users. Since the management comes from these top colleges such as Stanford, Harvard, Berkeley, Yale, etc..”

I went on FB last week for the first time in many months, I think in response to an exchange by several friends from college. Sent friend requests to several people, including my kid and their SO. And noticed that they were forcing me to glance over leftist dribble in their Trending. Googled (working on getting rid of Google too) turning Trending off in FB. Apparently can’t be done. Probably be months till I brave FB again.

mccullough said...

Everyone realizes that the NSA took over Althouse’s site back in 2009.

Meade is her government handler.

As we speak, the World Government is preparing our camp in northern Norway.

Althouse gets to stay in Madison under house arrest.

And Meade is getting promoted to station chief of the US Northwest.

His soon to be underlings run Microsoft with an iron hand. Meade is getting season tickets behind home plate for the Mariners games.

He’ll give us a thumbs up from time to time when we watch the Mariners and Angels during our 2 hours a day of TV.

Achilles said...

Don’t worry all.

Google is next.

The tech industry right now is toxic. The big companies right now blatantly rip off and copy potential competitors. They abuse monopolies to invade other markets. Facebook and google are particularly evil companies.

FullMoon said...

The tech industry right now is toxic. The big companies right now blatantly rip off and copy potential competitors. They abuse monopolies to invade other markets. Facebook and google are particularly evil companies.

Life was more simple when all we had to fear was "evil MicroSoft"

DKWalser said...

On my drive in to work, I heard a story on the radio about one 'misuse' of FB's data. For a fee, FB granted a third party the ability to run a targeted survey on its platform. They received some 200,000 responses, which FB matched up with the users' profiles. So far, everything is kosher from FB's perspective. Facebook's complaint is that 'somehow' the third party used those profiles to gain access to the profiles to all the 'friends' of the survey respondents -- an additional several million users. Facebook claims this was a violation of their agreement with the third party.

From a privacy standpoint, its one thing to say that by responding to a Facebook survey you 'should have known' that you were granting access to your profile data to the people behind the survey. (I think that's a questionable proposition, but it's not unreasonable on its face.) It's something else to say that the average person would think that by responding to a FB survey they were granting access to the profile data of all their FB 'friends'. How does a friend on Facebook have the legal authority to grant access to the data of someone he has never even met in person?

Chuck said...

Bad Lieutenant said...

"I have done it many times in comments. Ann Althouse is the only person who has complained about it as far as I am aware."


Dear Chuck,

You, literally, do not know when to shut up.

PS Don't ever change

I don't know; were there complaints, that I missed? I think I am actually like most commenters here, when I ask, "Is pasting a url a problem? Versus creating a link? Is one a problem, but not the other? When has anyone -- including Althouse but more broadly anyone other than Althouse -- ever thought this to be a problem?

Do you have a specific problem with what I wrote?

AllenS said...

CNBC --

"We [Facebook] reject any suggestion of violation of the consent decree. We respected the privacy settings that people had in place. Privacy and data protections are fundamental to every decision we make," Facebook said in a statement to the Post on Saturday.

The consent decree requires that Facebook notify users and receive explicit permission before sharing personal data beyond their specified privacy settings.


OH MY, it doesn't sound to me that Facebook is agreeing that they are selling information. Does it?

themightypuck said...

This reminds me of what Moldbug said about Noam Chomsky (and I think it applies more broadly to the left): they are fine with the manufacturing of consent if they get to do it, the problem is when the right wants to do it.

Kathryn51 said...

The idea that people will copy and paste that into a search bar themselves is nearly delusional.

Not delusional, even if infrequent. I copied and pasted the URL for something called Conservative Treehouse (I think it was one of the Mikes - Sylvester? Original? Dr.?).

I have been enjoying the "conspiracy" outline every day since then.

MadisonMan said...

Is pasting a url a problem? Versus creating a link? Is one a problem, but not the other? When has anyone -- including Althouse but more broadly anyone other than Althouse -- ever thought this to be a problem?

I think it's a problem, and the people who post only the url, but not a link are very ignorant. I used to educate people on this, but I don't engage them on this topic anymore because, well, frankly, I figure they're too dumb to learn.

How nice for you that you interpret this to mean no problem.

JPS said...

Pookie Number 2, 11:14:

"if we imbue government with all the power that he wants to see, then those people currently pursuing corruption through other channels will simply go into government."

Steering this just a bit away from Robert Cook, because I think the point applies much more broadly: I've been trying to understand why my wife, who hails from a country where corruption is endemic, is on the left. She says politicians are all crooks; I answer, "Great! Let's give them more money and power then!" Likewise my black friends, who are hardly naive and trusting when it comes to The Man, and are well aware of historical government-driven injustice, are all political liberals.

The best I can rationalize it is as follows: If you have very little trust in anyone in power anywhere, if you think they're all crooks out to screw us all, then in a perverse way putting most power in a centralized government makes a kind of sense. You keep the crooks where you can see them, and you keep an eye on them, and you can shine one big spotlight on them if they step out of line. The closer you get to a society run on libertarian lines, but still filled with flawed people, the more the people out to screw you are hidden from you and unaccountable to you. How you were screwed will always be opaque and deniable.

I don't believe all that and I don't know if they do. Just trying to understand because so far I really don't.

Levi Starks said...

If Benjamin Franklin were alive today he would be on Facebook, and hav a blog

roesch/voltaire said...

In another article from the Guardian:
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/07/the-great-british-brexit-robbery-hijacked-democracy
details the complex operations of CA the Mercers and Steve Bannon worth the read, and this quote may get some started:

Then I meet Paul, the first of two sources formerly employed by Cambridge Analytica. He is in his late 20s and bears mental scars from his time there. “It’s almost like post-traumatic shock. It was so… messed up. It happened so fast. I just woke up one morning and found we’d turned into the Republican fascist party. I still can’t get my head around it.”

He laughed when I told him the frustrating mystery that was AggregateIQ. “Find Chris Wylie,” he said.

Who’s Chris Wylie?


Anonymous said...

I think people should be more worked up. These services are banning the speech of conservatives already. They have enough data to decide which side you're in and ban you. But also to decide to have you investigated by authorities for hate crimes or harrassment. Look at China and how they are using this data to determine who is a good citizen and who is not, and then deny services to them. That day is coming. Maybe it'll be welfare you can't have if you post about drugs. Maybe it'll be health care you can't have if you had a pic of skydiving. Sky's the limit.

walter said...

AllenS said...OH MY, it doesn't sound to me that Facebook is agreeing that they are selling information. Does it?
--
Well..wording leaves open the option of giving it away..

AllenS said...

If they were selling my information, then I want part of the profits, and I hope FB gets the fuck sued out of them so I can get my share of the loot.

AllenS said...

Then I want Mark Fuckerberg to place the money at my feet. No bills larger than $20.

Pookie Number 2 said...

JPS - maybe, but to me it just looks like the common comparison of my perfect ideals to your flawed reality.

Sam L. said...

"Did Facebook make changes that they didn't tell users about or did users just not "read or understand" what Facebook told them?" My guess is "BOTH".

buwaya said...

Roesch,

Thanks for the link.
The Guardian article is predictable - it complains that people it doesn't like are using modern tech in the same way as people it does like. "Billionaires" being evil, unlike the billionaires it approves of.

It boils down, as always, to who/whom.

JPS said...

Pookie Number 2:

"to me it just looks like the common comparison of my perfect ideals to your flawed reality."

Ha! Well put. Thanks.

walter said...

I wonder if there's a specific setting that would exclude "friends" from getting pillaged because someone they are "friends" with consented.
Things like online personality profiles should be red flags for this kind of thing. But if you're sucked into the equation without consenting, that strikes me far more insidious.

Big Mike said...

I don't know whether laws or the FTC consent decree were violated, but the attitude that Facebook can legally do whatever it wants with the data is wrong.

@SDaly, I suspect they picked up that attitude from working with the Obama and Clinton campaigns.

Daddy Binx said...

Blogger MadisonMan said...
"(Obvious link)."

(Missing link).

Chuck said...

MadisonMan said...
"Is pasting a url a problem? Versus creating a link? Is one a problem, but not the other? When has anyone -- including Althouse but more broadly anyone other than Althouse -- ever thought this to be a problem?"

I think it's a problem, and the people who post only the url, but not a link are very ignorant. I used to educate people on this, but I don't engage them on this topic anymore because, well, frankly, I figure they're too dumb to learn.

How nice for you that you interpret this to mean no problem.


So there's some code to be typed, like the code we use for italicizing or bolding. I'm aware of that. I use it all the time. As in this very commentSo no, it assuredly isn't "stupidity" that has prevented me from turning a url into a hyperlink.

I have just been too lazy to do it and I still don't understand how it is such an issue, or problem. And I see that I am not alone in this regard, from at least one other comment here. Anybody who doesn't like the laziness of the commenter who cuts and pastes a url, and who is in turn too lazy to cut and paste that url into a browser bar, can just ignore it all and read onward and upward without the link.

LOL! Immediately above, "roesch/voltaire" cuts and pastes a url, and "buwaya" thanks him for "the link."

buwahahaha.

Here's an idea! At the bottom of her comments page, along with a stern warning that "COMMENTS ARE MODERATED some but not all of the time," Althouse could post instructions on the critical issue of how to post hyperlinks as opposed to copied .url's.

buwaya said...

Themightypuck,

"This reminds me of what Moldbug said about Noam Chomsky"

Moldbug (C. Yarvin) is an interesting fellow, and I was a fan.
A great extended commentary on Reaction. Lots of digressions, which drove some people bats, but just the thing for us mental packrats who like cluttered attics.
His stuff is still archived.

Moldbug

One of my other favorite bloggers, the frighteningly intelligent
Razib Khan was at one time quite a libertarian and had issue with Moldbug. But age brings wisdom.

"One thing I want to mention offhand. Back in the 2000s, I had some online exchanges with “Mencius Moldbug”. They weren’t exactly hostile, but ultimately I dismissed him because he got a lot of details wrong. And, to be honest, I was kind of annoyed by his stupid cultists who would leave comments. Moldbug himself was and is a smart guy, but some of his acolytes were not.

In 2018 I do have to say that I think that though Moldbug was wrong on a lot of details, and still is, he had insight into something more general which I lacked. My deep pessimism about bourgeois liberal democratic civilization and the state of intellectual culture draws from the same well that he drew from, though I disagree on a lot of the details to this day..."

Both have suffered from political persecution that has harmed them professionally.

buwaya said...

Hyperlinks are quite annoying if you are using a phone.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I have to use the html href command.

look up href

Nonapod said...

On the whole link thing: If you know how to do it (and are posting on a device that doesn't make it an encumbrance), you should do it in my opinion. It makes your posts more legible and convenient, therefore it a small courtesy to your fellow commenters. Is it a big deal? Absolutely not. But if you can take the time write up a huge multi-paragraph post, surely you can take the time to quickly edit in a snippet of html. Just my 2¢.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

the html href command.

Exactly. It isn't very hard to do.

If you hover your mouse over the hyperlink you can see (in most browsers) what the link actually is. Where it might take you.

If it says NYT or Washington Post, I just nope out of there and don't click on the link.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Plus....with a hyperlink, if you right click on the link you get the option to open in a new tab and thereby not lose your place on the spot you started in.

You can then have two windows open at the same time. The Althouse Blog where you got the link and the location where the article or item is. You can then bounce back and forth between the two items at the same time. Cut and paste from the article and copy to your comment if you feel like doing so.

Much easier than copying an entire URL and then opening a new tab manually and then pasting into the address bar. A few less clicks. Yes. I am lazy :-D


Dust Bunny Queen said...

Althouse could post instructions on the critical issue of how to post hyperlinks as opposed to copied .url's.

Whys should she do that when you can Google the instructions for hyperlinks as well as bolding or italicizing text. Google it and give them something more to track!!!

Jim at said...

If you use Facebook, your stuff it out there to be harvested by anybody and everybody. If you didn't know that when you started? That's on you.

Jim at said...

It was all perfectly fine as long as Obama was getting elected. - Levi Starks

Precisely.

This latest stuff is just another chapter in the non-stop tantrum against Trump.

Henry said...

Chuck. Up your game.

MeatPopscicle1234 said...

Wow... So Zuckerberg is the latest sacrificial goat on the alter of HRC's failed presidential campaign? Seriously, they REALLY REALLY want someone to blame for Trump winning and throwing a monkey-wrench into their plans for world domination... I might have had some pity for Zuckerberg for the colon-twisting roller-coaster ride he's about to be put through, but then I remember that he made his deal with the devil, and brought this on himself... Better have some great bodyguards and food-tasters buddy... Cuz you're going down, one way or another... the Deep State is coming for you...

themightypuck said...

"In 2018 I do have to say that I think that though Moldbug was wrong on a lot of details, and still is, he had insight into something more general which I lacked. My deep pessimism about bourgeois liberal democratic civilization and the state of intellectual culture draws from the same well that he drew from, though I disagree on a lot of the details to this day..."

I miss the days of blogs with people like Moldbug who was definitely best in class. I never took him seriously as he played fast and loose and was all about the endless digressions. Still, he was very funny and I agree, he had a good big picture sense of how we are ruled (if no coherent idea of how we could or should be ruled). His descriptions of the real machinations of government from a decade ago seem to predict perfectly the current treatment of Trump by the MSM and "deep state".

Bad Lieutenant said...

Do you have a specific problem with what I wrote?

3/20/18, 11:45 AM


Lord, no, Chuck! Keep on just the way you're going, Althouse (that's "Ann" to you, evidently) will ban you, and sooner or later people here will forget you, and you will receive no more taunts.

Why would I have a problem with that? More! More!

pfennig said...

When Facebook was new, my college age daughter owned a pet rabbit. When it died, she posted the news on Facebook. She observed that immediately thereafter, she began receiving maternity-based ads and articles directed to her Facebook page. I explained to her the expression "the rabbit died" and suddenly she understood and we both got an early exposure to Facebook's data mining.

walter said...

Can anyone here speculate what kind of political targeting they might have received due to this?
Outreach seemed very typical to me in 2016

Luke Lea said...

Doesn't Google target its ads using this kind of information? And the president of Google, Mr. Schmidt, wasn't he on Hillary's team? What did he bring to the table? And don't all these big date companies employ lots of non-American citizens? I have a feeling there is more to this story than we have seen so far. At the end of the day I think we are simply going to have to put up with this kind of stuff as all part of the internet. The power of this kind of targeted advertising is being wildly overestimated in any event.

rhhardin said...

Plus....with a hyperlink, if you right click on the link you get the option to open in a new tab and thereby not lose your place on the spot you started in.

Put mouse on text, left click 3 times. That selects the line of text. Then right click and select "open link in new tab." (Firefox)

walter said...

The secret video of Cambridge Anal is more surprising.

MadTownGuy said...

Yancey Ward wrote: "...had Hillary! won, the story would have been how Clinton's campaign brilliantly used social media to win an election over troglodytic conservatives who couldn't tell their social meme structure from their own assholes."

That story has already been written. How Obama's Team Used Big Data to Rally Voters .

From the article: "After the voters returned Obama to office for a second term, his campaign became celebrated for its use of technology—much of it developed by an unusual team of coders and engineers—that redefined how individuals could use the Web, social media, and smartphones to participate in the political process. A mobile app allowed a canvasser to download and return walk sheets without ever entering a campaign office; a Web platform called Dashboard gamified volunteer activity by ranking the most active supporters; and “targeted sharing” protocols mined an Obama backer’s Facebook network in search of friends the campaign wanted to register, mobilize, or persuade."

Bob Boyd said...

Breaking News:
Zuckerberg Flies To India To Meet With Hillary, Beg Forgiveness.

Bob Boyd said...

Update: Hillary Feeds Mark Zuckerberg To Snapping Turtle.

Bob Boyd said...

Update: Facebook shares rally.

AllenS said...

... but not before Hillary broke her wrist during a slap fest with Zuckerberg.

Mike Sylwester said...

The idea that people will copy and paste that into a search bar themselves is nearly delusional.

I copy and paste that way all the time. It takes me about one second.

tcrosse said...

The idea that Althouse will copy and paste that into a search bar herself is nearly delusional.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Facebook stock should bottom out today or tomorrow I guess. Then maybe time to buy some? Or will there be lasting damage to the brand?

walter said...

A bit more difficult when viewing on a phone..

Darrell said...

The secret video of Cambridge Anal is more surprising.

Cambridge anal is never surprising. Unless you are talking hetero . . .

tim in vermont said...

Trump is the "light bringer" turning up rocks everywhere that nobody wanted overturned, and now that the cockroaches are running around, those same people feel compelled to protest. "Gambling??? At Ricks???"

walter said...

Considering Zucky has been so in the tank for Dems, betting he goes nowhere..just enduring a reminder as to who owns him.

tim in vermont said...

It's just like the casting couch stuff. People have known since the beginning of time, but now? We can use it to hurt Trump! Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead!

Darrell said...

Fuck hyperlinks!
Use a desktop like all the cool kids, and copy and paste, or right-click and choose.
Phones are for ordering pizza.

tim in vermont said...

(if no coherent idea of how we could or should be ruled).

I am starting to lean towards a constitutional hereditary monarchy. Not even kidding.

walter said...

"Get off my lawn!"

Nonapod said...

I am starting to lean towards a constitutional hereditary monarchy. Not even kidding.

As long as there's provisions against excessive inbreeding, you don't want to end up with a bunch of slack witted haemophiliacs.

buwaya said...

"I am starting to lean towards a constitutional hereditary monarchy. Not even kidding."

Persistence works. One mind at a time. Someday it will come to pass, my dream of a restored Spanish Empire under the House of Bourbon.

tcrosse said...

As long as there's provisions against excessive inbreeding, you don't want to end up with a bunch of slack witted haemophiliacs.

Justin Trudeau is not a hemophiliac.

wholelottasplainin said...

When the Obama campaign bragged in 2013 about getting Facebook's user data, the left applauded.

My question: did the Obama campaign ever report how much Facebook charged for that data?

If nothing, did Facebook violate federal campaign law by making a "free" in-kind donation of its valuable property?

Did Facebook report the value of that free info in its record-keeping required for corporate political donors?

Anyone out there know?

Fernandinande said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...
Much easier than copying an entire URL and then opening a new tab manually and then pasting into the address bar.


You don't have to do that in FF (dunno about others), but I guess written-out URLs are a pain on phones and tablets.

A written out URL is hardly different than an HREF in terms of effort (it might even be more efficient): written out is slightly easier to see where it goes (no need to hover), HREF is slightly easier to click on. FWIW, I almost always open links in new tabs.

buwaya said...
Both have suffered from political persecution that has harmed them professionally.


The same day they hired him, the NYT said: "After reviewing the full body of Razib Khan's work, we are no longer comfortable using him as a regular, periodic contributor."

Rick said...

All of this is meaningless hysteria driven by people's unwillingness to believe reality. This isn't some deep subliminal mind control. It's a handful of talking point advertisements which don't have much impact on anyone.

Howard said...

The boss wants it HREF'ed. End of story. The girl cranks out shitloads of content every mutherfucking day and lets us say any manner of stupid and abuse to each other.

Quit your bitching and build a link.

Do Ya Get Me, Sweetheart

Howard said...

Ike said beware of the military industrial complex. Michael Savage said beware of the government media complex. It seems the government keeps complexing ligands of power. It's not deep, it's wide and everywhere like fungal mats.

Meade said...

"Update: Hillary Feeds Mark Zuckerberg To Snapping Turtle."

File under Fake News That's Too Good To Be Fake

buwaya said...

" It seems the government keeps complexing ligands of power. It's not deep, it's wide and everywhere like fungal mats."

It certainly is wide. You have quite a large government there. It takes up a lot of room.

Meade said...

"Justin Trudeau is not a hemophiliac."

Perhaps not, but he does have a very prestigious sounding lisp. Listen closely next time he says "Saint Lawrence Seaway" or better yet — "Pride goeth before a fall."

Fernandinande said...

buwaya said...
Razib Khan was at one time quite a libertarian and had issue with Moldbug. But age brings wisdom.


So now he's an atheist.

rhhardin said...

The boss wants it HREF'ed. End of story.

Preferences can change if you know how to use the explicit url, which you might not have known about before.

mikee said...

If you use Facebook, surely you understand that you are being used by it as well!

Jupiter said...

Much as it pains me to agree with Chuck on anything more substantive than the day of the week, the idea that it is difficult to copy and paste a link is, um, interesting. I do it all the time. Christ, I remember when I used to copy references manually from papers and take them down to the science library and wander through the stacks looking for the bound volumes of The Etruscan Journal Of Chemical Structure or whatever. Copy and paste is too hard? Hoo Noo?

As a person who has made his living programming computers for over 40 years, I think it is at least possible that I *could* learn how this particular piece of half-assed software, pasted together by whichever collection of SJW idiots using JavaScript or Angular or whatever, enables the embedding of links. This week. But I long ago stopped trying to master crumby software unless someone was paying me.

If Althouse really prefers a link, I guess I can learn.

Howard said...

jesus rh. everyone knows highlight link, right click open new tab. It's not like you let everyone in on the secret to the flux capacitor.

Howard said...

I see that Meade is on board with a href

Jupiter said...

How's this?

Hmmm, doesn't like https.

Harder than it looks.

Henry said...

A written out URL is hardly different than an HREF in terms of effort

"written out URL" makes me think

alpha lima tango hotel oscar uniform sierra echo dot bravo lima oscar golf sierra papa oscar tango dot charlie oscar mike.

Jupiter said...

And I'll stop using *this* for emphasis. OK?

Bob Boyd said...

Update:
Hillary Issues Apology, 'Understands How Some Things Misinterpreted'

Ann Althouse said...

Here's an expression that is absolutely meaningless in my world: "right-click."

Jupiter said...

What I have read, is that the dichotomy is between content consumers, who like small, easily portable devices on which to consume their content, and content creators, who like big honking devices with two or three screens and a nice big mouse that they can right-click with. Except I would have figured you for one of the latter. What are you using, some kind of Mac?

Darrell said...

Here's an expression that is absolutely meaningless in my world: "right-click."

Only because Apple is a Lefty company.

MayBee said...

Why do I think Facebook is taking all the heat to get the attention off Google? We know Google's founder had a project going with Hillary's campaign. And Google has everyone's emails!!

rhhardin said...

href links are nice in running text where they appear as normal words but blue so you can click if you want for further information.

The unhref written-out link is better in look at this link text because you can see what the link is, if the link isn't a google search result multiline gem. There's no advantage to blending it into the running text.

I don't understand if Althouse is saying that mac can't do the equivalent of firefox or not, select and open tab with no cutting or pasting. It seems like it's easy software to write, to recognize a string starting with http[s]:// and provide some way to open it. Maybe apple could put its engineers on it.

rhhardin said...

href links have a good probability of being bad links, owing to additional WYSIWYG editing necessary to create it. Leave off a quote and it's garbage.

MayBee said...

The idea that people will copy and paste that into a search bar themselves is nearly delusional.

You don't have to. You highlight it, keep two fingers on the trackpad and click the bottom (on a mac). It brings up an option to open in a new tab.

I kind of like it more than a formatted link, because you can see where it is going. Sometimes the hover feature doesn't work.

rhhardin said...

I'm running windows XP and it handles it fine. Old timey software.

rhhardin said...

See, this is a productive argument. Will Althouse change her mind or not with new information.

rhhardin said...

Nobody has mentioned what a great cat video that was.

Howard said...

Good cat video. A great cat video is where there are no survivors.

How do you run XP without it being dog-shit slow. Do you revert back to an older update?

rhhardin said...

XP is fine. Mostly I use it for hours-grinding math problems, where it simply runs at the speed of the hardware, and O/S hardly matters.

In fact it seems very snappy since the 5yo laptop I just put in replaced a 10yo machine with a quarter the ram size and half the processor speed.

Jupiter said...

rhhardin said...

"I don't understand if Althouse is saying that mac can't do the equivalent of firefox or not, select and open tab with no cutting or pasting."

Well, actually, it would be the browser, not the computer. Safari is the Apple browser, but you can run Chrome on a Mac, and probably Firefox and Opera and Brave as well. Maybe she doesn't have a mouse? Just one of those stupid touchpads? Even some touchpads have right and left click buttons. I have never been able to understand how anyone who actually works with a computer could prefer an Apple. Over-priced, over-designed, and underpowered. And almost impossible to modify. But you can stick a USB mouse on the stupid boat-anchor.

Jupiter said...

I happen to have one here on a desk, because someone is paying me to try to get it to work. What a useless POS. Steve Jobs was a bigger con man than Bernie Maddoff.

Jupiter said...

"XP is fine."

Well, except that more an more software doesn't run on XP. I figure when this box dies, I'll go full linux. Ubuntu and debian are nearly as hassle-free as Windows, without all the bullshit as Microsoft tries to morph into a FaceBook-Apple hybrid, so it can peddle your personal data while taking a cut from any software you buy.

Paco Wové said...

"Harder than it looks."

Your URL was mangled; it started with althouse.blogspot.com, and ended with a Wikipedia URI, with (illegal, I think) double-quotes thrown in. Not even sure what set of actions you took to create it. You might have been going for this, or maybe this.

tim in vermont said...

Perhaps not, but he does have a very prestigious sounding lisp.

You're just jealous because your wife has a crush on him.