I haven’t been writing much because it gets pretty dull to keep typing “Facebook and Fox are the devil and all else flows from that” and variants thereof. Still, there’s this:
Republican politicians and super PACs have been spreading disinformation in Facebook ads targeting Georgia voters in the critical final days of the Senate runoff campaign.
An ad from the Republican Party in late December falsely suggested that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is plotting to help Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris remove President-elect Joe Biden from office, twisting her remarks on another topic entirely.
Another ad from last month sponsored by the Senate Leadership Fund claims Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff is “threatening to defund the police,” even though Ossoff has repeatedly said he does not support such actions.
These are just a handful of examples of the nearly 100 Facebook ads related to the Georgia election that contain claims that have been debunked or labeled as distortions by major news organizations — including by some of Facebook’s fact-checking partners – that were flagged in preliminary research by left-leaning global human rights group Avaaz and shared with the Washington Post.
Facebook will probably be fine no matter who runs the Senate, because taking them on is a big deal, and it’s easy for them to pick off one Democrat in a 50/50 institution. But, they’re safer if Mitch McConnell is in charge, so Zuck’s sweaty little fingers are going to push down on the scale to make that happen.
Maybe if I see something compelling on the topic of my other hobby horse — that a political culture wired to convince through logical argument is pretty useless when roughly half of the electorate is immune to logic — I’ll post about that.
The important thing is that Zuck’s taxes remain low, as low as possible.
When will the vaccinations to protect against Foxitis be ready?
There seems to be some reporting that Trump might vanish on the 19th to Scotland. I wonder though if he decides to visit Moscow on the way to just say goodbye to Putin…???
Major Major Major Major
Facebook would be fine even with a Democratic supermajority. You would be lucky to get whatever a Dodd-Frank equivalent would be. Now, DF is a good law and important, but it hardly blew up investment banking.
Privacy legislation, I suspect, is where the fight will be.
You self-vaccinate by changing the channel or turning off the TV.
To the 19th hole of his golf course? How apt.
But Scotland might not let him in.
Can they put him up permanently in the Tower of London?
@Brachiator: something something banning forced cable channel bundling something something might work too. In general, (almost?) any bundling is anti-competitive and invites abuse.
Somehow – the details are left to the reader.
The Moar You Know
Half? Only half?
Please. Americans don’t do logic, and that’s about the only bipartisan tradition we have left.
I think Scotland is either a feint, or possibly for Melania or one of the idiot boys.
IANAL (usual proviso), but my take is that Facebook has been intentionally confusing the public and gullible Congresspeople by conflating what that goofy uncle posts himself, versus what Facebook does in channeling ads. Zuckerberg seems to intentionally confuse those issues when he talks about his supposed fear of stifling free speech. What he is really worried about is any regulation of the corporations commercial free speech. Commercial free speech is a thing, but not the same thing as the right of free speech for non-commercial purposes. I think the algorithms that reinforce demographic segments and amplify the social bubbles are mainly for ad placement and revenue maximization.
I don’t know if there is a tie-in to 230 or not.
As for the cable broadcasters, I see them as minions not the devil himself
edit: and this is anecdata, but the algorithms puzzle me. I’m simultaneously getting long ads that feature hot chicks giving tours of super luxe multi-million dollar estates all over the world for lease or purchase, ear-wax elixers, one weird tricks and hacks for the severely cash flow constrained, and mortgage refis for people with bad credit. I don’t know, maybe I inadvertently clicked something that ID’d me as a future Trump?
I wish there was something that can be done about the “immune to logic” problem.
We will join the Federation of Planets in 2161 with the Vulcans, so maybe that will help?
The Moar You Know
@Major Major Major Major: GDPR scared the shit out of the social media players. Ruins their revenue model, even though very few people are smart enough to use it to make sure their private data isn’t sold. Can’t have any exceptions, every cow must be milked, amirite?
They’re going to fight to have it overturned throughout the EU and make goddamn sure it never takes root anywhere else.
I have to believe ads of any type are exceedingly unlikely to change a voter’s stance on these run-offs. By now everyone knows the GOP will lie with impunity, so Indys arent moving over. Dems understand the need to own the Senate, and the base GOP cannot be swayed by ANYTHING negative about their candidate.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
If I’m reading this right, Lindsey Graham is the reason GA Repubs decided to record trump’s call
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Good job, Lindsey!
That should be a twitter hashtag – it will get the orange menace all hot and bothered.
listening to the follow up press conference debunking the disinformation one point at a time. very amusing.
Okay, Nicolle Wallace starting up on MSNBC. Let’s see some smiting!
@artem1s: Trump’s hate-rally tonight is going to be bad. After the last couple of days, he’s going to be interested in nothing except score-settling.
@artem1s: That’s not actually the secretary of state.
Going to the source instead of Facebook
Mai Naem mobile
The Biden people have hired Jessica Hertz as the Staff Secretary. Hertz I an Obama alum but between Obama and Biden she was FB’s regulatory affairs lawyer. Her husband is an attorneyat Oracle. So don’t hold your breath if you’re expecting Zuck’s interests or Oracle’s interests to be hurt by this WH. Oh, and don’t let the bland title ‘Staff Secretary’ fool you. Its a powerful gatekeeping of sorts position.
People are abandoning cable. This may soon become a non-issue.
ETA: I have never had cable service in my entire life. Broadcast, broadcast digital and now some streaming services.
Also, never watched TV much.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yes. That is precisely what the Georgia voting manager inferred.
@Brachiator: Scotland doesn’t have much say in that, immigration is run by London, and Boris will let in his buddy.
@dmsilev: he’s going to call for the arrest of the 2 gentlemen who refused to help him cheat. Perhaps 3, if he feels the need to include Kemp.
Meanwhile, Sen David Perdue R-Ga was outraged in the first place that Ga Secretary of State Raffensperger recorded the call with Trump, and second because the content thereof was leaked, unambiguously showing Trump attempting to strongarm Raffensperger into spinning up enough fictitious extra votes to overcome Biden’s 11.7k margin.
@Cheryl Rofer: Not surprising he’s a conservative.
He was basically begging Republicans to get out and “vote your values” and spent a lot of time batting down claims that votes would not count.
Aside from that, very straightforward press conference, if delivered in too rapid a clip. (It was like double speed, which is not great when discussing complicated things, although he was very plainspoken.)
At one point, he was reminding his audience that one spurious claim on hacking would have required a modem, but no modem.
Could these ads run on TV or radio?
A suggestion might be to not micro target political ads so everyone gets to see the lies, not just the people who want to believe them.
@Elizabelle: I think it’s hilarious that the Georgia Republicans have to clean up Trump’s messes. And he’s going to have a rally down there tonight.
Sounds like they know you jl.
@Cheryl Rofer: He also spent time encouraging people to vote tomorrow. In order to for republicans to win, they need a strong turnout tomorrow.
@Brachiator: If you locked up Trump in the Tower of London, it would make a nice tourist attraction
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: closest we’ve come to a presidential readout we’re ever going to get.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: My life has been brass rings just out of reach, not mirages disappearing over the horizon. I don’t know how to react.
One of them was a huge castle like thing in Italy, that was renovated while preserving and integrating picturesque old ruin features into absolutely fabulous spacious living and entertaining spaces. Reminded me of the setting of some Fellini movie I saw long ago.
@JPL: That came out so loud and clear.
“Republicans! Step away from Q Anon and Lin Wood! Get out there and “vote your values.”
@Raoul Paste: He might even agree to it if you offered to split the proceeds. That would be a win win for the world and for him but it would need to include an agreement to take away his mobile phone so he couldn’t post on Twitter.
Sounds like you just need to check the cushions on the couch and you can close on that.
@Calouste: Scotland is going on restricted lockdown until the end of the month because their COVID cases are rising quick. Why would he go to Scotland, with a ton of imposed restrictions, when he can go to Corona-Lago and be free to do anything he wants because Florida doesn’t give two shits?
“Vote your values” most sounds like a game on The Price Is Right.
@Leto: Maybe the city is serious about enforcing the 7 day limit on his stay there.
@Leto: A Diplomatic Passport (which he will have, even as a former President) let’s you flaunt local laws. And Boris is not going to declare him persona non grata, which is the only way to get rid of foreigners with diplomatic passports.
Of course, at one point he’s going to realize that the weather in Scotland is slightly different than in Florida.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: I was honestly considering one of those little Italian homes that were going on sale for $1 and required you to fix them up within 5 years. If I knew how to access the Italian medical system (for some of the supplies I need), I’d be there in a second. Maybe not a castle, but it’d still be pretty darn nice.
Worst remake of Catch Me If You Can ever.
@Calouste: true, but most of Scotland (UK as a whole) hates him. So why go there when his adoring fans are back in the States and he can do/say whatever he wants, have more rallies, do the Fox/OAN interviews he craves? I’m just saying there’s no upside to going to Scotland. Unless he plans to totally disappear from public life and be some type of shitbag recluse.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: that and the helipad. Setup a GoFundme for the city to bankroll that litigation. Or some Soros bucks :p
Cuz he’d have to do that from a state penitentiary. Even though he loves the color orange, he needs to meet his crowd.
Um, I’m good with that.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: THANK YOU FSM Sen. Graham actually did something useul.
Horror show. But yes thanking heaven they recorded that call.
@Leto: A UK judge just refused to extradite Julian Assange to the US on the grounds that America isn’t guaranteed not to torture him or let him commit suicide. Maybe Twitler wants the same, but I don’t think he could get the same deal.
@Mary G: WRT Assange: I am just as glad UK is keeping him for now. For all we know, Trump would pardon him.
Perhaps another extradition request can be issued in months to come, when we have saner federal leadership.
@cain: Yep, he’d be fairly safe from US lawsuits over there. He probably also believes he could get UK citizenship because his mother was Scottish.
It would be a flight from justice, nothing more.
@Leto: Yes we’re on super lockdown just now – but it means no protests if Cheeto Mussolini shows up here, but he’d feel deprived of the attention. But Prestwick is used to US gov’t links to other countries, and may be his jumping-off link to Moscow. So who knows – and at this point, who cares – he has made his government a laughing-stock. In the meantime, before Russia, he can go hang out with Boris Johnson, who has made HIS government a laughing stock. Fifteen more days, and Der Drumph is gone – and he can whine till then – his grift will never end, nor will his childrens’ …
@Cheryl Rofer: Yeah, but first he basically did a GOTV for republicans who are thinking of staying home. Terribly wrong to use this stage to encourage partisan voting
I was so pissed, I turned it off. He may be mad about Trump, but he is trying to make sure the republicans don’t stay home. No one should kid themselves thinking he is just up there trying to correct the record.
Pure partisan politics under the guise of “just the facts”.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Major Major Major Major
@The Moar You Know: GDPR and CCPA really aren’t good models. GDPR implements a lot of ceremony and red tape around a couple of sensible ideas, but then there’s the rest of it. CCPA was passed in a hurry, may be unconstitutional, and is far too vulnerable to a bad executive. They’re both too minimal and poorly implemented. A remarkable achievement.
(You’ll note that neither seems to have done anything to address your privacy concerns, but there sure are a lot of emails and popups!)
Fleeing to Scotland might not be quite the balm to his ego that he requires:
Trump’s Scottish golf courses post another year of losses.
@WaterGirl: I mentioned that to a friend who is retired from (Virginia) state government, and she said, yeah, but the guy’s job is to get as many Georgians as possible out to vote.
And: Democrats already take the election pretty seriously. He was basically pleading with the QAnon set.
The incompetence, it burns.
I thought it was Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger who was doing the GOTV pitch. Gabriel Sterling, the election supervisor, is the one who went on the rant.
@Major Major Major Major: So many sites demand email address and other info when you tell them not to sell your information, it seems like a scam.
@Mary G: That tweet has a Bloomberg link, and just took my last article for the time being.
Watch out for the paywall.
Not counting the calls to the office supply shop Total Georgia Secretary.
@Steeplejack: I never saw Raffensperger at all. Just Mr. Sterling.
Could have missed the actual GA SoS. Was watching C-Span online.
Why it’s almost like BoJo’s government is incompetent!??!
@Elizabelle: You should be able to get a fresh set of free articles by “clearing the cookies” for the site.
I think the goal is to make the process as cumbersome as possible so people won’t bother. Instead of being able to make your choices directly on the web site, you have to email them. This is one more reason opt-in should be the rule rather than opt-out: it encourages sites to make the process as painless as possible.
@Another Scott: Thank you!
I always worry it would take clearing all the cookies for all my surfing, and that would be a royal pain. Cookies just for that site: good. Will take a look.
@Another Scott: I think that worked! This time I got a warning rather than “no more articles.” Thank you!!
Just Some Fuckhead
The craziest thing about FB is it’s so easy to neuter. Congress just needs to mandate data exchange standards for social media. With one standard, any social media platform can communicate with any other platform. Voila, FB loses its exclusivity and ultimately, it’s power.
@Mary G: ” The White House switchboard had previously placed 18 calls to a phone line in the Georgia secretary of state’s office, but didn’t get through because an intern monitoring the line thought it was a prank. ”
Might be true, might be a very good story, with some pointed subtext. I can imagine a senior staffer who wanted to put things off as long as possible warning an intern about prank calls, scams, and phone phishing going on about fake calls from the WH.
@The Moar You Know:
The Europeans are not pushovers.
@Mai Naem mobile:
Probably worth spending some effort to (try to) get the Biden team to acknowledge this/have her recuse herself re matters involving social media.
@Another Scott: As far as I can tell, the directions for Safari would clear all your cookies, which is a gigantic pain in the butt.
Were the Brits to arrest fatso and imprison him in the Tower of London, he could claim they were treating him like royalty.
@WaterGirl: One does have to be careful, and it would be much better if things were easily more granular, but I was trying to point to a general site for the wide variety of browsers used here to point to what’s generally involved.
To clear a specific cookie for a specific site on a specific browser, one should search for that directly if there is any chance for confusion.
Fingers crossed that Elizabelle was able to do only what she needed!
J R in WV
@Mai Naem mobile:
So you are saying lawyers are beholding to their previous clients forever? Also that President elect Biden isn’t aware of the positions his Staff Secretary has held, as well as new Staff Secretary’s spouse? OR doesn’t care about those interests?
I’m not seeing the actual conflict here. Everyone has had jobs, clients, personal interests. I very much doubt that having made a fortune working for a company leads everyone to forever more desire to support that company’s lobbying interests either explicitly or implicitly.
I also doubt that the White House Staff Secretary will have that much influence on legislation originating in the House.
I propose we wait and see what happens. Facebook is not a friend of the Biden administration, and I suspect Biden is very aware of that, and is still willing to hire this person; I’m inclined to trust our newly elected president here. You seem excessively paranoid in this instance.
@Another Scott: I didn’t mean to be grouchy. I was just trying to point out that there is not always a granular option.
@Leto: Hmmm…where did you find out about *those*?
People who use Facebook are not the customers, they are the product. That is the baseline for analyzing anything FB does.