Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Face Place

I never got into Facebook and you think someone with no friends, ample spare time, massive opinions would be a perfect sucker for their data trolling, false news making, game playing (and by that I mean the Executive staff) site that wants to connect the world.  I can do that by going to Disneyland and riding its a Small World and have just as much fun in the hall of Presidents and seeing the robot dummy of Trump who is likely less stiff fake and dumb as the real one.

I am private, very obsessively private.  It took me a long time to realize people don't give a shit, or I always knew so I finally cultivated a private face and a public face.  At home I can say and do what I want and no one can hear me and from that I can allow myself anger, tears and laughter without the bullshit that comes from trying to please everyone everywhere all the time.  And maybe that is what Facebook is - the private side of people who they can unleash, reveal or expose for all the world to see - clearly that is working out well as outing people now is far more fun than the old school type about exposing peoples private sexual identity.  Besides isn't that what Wikileaks was for?  Remember when they were beloved too?  Ah times change, people however don't.

I blog under a pseudonym and at one point had to change the blog address/name as a former Attorney, that would be number two for those keeping track, who read my blog and my insults and comments about him and the justice system when I was going through perhaps the worst stage of my life and I used the blog as an outlet for my private thoughts.   He then confronted my third Attorney whom I call Opie the parent caretaker of the current in now out of rehab for being insane who never read the blog nor cared about any one's thoughts let alone mine.  So when Opie herd of it he refused to read the blog but warned me and in turn I immediately changed the name and have moved on.  If one thing I know about Kevin and Ted they redefine narcissists times ten and Ted's meltdown on Facebook is the only thing I think is hilarious to follow, along with the Wow Air complaint site which is folding its tent as Wow Air is soon folding its tent, so see it works!  By it I mean venting as eventually it catches up to the source.  But I have seen repeatedly the stories the endless tormenting of individuals who express their opinion regardless of the issue of free speech despite the content of said speech. Again you cannot please all of the people all of the time.  So when your colleagues Facebook page has pics of his recent camping adventure with White Nationalists rather than tell your boss, tell him and let him know that you find his hobbies repugnant and you will only work with him as you must but keep it professional.   Again people have to make a living, even assholes and as long as they are not burning Tiki torches at work you are good to go just don't eat anything they bring to the company potluck.

I am not sure we understand the lines and today we seem to need to blur them and be friends with our co workers and hence Tech does that better than anyone with their campuses and games and food with endless perks and strategies to both seclude you under some guise of preventing intellectual property theft and in turn work 22 hours a day.   Again the reality that people do need down time and a life outside of work.  But now with social media fuck that shit you literally can film yourself taking a shit and upload it to let everyone see it.   Sounds great!

The revelations about Facebook in The New York Times about how they worked to cover up their nasty deeds including hiring the equivalent of what Harvey Firestein did to silence his accusers should not be surprising. They move fast and break things and by things your kneecaps.  The reality that the modern version of Feminist who took no interest in the Women's March and her entire career has been reliant if not dependent upon men who not only share her skin color but her religion makes it even more repugnant give Facebook's issues with both.

This article in The Washington Post discusses how black employees were marginalized again is not surprising.   This is the business that uses and exploits Asian individuals through H1B1 Visas and have compounds in which they live to shield them from the great unwashed and surround themselves with a coterie of like minds who do not offer conflict or even a difference of an opinion. Much like the current residence of the White House.   Remember when Steve Jobs would change license plates on his car and drive like a psycho through the Valley?  Nah me either he is a hero, dead but a hero.

There is a high tolerance for weirdness in the Valley and when you are rich you are pretty much given a free pass for everything.  Ask Trump about his remark murdering people and given his admiration for strong arm leaders like Putin I am sure its only a matter of time....

I laugh now at the movie about Facebook that everyone said was a falsehood, like the news on Facebook only with better looking people. And remember Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In? Well she meant lean in like the Godfather to issue a warning. Poor Fredo.

So when you sign on post pics, reveal some bullshit about what you do or who you are doing it with remember no one actually gives a fuck but the Facebook people do as they see you as dollar signs and like the Mafia, no one ever really leaves.

Do You Have a Moral Duty to Leave Facebook?

The platform has been used to disrupt elections, disseminate propaganda and promote hate. Regular users should ask if they are implicated in these failings.

By S. Matthew Liao
The New York Times|Opinon
Nov. 24, 2018

I joined Facebook in 2008, and for the most part, I have benefited from being on it. Lately, however, I have wondered whether I should delete my Facebook account. As a philosopher with a special interest in ethics, I am using “should” in the moral sense. That is, in light of recent events implicating Facebook in objectionable behavior, is there a duty to leave it?

In moral philosophy, it is common to draw a distinction between duties to oneself and duties to others. From a self-regarding perspective, there are numerous reasons one might have a duty to leave Facebook. For one thing, Facebook can be time-consuming and addictive, to no fruitful end. In addition, as researchers have demonstrated, Facebook use can worsen depression and anxiety. Someone who finds himself mindlessly and compulsively scrolling through Facebook, or who is constantly comparing himself unfavorably with his Facebook friends, might therefore have a duty of self-care to get off Facebook.

From the perspective of one’s duties to others, the possibility of a duty to leave Facebook arises once one recognizes that Facebook has played a significant role in undermining democratic values around the world. For example, Facebook has been used to spread white supremacist propaganda and anti-Semitic messages in and outside the United States. The United Nations has blamed Facebook for the dissemination of hate speech against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar that resulted in their ethnic cleansing.

Facebook also enabled the political data firm Cambridge Analytica to harvest the personal information of millions of voters in the United States so they could be targeted with personalized political advertisements. A significant amount of fake news can be found on Facebook, and for many users, Facebook has become a large echo chamber, where people merely seek out information that reinforces their views.

Some people might think that because they mostly share photos of their cats on Facebook, such concerns do not apply to them. But this is not so, for three reasons. First, even if one does not contribute directly to the dissemination of fake news or hang out in echo chambers, simply being on Facebook encourages one’s friends to stay on Facebook, and some of those friends might engage in such activities. This influence on others is known as a (positive) network effect, where increased numbers of people improve the value of a product.

Second, by being on Facebook one serves as a data point for Facebook’s social media experiment, even if one encounters none of Facebook’s experimental manipulations. In doing so, one could be helping Facebook to refine its algorithms so that it can better single out specific individuals for certain purposes, some of which could be as nefarious as those of Cambridge Analytica.

Consider an analogy. When testing the safety and efficacy of new drugs, subjects are randomly assigned either to an experimental group or a control group, and only subjects in the experimental group receive the new drug. Nevertheless, the subjects in the control group are essential to the experiment.

Third, using Facebook is not just an individual action but also a collective one that may be akin to failing to pay taxes. A few people failing to pay taxes might not make much of a difference to a government’s budget, but such an action may nevertheless be wrong because it is a failure to participate in a collective action that achieves a certain good end. In a similar vein, choosing to remain on Facebook might not directly undermine democratic values. But such an action could also be wrong because we might be failing to participate in a collective action (that is, leaving Facebook) that would prevent the deterioration of democracy.

So do we have an obligation to leave Facebook for others’ sake? The answer is a resounding yes for those who are intentionally spreading hate speech and fake news on Facebook. For those of us who do not engage in such objectionable behavior, it is helpful to consider whether Facebook has crossed certain moral “red lines,” entering the realm of outright wickedness.

For me at least, Facebook would have crossed a moral red line if it had, for example, intentionally sold the data of its users to Cambridge Analytica with the full knowledge that company would use the data subversively to influence a democratic election. Likewise, Facebook would have crossed a red line if it had intentionally assisted in the dissemination of hate speech in Myanmar. But the evidence indicates that Facebook did not intend for those things to occur on its platform.

The fact that those things did occur, however, means that Facebook needs to be much more proactive in fixing such problems. Will it? The recent worrisome revelation that Facebook hired an opposition-research firm that attempted to discredit protesters by claiming that they were agents of the financier George Soros is not encouraging. While there still appears to be some daylight between Facebook and what is being done on its platform or in its name, darkness is crowding in.

That said, we should not place the responsibility to uphold democratic values entirely on Facebook. As moral agents, we should also hold ourselves responsible for our conduct, and we should be reflective about what we say, react to and share when we are on social media. Among Twitter users, a common refrain is “retweets are not endorsements.” In a similar manner, one might also think that “sharing” or “reacting to” are not “endorsements.” This is a mistake. By sharing or reacting to a post, even if one explicitly criticizes the post, one is amplifying the message of that post and signaling that the post warrants further attention.

For now I’m going to stay on Facebook. But if new information suggests that Facebook has crossed a moral red line, we will all have an obligation to opt out.

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