Memo to New York Times: Who shilled for war more than you? Weapons of Mass Destruction? That was YOU. Enough about Facebook, you jealous tyrants.

The Gray Lady’s anti-Facebook temper tantrum continues, with this propaganda fear-mongering:

Where Countries Are
Tinderboxes and
Facebook Is a Match

False rumors set Buddhist against Muslim in Sri Lanka, the
most recent in a global spate of violence fanned by social media.

The New York Times should have just gotten Judith Miller to write that diatribe with the headline, “Facebook: The Real Weapon of Mass Destruction.”

Who sparked more wars than the press by just cribbing from press releases, and with rumours, bad and skewed information, and flat-out lies? The first Gulf War sparked when the babies and incubators hoax was reported as true. How about the fun and games Ruder Finn had spreading brazen illogical lunacy during the Civil War in the former Yugoslavia that the New York Times swallowed and regurgitated?

There should have been many New York Times’ reporters sitting in The Hague for the bloodshed they enabled and outright caused. Do not think that everyone has forgotten.

Let us not pretend we never had such a thing as tensions, clashes, and war — and that happened before the invention of the wheel and discovery of fire.

Gray Lady, stop blaming Facebook, and trying to use this as a way manipulative way to try to get back the power you squandered peddling lies.

Because you do not have the actual intelligence to fool all of the people all of the time…

 

The sheltered relics of 60 Minutes: Fear-mongering, free PR for the Ivy League, and general non-newsiness.

60 Minutes really is a shadow of its once towering self. Watching tonight’s offerings reminded me just how away from news that newsmagazine has gotten.

The first segment “The Data Miner” was just cheap no-brainer pot shots at Facebook, with the standard journalistic fear-mongering. Lesley Stahl came off as some helmet-haired church lady in it, practically putting words in interviewee’s mouths with all sorts of admonishments usually reserved for your grandparents finding out your new squeeze came to the family picnic with alcohol on his breath.

The worst of the segment was pretending that the lack of privacy was unknown: if you use any app on Facebook, it usually asks permission to access your friends’ list, for instance. If developers and advertisers know it going in, and the app’s connecting splash page asks, I am not sure where the secret part comes in.

And as one of those people who does scan the terms of service, this isn’t shocking.

Someone should have given Stahl the memo that the term “Big Data” comes from the mining of mass information and then selling it to various third parties. No babes in the woods, folks.

But apparently journalists were too busy drooling over Kardashians and coming up with cutesy portmanteau’s for celebrity couples to know what was happening in reality.

In any case, the propaganda here was kind of rickety.

The second piece from Scott Pelley is pure advertorial for MIT’s “media lab”, that is really out of touch. First, the awing over the touchscreen computer screens in the 1980s isn’t really all that impressive — Disney World had them back in the day and I should know considering I used to use them to make dinner reservations at the Magic Kingdom.

But the true hilarity is the drooling over computer uses in academia, while completely forgetting that Facebook began at an Ivy League university. If you are going to make a case for people to be impressed with the goings on in Ivory Towers, then don’t bring up Facebook, and if you are going to make the case that Facebook is sinister, then don’t go cheerleading at the same kind of environment that fostered it in the first place. Make up your mind.

In any case, 60 Minutes proves that journalists truly do not understand this whole Internet thing.

The Pelley segment was truly obnoxious — absolutely no critical questions or wondering about the ethics of any of it: it was just a bunch of goll-ee! remarks while giving a free platform to MIT. Science and technology reporting is notoriously just a giant ad for the industry, and 60 Minutes may very well be the worst offenders.

The third segment was the only one with any value, and that it was done by a doctor who has an understanding of empirical methods explains it. Watching the decade-long decline of a woman with Alzheimer’s Disease was truly a heart-wrenching, but informative human interest piece of the consequences of a husband who eventually could no longer look after his wife. The traumas are real and permanent.

The only segment that had worth was the one that neither tried to put a sunny spin on things, nor tried to fear-monger, but one out of three is a very poor average…

 

Wow, I must be really interesting…

Again?

Gee, my LinkedIn page must be so exciting, Homeland Security hungered for more, and moseyed on over to my Facebook page.

Screen Shot 2018-04-19 at 5.42.38 PM

Unlike the others in my privacy settings, I didn’t visit or like their web site or any pages, nor shared my email address with them.

And no, I never received any “advertising” from them on my feed. I don’t look at their stuff at all, anywhere. It doesn’t even look real, more like something from a t-shirt.

What did they learn from my Facebook page? I adore my cat Magnus, I drink a lot of coffee, love eating at small restaurants with quirky names, write books, teach art, listen to the Hives, love Niagara Falls, and Ted Kord the Blue Beetle is my all-time absolute favourite superhero.

The Hives and the Blue Beetle aren’t on my LinkedIn page, and neither are my dining practices. So there is another piece of the puzzle I am certain the entire universe — including deities, should they exist — already knew about that for, like, years. Somehow, for whatever reason, someone on the Internet who isn’t Alexandra Kitty has decreed Blue Beetle’s “birthday” as “May 10” — which happens to be my birthday.

I mean, come on: Alexandra Kitty is an open comic book…

 

The Nation’s delusions continue, sadly. Children, you are the Establishment who was broken, not the Resisters. Now, Kindly get over yourselves.

The Nation is at it again.

220px-The_Nation_magazine_cover_May_3_2010

The limousine liberals who pretend to be some resistance fighters.

No, you’re not. Your are Establishment journalists shilling for the well-heeled Left.

And now that social media has co-opt them and broke their monopoly, they cannot decree to the little people what to think.

So after a little scheming and pouting, they are trying to convince said little people to abandon their freedoms and go back to the model of journalism that gives control to the privileged few with this ridiculous headline:

Break Facebook’s Power and Renew Journalism

We must take the Internet back from monopolies.

Who is this “we”?

You, you mean.

Break Facebook’s power and come crawling back to you?

Nice try.

If people don’t like Facebook, they have Twitter, WordPress, Tumblr, YouTube, LinkedIn, Ello, and a host of other places where they can speak and broadcast themselves.

People have many places. They are not stuck with just Facebook.

They do not need legacy journalism because people had no control.

And your solution? For people to give up their voices and then go back to the horse and buggy?

Journalism was always a flawed discipline that got corrupted beyond saving.

So let’s try this again — only without your self-serving manipulation:

Keep Facebook, make more demands of it, and let’s start a truly viable and wonderful new alternative to journalism, and leave the relics at the Nation to stew in their selfish rot.

Now, there’s a solution,

And a far better one than what those dead dinosaurs in that extinct profession can ever offer the world…

 

Journalism’s looking for free labour continues — Big Brother style.

I love this headline for this article from the CBC:

Help CBC News investigate political ads on Facebook

How much are you paying for people doing your work for you? Oh, that’s right, nothing.

ProPublica is behind this one, and has a similar headline to a similar article:

Help Us Monitor Political Ads Online

ProPublica launches a “PAC” to scrutinize campaign ads on Facebook.

What this extension is a way for media companies to monitor your online habits, without having to pay people a dime. How noble of you to exploit people’s fears and labour as you get to look at what people are looking at so you can tailor-make propaganda in the name of being “journalists.”

Nice try.

Remember — ProPublica was founded by Democrat billionaires.

They aren’t that rich for nothing, kids.

The New York Times pulled the same stunt during the 2016 president election — and Trump still won despite the Big Brother monitoring of the partisan flock.

This is the sort of thing journalists howl at when other people do it — but then they just do the same thing.

If they want to do some market research — then they can pay for it like everyone else…

Memo to the Toronto Star: What is this “we” in “If we can’t fix Facebook”? You couldn’t even fix your own woes.

Mark Zuckerberg’s waste-of-life testimony in front of the Establishment was just one of those silly acts of sanctioned insanity we do to make us feel as if something is being done. He did not have to take an oath. Most of those politicians mugging for the camera have no idea how this whole Internet thing works, and if they had real questions that required hard data, they could have merely subpoenaed them.

Like so much journalists cover, it is mere theatre to placate the middle class, nothing more.

This little production number wasn’t actual news, and hence, should have been skipped entirely.

But reporters made it sound oh so important.

How silly.

The Toronto Star decided to sound all huffy and serious about a canned event, making it sound very scary:

They could’ve ended it there and gone off to draft legislation. That’s all anyone really needs to know. The guy who invented Facebook was not safe from Facebook.

If he is cavalier with his personal information, that should be a big clue how worthless personal data actually is. But the headline was a tizzy, wondering about this “We” will be “fixing Facebook.”

Who is this “we”? Facebook is a publicly traded company, there is no “we”.

Users cannot fix it, and neither can journalists, who managed to mess up their own profession beyond repair, and now you are referring to some nebulous we? Are you serious?

But the journalistic jealousy translate into a lot of melodramatic propaganda:

In the end, to watch Zuckerberg testify for two days was to worry about how America will cope with the future. This was a 21st-century tech giant facing 20th-century oversight. If lawmakers don’t know what to make of Facebook 14 years after it was invented, how will they deal with the social-tech issues of tomorrow?

How will they legislate space travel or artificial intelligence? What will the government do when private companies have the ability to read minds and robots are demanding voting rights? How will the government become proactive when it’s now struggling to be reactive, when it can barely get anything done with an atmosphere of partisan rancour?

You can’t serve citizens if you’re too busy bickering with one another.

And you can’t fix something if you don’t know how it’s broken.

If lawmakers are clueless, then that is a big clue that they are antiquated to reality, and perhaps it is about time we question whether or not their meddling would do any good.

Why is every solution somehow involve an authority figure making decrees and nannying the populace?

Can we perhaps expand our repertoire to involve doing something real, and not some meaningless and ineffective slacktivist symbolism that is meant to morally masturbate in public just to get a little fleeting attention?

But what fear-mongering from people who also don’t know how it is broken and have yet to fix their own messes.

It seems the robber barons of Big Tech are going down the exact same route, arrogantly assuming their medium will give them power just because they are superior and special.

No AI or mind-reading technology will prevent them from destruction.

They are playing by the journalist’s own handbook — and those once all-mighty twits were powerful.

And now they are inert, despite all of the tools and rigs they had.

So there is no worrying about Facebook.

They have merely managed to devalue personal information to the point of becoming dirt cheap.

There are real things to worry about and need our fixing — but this little game isn’t one of them…

Sheltered little boy in the principal’s office: Why Facebook is truly under threat.

Mark Zuckerberg isn’t handling the hot seat very well. He looks like a sheltered little boy who got away with all sorts of naughtiness, but he thought he was cunning and special, and didn’t realize he could get in trouble when his antics were inconvenient — and now he is being blamed by the government and media for allowing anarchy to flourish, threatening the old world order.

The story hinges on a confirmation bias: it’s perfectly all right for the old guard to spy on people to maintain control, but heaven help them if anyone else does the same thing. The threat of Mueller is a real knee-slapper, too.

Facebook has something in common with journalism: both their power hinged on public goodwill. Journalists have pounced on Facebook in a jealous rage, not realizing they are going to be discarded once Facebook has been chastened. Had Zuckerberg had the courage, he could have owned today: sharing all sorts of juicy information Facebook knew about various members of the government, but didn’t use.

If Facebook collects information on everyone, then it all cancels itself out, but WikiLeaks they are not. He should have challenged the narrative, and shrugged it off. If he was someone who was not going to be bullied so easily, this non-scandal would have been cut off at the knees, but as he is sheltered, this sucker punch made him boyish and silly, and now the vultures will not stop until they destroy him.

He may be the founder of Facebook, but he seems clueless to the mindset social media created.

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As I said, he could have owned today if he didn’t make apologies for that new mindset. He doesn’t have an actual feel for that new world — and he is hopelessly stuck in that same intellectual void that legacy media has made its permanent resting place.

The attitude isn’t Oh no! I got in trouble! It’s yeah, the gate-keepers have to give that same power to the rest of the planet, and what’s it to you? that pulls you out of hell.

He should have been offensive and unrepentant, and a guardian of the new world. He should have questioned the narrative and the motives for pushing it. He should have made all that gathered data free for everyone to have it.

That’s all it would have taken. He should have WikiLeaked his own company. Every politician’s online habits should have been put out there for the world to see. Which politician is playing Candy Crush at taxpayers’ expense? Who is sexting behind their spouse’s back? Who is taking payola and graft from lobbyists?

But that takes courage and conviction. Julian Assange he is not. He is retreating, and there will be real repercussions, and for those warlords doing the attacking, will be very surprised when their scheming doesn’t go as planned.

As I keep saying about the traditionalists, you cannot go back and you cannot go home again. That house has been destroyed, and the global mindset is now too emboldened to be talked into going back into those dark little cages.

But Zuckerberg has hastened that anarchy with his sheepishness far more than anyone actually realizes…

Why Facebook stinks at this whole journalism thing — and why journalism stinks at this whole Internet thing.

Someone was kind enough to bring this article to my attention:

FACEBOOK AND THE DMZ ANNOUNCE WINNERS OF DIGITAL NEWS INNOVATION CHALLENGE

This sounds so important and innovative, but the list of winners blares that Facebook has no idea what journalism should be…but also that journalism still does not get what this whole Internet thing is all about.

In other words, journalism is still dead.

And money is being thrown into refurbished coffins.

Digital is not the future. It is the present, and the present is transitory.

So what does the shamed Facebook think is the future of journalism?

Trebble thinks trinkets like Amazone Echo will be broadcast centres. With privacy issues becoming a concern, it would be far better to create a new technology rather than rely on something that will be passé in a couple of years — nor does this address the flawed structure of journalism.

Ground is the real knee-slapper — promising  “to deliver verified, unbiased, full-coverage news combining social media, reporting from news publishers, and verification from citizen journalists.”

If you honestly think that, you have no idea what “verified” or “unbiased” means. Citizen journalism makes the same mistakes as legacy journalism, except more of it more often. There is no system addressing the empirical deficits that brought down a profession.

The Gist is soft news revolving on women’s sports. Not news. Not journalism. It is like entertainment journalism — hero worship with a change in casting. Who wins gold at the Olympics is not going to give you a clue about anything that actually matters.

Readefined is the Big Brother journalists tell you Facebook is. You can stalk your audiences with it. Ironically, when communications had none of these stats, they had audiences and large ones. Now that you can spy on your audiences without their consent and you are free to do with that information whatever you wish — including selling it to the Russians, Trump, Facebook, and Farrell’s ice cream, those audiences are eroding at an increasingly rapid rate. The irony is really too much.

The Sprawl is the most clueless knuckleheads on the Facebook welfare line: Pop up journalism — as if journalism wasn’t always a pop-up thing. Children, you do realize journalists had to schlep to the places where trouble was going down, such as war zones and riots, right? “Pop Up” is the equivalent of “Secondary Economy”: people in the latter group were always going to the pawn shop and selling their crap on garage sales and classified pages, but they weren’t trying to use soon-to-be-dated terms to define it because the bottom line was they were in trouble, and they’d be better off trying to fix the problem then spin the problem into a solution.

Journalism and social media proved to be incompatible concepts. Dictatorship and anarchy. It is not as if we cannot have fact-gatherers; the problem is you have two clashing mindsets trying to wrest control — and neither one is fertile ground for what society actually needs. Journalism lost its way, but social media liberated opinion without bothering itself to understand facts.

And you need respect for facts in order to report them. You are not going to find the solution to the journalism problem here. Not that it cannot be done, but it must be done outside a medium first…

Toronto Star’s sore loser propaganda scare-fest continues.

Toronto Star is at it again. It is no longer a media outlet, but a shrill propaganda tool used to frighten the masses into reading them again.

It has become very pathetic.

They remind me of Claude Robichaux from the novel A Confederacy of Dunces — the little old man who thought all the troubles in the world came from “the communists.” He had a one-track brain cell and anyone he didn’t like had to be from that scary group.

The Star’s latest hatchet piece comes with the usual arrogant self-entitlement that seems to be a staple at this newspaper. How dare the Canadian government support Facebook and other Big Tech giants when they are all evil?

Remember, this is the same newspaper that used its pages to actively and openly lobby that same government to give them free money to keep their dysfunctional industry going.

The column is obnoxious on multiple levels, but the highlights of obliviousness are here:

Facebook, Google and others are conducting citizen surveillance far more than the Soviet KGB or East German Stasi ever did during the Communist era.

No, they’re not. The Stasi had relatives spy on their families. They infiltrated homes, with agents marrying their targets and reproducing with them. If you don’t share personal data with Facebook or choose to be a luddite, there is no problem. You cannot compare the two. The Stasi scarred people for life. It is insulting and ludicrous.

They have amassed fortunes selling the treasure trove of your and my data, without our permission and without ever compensating us a penny.

As has everyone else over the decades. Those ballots you fill out to win junk did that long before social media ever did. Murdered Canadian billionaire Barry Sherman hired detectives to go through the garbage of rivals. Besides, Facebook data fetches very little on the Dark Web because your information has been culled from everywhere else — and the fact that personal information is dirt cheap should tell you that your vitals aren’t all that valuable.

They are bleeding mainstream media by stealing news content paid for by someone else and vacuuming up an estimated 75 per cent of digital revenues in Canada that total about $5 billion a year.

Now, this is an epic knee-slapper. Facebook is not bleeding mainstream media. They are not “stealing content.” Journalists cribbed from press releases for decades; so let’s not pretend this is an actual thing. They are not reprinting books online for free. They are providing links to articles that were free to begin with; so the logic of this eludes common sense. Scraping information is also a common practice in journalism — taking information from other outlets and then reporting on it.

Besides, information is gathered. It is not created in a laboratory in some newsroom. Get a grip.

Facebook, YouTube, Reddit and others have allowed their platforms to be hijacked by the likes of Daesh and also western hate-mongers — right-wingers, racists, white supremacists, xenophobes, homophobes, misogynists, anti-Semites and Islamophobes.

Yeah, as if the Toronto Star wasn’t hijacked by extremists who paid PR firms to shill their wars and terrorism over the years. Nice try. This is also the same newspaper that told young women not to use a life-saving vaccine because they said it was potentially fatal — and when medical experts became alarmed and pointed out the errors, the Star insulted them and spun a narrative to discredit them.

Had journalism kept up with the times, none of this would be an actual issue. They lost advertising revenue because they stuck with their outmoded vehicle while social media presented advertisers with something superior. Journalists were gate-keepers, and their power came from playing favourites. Once people had a superior mode of broadcasting without having to deal with the old guard, they ditched them.

Journalism kept up with radio. It kept up with television, but then it got lazy, and when the Internet came along, they thought it was all a passing fad and people would eventually come back to the old way of having no control over their news and voice.

The signs that Google and Facebook were going to change everything were there. I had written about those changes way back in the late 1990s, long before Facebook or Twitter were even a thing, but Google came in 1998, and I could see the possibilities very clearly. I tried pitching stories about how the landscape was going to undergo a revolution, but people in the profession flat-out ignored me.

Now, it’s a little too late to be using propaganda to try to get your old power back. That ship has sailed, and you have a vested interest in smearing Big Tech. You are not a disinterested or objective party.

You are loser of a contest that you thought you’d win by default. You lost. You deserved to lose. You earned your defeat and richly so.

But as I have said before, the Fourth Medium is a transitory one, and there will be a fifth one to supplant it, but we aren’t going backwards in time because the old way of journalism proved deficient.

But that doesn’t mean we cannot replace journalism with a superior model…