Donald Trump

The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica 'Scandal' Is a Nothingburger

Guess what, you don't have to be on Facebook.

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What the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal lacks in relevance it sure makes up for in melodramatic rhetoric. Take Bloomberg, for instance, which reported, "The revelations of the apparent skulduggery that helped Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election keep sending shock waves across the political landscape." Well, it's partially true. Everyone is talking about it. The story has consumed most of the mainstream media.

The theory goes something like this: Facebook obtained information on users who took a personality quiz with their online friends. Another outlet, the advertising firm Cambridge Analytica, harvested that information, brainwashed a bunch of rubes and then yada, yada, yada…Russia! Former Cambridge Analytica contractor Christopher Wylie told CNN that while at the company, he helped build a "psychological warfare weapon" to "exploit mental vulnerabilities that our algorithms showed that (Facebook users) had." So, in other words, he worked in the advertising business.

Those who have covered politics for more than a single Trump cycle should know better than to use this kind of unnerving rhetoric for what amounts to nothing more than average microtargeting, which has been used by hundreds, if not thousands, of firms. Yet now, when it serves to bolster convoluted theories about an election having been overthrown, terms like "psychographics" and "breach" are being thrown around to make it sound like someone hacked into voter rolls after boring into the deepest recesses of our collective soul.

Here's a thought: If you're uncomfortable with data mining and your information being shared, don't take surveys. Because, guess what, you don't have to be on Facebook. You don't have to use Twitter. You don't have a constitutional right to play FarmVille without answering a survey. You don't get free stuff. The very existence of social media and tech companies is predicated on mining data so that they, or third parties, can sell you things. That has always been the deal.

Cambridge Analytica is a shady company owned by the British firm SCL Group—and, reportedly, in part by the right-wing-funding Mercer family—which claimed it could build models that identify persuadable voters by using six key personality types. Now it looks like Cambridge Analytica kept data it shouldn't have. Yet the effectiveness of Cambridge Analytica's targeting was as questionable as its business practices. As others have pointed out, most Republicans used the firm to open to door to the Mercers' checkbook.

By constantly using the word "breach," reporters are trying to insinuate that someone stole voter data that typically was off-limits. Cambridge Analytica was allowed to pull that profile data. Facebook only changed its policy in early 2015. But before the general election, the Trump campaign dropped Cambridge Analytica for the Republican National Committee data, reportedly never using the any of the "psychographic" information. According to CBS News, in September 2016, it had "tested the RNC data, and it proved to be vastly more accurate."

Even if the campaign hadn't, however, its efforts would have been akin to those being heralded as revolutionary when serving the interests of Democrats. In fact, Facebook allowed the Obama campaign to harvest data in the same way that is now generating headlines and handwringing. Do you remember any outrage and trepidation over the privacy and manipulation of your thoughts in 2012? The only consistent position the left seems to take these days is that the mechanisms it uses to keep power automatically transform into something nefarious and undemocratic when the opposition uses them. If anything, there should be concerned about the ideological double standards of yet another tech giant.

Most of all, so what if voters were being "targeted"? Part of living in a free society means being bombarded by messages we don't like. The entire Facebook-Russiabots scare is predicated on the notion that people don't have free will. It's only once we start micromanaging the information Americans consume that we begin undermining choices. Of course, people shouldn't get their news from Facebook. And a reliable Fourth Estate that reports without bias to help Americans navigate through this messy contemporary digital life would be helpful. But the Cambridge Analytica story is just another example of how it fails.

NEXT: Movie Reviews: Isle of Dogs and Pacific Rim: Uprising

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  1. Yet again, Harsanyi screeches FAKE NEWS — on another topic he seems clueless about — to comfort the equally clueless Fox/Breitbart/WND/Infowars goobers that Reason now must suck up to — because they drove away libertarians when Nick sold out to Ron Paul … as Reasons web traffic continues its steady collapse.

    (Sadly says this from-the-beginning Reason reader, adding an all-too-rare libertarian perspective)

    1. In fact, Facebook allowed the Obama campaign to harvest data in the same way that is now generating headlines and handwringing. Do you remember any outrage and trepidation over the privacy and manipulation of your thoughts in 2012?

      No, you pathetic misfuck — because the APP was CALLED Obama For America — NAMED a political app — NOT MASQUERADING AS A SURVEY,

      Even Fox News says you’re full of shit
      Romney had an identical CAMPAIGN app — also not misrepresented as a survey.

      (Now the Trumptard raging hatred)

      1. And Politifact says you’re full of shit.

        BUT IT’S ALL A CONSPIRACY BY GEORGE SOROS AND THE DEEP STATE!
        (smirk)

        1. Politifact actually spends 5 paragraphs dissembling desperately trying to make false distinctions before concluding it’s “half true”. Learn to read you stupid old piece of shit.

          BUT IT’S ALL A CONSPIRACY BY THE RUSSIANS AND TRUMP!

          1. And Politifact says you too are full of shit.

            BUT IT’S ALL A CONSPIRACY BY GEORGE SOROS AND THE DEEP STATE!
            (smirk)

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              http://www.richdeck.com

          2. concluding it’s “half true”.

            Not the part I quoted here. (snort)

            Learn to read you stupid old piece of shit.

            Umm, READ what I replied to here.
            What did Fox News say?

      2. This is how stupid you are. The Obama app did not just extract the users who opted in but also all the friends on users app. At roughly 130 people per friends list, the vast majority of the data collected did not opt into the Obama campaign data collection. Likewise the Obama app did not tell isers they would be collecting the data.

        How uninformed do you choose to be?

        1. “How uninformed do you choose to be?”

          It’s Hihn, he’s intentionally stupid in ways that allow him to ignore inconvenient facts.

          1. It’s Hihn, he’s intentionally stupid in ways that allow him to ignore inconvenient facts.

            I jammed the facts down HIS throat here
            And yours now,

            Mine with links to the facts! (SWEET)

            As Trump’s base reveals itself, remember, these are the ONLY folks Trump seeks to please.
            Young punks who never saw the Goldwater/Reagan/Buckley/Kemp GOP
            Today, the GOP’s libertarian wing is as dead as the libertarian wing of libertarianism.
            The quest for power corrupts.
            And Left – Right = Zero

        2. This is how stupid you are.

          What did I link to? (smirk)

          The Obama app did not just extract the users who opted in but also all the friends on users app.

          Yep. That’s what I linked to. WHICH I LINK TO BELOW AND EXPOSE YOU AS A PSYCHO.

          How uninformed do you choose to be?

          Was it a known campaign app, or a phony fucking quiz? Read it again. (sneer)

          The Obama campaign created a Facebook app for supporters to donate, learn of voting requirements, and find nearby houses to canvass. The app asked users’ permission to scan their photos, friends lists, and news feeds. Most users complied.

          The people signing up knew the data they were handing over would be used to support a political campaign. Their friends, however, did not.

          The people who downloaded the app used by Cambridge Analytica did not know their data would be used to aid any political campaigns. The app was billed as a personality quiz that would be used by Cambridge University researchers.

          Ho shameful a fucking liar can a Trumptard be?

          (flush)

          1. So you actually think that you can give consent to organizations, businesses, and others for your friends? That is what you are arguing. Again, how stupid are you?

            Here is your contention:

            “The people who downloaded the app used by Cambridge Analytica did not know their data” You focus on THEIR Data. Not the data of THEIR FRIENDS. See how stupid you are? The Obama app recorded the full data from people who never logged into the Obama app. It coopted their consent through a friends list.

            So do you understand yet dummy?

            1. What happens when you call out a Trumptard,

              Here is your contention:

              STILL REFUSES TO ACCEPT THAT CAMBRIDGE LIED THAT THEY WERE A PERSONALITY QUIZ!

              The Obama app recorded the full data from people who never logged into the Obama app. It coopted their consent through a friends list.

              On THAT, both campaigns were equal!!! … and, at the time, EVERY Facebook app could do the same … READ THE FUCKING FACTS I LINKED YOU TO

              So do you understand yet dummy?

              (sneer)

              BENGHAZI! URANIUM ONE! KENYA!

              Trumptards be as pathetic as Obamatards and Berbniebots.
              Which is why God asked libertarians to rodicule BOTH for the past half-century — so WE are now a growing majority, as both tribes continue shrinking (and shrieking)
              Left – Right = Zero

              1. I can’t make this any clearer…. OFA ended up with 70 million user profiles but only 1 million downloaded the app. This isn’t just a collection of friend list, but full profile information including likes and pages subscribed to by the friends list.

                “That’s because the more than 1 million Obama backers who signed up for the app gave the campaign permission to look at their Facebook friend lists. In an instant, the campaign had a way to see the hidden young voters. Roughly 85% of those without a listed phone number could be found in the uploaded friend lists. ”

                http://swampland.time.com/2012…..ng-voters/

                Do you get it now dummy? I seriously can’t dumb this down any further for you.

                1. One more time. (sigh)
                  1) As proven by my link, the mining of friends info was used by THOUSANDS of Facebook apps at the time.
                  2) ONLY Cambridge LIED about being one of those “personality quizzes” – WHICH IS FUCKING FRAUD!

                  Now YOU provide a link … that PROVES you’re even MORE full of shit! (OMG)

                  And in those final weeks of the campaign, the team blitzed the supporters who had signed up for the app with requests to share specific online content with specific friends simply by clicking a button. More than 600,000 supporters followed through with more than 5 million contacts, asking their friends to register to vote, give money, vote or look at a video designed to change their mind.

                  smirk

                  I seriously can’t dumb this down any further for you.

                  (snort) YOUR OWN LINK says they KNOWINGLY allowed a CAMPAIGN APP to tell FRIENDS of their own CANDIDATE ENDORSEMENT — like calling them on the phone (gasp)
                  Cambridge used FRAUD (a personality quiz)
                  CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

                  (boldface in defense of a truly psycho stalker Severe denial is a mental affliction, suffered also by his Fuhrer)

                  For retards, personality quizzes — for fun — are a common feature on social networks and even blogs and websites. Sp Trumptard MAY not realize how much he’s humiliating hi

                2. “Do you get it now dummy? I seriously can’t dumb this down any further for you.”

                  Not nearly dumb enough for Hihn.
                  Four letters max, one syllable.
                  Sorta like:
                  Fuck off, mike.

            2. I agree, actually. The one thing that CA and the Obama campaign had in common – allowing access to people’s friends without the friend’s permissions is straight up unquestionably wrong, and Facebook blithely allowed it. That, and the fact that both campaigns ‘used data,’ is where the comparison ends, however. In fact, close examination only shows up in increasingly starker relief what a dirty game CA and the Trump campaign were playing.

          2. Ho shameful

            I’d never have taken you for a slut-shamer Hihn. That seems too… Christian-Fascist?

            1. It would be … if your excerpt was what I’d said,
              But still funny!

              1. What’s funny is watching you make a fool of yourself then recursively linking to it.

                1. LINKING TO PROOF PISSES OFF THESE GOOBERS AND CYBER-BULLIES — WHO CAN MANAGE NO MORE THAN INFANTILE ATTACKS (just like Trump)

                  That’s why God invented libertarians, fifty years ago.
                  Because Left and Right were already obsolete. Left – Right = Zero

                  1. “LINKING TO PROOF PISSES OFF THESE GOOBERS”

                    Then you should try it sometime instead of the stupid fails you engage in.

                    1. “LINKING TO PROOF PISSES OFF THESE GOOBERS”

                      Then you should try it sometime instead of the stupid fails you engage in.

                      Here. (smirk)

                      LINKING TO PROOF PISSES OFF THESE GOOBERS
                      Like this now-stalking cyber-bully,

    2. Stand back everybody. The 90 year old fuckwit who can’t manage to insert basic HTML code into his rambling diatribes between diaper changes is going to explain to us how data analytics is actually a sinister plot by the dreaded Russkies to steal his brain waves.

      Choke on bleach you obsolete old fuck.

      1. They’e ALL like Trump!
        Left – Right = Zero

        1. “Left – Right = Zero”
          All ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All ONE!!!!!!!!

          1. It means they have equal value. As taught in Junior High algebra
            But Sevo.

            1. You didn’t learn about zero until junior high? Wow.

      2. (Now the Trumptard raging hatred)

        Choke on bleach you obsolete old fuck.

        Called it!

        The 90 year old fuckwit who can’t manage to insert basic HTML code

        I know how to CLICK A LINK! (pees pants laughing)

        1. Yes, and you know how to link to a post that was just made, in the same thread it was made in, completely in contravention to common sense.

          1. (laughing) To PROVE your fellow dumbfuck had lied about what I said,. Like you keep repeating, as you stalk me down the page.

            Proof really pisses off your ilk.

            1. “To PROVE your fellow dumbfuck had lied about what I said”

              Well, making a fool of yourself is certainly a strategy you seem married to.

              1. Proving him a dumbfuck = making a fool of myself. Says my genius stalker,
                Because right-wing goober

    3. Cambridge analytica is just more proof that Democrats are idiots without rational thought. You’re literally upset about marketing. What do you think those large databases political parties have are?

      1. Cambridge analytica is just more proof that Democrats are idiots without rational thought

        While you are PROVEN full of shit here! AND I LINKEDF TO PROOF, WHILe YOU JUST BABBLE.

        You’re literally upset about marketing.

        That too was literally jammed down your throat at the same link.

        What do you think those large databases political parties have are?

        Were they collected by a “personality quiz?” (Same link, chump)

        1. Mr Dummy, can I call you Mr Dummy? You seem to be irrational and illogical and not able to foment a consistent or logical thought. The Obama app aggregated and recorded the social network information of people who never logged into their app. Facebook allowed the download of not only the app user’s information but the full information of anyone on their friends list. The vast majority of Obama’s social network that was derived from the app was not consented to by the end user. Do you get it yet dummy? Do you need a pretty picture in crayon?

          1. The Obama app aggregated and recorded the social network information of people who never logged into their app.Facebook allowed the download of not only the app user’s information but the full information of anyone on their friends list.

            Yes, THAT part is Facebook’s fault.
            But only Cambridge lied about needing a personality test to get the information — which is FRAUD — that you NOW admit!!

            YOU say Obama’s group did no more than thousands of other Facebook apps, PER THE PROOF I LINKED TO.

            THIS is who elected Trump.
            And why God invented libertarians (left and right are both corrupt and obsolete authoritarians)

            (boldface for repeated stalking of the same MASSIVE fuckup)

  2. This comments section seems to be hihnfected.

    1. But I don’t slurp the the teat of government — like you do — or shit on my own family, like you did

      loveconstitution1789|2.8.18 @ 3:08PM|#

      My retired father loves politics and we often discuss the nature of things.
      I cannot get him to openly discuss social security and medicare reform with cuts. He is just hoping to check out before our debt crushes the USA. Its selfish as shit.

      Alt-Right TROLL says more crushing debt is okay .. ONLY if it lines HIS pocket!
      loveconstitution (sic) Insults HIS OWN FATHER, “selfish as shit” … but DEFENDS his own sucking at the gummint teat! (OMG)

      HIS NON-STOP TROLLING claims that a multi-trillion debt increase (tax cut) is “giving my own money back ” …FROM WHERE TROLL?

      What kind of “fiscal conservative” DENIES federal debt is stealing from our future … from his own children?

      HE WOULD CUT HIS FATHER’S BENEFITS .. AND STEAL FROM HIS OWN KIDS … TO ENRICH HIMSELF, BECAUSE … HE’S “ENTITLED.”

      The NEW Entitlement Mentality. The Alt-Right, self-righteous goobers of today’s GOP. Like teabaggers who scream DON’T TOUCH MY SOCIAL SECURITY! (sneer)

      Left – Right = Zero
      Which is why God invented Libertarians.

      1. “But I don’t slurp the the teat of government”

        Liar. You get govt benefits.

        1. HOW DOES THAT EQUATE TO SUCKING OFF MY OWN FATHER AND CHILDREN … BY SUPPORTING OVER TWO TRILLION IN NEW BORROWING … FOR ONLY MY POCKET?

          Why do YOU support $2 trillion in new government debt just for yourself … but oppose it for everyone else? Are you the moral equivalent of those Tea Party protesters carrying signs “Do not cut my Social Security?”
          (smirk)

          1. Ha! You DO!!!

            Look at how pissed you got!!!

            1. Look at how pissed you got!!!

              It was jamming it down your throat.
              With ridicule. (smirk)

              You’re not capable of pissing me off.

              1. The lack of ALL CAPS and exclamation marks clearly shows that.

  3. Yet another Hihnspracy post, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    1. Hihnspiracy ?

      1. Hihnocracy

        1. Hihnsplaining

              1. Surely you don’t think that even the most advanced modern medicine could enable that…

          1. Hihnsanity

            1. Hihn Through the Out Door

    2. Linked and documented facts … or a WHINING TRUMPSTER?
      NOW do you feel manly?

    3. Hihncomprehensible Bitching

  4. One of the examples Wylie used as proof that Cambridge Analytica worked so well was by developing the slogan “drain the swamp,” a slogan literally in use for decades and around from before Wylie was born. This is the idiocy of the left.

    1. NOW the dumbfuck says Cambridge used “drain the swamp” decades ago!!!!

      1. No retard, that’s not what he said.

  5. God damnit, why are you people so fucking stupid, you stupid fucking aggressors?

    Obama is awesome! Cambridge Analytica is from the devil! You stupid partisan hacks! With your face shask mumbo jumbo, and your treason, and your lies against America!

    The Trumptards are definiately out in the force of the whiny bitches!

    Left – Right equals SHIT FUCK BALLZ!

    1. It really is amusing how similar liberals are to fundamentalist religious people in behaviour, they just refuse to call their gods (political leaders) the word good. Any other description is the Sam, just not the specific word.

    2. Thank you for a true LOL this morning.

      1. Seconded.

    3. What did Hihn do … state FACTS … documented with links to Fox News and Politifact …. or a 14-person (so far) string of infantile name-calling???

      MOAR PROOF: Trumptards are as crazy as Obamatards,
      Left – Right = Zero. As libertarians have known for a half-century

      THIS is the mentality of Trump’s base … the ONLY folks he seeks to please,

      1. You didn’t state facts and Politifact is a joke of a system. Famous for their “true but” ratings to turn true statements into false or half true statements for conservatives.

        You can’t even understand what Obama’s app actually did, and how it co-opted friend lists and user information from people who never even utilized or authorized the app. You’re basically ignorant to technology as proven by your comments here.

        1. You didn’t state facts

          Conservatard stalker now says even FOX lies!

          Repeats the SAME bullshit PROVEN a lie SEVEN times on this page!

          It’s known as kissing Trump’s ass. French-style.

  6. ” Another outlet, the advertising firm Cambridge Analytica, harvested that information,”

    Wow. Second paragraph and you already got a key detail wrong.

    Cambridge Analytica didn’t do the “harvesting” themselves, they bought the data from a third party that had done it.

    1. Cambridge Analytica didn’t do the “harvesting” themselves, they bought the data from a third party that had done it.

      AGREES that Harsanyi is full of shit. THANKS!

  7. I’ve been dismayed by the vilification of Zuckerberg. His job is to make his business make money. Sure, his business may have undermined American democracy and initiated the apocalypse, but I was saying Facebook is the devil for years. It’s not his job to regulate his industry, it’s government’s.

    1. It’s not his job to regulate his industry, it’s government’s.

      “It’s not my job to not jack it in public, it’s the government’s job to stop me.”

      You really want to make the claim that people are not responsible for their own behavior?

      1. Corporations may be people, but if they are they’re psychopaths. Best to have a third party keep an eye on them.

        1. Corporations are made of people. It’s just weird that you’re expecting all those people to be psychopaths, too, while simultaneously assuming that all the people involved in a type of corporation called a “government” are NOT psychopaths.

          (By “weird” i mean “expected yet disappointing.”)

        2. Clearly, the intersection of politics and Facebook in this vile form shows us just how sinister corporations are.

          And it says absolutely nothing about politics and governing.

          Not at all.

          1. But says a LOT about drooling hysteria,

      2. “”You really want to make the claim that people are not responsible for their own behavior?””

        Isn’t that the cornerstone of liberalism?

        1. So what do you want to have done to Mark Zuckerberg, again?

          1. Besides a public mocking for being a major douchebag, nothing.

        2. No, progressivism, which is a completely antiliberal ideology.

          1. That ship sailed long ago, but the futile struggle is a good look.

            1. It better be. Futile struggle is basically what libertarians have got.

              1. Buried under all of this is the clausius inequality. I’m sure of it.

    2. Sure, his business may have undermined American democracy and initiated the apocalyps

      His business facilitates free expression.

      but I was saying Facebook is the devil for years.

      We all know that free expression is the devil to you.

      1. His business is not to facilitate free expression. Little money in that.

        1. So he’s your first choice for the team blue nominee in 2020 then.

        2. His business is not to facilitate free expression. Little money in that.

          Bests to avoid your TOTAL ignorance of a very common business practice — giving away content to provide an audience for advertisers.

          Or do you also fear over a century of free neighborhood newspapers. The evil bastards,

        3. I didn’t say it was his business goal, but it’s certainly a side effect.

      2. His business is built on data collection, it doesn’t facilitate anything. Especially given the fact that his group censors free expression of groups they do not like.

        1. His business facilitates free expression.

          His business is built on data collection, it doesn’t facilitate anything.

          How does it get the data?
          How many millions of websites offer free content — to which they make money off of paid ads?
          Like, oh, Reason, Fox, Breitbart, Slate, Daily Kos, Cato, Washington Post …..
          As a web developer, I’ve been “facilitating” exactly that since 1993.
          Plus over a century of community newspapers!!!

          Why do you haters keep shooting yourselves in the foot head.

  8. “Guess what, you don’t have to be on Facebook.”

    Perhaps the most important point that Reason doesn’t fully develop – the increasing attacks on internet communication that somehow never make it or printed or verbal communications . Of course the latter 2 are specifically protected by the 1st amendment.

    You would think so-called liberals would be for protecting all forms of communication, but that ended with the concept of Net Neutrality and the right of the FCC to regulate that form of communication for the public good.

    The left has given up much of what at one time made it partly admirable – support for 1st amendment rights and having an anti-interventionist point of view on wars.

    Maybe that was all always for politics.

    1. It was. The only reason the left ever supported any right, is that they expected somebody else to be exercising the power to restrict that right. Once they decided they’d be the ones to pay censor, the 1st amendment just became another obstacle to their total domination.

      1. The Left was for free speech when their speech was suppressed. (Actually it wasn’t, they were just of the minority opinion). But when the Left senses that it might now be the majority opinion in the media and academia, they are suddenly all for suppressing the speech of others.

    2. Right-winger says “you don’t have to be on Facebook” is an attack on free speech!

      Retards to the Left me. Retards to the Right of me. That’s why God invented libertarians to call them out for 50 years. And we’re slowly winning, since over 60% would now describe themselves as fiscally conservative and socially liberal.

      Their time has expired. Bernie and Donald are the last gasp of a dying culture (as is the libertarian establishment)

  9. The scandal to me is Obama’s campaign manager openly admitting that a Facebook rep told her Facebook was fine with allowing Obama access they wouldn’t allow for anybody else because they were on Obama’s side. If they’re giving the Obama campaign something they wouldn’t give anybody else, that’s an illegal campaign contribution.

    1. The revolving door at google was worse. But Google’s cool so we shouldn’t look to closely.

    2. The scandal to me is Obama’s campaign manager openly admitting that a Facebook rep told her Facebook was fine with allowing Obama access they wouldn’t allow for anybody else.

      (laughing)

  10. This post has been pre-corpse=-f*cked for your amusement.

  11. You can even point out to the Left that Obama harvested FB data too and they just don’t care. They think this is the nail in the coffin that finally gives us Herself.

    Same with Putin’s election. “Obama congratulated him too.” “LALALALA not listening!”

    1. Yeah you can point out false equivalences all day long and they just don’t seem to take them seriously it’s weird.

  12. Nothingburger… I guess saying nukular would discredit someone faster. Grow up.

  13. People are shitting their pants only because the name “Trump” is tangentially involved. These people would shit their pants if the news said Trump helped an old lady cross the street. They would go apoplectic if it was reported he paid for some poor kid’s way through college.

    What Cambridge Analytics did is something that is done by hundreds of companies. Stop acting so surprised that the information you shared publicly with the world is now public. No one leaked it, you submitted it. Everything you do in public is public. It’s like some silly millennial bitching that someone outside their circle can see their pics of themselves at last nights drunken party. Well duh!

    I loathe Trump just as much as the next guy. I’m genuinely losing my stomach lining over him. But jeepers peeps, get a clue!

    Q: How do you know the media is blowing a story out of proportion?

    A: They went to press.

    1. FAKE NEWS …BENGHAZI …. KENYA

      Left – Right = Zero (which is why God invented libertarians)

      1. You’re not a libertarian.

        1. MAKE ME HUMILIATE YOU AGAIN, CONSERVATARD

      2. Hihnsane!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. “The very existence of social media and tech companies is predicated on mining data so that they, or third parties, can sell you things. That has always been the deal.”……….I don’t remember making any such deals with them.

    1. It’s right in the Terms of Service.

      1. I wonder if a good lawyer could invalidate most of those online terms of service on the basis that none of them are read (hence they can’t possibly be ‘accepted’ in any meaningful sense) – and none of them can be read if the companies allow an immediate checkbox to agree rather than forcing some sort of lag there.

        Probably not but that should be the case.

        1. Fucking fascist opposes voluntary contracts … oppsoing the same principle used for over a century by free community newspapers,

          YOU CAN SEE THE ADS ON FACEBOOK PAGES … AND 90% OF ALL FREE WEBS SITES … INCLUDING THIS ONE.

          1. So when was the last time you had to give your name, the names of all your friends, your child’s picture, everyone you’ve contacted, etc to your ‘free community newspaper’ – and could never take them back or rescind the contract either?

            Oh – and when your kid grows up, THEY will never be able to rescind anything either even though they were never ever even a legal party to the ‘contract’.

            1. In your world Hihn – it appears to be perfectly ok for two people to enter a voluntary contract – to sell a third person into perpetual irrevocable bondage.

            2. You forgot your own point. And changed the topic.

      2. Are the millions of children or vulnerable adults on social media allowed to enter into such legal contracts?

        1. What’s next? VOTING RIGHTS?

          1. Kids should have voting rights. It’s their fucking money – aka public debt – that you and all the other old welfare teatsuckers are spending.

            1. Kids should have voting rights

              That was ridicule.
              And your 13th fuckup on this page

  15. Because, guess what, you don’t have to be on Facebook.

    That ain’t true. Yeah – if you were never ever on Facebook, no one is forcing you to join and give them your data. But if you were ever on Facebook, you can never ever get your info OFF Facebook. They have been allowed to commit fraud for a decade now and have profited mightily from that.

  16. An entire comment section of Hihn and Tony going off the rails. Cool.

    1. You’re implying they were ever on the rails. I need a citation.

      1. I need a citation.

        Here! (sneer)

    2. More personal attacks by conservatards. Cool.
      Left – Right = Zero

  17. This is a “nothingburger” in the sense that anyone who remotely understands how Facebook (and other social media) operates now and in the past knows that Facebook is a privacy nightmare. It has always been a privacy nightmare.

    That being said, nobody has been coerced to join Facebook, and plenty of people who are informed about these tactics (that are shared by a wide variety of social media, not just Facebook) chose long ago to not continue using said social media. The Trump campaign has merely provided the panic button that the media is now trotting out, as the overall tone of Trump coverage provides an effective backdrop.

    And just like other media that generates all revenue from selling an audience to advertisers, with Facebook, you are the product. Facebook being free to use doesn’t mean you aren’t exchanging something for the service. Of course there is an exchange: your privacy.

    1. “This is a “nothingburger” in the sense that anyone who remotely understands how Facebook (and other social media) operates now and in the past knows that Facebook is a privacy nightmare.”

      CEOs don’t resign over nothingburgers. They resign over somethingburgers.

  18. I’ll believe that politicians are horrified of private companies gathering political intelligence… when they execute themselves.

  19. Really? If it’s such a nothingburger, ( a fine Republican Troll chant if I ever heard one BTW. Ranks right up there with ‘FAKE NEWS! FAKENEWS!’) .. Then why did Trump’s campaign pay $6 million, John Bolton;s PAC paid $800,000 and Ted Cruz paid $6.5 million? Not to mention the two California Republican candidates who were exposed this AM for paying for their services?

    That’s a lot of freaking money for a non-existent burger and fries.

  20. The best essay I’ve seen on this ” yea , so ? ” referenced Vance Packard’s 1957 “Hidden Persuaders” which I read when about 12 .

    Advertising is advertising . Nothing new here .

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