Facebook Is The Devil

Josh Marshall has a good piece on Facebook VP of Advertising Rob Goldman’s earlier disingenuous tweets about the way Russians played Facebook like a fiddle to elect Trump, so I won’t rehash that.

But the later tweets embedded above are such classic Silicon Valley bullshit – “my company fucked up our country, shame on the government for not fixing it”. Never mind that Finland is a fairly homogeneous country of fewer than 6 million people which has been facing a real existential threat from Russia ever since WWII. Never mind that Facebook’s walled garden had (and, basically, still has) almost no content standards, no way for the captive audience of that platform to separate truth from bullshit in their feeds. And never mind that the whole platform is designed to keep people trapped inside rather than branching out to more reliable news outlets. No, on Goldman’s account, government needs to clean up the turds his company left on the sidewalk.

Facebook is bad, but Uber is the poster child for this Silicon Valley attitude. On one hand, they shit all over the attempts of government to regulate their ride service, when it’s obvious to anyone whose head isn’t buried in Atlas Shrugged that random strangers giving rides is something that needs a hell of a lot of oversight. On the other hand, as soon as their semi-moron “self driving” cars aren’t able to navigate the roads, government needs to build up road infrastructure so Uber can get rid of their army of underpaid drivers.

It is very god damned telling that a Facebook VP took to Twitter to defend Facebook, because media people generally don’t engage on Facebook. I’m not saying Twitter is an information paradise, but it reaches the low bar of being better than Facebook, which has been losing engagement as they try to deal with the fact that their feeds are garbage.

145 replies
  1. 1
    guachi says:

    I use FB Purity plug-in to filter what I see on Facebook. You can do almost any time of filtering imaginable. I choose to remove ads, remove trending stories, remove seeing pages/posts my friends “liked” or commented on (but didn’t share or post themselves).

    I basically only see posts my friends directly shared or posted themselves It’s a much better Facebook experience.

  2. 2
    Betty Cracker says:

    Your contempt for Brotopia culture is dead-on, but the government really does need to step up (when sane people regain control of it, I mean). Subject Facebook, Twitter and the successor social media outfits that eventually overtake them to the same political ad regs that TV stations have to follow, for one thing. No more programmatic ad buys paid for in rubles. That’s their cash cow, and if they had any goddamned sense, Zuckerberg & Co. would be scrambling to address it instead of trying to deflect blame.

  3. 3
    jeffreyw says:

    I tried facebook a few years ago, mostly to see what all the hoorah was about. It started, right away, to make me name a friend or else. So I friended my wife. Big mistake! She was friends with more peeps than I cared to talk to and they all bombarded me with friend requests. I finally had to unfriend Mrs J, but she took it fairly well. I think…
    Shortly afterwards I quit altogether. At least I hope so, I hear stories.
    Here’s some birds for you.

  4. 4

    Finland does not have an ongoing racial panic prompting the majority of its majority to actively prefer, seek out, and even demand lies.

  5. 5
    WereBear says:

    @Betty Cracker: That’s their cash cow, and if they had any goddamned sense, Zuckerberg & Co. would be scrambling to address it instead of trying to deflect blame.

    American business thinking has devolved to the shortest time span possible.

  6. 6
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    Facebook napalma est.

  7. 7
    Elizabelle says:

    @jeffreyw: It’s a Cardinal Convention. Beautiful.

    I find Facebook problematic. Have enjoyed a few of the FB friends I’ve made, but I see its greediness and irresponsibility too, and it’s very intrusive and nosy.

  8. 8
    burnspbesq says:

    Facebook is what each user makes of it. When I need someone to dumb it down for me, I’ll let you know.

  9. 9
    jeffreyw says:

    @Elizabelle:
    A group of Cardinals in known as a “college”.

  10. 10
  11. 11

    @WereBear: This is true but not just for business. Look at the Rs, I don’t see any long term thinking there.

  12. 12
    Brachiator says:

    Never mind that Facebook’s walled garden had (and, basically, still has) almost no content standards, no way for the captive audience of that platform to separate truth from bullshit in their feeds. And never mind that the whole platform is designed to keep people trapped inside rather than branching out to more reliable news outlets.

    There are no content standards for the Internet. It’s not just a FaceBook thing. And neither FaceBook nor Twitter are news outlets.

  13. 13
    eclare says:

    @jeffreyw: Same here. I joined FB years ago, friended a good friend of mine, then her sister who I had spoken to maybe three times sent a friend request to me. Do. Not. Need.

  14. 14
    The Dangerman says:

    …random strangers giving rides is something that needs a hell of a lot of oversight.

    Cuts both ways. There was an Uber driver that disappeared in downtown LA about a week ago; don’t hear much about it.

  15. 15
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @jeffreyw: that’s why I don’t sign up, I have a large extended family and don’t want to have to explain to various and variedly loony cousins why turned down their ‘friend’ requests.

    I was talking to an old friend from college a while back and he mentioned that a few people on Facebook had asked about me and why I wasn’t on it. A couple of names I thought, “Oh yeah, I should get in touch with them”, a couple more were “who?… oh yeah…. meh”, and one was a woman who hated my guts and liver, and it was very mutual, but now she wants to follow me on the internet?

  16. 16

    I use FB. It lets me keep up with my former students. I don’t know what I’m doing differently but I don’t get bizarre posts. I only see what my friends post or share, and my friends are fairly savvy.

  17. 17
    Waspuppet says:

    At this point I’m only still on FB because I’ve got pages to hype my books. That’s it.

    The explanation of their recent changes goes over my head, but the upshot is that I only ever see posts by like three people anymore. All the more reason not to bother.

  18. 18
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Disinformation is ineffective against a well educated citizenry.

    We’re boned. Trumpanzees are proudly ignorant and profoundly willfully stupid.

  19. 19

    I am on the baby FB, Whatsapp and that’s bad enough.

    ETA: I get walls of text and unfunny jokes by family and friends that I see may be once in two years, I truly don’t want to also be aware of their politics and other stupidity.

  20. 20
    cynthia ackerman says:

    @jeffreyw:

    I thought it was a vatican.

  21. 21
    Kay says:

    Disinformation is ineffective against a well educated citizenry.

    Sorry mistermix but I think this bullshit. A lot of the people who bought this had plenty of formal education.

    People weren’t “better educated” in FDR’s time. Something like 40% of them had less than a high school diploma. They believe it because the Russian propaganda lines up quite nicely with the far Right in the US, including (maybe especially) as to POLICY.

    Putin is campaigning inside the US supporting guns right now! They agree with him.

  22. 22
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @jeffreyw:

    Those are some beauties! Here in California, I don’t think we have any birds with red coats. Woodpeckers have a bit of red, but that’s it. The red tailed hawk is more rust colored than red.
    We have blue jays by the boatloads… maybe in some states, a blue bird would be wildly exotic.

    We have lots of Canadian geese, but Canada is not sending its best birds, buhlieve me.

  23. 23
    Brachiator says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Finland does not have an ongoing racial panic prompting the majority of its majority to actively prefer, seek out, and even demand lies.

    Also, as the linked story makes clear, Finland is small cheese, and Russia cares more about disrupting elections in other countries.

    Plus, it helps that Finland is not Russia’s main target when it comes to undermining European unity.

    “The real intensity is Germany … Merkel is the main course,” Nyberg told FP. “We’re just a side dish.”

  24. 24
    WereBear says:

    Mr WereBear has made shared-interest friends all over the world thanks to Facebook. That’s the other side; the easily available social net that can be built with technology.

    With great power comes great responsibility. But we don’t have Spiderman in charge of these things.

  25. 25
    FlyingToaster (Tablet) says:

    I decided not to get on Facebook after my SIL, who’d friended our mutual Xtianist SIL, was incessantly attacked by her on FB. That was enough to warn me off. We’ll revisit this in 5 years when WarriorGirl gets to HS. By then it may only be the province of grandparents.

  26. 26
    MattF says:

    Facebook has a useful side– I found a long-lost cousin there. But I’m not going to get into the ‘write a post about yourself every day’ habit. Big Data wants to read and correlate my metadata, but I just say ‘no’.

  27. 27
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    Sorry mistermix but I think this bullshit. A lot of the people who bought this had plenty of formal education.

    This.

  28. 28
    Kay says:

    That Russian campaign could have come out of a far Right lobbying shop. Lobbyists have plenty of formal education. It is IDENTICAL on policy to the far Right wing in the US. Pick an issue. Guns? Check. Homophobia and sexism? Check. Racism and voter suppression? Check. State-supported favoritism of the oil and gas industries? Check. Anti-immigrant? Check. They AGREE with the aims of the Russian interference! They share policy goals!

  29. 29
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @eclare:

    I signed up for FB once and swiftly got a friend request from someone I hadn’t seen in 30 years, my old junior high and high school bully, a guy who went on to a great career as a thief, drug abuser and wife beater that landed him twice in the state penitentiary.

    Oh, yes, I’d love to be your friend! #fuckoff

  30. 30
    bystander says:

    It must be Sunday because the collective wrath is directed at fb and not at “twitler Goes to Studio 54” to flex his massive thumb.

  31. 31
    RandomMonster says:

    facing a real existential threat from Russia ever since WWII

    Um, since well before WWII…

  32. 32
    Elizabelle says:

    @jeffreyw: Yeah. Somehow, I looked at those cardinals and saw puffs of white smoke in the background. LOL.

  33. 33
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    All US social issues are fobbed off on education. It’s a fucking pernicious myth that won’t die. My precinct is both the most formally educated and the richest in this town- they went Trump 70/30. They were vulnerable to Russian campaigning because Putin told them what they wanted to hear- that they were being “ignored” that Clinton was the devil that black people were violent and scary that immigrants were “stealing” something or other. They AGREE with that.

  34. 34

    I’m not saying Twitter is an information paradise, but it reaches the low bar of being better than Facebook

    I really don’t see what makes you say this. Twitter is 110% unpleasant and unhelpful. Facebook has pictures of my nieces and nephews.

  35. 35
    Starfish says:

    @Betty Cracker: These industries are mature enough that they need government regulation. If our representatives are too old to understand technology to regulate properly, we need new ones.

  36. 36
    Starfish says:

    @jeffreyw: You have to have at least ten friends to have a mildly addictive experience. They aggressively get you to name friends until you have at least ten.

  37. 37

    @Kay:

    People weren’t “better educated” in FDR’s time.

    He had a Hell of a time passing the New Deal, because starving white workers threw a shit fit at the suggestion blacks might also benefit.

    EDIT – @Kay:
    …which ties into what you say here.

  38. 38
    WaterGirl says:

    @jeffreyw:

    I finally had to unfriend Mrs J, but she took it fairly well. I think…

    That might make a fun rotating tag line.

  39. 39
    Amir Khalid says:

    I am immune to the charms of most social media. I use WhatsApp to communicate with family but that’s it. I neither tweet nor facebook, nor do I want to, and I don’t regularly follow or friend anyone. (I did read Anna Kendrick’s tweets for a while, but then I forgot to keep doing it.) Nowadays I only ever follow Facebook and Twitter links from here. Facebook annoys me with its attempts to communicate in clumsy, ungrammatical Malay text; and to cajole me into joining up, which serves no purpose for me. At least Twitter doesn’t do that. I wouldn’t go to either place for news — this way, the contagion of fake news spread with them never reaches me..

  40. 40
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kay: also, education and intelligence don’t exclude nutty, or hate-addled. Robert Mercer is a brilliant mathematician with, I believe, fancy degrees from MIT. Ben Carson was a brilliant surgeon. Kellyanne Conway is a lot of things, but stupid ain’t one of them.

    And Facebook and twitter are platforms that amplify things that have been around all my adult life. I’m pretty sure we saw people wearing Clinton masks and prison stripes at hate rallies back in the nineties. I remember, at the height of Clenis-mania, watching a CSPAN broadcast of a radio interview between IIRC Richard Posner and the lawyer author of a highbrow article on the Founders’ views of impeachment. During the commercial break, aired by CSPAN but not the radio station, the author asked the judge if he had read the latest book by Ann Coulter, which nutty screed I think detailed all the “mysterious” deaths around the Clintons. She raised some good points! Posner (if it was him) just sort of mumbled about not having read that book, like you do when an acquaintance starts talking crazy at a party and you just want to change the subject.

  41. 41
    Immanentize says:

    @Baud: I’m forgetting — who was the front pager who was the Bernie supporter?

  42. 42
    MattF says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I think Twitter is much more habit-forming than Facebook. Is that a good thing? For me, it’s not– which is why I bothered to actually shut down my Twitter account.

  43. 43

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    And Facebook and twitter are platforms that amplify things that have been around all my adult life.

    Agreed, but arguably to such a degree that it’s a difference in kind.

  44. 44

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    And Facebook and twitter are platforms that amplify things that have been around all my adult life.

    Only two things have changed. Now we can see the evil that used to be done outside our limited circle, and a Republican Party already driven by racism went batshit nuts when a black man was elected president.

  45. 45
    Chip Daniels says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:
    The Finns are wonderful people, but they are people nonetheless.

    And people have an amazing talent for discovering tribal divisions among ourselves. So I am curious to know how they have held those impulses in check.

  46. 46
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Brachiator:
    I would be keen to learn about the links between Russian intelligence and AfD.

  47. 47
    Ten Bears says:

    If I had a dollar for every time I told someone Facebook is not your friend …

  48. 48
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Immanentize: there was more than one…. though two of them eventually saw the light

  49. 49
    foucault swing voter mistermix says:

    @Kay:

    Sorry mistermix but I think this bullshit. A lot of the people who bought this had plenty of formal education.

    I agree that it is bullshit. It is this Facebook VP’s attempt to blame the problem on the government’s inability to properly educate citizens, the way the Finns do. The reality is that Facebook happily took millions of dollars from Russian troll farms to push ads into its system which would speak to the prejudices of a group of Facebook users, no matter their education level. Then this Facebook Brotopian (to use Betty’s excellent term) is trying to deflect criticism and responsibility by blaming the government/education system/whatever instead of taking responsibility for the role his company played (and is playing) in a Russian disinformation campaign.

  50. 50
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    The low quality Trump hires have literally the best education money can buy. Why didn’t it work?

    There’s something weird about this assumption that people with more formal education are BETTER people, as far as character and ethics. It’s not true. Why do liberals promote it? It’s ACTUALLY elitist.

    What about the people who are not formally educated but voted en masse against Trump? What about working class black people? How did they manage to see he is a bad person? This theory doesn’t hold up on any level and it never has. yet liberals are married to it. What is that about? It’s not really about education or even winning elections so why is it so important to us?

  51. 51

    @MattF: Yeah, the speed with which your feed gets new tweets (assuming you follow enough people) is pretty addictive, and the ability to just respond to any old moron, famous or not… it also rewards hyperbole and pile-ons a lot more. I quit using Twitter after the 2016 election and have never looked back. (I didn’t delete my account, but I don’t visit the site except to tweet and leave a weekly comic strip or very rare bad pun.)

  52. 52
    WaterGirl says:

    I think Facebook should have to give up all the millions of dollars from Russian troll farms and bots – because I don’t for even a second believe that they had no inkling of what was going on.

    I think that money should be used to try to ameliorate some of the damage that was caused.

  53. 53

    @WaterGirl: I think that giving away the money would be great PR for them, but we are talking about a very small percentage of their money.

  54. 54
    Immanentize says:

    In the NYT Review section, there is an opening Ed by some woman from some AstroTurf organization — The Commonwealth Foundation maybe? — where in she says that her activism included “annoying liberals at parties.”. Just like racism, homophobia, xenophobia, misogyny, etc. the freaks are now happy to let their real Cleek’s Law flag fly free.

  55. 55
    GregB says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Perhaps use the money for retrofitting into paper ballot systems?

  56. 56
    Kay says:

    The only Facebook bullshit I have personal experience with was the Facebook bullshit that Obama “banned” the Pledge of Allegiance. That was wildly popular here.

    It wasn’t about facts or critical thinking. I sat with 4 people at a restaurant and they assured me Obama had “banned” the Pledge of Allegiance. Between them they had 5 degrees.

    They want to believe this because it fits with some wholly irrational bias they have about Obama. The Russian government knows that, because it isn’t hard to figure out! You can READ them online.

  57. 57
    Starfish says:

    @Kay:

    There’s something weird about this assumption that people with more formal education are BETTER people, as far as character and ethics. It’s not true. Why do liberals promote it? It’s ACTUALLY elitist.

    I think that it is part of viewing education as the great equalizer. However, there are all these issues around access and the quality of education people are getting.

    When you filter your students based on the standardized test scores they have coming in, amazingly the people who have passed the more stringent requirements do better and make the institutions look better. (Of course, wealthy people get around these filters.)

    A lot of places are not even trying to solve the problem of inequity in education.

  58. 58
    Immanentize says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Were they well educated? Or did Russian agitprop work on them, too? Asking for a friend.

    ETA I think it is critical to remember that Sanders and Stein we’re propped up and pushed in the same way by Russia that Trump was. Primarily by tearing down Clinton….

  59. 59
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Kay: Having multiple degrees does not mean one is well educated.

    And on the Facebook front, I have friended 70-some people. Almost all or whom, I know personally in meat space. I have hidden the feeds of two and unfriend a total of one person in the past ten years. I feel very comfortable ignoring friend requests from friends of friends, distant family, and people I don’t like. My timeline when I bother to look at it is not a toxic place. It is what one makes of it.

  60. 60

    @Kay: Yeah, none of the Russian content was new stuff, it was just a few well-placed hammer blows onto wedges that the Republicans had already put there. Which is bad! But it was also done with the full cooperation of the ‘dupes’.

  61. 61
    Kay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I’m not arguing against Facebook. To a certain extent I think the Facebook focus is wrong=headed not because i care what happens to Facebook but because it’s worse than that. Deeper. More profound.

    Trump is a con man. The only thing a con man needs to be successful, the only thing he needs to know, is the MARK.

    THAT he knows. He knows them! This bullshit that this is not “really” what we are? Yes, it is. It’s what we are. Putin knows that and so does Donald Trump. It was easy! They knew the mark.

  62. 62
    boatboy_srq says:

    @The Dangerman: There’s a reason there are barriers between driver and passengers in many US taxis nowadays. Which is also a reason taxi rides are more expensive: more needs to be done to a taxicab to make it safe for all occupants. Those high fees aren’t just because cab companies are greedy wankers.

  63. 63
    NotMax says:

    Never once been to Twitter, never once been to Facebook, yet somehow lead a mostly content and a fairly well-rounded (in many senses – :) ) existence.

    The Devil though? Wouldn’t assign that lofty a credit. Maybe the Roman goddess Laverna.

  64. 64
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @bystander: Yeah. Can you imagine the outrage if President Obama had visited a disco party after briefly visiting shooting victims? It’s good to be White and Republican in this country right about now. You get away with pretty much everything.

    It truly feels that Mueller is our only hope.

  65. 65
    danielx says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    GMTA….when I saw that line about “well educated citizenry” my first thought was: we’re so fucked.

  66. 66
    Immanentize says:

    @Kay: But a mark almost never will admit they were a mark, right? That’s the beauty of the long con.

    So here is my thought experiment — how many Sanders or Stein supporters (whether they ever saw the light later or not) will come forward to admit they were Russian marks in the primary and the general rather than totally principled people of ideas with policy differences?

    If we agree that ain’t gonna happen on our side, among those who mostly believe the Russian scheme was effective ((GG and his expat Ilk excluded) then we really can’t believe anyone who voted for Trump will ever do so. And it is disingenuous for us to expect them to do so.

  67. 67
    Elizabelle says:

    @Kay: The Koch Brothers and Murdoch and FoxWorld and rightwing built the mark.

    That mark used to be found under a rock. No longer.

    Trump does know the mark, but I think all of us have to look real hard at whether the First Amendment can protect our democracy against propaganda outlets like Fox and Breitbart and all that garbage. Turns out, you cannot necessarily displace bad information with actual information. These viewers and listeners have allowed themselves to be brainwashed.

  68. 68
  69. 69
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Chip Daniels: It’s pretty simple for the Finns. They have a big and dangerous enemy to the east. That helps make for national unity.

    That said, they do have a far right party, but I think it has collapsed recently. Or been defeated.

  70. 70
    Kay says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    IMO it will be hard to prove coordination because you tell me. You tell how to tell the difference between Putin demonizing black people and the US Right demonizing black people.

    They have the best defense in the world. They can point to the governor’s race they ran in Virginia. Identical to “Russian interference”. I don’t know here GOP ends and Putin begins. You see it right now. Trump is arguing DATES. He’s saying he’s not “with” the Russian campaign because theirs started FIRST. That’s all he’s got! He’s basically using an alibi. “I wasn’t there at the time the crime was committed”

    This will get increasingly ludicrous. By the end we’ll be down to “did the Russian thing start in March of 2014 and the Trump thing start in April? April 15th or 30th? If it’s the 22nd then we have to say Trump didn’t coordinate” They are having trouble distinguishing “GOP” from “Putin” because the campaigns are THE SAME.

  71. 71
    danielx says:

    @Immanentize:

    Really do try to avoid parties where people like that will be in attendance..

  72. 72
    NotMax says:

    @Major Major Major Major

    Yup. A hundred million megaphones can’t help but create cacophony.

  73. 73
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Most of my friends on facebook are also people I know in meatspace. Friends requests out of the blue are ignored.

    And this Goldman assclown is so obviously self-serving that I’d mute his worthless ass permanently.

  74. 74

    @Kay: I think the real collusion dirt is going to be the DNC emails, personally. (This does not mean Facebook/Twitter/probably LinkedIn for all I know did not do bad things!)

  75. 75
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Kay: You’re right, Kay, that people believe whatever they want to believe as long as it fits into their worldview. Facts only matter if they support your closely held opinions. Hence, climate change denial in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence is a real thing which drives Republican legislation and policies. Hence, “fetal pain” legislation is a thing driven by the Religious Right and their political minions.

    This doesn’t excuse Facebook and Twitter’s abdication of taking any meaningful action to prevent fake news from being spread on their forums. They can do better and should be required to do so.

  76. 76
    Mnemosyne says:

    I don’t hate Facebook, but I’m fairly judicious about how I use it. I don’t accept friend requests from strangers, and I have exactly one (1) friend I haven’t met IRL (a friend of my brother in law). I belong to a bunch of private writing groups and it’s handy to be able to keep up in a single app.

    And I seem to have trained the algorithm to only show me the ads and posts I want to see.

  77. 77
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Elizabelle:

    These viewers and listeners have allowed themselves to be brainwashed.

    This. They’re willing thralls.

  78. 78
    Immanentize says:

    @danielx: Depending where one lives, that might mean a no-party life. But where I live, such folks try but do not annoy because they are ignored. Pass the wine!

  79. 79
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Kay: The way Mueller will prove coordination will be that he will have email or phone intercepts with Eric or Don Jr. and Cambridge Analytica scheming with the Russians as to where to place their ads and where they need a rally next.

    I’m working through the indictment in detail. Mueller has a LOT of information that could only come from electronic monitoring or from someone inside the operation.

  80. 80
    NotMax says:

    @Immanentize

    DougJ writes in the NYT? Who knew?

    ;)

  81. 81
    PPCLI says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I’m also expecting that the Russian bot factory will have communicated with at least some Trump and Republican allies (Cambridge Analytica, perhaps) and campaign people about where to target propaganda at the district level. Somehow or other demographic voter information and analysis made its way to cyber-operators in Moscow.

  82. 82
    Immanentize says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    that could only come from electronic monitoring or from someone inside the operation.

    After reading the indictments, it is pretty clearly both. Much of it is very specific as to date or time — communications. I think most of the Russian side is this (like the emails of the spy”s real time FBI coming narrative) Other aspects feel way more testimonial, like the coordination and outreach to GOP operatives to assist in rallies and pay people to show up. I am sure they have testimony of people who were paid to attend Trump rallies.

    And of course, this is where the ‘Soros pays voters” comes from. Because the Russian GOP probably will end up having paid voters. Just my 2cents on future revelations after reading the indictments.

  83. 83
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Immanentize: Good distinction. I’ll keep it in mind as I read.

  84. 84
    Mnemosyne says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    After having used both regular taxis and Lyft while I was in San Francisco, I will say that I think the reason people love services like Lyft is that you know what the price will be up-front, before you ever call for the cab. Watching that meter tick up is surprisingly stressful.

    If taxi companies would use the Lyft/Uber platform for dispatching their taxis and let people pay an agreed-on fee based on traffic conditions like Lyft did, I think they could be competitive again because they do offer superior safety for everyone.

    I said this at the time, but it was funny to me that the taxi driver who took me from the Oakland Amtrak station to my hotel was getting direct calls from regulars to come pick them up. That guy is smart!

  85. 85
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Kay: Liberalism != egalitarianism. Ditto progressivism. In the purest sense of each, both accept inequality, but do so on the basis of individual merit. Where the whole thing falls down is in the identification of metrics. The Left does with education and information what the Right does with wealth, class and caste.

  86. 86
    NotMax says:

    @Cheryl Rofer

    Another takeaway rarely if ever mentioned is that the indictment shows that good old-fashioned shoe leather humint is still (for the nonce, at least) alive and kicking.

  87. 87
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Kay:

    You tell how to tell the difference between Putin demonizing black people and the US Right demonizing black people.

    This, and all the rest of your comment. The GOP and Putin have the same policy goals, so I don’t think the GOP thinks they did anything wrong. They just let their friend Vlad help them out.

  88. 88
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @Kay:

    Howard Gardner suggested there are multiple types of intelligence. Some people are brilliant at math and spatial relationships but bankrupt in emotional and social intelligence. Some people are very bright–and sociopathic or suffer from personality disorders.

  89. 89
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Mnemosyne: The old metric, that has informed the taxi meter for aeons, is the expense of the vehicle and the care and feeding of the propulsion. Cars in general are far more economical, reliable and affordably maintained than ever, and that’s not reflected in the business model. Fixed-fare trips are a feature of a number of cities (San-Francisco-to-SFO and Oakland-to-OAK, for example, are fixed rate trips), so it’s just a matter of time before that model becomes the standard. Also, meters are a lot more expensive than GPS-smartphone-and-cardreader setups and come with their own maintenance headaches, so moving away from the meter will only save the cabs money.

  90. 90
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    Oh, and people can be quite intelligent, compassionate and creative AND still have bad days, bad moods, or say something foolish.

  91. 91
    Immanentize says:

    @boatboy_srq: @Kay:
    The normal distinction is not between a “well educated” citizenry and others, the usual quotes go to a “well informed” citizenry. The two are so different.

    And that is why agitprop is so dangerous. It passes as information, when it is actually reaffirmation (as Kay says) of uninformed biases. It is a fight we must wage, and one I win every day in some small measure in the classroom, but I don’t know how to scale that.

  92. 92
    Colleeniem says:

    @Kay: (other) front pagers, can you please gather all of Kay’s comments and make them into a book? I will help with the promotion, somehow.

  93. 93
    debbie says:

    @Kay:

    You give Trump way too much credit. He’s conniving, not smart. He’s smart in the way most Wall Streeters are, as in looking for ways to beat the system to enrich themselves. But thinking farther ahead than the next move? No way.

  94. 94
    NotMax says:

    @boatboy_srq

    Bring back the Checker!

    (Elon Musk, are you listening?)

  95. 95
    opiejeanne says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Yes, this. I blocked a small group of people on fb who lost their shit when Obama was elected, and among them were a couple of distant family members. I follow a very select group of family and friends on fb and for the most part they form a very comfortable echo chamber. I do’t rely on it for news but everal of them are very sharp and post links to news articles that are very useful, like the New Yorker story about how seniors lose all of their Civil Rights if a sharp “professional guardian” company catches them. How the Elderly Lose their Rights. I only started fb when my youngest was leaving on a world tour with a Disney show, at her urging in order to keep in touch easily.
    On Twitter I can get a good idea of some of what’s going on today by selectively following people like Joy Reid, Kurt Eichenwald, and about twenty others.
    On both platforms I block people who annoy me, usually politically. I only have two Real Life friends on twitter that I follow, one an ex-boyfriend from HS, another I met through Flickr.

  96. 96
    NotMax says:

    @Immanentize

    one I win every day in some small measure

    Small victories are still victories. Good on you!

  97. 97

    Twitter is basically just an Internet comment section. Lots of garbage and wingnuts and spam and bots on every thread, and also I assume some good people.

  98. 98
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Immanentize: The mere fact that “educated” and “informed” are so commonly associated in modern discussion is half the problem.

    You are absolutely correct that possession of information is not necessarily education, and that the educated can also be uninformed. How do we, though, frame the discussion without running into situations like these where even our allies do not fully grasp our meaning thanks to variations in interpretation? Never mind “how do we reach the Well Educated Wingnut?” which is a far more difficult proposition precisely because of all that academic paper that set has been brainwashed into identifying as Proof of Smartness™ and which many libprogs are likely to interpret in similar fashion.

  99. 99
    Brachiator says:

    @Immanentize:

    So here is my thought experiment — how many Sanders or Stein supporters (whether they ever saw the light later or not) will come forward to admit they were Russian marks in the primary and the general rather than totally principled people of ideas with policy differences?

    Does it really matter?

    The most insidious aspect of Russian meddling is that it seeks to make the entire electoral process illegitimate.

    Trump voters were dupes. Bernie voters were dupes. Stein voters were dupes. One conclusion is that Clinton voters were dupes as well, not that Clinton represented the last best hope of democracy.

  100. 100
    boatboy_srq says:

    @NotMax: Y’know, if the Ultimate Self-Driving Machine appeared on the market as a good old-fashioned “Checker Cab” model, nobody would complain in the least.

    We’re much too afraid the experience will be like this instead.

  101. 101
    opiejeanne says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Like you and me. I see your tweets every now and then.

  102. 102

    @Brachiator:

    The most insidious aspect of Russian meddling is that it seeks to make the entire electoral process illegitimate.

    Well, that and successfully ending the era of American supremacy.

  103. 103
    Ninedragonspot says:

    As some who often has to use Mainland China’s badly fractured social media (hello, Sina Boke, Weibo, Weixin, QQ, Kuaishou etc.) Facebook is a godsend as a better-centralized clearinghouse of up-to-date information on the arts.

  104. 104
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @jeffreyw: You have a college of couples at your feeder! Thanks for the picture.

  105. 105
    WaterGirl says:

    @GregB: Love that idea!

  106. 106
    Immanentize says:

    @Brachiator:

    One conclusion is that Clinton voters were dupes as well, not that Clinton represented the last best hope of democracy.

    I’m sorry, but this sentence is almost incomprehensible given the context of Russian election hacking. Just how were Clinton voters “dupes” in this context? And the second clause is the most strawy of straw persons ever. Who ever claimed that she was???

    But sadly, as things are going, it may prove in hindsight to be true that she might well have been, all told, the last best hope for democracy in our society at that moment. But the other dupes you identified (and Russia plainly identified) chose a much more anti-democratic path.

  107. 107
    Jim Parish says:

    I was a latecomer to Facebook – only signed up last year – and haven’t had any real problems with it. The majority of my friends there are people I’ve known online for years – decades in some cases; the majority of the remainder are family members; the majority of the remainder of that are old friends from high school; and the rest are friends of the family or present or former coworkers. Some of them support Trump – that includes most of my family – but none of them are especially vocal about it and none have bothered me directly. (The one “old friend from high school” I blocked was loudly pro-Trump. He was kind of obnoxious in high school, too, so I don’t feel bad about refusing him.)

  108. 108
    Chyron HR says:

    @Brachiator:

    One conclusion is that Clinton voters were dupes as well

    Yes, Mr. Trump. No dupe. No dupe. It is, in fact, we who were the dupes.

  109. 109
    RSA says:

    I use Facebook to keep up with online friends (some of whom I met over a decade ago on now defunct platforms), with colleagues, and with family news. It’s worthwhile to me for that.

    As for news and current events, it’s something of an echo chamber. Some would argue that the content on my news feed is under my control, but that’s just a canard. The tools for filtering and curation are completely inadequate (in part because it’s a hard problem to build such tools, but also in part because social media platforms don’t care enough to fund research to make it possible).

    Oh, and if someone (like a FB or Twitter representative) says that it would be impossible to ensure that the average person’s feed is accurate, reliable, and so forth, at least to the standard of traditional news media? Untrue. It’s that it would be unprofitable to do it (with the most obvious and most costly solution being direct human oversight).

  110. 110
    smintheus says:

    @Immanentize:

    So here is my thought experiment — how many Sanders or Stein supporters (whether they ever saw the light later or not) will come forward to admit they were Russian marks in the primary and the general rather than totally principled people of ideas with policy differences?

    I won’t because I voted for Sanders in the belief that Clinton would probably find a way to lose the general election to Trump.

    How many Clinton supporters will come forward to admit that they helped to nominate someone who somehow managed to lose a general election to a Trump?

  111. 111
    Baud says:

    @smintheus:

    How many Clinton supporters will come forward to admit that they helped to nominate someone who somehow managed to lose a general election to a Trump?

    I’ll admit it in a heartbeat. I helped her win the nomination and she (and we) were unable to defeat the combined forces of evil that were opposed to her, including the forces of the so-called left. I thought our side was stronger and had more character than was the case. That’s a mistake I hope not to repeat in the future.

  112. 112
    opiejeanne says:

    OH, fuck you with your Bernie woulda won bullshit.
    Clinton didn’t manage to lose, the election was stolen.

  113. 113
    opiejeanne says:

    @Baud: I think we did have more character. That wasn’t the problem.

  114. 114
    smintheus says:

    @RSA: Going back a decade, the imperative driving fb policy has been to push any and every form of interaction among users, as many as possible, as often as possible. Fb has never cared whether or not it annoyed users in the process.

    For ex., it eliminated bit by bit most of the search capabilities that once existed to locate specific friends from the past. You couldn’t any longer search discriminately among people you went to college or high school with, or even narrow it down to class year; everybody was just lumped together and you were supposed to network with all of them, or at least as many as possible, because more “friends” was better for fb. It wasn’t in the business of making it easy for you to interact with fewer, actual friends.

    So for the same reason, it conflicts with fb’s business model to limit the stuff people share to factual or non-garbage links. The more BS that idiots post, the more interaction exists as other idiots “like” their lies and their non-idiot friends argue with them about the lies. Accurate and truthful links don’t create anything like that level of interaction, so truthful info doesn’t really serve fb’s business model terribly well.

  115. 115
    Baud says:

    @opiejeanne: You and I did. Not the people we thought would be on our side. The rotten apples spoil the whole bunch. Let’s have fewer of them in the future.

  116. 116
    smintheus says:

    @opiejeanne: I didn’t say I knew whether Bernie would win, so f>ck you.

    What I said was that I was pretty sure that Clinton would manage to lose – which is exactly what she did. The race should never have been remotely close in the first place because Trump was such a laughingstock, so the fact that Russian meddling helped to flip it does not reflect well on her as a candidate.

  117. 117

    @smintheus:

    How many Clinton supporters will come forward to admit that they helped to nominate someone who somehow managed to lose a general election to a Trump?

    What is this, tautology club?

  118. 118
    Baud says:

    @smintheus: The race was close because Clinton was a threat to the people we wanted her to be a threat to. The fact that you still don’t see that reflects poorly on you. I can only hope people like you are a fading minority and that people truly are “woke” now.

  119. 119
    Darrin Ziliak (formerly glocksman) says:

    @smintheus:

    To be fair, I can just imagine the Republican attack ads against Bernie the Socialist.

    Wilmer would have been beaten like a drum.

    That said, I voted for him in the primary because I just didn’t like HRC that much after the clumsy 2008 “Sniper fire in Bosnia” lie.

    If he’d still been the in the race, I would have voted for Martin O’Malley (?) over HRC or Wilmer.

    FWIW, I voted for Hillary in the general.

  120. 120
    smintheus says:

    @Baud: The race was close because Clinton is a lousy candidate. She already had a long record of political screw ups before 2016. The fact that you still don’t see that reflects poorly on you. I can only hope that people like you can finally learn to assess the glaring weaknesses of their own preferred candidates while they’re busy casting aspersions at others.

  121. 121
    Baud says:

    @smintheus: She was lousy candidate because had made too many enemies that our side was not ready to fight. But she’s retired now. And as for me, I have learned my lesson about the extent to which progressives will ratfuck us and it will inform my primary vote on the future.

  122. 122
    smintheus says:

    @Darrin Ziliak (formerly glocksman): We didn’t have a good choice between an untested, little known candidate and a proven incompetent candidate. Sadly, that was because Democrats decided that Clinton would win the nomination easily and they did what they could to clear the path for her.

  123. 123
    Baud says:

    @smintheus: Ah the old rigged primary lie. A good test for credibility (or lack thereof) on the internet.

  124. 124
    smintheus says:

    @Baud: Pretty sad that you’re focusing your blame on progressives. It should not have been remotely close in the first place. If Stein voters were a mortal threat to Clinton, why didn’t she eviscerate Stein? Should have been pretty easy to do, given Stein’s connection to Putin…plus her idiocy.

  125. 125
    smintheus says:

    @Baud: Yet again, putting words into my mouth. What is it with you Clinton dead-enders? I didn’t say the primaries were rigged, I said that Democrats tried to clear a path for her nomination. Are you seriously going to deny that?

  126. 126
    Baud says:

    @smintheus: My anger is directed at all the people who helped Trump win. I just happen to encounter more lefty defenders here. If you started defending Putin, I would be just as angry.

    Anyway, it really doesn’t matter. Past is past. If you’ve got a candidate who can win the primary, I’ll support them in the general election. I’m not a Buster.

  127. 127
    Baud says:

    @smintheus: Yes. I deny that and that’s the same argument the rigged primary proponents make. It’s not wholly separate.

  128. 128
    Brachiator says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    What is this, tautology club?

    As with Fight Club, no one talks about Tautology Club.

  129. 129
    smintheus says:

    @Baud: There were widespread reports at the time that Obama himself was discouraging others including Biden from jumping in the race. You have different info?

  130. 130
    Baud says:

    I’m sorry to everyone for getting riled up. Luckily this was a dead thread. I just don’t believe we can let wrong and false things pass for the sake of harmony the way we used to before Trump.

    I’m done.

  131. 131
    WaterGirl says:

    @smintheus: You’re wasting a lot of words and a lot of time.

    Shorter: blah blah blah shoulda been Bernie! blah blah blah Hillary was awful. blah blah blah

  132. 132
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: I was appreciating that you weren’t just letting all that bullshit from smintheus stand. Dead threads seem to be my specialty.

  133. 133
    smintheus says:

    @WaterGirl: Words you apparently didn’t read carefully. I said I wasn’t wild about Sanders either.

    But by all means continue denying that Clinton screwed up. We can never admit that.

  134. 134

    @Brachiator: except that the first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club.

  135. 135
    Mnemosyne says:

    @smintheus:

    Yes, Hillary Clinton was personally responsible for Wisconsin’s race-based voter suppression laws. Why did she create those, anyway, amirite?

    You know, you can continue to hate Hillary Clinton personally while admitting that the Republicans cheated in order to beat her.

  136. 136
    WaterGirl says:

    @smintheus: I never thought Clinton would be our best candidate, but the people I preferred didn’t run, and Clinton was far and away better than the other two candidates.

    You’re as bad as Trump – the election is over, so unless you have a way-back machine, let it go and do something productive to make sure things go the right way in 2018.

    You’re right about one thing, though. I don’t read your comments carefully because they are a total waste of time and space. See my second paragraph for suggestions on moving forward.

  137. 137
    WaterGirl says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You can continue to hate Hillary Clinton personally while admitting that the Republicans cheated in order to beat her.

    Repeating your words because they are most excellent!

  138. 138

    I voted for Hillary in the primary because I though sanders wouldn’t be a very good president.

  139. 139
    smintheus says:

    @Mnemosyne: Why did Clinton take Wisconsin for granted? Whose cheating forced her to do that? If you can’t beat Republicans when they cheat, then you shouldn’t run as a Democrat because Republicans can be counted on to cheat. In this cycle, most of their methods of cheating were well known months or years in advance.

    Apparently after screwing up in 2007 and again in 2016, Clinton still cannot fail, she can only be failed.

  140. 140
    J R in WV says:

    This guy Sminthiousnesshit is such a prescious snuwflake, gong on about a woman still being dragged down by the NY Times and all the broadcast media.

    Some people can’t get over the fact that their actions in 2016 in the end helped lead directly to Trumpmania in the White House. Yes, you Smintheus, fell for the Russo-Republican propaganda, duped into not working for Clinton, not pushing your friends (assuming you have any, a wide reach in my book) and relatives into contributing and walking door to door to help get out the vote.

    And yes, She Can Be Failed, and you did it. Failing the whole nation at the same time. From now on all I hear from will be PIE, Glorious Pecan Pie, made with Maple Syrup and served warm with vanilla ice cream. So long, ass!! Will never see your plaintive wailing ever again. Thanks Major, cleek, and Alain….

    Still bleating about Commie dupe Sanders and RT hire Jill Stein. What a blast of nonsense.

  141. 141
    TerryC says:

    My goodness! I know lots of reasons to be concerned about the Book of Faces and other social networks, but I ♥️ Facebook. I’ve currently got 2,061 friends on there. It is invaluable to me for relatives who I would otherwise no longer know. Ditto old friends from previous careers. It’s a primary communications channel, along with Messenger, for my wife, my kids, and me. And I use it in literally dozens of instances to create and manage private groups for communications among members of boards of directors, development project teams, and the like.

    I know how to tell real from fake. And any “conservative” brave enough to post untruths on my timeline gets savaged by the great collection of progressives among my friends.

    At my seventieth birthday part last August I was thrilled to meet several FB friends I had not met in person, and at least a dozen pairs of my Facebook friends got to meet each other face to face for the first time, after knowing each other on line, usually through me.

    It was a big, fun, all day party!

  142. 142
    glory b says:

    @smintheus: When Clinton was Secretary of State, she had around a 70% approval rating. McCarthy said the Benghazi hearings were successful because they showed she was “untrustable (his word not mine).”

    And I’ll admit this, I had no idea that so many white people in the country were still that racist. Also, that so many who are ostensibly on our side stayed home or voted for a third party because they thought that their inchoate principles were more important than our (minorities, etc.) lives.

    They knew. And if they didn’,t they should have. Ultimately, they didn’t care enough to look past their hissy fits about Wilmer losing.

  143. 143
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Matt Yglesias frequently tweets out stuff about how O’Malley would’ve won. At first I thought it was his little gallows humor joke, but apparently he means it. One of the big (if now lesser, of course) surprises of 2016, was Mo”M’s total flame-out. He couldn’t even get the David Sirota-DKos types on his side, who I would’ve thought would be his biggest supporters. Of course, he wouldn’t have had Comey around his neck, so it’s possible, but if he couldn’t get activists and donors on his side, that’s not a great basis for a counterfactual O’Malley presidency.

    There were a lot of Clinton skeptics out there long before Wilmer started bellowing about Wall Street Speeches and free college. If no candidate was able to win them over, I don’t get how that’s “the Clintons clearing the field”, or Dems doing it for her.

  144. 144

    @smintheus:

    Why did Clinton take Wisconsin for granted? Whose cheating forced her to do that?

    She did better than feingold. I know, I’m late to the thread, but the Wisconsin argument just falls to shit when you point this out.

  145. 145
    WaterGirl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: That’s one thing that I can sort of understand. I think if Clinton had declared a year in advance that she was NOT going to run, a ton more people would have entered the race. She played coy for a long while, and I think others felt like they couldn’t or wouldn’t declare their candidacy until they knew if she was running. By then maybe it was too late – exploratory committees have to start way early or it’s too late. And once she declared her candidacy, people did not want to run against her.

    Was that Clinton “clearing the field”? Certainly not directly. I seem to recall a shock in 2007 that Barack Obama had the audacity to run against Hillary Clinton. “It was Hillary’s turn!” To me it’s a bit laughable to think that that the field didn’t clear for 2016 when Hillary was running. But that’s politics. If I were thinking of running for dog catcher, I would sure as hell want to know who else was running and that would surely impact my decision.

    But I certainly couldn’t blame that on Hillary Clinton or on the other people who were running.

Comments are closed.