That NYTimes Facebook Bombshell: “Delay, Deny, Deflect..”

Much as I hate to endorse any opinion of Franklin Foer’s, I have to admit I’m glad I never joined Facebook. (Not being on Facebook has sometimes felt like a minor luxury, because I don’t have an employer who demands it, or social networks that I can’t access via alternate routes. And, yes, I realize they’ve probably mined all my personal information anyways.) Props to the NYTimes reporters:

In just over a decade, Facebook has connected more than 2.2 billion people, a global nation unto itself that reshaped political campaigns, the advertising business and daily life around the world. Along the way, Facebook accumulated one of the largest-ever repositories of personal data, a treasure trove of photos, messages and likes that propelled the company into the Fortune 500.

But as evidence accumulated that Facebook’s power could also be exploited to disrupt elections, broadcast viral propaganda and inspire deadly campaigns of hate around the globe, Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg stumbled. Bent on growth, the pair ignored warning signs and then sought to conceal them from public view. At critical moments over the last three years, they were distracted by personal projects, and passed off security and policy decisions to subordinates, according to current and former executives.

When Facebook users learned last spring that the company had compromised their privacy in its rush to expand, allowing access to the personal information of tens of millions of people to a political data firm linked to President Trump, Facebook sought to deflect blame and mask the extent of the problem.

And when that failed — as the company’s stock price plummeted and it faced a consumer backlash — Facebook went on the attack.

While Mr. Zuckerberg has conducted a public apology tour in the last year, Ms. Sandberg has overseen an aggressive lobbying campaign to combat Facebook’s critics, shift public anger toward rival companies and ward off damaging regulation. Facebook employed a Republican opposition-research firm to discredit activist protesters, in part by linking them to the liberal financier George Soros. It also tapped its business relationships, lobbying a Jewish civil rights group to cast some criticism of the company as anti-Semitic.

…[T]rust in the social network has sunk, while its pell-mell growth has slowed. Regulators and law enforcement officials in the United States and Europe are investigating Facebook’s conduct with Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm that worked with Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign, opening up the company to fines and other liability. Both the Trump administration and lawmakers have begun crafting proposals for a national privacy law, setting up a yearslong struggle over the future of Facebook’s data-hungry business model…

… [A]s Facebook grew, so did the hate speech, bullying and other toxic content on the platform. When researchers and activists in Myanmar, India, Germany and elsewhere warned that Facebook had become an instrument of government propaganda and ethnic cleansing, the company largely ignored them. Facebook had positioned itself as a platform, not a publisher. Taking responsibility for what users posted, or acting to censor it, was expensive and complicated. Many Facebook executives worried that any such efforts would backfire.

Then Donald J. Trump ran for president. He described Muslim immigrants and refugees as a danger to America, and in December 2015 posted a statement on Facebook calling for a “total and complete shutdown” on Muslims entering the United States. Mr. Trump’s call to arms — widely condemned by Democrats and some prominent Republicans — was shared more than 15,000 times on Facebook, an illustration of the site’s power to spread racist sentiment…

Some at Facebook viewed Mr. Trump’s 2015 attack on Muslims as an opportunity to finally take a stand against the hate speech coursing through its platform. But Ms. Sandberg, who was edging back to work after the death of her husband several months earlier, delegated the matter to Mr. Schrage and Monika Bickert, a former prosecutor whom Ms. Sandberg had recruited as the company’s head of global policy management. Ms. Sandberg also turned to the Washington office — particularly to Mr. Kaplan, said people who participated in or were briefed on the discussions…

TL, DR:Damage Control at Facebook: 6 Takeaways From The Times’s Investigation”

‘Both sides’ cameo by the ineffable Chuck Shumer, because of course:

119 replies
  1. 1
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Also glad I’ve never joined Facebook. Imagine what they’re doing that we don’t know about. Zuckerberg is a sleazy businessman just like a Trump.

  2. 2
    eemom says:

    All right different church lady, have at it.

  3. 3
    seaboogie says:

    I deleted my FB account and apps around the Alex Jones clusterf*%k, and – while I miss keeping up with a few geographically distant friends and relatives, it was worth it in principle at the time, and I feel better about the wisdom of that decision every day. Rather addicted to Twitter for the latest breaking news and wit.

  4. 4

    Not being on Facebook has sometimes felt like a minor luxury, because I don’t have an employer who demands it, or social networks that I can’t access via alternate routes. And, yes, I realize they’ve probably mined all my personal information anyways.

    And they are not the only ones!

    Facebook is awful (though they own great things like Oculus). I am of course on Facebook. Just today I posted two popular things! But I use it with much the same attitude as when I fill a car’s gas tank with fossil fuel.

  5. 5
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    I’ve said this here and elsewhere many times, but: I have never had a Facebook account because I recognized from the start that Facebook is a machine for collecting your personal information so that Mark Zuckerberg can use it any way he wants. Without limits, without disclosure, and obviously, without ethics or scruples. I know the machine has a ton of info on me, too, because of my friends and despite all my care. I’ve had this discussion with my real-life friends so often, but they just can’t wean themselves off it. (I’m excusing anyone who has to use it for work: librarians, small-businesses operators, etc.) I’ve missed SO MUCH news about friends and family over the years, but you know what? That’s on them, not me. That fucking thing is a brain-wasting drug. I won’t take it.

  6. 6
    hitchhiker says:

    Can’t even with that NYT article. FB execs don’t have the chops to manage what they’ve built in a responsible way. There’s just no other way to say it.

  7. 7
    eemom says:

    FWIW, which of course is nothing, I will insist to my dying day that FB has been invaluable in enabling me to reconnect with many dear people I would otherwise have lost forever. It facilitates connecting with them in non-cyberspace, as well.

  8. 8
    eemom says:

    @hitchhiker:

    FB execs don’t have the chops to manage what they’ve built in a responsible way.

    That might be the most sensible comment I’ve ever read on this blog about FB — recognizing the difference between the thing itself and its handlers. None of the other bashers has ever figured that out.

  9. 9

    @eemom: To be fair, the handlers like to blame the thing for their failure to handle it. “Oh, this [not actually] fully-automated process is just too big and complicated for [us to want to pay] humans to moderate.”

  10. 10
    Mnemosyne says:

    I’m stuck on Facebook for now because my professional network of writers is mostly on there. As M^4 said, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m using a damaging product and try to keep my footprint as small as possible.

    I do keep meaning to create a separate Facebook profile for my pseudonym, which would probably just exacerbate the existing fake accounts problem.

  11. 11
    Ninedragonspot says:

    FB ambivalent here. Yes, the management is quite evil.

    But: it’s been a boon for small arts organizations throughout the world, connecting performers with potential audiences. I’ve learned a great deal about local arts programs in distant places. I frequently have dealings in China, and the lack of a unified social media environment there is a major PITA for arts consumers, especially outside the biggest cities.

  12. 12
    Corner Stone says:

    I’m still wondering how this is a bombshell. Sandberg is the fucking devil herself. What did anyone think she was doing?

  13. 13
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, just because I was ranting about it here earlier today:

    ‘Both sides’ cameo by the ineffable Chuck Shumer, because of course

    It drives me absolutely up the fucking wall that there’s an entire exposé about how Facebook directly conspired with the Republican Party to steal the 2016 election and the only takeaway some people on the left* had was, Chuck Schumer did a few minor things to support them, so therefore both sides are equally guilty!

    * Present company (including AL) excluded, in case that wasn’t clear.

  14. 14
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mnemosyne: It’s still TBD what role Chuck played in preventing FB from being regulated as a media company.

  15. 15
    mad citizen says:

    Is it really 2.2 billion PEOPLE? How many accounts are companies, organizations, dogs, cats, fake people, etc.? I’m highly skeptical of that number. Myself, I created one a few years ago solely to be able to log into my local newspaper site to make comments, and use it for other such things. I rarely use it, they send suggestions to connect to people I don’t know, etc. My account is under a fake name. I doubt they have gleaned anything of value from me.

  16. 16
    Corner Stone says:

    We need to stop venerating these Big Tech people as demi-Gods who are going to save us all. Zuck is really just a supremely rich 12 year old who might wish us all into the cornfield at any moment.

  17. 17
    NotMax says:

    Related.

    Dozens of lawmakers in Congress are using tracking tools on their campaign websites to collect personal information about online visitors, including some legislators who have lambasted Facebook and other social media companies for employing similar methods.

    The revelations underscore how critical internet tracking has become to politicians who seek information on voters in their districts to target them with advertising.

    One senator removed tracking tools from his campaign website after his office was contacted by McClatchy, and another lawmaker pledged to put up a privacy alert about the tracking. Source

    Never been to Facebook. Never been to Twitter. And unable to discern any reason whatsoever to veer from that.

  18. 18
    Doug R says:

    I am on Facebook way too much these days. It’s good for political friends keeping you sane. Bloom County is on Facebook. I also watch TV. On cable.

  19. 19
    GregB says:

    I think Zuckerberg’s birth name was Hal 2000.

  20. 20
    Ninedragonspot says:

    @mad citizen: I still see a lot of fake China accounts, wumao-type accounts set up to push back against news stories perceived as “unfriendly”. Don’t know whether their numbers are statistically significant, though.

  21. 21
    Yarrow says:

    But as evidence accumulated that Facebook’s power could also be exploited to disrupt elections, broadcast viral propaganda and inspire deadly campaigns of hate around the globe, Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg stumbled. Bent on growth, the pair ignored warning signs and then sought to conceal them from public view. At critical moments over the last three years, they were distracted by personal projects, and passed off security and policy decisions to subordinates, according to current and former executives.

    This is bullshit in that it dismisses what they did and allowed to happen prior to three years ago. Like running psychological experiments on Facebook users by purposely promoting sad or disturbing news to see if it would change how those users felt or responded. Hey, guess what, it did! Those users were sadder. Facebook was playing with fire and there have been no consequences for them for any damage they did to those users.

    And then there’s the partnering they did with Cambridge Analytica and the Russian funding they took to keep the company going. They are traitors. Whatever bad stuff comes their way as a result of all of this is probably not even close to what they deserve.

  22. 22
    Corner Stone says:

    @GregB: “I’m afraid I can’t remember allowing you to do that, Sheryl.”

  23. 23
    NotMax says:

    @Major Major Major Major

    OT.

    How’s the sublet? Noisy at night?

    Oh, and lesson one in Noo Yawkese:

    Wawta (n.) da liquid dat cascades from da fawsit in da sink.

    ;)

  24. 24
    Old Dan and and Little Ann says:

    I have less than 200 fb friends because I was always skeptical and don’t care about every Tom, Dick, and douchebag I’ve ever crossed paths with in my life. I know 3 active triumph supporters online. I feel like that’s better than most users.

  25. 25
    Keith P. says:

    Statement from Zuckerberg saying “We must do better” in 3…2…1…

  26. 26

    @Corner Stone:

    What did anyone think she was doing?

    Leaning Forward?

  27. 27

    @NotMax: it’s fine, I dunno. The windows don’t seem too well insulated but that’s pretty normal out here. I own earplugs!

  28. 28
  29. 29
    debbie says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Soon, quiet will make you nervous.

  30. 30
    eemom says:

    @GregB:

    The actor who did the voice of Hal died just the other day.

  31. 31
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Why do we need neo-NAZIs and other anti-Semites when you can get three Jewish corporate execs to peddle the exact same ant-Semitic crap for their own personal profit?

  32. 32
    NotMax says:

    @debbie

    Or noivess, as the case may be.

    :)

  33. 33
    Ruckus says:

    I’ve been on FB for a number of years. I used to check it very often, it allowed me to keep up with far flung friends. Now I check in maybe once every 6-8 weeks.
    Also I understand that deleting your account is a lot more difficult than one might think, even given their assholelyness. In that vein I found a couple of years ago a site that tells how to actually delete your account. Here’s the link about actually deleting your FB account. I make no claim as to anything about it but it has been up and updated a few times.

  34. 34

    The real hitch here, at least to my mind, is that Facebook has become something of a practical need to a whole lot of people in the world, people who often don’t have many ways to keep up with others, people in developing countries, that kind of thing.

    I think the answer–and my guess is that we’ll get there sooner or later–is that the thing be designated a public utility, and run as one. This is just too important to be left to scheming, greedy scumbags like Zuckerberg and Sandberg.

  35. 35
    laura says:

    No me faceberg.

  36. 36
    ruemara says:

    @Adam L Silverman: This. I have to have FB for my work since every job lately, I have to do social media, but for pete’s sake.

  37. 37

    @debbie: oh that’s been true for years.

  38. 38
    Brickley Paiste says:

    People who participate in Facebook and Twitter are complicit in the ongoing destruction of this country.

    This is stuff that’s been talked about for years now. It isn’t news that everytime you log in you sell a tiny part of yourself.

    SAD.

  39. 39
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @ruemara: It is a puzzlement.

  40. 40
    Yarrow says:

    @Corner Stone: She is awful. Years and years ago, when Facebook was still relatively new I remember seeing her interviewed on some morning newstainment show, like the Today Show. Facebook had just changed some design and settings, as they were doing all the time at that time, and things that previously were private were suddenly public. The interviewer asked her about that and suggested that perhaps not everyone would like that info to be public and she just replied with something like, “We believe that sharing more is good!”

    No thought of how suddenly making private info public might endanger people. No worries about how they’d misrepresented what users could make public and private. Not a care in the world. Just “sharing more is good!” and bulldoze right through.

    She’s not to be trusted and hasn’t been for as long as she’s been at Facebook. Probably well before that.

  41. 41
    Mike in DC says:

    Buzz about a sealed indictment of Assange. GG may have an aneurysm.

  42. 42
    Shalimar says:

    @mad citizen: I had 6 Facebook accounts maybe five years ago to play a baseball card-collecting game, one for each division. I never used any of them for anything else, even the one that was actually in my own name. My guess is I was far from the only person who has ever done something like this.

  43. 43
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike in DC:

  44. 44
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Adam L Silverman: said this earlier today…
    I cannot get it out of my mind that they ended up contributing to the online environment that resulted in the killings at Squirrel Hill.

  45. 45
    Yarrow says:

    @Shalimar: Remember when they were making people send in pics of their driver’s licenses to prove who they were or they’d shut down their accounts? Also, they were shutting down drag queens’ accounts because they didn’t use their real names.

  46. 46

    @Mike in DC: Just saw a news alert about that on my computer.

  47. 47
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Tenar Arha: They did. As well as massacres in Myanmar. I’m sure if I started digging I could find several more.

  48. 48
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Corner Stone:

    We need to stop venerating these Big Tech people as demi-Gods who are going to save us all. Zuck is really just a supremely rich 12 year old who might wish us all into the cornfield at any moment.

    This is a quality post.

    Steve in Floriduh

  49. 49
    Tenar Arha says:

    I’m like a lot of you too. I was never on it, bc I didn’t need it or want it & then I just kept finding really good reasons not to join.

    First I avoided it because it didn’t seem like something meant for an old head like me. Then I was like, you want me to use my real name, really? Then they kept on changing their TOS & privacy settings, which meant I’d have to pay close attention to it bc it would be associated with my real name. Then bc every new offering was another sliver of privacy they were asking me to give away. Then it was the studies showing it was contributing to everything from FOMO, to addictive behavior, to depression, to DV & stalking, etc. even to increasing the spread of false information & acting as the primary megaphone for genocide.

    I don’t for a minute forget that between Google & Twitter & Apple & my cell provider, all of whose different services & monopoly power I use & depend on, my information is out there somewhere, & my privacy invaded. But none of these companies required me to give them all the parts of my self, & use them together through their curated portal in front of everyone I’ve ever known IRL while selling all of that information to the highest bidder. & then practically guaranteeing that information would be used to turn some of those same people into right wing extremists, or manipulations.

    So anyway, I’ve always thought FB was creepy, but now I think they’re the 21st century’s first hazardous equivalent of the bomb, of chemical weapons, or dynamite….FB created an monopolistic international societal propaganda & manipulation network, and then ignored the warnings.

    I’m not sure what happens next, but it needs everything in the toolbox plus, & even if we break it up here, probably we’ll need international regulations to reduce its scope & harmful characteristics there too. Maybe while we’re doing that, we’ll learn from the past & look at regulating all the other computer based monopolies too.

  50. 50
    JR says:

    Facebook has insinuated itself into mundane communications for PTO meetings, etc. For that reason my wife hasn’t left (I quit when the CA story broke, and haven’t regretted it one iota). But perhaps if there were a craigslist-esque alternative to social networks…

  51. 51
    Ruckus says:

    @Shalimar:
    Had a few friends who used fake names. One hasn’t been caught to the best of my knowledge. They used to make a big deal about that but with all the bots and them selling whatever they collected, I’d bet they really don’t give a shit about any fake accounts. I’d also bet they in some ways encouraged them, that made them look bigger and they had more data to sell. So what if it’s fake, it’s still worth money, especially if the people paying didn’t know/care. 2.2 billion accounts, that’s almost a third of the worlds population. I’m thinking that number can not all be real accounts. Most of the people I know right now, including a number on this post, don’t have accounts. Somethings fishy at FB. Of course it always has been.

  52. 52
    Dan B says:

    Its great that the NYT has covered FB’s problems. There is fairly clear evidence that they’ve empowered authoritarians and that they’ve become a tool of genocide.

    They’ve learned how to manipulate popular opinion and are selling their services to the higher bidders. They can find out in real time how to manipulate and propagandize.

    It’s a dictator’s dream.

    Watch Frontline and Independent Lens’ most recent shows. They’re chilling.

    We need regulation and oversight with consequences.

  53. 53
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I was pretty sure. Some enterprising reporter right now is comparing the killer’s social media they pulled off the web with the information currently available just from this story.

    Also said earlier today that turns out that Zuckerberg belongs right next to Adelson & Netanyahu as bad for Jewish Americans; & on second review, Sandberg belongs there too, while Schumer is an enabler.

  54. 54
    Humdog says:

    Wait. 2.2 billion accounts but today announced purging 1.5 billion fraudulent accounts? 66% fake, really?

  55. 55
  56. 56
    Yarrow says:

    Related and may be of some interest:

    Join @nytopinion's @aellick and I to discuss Russian disinformation and how the KGB playbook is now being used in the U.S. – Monday at 3pm Eastern. We will be doing a @reddit AMA. In the meantime read and watch "Operation Infektion" @nytimes pic.twitter.com/qsVVc7Bprd— John Sipher (@john_sipher) November 15, 2018

  57. 57
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Tenar Arha: JJ McNab and Caroline Ohr (RVAWonk) do a very good job combing through the social media feeds of these types.

  58. 58
    PJ says:

    @Adam L Silverman: And he was always such a nice boy.

    Maybe we have some unsealed indictments to look forward to tomorrow.

  59. 59
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: How’s your cold?

    @PJ: Indictment Friday would be nice!

  60. 60
    Ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    So now we know why he’s holed up in that embassy. He has good reason to be afraid of being out in the world where someone can get to him. If we want him, it’s a pretty good bet someone else might like to talk to him as well. Actually a number of someones.
    Brings to mind that old saying, “His life isn’t worth a bucket of spit.”
    What I like is that he’s put himself in jail, rather than have someone else do it. Wonder how long before his hosts literally just throw him out in the street, him being such a good house guest and all?

  61. 61
    Yarrow says:

    @Ruckus: I read a funny suggestion that Ecuador could just decide to move its embassy to another physical location. Move everything but Assange. Leave him in the building that would no longer be an embassy.

  62. 62

    @Humdog: Facebook claims 2.2 billion human users. Deleting 1.5 billion accounts that are not individual human users still leaves them with 2.2 billion human users.

  63. 63
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @PJ: The Special Counsel will proceed at his own pace and in his own time.

  64. 64
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: I’m doing much better, thanks. Am back in the gym, so now I’m sore from having had last week off. And you? Feeling better.

  65. 65
    Ruckus says:

    @Yarrow:
    Be easier for two guys to just pick him up by an arm and his belt and throw him out the front door. Wanna bet that idea has crossed their minds?

  66. 66
    Jay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    ???

    Missed that. Deet’s or links?

  67. 67
    rikyrah says:

    Remember all the lies Facebook told about the 2016 election.😡😡
    Remember that bullshyt listening tour of Zuckerberg?🤨

  68. 68
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ruckus: We’ll see. This may just be what the lawyer who tweets as SouthpawNYC thinks it is, a bizarre misstatement. Or it could be that he’s been indicted under seal and it has now inadvertently leaked.

  69. 69
    Martin says:

    So AP called CA-45 for the Democrat Katie Porter. My first coworker in Congress. I have one in the White House, but we don’t talk about him because he’s a fucking idiot.

    CA-39 now has the Dem leading and should be called in a few days.

    Dems would have won a number of these seats just because of Trump, but the issue that put a fair number of households over the top was the tax bill’s treatment of state tax deductions. The GOP used to have an iron-clad rule they would go to (which was mostly a lie to begin with) which was to not tax the same dollar twice. Well, Orange County is not the confederacy and we aren’t culture warriors here, but this is the heart of the US bond market and money talks. This is the county that made Prop 13 real, and pushed the anti-tax line for decades, and out of spite for CA and a few other blue states, the GOP decided to tax our dollars twice. They used to argue that lower federal taxes could always be made up by higher local taxes, that putting the authority and interest closer to the voter was a good thing. And while we might disagree with it, it’s at least a good-faith argument. But they violate that one as well. So people here now get to pay taxes twice on the same dollar, while residents of other states don’t. That fucking infuriates a fair number of look-the-other-way Republicans and independents here.

  70. 70
    Ruckus says:

    Facebook, living proof that nothing in life is free.
    Just that sometimes the cost is hidden or is one that you have to pay, like it or not, afford it or not.

  71. 71
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Coming along. I’ve been more functional this week but I run out of energy. Still coughing up gunk and only just getting my sense of smell back (I’ve been so congested I couldn’t smell or taste anything). I am wondering if I had a mild case of the flu since I did have a fever for about 36 hours and it is taking me longer than I’d expect to bounce back. I was really run down from taking care of my dad every day, though.

    I have yet to get a flu shot because I was so busy with my dad that I didn’t get to it. I had planned to go last week. Oh well. As soon as I’m recovered I’ll get one. They don’t give them to you if you’re sick.

    If you’re already in the gym you’re way ahead of me. I haven’t even had the energy to go for my usual walk.

  72. 72
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: This story was also out today:

    The Justice Department is preparing to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and is optimistic about bringing him to the U.S. https://t.co/VpCxcJF5j7— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) November 15, 2018

    @Ruckus: Oh yeah, for sure. The conversation I followed was that Ecuador maybe didn’t want to actively toss him out so they could passively move the embassy but forget to tell him. Just leave his room intact and let the UK know the building was no longer their embassy. Oops, sorry Julian. Our bad. I mean, that’s not going to happen but the thread was funny to read.

  73. 73
    Martin says:

    @Adam L Silverman: If Stone and Corsi are being indicted, then I don’t see how Assange isn’t also indicted. It doesn’t make sense to go after the Russians performing the hack and all of the relays of that information other than Assange.

    My money is that Don Jr is also indicted, and that’s what’s got Trump freaking out.

  74. 74
    Yarrow says:

    @rikyrah: That “listening tour” Zuckerberg did was so ridiculous. Trying to imagine him thinking he’ll run for president. What a joke.

  75. 75
    Ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I’m going with “inadvertently leaked.” Wink, wink. IOW there is a reason behind it. I’m saying it wasn’t an accident.
    I can not imagine that anyone would spill the name that easily. This is not a name that a prosecutor would just pull out of thin air, it’s not a name they’d have on the tip of the tongue without reason. There are obviously people in the legal profession who really, really should not be there, for a number of reasons. Like being this stupid or careless. I doubt that anyone working on this entire legal quagmire falls into that low a level, especially not someone appearing in court.
    Nothing about this is simple, open and shut, without massive effects for every step of the way, either positive or negative for some entity. We seem to be getting to the nitty gritty, legally speaking of this entire matter. And yes I do believe that there are a lot of connections between some or all of the parties under question. From the top to the bottom.

  76. 76
    Platonailedit says:

    @Yarrow:

    Why would Ecuador go to such pita instead of throwing out the resident pita?

  77. 77
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jay: It’s in the New York Times reporting on the Facebook mess. Apparently Zuckerberg, Sandberg, and a third Facebook exec named Joel Kaplan hired a Republican aligned PR and oppo research firm as part of their attempt to push back on all the negative reporting and disclosures and that PR and oppo firm started pushing out George Soros conspiracy theory stuff.

  78. 78
    Platonailedit says:

    Why would Ecuador go to such a pita when they can simply throw out the resident pita?

  79. 79
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Adam L Silverman: There’s more layers of blackest irony in this FB story.

    I’m thinking of it being written by the NYT, a newspaper founded by Jewish people & still in that family, yet the institution most responsible for injecting propaganda from the RW puke funnel like Clinton Cash into the mainstream. And likely part of the reason Clinton isn’t President today. They’ve never addressed their responsibility for “balancing” their coverage by flogging the nothingburger emails daily, & questioning the financial arrangements of the Clinton Foundation when right there in the city, was a great corruption story about NY real estate.

  80. 80
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Martin: I would expect the Cambridge Analytica/SCL folks too if that’s what this batch of indictments is. However, we really don’t know anything. Until Mueller does what he’s going to do, it is all speculation.

  81. 81
    Ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Joel Kaplan. That name sounded familiar. Look up his wiki page and check out a few other sources.
    I wonder if Joel likes to make money, any way, for any body? Or just for total RW asswipes.

  82. 82
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Tenar Arha: The NY Times is what it is. It is what it has always been.

  83. 83
    Jay says:

    @Yarrow:

    Who rescues the cat’

    RSPCA?

  84. 84
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Ruckus:
    What about his cat?

  85. 85
    Yarrow says:

    @Jay: That poor cat. It’s so unfair to the cat that it has to be taken care of by Assange.

  86. 86
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ruckus: The Federalist Society strikes again…

  87. 87
    Yarrow says:

    @Amir Khalid: Have you given us a 1MDB update recently? I’ve seen various news headlines but haven’t followed it.

  88. 88
    Mary G says:

    FB creeped me out from the beginning and I have a very minimal account to keep up with a small set of old friends and the thrift shop my mother helped found in 1964. I never post myself. They deserve to lose bigly in some class action lawsuits and it sounds like they will.

  89. 89
    lgerard says:

    The transcript of trump’s daily Caller interview is hilarious. My favorite part, talking about Brian Kemp

    Well, I’ll give you another. You take Georgia. He was 10 points down when I endorsed him, he ended up winning by 40 points in the primary. He’s now in, but he was 10 points down. It was 70 to 30, something like that, 70-30 or 70-40, maybe 70-40. But it was an easy win.

    He has the best numbers!

  90. 90
    Jay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Thanks Adam,

    Hard to keep up on all the Resident Evil(TM)

  91. 91
    sm*t cl*de says:

    Criticism of FB is part of the George Soros Rootless Jewry conspiracy. Also, criticism of FB is antisemitic.

  92. 92
    eemom says:

    @Yarrow:

    Trying to imagine him thinking he’ll run for president. What a joke.

    ummmmmmm….

  93. 93
    Jay says:

    @Yarrow:

    Double secret probation yup.

  94. 94
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Fuck Zuckerberg. He’s negligent, and that’s as good as evil in this case.

  95. 95
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jay: No worries. It is quite exhausting. Which is why I’m going to bed!

  96. 96
    Mandalay says:

    @Ruckus:

    If we want him, it’s a pretty good bet someone else might like to talk to him as well. Actually a number of someones. Brings to mind that old saying, “His life isn’t worth a bucket of spit.”

    Once Assange has been extradited Donald “I love WikiLeaks!!!!” Trump will arrange for Assange to tragically but fatally fall down the stairs in his 9 x 12 cell.

    Trump really doesn’t want Assange squealing like a piggy in a courtroom.

  97. 97
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mike in DC:

    GG may have an aneurysm.

    Good. FSB agent needs to suffer.

  98. 98
    trollhattan says:

    Placer County, CA has an air quality index of 421. The scale only goes to 500.

  99. 99
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Yarrow:
    Not that much new, really. Goldman Sachs has denied that it is involved as a company in 1MDB, blaming any criminal actions of a few rogue executives. Jho Low, still at large, has denied the US Federal charges filed against him in New York. The Public Accounts Committee has also suspended its 1MDB investigation pending the outcome of related court cases. Najib is still awaiting trial, scheduled for early next year.

  100. 100
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    Continued.
    CNN Business says Goldman Sachs could end up in deep doo-doo re 1MDB.
    I am still waiting for the IMDB entertainment reference site to sue because their name got dragged into this.

  101. 101
    SFBayAreaGal says:

    @Ruckus: Bookmarked the article. Thank you Ruckus

  102. 102
    Ruckus says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    The cat will be better off without him? Odds seem pretty good. The embassy had to bring that bit about the cat up publicly. Seems maybe public shame is a necessary ingredient with JA. That or hard time.

  103. 103
    Ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I keep hearing this name and it seems it is at odds with the beliefs of it’s members. They want anything but a federal society, well except one they can steal everything from.

  104. 104

    @Yarrow: I recall it all too well. I was one of the people who’s account was going to be shut down — it’s under my performer name, Thankfully, a friend knew a friend who worked there who was able to pull some strings to prevent that from happening.

    It was particularly traumatic because 1) there’s a number of fellow performers who I only know by their stage names, and don’t have other contact info for; 2) keeping the account would have meant putting my then-male name on it — and the performance world was one of the first places I’d established myself as a woman.

  105. 105
    TS (the original) says:

    @Ruckus:

    Had a few friends who used fake names

    I’ve used a fake name from day 1. Only use fb to play some online games. No pictures, no friends, nothing. I think I said I was 99 when I joined so I’m probably the oldest person on facebook.

  106. 106
    opiejeanne says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Huh. My cat Annie has an account, started as a joke. It’s for photos of her but I rarely update it.

    I wonder if Fb has deleted it.

  107. 107
    raven says:

    “And, yes, I realize they’ve probably mined all my personal information anyways.”

    Duh

  108. 108

    @opiejeanne: Cisneros has moved ahead of Kim in CA-39, none of the OC will be represented by Republicans if this holds. CA-45 was called for Katie Porter this evening. Never thought I’d see a blue OC.

  109. 109
    opiejeanne says:

    @TS (the original): You’re only the oldest person on Fb now because my husband’s Great Aunt died two years ago at the ripe old age of 100.

  110. 110
    opiejeanne says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I know! It’s really great. We lived in Loretta Sanchez’s district, in Anaheim. It had been B-1 Bob Dornan’s district but she liberated it in 1996, so that district has been blue for 12 years. She beat him by less than a thousand votes.

  111. 111
    MattF says:

    Facebook management will respond if there is a NYT story that demonstrates they are the scum of the earth. Good to know.

    I have a couple of old friends and disappeared relatives on Facebook, so I’m still a member. And there are a couple of pages I monitor (cryptic puzzles and ‘Pearls Before Swine). But I almost never post– their information about me is a few years out of date.

  112. 112
    gvg says:

    If we take Zuckerberg at face value, he seems clueless and to not even think he can control what he has built. That seems to me to be a sign they need a different CEO. It’s not uncommon for a new company to be created mainly by one leader with vision, who then turns out to be terrible at managing an established big company. Entrepreneur is not the same thing as really managing a company. I think that is being kind and the guy is a terrible person, but just from a business point of view, he ought to be replaced, and what’s her name too. Thanks for creating this company, but goodbye.
    My mom is currently upset with facebook because she posted to family some vacation photo’s where dad had grown a beard. facebook has been auto labeling them as pics of her and some other married guy she knows from church. She is in her 70’s and rather old fashioned and uptight. This embarrassed her. She corrected the label and it came back, so she is really upset. She used it to keep in touch with family.

  113. 113
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @gvg: In other words, Zuckerberg knows how to build a railroad, but not run it. I was at a small ISP 25 years ago just as the intertubes was about to open up that had the same problem; founder was quite the entrepreneur but kept misplacing checks from subscribers. No interest at all in sustaining what he’d built.

  114. 114
    Yarrow says:

    @Amir Khalid: Thanks for the update! Wonder about the impact on Goldman long term. I also have wondered how this might be affecting IMDB.

  115. 115
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Late in the last millennium one of my friends relocating to NYC for work was excited to stumble upon a bargain basement apartment (no really, a basement apartment that was a bargain) in Brooklyn. As it happened, the landlord was very careful to show the place only on certain days of the week at certain times – times when the subway line that ran nearly underneath wasn’t in frequent use.

    (WHAT? YOU CAN’T HEAR ME?? SHOULD I TYPE LOUDER????) ;^D

  116. 116
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Martin: Technically, IIUC, it’s not a case of “paying taxes twice on the same dollar,” but paying taxes on that fraction of your income that is already going to the state in taxes (& which you never get to use because it’s either withheld or paid in advance quarterly).

    Thing is, that’s already happening with respect to all sorts of taxes, Federal, state & local, that you aren’t allowed to deduct from your income. E.g., within my taxpaying lifetime (& yes I predate dirt, thanks for asking) individuals were allowed to deduct state & local sales taxes from their income for Federal tax purposes.

    (It appears they can do the same this year, up to a limit, apparently $10K, if they itemize deductions – but they have to choose between deducting state income taxes or state sales taxes. Doesn’t affect my point.)

  117. 117
    different-church-lady says:

    @eemom: Thanks for the offer, but Told Ya So’s ain’t really a thing for me. I’m just glad to know my creepy-detector is still properly calibrated.

  118. 118
    cleosmom says:

    @eemom: @eemom:

    I will insist to my dying day that FB has been invaluable in enabling me to reconnect with many dear people I would otherwise have lost forever. It facilitates connecting with them in non-cyberspace, as well.

    Thank you for that; I’ve stayed on FB for the same reason. Not everyone is enthused over dismissing family connections with “That’s on them, not me.”

  119. 119
    cleosmom says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The NY Times is what it is.

    DAMN. You seemed so intelligent at first.

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