MONOLOGUE WRITTEN BY CLYDE LEWIS
As history unfolds it becomes quite clear that our interpretation of news events is based on quick glances at a newspaper, magazine or news program that is funded, owned and/or operated by a corporation that has a controlling political interest in what is being reported. This type of journalism is what you would expect in a country where the press is no longer objective. It usually turns up in countries that are highly controlled.
Countries with state-run newspapers and state-run radio and TV stations. The state of the media has been declared dead by old-timers who long for the days of real journalism, where hunting for the blockbuster story was as stimulating as delivering it. Now those days have long passed and no one understands that sometimes it takes more than a television show or a newspaper columnist to get the whole story.
While trying to keep pace with an ever-changing world there is a point where we have difficulty keeping informed of what dangers are out there that might harm our families and ourselves.
So we develop a need for instant information. A flip of the switch gets us a news report. A Google search gives us information we already know — and apparently Facebook gives us information meant to have us fight among each other.
That according to whistle-blower, Frances Haugen. a data scientist that appeared on 60 Minutes last Sunday.
For weeks, this so-called “whistle-blower” has been “leaking” documents to the Wall Street Journal allegedly showing Facebook is utilizing highly unethical business practices.
Then coincidentally — or expectedly, depending on your cynicism, Facebook suffered a massive outage on Monday.
It seems a bit convenient to observers that a whistle-blower appears on 60 Minutes to dish Facebook dirt and then the next day Facebook throws the so-called internet “Kill Switch.”
These two things have combined to create a perfect storm of narrative portraying Mark Zuckerberg’s company as a monster in desperate need of slaying by some deft government intervention.
But to what extent is that story contrived? Is Facebook willingly going along with it? And what does it mean for the rest of the internet?
While the schadenfreude game on Twitter and late-night TV was strong, millions around the planet suffered. WhatsApp, which Facebook bought in 2014, has become an especially indispensable communication tool in South America, India and Africa, where huge majorities of the population use it daily. The cost to businesses who rely on Facebook Marketplace and Instagram was incalculable, as was the effect on newspapers, nonprofits, advertisers, and all kinds of event planners.
This is the state of Facebook products in 2021: Our increasingly online society can’t live with them, and it can’t live without them. The social network maddens us — literally. As Haugen’s documents confirm, the algorithm is making us angrier, so we’ll stay on it longer and look at more ads.
But we keep using Facebook or Messenger or Instagram or WhatsApp anyway, because who can make their friends and family and favorite artists switch services en masse? Facebook is a monopoly like no other: enforced every day by peer pressure (even if those peers might individually prefer to stop using it). The need for our social species to connect as widely and efficiently as possible is just too strong.
However, it appears that more than 7 hours of shutdown sent a loud and clear message and that is people now believe that if you can’t live with it — or live without it the best thing to do is avoid it.
All the bad press about Facebook might be catching up to the company. New numbers from Edison Research show an an estimated 15 million fewer users in the United States compared to 2017. The biggest drop is in the very desirable 12- to 34-year-old group. Marketplace Tech got a first look at Edison’s latest social media research. It revealed almost 80 percent of people in the U.S. are posting, tweeting or snapping, but fewer are going to Facebook. `
Fifteen million is a lot of people, no matter which way you cut it. It represents about 6 percent of the total U.S. population ages 12 and older. What makes it particularly important is if it is part of a trend. This has surprisingly been a two-year trend. This latest bad press is creating more excuses to say that people do not need Facebook in their lives.
But do they? It is a tough decision to break up with an abusive partner especially when people are not aware of the alternatives. Facebook is vulnerable and the secret is out about their ability to manipulate the crowd with their adversarial algorithms.
Believe it or not people are dropping social networks because they find that they are better socially in gaming groups. There is also a trend in private and paywall social media like aftermath.media — something that we created because we were seeing the trends and we wanted to be available in the aftermath of the bringing down of adversarial social media.
When Facebook shut down on Monday, I really do not think that the average person knew what this meant — that they are unaware of what message they are sending about how the internet can be deleted or otherwise shut down by an authority that thinks that all of the so called misinformation on line could be a threat to national security.
What do you suppose would happen if the President of the United States deemed it necessary, for “national security,” to flip the Internet Kill Switch? In these digital times, there should be great concern over something like this. However, normalcy bias seems to have a firm hold on a majority of the citizens of the US, and many are clinging to the “it can’t happen here” theory.
For several hours on Monday afternoon Facebook – and its subsidiaries Instagram and Whatsapp – were completely offline. Rumors circulated that large portion of the social media monopoly had been totally deleted. Others suggested it was a cyber-attack.
Facebook itself insists there was no attack, and that it was purely an engineering error, but of course no tech company would ever admit to being vulnerable to a hack.
There’s always the possibility the whole event was staged of course. Either way, the timing is very suspicious. The act of killing Facebook and allowing it to pout in the corner shows how the company wants to flex its monopoly muscles.
As Haugen said in her testimony before congress, Zuckerberg, who retains full control of Facebook, is not a fundamentally evil person. The most in-depth book on his recent history suggests that he’s merely out of his depth, easily manipulated, and obsessed with burying bad news which is why there was a trove of damning internal reports, ripe for leaking. And yet here he is, effectively holding the world hostage to the whims of server farms.
It is believed that he lost 7 billion dollars in this shenanigan showing that he is willing to throw his money away in order to make a point — in order to throw a tantrum.
In her hours of testimony on Tuesday, Franci Haugen tore the company apart. Alleging everything from being a danger to children’s mental health to outright breaking the law.
In her 60 Minutes interview, she told the reporter “again and again Facebook has chosen profits over safety”.
Drug cartels, hate speech, genocide, anorexia…Haugen laid the blame for all of that and more at Facebook’s feet.
It all fell apart as if on cue as we reported a few days ago that the Internet kill switch is at the hands of very powerful individuals including the President of the United States. it appears that this kill switch is even more powerful than the nuclear codes.
According to data gathered to examine the financial impact of internet shutdowns, since 2019, there have been 237 major internet shutdowns in 45 countries.
An internet kill switch is a device-software-configuration that allows one to shut down all internet access within a region or country indefinitely. If activated, the kill switch would prevent everyone from checking social media, shopping online, using online messenger services, sending emails, or anything else involving an internet connection.
In many cases, this may also include any form of phone contact it varies.
Hackers have the ability to down the entire internet system, a CME could knock out the entire system, human error could knock out the entire system and yes we now realize that Mark Zuckerberg can fall on his sword and take out Facebook as well.
But we should analyze what is truly going on and that is a demonstration of the Kill Switch and a manipulation of public opinion that has all the makings of a movie of the week.w
An ‘anonymous whistle-blower’ coming forward with a team of lawyers, and coordinated interviews on primetime TV just before her testimony to congress looks a lot too much like a glitzy PR campaign that just so happens to throw out all of the talking points we always heart on the mainstream news about Facebook and how it peddles conspiracy theory and misinformation.
Consider what Facebook is actually being accused of. It’s not mass surveillance, censorship or abuse of its monopoly that’s making the headlines, but rather being too lax in what it allows people to say and see.
Facebook “enables hate speech”, “can’t effectively police vaccine misinformation” and is “damaging democracy”.
These are all mainstream talking points designed to stifle debate and control the conversation.
Surprised? It is like the Pandora papers — they say that the papers indicated a scandal with the rich — but everything was above board and really there isn’t that much revelation, and there were many American Billionaires like Zuckerberg, Gates and Bezos that weren’t mentioned — nor was President Biden.
All conveniently dropped on cue with a nice ribbon and bow to get senators to demand that something needs to be done. Like new tax laws, token economies and the over the top trillion-dollar debt ceiling bill.
These controllers behind the scenes know how to push the buttons of the ignorant and since the media rarely goes deep into what is really going on people react to words and not to what this all means in the long term.
Yes, many people hate Facebook, with good reason, but that hatred is now being deliberately cultivated so that people will cheer on its break up or regulation, without realizing that other, smaller companies would be hit much harder by any new “standard rules for the internet”.
Like so many other testimonies before congress in the past, the entire event looks fake and probably is. A stage-managed exercise involving some “expert witness” telling a bunch of politicians exactly what they want to hear, so they can go ahead push the legislation they were going to push anyway.
It’s all leading up to loud bipartisan calls for “regulation”, and that’s not a good thing.
It is all leading up to the proposal that the “kill switch” should be used in case there is information released that will blow the cover of these liberal cancel culture freaks who want to control the information that people get.
Governments around the globe have also resorted to shutdowns, claiming it to be necessary for public safety. For example, India was the global leader in shutdowns in 2019, with over 150 in 3 years.
Their shut downs affected 27 banks that have defrauded the people — and this could be our future as the Cyber Polygon plan is to shut down the banks and replace cash with programmable token currency.
On July 11, Cuban citizens rallied in the streets to protest food and medicine shortages and electricity outages. Within two days, the Cuban government began restricting internet access.
Back in 2009, riots broke out in Xinjiang. The communists responded by shutting down the internet to the region for an entire year.
Amid protests, Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak cut off nearly all internet access and shut down all cell phone services. The shutdown lasted for five days.
Protests? We can fix that with an internet shutdown.
Or how about we create a reason for the people to demand censorship and shut down so that we can say it was the people’s idea.
It worked with COVID and as Klaus Schwab says, there will be a cyber pandemic — and of course, they have the antidote or the Kill Switch.
Under an entirely unconstitutional 1930s law on the books: 47 USC 606: War Powers of President; Chapter 5, Subchapter VI, the President has the authority to wield that mighty weapon.
The 1930s law reads:
(c) Suspension or amendment of rules and regulations applicable to certain emission stations or devices
Upon proclamation by the President that there exists war or a threat of war, or a state of public peril or disaster or other national emergency, or in order to preserve the neutrality of the United States, the President, if he deems it necessary in the interest of national security or defense, may suspend or amend, for such time as he may see fit, the rules and regulations applicable to any or all stations or devices capable of emitting electromagnetic radiations within the jurisdiction of the United States as prescribed by the Commission, and may cause the closing of any station for radio communication, or any device capable of emitting electromagnetic radiations between 10 kilocycles and 100,000 megacycles, which is suitable for use as a navigational aid beyond five miles, and the removal therefrom of its apparatus and equipment, or he may authorize the use or control of any such station or device and/or its apparatus and equipment, by any department of the Government under such regulations as he may prescribe upon just compensation to the owners.
Perhaps you think this only applies to radios. It couldn’t possibly apply to your laptop or phone, right? Don’t forget your devices use radio waves to receive their internet access. In addition, your devices can access Google Maps, which would qualify your computer as a navigational aid.
Facebook is considered your pocket informant because of some of that conspiracy theory and information that slips through the cracks and remember what conspiracy theory and misinformation is — Orwellian speak for information they do not want you to know.
Do think the political conversation on Facebook is too controlled? And do you think that will get better if it becomes subject to governmental oversight?
Of course not, “regulating” Facebook will take what small amount of freedom still remains on the platform, and crush it entirely. And it won’t just be about Facebook, it’s not even really about Facebook now, it’s just that they’re being used as a stalking horse to come after the smaller, less controlled platforms.
We have considered that with aftermath.media and so the servers are not in the United States — we would like to think that they are so far north than no one will care or even find them.
There’s a good chance Facebook is actively playing heel here and are willingly going along with this narrative. Just check what their spokesperson Lena Pietsch said on Tuesday:
“Today, a Senate Commerce subcommittee held a hearing with a former product manager at Facebook who worked for the company for less than two years, had no direct reports, never attended a decision-point meeting with C-level executives — and testified more than six times to not working on the subject matter in question. We don’t agree with her characterization of the many issues she testified about.Despite all this, we agree on one thing; it’s time to begin to create standard rules for the internet. It’s been 25 years since the rules for the internet have been updated, and instead of expecting the industry to make societal decisions that belong to legislators, it is time for Congress to act.”
Despite discrediting and disagreeing with absolutely everything the “whistle-blower” said, they still concede Congress needs “to act” and produce “standard rules for the internet”. Why would they do that?
Facebook is clearly falling in line to bring in stricter regulation of the web.
You see there is a deeper reason for all of this and people who are not aware of these moves will demand stricter regulations because we hear that what Facebook did was bad bad bad. It was and is bad — but it also pushes an agenda.
The agenda that the powers that rule on the internet can turn it off and then regulate at will.,
An article on MSNBC headlines “Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are back up. But their outage is an opportunity.“ and echoes Ms. Pietsch almost word for word: Regulators should do better, but Congress should also act. It ends with a link to an article from this May in Politico calling for a “public internet.”
A “public internet” means, essentially, breaking down the big tech firms and publicly funding “community guided” platforms that focus on more local concerns. Or, more cynically, compartmentalizing the internet to limit the field of potential communication.
The supposed aim of a “public internet” would be to “bring us back together” and remove “hate”, but that will mean stopping people from disagreeing with the consensus.
The “public internet” might be the long-term goal, but it’s still only a fetus of an idea.
For the more immediate “regulation” ideas, we can turn back to Francis Haugen, who after so keenly defining the problem, enthusiastically recommended a list of solutions.
These include, but are not limited to, a new “independent” overseer for Facebook perhaps a new government agency, and the “reform” of Article 230. Article 230 is the law that says social media platforms have no liability for the content their users create, “reforming it” could open up social media companies to a lot of lawsuits.
Interestingly, some policy organizations have argued that “stripping this law away could entrench reigning tech giants because it would make it harder for smaller social media platforms with fewer content moderation resources to operate without facing costly lawsuits.” So at least one of Ms. Haugen’s proposed solutions would potentially benefit Facebook, whilst almost certainly crippling their smaller competitors.
Our leaders have found scabs to pick on the internet and they will not stop and some of these scabs will bleed.
Since its inception the internet has been a digital wild west and, despite numerous attempts to seize control of it, it remains a place of relative freedom.
Facebook, Google, Amazon and their ilk are corporate monsters, no question, but we still need to be careful when applauding calls for their regulation or break up. Especially if the companies themselves seem to actively cooperate.
Much of the time any mooted “regulation” is not aimed at the corporate giants, who have the connections and resources to survive it, but their smaller competitors. In that way it both secures the monopoly of a handful of gigantic businesses, and further centralizes the power of the state.
Remember, that corporate giants and the Deep State are not in opposition to one another, they work together in mutual self-interest.
Facebook might be nationally in the media cross-hairs, but that is all political theater. The real targets are alternate platforms like Telegram, Gab and Parler, or as yet unborn independent outlets.
More broadly, it’s part of an ongoing campaign against the ability of millions of people to freely communicate with each other, because that is a genuine threat to both the power of the state and greed of corporate monoliths.
It is hard to pick a side when you don’t know what is going on behind the scenes.
That internet Kill Switch is looking pretty good right about now.
Recent events have made us aware that the potential for communications interruptions or blackouts is undoubtedly on the rise. What a lot of people are now realizing, unfortunately, is that access to certain communications platforms is not a right and is not guaranteed. Many people have recently become comfortable with using only a few platforms for the vast majority of their communications.
And in normal times, that’s okay. But we must have contingency and backup plans for alternative means of communication. These times are anything but normal.
But nothing is immune to government interference— they could make the use of citizens band radio or ham radio illegal– and then what? People would become pirate broadcasters and internet sleuths would be able to become renegade internet creators.
Big tech and government have a great relationship even though they have their spats they really love each other — don’t be fooled.
It is obvious that Facebook hates you — and so does your government.