The outrage over Facebook’s abuses comes from our growing realization that social media platforms aren’t just friendly places where like-minded people associate, but run by greed-driven immoral companies and leaders with an advertising business model based on clandestine surveillance and abuse.
I want you to see how I have used technology to tell my story. Discover my new book Letter to Lucy: A Manifesto of Creative Redemption—In the Age of Trump, Fascism and Lies, a multi-touch book about art, love and parenting, from the fall of the Byzantine Empire to the prophetic music of Green Day and everything in between. Read the first chapter for free on your kindle fire or iOS device. Available now on iBooks and Amazon.
Want more political videos and commentary? Show your support.
SUBSCRIBE TO MY BLOG
Receive notifications of new blog posts by email.
Dear Frank Schaeffer:
You’ve supported too many reactionary operations to claim in any sense to be ‘progressive.’ And you’ve been ‘mum’ on teacher struggles which are gaining momentum not only in the US but in Europe, Africa and around the world.
The Democrats’ outrage over the Cambridge Analytica scandal is a fine illustration of selective, political piety.
Outrageous as Cambridge Analytica’s behavior is, it accessed only a fraction of the data Facebook collects/uses, often for political ends. Moreover, all this is ‘par for the course.’ Bourgeois election campaigns rely increasingly on data analysis and artificial intelligence to assess and impact voters’ political thoughts.
As a case in point – Investor’s Business Daily recently noted that the 2012 Obama campaign encouraged supporters to download an Obama 2012 Facebook app to ‘let the campaign collect Facebook data both on users and their friends.’ As the report had it, some 190 million people may have ‘had at least some of their Facebook data vacuumed up by the Obama campaign — without their knowledge or consent.’ See the Investor’s Business Daily here: https://is.gd/9X2lru
While they substantially violate users’ privacy, Cambridge Analytica’s actions pale beside the massive surveillance and content harvesting operation that Facebook itself executes with assistance from leading US intelligence agencies and from the Democratic Party – all under the false banner of fighting ‘fake news’ and extremist content, aim to review and censor everything posted on the social media platform.
Both parties shell out hundreds of millions of dollars on similar data-mining operations to analyze, quantify and affect the political thinking of hundreds of millions of people. That alone renders absurd the fictitious claim that a few hundred thousand dollars of Facebook adverts allegedly bought by ‘Russians’ put in the fix for Donald Trump.
All this is part of a broader campaign to crack down on independent speech – meaning anything not originating with one of the two bourgeois parties. Ruling by fiat that independent indicates foreign influence and divisive tendencies, the state is preparing to turn guns on citizens who have the audacity to speak their minds.
The problem for the ruling class most assuredly is NOT division, but UNITY. Social media has powerfully UNITED the working class on the basis of working class interests. It has brought together people of different races, ethnicity, cultures, countries and localities. It brings them together around a working class agenda.
And this has the ruling class TERRIFIED.
That is why the ‘division’ and ‘foreign influence’ labels will be used to suppress and repress free speech. The logic of this is to say:
We live in a great free land.
But dissent can destroy this great free land.
Therefore to preserve freedom, this land must destroy dissent.
A blessed Lenten journey with Christ!
That should be, ‘independent [ THOUGHT ] indicates foreign influence and divisive tendencies…
I tend to think of the Internet as a double-edged sword. On one hand, I’m glad I didn’t grow up with it (I had the “evils” of too much television and video games for the elders to harp about), but I played outside a lot, too (benefit of being raised in the country, in a non-dangerous neighborhood, though. Well, we had rattlesnakes…). At the same time, I cannot help but think that I would have remained locked into evangelical church-culture and not have changed my mind on a lot of things if I hadn’t had the Internet and hadn’t met and talked via text and message-boards to the variety of people I have… or had the kind of access to information and opinions that the Internet, as a whole, provided.
I have geeky tastes and got engaged in geeky hobbies – these tend to be fertile ground for independent thinkers and a variety of kinds of people. It means I met atheists and pagans who weren’t “rebelling” like some pastors would have had me believe…likewise with LGBT folks.
I also think the Internet may have saved my life, since I met my significant other online and he saved me from an abusive family-situation I lived in. (My family is mostly wonderful, my brother, however, is psychotic and I was stuck in a bad situation with him for a long time). I’ve been able to refine my writing and publish books online…. it’s just… this technology has been mostly-positive in my life. However, one must use it wisely. You shouldn’t believe everything you read on the Internet just like you shouldn’t believe something just because it’s on TV.
I’ve been using the Internet for a couple of decades now… that said, I’ve only been on Facebook for two years. I preferred “Internet social interaction” via forums for specific interests (mostly pop culture and writing, geek-stuff) and have always been a bit of a loner. I finally “broke down” and “joined the Borg collective” of Facebook when too many of my (still liked, non-abusive relatives whom I haven’t been able to see in person for years) were having babies and were posting kid-pictures on Facebook. A lot of people complain about too many baby-cooking picks on social media. I joined specifically for the baby-pictures. Since then, I’ve used Facebook a lot, mostly posting random thoughts and reposts of memes I find on writing communities about writing, but I am very selective about who gets on my friendslist (you generally have to be related to me or someone I know well as an actual friend from elsewhere).
I just think, as with any emergent technology or media, people have to be wise about usage. I don’t think it’s going away unless the nukes fall. I mean, back in Ancient Greece, people were worried that this new “writing” idea was going to repeal and replace the art of oration. Use the tools available to you and be aware of the tools you use.
“Baby-cooing” pics, not “Baby-cooking.” My typing fingers fly fast and that “k” was just in the wrong place!
I thought you mean’t people posting both baby and cooking pics. I know lots of folks do both. My fingers fly fast too and I end up having to hit the backspace button more than I’d like. I liked your post above. I’m kind of wary of social media too. Being an “anti-Trumper” in a majority red state, I don’t feel as free to post my feelings as freely as the “Trumpers” here do. I was just talking to my best friend about an hour ago, one of the few who is also anti-Trump, and we were talking about fear of the repercussions that might occur if we expressed how we feel. There are just too many in this area of the country who would act like rabid dogs if they knew our views. It’s like living in a pit of vipers.
Stacey, sometimes you have to keep your views to yourself. I have a very successful small business that caters mostly to African American women. If my AA customers (and some friends) knew I was no longer a believer, it could hurt my business. Like with trolls, I don’t waste time arguing with believers. I was an active Christian for 20 years. I’ve read hundreds of apologetic books and know many pro-Christian arguments by heart. As long as folks are content with keeping their religion to themselves, I don’t care what they believe. I use my power of the vote to undermine any religious agenda theocrats are supporting. I also support a lot of secular causes.
You are right! I do consider myself lucky to have my best friend to talk to. I also have a cousin in Texas who also shares the same views that I’m also on the same page with. She is a journalist who used to work for 2 FOX news affiliates and she saw the evil from the inside out. We are considered the “black sheep” in the family politics-wise but at least we have each other to talk to. Cheers and a good day!
What you said on You-tube makes sense. Bill Gates presents himself as philanthropist out to save the world. What many don’t realize is how much influence he has accumulated. In fact, he is so feared that leaders in international agencies WHO, UNICEF, etc will not publicly contradict him. Recently, a story has come out about birth control Gates funded in Ethiopia/Africa where consent of the women was bypassed.