Forget Facebook

Leaving facebook

Don’t remember exactly when I closed my facebook account, it’s been at least one month. Seems like each week since there has been at least one bombshell discovery of another insidious action by facebook to either misuse its user’s identities and private information or another revelation that facebook actively work to not only protect users flooding pages with fake news, but to also trying to cover up their actions.

In every case it’s either a claim they didn’t know and will try to do better or it’s just impossible to police their own platform but they will try try to do better. The reality is the company whose motto is “Move fast and break things” knows they don’t have to do better because monopolies can do whatever they want. I don’t believe facebook set out to break democracy in America but now that they have become a trillion dollar enterprise they not only don’t care, they know democracy is an obstacle that must remain broken.

Don’t remember exactly when I closed my facebook account, it’s been at least one month. Seems like each week since there has been at least one bombshell discovery of another insidious action by facebook to either misuse its user’s identities and private information or another revelation that facebook actively work to not only protect users flooding pages with fake news, but to also trying to cover up their actions.

In every case it’s either a claim they didn’t know and will try to do better or it’s just impossible to police their own platform but they will try try to do better. The reality is the company whose motto is “Move fast and break things” knows they don’t have to do better because monopolies can do whatever they want. I don’t believe facebook set out to break democracy in America but now that they have become a trillion dollar enterprise they not only don’t care, they know democracy is an obstacle that must remain broken.

While I miss interacting with my facebook “friends” and my group pages for BlueRootsRadio, In The Memetimes and all the other group pages to which I belonged, I do appreciate how much of my time I’ve regained. My “screen time” has been roughly cut in half giving me more time to do big projects around the house, read and exercise.

The reason why I emphasized the word friends above is that I’ve learned facebook friends are pretty much just friends on facebook. Prior to leaving I announced my pending departure and invited everyone to visit here on the blog or by email but it has pretty much been crickets. I understand the attraction/addiction to facebook but it wasn’t enough to keep me as a user. A lot of people say they stay to fight back against facebook but it doesn’t work that way. No matter what you do on the platform, if you are using it you are just a tool to give facebook more profits to do more damage.

There is a glimmer of hope on the horizon coming out of Europe where facebook is fighting like hell to avoid being thrust into the possibility of class action suits. The demise of facebook may come from its success of having billions of users. If facebook is held accountable to its users by having to face class action suits that can result in damages able to inflict real financial damage to its bottomline, we might someday see real and lasting change or even its collapse. Facebook could be replaced by an honest social media platform that protects its user’s privacy and relies on an affordable subscription plan and not advertisers with billions of dollars to spend which has put facebook in the mess it now is in.

Feel free to discuss this topic or whatever is on you mind in this post, I just needed to get this off my back so I can move on.

35 thoughts on “Forget Facebook

  1. Opinion
    How the Upper Middle Class Is Really Doing
    Is it more similar to the top 1 percent or the working class?

    Have upper-middle-class Americans been winners in the modern economy — or victims? That question has been the subject of a debate recently among economists, writers and others.

    On one side are people who argue that the bourgeois professional class — essentially, households with incomes in the low-to-mid six figures but without major wealth — is not so different from the middle class and poor. All of these groups are grappling with slow-growing incomes, high medical costs, student debt and so on.

    The only real winners in today’s economy are at the very top, according to this side of the debate. When Bernie Sanders talks about “the greed of billionaires” or Thomas Piketty writes about capital accumulation, they are making a version of this case.

    Read more (pdf)

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  2. Opinion
    The Green New Deal Is Better Than Our Climate Nightmare

    The ambitious plan has had a rocky start, but it has also changed the national conversation. That alone is reason to applaud it.

    Note: I see the GND more as a means to a beginning than a means to an end. The sheer massiveness of the challenge to combat climate change will not be met with this effort. The editors hit the sweet spot with their assessment in this Op-Ed

    In name and concept, the plan is not new. The term Green New Deal appeared in a column in The Times by Thomas Friedman in January 2007, in which he called for a vast public and private investment program that would throw everything under the sun (including, actually, the sun itself) — wind, solar, nuclear power, energy efficiency, advanced research, tax incentives and a price on carbon — into a massive effort to build a more climate-friendly energy system while also revitalizing the American economy.

    Read more (pdf)

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    More information
    Nine Key Questions About the Green New Deal

    Dianne Feinstein Lectures Children Who Want Green New Deal, Portraying It as Untenable

  3. The Long Read
    Why ‘Trump country’ isn’t as Republican as you think
    Appalachia wasn’t always conservative. In Virginia’s coal country, a long history of grassroots organising is inspiring a new wave of activism. By Elizabeth Catte

    The question of whether mainstream liberal opinion is shifting further left has been hotly debated in the national press after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won the primary for New York’s 14th congressional district with grassroots momentum and a socialist-friendly platform. Both conservative and liberal commentators predicted disaster, framing the then 28-year-old rising political star as a gift to Donald Trump. Former Democratic congressman–turned–political pundit Steve Israel warned: “A message that resonates in downtown Brooklyn, New York, could backfire in Brooklyn, Iowa.” Nancy Pelosi waved off the win as a district-specific what-happens-in-the-Bronx-stays-in-the-Bronx phenomenon. A few months later, Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman elected to Congress.

    Political veterans such as Pelosi and Israel think that the cornerstones of the emerging left platform – housing as a human right, criminal justice reform, Medicare for all, tuition-free public colleges and trade schools, a federal jobs guarantee, abolition of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and for-profit prisons, campaign finance reform and a Green New Deal – might perform well in urban centres but not elsewhere.

    Appalachia has become symbolic of the forces that gave us Donald Trump. After all, his pandering to white racial anxiety did find purchase here. His fantasies to make America great again centre on our dying coal industry. And the region’s conservative voters, who have been profiled endlessly, have been a reliable stand-in for all Trump voters, absorbing the outrage of progressive readers. But what Pelosi and Israel see as common sense and pragmatism can also be interpreted as tired oversimplifications and a failure of imagination.
    . . .

    When Ocasio-Cortez asks if voters are prepared to choose people over money, I hear echoes of a much older question that still resonates in Appalachia: which side are you on? In 1931, when Black Mountain Coal Company cut miners’ wages in Harlan, Kentucky, a long strike ensued. Harlan’s infamously corrupt sheriff, JH Blair, terrorised union families; law enforcement, including the National Guard, intervened on behalf of the interests of coal operators to force miners – through threats, coercion and violence – to return to work. When the sheriff and deputised coal company operatives ransacked activist Florence Reece’s home in search of her husband, who helped organise the strike, Reece penned what would become one of history’s most recognisable labour anthems, Which Side Are You On? The song galvanised workers and inspired bystanders to surrender the illusion that one could be impartial in the face of so much oppression. “Us poor folks haven’t got a chance unless we organise,” she sang. “They say in Harlan County there are no neutrals there.”

    Read more


  4. ‘Outrageous abuse of privacy’: New York orders inquiry into Facebook data use

    Order follows report that Facebook may access highly personal information including weight, blood pressure and ovulation status

    New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, has ordered two state agencies to investigate a media report that Facebook may be accessing far more personal information than previously known from smartphone users, including health and other sensitive data.

    The directive to New York’s department of state and department of financial services (DFS) came after the Wall Street Journal said testing showed that Facebook collected personal information from other apps on users’ smartphones within seconds of them entering it.

    Are you ready? Here is all the data Facebook and Google have on you
    Dylan Curran
    Read more

    The WSJ reported that several apps share sensitive user data including weight, blood pressure and ovulation status with Facebook. The report said the company can access data in some cases even when the user is not signed into Facebook or does not have a Facebook account.

    Read more

  5. Opinion
    An Emergency for the G.O.P.
    The Constitution or The Donald? Why is this such a hard choice for congressional Republicans?

    As has often been noted, there is no border emergency, aside from Mr. Trump’s desperation to make good on a rabble-rousing campaign slogan. Having failed to extract billions of taxpayer dollars from Congress for the construction of his wall, the president executed a power grab. Don’t just take our word for it; that’s how Mr. Trump himself explained it in last week’s bizarre Rose Garden emergency declaration.

    Think of it as the presidential equivalent of phoning 911 because your pizza delivery is taking too long.

    Read more (pdf)

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  6. Opinion: Economics
    President Tariff Man may be learning all the wrong lessons from his trade wars

    Trade balances, as (almost) any economist could tell you, are not really what matters; they are determined by all sorts of complicated factors unrelated to whether countries are playing fair, including savings and investment rates. Despite Trump’s claims, we’re not “losing” when we buy more stuff from China than China buys from us; we’re still getting stuff from China that U.S. consumers and businesses want.

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  7. Adam Schiff: An open letter to my Republican colleagues

    If we cannot rise to the defense of our democracy now, in the face of a plainly unconstitutional aggrandizement of presidential power, what hope can we have that we will do so with the far greater decisions that could be yet to come?

    Read more (pdf)

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  8. Opinions
    Pelosi has started the resolution process. Republicans, be forewarned.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday set the wheels in motion to lift President Trump’s contrived declaration of emergency. In a “Dear Colleague” letter, she writes, “President Trump’s emergency declaration proclamation undermines the separation of powers and Congress’s power of the purse, a power exclusively reserved by the text of the Constitution to the first branch of government, the Legislative branch, a branch co-equal to the Executive.”

    She then invites members to sign onto a resolution, “reporting it out of committee within 15 calendar days and considering it on the Floor within 3 calendar days following that,” whereupon it will go to the Senate.

    She concludes: “All Members take an oath of office to support and defend the Constitution. The President’s decision to go outside the bounds of the law to try to get what he failed to achieve in the constitutional legislative process violates the Constitution and must be terminated. We have a solemn responsibility to uphold the Constitution, and defend our system of checks and balances against the President’s assault.”

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  9. Note: The story was tech was going to set workers free. The reality is it is turning workers into slaves.


    “WHAT HAVE WE DONE?”: SILICON VALLEY ENGINEERS FEAR THEY’VE CREATED A MONSTER

    Gig-economy companies like Uber and Instacart are on the verge of overtaking the traditional economy. And the only people who understand the threat are the ones enabling it.

    The gig-economy ecosystem was supposed to represent the promised land, striking a harmonious egalitarian balance between supply and demand: consumers could off-load the drudgery of commuting or grocery shopping, while workers were set free from the Man. “Set your own schedule,” touts the Uber-driver Web site; “Be your own boss,” tempts Lyft; “Make an impact on people’s lives,” lures Instacart. These companies have been wildly successful: Uber, perhaps the most notorious, is also the most valuable start-up in the U.S., reportedly worth $72 billion. Lyft is valued at $11 billion, and grocery delivery start-up Instacart is valued at just over $4 billion. In recent months, however, a spate of lawsuits has highlighted an alarming by-product of the gig economy—a class of workers who aren’t protected by labor laws, or eligible for benefits provided to the rest of the nation’s workforce—evident even to those outside the bubble of Silicon Valley. A July report commissioned by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission found that 85 percent of New York City’s Uber, Lyft, Juno, and Via drivers earn less than $17.22 an hour. When the California Supreme Court ruled in May that delivery company Dynamex must treat its gig workers like full-time employees, Eve Wagner, an attorney who specializes in employment litigation, predicted to Wired, “The number of employment lawsuits is going to explode.”

    Read more (pdf)

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  10. Podcast
    Is Trump the Real National Emergency?
    And what Amazon abandoning NY means for the city and the country

    From bypassing Congress to try to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, to accusing administration officials of treason, is Donald Trump America’s national emergency? Michelle Goldberg argues that the president’s emergency declaration, premised on a racist lie, turns up the heat on the country’s slow-boil turn toward authoritarianism. Ross Douthat thinks the move exposes Trump’s weakness and that the real threat to American democracy comes from more competent presidents abusing their constitutional authority.

    Listen: iTunes Spotify Google Play Radio Public Stitcher

    Read more (pdf)

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  11. Opinion

    A Better Path to Universal Health Care

    The United States should look to Germany, not Canada, for the best model.

    In an American version of this system, private insurers would have to be heavily regulated to ensure that coverage was affordable and to prevent the sort of rapid increases in premiums, deductibles and cost-sharing that have occurred over the past decade. Similar to regulations for Medicare and Medicaid, insurers would be required to provide a comprehensive set of benefits with limits on patient cost-sharing, which could be means-tested or tied to other criteria, such as having a chronic disease.

    Read more (pdf)

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  12. CNN’s hiring of a GOP operative as political editor is even worse than it looks

    A few months before the 2016 presidential election, Sarah Isgur tweeted some advice to Donald Trump: “The only 3 words that should be coming out of Donald Trump’s mouth this week are: ‘Clinton’ ‘foundation’ ‘emails.’ ”

    But that kind of helpful counsel wasn’t enough.

    In early 2017, Isgur was summoned to meet with President Trump in the Oval Office, where she needed to pledge her loyalty to be named the Justice Department’s spokeswoman by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

    Now CNN has hired Isgur — who has no journalism experience and once slammed her new employer as the “Clinton News Network” — as a political editor.

    Read more (pdf)

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  13. First daughters’ club: Chelsea and Jenna rush to Malia’s rescue – while Ivanka stays silent

    The offspring of former presidents share an uncommon bond that crosses political lines. So when the knives came out for Malia, most of them rallied round

    Think “wild girls-only weekend” and a bottle of wine split between four people is hardly what comes to mind. But that’s what the Daily Mail is suggesting as former first daughter Malia Obama enjoys a Miami getaway with friends – publishing paparazzi shots (and a short video) of her on a poolside sun lounger, clutching a bottle of Whispering Angel rosé.

    Read more

  14. Background: You hear it, see it and read about it all the time, how will progressives pay for their lavish “social” programs? Well it depends which programs you are talking about. Not all need to be financed the same, some might require investment, some might require borrowing, some might require higher taxes on the rich and maybe the middle/working class and some may require none of the above because the government can already afford them.

    Knowing the difference and being able to talk about it is greatly needed in these times of loud mouthed economically ignorant pundits, tv talking heads, politicians, opinion writers and more.

    This article gets to the basics without diving too deep into the weeds.

    Opinion

    On Paying for a Progressive Agenda

    Getting fiscal about policy proposals.

    Whoever gets the Democratic nomination, she or he will run in part on proposals to increase government spending. And you know what that will mean: There will be demands that the candidate explain how all this will be paid for. Many of those demands will be made in bad faith, from people who never ask the same questions about tax cuts. But there are some real questions about the fiscal side of a progressive agenda.

    Read more (pdf)

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  15. Opinions
    Trump represents the nadir of identity politics

    Today, we have sunk to a level of tribalism that would seem to pre-date the modern era. Will we soon divide ourselves into fiefdoms led by warlords? Virtually speaking, we already have. By seeking like-ideological company around Internet news sites and political watering holes, we sate our need for identity affirmation, rarely questioning whether there might be another way.

    And so, we look toward 2020, where the line of Democratic candidates is already long. One thing seems obvious: The next president of the United States will need to start a movement, not merely run a campaign.

    Read more (pdf)

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  16. Opinions
    Voters seem to like their democracy

    A new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll reports that by a huge 61-to-36 percent margin, voters disapprove of using an emergency declaration to build President Trump’s wall, including 63 percent of independents. Furthermore, “60 percent think his decision should be challenged in the courts, including 60 percent of independents. . . . 58 percent do not think there is a national emergency at the border.” Fifty-seven percent consider this a misuse of presidential power.

    Read more (pdf)

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  17. Opinion
    Why Can’t Trump Build Anything?

    Infrastructure won’t happen until the Democrats regain control.

    The truth is that modern conservatives hate the idea of any kind of new public spending, even if it would make Americans better off — or perhaps it would be more accurate to say especially if it would make Americans better off, because a successful spending program might help legitimize a positive role for government in general. And while Trump may not fully share his party’s small-government ideology, all his limited energy is going into finding ways to punish people, not help them.

    Read more (pdf)

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  18. Maybe Only Tim Cook Can Fix Facebook’s Privacy Problem
    Jan. 30, 2019

    It’s nowhere in his job description, but Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, has recently taken a moonlight gig as Facebook’s privacy watchdog.

    On Wednesday, Mr. Cook and his lieutenants took aim at Facebook for violating Apple’s rules with a research app that allowed Facebook to snoop on users’ online activity. Facebook promoted the app through an Apple program that gives trusted developers the ability to install apps for testing without going through the App Store’s normal approval process. Apple responded by cutting off Facebook’s access to apps and updates that it was working on internally, causing chaos among the company’s software engineers.

    The move is the clearest sign yet that the cold war between Facebook and Apple over data use and privacy is heating up.

    Read more (pdf)

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    This illustrates the problem of living with the monopolistic oligarchies of facebook, Apple, Google and Amazon. They have become so powerful only they can can police each other.

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