back to article Addicts of Facebook and pals are easy prey for manipulative scumbags – thanks to tech giants' 'extraordinary reach'

Relying on internet giants' goodwill to stop the spread of misinformation online and prevent the manipulation of netizens has failed, Europe's top data protection watchdog has said, adding that regulators now need to take action. Giovanni Buttarelli, the European Data Protection Supervisor, emitted this well-timed opinion …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Regulation is badly needed - Steps: 1-3

    #1. Strip Irish DPC / Ireland of all its 'lite-touch' US giant friendly regulation.

    #2. Break up google / facebook into smaller companies that must compete.

    #3. STOP voting for Politicians who refuse to regulate 'Data-Oil' Banksters!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Regulation is badly needed - Steps: 1-3

      German data protection federal commissioner: - 'Of course Facebook would go to a country with the lowest levels of data protection. It’s natural they would choose Ireland.' Unfortunately, the new Data Protection Bill 2018 will reinforce that view":

      https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/privacy-rights-it-s-natural-facebook-would-choose-ireland-1.3400531

      1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

        Re: Regulation is badly needed - Steps: 1-3

        Well, to be fair to the Irish government, if the Germans, French and Belgians hadn't buttfucked Ireland financially back in 2010 by insisting that no bank go under (Anglo Irish, being a good example) and insisting that the Irish government cover *all* of the bank-debts (the risk of contagion they wailed), the Irish government wouldn't have had to borrow €400 billion to bail out the banks.

        If the market had been allowed to play out its course after 2008, all of the bad banks would have gone bust (not just in Ireland, but across Europe too) and the Irish would've had a considerably smaller debt.

        As a consequence, the Irish government would now have more money and would be able to fund her regulators properly. Because of her EU partners, Ireland is beholden to the large U.S. multi-nationals. This problem has been created by the EU and it can be solved by the EU. The Irish are caught between a rock and hard place.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Breaking up Google & Facebook

          How? It isn't that difficult to see how you'd do it for Google, for instance they could be forced to split off Android and Maps from Search. If you really wanted to make them compete though you'd have to somehow break up search into multiple companies, but whoever owns "google.com" will keep all the users...

          It is even less clear to see a way forward to breaking up Facebook, when the whole point of it was to connect everyone. Do you divide it by country, so there's a FacebookUSA and a FacebookUK, and am I allowed to re-friend my UK friends or are they banned from being on FacebookUSA and me from FacebookUK to maintain the split? Or do people whose names start with the letters A-E go to one "baby Facebook", F-I to another, and so forth?

        2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          "If the market had been allowed to play out its course after 2008,

          all of the bad banks would have gone bust "

          True.

          I always liked Georg Soros's line that "Capitalism without bankruptcy is like religion without Hell."

          Where does this "Banks are special" BS come from (apart from banks)?

          They are businesses and IRL businesses sometimes fail. Their staff get fired and their assets get sold off to someone(s) else. It's sad, but it's life.

          My personal suspicion was a real auction would have disclosed just how much of their supposed "assets" were CDO's or similar instruments and that 95% of their "yield" were expected to come from the the mortage repayments of John and Jane Q Crackhead of "Rundown Sh**hole, USA"

          Who turn out to be having some issues keeping up the payments.

          But be under no illusions this s**t would not have been possible without the active collusion of the so called "rating" agencies who rated an insturment 5%gold/95% s**t as good as one 95%gold/5% s**t.

          For them it's still BAU.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Irish-DPC is basically an outsourced unit of Facebook

      Who wants more of the wink-wink nudge-nudge games below. Until the Irish DPC is ousted, what influence do any of the other EU players really have?

      -

      -https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/independence-of-data-protection-commissioner-questioned-1.2513682

      http://www.thejournal.ie/data-protection-commissioner-new-office-1488473-May2014/

      https://qz.com/162791/how-a-bureaucrat-in-a-struggling-country-at-the-edge-of-europe-found-himself-safeguarding-the-worlds-data/

      https://qz.com/993995/how-facebooks-fb-sheryl-sandberg-personally-lobbied-irish-prime-minister-enda-kenny-as-shown-by-2014-emails-published-in-the-irish-independent/

    3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Regulation is badly needed - Steps: 1-3 #4

      #4 Never trust anyone who offers "simple" solutions to complex problems

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Regulation is badly needed - Steps: 1-3 #4

        Yup. 3 A/C posts all saying the same thing, all at similar times. Do I hear an axe being ground?

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Regulation is badly needed - Steps: 1-3

      oh yeah, more gummint. that'll fix it. **NOT**

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Regulation is badly needed - Steps: 1-3

        "more gummint. that'll fix it. **NOT**"

        Bob, back in Europe we do occasionally have the view that the government's job is to represent us so if we see the need for big, alien corporations to be brought to heel then not only is there nobody other than going to do it for us but government, it's the government's job to do that.

  2. Dave 126 Silver badge

    If the revelations about CA's manipulation of the Brexit vote don't result in a second referendum, now might be a good time to write to your MP and suggest our post-Brexit data protection policies mirror those of the Germans.

    1. Zippy's Sausage Factory

      I'd argue less for "mirror" than "be much tighter than", myself...

    2. LucreLout Silver badge

      If the revelations about CA's manipulation of the Brexit vote don't result in a second referendum

      What would be the point? Further referendums just lead to further referendums. If its not 1 and done, then is it best of 3? First to 3? First to 10?

      In the same way that a minority of Remainers haven't accepted the decision to leave, you'd get Leavers refusing to accept a potential decision to stay. Only the next time they win a referendum, the legislation will be structured to automatically trigger Brexit, thus avoiding any Gina Miller style grandstanding/fameseeking/whatever.

      The only answer left that has any currency, is to leave on the best possible terms, and then if the rEU want to try to win us back, we can talk about any necessary reforms and changes of direction. Once they implement that, another referendum on rejoining would have democratic legitimacy.

      1. John H Woods Silver badge

        "Further referendums just lead to further referendums. If its not 1 and done, then is it best of 3? First to 3? First to 10?"

        Sad, isn't it, how democracy allows an electorate to change their minds?

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Sad, isn't it, how democracy allows an electorate to change their minds?

          But the whole basis of the referendum was a on shot deal with immediate implementation. That hasn't happened. In a democracy you get to change your mind every 5 years - vote for the same government, or a different one; but you don't get to change the elected government before they take power. Voters wishes are enacted first - then after a reasonable time span, during which what they voted for is implemented and assessed, they get asked to express those wishes again.

          Nobody is saying there can't be referenda on rejoining the rEU after we have left, but if you don't implement the result then that is not democracy.

          1. paulf Silver badge
            Boffin

            A mandate can be either democratic or irreversible, but it cannot be both – an argument

            Selective excerpt: "...in certain circumstances, a government can abandon and reverse policies where there is a mandate without waiting for a general election. A classic illustration is the poll tax, for which a Conservative government had a detailed mandate from the 1987 general election. Few sensible people, if any, would have argued that the Tories were bound to keep this tax in 1990 because of “democracy” when it came to be seen widely as wrong in principle and unworkable in practice."

          2. John H Woods Silver badge

            "whole basis of the referendum was a on[e] shot deal"

            "if you don't implement the result then that is not democracy."

            What if the wafer thin majority has evaporated whilst the implementation of the result has been considered? There's every indication that it has. Perhaps, if we are so concerned about democracy, we ought to really make sure ...

            1. LucreLout Silver badge

              Re: "whole basis of the referendum was a on[e] shot deal"

              What if the wafer thin majority has evaporated whilst the implementation of the result has been considered? There's every indication that it has. Perhaps, if we are so concerned about democracy, we ought to really make sure ...

              The government stands on a wafer thin majority, but that does not a mandate mkae for labour to insist on another general election. The vote was held and the result is the result. First comes implementation, then comes evaluation & review, and lastly comes reconsideration. Otherwise, it just isn't democracy.

              I'd expect Remain might win another referendum, but then they would also likely lose the referendum after that. Certainly we would have to be asked a third time at the very least, if the result came out differently a second time.

              It's not reasonable to forever be telling the EU we're leaving, but we're not, but we are, but we're not... The people were given one vote and they used it. Parliament must implement their wishes as expressed and then once we're out (actually out, not in transition), we can start a dialogue as to if or when another vote should be held about rejoining the rEU and once we have a clear documented position for what we would be joining.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

      Re: It's Only Going To Get Worse.....

      I use Windows 10 offline. It has no Internet connection. I'm sure Cortana will rise but since her service is deactivated, I'm not too concerned. I've another machine for da Internet and the Internet only.

      It is more hassle but it is most doable. there are so many Internet-related services that one can deactivate.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's Only Going To Get Worse / AD BLOCKER INTERFERENCE DETECTED

      oh well, it's not like they discovered something unheard of

    3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: "Microsoft owns LinkedIn which is the go to place for your career."

      Um, if you're in Marketing, sure.

      For the rest of us, I'm a bit in doubt of the efficiency of LinkedIn to find someone a job.

      Pretty sure that FaceBook could help in that endeavor, actually.

      I scrapped my LinkedIn account anyway. Never found it useful and, when MS slurped it up, well that was that.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Neglecting the accountability of players in the ecosystem who profit from harmful behaviour".

    ...."At the same time, he pointed the finger at others, saying that existing efforts to tackle fake news have focused too much on exposing the source of information while "neglecting the accountability of players in the ecosystem who profit from harmful behaviour".....

    .

    .

    So true, but what REAL powers does he have? After all, this is the kind of 'Vested-Interests' he's up against.... :

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-03-01/britain-s-white-collar-cops-are-getting-too-good-at-their-job

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can't see an easy fix or regulation that can solve this problem, it may help in some ways. The only thing that's going to solve it is the end of Facebook or the emergence of something else to connect everyone but then how do you trust that?

    Then again is this not just human nature? in the days before the internet the daily newspapers were the echo chambers, people bought the one that aligned with their own thinking. On twitter people follow people that air their views without challenging them, facebook groups allow people to align with like minded people. This is just someone else manipulating those views with more data to hand. I'm not saying it's right at all but maybe you could change it with education and teaching people to challenge what they are taught rather than to just blindly follow. I honestly don't know.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      A study has suggested that the more people know about media organisations, the less susceptible they are to conspiracy theories and other rubbish.

      Of course, the study may not have been replicated yet (a shocking number of published psychological experiments didn't produce the same results when replicated), so follow up research might be a good idea.

    2. Dave559 Bronze badge

      Trustable social networks?

      In the olden days, there was usenet: decentralised, relatively low bandwidth, and usable offline, too, and for the most part not requiring much more than a relatively small cabal (TINC) of sysadmins at various universities, research institutions, and ISPs to keep it running.

      Admittedly, things perhaps started to get a little murky once DejaNews, and then some small company whose name I forget, had a colourful logo, began with a G, I think(?), got involved in archiving everyone’s posts, but perhaps something similar, based once again in a collaborative network of some of society’s most trusted institutions, is needed anew?

      Unfortunately, from a storage perspective, there are many more people online now than back then, and we’re all sharing photos and videos as well as text, and so we can’t get away with just a few hundred gigabytes of storage tucked away in a spare corner of a server room any more; and all that vast storage, computational, and networking capacity needs to be paid for somehow.

      I know there is Diaspora, but as anyone who uses/used usenet will know, just the step of having to download a usenet client and enter a news server address was too much of a hurdle for most muggles, and unless and until something like Diaspora is as easy to use as the web, it won’t become mainstream (let alone that you have to convince most/all of your friends to use it, too).

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Trustable social networks?

        "just the step of having to download a usenet client and enter a news server address was too much of a hurdle for most muggles"

        Usenet client? It's the same as my email client (actually it's the same as my browser as well as I use Seamonkey rather than separate Firefox and Thunderbird) so it's nothing extra to download. Admittedly using a separate client seems to be too much for the muggles using webmail but apart from that, is entering the address of a news server harder than entering the address of Twitbook? In fact, history says it isn't - look up Eternal September.

    3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      in the days before the internet the daily newspapers were the echo chambers, people bought the one that aligned with their own thinking

      quite . nobody minded then , whats changed?

      I always thought it was staggering that every newspaper was openly biased and had taken a side. not just the extremists - all of them, and somehow the populus and the authorities went along with this. Instead of geting unbiased news , we just elected to get news slanted the way we want it .

      1. Fortycoats

        The late, great Sir Pterry summed it up well:

        "People like to be told what they already know. Remember that. They get uncomfortable when you tell them new things. New things…well, new things aren’t what they expect. They like to know that, say, a dog will bite a man. That is what dogs do. They don’t want to know that a man bites a dog, because the world is not supposed to happen like that. In short, what people think they want is news, but what they really crave is OLDS"

        - Lord Vetinari in "The Truth"

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Contempt

    The bureaucratic contempt of the proletariat is rather obvious here. Essentially the argument is that they didn’t vote the way they ought to have voted, thus, something else is at play. Clearly, it is that they are stupid and easily manipulated, and now we know how.

    We can put the boot on the other foot. The referendum about Scottish freedom went against all reason. The stay campaigners essentially threatened the population and threatened them effectively. Thus, they must have used social media in this way.

    Perhaps if the political class actually listened to the proles rather than lecturing them, they would cope with the world better.

    1. naive

      Re: Contempt

      Your comment is so spot on. The comrades in the non-elected EU polit bureau are complaining the proletariat gets fed "harmful" information. One could think it is Aprils fool day already, it is saddening they seem to believe their own words. Maybe it is about time Pravda is appointed as the only allowed news outlet in the EU, the rest gets sent to Siberia for re-education.

  7. SVV Silver badge

    Some Data Protection and other ideas

    If we're going to have a debate about how to improve things, we need to look to solutions tightening up data protection laws, and suggest other opinions rather than wishing these companies out of existence.

    My first wish Just make it illegal for companies to sell, or otherwise provide access to user data to third parties. No more hiding behind skilfully crafted "terms and conditions" that have to be accepted. Companies can still use their own data to target people for ads (much as I loath that this is the price we all have to pay), so for example if people are enthusiastic about cars in their online activity on a ste, that site should be able to push car adverts to that user. But the car company should never be allowed to access any data in any shape or form about the site's users, other than perhaps that say 3 million users of that site are interested in cars (in other words automating what used to be done as statistical analysis by market research companies).

    Seccondly all notions of "light touch", or worse, "no" regulation should be firmly put away for good after all this news. No publisher should ever be too big to not become responsible for what it publishes, whether that content is "user generated" or not. Social media is ad funded publishing, just like a print magazine. If a company's website hosts videos or photos of appalling violence, murder, etc, the executives of the comany go to prison after conviction and truly massive fines are imposed, same way a video rental store owner would have been punished in the 1980s for such crimes.

    Thirdly, please can more people tell TV companies that if we wanted to hear what people were saying about their programmes on social media we would go there and look. We do not want to be informed during those programmes. That might let more of the public see just what crap goes on in these places rather the anodyne crap they read out at us. It would certainly be less irritating.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Some Data Protection and other ideas

      let's propose something a bit simpler:

      a) opt-in only for the data collection; and

      b) individuals must be able to view and edit their own info, in a meaningful form, as they see fit [including erasing all of it]

      And you _KNOW_ the data miners would NEVER go for it, which would probably mean it's the right way to do it.

      Not to mention the EU's "right to be forgotten" which means you should be able to tell every data miner to "forget" everything they've got on you... [and propagate it to every one of their 'partners' too].

      so yeah if you accidentally visited a few pr0n sites, just erase that bit of history, and no more ads for penis pills. Well, you'd hope that, anyway.

      1. Lysenko

        Re: Some Data Protection and other ideas

        Congratulations. You just invented GDPR.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Some Data Protection and other ideas

        "a) opt-in only for the data collection; and

        b) individuals must be able to view and edit their own info, in a meaningful form, as they see fit [including erasing all of it]"

        That's just what GDPR says - but oops! that's gummint regulation.

      3. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: Some Data Protection and other ideas

        Not to mention the EU's "right to be forgotten" which means you should be able to tell every data miner to "forget" everything they've got on you.

        If only it were so easy.

        Before you can tell a data miner to forget about you, you need to know they exist. Then you need to know whichever backup legal enitites they have exist. Then you need all of those to be governed by EU law. Then you need to know whoever they've sold, leased, rented, given, or shown a copy of the data to exists so you can repeat the process with them.

        RTBF is a step forward, but on its own it is nowhere near enough. We haven't even covered derivative data, where the data isn't about you specifically anymore.... it is, but it isn't legally you anymore.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Some Data Protection and other ideas

      "Just make it illegal for companies to sell, or otherwise provide access to user data to third parties. No more hiding behind skilfully crafted "terms and conditions" that have to be accepted."

      The GDPR seems to have that covered, particularly in Articles 5 & 7

      Personal data shall be:

      (a) processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to the data subject (‘lawfulness, fairness and transparency’);

      (b)collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes; further processing for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes shall, in accordance with Article 89(1), not be considered to be incompatible with the initial purposes (‘purpose limitation’);

      (c)adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed (‘data minimisation’);

      and

      (1) Where processing is based on consent, the controller shall be able to demonstrate that the data subject has consented to processing of his or her personal data.

      (2) If the data subject’s consent is given in the context of a written declaration which also concerns other matters, the request for consent shall be presented in a manner which is clearly distinguishable from the other matters, in an intelligible and easily accessible form, using clear and plain language. Any part of such a declaration which constitutes an infringement of this Regulation shall not be binding.

      (3) The data subject shall have the right to withdraw his or her consent at any time. The withdrawal of consent shall not affect the lawfulness of processing based on consent before its withdrawal. Prior to giving consent, the data subject shall be informed thereof. It shall be as easy to withdraw as to give consent.

      (4) When assessing whether consent is freely given, utmost account shall be taken of whether, inter alia, the performance of a contract, including the provision of a service, is conditional on consent to the processing of personal data that is not necessary for the performance of that contract.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeah right...

    Misinformation, really bad news indeed. It's not as if political Europe has ever done that, right?

    Speaking of Europe... Peculiar isn't it how many people within Europe were told that the Brexit was bad news because this is going to cost Europe a lot of money now that Great Britain no longer contributes anymore (I know of local media reports in Holland, Germany, Italy and Spain).

    But people in the UK were told that the Brexit was bad news and things would become more expensive because now they would no longer get any funds from Europe for several projects. Heck, even El Reg reported those articles.

    Yet up until now no one managed to explain how this was actually possible. If the Brexit means less funds going into Great Britain then that should be a cost reduction for the rest of Europe. But apparently it isn't. But if this isn't a cost reduction for Europe then it should be one for Britain. But that's also not the case.

    So what was all this about false news again? I can't help think about a black kettle and a pot for some reason.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: Yeah right...

      Both sides lose. The EU loses Britain's money, while Britain also loses because its currency is now worth less.

      Britain has already taken approximately a 10% hit to GDP, it's just not reflected in the official figures because those are denominated in sterling.

      The "funds from Europe to Britain" are important only for a few people - specifically, those involved in EU-funded activities. They don't mean that much to most of us. But for those specific people, they are very important. In some cases there are also "multiplier effects".

      Finally, as absolutely anyone who's ever attended an economics class of any kind will tell you, the more trade there is, and the freer it is, the better off - in aggregate - is everyone concerned. Cutting one party off makes all parties poorer. That's why trade wars are so stupid.

      Happy now?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yeah right...

        veti wrote "the more trade there is, and the freer it is, the better off - in aggregate - is everyone concerned"

        That's only true if the trade is near even. Take a gander at the figures for U.S.-China trade and you will discover that it is very one-sided.

        https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html

        EU-China trade is equally one-sided.

        http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/countries-and-regions/countries/china/

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        The "funds from Europe to Britain" are important only for a few people -

        That depends on what you mean by "A few"

        A few farmers?

        The Agriculture & Horticulture Development board did an impact assessment. Under all scenarios most of British farming is f**ked. Only pig (and in some cases poultry) farmers prosper. Sheep, cattle, dairy and barley get a serious kicking unless HMG replaces the whole CAP en block.

        Which means unless the the UK landscape is going to change a lot for anyone using the UK countryside as no one is going to be looking after it much. On the upside. Lots of opportunity for building new houses. Wheather or not they will be any more affordable is another matter.

        UK universities got £8bn from the EU while the UK contributed £5Bn over the same years for science research. That's all going away, along with any EU money for startup spun out of the research.

        1. tiggity Silver badge

          Re: The "funds from Europe to Britain" are important only for a few people -

          Farmers often do not look after the countryside, mainly keeping it as lacking in wildlife as they possibly can - close grazed fields or huge monocuture fields are not that great for wildlife,

          Some farmers do helpful stuff like leave trees & hedgerows, limit spraying, leave wildlife areas at the edge of fields etc, but too many just want to "maximise" ever square metre of land use to detriment of wildlife.

          Gardens can be quite good for wildlife so could be that building houses would increase overall wildlife per hectare ... not that I recommend that, letting any "failing" farmland post brexit rewild would be a better option than houses for willife.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Yeah right...

        "They don't mean that much to most of us."

        They do if we have to replace an entire aspect of EU activity, say medicine approvals out of our own resources. Just because someone isn't directly involved in something EU funded it doesn't mean that they aren't the beneficiary of that activity.

      4. SundogUK

        Re: Yeah right...

        "the more trade there is, and the freer it is, the better off - in aggregate - is everyone concerned"

        Which is why the customs union is such a shitty idea - it restricts us from agreeing free trade deals with other nations.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Yeah right...

      @ShelLuser

      The way it works out, some things, e.g. aviation licensing are done on an EU wide basis so from the EU's point of view, when the UK drops out of that their contribution has to be picked up by the rest of the EU - it won't really cost less to do if the UK isn't involved. So it costs them money. But the UK then has to take on the responsibility for itself and bear all the costs of that itself. It's one of the things that's caused some consternation (exaggerated along the lines of come Brexit all planes will be grounded in the UK) in that it's going to cost the UK tax payer more than it does at present.

      Then there are situations such as the ESA which isn't strictly an EU organisation but when it was put together membership of the EU seems to have been assumed - what happens there? If the UK isn't a member they'll miss our financial contribution but if we're not part of it what happens to our space industry if it doesn't participate in ESA projects? Can it flourish to the same extent?

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Headmaster

        "Then there are situations such as the ESA which isn't strictly an EU organisation but "

        Note.

        Canada is an ESA member, and I presume a contributor.

        Could be "space" may be the easiest Brexit problem to solve.

        Maybe.

    3. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Yeah right...

      Social Development Funds from Europe intio UK < what UK pays into Europe soo nothing odd there.

      Ironically a lot of EU social funding into UK was delivered to poorer areas that voted strongly pro Brexit & were in many cases areas that got little govt funding (obv govt directs proportionately much more funding to areas that vote for them), so lack of EU funding will be a big hit to those areas as |I doubt govt will make up teh shortfall.

  9. Jove Bronze badge

    EU Overstate

    In other words; FB et al have been stepping into the tyranny's territory and now they want to take it back.

  10. Aynon Yuser

    Zuck is in hiding. He dumped millions in stock before all of his investors lost billions. He also thought that his users are "dumb fucks" for handing over their personal information.

    Real nice guy. Good reason to be hiding.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Gimp

      " He also thought that his users are "dumb fucks"

      Is he wrong?

      Facebook customers ¬= Facebook users.

      Despite that most of them still don't seem to get this.

  11. Jove Bronze badge

    NHS

    You could substitute 'NHS' for 'Facebook' in the article without risk of being error, but the Snowflakes would be up in arms rather than posting links to various other articles.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: NHS

      "You could substitute 'NHS' for 'Facebook' in the article without risk of being error"

      Could you elaborate on this rather brief statement?

  12. Florida1920 Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Friends

    Don't let friends use Facebook. Okay, tech folks. Time to sit down with your Facehooked friends and have an intervention.

    1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      Re: Friends

      If only !

      Pray tell, just how do you persuade someone who is addicted that they should care ? Seriously, many of those people really cannot see any problem with it all even if you do explain it.

      1. VinceH Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Friends

        "Pray tell, just how do you persuade someone who is addicted that they should care ?"

        Indeed.

        When this news started to break, my first thoughts were about how surprised I'm not.

        I later realised that I am surprised after all - not about the news itself, but that other people are surprised. People who I've repeatedly warned about feeding too much information to sites like Facebook, that apps they run on it (and on their phones etc) may be leeching that information, and what it could be used for.

        I've since come to realise that I shouldn't be surprised about that, either, because those people have pretty much consistently ignored what I've said, or at most acknowledged it to humour me, but carried on regardless.

        Instead, I feel I should be surprised that now this news has broken, people are reading about it, watching it on TV... and then carrying on as normal, presumably because they think it's only other people affected by it.

        I'm sure I should be surprised about that - it's the one thing I should be surprised about in all of this.

        But strangely, I'm not.

  13. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Censorship coming to a website near you?

    I'm hearing this "something must be done" about the online world. I fear that the answers will lead to censorship and only the info, data, verbiage approved by "those who know better" will come out of this. The cherished concept of 'free speech" is being eroded by various lawmakers and governments pretty much world wide. Education has been dumbed down such that many people can't think for themselves and only parrot the government line.

    Yes, I'm afraid where this will lead. Something should be done but I believe it's the dumbing down of education. Where are our thinkers? Our rational thinkers? Not in government? Not in the board rooms? Sadly, I don't see a quick fix for this and a long term solution probably won't happen once the spoon fed youngsters grow up and come to power.

    I wish I could feel like there's a future for thought, discourse, and acton without the outside influences and censorship that seems to be on the lips of government types worldwide.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Censorship coming to a website near you?

      The cherished concept of 'free speech" personal privacy is being eroded by various lawmakers 'champions' of free speech

      Fixed that from a European point of view.

    3. naive

      Re: Censorship coming to a website near you?

      It is the lefties realizing they lost control over the information flow to the masses. In the last thirty years the ownership of all mainstream media is consolidated in the hands of a dozen tycoons, controlling most one sees or hears in the media. This for instance led to the widespread belief: "Hey it is good to outsource all manufacturing job to cheap labor countries", because people didn't hear anything else for decades.

      The loss of Hillary made them realize their power was not as effective as they believed it to be, it took them 1.5 years to find out why it happened, and now they are trying to grab back the power on the information flow. We see if they manage to mobilize enough puppet politicians to get legislation changed, enabling them to limit information flow to the people.

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. Mayday Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Prolefeed

    That is all.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As a Facebook NON

    I have almost no contact with my family and extended family.

    When I ask for news about nieces and nephews I'm told " but we put it on Facebook"

    Rinse, repeat.

    Meh.

    1. onefang Silver badge

      Re: As a Facebook NON

      Last year I joined Facebook, coz I had to not coz I wanted to. I did a search for my family members, and didn't find any of them. Though they could have been doing the exact same thing I was doing, and using a fake name. I didn't bother asking any of them about this, or informing them of my fake name.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    bandwagon

    It's pathetic, how every tom, dick and hairy harry of this or that institution jump to the rescue and squeal how outrageous this scandal is, how concerned they are for their citizens privacy. Like fuck they are.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: bandwagon

      It's not pathetic, it's savvy opportunity-grasping.

      The opportunity of not risking much by speaking up on a subject everyone recognizes, minus the risk of triggering an unknown opinion mine. If you know how to speak in public without tripping over your own feet, it's hard not to gather some public brownie points.

      Might need to re-watch House Of Cards, there.

      While you still can, anyway.

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