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Facebook Suspends Donald Trump's Data Operations Team For Misusing People's Personal Information (theverge.com) 195

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Facebook said late Friday that it had suspended Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL), along with its political data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica, for violating its policies around data collection and retention. The companies, which ran data operations for Donald Trump's 2016 presidential election campaign, are widely credited with helping Trump more effectively target voters on Facebook than his rival, Hillary Clinton. While the exact nature of their role remains somewhat mysterious, Facebook's disclosure suggests that the company improperly obtained user data that could have given it an unfair advantage in reaching voters. Facebook said it cannot determine whether or how the data in question could have been used in conjunction with election ad campaigns.

In a blog post, Facebook deputy general counsel Paul Grewal laid out how SCL came into possession of the user data. In 2015, Aleksandr Kogan, a psychology professor at the University of Cambridge, created an app named "thisisyourdigitallife" that promised to predict aspects of users' personalities. About 270,000 people downloaded it and logged in through Facebook, giving Kogan access to information about their city of residence, Facebook content they had liked, and information about their friends. Kogan passed the data to SCL and a man named Christopher Wylie from a data harvesting firm known as Eunoia Technologies, in violation of Facebook rules that prevent app developers from giving away or selling users' personal information. Facebook learned of the violation that year and removed his app from Facebook. It also asked Kogan and his associates to certify that they had destroyed the improperly collected data. Everyone said that they did. The suspension is not permanent, a Facebook spokesman said. But the suspended users would need to take unspecified steps to certify that they would comply with Facebook's terms of service.

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Facebook Suspends Donald Trump's Data Operations Team For Misusing People's Personal Information

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  • What a joke. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Narcocide ( 102829 ) on Friday March 16, 2018 @11:43PM (#56273639) Homepage

    And they seriously say they don't know how that information could have been misused? Bullshit. If I can figure it out after spending 20 minutes with their stupid API, then they built it into the business plan and it's not possible they aren't fully aware of exactly how it was meant to work.

    • Re:What a joke. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Saturday March 17, 2018 @08:56AM (#56274613)

      It is rather amazing how they can track everything about you down to what you had for breakfast this morning, but when comes to determining any possible negative information about their operations, why, they just have no idea.

    • Re:What a joke. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SharpFang ( 651121 ) on Saturday March 17, 2018 @09:13AM (#56274657) Homepage Journal

      From bulk of available data, completely new, formerly unavailable data can be extracted. Correlations, statistics, trends - stuff "hidden in plain sight". Use geolocation and racial background and you can reliably predict credit capacity. Analyze shopping patterns and you can find hobbies. Finding political preferences, in particular "hesitant, open to suggestion" is definitely possible following history of likes on various articles, and sites frequented.

      Of course the excuse of "misusing" here is total bullshit. Facebook constantly misuses personal information. Their app listens in [youtube.com] while your phone is in sleep mode, to fine tune their ad suggestions,

      The only "misuse" here was "regular use, but helping Trump".

      • by wallsg ( 58203 )

        Remember about how about 10 years ago Democrats were gloating about how those old, rickety Republicans were at a tremendous disadvantage because they didn't know how to leverage the internet and social media? It sounds to me like they figured out how to use social media AS THE GREAT DATA SPONGE IT WAS DESIGNED TO BE perfectly fine. The indignation is that the "wrong" people figured it out.

        The "shame" is on everyone who freely gives out their personal information for, what? Nothing at all. Here you go, w

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They're only mad that their proprietary data got out, not that it was being "misused." That's the power of marketing, baby!

    • by iamhassi ( 659463 ) on Saturday March 17, 2018 @01:36AM (#56273889) Journal

      They're only mad that their proprietary data got out, not that it was being "misused." That's the power of marketing, baby!

      Exactly. Can't have other people selling personal data, only Google and Facebook are allowed to do that.

      • by shanen ( 462549 )

        Terse, but perhaps worth an insightful mod if I ever saw one to give. The soulless and cancerous corporations should NOT own our personal data to abuse for their greater profits. Not even a real problem, since there is no amount of profit that could satisfy the fake problem.

        I think we should own our own personal data, including where it is stored and how it is used. In the case where we post something (like this comment) for public consideration, that should be available for public use, and Facebook (but ev

      • They're only mad that their proprietary data got out, not that it was being "misused." That's the power of marketing, baby!

        Exactly. Can't have other people selling personal data, only Google and Facebook are allowed to do that.

        Like it or not I've given consent to Google and Facebook to use my personal data for targeted ads, search results, etc. You may think I and others who've done this have made a dumb choice, you might think there should be regs that manage this relationship, but there has been consent.

        Kogan made an agreement with FB that he's collect data only for his app's benefit. He also made an agreement with each user who used his app that the data would only be used for the app's benefit.

        And then he went and sold the da

    • by Memnos ( 937795 )

      All their base are belong to them.

  • Perhaps NSA needs to suspend Facebook operations for a few days. Ya know, aiding and abetting known terrorists and Maoist communists, to probably a number of financial frauds, starting with the founder...

    The DC kleptocrats, from DNC-Hill to Sen. Cruz(R) had much more intrusive data operations.
  • Blame allocation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bugs2squash ( 1132591 ) on Friday March 16, 2018 @11:49PM (#56273657)
    I would attach more blame to Facebook for allowing people to pull a stunt like this
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AlanObject ( 3603453 )

      I would attach more blame to Facebook for allowing people to pull a stunt like this

      If you are referring to the elevation of Donald Trump we should attach all blame where it belongs: on the idiots that voted for him.

      Whatever stunts were pulled with social media by these guys and the Russians, the essential facts about Donald Trump and what an incredible dishonest, morally cretinous fraud he is were out there for anyone with the slightest inclination to do so could find. They elected this scumbag all pumped up with inane slogans. To this day too many of them defend him regardless of the c

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        That's right, fellow Tolerant Liberal! As we all know, ONLY politicians with a (D) should be able to collude with Russians and accept 150 million dollar bribes from them. It's only bad when other people do it!

      • Re:Blame allocation (Score:4, Interesting)

        by evil_aaronm ( 671521 ) on Saturday March 17, 2018 @12:59AM (#56273815)
        I've had a long day, but I had time during the day - drove from the tail end of Long Island to home in western NY - to think about this. It struck me as odd, like, "Why the f would anyone with a brain vote for Trump?" And then I realized: They empathized with Trump to the extent that they wanted to be him. Like when we were kids - depending on how old you are - and Van Halen was all the rage, lots of people wanted to be EVH, but easily just as many people wanted to be "Diamond" David Lee Roth. Why? Well, the swagger, the charisma, the 'tude, the chicks. Either one had it all, but Roth, in particular, struck me as someone I'd rather emulate. In addition to all the above, he seemed funny, too. That was before I read more about both of them and realized they're people with their own issues and demons. Learning more about them took off a bit of the shine. Now, I know they're not perfect - in fact, they sound like assholes - but that doesn't mean I've completely abandoned them as a fan. I still like them both, but do I want to be them? No. I got my own life to worry about.

        But that's the thing: I think a lot of people don't just like Trump; they want to be him. They want what they see in Trump: the TV job; the cars; the helicopters; the glamorous parties; the flash and bling; the commanded "respect," etc. At some point, though, many of us realized that we weren't going to be the next DLR or EVH. We might have even changed our minds completely, and rejected that person after learning of this or that scandal. Evidently, with Trump, the scandals and his obvious inadequacies for the job of president do not register with these folks. Instead of bringing them down to earth, they just dig in deeper. Maybe someone with a better grasp of psychology could tell you why. I'm guessing dissatisfaction with their personal lives, with likely a large touch of insecurity.

        Bottom line: Is it really "idiocy," or is it escapism? Are Trump's supporters, in fact, a legion of fantasizing Walter Mittys?
        • by iamhassi ( 659463 ) on Saturday March 17, 2018 @01:41AM (#56273899) Journal
          Maybe they voted for Trump because he was the better of the two options? I mean, US seems to be doing good from where I'm sitting, at least better than it was before the election. What I wonder is why are there still people that refuse to accept Trump is actually doing a good job?
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by GrimSavant ( 5251917 )
            How far away are you sitting?

            Because you seemed to have missed the unending stream of scandals that are getting pretty hard to keep track of at this point both due to their depth and number. I guess if you don't want a fully functioning US Federal government for whatever reason it looks pretty good, but there big gaping holes in multiple key federal agencies functions, and those holes have only been growing bigger this week. Neither the political appointee level nor the career civil servant level seem par
          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@nOspAm.world3.net> on Saturday March 17, 2018 @05:51AM (#56274289) Homepage Journal

            Are you kidding? Trump is running out of staff to fire and just started a damaging trade war. He failed to improve healthcare, backed out of Paris, made the office of POTUS a global laughing stock...

            Is there anything positive he has actually done? H1B reform perhaps. He was a useful idiot for Kim. Not much of an achievement.

            • A lot of people just look at their retirement account, which in the US is tied to the stock market. They saw, "Trump got the stock market up, and all he had to do was get elected." Whether it was actually Trump's fault or not, no one cares. But that attitude is going to spread if the stock market stays up.

              As for me, if he doesn't start a war, then he's not the worst president this century.
            • Re:Blame allocation (Score:4, Informative)

              by iamhassi ( 659463 ) on Saturday March 17, 2018 @09:35AM (#56274697) Journal
              Healthcare was ruined by the last president, that needs to be reformatted and reinstalled from scratch, but too many politicians are standing in the way so it's just going to continue to fail. Backing out of Paris was a Very Good Thing since the US was basically going to pay for all the other countries. We don't need to sign some agreement to improve our global warming responsiblities. POTUS was a global laughing stock before Trump whether you admit that or not.

              Trump did a few positive things...
              1. Supreme Court Judge Gorsuch
              2. 59 missiles dropped in Syria
              3. He took us out of TPP
              4. Illegal immigration is now down 70%( the lowest in 17 years)
              5. Consumer confidence highest since 2000 at index 125.6
              6. Mortgage applications for new homes rise to a seven year high
              7. Arranged from 7% to 24% Tariff on lumber from Canada
              8. Bids for border wall are well underway
              9. Pulled out of the lopsided Paris accord
              10. Keystone pipeline approved
              11. NATO allies boost spending by 4.3%
              12. Allowing VA to terminate bad employees
              13. Allowing private healthcare choices for veterans
              14. More than 600,000jobs created
              15. Median household income at a 7 year high
              16. The Stock Market is at the highest ever in its history
              17. China agreed to American import of beef
              18. $89 Billion saved in regulation rollbacks
              19. Rollback of A Regulation to boost coal mining
              20. MOAB for ISIS
              21. Travel ban reinstated
              22. Executive order for religious freedom
              23. Jump started NASA
              24. $600 million cut from UN peacekeeping budget
              25. Targeting of MS13 gangs
              26. Deporting violent illegal immigrants
              27. Signed 41 bills to date
              28. Created a commission on child trafficking
              29. Created a commission on voter fraud
              30. Created a commission for opioids addiction
              31. Giving power to states to drug test unemployment recipients
              32. Unemployment lowest since May 2007
              33. Historic Black College University initiative
              34. Women In Entrepreneurship Act
              35. Created an office for illegal immigrant crime victims
              36. Reversed Dodd-Frank
              37. Repealed DOT ruling which would have taken power away from local governments for infrastructure planning 38. Order to stop crime against law enforcement
              39. End of DAPA program
              40. Stopped companies from moving out of America
              41. Promoted businesses to create American Jobs
              42. Encouraged country to once again - 'Buy American and hire American'
              43. Cutting regulations - 2 for every one created
              45. Review of all trade agreements to make sure they are America first
              46. Apprentice program
              47. Highest manufacturing surge in 3 years
              48. $78 Billion promised reinvestment from major businesses like Exxon, Bayer, Apple, SoftBank, Toyota
              49. Denied FBI a new building
              50. $700 million saved with F-35 renegotiation
              51. Saves $22 million by reducing white house payroll
              52. Dept of Treasury reports a $182 billion surplus for April 2017 (2nd largest in history)
              53. Negotiated the release of 6 US humanitarian workers held captive in Egypt
              54. Gas prices lowest in more than 12 years
              55. Signed An Executive Order To Promote Energy Independence and Economic Growth
              56. Has already accomplished more to stop government interference into people's lives than any President in the history of America
              57. President Trump has worked with Congress to pass more legislation in his first 100 days than any President since Truman
              58. Has given head executive of each branches 6 month time frame, dated March 15, 2017, to trim the fat, restructure and improve
              efficiency of their branch. (Observe the push-back the leaks the lies as entrenched POWER refuses to go silently into that good night!)
              59. Last, refused his Presidential pay check. Donated it to Veterans issues
              60. Repealed the abusive EPA WOTUS regs imposed by Obama.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

                1. Supreme Court Judge Gorsuch
                2. 59 missiles dropped in Syria
                3. He took us out of TPP
                4. Illegal immigration is now down 70%( the lowest in 17 years)
                7. Arranged from 7% to 24% Tariff on lumber from Canada
                8. Bids for border wall are well underway
                9. Pulled out of the lopsided Paris accord
                10. Keystone pipeline approved
                11. NATO allies boost spending by 4.3%
                12. Allowing VA to terminate bad employees
                13. Allowing private healthcare choices for veterans
                18. $89 Billion saved in regulation rollbacks
                19. Rollback of A Regulation to boost coal mining
                20. MOAB for ISIS
                21. Travel ban reinstated
                22. Executive order for religious freedom
                24. $600 million cut from UN peacekeeping budget
                29. Created a commission on voter fraud
                31. Giving power to states to drug test unemployment recipients
                36. Reversed Dodd-Frank
                39. End of DAPA program
                43. Cutting regulations - 2 for every one created
                45. Review of all trade agreements to make sure they are America first
                55. Signed An Executive Order To Promote Energy Independence and Economic Growth
                56. Has already accomplished more to stop government interference into people's lives than any President in the history of America
                58. Has given head executive of each branches 6 month time frame, dated March 15, 2017, to trim the fat, restructure and improve
                60. Repealed the abusive EPA WOTUS regs imposed by Obama.

                These are all bad things he did.

                5. Consumer confidence highest since 2000 at index 125.6
                6. Mortgage applications for new homes rise to a seven year high
                15. Median household income at a 7 year high
                16. The Stock Market is at the highest ever in its history
                23. Jump started NASA
                27. Signed 41 bills to date
                41. Promoted businesses to create American Jobs
                47. Highest manufacturing surge in 3 years
                52. Dept of Treasury reports a $182 billion surplus for April 2017 (2nd largest in history)
                53. Negotiated the release of 6 US humanitarian workers held captive in Egypt
                54. Gas prices lowest in more than 12 years

                These would have happened anyway.

                • by penandpaper ( 2463226 ) on Saturday March 17, 2018 @01:05PM (#56275545) Journal

                  How is Judge Gorsuch bad? Everything that I have seen and read about Gorsuch has shown a well tempered, honorable, intelligent, and principled man.

                  If you think he was soooo bad you have to explain why he was appointed to the Circuit court of appeals unanimously by the same people that voted against his Supreme court nomination.

                  You may not like Trump or what Trump does but Gorsuch is a good judge by every measure.

                  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

                    It was supposed to be Obama's pick. The system is stupid but that's how it works, and Obama made a perfectly good choice. Republican's refused because they saw an opportunity to stack the SCOTUS.

                    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                      Ok, that has nothing to do with Gorsuch. That was politics and a gambit that McConnell bet big and won. Saying Gorsuch is bad because politics is stupid. Saying that the POTUS nomination == confirmation ignores the Constitutional power of the Senate and again has nothing to do with Gorsuch.

                      You don't have a leg to stand on and that is apparent that your excuse is comes down to the constitutional power of the Senate.

                • 3. He took us out of TPP

                  These are all bad things he did.

                  I see this particular item differently: a stopped-clock moment in which President Trump helped save the world from the United States. After the United States left the Trans-Pacific Partnership, it passed without the harmful copyright provisions on which USTR insisted at the behest of the music and film industry associations of America. How is helping to contain the MAFIAA's push to spread copyright maximalism a bad thing?

                  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

                    I completely agree with that assessment. TTP has been very good for the remaining countries that went with it sans I.P. provisions.

                    The problem is that now the US wants to do individual trade deals, and they are all terrible for the other countries involved. Japan is trying to stall and wait it his presidency, for example.

                    Pulling out wasn't a terrible thing to do, especially compared to the other stuff, but it would have been better to fix it.

                  • Leaving TPP was a huge win for China [scmp.com], the country that just confirmed dictatorial rule. Just after Trump helped China, he was given a bunch of patents [theguardian.com]. Like almost all of his decisions, he didn't care about saving anyone from anything, except himself.
              • 23. Jump started NASA

                Trump hasn't raised NASA's budget. Trump hasn't put a cogent NASA or national space policy in place. (In fact, his "policy" is President Obama's with a couple of lines changed and a whole bunch of puffed chest and meaningless propaganda.) Trump has done shit for NASA except to assemble yet another committee to put their political fingers in the pie.

                • Are you sure about that? https://www.cbsnews.com/news/t... [cbsnews.com]
                  • From the very first fucking line of the article:

                    The Trump administration is proposing $19.1 billion for NASA in its fiscal 2018 budget blueprint, a 0.8 percent decrease from 2017 funding levels

                    The next few lines, if you're familiar with NASA other than through Trump's propaganda, are meaningless puffery - they're more-or-less exactly what NASA has been doing all through the Obama administration and some of it as far back as President Bush. When you read the rest of the article, it's just more of the same -

              • Healthcare was ruined by the last president

                You mean how more people got coverage, preexisting conditions went away, and the rate of healthcare growing slowed?

                Yeah, it was destroyed.

                that needs to be reformatted and reinstalled from scratch

                How? Trump said he had a brilliant solution during the election... yet for some reason all we got was a gong show from the legislative branch.

                Backing out of Paris was a Very Good Thing since the US was basically going to pay for all the other countries.

                Good point, except for the fact it was a non-binding agreement for which you didn't have to pay a dime.

                We don't need to sign some agreement to improve our global warming responsiblities.

                True. But putting industry lackeys in charge of the DOE and EPA who go out of their way to subsidize coal plants isn't a very goo

                • Laughing stock is laughing stock, a bigger laughing stock still means it was TRUE that we were a laughing stock before https://www.usatoday.com/story... [usatoday.com]
                • Yes I included the voter fraud commission, just because it was disbanded doesn't mean it was a bad idea, just means this commission didn't work out but voter fraud is a serious issue and Trump should be applauded for at least trying to tackle it https://www.nbcnews.com/politi... [nbcnews.com]
                  • Yes I included the voter fraud commission, just because it was disbanded doesn't mean it was a bad idea, just means this commission didn't work out but voter fraud is a serious issue and Trump should be applauded for at least trying to tackle it https://www.nbcnews.com/politi... [nbcnews.com]

                    Voter fraud is not a problem in the US [politifact.com].

                    I can't recall how many times I heard some Republican claim "oh we found rock solid evidence of 1000 cases of voter fraud!" and you'll later hear that at least 999 of them turned out to be due to crappy government databases and the remaining one almost certainly was as well... but there's also a small chance it was a green card holder who got confused. The GOP just keeps pushing the lie because it serves as an excuse to implement voter IDs, and when you insist that vot

                • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

                  Trump said he had a brilliant solution during the election... yet for some reason all we got was a gong show from the legislative branch.

                  To be fair though, who knew healthcare was so complicated?!? Certainly not Trump.

            • Is there anything positive he has actually done? H1B reform perhaps. He was a useful idiot for Kim. Not much of an achievement.

              I hate trump, but one positive thing was the first ever audit of the DOD 'misplacing' 21 thousand billion dollars [npr.org] Given that this could have paid off nearly all national debt, or expanded health care to everyone and paid for free college for all, I think some kind of accounting for unconstitutional appropriation of vast sums of money is a good thing.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          No need to over-think this. He is a populist, a demagogue. Same technique that has worked over and over throughout history. When times are hard someone like Trump can promise simple solutions like getting rid of immigrants, building a wall, opening up obsolete industries and "draining the swamp".

          People respond to simple ideas that seem like they will produce quick results. The truth, that the problems are complex and difficult to solve and will require them to charge too is a much harder sell.

          • This. People need to pay attention [theatlantic.com]. Trumpers will almost admit they favor authoritarianism [nytimes.com]. Ask them if they think it's ok that Trump does X thing that's traditionally outside of classical presidential power. Nepotism, back room deals, emoluments, willful blindness, constant open about-faces/outright lying, etc. The answer is always deflection or denial.
        • they voted for Trump because he ran as a populist. He promised them good jobs, healthcare and a future. Hilary promised them them nothing [vox.com]. At best slightly lower interest rates on their Student Loans.

          There's a ton of really desperate folks in swing states. Hilary called them the Blue Firewall and ignored them. Trump listened to them and told them what they wanted to hear. It doesn't matter that he was lying. There was a chance, however small, that he wasn't. They had nothing to lose.

          The real problem
          • by penandpaper ( 2463226 ) on Saturday March 17, 2018 @11:37AM (#56275185) Journal

            Was he lying? It seems to me that he is actually trying to fulfill those promises. You may disagree on what he is doing and disagree on whether his policy will help but I honestly do not believe he lied about trying to help those people. He has been keeping is campaign promises.

            How has he lied to them?

            • Let's see:

              a. Backed off on ending DACA and endorsed amnesty. Whatever your opinion (personally I think it'd be nuts to try and deport them at this point) of this it was core promise.

              b. Gave Carrier millions in subsidies to keep jobs that they promptly sent to Mexico as soon as nobody was looking.

              c. Expanding the number of H1-B & H2-B recipients, failed to repeal Obama's executive order allowing their spouses to work in this country.

              d. Did a $1.5 trillion tax cut where 80% of the benefits a
              • lol. What are you talking about?

                A) DACA wasn't mentioned in campaign. How was that a lie? Immigration law is being enforced. Illegal immigration is down. Travel bans in place. Promise kept from what I can tell.
                B) What does Carrier have to do with anything during the campaign promises? He tried to keep them in the US and htey are leaving anyway... so he kept a promise to try and help. Ok? I think you misunderstand what promise being kept means.
                C) Okay. [cnn.com]
                D) People paying less taxes is lying to them? Lowering co

                • all over the place [google.com]. DACA _is_ amnesty.

                  You'd support Sanders & the Democrats (NOT the DNC, there's a difference) because unless you're independently wealthy you're a member of the working class and he (and his ilk) are the only ones who genuinely have your interests at heart. If you think you're some kind of mover and shaker who's going to make it in the world, well, you're shit-posting in response to a borderline libtard troll. That ship sailed my friend. Like it or not you're one of us, and Trump
                  • Yes, DACA is amnesty that started by Obama executive order. There are court battles over DACA renewals and the proper fix is immigration reform via Congress. Trump offered amnesty for DACA for other compromises. That proposal was sank. I don't understand your point. How has he lied about his position on immigration? He brought the conversation of DACA front and center by not renewing it.

                    I am working class. Sanders doesn't give a shit about working class or poor people. He pays lip service but his policies a

                    • for illegals. The reason they didn't want this is that if you could come here illegally and become a citizen everybody would. There's never be any incentive to come here legally. He then reneged on this promise. I don't know how I could make it any simpler.

                      And you have to start somewhere. Single payer healthcare is a good place. Regulating Wall Street to prevent another market crash is another. Just because good ideas won't pass doesn't mean you throw up your hands and give up. You've surrendered to easi
                    • Go out there and vote Bernie (and the Justice Democrats,

                      No thanks. I disagree with many items on their platform and frankly Cenk is a buffoon. Additionally, anyone that thinks "ban on assault weapons" is "common-sense" is an idiot which tends to be the type of person to push for more gun regulation because they don't understand guns or the existing laws we currently have. Anyone that thinks suicide will be solved by banning guns is in an idiot (US is average for suicide). Using suicides to inflate the statistics is dishonest, at least they mention only a third a

              • I remember seeing how excited everyone was about his "day one" promise to ask his treasury secretary to label China a currency manipulator. He said it sooo many times. It'd be soo easy, and Trumpers in my own family told me how necessary it was and how much they believed in it.
                Well, day one came and went. What day are we at?
                You don't need congressional approval. Just ask somebody to do something. Instead, he killed TPP, which helped China. And China officially became a dictatorship again. Wow, Tru
            • Was he lying? It seems to me that he is actually trying to fulfill those promises. You may disagree on what he is doing and disagree on whether his policy will help but I honestly do not believe he lied about trying to help those people. He has been keeping is campaign promises.

              How has he lied to them?

              So he's going to pass steel tariffs and raise the cost of manufacturing in the US? Sure he's kinda fulfilling a promise, but he's actually harming the people he was supposed to help.

              What about the "tax cut" which was effectively just a massive wealth transfer to the rich (including himself), which one of his promises was that?

              Or when he made a bunch of nonsensical promises on healthcare and then pushed for a healthcare bill that broke all of them?

              I'll agree he's trying to keep out immigrants, reduce trade d

              • ...steel tariffs... Sure he's kinda fulfilling a promise, but he's actually harming the people he was supposed to help.

                Again, "You may disagree on what he is doing and disagree on whether his policy will help". I think we both agree that it does count as "fulfilling a promise". Whether it achieves the goal or not is debatable.

                "tax cut" which was effectively just a massive wealth transfer to the rich

                Taxing less is a wealth transfer? That doesn't make sense. Keeping more of the money you earned is a wealth transfer? I guess if you feel entitled to other peoples money. However, can you explain: "When upper-income Americans prosper, so do middle-income and lower-income Americans. Conversely, when hi [aier.org]

                • ...steel tariffs... Sure he's kinda fulfilling a promise, but he's actually harming the people he was supposed to help.

                  Again, "You may disagree on what he is doing and disagree on whether his policy will help". I think we both agree that it does count as "fulfilling a promise". Whether it achieves the goal or not is debatable.

                  There were two parts to your claim, first he's trying to fulfill promises, and second, he's trying to help people.

                  With the tariffs I think it's fulfilling a promise, but I don't think he actually believes it will help people as much as he thinks a trade war will be exciting and good for his poll numbers.

                  "tax cut" which was effectively just a massive wealth transfer to the rich

                  Taxing less is a wealth transfer? That doesn't make sense. Keeping more of the money you earned is a wealth transfer?

                  The money to fund the tax cut is coming from the treasury and massively raising the debt. Sooner or later that money has to be paid back, either through inflation (everyone is a bit less wealthy), raising ta

                  • it just transfers more of that wealth to the richest.

                    Again, I have a hard time understanding that phrasing. It assumes that anything the federal government spends money on is worthwhile to the universal benefit. Is that true? Why should it be spent at the federal level? Take the Department of Education. Since 1980, has American education been improved with the billions of taxes we spent? I am not sure there are many successful measures to say that education has been better primarily because we spend more taxes on the DoE. Education in the US has been characte

        • But that's the thing: I think a lot of people don't just like Trump; they want to be him. They want what they see in Trump: the TV job; the cars; the helicopters; the glamorous parties; the flash and bling; the commanded "respect," etc. At some point, though, many of us realized that we weren't going to be the next DLR or EVH. We might have even changed our minds completely, and rejected that person after learning of this or that scandal. Evidently, with Trump, the scandals and his obvious inadequacies for the job of president do not register with these folks. Instead of bringing them down to earth, they just dig in deeper. Maybe someone with a better grasp of psychology could tell you why. I'm guessing dissatisfaction with their personal lives, with likely a large touch of insecurity.

          I don't think that's quite it.

          People overestimate their capabilities, as a result most people feel they're not doing as well as they deserve to be. Who is to blame for this injustice? The system.

          That's why every politician runs on change, because people think if you fix system you'll fix the injustice and they'll be better off.

          The problem is that system, while flawed, isn't quite as corrupt as they believe, and when confronted by this reality most politicians end up sounding roughly the same.

          Trump is comple

      • For that you got an insightful mod? Fundamental misconception of lumping the Trump voters into one mass. How can you claim much insight with such a flawed foundation?

        There are many small groups that form Trump's constituents. It will be interesting to find out which ones remain in his "deep base" when this next election comes around.

        While I sort of agree that collectively they are responsible for the #FatNixon fiasco, this story is about a couple of groups that were subject to convenient manipulation via Fa

        • For that you got an insightful mod? Fundamental misconception of lumping the Trump voters into one mass. How can you claim much insight with such a flawed foundation?

          There are only two kinds of Trump voter: wealthy people who want to keep all their money and don't care about anyone else, and total goddamned idiots who will never, ever get out of Trump what they thought they would get when they voted for him.

          • by shanen ( 462549 )

            Your main comment is an imposed ontology, but I regard that as unfair. It is important to understand that the binary decision to vote or not vote for #PresidentTweety was overlaid on a rather complicated reality. I actually think the key to understanding Trump's so-called victory is the poor analytic skills of people who could convince themselves that Trump was lying to everyone else, but telling ONLY THEM the truths they wanted to hear. Yes, they might well know that Trump had said exactly opposite things

      • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Saturday March 17, 2018 @02:14AM (#56273975)
        All Hilary had to do was take him seriously and campaign properly (or at all) in the swing states. Instead she wasted time in states like Az where she didn't have a prayer in hell of winning. She thought she was gonna get some sorta Reaganesque style super victory. Funny thing is there were two things that I kept hearing people say they didn't like about her: Cold & Arrogant. And boy, did she prove that right.

        Worst thing is the right wing corporate Dems haven't learned a damn thing and they're probably gonna run Hilary 2.0 (Kamala Harris). What they hell is the bloody point of voting for a Democrat who's gonna run things like a Republican?
        • by c6gunner ( 950153 ) on Saturday March 17, 2018 @04:34AM (#56274167)

          All Hilary had to do was take him seriously and campaign properly (or at all) in the swing states.

          Hillary's campaign had and spent about double the money that Trump did on his campaign. Seems they were pretty serious. The thing is ... no matter how much money you spend buying makeup for a pig, it's still going to be a pig.

          • on 4 consultancy firms. I'm pretty sure she got Rhomey'd. e.g. the firms thought they had an easy win so they pocketed the money and didn't campaign. The folks on the ground in the swing states didn't have any support. One guy in an important and competitive district was on tape complaining he only got one short visit from Barney Frank and nobody was going around distributing signs. Meanwhile on election day I had a guy driving around in one of those trucks with advertisements on the back for Trump.
            • I'm pretty sure she got Rhomey'd. e.g. the firms thought they had an easy win so they pocketed the money and didn't campaign.

              If that's the case, she should sue.

              It's certainly a possible explanation, but less likely than the alternative. Ockham's Razor says that, all else being equal, the explanation which requires the fewest assumptions is more likely to be true. We know that she was an unlikable candidate with very little "organic" appeal. We know that a massive portion of the people who would normally constitute the Democrat base were extremely pissed off that she got nominated over Bernie. Given those two things, we don't n

              • losing to Trump hit her like a brick. At this point she's just a bitter angry old woman. Besides, the lawsuit would go on forever. She'd be suing other multi-millionaires. She'd die before anything came of it.

                Yes, if she was less incompetent her firms wouldn't have fleeced her. If she'd had less baggage Trump couldn't have won. If nationalism hadn't grown so much she could have won. If the Russian's hadn't interfered she could have won. If she hadn't ignored the working class she could have won. There's
        • Worst thing is the right wing corporate Dems haven't learned a damn thing and they're probably gonna run Hilary 2.0 (Kamala Harris). What they hell is the bloody point of voting for a Democrat who's gonna run things like a Republican?

          This is exactly what I'm afraid of. Her reputation is totally disconnected from her actions; it's worth repeating a previous post of mine about her...
          [...] from all indications, the Dems have learned nothing from losing to Trump and will find a way to do it again. Probably by trying to run Kamala Harris for instance. So they lose everyone not cool with 'equality is racism/sexism and white men are evil' and eliminating all due process for sex crimes (particularly on college campuses) to staying home or even

    • by Anonymous Coward

      But for the wrong side, so we're suspending them.

      Seriously, though. The data was from a relatively small number of users who were not necessarily all U.S. voters a year before the firm was hired by the Trump campaign and there's a possibility that maybe not all of it was deleted, so the Verge acts like Facebook confirmed Trump stole the election. Look at the weasel language in the current version of TFA as of this writing (almost the opposite of the excerpt in the summary, incidentally):

      Facebook’s disclosure suggests that the company improperly obtained user data that could have given it an unfair advantage in reaching voters.

      The Verge thinks tha

  • virtue signalling? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 17, 2018 @01:50AM (#56273911)

    It was not that long ago that the Trump team announced the guy who will run the 2020 re-election campaign is going to be the guy who ran Trump's digital campaign efforts, and there were stories about how he had cleverly taken advantage of a program Facebook offered to BOTH campaigns to embed teams to help with digital outreach (Facebook was NOT favoring Trump, Hillary simply turned down Facebook's offer).

    In the modern era of outraged boycotting left wingers who go nuts against any company they suspect has been anything other than hostile to their enemies, is is possible this is Facebook's way of trying to deflect and protect itself from blowback?

    Odd and bad things can happen when mobs with torches and pitchforks (real or virtual) are on the rampage.

  • A brand attempts to stop the freedom of speech?
    Great brands will move in to support the freedom of speech.
    • I'm afraid that "Great brands" is not the same as supporting open competition or the marketplace of ideas. What makes you think that a "great brand" would welcome competition?

  • Give me a break, this is news; that an analytics company many not have abide by Facebook's rules. Isn't this politics? Here's a hot tip - If it's not illegal the it's legal, Facebook doesn't make the law just yet their candidate didn't win enough electoral votes.
  • ...I recall the plaudits and praise that was widespread after the 2008/2012 election for the Obama team's aggressive and comprehensive use of Facebook and other online data to target and sway voters.

    Funny that the dems went from cutting edge to incompetent in 2 elections, and even more interesting that use of those tools is now somehow considered malignant.
    Almost like there's a double standard...

  • It's no doubt cynical of me, but this sounds like Facebook Inc. getting all pissy because someone else was making the profit (measured in votes rather than dollars) instead of them. Apparently, Facebook can give away or sell that data, Farmville and Mafia Wars can do so because Facebook is getting a piece of that. But Facebook doesn't directly profit from a political group "getting out the vote" more effectively, so that is a no-no.

    Sure, it is wrong for one political group to have such a decided advantage

  • by Etcetera ( 14711 ) on Saturday March 17, 2018 @12:38PM (#56275445) Homepage

    Here's the problem with this:

    Facebook could legitimately feel that terms were broken, or they might not. They might or might not choose to enforce those terms against customers that they "like" (no pun intended) that just so happen to be affiliated with the other side. There's a normal liberatarian-ish response to just say that private companies can do whatever they want, but the Social Networks are *so* powerful (80%+ engagement, 90%+ ad revenue if you include Google AdWords) that removal of that is a huge competitive disadvantage to disfavored candidates and parties.

    We already have some regulations requiring equal broadcasting time and access to over-the-air political ads during a campaign season, which were developed during the time when TV was the most important demographic advertising source around. In 2018, this is social media.

    We need real regulation of the handling of personal data and ad networks, to prevent tech industry's overwhelming power being used only for candidates its employees specifically support. These aren't just "regular companies" any more... They have more day-to-day power over American culture than Standard Oil ever did, and unless/until real anti-trust regulation happens and data storage is handled independently from advertising, we need to ensure the situation doesn't get more and more worse.

Exceptions prove the rule, and wreck the budget. -- Miller

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