|(Image by Henry Payne)|
Just before St. Patrick's Day, a scandal erupted over Cambridge Analytical utilizing Facebook as a data mine
to help Our Grand Nagus's 2016 campaign.
But as Tucker Carlson, (and cartoonist Henry Payne) point out, there's a data double standard in play
Most of the backlash I've seen has been directed at Facebook
, rather than Trump.
Advertisers are threatening to leave
and users are deleting their accounts
, or at least trying to. (I know one person that's done it).
Whether anyone truly succeeds in deleting their account or not (because the Internet is Forever), the company that started out as a campus "Hot or Not" game
is now struggling to extinguish the firestorm
|(Image by Steve Kelley)|
I've enjoyed being on Facebook for the most part, and have tried to minimize the personal information I put on line. I never post pictures of any trip, or event until it's over and I'm back home.
Censorship is another concern of mine, like Zuckergerg assuring German Chancellor Merkel he'll try to police-up anti-immigration speech
Lately though, my main issue with Facebook has been with left-leaning users I call friends.
In the wake of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting
, I was fed up with the Endless Two Minutes of Hate that was spilling on to Facebook and directed at the National Rifle Association (NRA). So near the end of February, I posted an article on my page which claimed millions RUSH to join the NRA
because of the anti-gun rhetoric, to which I added my own comment and observation:
I don't have to rush to join the NRA.
I've been a lifetime member for several years now.
The tactic currently employed by gun control activists--that of endlessly looping "Two Minutes of Hate" directed at law-abiding gun owners, and one of the associations they may be members of--appears to be counter-productive.
Not only can such attempts at "gun shaming" drive up NRA membership applications, but gun sales, applications for concealed weapons permits, and enrollment in gun safety classes also increase.
I'm sure gun-control activists don't see themselves as recruiters for the NRA, or spokesmen for arms manufacturers; but the the consequences of their actions--unintended or otherwise--is having that effect.
This brought an immediate reaction from some of the tabletop gamers, and writers I know. What surprised me wasn’t so much the amount of negative reactions, as it was the intensity. These people truly HATED the NRA.
I was told the NRA were a pack of fear mongers, blowhards, and even outright assholes.
To be honest, I get irritated when I’m constantly bombarded with requests for donations, and I often find their newsletters to be rather bombastic.
I wasn’t about to admit that to any of them. No dissension among the ranks, and all that.
This turned out to be a harbinger of what was to come.
A few days into March, I posted the article about the adult supervision--and money--behind the "Children's Crusade."
A handful of my high school alums saw this--and went batshit crazy.
The first person to comment accused me of suffering from oxygen deprivation. And the “debate” went downhill from there.
The flame war lasted over three days.
Fortunately for me, several of my ex-military and federal government buddies were drawn to the conflict and rolled-in with supporting comments, and jokes (at my opponents expense) and scathing personal attacks of their own.
I should have reigned-in my friends, but I was still fuming over the oxygen deprivation, and subsequent personal attacks directed at me, along with the claim of the NRA being a terrorist organization.
Mud-slinging aside, we made every attempt to reason with them.
Even my attempts at humor failed to humor our opponents. Despite feeling so angry, I tried to maintain my composure and responded with reasoned counterpoints.
However, the breaking point came when one guy told me that he lived in Chicago and the main problem is with gangs and people owning illegal weapons. I responded that he proved my point that gun control laws would only affect law-abiding gun owners.
First, today's sane, law abiding citizens are tomorrow's mass murderers.
I wrote a response telling him how wrong he was to have such an attitude and that we couldn't have a rational discussion about gun control because we have no common ground.
Then as soon as I posted it, I unfriended him and two others.
While I haven't decided whether or not to leave Facebook
altogether, I've decided I'll unfriend anyone who holds such an extreme view and considers me, along with my like minded friends to be Enemies of the State.
This also got me wondering if Facebook
has been enabling the rancor among friends and family with opposing political social views.
When I post personal, or funny comments and links, I'd get a handful of responses.
I found it more than a mere coincidence that my post about the NRA was responded to immediately by people in my tabletop gaming group who had intense feelings against the organization, while my high school alums who are passionate about the "Children's Crusade" immediately saw my AstroTurf post.
This seems too much like specific targeting to me.
So I think Facebook
's arcane algorithms are doing more than facilitating data mining.
As more of Facebook's shenanigans come to light, who knows who will be bailing out on whom...
|(Image by Steve Breen)|