On Tuesday Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was questioned by American senator Josh Hawley, R-Missorri about evidence he has recieved from a whistleblower.
The whistleblower has revealed that Facebook coordinates with Twitter and Google in order to make certain ‘content moderation’ decisions.
Another phrase for ‘content moderation’ is of course CENSORSHIP.
Mr Hawley said the whistleblower (a former Facebook employee), had “direct knowledge of the company’s content moderation practices”
The whistleblower had informed the Senator about an internal platform called TASKS which Facebook uses to coordinate projects, including censorship.
The Task platform reflects censorship input from Google and Twitter as well. Facebook censorship teams communicate with their counterparts at Twitter and Google and then enter those companies’ suggestions for censorship onto the Task platform so that Facebook can follow up with them and effectively coordinate their censorship efforts.
Here is a screen print of a TASK platform page detailing some of Facebook’s censorship ‘to-do-list’.
Do Facebook Track Your Web Activity?
Later in the hearing Sen Hawley brought up the issue of another secretive Facebook practice – a data tracking platform called CENTRA.
He put it to Zuckerberg that Centra was a highly secret database used “to track its users, not just on Facebook, but across the entire internet.”
The Senator said,
Centra tags different profiles that a user visits, their message recipients, their linked accounts [and] the pages they visit around the web that have Facebook buttons. Centra also uses behavioural data to monitor users’ accounts, even if they’re registered under a different name.
When asked about Centra, Zuckerberg claimed he couldn’t recall the name of Centra.
When pressed further about Centra, Zuckerberg didn’t any answers, instead offering to follow up with more information.
Senator, I’m saying that I’m not familiar with it. And that I’d be happy to follow up and get you and your team the information that you would like on this, but I’m limited in what I can — what I’m familiar with and can share today.
Here’s a screen shot of CENTRA in action.
This digital ‘spying’ operation includes data from our posts, including our likes, our photos, everything we type (and delete without posting), our calls our sexual orientation, political beliefs, relationship status, drug use and personality traits. These monsters also monitor everything we do while not on Facebook.
Even when we’re offline.
While Facebook is one of the biggest players in this space they are not alone in this creepy stalker behaviour. There are thousands of other companies who spy on us too.
For example there are 2,500 to 4,000 data brokers in the United States alone. Their business is the buying and selling of our personal data, most of them you’ve never heard of.
Equifax is one of those thousands of data brokers selling your personal information without your knowledge or consent. Equifax holds personal information on 150 million people. They’ll sell it to pretty much anyone who will pay them. This information includes Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver’s license numbers. Did you give them permission to collect any of that information on you?
Another is PayPal who once published a list of over 600 companies they share your personal data with.
Google’s surveillance is startlingly intimate. After all how can we lie to our search engines? Our interests and curiosities, hopes and fears, desires and sexual proclivities are all collected, saved and sold.
Add to that the websites we visit which Google tracks through its advertising network, our Gmail accounts, our movements via Google Maps,
Why? Because they can – anytime – any place – anywhere. Most of it comes from our smartphones.
The Smartphone is the most intimate surveillance device ever invented. It can track your location continuously, whether the location service is on or off. It knows where you live, work and where you spend your time.
Your smartphone provider and any app you allow to collect location data knows a lot more.
Therefore is it any surprise that the UK’s NHS have developed a Track-n-Trace app apparently to monitor their fake virus.
Your phone is the first and last thing you check in your day, so it knows when you wake up and when you go to sleep. As you all have one, it also knows who you sleep with. Uber once used some of that information to detect one-night stands.
Then there’s Amazon, Spotify, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, YouTube and a whole multitude of apps/services doing the same things to you 24/7.
Harvard Business School professor Shoshana Zuboff calls it “surveillance capitalism.”
Surveillance capitalism drives the internet. Its goal is psychological manipulation. Look at the disinformation being peddled with regard to the C19 virus. It’s purpose was and is to create division among the people. Divide and Conquer.
Of course none of this is new. The media has been reporting on ‘surveillance capitalism’ for years. Back in 2010, the Wall Street Journal published a two-year series about how people are tracked both online and offline. It was called “What They Know.”
Because this industry largely operates in secret people are mostly ignorant of its reach.
The extent of this surveillance culture isn’t limited to corporations. Governments across the free world have on-going contractual arrangements with many of these companies.
Surveillance capitalism has operated without constraints for way too long. And advances in both big data analysis and artificial intelligence will make tomorrow’s applications far creepier than today’s.
Is regulation the answer or do we all throw our Smartphones in the bin?
Time will tell but for me it’s time to tell y’all to WAKE UP!