What Facebook Knew and Tried to Hide

Even when the Facebook leaders understood the problem, they tried to hide it.

Right after the election Zuckerburg was dismissive of the idea that Fake News influenced the election.

People within the company thought he was out of touch.

At the time Facebook was under pressure.

Trump had won the election using social media, but Facebook was dismissive.

Facebook employees saw the tip of the iceberg .  They had been following Russian

Mark wanted to find a technical fix.

Sheryl was thinking about the legal risk and was wondering whether they would find out things they didn’t want to know.  Sheryl was thinking about what the consequences would be.

Sheryl yelled at the security team for investigating Russian interference without formal approval.

The leadership was concerned that Washington was controlled by conservatives who would have an adverse reaction to an investigation or efforts to curb this activity.  Conservatives already think Silicon Valley is a bunch of hippies.

There was pressure within Facebook not to publish anything linking activity back to Russia.  Sheryl(?) also signed off on a policy not to take down the Russian troll accounts.

Mark Zuckerburg was traveling the country, milking cows, and acting as though he wanted to run for President.

Sheryl Sandberg was running her own “Lean-In” brand.

Alex Stamos (Security Chief) briefs the audit committee and the board’s response is to yell at Mark(?) and Sheryl(?)

The leadership holds a big meeting and Sheryl yells at Alex Stamos for

  • not briefing her fully
  • admitting that they hadn’t fully got a grip on the situation
  • suggesting that Russia would likely do this again in the future

Alex has gotten in trouble in the past for being too transparent

The Cambridge Analytical Scandal illustrates:

  • The consequences of surveillance capitalism
  • The potential of Facebook to influence elections

Apple CEO Tim Cook castigates Facebook for their business model.

Facebook conducts an advertising campaign and privately goes on attack using the Washington PR opposition research campaign, which uses the NTK network which publishes propaganda.

Confronted with a Propaganda Scandal, they turn to a PR campaign to create their own Propaganda.

Attacks Apple and Tim Cook.  Attack George Soros, arguing the Facebook’s criticism was masterminded by George Soros.  In taking on Soros they are getting into the smear and conspiracy business.

 

Related:

Damage Control at Facebook: 6 Takeaways From The Times’s Investigation

Trump: ‘No Reason To Hear Khashoggi Tape:

In his interview with FOX News, President Trump said there was “no reason” for him to hear a tape recording purported to be of the killing of Saudi activist Jamal Khashoggi inside the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate last month … “We have the tape, I don’t want to hear the tape, no reason for me to hear the tape,” Trump said on “FOX News Sunday.” When Chris Wallace asked why he did not want to hear the recording, Trump said: “Because it’s a suffering tape, it’s a terrible tape. I’ve been fully briefed on it. There’s no reason for me to hear it.”

On Saturday, Trump vowed that his administration would “be having a very full report over the next two days, probably Monday or Tuesday.” It was unclear whether the document would be made public. The Washington Post and other outlets have reported that the CIA had concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s death. A U.S. government official told Fox News on Saturday that no final assessment or conclusion relating to the crown prince’s involvement had been reached, nor had a so-called “smoking gun” been found.

Trump told “FOX News Sunday” that the crown prince, known informally as “MbS,” had told him “maybe five times” that he had no involvement in Khashoggi’s death. When Wallace asked what Trump would do if he determines that the crown prince has lied to him, Trump said: “Will anybody really know?”– Reported by Samuel Chamberlain (@SChamberlainFOX on Twitter)

Endorsing Trump will leave a mark

Mitt Romney is usually not the most eloquent of public figures, but he got it right when he explained his increasingly lonely resistance to Trump: “I wanted my grandkids to see that I simply couldn’t ignore what Mr. Trump was saying and doing, which revealed a character and temperament unfit for the leader of the free world.”

.. Consider that for a moment. Trump’s argument, in essence, is that a judge of Hispanic origin should be disqualified from the case because Trump is so racist against Hispanics.

.. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.), your claim to intellectual leadership of the Republican Party is forfeited by your endorsement of a man who mocks the high ideals you espouse.

.. GOP leaders who choose “party unity” over principle should know that there is no way back; when you embrace Trump, you make a decision that will stay with you forever.

.. Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), your future in politics will be undermined by your support of a nominee you once rightly called a “con artist.”

.. Donald Trump turns 70 next week. He is who he is.

Trump’s Asymmetric Warfare

There is no way to sufficiently sully a pig or mock a clown. The effort only draws one further onto the opponent’s turf and away from one’s own principles and priorities.

There is no way to shame a man who lacks conscience or to embarrass an embarrassment. Trump is smart enough to know what he lacks — substance — and to know what he possesses in abundance — insolence.

So long as he steers clear of his own weakness and draws others in to the brier patch that is his comfort, he wins.

As MSNBC’s Chris Matthews said in December, this is asymmetric warfare. Conventional forms of political fighting won’t work on this man. Truth holds little power, and the media is still enthralled by the monster it made.

.. He has changed the very definition of acceptability as well as the expectations of the honor of one’s words. He has exalted the art of deceit to a new political normalcy.

.. You see, part of the problem here is that some people believe, improbably, that virtue can be cloaked in vice, that what he says and what he means are fundamentally different, that the former is acting as a Trojan horse for the latter. One of Trump’s greatest pros is that he has convinced his supporters, all evidence to the contrary, that they are not being conned.

.. We are a society in search of an instant fix to some of America’s most intractable problems.

.. This part of America isn’t being artfully deceived, it is being willfully blind.

.. In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs.

Willful Blindness and Our Saudi ‘Friends’

When 9/11 finally happened, killing nearly 3,000 of our fellow Americans, al-Qaeda credited none other than the Blind Sheikh with issuing the fatwa — the sharia edict — that authorized the attack. We had imprisoned him, but we had not stopped him.

.. American counterterrorism, even seven years after 9/11 (and fully 15 years after the jihadists declared war by bombing the World Trade Center), had bored its head ever deeper in the sand. It consciously avoided the central truths driving the terrorist threat against the United States. The most significant of these is that violent jihadism is the inexorable result of the vibrance in Islam of sharia supremacism — a scripturally-rooted summons to Muslims to strive for conquest over infidels until Allah’s law (sharia) is established everywhere on earth.

.. Since 1993, the bipartisan American ruling class, throughout administrations of both parties, has refused to acknowledge, much less grapple with, this central truth of the threat we face. It has insisted, against fact and reason, that Islam is a monolithic “religion of peace,” and therefore that there can be no causal connection between Islamic doctrine and terrorism committed by Muslims. It has fraudulently maintained that jihadist violence is not jihadist at all — after all, we are to understand jihad (notwithstanding its roots as a belligerent concept, as holy war to establish sharia) to be a noble internal struggle to become a better person, to vanquish corruption

.. This deceit at the core of American counterterrorism efforts has led seamlessly to other frauds. Among the most grievous is this one: Saudi Arabia is a key counterterrorism ally of the United States.

.. The government must disclose the 28 pages of the 2002 congressional report on the 9/11 attacks that it has shamefully withheld from the public for 14 years. Those pages outline Saudi complicity in the jihad.

.. The Saudis are the world’s chief propagator of sharia supremacism, sharia being the law of the Sunni kingdom. In Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism, a literalist interpretation of Islam rooted in scripture dating back 1,400 years, is the dominant belief system.

.. In Sarasota, Fla., Abdulazziz al-Hijji, a well-connected Saudi oil executive, abandoned his home with his wife, Arnoud, and their small children in August 2001, just weeks before the attacks. They fled to Saudi Arabia. The departure was obviously abrupt: The family left behind three cars, furniture, jewelry, food, etc. The al-Hijji home on Escondito Circle was owned by Arnoud’s father, an adviser to Saudi Prince Fahd bin Salman, a nephew of then-King Fahd.

.. A 2002 report pried from the FBI indicates that a member of the al-Hijji family attended Huffman Aviation, the same Venice, Fla., flight school as the 9/11 hijacker-pilots who attacked the Twin Towers, Mohamed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi.

.. As I’ve outlined here, Awlaki was thus placed under arrest when he arrived at JFK International Airport in New York on October 10, 2002, on a flight from Riyadh. Remarkably, the Justice Department intervened to direct that he be un-arrested and allowed to enter freely . . . in the company of the Saudi government representative who was conveniently on hand to assist him.

.. In 1972, in cooperation with the Saudi government, the Muslim Brotherhood established the World Assembly of Muslim Youth in Riyadh. WAMY’s stated purpose was to “arm the Muslim youth with full confidence in the supremacy of the Islamic system over other systems.”

.. Washington’s bipartisan insistence that the Saudi regime is a vital counterterrorism ally of the United States is a delusional byproduct of its willful blindness to sharia supremacism — the ideological driver of violent jihadism and the oil-rich kingdom’s most consequential export. The point of the post-9/11 investigations was to hold every culpable actor and negligent government agency accountable. No American citizen or government official, not even the sitting president, was spared. It is time for Washington to stop running interference for the Saudis while the Saudis run interference for the jihadists. At long last, let’s see the 28 pages.