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Re: Facebook

Several commenters suggested I post this piece about how the Russians invaded Facebook in 2016 and I am happy to oblige.

But there are a couple of things I want to point out. First, not to toot my own horn or anything but I’ve been warning people about the ability to game Facebook since 2008 or 2009. You only had to see what happened to DailyKos in 2007-8 to know how social media can be used to influence people. It’s worse whereever there is a “like” button on the page. Why? Because when you express an opinion that a malefactor wants and he “likes” you, it’s like a shot of dopamine to your neural reward system. You become like Sally Fields receiving her first Oscar. Before you know it, you’re throwing words like “neoliberal” and “corporatist” around without any idea what they mean. Go ahead, *somebody* on this blog define those words for me. You can’t. They are meaningless. But because you get liked when you use them, suddenly they take on a life of their own.

Second, you have no idea who your “friends” are. Again, not to toot my own horn but back in 2008 during the Democratic convention in Denver, this blog logged 52,000 unique page hits in one day. We have almost 13 million unique page hits since 2008. Now that might pale in comparison to Eschaton or Digby but back then we were hot spit. And I was getting hundreds of friend requests on Facebook. I have a Facebook account but I never use it. But even if I did, I don’t know 99% of the people who wanted to friend me on Facebook. And yet they would have the capacity to send me messages and post on my wall and influence me and my legitimate friends. Um, no. I saw what happened in 2008 when everyone lost their minds over Obama. I wasn’t going to let my unmonitored Facebook page be party to more undue influence.

If you have a Facebook account and you use it to post pics of your family and organize get togethers, great, knock yourself out. Eventually, you’ll start getting silly news articles and get liked for expressing an opinion and before you know it, you’ll think Hillary Clinton runs a pedophile sex ring out of a pizza joint. I sat next to a woman at a wedding in October 2016 who told me with a straight face that Hillary and Bill had murdered dozens of their political opponents and even some of their friends, like the Clintons had their own Chappaqua flavored Ton Ton Macoute. I can only imagine what they look like. Middle aged, a little frumpy, hiding ice picks in the deep pockets of their Mao jackets.

It was useless to tell this woman to get a grip. People are herd animals. The organized entities who put this crap on Facebook and carefully cultivate their targets know what they are doing. They know how much education you have and how likely you are to question your sources and know exactly how to flatter you and make you feel included in a big group of warm fuzzy people who think just like you do. They love bomb you like crazy and before you know it, you think that Hillary Clinton is just as bad as Donald Trump.

I warned people about Facebook but since I’ve been exiled to the Oort belt of the lefty blogosphere for saying in 2008 that Barack Obama was a corporate ladder climbing shmoozer who would be an ineffective and weak president, my voice doesn’t have the reach it used to.

I probably should have upped my presence on Facebook.


68 Responses

  1. Thanks, RD for obliging :). This article needs to go viral!

    What caught me is this paragraph and there is information there that needs to be investigated further vis a vis collusion,/i>.

    We started with a question: Why was Congress focused exclusively on collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign in 2016? The Russian interference, we reasoned, probably began long before the presidential election campaign itself. We hypothesized that those early efforts likely involved amplifying polarizing issues, such as immigration, white supremacy, gun rights, and secession. (We already knew that the California secession site had been hosted in Russia.) We suggested that Trump had been nominated because he alone among Republicans based his campaign on the kinds of themes the Russians chose for their interference.

    Notice that Russia started this FB interference well before 2016, and some people put it as early as 2014 and certainly 2015. The Russians primed the FB audience on immigration, Muslims, and all the polarizing issues well before Republican primary. Then lo and behold, candidate Trump surfaces talking about the same issues, wall, muslim ban and so on. The author of the article says Trump based his campaign on those issues. But I question the coincidence of it. I think there was collusion/coordination between Trump and Russia long before his campaign tried to enlist Russians to find dirt on Hillary in June of 2016 at the Trump Tower. I think he was prepped to base his campaign on the divisive issues that Russians had already going on FB. Who helped him? Peter Theil? What is his Russian connection? There are Russian (oligarch?) investors in FB. What was their role? How much of all this FB knew and when?

    In the beginning of 2016 campaign, I wondered a lot about who was feeding him the exact issues that so well resonated with (the primed) people and of course, inflated by fake trolls and bots posing as Americans. It looked like he didn’t really have anybody strong running his campaign yet, he is hitting it out of the ballpark. Who was behind the curtain?

    ‘you are a Russian puppet’
    ‘no, you are the puppet, you are the puppet’

    • huh, I messed up my italics tag (ignore the italics below blockquote) and surprised /underline does not work.

    • As far as the racist, sexist, pro-kleptocratic issues go, I think the Dump, his US backers like Mercers et al, and Putin, are all just soul brothers. They didn’t have to prime or teach each other anything about the basic mindset.

      The competence to steal an election was what Dump lacked and where the colluding and conspiring came in.

      • Modern Russia just uses white nationalism as a fig-leaf ideology for plain old Russian great-power imperialism, in the same way that the late, unlamented USSR used Marxism.

      • I was talking about priming your everyday voter on FB. The voters were primed as it were to receive the tailored message from trump in his campaign. Who told trump to run on those issues? Russians who had primed the audience for it? Possible.

  2. Here is the author Roger Mcname’s tweet if you twitterers want to retweet and make it go viral.

  3. Well, I liked my limerick.

  4. Facebook, Google/Youtube, to some extent Twitter have a serious design flaw that they have to attend to, without which we will lose this country/democracy. Zukerberg was making some noise in the last couple of days how it is all ‘personal’ to him to make FB safe and I think that noise was because of this article.

  5. for saying in 2008 that Barack Obama was a corporate ladder climbing shmoozer who would be an ineffective and weak president,

    Remember all the lovefest between Obama and Zuckerberg! Could not tell who was licking whose ass more. Obama did squat about this problem.

    • It’s worse than that. In all likelihood, Obama’s knew that the Trump campaign was under investigation by the FBI due to what Pappadopolous told the Australian ambassador. And he said almost nothing about it.
      He knew a lot, he did very little.
      Someday, history will not be kind to him.

      • Agree. My point was that there was no alarm at how FB was vulnerable in 2014 or 2015, for example. In fact, Hillary saw this thing coming and told that to her media guy at the State, Richard Stengle (he has quoted her on this point in various shows). If she knew, Obama knew and why there was no action?

        • I have softened on Obama since 2008; I expect that I would have voted for him in 2012 instead of Pill Swine, if I had known then that she played footsie with anti-vaxxers.

          However, RD is correct that Obama is a BMOC shmoozer type, which equipped him poorly to deal with the fanatic cult that the GOP has degenerated into starting with the time of Speaker Gingrich, if not earlier.

          Hillary saw what the fanatics did to her husband, who also tried to reason with them. She would have been watching for stunts like the manipulation of Fartbook.

        • Like most people–including, it seems, Trump himself–Obama expected that Clinton would win anyway, so Obama figured that he didn’t need to risk his reputation “stooping” to “play politics” by blowing the whistle.

      • History will be kind to Obama because he had the good sense to be preceded by W and followed by Trump. Unfortunately, those of us who never supported Obama won’t get to write the history, I hope you are correct RD, but I fear you are not… the good news for me is I won’t be around by then to worry about it.

  6. Making the case for MILFs: :mrgreen:

  7. I don’t know if this is accurate, but I just read that Wikileaks just published all of Fire and Fury online, presumably to wreck sales of the book.

    Do we still need to wonder what Russkileaks, er, Wikileaks is now? 😛

  8. It looks like the Democrats don’t want people like me.

    • I can’t speak for any Democrats, as I don’t belong to any political party, but I certainly don’t want yo’ skank @$$ anywhere around here. ‘Bye, Felicia. 😛

  9. Isn’t Mark Zuckerberg a liberal Democrat?

  10. I was with you way back when but to hear driftglass tell it only he was out there on the ice floes howling at the cruel stars. If we had elected Clinton in 08, none of this madness would be taking place. Then again, if the SCOTUS hadn’t installed Skippy as President, then… to quote Capt. Janeway, “Temporal Mechanics gives me a headache.”

    • Irony is I’m starting to hear more and more we should have nominated Hillary in ’08 from Obama ’08 people. Maybe they have learned a lesson and maybe not. Time will tell.

  11. So, Bernie is not corrupt, right?

  12. Saw a tweet that Fox has a new show called The Wise Guys, apparently. LOL. Is it on par with the ‘very stable genius?’

  13. Seeing tweets from some people about Oprah running in 2020. Hell, no!

  14. See this? Media APPROVED female president. People are getting caught up in this. No! I don’t want another celebrity fucker. I want a great lawyer for our next president who knows what it is at stake for the rule of law and government institutions in this country to erase the damage done by trump.

    • Absolutely… no more celebrities. The only way I vote for a celebrity is if it is binary choice with Trump on the other side.

    • I think after Trump the whole celebrity thing is DOA.

    • Yeah, I’ll hold my nose and vote for her if she somehow wins the 2020 nomination (has she even mentioned wanting to run?), but I think the GOPervs would be happy if the Dems nominate her.

  15. 1968, 1980, 2016–the GOP has proven it will commit treason to win the White House. Hell, some of the “isolationist” GOP pols took money from Ratzi Germany before Pearl Harbor made that a bad idea.

  16. I will bet my last dollar on this and I have said it before. Whoever is the first female president of this country, she will have to be media approved. That is the only way it can happen. It is a fucking shame and it should not be but the media fuckers are already joining the Oprah bandwagon. They are the queen makers and they should not be. I want a smart lawyer and a dedicated public servant like Sally Yates! Dammit! NO MORE CELEBRITY FUCKERS!

  17. Hey guys – just wanted to catch up on the latest view from clownworld. So the latest is that Trump didn’t want to win the election, but he was also treasonously colluding with the Russians to help him … lose? Do I have that right? Help me out here.

  18. His Holiness Saint Ian Welsh never gets tired of unwittingly proving the validity of the Horseshoe Theory.


    • He is not wearing his glasses. I don’t think he is reading anything unless the font size is big. OMG, Jon Reid is showing right now the video I was going to link where an Attorney asked him to read what was in the contract in a deposition and he said he didn’t have his glasses in that video to read (Joy showed just a bit of it now but it is out there).

  19. YES! YES! YES!

  20. If we are considering celebrities, I might actually get serious about Angelina Jolie but she will have to run for state governor or senate first. My preference is a guy or gal preferably with a law degree because you need a justice oriented fair and rational mind for this job.

  21. I want her to be our first female president! Run Sally, run!

    • She is smart, she is good looking, has the best hair cut! She speaks well. She has integrity. She knows what it takes to be a dedicated public servant. She is the right age.

  22. LOL!!

    Column: Mueller vs. Trump: Time for the White House to ‘Unleash the Genius’


  23. Hey Garance, I gave you too much credit. We are all trolls/bots here.

  24. Off topic: Another “Bad Sign” from Mock Paper Scissors. 😆

  25. RD is not alone in this. Millions more had this view in primary 2008 and we all felt robbed when they stole the nomination from Hillary. I bet some of these ‘Oprah’ women today were the ones saying then, ‘no, not this woman.’

  26. Al Franken turned out well for a celebrity. But then, he is a bit different from most of them.

    • But Franken was political and had written books like Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot… We knew where he stood. With these celebrity billionaires, trying to end up in the WH is a vanity project now. What do they know about policy? They lack the generosity of spirit and the desire to make it available to other lesser known but worthy candidates. Their thinking is if Bush/Obama/ and now Trump could do it, they can too. But we don’t want to turn this democracy into a plutocracy.

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