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With Blocked Ads Proving Her Point, Warren Says Facebook Shouldn't Have Power to Decide What Is and Isn't Allowed for 'Robust Debate'

With Blocked Ads Proving Her Point, Warren Says Facebook Shouldn't Have Power to Decide What Is and Isn't Allowed for 'Robust Debate'

Jake Johnson, staff writer

In a move Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) described as a perfect example of why her plan to break up tech giants is necessary, Facebook late Monday took down ads from Warren's presidential campaign that promoted the proposal and denounced tech corporations—including Facebook itself—for exploiting users' private information for profit.

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#1…I dislike fb a bunch, even lots
#2…I have been band from fb twice because they don’t like me either
But, it is zuck’s football and it is his game, so if you are there you play by his rules, right?..point being, don’t be there…break it up…it always amazed me how so many could put their trust in something and someone wanting nothing more than to make themselves rich by playing their game, so ya, I said this openly on fb and got kicked off twice…but again, Warren says they shouldn’t have the power? Here on Commondreams if you don’t play by the rules you get flagged, get flagged enough and see what happens. I don’t know, I’ve never been flagged but the point is, it’s their ball and ball game.

What is going un-exposed is that for these three tech giants, YOU are their product. They can manipulate data, search results and exposure which DIRECTLY changes opinions… without revealing the manipulation or their PROFIT off that manipulation.

This power to shape opinion is much, Much, MUCH more valuable (profitable) than tracking your searches and showing advertisements. For example: Gas/oil/banking wants to suppress the “New Green Deal”… so negative stories are ranked and presented at the top… a typical search seems to confirm that NGD is bad. Opinions are formed.

Voting can be suppressed… enlarging the power of the DNC / RNC establishment players.

Candidates seem to rise… without even being in the race (Biden, Beto, etc).

Political party policy that is extremely popular goes nowhere… as do the third-parties who inspire the public.

Always follow the money… if you are allowed.

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I’ve never been on Farcebook and I never will. They’ve long censored selfies of mothers breastfeeding their babies. I’ve never understood why pics of mothers feeding their babies shouldn’t be public. Those mothers are proud of breastfeeding their babies and want to share it. Western Civilization has some screwed up values. Its ok to have children’s shows of people killing each other but don’t you dare breastfeed your baby in public! I call that “anti-family values.” And that’s what Western Civilization has: anti-family values.

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I found many friends that I wouldn’t have found because of FB. Also, I belong to many groups, most are political, some are for my interests. However, since it’s inception FB got much worse. I am tracked, the Ads are beyond annoying, no way to contact them, which every Corp should allow. I’ve read they use my information, can influence elections and more. I used to spend more time on FB, but now much less. This is my review of the good and bad of this company. My review of Warren is, if she can bust up the big 3 Corps… great! Warren talks a good game but what has she ever finished? Either way, she’s better than what we have now!

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Saying someone is, “…too powerful…” on national TV, has consequences.

Boycott Facebook.
Facebook is not a free resource for you, you are a free resource for Facebook. It’s Surveillance Capitalism.

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You are correct in that, it is a choice to employ Facebook in a ‘capitalistic’ venture to GAIN something, whether it be a financial gain or an increase in notoriety. Granted, some people do use Facebook to simply ‘connect’ with friends and family, but for everyone else, it is a capitalistic pursuit.

Is Ms. Warren attempting to state that Facebook has attained too much power in the realm of ‘capitalistic pursuit’? Is this power to such an extent that people can’t avoid it? In order to answer that question, we’d need to compare Facebook to entities that WERE actually determined to be ‘unavoidable’ in terms of ‘capitalistic pursuit’ and became to big and powerful - BANKS. Is Facebook’s power and size comparable to that of the big banks and is its use ‘required’ by any person engaged in capitalism?

It could be argued by some that Facebook is a ‘requirement’ for many businesses, but I’m not sure I’m ready to make that argument. I think there are definitely problems with Facebook, but I think a different tactic should be used if the goal is to reduce their power, e.g. the issue of misuse of data is the biggie in my opinion.

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So now we’re complaining because a private company is deciding what ads it choose to include or not include on its own website? Insane. The total opposite of free market principals and the free exchange of ideas.

Sad to see the “good and bad” conflated instead of recognition of the consequences of a detailed itemization of practices. I tend to think that sort of treatment is dangerously superficial.

Perhaps it simply reflects desire overriding an unrecognizable inability to really experience the slow aggregation of those consequences. The latter is not a coincidence, it is very specifically by design: to make you insensate to the slow building of their extraction model. Seems it works big-time. That does not make it healthy or ethical. Keep in mind that the Zuck ( try an F there) has stated explicitly with a grin: move fast and break things. Looking back over time there are some mirror/inversion games going on too.

It is naive, for example, to think that Cambridge Analytical was a ‘one off’. That type of slushy is just too tasty for the likes of the Zuck and his ilk. This is a frat-boy model of communications.

Just as another poster noted that breastfeeding mothers are banned, note that if this imagery of respect and appreciation for motherhood is present, ask yourself how the community would respond to the all pervasive and abusive fetishization of the female breast in that forum.

Tough gig to unpack. This is just a taste.

So you agree that “free markets” lead inevitably to monopoly?

Go to the head of the class.

No. I didn’t say that. I said that a company in a free society should be free to choose what it does or does not advertise. Otherwise the state decides and that sounds a lot like Cuba.

A company opens its doors and invites people to come in and do business. At what point does the company get to decide who is and is not worthy? If there were a brick-and-mortar, Mom-and Pop facebook-like entity on every other street corner, market theory says that competition will reward the good with success while the bad, by failing its customers, will fail.

I’m saying that FB as it exists has no meaningful competition that could possibly force it to see the error of its ways—in other words, it’s a de facto monopoly, acting at the whim of one individual with all the inconsistencies, idiosyncracies and prejudices that implies. How that’s an improvement over state control escapes me.

I hope the Colorado cake shop whose owner decided that gay customers were unworthy has closed its doors due to lack of business, there being enough other cake shops who don’t discriminate and enough customers who think principles matter as much as price.

I also hope that FaceBook is, someday soon, driven out of business by more ethical competitors; failing that, some body of law must arise to protect the public from arbitrary and capricious censorship (not to mention aggressive, predatory data mining and collusion with the surveillance state). Senator Warren is on the right track.

Good advice, Tom — I have been doing so for years.  My daughter talked me into trying it a long time ago.  I lasted less than a week – it was WAY too intrusive then, and SFAIK it has only gotten worse . . .

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It not just Facebook. Google is openly stating it modifies search engine algorithms so as to ensure sites like RT , Sputnik news and other foreign news agencies harder to find. If you want to read the news it will only be the State approved stuff.

In this article Google execs claim that the people are not able to distinguish Fake news from Real news so Google will do it for them. Apparently they are defending your “freedom” to believe only the stuff they want you to believe.

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Totally agree with Warren - they need be broken up. Anti-trust enforcement needs to be brought back alive after it was tossed in the neo-liberal years starting with Reagan. Even after they are broken up, they may need to be regulated much as a utility is. It is time to take some of these outlandish companies to the woodshed and let them know who is boss.

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There is no free exchange of ideas. That’s why they go rid of the fairness doctrine. These are basically information utilities that should be under some form of regulation not running at the whims of a private sector oligarch.

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Yes, guns good, killing good, war good - breastfeeding - well, not so good.

i think we should take these three corporations into public ownership, and operate them as public utilities, with strict limitations on data-mining, ownership of personal data remaining with the person, and no selling of data to any third parties for any purposes. @GuildF312S

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See my comment below. We need to take these corporations into public ownership, strictly limit data-mining, and forbid all selling of data.