Sunday, July 31, 2016

Silicon Valley Could Get Pass in Democrats’ Antitrust Crusade
...In this election cycle, Apple, and Google have all given three times as much to Democrats as Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a campaign finance watchdog. That’s true of the industry as a whole. Since the 2012 presidential election cycle, Internet-based tech firms, including Facebook, and eBay, gave 70 percent of their contributions, some $17.9 million, to Democrats. Democrats’ relationship with Big Tech also runs deeper than money. Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc., was recruited by the Democratic National Committee in 2014 to be part of a small group studying the party’s election losses that year...

Web’s Reach Binds N.S.A. and Silicon Valley Leaders
WASHINGTON — When Max Kelly, the chief security officer for Facebook, left the social media company in 2010, he did not go to Google, Twitter or a similar Silicon Valley concern. Instead the man who was responsible for protecting the personal information of Facebook’s more than one billion users from outside attacks went to work for another giant institution that manages and analyzes large pools of data: the National Security Agency....

Former Facebook Workers: We Routinely Suppressed Conservative News

Data You Can Believe In
...The campaign’s exhaustive use of Facebook triggered the site’s internal safeguards. “It was more like we blew through an alarm that their engineers hadn’t planned for or knew about,” said St. Clair, who had been working at a small firm in Chicago and joined the campaign at the suggestion of a friend. “They’d sigh and say, ‘You can do this as long as you stop doing it on Nov. 7.’ ” (Facebook officials say warning bells go off when the site sees large amounts of unusual activity, but in each case the company was satisfied the campaign was not violating its privacy and data standards.)...

Tech Companies Apple, Twitter, Google, and Instagram Collude to Defeat Trump
...Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said Clinton made a deal with Google and that the tech giant is “directly engaged” in her campaign. It’s been widely reported Clinton hired Eric Schmidt—chairman of Alphabet, the parent company of Google—to set up a tech company called The Groundwork. Assange claims this was to ensure Clinton had the “engineering talent to win the election.” He also pointed out that many members of Clinton’s staff have worked for Google, and some of her former employees now work at Google.

So it should come as no surprise that there have been multiple reports accusing Google of manipulating searches to bury negative stories about Clinton. SourceFed details how Google alters its auto-complete functions to paint Clinton in a positive light.

For example, when you type “Hillary Clinton cri” into other engines like Yahoo! or Bing, the most popular autofills are “Hillary Clinton criminal charges” but in Google it’s “Hillary Clinton crime reform.” Google denies they changed their algorithm to help Clinton, and insists the company does not favor any candidate. They also claim their algorithms don’t show predicted queries that are offensive or disparaging....

New emails highlight ties between White House and Google
...The Campaign for Accountability published emails it obtained, which was first reported on by The Verge. The emails detail a brief exchange between White House internet advisor R. David Edelman and Google lobbyist Johanna Shelton.

In the correspondence on Jan. 3, 2013, Edelman writes to Shelton, “I hear big news is coming out momentarily,” referring to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) decision on whether to pursue an antitrust suit against Google. “Do you have the release and any accompanying materials from Google’s side?” Edelman asked, adding, “Obviously lots of interest here at the WH.”...

Facebook Removes Two Popular Libertarian Pages Without Warning

Being Libertarian has been officially unpublished. We continue to contend that we did not break Facebook community standards, and have made an appeal to Facebook to restore the page.

In the past, we received notifications that indicated a post was removed for violating the community standards, though nothing was removed. The warning stood. We remained actively skeptical when there was widespread suspicion that Facebook was censoring non-liberal pages. But in the last 2 days, we have lost Being Libertarian and our friends at Occupy Democrats Logic. It becomes clear that Facebook does not welcome our presence on their platform, despite the opposite being stated in their terms of use.

We are not going to give up. We'll rebuild from the ground if we must. But we need your help. Share this post to your pages, your profiles, and everywhere else you can manage to place it, and tell the rest of the Facebook community what is going on. Let's send some market signals.

Thank you,

Executive Administrator Nathaniel Owen