Although Facebook’s nawty boy Zuck declined to stand outside Headmistress May’s office for detention and a kitten heel spanking when commanded by British MPs to appear (Blog updated 1st May 2018) that he deciding to pout lip by before the European Union should perhaps give Brexiteers waiting for Empire 2.0 to begin a reality check about size of market really having meaning—but likely won’t:
The CEO of the world’s largest social network was supposed to charm European regulators. It didn’t work after he dodged some questions.
Promising to follow up on questions asked that he could not or would not answer—seemingly those Europeans being a bit more stern with him than those elderly Americans in Congress interviewing him still waiting to hear the sounds of 56k modem letting know they had connected (Blog updated 10th Apr. 2018).
“I asked you six yes-and-no questions, and I got not a single answer,” said Guy Verhofstadt, a Belgian politician. Zuckerberg paused and then responded, “I’ll make sure we follow up and get you answers to those” in the next few days.
Followed by long pout of lip. But it did give an MEP with a terrible attendance record for representing his country’s interests in EU decisions and former Kipper-skipper Nigal Farage another chance to be heard and try to twist things to his own picking-on-me perspective:
Nigel Farage, who heads up Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy, the European Parliament’s right-wing populist group, asked Zuckerberg to defend the platform’s political leanings and its transparency. Right-leaning Facebook users who hold mainstream, not extremist, political views “are being willfully discriminated against,” he said.
Likely wishing to parade a dozen picked on right-wing populist trolls as virtual version of the “I’m not racist but…” common man he liked to wheel out when not getting himself an an MP rather than an MEP.
And surprisingly for once “mirage” Farage wasn’t trying to take all the credit:
Nigel Farage just credited Mark Zuckerberg for Trump and Brexit (buzzfeed.com).
“Historically, of course, it’s true that through Facebook and other forms of social media, there’s no way that Brexit or Trump or the Italian election could have ever possibly happened,” Farage said. “It was social media that allowed people to get around the back of mainstream media.”
“Perhaps you’re horrified of this creation of yours and what it’s led to,” Farage added.
“Could not have possibly have happened” without Facebook perhaps, but also helping were the string pulling donor at his time at the Kipper bandwagon reins who has been very recently handed a £70k fine for overspending by the Electoral Commission (express.co.uk), with a large donation being made to another Eurosceptic group it has been revealed using identical datasets to target Facebook users (Blog updated 1st May 2018), and lets not forget it appears UKIP actually employed the same Cambridge Analytica that got Facebook into all this bother for for £41,500 for work it undertook (theguardian.com, Apr. 2018).
And that bit about “this creation of yours” allowing people—or opportunist politicians without much going for them until they found Euroscepticism as a cause—to “get around the back of mainstream media” hinting that the far-right Direct Democracy Farage wishes to lead will use anything—and anyone—to achieve its goals?
A lot of talk, and one must certainly imagine more of a lump in Culture Secretary Matt Hancock’s throat than one of the Bourbon biscuits he had put on a plate for the 10 out of 14 largest social media companies that didn’t even bother to turn up to discuss the legislation he had threatened them with (Latest Picks 20th May 2018).
Updated 25th May 2018
Being the “accept” button you have to press whether or not you have actually read said policy to continue to use service in question, which with the GDPR in the European Union at least will not cover company ass as much as it used too.
The GDPR could make things more transparent for residents of the EU. The law gives people the right to specify how they want their data used. That means EU residents can say, “Sure, collect my data, but don’t use it to tailor ads for me.”
Prompting updated privacy polices outside the EU too but without the legislation and threat of punishment protecting EU citizens data from being mined.
- Social media companies snub meeting with British Culture Secretary threatening legislation (Latest Picks 20th May 2018)
- Facebook unveils dating feature; not so much a rival for Tinder but something to help middle-aged [they should not mind their data being mined to] get laid (Latest Picks 3rd May 2018)
- Pressure mounts on Cambridge Analytica and Facebook over harvested data scandal (Blog 18th March 2018)
- What a beneficial use for your data: Fitness app Strava gives heat map of staff at military bases (Latest Picks 29th January 2018)
- Google fined record €2.4bn by EU over search engine results promoting its own price comparison service (Latest Picks 27th June 2017)