I love what Facebook does for me, but it’s not really doing any of that for *me*, not even close

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From the Terms Of Service (not the Privacy Policy – see what they did there?):

“You give us permission to use your name, profile picture, content and information in connection with commercial, sponsored or related content (such as a brand you like), served or enhanced by us.”

And later:

“By ‘information’ we mean facts and other information about you, including actions taken by users and non-users who interact with Facebook.”

So this includes everything they’re collecting about you but not telling you. Everything you read online, everything someone ever posts about you, all your private financial transactions…

Through its labyrinth of re-definitions of words like “information”, “content” and “data”, you’re allowing Facebook to collect all kinds of information about you and expose that to advertisers. With your permission only they say, but the definition of “permission” includes using apps and who knows what else.

Seen 05/2017

Labor in America: The blue past and red present of West Virginia

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Blair Mountain is the closest thing to Gettysburg that the American labor movement has. Its historic significance is immense. It also happens to sit in the poorest region of a state that is in desperate need of tourism dollars and economic development. Drive on Route 17 to the speck of a town called Blair, though, and all that you will find is a single historic marker for the battle, along with a trailer-sized post office, two churches, and a handful of houses. There is no museum. There is no trail. You cannot even wander up Blair Mountain yourself, because it is private property, owned by coal companies and patrolled by their private security. In fact, those coal companies have, since 2009, been waging a legal battle to prevent the Blair Mountain site from being added to the National Register of Historic Places, so that they can strip mine it instead of preserve it.

pub. 05/2017

Some of the top comments add other context not mentioned in the article, like talking about the deep racism in West Virginia and its effects on the election.

It’s everywhere: Advertising, propaganda, and politics

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Becoming self-aware of these mental patterns, and actively seeking to rewire them, is the foundation of cognitive therapy, i.e. Psychiatry.

Remaining unaware of these mental patterns is the foundation of Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations, i.e. Propaganda.

The biggest mistake of those who don’t use Propaganda is that they underestimate its power.

pub. 05/2017

What broadband companies do without regulation

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There is a lot of hyperbole and partisan nonsense on both sides of the net neutrality debate right now, but instead of poking our heads into the future, let’s peek into the past. The core crux of the FCC’s claim against the necessity of net neutrality comes from the idea that the broadband companies will regulate themselves due to competition and there does not need to be any rules about it. So, have they? Of course not.

pub. 04/2017

De Correspondent on the EU security industry: Who it is, who’s paying for it, and where else the tech goes

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Early last year, journalists from the Netherlands’ de Correspondent contacted their counterparts across the EU, beginning a joint effort to answer questions about European security:

Bodycams, drones, border surveillance, airport scanners, lawful interception, facial recognition – high-tech gadgets are being developed by businesses and deployed across Europe. But what kind of businesses make these technologies? How much money do they earn from them? How are they working with governments? And do these tools really make us safer? We wanted to find out. Not on our own, but working with a team from all over Europe.

pub. throughout early 2017

They’re collecting the many and complex answers in their series Security for Sale; the articles are linked in the right sidebar of the page. Among other things, in a globalized and often opaque world, it’s great to see the collaborative efforts of investigative reporters in action.