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Socialism and surveillance: CrossFit quits Facebook and Instagram

By mongeese · 18 replies
May 25, 2019
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  1. In a press release, CrossFit revealed the breaking point: the deletion of the Banting7DayMealPlan user group, without warning or explanation. Banting is an alternative high-fat low-carb diet with no set meal times or processed foods, and its Facebook group had 1.65 million users, including 1 million from South Africa. The group mostly posts testimonials and discusses the merits of the diet or how it might be implemented. While the group has been reinstated (still without explanation), CrossFit is right to call into question why Facebook removed it in the first place. While Banting is probably inadvisable, groups advocating for it have a right to exist.

    Still, that’s far from the only reason CrossFit abandoned the platforms. Here are their other reasons, and the evidence for or against them:

    1. Facebook collects and aggregates user information and shares it with state and federal authorities, as well as security organizations from other countries.

    Since 2013 Facebook has received 110,634 requests from law enforcement and government agencies, and they’ve handed over data in 73.1% of cases. The two largest requesters, the US and UK, have had 88% and 91% of requests fulfilled, respectively. Of all the requests, 91.4% have been approved by courts, but in 8.6% of cases Facebook fulfills an emergency request with no oversight when they “have a good faith reason to believe that the matter involves imminent risk of serious physical injury or death.” Facebook is just as likely to fulfill an emergency request as one with legal oversight.

    2. Facebook collaborates with government security agencies on massive citizen surveillance programs such as PRISM.

    In 2013, National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed to certain media outlets that since 2007 the US government had been operating PRISM, a data collection program that incorporates most of the data that Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple, and most major tech companies store. While court and Congress approved, it is highly invasive, but it doesn’t involve any more data than consumers already provide to these companies. The government has since confirmed its existence.

    3. Facebook censors and removes user accounts based on unknown criteria and at the request of third parties including government and foreign government agencies.

    There’s no recorded evidence of this, though in some cases governments have requested that Facebook ban certain accounts promoting hate speech. One such case occurred when the Israeli government threatened Facebook with fines if they didn’t remove a specific list of accounts Israel believed were promoting terrorist activity. Facebook removed 95% of them.

    4. Facebook collects, aggregates, and sells user information as a matter of business. Its business model allows governments and businesses alike to use its algorithmically conjured advertising categories as sophisticated data-mining and surveillance tools.

    Facebook doesn’t sell user information per se, but by letting advertisers select demographics to target it gives them significantly more power than they’ve ever wielded in the past, and it also hides the advertisements from other demographics. For example, a company could abuse Facebook’s system by targeting a dangerous weight-loss program to vulnerable teenagers, and doctors and parents wouldn’t see those ads and complain like they would if they saw them on a billboard.

    5. Facebook’s news feeds are censored and crafted to reflect the political leanings of Facebook’s utopian socialists while remaining vulnerable to misinformation campaigns designed to stir up violence and prejudice.

    There’s no evidence to suggest that Facebook is attempting to guide political opinion themselves, but considering the generally left-wing views of the employees, it’s possible those ideas are favored a little by accident. Regarding misinformation campaigns, well, that depends on what one personally classifies as misinformation.

    6. Facebook, as a matter of business and principle, has weak intellectual property protections and is slow to close down IP theft accounts.

    It’s exactly this issue that the European Union is targeting with their troublesome Article 13 (now renamed to Article 17).

    7. Facebook has poor security protocols and has been subject to the largest security breaches of user data in history.

    This isn’t quite true. The data breach crown actually goes to Yahoo, which exposed 3 billion people’s names, email addresses, dates of birth and numbers. There was also the Aadhaar breach, affecting 1.1 billion people, and the Marriot breach, affecting 500 million. Facebook’s largest single breach was the Cambridge Analytica scandal involving 87 million accounts, though that’s still a lot.

    8. Facebook is acting in the service of food and beverage industry interests by deleting the accounts of communities that have identified the corrupted nutritional science responsible for unchecked global chronic disease. In this, it follows the practices of Wikipedia and other private platforms that host public content but retain the ability to remove or silence—without the opportunity for real debate or appeal—information and perspectives outside a narrow scope of belief or thought. In this case, the approved perspective has resulted in the deaths of millions through preventable diseases. Facebook is thus complicit in the global chronic disease crisis.

    CrossFit’s final reason is a little less easy to confirm or deny. Given their Twitter account is still active, and Twitter isn’t notably better, it seems this last reason is CrossFit’s main one.

    Permalink to story.

  2. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,810   +668

    Yes FB is evil. It does provide connections to my oldest friend and so many other people and places.The mega corporation is evil but not all the people that use it
    onestepforward likes this.
  3. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,904   +1,417

    They treat their users like lab rats. Expose them to certain information and observe the reaction. Anything to get them to buy advertised products. Then sell whatever information they have to someone who can benefit from it. Social media is responsible for the "selfie" generation. I'd argue it corrupts people more than those evil video games.
    regiq likes this.
  4. OrumusST

    OrumusST TS Rookie

    "There’s no evidence to suggest that Facebook is attempting to guide political opinion themselves, but considering the generally left-wing views of the employees, it’s possible those ideas are favored a little by accident. Regarding misinformation campaigns, well, that depends on what one personally classifies as misinformation."

    If your going to play fact checker maybe know wtf you're talking about. Facebook has lists of "dangerous" people who have done nothing but said things FB doesn't like and bans them. That is censorship of opinions they don't like. There is video footage of FB employees admitting they shadow ban and limit streams of accounts that don't follow the correct narrative. FB is a giant Left wing propaganda machine using so called fact checkers that are constantly proven false. **** FB.
    Impudicus, Jblank, tacobravo and 3 others like this.
  5. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 739   +284

    A left-wing coup has been at work for a very long time. Like a frog in a boiling pot. How else would they have been successful? They are being exposed. Eyes are finally opening. Every argument ends in a moral equivalent argument. Liberal progressives hold themselves in the highest esteem and if you don't think like them, you're garbage. Truly arrogant they are. Do everything they espouse is wrong? Not saying say that at all. But, this my way or the highway attitude isn't going to get us anywhere, but at odds. People just need to get off their high horse and find the balance. Left=female, Right=male, the arguments become much clearer after this understanding. Yep, it's a pissing contest.
  6. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,516   +522

    Damn you Facebook for forcing me to oh wait I forgot it's free and no one is making me use it.
    TempleOrion and lumbeeman like this.
  7. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,300   +3,706

    The "evil" of social media is not the media itself but the ownership and management of it. Putting the "all mighty dollar" first ahead of all things corrupts those owners and managers to the point it is now their drug of choice. Had they established standards and stuck with them they would still have become rich and successful, but would also have maintained a high quality item to be proud of.
    The choice now it not whether or not to shut them down but how quickly and completely can they be shut down and given a chance to be reborn in a much more creditable fashion with high standards, tight regulation, and policing that doesn't depend upon them but on more creditable and dedicated agencies that have the power and authority to do just that.
  8. Oloryn

    Oloryn TS Rookie

    Yeah, liberal progressives are self-righteous (not that they're alone in that). And self-righteousness has this way of turning you into a monster, even if you're right (not that I'm saying that they are). Somehow, though, we only seem to see the self-righteous monsters on the other side, not our own.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  9. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,670   +2,432

    We have the entire mainstream media handling the job of demonizing non-liberals and ONLY non-liberals.
    tacobravo and tkabou like this.
  10. tkabou

    tkabou TS Enthusiast Posts: 32   +42

    Well said! Every night, Tucker does his level best to expose these cynical hypocrites they are.
    tacobravo likes this.
  11. Morris Minor

    Morris Minor TS Booster Posts: 94   +39

    Even if you never use Facebook they still have a shadow profile of you, so yeah
    regiq and tacobravo like this.
  12. Adi6293

    Adi6293 TS Maniac Posts: 195   +166

    I like Techspot but I get this feeling that this site gets involved into politics too much and its definitely left leaning, how can somebody say that Facebook doesn't censorship?
    Jblank and tacobravo like this.
  13. Avenger001

    Avenger001 TS Booster Posts: 57   +44

    I don't know what any of this has to do with socialists or socialism - Let me help you, it doesn't. This whole left or right thing people keep going on about doesn't remove the fact that we all live in an oligarchic capitalist system that's taken away your "democracy".
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
    TempleOrion likes this.
  14. Misagt

    Misagt TS Maniac Posts: 283   +202

    The secret to not letting facebook know about you is don't have friends and never share. This is healthy right?
    Morris Minor likes this.
  15. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 739   +284

    Their code is embedded in every page you visit. Even if you have nothing to do with Facebook, if you don't block that code, they're tracking you.
    tacobravo and Morris Minor like this.
  16. quadibloc

    quadibloc TS Booster Posts: 71   +38

    Point number 8 sounds like the view of someone aggrieved that Facebook or Wikipedia makes it difficult to present, say, the Flat Earth theory, or Creationism, or some form of medical quackery as the equal of mainstream establisment thought. Even if it selective in when it acts, it's hardly evil that Facebook occasionally decides to make it hard to lie to people.

    Why, just recently, they added a warning that there is additional information available about the video when people post the doctored video of Nancy Pelosi! Unfortunately, that was probably after President Trump tweeted the video twice by mistake, no doubt being such a busy man, he didn't notice it was a fake.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  17. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 739   +284

    We don't live on a padded earth. People have to learn to filter through the B.S. As a cautionary note: helicopter parents who try to shield their children from every virus and allergen only end rearing weak adults. Who really wants a helicopter media? As with the anti-vaxx crowd, there is a thread of truth to what they're saying, but the reality is that the risks are far lower and a person is still worried he.she can be tested for an allergic reaction to the vaccine. Lol, I've seen Pelosi slur her speech on live TV even if the video is fake. Of course, it was made in jest. Trump does jests more than any other president in history. I can understand why that might rub people the wrong way. At the end of the day, I prefer a jest to a lie, of course, many argues that he lies too. The debate remains....
  18. Markoni35

    Markoni35 TS Booster Posts: 149   +71

    Just because something is free, doesn't mean they can do whatever they want. Should we allow a racist video game? Is it better if we make it free? Nope, that makes it worse, because more people would play it. Same with Facebook or YouTube. Have you ever thought about "suggested videos" on YouTube and how they get elected?

    By using that seemingly harmless feature, on a seemingly free service called YouTube, its owners can popularize any idea they want. Never thought why some videos get disproportional number of views? You think it's all about what the audience voted for? Yeah, right. Big social networks shouldn't be allowed to do whatever they want, regardless if it's a free or paid service.

    Just like you're not allowed to expose your genitals to people in a park. Even if you're providing the service for free. Even if nobody is forcing them to watch.
    Morris Minor likes this.
  19. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,516   +522

    There are free services that let people show racist videos\posts\games. They have existed since the beginning of the internet. But since most people don't want to see that nonsense, from a morale or even a business perspective it's banned on normal sites. That's why everyone knows the name youtube, but not the name of any racist video\games\social media\forum platforms.

    If it's not illegal... And it's not mandatory... Then I find it hard to care. If you want to make it illegal to sell peoples data then your battle is with the government. Making someone view your illegal activity is a poor comparison.

    Fox News is free, Msnbc is free. While they may have one sided views, again no one is making you go to their website. I sure as hell don't.
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
    TempleOrion likes this.

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