Vacating the Facebook “Swamp”
By Dennis Jamison – March 12, 2019
Throughout 2018, social media giants came under serious scrutiny from the federal government. It was a different Administration, and in the aftermath of the data breach of sensitive personal information off of Facebook via Cambridge Analytica as a way of profiling and cataloguing political preferences of American voters, a substantial number of citizens became suspicious of Facebook’s purpose. Since last year, this social media giant has increasingly lost credibility regarding the protection of the privacy of user’s information. However, new concerns have been surfacing since the start of the new year.
Old accusations about Facebook purposely and frequently allowing unauthorized access to precious user data to outside enterprises (like Microsoft) for their nefarious purposes are resurfacing. However, serious investigations are producing enlightening revelations regarding Facebook. For instance, recent research is attempting to provide a clear connection to the founding of Facebook and funding from the federal government, or to be real: from the American taxpayers. Actually, recent research has uncovered a very interesting “coincidence” that occurred in 2004.
Shortly after the horrific terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001, the United States government manifested a great number of defensive actions, one of which was the passage of the Patriot Act. That Act changed reality for Americans in a number of ways, but for young Americans born shortly before, or shortly after 9/11, it has little relevance to their post 9/11 reality as they did not enjoy a more free society. Two years after the Patriot Act was law, the federal government was still seeking ways to fight terrorism, and was even awarding grants to private sector companies to assist the process.
In May of 2003, Wired magazine published an article entitled, “A SPY MACHINE OF DARPA’S DREAMS.” DARPA, or more specifically, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, under the Department of Defense, was actively asking businesses and universities for research proposals for a project known as LifeLog. As reported by author Noah Shachtman, LifeLog was intended to be “a stunningly ambitious research project designed to gather every conceivable bit of information about a person’s life, index all the information and make it searchable.”
In a follow-up article in July of 2003, Shachtman explained that LifeLog “is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s effort to gather every conceivable element of a person’s life, dump it all into a database, and spin the information into narrative threads that trace relationships, events and experiences.” The article clarified that the deadline for getting the grant proposals submitted was fast approaching. He acknowledged that “while teams of academics and entrepreneurs are jostling for the 18- to 24-month grants to work on the program, the Defense Department has changed the parameters of the project to respond to a tide of privacy concerns.”
In this time, other academics and insightful patriots became concerned that American civil liberties would also be eroded by an attempt by the government to gather all of this information on citizens. In his July article in Wired, Shachtman noted that there were significant concerns, “Defense analysts and civil libertarians, on the other hand, worry that the program is another piece in an ongoing Pentagon effort to keep tabs on American citizens. LifeLog could become the ultimate profiling tool, they fear.” He went on to explain that after a “firestorm of criticism” when LifeLog became public, DARPA altered the proposal request for the LifeLog project:
LifeLog researchers shall not capture imagery or audio of any person without that person’s a priori express permission. In fact, it is desired that capture of imagery or audio of any person other than the user be avoided even if a prior permission is granted.
To proceed to the present, and recent research, which includes some of the prior information presented here, a very interesting “coincidence” was discovered that occurred in 2004. The intellectual involvement and investment of financial resources and time seemed to abruptly come to a halt in 2004, as DARPA ended the project. On February 2, 2004, Wired published another article on LifeLog entitled, “PENTAGON KILLS LIFELOG PROJECT.” Coincidentally, on February 4, 2004, a non-governmental program designed by students at Harvard University, launched “TheFacebook.” A whale of “coincidence,” or not, Facebook has achieved much of what LifeLog had intended to do—without Big Brother “spying’ on anyone.
To grasp the significance of the “coincidence,” intelligent people need to understand that the intelligence-gathering realm in the United States was seriously searching for a way to monitor citizens’ activities, ostensibly to identify and intercept terrorist threats to U.S. citizens. In the Wired article about the death of LifeLog, a staff written piece stated:
Run by Darpa, the Defense Department’s research arm, LifeLog aimed to gather in a single place just about everything an individual says, sees or does: the phone calls made, the TV shows watched, the magazines read, the plane tickets bought, the e-mails sent and received.
Of course, Facebook is not run by the government; thank God! If it were, it would not have become as popular as it has become, not only in the U.S., but globally (except, in China, where the government bans such online entities.) But, the Chinese government may fully realize that the information on Facebook can be easily provided to the U.S, government where there is probable cause and legal reasoning. This seems to be what many U.S. citizens do not fully realize as they log all of their “private” information into a database for easy storage by unknown data masters. Nevertheless, Facebook provides some value to many people, including the government. It is a two-way street.
If Facebook did not provide a service for all the 2.2 billion users, the advertisers, the ownership interests, and the government, it would probably cease to exist. Also, the company would garner great public outcry over censorship, or favoritism, or outright promotion/demotion of concepts, ideas, opinions, or even ideologically-based political platforms, regardless of who ran it. But, Facebook is what it is—a big business that makes lots of money. Ironically, those who run it, or work for it, do not seem to value the system that provided the opportunities for its birth, growth, and continued existence.
Fundamentally, Facebook is a business, and essentially a monopolistic enterprise. As such, businesses can currently be run any way the owners or shareholders see fit to grow or maximize the return on investment. However, Facebook is not what it portrays itself to be: a fair and genuine public service for all (for all except genuine Christians, honest conservatives, and true patriots). Sen. Lindsey Graham may still follow through with his concerns over the way Facebook conducts itself as a business in this country.
This brings up an important point. Facebook is run by those who do permit or pursue outright censorship of specific individuals. As a big business, it can reserve the “right” of service to those with whom they choose to discriminate against. It is similar to a fast food joint that posts a sign which reads that they do not serve people who do not wear shirts or shoes. But, for all their liberal pretentiousness, it is similar to a restaurant that posts a sign that says, “Whites Only!” It is also similar to a business that posts a sign that says, “No Jews Allowed!” Common sense reveals that there is no monopoly on discrimination. Anyone can participate—even clever white liberals who hate Christians.
One may choose to label discrimination however they choose, in order to assuage their conscience, or keep the money flowing. But, truth is truth. Facebook has been proven to discriminate against Christians, against conservatives, against Americans who love their country as it was founded. But, this is still America, and the question such individuals or groups should ask themselves is why they would want to continue to do business with a company that is currently, consistently discriminatory, and with one that seems to have no qualms about “sharing” one’s personal or private information to other companies or entities with unscrupulous motives.
People using Facebook need to seriously question why. So, what can or will Americans do in 2019? Before, people had little choice if they wanted to utilize the technology offered by this social media Leviathan. But in America, monopolies of thought content can be broken. If a business is not meeting the needs of customers, or is in fact hostile to one’s needs, objectives or goals, the business loses allegiance. In 2019, Facebook is no longer the only channel for social media communication.
Although several alternatives to such social media monopolies have been attempted, the U.S. usually presents a very competitive environment. One notable new challenger to Facebook that recently launched is USA.Life. The concept behind USA.Life is to use algorithms that promote Christian and foundational American values. It is the intent of founder and Christian entrepreneur, Steven Andrew, to provide an alternative for Christians and conservatives who suffer censorship on Facebook or Twitter.
Regardless of migration plans, Facebook users need to rethink connections to a social media Leviathan with shadowy connections to the Deep State, or to the censors who support Americans in name only.
Facebook users need to vacate this online version of “The Swamp” ASAP.