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Facebook, Russian KGB, and American Democracy at stake

“The last capitalist we hang shall be the one who sold us the rope.” - Karl Marx

Maybe Karl Marx was right after all.    By now you might have heard of Facebook selling political ads to the Russian in order to influence the U.S. Presidential election.    $100,000 worth of it and 3,000 ads turned over to U.S. Congress for investigation.    Personally, I think it’s just a tiny little tip of the iceberg.    The amount and the number of ads should be a whole lot more.    Facebook is helping a foreign hostile government to undermine American democracy.    

“For Facebook, it is the latest setback to the company’s efforts to expand in China. Mark Zuckerberg, its founder, has made a series of grand gestures to gain market access, including meeting with Chinese politicians, learning to speak Mandarin and even reading Communist Party propaganda, most of it to little avail. Many Facebook apps have been blocked in China for years.


Facebook has nonetheless signaled its continued interest in China, even though operating there under current laws would require it to bend to Chinese laws on censorship and personal information disclosure. Facebook insiders said last year that they had worked on a tool that could appeal to China’s censors.

"Facebook Blocks Chinese Billionaire Who Tells Tales of Corruption", Alexandra Stevenson, New York Times, Oct 1, 2017

Maureen Dowd wrote in her column on the New York Times:

Will Mark Zuckerberg ‘Like’ This Column? New York Times, Sept 23, 2017

 "The idea of Mark Zuckerberg running for president was always sort of scary.

 given what we’ve discovered about the power of his little invention to warp democracy."

Learn more about how Facebook undermines American democracy on Frontline:

Not only Facebook but Google has been caught in the Russian’s propaganda campaign to undermine American democracy in the last election.   I am hoping Mr. Sergrey Brin would step up and do something about it.    Unlike Mr. Mark Zuckerberg who seems like someone who just wants to pander to the Chinese Communist government propaganda machine, you did something that I really admired when you, as a co-founder of Google, decided to move Google’s operation out of mainland China due to its censorship.    Now the Russians are coming — today the Russia’s secret service is just a new incarnation of the old KGB, nothing has been changed and they are trying to undermine America’s democracy.    Think about your parents’ years living under Communism, Mr. Brin.     Your parents came to America to escape the KGB and its propaganda machine, it would be horrible if your company is being used by the Russian KGB as a propaganda tool to undermine America’s democracy.    I come from a similar family background to yours.   We both came to the U.S. as political refugees.    After returning from the U.S, my mother taught Science at some of the most prestigious girl-only high-schools in Vietnam.   My uncles were scientists and university professors who were trained in the West (graduate degrees from some of the top universities in Western Europe and the U.S) and they were treated horribly under Communism.   They were imprisoned, tortured, monitored, and harassed daily by the police and they were accused of being the CIA agents and foreign spies for the U.S. and Western governments.    I know how your parents as intellectuals were treated while living under Communism in the old USSR.   It's also the reason why I don't like how the H-1B program that is currently used to oppress highly educated American professionals and why I cringe when I see how Mr. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook is pandering to the Chinese Communist government.    Remember back when you persuaded the Google's Board to leave mainland China due to its censorship, now is the time to have a similar conviction and stand up again the Russian KGB's campaign against American democracy.  It's the right thing to do and Americans will thank you for that.

Remember that Presidential Candidate Mrs. Hilary Clinton spent more than a billion of dollars (> $1 Billion) on her advertisement campaign and the Russian just spent a tiny portion of it (a couple of millions dollars at most), if it would be true, then Madison Avenue should get rid of all their staff and hired the Russian doing advertisement instead since they were that good.   Personally I believe that the reason why Trump won the presidency was caused by the neglect of the American political class from both party to the American middle and lower classes by pandering to the multinational corporations and the 0.0001% rather than the Russian propaganda.    Stories of American high-tech professionals being replaced the H-1Bs (the corrupt program supported by our Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren), manufacturing jobs moving to Mexico and Asia (also support by her since she has always been silent on the issue), services jobs taken over by the illegal immigrants (also support by her with her endless pandering to the illegal immigrant communities) and so on are much more effective to the American public to convince them to vote for Donald Trump who dared to talk about the issues than the Russian’s ads on Google and Facebook.    And what concern me even more is that Facebook and Google are funding the corrupt politician like our Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren to oppress American high-tech professionals and to suppress free speech whenever they complain about the abuse of the corrupt H-1B program that she sponsored.    

The New York Times is right to call this out in its article

Silicon Valley Is NOT your Friend, Noam Cohen, New York Times, Oct 13, 2017

"We are beginning to understand that tech companies don’t have our best interests at heart. Did they ever?"

For years, American high-tech companies like Facebook and Google have censored free speech from American and European citizens (see the Google engineer case) and behaved like the digital gangsters online.   The British and European lawmakers have complained bitterly while our local Congresswomen Zoe Lofgren and Anna Eshoo have been silent on the issue having taken truckloads of money from these companies.   They should be voted out having failed to defend free speech for American citizens and to regulate these companies.

"Companies like Facebook should not be allowed to behave like ‘digital gangsters’ in the online world,” U.K. lawmakers said in their report, “considering themselves to be ahead of and beyond the law.”   Washington Post, Feb 18, 2019

Don't even think that Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren would regulate these companies.   She has been bought a long time ago.   Just remember the corrupt H-1B fiasco, the problems with the H-1B program have been known for decades and she still supports it until very recently despite knowing all of its frauds and abuses.    All her attempts to fix it is just a pretension, a thinly veil to cover up her corruption of having taken lot of $$$$ from these companies.    Asking her to regulate these companies to protect American democracy is like asking Al Capone to police the gangsters, you know it's not going to happen.   American IT professionals called our Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren "the Madam of Congressional Whorehouse" for a reason.

Nevertheless, both Google and Facebook sold political ads to the Russian and something needs to be done.    While we were talking about it, I think we should take a look at the invasion of American citizens’ privacy that Google, Facebook, and other American Internet companies have been practicing as well.     For example, whenever I did a search on for a particular book, it seems to me like an advertisement for this book follow me around the Internet and I find it extremely creepy — feeling like I was living under Communism again while the BIG BROTHER was monitoring my every move.

How Silicon Valley Puts the ‘Con’ in Consent, New York Times, Feb 2, 2019

If you don't know what I am referring to, I highly recommend that you watch the Academy-Award Winner "The Lives of Others" that tells a story of a couple who lived under Stasi East German Communist State before the Fall of the Iron Curtain.  I could certainly relate to this movie.   It's the same as in Communist Vietnam.   Every thought, every action was monitored closely by the "thought" police.   There is one great scene in the movie in which the couple was having sex and the "monitored" guy was listening to EVERYTHING.    Google and Facebook with their monitoring of the Internet search is doing exactly the same thing.   Personally I think we should have privacy law similar to the law in Europe (the European Union has passed the General Data Protection Regulation, which will go into effect next May. This regulation aims to give people more control over their data, so search engines can’t follow them everywhere they roam online).    Because of their experience of being closely monitored while under the Communism, the Germans were the one who pushed for this privacy law to be implemented European-wide and I agree with them since I have experienced similarly in Communist Vietnam.     And don't bother to believe that our congresswoman would support something similar in the U.S., she has been bought off by these companies.  She is too busy counting political contributions ($$$$) from these companies to worry about Internet privacy for American citizens.  


These comments were taken from the New York Times, the Washingtonpost among other credible news sources out there.   They reflect the voices of Americans from across the U.S.A. on the issue that I mentioned above.

Macro 12:25 PM CDT

Funny. Facebook censoring Americans while selling ad space to the KGB.  

“Fake Russian Facebook accounts Bought $100,000 in Political Ads”,  New York Times, Sept 7, 2017 

Anotherdeveloper123 Tysons Va 2 days ago

I am glad this is an opinion piece because it is a stupid, wrong, misleading article.

I grew up in PA in 60's and 70's. I know that these hils have the same types of people. They have not changed. They are tolerant but skeptical of new people.

I have kayaked in WV, TN, GA for 30 years. I have seen racists since early 70's and they are also still there.

To say that this is new is absurd.

Also to be ignorant of the huge negative impact immigration has on our culture is also absurd.

We have millions of legal immigrants from 1990 H1B law taking jobs from US citizens. The law was intended to bring in highly skilled labor that we lack, it is currently used by Indian bodyshops to place low skilled labor that a high school graduate could and DID do in the 80s. I know I hired and trained them. Now we have rows and rows and rooms and rooms and buildings and buildings of H1Bs. we kicked our children to the curb while allowing rich 1% steal the profits from globalism.

Then add in the millions of illegal immigrants. and the impact on AA and low skilled labor.

Please follow this article with an in depth analysis of how immigration has negatively impacted the US worker. 

Specifically focus on how the nonexistent shortage of engineers and STEM workers has been abused by CEOs and multi national corporations over the years.

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ChristineMcM is a trusted commenter

 Massachusetts 11 hours ago

"And, in the weeks leading up to the introduction of the Klobuchar-Warner-McCain bill, Facebook told congressional aides that it is too difficult to figure out if an ad is political or commercial because candidates are often changing messages and topics. The company added that with the sheer number of ads on the site, the engineering involved in identifying political ads would be extremely challenging."

Sure. Very challenging to their bottom line. I think social media companies should be subject to the same disclosure rules as TV ads, revealing the source behind the ad if not the funding (we can thank Citizens United for that one).

I listened to Cheryl Sandberg responding to critiques at a forum about online truth in advertising, and found her to be both patronizing and insincere--all that talk about "transparency" from the most nontransparent company around.

Bottom line is Facebook, Google and lesser companies won't change their wild west communication culture unless forced--and they know what following strict FEC laws will cost them, an amount they're simply not willing to pay. 

Their excuse such disclaimers would "stand in the way of innovation" makes me gag--why don't they just come out and say it, "stand in the way of profits"?

They also know that forcing transparency as the senators propose is probably the last thing this administration--which prospers by falsehood--is interested in.

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Sam Chittum 90065 23 hours ago

Talk about collusion with the Russians. The more I know about Russian interference in the 2016 election, and the role played by Facebook corporate creeps who profited from it, the more Orwellian it looks and the angrier I get.

How many ways can you say you're disgusted and appalled?

Can anyone even begin to quantify the immense harm done by these quasi-monopolistic, greedy companies who got rich by allowing the spread of Russian-state sponsored propaganda and misinformation via Russian-linked accounts and bots on their social media platforms?

They got rich undermining our democracy and I don't detect a shred of remorse, just a lot of corporate double speak.

500 Recommend

Phil M New Jersey 1 day ago

Austerity for everyone but the rich is in vogue. Only morons pay taxes. Poliiticians do not work for us, they are corporate prostitutes. These are the disgusting times we live in and it's affects everything we do. Until there is a middle class revolution it will only get worse. The deterioration of the subway is indicative of our failed leadership. Welcome to the third world.

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Watertown MAFeb. 3

Conspiracy theories? Secretly recording microphones? What hogwash. I thought so too, until the following happened: On a recent train ride with a new colleague we discussed Raspberry Pie devices (some sort of mini computer). He showed me some of those on HIS phone. He did not share a link, he did no send an email about this, and our telephones were not connected through some near field sensors. We have never been connected before. My computer was stowed away, my cellphone was out, but I did not do a single search. I had previously never in my life heard about Raspberry Pie devices. Yet, the next day I received tons of advertisement (here on the NYT - ads by Google) about Raspberry Pies. Frankly, I am SCARED ...