By Jason Taylor
I’m simply amazed how blasé the public seems to be over what’s increasingly a deeper level of an intrusion than so far reported. So if Putin himself calls a press conference and tells the world, “I alone fixed this”, are all we going to get from Congress and the American people are a series of yawns? We are in worse shape than even I suspected prior to these drip, drip, drip reveals by Facebook and Twitter.
I believe Facebook turned over something like 50,000 ads in the investigation to the French election. 3,000 ads is a joke. They need to turn over all the ostensibly “American” white supremacists sites that kept up steady of stream of hate-filled bashing of Secretary Clinton, President Obama, liberals, educated people, people of color, secular humanists, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Muslims, Jews, anyone who disagreed with the NRA, anyone one who expressed support for environmental protection, governmental regulation of corporate behavior, etc, and determine who paid for those ads, which often had very high production values and were clearly sophisticated examples of social engineering.
It can’t be stated often enough: If even a tiny fraction of the evidence that’s now incriminating Donald Trump and his cohorts applied to Barack Obama during his time at the White House, impeachment would not be a question, but a foregone conclusion. And all of the people that now stand behind Trump — apparently no matter what he does, as Trump has himself suggested — would be outraged by the treason, the conflicts of interest, the money laundering, and so on. Forget of all that for a moment: If Obama had even one moment of unprofessionalism or incompetence similar to what we’ve seen daily from Donald Trump, there would be a public outcry for months until he suffered the consequences.
While we’re at it, how about a “truth in advertising” law that applies to political ads, wherever they are viewed or aired. The “I approved this message” is clearly insufficient.
What concerns me is that even though it is evident that there was fake news, attacks on HRC, etc. to a targeted audience and even if they find a Trump campaign connection to it, those people who were targeted will never know they were. They will not believe it even if they are told directly that they were given false information. This applies to far left targets as well as the right; it applies to the “youth” market as well as the old timers; even to those who see themselves as well educated as well as those who are not. At this point, people are so entrenched on “knowing” what they saw as truth that I am not sure any revelations will make a difference. They see conspiracy everywhere and believe every video and photo they are shown without questioning the source or whether it might have been doctored.
I’ve been saying this for a while now: if banks are held responsible for Know Your Customer (KYC) laws, social media companies need to be held equally responsible for enabling an enemy country to succeed in determining the outcome of an election… many millions more lives are impacted by an election than by money laundering. Facebook and Twitter have failed America. This isn’t an angry rant. As we peel the layers, we will understand just how much of a role Russia, Facebook, and Twitter had in handing the election to Trump.
Sure, Clinton made big mistakes. But, we know about them. We don’t even know how elaborately the Russia collusion worked and who all were responsible for enabling the outcome.
I find it interesting that Facebook has held this information and now agreed to cooperate only after investigations surface Russia involvement. It is as If their sales department had no knowledge of this previously. Seriously? Don’t they actually sell ads? Did anyone within their organization have an inkling of Russia interference based on who was buying ads, where the buyers reside, what their ads were selling? Any sales organization today of that size is going to have a data-driven customer management system and database to collect information and perform customer analytics. I would call Facebook complicit in this.
Maybe we should all just drop our Twitter and Facebook accounts and start speaking directly to each other again. We don’t need these social media platforms to succeed and survive, but we might just go down in flames with them.