Even The Atlantic Questioned Loyalty of Big Tech

15 Things We Learned From the Tech Giants at the Senate Hearings

The Atlantic, Nov 2, 2017

“Most Russian advertising on Facebook was used to build up pages, which then distributed their content “organically.”

The $100,000 of advertising that has been a big focus of Congressional interest was used primarily to build audiences for a variety of Russian-linked pages. In other words, they paid to buy likes and build the distribution channels through which they would pump disinformation.” 

“To swing the election, the campaign would have had to be highly targeted in the states that decided the election: Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Senator Burr, the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, opened the hearing with some important numerical context. The ad spends in those states were tiny. The total amount spent targeting Wisconsin was a mere $1,979; all but $54 was spent prior to the completion of the primary, and none of the ads even mentioned Trump. The spending in Michigan and Pennsylvania was even smaller.”

The [alleged] Russian campaign ads were all paid for in rubles. It appears that all of the ads Facebook handed over to Congress were paid for in rubles.” – does it look like a covert operation to influence election? One ordered by Putin and executed by FSB and GRU?


Are Facebook, Twitter, and Google American Companies?

This week’s Senate hearing highlights a deep tension in the tech giants’ self-definitions.

The Atlantic, Nov 1, 2017

No, they are not:

““We’re not offering our service for surveillance to any government,” [Twitter’s general counsel] Edgett responded. … “As a global company, we have to apply our policies consistently,” Edgett replied.”

“Twitter is both a global company and an American company, and the way it has resolved this contradiction is to declare its allegiance to … its own policies.”


Twitter Bars Intelligence Agencies From Using Analytics Service

Social media firm cuts access to Dataminr, a service used to identify unfolding terror attacks, political unrest

The Wall Street Journal, May 8, 2016