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posted by martyb on Wednesday December 06, @05:13PM   Printer-friendly
from the thorny-questions dept.

The bloom is off the rose:

It was about an hour and a half into a hearing with the Senate Intelligence Committee when Sen. Dianne Feinstein laid into Facebook, Google and Twitter.

"I don't think you get it," she began. "You bear this responsibility. You've created these platforms, and now they are being misused. And you have to be the ones to do something about it. Or we will."

The tech giants were being grilled by Congress over Russian trolls abusing their services to meddle in last year's US election, and the California Democratic lawmaker had had it.

It was just one of very public tongue-lashings the Silicon Valley companies received over the course of three marathon congressional panels last month, held over a two-day span. The hearings were anticlimactic, in part because the three companies only sent their general counsels instead of their famous CEOs -- a point several lawmakers bemoaned during the public questioning.

Is it Google, Twitter, and Facebook who don't get it, or Senators like Dianne Feinstein who don't get it?


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @05:23PM (65 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @05:23PM (#606217)

    Is it Google, Twitter, and Facebook who don't get it, or Senators like Dianne Feinstein who don't get it?

    What about both?

    The social network providers don't get that they are in part responsible for such actions being performed on their networks because their filter bubble algorithms promote them.

    The senators don't get that those companies are not responsible for the individual actions performed on the social networks.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bob_super on Wednesday December 06, @05:31PM (46 children)

      by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday December 06, @05:31PM (#606223)

      Neither.
      It's political posturing, and in the case of Dems, inability to cope with a loss that really hurts.

      I always say that you can only blame the ref if you didn't manage to play well enough to get a clear win.

      Of course, the fact that US voters could be influenced by pretty dumb social media campaigns is a problem someone will have to deal with (cutting education funding should help, for sure), but if the influence had gone to other way, the R guys would be blaming G, FB and T for being a hive of evil libruls, instead of the Russians.

      • (Score: 5, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @05:51PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @05:51PM (#606233)

        Thank you for mansplaining that to us Boris.

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday December 06, @06:20PM (25 children)

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday December 06, @06:20PM (#606251) Journal
        • (Score: 5, Informative) by BK on Wednesday December 06, @06:50PM (20 children)

          by BK (4868) on Wednesday December 06, @06:50PM (#606274)

          It’s illegal for foreign nationals or governments to...

          Fine. So the foreign government has committed a crime. Let's lock them up? I suppose we could engage in a 'police action' in Russia. That seems to have worked well for the last few adventurous folks to try it.

          It now seems clear they’ve been using Facebook to do just that.

          Facebook isn't the police. If there was a law requiring that a person show a passport indicating their nationality before they could buy an advertisement, it would be considered a clear violation of the right to free speech. FEC regulation of elections runs up against the same problems... the things they want to restrict, or the methods they want to use to do it, are considered protected by the First Amendment. So unless you want some kind of (really great fire)wall at the border...

          --
          4 out of 5 dentists choose Brand X. The other is just a denier.
          • (Score: 5, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday December 06, @07:24PM (3 children)

            by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday December 06, @07:24PM (#606308) Journal

            So the foreign government has committed a crime. Let's lock them up?

            Knowingly helping someone commit a crime is also a crime...

            • (Score: 4, Interesting) by darnkitten on Wednesday December 06, @08:35PM

              by darnkitten (1912) on Wednesday December 06, @08:35PM (#606375)

              Hey, Putin just announced he's running for re-election.

              Turnabout's fair play, eh?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @12:39AM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @12:39AM (#606495)

              Isn't there a word for people who aid a foreign government against the interests of their own nation?

              • (Score: 2, Funny) by redneckmother on Thursday December 07, @03:39PM

                by redneckmother (3597) on Thursday December 07, @03:39PM (#606825)

                Isn't there a word for people who aid a foreign government against the interests of their own nation?

                Dunno, but the acronym is currently POTUS.

                --
                Pitchforks? Check. Torches? Check. Lampposts? Check. Rope? Oh crap, Colorado smoked all the Hemp!
          • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @07:24PM (10 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @07:24PM (#606309)

            FB knew or should have know an illegal act is occurring and report it, period. Now will they catch everything no. But that was s where the law will go.

            If you BYE a TV off the back of truck with other TVs. That is fishy so a simlpe report is responsible for you to do. But then you have received stolen property so enjoy jail.

            • (Score: 1, Insightful) by khallow on Wednesday December 06, @08:58PM (2 children)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06, @08:58PM (#606393) Journal

              FB knew or should have know an illegal act is occurring and report it, period.

              And how should they know that?

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @09:45PM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @09:45PM (#606427)

                Insert an 'Once' at the beginning of the sentence and it makes more sense... ONCE fb knew they should have reported it...

                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday December 07, @12:00AM

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 07, @12:00AM (#606481) Journal
                  And when you do that, you still have the problem that Facebook has in the past reported [engadget.com] such things.

                  At the time [a little before Trump's inauguration], Zuckerberg admitted the social network knew about problems, but told Obama that it wasn't widespread and that there wasn't a lot Facebook could do in any case. In June 2016, Facebook's security team found suspicious accounts set up by the Kremlin-backed APT28 hacking team, also known as Guccifer 2.0, the Post says.

                  However, it found no solid proof of Russian disinformation and turned over everything it found to the US government. Reportedly, neither US law enforcement nor national security personnel met with Facebook to share or discuss the information.

                  and

                  While it appears that Facebook turned over any evidence to US law enforcement as soon as it found it, ads and fake news are filtered mostly by algorithms. Facebook's human content gatekeepers, often contractors, are mostly on the watch for violent or sexually explicit materials, not foreign propaganda.

                  So there seems to be no grounds for the concern that Facebook failed to report such crime.

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by fustakrakich on Wednesday December 06, @11:12PM (6 children)

              by fustakrakich (6150) on Wednesday December 06, @11:12PM (#606467) Journal

              FB knew or should have know an illegal act is occurring and report it

              The law is illegal. There is nothing in the 1st Amendment that makes exceptions for foreign nationals. The statue simply states "no law". If you want to make exceptions you have to amend the constitution, and that procedure is explicitly spelled out also.

              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday December 07, @01:10AM (1 child)

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 07, @01:10AM (#606505) Journal
                Agree. This current witch hunt is exactly why the First Amendment was created. No good will come of this hearing. Any attempt to fix this will result in social media companies policing their forums in ways that allow for suppression of legitimate speech.
                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday December 07, @01:11AM

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 07, @01:11AM (#606506) Journal
                  And by "legitimate", I mean speech of the sort which purportedly is not subject to laws about foreign nationals and governments.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @11:23AM (3 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @11:23AM (#606763)

                The law is illegal.

                The voting voters' representatives passed the law, so it must be okay. The voting voter have all the power and can change the law any time they want to, but they haven't, so they must want the law in place!

          • (Score: 0, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @08:39PM (4 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @08:39PM (#606376)

            If there was a law requiring that a person show a passport indicating their nationality before they could buy an advertisement, it would be considered a clear violation of the right to free speech.

            It's only a violation to require a person to show a passport or other ID when they actually cast their vote... Apparently... That's how the left thinks - or doesn't - these days.

            • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @09:22PM (3 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @09:22PM (#606417)

              Because all the voter ID propositions have been carefully crafted to prevent minority voters from being able to participate. Maybe read up on some of the reasons for opposition to those plans before you ascribe some liberal conspiracy?

              • (Score: 0) by XivLacuna on Wednesday December 06, @11:35PM (2 children)

                by XivLacuna (6346) on Wednesday December 06, @11:35PM (#606471) Homepage

                Hahaha liberals think minorities are too stupid and/or incompetent to get voter ID. I'm at least willing to give minorities the chance to prove this horrible generalization wrong. You think of them as children incapable of getting a ride to the DMV. We have liberal social workers right now who spend time getting their clients to the DMV for a state photo ID and who register people to vote. So even if they are as incompetent as you think they are, some white savior will get them some photo ID that they need to do other stereotypical lower class thing like buy tobacco products or alcohol.

                Democrats just don't want to give up illegal invader votes along with the undead vote that always pops out of the grave. It is the only way they can win.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @12:10AM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @12:10AM (#606485)

                  It isn't a generalization fuck head, guess you didn't want to do any research on the topic and instead want to stick to your hate filled bubble where liberals are trying to destroy the country.

                  For the lazy [aclu.org]

                • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @12:26AM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @12:26AM (#606489)

                  Your imagination is much more limited than that of the Repug operatives.

                  The same day that Alabama started their voter registration shenanigans, they also closed all the DMV offices in "The Black Belt" with the exception of 1 day a month.

                  Investigative reporter Greg Palast covers this in great detail his movie|book "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy"
                  The old movie - 110 minutes [youtube.com]
                  I was just listening to him on Pacifica Radio KPFK's pledge drive.
                  He was offering his stuff (the unreleased, updated version) as premiums.
                  1hr, 13MB MP3 [kpfk.org]

                  Greg covers a lot of this stuff in that hour of audio (while pitching for listener-supported radio).

                  ...and before that, his project was "Billionaires and Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps".

                  You need to expand your sources of "information".
                  As a 1st step, I'd recommend switching off Lamestream Media (anything with a corporate "sponsor").

                  -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Bot on Wednesday December 06, @06:52PM

          by Bot (3902) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06, @06:52PM (#606275)

          Clinton foundation received money by the Italian government, dare I say a symbolic little sum, $250k. Of course it did not fund the actual campaign, but if it is illegal to INFLUENCE an election, any effort by a foundation named Clinton under the election influences the campaign. Anyway Trump did finance the foundation too.

        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday December 06, @09:19PM (2 children)

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06, @09:19PM (#606413) Journal

          Is it in fact Illegal?
          Your linked article does not say that. You made that part up.

          Foreign ads used to appear in newspapers all the time.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 4, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday December 06, @09:21PM

            by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday December 06, @09:21PM (#606416) Journal

            The text in the link is a direct quote from the article.

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Thursday December 07, @01:13AM

            by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 07, @01:13AM (#606509) Journal

            Israel tries to influence the US all the time through its lobbying arm, AIPAC. So, if Facebook should be arrested because Russia used its platform to influence our government, then surely AIPAC must also be arrested for directly, knowingly, and willingly doing the same, right?

            --
            Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @06:22PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @06:22PM (#606252)

        the slimiest trash in the R party.

        She was brought in after the murder of the mayor of San Francisco, George Moscone, as a 'moderate' Democrat, to help stem the actual progressivism he had posed. She is an ultra-fascist in liberal clothing, and you have only look at her voting record to understand that. The sad part is, many Democrats still use her, Boxer, or a variety of other horrible individuals as rallying points, rather than realizing the sickness permeating their own party, while blindly toeing the party line and claiming how much more horrible the R candidates are while not digging into the legislative misdeeds being pushed by members of their own party.

        America is sick these days, but there are some special politicians who look even sicker. Feinstein is high on that list.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @06:36PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @06:36PM (#606266)

          When the media is so effectively controlled it is impossible to educate the necessary number of people. Any traction that is gained gets a pushback by the propaganda outlets.

          Don't forget the private corps that will gladly put people in body bags if they become too inconvenient. Criminal society is the BEST! /puke

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @12:41AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @12:41AM (#606496)

          Senator Barbara Boxer quit.
          The new chick is Kamala Harris (another Neoliberal pseudo-Progressive).
          Used to be California Attorney General.
          I often didn't like how she did that job.
          In particular, she wouldn't appoint special prosecutors to go after rogue cops.

          ...and, yeah. Feinstein is a turd sandwich.

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

        • (Score: 1) by redneckmother on Thursday December 07, @03:50PM

          by redneckmother (3597) on Thursday December 07, @03:50PM (#606833)

          Bingo!

          "Party Politics" are the problem. The two largest parties are not controlled by voters, but by large corporations, banks, the 1%... MONEY in general.

          AT&T once had a commercial with the tag line: "The System is the Solution". For them and the US political system (then and now), "The System is the Problem."

          --
          Pitchforks? Check. Torches? Check. Lampposts? Check. Rope? Oh crap, Colorado smoked all the Hemp!
      • (Score: 2) by donkeyhotay on Wednesday December 06, @07:58PM (10 children)

        by donkeyhotay (2540) on Wednesday December 06, @07:58PM (#606350)

        I agree: it's mostly just politics. I heard Scott Adams referring to it as "Trump Derangement Syndrome" and he gave an excellent description of why it exists. It's like so many people are filled with incredible shock and grief and this continues, even a year after the election, because they cannot get any closure.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bob_super on Wednesday December 06, @08:10PM (9 children)

          by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday December 06, @08:10PM (#606354)

          It is hard to get closure when the scandals (mostly petty, but some real) are followed by weakening of protections (for land or people), then by pissing off allies, then ... then repeat ad nauseam.
          It's easier to get closure when the consequences turn out to be much milder than you feared, when you can draw a line and stop being reminded, or when you acquire clear hope for things to improve.

          Therefore ... not happening any time soon.

          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @08:44PM (3 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @08:44PM (#606381)

            I think I just spotted a victim of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

          • (Score: 4, Informative) by Gaaark on Thursday December 07, @04:19AM (4 children)

            by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 07, @04:19AM (#606636) Homepage Journal

            It's also hard to get closure when the person who stole the leadership of her party from the better person (Bernie) loses and throws a tantrum by running off to drink wine and take long walks in the woods (while also secretly writing a book attempting to rewrite history and taking full responsibility by blaming everyone but herself and her cronies (esp. Wasserman-Schultz, and Bill)) leaving the guy she stole the leadership from to face the media and answer the questions as to why they lost.

            She ran off, tantrumed, wrote lies, and is now trying to "set the record straight".

            She is a LOSER.

            Get. Over. It!

            DISCLAIMER: Trump is also a loser.

            --
            --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @01:33PM (3 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @01:33PM (#606779)

              You are correct that they are both losers. To me it is a sad state of the country when those two were the "shining" examples of who should lead the country. Personally, I felt that the country would have been better off voting for someone's pet than either of the main party candidates for President of the United States. Sadly, I voted for a third party candidate as more of a protest vote because I could not hold my nose and vote for either Trump or Clinton.

              • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Thursday December 07, @03:43PM (2 children)

                by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 07, @03:43PM (#606828) Homepage Journal

                I've been voting Green the last few years because both the Liberals and the Conservatives (Canadian) are too entrenched and have too many connections that they have to pay by giving tax breaks etc to.

                The greens seem to be slowly climbing in the political ranks here: the NDP are the 'official' third party here, but they seem to be kind of stupid.... Bob Rae got in as the NDP leader/Premier of Ontario (on voting day, my wife and i were sick as DOGS and couldn't leave the bed to go vote: now we always vote on the early polling days) and spent money like fecking crazy, then had to cut like crazy to make up for it and bit off the hand that fed him..........crazy mess).

                I'd like to see a revolving door of, maybe Green/NDP for a while, maybe.

                I guess my peeve is that 'big business' has just tooooooo much power/money nowadays, and REALLY needs to be hacked away at and their power lessened. THAT may take a revolution, though.

                --
                --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
                • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Thursday December 07, @04:47PM (1 child)

                  by hendrikboom (1125) on Thursday December 07, @04:47PM (#606859) Homepage

                  At the start of this millennium I realized that the important political battle this century would be whether governments were going to rein in the power of the corporations, especially multinational ones, or whether the corporations were going to make governments toe the line instead.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday December 06, @08:28PM (3 children)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06, @08:28PM (#606370) Journal

        the R guys would be blaming G, FB and T for being a hive of evil libruls

        But, they ARE evil libruls. Sillycone Valley is well known for pushing liberal agendas. Unfortunately, we seem to be trapped between the evil libruls and the evil exploiters, with little if any middle ground.

        --
        #Hillarygropedme
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by meustrus on Wednesday December 06, @06:56PM (16 children)

      by meustrus (4961) <meustrusNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday December 06, @06:56PM (#606276)

      Silicon Valley is in a very, very blue part of a very blue state. California can and will regulate the shit out of Silicon Valley if they don't regulate themselves. It's becoming increasingly clear though that Silicon Valley in general, and Facebook especially (and Uber, but that's another story), are fundamentally uninterested in the spirit or the letter of the law, or even the common good.

      You make an interesting legal argument, regardless of your lack of references. But Feinstein's job (in Congress, our primary means of affecting how the government works) is making law, not adjudicating it. The constitution is rather silent on the issue of corporations whose power rivals the government itself, which means Congress has pretty broad authority.

      Silicon Valley hasn't figured that out yet. When they do, you can be sure that they will start cooperating with the government. Just like Wall Street, pharmaceutical companies, telecoms, and other state-integrated oligarchies.

      --
      If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative.
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Sulla on Wednesday December 06, @07:46PM (12 children)

        by Sulla (5173) on Wednesday December 06, @07:46PM (#606332) Journal

        Seems like a good way to turn good Blue companies Red. As the companies get bigger they are a riper and riper fruit for government regulation and these companies will come to realize that no matter what they do to self-regulate they will never be able to meet the expectation of real progressives. The companies will finally realize that it is cheaper to buy off Republicans than it is to meet the expectations of Democrats.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by edIII on Wednesday December 06, @09:11PM (11 children)

          by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06, @09:11PM (#606406)

          I'm sorry, but that is bullshit. Companies go Red because the hell bound slime that are the executive class are avaricious. That's it, plain and simple. Red allows you to do that, as long as you also put God in the statement. You could rape 14 year old girls, and it won't matter, as long as you are an R, can keep the party going, and check of all the boxes for self-righteous religious fury.

          Regulations exist because greed and Capitalism tell them to hurt people for profit. Self-regulation requires that these people have a shred of humanity, and they don't. How can you self-regulate sociopathic behavior when you're a sociopath?

          Meeting the expectations are impossible? Ridiculous. We expect them not to pollute the rivers and ecosystems, we expect them to not pull bait & switch, we expect them to not sell our data, we expect them to provide some security, etc., etc. Regulations are us asking these pieces of shit to act with some humanity and as if they live with us and accept the same consequences. So much of the time, a regulation is forcing an executive with their soft fucking hands, to buy safety gear for the wage slave on the factory floor so he can live a whole life with both arms and hands. Most of the time it is about safety, and those soft cowardly mother fuckers up in the board room don't care one iota about how dangerous it is. Why would they? By deliberately creating environments of extreme financial duress, they can watch Jorge lose his hand, and then be replaced by the foreman who goes outside the the throngs of hungry men trying to feed themselves and their families. Why do they need to put themselves in another shoe's and contemplate the consequences when people are expendable? Yeah, it's impossible to self-regulate such behavior, because it is logically precluded by their mental damage.

          Cheaper to buy off Republicans than to do the right thing? Fuck man, then those people need to GO TO JAIL. What regulations are so onerous that it requires immoral subterfuge to bypass? Remember, nearly every regulation exists because those slimy fuckers are trying every second of the day to get other people to pay for their shit, or some way around the rules. For more profit of course, and it causes real harm to people. If it didn't, we wouldn't need a contentious consumer protection agency to protect people from big corporations that can easily abuse them.

          I have ZERO sympathy for the people complaining about regulations, when the regulations only exist because we have to actually legislate common fucking sense and decency. When we will figure out that there is a systemic endemic problem in Capitalism with these deeply damaging sociopathic behaviors? When we will step up to the final regulation, which is putting all those sociopathic fuckers in jail and forgetting about the key?

          Self-regulate? That's the funniest fucking shit I've heard all year. People that can self-regulate exist all over in society. I self-regulate by not stealing my neighbors shit, not dumping my waste in his backyard, and not fucking his 14 year old daughter. Perhaps those are regulations somewhere, but I didn't need a regulation to act with humanity in the first place. For good people, regulations are merely redundant and you were already in compliance. Apparently the people that need self-regulation the most are the people that complain about regulations. Normal people understand that you don't do these things to others, but somehow, magically, you add an MBA and lawyer to the room, and there are arguments about whether it's right or not to force people to not act like assholes. Capitalism suddenly becomes a God given right and morally superior, and provides all the justifications to do things that normal people would be aghast at.

          That's what it boils down to. Regulations are humanity filled common sense designed to protect people, and self-regulation is about not playing by the rules, or caring that somebody could get hurt in the process. Self-regulation is the same as no regulations.

          • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Joe Desertrat on Wednesday December 06, @10:18PM (10 children)

            by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Wednesday December 06, @10:18PM (#606440)

            Seems to me a large part of the problem could be solved by changing corporate law. In particular change the part that corporations are "required by law" to increase shareholder profits* to require them to act in a manner that ensures the long term viability of the corporation without causing ecological or social damage. There have been occasions (Ben & Jerry's immediately comes to mind) in which a decision was made which would have continued the original vision of the creators of the brand but the threat of a shareholder lawsuit forced them to accept another bid which simply paid more in the short term but had no guarantees of future corporate responsibility. This is all a grey area of course, but it might help eliminate prevent some of the short term sociopathic activity a lot of corporations seem to exhibit.
            *It is actually "enhance shareholder value", but it is usually seems to be legally interpreted solely to mean adding dollars to profits right now.

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday December 07, @06:57AM (5 children)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 07, @06:57AM (#606682) Journal

              In particular change the part that corporations are "required by law" to increase shareholder profits* to require them to act in a manner that ensures the long term viability of the corporation without causing ecological or social damage.

              That's already done through regulation.

              There have been occasions (Ben & Jerry's immediately comes to mind) in which a decision was made which would have continued the original vision of the creators of the brand but the threat of a shareholder lawsuit forced them to accept another bid which simply paid more in the short term but had no guarantees of future corporate responsibility.

              So what? At this point, the Ben & Jerry approach had failed since they were seeking a buyer. Why would it be correct for the directors of the company to continue with the failed "original vision" (which given the traditional amorality of the business world could be in practice selfishly seeking greater personal wealth or risk mitigation at the expense of the shareholders) contrary to the interests of the shareholders they purportedly represent? It's much the same principle IMHO as with bankruptcies and other business failures. You don't let the people who broke the company decide its fate.

              For successful companies, it appears that you don't have to worry about these issues. Reading about it, courts assume that in a normally functioning corporation, that the directors are performing their duties. It's up to the plaintiff suing to show otherwise. And at a glance, the courts allow a lot of crap such as poison pills and golden parachutes, multiple tiers of share privileges, and greenmail and reverse greenmail (selectively buying or selling shares from certain shareholders, usually in an effort to fend off takeovers). It's only in situations like seeking buyers for the business, that the scope of the director's responsibilities narrows.

              Thus, I don't see a need to retool the basic laws of corporation formation. Just don't expect your fancy bylaws to survive a hostile buyout.

              • (Score: 3, Insightful) by meustrus on Thursday December 07, @03:21PM (2 children)

                by meustrus (4961) <meustrusNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday December 07, @03:21PM (#606816)

                That's already done through regulation.

                Ha. Ha! You're next to the last person I'd expect to think regulation was doing its job. Maybe some of the environmental regulations, unemployment insurance, and benefits regulations are effective in mitigating some of the negatives. But the trend of government regulation since the Democratic party lost its soul to the likes of Feinstein [soylentnews.org] has been to target only the most egregious business practices by integrating corporations with government. At which point, shit happens like the DEA being told to stop intercepting shipments of opioids to black markets [washingtonpost.com].

                --
                If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative.
                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday December 07, @04:30PM (1 child)

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 07, @04:30PM (#606852) Journal
                  My point is that calling for changing law to allow good behavior as Joe did is futile, if the society isn't enforcing existing law and/or businesses can choose to their advantage not to embrace the good behavior. I happen to agree somewhat with edIII that regulation imposed by a neutral party is necessary for many sectors and activities. For the evergreen example, if something doesn't directly pertain to a traded item on a market, like pollution and other externalities, then it doesn't exist to the market. Libertarianism never has given an effective, alternate way to deal with obvious negative externalities. Either one goes through some cumbersome court process or self-enforcement via something like a vigilante posse. I grant that regulation need not be done by an official government, but someone needs to do it.
                  • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Friday December 08, @09:50PM

                    by fustakrakich (6150) on Friday December 08, @09:50PM (#607452) Journal

                    I grant that regulation need not be done by an official government, but someone needs to do it.

                    C'mon, man! Don't bogart that joint! Let's hear some names. You know, this majority rule thing is higher maintenance than most people want to admit. Businesses are very active in government decision making every day. The voters need to be just as active, or at least learn how to better delegate. Let's turn the rotating door into a one way turnstyle.

              • (Score: 3, Informative) by Joe Desertrat on Thursday December 07, @10:16PM (1 child)

                by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Thursday December 07, @10:16PM (#607014)

                That's already done through regulation.

                Why should we rely on regulation, which is only as strong or effective as the government currently in power allows, rather than those who own shares in the company? Right now it appears to be relatively common to hear of effective lawsuits when the most short term profitable path is not taken, it does not appear to be practically possible for a shareholder to sue to prevent or change any such action.

                At this point, the Ben & Jerry approach had failed since they were seeking a buyer.

                They were not selling because the business had failed, they were retiring and no longer wanted to be involved with running a company. They had a buyer lined up who they believed matched their vision, most other shareholders approved, but a tiny minority threatened to sue if they did not accept a higher bid with no guarantees of behavior. If a counter suit supporting a more altruistic path was practically possible, the remaining shareholders might have been able to call that bluff and force the sale to the lower, but more acceptable bid.

                And at a glance, the courts allow a lot of crap such as poison pills and golden parachutes, multiple tiers of share privileges, and greenmail and reverse greenmail (selectively buying or selling shares from certain shareholders, usually in an effort to fend off takeovers).

                Among the sorts of things that it might be possible to prevent if corporate laws were rewritten to encourage behavior other than short term gain.

                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday December 07, @11:28PM

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 07, @11:28PM (#607042) Journal

                  Why should we rely on regulation, which is only as strong or effective as the government currently in power allows, rather than those who own shares in the company?

                  Conflict of interest. For example, what's going to happen when the shareholders aren't interested in the common good?

                  They were not selling because the business had failed, they were retiring and no longer wanted to be involved with running a company.

                  The company had a very deflated stock price. That was driving the sale. The founders otherwise could have appointed replacement leadership and no drama would have ensued.

                  Among the sorts of things that it might be possible to prevent if corporate laws were rewritten to encourage behavior other than short term gain.

                  Ben & Jerry's used two of those tricks - poison pills and tiered ownership.

            • (Score: 3, Informative) by microtodd on Thursday December 07, @01:43PM (1 child)

              by microtodd (1866) on Thursday December 07, @01:43PM (#606782) Homepage Journal

              I actually agree completely with this. This is the research (well.....wikipedia article) I've found that points to (imho) the root of the problem.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_v._Ford_Motor_Co./ [wikipedia.org]

              Relevant quote:

              "corporate officers and directors have a duty to manage the corporation for the purpose of maximizing profits for the benefit of shareholders"

              Yes, there's some disagreement on the validity and interpretation, but as you've said the default posture seems to be to maximize this quarter's returns and financial statements, and not worry about a) long term environmental impact b) long term customer goodwill and c) corporate responsibility.

              I call it the "Disney Effect". When Disney reaches a point that they are making ridiculous amounts of money, and (for example) the theme parks draw record crowds every year, there's no benefit to improving quality. Why bother? They've already got more customers than they can handle.

              • (Score: 2) by meustrus on Thursday December 07, @03:24PM

                by meustrus (4961) <meustrusNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday December 07, @03:24PM (#606817)

                But there is a benefit (to shareholders, in the very short term) to cutting costs. If Disney can't make Disneyland bring in more revenue, but you can make it cost less to operate, should they have a duty to cut costs to boost profits? Even when the park is already profitable, and cutting costs might just kill the goose that lays the golden egg?

                --
                If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative.
            • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Thursday December 07, @04:58PM (1 child)

              by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Thursday December 07, @04:58PM (#606866) Homepage
              "required by law" to ... "enhance shareholder value"

              Or use turnabout, as turnabout is fair play.

              Perhaps the US constitution needs a clause that makes the government required by law to enhance citizenry value. Which should oblige them to tax overseas-cash-rich corporations a whole lot more.
              --
              I was worried about my command. I was the scientist of the Holy Ghost.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @12:50AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @12:50AM (#606500)

        Feinstein is at the *CENTER* of that blue area. Do not think for one second her message was not the one those companies want to promote. They are de-facto already doing it. They just want to be on the right side of the law when the lawsuits start flying.

        They grabbed their personal congress critter to give out their message. She is bought and paid for by their money. She delivered the message they want.

        Russian trolls is just the excuse they want to go full lockdown on their own platforms. Basically what they consider 'the bad guys' won and used their own platform to do it. They are pissed and want laws to make it legal for them to silence anyone they do not like. They want DMCA protection yet full control. The DMCA basically says 'you are neutral in it' they no longer want to remain that way.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @01:12AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @01:12AM (#606508)

        Folks might be surprised to see how not-especially-Blue Cali is in many places.
        2012 map [wikimedia.org]
        2016 map [wikimedia.org]

        Along the coast, it's more bluish.
        Inland, it's more likely to be Red.
        The northwest corner is extremely Red.
        In the last presidential election, L.A.County got more Blue (shock!) but the coastal counties above the Bay Area were less Blue.

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @01:15AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @01:15AM (#606510)

          s/northwest corner/northeast corner

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Bot on Wednesday December 06, @06:57PM

      by Bot (3902) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06, @06:57PM (#606277)

      And they both don't get that all their effort to dumb the electorate/ the consumer down results in this.

      You load the camel up and complain when the last straw breaks his back? tut tut.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday December 06, @05:25PM (33 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday December 06, @05:25PM (#606220)

    If we have to control the message that reaches mainstream media, then it's a little late to try to start doing it through platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google, et. al.

    I thought we were a society that taught critical thinking, and relied on ourselves to separate the wheat from the chaff in the daily flood of information that passes over us. Well, not exactly - I thought that when I was like 12 years old. Of course there are people out there who shape the information and perceptions, there are huge thriving industries built up around internet reputation management, search engine optimization, etc. etc. and those industries exist because that's how our society works. When a product reaches you, it almost always has more cost built in for sales and marketing than it does for research and development, and for many things even the cost of production and distribution is dwarfed by the cost of the various forms of advertising used to bring the product to the buyers' attention.

    And don't even start to think that there's even a tiny distinction between consumer products for sale and politicians up for election.

    Facebook, Twitter, Google, et. al. might appear to be the communication enabler of the masses, but they are also the communication enabler of those employed to shape the message, and you can't change that as long as they are freely available to ordinary users.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Wednesday December 06, @05:29PM (19 children)

      by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 06, @05:29PM (#606222) Homepage Journal

      The republicans have made some progress at outlawing critical thinking lessons in public schools

      --
      127.0.0.1 www.hosted-pixel.com # I Am Absolutely Serious
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Wednesday December 06, @05:53PM (18 children)

        by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06, @05:53PM (#606237)

        The republicans have made some progress at outlawing critical thinking lessons in public schools

        And what's the problem with that? They're just responding to the desires of their constituents. GOP voters don't want critical thinking taught in public schools, and would much rather the schools teach Christian dogma. GOP politicians would legislate this if they could.

        If you have a problem with these actions by the Republicans, then that means you're opposed to democracy. Same goes for other actions by the Republicans, such as pushing for legalization of discrimination against homosexuals, attempting to ban gay marriage, passing tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy, banning or obstructing availability of contraception, removing penalties for police who shoot black people in the back, etc. The GOP voters support all these things.

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @06:25PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @06:25PM (#606255)

          Go read up on Liberia.

          It's the state all GOP members toeing the party line want, just with too many negros to actually move there.

          • (Score: 2, Troll) by realDonaldTrump on Wednesday December 06, @07:13PM (2 children)

            by realDonaldTrump (6614) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06, @07:13PM (#606291) Homepage Journal

            We made Liberia so the blacks could have a country of their own. Thousands of our African Americans emigrated there, it was tremendous. Then Abraham Lincoln said it was a country. He proclaimed it a country. Not many people know, but President Lincoln was a Republican, one of the first. Liberia has done amazingly well. And now many people in my alt-right are saying white people should make a country for themselves. So interesting!

            • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @07:21PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @07:21PM (#606300)

              Why not? The Jews did it with Israel.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DannyB on Wednesday December 06, @07:22PM (12 children)

          by DannyB (5839) on Wednesday December 06, @07:22PM (#606304)

          If you have a problem with these actions by the Republicans, then that means you're opposed to democracy.

          If you have a problem with these actions by the ${politicalParty}, then that means you're opposed to democracy.

          Now substitute with: Democrats. Nazis. Pedophiles. Or think of your own great substitution.

          Being opposed to despicable actions by a political party (any party) does not mean one is against democracy.

          Despite what has occurred, I still think Democracy is a good idea. Better than alternatives. I just wish people weren't so amazingly stupid and gullible. We all want a society that works. I can understand some basic disagreements about policy. But what we've got has devolved into something very ugly.

          • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Wednesday December 06, @07:50PM (11 children)

            by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06, @07:50PM (#606335)

            If you have a problem with these actions by the ${politicalParty}, then that means you're opposed to democracy.

            Only if ${politicalParty} is the one that's dominant and has gotten a majority of votes.

            Being opposed to despicable actions by a political party (any party) does not mean one is against democracy.

            Sure it does, if that party has rightfully won elections and thus reflects the will of the majority. If you think their actions are despicable, what that really means is that you think the voters who elected that party are despicable. And as the Nazis showed in the 1930s, the voters frequently *are* despicable.

            I just wish people weren't so amazingly stupid and gullible.

            Maybe we need a form of democracy which only allows non-gullible and non-stupid people to vote. Allowing the poorly-educated to vote has been proven to be a disaster.

            We all want a society that works.

            Yes, but many people are too stupid to understand what it takes to achieve that.

            But what we've got has devolved into something very ugly.

            And history has shown that when that happens, it frequently doesn't get better without truly horrific events.

            • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday December 06, @08:14PM (2 children)

              by DannyB (5839) on Wednesday December 06, @08:14PM (#606356)

              I'm not going to disagree in general. But only with the assertion that I one I started with, to which you replied "Sure it does".

              Nope. It doesn't. I can definitely state that I am not against democracy, and that I do indeed have a problem with some actions of the Republican party (but not necessarily limited to that party either).

              Therefore you CAN indeed be against that party's actions and still favor democracy.

              Rather than assert Sure it does, I would like to hear an argument that explains how I either don't have a problem with the R's actions, or that I really somehow am not in favor of Democracy even though I am convinced that I am in favor of democracy.

              As for the R's winning the will of the majority, they didn't. Trump is in office because of the electoral college, not because of the popular vote -- despite Trump's assertion that he won the popular vote, which he verifiably did not. Nor Trump's assertion that his electoral college victory was the biggest ever -- again verifiably untrue. However, even if the R's had won by popular vote, that does not invalidate my counter assertion that I can indeed be against certain actions they take yet still be in favor of democracy.

              Am I missing some bit of logic or critical thinking here? (It wouldn't be the first time.)

              • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Wednesday December 06, @10:17PM (1 child)

                by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06, @10:17PM (#606438)

                Therefore you CAN indeed be against that party's actions and still favor democracy.

                It's contradictory, if that party validly represents the majority of the people, unless you're claiming that you're OK with those people (who you disagree with) getting their way, even when the resultant policies are horrible.

                As for the R's winning the will of the majority, they didn't. Trump is in office because of the electoral college, not because of the popular vote

                Trump isn't the only GOP politician in office, or who won in 2016. The GOP swept races across the nation at all levels of government. Those other races are not decided by the EC, they're straight majorities. And while you might scream "gerrymandering", that only applies to US Representative races, not Senate seats, not governorships, etc. The simple fact is that, outside of a few densely-populated coastal cities, most of the country favors the GOP.

                I would like to hear an argument that explains how I either don't have a problem with the R's actions, or that I really somehow am not in favor of Democracy even though I am convinced that I am in favor of democracy.

                Let's ignore the whole Electoral College thing for a bit (esp. in light of my argument above). If the majority are voting for policies you find repugnant, I'm not sure how you can defend democracy as a good system in that case. Perhaps better than the alternatives, but that's arguable; Britain under Elizabeth I was widely considered a golden age, for instance, and there's other cases of autocratic rule that were similar considered quite good (Rome under Marcus Aurelius too I think). (The argument against autocracy is that the good autocrat eventually dies and then it's a toss-up how the next one is.) We can also look at 1930s Germany: they elected Hitler! Now, you might argue that the election system was bad because he didn't win a majority, and it was a 3-way race (IIRC), but this still doesn't excuse democracy, since that's how most democratic systems work. Honestly, your who pro-democracy argument really boils down to "the alternatives are even worse", but that's not exactly a ringing endorsement. Winston Churchill was right when he said "the best argument against democracy is a 5 minute conversation with the average voter".

                • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Saturday December 09, @09:27PM

                  by DannyB (5839) on Saturday December 09, @09:27PM (#607801)

                  That's it. Even though I think the outcome is horrible, I still believe in democracy.

            • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday December 06, @08:42PM (2 children)

              by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06, @08:42PM (#606377) Journal

              I have to echo DannyB here. I can, and do, find things wrong with BOTH of our dominant parties. Further, I find things wrong with all of our underdog parties. Detesting any and all of the parties involved doesn't make one anti-democracy. It only means that you oppose each of those parties.

              I've always thought that you have to be a damned fool to support any party. You should support candidates, and the issues that they promise to represent. When I hear of a family that has faithfully voted for Party X for the past n generations, I visualize a bunch of inbred idiots with 4th grade educations. None of them were ever smart enough to examine candidates and issues, so they just voted for whoever Grandpa and The Party told them to vote for.

              If the shoe fits, wear it - Dems and Reps alike.

              --
              #Hillarygropedme
              • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Wednesday December 06, @10:23PM (1 child)

                by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06, @10:23PM (#606446)

                Basically you're arguing in favor of some idealistic form of democracy that doesn't actually exist. Sure, you *should* support candidates, but how many people do? Almost none. In reality, voters don't really have the time or attention to learn about every single candidate on the ballot in many cases. In Arizona, for instance, the ballot will have the names of a couple *dozen* judges that you're supposed to vote whether to renew their term or not. Now how the hell is the average voter supposed to know whether some judge is any good or not? And figure this out for 20 of them? Along with a bunch of other races including the local school board, the local mayor, plus a bunch of ballot propositions (written in tricky language so you don't really know what you're voting for), as well as the usual national-level races?

                When I hear of a family that has faithfully voted for Party X for the past n generations, I visualize a bunch of inbred idiots with 4th grade educations.

                Yes, and this is pretty common among average voters, the people who constitute *actual* democracies.

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday December 06, @09:57PM (2 children)

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday December 06, @09:57PM (#606431)

              I don't think that splitting "fair hairs" is really getting the point of representative democracy.

              We've got a system, it can be, and is, gamed, it can, and does, give control to people who have less than 50% of the vote - that's the system we have, suck it up and deal with it, or take real action to change it, whatever.

              What our system DOES do is make sure that people with only 20 or 30% of the popular vote support get elected, and that's something to be thankful for. Military junta and similar organizations can make 95%+ of their population suffer miserably for years, we at least get to fix our mistakes within 4 - if they're bad enough to really piss off a clear majority of the people.

              • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Thursday December 07, @01:21AM

                by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Thursday December 07, @01:21AM (#606517) Homepage Journal

                "In revolutions people die." -- J. Random Slashbot

                Some other slashbot was advocating for changing our system by having a revolution.

                Out of everything I ever read on the green site, "In revolutions people die" is clearest in my memory.

                --
                127.0.0.1 www.hosted-pixel.com # I Am Absolutely Serious
              • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Friday December 08, @10:16PM

                by fustakrakich (6150) on Friday December 08, @10:16PM (#607465) Journal

                Military junta and similar organizations can make 95%+ of their population suffer miserably for years, we at least get to fix our mistakes within 4...

                Within 2... one (of many) fantasy I have is that we sweep the house of all democrats/republicans and vote independent. What would Plato do? They had a pretty good grasp of the problem back then. I mean, really, it wasn't even necessary to run the experiment to predict the outcome.

            • (Score: 2, Flamebait) by DeathMonkey on Thursday December 07, @02:40AM (1 child)

              by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday December 07, @02:40AM (#606578) Journal

              Only if ${politicalParty} is the one that's dominant and has gotten a majority of votes.

              The Democrat got the most votes. So, therefore, Republicans are fair game!

              Glad we got that sorted out.

              • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by Grishnakh on Thursday December 07, @03:36PM

                by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 07, @03:36PM (#606823)

                No, the Democrats did NOT get the most votes in most races. Did they get the most votes in Pennsylvania? Michigan? Anyplace besides California? No? How about for all the down-ticket races, like governorships, state legislature positions, etc., in most states?

                Glad we got that sorted out.

                Weird how people like you think there's only one election and one elected position in the entire country. It's no wonder Democrats keep losing and can't control Congress with that kind of mindset.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @08:15AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @08:15AM (#606711)

          If you have a problem with these actions by the Republicans, then that means you're opposed to democracy. Same goes for other actions by the Republicans, such as pushing for legalization of discrimination against homosexuals, attempting to ban gay marriage, passing tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy, banning or obstructing availability of contraception, removing penalties for police who shoot black people in the back, etc. The GOP voters support all these things.

          Yeah that's a funny thing the libtards, Democrats and gang claim they support Democracy, but when it works as designed and doesn't produce the result they want, they blame everyone else except themselves. They blame the electoral college and racists for their loss but the fact is a BLACK guy won TWICE with a similar electoral college and bunch of racist voters.

          Same like they're claim they are for freedom of speech except when it comes to people who don't want to make cakes for a gay marriage. What happened to the "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.".

          The real problem is "half" of America are just as fascist as the other "half" and they both disagree with each other.

          I see plenty of the liberal media going on and on preaching to their choir about how Trump is a failure and hasn't achieved anything and then complaining that Trump is doing lots of terrible stuff (which is actually delivering to his voters what they want ;) ).

          The worrying thing is if they don't get their heads out of their butts in time and start addressing the real reasons why they lost, Trump might actually win a second term (assuming he hasn't started global nuclear war before that...).

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @06:22PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @06:22PM (#606253)

      The US has long had lofty ideals but shitty SHITTY implementation. Now we have the internet and it is dragging some of the remaining mud holes into the 21st century where bigotry is bad. The locals get to see how life could be, and the dark corners are getting an uncomfortable amount of light shining down on them.

      The education system has been screwed up for a while now, 2000 was really the turning point when they began implementing all the standardized testing / exit exam bullshit. Critical thinking was replaced by rote memorization. It is hard to tell whether this was an intentional dumbing down or just a colossal fuck up in the quest for metrics. We really need to worry less about bean counting beyond making sure civilization has what it needs along with stores for future crises. After that squeezing every last minute of productivity out of a worker's day is counter productive to society as a whole, stress and all that.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday December 06, @06:23PM (4 children)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday December 06, @06:23PM (#606254) Journal

      We are a society that requires disclosure of political ad-buys in the name of transparency.

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday December 06, @07:02PM (3 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday December 06, @07:02PM (#606283)

        So, I think of posting on Facebook like riding a bicycle on the street... no license required - very hard to regulate. CDL for big-rigs does keep most of them under reasonable control, but if a bunch of kids want to do something crazy there's not much our legal system can do about it.

        Thing is, there's no "Big Rig" in the internet, it's all a bunch of unregulated bike riders out there, but some are legitimate little kids, others are heavily backed representatives of industry.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday December 06, @07:21PM (2 children)

          by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday December 06, @07:21PM (#606302) Journal

          So, I think of posting on Facebook like riding a bicycle on the street...

          They didn't merely post on Facebook. They purchased political ads. There's a big difference.

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday December 06, @09:00PM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday December 06, @09:00PM (#606397)

            O.K. - that's something you can regulate, and should - with clear labeling of paid political advertisement just like television and radio.

            Open and shut, if the organization is taking money for something that is regulated and requires labeling, they have to include adequate labeling to meet the regulation.

            Of course, as soon as they do that, the unregulated forums of "user contributed content" will be overflowing with paid shills. Scratch that, make it past tense, it's been happening since Obama's first campaign and even before.

          • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Friday December 08, @10:24PM

            by fustakrakich (6150) on Friday December 08, @10:24PM (#607468) Journal

            Why? What is the difference? The smart thing to do is not read and believe paid political advertising, not ban or regulate it. It's very easy to figure out who's hot and who's not. The burden of verification is on the reader, not the author

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @06:27PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @06:27PM (#606261)

      A good example that critical thinking has been overridden by glossy words from Trump-esque demagogues for at least 120 years.

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday December 06, @06:59PM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday December 06, @06:59PM (#606278)

        Longer than that - yellow press wasn't a new invention at the time, just the latest example of how powerful it can be.

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by DutchUncle on Wednesday December 06, @07:10PM (4 children)

      by DutchUncle (5370) on Wednesday December 06, @07:10PM (#606289)

      >>> I thought we were a society that taught critical thinking

      I just hurt myself falling over laughing.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday December 06, @08:45PM (1 child)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06, @08:45PM (#606382) Journal

        Get even. If you're an R, get a gun. If you're a D, get a lawyer. Whichever way you swing, that'll fix him for making you hurt yourself!

        --
        #Hillarygropedme
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @10:03AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @10:03AM (#606747)

          As an I, I will invent a better chair.

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday December 06, @09:11PM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday December 06, @09:11PM (#606405)

        Well - I can see that perspective. Could I restate: "We were a society that operates on the principles of caveat emptor, and presume that the citizenry will either be capable of evaluating risks for themselves, hiring competent fiduciary agents to evaluate risks for them, or suffer the consequences of their ignorance of the risks."?

        Yeah, it just gets more absurd as you go. They've actually taken the "fiduciary duty" language out of real estate licensing and contracts in Florida recently, I doubt it ever happened even before I was born, but it's clearly not been practiced for decades.

        This is the same society that's bidding up bitcoin at a ~200% gain per year, sustained for the last 7 years... makes me want to quote Morrison:

        But anyway, I don't believe in it
        I think it's a bunch of bullshit, myself
        But I tell you this, man, I tell you this
        I don't know what's gonna happen, man, but I wanna have
        My kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames
        Alright!

      • (Score: 1) by messymerry on Wednesday December 06, @10:20PM

        by messymerry (6369) on Wednesday December 06, @10:20PM (#606442)

        Let's see: LOL, LMAO, ROFL, LMFAO,

        Did I miss any?

(1) 2