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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: 3, Disagree) by takyon on Wednesday December 06, @05:27PM (21 children)

    by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Wednesday December 06, @05:27PM (#606221) Journal

    Repeal the First!

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  • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday December 06, @05:33PM (9 children)

    by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday December 06, @05:33PM (#606225)

    They should do them in order, instead of starting with 4th and 5th.
    I, for one, can't wait for the repeal of the Third !

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by realDonaldTrump on Wednesday December 06, @07:28PM (8 children)

      by realDonaldTrump (6614) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06, @07:28PM (#606314) Homepage Journal

      The Emoluments Clause, and the 25th and 22nd amendments are a DISASTER. Because they go against the will of the people, of the great American people. Big problems in our Constitution. But we can fix them by holding a convention. We have 25 states where the governor and the legislature are both Republican. We have 28 states that want the convention. Once we get 6 more states we can have the convention. #MAGA 🇺🇸

      t Amendment must be repealed

      We can fix the Constitution by holding a convention. We have 25 states where the governor and the legislature are both Republican. We have 28 states that want the convention. Once we get 6 more states we can have the convention. Get yourselves more Republican governor
      s and more Republican legislators. Give money, vote, get out there and run for office! Then we can fix the Constitution, or #RepealAndReplace. Go back to what we had before. Back to the Articles of Confederation. Back to the time when America was great. Everybody was
      happy, the sun was shining, the water was clean. America was second to none. Until the Constitution. #MAGA 🇺🇸

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      Text TRUMP to 88022 for mobile alerts! Message&data rates apply. Text STOP to opt-out. T&C/Privacy: sms-terms.com/88022
      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday December 06, @08:50PM (5 children)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06, @08:50PM (#606385) Journal

        You have been modded a troll. I don't see the "damned fool" mod, or I'd use it. In today's political climate, you really expect that a political convention will fix ANYTHING?

        Oh wait. You're the same damned fool who appointed a cocksucker crony to destroy net neutrality? And, the same damned fool who is giving a sweet tax break to rich bastards and corporations - but you want to take away my 401k tax advantage?

        Yeah, you probably would think that you and your cronies can "improve" on the existing constitution. You're no better than all the queer Dummycrats who want to take away our second amendment rights, along with the first amendment, and probably most of the others.

        --
        #Hillarygropedme
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @09:34PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @09:34PM (#606423)

          it sounds like that if you are suggesting that the dummycrats want to take away the 1st amendment -- then you are actually stating that the democratic party is the party of conservatives? The ones afraid of changes?

          You can't call it progressive if its censorship. You can call the censorship of new ideas conservative thinking, though.

          I know not all republicans are conservative but precious few are moderate enough to be progressive -- unless its in the favor of business innovation like the elimination of net neutrality. But they would call themselves conservatives, because the old ways before safeguards were introduced by pesky liberals are the best ways.

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Thursday December 07, @02:38AM (1 child)

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 07, @02:38AM (#606577) Journal

            You know it sucks that so many words have been corrupted. I use "right" "conservative" and "republican" when referring to the one party, because those are their almost-patented tags. And, "left" "liberal" "progressive" and "democrat" for the other party for the same reasons.

            Fact is, our "left" is growing to be more fascist than anything. It insists that anything it doesn't like should be illegal.

            Our Euro friends readily proclaim both of our parties to be right of center, and I won't argue with them. On their scale, I, myself, am slightly left of center, and a little north of the authoritarian line. If we actually had a left-leaning party, I might like it.

            --
            #Hillarygropedme
            • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday December 07, @05:12PM

              by bob_super (1357) on Thursday December 07, @05:12PM (#606871)

              > It insists that anything it doesn't like should be illegal.

              Like abortions, weed, and trans people ?
              The pot and the kettle have been rolling in the soot for a while.

        • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Thursday December 07, @04:37AM

          by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 07, @04:37AM (#606643) Homepage Journal

          Except, yelling at therealDT on SoylentNews is like having an argument with a ventriloquists dummy while the ventriloquist is out of the room, lol.

          --
          --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
        • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Friday December 08, @10:36PM

          by fustakrakich (6150) on Friday December 08, @10:36PM (#607473) Journal

          :-) Did you throw bricks at the TV when Howard Cosell was on, too?

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday December 06, @09:24PM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday December 06, @09:24PM (#606418)

        Everybody was
        happy, the sun was shining, the water was clean. America was second to none. Until the Constitution.

        So... 1787, when Native Americans still outnumbered US citizens.

      • (Score: 1) by realDonaldTrump on Wednesday December 06, @11:19PM

        by realDonaldTrump (6614) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06, @11:19PM (#606469) Homepage Journal

        That was a bad tweet. Sometimes my lawyers help with my tweets, I told them they need to be more careful!

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        Text TRUMP to 88022 for mobile alerts! Message&data rates apply. Text STOP to opt-out. T&C/Privacy: sms-terms.com/88022
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @05:46PM (10 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @05:46PM (#606229)

    It is an intriguing problem, but I can see it only going as far as requiring oversight to enforce existing laws. If this makes it hard for these companies to turn a profit with their social platforms, well I won't be crying about it.

    Russian meddling? Well gee, as much as I dislike it myself maybe the NSA/FBI should be on top of these activities and letting the public know! Ah, but that would be tipping their hand and they want to play 17D chess. Maybe it wasn't the Russians after all, maybe it was a bunch of US shills working hard to set up a repeal / amendment to the 1st? Or to exempt "the internet" from general 1st protections?

    These problems with the net aren't going away, we should work on methods to mitigate bad information. Maybe develop some algorithms / tools to get fact checking info, opposing viewpoints, etc. Obviously this can lead to the same sort of problems with carefully tailored "the opposition says XYZ" but it would still be better than a simple bubble. Encourage critical thinking, although that goes against propaganda narratives.

    I would prefer these big companies simply fail or get replaced by decentralized / individual systems. It is already happening, and hopefully soon we'll simply have tools that can aggregate multiple social streams and categorize them as the USER sees fit. Fuck FB's feed that hides 80% of shit you'd really rather see. Fuck Google search that tries so hard to customize for the user that it fails hard, or is gamed by spam sites.

    If any politico wants to help change the system then they should start using one of these decentralized systems instead of Twitter / FB.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Wednesday December 06, @05:57PM (9 children)

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday December 06, @05:57PM (#606238)

      I would prefer these big companies simply fail or get replaced by decentralized / individual systems. It is already happening, and hopefully soon we'll simply have tools that can aggregate multiple social streams and categorize them as the USER sees fit. Fuck FB's feed that hides 80% of shit you'd really rather see.

      That won't happen. We've had decentralized systems like Diaspora for ages now, and people just aren't interested. They want to use Facebook because everyone else uses Facebook, and then they want to bitch and gripe about the way Facebook works. It's exactly the same with things like Windows 10. People whine about the forced updates and reboots and spyware, but Linux has been around for decades but they refuse to even try it. So Linux is only commonly used on servers and embedded systems, where the drooling Facebook-using masses don't have much of a say and the OS is selected by professionals.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @06:26PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @06:26PM (#606260)

        Nah, I've seen an increase is various networks. What is missing are client tools to scrape / manage these various platforms. What we need most is a way to exfiltrate the FB data, but of course FB has made that increasingly difficult since tools were created that were better than their own. Perhaps a built in web scraper that logs in and gathers all new info on your feed?

        Anyway, the shift will happen, it just takes quite a few years for tech advice to spread and people to "get it". Also helps that people are becoming savvy to FB's creepy spying.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @06:33PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @06:33PM (#606262)

        It takes a lot to install a new operating system. Not only in figuring out what an OS is, that you even can change one, which OS to install, how to get that OS, what to do with the data on your current computer while you install a new one, how to relearn all the things you used to do, etc... You're vastly over estimating people's tech skills. People are fine using other operating systems, see people picking up random cell phones, but what they don't have time to learn is all the available choices, the domain knowledge needed to properly evaluate the pros and cons. and then the steps needed to act on all that.

        Any self-hosted solutions are blocked by the majority of ISPs. After learning all about the domain, the first steps you end up taking go against your internet contract and you have to fight their blocks.

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

          by DECbot (832) on Wednesday December 06, @08:08PM (#606353) Journal

          Switching my home PCs to not-Windows was relatively easy. I'm still discussing with my IT of not running Windows. They allow Linux on some PCs in R&D for specific purposes, but they don't want to switch any PCs running routine tasks away from Windows. So, despite my willingness and capability, I am denied running the OS of my choice. This is common for corporate enterprise--the users and companies may be better off with an open OS, but the IT staff are very hostile to change.

          --
          cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
          • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday December 06, @08:57PM (1 child)

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06, @08:57PM (#606390) Journal

            I can't speak for YOUR IT department, but MY IT department is hostile to any change, because they are incompetent. I say "they", but our own local IT department consists of one individual, who can't grasp the concept of "malware". An ad blocker is beyond his ken. Our corporate IT department is generally better educated than our local guy - but not a whole lot better. Of course, we have some real whiz kids who know their shit, but those aren't the guys we get to deal with.

            --
            #Hillarygropedme
            • (Score: 1) by DECbot on Wednesday December 06, @09:29PM

              by DECbot (832) on Wednesday December 06, @09:29PM (#606421) Journal

              Our IT policy comes from a land across the pond called "ITlandria." There are two locals that are sharp Windows admins and they admit Linux and OSX has its places, but they have no desire of seeing those OSes on their network. They are present to setup new laptops & users, re-image machines, setup company phones, maintain the building network/ISP connection, and most importantly enforce policy from the IT mothership.

              --
              cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @07:29PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @07:29PM (#606315)

        Linux doesn't have a single, deep-pocketed corporation in charge of the whole OS.
        This is what is necessary for it to compete as a desktop OS. Plus everybody (software producers) wants to do webapps these days instead of desktop
        software, and the OS matters little in that model, so no incentive to push a new OS. I guess Google Chromebooks is as far as you'll get with the current Linux model.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @02:08AM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @02:08AM (#606553)

          Linux doesn't have a single, deep-pocketed corporation in charge of the whole OS

          Actually, if you're willing to throw money at the "problem", Red Hat or SuSE or Oracle will be glad to set you up with a service contract.

          Additionally, most Windoze support is farmed out to local operations.
          There's no reason (especially in a city of any size) that that can't be done with Linux.

          ...and your premise is nonsense.
          The vast majority of Windoze-compatible apps aren't produced or marketed by MICROS~1.

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @02:34AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @02:34AM (#606575)

            Parent said:
            "...and your premise is nonsense.
            The vast majority of Windoze-compatible apps aren't produced or marketed by MICROS~1."

            That was never my premise nor did it follow logically from anything I said.

            What people who develop software need is a development target that they can count on. You know, a standard. Web apps provide that with the browser. (Back end web services run on your platform, so what the user runs as his OS doesn't even matter for that part of the system.)

            Look, Linux can't even guarantee you a GUI toolkit, nor a device driver interface that stays compatible from release to release.
            Linux had about 25 years to become a general purpose desktop standard, and it never did.

            • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @11:50AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, @11:50AM (#606770)

              a device driver interface that stays compatible from release to release

              Heh. Now you're just making me laugh.
              Backwards-compatibility with Windoze and hardware? Pffff.

              I like old hardware.
              Never had a problem with Linux and hardware.
              It's always worked out of the box.

              Old hardware and Windoze? Good luck with that.
              I got tired of that shit and moved on.

              Linux had about 25 years to become a general purpose desktop standard

              WFM.
              There are Linux deployments with thousands of seats. They're happy.
              There are Linux deployments with tens of thousands of seats. They're happy.
              There are Linux deployments with hundreds of thousands of seats. They're happy too.

              Linux is available, it's gratis and libre, and it works.
              Don't want it? Don't use it.

              Like dealing with the infection of the week^W day^W hour?
              Stick with Windoze.
              Like waiting until the 2nd Tuesday of next month for security patches?
              Stick with Windoze.
              Like spyware straight from your OS vendor?
              Stick with Windoze.
              Like defragging?
              Stick with Windoze.
              Like installs that take days?
              Stick with Windoze.

              I found a better way.
              So have hundreds of millions more across the globe.

              -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]