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posted by martyb on Wednesday December 06 2017, @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?


Original Submission

 
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06 2017, @05:46PM (10 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06 2017, @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 2017, @05:57PM (9 children)

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday December 06 2017, @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 2017, @06:26PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06 2017, @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 2017, @06:33PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06 2017, @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 2017, @08:08PM (2 children)

        by DECbot (832) on Wednesday December 06 2017, @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 2017, @08:57PM (1 child)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06 2017, @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.

          --
          On the plus side, I am completely immune to flash-bang grenades. - Helen Keller
          • (Score: 1) by DECbot on Wednesday December 06 2017, @09:29PM

            by DECbot (832) on Wednesday December 06 2017, @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 2017, @07:29PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06 2017, @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 2017, @02:08AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @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 2017, @02:34AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @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 2017, @11:50AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @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]