Facebook’s Fake News – It’s All About Trump

It’s all about Trump.

Everything these days is and it sells hits and clicks and attention and reads and views. It makes us sad and angry, upset and disgusted, rebellious and riotous. Trump’s a menace; a rare feeling shared by left and right and white and black and everyone and the lot in between. As, you see, when Trump’s even remotely involved the message gets spread far and wide. We saw that the idiotic assault on Fake News incidentally is an assault on dissenting views the likes of which truely independent media like Planet News brings. We saw that when Obama’s multi-billion Saudi-Arabia deal was merely formalized by the Trump administration after years of negotiation. We saw that when Trump tweets anything including “coveve”. We’ll continue to see it when he shakes hands or has it avoided altogether.

There’s good things to it. It seems that the world at large now is finally waking up to the extent our data was and is used to feed into thousand-terabyte databases. Or should I use the singular form “database”? As only one company is honed in to: Cambridge Analytica or CA. It has been linked to Trump. Accepting that a single company is to blame for all things privacy and for using “big data” to feed into well-orchestrated campaigns to influence a lot to do something is absurd – as it is to think that a mere $100k of Russian money did anything to sway people around.  Although the extent of these databases has grown into unfathomable amounts of data the concept behind is nothing new. It literally has existed for decades if not quite a lot more. What do you think marketing departments the world over were doing with Rolodexes or card files? These were the predecessor of what’s happening now and, back then, people and companies also were classified, categorized, indexed and given keywords to in order to find the best mix to more sales. Nothing changed but the volume.

It’s abundantly clear that Cambridge Analytica is merely and solely one of these companies while there’s tens of thousands out there harvesting, analyzing and selling “our” data. The idea that we should be outraged because of one is ridiculous yet still we are because “Trump got elected” because of it. No mainstream journos seem to be able to make up their minds as Russian Meddling suddenly is side-tracked in favor of a misuse of anonimised data. But I lie as links between CA and the Russians were quickly found. It doesn’t take mainstream a lot to find devious ways to couple anything Trump to anything Russian.

Zuckerberg was led in front of tech-unsavvy European Parliamentarians Tuesday May 22 where its president, Antonio Tajani, expressed gratitude for Facebook’s appearance using a quite caricatural ‘Tenk yoo berry much-a‘ before anything whatsoever had been said. It was clear from the get-go that these MPs do not understand or do not want to understand what really is at stake. As they rambled about “how Facebook is going to go in against terrorism, antisemitism and homophobia” and deluded about “how Facebook-induced meddling was a danger to democracy”, Zuckerberg kept his characteristic, robotic facade while MPs patted themselves on the back for the tough questions they ejaculated.  Their total lack of understanding how their vents cheer up the very abolition of a core democratic principle – freedom of speech and expression – they should fight for, is a danger for world stability.

It’s all about Trump indeed.

These “democratic” MPs and our “democratic” mainstream news channels seem to be unfit to even look back to not even a decade ago where Obama’s “Campaign for America” did exactly the same thing with the technology then at hand. Any similarity of course is vehemently denied while Snopes slapped the little-meaning label of “False” onto the allegations of both campaigns being similar.

Thousands of companies backed by apps have been amassing large quantities of mineable data for at least a decade. Data which has been used for social engineering purposes and nobody cared. We’re just living in “modern times” where sharing information has become easy, as well as necessary in this globalized world. We thus need to urgently ask ourselves: do we support our politicians’ fight against fake news in order to be wing-clipped in what we stand for if it falls outside of current narrative? Or do we object and allow fake news to mingle with alternative views and contrasting topics so that we are able to deduct a wider view on policies being created?

We’d say: choose the latter or face an increasingly fascist and totalitarian “Western World” where press freedom already is decreasing because of technological mumbo-jumbo algorithms implemented over the past year.

It’s not about fighting “a threat to democracy”. It’s about selling us ideas in line with what a global elite wants.

It’s not about election meddling. It’s about silencing dissenting voices.

It’s not about Trump after all.

Joris De Draeck

Ever since the early 00's Joris De Draeck has had an extreme interest in international politics. Increasingly, he has grown weary of how the media portrays the conflicts and has become disappointed in how the backgrounds are left undisclosed and untouched upon.

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