We are now in the annual Fall time frame social media tag meme of #hangry and #hungeraction and the “wear orange” meme, in response to the annual release of a USDA report on “food insecurity”.
Until this week, when we asked Facebook about it, the world’s largest social network enabled advertisers to direct their pitches to the news feeds of almost 2,300 people who expressed interest in the topics of “Jew hater,” “How to burn jews,” or, “History of ‘why jews ruin the world.’”
But Google is, first and foremost, an advertising company and its largest product is a targeted advert service, which it sells to the biggest brands in the world.
Billions of annual web searches, location and email data allow it to target the population with specialised marketing – and there is no reason why it couldn’t do the same with your voice data, too.
Google’s business is advertising – to persuade you to purchase a product or service, to support someone’s policy choices, to adopt someone else’s agenda.
The business of Google is propaganda, broadly defined.
Google is very effective at this because Google knows nearly everything about you. They store enormous amounts of data about you, including erroneous information – and there is no way to correct the erroneous information they have collected or interpreted.
- Google scans your emails – Google knows what you’ve bought online (thanks to email confirmations of your purchases). Google knows when you’ve bought or sold a home or stocks (due to email confirmations).
- Google knows where you have traveled to, where you stayed, what businesses you stopped at – yes, they log all of this. If you have Location services on, on your phone, Google tracks all of your activity. From this, Google can determine, for example, that you have stopped at many espresso coffee shops.
- Google voice, used to transcribe text messages, stores all of your voice recordings and text messages in the Google cloud. Ostensibly this is used by Artificial Intelligence algorithms to improve their voice recognition capabilities. (Similarly, every time you are tagged in a photo on Facebook, Facebook uses that to improve automatic facial recognition software so that FB can automatically identify you in photos – or perhaps real time surveillance video camera images.)
- Google stores your entire Chrome web history (even if you delete the history in Chrome it remains stored at Google).
- Of course, Google also backs up your contact list, calendar, apps and app data from your device.
- Google logs each time you use an app on your Android phone.
- Google also stores erroneous information. Because my email address at Google is a simple one, many people with a similar name mistakenly enter my email address rather than their own address which is typically a variation of mine. Consequently, I receive erroneous emails about my alleged purchase of a Mercedes Benz, a BMW, an Apple computer, DISH network services, CenturyLink communication services and so on. I have also received other people’s notice of discontinuation of services due their failure to pay their bills.Google likely thinks I am a deadbeat because they have no way of knowing that those emails are erroneously sent to me due to email address mistakes by others.
- Google stores vastly more invasive information about you than the NSA.
Google stores all this data and performs extensive data analysis on all aspects of your life in order to target advertising to you. Literally, Google has created a massive and detailed dossier of your life, plus they include erroneous information. There is no way to correct erroneous information in the Google dossier.
You can, should and MUST delete this data log. To delete this data, log in to your Google account and go to this Google page and hack away.
After looking at the history Google has recorded, I will be getting rid of as much Google as I can. I am no longer comfortable using Google services.
For many of us this is tough – once you have given out your email address to friends and businesses and online web sites and services, we may literally have dozens or hundreds of places we need to change our email address. For many this can be a lot of work.
“Facebook and Google get their revenue from advertising, the effectiveness of which depends on gaining and maintaining consumer attention.”
The very essence of Google and Facebook, at their core, is to operate as the world’s most sophisticated propagandists. Their business model is based on advertising, which is literally propaganda messaging intended to encourage you to adopt someone’s agenda, specifically, to buy something (products and services) or to agree with something (politics).
Each company builds electronic dossiers on every individual user of their service. They scan your emails, they examine your text messages, they use ad networks to track your online web site visits, they track your “Likes” and “Shares” (each of which tells them what you are interested in) they examine your list of friends to seek out what may be common interests – and then use their knowledge of you to create idealized advertising messages and ad placements to “hit” you when you are most vulnerable to those messages.
Social media is the most powerful, friction-less propaganda medium in world history. Google and Facebook are both mammoth entities that are in the position of controlling the world’s future. Facebook claimed that political propaganda on Facebook had no impact on recent elections – while simultaneously selling itself as a platform for highly effective advertising, which is just another word for propaganda messaging. Facebook is either lying or deluding itself.
Fakes news sites have been so successful (they make a lot of money from advertising) that many traditional news services began to adopt the fake news techniques and you won’t believe what happened next!
We end up with hastily written, weakly reviewed, often inaccurate stories with click bait headlines:
In the fight to be heard, journalists now turn to search-engine optimization (SEO)—tagging every story with its most trend-worthy terms. They bend stories into clickbait.
It’s a trend that can’t be ignored, says D. Hunter Schwarz (BA ’12), coauthor of CNN’s Coverline, a politics–pop culture mash-up. “Your average person is not watching a bill progress,” says Schwarz.
And so his newsletter and podcast weave Britney Spears and the Kardashians into the political coverage.
Because of the all-mighty click, story selection and presentation are changing: newsrooms are increasingly chasing the stuff we like.
“It’s eye-candy journalism,” says Campbell: sports, “list-icles,” the slideshow of 10 things. “The eyes stay with them a long time. They make money.
”It’s celebrity anything, says alumna Marti Johnson, a freelance reporter for the Associated Press and a C-SPAN announcer. “[Americans] just hoover up information on celebrities.”
Source: BYU Magazine
Read the whole thing. Reader clicks, ad revenue, and the bottom line drive everything we see now. The rise of social media – and Likes and Sharing – is what drives the entire business model.
Journalists, understandably, do not like being lumped together with “fake news” as a broad brush – yet from the above quote, the industry has adopted the “fake news” publishers’ business models. Journalists are starting to realize it is up to themselves to reform the industry.
This quote from the linked story is what this blog is all about:
“Fake news is designed to create an emotional response so you do something, so you share it.”
In other words, propaganda messaging.
I’d read several of the recent national press stories about Reno, Nevada, all of which acted as cheerleaders for the area. Turns out, and not surprisingly, these stories were planted by a public relations agency:
The national news stories began popping up about two years ago, celebrating Reno’s economic revival, touting the city as “actually pretty cool” and ruminating on the region’s Silicon Valley-esque potential.
Just two weeks ago, a Bloomberg story titled “Reno Is Starting to Look More Like Silicon Valley” hit social media with great fanfare, continuing the trend of celebratory Reno articles appearing nationally about twice a quarter since 2015.
But the positive press isn’t a coincidental timing of national publications suddenly realizing Reno is shedding its image as a tired casino town.
In fact, the coverage has been carefully orchestrated at local taxpayers’ expense to help rebrand the region in an effort to boost economic development — a cost to date of $110,000.
Glad to see Reno’s local paper doing real journalism and exposing the charade. “Public Relations” is the term Edward Bernays invented to be used in place of “propaganda”. War time propaganda efforts, especially by Goebbels in World War II, gave the original term “propaganda” a bad taste.
What is the claimed average cost of a wedding in the U.S.?
This value is *widely* distributed in the media, on social media, and in online forums.
Other estimates come from Conde Nast Bridal Infobank and The Fairchild Bridal Group.
How can an average wedding cost $35,329 when 62% of American have less than $1,000 in their savings account and only 10-20% have more than $1,000 in savings? (Perhaps this is because they spent it all on weddings and are now complaining they have no money?)
In my state, about 1 in 4 children live in poverty. More than 1 in 4 citizens qualify for Medicaid, which has extremely low income levels for qualifying.
The only way these numbers can all be true is a small number of people spend a huge amount on weddings or a large number live in poverty because they spend a lot on elective luxuries like high end weddings. Or the wedding estimates are bogus.
This survey is likely designed to produce a high dollar figure for the purpose of “anchoring” brides and grooms into an expectation of how much they should spend: The wedding industry wants you to believe you must spend a small fortune on your “special day”.
By anchoring this value, this “grounds” brides (especially) into how much is appropriate. But this is propaganda designed to set your expectations as to how much you should spend! Once this value is in mind, one’s costs will soon grow to fit with in this “budget”!
Undoubtedly there will soon be a Federal program to provide loans and direct subsidies to needy couples!
The CEO of British Airways, standing in their operations center, apologizes for their terrible service and lack of contingency/disaster planning:
As you may know, it is essential that one wears a high visibility safety vest when standing in a computer operations center! Or maybe not.
Seriously, the reason for this odd clothing choice is that his public relations staff said it would help him look like he was “hands on” in the midst of the crisis.
You might remember when President Bush showed up after Hurricane Katrina wearing a long sleeve shirt with the sleeves rolled up – because staff thought having rolled up sleeves made it look like he was there and working on the problem.
Everything around us is stage managed fakery designed to influence our thinking process. At least a few people on social media noticed the absurdity of a high visibility vest in a computer operations center. His second video ditched the vest.
When PR staff think this nonsense is a priority in the midst of a systemic collapse of the company’s systems – you’ve gotta wonder about the clueless people working in PR.
The data is from circa 2012-2014:
For the first time in Pew Research findings, more than half (56%) of internet users ages 65 and older use Facebook. Overall, 71% of internet users are on Facebook, a proportion that represents no change from August 2013.
70% of Facebook users log in to Facebook daily.
Google and Facebook are a duopoly for online digital advertising. Through their ad placement programs, they are now – basically – using heavy handed automated content filters that censor out many videos. The result:
“YouTube is on the fast track to becoming Disney vloggers: beautiful young people that wouldn’t say anything controversial and are always happy.”
Google and Facebook are indeed so powerful that they now censor ordinary speech.