Home Daily Feature Sunday News: “Trump’s corrupt firing of Andrew McCabe”; SNL on Trump Firing...

Sunday News: “Trump’s corrupt firing of Andrew McCabe”; SNL on Trump Firing McCabe, Tillerson; Cambridge Analytics/Facebook Scandal; TMac Staffs Up for 2020

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by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Sunday, March 18.

  • Quizzical
    • So, is Facebook contributing to the death of our democracy? And if it is, what is the answer? Regulate it? Shut it down? Other?

      • Quizzical

        The first step is to understand exactly what happened. I’m not sure I do yet. However it seems that people either volunteered or were paid to participate in psychological testing online, and as part of it, granted access not only to their Facebook profiles but also to those of their hundreds of Facebook friends. So all of that was harvested and analyzed and turned into algorithms of some kind. There were at least two large projects of this kind that facilitated the harvesting of Facebook data of millions. The psychological profiles were then combined with voter databases in some way. The end result was the ability to direct political messaging via Facebook that was tailored to be psychologically effective to each recipient, and be something they would be likely to share. And it all could be done relatively cheaply, compared to say TV advertising, and also it would be “under the radar.” Am I missing anything?

        As for Facebook, it is clear that Facebook sucks. Facebook’s business model has always been to monetize clicks and eyeballs, and that’s always been obvious. We all have individual decisions to make whether to continue to use Facebook. All of our collective judgments will determine if Facebook withers away in the marketplace — as it rightfully should. It needs to go the way of MySpace.

        I suppose regulation will be tried, but our lawgivers have a terrible record of regulating multi billion dollar businesses.

        • The problem with killing Facebook at this point is that almost everyone’s on there, and many people use it to keep up with friends and family, plus do stupid quizzes to show what kind of cat you’d be or whatever. And, of course, to read and spread fake news. What a mess.

          • Quizzical

            I don’t think it is possible to kill Facebook. But nothing requires any of us to use it to keep in touch with family and friends.

            Facebook doesn’t offer anything unique in terms of sharing and commenting on photos of family or friends or groups. There were services that pre-existed Facebook that did everything that Facebook can do.

            It comes down to whether you care enough about security and privacy to pay some fees for it. Really, how hard would it be to set up a family and friends blog that’s password protected, and post photos and albums from Google photos? Families were doing that for genealogy material long before Facebook. (Baby boomers, there’s a worthwhile project for retirement.)

          • Quizzical
  • Andy Schmookler

    Bob Goodlatte has come out with a despicable statement praising Sessions for firing Andrew McCabe, and explicitly expressing his gladness that he was fired before he could collect his pension.

    I ran against Goodlatte in 2012, and I have never for a moment regretted my going after him for his being a hack for a dishonest and corrupt Party. But there is one regret that I am feeling at this moment: that I didn’t take the gloves off more and called him out in less gentlemanly a manner.

    Even as he heads into retirement, he is a disgrace. Chair of the House Judiciary Committee! Who has done absolutely nothing while the Constitution and the rule of law are under naked attack from the President he’s been protecting!