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Rumors of Facebook’s power grossly exaggerated [VIDEO]

MSM narrative and Democrat supporting companies try to deceive the public into believing data mining success was illegal (because the GOP won)

Seraphim Hanisch

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Does anyone seriously believe that Facebook had so much influence that it would “brainwash” a Hillary voter to go Trump? Are we all like this poor lady?

Even this poor lady is not like herself. She was just being sarcastic. And honestly, if someone’s mind was changed by the facts laid out by pro-Trump ads, that is a good thing. This is an example of effective advertising, which is a very good thing.

When the news broke about Cambridge Analytica’s clever gleaning of user data from Facebook, there was an outcry from the news media that was far different from the effusive praise for a very similar tactic employed in 2012. The reason was very clear. The 2012 actions were praised because they were conducted by Barack Obama’s campaign. The one in 2016 was by candidate Donald Trump’s campaign. Both campaigns were successful. But one gained praise by its use of internet-savvy techniques and the other gained condemnation to the point that even Mark Zuckerberg has gone on his own version of an “apology tour.” His grand mea culpa even goes so far as to agree to testify before Congress.

There are two allegations that are being pushed about this matter.

  • 1. “Facebook user data was acquired”, with the insinuation that the data taken represented a compromise to Facebook’s own internal data on its users.
  • 2. This data was used to manipulate users as to their political choices. This of course is a superset of the same allegation pitched against the St Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency somehow succeeding in swaying the American presidential election through the use of some 3,000 Facebook advertisements.

Both of these allegations are not only a whole lot of nothing, but they AGAIN call attention to the brain-dead, knee-jerk response of American liberals and their sycophants.

“The political establishment was angered that their own bastion of liberal ideology – Facebook itself –  was successfully used as a campaign tool by a Republican candidate, and this is unforgivable in Liberal Land.”

The idea that Facebook was somehow compromised or unethical in the matter of data that developers were granted access to is nonsense. The most we can say is that it was a method of user data gathering that was hidden in plain sight. The level of deception was no more and no less than that of any other marketer or advertiser. All of us are familiar with the clever types of promotion that have evolved in the last thirty or forty years. We all know that the really great ads are the ones that don’t seem like ads at all. Think of the Super Bowl television spots. This sports event has become the event to watch for the advertisements as much or more than it is to watch the football game or its halftime entertainment program – we want to see how clever, how funny, how witty an ad is. We are usually not interested in the product the ad promotes, unless it is the latest Marvel or Star Wars movie.

But on the other side of the broadcast link, the networks are able to collect data on our patterns and use them to try to increase business, by tailoring more attractive advertising.

For Facebook, the user usually doesn’t think about anyone’s ulterior motives behind the quiz games or photo slide shows. But they are noted and they are present in some form for the user to see. And a little thinking (should it happen) would be all it takes for Joe Q Facebook User to realize that these games must serve some purpose other than gratis entertainment.

So, this means that most of us probably feel that there is no harm done if we think at all about who we are sharing what data with.

But  the second part – that this data crunching helps create ads that will change people’s minds…

Well, isn’t that what advertising is SUPPOSED to do?

(Apparently not, if it swings you to vote for the conservative!)

And aren’t political ads supposed to do this too? Think of your run-of-the-mill political ad. Threatening music, ominous voice saying how awful “the other guy” is, and then light music, and positivity around the protagonist of the campaign ad? This ad style is probably the staple of political propaganda. How do they get those talking points? By asking people what they think and feel is important to them. Sometimes this is not arrived at by direct polling, either.

So, what is the problem?

In Facebook’s case, the problem seems to be more that the political establishment was angered that their own bastion of liberal ideology – Facebook itself –  was successfully used as a campaign tool by a Republican candidate, and this is unforgivable in Liberal Land.

The spin is interesting because you will not see this in the expressions of companies who are withdrawing themselves from Facebook. That would be absurd. But the fact remains that there is nothing to see here in reality. Nothing happened that has never happened before, except that the GOP used the same tools and won. Had Trump not been elected, none of this would have surfaced.

But Mark Zuckerberg was asleep at the screen apparently, the GOP used his site (which is supposed to be available to everyone), and Trump won. This places Mr. Zuckerberg, a staunch Democrat and Obama supporter, even operative, directly in the cross-hairs.

The companies jumping off of Facebook are doing so in retaliation. When one looks at their own political alignments, it is quite evident that all this is meant to punish Mark Zuckerberg because in some indirect way, he let his platform be used to engineer a Trump victory.

Thankfully, not all Americans are blind to this game. Here is proof, as a caller discusses the matter with Rush Limbaugh:

RUSH:  You know, I love being asked my impression of observations, so go ahead.

CALLER:  Okay.  Now that Mark Zuckerberg has been summoned to appear in front of Congress, for one, I don’t think he’ll do it.  I think he will weasel his way out no matter how he has to.  But if they get him in the seat, I think that America will be treated to something observationally that will last a very long time.  I think we will see this kid break down in tears and possibly wet his pants and have to go to a recess and cut the cameras off, because this Mark Zuckerberg is in deep water that he cannot handle.

RUSH:  Okay.  Why is Zuckerberg in deep water?

CALLER:  Because Zuckerberg sold his soul to President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

RUSH:  Right!  Which is why he’s gonna be protected!

CALLER:  In front of Congress?  There’s no —

RUSH:  Do you really —

CALLER:  There’s no protection.

RUSH:  You really think the Republicans are gonna come down hard on this guy?

CALLER:  I just… I don’t even think they need to come down on him.  What if the first senator or first congressman says to him, “Uh, tell us exactly what you gave Obama.  Did you open your books to him?” (chuckles) You know, and if he says, “Yes,” then they should say, “Okay, your company is a fraud.”

RUSH:  Look, I don’t think that’s gonna happen.  I wish it would.  You know, if I were a pretend senator for the day and I was on the committee interrogating Zuckerberg, I would say, “Mr. Zuckerberg, I’m having trouble understanding why you’re even here. ‘Cause back in 2008 all the way to 2011, you helped — and practically saw to it — that the Obama campaign got every bit of data on every user you’ve got.

“And they were called geniuses, and you were too.  And now some outfit came along and found a way to get 50 million of your users’ data, and we want to throw you in jail.  Mr. Zuckerberg, I don’t understand why you’re here.  What did you do wrong?” You know, I’d ask it in a certain way.  But I don’t know how hard the Republicans are gonna be.  Time will tell.  But if Zuckerberg wet his pants, Fred, how would you know?

Not everyone in the USA is a zombie to the mainstream media. That is good news.

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From McCain to Brennan, Deep State soft coup against Trump picks up steam (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 59.

Alex Christoforou

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After Trump’s meeting with Putin in Helsinki, the Deep State smells blood, and is moving quickly to depose of US President Donald Trump.

Government officials and mainstream media puppets from left and right are condemning the US President over his press conference with Vladimir Putin.

Leading the charge are the usual Deep State, suspects, starting with John McCain and ending with the man many believe is behind the entire Trump-Russia collusion hoax, former Obama CIA boss John Brennan.

RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou examine the soft coup aimed at removing US President Trump by the November 2018 midterms. Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Via The Independent

Conservative John McCain, who is facing a rare and terminal brain cancer, unleashed a damning statement against Mr Trump’s conference with Mr Putin, describing it as “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory”.

“President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin,” he said.

“It is tempting to describe the press conference as a pathetic rout — as an illustration of the perils of under-preparation and inexperience. But these were not the errant tweets of a novice politician. These were the deliberate choices of a president who seems determined to realise his delusions of a warm relationship with Putin’s regime without any regard for the true nature of his rule, his violent disregard for the sovereignty of his neighbours, his complicity in the slaughter of the Syrian people, his violation of international treaties, and his assault on democratic institutions throughout the world.”

The conservative senator’s comments arrived after the US president declined to name Russia as the adversary behind coordinated attacks on the 2016 presidential election.

While discussing whether he thought Russia was behind hacks against the 2016 election — as the US intelligence community has determined —the president said: “I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

“Dan Coats [the US Director of National Intelligence] said its Russia. President Putin says its not Russia,” said Mr Trump. “I don’t know why it would be…..I have confidence in both parties. President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”

That set off a wave of condemnations from Democrats and Republicans alike.

“President Trump’s press conference with Putin was an embarrassing spectacle,” Bernie Sanders wrote in a tweet. “Rather than make clear that interference in our elections is unacceptable, Trump instead accepted Putin’s denials and cast doubt on the conclusions of our intelligence community. This is not normal.”

Jeff Flake, one of the only frequent Republican critics of Mr Trump in Congress, said the conference was “shameful” in a statement he posted across social media.

“I never thought I would see the day when our American President would stand on the stage with the Russian President and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression,” he said. “This is shameful.”

Former CIA Director John Brennan released a statement calling for Mr Trump’s impeachment and describing his comments as “treasonous”.

“Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes and misdemeanours,'” Mr Brennan wrote on Twitter. “It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???”

Elizabeth Warren also slammed the president for failing to hold Mr Putin accountable, writing on Twitter: “Russia interfered in our elections & attacked our democracy. Putin must be held accountable – not rewarded.”

“Disgraceful,” she concluded.

However, Mr Trump’s typical roster of critics weren’t the only legislators rebuking his bizarre denials of US intelligence. Lindsey Graham also criticised Mr Trump’s performance, adding that his denial of US intelligence will “be seen by Russia as a sign of weakness and create far more problems than it solves”.

“Missed opportunity by President Trump to firmly hold Russia accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections,” he said.

The Republican senator added a suggestion to Mr Trump: review the soccer ball Mr Putin gave to him as a gift for “listening devices” and “never allow it in the White House.”

Thomas Pickering, a regarded statesman and the former US ambassador to Russia, told MSNBC that he was in utter disbelief after the press conference was held on Monday.

“It’s a breathtaking denial of something that clearly is so obviously true,” he said. ”it represents the epitome of President Trump’s effort at self-promotion over the notion of defending the national interest of the United States.”

Mark Warner, a Virginia senator, also suggested Mr Trump committed a clear violation of his responsibilities as president.

Mr Trump committed “a breach of his duty to defend our country against its adversaries,” Mr Warner said. ”If the President cannot defend the United States and its interests in public, how can we trust him to stand up for our country in private?”

Meanwhile the latest Deep State leak, via the NYT, claims that US President Trump was told by Obama holdovers that Putin was involved in cyberattacks during the 2016 election. US intelligence told Trump this information days before the inauguration.

Via The Gateway Pundit

The same liberal hacks who illegally leaked this information want Americans to trust them as they continue to destroy this duly elected president.

President Trump on Wednesday told CBS anchor Jeff Glor that he has no confidence in the tainted intelligence by far left hacks Clapper, Brennan and Comey.

And, once again, the timing of this leak is not an accident.

Liberals are outraged that President Trump refused to chest bump Putin in Helsinki.

The deep state leaked this information to pile on the Republican president.

The New York Times reported…

Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election.

The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the C.I.A. how the Kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation.

Mr. Trump sounded grudgingly convinced, according to several people who attended the intelligence briefing. But ever since, Mr. Trump has tried to cloud the very clear findings that he received on Jan. 6, 2017, which his own intelligence leaders have unanimously endorsed.

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Russia ranks HIGHER than Switzerland in these areas of doing business

Some curious things happened with several businesspeople who attended World Cup events in Russia.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin

One of them was a distinctly renewed interest in doing business inside the country, and another was the realization to what extent perceptions have been tainted by media and political rhetoric directed against any real or imagined nastiness attributed to Russia these days.

These past few weeks have been invaluable, at the very least by affording a clear picture of Russia through which almost all anxiety-ridden preconceptions were illuminated and dispelled. More disturbing was the fact that the several businesspeople I was dealing with were furious. They were livid for being played for fools, and felt victimized by the dismally untrue picture painted about Russia and Russians in their home countries, both by their own politicians and the press.

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Most felt that they have been personally sanctioned by their own countries, betrayed through lack of clear unbiased information enabling them to participate and profit from Russia opportunities these past three growth years in spite of “sanctions”.

The door to doing good business in Russia has been and is open, and has been opening wider year after year. That is not just “highly likely”, but fact. Consistently improving structures, means and methods to conduct business in Russia sustainably, transparently and profitably are now part of the country’s DNA. It is a process, which has been worked on in the west for more than a century, and one, which Russia has only started these past 18 years.

True, there are sanctions, counter-sanctions, and regulations governing them that must be studied carefully. However if you are not a bank or doing business with those persons deemed worthy of being blacklisted by some countries “sanctions list”, in reality there are no obstacles that cannot be positively addressed and legally overcome despite the choir of political nay-sayers.

READ MORE: Russia just dumped $80 BILLION in US debt

The days of quickly turning over Russia opportunities into short-term cash are rapidly fading, they are a throwback to the 1990’s. Today the major and open opportunities are in the areas for Foreign Direct Investments. The nature of FDI is long term to make regularly recurring sustainable returns on investment.

Long term, Russia always was and increasingly confirms that it is a vibrant and attractive market. There is a significant consumer market with spending power, a well-educated workforce, a wealth of resources and the list goes on. The economic obstacles encountered have largely been imposed from without, and not from the dynamics and energies of the Russian economy itself.

Eventually sanctions will end, although the timeline is anyone’s guess. Meanwhile business continues, and any long-term engagement within Russia by establishing a working presence will yield both short and long-term investment rewards. These will only be amplified when the sanctions regimes are removed. In any event, these aspects are long-term investment decisions and one of the criteria in any risk assessment.

For some added perspective, Russia is ranked by the Financial Times as the No.2 country in Europe in terms of capital investments into Europe. It has a 2017 market share of 9% (US$ 15.9 billion) and includes 203 business projects. This is 2% higher than 2016 and better that 2014/2015 when sanctions were imposed.

Another item of perspective is the Country Risk Premium. All investors consider this when calculating the scope for long-term return on investments. What may surprise some is that Russia is no longer ranked as a very high-risk country. For comparisons sake: The risk premium for Germany is zero (no extra risk), the risk premium for Italy is 2.19%, and for Russia, it is 2.54%. When compared to politically popular investment destinations like Ukraine the risk premium is 10.4%  – food for thought. Bottom line is that the risks of investing in Russia are a smidge higher than investing in Italy.

Russia is ranked 35 among 190 economies in the ease of doing business, according to the latest World Bank annual ratings. The ranking of Russia improved to 35 in 2017 from 40 in 2016 and from 124 in 2010. It may also surprise some to learn that as concerns protecting the rights of minority investors, paying taxes, registering property and some other aspects of the World Bank comparisons, Russia comes out better than Switzerland (See: Rankings).

From operational standpoints, establishing an invested presence in Russia does not mean one must adopt Russian managerial methods or practices. The advantages for established foreign companies is that their management culture is readily applied and absorbed by a smart and willing workforce, enabling a seamless integration given the right training and tools.

The trend towards the ultimate globalization of business despite trade wars, tariffs, sanctions and counter-sanctions is clear. The internet of the planet, the blockchain and speed of information exchange makes it so whether we wish it or not. Personally, I hope that political globalization remains stillborn as geopolitics has a historical mandate to tinker with and play havoc with international trade.

Russia occupies a key strategic position between Europe and Asia. The “west” (US/Europe) have long had at times rather turbulent relationships with China. At the same time the Chinese are quite active investors in both the US and Europe, and western companies are often struggling to understand how to deal with China.

The answer to this conundrum is Russia: this is where East and West will ultimately come together with Russia playing a pivotal role in the relations between the west and China. At the end of the day, and taking the strategic long-term economic view, is what both Chinese and Western companies are investing in when they open their activities in Russia.

If long-term commitment and investment in Russia were simply a matter of transferring funds then I would not be bothering with this opinion article. Without a doubt, there are structural issues with investing in Russia. A still evolving and sometimes unclear rule of law, difficulties obtaining finance for investments directed towards Russia, the unique language and culture of business in the country. Nevertheless, companies that have an understanding and vision of global strategy will manage with these issues and have the means to mitigate them.

Money and other invested resources do not and should not play politics; any investment case when evaluated on objective financial criteria will reveal its fit, or lack of, within a company’s global strategic business objectives. The objective criteria for Russia over any long term horizon is both convincing and strong. This has been repeated by all of the businesspeople I have met with these past few weeks. Without doubt we shall see some new companies coming into the Russian market and objectively exploring the gains their playing fair business football here will yield.

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Media meltdown hits stupid levels as Trump and Putin hold first summit (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 58.

Alex Christoforou

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It was, and still remains a media meltdown of epic proportions as that dastardly ‘traitor’ US President Donald Trump decided to meet with that ‘thug’ Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Of course these are the simplistic and moronic epitaphs that are now universally being thrown around on everything from Morning Joe to Fox and Friends.

Mainstream media shills, and even intelligent alternative news political commentators, are all towing the same line, “thug” and “traitor”, while no one has given much thought to the policy and geo-political realities that have brought these two leaders together in Helsinki.

RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou provide some real news analysis of the historic Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki, without the stupid ‘thug’ and ‘traitor’ monikers carelessly being thrown around by the tools that occupy much of the mainstream media. Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

And if you though that one summit between Putin and Trump was more than enough to send the media into code level red meltdown, POTUS Trump is now hinting (maybe trolling) at a second Putin summit.

Via Zerohedge

And cue another ‘meltdown’ in 3…2…1…

While arguments continue over whether the Helsinki Summit was a success (end of Cold War 2.0) or not (most treasonous president ever), President Trump is convinced “The Summit was a great success,” and hints that there will be a second summit soon, where they will address: “stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear proliferation, cyber attacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more.”

However, we suspect what will ‘trigger’ the liberal media to melt down is his use of the Stalin-esque term “enemy of the people” to describe the Fake News Media once again…

 

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