Disclosure: My best friend and ongoing business partner works for Facebook. His past contributions to my career have come from the money he earns from Facebook. He is a quiet, unassuming guy who walks around FB secretly placing origami Pikachus on other employees desks, at night, without identifying himself, that is actually a bad ass who has used his money to facilitate everything I have done, from helping pass new laws in Flint, to funding a homelessness organization in California, to helping me identify and expose to the public – using FB’s marketing system – the existence of a cancer cluster in Moab, Utah.
It’s A Real Clusterzuck, Alright
Last night, I watched the hearings with Mark Zuckerberg with great interest. That session was our first real chance, as a country, to extensively meet and experience Zuck. Flat out, the guy is brilliant, he seems sincere, and he took that questioning like a champ, without flinching, leading to his eventual domination of the hearing, in my opinion.
I have always stated, even before my business partner started at Facebook, that Zuckerberg is the most benevolent of the billionaires. He actually seems to care about trying to do the right thing, unlike the rest of his compatriots, who are more hell-bent on dominating the future, and destroying humanity, with no regard for the effects it’s having on people today.
That being said there was a point Zuckerberg made, for which I have a response. Using Facebook’s ad system, I have targeted this article only at people who work for Facebook, who are within 25 miles of Menlo Park, so I can speak directly to Facebook staff, when I express my opinion.
Those Who’ve Never Learn Are Destined To Repeat.
If one goes to the CIA website, they’ll find an article about the Kennedy assassination conspiracies, and the power of disinformation. The CIA states that all the way back to the 1950’s they’ve had an understanding of the power of a cleverly placed disinformation when coupled with real information.
I can assure you that the entire time that Facebook didn’t take a broad enough stance to the view of its own platform, that everyone from the US government, to the Russian Government – and even myself – have been exploiting the fact that we’ve had an understanding of the history of information warfare, while Facebook did not. In fact, the CIA blames the entire conspiracy theory about the Kennedy Assassination on a disinformation news print article.
It shouldn’t come as a shock that the word disinformation, itself, comes from the Russian word dezinformatsiya and it should have been even less shocking that Vladmir Putin developed an entire team of information warfare experts, used to exploit FB’s systems, along with Google’s products, especially black hat SEO experts, in the latter case.
From the testimony, it’s revealed that Facebook has teams dedicated to fighting Russian propaganda, whom I can only hope are working directly with the CIA, an organization that can easily explain the historical context, and give FB powerful tools to fight the bad guys.
We Don’t Need To See Your Tools, Thank You
Mark Zuckerberg stated, in his testimony, that there is new tool coming out – always about those tools – that is going to allow Facebook users to see if a another user is posting content with opposing political view points, to prevent people from using the site to cause civil unrest, or spread disinformation.
This is not going to work to stop disinformation, because the type of people who fall for misleading content are also not the type of people who are going to take the time to honestly research whether or not what they are reading is true, to begin with.
Adding this feature to Facebook is going to have a negative effect of causing the few people who are left, who have the logical reasoning skills to identify disinformation, to now be steered away, leaving an even more refined group of what I call #FuckingIdiots for the information warfare experts to exploit.
Disinformation has to be stopped at the source, before it’s disseminated . I can liken it to the theory that cancer could eradicate the human species, but in order to eradicate a species you have to “kill it before it breeds,” as a scientist at UCLA stated to me, a few years ago. With disinformation, it’s the same thing. As long as it’s given a chance to “breed” itself, you cannot kill it, leaving the only option, which is eliminating the source.
The only effective defense and against fighting these foreign actors, and disinformation artists, is to preempt their efforts, to stay ahead of them on the tactics they’re using, by hiring people who can simulate Russian, or other types of, attacks, exploits, or hacks to FB’s system, and slowly make modifications to make it much harder to post disinformation.
Or maybe, Zuck could seal off the hole which just allowed me to disseminate my opinion to Facebook’s entire staff, because these types of posts can also be used to spread disinformation and destabilize the cohesiveness of Facebook’s organization, right?
Just a suggestion.
CIA report on disinformation and the Kennedy Assassination Conspiracy Theory: https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/fall_winter_2001/article02.html
Matthew Berdyck is an experimental filmmaker, activist, musician, and US travel expert, most notably known for his national environmental campaigns. His writing pieces on the subject of toxic waste have been read by millions of people in The United States. He is the founder of SuperfundResearch.org, an environmental actvism and EPA watch dog group.