19 Episode results for "Christopher Wiley"

Big Techs Threat to Fashion

The Business of Fashion Podcast

23:45 min | 4 months ago

Big Techs Threat to Fashion

"The culture soul can valley is optimized on consumer choice. It's not about making us better. It's about efficiency. Their prophet comes from getting all of us to do what they want. Facebook says. well we don't actually profit from hates. this is not what we're about. Do you think that this quote unquote tech lash is forming part of a cultural moment or this was just another excuse for big companies to woke wash and make a false stands for something to gain activists support. I think it's really easy to miss. What matters about twenty twenty. The pandemic triggered lots of issues and our ability to respond to. It has been undermined. And the murder of george floyd again with everybody at home in quarantine revealed how the role that facebook in particular clays in amplifying hate particularly white supremacist. Hi this is imron. Ahmed of the business of fashion and welcome to the po. F podcast back at voices twenty twenty. We invited the cambridge analytical whistleblower christopher wiley to have a conversation with roger mcnamee one of the earliest investors in facebook and a mentor to mark sucker to talk about the future of big technology companies. Only last week the social media industry found itself in a hugely controversial moment. donald trump was using various platforms to incite violence. That ultimately resulted in the insurrection at the capitol building in washington. Dc in this conversation. Christopher and roger talk through some of the implications for big tack and how it impacts the fashion industry here's christopher wiley and roger mcnamee voices. Twenty twenty. This year antitrust authorities in europe the us and china have all been paying closer attention to the growing power big technology companies and the impact. They have on our society so much so that there are growing calls for big tech companies to be broken up more than one. Fifth of chinese consumer goods are now bought alibaba which has recently come under scrutiny from the chinese government in the united states. The ceos facebook alphabet amazon and apple were brought in for questioning by the us. Congress and here in europe amazon has come under fire in the preliminary findings of an e. You antitrust probe. I'm now delighted to welcome. Christopher wiley here to the voices studio in london and joining him. In san francisco. Is roger mcnamee an early investor in facebook and mentor. Mark zuckerberg roger and christopher over tebow. Thanks highs so thanks for getting up super early. So i think to start with. We should sort of set the scene in the past. Us presidential election there was calls to break up big tareq you know senator warren bernie sanders. Lots of people. Congress have been super critical but like it wasn't always like that right so flashbacks sort of five years ago and this was the industry. That was sort of the thing that people were celebrating. It was the enlightened industry. It was the thing that was bringing us into the future. And even yourself were once an advisor to facebook in many other sort of big tech companies. So maybe sort of walk us back and start from the beginning. What changed and what's so different now compared to before chris when i first came to silicon valley almost forty years ago. The valley was very much still in that cultural moment at the intersection. The space program in the hippie movement that was introduced a silicon valley by tar. And steve jobs really the iconic figure of that era even more so than bill gates. He was a big believer. That technology empowered the people could use. That was the culture of silicon valley from the fifties all the way till the early two thousands in the early two thousands. Google had a great insight. Which was that. Computers have reached the point now where they could convert human experience in data and if they converted enough human experience to data they predict peoples behavior and sell that first to advertisers. And then later they figured out how we can actually manipulate what people believe. We can manipulate what they do. And so they built this thing which is called surveillance capitalism. And they did it very quietly then. Facebook comes along in applies it to the emotional world of social media and with facebook. Suddenly you were in this situation where people were disclosing their innermost feelings. In the next thing we know. Chris suddenly got a situation where provoking people's emotions becomes the business model and once that happened it was possible for bad actors to use the infrastructure facebook youtube instagram twitter and google to manipulate elections to undermine pandemic responses. And the thing that we've seen over the last few years is cascading series of catastrophes. Going from the online world into the real to the point where in the united states are pandemic response has been a disaster where trump has used social media to make people lose confidence of elections and our entire society is being torn apart parts. So you're an advocate of antitrust. As one of the sort of legal vehicles we could use to fix this issue. Do you want to maybe explain a little bit. Like what actually is antitrust for people who don't know it or heard of it but you don't really live in that world and you know why antitrust and important vehicle to fix some of the problems that we're seeing within big tech so the issue in technology is that these companies have literally been unregulated. But in a sense it's worse than that. Because of the united states we have a law called section two thirty of the communications decency act. He was created nineteen ninety-six to get the industry started but basically has been interpreted but courts is blanket protection against liability for anything that goes wrong on an internet platform like facebook or google will. The problem with that is failures got larger suddenly. Were faced with three ish first. These products were actually not safe. Secondly they invade your privacy in take away your right to self determination. But thirdly and this is what antitrust is about these companies are now monopolies and so they basically caused a halt in innovation. The tech space outside their world and so a lot of really cool ideas are not coming to market. Because these guys prevented from doing so so the notion here is that we need to have three kinds of regulation. We need to require liability this companies for the harms. They do we need to guarantee humans the right to control their own data and lastly we need to do something about how big and powerful these companies are in the right way of doing that is controlling their business model and then ultimately breaking up into smaller pieces so last last summer we saw i think a pretty interesting moment at least within this sort entire dialogue by big attack and what to do about it the stop for profit campaign which you were involved with along with many other ngos and civil rights organizations you know calling for large companies and small companies alike to pull back their advertising from facebook to make a point that facebook profit from from hate facebook comes back and says well we don't actually you know profit from hates. This is not what we're about and this is not the right way to go so on one hand do you think that this quote unquote tech lash is forming part of a cultural moment. Or do you think that this was just another excuse for big companies to woke wash and sort of make a all stands for something to gain the to gain activists support so. I think it's really easy to miss. What matters about twenty twenty but in the united states we've had a series of things going not so the pandemic triggered economic correction a- collapse if you will huge unemployment lots of issues and our ability to respond to. It has been undermined by disinformation spread over internet platforms. And because everybody was at home they could see the disinformation spreading so suddenly responsibility that facebook and instagram and twitter and google and youtube have is obvious everybody. But then george floyd was killed and the murder of george floyd again with everybody at home in quarantine watching revealed how the role that facebook in particular cleese in amplifying hate and particularly white supremacist hate and the role that they were playing in organizing and recruiting people into white supremacist organizations and into things like human and all this took place in plain sight so the original idea for stop hate for profit began with the actor. Sasha baron cohen but what gave it legitimacy would cost it to really come together with the murder of george floyd which is when color of change rashad robinson will be speaking few moments The end of lacy t the anti-defamation -ly commonsense media and free press came together civil rights organizations to call tension the fact that. Wait a minute. All of this hate doesn't happen in a vacuum. Advertisers are painful and by calling attention to the connection between the commercial and the problem that really caused pivot in public perception. What was going on. And they've been a whole series of things going on since then but the pressure has mounted dramatically and facebook can say whatever it wants. The simple fact is it. Amplifies hate speech. Disinformation conspiracy theories for profit. Those are the lubricants of its business. And you know that. It's a problem because they refused to change the business model to end that amplification so so there was a big focus on facebook. But i think amazon's another large company in the in the mix here and we've got an audience watching who of people predominantly who work in fashion or the creative spaces and something that they might not. Nobody is actively recruiting people from the fashion industry. They've filed patents for clothing manufacturer. They've they've released all kinds of research in computer vision for fashion trend forecasting when you look at the business model of amazon it uses data consumer data to anticipate trends predict trends and then create product offerings for people. And when you look at the the legacy of fashion so much of it is this trend driven industry. Do you think thank jeff. Bezos is going to replace the winters of the world as you know the next sort of ultimate forecaster in fashion. And what does that mean. If you are a fashion company watching what should we be thinking about when it comes to amazon. So the key thing to understand. Is chris the way described. How begin but what happened is they accumulated more date. As their platform became more important in our lives. Companies like amazon developed the power not just to predict our behavior but actually to drive it so the way to think about it is when you're in shopping amazon controls the menus so when you do a search it's their search engine they give you. The list of choices will in doing so. They can drive choices so they go way past transit to something much scarier which is picking the winner and the reason this matters is the culture. Silicon valley is an optimized on consumer choice. It's not about making us better. It's about efficiency. Their prophet comes from getting all of us to do what they want which is to say the same thing in their world. Everybody wears the same clothes in their world. Everybody believes the same things. 'cause that's more efficient. And here's the thing. The fashion industry has a super now. You're actually connected to coach. The people in the world actually want to find their own identity. They actually want to be part of a Of cultural moments and the critical element here is. You can't sit back and just allow this to happen. You have to recognize as an industry that these guys are changing roles and you can fight back. So what the state going. Oh so so. If if you've got lots of people watching in companies what would you actually recommend the. There's there's a lot of scary things that could potentially happen with big tak not just in terms of our society but also you know somebody who works in the industry the disruption that we've seen in the past with you know publishing or music or whatever is is coming for us and you know if you had anything to say to the leaders of the fashion industry. What would it be in terms of our response to this. The most important thing is do not assume anything as so the the powerful thing in this moment is the politics or against these guys and the only thing that saves them is the inertia advertising industry that doesn't recognize that these guys are going to end the advertising industry right. they're going to pick the winners and the fashion industry the next tier of response. You have the ability to influence culture. You don't just follow trans people in your industry also start tricks. And the core point here is you need to think about the industry. Different needs and distribution differently. You need to think about communications different. You cannot constantly concede to internet companies the primary access to your audience. Every industry needs to find alternative ways of reaching the people in its. You need to stop adopting each new platform. Assuming that somehow instagram will save you from facebook to talk will see from instinct until as an industry you guys start to create your own ways of communicating. I think you're going to have a problem but the really good news is you have something these companies don't have you have a heart you have culture people want to hear what you think. So your ability to create alternative ways to communicate is completely there. But here's what's really good about. You don't have to do all this work. you're so you're in. The same boat is every other industry in your car and so as a consequence so about the light here. It's very early morning. Because i'm just so the every other industries their governments want to make change. Give them the political power support. Change do not support the industry by blindly following every little thing. It does it if you do that. Then you're no longer setting trans. You're following us so really quickly because we're running out of time. Do you think that in terms of the sort of cross industry. Collaboration really tangibly. And we've got just just over a minute left. What could that look like and shoot some ideas for the people watching creating new technologies daddy's enters a million people in venture communal created for. If you come in to say listen we would like to start to create an infrastructure that allows us to do fashion shows online. That allows us to do all. These things creates assets that people could share in other places. But that you guys control and to give you the primary voice where they need to come to you so you sit there and you. You've got to help. The guys publish vote to go beyond just magazines to actually recognize that their moment is about having online fashion shows about having online experiences that allow people to believe into recognize their individual humanity through fashion and again this is the world you need to figure out. I'm happy to help with it. The technology is very inexpensive. But you're gonna have to give up a year to a prophet in order to make the investment that keeps you in business ten years great. Well thanks were just running out of time for this section but interesting ideas in terms of cross industry collaboration and exploring sort of something. That people often don't really think about that. A lot of these big tech companies or things like antitrust really do actually impact the creative sector just as much as they impact all these other industries. That we've seen being disrupted so i think we're now going to sort of pass it over to imran and we have a couple more questions i think from the audience so over to you. Thank you christopher. Thank you roger. That was that was fascinating. We've actually had some questions. Come through from all around the world one question. I wanted to post a both of us. If this antitrust movement continues how would it impact the average consumer who uses these tools. Maybe christopher do you have a point of view on that i in terms of well. I think that one of the problems with the conversation that we so often have about technology is it often is very individualized. What can i do about problematic technology. What can i do to protect my privacy. Or you know. Combat disinformation and ultimately. I think you know these are architectures that are designed by engineers by these large companies that have the power to change it. And i think when we're looking at you know. Solutions like antitrust or more regulation. It really pushes back the responsibility onto companies rather than individuals because the solutions lie within within these large firms. So that people don't have to think about these things in the future when you step onto an airplane when you take a drug from your doctor when you go and buy food from store you don't have to think about safety. You don't have to think about a lot of these things because there's rules in place to protect you. And i think a lot of what you know these sort of this tech conversations all about is really protecting people at the end of the day. Elsa in london has an additional question about disinformation and she said who defines. What disinformation is there. A risk that freedom of speech rather will be or tailed under the guise of disinformation roger. Why don't i throw that one to you so really great question. So the core thing to understand. Is that no one in. The reform movement wants to stamp on speech. What we're trying to do is to end the amplification for profit of hate speech. Disinformation conspiracy theories so important distinction. The algorithms of these platforms are trying to provoke emotional response in people in the best way to do that is to either piss them off or scare them and so in doing that. They're amplifying the content that is most emotionally engaging and that's where the harm comes from so we're not trying to do anything to limit speech or just trying to limit the amplification of harmful concert speech. Christopher anything to add. Yeah i think you know when we talk about free speech. There's a difference between your right to say something and you're right to be artificially amplified to be given a megaphone right. You know there's nothing there's no one is saying. You shouldn't be allowed to think or believe whatever weird conspiracies you want the differences that these platforms are not so when you go onto facebook there. Are you know many many pieces of technology interacting with each other to decide you know what you see at the top versus the bottom of your news feed and what that means is that there are certain kinds of speech. That is problematic is artificially amplified and you know. I think it was sasha baron cohen. That said that if you were a restaurant owner and you had you know. Nazis goosestep into your restaurant you know what would a responsible owners say note. Free speech got a lot of men. We've got a lot of michelle at our customers or would they say you know what you can. You can believe what you want. But not my establishment and that's an infringement on speech that's that's that is a rational response to to hate and disinformation one final question which is come from catherine in the uk new so many fashion businesses have become very reliant on these platforms to reach customers. You know what would you recommend to them if they don't want support these kinds of technology platforms roger. How about you going. I oh the most important things to do. There's two parts of the one. Lend your voice to the politics of regulating these companies. Because to chris's point there's nothing wrong with the underlying technology. The issue here is the business model so we want to force changes there and then the second thing is these guys have inserted themselves between companies and their custom. I do everything in your power to maintain a direct relationship with the people who are interested in your products. Give them assets that they can share. Give them things to give you control of that customer experience and the at the moment they're not that expensive experimental work. Because you're not these guys aren't going to kill you tomorrow but they are gonna kill you over five years so you do need to start investing in this right now. But i'm really optimistic that the fashion industry is actually to be one of the leaders forgetting side of this. Because you're not going to be allowed. Every other industry wants to help the difference is you're actually in the culture business so you have much more influence and if you use your voice constructively it's gonna make a huge. Can't we have to leave it there. Thank you roger. Mcnamee in san francisco christopher wiley appear in the voices studio. If you've enjoyed this episode don't forget to subscribe give us a rating and you might be interested in joining the business of fashion's global membership community professional are members receive exclusive deep dive analysis. Regular email briefings as well as unlimited access to our archive of over ten thousand articles. Our new iphone app and all of the online courses and learning materials from be off education.

facebook george floyd roger mcnamee christopher wiley amazon united states imron mark sucker chinese government Christopher wiley Mark zuckerberg roger senator warren bernie sanders google sasha baron cohen rashad robinson ly commonsense media and free Congress roger europe christopher
Christopher Wylie and Arti Zeighami on Harnessing AI for Sustainability | BoF VOICES

The Business of Fashion Podcast

17:34 min | 2 years ago

Christopher Wylie and Arti Zeighami on Harnessing AI for Sustainability | BoF VOICES

"Uh-huh. Hi, this is Ahmed founder and CEO of the business of fashion and welcome to the podcast a few years ago. I had the opportunity to visit some fast fashion factories. I saw the same garments over and over and over again being produced in thousands and thousands of units. It was only by visiting the factories in person that I really got a sense of the volume of what our industry produces. And then to see those same products on the shop floor only a few weeks later made me realize that pace at which this is all happening fast fashion retailers like h and m Zara have come under fire for this business model that depends on over consumption and short product lifecycles with much of the waste ending up in landfill. But consumer wastes only part of this problem last year consumers reacted in horror when Burberry revealed that it had burned more than thirty five million dollars of unsold product in two thousand seventeen this is a widespread practice not just for love. Zhu brands looking to protect their premium positioning, but also for mainstream fashion brands that are simply not able to sell all of the clothes, they produce. And the only way to get rid of him is to destroy them. Untold millions and millions of garments destroyed each year. How can we solve this part of fashion sustainability problem at voices two thousand eighteen we talked a lot about how out official intelligence has been used to influence elections and impact geopolitics and how it has powering the space of social robotics. But what could I do to help match the fashion products, we produce with consumer demand. So that there is less waste, right. From the very beginning of the value chain. This was a question I posed to Christopher Wiley during one of our brainstorming sessions. And of course, Christopher was already two steps ahead of me. He introduced me to some people at H M working on this very problem, something, we might call predictive merchandising as the second largest fashion. Retailer in the world with more than forty seven hundred stores in more than sixty nine markets h has a big opportunity to lead the industry in this emerging field. So we spoke to art these gummy a senior executive and business leader at h and m group heading the advanced analytics and AI function, which uses billions of data points to produce more smartly across the entire value chain, I sat down with Artie and Christopher Wiley. I've voices two thousand eighteen to learn how AI can address fashion sustainability crisis. If you were a fashion industry executive say, the CO burglary or the CO another brand out there that's in the past. And I should mention by the way, the Burberry has announced that it will no longer destroy product. But if you're if you're faced with the challenge of having all this unsold merchants using your. I machine learning data research thingy. Multifaceted. Crazy smart skill set. What would you do? So every piece of unsold clothing. I think is actually just a failure of matching supply and demand is actually pretty much that simple. It's just you've you've overproduced or you haven't distributed appropriately. So it might have been the, you know, had that, you know, unit gone another shop or another country, you might have been able to sell it. And so I think understanding that. Because a lot of a lot of fashion companies. They look at the supply chain and look at the mechanics of it from sort of production distribution, but actually understanding that the supply chain starts and ends with your consumer. And so understanding consumers will help you optimize your supply chain because you'll better understand what it is that they want to buy and not wanna buy. So if I were Burberry or any company investing in a I will allow you to not only better match your units of clothing to your customers and therefore make more money, but you'll be able to make more money with less units of clothing, less waste. And so it's one of the few examples, I think in in any industry where there is both an argument in in profit and profitability to invest in. And also an argument in sustainability to invest in where. Being more sustainable actually, make more money. Right. So if I were Burberry or any company investing in I is something that might be wise. Okay. Artie you've been working on this for some time. Now, this where did you guys start h and how how did it all unfold that this became an initiative, which I understand is gaining quite a lot of importance given your new star higher -solutely. I'm happy the told about it here this this menu. This is started maybe to just live born two years ago. And it is exactly from that stuff. Chris saying that we saw that. We can we have so much data. We can help us to optimize the whole valley chain. It's not only, but a lot of people think, but I think about the personalization the customer facing part. But there's so much to do into understand also supply that can be better optimized that everything from how you. Transport of forecasting threatens to how you quantify how many pieces they're gonna buy. How you district those garments to the right country right store right place, the right time, and then comes the part of the communication the customer facing impersonal as ation personal promotion, whatever it might be an awesome setting prices. And this is where we, you know, spending our investment on to capture every bits and pieces of the value chain and accept lesku said utilize data on the customers. Very it doesn't have to be on the personal level aggregate level you understand and you can top it off on the transactional data that we have we have over nine hundred transaction yearly we have billions of people visiting our website where millions of people in our club date that gives a lot of data as one colleague on my told me he said that it's our customers talking to us. Right. So if he put that data on top of what we have that we can be more precise and be more stop. You know, usually talk about stop guessing what you can calculate right? That helps you be more precise or sharpen his so make sure you do not overproduce a making sure your send the right Conrad place. We can actually both be more sharp in this again, making sure that we make right from from a business perspective. But they're also very in a more sustainable, how we impact the environment is not only but the garment itself, but also transporting storage so much co two impact that we can actually remove by being that. And we see in some of tests that we can actually a lot and then think of doing in every market, and I think the whole industry than that. What impact amazing? So just so we can understand it better. Can you give us a specific example of where you know? Along that huge value chain supply chain, give us a real life example of how you put this into practice. We are doing things in. I mean, we're doing for two years where we are testing with piloting where actually rolling things out globally in different markets, and where big company or almost seventy markets, and there's a there's a basic global park. But then you have the local part of the personalized part. So you need to do things in different stacks at the same time. Because there's also word of this writing everything's go. So fascinated to make sure you're on top of things we're testing different things in different areas. We're running whole maybe scaling whole concepts by optimizing how we allocate those concepts every good thing, of example, of that is stored visited when you were gone as story in in a shopping mall. This is a typical shopping mall of maybe size ABC w used to have before. Because as a human you make template to make things much easier to see and that's. That typical store or shopping mall would have put a kind of specific store. Very. Standard neighborhood store, and it was doing good. But not as good as you could. Adding data looking at the actual customers of buying. What are the by? What are concept you start defined old way of thinking at that store should have this because it's that size. No, that's only have these stuff these concepts when allocate those garments, and that's Pacific store. Not moving anywhere. Not just about the size of the store. It's the neighborhood the stores, and the people that tend to frequent that store Saks earned just because the store. I mean, the the cool thing about this store is that when I when I went in it it actually looks quite different than a lot of H M stores because there's half of the product. They're it's it's it's actually looking at can you sell more stuff with less, right? And which is counter intuitive way because sometimes you walk into a store, and it's just like avalanche stuff. And quite interesting you walk in and there's all kinds of. Little devices that give feedback both to use the customer, but also then to to the shop looking at where people go where should the the clothing be like even asking people in the changing rooms are you currently satisfied right now. And why like? And the thing that's quite cool about that. Is that? It it extends. There's there's mental aspects of these technologies that you can apply not just in Asia, but you comply. There's what is eight nine nine brands now eight which agent grew Ed so you can apply. It doesn't matter if you are costs, or if you are are or whatever these are things that you can you can apply across the across the group to make the experience better for people. You know, those can nets. It makes me think though, our dear Albear was talking to us about the importance of intuition instinct, the right brain side of our industry. So how do you how do you guys see the kind of power of the left brain data analytics all of that like predictive scuff with the like, creativity and intuition and that kind of? Just knowing that the right thing is being head to actually internalisation whatever talk with artificial intelligence we refer to air as amplified intelligence because we're we're doing provide in tools and data to make sharper decisionmaking vision. Still is on the human. We know the business with them fashion for plus seventy years, but the world is changing, it's more complex. So we need to provide data. I mean, we've seen the project where in helping design trend forecasting is not because the fact that designer could not forecast trend it because the designer now had a tool to be able to talk to the controller Saint listen, my gut feeling says this part is going down another day same thing. So now, I can make sure that I'm amplifying my competence major. I can talk to the business guide as you should not buy the product because I can see this at my gut feeling is empowered by the data before you always look BI as tools. Descriptive. What has happened? This is predictive helping you to decide better forward if that is statistic this probability, so by helping probably you can be Mashad. And this this go ahead, and and so one of the I love fashion because it's so creative and interesting and find and. One of the things that I say is I interact with a lot of designers and often they kind of go like data. I'm not a math person or or every time I talked to somebody who's done research. They always tell me I can't do something like that will sell that one. And one of the things I say is actually good use of Dato will help amplify your creativity. Because if you have an idea if you like this there, surely other people like you that will like this thing and previously. You know, a lot of things would be turned down because there wouldn't necessarily be enough understanding or route two to two markets take this kind of weird and wonderful thing and find where that market is. Because it might be that that market is actually distributed in a narrow segment, that's pan geographic. And but now, we can say, okay. This is cool niche thing actually will be able to potentially find market for it. There's this place right here that might buy that thing or there might be a little bit of customers all over. The place. So we might be able to we might not put it in a shop online. But there might be a market for that. And so the cool thing about better understanding of the market is that actually I really genuinely think that. Is one of the solutions to d- homogenising, the market and actually enhancing the diversity of the market in terms of design and enhancing people's because you you could have more variety, you can have more variety and and sell that variety because you'll be able to understand where should that variety? Go right. And how to reach out the people who might like that variety. Look they're coming. It's so interesting so passionate about this. We have that's why you're here. In our projects that were running across every part of the transition. The one of the leading the project or the business is designer is the buyers sales guy is the merchandiser Dr driving the project. I'm enabling them the data Olympics my beautiful brains. I have in my teams are craving all this quake cool our goals, but they're running the business drawing the projects, so there's a huge pool from the organization because they feel that were amplifying them. I'm not taking over it is, you know, dates it's art and science. It's human and machine is gut feeling and data together. You know, what I love about this? I love that this like a positive technology story from today. We've had cool data. Amazing things that you can do data have to be evil. Right. So. Both of you thirty seconds each. Fast forward five years. What do you think you you've been here today? You've heard about the challenges of climate change and greenhouse gases and overproduction like waste and plastic. And all the problems we have in the world with regard swear environment. What do you think is the real potential impact of this technology, Chris so all of the critiques of fashion you look at this? It's not sustainability as we heard earlier labor, labor rights violations and monitoring factories, creating a smart supply chain from beginning to end will enable the fashion sector to reduce the amount that they produce and reduce the waste that they produce. Maintain profitability, but also distress and give breathing space that supply chain, and that allows you not only to reduce your your carbon emissions, but also in in monitoring factories and being able to create less demand on those factories. You could also improve labor standards and like pain profitability. This is this is the amazing thing you can have your cake, and you can eat it. Right. And like Alber said Alvarez, the like eight collection sixteen questions feels like sometimes the way that we've been trying to solve the problems and industry by producing more stuff and hoping someone's going to buy it, you know, and I think ages less will get you more exactly for a system ability is core thing as part of our goal to part of a mind, everything we do even the part of the what we talked about the very close to our head of system ability on the very much everything bits talk about everything. Everything we do has assistant of. Perspective to it. There's also part of sustainability is not only by the government is also the human ethics. So we're actually taking the leadership to put ethics may I in the forefront. We're not having solved that problem air. We need to make sure that we understand because there's a lot of bias in the data. There's a lot thing you can do the wrong way today that realized I I think we're one of the few companies that have had a policy that she Li approach is working with this daily basis to make sure that can we do right things. We utilize a right way. We choose our customer of a transplant customer. That's important GDP is just like hygiene factor to notch much higher. And then you actually have a different spin on the twenty comes to fashion industry. I really look forward to seeing how they selves congratulations on your new poll and arty thank you for coming down from Sweden for this. Please help me and thanking Christopher and. Thank you.

Christopher Wiley founder and CEO Burberry H M Artie Burberry Chris Ahmed official Pacific store Mashad ABC burglary executive Sweden lesku Asia Conrad
Part Two: Minds and Machines / Christopher Wylie

Deepak Chopra’s Infinite Potential

45:09 min | 2 years ago

Part Two: Minds and Machines / Christopher Wylie

"Welcome to part two over two part series focusing on artificial intelligence. We humans have free will are are. We like machines program. Mickan psychologist b of Skinner studied how we learn to be from our environment in Skinner's view. We can be trained by participating in dynamic systems that create and feed desire. The system offers something sees how respond then gives us more awarded seems be want feedback loop of response and reward response and. This bonds. And do. And it's surprise that Silicon Valley loves BF skin. Much of the technology. We used to the reflects his thinking with the purpose of securing our engagement, what makes us comeback for Moore. What gets the most likes? What do we respond to fastest? What drives you to hit thumbs up? And so we click we click away our data our time our sanity, and my gut tells me this is not going to go away anytime soon. In fact, as my guest today revealed becoming an inextricable part of this dynamic system, biological machines plugged into platforms, go rhythms. Feed us what we want measure responses and bring us further into their world. If you have enough data on people, you can create a version of reality. And a version of you version of me because information has power narratives have power technology has power AI has power systems have powered you are in a system. And so we should be talking about that system. And this is infinite potential, maybe explore what makes us conscious beings and white matters that we are. At the ripe age of twenty four after career that already spend fashion, cyber intelligence and politics. Christopher Wiley started a job that would take him headlong into one of the biggest political scandals of our time. CEO Mark Zuckerberg admits that data mining firm linked to the Trump presidential campaign access the data of more than fifty million faced on came which of tried to place the blame on him for violating the social media platforms. Terms of service. Chris started working at what became Cambridge analytical. In fact, he helped build the technology. You might recall. This was the data firm that Steve Bannon hired to help influence the two thousand sixteen Trump campaign. The political consulting firm brought down by a scandal over how it got private data to make sure that there aren't any other. Cambridge Analytica is out. There has the reality of his clients intent became clear, Chris blew the whistle. Which catalyze the beginning of the end of the company he helped build and along with it helped open the whole world's is to the effects of cyber manipulation. If you can capture every channel of information around a person, and then injects content around them, you can change their perception of what's actually happening. Today. Chris who was one of times most influential people in the world, advises governments and intelligence organizations speaks at Ted conferences and investigates, the information wars, Chris and I met in LA recently. He has green hair nose piercings and singular message. If you want to change the destructive part, we are on we need to take control of our technology before it controls us. Take a person and they're walking down the street, and you go up and ask them, are you happy usually people will say, yes. And then rewind and then you go to that same person. And you you say have you gained weight this year? Did you have an argument recently? Do you like does your boss annoy, you do your kids? Don't listen to you. I mean, go are you happy as I don't know my life could be better. Right. And it depends on how you experience the world that sort of activates one thing or another and one of the things I learned is that there is evil in a lot of people that don't seem to be that bad when Hugh talk to them, and if they are put into the right environment. They can go down a path where they start thinking in some pretty insidious ways. What is that environment? And are we in it right now? Rewind the clock back to two thousand eight Chris's understanding of how data and politics began. It was the beginning of the end of the age of innocence for Chris. And in the way for all of us when it comes to how we look at data and the people who aren't as it. I let Christel story and then in the second half rediscussed the future, we begin in Chris's home country. When I worked in the liberal party in Canada, the Obama campaign started happening, and I got sent down to go and learn about what was happening in American politics two from from Ottawa down to the United States. I got introduced to all these people in the on the campaign, and they kind of shoot me over to like all these data people. Oh, they put me with all the nerds at rolling my eyes. Like, no, I wanna see like all the cool stuff. But actually, I was seeing all the cool stuff. I was seeing like the the the spine and the brain of of this campaign, and, you know, people often focused on sort of, you know, his amazing species are delivery or the branding of that. But that was sort of that was all the sort of the makeup on on the campaign. And so I was looking at is like the essence of that campaign, the organs the things that made it what it was that you could then dress all that cool stuff on. So I go I go back to Canada. And the the first thing that they say is what have you learned about like the Obama campaign? Tell us we want. To hear everything I go. Okay. And start talking about algorithms and just they like the kinda go what algorithms what are you talking about? It sounds like SCI fi. Like, you know, tell us about like the YouTube videos, what they bomb campaign was like, no, no, no. It was like literally they're building. A that's what they're doing. The reaction of the party was just like the sounds insane. I said look actually, the Obama campaign wasn't is not about just writing a great speech. It was about understanding what different kinds of people were experiencing, and then trying to engage them in a way that was specific to them. It's about lots of little interactions that are personal, and you know, sort of injuring over time where you develop relationships with lots of people on their terms, not your terms, and you do that through data and data allows you to create empathy for your campaign in in a scalable way. And for me that was like completely. Totally changed. How I saw politics to take you up on that. Eventually we were able to import some of the technologies that the campaign was using and build a voter foul, which is the sort of a national database that you can then use of analysis in and then target different voters, but being a teenager and growing through all of that I sort of said to myself, I kind of need to like go and become my own age again. But like working in politics is sort of like working in the mafia like you can try to leave, but they won't say let you and so I thought I should go to the UK because it was sort of an ocean away, and they wouldn't be able to sort of get me there. So you get interested in fashion. Yeah. Fashion to me is the same thing as politics in the sense that it's about densities, what is your role in society? And how you want to present yourself and it's cyclical fast moving and saw about trends. And from a modeling perspective is really interesting, but at the. Same time. I got introduced to a firm called SEO group. An SE L group was British military contractor and they worked in information operations for the British military and for the American military. And so as I was starting this PHD in fashion. I also started working at a military contractor that was doing counter, extremism, work and information operations for military clients on one hand, I'm sitting in fashion school looking at how to construct a fashion trends in a computer. And then I go into an office, and I'm looking at how to construct what in my head is also a fashion trend is just the fashion is an ideology what I was looking at in fashion was helping me understand extremism and vice versa. If you ask yourself like if Donald Trump was an article of clothing, what would he be and? For me. Like, Donald Trump is crocs shoes with holes in them. And it is actually like a really useful way of understanding Don Trump because so these are like objectively ugly shoes. But don't think she direct. But you know, and I'm sure if you ask a crock it might think it's attractive to. And if you if you tried to wear a crock, you know, whatever twenty years ago, people would be like, what did you put on your shoe? And what were you smoking? When you did that. And enough particular or peculiar people started wearing this objects and adorning their body with this object is ugly objects that you hit a tipping point. And people started adopting this shoe. And then after the this sort of trend concludes people look back on photos of them wearing this thing. Go what what the hell was. I think hang. So what were we thinking? How did we get here? And now did Chris end up in the room where it all happened. So it started in this in this company SEO, which is this British military contractor and DARPA, which is the US military's research agency was funding a lot of research in CIO, the proliferation of ideas online profiling, and when you look at the US military, it sucks at doing anything on the internet. Because if you think about it if you are a programmer, if your data scientists for an engineer, you go work at Facebook or Google or or what have you because the problem with the army is that it wouldn't hire. Somebody who looks like me, you know, with, you know, pink hair, blue hair and like nose ring, and you know, tells off people when they piss off right? The American military has lots of tanks, but it doesn't have a lot of good programmers. So the firm SEO was quite a tuned to what one of their largest clients was looking at which is how to. Engage with the internet and how to handle. Dental guard DARPA and the US military more more, generally. So what I first started working on why doing research on how to take some of the early research, for example, profiling which is where you take data from somebody's social media profile, and then create a sort of psychological profile from that looking at the relationships between, you know, the browsing history that they have or the liking patterns that they have on Facebook or the language the us in the semantics the us on on Twitter's. Predict personality traits from that behavior. And can you can you can predict it, really? Well, that's why Google and Facebook and all these companies make tons of money because that data allows you to predict a lot. And if if you think about it like your your phone knows you better than anybody else who Google knows better than anybody else. And so all of these sort of discrete patterns that you leave in in this, whether it would call data exhaust sort of all the sort of detritus of data that comes off of you as you as you go through the internet gives clues those clues can help us understand who you are. And how you're likely to behave and profiling allows you to better understand who it is that you actually need to go to in order to inject a piece of information or a narrative into this network. So if you want to change anything, change culture. Data information and stories we have always been a collection of stories, but we are now giving others away to take us story and turn it into their story for beta of a worse. And that's where things began to change for Chris. Back in two thousand thirteen Steve Bannon was looking for ways of fighting a culture war, not word culture war is really important, and he will use it pointedly because if you think about what is a war, and what you do with war. It's combat and in order to fight a war. You need an arsenal of weaponry. And what are the weapons for culture? It's information is narratives, and when you think about for example, creating a bomb or missile or even a gun it needs some kind of targeting system. So in a culture war. Your payload is a narrative, and you're targeting system becomes data and algorithms. In order to fire culture where he needed to literally treat it like a war. And so he needed weapons and so therefore he needed a supplier of weapons and SEAL appealed because that's a seal did. And that's when I mean Steve Steve from America. And he starts asking about how could we change culture? And one of the things that I talked to him about is like, well, you have to I understand what is culture define it. And if you're a fashion company, and you want, you know, you want to sell this particular design, and you want it to be on trend. It's it's what you are asking for is a movement of a curve and was banned was actually wanting to do hit a tipping point. And if we move these people this way, or that way, we are changing the distribution of people whether the physicians make. Diagnosis and prognosis. Yeah. All distribution. Everything is a distribution and essentially Steve Bannon, he goes back to Robert Mercer who is an outright billionaire, and it was this perfect. Storm of somebody who was militant enough to want to think about an election as battle as a war to think about changing America in terms of combat and somebody who was brilliant enough to understand intimately how I works and who had the money to funday, and so they went and they bought the company. So all of a sudden all of the people who were there when we were looking at research on how to defend Britain defend America, the tools in the weapons, and the things that we were looking at in order to defend the people was now acquired by people who wanted to invert that on those same people and treats an American voter in the same way that we would treat a radical Islamist terrorist. And when you think about what is the outright, the alt-right is an insurgency, and it was an insurgency that was catalyzed by targeted disinformation. Like a puppet on a string making us dance. Or in this case making us and. And. But how did they know the Stater that? They could collect would actually enable them to predict and control behavior. According to Chris, they just spun a new reality. So there's this idea of what's called the artificial society, which is an insult longstanding sort of theory in sociology, but also kind of in computer science, also, which is that if you have enough data on people, you can create a version of reality. And a version of you wanna version of me in a version of this space this conversation in a computer in silicon and that if you have enough information about the dynamics of those relationships, and those those those agents, you know, in in that system, you can then spin out a million different scenarios and look at like, what are the potentialities of like the future and predict the future, and then you can play with what happens because their traits atchoo, the behave what they consume is all programmed in there if you can recreate America in in a computer, you could play with real life. Chris was smart enough to know not only how this game was being designed. But also how it could turn out when we come back Chris blows the whistle on Cambridge Analytica and on version of the future. We may all be heading toward. If today's conversation hasn't yet made you skeptical of big, data and information collection. And you're also a growing business the new might consider one of today's sponsors net. Suite by oracle is a business management software that handles every aspect of your business in an easy to use cloud platform. They manage sales, finance and accounting hoarders, in HR instantly. Right from your desktop of phone as I have washed, many businesses grew having proper software management can mean a great deal for a success. And right now nets wheat is offering you valuable insights with a free guide, seven key strategies to grow your profits. At nets, wait dot com slash potential. That's net sweet dot com slash potential. To download your free guide, seven key strategies to grow your profits. Nets. We dot com slash potential as my guest today will continue to show us, data and information is influential. So make sure to treat it wisely. Chris Wiley was now working for Cambridge Analytica and using tools hit once helped build to fight extremism to create extremism. So I set up the original research teams that then moved over into this company after Steve Bannon than got put in as the new head honcho. And I I thought it was quite cool. Actually, it's like, okay. Like, this might be a really enticing thing. But Wednesday's hook over dots. When things started getting slightly warped in the sense that he was interested in subject matter that had no sort of real ethical application, or at least in my view didn't have any ethical applications. And for me, the where it became really alarming was when the algorithms that we were originally looking at in the sort of defensive capacity were re purposed to identify American voters who were more prone. To conspiratorial or paranoid thinking, and those people would be targeted with specific narratives that the research showed. They were most prone to adopting if you if you sort of expose them to it. So they realize that if you could I get these people to join a group page that first of all when they log into these sites, the sites themselves would would start doing your work for you. And that it was start changing an introducing them to other things that are similar to that. But then Secondly, it would allow you to develop a relationship with those people in the sense that you could then go and say Hello, all the sudden, they think I'm meeting people all the people might community think like me, and they just not allowed to say it because look everyone here is literally same thing. And why is it that I never see this on CNN? I never hear about this on ABC. NBC is because they're trying to hide us there the fake news. Right. And that all of a sudden what started as this online fantasy for them becomes in the temporal space a reality of their reality. And it was these encounters overtime where they slowly grew. And once they reach a certain mass. They started self organizing, and then it just had a life of its own. When you log into Facebook or you go on Twitter, whatever. Feels quite innocuous in that sense. You just like going on you see some friends posting and whatever somebody posts something weird random and whatever right? It doesn't feel like this some kind of large cities plan behind it. But social media and the internet more broadly is a battle field. Now, it is a new kind of battlefield right in a military doctrine, you've got something to five dimensional battlespace. You've got land air sea space outer space and then information with an information you've got people's minds the cognitive battle being waged. And you have cyber social media is becoming a battlespace, and we aren't really treating it with the gravity that. I think it deserves. If Russia took a bomber and fluid over Florida and then dumped twins of propaganda leaflets on election day. People would be absolutely outraged. Now, it'd be an attack. That is literally was happening every single day on Facebook on Twitter, and we think that it's bad now. But every other country has looked at what Russia was able to do or what a company like Cambridge Analytica was able to do, and they are now investing resources, and we're going to see I think a scaling of of disembarkation not just from Russia, but from all kinds of different players. Chris had traveled deep into the wormhole of data dense journey one that started with the Obama campaign and landed in Trump's election, this company that took fake news to the next level by pairing it with algorithms. This was a major three this data was used to explore mental vulnerabilities of people he succeeded in stopping Cambridge Analytica and help start a conversation about the news and information that was slowly according to patents. Was it did by BF skin. A- changing us. So what does that tell us about our minds and about where AI is taking us. I wanna ask you with these artificial intelligence systems will be truly conscious of just feedback. Loops of information that evolve as information without actually having the subjective. Experience of what we call consciousness like falling in love getting frustrated having the fear of debt or anything that makes us human does. Artificial intelligence ever have the possibility of creating consciousness, I think absolutely that we will. And I would not be surprised if we unpacked the problem of consciousness, but here's the question that I would then have is like is consciousness a fundamental property of the universe. I think it is. And I think it is. Too good. And if it is a fundamental property of the universe. Then surely it can emerge beyond simply a human brain. I think is arrogance to think that only humans could ever be conscious or self aware. And I think it's really helpful to sort of just think a little bit about what your brain is. Right. You've got all these neurons in your brain in their connected to each other. And they shoot all kinds of signals at each other. But that neuron doesn't necessarily know exactly what it's doing and got all these little units in your brain. And when you put them together in a particular way consciousness, emerges, and I genuinely think that if brains exist, Shirley, we'll be able to create it, you know, in creating with the hope ah weather's grooms the immune activity with bring tippety with endocrine activity with biofeedback hut. Buffy? Brain biofeedback noodle muscular by feedback. I see a future where these artificial intelligence system will optimize our well being when we look at. How society is evolving with a and tech. We are at the point where we're now putting Alexa in our homes. We are now putting Google home in our homes. Right. We're putting the beginning elements of like pervasive AI systems in our physical space. And here's where it becomes really problematic. Is that imagine a situation where we are five ten twenty years down the road where everything is integrated with and AI has developed to a state where it can think for it self? It is a wear and everything around you your kitchen your bathroom your car. The hallway the road your office is all thinking about you. And it is thinking about you in terms of how to optimize you as in terms of your value as a consumer, right? Your home your street or road? Your office is trying to optimize you and you live in an environment, which is no longer passive you live in a motivated space the space around you has intentions and motives, and it's about. Changing how you think and it is watching you. It is judging you, and it is seeking to influence you. And here's the problem is that we are rapidly running sprinting down a path where we are starting to create the beginnings of that space, and we are not thinking, how can you exercise your agency as a person if the environment itself is making decisions around you. So can artificial intelligence therefore, ever simulate human creativity, which is disruptive and breaks. Go to them. We already have that's creative. When you think about creativity right with the person. And you you have new ideas. Right. Because we do you touch. Lots of things you see lots of things in your environment. And then you put these things together in a new way, and you have a new idea or you create something new you draw something make something sculpt, something you say, something you sing, something whatever you are taking all kinds of pieces of information from your environment. And then you're producing something new from it and can do that. I don't see why we couldn't produce consciousness, and I think it would be conscious everything you've said. Yeah. Makes sense to me. I agree with almost everything you say shirt, there's one slight difference. Okay. In my view consciousness is reduce -able. It is the mental. It is the source of all forms of information encoded both in imagine energy. But it is also species specific. So you the experience of butterflies not the expense of a human being the expense of a rodent is not the experience of human being. So there as many experiences as there, our brains and brands in humans, anyway, it is are conditioned collective mind that manifests as the global brain, which because the internet so for practical purposes, I have no issues with anything that you've said except one and that is everything is conscious consciousness is that which makes all experienced was will all experience known and outta which all experiences derived, and I don't necessarily disagree with actually what you're saying. We look at these sort of complex. Brain. And then take a step out and you look at the universe. It south. Surely, there are all kinds of higher order properties exist in that universe. And so I could rephrase say that in building system that experiences more things or perceives or understands feel or feels that are imagined that or imagined or dreams that either if you are creating a conscious thing or you are creating a thing that taps into consciousness for me is sort of moot. Moot? When we come back more with Chris Wiley, do we have the potential to harness all this power and create a bridge a reality? Don't go away. My guess is this conversation has been a bit stressful or unnerving at the very least if after today's program you need help coming down, and you've already listened to daily bread program of the day. Then I'd like to remind everyone of a helpful hap-. We apart nursing with com- has guided meditations on issues liking, Zaidi stress and focus. They also have choices of soothing music and more to help us all the compress. From today's episode if you are indeed interested in this coming support, please make the most of an offer they've given us right now, infinite potential listeners can get twenty five percent off a gum premium subscription. Adt com dot com slash infinite. That's come dot com slash infinite get unlimited access to all. Of comes content today had come dot com slash infinite before we return to a conversation third and last supported today, his parachute before there was a I that could read your temperature your heart rate, your sleep in week cycles before any of this. We still had the choice to better lives. There are few material things that actually help our overall wellbeing, but embellishing space with the best and most comfortable, whereas can make a house feel like a home parachute makes high-quality products such as sheets towels rugs and more that I recommend if you're looking to start fresh with new linens. Visit parachute home dot com slash infinite for free shipping and returns on parachutes. Comfortable home essentials. That's parachute. Home. Dot com slash infinite house, linens may not seem as earth shatteringly powerful as big data, but we can use both to change our reality and do so with intention. So let's return now to our conversation. Christopher Wiley is my guest, and we're talking about making future more intentional. So, you know, I'm very, active and social media. Yeah. What I notice is. Whenever posted anything political doesn't matter which side, I took I would get blasted by the trolls hasn't matter. What I said as soon as I started giving these ideas for people to reflect on their own personal social community career well being and health. Then suddenly, it was like I was getting people from both sides engaging in a positive way. Do you think that is a way for technology to bypass the war and create that cultural shift that actually looks for a more peaceful just sustainable healthier enjoy full planet because after all the internet is a global brand, isn't it? I think the answer to that is. Yes, but it requires a concerted effort and motivation on the part of people who design these systems himselves the way works right now. It's not ethics based it's not it's not morality basis based on optimization the engineers who would build that our them to to optimize. Don't think about is good for people is this optimization even good or healthy for people. And what I would say is. I would not have to behave that way if the people building a I I give consideration to putting some breaks on certain kinds of behavior. Currently we make it we're in charge of this. We can we can decide what it can. And can't do. And I understanding that when you look at when you look at history, there's only a couple examples where where people start to become products or product ties in some way, or you have the slave trades. You have the sex trade, you have the organ trades. And now was emerging as data trade where you are being optimized. And where harm comes is where we treat people as some kind of products, the fundamental perspective that allows that harm to happen is that I can allow myself to start thinking about you as something rather than some one. We capable of inventing a better future for humanity with the kind of insight that you have and other enough people that could create a critical mass through cyberspace for that to happen because otherwise we're dome to extinction. I mean with climate change with terrorism with war with eco-destruction don't realize this. But you know, the human experiment miss soon be over so with visionaries like you with the background. You're only twenty what eight twenty nine twenty nine. And most of your future is ahead of you. Do you have a vision of how we could avert disaster extinction. First of all even buy into that idea. I am really worried about where we are heading as a species. Yes. This is the interesting thing. I find you mention the environment. And we don't give the respect the environment deserves often because it's it surrounds us in. It's hard to sort of. It's hard to point to the same acquiescence to climate change is the same acquiescence to what's happening right now in because we are it is hard for people to understand systems. And I was talking with several groups of indigenous leaders from South America, recently, and one of the things that they were talking to me about is fighting for spirits in a forest, and I found it really interesting because they were talking about how with mass ecological destruction spirit Scott of set, and you know, if for you know, my white western ears, right? You know, I immediately started. I start thinking about okay, you're talking about ghost. What are you position say, what is the spirit? Start explaining like, everything has this essence in a forest, and that whenever you do one thing like it affects every everything else. And I go what in my parlance as sort of a as data. Scientists actually the spirits. I would call you. Call a spirit. I would call a casket of information. And that one of the things that I think would be helpful particularly for people in the west sort of learn from perspectives of other kinds of people who understand systems, you look at the the word ecology, it took white people in the west, you know, like centuries to develop something called ecology, which is traditional indigenous knowledge, it's just we wouldn't listen because we don't like the vocabulary that us and it takes a century. And then we realize oh, there's like. Oh my God. There's like systems in the world and nature would you'll basically thing is all information is entangled with hall permission, everything in our entire universe is information flows. Beautiful now, given that what are your personal goals for the future because technologies in this capable it's part of our Evelyn now as a human species. The we adapt we become extinct all we use it to our advantage. What advice you have? Be conscious of the space that you're in and understand the space that you're in is not passive is active. There's all kinds of things happening and pay attention to how things affect each other. And that can be applied to the eve Lucien of our culture that can be applied to the blue Shane of a I got can be applied to what's happening to our environment. Do think the prognosis is good to think we can reverse some of these extremists trends. Yes. Of course, we can. What will it take? It will take when it comes to the development of a in that could either save humanity or destroy humanity. Requires tech companies to actually take humanity. Seriously token, we take the would would just thinks he was leeann these companies to take what you think seriously. Talking about it really helps to this useful. A useful talking about it helps because talking about the fact that it's information has power narrative have power technology has power AI has power systems have powered like, and that these are not and should not be niche issues because you are in a system, and so we should be talking about that system. The first step is talking about it and identifying where the problems are. And where the problems could be so that we we start thinking about it. Because if we don't start thinking about it, then nothing will happen. In the last two episodes, we glimpse into the future with the people who are part of building. It their words should sound prophetic because they are. They know as I think we are learning that we have the power for the first time in human history to really shape evolution. They also know more than anyone that it is humans who must do the shaping with humanity. What are the goals the values the conscious choices we are making right now? I don't want to be up to my st-. I want to be considered. And I don't want to be reactive. I want to be creative. I don't want to be data. I want to be me. I'm the buck show, and this is infinite potential. If this episode connected with you, please share it to the friend and leave us comment. So we get to hear from you. Now, it's time for a gratitude list, infinite potential is produced by David Chen Smith, and Julie mcgruder and edited Andy Jaskiewicz the audio engineer is Bob Tavernier. Caroline wrangle is our associate producer and Serena Regan, his the coordinating producer. We especially thank our guests sponsors, interns, and everyone who has contributed to bring infinite potential to you partial is created and executive produced by David Chadwick Smith. Jan Cohen and me I'm departure, and this is infinite potential.

Chris Wiley AI Steve Bannon Facebook Google Cambridge Analytica United States Obama engineer Christopher Wiley America Don Trump Twitter Donald Trump CEO Mark Zuckerberg Skinner
Jeff Mason & Kailani Koenig Plus Christopher Wylie: The building with no fire exits

The Chuck ToddCast: Meet the Press

49:42 min | 1 year ago

Jeff Mason & Kailani Koenig Plus Christopher Wylie: The building with no fire exits

"Before we begin I'm GonNa give you a little warning there's going to be some unavoidable cursing on today's episode because we have a book title to discuss good afternoon from Washington. I'm Chuck Todd and this is the Chuck Todd Cast. He blew the whistle on the link between facebook and Cambridge Analytica. He'll join me later discusses book called Okay Warning Mind Fuck came back is making a rare stop in Washington and Reuters Jeff Mason stepped away from asking president trump tough questions about Ukraine to join me today Jeff has latest fundraising numbers not so much what gives discuss those third quarter winners and losers but no one knows the domino effect a whistle blower can have like Christopher Wiley and what are they thinking and in twenty twenty news and ageism debate swirls around Bernie Sanders following his heart attack and Joe Biden's latest polling strong but podcast lands in your feet it's what happened last week but as Democrats are still issuing subpoenas as a Republican colleagues grapple with their defense even inside the White House has an answer to your question actually he did answer the question the next day that's the irony of all of this guy hi good to see you what brings you to Washington I should know the to see after a sort of a long pause or a long delay or thinking process let's make this over process at the White House gas and we can just curse all the time I don't think that is a way to save America sometimes is over cursing but first twenty twenty producer kind Lonnie Tony The bad actor an air bags packed so here we are with impeachment and today being that conversation but it's not impeachable at least that's the that's the strategy that outside Republicans are taking and some were we're GONNA we're not evidence so to me it wasn't a surprise Jeff Win the White House decided Gordon Sunland Not GonNa let you testify that the tragedy I think so I mean I think we're beginning overseeing me on this so I'm quoting that title there I said it told you we had some unavoidable expletives after that I am not going to be one of those hosts though that says I'm on a pod look inside but there's certainly movement but he was my big takeaway jeff and I think the White House almost sees it the same way as you have a public that is certainly among independence a response to prevent new information and it is to me we've got a new poll come out a couple of hours by the time the Sicher feed it's GonNa mostly thanks for few days I'm actually going to New Hampshire on a plane right after we're done with that's exactly where you always belong sadly no matter where you go we out and and frankly there's a semi similar finding as the ABC Polo leader we we do not have the impeachment numbers quite as juiced as they do on the district that went for trump I seven points in two thousand sixteen at flipped blue with this congressman last year and even talking with folks that were there before Republican voters there are kind of ingrained in supporting the president no matter what they kind of will Pete Fox News talking point can't is is telling look last week was filled with tangible evidence text messages actual testimony from somebody who was appointed by President Trump in court volker I think they want more information they're willing to to sort of gauge the gauge the evidence one in five Republicans appear to be open to seeing the former special envoy but Kai feel like the response in America outside of the Beltway and outside the Acela corridor is with if you hate trump that's just trump and if you love trump that is thinking this is serious and this is deserving investigation but independence aren't in our with Democrats on everything except removing him from office you've been doing this around the country you've been going to hall meetings I don't think there's anybody in our staff that has talked to more actual Americans Dan Linda and the plot to break America that is the actual title there's no asterisks there's no bleeps so welcome to podcast land the FCC is not GonNa play ball and I think the fact that the for the first time did that today with the EU investor who had come to Washington to do it and apparently says he's disappointed he the beltway or in New York City or in Times Square then Yucai so anyway yeah and what was interesting about this at a coffee shop we were in East Lansing Michigan this is yes she was one of those members of Congress that wrote The Washington Post op Ed that kind of helped to change the tides towards this but they're she even showed up these are people that didn't know she was coming and she was no impeachment for the long run everything Muller Yeah and she only became a yes on ending inquiry with you what that strategy is and the strategy seems to be a we're not going to cooperate me we're going to say or we're going to accept that some people may not like what he said in Ukraine was tied to the investigation they want something very specific they really repeat back to you that they believe that the president of the United States is the that's just trump like in a weird way it's the same response while trump's being trump twi thought he should be out of office in the first place or that's trumpy and trump it's why I threw him in there in the first place Republican voters after the Mueller investigation and that sense nothing really happened after that they really believe that this is just an excuse brought on by the Democrats yeah I last week I was at a town hall event coffee with your congresswoman event for Eliza Slatkin and I should if law enforcement officer of the United States and he can investigate whatever the heck he says it's legal then it's illegal yeah and I think there's a level of exhaustion among a lot of should never mind because it's being reported we're not listening saint certain angles of it you know they don't see a very specific incidents that the money let's just try to clean up the mess after he swerves off the road it used to be John Kelly your hr McMaster they would they would prevent alert they want to Blur Ukraine and Muller into one story so that people are exhausted from Muller they've been trying to do this to me ever since I got an elected ever since I got an happy at twitter it is clear whatever whatever filter did exist is it and I think Bolton was probably the last filter curtly about getting rid of the president and even just when you go to town halls it's pretty rare that I will hear a question that is about directly about four tim from doing what he did on Syria for instance which is just tab air to one phone call and have a policy decided immediately after the phone call and just shoot it out regulated this is just the next piece it's all a hoax it's all a scam that's that's those are the words the president is using and I think I don't have the privilege or the okay they will be I'm sure it'd be delighted at the to rally that are happening this week to clap when he says this is a scam it is it's interesting to me to see because they failed in that attempts to try to get rid of the president that's I mean back to what we were saying before that's a big chunk of the White House strategy as well on of the trump campaign they wanted his seen that his predecessors didn't succeed and if anything that his predecessors attempts at that just upset the boss and I think yeah I think Mick Mulvaney wants to keep the job in policy issue as much versus domestic issues how fear folk is the White House of Mitt Romney Oh I don't think they're fearful of him at all talk about but frankly that's also just not what Democratic voters seem to be clamoring for information and you know they care about healthcare they care about the economy they cared it's back to you and they really kind of firmly believe that the media is out to get him the information are they they're apparently the new information George I don't think Warner Sanders how yeah I mean there were some other smaller candidates seth moulton trial steak his candidacy on this if you go watch Tulsi Gabbard that's all right teach me issue regardless of what folks which side they fall on it it has really permeated into the American consciousness in a way that it feels like other Washington it does feel as if that the that at the White House nobody attempts to erect guardrails anymore around him that instead it's thank you so try to try to make that an asset you know trump is a fighter and he likes to see himself as a fighter and he seems to embrace any kind of time that he's in a battle with another side for wwe he likes being the guy that the audience does boo sometimes yeah and they also probably realize this and I think the fact that they use that phrase in their first round of TV ADS is an acknowledgement out over a year out acknowledging that yeah more people hate him like don't and stories haven't I was in an airport in Las Vegas last week and all of these flights are delayed so everybody was hanging out at the restaurant and everybody just started talking not that weird stuff that is on twitter but their thirty second ad the Michael Bay trailer type of Ad This isn't a time for Mister Nice guy aware they seemed to be more dead set against him I don't see if he won the last time because it was a referendum on Hillary Clinton not on him not their own self gratifying polls that they make trump it's the new tagline to trump's first round of advertising of the stuff that is being seen on regular television now they're just maybe irritated by it the most interesting tell them me Kai was that the the trump people at least repulse and believe the actual public polls and not their own it's called acting or not and he's not trying to impact that at all you know what's interesting as the president or I think really shows vulnerability and his management of foreign policy that there is not a single Democrat in this campaign that has is is interested in trying to other than T- Biden talking generally about restoring allies. You hear Warren it seems like it's gone yeah no we're seeing that on foreign policy mean area one is a good example given what the the decision Mick Mulvaney has no interest in in preventing trump from doing anything was an start any of that I just was witnessed and this is why Jeff I sometimes think that we in Washington overrate the president's chances or sanders say that but the only person that I think has thought about a coherent foreign policy in the top of the top five or six candidates I said a biden is hurt square the first time that you throw that out there and there's a lot of people who were like you know I don't know nothing about that election felt good things the base really does like and get those people out to the polls and maybe play the victim and say that try I happen Kyw I mean is it does it feel like a wet blankets been dropped on the Democratic race you know I think it's in a way it has put job my sense they just they just dismiss him largely they don't think he has any sway in that they don't worry about him in that Senate yet do I don't think so I think they should point but percent unfavorable rating fifty three percent is it fifty four percent of Americans voted for somebody other than Donald Trump right so we know that it's a solid chunk of people they're not only not going any he essentially doesn't say anything even not just to the questions that are about Hunter Biden but also to questions that are about the president's abuse of power and I think right whether it was wikileaks co me a lot of people so rush we know why he cares about saying not so often I wanNA move to the presidential on his a and a tough position he has hardly held any public events this is all happening finally spoke to the press about this a few times but his or even spent all these people you elected me fair and square in two thousand sixteen they're trying to undo what you did right don't let them do it the problem is not everybody believes he was elected get just has really underscored his uncomfortableness in talking about anything that's really related to his family the White House obsession with Biden the press score has been staking him outside of his events sense this broke trying to ask questions and yell questions at him as he leaves and I it's clearly real it's amazing that Biden hasn't been able to translate the president's hourly obsession about the by I mean how much do you hear that well that's I mean I think the question is if if anybody starts getting in line behind Mitt Romney then it would raise some alarm bells some alarm bells but now I think is a referendum on do you want four more years of this or not and that to me is the worst place for trump to be if it's a just about upper down on him he has no chance at all unless you're talking about the economy no no upward I mean e about if it's all about him I don't think even he can do that he cannot do this without tearing down the the the the Democratic primary really there is another story what if what have you noticed in the in the two weeks since impeachment launched awards Biden and Clinton Hillary Clinton he's he wants her to run again I I get that guy seems to be like if I were him I'd WanNa Rerun Sixteen to I don't see how this his biggest problem that impeachment is done what you're saying there jet then saying there jeff is impeachment is now created this guarantees some of this Ukraine stuff's first came out where he yelled at the reporter saying ask the right questions it almost came across it came across as angry among themselves about impeachment and what was going to happen with the president on whether or not he was going to be impeached what what happened it was just an a positive story overall for him to having questions raised about whether there was a conflict of interest whether or not anything came out of that in terms of investigations or not it's still not that's what trump wants Chi right he wants bind to be seen as just another member of the establishment who plays by those old rules that always seem to benefit somebody else and not you the traffic they're already setting themselves up fine fine you need a tough guy you know that's what they're going to need a tough guy to do everything from China to immigration to all of the with the exact same it 'cause it's the only path that he may have but it is amazing obsession by their absolutely focused themselves into something like this so early President Jeb Bush Marco Rubio might not be doing this but this is just only going to increase for Joe Biden or whoever the Democratic nominee is as we go forward he's not going to be afraid to bring in stories about somebody's family or their past into this I just we saw that happen business with him as my business with him and I've buried two children you WANNA keep attacking my kids go ahead but I'm never gonNA throw him under the bus and I'm never going to attack them no matter what I think like I don't that trump comes across as angry and I thought to myself interesting is that the right play for him for by for Biden I think angry I would I don't understand I'd be the man has yes the man has a solid fifty three percent against him all the time you see our new poll it's wit the disapproval rating the dilemma of if he if trump went again and he didn't run he's thinking to himself what what if I were the only guy that could stop that guy and turning this into a a a the devil you know versus the devil you know it's the only chance he has and I think that's a good point I think that Ben Politics are putting him in the spotlight my my life choices have made him make certain choices so am I gonNa sit here and publicly humiliated like all of you are trying to make me do know so us and lecture my son about his ethics or this whatever disagreements I have with my grown son I'm keeping between him and he's not on the ballot I've it's my like it is I'm offended for him I think it's disgusting what's happening the way we're character testing people left and right now it's us in it's I mean Joe Biden knows that his family has been through a lot and I think this was part of his calculation and deciding whether or not to enter the race but at the same time listen it's very relatable it's also one of the issues I understand that led to the vice president Biden really debating whether or not he wanted to get h.w Bush famously sent a letter to all of his sons named with the last name Bush which said when he was getting ready to become president in one thousand nine hundred eighty nine anyway it is this really does hurt but yeah I think this really underscores also how president trump and his allies are not afraid to play dirty and inject Hillary Clinton in two thousand sixteen and they went to the to the depths there look I just think the Joe Biden has moral high ground on this in a way it's like you know what everybody wants me to throw my son under the kicked off of I thought somebody was character assassination me Anderson which he's very sensitive about and yet I mean I think to your point this isn't mayor rather than the hunter I mean I I do think Joe Biden is GonNa Answer for why he didn't send a letter to his family's at Georgia you were seeing him and we're seeing his campaign to try to turn all of the questions to the issue of the president and his abuse of power and what was that on him I think what was striking Kaime Union both chuck and I covered Vice President Biden at the White House during the Obama years it's it was striking to me to watch his initial reaction then what am I doing in my one of my hunter I don't envy knowing who he is I don't envy 'cause decision on this guy there's no doubt Biden's got to answer that question but I think you can defend your family and it's a question we should pass a lot to basically arrate right it's laughable that the last name trump seems to worry about what somebody with the last name of Biden whether they're doing something up that's the hypocrisy alert here but media this happening to happen to you see it to yourself right jeff online I mean you know it's it sucks and what did you know and self awareness by the president to say you know what do unto others as you want to be done unto you know it's that there's a value structure here that I think that Biden could wrap himself around that's just questions on this immediately he's he's talking a little and we I hear more from him but I don't know if they thought that this was just go these ethics rules that's a way for Biden to get in front of this too and they're not doing that no I think the way you articulated something that they should probably pay attention there they have it in their head and I'll tell you why I'm seeing they look like the Clinton two point Oh campaign they overly protective of of a candidate or Biden to feel like a victim here but it doesn't erase it does feel reached in using it like this was a very legitimate political hit on by that could have been effective and he overreached and so they've actually allowed you of Hunter Biden where it makes Biden look like just another member of Congress that just finds a way for his family get rich off of the fact that that trump basically ovary away or what but I think there's you know there's also a level by the way this could have come out at a worst point like in a weird way this damaging issue Mr for Wiley after a quick break you'll remember Christopher he's appeared on meet the Press Cambridge Analytica and the different color here we'll be right back they're protecting a candidate who has no interest in talking which either look as bad right as I said I mean he has not been out forward in responding a raise this on a call with a foreign leader for example but had kept it for a debate or kept it for just just getting it out into the public sphere it it could have been the era of news text Msnbc two six six eight six six to subscribe between facebook and the data mining company Cambridge Analytica joining me now is Christopher Wiley Wiley is the one who blew the whistle on the AAC impossible we also should make the Dennis Hastert son can't open a lobbying shop Bill Nelson son can open a lopping shop like you know should you know we've gotta clean up Doc Biden's afraid of giving that answer of some answer and you write about the timing it's it's early number one and number two I mean if the president hadn't some ways really well but I still think we haven't decided what is the Cambridge Analytical Story is it a story of of political hunter Biden's we all have relatives I mean you just sit here like are we really what are we doing and just the lack of the lack of which is now available Christopher thanks for coming on the todd cast here thanks for having me so we've spoken a few times and I feel like I know the story and relation is it a story of discovery about the lack of privacy with social media what would you say this is what is history going to say a place that he wants worked he documents is account of the SOG on his new book mind Fuck Cambridge Analytica and the plot to break America was the story of Cambridge of this Cambridge Analytica facebook thing yeah I mean I think in a lot of ways it's a story of intersections and I learned this myself writing the book when you sit down and you actually put pen to paper and you're like okay what actually happened and you know sort of to be a big first time podcasters say to me I think you both be back again thank you for that great conversation I'm GonNa Pause right here we'll be back in a second with into the race at first I look I think it's that big was going to I story I think he has to live with the decision that he decided to run and I understand the dilemma he faced I think he very damaging to Biden and much less Ota the president guys are going to have to pause it here Kai glad to have you do jeff chronically my journey the company from when I was recruited to work at a military contractor to research you know counter extremism and in High It's Katy Tur want to keep up with MSNBC while you're on the go subscribe to the Msnbc daily newsletter you'll get the best of what you've missed during this unprecedent the the abilities and capabilities that we were able to develop because of a completely unregulated tack environments particularly with Social Media and then all of the intersection ends at various points throughout that journey where you know talking with all kinds of different Russian officials and Russian executive how how do narratives evolve online to that being you know co opted by the outright the the ability in some ways the the story came Gianluca touches on many aspects of what we're talking about now whether it's the trump Russia investigation or brexit or ebbs you know who were all very interested in the data that the the company was acquiring so you know I think that the responsibilities that Kaieda's but I do go to a bunch of trump and they eat up every single thing that he says and and not to give you a non answer but you know used to it from the I'll give you the political answer then Yeah because you know when I when I actually write it so that people could actually see sort of beginning to end the complexities that exist in it so take me back did you. This has always been something data privacy and I think that's what's that's actually what's so interesting about the story and you know Dick why I wanted that has a spy uses a few spicy words but I how is impeachment playing out on the trail the news is moving fast and like last week there may be big developments by the time the he was the goal figuring out how to gather as much data on people to persuade or to manipulate the point was when I saw things like psychological profile struggled which with you said this earlier on in one of the first interviews you and I did and that was that you knew that Cambridge analytic goal was to see at the time to try to unpack how does radicalization work what what is the role of a lot of these sort of social media platforms what the military called the Yom's young unmarried men and starting to unpack what makes them vulnerable to being exploited by extremists and when you so when you look at emerging security threats particularly in the West right military spending often is focused on TV shows that you do and even hang out with some of the people and have all the same kind of interests that you do and then you know you later discovered that the reason why right you know in that situation if you were on that blind date you would be vulnerable to being manipulated because you know this this person knows a lot more yeah so one of the things that I sort of talked about in the book is is at least I try to answer that question when I first started I was recruited look I never good thing yeah yeah I mean you know I never thought you know that I would end up working on something for national security purposes you like that's like a plot of a recent movie where where somebody decides that they're overly prepared for a date and they get caught anyway you think when that was when you heard that pitch well imagine for a moment that you're going on a blind date right and you go and you meet is or forums the digital space in general and can you anticipate who likely is going to be a target and who's going to be vulnerable and so when we first started looking at more about you than you know about them and not that creates an imbalance of power and that's you know in a lot of ways how manipulation happens and so when you know you know that you know tanks and missiles and things that blow up you know because a lot of generals are like boys with toys they like things that blow up but when you look at it to work at a military contractor before came agenda Lyrica even existed and you know what we first started on what kind of contractor what do they do shake it recruited online disseminated as messaging online it organized online did everything online and so there was a concerted effort you know at the time this is when Isis was just emerging a lot of different radical jihadist groups were there was a lot of you're right that was a lot of someone and they start talking about what movies do you like or what TV shows do you like and it and it so happens that they listen to the same bands that you do watch the Kristen Hey could we can we at this yeah and so when you look at you know Isis was a digital I mobile I operate it was like a neon haired person with news ring and whatnot right I'm not really the sort of archetype of an army recruit but I was able to apply my skills and well luckily we don't have to date Cambridge car or facebook but you know the the the point that I'm making is they seemed so perfect for you was because they spent two years stalking you right yeah they learned they learned after you talk to your friends and what kind of ops information and psychological operations and raise any yellow flags with you won't because I knew in terms of you know how building algorithms and identifying patterns in data and all of that and I thought was really cool and so did Steve Bannon was I mean I'm just curious when did your value antenna go up and I say this not like it seemed like at some point you're into it and then you're like wait a minute what are we doing makes them vulnerable and more and more likely to go down the path of radicalization you know at the time I thought hey this is interesting I I've never thought your NFL do good And when he came to discover what we were working on through an introduction a mutual introduction to the time my boss you know people who would be vulnerable to radicalization in in other parts of the world when we got acquired by an outright billion you know he realized that our understanding of essentially how to study what makes certain kinds of people tick in the the work of the company flipped from mitigating radicalization to encouraging people to explore this aspect of themselves encouraging and catalyzing around Steve Bannon got put in charge that work inverted so instead we were looking at the same kinds of targets young unmarried men in particular who are more prone to paranoid allegation but instead terms and that that could be inverted and so what I what essentially happened was the work that we were doing initially to look at more radical and paranoid thoughts how agenda when that script got flipped I mean you know immediately when Mercer bought the company Gino immediately when you met with Bannon tell me about your first meeting with eighteen when he was just the guy who ran Breitbart and you know he was looking you know when Breitbart was founded by Andrew by before he died they really and this was you know I think it's important to point out like this was out of time when this was before he was the Steve Bannon right twenty followed this idea that politics exists downstream from culture. So you know if you're if you want to make a lasting change for your movement goes a little bit about a lot yeah and conversationalist you can have a fantastically spiraling conversation that goes into all sorts of areas of the world he's curious he's the type of person in some ways people like because he's curious yeah and you don't have to leave politics but he's he's always reading and he's always curious and and and and by the way that is often the same target that you would have for radical jihadist groups you know people Z.. Bana well I I mean I actually really liked him when I first met him everybody does but this is a fascinating guy yeah I mean he like our conversation talker focus on culture day to day politics but the unfortunate thing for them was that Breitbart essentially became like glorified hate blog for straight white dudes who can't get laid you literally can't succeed in life and just are very frustrated they feel marginalized and but so he wasn't breaking through to the American a weird manipulative and freaky. I'm sorry well it it isn't it isn't because you know if I said for example that is for manipulative purposes not discovery purposes but anyway well when win the company got acquired originally Xanthi apologist and sociologists that we sent around is that there is a a huge amount of tension in American society and indeed there is religious extremism computer science he made all of his money deploying data and said the where a lot of people on the team originally thought what there is you know people who are prone sick conspiratorial thinking and it was at that moment that I think Steve Again We said sociologists and anthropologists all throughout America yes hard stop I'm sorry that alone is Bizarro Land as soon as we started exploring the United States so they acquired the company and you know they hired tons and tons of putting tens of millions of dollars the company mine coming to events or or attending focus groups and to see just the rage on their face about things that were made up and anthropologists to Africa would yes we're America though we're we're trying to learn something new about ourselves to manipulate ourselves they they only reason to do perhap- voter hat do right yeah and so but one of the things that one of the feedback that we got from the in psyche with Breitbart and he was looking for a way of expanding his you know his arsenal and when he got introduced to the military contractor that I was working out the powers that be within the company executives in the company wanted was a way of forecasting behavior to make money especially for an a that was the ultimate goal forecasting the things that people were told you know and I talked about this in the book is you know when you look at you know the time penny dropped in his headed and the same people that we were studying those are the people who were engaging with his site and for me that was you know I had a difficult time with that because I could not see any justification you as a company we're creating we're doing the the company has started conducting some of its experiments you know to see video footage of people who were the targets of this manipulation hard tons of people and we started by sending sociologists and Anthropologists America and one of the first things and and the thing that's interesting about studies there's some of them went and did presentations Petersburg talking about how you can you know use online profiling and online data and you know as soon as you know we started collecting you know all this data that's when all these Russian started come knocking right so like the psychologist the CEO of the company is personal friends with Putin When you look at also the fact that you know when the company started hiring people some of whom worked with former intelligence officers from Russia who were then managing projects which included for example old you know one of the reasons why it was called Cambridge Analytica was because so many of the people involved were based at the University of Cambridge which is no small time ecological experiments on American it was probably one of the and I don't say this flippantly I say this seriously it was probably one of the largest psychological experiments that was ever done in the United States pull projects that asked American voters you know their attitudes towards Vladimir Putin's leadership Russia's claiming Crimea you know that that granted you know they might look slightly different but in terms of a profile of the person who did you discover that it will as soon as adversity when you look at one of the leaders you know in psychological research particularly in this new field of computational psychology a computational sociology where you are two thousand sixteen I mean remember a time when the idea of donald trump becoming president was laughable and the reaction was sort of well you know Donald Trump wiggled from you know like feminist theory about identity to like on the radio when I tell about it he's a voracious reader really he he he he's zoned in on that he zoomed in on that and I remember after you know did and it was only after that you know journalists started really asking questions about what is this company so in the in the book like after I left I went to the United States and I talked to several people some of whom were in the administration and some of whom and let me ask you this all the things that facebook has done to try to rebuild trust to try to convince those of us who are skeptics mark Zuckerberg's life in different in many ways and facebook I don't think he'll be buying a car I don't think he will be either you'd all ask yourself with over eating the situation well you know so in in some cases and I I also talk about the coming knocking and you know why would a Russian oil company wants to know about you know our data assets of American voters and you know there's a Lutheran them and I'm not compensated for that so I have my own issue but that's the way I think about it has facebook done better in protecting peoples were you know very experienced in American politics and I told them about what I'd seen and the reaction at the time again this is I am a big skeptic of of the of the privacy that I mean I think facebook's business is nothing you know it doesn't work if I don't share data with personal data on facebook well I I'm band on facebook and on instagram because after I blew the whistle one of the first things they did rather than actually exploring the specifically on American elections and those were presentations that were made in Saint Petersburg someone had executives from quail which is one of the largest Russian oil company clearly us politics and American voters for some reason for their their they want they know Americans want big gulps with their guests almost any behavior whether it's consumer behavior mill political behavior you name this you're the same person whether you know you put

Washington Jeff Mason president Chuck Todd biden facebook Chuck Todd Cast Cambridge Analytica Mick Mulvaney Breitbart Bana Ukraine Christopher Wiley Warren Bernie sanders fifty three percent fifty four percent
Fake wolves and real military propaganda in Canada

Front Burner

21:09 min | 6 months ago

Fake wolves and real military propaganda in Canada

"The he smashed pretty much every billboard and streaming record that matters it has already been streamed more than a billion times people still to this day. point to. This is the moment everything changed. But whether you agree with those claims are not this podcast. Is it really about him either. You're not an astute businessman or you're inherently racist when it comes to black music in his country this is not a drake podcast available now on. Cbc listen or wherever you get your podcast. This is a cbc podcast. Hello hello i'm jamie so a few weeks ago. We saw this story. It was about how the canadian military botched a propaganda exercise it involved fake wolves in nova scotia. It was extremely strange. Ottawa citizen journalist. David puglisi wrote the story and for a while. Now he's been digging into the so-called weaponization of the canadian military's public affairs branch. Their pr wing puglisi recently obtained documents suggesting that the military had wanted to set up this whole new organization to influence canadians using propaganda and other techniques according to the office of defence minister hearts. This plan is not going to go forward but today david joins me to talk about what's already been going down behind the scenes and the serious questions it raises on the military targeting is resources at canadians. This is from peru. Hi david thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me today. My pleasure so before we get into the latest documents been looking at. I actually want to go back a few weeks and ask you about this. Totally bizarre and puzzling story that some people might have missed. And it has to do with an official looking letter with the logo of the wildlife division of nova scotia's department of lands and forestry warning about wolves wolves so can you tell me about this letter. And what what did it say. So what had happened was a Unknown to To the the government of nova scotia The canadian forces was conducting information operations training mission. Information operations is is a nice word for propaganda. So they have these units that specialize in this What the unit did was. They forged a letter on government of nova scotia Letterhead and essentially said People in the region. Please be careful There are these wolves that the government of nova scotia has introduced into the region and If you cite them you know. Stay away from them. Be very careful so what happened and the military is trying to figure this out right now is somehow that training aid got distributed to the people in the in the area and so so people started going asking the government knew nova scotia. What is going on people were scared. The government and other scotia looks at this and they had to actually tweet out to people and put on social media. This is a fake. We don't know who did it But it's a fake. We didn't reintroduce wolves. There's no wolves running around here. And so is the implication here that by sending a letter to people in nova scotia about wolves the danger of wolves in the area. They're trying to influence the behavior. Like what kind of influence might a letter about. Wolves have well. We don't know exactly because the investigation is still underway. And so we don't know what they were looking for first of all. you know. This wasn't supposed to go out into the public domain. So they could have just been practicing. How do you do. How do you do of these fake letters. So i think You can't jump to conclusions that You know that it was directed at the public. It was certainly a propaganda training mission. That went off the rails. But it's you know i. It appears anyways they were. They were trying to learn their skills. They also had a The have these trucks with Loudspeakers and they were pumping A wolf noises these loudspeakers but again. We don't know why they were doing that. And there's you know there's an investigation underway now even when you find out the story behind this. You've got to come back on the show and explain this to me. This is such a head scratcher. What i'm thinking i'm thinking is well. It's obviously a mistake. And that got out of control. But i think it's It shows a bigger issue. And that is. These skills are being taught in the canadian forces. And so you've got to take a look. At what type of controls are there that this type of thing can get out into the public domain and as well 'cause a lot of problems for the government of nova scotia at the time of pandemic idea that these kind of skills are being taught in the canadian forces. I wanted to talk with you that more today. Because i have to say i hadn't thought too much about the canadian military's propaganda capabilities before reading your work on the subject. I know you've been digging into it for awhile. And you recently published a story on a new organization. The canadian forces had hoped to establish. And can you tell me about that. So they wanted to establish a kind of an organization that would be able to influence and to change canadians minds on strategic topics the topics of national interest. And so they would do that You know in various ways. They're talking about harnessing their twitter accounts they were talking about. Harnessing for instance the twitter accounts of canadian military personnel and their own personal accounts but those accounts would be pushing out to prove military approved messages. Although the public would know that. And then as well. I i had Another story this year and where they're public affairs officials we're taught Behavior modification techniques. So there's a million dollar contract to train. These people Was given to a company whose officials are from They learned their skills at a company called. Seal most people don't know it. Seal is it's the parent firm of cambridge analytica which was caught up in that Facebook scandal feeding donald trump Information about people's private information this private information it shouldn't it should have been used. Basically stolen christopher wiley says that users signed up for a personality test then unwittingly gave away access to all their friends information so it allowed us to profile upwards of fifty million americans over the span of a couple of months and understand not only their personality traits but how they think and and how they would likely react to different kinds of information so this whole initiative as part of this program launched in two thousand fifteen called the weaponization of public affairs. So essentially. what you're talking about is a public affairs branch that instead of just putting out information about the military and spinning it. is more aggressive in how they go about their business. So as you mentioned The defense minister has has put a halt to all this after after he found out right. He says it hasn't been appraised as it won't be going forward but it strikes me that you're reporting seems to indicate that some stuff had already been going on and can you give me some examples of. We're starting to see a as a as i reported the the contract with amick. Which is the company the million dollar contract to train individuals who can use behavior modification and influence techniques so those contracts have already been out there and the training actually finished Recently so that was that was already done You know another thing that i reported on last year at canadian forces was dealing with Or extremists and there was a lot of problems with far right and neo nazis. And that type of thing between two thousand thirteen in two thousand eighteen there were sixteen identified members of extreme hate groups in the military and another thirty five engaged in racist or discriminatory behavior but last year. The canadian forces public affairs branch They put together a plan to counter what they saw as the negative the negative stories so they didn't believe that the canadian military had a problem with far-right extremists. So what they did was. They came up with the public relations plan. That would use. Military friendly academics Former generals that type of thing to put out the message there is no problem. They also Created files on several journalists. that they thought would Would cover the issue One of those was was mary brewster. I read your piece talking about this dossier on our colleague. Murray there's this quote from the file on him that reads. He's familiar with the defense system and his reporting while factual often emphasizes the mistakes and shortcomings of dnd. The which is pretty good pretty can complement for journalists. Exactly and and you know what it shows. The it shows the mindset that Is going on in some quarters in the canadian forces so brewster's reporting factual. But they don't like it so they had this counterplan and this was set for You know may june of last year. Well what happened. In the meantime had a series of of far-right extremists allege far-right extremists making headlines. So you know. There's patrick matthews was arrested in the united states. He's a reservist to You know the fbi. Alleges was plotting race war. He's been trained as a combat engineer with canadian military and has also received extensive experience training. He was actively going around. The city of winnipeg can putting up the recruitment posters this violent neo nazi paramilitary group called the base. You had a sailor In calgary who was talking about wanting to start a race war Then you had a corey hearn. Karen who Heavily armed went into smashed into Rideau hall armed with allegedly with two shotguns a rifle and a revolver according to the p. litter seized by the rcmp suggests. He had antigovernment sentiments. He was singled out for good conduct by the canadian military just months before this incident. You know he's up on charges so all this kind of came right after their plan to Their public relations so they had to scuttle it because they would've looked pretty foolish if they had gone out to. You know claiming that there's only a few far right Extremists in the canadian forces. The minister says a deeper soul. Searching exercise is needed. We're going to be taken greater action on this on how we as an organization as from a department national defense and the canadian forces handle issues like this something that we take. We've been taking extremely seriously for for many years now. Another example. You've reported on of the canadian military dabbling in propaganda. Training exercises is. Is this plan campaign to head off during the coronavirus pandemic and what was the plan there. So what it was was an information operations plan for the corona virus So their idea was that they would. This plan was aimed at Convincing canadians Not to do civil disobedience not to riot to trust the government. The problem is they took a similar information operations. plan for afghanistan. So if you actually when you take a look at the articles. They're they're talking about. Oh we're going to meet with village elders one these speaker trucks which they used in the wolf incentive by the way so the speaker trucks would broadcast messages so They had this underway and went for about two weeks and then someone general Vance chief of the defence staff took a look at it and and there were concerns about the ethics behind this This type of scheme and so he ordered shutdown so what what would be the ethical concerns behind that well. The main ethical concern is you're not supposed to The military is not supposed to conduct propaganda campaigns against its own population. So there isn't actually a law that states that but that has been the understanding For decades so you don't do that unless we are at war unless we have been invaded or we are at war such as in world war two. So that's That was the The ethics surrounding that no there is no law That says the military can't do this so this is kind of a self governing addition David to ask. We've described this weird wolf training exercise. That went off the rails sort of went awry. As you said these two were scuttled or aborted. Plans to influence the canadian public We talked about this behavior. Modification training using this company tied to cambridge at olympic You know people listening. They might just find this. All very puzzling and confusing and even a little bit odd. But when you look at all of this together what do you see here what what's happening here. Well there's concerning trend in the sense that and don't forget all this information has come to me from people inside who are concerned about the legalities and the ethics so there are some people inside that are worried about what's going on and one of the examples that i wrote about Gives you kind of an idea of where this might go so in other pandemic exercise. They did and they actually did this. Was you know they went through. The social media counts of of the public and they were doing this. Because they're the military getting ready to go into the long term care homes and so they collected information about the long term care homes which is fine. You know you can say they needed to know what they were dealing with. But they also collected from public social social media accounts negative comments about premier. Doug ford And that the ontario government had failed. It's it's elderly. Then the turned those comments over to doug ford government so that and and you know i i and i mentioned this in the interview i had with the with the rear admiral and the senior military folks and they said well. We didn't do anything wrong because this is out there already. It's on people's social media accounts. And i said well but why turn over to doug ford's government and they couldn't answer that and so you're starting to see and this is the concern among some people the military entering the canadian political realm right. 'cause i suppose the obvious question here that that i have that people might have here is. Why is the military. Even looking through tweets to see how people are reacting to long-term carry your. I know that they were called in to help. Long-term care homes. But why do they care what people think about the government response to. You couldn't get an answer to that. I mean they are in the long term care homes to help the elderly to help the overworked staff. Lieutenant colonel. james. Stalker is the commanding officer of the territorial battlegroup one so the medical teams will do what you'd expect. Medical team to do primarily clinical work and direct patient care for the residents in those facilities or general duties personnel augment by doing tasks like Disinfecting like cleaning laundry like food. Portering there is no reason that they needed to have information in my view anyways that they needed to have information about what individual people in ontario were saying about premier. Doug ford own. You mentioned that you're hearing from people inside the military in. Can you tell me a little bit more about what you're hearing from these people. What are their concerns here. But what could happen. So there's a concern that they understand the need for propaganda on foreign missions so you want to get afghans to stop supporting the taliban. So you do various techniques what d- individuals are concerned about. Is that these. Techniques are being applied by the military on canadian on a domestic audience and that is a concern so the military says well. We won't do that however You know i've found four or five examples this year alone where you could argue that. It is being done on canadians. Given these internal concerns and giving the pushback from the defense minister. Where do you see all this going. Well the all indications are that That at least parts of it are gonna be A shutdown And the public affairs officers Won't be allowed to To be involved in this type of propaganda operations whether that takes place i mean. I think we've got to see You know how that how that plays out over the coming months because there are Some people in the military that are that are quite committed to this This capability okay. All right david puglisi thank you so much for bringing us this really important story. Please keep us posted. And i hope comeback thank you so before we say goodbye an update on the story. We've covered a number of times on the show. The ongoing tensions over china's influence in hong kong on wednesday all of hong kong's pro democracy. Lawmakers resigned on mass. The move comes in response to the expulsion of four of their pro. Democracy colleagues from the legislature after a new law imposed by beijing allowed the removal of quote unpatriotic politicians. The expulsion and mass resignation leaves hong kong's legislature with only pro beijing lawmakers which critics fear reduces it to a rubber stamping body. That's all for today. Thanks so much for listening to front burner and we will talk to you tomorrow for more. Cbc podcasts go to cbc dot ca slash podcasts.

nova scotia David puglisi puglisi office of defence david joins department of lands and forest Doug ford christopher wiley amick million dollar mary brewster patrick matthews Cbc corey hearn twitter nova scotia Ottawa peru jamie scotia
Facebook's role in Brexit -- and the threat to democracy | Carole Cadwalladr

TED Talks Daily

15:01 min | 2 years ago

Facebook's role in Brexit -- and the threat to democracy | Carole Cadwalladr

"This. Ted talk. Features journalist Carol Cadwalader recorded live at Ted twenty nineteen. From basketball courts to courts of law. We always seem to want to blame the referee to attack the authority of the people whose job it is to ensure fairness in his first podcast. Michael Lewis, author of moneyball in the big short asks what happens when fairness can't be enforced over seven episodes against the rules takes listeners from student loan. Call centers to the courts of who's Becca, STAN and much more. Listen and subscribe for free wherever you get your podcasts. So on the day after the Brexit vote in June two thousand sixteen when Britain woke up to the shock of discovering that we're leaving the European Union my editor at the observer newspaper in the UK asked me to go back to South Wales where I grew up and to write a report. And so I went to a town called Ebi Vail. It's in the South Wales valleys, which is this quite special place. So he's had this very sort of rich working class culture is famous for its wealth male voice choirs in rugby. And it's cold though, when I was a teenager, the coal mines and the steelworks closed and the entire area was devastated. And I went there because it had one of the highest lea- votes in the country. Sixty two percent of the people here voted to leave the European Union. And I wanted to know why? When I got there. It was just a bit taken aback. This is a new soci- three million pound college a further education that was mostly funded by the European Union. And this is the new sports centre that set the middle of three hundred fifty million pounds regeneration project that spinning funded by the European Union. And this is the new seventy seven million pound road improvement scheme. And there's a new train line new railway station. They're all being funded by the European Union. And it's not as if any of this is a secret I had this sort of weird sense of unreality walking around the town, and it came to a head when I met this young man in front of the sports center. And he told me that he had voted to leave because the European Union had done nothing for him. He was fed up with it. And around town people told me the same thing. They said that they wanted to take back control, which is one of the slogans in the campaign, and they told me that they were most fed up with the immigrants and with the refugees that had enough. Which was old because we'll hear around. I didn't meet any so refugees, I met one polish woman who told me she was practically the only foreigner in town. And when I checked the figures, I discovered the bell actually has when the lowest rates of immigration in the country. And so I was just a bit baffled because I couldn't understand why people getting their information from because it was the right wing tabloid newspapers, which printed all these stories about immigration, and this is a very much a left wing. Labour stronghold. But then after the article came out this woman in touch with me, and she was from Val. And she told me about all this stuff that she'd seen on Facebook. I was like what stuff and she said it was all this quite scary stuff about immigration, especially about Turkey. So I tried to find it. But there was nothing there because there's no all cave events that people see all what had been pushed into their news feeds. No trace of anything gone completely dark. And this referendum that will have this profound effect forever on Britain. It's already had a profound effect the Japanese car manufacturers that came to wells and the northeast replaced the mining jobs. They're already going because of Brexit and this entire referendum took place in darkness because it took place on Facebook. And what happens on Facebook stays on Facebook because only see your news feed, and then it vanishes. So it's possible to research anything. So we have no idea who saw what ads or what impact they had what data is used to target these people or even who placed the ads or how much money was spent or even what nationality they were. But Facebook does. Facebook has these answers, and it's refused to give them to us. Our parliament has asked Mark Zuckerberg multiple times to come to Britain and to give us these answers and every single time. He's refused. And you have to wonder why. Because we'll I another. Journalists have uncovered is that most crimes took place June the referendum, and they took place on Facebook. Because in Britain, we limit the amount of money that you can spend in an election, and it's because in the nineteenth century people would walk around. We'd be like literally wheelbarrows of cash and just by voters. So we passed these strict laws to stop that from happening, but those rules don't work anymore. This referendum took place almost entirely online, and you can spend any amount of money on Facebook or Google or YouTube ads, and nobody will know because that black box is. And this is what happened. We've actually got no idea of the full extent of it. But we do know that in the last days before the Brexit vote. The official vote leave campaign laundered three nearly three quarters of a million pounds through another campaign entity that our electoral commission has ruled was illegal, and it's referred it to the police and with this illegal cash. Vote. Leave unleashed a fire hose of disinformation. And most of us. We never saw these ads because we were not the target of them very leave identified a tiny sliver of people who had identified as persuadable and they saw them. And the only reason we are seeing these now is because parliament forced Facebook to hand them over. And maybe you think well, it was just a bit of overspending. It's a few lies. This was the biggest electoral fraud in Burson for one hundred years in a once in a generation vote that hinged upon just one percent of the electorate. And it was just one of the crimes that took place in the referendum. There was another group which was headed by this man, Nigel Farraj and his group Levy you. It also broke the law, April British electoral laws and British data laws, and it's also being referred to the police. And this man, our banks he funded this campaign and a completely separate case. He's been referred to the national crime agency are critics of the FBI because our electoral commission has concluded. They don't know where his money came from. Or if it was even British and I'm not even going to go into the lies. The iron banks has told about his cO the relationship with the Russian government's. All the weird timing of Nigel Farraj is meetings with Julian Assange, and with Trump's, but the stone now indicted immediately before to massive we leak dumps space which happened to benefit Donald Trump. But I will tell you that Brexit and Trump were insolently entwined. This man told me that Brexit was the Petrie dish for Trump. And we know it's the same people. Same companies the same data the same techniques the same use of hate and fear. I don't have to tell you that hate and fear of being so online all across the world, not just in Britain and America, but in France, and in Hungary, and Brazil and mine mar and New Zealand, and we know that there is dark undertone, which is connecting us all globally, and it is flowing via the technology platforms. But we only see a tiny amount of what's going on on the surface. And I only found out anything about this talk underbelly because I started looking into Trump's relationship to Ferrari to accompany cou-, Cambridge Analytica. And I spent months tracking down an extra employees, Christopher Wiley. And he told me how this company that worked for both Trump and Brexit had profiled people politically in order to understand their individual fears to better target them with Facebook. And it did this by illicitly harvesting, the profiles of eighty seven million people from Facebook. It took an entire year's work to get Christopher on the record. And I had to turn myself in the feature writer into an investigative reporter to do it. And he was extraordinarily brave because the company is owned by Robert Mercer, the billionaire who Bank fraud Trump and he threatened to sue us most of people times to stop us from publishing, but we finally got there, and we will one day ahead of publication. We got another legal threat not from Cambridge Analytica this time, but from Facebook. It told us that if we publish they would sue us. We did it. Anyway. You will own the wrong side of history in that. And you were on the wrong side of history in this in refusing to give us the answers that we need. And that is why I am here to address you directly the gods of Silicon Valley. I'm Carol found book and Larry page and Sergei Brin and Jack Dorsey. And your employees. Enjoy investors too. Because one hundred years ago, the biggest danger in the South Wales coal mines was gas silent and deadly and invisible. It's why the send the Canaries down. I to check their and in this massive global online experiment that we are all living through we in Britain are the canary. We are what happens to a western democracy when one hundred years of electoral laws are disrupted by technology. Our democracy is broken our laws don't work anymore. And it's not me saying this. It's our parliament published a report saying this, this technology that you have invented has been amazing. But now it's a crime scene, and you have the evidence. And it is not enough to say that you will do better in the future. Because to have any hope of stopping this from happening. Again, we have to know the truth. And maybe you think when it was just a few ads and people are smarter than that. Right. To which I would say good luck with that. Because what the Brexit vote demonstrates is that liberal democracy is broken. And you broke it. This is not democracy spreading lies in darkness paid for with illegal cash from God knows where. It's subversion. And you are accessories to it. Our palment has been the first in the world to try to hold you to account and it's failed. You are literally beyond the reach of British law. Not just British laws. This is nine parliament's nine countries. You Mark Zuckerberg refused to come and give evidence to and what you don't see him to understand is that this is bigger than you. And it's bigger than any of us, and it is not about left or right or leave or remain or Trump or not it's about whether it's actually possible to have a free and fair election ever again. Because as it stands. I don't think he is. And so my question to you is this what you want. Is this? How you want history to remember you? As the handmaidens to authorities hairiness them that is on the rise all across the world. Because you set out to connect people, and you are refusing to acknowledge that the same technology is now driving us apart. My question to everybody else's is this what we want? To let them get away with it. And to sit back and play with our phones is this darkness falls? The history of the South Wales. Valleys is of a fight for rights, and this is not a drill. It's a point of inflection democracy is not guaranteed, and it is not inevitable, and we have to fight and we have to win, and we cannot let these tech companies have this unchecked power. It's up to us. You me and all of us. We are the ones who have to take back control. For more TED talks to Ted dot com. Ex-?

Facebook Britain European Union South Wales Donald Trump Ted dot Trump Mark Zuckerberg Brexit Carol Cadwalader Michael Lewis Brexit basketball Christopher Wiley Nigel Farraj Ebi Vail Becca electoral fraud rugby Labour
Vaccine Bottlenecks with Pfizer CEO; Big Techs Path Forward with Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower

Squawk Pod

35:02 min | 4 months ago

Vaccine Bottlenecks with Pfizer CEO; Big Techs Path Forward with Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower

"Worldwide exchange is now a podcast. Join me brian sullivan. Is we get your day started with the big money stories. You care about all the smart takes on the news from the us and around the world subscribe to the worldwide exchange. Podcast today. This is walk pon cnbc producer. Katie kramer today on our podcast. President trump facing impeachment charges once again washington is facing a security crisis and a political crisis at the same time. Big tech under pressure for cracking down on the president's language online. Is it too little too late. Chris wiley who blew the whistle on facebook's user data scandal. I think one of the things that we're seeing is what happens when a company does not due diligence on its own products prior to release algorithms clayton a really big role in spreading this problematic content and former twitter news executive vivian schiller. We're in a moment of national crisis. There are people who are using these platforms right now to organized and armed insurrection. This is a national emergency visor. Ceo albert birla on cova complications. That main now to make sure your on up operation shorts minister more vaccines and meeting vaccine demand very confident that we will increase dramatically production for this year. Up to two billion doses. It's tuesday january. Twelve twenty twenty one. Squawk pod begins right now. Good morning everybody. Welcome to squawk box here on cnbc. I'm becky quick along with joe. Kernan and andrew. Ross sorkin house. Democrats have now introduced articles of impeachment against president trump accusing. Him of inciting an insurrection. Last week when a mob of his supporters attacked the capital now washington is bracing for more protests and aim. Jabar's has the latest for us this morning aiming good morning to you. Yeah good morning. Andrew washington is facing security crisis and a political crisis at the same time in the wake of last week's violent attack on the capitol building. Let's start on. The security front as members of congress are slowly beginning to realize that the threat is not over here. Violence from trump supporters In relation to the inauguration and other events that are coming up in washington but we saw from the fbi yesterday was a warning of possible armed protests at all fifty state capitals starting on january sixteenth all fifty state capitals expected to possibly experience armed protests the fbi saying that the armed groups are threatening to stage if congress were to remove president trump. One congressman now Providing information to reporters saying that to capitol police officers have been suspended and as many as ten to fifteen are under investigation for their role in the riott whether they in any way aided and abetted the rioters who stormed the capital on wednesday with president meanwhile supported an emergency declaration for dc allowing additional federal assistance. All of this coming as the secretary of homeland security chad wolf resigned yesterday in the wake of last week's events so we are without even an acting director of homeland security at this point. Meanwhile on the political side democrats are moving forward with an impeachment effort. Today they are expected to vote on a resolution. Calling on mike pence the vice president to push forward with the twenty fifth amendment and remove the president from office immediately failing that and that is expected not to go anywhere because pens does not seem to be leaning in that direction. Failing that we think that there will be an impeachment. Vote by the democrats on wednesday will attract quite a number of republican votes not clear how many republican votes at this point some senate republicans are imploring the house now to keep the articles focused specifically on trump's incitement of insurrection. That's sort of Impeachment article That could garner republican support in the senate as well but senator joe manchin democrat of west. Virginia says the impeachment effort is ill advised. And there's some question about whether there would be enough votes in the senate to convict and remove the president on a charge of inciting insurrection. So we think that this process will begin on wednesday not clear when it will end before or after the president's term in office comes to an end at noon on january twentieth guys beco- view. And before we let you go. We've obviously seen a number of companies. I shouldn't say just a number. A parade of companies come forward over the last twenty four hours. And i'm curious just what the emotional reaction is to the extent that you can measure it both at the white house and elsewhere right now. You know we've got a sound bite here The the control room has teed up from a republican congressman From last night he was on the news. With shepard smith describing what he said Could be the violent reaction to his votes in congress. I think that captures the emotional reaction As well as anything. I wanted to listen to that i am expecting. There will likely be more political violence. And so you know my expectation and the expectation of some folks. I'm talking to who were trying to vote our conscience on this as that. There will be folks who try to kill us. That's the stark reality. Andrew folks who try to kill us is what members of congress are expecting in the wake of their vote here on impeachment and removal of the president of the united states That's where we are a country. It is a it is a bleak thought It is an accurate thought And the prospect here is at the end of this pro-trump violence. This is not over at this point. Hey amy i know they're. They're a lot of talk about how long the fundraising will actually be impacted. And i know there's been specific. Talk about whether republicans can fundraise with rick. Scott being the one who leads up the national republican Arm of this right now from the senate He voted against ratifying some of the state's votes. And that's particularly. Look a lot of these companies have said they're not going to give any political money to anybody all the way around. It's kind of amazing when you think about how much money was spent in georgia. But what's the real impact. How long do you think this lasts. And what is the senate. What is the house doing about it if anything well. There's not much they can do about it. I mean the companies are the ones who decide how they spend their money. You're seeing companies dividing themselves into several different camps right. There's the first camp where you're saying. We're not going to give any money at all a pox on both houses. Forget about it. I'm told there are some of those companies who are simply taking a pause on political contributions as they try to get their policy straight In terms of who they're going to support them who they're not so some of those companies might further define what they're going to do with their with their political cache. You're also seeing companies that are saying they're simply not going to donate to anybody who voted to reject the electoral college results. Saying that. that's simply a bridge too far in this democracy and those are the people were not going to support some of those companies putting a cap on that. That's for one election cycle so two years at for house members. Six years for senators Saying that they won't donate during that period of time but also seen at least one company demands money back saying we supported these candidates. That was a mistake. We want our cashback. So there's a variety of responses here from companies all of that is damaging politically to those members of congress who are going to be affected but some of the calculus. Frankly is that there is a swarm of people online who could fill the gap The people that you saw storming the capital have behind them. Millions of supporters and those people have been writing checks. The president has raised Something like two hundred million dollars in support for his. Stop the steel efforts. Since the election that type of fundraising prowess online might be able to offset sort of the establishment corporate donations. That you've seen getting pulled this week. Jabar's thank you so very much for helping us understand. All of these remarkable events that we've been witnessing thanks while washington grapples with its allegiances. Silicon valley and the tech industry are weathering troubles of their own. What's the line between publisher platform. What social media's culpability in last week's riots in the capital and what are we going to do about it social media companies under pressure from their users and maybe their conscience taking action overnight. Twitter said it suspended more than seventy thousand accounts associated with the cunanan conspiracy. Facebook announced it would ban any content centered around. Stop the steel but for one of our next guests. These actions are a little too late. Christopher wiley is the canadian technologist who raised the first alarm on facebook's cambridge analytic data scandal. Back in twenty eighteen. He's also one of the first people to ever be banned from facebook so he knows a thing or two about that. If you haven't watched the great hack on net during the pandemic or if the last two years of roller coaster news of jumbled your memory. that's understandable. Let me give you a recap of what happened. Cambridge analytica was a british consulting firm. That helps conservative presidential campaigns on social media twenty-six like ted cruz is bad for the white house and of course donald trump's the firm was found responsible for the defeat crooked hillary campaign on facebook in two thousand eighteen. The guardian and the new york times published an expose revealing cambridge analytica harvested data from tens of millions of facebook profiles without the user's knowledge or consent. The total number of profiles breached eventually settled at eighty seventy million. The cambridge analytica scandal was one of the first times. Social media became a flash point in the functioning of democracy. The federal trade commission launched an inquiry just days after the first reporting was published in facebook. Ceo mark zuckerberg and his coo. Sheryl sandberg spent the better part of the next year apologizing to their users and attempting to rebuild. Trust it's also become clear over the last couple of years. We haven't done enough to prevent these tools from being used for farmers was not goes for fake news. Foreign interference in elections and developers misusing people's information. We didn't take a broad view of our responsibility. Now is a mistake. And i'm sorry. This was a huge breach of trust. People come to facebook every day and they depend upon us to protect their data. And i am so sorry that we let so many people down about a month. After data harvesting came to light zuckerberg testified in front of congress for the first time. We have made a lot of mistakes in running the company. I think it's it's pretty much impossible. I believe to start a company in your dorm room. And then throw it to be the scale that we're at now without making some mistakes and because our service is about Helping people connect and information Those mistakes have been different in how they try to make the same mistake multiple times. I'm not the type of person who thinks that all regulations. So i think the internet is becoming increasingly important in people's lives. And i think we need to have a conversation about what is the right regulation of whether it should be and christopher wiley that initial whistleblower wrote a book about the scandal and about tex responsibility to its users in the technology built. Here he is on cnbc and twenty nineteen discussing big tex role in the two thousand sixteen elections. Just because things didn't blow up doesn't mean that there aren't serious harms that were done to the democratic institutions of the united states are more broadly how society functions moving forward pretty precious actually so today we asked christopher wiley about guardrails or lack thereof big tech. And this time we might vivian. Schiller executive director of aspen digital of the aspen institute former global chair of news twitter and former president and ceo npr. Here's andrew chris. I'm going to start with you given that you've lived in the midst of this for quite some time yourself personally and so the question is who should decide. Should this be the government or the ceo or the companies themselves. Yeah so. I think what we're seeing is The emergence of you know dominant players on the internet that have utility like features without the corresponding obligations of a regulated public utility. And so in my case. I was Band when i blew the whistle on what was happening on facebook. Us law enforcement but at the same time we also see all kinds of other people being banned now I think the real fundamental question is not whether or not the government or private company should decide but that we should create an ecosystem of rules. Which makes it clear what is acceptable and not acceptable On these platforms and to a broader point when you regulate utilities and other technical sectors. We call it. Big tech but aerospace You know pharmaceuticals all kinds of companies are are also big tech. One of the things that we require companies to do is implement testing safety testing and quality testing of their products. Before the implement a you know a widespread release it into the public. And i think one of the things that we're seeing is what happens when a company does not do due diligence on its own products prior to release algorithms are plate in a really big role in spreading this problematic content. And in that sense. I think if we were to implement more utility style regulation of these of these companies they would be required to do testing of these products to understand their behavior prior to release them to the public right. Vivian let me ask you this. And we've been wrestling with on the program for the past couple of days. Do you look at these companies twitter and the other social media companies as public square as a place where you will your view ultimately. We'll be censored by a company and there's a freedom of speech award you say to yourself. These are private businesses and they can make their own decisions. Well the technical matter of course they are private. Businesses can make their own decisions but they are also public squares without a doubt. But i want to separate the current emergency were in from the medium and long-term solutions that we together need to grapple with over the course of the next year and beyond we are in a moment of national crisis there are people who are using these platforms right now to organize an armed insurrection. Where we know from intelligence that has now been reported that there are a attempt going to be ongoing attempts to assassinate public officials and and cause widespread havoc so this is a national emergency and i think the platforms are doing exactly what they need to do to stop to preserve our democracy and stop that from happening that said when we get past isis. They're is going to be a reckoning that needs to happen around. How what we do with this kind of weaponization of platforms or people to organize for violent means. Vivian limited fell open. Ask you this. I should say up front. I think there's a false equivalency even with the question. I'm about to ask an pains me to ask it but i'm asking it because i see so many people online saying things like this. They say well you know there might be protests and unrest and worse this week but look at the arrests that took place over the summer. Look at all sorts of other scenarios. As i said i think it is a false equivalency. What do you tell those viewers. Yeah of course. It's a false equivalence. We're talking about the first amendment protected rights for people to express their opinion to gather to protest and attempts to overthrow the government which is effectively. What we're seeing with this direction. Insurrections their of these individuals are trying to overturn a lawfully Conducted election for the president of the united states. So there i'm sorry. It is a false equivalence. Doesn't even begin to get at it. It's sort of a ridiculous concept and chris. You're talking about trying to set rules of the road. If you will the question is can you really set rules of the road that can be followed in real time given that this is a real time medium so i think this really gets to a really important point which is tight we really need to bring silicon valley and these these digital forms into the norms of regulation that we see in other technical sectors. So what i mean by. That is when you look at you. Know standard practice in other sectors Testing of behaviors of new technical. Innovations is often a requirement prior to release into the public. And so when we look at the you know long standing behavior of some of these algorithms to disproportionately preference disinformation hate speech etc. This should have been caught in some kind of due diligence process by these platforms. And so i think when we when we asked the question you know how can we you know regulate a technical sector We do it all the time And so just because it's you know at scale and its in in real time dot doesn't give you know these companies pass to say well you know it's complicated so we'll just leave it there. The imagine if we technical sector you know use that excuse. We wouldn't accept it but the entire business model is complicated. And i'm not making excuses. Technically how you could actually do it. Because it's one insurance regulated eating. You know it it. I don't think just because it's complicated is excuse You know these are companies which are making profit off of this really problematic business model and this problematic technical setup and so just because it's complicated doesn't you know i don't care if it's complicated. It has to be fixed and my point to any of these companies to that point would be well if it's if it's complicated. Why didn't you do testing prior to release them to the public. Why didn't you do a you know a diligent job at understanding. What are the potential risks of harm that you may be exposing to individuals or society prior to release these pump. He's products a vivian. You've lived inside the belly of the beast. Or maybe i should say the belly of the bird does jack dorsey get it. And is it possible to do with christmas recommending. yes it is. It is certainly possible based tech companies. Have some of the most brilliant engineers of at scale in the world. So i think it's. It's but i think we need to look beyond just the technical issues. Do the ceos wanna do they get what's going on. Yes i without a doubt they get what's going on and it's complicated because you can't you can't aggregate the impact on their commercial business models and the impact on their on their reputation and the risk of regulation of particularly with democrats in the white house and controlling both houses of congress. So yes they get it. I think we're going to see serious action. We need to get past this This current moment of emergency. That's going to extend on inauguration. But i also just want to raise it. It's not about the platforms. The bigger issue is cloud computing companies and the app stores. That's a much bigger crisis To these platforms than just the individuals on themselves. That only thirty vivian. We've only have thirty seconds but let me ask you about that. Which is do you believe that. Now it's now has the responsibility quote unquote moved up the stack. Now the google and apple and aws are having to effectively police the apps and are they going to have to do that across the board. Well it's a moment of reckoning. Now it's moving all the way up the stack including to the companies that are deciding whether or not they're going to continue to put their ads whether they're going to support politicians. There's this is really a moment of reckoning across the board that is going to have to come to some kind of resolution area. Vivian chris thank you guys so much for joining us this morning and offer your perspective talk to you soon. Next on squad visors. Ceo on the. Kobe vaccine read now. I think we've ever released the seventy three million dollars and have Say papa what sitting on the on the suburbs getting lifesaving doses across all fifty states bottomland. They are trying to improve right now because everybody feels that this is way behind what they wished. And i've confident but within let's say a month or so we will be able to reach the level but we always worldwide exchange is now a podcast. I'm brian sullivan. Join me as we hit the biggest money stories from around the world breaking down the risks and rewards of global. Trade the news. You need to know what real world actionable advice and even a little fun and unique content. You won't get anywhere else like the most random but it stinks thing you'll hear all day subscribe to the worldwide exchange podcast. Today you're listening to squawk pod from cnbc. Here's becky quick. Welcome back everybody. The covid vaccination roll out has been slow. According to the cdc more than twenty five million doses have been distributed and nearly nine million people have now received their first. Does try and help. Speed things up masks explanation sites are popping up across the country. Contessa brewer joins us right. Now she's got more on that front and contest. Good morning becky. Good morning to you. Mass vaccination sites are crucial. If the new white house administration is to reach its goal of one hundred million shots in the first one hundred days and those improvised shot. Factories or opening up coast to coast in new jersey retails losses a big gain in the fight against kobe. A shuttered sears. Store and old kmart are now mass vaccination centers and then you have the crowd were turning to sports stadiums to watch but for their vaccines cars and slow lines at the bristol. Speedway in tennessee san antonio expects to be able to process fifteen hundred people a day at the alamodome. Dodgers stadium is opening up for shots this week and the nation's largest stadium. The big house at university of michigan has no fans instead frontline. healthcare workers and high risk. Students are getting their shots. Michigan medicine has ordered. Twenty four thousand doses. Hoping they can move onto the next in line this week but they're only scheduled to receive four thousand and all of those. Becky are needed for second doses. So no new shots for now. Remember field of dreams. If you build it they will come. Well one of the organizers. They'll come and then there won't be any vaccines to offer becky. What is the whole supply at this point because we keep hearing about how there's twenty two million or twenty five million that have been distributed but only nine million that have been given given out what's the problem. It's a great question. I wish there was an easy answer to it. We heard yesterday from new york governor cuomo. he's we have a million doses on hand. We have four million people who are eligible right now to get this first frontline shot so at this point if we're getting three hundred thousand shots in per week it's going to take us fourteen weeks just to vaccinate that first trunch of frontline healthcare workers never mind people who are older that you know you've got essential workers in grocery stores and restaurants some who have conditions that make them vulnerable rather have people signed up and awaiting the vaccine then have the vaccine awaiting people i understand millions of people want the vaccine today but we must be patient even though it is in impatient. Time in florida becky. We're hearing some counties telling seniors look thanks for registering will call you. Don't call us because right now. We don't have the shots on him. Yeah it seems like no easy answers and definitely some hiccups in the beginning here. Contessa thank you very much. See you the covert vaccination roll out has been slow to say the least to help speed things up. We learned today. The trump administration in its final days will issue new guidelines that expand coronavirus vaccine eligibility to everyone sixty five years old and above as well as those under age sixty five with co morbid conditions. According to a senior administration official the previous focus on just vaccinating healthcare workers and nursing homes has created a bottleneck both pfizer biotech and maderna's. Vaccines require two rounds of injection a few weeks apart and while releasing nearly all vaccine doses on hand could quickly ratchet up availability. it also runs the risk of depleting resources that are necessary in this massive immune ization effort for more on the vaccine roll out. We were joined today by pfizer. Ceo albert in this interview. You'll hear cnbc's make terrell joe kernan becky quick and andrew. Ross sorkin here's mac. That change in policy could come as today. We are hearing that. The administration plans now to recommend the states that the vaccinations to everybody age. Sixty five plus. This was first reported by axios. We are now seeing also reporting from bloomberg saying that. The cdc director will send a letter to governors to this effect today so we should hear more about that. That of course amid pressure about a slower than hoped for vaccine rollout joining us now to discuss is one of the premier vaccine makers in this pandemic of is our ceo birla And so much. More of course from the j. p. morgan healthcare conference Albert thanks for being with us this morning. Talking about this idea that more people could become eligible to get a vaccine. That just puts more pressure on you. And madonna to manufacture these doses. Tell us about how the manufacturing is going in your confidence and being able to keep up a steady pace. Thank you very much first of all. Let me say this is through what we are hearing. This is a very positive thing. This exactly what needs to be done and i think so. Far i don't think about an issue for for offering lexington the country or the country's fronted need We have much more than that can use right now so i think the main book immigration now serve ramp up our veterans minister more vaccines when it comes to our ability to manufacture. Yes they are partner Already announced what. I'm going to announce also myself today but the we re confident that we will increase their mouth. You gotta production for this year. Up to two billion dollars is And if you're comfortable that you'll be able to deliver that was the result of multiple steps up to but this is where we are right now so i feel very comfortable that the congress would they get government we would be able to deliver on skips. Well you just mentioned you. You have more vaccines than Are are being used right now. And that's just sort of mind boggling. 'cause we thought it was going to be the opposite problem that every is going to be counting down the door and there wouldn't be enough supply. What can you tell us about how much you've already made that. You have sitting there ready to go Once the gates are opened and we do understand that the policy change today could also include a releasing some of the doses that are being held for a second dose at the end of the last week of the trend. For example we had already manufactured more than seventy million doses and we had the released from there. Because there's a quality control about ms around fifty million those Then we might talk some more effectively good for generally right now. I think we've ever released the third. The three million dollars and do have Let's talk what would have manufacturer is sitting on the social and it sounds like from your increased for for how much you can make this year now up to two billion doses in two thousand twenty one. That's up from one point. Three billion we understand. Some of that is because this fortuitous. Finding that there's an extra dose in those five does files that accounts for twenty percent of that but it also means that your manufacturing seems to be going better than you expected. Should we be expecting an increased pace really of output from you on a steady drumbeat throughout the year. Yes this is what the i. I'm very constant but the will happen much higher than what we had focused it before and to the tune of going from one three to two billion dollars twenty percent increase because they're six dollars in the bio was the result of data that we generate we submitted wall regulatory authorities and right now six approved by fda the european authorities the w eight so israeli authorities switzerland authorities name so basically the entire world is using nas exhausted but also we have done tremendous steps to improve production leads by our third park. Manufacturers auto production of the drug substance in our manufacturing sides We we did a lot of things. Actually i will say that. What our manufacturing thing did was almost Another miracle following what our research team did bring vaccine in such record time they are scaling up manufacturing speeds that we didn't think that were possible so they are also making the awesome awesome albert that has been no small order on either of these fronts. We've been absolutely amazed what you're scientists have done what the manufacturers have done with able to being able to get this out there but when you talk about the fifty million doses that you alone released last year and you consider that that's not the only vaccine out there and then you realize that only nine maybe nine and a half million americans have gotten a shot to this point we talk all the time about the bottlenecks. Where are the bottlenecks that you see. There's a makeshift sure that they are microbes. That was global so in the us we offer to the us twenty million those fears we had but as you said they do less it has to do with Botanists i think in the execution. I think there are gearing up to fix I think has to do with how senders rates with with With states. It has to do with some of the policies that they are blending for good reasons about you. Know they're debatable. Bottom line. I think it is. They are trying to do in groove right now this because everybody feels that this is way behind what they wished to be and I feel confident but within Let's say a month or so we would be able to reach the level but we always want albert. It's megan You know yesterday. The governor of michigan gretchen. Whitmer wrote a letter to secretary alex as requesting permission to just by one hundred thousand doses directly from pfizer Do you think that that would help. Could you do that with permission from. Hhs sell directly to states. Could that fix some of these bottlenecks fix booklets. Looks like the government believes so and right now we come It's up to a state s to indicate to whom we can sell it as you know we operate under a special emergency crews authorisation In the us So if they are made to do so we will But they need to agree or left albert. It's a small issue. But i'm curious from just a corporate governance perspective. What you made of the decision by madonna and their team to go ahead and vaccinate all of their senior level employees their families and also their board members and their families. I it's not appropriate for me to comment What madera now or any other company are doing and respectful of them anonymously I'll tell you what we and what we do. I didn't get the vaccine i. We had the received a license for me to get the vaccine. Because i'm now without knowing or without wanting a public figure but could enhance the the the the confidence by meet taking the vaccine. But i didn't do it because you know what if someone was telling you do it but you can do your colleagues working on this all right. Thank so he's the same. Why do it when my be. The cannot do it and Why do it when our other employs gonna do right. Now we received the license vaccinating fis of the essential workers and this works out of the people but they are working manufacturing sites but producing medicines and in size but they're working in critical says program. Since we started doing that this will be a number of Seventy thousand abrupt. The people over total of almost eighty thousand embraced contractors up we in the pfizer and we do not plan to vaccine a prioritize. Let me put it this way. Our executives or board members had the forest war. You know mike my people president. I told them many times when my thought the is not nice to talk to live. So we'll wait our outer absolutely albert. We know you called your vaccine effort project light speed and we're sure you're applying that same Speed and focus to the rest of the pipeline. We appreciate you being here. Thanks again and that squawk pod for today thanks for listening squawks hosted by joe kernan becky quick and andrew. Ross sorkin dune in weekday mornings on. Cnbc at six eastern subscribe to and share squawk pod and when we evacuated tomorrow what exchange is now a podcast. I'm brian sullivan. Join me as we hit the biggest money stories from around the world breaking down the risks and rewards of global. Trade the news. You need to know what real world actionable advice and even a little fun and unique content. You won't get anywhere else like the most random but interesting thing you'll hear all day subscribe to the worldwide exchange podcast today.

facebook congress Jabar senate christopher wiley Ross sorkin washington becky Katie kramer Chris wiley vivian schiller cnbc Ceo albert birla brian sullivan Andrew washington chad wolf Twitter senator joe manchin united states
The Weekly Listen: Actually Regulating Social, Snapchat Spotlight and Spotify Stories | Dec 4, 2020

Behind the Numbers: eMarketer Podcast

51:54 min | 5 months ago

The Weekly Listen: Actually Regulating Social, Snapchat Spotlight and Spotify Stories | Dec 4, 2020

"Hello everyone and thanks for hanging out with us for the behind. The numbers weekly listened and him off the poco sponsored by new stop. This is the friday shy the reviews the most consequential did shoe new stories of the week. I'm your host. I'm mockus in today's show. Social media actually be regulated comedies and particularly the big social companies just too powerful and some ways the more active they are in monitoring what's on their platforms The more powerful they become social media shopping's surge even though yes it's true. Social commerce is growing really closing that loop which is getting people to buy within. The app has not taken off yet. And i think that's going to be a pain point really completing that process. What's the ceiling for disney. Plus could still has a lot of runway left so you know the fact that they've so far focused mostly on the us to means there's literally a world of opportunity still out there for the snapchat rolls out tiktok competitive spotlight the fundamental snapchat with morality. And it's kind of closed experience. You know the idea of trying to be viral in this environment. Interest seems actually countered to to the whole entire premise. Specifies testing snapchat likes stories. facebook is going to pay. Uk publishes in news in twenty twenty one and animal. Should you never trust welcome to the show. We have people lost four. People joined today show. We have seen analysts for connectivity and tank joining us sarah watson wrote. Hello there for show. We're also joined by some familiar voices on the weekly this one. We have Gene everything socialists. Blake jewish everybody. Hmo joined bil- principal analyst covering demographics is marked. Oliver hurry and finally we have head of content studio. Mr paul van always that they are so folks Phil listen before you know us up if you haven't goes four quarters that's how we dice. This show We have the first quarter. Which is our story of the week i'm talking about. How might we actually regulate social media. Throw some suggestions we've been reading about. We move to the second quarter after that is the game of the week. What's the points were full contestants ceremony. They can pull up. We'll give us the best takeaway. They can think of from four different stories. And i will china's winner dance. We then move to questions at the show where we also the emails that you've sent into us and then finally dinner policy data which is the trivia portion where we talk about stuff we just recently lands us Yeah the fourth quarter will start with the fast court. I because that's where you should begin. How might social media actually be regulated recent piece in the bbc by tech reporter. Chris folks asks the question. How my social media be regulated. He highlights suggestions from a recent report published by the forum for democracy which was established to make non-binding recommendations thirty eight countries. It recommended a number of things Some lists a couple of them. And i want to get Guests taken what they think is most likely to be implemented in what might have so number one. These seems pretty kind of a high level and not to specific the first couple but statutory building codes basically mandatory safety and quality requirements digital platforms number two social networks displaying a correction to every person who is exposed to misinformation number three a circuit breakers. So trying to slow viral content down and basically fat. Check it before it can go viral and before making social networks. Disclose in the news feed. Why contents has been recommended to us number five limiting micro targeting advertising messages number. Six making it illegal to exclude people from content on the basis of race and religion number seven banning so called dark patterns these the interfaces designed to sometimes confuse frustrate people making it harder to delete your accounts that were a few other proposals which some of these social media platforms facebook twitter youtube already. Do labeling council state controlled news organizations limiting how many times messages can be forwarded to large groups facebook whatsapp so those of different things in that. What's your about misinformation micro targeting dot patterns etc etc guys. Which of these recommendations could you see being implemented and having some actual effect. I would say that You know things like transparency. Behind algorithms and micro targeting are good things to focus on even though the raising awareness or actually providing the transparency. That might not be enough for the average user to really wrap their head around and understand how it works. But i think it's much more likely in order to make some headway in those areas. Things like stopping the spread of misinformation Fortunately to me at least seems like it's almost beyond social media at this point. I think we live in a world. Where oftentimes the truth can't even be agreed upon so the goal of enforcing the truth and stopping the spread of what is it. Truthful is always gonna be met with fierce opposition from one side of the political divide. Of course this is obviously something social media contributed to the creation to contributed into creating. But i think just with the internet in general which is essentially just an open forum for discourse that we've never seen before deciding what is truthful and how to stop the spread of at this point seems like something that is beyond anything that social regulate at this point. Yeah it seems that way to the rest of you. Guys feel that way because Christopher wiley whose politics bbc. Pc's the chapter revealed how cambridge analytical used millions of people whose facebook data for toxic campaigns few years ago He was interviewed upon this pace and he was talking about misinformation. Wh who defines what information he says facebook says it does work hard to tackle misinformation and doesn't profit from hate speech but he says an oil company would say we do not profit from pollution pollution byproducts and harmful byproducts regardless of whether facebook profits from hates or not here's a harmful byproducts of the current design and these social harms can come from this business module is misinformation in that category of just by products. There's nothing we can do about or should they be doing more balance it because it is often a result we direct result of how these platforms operate while misinformation unfortunately is very much in the eye of the beholder. Blake's point i mean. I think one person's misinformation disinformation is another person's advocacy. It shouldn't be that way. Because i think there are some very clearly misleading and intentionally deceitful. Post that have made the rounds a lot in her times. But there's also a gray area here in discerning the gray area from those you know the ones that at least i perceive is harder. Lines is not something that i think. Social media companies are really almost. Anyone is in a position to arbitrate. Sarah when it come to you. Which should these different recommendations from this pace from this recent reports caught your attention the most and what kind of impact you think said a recommendation might actually have sarah. I think you know talking about which ones most likely to actually happen. I think the ones that start to regulate things like discriminatory targeting our most likely because they're already regulations in place for things like how housing is targeted to individuals so their existing statutes that actually address these things and it's a matter of whether or not facebook for example is complying with them. We've seen even though there's been research looking at things like targeting housing ads or job discrimination ads against protected classes like age or sex and so that's a category that facebook Absolutely going to have to comply with the things that were more interesting to me. Actually were some of these regulations. That were suggesting how engineers would actually start to regulate themselves and so these professional codes of conduct for engineers the statutory building code idea. That's the thing that's starting to the conversation. Less on the state regulator side of things and putting it more into the kind of incentive structures for engineers within the tech firms to actually think about you know what are we building what is our obligation to our users and the premise that Widely talks about in in his book is lawyers have codes of ethics journalists. Do doctors the first principle is do no harm so why don't suffer. Engineers have those kinds of professional practices in place as a as a certain code ethics. The other one that jumped out to me as very possible to do and would potentially have a really high impact for giving users a little bit. More control is actually Disclosure label for targeted attribute. So the kind of thing where you would say. Why am i seeing this. How is this targeted to me. What are the parameters. What information is this being based on. It's actually something. I've been arguing for since like two thousand eleven facebook you now. Since that period of time has introduced the the ability to click on an ad. And say why am i seeing this. And you'll have not as granular data as one with maybe like but it all at least say like because you visit the website or because you're in this age bracket these advertisers are targeting. You based on that information so apply that from adds into the rest of the content on the platform you know. Why am i seeing. This is it because my friends are engaging with it is it. Because it's an incendiary post and you know hate speech or controversial. Things are getting bubbled up in the algorithm. I think that's the tape of exposure like content literacy that we are actually missing from ecosystem right now that actually changes the user experience in naval way Change the experience in a way that sarah and some other folks with I suspect most people would not want to have to wade through an explanation of why they're seeing something before they actually see it but somebody's the scope of steps taking to address the problem Sort of have to relate to to how be the problem is in this report. They said that the the misinformation chaos is quote. A vital threat democracies have to say if i were employed it was a moderator on twitter. I very tempted to slap a label on that as disputed and potentially misleading. I mean you could say that's the case but That's highly debatable proposition. But but you if you see the problem is is a real problem. Certainly but if you see it as such a huge problem then you do take dramatic steps and you see this. Yeah kind of recall but not huge one than then you're more likely to to adopt the more of the the modest terribly have pointed out and the noncontroversial london especially something like the source says the ones that are already on the books like not targeting your job in the real estate ads away from certain groups i would just say i think one of the things that i found really compelling about this report is that it is truly taking a global perspective on the range of issues and kind of that concerns at the moment and so you've got people like rap lers the philippines newspaper who's been targeted by details government and her speech being compromised contributing to this. You've got people like david kay the un special repertoire on freedom of expression contributing to this as well and so there's there is quite a substantial global perspective to the misinformation and disinformation concerns. Some of the report also talks about things like slowing down the forwarding of misinformation and content on apps like whatsapp. Where you know that has been a completely different kind of information spreading format because you're talking about within groups or within chat groups. It's the different model than what you would see on facebook. News feed but yeah. This report does a really thorough job of kind of boiling the ocean issues and trying to take a multilateral approach to both the state regulation side of things and the industry self-regulation opportunities speaking of the global nature of this report. Is it correct that it was a set of recommendations for thirty countries. But i didn't see the us listed as one of them. So is that correct. The us is not art of the official target country. This being directed to her. Actually the thirty eight countries signed on in a kind of paris peace agreement type could be something like that so it's interesting good. I mean while it's true that if a set of recommendations or regulations goes into effect in any one of these countries that could potentially apply to the whole social ecosystem for a company like facebook or twitter. It's also interesting that the country that these companies are based in was really not part of this process so in some ways it's kind of like this utopian global vision but something that given the realities of doing business in the us in the way discourse is polarized. Here it really doesn't seem like a lot of this has any chance of actually going into effect on. Come to you for a quick question. Sarah admissions code of ethics amongst engineers and the people who are building these platforms design. These algorithms seems as kind of a mishmash of self-regulation going on in this social media space and laws are actually on the books already owes wondering if part of the reason that law these companies aren't doing all of these things is because if i regulate myself to a certain extent than maybe my competitors to one and therefore they'll benefit one of the things that came out of the bbc piece said tiktok had actually acknowledged uses would be better protected if social media providers work more closely together. Could you see some kind of consortium being formed where they kind of the big social media platforms say. Hey all not going to do this or not going to do that. And then it kind of takes that competitive nature of doing some of those more prosper deceptive practices out of the equation. Yeah i think that actually is kind of a good segue from what paul was saying. Is that when you actually go to the businesses themselves. You know these tech companies and ask them to either. You know self regulate as a form of You know some sort of self compliance or self regulation or whether it's something that's posed by the government is really gonna create two different situations by it you know. I think that what you're looking at the landscape right now especially in self-regulation that's pertaining to actually making a profit which arguably would be you know most pertinent towards you know how you're going to regulate targeting for advertising. Facebook is still has quite a strong monopoly in the us. So anything that these other companies. I think you know in order to get ahead it. It's almost seems like that. Facebook would have to sort of really take the lead here on self regulation and what we know about facebook whenever they sort of come forth. Have things such as you know. These councils that they've set up for moderation or trying to sort of get ahead of pending regulation. That's coming from the government is really been more of just a show of publicity and it hasn't really. I can't think of top of the head anything that you know. They've really done to take a step forward. That would is really sort of made a difference other than show of good faith to the public. So i sort of long winded answer to say. I don't really think that Any of these social networks whether together standing alone or going to self want to self regulate i think that you could see some sort of display of unity among them. You know sort of implying that this might be the case. But i think that based on what we've seen so far it would most likely be sort of a not an empty gesture but Sort of gesture of good faith. But something that's not really very manageable turds of being affected i think also if they banded together for some kind of group self regulation but in a way that did not satisfy your blake another critics that they're probably in the open to trust problems commitment they were specifically freed. From lowe's yeah. Looking at that council for content moderation for facebook has put out even just this week. Some of the response has just been. You know the handful of cases that they're reviewing post-election have nothing to do with the kind of high profile cases that came up in this election cycle. And so there's been arguments that like these are signals that you're doing the work but you're not really doing the word in that review council for content moderation so i would also add you know. I think it's just a it's a both end and everything in this report is kind of putting it all out there for you know. Here's recommendations for states here's recommendations for the platforms and service providers themselves. And i think it's got to be a mix of of all of the above so i think one issue of your lurking behind all of this as there's sort of a general sense of in the public that through the admit big tech companies in particularly the big social companies are just too powerful and in some ways i mean the the more active they are in moderating what's on their platforms The more powerful they become their exerting their power more and and is therefore point out correctly. they have algorithms that are already picking and choosing to some degree but if someone were passive though that then they're going in piece by piece until you what's true and what's not true so so in that sense. I think you're while people want a big tactically less powerful this have perversely the opposite effect in some way so that That would create problems of its own for for the company after the people who want to bring them in. Yeah i think it's an opportunity for them to actually acknowledge the power that they have take responsibility for it too so mauka one officially story by Coming to you as demographics expert because there was a separate peace in the bbc from tanya franco asking. How can we protect a social media's youngest uses because if we can't regulate for the masses can we lease protect the most vulnerable among us. She writes almost ninety. Percent of twelve to fifteen year olds have a mobile phone into communications watchdog off come in the uk and estimates that three quarters of those have a social media accounts the most popular apps restrict access to under thirteen's but many young children sign up and the platforms. Do to stop them and of her quotes. Mock any thoughts on how we should be thinking about protecting young uses so as i think the the companies would be time to to to wash their hands of it by saying that the look we we explicitly say. You can't do that until you're a of certain age and that the in some ways that they're dealing with parents who have colluded with their kids to get the kids on facebook for example which parents tend to regard as this of a more benign that some of the others on the other hand if there are simple things that the platform can do to to exclude. Obviously dangerous content aimed at kids than if only for public relations reasons. I think they'll be eager to do that. The was cutting the other way. Though i think there had been this widespread notion that social media particular was especially damaging for teenagers and the become sort of a consensus view. And that's actually been pushed back against that. The academics in the past few years that yeah. It's not ideal for kids especially vulnerable kids to begin with but But an argument that in fact the damage social does to two young kids were teenagers in particular has been vastly or overstated right so So that's the social companies may say. Look out yoga. We're not as harmful as the people who were thinking at least a couple years ago as a matter of younger kids being exposed to stuff encouraging suicide and self harm your idiotically companies not not at least do public visible things to try to limit that right one individual dr linda popadopoulos from his osco such a psychologist working with the incident mattis safety nonprofits and she kinda heaps a of responsibility on parents push back of it and says Actually safety online should be in the same way as other skills that keep safe. In the physical world parents should have frank conversations about the types of content. Kids mind counts online. Teach them ways to protect themselves. Shield on onto say the average age kids are exposed to adult. Content is eleven when this happened. She says parents should try to discuss the issues involved. Rather than confiscating the device used to view. It doesn't go time for the lead story this time. Now for the game of the week. I quit word from our sponsor new star. It's an exciting yet. Challenging time to be a marketer of the third party cookie is going away. The pandemic is disrupting behavior and privacy is now an expectation not an option. That's why new star has launched fabric to provide brands publishes and platforms the sustainable options. They need to future proof that marketing fabric combines powerful identity based data assets from houston. They trusted solve today's problems and helped to continue. To thrive you can learn more fabric dot dot com slash emarketer. That's f. a. b. r. i c. k. any u. s. slash marketer. Back is time now for the game of the week. Today's game was the point. The the show where we read out four stories. Now contestants mark blake sarum portas. What they think are the main takeaways of each story. Oh councils get one point. Good get to an hole in one says get three points. Lake view resident go fortune on each person gets twenty seconds before they this. Whoever has the most points off the rounds winds and also guessing tommy of into the game. Tell us anything they once was record the last word if you had that cold if you didn't is a game we play you'll figure it out story one and we stopped with muck social media shopping's quiet surge as the pandemic closed brick and mortar retail. Some americans turn to online shopping channels like social commerce. According to emarketer biz rate. Insights octopus survey just over a third of us online. Shoppers said they used social media to shop. That is from april's twenty seven percents of twenty seven percents to thirty five percents which was near the start of the pandemic of course since april the who said they shop on social media regularly also picked up from six percent to ten percents mark. Social media shopping's quiet surge was the point of the article quotes saying that this higher level of usages is a new baseline. And it'd be very careful about that. We just don't know how much of behavior this past year has been an aberration. So i would say yesterday. Some of that's going to stick. But i think we have no idea how much will stick sarah. I saw sponsored ad today for a komodo robe that is very much my aesthetic. But i took a screen shot and i did not press the shop Because i had never heard of this company. It's called odd bird. Company saved lynch. I'm skeptical of the like. Click through for all the trust issues. Why is it so hard to press. The bell blake so to sarah's point when biz raid in a marketer. Did this version of the serb. And june twenty twenty we also found that only eighteen point seven percent of us social buyers said that they paid for their most recent purchase on social media directly through the checkout process versus fifty. Seven point eight percent. Who said that. They completed the transaction on the retailer's website. So even though yes it's true. Social commerce is growing really closing that loop which is getting people to buy within. The app has not taken off yet. And i think that's going to be a pain point. Really completing that process poll while social platforms have long been working on boosting their commerce businesses on the pandemic has accelerated that trend. So if you look at the explosion of online shopping that's largely resulting from the pandemic combined with the continued growth of social platforms which is also fueled by the pandemic. It's a one two punch or in a way. I guess you could say the opening of a whole new kimono. Come on yes. Next door is because i was using my left hand. I figured it out. I was response pool. But i was also trying to figure out to use the bell. Half is better than nothing. That's your marcus. It's only matter of time before we start stealing komodos from people's porches in our roles porch pirates. Yeah from that source of as well as what's interesting because it said they were buying things. more through. Social media is just a frequent behavior yet even at the sheriff people who are buying through social is increasing samachar. Second story and we're gonna start with sarah. The ceiling for disney plus analyst firm digital tv research things via streaming platform disney plus will add a hundred and twelve million subscribers. Twenty twenty and twenty twenty five. Which would take. Its total to just shy of two hundred million one. Nine thousand four to be exact. Its initial target was between sixty to ninety million subscribers by twenty twenty four. It's already right in the middle of that target just a year after launch. That'll be four years ahead of schedule. Sarah the ceiling for disney plus was the point. So i'm really curious where that drop off is going to be for all these bundled subscribers. I have disney plus right now Because it came free with rise and files. I want to know where that cutoff is. Who's going to be sticking around. After the initial kind of deep dive wears off. I have to admit though. I'm very excited to watch taylor swift's hall i. I'm ashamed to admit actually shame. No shame in blake. Yes so in the. Us we expect monthly users are gonna continue to grow by digit percentages through twenty twenty four where it will exceed one hundred and twenty three million monthly viewers not subscribers but this is a big growth in presumably which is what is already the most saturated market in the us so it seems like so are internationally. The sky is kind of the limit especially as internet connections. Strengthen streaming video becomes more popular across the world effect that disney's in international brand. Seems like there's really not much of a limit at least for what i'm looking at Yeah the us. In india they say with account for nearly half of disney plus subscribers by that day of twenty twenty five point two district every research in large part because of india's disney plus star subscribe accounts which is growing and growing because if cricket coverage in. India poll I've stolen your point by saying that. Then oh l. one point for me. Poll well i don't wanna get ahead of our forecast so i'm not speaking in an official capacity on this but this digital tv research outlook strikes me as realistic. Especially when you remember that disney is among the lowest price of these premium subscription video services so even factoring in some fall off after promotional offers. Run out it still has a lot of runway left so you know the fact that they've so far focus mostly on the us it means there's literally a world of opportunity still out there for them all played extra points mock to seren paul's point it through the we don't know for sure what's going to happen with people who are getting the free sample but all the history seen so far. Is that the whatever. The ceiling is the disney plus has a very high floor. And the it's not gonna sink before we've seen so far much below what it started with the which certainly poised for very high ceiling as well. Good points We're going to story. Blake kicks us off snapchat rolls out tiktok pets to spotlights. Tech's reported that snapchat had officially rolled out. Its video sharing feature to rival tiktok spotlight offering. Szekely scroll the bull video clips uses to the public for you. Feet of the spotlight time either set to public or private snapshot is trying to incentivize us us to share the spotlight videos with others by offering up to one million dollars daily the rest of the year two coaches with the most popular content the algorithms spotlight algorithm services the most engaging snaps based on one's personal preferences blake snapshot rolling out tiktok competitive spotlight whilst the point And the point is that every social network is pretty much looking exactly the same now but it is sort of interesting and i'll paraphrase Something i read from sara fischer axios earlier. This week is just as social companies. Adopt these similar features. All start to look the same. They're gonna try and shift the nuance to sort of the behavior in within the versions of those features so the example for this here is going to be is going to be. That spotlight is going to be set to private mode by default. So it's still sort of in communication with you know your private network but it's gonna be interesting to see how they're going to sort of marry that with the you know creator centric viral nature of what is the tiktok feed. It's gonna be sort of two different areas that i don't really see how they're gonna mesh but looking forward to seeing how they're gonna try coal while the thing that i took away from this wall street journal article about snaps. New initiative is part that says quote snap executives worried that encouraging users to post public content with the goal of going viral could make the platform toxic. They now say they can avoid that followed by encouraging users to post fun and healthy content so that to me strikes me as a complete pipedream so i don't see it happening over. My main reaction is apparently going. Viral is still something. People aspire to. And i would've thought that the year of a pandemic where people are dying like flies that the going viral not sound like such a hot idea. Sarah i mean in this case you know the differentiation across social platforms. The feature creep is just getting to a ridiculous point at the stage especially when we think about the fact that the fundamental of snapchat was morality. And it's kind of closed experience so the idea of trying to be viral in this environment. Just seems actually counter to to the whole entire premise. Also how is snap nine years old. Yes no. I'm angry about it now i remember. I used to walk by their headquarters on the boardwalk in venice beach when i was in college and it was like the size of a shack. Next story i've just realized that there's five stories. I liked you at the beginning said for but as a surprise story a spotify testing snapchat like stories. And we're going to start with paul for this. One specifies seeing what stories might look like on its platform alongside some playlists as porter the verge notes on specifies christmas hits play this to series of artists like jennifer lopez aka jenny from the block us a series of short video clips to shed personal anecdotes about the festive periods on this song writing processes sees high said that your language foods suppose have always testing snapchat like stories. Was the point where. I've been skeptical of every move that spotify his made to diversify away from its core business of music streaming. And i've been wrong every time. So starting now i'm declaring that i will no longer bet against spotify and simply recognize that they're way smarter than i am or maybe i'm just a certain age and things like this stories feature don't resonate with me but regardless i'm just gonna give spotify thumbs up and say you go girl mock I remember everything just said. I don't know enough about the topic. Do disagree with that. I think paul just said sarah again feature creep. I if i'm using spotify i'm listening. I'm not visually engaged. Really at all. I already hate that. Sometimes there's a random like image in the background. It always surprises me. Freaks me out. I watched megan thee stallion's intro of stories for good news new album and she said that this album is strictly for the holidays. And so. I don't know if i can even listen to that album at this point. I don't know. I don't know if i'm a haughty. Almost thousand percent bands will not be listening to that blake. They didn't even let me know about this album. So far up ryan was micro targeted. Hotties all comes full search. Yes the social networks. We already talked about her becoming platforms not for networking so much but for entertainment. So why wouldn't actual media and entertainment services like spotify also adopt a these same features from social media. So i guess you know point. Is that all your apps not just social network apps but all your apps are gonna look exactly the same pretty soon indeed Why wouldn't they do this. Facebook has stories instagram youtube twitter. Even linked tin the thing. That snapchat made popular way back when our final story. Facebook to pay k publishes for news in twenty twenty one facebook plans to launch facebook news in the uk. This coming january with several big publishes including conde nast economists the guardian media group and hearst as well as g. q. wide and local publications like manchester evening news and the liverpool echo. Facebook plans to pay some but not all publishers to publish contents and video and to license that content for its uk news tab. let's start with mock facebook to pay. Uk publishes for news and twenty twenty. One what's the point. I think too little too late for the proposers. Pleasures are audio so struggling so damage to not just by social media but by a lot of aspects of the internet in general craigslist to. This'll be only marginally helpful to i think. Sarah i questioned the quality of news. I looked at my facebook news. Feed in special. Us addition that exists already. And i've got from people magazine. Pit bull mix silly personality adopted after spending eight hundred forty two days in an ohio shelter. I've also got simone biles date. Night look includes ripped jeans and snakeskin. Booties so yeah i. i'm all for paying publishers. But like if we're paying people for those kind of content he believes in the publication now like just another example of facebook trying to sort of get ahead of what they perceive may be a actual regulation by some sort of show of good faith that as essentially too little too late. And i think that you know to. What extent are they really going to be paying these publishers. As mark said it's surely not to the extent that it's gonna make up for the ad. Revenue that publishers have suffered at facebook has has gained over the years so empty gesture. Poll didn't facebook already. Try this in the. Us with results. That can only charitably be described as mixed and marcus. I don't wanna make any presumptions here. But if i were you i might be insulted at this apparent case of if at first you don't succeed try it in the uk. That's what the beatles did the reverse. His americans have no taste. We're home is what they did. Not say all right for the game of the week and the cost the winner. This week is because he made excellent points but mostly because she broke into song. Mid-game congratulations to sarah. Winning game of the week. You win an imaginary championship house. Which when we do eventually get to ability. You're allowed to wear and sarah. We don't want you to quit your day job with the voice like that you actually could be our guest b. r. o. Built with very nicely with the komodo by the way sarah. You've set a dangerous precedent because now we're all going to be pressured to sing in order to win this game. And and nobody wants to hear me or marker. Paul seeing on mark have angelic voices. That i've just never heard before. But nobody wants to cut Congratulations to sarah thirty seconds. To tell us whatever you wanna tell us you can tell us The most recent thing you've watched on streaming you can tell us Recent hobby that you've just taken up Would you want anything. Well my first report asari. This is gonna be Total pitch but my first report for insider intelligence just dropped this week. it's on predictive analytics and consumer scoring. So it's all about the use of ai in trying to understand and predict consumer behaviors for things like risk and return fraud and even things like adherence to medical prescriptions. So it's a broad sweeping look across different industries these uses consumer scoring. But it's also a big dive into the regulatory questions that scores bring up because they're not regulated and there's some arguments to be made that consumers ought to have access to be able to correct when these scores get them wrong to see a dispute and make claims about whether or not these scores are actually useful for that is out now reports code predictive analytics and consumer scoring subscriber. You can go check it out. If you're not heads to our website and you'll be able to subscribe all right time for for the game of the week. Congratulations to sarah. It's time now for questions party. Show where we also the you've sent us and we have one this week from a regular a relatively long time listener friend of the show jeff and his now to wish. I think your daughter. Julia from indiana youngest fan. Jeff says hi marcus and team he. His email was titled santer and so some people might remember a few weeks ago. I started to explain about santer. And he says Thankfully i paused before you started talking about the realness quote unquote of santa. Can't ruin the wonderful. So i think she may have been listening but he saved the day because he's a brilliant debt. So thank you. For clearing up author mistakes he says to adds an anecdotal notes to the virtual santa visits. His sister had virtual santa visit this past week for her young one And they send you a video of the session after at stones pretty quickly said it helps. Avoid the tiers of physical lapsing visits He does have a real question for us. Thirty says his question. Is there anything that could stop the momentum of ecommerce he says From a perspective of finding time to by amazon and shopper fi excetera stock would love to know of metrics in the earnings reports that us a preference adoption could signal as a good time to buy. We're not great stock tips but we did get a response from donkeys research analysts or the payments in comas team who i spoke to earlier and this is what he had to say. Hey i think. He congress's momentum isn't going to be slowing down anytime soon. It added a lot of consumers and a lot of volume during the pandemic that should be able to maintain or at least a lot of that and outside of a sudden spate of delivery issues. That are really frustrating for consumers or after the pandemic is over a huge cultural. Shift that to return to the stores and really wanted to shop in store. I don't think he congress is going to lose a lot of what has gained. And i don't expect those two things in the past anyway. Additionally brick and mortar sales especially in us lovey huge share of overall retail sales that e commerce can continue to steal in takeover. So it has a lot of runway left so yeah. I hope that helps. Jeff oh jeff also jeff also said he said give blake a promotion calling him. Junior analysts makes me thinks that there is a senior version blake. Junior is well-spoken and has great insights or does a blake have to do to get that nod. Hashtag blake promo. Thanks jeff appreciate that. I don't really know what to say but talk to my manager petition. going You not wrong jeff So jeff thank you so much to emailing in Continued to listen a julia. Hello to you thanks. So much for for music and paying attention as well from indiana pokey marketed dot com. That's why you can email us if you questions of urine. We just want to say hi. It's time now for dinner policy. Data this is the part of the show where we attempt to tell you something interesting that we recently lands. The game of the week was sarah. Sarah you go. I give us your day so we go for sure. So this is from the ericsson mobility report. That just came out so it's again. It's not our forecast. But i did some upon this one bit so more than one in ten chinese mobile subscribers are expected to use five g by the end of the year so ten percent and they will actually account for eighty percent of all five g users in the world so eighty percent of five users. They're all in china. That's where five g is very pool or you got for us. Okay so this is very important. Oh and it speaks to. I think it will speak to you. Marcus because i know you're superheroes kind of guy am i. Yes you are you bring up ironman like once a week yes and and now have iran. Man comes engines. I figured that since you mentioned the man dead last on this list of the drummer. Please the most eco friendly superheroes. Okay so these are based on five criteria and background personal composition. Rod damage potential choice of weapons and choice of transportation is a personal composition. Mean like are they nuclear or not does the super described as does the superhero possess a natural ability or power. And how did they acquire say still has to come top so those are the five criteria and points are given for each of them so at the very top of the list is spiderman with one hundred twenty seven. Thor comes in at number fourteen. Yeah fair enough. Any eddie's from clean so he takes public transportation exactly. Yeah yes so. The points breakdown as follows twenty eight points for his echo century. Ethos and background twenty-seven points for his personal composition thirty for his rod damage potential seventeen for his choice of weapons thirty for joyce of transportation and a further for his personal health to the he's also useless outside of the city they. He's pretty good in kansas. Aquaman came in one hundred. Twenty six is just one point below spiderman for the or okay wait. Where's this from wherever you still from. Organization called save on energy. Okay let's superheroes aware of these orders. Are they able to dispute. And by if they don't agree with them they're able to destroy the world if they disagree them even if they score low on that potential so. I'm not going to be the one that. Tell them like i've got some data from open vaults which found that u. s. broad bed usage was up forty five percents. This thanksgiving compared to thanksgiving twenty nineteen so despite the somewhat alarming satistics on air travel over the weekend does look like there was a fair amount of people who opted to have thanksgiving over zoom instead of in person with their families however the broadband usage on thanksgiving was only up ten percent from last. Thursday's so you can make that whatever you want but i think it is somewhat grim that maybe where just all online all the time including holidays so some good and some bad some ugly there. I think yeah mark when he got other. This is a an annual study by Yougov on how the brand's received. Us consumers is most positively and the top of band-aid and then fill out. the top. ten is very quickly dawn. The detergent amazoncom. Kersee's clorox and netflix lows quaker and home depot. So in the top ten just to digital grants. Amazon and netflix and a bunch of them are like really really old brands has she's was that doing that offense. Huskies fence. Somebody asks what your favorite brand is who says. Dawn added that. Come to mind. Like unless i was in the act of actually doing laundry i would never be like. Oh don't dump dish there in the right up. On this thursday the the pandemic all the handwashing answer talks defying. Maybe you don and clorox more popular than ever I always associate with like cleaning up oil spills and like fluffy ducks. How often you spill you drive a rink house. Pandemic hobby blake. Thank you very much for that. I've got to for you guys so number one ravens one of the smartest animals in the wilds. Which you guys may have known this. I didn't when it comes to intelligence. These buds are up there with chimpanzees and dolphins in the uae has his terrifying in the wirewood ravens of pushed rocks onto people to keep them from climbing to their nests. Stolen fish by pulling fisherman's line out of ice holes and even play dead to scare other ravens away from their food. Also if a raven knows another ravens hide food it will pretend to put the food in one place while hiding it in another because other ravens a small as well on your wax. Sometimes they also know when someone's spying on them. A twenty sixteen study published in the journal nature. Communications found that they displayed. What chord theory of mind. Which is the ability to attribute mental states to others. The means that ravens can tell when someone or something else can see them and can also say never more. Obsessed with collective nouns and the collective nouns for ravens are a conspiracy of ravens. Congress raises an and an unkindness of ravens. Tells me how they are. Yeah ravens. I didn't want to be around them beforehand but now very suspicious in thing of you guys. The power of netflix's he goes my. I've seen this chess has become cool again. Thanks to the hit netflix. Show the queen's gambit who who's seen i know victoria She's look at that phase. That's how i feel furious. So it's about a fictional taint chess prodigy beth hamann who takes the best players in the world the streaming services ability to single handedly. Dr sounds is quite amazing. Chess ceos more than doubled. Since the queen's gambit miniseries debuted october twenty third quarter market research company. Mp chess book sales. Were up six forward in the weeks that followed its release. Growth has been flat or negative for years prior to that one store. Goliath games reported to npr. That chess set sales were up ten photos downloads. for chess. dot com's iphone app also reached the top of the charts in the month after its release october. Twenty third sixty two million people well sixteen million member accounts white wide What should these two minutes of the show according to net flicks you because know watched it. Oh no oh. Good numbers compared to like searching for bobby fischer. We're in the moment to pick up new habit. Gabby i'm offer that chess. I taught someone else to play once. When i was a kid and then i won the first game because they didn't know the rules and then they proceeded to crush me for many consecutive games through board stormed out Time for for today. Thank you so rich. Trevor to join the show festival. Thank you so much to my guests. Thank you to sara. Thank you thank you thank you. Thank you to blake. you're welcome. thank you mark. Thanks to everyone listening to say hello. Emails suppo- kosti moxi dot com. And we'll say hi back will see guys on monday for the behind the numbers daily and he mocked pocar sponsored by new star. Have good weekends just two and a half weeks until the start of the new nba season. Which is insane but no. I don't mind it also christmas stuff. We're always grandpa's a guy in the elevator. He was astonished. The i managed to procure cornflakes as carrying a bag of and was asking me like where i got them from. Cornflakes not are they know. Everywhere time i checked my. I didn't think anybody was fourteen cornflakes but you never know these days. Yeah yeah i have to. Maybe that's too many just. Don't give away your address on the show right. i've come pretty close to it. I was referencing. The i think the brooklyn abyad for an autonomous story but yeah that's as close as it gets porch pirates can come after cornflakes exactly sound.

facebook tiktok disney sarah bbc Us Sarah mockus sarah watson Blake jewish Mr paul van forum for democracy Christopher wiley twitter blake tanya franco fifteen year linda popadopoulos four quarters mark blake sarum portas
Carole Cadwalladr on her role in Cambridge Analytica's downfall and "The Great Hack"

Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter

21:31 min | 1 year ago

Carole Cadwalladr on her role in Cambridge Analytica's downfall and "The Great Hack"

"If you're a politics junkie you need to be listening to the election ride home podcast every day. At five pm former this american life contributor chris higgins reports from the campaign trail <unk> who's up who's down what issues getting traction and what do the polls say search your podcast app now for a ride home and subscribe to the election ride home podcast tired of spending hundreds of dollars for prescription glasses visits any today at zanies dot com slash c._n._n. The twenty only sixteen campaign taught us lots of things about the appeals of populism and the dangerous draw of disinformation but even with all the ensuing investigations. It's clear that partisan voters personal information online is the future political campaigns tom john avalon in for brian stelter and this is reliable sources podcast our weekly the chance to go in-depth with media leaders newsmakers about how the news is made and how all of us can help make it better in two thousand sixteen. Donald trump's campaign hired the data company in cambridge analytica now by using a loophole in an agreement. The company was using personal information from upwards of fifty million facebook users to better target voters on a psychological logical level. What resulted was a pandora's box of information that would inspire cultural and political warfare online a great new netflix documentary. The great hack reexamines the scandal and on today's podcast. I have a central figure from the documentary investigative reporter for the observer and the guardian carol called walder's yearlong investigation nation resulted in the downfall of the data company cambridge energetic and a public apology from facebook's mark zuckerberg. She joins me now carol waller. Thank you for joining us. Take us to at the beginning because you didn't start out as a tech reporter and when the story first came to light a lot of tech reporters sort of looked sideways at it and said well. Everybody knows that's the way the world works. There's no news here but you didn't take that approach did yeah well. I sort of fell down a wormhole very early on own so i started i literally being on this same story about cambridge analytica and about brexit and the links to the trump campaign campaign and the links to russia saints november two thousand sixteen two weeks after trump got elected was when i started on this story and it's sort of it's just drew being drew me in and i had never heard of cambridge on literature before and i just put i reference into big article i did on sort of fake news and google searches in december two thousand sixteen and then i started. They started writing to me. I started getting the series of letters from cambridge analytica complaining because i'd said that they'd worked for the trump campaign a. and they'd worked for the brexit campaign and they kept on rising and saying no no no no no we never would believe campaign and it was just this really making thing because there was things all over the internet where their c._e._o. Had said that they'd worked on the brexit campaign and then there was the head leaving the leave campaign saying saying how they hired cambridge analytica so right from the start it was this really bizarre kind of mystery tale and then when i started looking into i was like who is this company. Those seem very strange and i discovered that they weren't dino they. They seemed like they were some snazzy. Data company who just like worked worked hard to do you know clever things in in elections with data but actually well i found out was that it was this much older part of this much older company company this company which had been around for thirty years working as a military contractor in places like afghanistan and iraq and doing something called psychological operations and taken that same sort of technology and methodology and heard re purposed it and then used it to work in elections for the trump campaign and i was just sort of i was just really intrigued. It was it was it just seems such a sort of crazy mixture of things and i think you know when i started publishing these pieces. I think a lot of people were like this sounds too crazy that you know the suggestion that they've got this harvested. Did this facebook day to it. Just doesn't sound plausible and i think this sort of advantage. I had being not attack a traditional tech reporter being in europe and not in america and was just having a different perspective on it because the people i was talking to right from the very start about were saying well. It doesn't actually even sound legal what they're doing with data in britain and in fact the the very first i big article that i wrote on cambridge melissa very early on this was at the beginning of two thousand seventeen triggered these two major investigations investigations both of which is still ongoing and one of which became this. It's the it's the biggest investigation in data protection investigation nation in the world and we hope we're still going to this was this was the investigation that sees the service from cambridge analytical office and find facebook. Its maximum ever fine so that they're sort of. It's still being in britain. We i think we did sort of sort of see the seriousness if this perhaps it before was recognized in america so keeping in in britain <hes> at the outset. What have you found as to why i alexander knicks c._o. Former c._e._o. Of cambridge analytica and his company kept trying to deny they worked for leave after the publicity had already been put out there. What were they trying to hide it still we st- it still kind of own going mystery and speculation to me but one of the angles one of the things about it that i think has been really under recognized and really under reported. Is this work work that it did for both of british and u._s. Government so as a contractor a military defense this contract had contracts government contracts in britian and america and it was paid with tax payers money to develop these skills and this technology and then that same technology was re purposed and used on a civilian population in election and my feeling has been that sensitivity has been around that particular question russian and that's one of the things i would really like to understand more about just as in america. I'm i'm also you know we still what are the things things. I was pondering. The other day is that we know that after trump got elected. We know that the company was seeking government contracts. We know that it got one government contract. We not seeking a government contract in the pentagon for example and that that was one of the things that was most alarming to me and to when i when i found christopher wiley the pink whistle blower there you know who i was talking into for a year before we brought him forward one of the one of the things at the time we will most alarmed about was the idea that they had two hundred and thirty million million people's data in american voters. They've got all of their data. They'd which they processed. In britain they combined it with all this other consumer data as well as with this illegally harvested facebook data and that data that information <hes> about people was potentially inside the pentagon and this is when i started talking to christopher wiley steve bannon was actually sitting on the security council and you're right there. This is very important because just remind folks. Bannon was an officer of cambridge analytica the c._e._o. Of the trump campaign in running breitbart and into the election and then after the fact was sitting on the security campaign so the overlapping interpersonal interests interests with this company and the campaign couldn't have been more intimate and that whole right wing ecosystem yeah i think that's really well explained exactly exactly and and understanding those relationships and the relationships of the data from those different entities is something we still know almost almost nothing about but i think this is something that american voters should be really really concerned about and really really worried worried by and i certainly know from the messages. I'm getting that people who are watching the great hack and sort of understanding. That's better all alarmed about this and are along home in america. You have absolutely zero protections. You have zero rights to your data to knowing anything about it and u._s. Law will and that was the fascinating thing about this professor. David carol in new york was he he'd worked out that actually because they've taken this data a british because of british millet tree contrite had got this day to voter data and had exported it to britain that he had rights under british law to it so it was this really interesting poll which opened up whereby he was suddenly able to exercise his rights lights as a sort of data subject and try and find information about it and and parts of that journey is still ongoing. What are the open questions. Speaking of an ongoing journey as as we know the investigation interviewed people about cambridge analytic particularly brittany kaiser who'd been a principal at the company and and <hes> at turned whistleblower whistle blower and is featured heavily in the great hack what was so striking to me is that cambridge analytica is not mentioned in the report and do you based on your sourcing think that's because it's an ongoing investigation whether encounter intel or some other place war is it that they simply didn't find anything chose not to pursue it because it was outside outside what muller defined as his purview in the investigation say. It's just another ongoing mystery isn't it does it form part of of the counter intelligence aspect of the miller report which is out of public sight. Is that the reason because it's not just that we i know nothing about cambridge analytica from the report. We also know nothing about what actually happened on facebook during the u._s. Presidential will election and that question about whether there was any overlap between the targeting that the trump campaign was doing and the targeting that we know the rushing government was doing with its advertisements. That's that question has not been answered and it. It seems that hasn't even really been asked in america yet and that is something which you know. I hope this pressure on these congressional committees to they get that data out of facebook because it's not enough actually that you have your agencies are investigating that this election all of our actions. This should be in public site. This is of paramount public interest that that information is transparent and it's made public and and it can be studied by academics and by forensic and analysts and from what i can see facebook is desperate not sa- questions about what happened in this series of very very problematic relation elections that occurred of which the u._s. presidential election one brexit was another election. A month previously in the philippines for example is another. We know that there was very strange. Actively across facebook in particular across all of those elections and these are questions we we need answers tape and we know also from the great hack that one of cambridge analytic is selling points was in a a case study in the trinidadian elections in which they sort of perfected the art of voter suppression it through the creation of a third party movement not to vote so i think as you look at patterns of of trying to suppress votes that was one of cambridge analytica stated expertise and if i i find that so fascinating and and we know for example we know that it was claimed that the trump campaign was running three different voter suppression campaigns and we know that were at least one of those was racially targeted so here you have the idea that this great american company facebook you know huge global importance is being used to facilitate the denial of african american erica and latino voters of the rights of those off their vote and that to me is incredibly shocking that it's allowing this sort of <hes> racially targeted advertising mother very sort of you know daily fundamental held rights the the the right to vote and that again i feel is apps has been absent from the debate really here. It's one of the first things about psi ops and the fight fight for your mind is that if folks are convinced not to do something but they're being manipulated by third party. Where does that lie in questions of agency and law okay but first. Let's take a quick break back here on reliable sources podcast where you back in just a minute finding the right pros for home. Projects can be tough and spark a lot of questions like how do i find wpro who can help will they do a good job. Will i get a fair price. That's where homeadvisor can help from leaky faucets to major remodels. Homeadvisor connects you to the right over the job in seconds and even helps you get a fair price. Read reviews check project cost guides and book appointments. Go to homeadvisor dot com or download the free the homeadvisor app to start your next project tired of spending hundreds of dollars for prescription glasses. Xeni offers thousands of affordable eyewear styles. Oh starting at just six ninety five no ridiculous markups no hassles just quality affordable eyewear delivered right to you visit any today at xeni dot com slash slash c._n._n. We're back on the reliable. Sources podcast with carol cut wilder whose year long investigation resulted in the downfall the data company cambridge one thing that is definitely disturbing. <hes> that you've experienced personally <hes> is the kind of threats and harassment and that come to many reporters these days via online sources but you've experienced very personally and legally as a result of the investigative work. You've done and i wanna want to give you a chance to tell folks about that. Yeah so this i mean there's a pattern of harassment that i've experienced now overturn half years in trying to investigate and write about these subjects and it has been difficult cope because it's very personal directed at me. They found it very hard to attack my reporting because it's evidence-based and it's led to multiple legal investigations actually around the world so instead of attacking my reporting they attacked me and and this sort of vicious nasty personal sexist way and seeing an escalation in that so and one of the individuals who have been reporting on for long time who is a businessman in britain who bankrolled the brexit campaign pain who's being close to trump. He's a man called aaron banks the day after that the trailer for the great hack was released and before the film came out he filed four more proceed legal proceedings against me in britain over a line line in a ted ted talk that i gave earlier this year and this was this was this was this was this was is an the the the only things i've said in public about aaron banks <hes> matters which have been reported in the new york times and the washington post and and c._n._n. For example as well as in the guardian observer and but instead of going after any of those news organizations often oft ted or after the guardian observer he's decided to come after me personally as a journalist to try and sue me and it's we have a very different different legal system in britain so it's much easier to take somebody to court and claim defamation and i have i mean he has no legal. Oh case it's i have very robust defenses but the idea is to sort of time he up in litigation for a year to make it more difficult for me to report put upon him and it's it's it's it's not it's not just an attack upon me. It really is an attack upon journalism and i think <hes> you know i'm told that actually is one of the things that trump wants to bring to america he wants to he wants to make it easier to sue for libel against the fake news news media of which of course he accuses c._n._n. Of being one and but this is this is this is a form of legal violence personally targeting you for something you said outside. <hes> your publisher so they're going after you personally in an attempt to tie you up nuts bankrupt you intimidate you. It's specifically about a chilling ailing affected seems you've had readers rally around you in a go fund me context to help support your defense because he's suing you personally so must be defended person i yeah and that that's the kind of wonderful thing about this is that people can see this is a bully who is trying to intimidate me and i think that's a sort of there's been a really universal. Human response of people thinking that is not okay and so it's been a real i launched a crowd under three days ago and i've had more within two hundred thousand dollars donations already from people who just you know you don't want to stand for this. Who say it's not okay so that's been very really heartening but it is it's extremely worrying and and you know in in britain we we don't really sort of institutional infrastructure to support journalism is really it's not it's not strong and the hi dave that just by going after one journalist you can shut down the large swathes of the reporting. He's should be terrifying all of us actually and so what my mission at the moment is is sort of iron banks wants to he's trying to to shut it down. So i feel like i want. I would certainly want america to understand you aaron banks. Thanks is because iron banks actually as an individual. You can see a really clear way that he links the brexit campaign to the trump campaign and two questions ends about russia and you can see that very clearly in this individual who has c._n._n. Has reported. There's really big questions because he he was offered these incredible business deals inside the russian embassy in the week that he launched the brexit campaign and and then subsequently he tried to cover that up and sure that's just a complete coincidence carol cold water. Thank you for joining me. Thanks thanks for joining us on this. Week's reliable sources podcast see on television this sunday and every sunday lebanon eastern time on are you interested in learning how great companies grow download the mar- tech podcast omar tech podcast tells the stories of real world marketers who use technology to generate growth growth achieved business and career success from advertising to software as a service to data getting brands authentically integrated the content performs forms better than t._v. Advertising typical life span of an article about twenty four to thirty six hours before reaching out to the right person with the right message and a clear call <music> action that it's just a matter of timing ready to learn the secrets of technology driven marketing and download the martic podcast just search martic m. a. They are t._v. c. h. Wherever you download your podcasts.

cambridge analytica facebook britain america cambridge Donald trump David carol tech reporter aaron banks carol waller russia netflix chris higgins mark zuckerberg pandora investigative reporter cambridge analytical brian stelter tom john avalon christopher wiley steve bannon
Democracy Under Fire | BoF Live

The Business of Fashion Podcast

24:21 min | 1 year ago

Democracy Under Fire | BoF Live

"The Hi this is Ron Ahmed founder and CEO of the business of fashion. And welcome to this week's episode of the PODCAST CAST. Some of you will know that voices are annual gathering bringing together some of the most fascinating people on the planet this week. We're going back to voices. Twenty nineteen where. I sat down with Carol cadwalader to talk about the end of democracy now. Carol is an investigative journalist for the Guardian and The Observer and she worked for over a year with Christopher differ widely to publish her investigation into Cambridge Analytica which demonstrated how culture information and Algorithms have been used by militaries governments and companies to to undermine elections around the world including an unprecedented attack on the US democratic process during the two thousand sixteen presidential election more recently mccarroll has been focused on Russian interference during the brexit referendum. In Two thousand sixteen and she gave an explosive talk which opened the Ted Conference in Vancouver earlier here this year I sat down with Carol to pick up the conversation from where she left off at. Ted here's Carol Cadwalader at Voices Twenty Nineteen on the end of democracy I wanted to pick up at the end of that. Ted Talk you give a call to action and you know you're sitting at tab which is one of these places where a a titans of Silicon Valley gather and you call them all out and said you know. What are you going to do what happened after the talk anything happen? What was amazing because Chris Anderson? WHO's the head of Ted? He came up on stage. And he said Mark Doc Cheryl we know you're watching coming to help us come to the Ted and respond to this and I stepped off stage and literally within about two minutes somebody from Ted Catchment as we want to put the video up straight away and then they said but facebook complained and they said they say that. You've got your facts wrong and it's full of mistakes and is kind of this. This is sort of. I've been through this process so many times. I mean everything. I do like triggers. Illegal letter triggers a complaint triggers this type of stuff and so he always always goes through the same process. which is I and I panic and I think what was done this time and then and I was like I was running through? I was like what we've tried to we. In fact checks everything we know that this is what they gonNA come back with and they said well. We'll we'll wait and see we've Austin to email by the morning and in the meantime because facebook was actually sponsoring Ted. It's like their first year and it was pretty amazing because when I stoped hopes this at the end of the video you see my face because I looked down the front row and there's this guy just glaring at me and says well I sort of tried to scarf stage anyway so there was. This is kind of massive cafa full and I really admire the fact that Ted just sort of like a well. You know. This is tough. You know this is our L. stage and we need to say these things and essentially they didn't come back with anything and they put the video straight up and there was no response from facebook and they it didn't come up onto the main stage and those points and they've refused ever to give any interview with us and I went to Ashida need is here on the back. She was chairing a panel event with Nick. Clegg you unders when he called me. Conspiracy Theorist Krista. This is the man who is in charge of his. His job is to police disinformation on facebook and he liked pushed out. This disinformation information about the Cambridge analyst. Story on what the accusations were and you know I find that behavior as a company profoundly really troubling and one of the reasons. Why when you I mean that you know what I think? What you're doing so important is because there's some really influential official people in this room and you're representing really influential brands and the question? I think you really need to be asking yourself is is facebook and Instagram These safe spaces for your brands to be appearing. Because you you know you all the money supply your you. All the things thing that has created made facebook into this unite trillion. So let's talk about that a bit because you know. Many people in this room will be aware that the amount of money that fashion companies are spending with companies like facebook and of course instagram which is owned by facebook. Doc It's just growing you know it's become the predominant way of connecting with consumers because it 'cause it's so fake tooth yeah it was effective in targeting targeting people during the referendum and the presidential election. But it's also effective in targeting consumers and getting them to part with their money so in that way. Like how do you see. The advertising industry is being complicit in this kind of end of democracy. It's really funny if I really. It's just didn't strike me until about six months ago and about six months ago can lion. The Advertising Industry Festival in announced announced that it Alexander Knicks the Xia came Gianluca would becoming to speak and his bio said amazing global leader Alexander on the next. He's built up a that was his intro and and I looked at the range of other speakers. They had an entire week at this event and they this subject. This topic was absolutely nowhere. And and I I kind of went to sort of guerrilla screening of this netflix documentary. The great actor but it it is exactly that is that the the advertising industry is completely complicit in this it is the money supply and the bronze plans and the fashion industry and these other industries. You are also complete part of it. I mean and that's because we are all part of it. We were all part of this this ecosystem and the financing and the economics of that and also therefore the kind of moral responsibility. It does rest on us. We know these companies are not going to change themselves face because in a spontaneous Lee break itself up and you know we know. Hey that the government's on't doing anything united. They are also for their own reasons. They won't be able to use facebook and Google for their own purposes. And so this is where I think we've got to really be aware that the sort of cavalry isn't coming. We are in this really urgent in quite like desperate situation in some ways and that's where is on us as individuals and and and that's why come so please that you'll redressing these issues like estimates business vice Yeah as a result of your reporting facebook did get fined five billion dollars by the FTC she see and another hundred million dollars by the SEC. and rather than create some kind of shock to facebook's stock price at that upstate which had recovered it went up. How do you explain that? So I know it's kind of thus it's it's I mean it's incredible because say Christopher Christopher Wiley is in the audience and Shamir Sahni's around as well but the I mean it was Chris's I mean what's kind of amazing about. Ah Is that. It was evidence that we published an increase handed over to the authorities that enabled the FTC to to investigate and to bring this absolute erectile breaking fine against facebook biggest in history. The biggest in history and yet the share price is went up because it was a relief. Because that's just small change to a global company of this size and and the SEC sec as well you have regulates which actually has some teeth and again that was one hundred million dollar fine and the thing is that we all now living in in this really really different world than we were previously anywhere you. How'd you hold people to account and the had how do you hold companies to account and you know? Five billion is just the cost of doing business to facebook. I mean it's just you can build that into into your business model as they have done and and so you are in a space where laws do not work and end. The the legislation of our national governments. Do not work. And these companies will nor nor evening come an ounce the questions are lawmakers about this pivotal election that is going to change the future uh of Britain forever and you mean the one coming up in other words the one the one that we know we know we. I mean in two thousand and sixteen this was on. Nobody's Raider and there was this series of deeply deeply. Problematic elections sounds of which brexit was one and the. US presidential election was one and the thing. I say they're about how we have no idea of what actually happened. We had the evidence percents that still completely true. All of their evidence is still locked inside facebook servers. And you know I think it is absolutely a a compatible with democracy. The fact for a private company can hold all of this information sean about something as constantly as important as the elections of every single country across the world that information is being held in a private company that is beyond the rule of law. Now if that doesn't trouble you then I aetna. Maybe you've listened to many climate crosses talks or maybe you're troubled out fits well. There's a lot of trouble this kind of the wider world but the seventy two seventy parallels what are the parallels I mean they they they really interesting talks extinction. Repellent it is doing is amazing. And and that's where again I think the people in this room really consequential because that is is changing the language and the the imagery and the concept of of of what the subject is taking off the news pages ages in that way but the thing that really struck me. was there saying that this is. They've changed the language of how we talk about Global warming and now we're talking talking about a climate crisis and I was asking and that's exactly what we have. We have global democratic crisis. That's what this is. That's what these out of control companies me and and it's so much bigger. I mean our problem here in Britain as we look at everything through this very small wet lens of Westminster Politics and everything is Todd with that. That's why I kind of get such heat but being in some sort of Rapid Ramona. But this is so much bigger and it's so much bigger than partisan politics and I think with with with the the climate crisis it was. It was such a big problem. It's been so hard for people when the problem is so big. It's like the Sun. It's you can't look at it directly and and so you you feel you can't do anything and I feel at the moment in terms of what technology is doing to the world and particularly what it's doing democratic systems were in a bit of a similar. Opposition is such a big and intractable problem. That you don't really know where to start with it. So we're in the midst of a general election action here in the UK. It's the fourth general election in about four years. What do you think's going to happen? You know how how you know if things haven't unchanged facebook still has all of this data and information that it will not reveal if they're not answerable to parliaments and governments around the world it's democracy over well in in Britain we're in a you know we're in a pretty interesting position. which is every single body unregulated which has anything to do with elections has said our electoral laws do not work? They are absolutely absolutely unfit for purpose. They can be abused by any bad actor whether in this country or outside and we need to urgently gently fix them. The electoral commission has said that the ICO has said that. The DC mess committee in Parliament has said that I mean we are in no doubt Abacha. Gotcha and yet. What did the government do it calls an election and just totally ignored that? And and you do you do what you seve very clearly is that actually. The our protecting us is low. Down that list of priorities and the political political objectives are very high up and you know you see also in the fat. That's this interesting very very interesting state. Professor President People know about this report on Russia interference which is being personally blocked by Boris Johnson and not likely to be released until well into next year at this stage after the election is over after brexit has happened assuming the Tories Minna majority and then we may find dot something much much later. I mean he is just it's it's just. It is so shocking beyond belief and I did this story the weekend which is sandwiched news. I mean that's the thing at the moment. There's just so much news. Every this stewart just got lost in the mix but it was. I did this story. About how Boris Johnson. When he was foreign secretary he he was in the middle of the script pal crisis? Russia had used a chemical weapon on British streets. She killed a woman and Boris Johnson went to a NATO summit in Brussels to talk to foreign ministers about Russian sanctions. Boris Johnson came out of that meeting. He gave his security detail the slip which is unprecedented. He took a flight to Italy where he stayed in the house of his friend. The Russian businessman who owns the evening standard in the independ- and and then the new young discovered was that whilst he was there man's father who is an ex KGB agent agent flew in from Moscow to meet Forest Johnson. Boris Johnson was pictured later that day flying home alone from an airport completely completely disheveled Nepal Spicy. Like it was going to throw up on. Tarmac is who is this guy. He's czar prime minister. Seriously I mean he is not just exposing himself to risk their. Here's exposing the entire country you do. Do not do this as a secretary of state who is dealing with a crisis with a country that has literally unleashed a prohibited nerve agent agent on your streets and to to to expose yourself to win the level of recklessness of that is beyond belief but also naievty. Because you know I didn't even realize there's somebody tweeted into my thing after I did the article and there's a quote from Putin from two thousand and six Putin was in the KGB at the same time as Alexander Lebed as a quote from Putin and he says they no such thing as a former KGB man Putin with no we were talking about activism earlier this morning in a way carol. You've become not just the journalists. You become an activist around some of these causes and you know the work that you're doing is obviously having a profound impact including the five billion dollar fine as small. Was it my mean to facebook a record setting fine from the F. T. C.. How do you think about your journalism and how it's shifting away from? Maybe what people consider traditional journalism where you get really deep into these topics and you go after them and you and you give Ted talk on on stage for me. It's because the because this slippage which has happened. which is that it used to be? They used to be this. It used to be the case that like bad people would do bad things. Journalists would like find out about it they would hunt down the evidence they would publish it. The bad people would be held to accounts. And that's the system that we've had and that worked really well too and that that doesn't work anymore. Oh and and so I found myself in this place of finding antibody these things these incredibly serious crimes James and abuses and but yet it does you know people don't get held to account and a lot of that. This is a very complex reasons. Why one of them is the fact that it we? There are so few generous in this country and there are so few independent news news outlets and most of them are really partisan and owned by billionaires who have an interest one way or the other. And so there's there's you you know we just have. We felt this thing and I think Janine with she's ransomware with the snowden story that was the same way. The Guardian published this stuff but the other newspapers didn't come coming behind. And and so I just you know I just familiar. It is the thing about being an activist for the truth. And anything anything you can separate yourself from being a journalist from being a citizen of a country that is in such an extreme situation where you know for whatever reason I have gone out and collected this evidence. Do you have this understanding. I get asked to speak at being things now and I I. It's it feels to me that it is part of the job. I'm just trying to communicate the story and the importance and why we need to care about it and and that for me is just absolutely part and parcel of the journalism. All Avant Suzhou is trying to communicate the story and the thing about the Cambridge Analytica story is it was broken. I didn't break it. It was broken in December. Two Thousand Fifteen. By Guardian a journalist called Hi folks Davis and he uncovered a lot of the key facts way back then but nobody took any attention. And then I started writing about and another journalist in Switzerland Hyannis Greenwich. We were writing thing about this through two thousand seventeen and facebook was just able to ignore it and then fact in the report it says facebook lied to us the report. Facebook lied to me. And it's answers about Cambridge and so this thing of like needed I felt I had to find a different way of telling the story. And that's where like crisp was a gift from the gods because it was an Shamir as well in with the vote for that thing about humanizing the story having having somebody who's able to speak to it directly and is able to explain it in that just just puts it in a different kind of league and and I it this I feel almost that there is the thing that you need to keep telling the story differently in different way until it goes through. And that's what we found mean. That's the greater a message. That's the climate crisis lesson. You just gotTa keep going. It's come at a huge hersal. Cost you though right because I've been following you actively on twitter for quite some time now and the trolls come out. You Know Andrew Neo. The BBC presenter called Me Matt Cat Woman. You Know Nick. Clegg accuses you of propagating conspiracy theories. This is a challenging way of pursuing journalism. Can you talk a little bit about the kind of personal impact on you. I think basically I think kind defending a woman or person of color. Doing anything in public life is does bring a high level of attention and attacks and that's it's not just me that is all sorts of people and but it's there is some apps I find. It really profoundly it depressing at times and I find it really profoundly depressing because the it's a compliment that they can't come after the journalism you they kept on trying to come after the journalism and they kept on failing. What can come after me and I am the weeks of this story and the fat that actually as I say there's not been enough journalists? Come up behind. It's made me this sort of like easy target so it's a compliment but take also pretty painful because it misogyny it just it just works. Sexism really works and you know the I go. I know I really early on. Actually Chris Remember this sort of moment that that we had when for me it was this thing about reporting while female and the price you pay for that and you get it as well you know we saw it with these attacks in parliament to. MP's who stood up on the story and they got this really homophobic abuse and it was like they got attacked for legislating slating while homosexual. You know doing any of these jobs that you just it's in it's just this we're in this world of propaganda and propaganda effective and that and that's why they do well. I want to apply to you because I think the work you're doing and is so important and I hope that the messages that Carol has underscored a gain here today will resonate with you and that you will take them with you back to your companies and teams because you know a lot of the things we've been talking about today. They seem like these complex. Distant things mm-hmm that are hard to understand what it takes. Someone like Carol to explain it to all of us. Thank you very very much and if you've enjoyed this episode don't forget to subscribe give us a rating and you might be interested in joining the business of fashion global membership community community. Video of professional are members receive exclusive deep dive analysis regular email briefings as well as unlimited access to our archive over ten thousand articles. OUR NEW IPHONE APP by annual special print editions and all of the online courses and learning materials from Peo- education.

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Talking surveillance, elections, monopolies, and Facebook on the Bots and Ballots podcast

Cory Doctorow's craphound.com » Podcast

28:51 min | 2 years ago

Talking surveillance, elections, monopolies, and Facebook on the Bots and Ballots podcast

"Came genetic has sought to identify mental abilities in voters and worked to exploit them by targeting information designed to activate some of the worst characteristics in people such as neuroticism paranoia and racial bias sees that was Christopher Wiley testifying before the US. Congress. Wiley was an employee of the firm. The Trump campaign hired to work on Facebook, Cambridge, Analytica, but then he became a whistle. Blower welcome to bought some ballots from Yahoo news. I'm grant burning ham. You may have heard of Cambridge Analytica. They built dossiers about American voters based on data. They harvested from Facebook's platform and then fed those voters ads and content on Facebook to try and get them to change how they vote using a mixture of AI in psychology, but can't accompany really Jedi mind trick a whole country. What if Cambridge Analytica is just an example of Facebook's platform working how it was designed allowing anyone to find timing demographics in. Connect them. My guest today is Cory doctor. Oh, he's a prolific science fiction author in and outspoken digital privacy advocate among other things to Corey. The real story is that Facebook has created a super invasive spying device without any checks in that means Cambridge Analytica is just the start, Corey doctor. Thanks so much for joining me on pots and ballots. My pleasure. Thank you for having me ministered with the biggest question I can think of for you, which is I covered technology and I covered politics. 2016 totally blindsided me in a lot of ways. Most of the people I talked to feel the same way. I'm wondering if as a fiction author, you had some glimpse of what was coming that the rest of us didn't. So I'll tell you there's a kind of problem overall with with vigilance right with with being concerned about stuff, which is that still. Tends to regress to the mean. So we just tend to like that used to stuff. You get a nerd. If you look at all the different trends that are represented by the everything that happened in the last election, there's stuff like, well, the electoral process is really bonkers, and you know doesn't make a lot of sense in is subject to all kinds of security problems. That's a problem that isn't new, right? We've been talking about voting machines since Bush v gore and the effort to standardize a decent voting sheen in America and the debate over over paper ballots versus these electronic network ballot machines, and every territory where they had problems with their voting machines was a territory where they historically had problems with voting machines and shrug them off. So you may have seen there's a lawsuit in Georgia about their seventeen year old voting machines that manage to count two hundred and fifty percent of all registered voters in some precincts, turning out to vote, jerk voting machines didn't become. A dumpster fire in two thousand sixteen Georgia's voting machines have been dumpster fire that people have been sending the alarm about for like the seventeen years since they were installed, they are garbage. They've always been garbage. The person who bought them was an idiot who was dereliction of their duty. I'm so you know not a surprise, right? Voter suppression, gerrymandering. That's been on the horizon since the twenty ten cents us. We could see it coming since the two thousand ten census use of red state legislatures to redistrict. We didn't know all the details of hot red map was being used, but we could definitely see that gerrymandering voter suppression was underway. Facebook's ability to invade your privacy and then do really creepy things to you either directly or by selling services to other companies at shockingly low sums. That's the thing that privacy advocates have been warning about since my space. And so I guess you know, the thing that happened in two thousand sixteen is all these things crossed kind of threshold where the pre. Previous alarm that we'd had that had subsided because human beings can't pay attention to stimulus forever and we, we stop noticing it after a while that it reached a news at a new threshold where once again, it was something that we all paid attention to and. That made it all seemed like it was happening at once. But you know, to the extent that this all occurred in science fiction novels before the two thousand sixteen election, it was there because it reflected things that were going on in the world before the twenty sixteen election. If they didn't predict the future, they just predicted the present. You know, in the same way that I wrote little brother in two thousand and six and was published in two thousand eight. It was about mass surveillance, and I wrote about it after Mark Klein in two thousand and five quit his job at AT and t. and blew the whistle on them for wiretapping the whole internet. And that was in the front page of the New York Times for like seventy two hours, and then people got distracted. And so in two thousand eight at felt timely. And then when the Snowden revelations happened, it felt more timely. And then every time we've had a mass surveillance crisis since it's felt even more timely, not because I was prescient, but because I was tentative. I wonder if we could talk about the Facebook aspect of what you just mentioned. You recently described Facebook business model. As selling oily rags, why don't you tell us exactly what that means? Sure. You know, I think that there's a story about what happened in the early days the digital world that says that you had all these naive optimists who said, you know, the internet is only going to be a force for good in. We should spread it as far as we can and anything you do with the internet is obviously a force for good people don't found organizations like electric frontier foundation for whom I work part time because they think that the internet is automatically going to be good, and they just wanna get a nice seat ringside while it all happens, they found organizations like that because they appreciate simultaneously the awesome power and the awesome risk of the internet. And so in the early days of the internet, there were lots of people who could see that if you spied on everyone, you might be able to eke out some marginal gains from targeted advertising. Targeted advertising market is incredibly badly. Targeted and the early days the internet. There are plenty of people who said, you know, if we spied on everything you do, we could probably make some improvements. I mean, almost anything you can imagine would make an improvement because this performed so badly. But it took a special kind of sociopath in the form of people like Mark Zuckerberg to actually go ahead and do it because most other people who'd looked at it took a look and said, you know, yeah, this would be easy to do, but the cost would be very high because of that data leaked or if it was misused, it could produce all kinds of really terrible outcomes. And Mark Zuckerberg was able to kid himself that either the good would outweigh the bad or that the bad was overblown or some combination of both. And so he went off and started this kind of original surveillance capitalism business. And you know, way of of of imagining what that dynamic looks like is imagine that like a young Callow Zach is sitting around in his dorm room at Harvard thinking about his parents has in its garage full of oil rags, and it goes, you know, people pay money for. And although the oil in that oily rags is really terrible oil and people won't pay very much for it only rags are free. And so if I don't have to pay to keep the oily rags safe, if I can just warehouse arbitrary quantities of oily rags without ever having to invest in sprinklers insurance, I can eke out some tiny per rag prophet and given enough rags, well, we're getting into real money and that's what he did. And all along people were saying, you know, if you just keep piling up oily rags, they are gonna burst into flames, and he kept saying, oh, you know, you're you're, you're a nervous Nellie. Why are you worried about about these hypothetical fires wired you concentrating instead on all this cheap oil that I've flooded the market with. And here we are, you know, sort of fifteen years after he started the service and everything is on fire, and we've gone back to them and we said, you know, the tiny gains that you've eked out with these oily rags, have always been swamped by the cost that you were Externalizing in the form of. Taking care of the safety of these early rights right? You, you didn't protect the data. You nonconsensual gathered it. You sold it to other people for shockingly small amounts of money. You combine it with other data in ways that put the users of the data at risk. You force your users into policies to make it easier to collect it, like the real names policy that meant that the data became even more deadly. And now you tell us that if you had to take even the most basic precautions to protect that data, you would be unprofitable. And our answer is you were unprofitable from day one. The only reason you are able to be profitable is we were all bearing the costs while you alone reap the benefits. And that I think has the kind of oily ride business model in a nutshell, that problem was sort of personified as Cambridge Analytica, which seemed like this kind of bond villain. Shadowy company making a lot of extraordinary claims about what it could do to manipulate people to be stated made those. Claims to Ted Cruz in more unable to deliver on them. You mentioned the article that Cambridge Analytica probably isn't the core problem here or it's not. It's not necessarily the only thing going on there. I think that to understand what Facebook does you should compare the claims about what Facebook analytic Analytica managed to do with what they claim they can do. So Facebook spies on everyone, and it makes to claims about that surveillance. The first is that by spying on you, they can figure out what you're interested in. And the second one is that by spying on you, they can figure out how to convince you of anything. And the first part is really obviously true like pace looks primary value. Both to advertisers end to users is its ability to locate hard to find traits in large populations. So if you've got a rare disease or you want to track down people, you went to high school with or you wanna find other people who carry a Tiki torch with you in Charlottesville or you want to organize people. All to go to standing rock and protect the water from the pipeline, Facebook as a tool that will help you find these widely distributed, but then Lee distributed groups of people. So that's why advertisers like it because like most people aren't gonna, buy fridge most of the time. So you need really fine grain tracking to find people who have this very rare trait. And if you spy people enough, you can probably find people who have correlates with fridge purchasing, like, for example, they just bought a house right, or just renovated a house. And so that's a pretty good predictor of buying a fridge. That's really different from saying that I can take anyone in the world and convinced them to buy fridge by spying on them a lot. I building these dossiers and then kind of Siopas ING them into buying fridge for me. We don't really have much evidence that that works now. There were as it turned out a bunch of Americans who were lightning white supremacists who were willing to vote for liar, profiteer. If he would promise to be mean to black and Brown people, and they were pretty thinly distributed. But the electoral system was so gerrymandered and in such a fragile equilibrium that anyone who could even bring out a small number of non voters stood a pretty good chance of winning some key elections because the things were really very closely balanced. And the only thing that that guaranteed that balances that most people never showed up in voted at all. And so- Cambridge Analytica was able to find a bunch of latent clansmen and convinced on the Donald Trump was there man. And so you combine those people with Republican stalwarts who were gonna vote Republican, no matter what. And you get the majority that Trump needed to win the election, the majority in the electoral college. And so that's the story. I think that we should understand about Facebook is that it's not a mind control Ray. It's a surveillance system for locating people with hard to find traits and the way that. Can do that profitably is by Externalizing the cost of that surveillance and making us all pay them in the form of the cost of identity theft in the lack of social cohesion and so on. And it can keep all the profits from that surveillance feast book is kind of two sides of the problem here because on one hand, there's the data problem that you've mentioned. And then on the other hand, there's this content problem going on which popped up recently with Alex Jones. Do you feel like they're making the right moves on content? So I think that the thing that I would quibble with you about is that the content problem cropped up with Alex Jones. The problem of Facebook and the other big platforms controlling so much of our civic discourse started years ago when they started, you know, forcing sex workers to use their real names or people who are trans to use their dead names or Cambodian dissidents to stop using aliases, which made pasta. For the government to find them in round them up and torture them. And it was only when it went mainstream because it affected this. This guy who's kind of a a notorious. You know, conspiracy Slinger in hatemonger that we started paying attention. But you know the the lesson that we should take from this is that our system has become so concentrated. Our our media ecosystem has become so concentrated that four or five companies in unison get together and make a decision that has an enormously adverse impact on the ability of anyone who gets out of good odour with them to communicate with the world in the future that although, you know, Alex Jones can start his own website and has it on website and can use other services everyone's on Facebook, even everyone who hates Facebook because that's where the people are while you rub. Thanks because that's where the money is, and that's a pretty disturbing thing that we've arrived at. You know the, there's this traditional argument about free speech in the first amendment that says. While the first amendment applies to the government making rules about speech, either rules that bind companies that operate private forest for speech, but also rules about who can speak in public places. But the thing is that on the internet, on the one hand, we have no public spaces where the public speaks to one another on publicly owned platforms and the closest become maybe as like the FCC's comments portal where you can leave comments, but it's it's not much as public forums go, and then the private forms we have aren't this giant pluralistic said a forums where if you get out of good odor with one, you just move to the other. What we have is like five oligarchies that control almost all of our public discourse, and they have so much money that they have lobbied to make an almost impossible to start a competitor. There's sometimes with the unwitting cooperation of the telecoms operators. Who's opposition to network neutrality means that in order to be online, you're going to have to pay the kinds of monies that only the incumbents already have, which means that no one will ever get to challenge their Gemini. So now we have the situation with there's no public for them to speak in and all the project forms are controlled by a handful of companies, and that handful of companies has inveigled state into making sure that no one ever challenges them accept each other. And in that has really important speech implications, even if like me, you're not a big fan of Alex Jones and you wish he'd crawl under a rock and die. The fact that five companies in unison making choice can effectively make people disappear for the public discourse should really worry you not least because historically, it's been used against anti-fascist agitators, black lives matter, activists, trans activists, and people who are activists and opposition numbers against the world's talk RA sees. So there's another argument going around on that. And this is something that's come up when I've talked to former executives at these social media companies, and even people who just studied a space and that is that these companies of unfairly been given a license to publish things, which would otherwise get them sued under the Communications Decency Act, which was passed in nineteen Ninety-six. Do they have some responsibility for the content that they publish. I think those are a couple of questions. The first one is like a section to await a good, a good thing. And the second one is is their responsibility, which is a big broad question that covers legal and ethical and other another issues. So section two, eight of the Communications Decency Act Tosh I want to say that it's actually section two eighty. Now I'm having a brain fart either section to eight or section to eighty. The Communications Decency Act says that if you provide a platform where the public can talk to each other, you don't have an obligation to hold everything that is said before it's published and have a lawyer investigated to see whether it's defamatory or infringing or seen, or in some other way, unlawful speech. And it's really hard to argue with that right in in this regard, the platforms are not entirely analogous to say newspaper, which accepts letters from the public and makes a choice about whether or not. To publish them. They are also simultaneously analogous to say a diner where people get together to talk to each other or a library where people rent out a room to talk to each other and have a community meeting. And in those circumstances, you can immediately understand why it would be completely unworkable and foundationally undemocratic to create a system in which you went to the diner. And before you can say something to your friend that might be overheard by third party and therefore ABS offend them you, the diner would send over a lawyer and you would write down with your thinking of saying to your friend and pass it to the lawyer. And the lawyer would make an opera down judgement about whether or not you were going to violate some anti Assim, some bad speech rule, and then you will be allowed to say it or not. And not only would it just be a lawyer, but because all the really good lawyers would be working for the giant corporations. And there's like a finite number of lawyer hours reading between now. On the universe. This would be some Dumbo also ran failed. The bar seven times mail order diploma lawyer, and their expertise would be really narrow, and they will have been given marching orders by the diner order. The owner that says, if you make a mistake and I go out of business, I'm taking you with me. And so if the lawyer looks at what you were thinking to your sick society, your friend over lunch and decides that maybe it's a risk they would just suppress it. So obviously, that is not a good way to run a forum for speech, even a private forum for speech. Now, it's not a perfect analogy because people who mutter things in a diner don't sometimes have them overheard by ten million people when they go viral. And so that is a a dimension to this that is unique to the internet and doesn't have a direct analogy. But the speech aspect is likewise important, right? The part that the part where people talk to each other is likewise important and. If we were to up end the safe harbors the Communications Decency Act and say, you may only speak once you have sure yourself that nothing that you say will violate a law, then the ability to speak will be limited to people who use expensive platforms that can afford to pay the lawyers and who can somehow afford to subsidize those platforms use of council. It will become paid us pay to play speech. Just basically how cable works right? If you if you turn on cable TV because copyright is what's called a strict liability regime, which means that anyone who is complicit in violation of a copyright even if they act in good faith can be sued by the rightsholder the cable operators wanna make sure that they're not the people with the deepest pockets if they air some programming that violates copyright because then they'll be the targets for the lawsuit. And so anything that you want to say in narrative. Forum, right? Anything that isn't live TV in live TV. It's a different story, but anything that isn't live TV. Every word is headed by lawyer. And then again, it's vetted by an insurance company that writes, you errors and omissions policy to make sure that the lawyer hasn't made any mistakes and the number of people who are able to speak using cable numbers in the thousands of perhaps tens of thousands. If you add up all the people get to make a final decision about what is said on cable, and that's the approximate limit of how much speech our society can afford to vet before it's uttered. And if you're comfortable limiting our total public discourse to ten or twenty or even one hundred thousand people worldwide, then by all means, get rid of the safe harbors. But otherwise, you're the price that we paid for the safe harbors is that we don't pay lawyers to evaluate all speech before it spoken. And so sometimes speech that is unlawful is uttered. Now, does that mean that the that we have to just take it as it comes in and not try and make it better? Of course not. And there are lots of ways that we can improve this in clay Shirke many years ago said, if you're struggling with information overload, you don't have a content problem. You have a filter problem. Now, the answer to that is to like have a service that's a rival to Facebook that slurps in the stuff that's useful to you from Facebook throws away the stuff that Facebook is using to hijack your attention. That's a business that some people would pay for that's business. You might be able to support with less ody's advertising. It's a business that people might set up as an own profit. The problem is that if you do any of those things, you will get sued into a smoking crater by Facebook who have secured a series of legal decisions and laws that protect its right to not be interrupted with by third parties without his permission. It's so a a little bit curious than what as. Solution to Alex Jones would be, do we just let him exist in the marketplace. Divide is to we let the courts handle the lawsuits which have taken seven years to get to the point where they are in are still unresolved what what can we do about speech that is that odious on these platforms. So there's a great time fiction story that really frustrates me called the cold equations. And in the cold equations, there's a spaceship pilot who is delivering vaccines to a distant frontier world where a plate is broken up. It's gonna kill everybody on the planet, and he takes off and he's cruising towards this planet, and he realizes he's burn more fuel in his takeoff than he should have. And it's because his ship has heavier than it was fueled for, and he starts to look around me finds a girl who stowed away. And once you've caught, she says, I guess he got me when we get to this other world, you'll have to assess a fine. Because you know violated the rule and he is aghast because when he realizes that this girl is on the ship, he also realizes that since she can't land the ship, and since there isn't enough fuel to line the ship with both of them in it. And since if they don't learn the ship, everyone on the planet is gonna die. This epidemic that he's going to have to push her out of the airlock and the rest of the stories him just explaining to her why he's going to have to push your out of the year luck, whites inevitable that he pushed her out of the airlock and the thing about the cold equations that drives me crazy is it's a setup because within the scenario that was developed by the author, absolutely. He has to push her out of the airlock, but the choices that went into that scenario were not inevitable, right? The choice to not have an autopilot to not have extra fuel to not have vaccine stock held on this distant world. These are all choices that were made before the story started. And if. All you consider as the story from the moment it starts than it just seems like it's a sad but inevitable fact of the universe. That's why it's called the cold equations because it's supposed to be about math, not morals. It's a sad, but inevitable fact of the universe. This girl has to die. And the reality is that if you want to stop the girl from dying, the thing you need to do is start before the beginning of the story and think about how you can fix it. Once you start in the situation where people are so alienated from each other, that Alex Jones, hateful message can find fertile ground with one another where are rules regarding money as speech, which is very different from regarding talking on the internet is speech have created a dominance for the gun lobby that allows them to peel off some of their excess capital and use it to fund on the one hand propaganda like Alex Jones. And on the other hand, laws that preserve the right of people to do things with guns. Are really terrible. And when you have media consolidation in many dimensions, both in in terrestrial radio where we're Jones, go to start and on the internet that allows people to bootstrap their small victories into much larger victories in creates a winner. Take all economy. Then of course, it seems hard to imagine how you could sort out the Alex Jones problem without some implications for speech. That's true. I, I don't know how to sell the Alex Jones problem with implications for speech, but I know how we stopped the next Alex Jones problems with implications for speak. And that's what we address. These other things, monopolization inequality, money in politics. All of those things are things that are actually not particularly hard to imagine how to deal with them. They might be hard to imagine how we'll make them politically palatable. They're not challenging problems to imagine solutions to just figuring out who bells the cat might be a little harder. One more question for you are politics problems, technology problems in the twentieth teen. So Larry Lessig he says that everything in our world is regulated by four forces code. That's like, what's technology technologically possible law? What's legally allowed norms? What's considered socially acceptable and markets? What's profitable? Those forces bear in different degrees on different problems. But every problem can be unpicked on those for axes. So our political problems are obviously in some ways, legal problems there in some ways, technological problems there in some ways, problems about our prevailing ideologies and in some ways problems about what people can make money for him. Because one of the reasons Alex Jones is a successful as he is is because it made him rich. And so yes, of course, technology is part of all of this stuff and and because the internet is the nervous system of the twenty th century and wires together all of our activities. And because everything we do today involves the internet and everything. We. Due to more will require the internet. Then of course, all of our problems are technological problems, but they're not only technological problems, but at the same time, if we don't get the technology right, we probably can't solve any of these problems. Like climate change is a bigger problem than free speech on the internet. But unless we have a free fair and open internet, we're never going to be able to organize to do something about climate change. All right, doctor, thank you so much for your time. Oh, we'll thank you very much. It's been really good to talk to you. And I really like the kinds of significant challenging questions you had. That's it for butts and ballots from Yahoo news police, find us on apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts special, thanks this week to Corey doctor. Oh, I'll just mention that his latest book is called the walkaway and you can find more of his writing on Boeing Boeing, where he is a blogger and editor and thank you to Lia Hitchens my producer I'm grant burning him. Thanks for listening.

Facebook Alex Jones Cambridge Analytica Cambridge Analytica Yahoo Corey doctor Congress US Christopher Wiley Cory doctor Mark Zuckerberg New York Times Trump Georgia Mark Klein Cambridge Analytica Ted Cruz Larry Lessig AT
Democracy Now! 2020-01-10 Friday

Democracy Now! Audio

59:02 min | 1 year ago

Democracy Now! 2020-01-10 Friday

"From New York this is democracy now. Democracy has been broken on our first vote is happening in twenty eight days and nothing has changed no election. Laws have changed facebook's crime scene no research nothing has come coming up the great hack. We continue our look at the shadowy data firm Cambridge Analytica and its attempt to use facebook to sway elections across the world. From trump's election. In Two thousand sixteen to Brexit we speak with the Director of the Oscars shortlisted documentary. The great hack as well as a propaganda researcher searcher and Cambridge analytic a whistle blower Brittany Kaiser author of targeted the Cambridge Analytical Whistle blowers inside story of how big data eight of trump and facebook broke democracy. And how it can happen again be very concerned and everyone should be very concerned about the weaponization. I've been exertion of our data. People that are actually experts in selling weapons all that and more coming up welcome to democracy now democracy now dot org the warring piece report. I'm Amy Goodman. The House of Representatives has voted to approve a non-binding unbinding war powers resolution aimed at limiting president trump's ability to take further military action against Iran without congressional approval. President trump ratchet up tensions tensions with Iran by assassinating Iranian Commander Custom Sumani in a targeted drone strike at the Baghdad International Airport last week Thursdays. Two hundred twenty four to one nine thousand four house Ford included three Republicans voting. Yes and eight. Democrats voting no the resolution. Now heads to the Senate. The vote came as Iran's ambassador to the United Nations blasted the US at the UN Security Council. Speaking on behalf of Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif who is unable to address the Security Council himself after the. US West denied him a visa in violation of one thousand nine hundred forty seven US UN agreement. This is ambassador. Nigeria talked Angie here today to deliver a a statement on behalf of His Excellency Mazzetti whose visa was denied the United States in contravention of the headquarters agreement. And here he is. He's a statement. We are meeting today to discuss momentous imperative we are. We are all confronted with the world is is a crossroads. The end of monopolies on power von unhinged regime is frantically clamoring to turn back time. Thousands gathered gathered in Chicago New York Seattle and dozens of other cities to protest war with Iran Thursday night. The New York Times has obtained video that appears to show an Iranian missile hitting the Boeing. Mm Seven thirty-seven jet that crashed shortly after takeoff in Toronto Wednesday. Killing all one hundred seventy six people on board. The crash came hours after Iran fire ballistic missiles muscles to Iraqi military bases which house Iraqi and US troops in retaliation for General Silliman as assassination. This is Canadian Foreign Minister Francois. In the champagne chimpanzee we have intelligence from multiple sources including our allies and our own intelligence that indicates. What's that the plane was shut down by an Iranian surface to air missile? This may well have been unintentional intentional. Iranian officials have denied allegations. They mistakenly shot down the passenger jet that was headed to Kiev Ukraine. The inquiry story into the plane crash in Tehran comes. As the jets manufacturer. Boeing is facing even more scrutiny over. Its troubled 737 Max. Jet Has released internal email. Show show Boeing employees talking about deceiving federal regulators joking about potential safety flaws in the plains design ahead of the two fatal plane crashes that killed. All three hundred forty-six people on board and Indonesia. NATO PIA in one email and employees quote this airplane is designed by clowns. Who are in turn supervised by monkeys unquote put in another? An employee asked a colleague quote. Would you put your family on a MAC simulator trained aircraft. I wouldn't unquote and a third worker wrote and apparent reference to interactions with the FAA quote. I still haven't been forgiven by God for covering up I did last year. Unquote the Boeing seven thirty-seven. Max has been grounded. Worldwide worldwide president trump's proposing changing the nation's oldest environmental law to exempt large infrastructure projects such as pipelines and power plants from environmental review if if enacted the changes would exempt agencies from considering the cumulative environmental impacts of projects which could include studying the climate crisis in Immigration News as a Mexican asylum. Seeker died by suicide Wednesday when he slit his own throat. After being denied entry into the United States at the Foreign Osa International Bridge at the Texas Mexico Echo border meanwhile in Louisiana to asylum seekers from India or reportedly on the brink of death as their hunger strike against their prolonged detention stretches into its sixty ninth ninth-day medical staff at the Lasalle ice immigration jail. Our Force hydrating the two men and in Arizona. The chief of the Tana Odom Nation says the construction of the border wall on the nation's land may have unearthed ancient human remains inside the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in the Sonoran desert in election news six presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren Bernie Sanders people to judge. Amy Klobuchar Joe Biden and Tom. Steyer will take to the stage for the final all democratic debate before the Iowa Caucus it will happen in Des Moines next Tuesday. All the candidates on stage will be white after New Jersey. Senator Corey Booker and entrepreneur. Your Poor Andrew. Yang did not qualify for the debate. Billionaire Tom Steiner qualified after pouring more than one hundred fifteen million dollars of his own money into his campaign billionaire and air former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg did not qualify for the debate despite spending nearly one hundred seventy million dollars of his own money on ads in France at least half a million people flooded the streets across the country. Thursday to show their support for the unionized rail workers who strike against French. President Emmanuel macron's clones attempted pension. Overhaul has now become the longest transportation strike in French history. This is usually. I'm a moto. Mattila grounded again towards the bears to say that women are the great winners of the reform. That's not true. An awful knows that women are the big losers why because he knows that they have different jobs have to take more care of children. Were part time. So for short have gaps shorter clears. See if you take into account women women will be hit. The hardest in the United States Health and Human Services Secretary Alex as our has declared a public health emergency for Puerto Rico after a six point four. Magnitude a Tudor earthquake rocked the island early Tuesday killing at least one person and plunging nearly the entire population into darkness. As Thursday. Electrical power was restored to about half of residents. The Puerto Rico. Electric Energy Agency says its goal is to restore power for all residents by this weekend. In New York grand jury indicted the suspect. Expect the Hanukkah attack from five more federal hate crimes Thursday Grafton. Thomas allegedly stabbed at least five Jewish worshippers who are celebrating Hanukkah at a Rabbi's Nice House. In Muncie New York last month his lawyer say he's mentally ill. A new study suggests that raising the minimum wage by a dollar an hour could save thousands thousands of lives of people from dying by suicide each year and that if the minimum wage had been at least two dollars an hour higher nearly sixty thousand lives could it had been saved between one thousand nine hundred and two thousand fifteen suicide is now the second leading cause of death in the United States among children and Youth Ages Ten to twenty four with the suicide aside rate among black youth rising faster than any other racial group and in Texas Yolanda car has died. She was the mother of Tatyana Jefferson. The African American woman who was killed by a white police officer in October car had been fighting illness at the time of her daughter's death and Tatyana Jefferson known to the family stay had been her caretaker former fort worth police officer. Aaron Dean Shot Jefferson through her bedroom window while responding to a nonemergency wellness. Check that cold for by a neighbor who sautes front door had been left open. The officer never identified himself as a police officer Tatyana. His father also died in November of a heart attack less than one month after his daughter staff and those are some of the headlines. This is democracy now democracy now dot Org the Warren Peace. The report I'm Amy Goodman a longtime facebook executive has admitted the company's platform helped Donald Trump win the two thousand sixteen election and predicted. It may happen again this year. In an internal memo facebook Vice President Andrew Bosworth wrote so was facebook responsible for donald trump. Getting elected I I think the answer is yes he said Bosworth who is a backer of Hillary Clinton in two thousand sixteen went on to write that the company should not change its policies in an effort to hurt art trump's reelection chances Bosworth credited trump for running quote the single best digital ad campaign I've ever seen from any advertiser in his memo Bosworth referenced the role of the shadowy data firm Cambridge on Olympic but downplayed its significance however a new netflix documentary called the great hack argues. He's Cambridge Analytica has played a critical role in the US election as well as elections across the globe. Cambridge China Lyrica was founded by the right wing billionaire. Robert Mercer Trump's former advisor. Steve Bannon was the company's Vice President and claims to have name the company Cambridge Analytical harvested some eighty seven million facebook profiles without the the user's knowledge or consent and use the data to sway voters during the two thousand sixteen campaign the story of Cambridge Melinda is featured in the documentary. The Great Hack which just been shortlisted for an Oscar all of Your interactions your credit card and swipes web searches locations likes. They're all collected in real time into a trillion dollar. A year industry real change was Cambridge only scam and the trump campaign and the brexit campaign they started using information Cambridge analytica claim to have five thousand viewpoints. Every American voter well earlier. This week I spoke to the directors of the Great Hack. Johanna Jane and Kareem Amer as well. Hilas propaganda researcher Emmer Bryant and a former employee at Cambridge on the LETICA Brittany Kaiser who has begun posting online a trove. ooh of documents detailing the company's operations including its work with president trump's former national security adviser John Bolton Kaiser has also written about her experience at the company in the book targeted the Cambridge Analytical Whistle blowers inside story of how big data trump and facebook broke democracy. And how it can happen again. Kaiser is one of two former Cambridge analytica employees featured in the great hack the other is Christopher Wiley. It's it's incorrect. To call came analytica a purely sort of data science company or an Algorithm Company. You know it is. A full service is propaganda machine. I asked Cambridge Analytica Whistle Blower Brittany Kaiser to talk about how she came to be involved with Cambridge on. I think it's very important to note this. Because there are people all around the world that are working for tech companies that I'm sure joined that company in order to to do something good they want the world to be more connected. They want to use technology in order to communicate with everybody to get people more engaged in important issues and they don't realize that while you're moving fast and breaking things some things get broken that you cannot actually contemplate or predict what those those repercussions are going to look like. Chris Wiley and I both really idealistically joined Cambridge analytica because we were excited about the potential of of using data for exciting and good impact projects. Chris joined twenty thirteen on the data side. In order to start developing different types of psychographic traffic models so he worked with Dr Alexander Kogan and the Cambridge psychometric center at Cambridge University in order to start doing experiments agreements with facebook data to be able to gather that data which we now know was taken under the wrong auspices of academic research and was then used in in order to identify people psychographic groupings. Now explain that a cycle graphic groupings and especially for people who are not on facebook. Who Don't understand it's it's enormous power and the intimate knowledge? It has of people think of someone you're talking to WHO's never experienced facebook explain. What what is there absolutely so the amount of data that is collected about you on facebook and on any of your devices is much more than you're really made aware above you probably haven't ever read the terms and conditions of any of these APPs on your phone but if you actually took the time to do it and you could understand it because most of them are written in for you not to understand? That's written in Legalese. You would realize that you are giving away a lot more than you would have ever agreed to if there was transparency. This does your every move every where you're going who you're talking to who your contacts are what information you're actually giving other apps on your phone your location data all of your lifestyle where you're going what you're doing what you're reading. How long you spend looking at different images and websites? This amount of behavioral data gives such such a good picture of you that your behavior can be predicted as cream was talking about earlier to very high degree of accuracy and and this allows companies like Cambridge Analytica. It's understand how you see the world. And what will motivate you to go and take an action or unfortunately what will de motivate motivate you. So that amount of data available on facebook ever since you joined allows a very easy platform for you to be targeted and manipulated and and when I say psychographic targeting. I'm sure you probably are a little bit more familiar. With the Myers Briggs test so the Myers Briggs. That asks you a set of questions in order to understand your personality and how you see the world. The system that Cambridge Analytica used is actually a lot more scientific. It's called the ocean. Five factor remodel and ocean stands for openness. See for conscientiousness whether you prefer plans in order or you're a little bit more fly by the seat of of your pants extroversion whether you gather your energy from being out surrounded by people or your introverted and you prefer to gather your energy from being alone agreeable you care about your family your community society your country more than you care about yourself and if you are disagreeable then you are a little bit more egotistical. You need messages. That are about benefits to you. And then the worst is neurotic. You know it's not bad to be an erotic. It means that you are a little bit more emotional. It means unfortunately as well that you are motivated by fear based messaging so people can use tactics in order to scare you. You doing what they want to do. And this is what was targeted. When they were gathering that data out of facebook to figure out which group you belong to they found about thirty two different groups of people different personality types and there were groups of psychologists that we're looking into how they could understand that data and convert that into messaging? That was just for you. I need to remind everybody that. The trump campaign put together over a million different advertisements that were put out a million different advertisements with tens of thousands of different campaigns. Some of these messages were for just you were for fifty people one hundred people. Obviously certain groups are thousands tens of thousands or millions but some of them were targeted. Very much directly at the individual to know exactly what you're going to click on and exactly what you care about. They were doing this before Cambridge on but describe. I WANNA actually go to abandon clip. Steve Bannon who takes credit for naming Cambridge analytica right because you had. Seal before defense. Yes and then. It becomes Cambridge analytic for Cambridge Bridge. University right where Cogan got this information that he called from facebook. This is the White House. Chief Strategist Steve Bannon. In an interview interview at a Financial Times conference in March two thousand eighteen bannon said that reports that Cambridge analytica improperly accessed data to build profiles on American voters and influence. The two thousand sixteen presidential election were politically motivated months. Later evidence emerged linking Bannon to Cambridge rich analytic us the scandal which resulted in a five billion dollar fine for facebook Bannon's of founder and former board member of the political consulting vice-president of Cambridge. Analytica all came. Agenda is the data scientists in the applied applications. Here in the United States. It has nothing to do with your natural stuff. The Guardian actually tells you that and the observer tell you that when you get down to the tenth paragraph okay when you get down to the tenth paragraph and what Nick's does overseas wouldn't expose overseas right. It was a data. It was a data company and by the way cruises campaign and the trump campaign say. Hey they were pretty good data company but this whole thing on psycho graphics was optionality in the deal if it ever worked at work but it hasn't worked and it doesn't look like it's GonNa work so it was never applied so that Steve Bannon in two thousand house and eighteen key to president trump's victory and to his years so far in office before he was forced I two weeks before he was forced out. What would your relationship with Steve Bannon? You worked at Cambridge on for over three years. You had the keys keys to the castle. Is that right in Washington. Yes for Awhile. I actually split the keys to. What is Steve's House with Alexander Knicks because we used his house as our office us? His house is also used as a breitbart office in the basement. It's called the Breitbart embassy on Capitol Hill. And that's where I would go from this. I I believe who is owned by the Mercer family that building and we would come into the basement and use that board room for our meetings and we would use that for are planning who we were going to go pitch to what campaigns we were going to work for what advocacy groups. What conservative five? Oh One C.. Threes and fours. He wanted us to go see. And I didn't spend a lot of time with Steve. By the time I did was incredibly insightful. Almost every time I saw him he'd be showing me some new new. Hillary Clinton hit video that he had come out with or announcing that he was about to throw a book launch party for Ann. Coulter for Audio S- America which was something that he invited both Alexander to and we promptly decided to leave the house before she arrived but he was very influential in the development element of Cambridge. And we were GONNA go see who we were going to support with our technology. And he made a lot of the introductions which in the beginning seemed a little less than than they did later on when he got very confident and then started introducing us to white rightwing political parties across Europe and another country and try to get meetings with the main political parties or leftist or green parties instead to make sure that those far right-wing parties that do not have the world's best interests set heart could not get access to these technologies. You said in the Great Hack in the film that you have evidence of illegality of the trump and brexit campaigns pains that they were conducted legally. I was wondering if you can go into that. I mean it was controversial. Even in Carol Call Walder. The great reporter at the observer in the Guardian was blasted and was personally targeted very well demonstrated in the great hack for saying that that Cambridge China Lick was involved in Brexit. They kept saying they had nothing to do with it until she's shows video of you who work for Cambridge analytic guys with only the founding events of leave it or Brex yeah leave dot. Edu that that panel. That I was honored just now become quite an infamous video radio was there launch event to launch the campaign and Cambridge Toco was in deep negotiations through introduction of Steve Bannon with both of the brexit campaigns champions. I was told actually originally pitched to remain and the remain side said that they did not need to spend money on expensive political consultants because they were going to win anyway. And that's actually what I also truly believed. And so did they. So Steve made introductions to make sure that we would still get a commercial contract out of this political campaign and both off to vote leave and Levi Cambridge. Analytica took Levy you an AI. Cue which was Cambridge Analytic essentially digital partner before Cambridge Analytical Analytical could run our own digital campaigns they were running the vote. Leave side both funded by the Mercer's both with the same access to this giant database. You'd there was Cambridge Analytical Work as well as a key work in both of the leaf campaigns so so a lot of that money in order to collect that data and in order to build the infrastructure both of those companies came from Mercer funded campaigns. Yes and again explained. Ah Q was a company that actually ran all of Cambridge analytic is digital campaigns until January. Twenty sixteen when Molly Schweiker Lakers are head of digital was hired in order to build Ad Tech internally within the company was based in Canada and was a partner that had access to Cambridge analytic data the entire time that they were running the vote leave campaign which was the designated main campaign in Brexit. So when did you see the connection between Brexit and the trump campaign. Actually a lot of it started to come when I saw some carols reporting because there were a lot of conspiracy theories over what was going on on and I didn't know what to believe all I knew that we definitely did work in the brexit campaign. We as in when I was at Cambridge Analytica because I was one of the people working on the campaign campaign and we obviously played a large role in not just the trump campaign itself but trump super pacs and a lot of other conservative advocacy groups. Five Oh one C. threes. He's fours that were the infrastructure that allowed for the building of the movement that pushed trump into the White House. I mean it looks like Cambridge Analytical Medico is heading to a billion dollar corporation. That's what Alexander used to tell us. All the time that was the carrot waved in front of our eyes in order to have US keep going. We're building a billion dollar company. Aren't you excited. And I think that's what so many people get caught up in people that are currently working at facebook spoke people that are working at Google. People are that are working at companies where they are motivated to build exciting technology. That obviously can also also be very dangerous but they think they're going to financially benefit and be able to take care of themselves and their families because of it. So what was the legal. The massive problems that came from the data collection specifically are where the original accusations come from because data was collected under the auspices of being for academic research and was used for political and commercial purposes. There are also different data sets. That are not supposed to be matched and used without explicit transparency and and consent in the United Kingdom because they actually have good national data protection laws and international data protection laws through the European Union to protect tag voters unfortunately in the United States we only have seen the state of California coming out and doing it now on the other side we have voter suppression Shen laws that prevent our vote from being suppressed. We have laws against discrimination in advertising racism sexism incitement of violence. All of those things. It's are illegal yet somehow. Platform facebook has decided that if politicians want to use any of those tactics that they will not be held to the same community standards as you or me or the basic laws and social contracts that we have in this country Cambridge on Olympic a whistle blower Brittany Kaiser when we come back we speak to the directors of the great hack the documentary. That's just been shortlisted for an Academy Award Let me steal your secret soundtrack. From the documentary the Great Hack this is democracy now. I'm Amy Oh my goodness. We continue our look at Cambridge analytic facebook and their roles in the two thousand sixteen. US election and other elections earlier. This week I spoke to the directors of the Great Hack Shahani Jane and Creamer Dreamer as well as propaganda researcher Bryant and a former can bridge analytical whistle blower Brittany Kaiser. I asked Cream Amer to talk about what Cambridge analytic effort to suppress the vote in Trinidad and Tobago it. It was important for us to show in the film. The expansiveness of Cambridge's work this. This went beyond the borders of the United States and even beyond the borders of the EU and the UK Because we find is that Cambridge use. I use the the in pursuing this global influence industry. That they were very much a part of the US different countries as Petrie dishes to learn and and get the know how about different tactics and improving those tactics. They can then sell them for a higher cost higher margin in Western democracies where the election budgets. Sir You know remember I think it's important to predicate that the election business has become multibillion dollar global business right so we have to remember that while how we are upset with companies like Cambridge we allowed for the commoditisation of our democratic process. Right so people are exploiting this now because it's become a business and and we and and as purveyors of this Can't really be as upset as we WANNA be justified. I want to preface it with that Now that being said what's happened as a result is Cambridge can practice tactics in place like Trinidad. That's very unregulated in terms of what they can Hanan can do learn from that. Know how and then you know. Use It for parlay into activities United States but they didn't Trinidad and why it was important for short in the film. Is they lead. Something called the dussault campaign where they admit to making it. Cool and popular among youth to get out and not outvote and they the Indian population and the blonde the blonde and there's a lot of historic tension between those two And a lot of generational racial differences as well between those two and the dussault campaign targeted was was done in a way to you. Know by looking at the data looking at the predictive analysis of which group would vote or not vote. Get enough people to dissuade them from voting so that they could flip the election targeted at targeted at I. Ah at the youth and so this is really when you actually do so. Don't vote. Yes exactly fest Griffis. It became cool. ooh Not exactly. And then you look at the level of calculation behind this and it's quite frightening now. Emma was saying a lot of these tactics were born out of our own fears in the United States in the UK. Post nine eleven when we allowed for this massive weaponization of of influence campaigns to begin with remember President Bush talking about you know the battle for the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people all of these kinds of industries stories. Were born out of this and now I believe what we're seeing is the hands of come home to roost all of these tactics that we developed in the name of of quote unquote fighting the war on terror and the name of doing these things have now been commercialized and used to come back to the biggest election market in the world the United States. And how do we blame people from doing that. When we've allowed for our democracy to be for sale and that's what Britney's files today that she's releasing and has released Gospel? This really gives us insight to the hindsight files have British. Least Show is how there is an auction happening for influence campaigns in every uh-huh democracy around the world. There's no vote that is unprotected in the current way that we the current of space that we're living and thing that's allowing this to happen is is these information platforms like facebook. And that is what's so upsetting because we can actually do something about that. We are the only country in the world that can hold facebook accountable yet. We still I have not done so and we still keep going to their leadership hoping they do the right thing but they have not and why is that because no industry has ever shown in American history that it can regulate itself. There is a reason why antitrust laws exist in this country. There's a tradition of holding companies accountable. And we need to re re embrace tradition especially as we enter into two thousand twenty where the stakes could not be higher Britney. Kaiser can you talk about the Crooked Hillary campaign and how it developed absolutely so This started as a super PAC that was built for Ted Cruz. Keep the promise. One which was run by Kellyanne Conway and funded by the Mercer's that was then converted converted to becoming a super PAC for donald trump. They tried to register with the Federal Election Commission the name Defeat Crooked Hillary and the FCC luckily really did not allow them to do that so it was called make America number one. This Super Pac was headed by David. Bossie someone that you might remember from citizens united minded who basically brought dark money into our politics and allowed endless amounts of money to be funneled into these types of vehicles so that we don't know where all of the money is coming from for these types of manipulative communications and he was in charge of this campaign. Now on that two Hugh Daylong debrief that I talked about. And if you want to know more you can read about it in my book. I they told US Leeann. Explain where you were and who is in the room so I was in New York in our board room for Cambridge because office on Fifth Avenue and all of our offices from around the world had called in to video cast and everybody from the Super Pac and the trump campaign took us through all of their tactics and strategies and implementation and what they had done now when we got to this defeat Crooked Hillary Super Pac. They explain to us what they had done. which was to run experiments on psychographic groups to figure out what was is working and what wasn't unfortunately what they found out was the only very successful tactic was sending fear base scaremongering messaging to people that were identified if I do being neurotic and it was so successful in their first experiments but they the rest of the money from the Super Pac over the rest of the campaign only on negative active messaging and fearmongering and Kirk? It the Oh and crooked was handcuffs. Yes that was designed by Cambridge. Analytic Osteen Kareem. It's important according to remember here because there's been a lot of debate among some people about. What did this actually worked? What degree did it work? How do we know whether it worked or not? The Brady's describing is a debrief meeting where Cambridge as a company is saying. This is what we learn from our political experience. This is what actually worked okay. And they're sharing it because they're saying now this is how we want to co two five this and commodity this to go into commercial business right so this is the company Buzney admitting to their own. There's no debate about whether it works. This is not them advertising in the world. This is them saying this is what we've learned based off that does that. We're going to run our OH businesses that we're going to invest in the expansion of this to sell this outside of politics. The game was take the political experience parlayed into the commercial sector that was the strategy so there there is no debate whether it worked or not it was highly effective and the thing. That's that's terrifying. Is that while Cambridge has been disbanded. The same actors are out there and there's nothing has been nothing has changed to allow us to start putting in place legislation to say. There's something called information crimes in this era of information warfare and this era of information economies. What isn't information crime? What does it look like? Who determines it and yet without that we are still living in this unfiltered filter unregulated space? Where places like facebook or continuing to choose profit over the the the the the protection of the republic? I think that's what's so outrageous and I think it's pretty telling that only people only two people have come forward from Cambridge Analytical. Why is that both of the people that have come forward Brittany and in Chris and also with Carol's writing have been targeted personally? And it's been a very very difficult story to tell even with us. When we released the film on January every single time we have entered into the country? We have been stopped for four to six hours of questioning at the border. That stopped by stopped by on the border of the US JFK airport. Where you're taking into the back ask for all of your social media handles questioned for four to six hours every single time into the country since when since we released the film so since Sundance since January? We've every time we've come back into the US and on what grounds are they saying saying. They're stopping no explanation. And what is your theory. My theory is that it's got something to do with the spill Maybe we're doing something right. We were I stopped in Egypt. But we've never been stopped in the US in this way. We're American citizens you talk about people coming forward and not coming forward. I wanted to turn to former Cambridge on politic. Coo the chief operating officer Julien Wetland speaking on the podcast recode decode. The company made some significant mistakes when it came to its use of data. They were ethical mistakes and I think that part of the reason that happened was that we spent a lot of time concentrating on not making regulatory mistakes and so for the most part. We didn't as far as I can tell. Make any regulatory mistakes but we got almost distracted by taking those boxes of and fulfilling the regulatory requirements and it felt like once that was done. Then we've done what we needed to do. And we forgot to pause and think about it ethically. What was what was going on so if you could decode that Brittany Cambridge LETICA COO. Julian wheat land who interestingly in the great hack while he was really can condemned Chris. Wiley did not appreciate Chris. Wiley stepping forward and pudding Cambridge Analytical in the crosshairs and the British Parliament. He was more equivocal about you. He talked about wheat land and and his role and what he's saying about actually abiding by the regulations which they actually clearly didn't once upon a time and my used to have a lot of respect for Julian Wetland. I even thought we were friends. I thought we were building a billion dollar company together. That was going to allow me to do you. Great things in the world but unfortunately that's the story that I told myself in a story. He wanted me to believe that isn't true at all. While he likes to say they spent a lot of time abiding by regulations I would beg to differ Cambridge Analytica and did not even have a data protection officer until twenty eighteen right before they shut down. I begged for one for many years. I begged for more time with our lawyers and was told I was creating too many invoices and for a long time because I had multiple degrees breeze. I was asked to write contracts and so we're other new right. The trump campaign country original one. Yes I did and there were many other people that were trained in human rights flaw in the company that were asked to draft contracts. Even though a contract law was not anybody's specialty within the company but they were trying to cut corners and save money just like a lot of technology companies. Decide to do. They do not invest in making ethical or legal decisions that will protect the people that are affected by these technologies. I wanted to bring 'em Bryant back into this conversation. Who mentioned it in part one of our discussion? This issue of military contractors offers and the next of military and government power the fact that with trump selection military contractors. We're one of the greatest financial beneficiaries of trump's election. But I think it's important issue is also these mill when we think of military contractors as we think of people selling tanks and guns and bullets and these types of things the problem that we don't realize that we're an air of information warfare so the new military leterrier contract is iron selling aren't selling traditional tanks. They're selling. They're doing that as well. But they're selling the equivalent of that on in the information space and that's a new kind of weapon. That's a new kind of battle that we're not familiar with and the reason why it's more challenging for us because there's a deficit of language and the deficit of visuals we don't know with a battlefield is. We don't know where the borders we can't point point be like this is where the trenches are yet. We're starting to uncover that and that was so much of the challenge in making. This film is China. Where can we actually show you where these record? Sites are where the casualties of this new information warfare are and who the actors are where the fronts are and I think in entering twenty twenty anti we have to keep a keen eye on where the new warfronts are and when they're happening our domestic funches and how they're happening in in these devices that we use every day so this is where we have to have a new kind of free framing. What we're looking at because while we are at war it is a very different kind of borderless war? Were asymmetric information activity. We can affect us in ways. That can we never imagined and they member Ryan you talked about when facebook new the level of documentation humiliation that Cambridge -LICA- was taking from them. I mean Cambridge Analytica. Made them right. Yes they were they were AH providing the data to the to D- Esau who then you know were paid by Sorry the company by Cogan Cogan and Joseph Chancellor that company that they were setting up to to do both academic research but also to exploit the data for Cambridge analytics purposes. So they were working with own. Mapping that data onto the the the personality tests and giving that access to Cambridge so that they can scale it up to profile people across the target states states in America especially but also all across America. They obtained way more the never expected as Chris. Wiley and Britney have Shown but I want to also ask when did all governments know about what king genetic and seal were doing around the world and when they were starting to work in our elections. One of the issues. Is that these technologies have been partly developed by on grants from governments and these were defense contractors as we say we have a responsibility for those companies and and for ensuring that this reporting back on what they're doing and some kind of transparency as Karima saying that if you you know we're in a state of global information warfare. Now if you have a bomb that has been discovered that came from an American source and it's in Yemen then we can look at that Bowman often. There's there's a label which declares that it's an American bomb that has been bought that has been used against civilians liens. But what about data. How do we know if our military's develop technologies on the data that has gathered third on people for instance across the Middle East the kind of data that snowden revealed? How do we know when that is turning up in in Yemen or when that is being utilized by a an authoritarian regime against the human rights of its people or against us? How do we know that it's it's not being manipulated by Russia by Iran by anybody? WHO's an enemy by Saudi Arabia? For example who as Seattle will also working working with we have no way of knowing unless we open up this industry and hold these people properly accountable for what they're doing. Seo Defense was the parent company of Cambridge Regina Lyrica Emma Bryant Human Rights Researcher Bard College or upcoming book Propaganda Machine Inside Cambridge Analytica and the digital influence industry will be back in less than thirty seconds This is democracy. Now I made me as we continue our look at Cambridge on Lyrica facebook on their roles in. US another elections. I speak to the Director of the great hacked attack on New Jayme and Kareem Amer as well as former Cambridge analytical whistle blower Brittany Kaiser who's begun posting online a trove of documents detailing the operations of the now now defunct company. I asked propaganda researcher Brian to talk about the significance of the documents. I think the the biggest reveal is going to be in the American campaigns around this but I think you haven't seen the half of it yet. This is the tip of the iceberg. As I've been saying my thing I think the most interesting of what's been revealed so far is actually the the Iran campaign because this this is a very complex issue and it really is an exemplar of the kinds of conflicts of interest that. I'm talking about at a company that is you. You know. Set out to profit from the from the arms trade in from the expansion of war in that region and from the favoring of one side in a regional original conflict essentially backed by American power by the escalation of the conflict with Iran and by getting more contracts of course with the Gulf states the UAE and the Saudis You know of course they were trying to put trump empowered as well to do you. That advancing John Bolton and the other hawks who have been trying to demand that that sanctions to to keep sanctions and to To get out to the Iran deal which which they have been. Arguing is a flawed deal and of course. Seal were involved in doing work in that region since two thousand thirteen including they will working before that on Iran for President Obama's administration which I'm going to be talking more about in the future. The issue is that there is a conflict of interest here so you gain experience for one government and that new going and working for others that may be on not entirely aligned in their interest although oh it was for the election of Donald Trump. Of course it happened during the Obama years. That's one. Yeah Regina Linda really gained its strength and working with facebook facebook and seals major shareholder of Vincent Chang is of course was Involved in the early establishment of the company Black Cube and some of its early funding. I believe I I don't know how long they stayed in any kind of relationship with that firm. How ever the bill firm Black Cube? Also targeting. An Obama administration officials With massive smear campaign has been has been revealed built in the media and this Opposition to the Iran deal and the promotion of these kinds of You know really fearmongering ring advertising. The Britney's talking about is very disturbing when this same company is also driving advertising for gun sales sales and things wait explain what black cube is which goes right to today's headlines because Harvey Weinstein accused of raping. I don't know how many women in at last count also employed black cube former Israeli intelligence folks to go after the women who were accusing him and even to try to deceive the reporters like at the New York Times Try to get them to write false stories. Absolutely a mean. This is a an intelligence foam that was born again after the war on terror so Israel's war on terror this time produced an awful lot of if You know people who would have gone through constriction conscription in developed really expert strong expertise. INSI- consumer cyber operations or on developing information warfare technologies in general intelligence gathering techniques and and black cube was formed by people who came out of the Israeli intelligence industries. And they they all formed these companies and this has become a huge industry which is not really being properly regulated as well and properly governed and seems to be rather I took control and they have been Also linked to Cambridge onto liquor in the evidence to parliament a so I think the the involvement two for all of these companies is really disturbing as well in relation to the Iran deal. We don't know that Cambridge on Olympic her in any way. Were working with Cuban this this point in time however the fact is that all of this infrastructure has been created which is not being properly properly tackled and how they're able to operate without anybody really understanding what's going on is a major major problem Brittany. Black Cube isn't the only company. You should be concerned about the founder of black water or their CEO. Eric Prints was also an investor in Cambridge ANALYTICA. Okay so he profits from arm sales around the world and military contracts and has been accused of causing the unnecessary deaths of civilians. In very many the different wartime situations he was one of the investors in Cambridge Analytica and their new company Emmer data and so I should be very concerned and everyone should be very concerned about the weaponization of our data by people that are actually experts in selling weapons. So that's one thing that I think needs to be in the public like discussion. The difference between what is military what is civilian and how those things can be used for different purposes or not. I think what's important to see is. Is that you know in the clip. You showed Chris while he's talking about how Cambridge is a full service propaganda machine. What does that really mean? I I would say that what what's happening is we're getting insight to the the network of the influence industry the buying and selling of information and people's behavioral change and it is a completely unregulated space and was very worrisome. Is that is. We're seeing more and more with what. Ms Talking about. Britney he's shown this conveyor belt of military great information and research expertise coming out of our defense work that's being paid for by our tax money then going into the private sector and selling it to the highest bidder With different special interest from around the world. What you see in the files? Is You know a the oil company buying influence campaign in a country that it's not from and having no no no no responsibility or or anything to what it's doing there and what happens in that the results of that research where it gets handed over to no one knows any contracts contracts that then result in the change happens on the political ground no-one tracks and sees so this is what we're very concerned about is because you're seeing that everything has become for sale and if everything is for sale or elections are exactly and so how do we have any kind of integrity to the vote. When we're living in such condition? Democracy has been broken in our first vote is happening in twenty eight days and nothing has changed. No election. Laws have changed facebook's a crime scene no research at the you know nothing has come out. We don't understand it yet. This was why we felt so passionate about making this film because it's invisible. How do you make the invisible visible and this is why Britney is releasing these files because unless we understand the tactics which are currently being used again right now L. as we speak same people involved? Then we can't change this base books. A crime scene John Elaborate on that absolutely facebook is where this has happened. Initially we thought this was Cambridge analytica right and that Cambridge Cambridge Analytical was the only bad player but facebook has allowed allowed this to happen and they have not revealed they have the data. They understand what is happening. But they have not revealed they have profited off and they have profited they profited off. I think what's even more worrisome. Is that a lot of our technology. Companies I would say are incentivized now by the polarization of the American people. The more polarized the more you spend time on the platform checking the endless feed the more. You're hooked glued the more their KPI at the end of the year which says a number of hours spent per user platform goes up and as long as that's the model and everything is designed from the from the way you interact with these devices to the way your news as a sorted and fed to you to keep you on as hooked as possible in this completely unregulated unfiltered way under the guise of freedom of speech when it's selectively there for them to protect tech their interests further and I think that's very worrisome and we have to ask these technology companies. Would there be a silicon valley. If the ideals of the of the of the open society were not in in place would silicon valley be this refuge for the world's engineers of the future to come rematch of the future could look like they're not been the foundations of an open society. There would not happy yet the same people who are profiting off of these ideals protecting them have feel no responsibility in their preservation. And that is what is so upsetting. That is what is so oh criminal and that is why we cannot look to them for leadership on how to get out of this we have to look at the regulation. FACEBOOK was fined fifty billion dollars instead of five. I guarantee green tea. We wouldn't be having this conversation right now. It would have led to not only in incredible change within the company but it would have been a signal to the entire industry and there would have been innovation that would have been sponsored sponsored to come out of this problem. We can use technology to fix this as well. We just have to create the right incentivisation plan. I have belief that the engineers of the future sure that are that are that are around can help us get out of this but currently they are not. They're not they're not the decision makers because these companies are not democratic credit whatsoever. Could I yes please. I just wanted to make a point about how important this is for Ordina ordinary Americans to understand understand the significance for their own lives as well because I think some people hear this and they think Oh tech this is maybe maybe quite abstract tracked or you know they. They may feel that other issues more important when it comes to election time but I WANNA make the point that actually you know what what this subject is about. All of those other issues this is a baton equality and it being enabled if you care about you know having a proper debate about all of the issues that are relevant to America right now so you know. Do you care about the you know the the horrifying state of American prison system. The what's being done to migrants right now. Now if you care about a minimum wage if you care about the health caste system You Care About the poverty homelessness on the streets you care about American prosperity you care about the environment and making sure that your country doesn't turn into the environmental disaster that Australia Australia is experiencing right now. Then you have to care about this topic because we can't have an adequate debate. We cannot like know that we have a fair election system and tell we understand that we are actually having a discussion from American to American from in country to country that isn't being dominated by rich oil industries or defense industries and brittle leaders is and so on so. I think that that the issue is that Americans need to understand that. This is an underlying issue that is stopping. them Being able to Have the kinds of policies that would create for them a better society it stopping their own ability a to make change happen in the waste that they want it to happen and it's not an abstract issue. What would defective form of regulation? I mean we. We saw old standard oil broken up these monopolies Galkin up. Do you think that's the starting point for is it's like facebook like Google and others. I think that's a big part of it. I do think that Elizabeth Warren's recommendations when it comes to that and antitrust antitrust and and so on are really important and we have legal precedents to follow on that kind of thing but I also think that we need an independent regulator for the tech industry and also a separate one for the influence industry so America has some some a regulation when it comes to lobbying in the UK. We have none and quite often. You know American companies will partner with a British company in order to be able to. who gets around doing things for instance we have to make sure that different countries jurisdictions cannot be You know abused in order to make something happen. That would be forbidden in another country. We need to make sure that we're also tackling how the money is being channeled into these this campaigns. Because actually there's an awful lot we could do that isn't just about censoring or taking down content but that actually Chile is about making sure that the you know dot money isn't being funneled in to the to fund these actual campaigns if we knew who was behind them if we were able to show which companies working on them and what other interests they might have. Then I think this would. I'm really open up the system to better journalism to better. You know more accountability and the issue isn't just about what's happening running on the platforms although that is a big part of it We have to think about the whole infrastructure. We send a researcher and my Bryant Johanna Jayme and Koream the directors of the Great Hack. The netflix documentary just shortlisted for an Academy Award and Cambridge. On olitical whistle blower Brittany Kaiser author of targeted the Cambridge on a little whistle blowers inside story of how big data trump and facebook broke democracy. And how it can happen again to see the first hour of our discussion go to democracy now dot Org Democracy now is produced by Mike Burke in Augusta. Nermeen shake Carla. Wills Tammy Warren Libby Libby Rainy Simao Cough John Hamilton. Karen Honey Masud Trenin Thirteen Murray us. Do ADRINA contrasts Maria. Tar Saint Special. Thanks to Julie Crosby Goodman. Thanks for joining us.

Cambridge Cambridge Analytica facebook United States Donald Trump Brittany Kaiser Iran President Steve Bannon Robert Mercer Trump Director researcher Chris Cambridge Analytical Hillary Clinton officer Britney Christopher Wiley Amy Goodman Cambridge China Lyrica
Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower Christopher Wylie

Fresh Air

49:18 min | 1 year ago

Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower Christopher Wylie

"Get fast speeds even when everyone is online working to make WIFI simple easy awesome more at xfinity dot com restrictions apply this message comes from NPR sponsor xfinity some things are slow like a snail races other things are fast like Xfinity X. by literal campaign Cambridge Analytica collected personal data from tens of millions of facebook users and used it to target people susceptible to conspiracy solo album from Brittany Howard the lead singer of Alabama shakes my guest became a whistle blower exposing the role of the British information of tens of millions of facebook users and combine that with other data decorate psychological profiles and then use those profiles to target mark was essentially to take Large amounts of highly granular data about each individual voter in the United States Both papers published their stories on March seventeenth last year ten days later widely was called before parliament testify after that several U s its goal was countering extremists extremists using social media to find potential converts the things that I was building you know originally for the defensive susceptible to disinformation racist thinking and conspiracy theories Cambridge Analytica then helped shape the disembarkation narratives and push them voter profiling company Cambridge Analytica in the trump presidential campaign and the brexit campaign Christopher Wiley revealed how the company at harvested the widely became the chief source for a year long investigation into Cambridge Analytica jointly undertaken by the British paper The Guardian and The New York Times mation while he has written a new book whose Title I can't say on the radio so I'll just call it mind F- Cambridge Analytica and the plot to break America out while he also revealed Cambridge analytic has links to Russia while they had the documents and tapes back him up he'd served his Cambridge analytic as urge bulk of that came from facebook it came from many sources and to look for patterns in that data to essentially infer different psychological attributes and stories and disinformation Christopher Wiley was the research director of Cambridge analytica before leaving in protest over the direction it had taken when he joined the company search director for a year and a half then quit in twenty fourteen disturbed by the direction it started taking after Steve Bannon became a major player in the company Christopher Wiley Welcome to fresh air I let me Oh it's my pleasure I'd like to start with a brief overview of how Cambridge analytica figured into the trump campaign and we'll get into more detail about this later brick just so we have a basis of understanding of what what did the basis of Cambridge analytic is the democracy had been completely converted to really in my view attack our democracies while has written a new book and Ken Tucker Reviews the first from that to find target groups of people particularly on the fringes of society who would be more vulnerable to certain kinds of messages they focused on a lot on disinformation are they targeted people who are more prone to conspiratorial thinking and they use that data and they use based on social media more broadly to first identify those people and then engage those people and really begin to crafts US Congressional and Senate committees asked to talk with him within weeks the EU and more than twenty countries had opened inquiries into facebook social media and discipline in my view wasn't insurgency in the United States feeding them disinformation sometimes conspiracy theories in support of the trump campaign yes Asian culture because politics will just flow from that when you say when Steve Bannon took over he had a big role in Cambridge Analytica and then became campaign manager for and more broadly the when Steve Bannon took over he wasn't just concerned about particular elections he followed sort of this notion of the art doctrine which is that politics exists downstream from culture so don't just focus on the day to day politics try to actually make an impact on injuring be likely targets of different extremist groups and from that Try to understand impact how woods each team at seal group which at the time was a British military contractor Based in London most of its clients were various ministries so I want to talk about your contribution to this before you became a whistle blower so you want to work for a company called Seal Strategic Communication Laboratory then trying to mitigate an extremist insurgency in certain parts of the world he wanted to essentially catalyze one in the United States offense in NATO countries and what we were looking at is how to use data online to identify people who AH fairly extreme ideological message spread through different kinds of social networks and what could we do in order to mitigate its its effectiveness old CEO Isis messaging people who were more prone co conspiratorial thinking or you know paranoid idea when Steve Bannon got introduced to the company he realized that a lot of that work could be inverted and rather it's you figure out beyond what the military had already identified which was essentially young unmarried males with certain demographic characteristics what were this sort of psychological character was to find this technique of personality profiling that you thought could be applied to the clown of Work Cambridge Analytical was doing the company into you know a set of tools that he'd be able to use to in effect manipulate certain segments of the American voter population for trump yes he did he he found us in in London he convinced the billionaire to acquire the company and then he strategy later when it became journalistic it essentially became identifying people who in the same way that you'd be looking for people who'd be more vulnerable this one of your major contributions to Cambridge analytica which started off as SC L. Yeah so one of your major contributions raise what were they when you join what's their relationship to Cambridge Dental Annika young so I got a recruited to join a recent bridge to create an application that then got put onto facebook where people would go and fill out personnel by default they effectively consented by proxy for you know hundreds of other people simply because they were facebook friends with them so that scaled really quickly and at the time facebook the way facebook worked they allowed applications to have that feature they've since turned it off and a lot of the data came from facebook how to Cambridge Analytica get the data you know when the when the story blew up one of the things that the inventories like surveys about you know who they are and their attributes but the way the AP words was that they wouldn't harvest the data of the person who responded we have you can then figure out what's going to be most effective at engaging them in a particular objective so originally in some kind of counter extremism or mitigations mystics of those people that would make them more prone and more vulnerable to certain kinds of of messaging so that we can engage them beforehand that was based on a series of studies can you describe that personality profiling approach yeah so you know when you think about all of the things that you put online right wing donor a major donor eventually to the trump campaign so Cambridge analytica becomes harnessed by Mercer and Bannon to serve the purposes it's personality profile and from that if you can understand how a person thinks and feels engages in the world and what kinds of biases so whether it's you know you're what TV shows you like who are you know what's what movies you watch or what you listen to these are all little discreet clue in effect it looked for the same kinds of people but rather than discouraging them from joining Isis it would be to encourage them to join the alright survey but it would go into their profile and look at all of their friends and harvest all of their friends data as well so when you had one person fill out a survey you had to figure out a way to harvest data that you could use to create personality profile so that you'd know who to target and rightfully so but at the time you could acquire a lot of data really quickly because with each respondent to that survey you'd get another sort of three hundred profiles with it information for his own purposes he brings in Robert Mercer who's a hedge fund billionaire who basically buys the company and Mercer was like a major the personalities and inclinations of Americans Cambridge Analytica sent a lot of people to America to do psychological research psychological example so we had a lot of anthropologists who would come and sociologists who'd come to actually do qualitative research anthropological research looking news about sort of who you are as a person and you know originally when we were looking at this for defense purposes we want in return fulfilling out the personality profile you were given like a couple of dollars or something yeah so some you know different kinds of people have different motivations for Philly the dynamics of different kinds of people and you know it's amazing you know you you really start to unpack really bizarre things you'd have which was actually quite surprising so Cambridge Analytica undergoes a big transformation Steve bannon comes in from America he wants to harness this of the far right or or the all right you're still working with Gambro channel Africa at that time and as the research director you had to understand bowl kind of often talked about is how it was a hack facebook or some kind of data breach and what actually happened was that facebook authorized the applications that came analytica ended up using to access the data the company engaged Professors at the University of is one example where I sat in the living room with people as they were watching Fox News and just how bizarrely almost therapeutic it was for them to go as many of which came out of the University of Cambridge that looked at essentially how particularly with facebook data you can quite accurately predict a person of targets that the company started to engage first identifying those people and then inviting them into groups or pages and very quickly filing just give us an overview of what that was like you know I'm Canadian and most of the people on the team were not Americans so when we go into the United States out surveys so you know sometimes you would have a group of people who just would fill it out because they're bored they don't have anything to do or they just genuinely want to know what is their personality or that Cambridge Analytical was spreading you say that the the the events would be held in small places like a small bar or a coffee we don't we don't grow up with the same narratives or the same by cultural biases that a lot of Americans do so we look at the United States in the same way that we'd be studying Africa for you had an ops that were sort of like you know what if you were on game of thrones who'd be your character fill out the survey and and find out you know little doing that with other people on these groups thinking that feels very random like I chose to click on this I chose this but actually not realizing that they were there because they were chosen from home and they could release all of their stresses by yelling at the TV and blaming Obama for everything you know the fact that they didn't have healthcare that you know the the actually it's taking all of that information and porting it over to alright campaign but you know in in some cases so you know imagine you're sitting there in your living room at midnight and you just see some ads and you click on it and then all of a sudden you know you join a group and you certain groups of people that were underrepresented in those samples they would be paid one dollar two dollars around there to fill the survey and people do do a lot for a dollar when their teacher they don't seem to have a big political agenda or something behind them and so when you hear that person you know somebody talking about were underemployed was all a plot for you know from Obama to change the you know the face in the fabric of America and they were the victims here and it was Obama's you know I'm just a regular American from a couple counties over like have you seen this isn't this crazy and and people would start to engage and build relationships actually agreeing to show up to a an imprison event if those groups are relatively small you know by facebook standards or by social media standards a couple of thousand people and belief systems and we identified that fairly early on and it was amazing like I would go and I would sit with people you know there's you're still getting you know fifty to one hundred people agreeing to shop to an event and so you would have these sort of staged events where there would be you know reading about stuff and then all of a sudden you know other people start finding you or sending you messages like hey like welcome to the group you know whatever Smith County Patriots fault you you sort of sit and you start to realize that underneath this you know very advanced modern democracy there are some like really screwed up things happening in society opportunity to express it without any criticism then it will start to surface if you could talk a little bit about fine people who are all talking about the exact same thing that they're thinking about in their feeling and you know when they go and meet people you know they're a plumber there are a lot electronic and doing research on Americans and personality profiles of Americans so there are a lot of Americans who have yourself from this institution of journalism because you stop believing it you think that this is actually propaganda that I'm reading so one of the things I cambridge analytic thing that out and how that was harnessed by Cambridge Analytica and the trump campaign yeah steve banning you know discover you're listening to people who just look and sound exactly like you and they couldn't possibly have an agenda but but then when you turn on NPR's CNN NBC or whatever read the digital fantasy you know in the in the comfort of their living room it moves into their their reality because they're now standing in a crowded room that's filled a coffee shop or in a bar as you said and what it does something very fundamental to a person because what starts off as sort of this you know dabbling in up to make it look like oh it's really crowded like this is really saying if if if you if you only had five to ten percent of of people on these groups didn't show who they quote unquote felt like they really were they almost felt closeted and it was really interesting to look at people and you know so we would do reports and send them back later when the the the data profiling actually started those were the first set originally from the anthropological research that was happening and then leader got verified in in more quantitative research that there were groups of typically heterosexual white men who sort of felt that because they could no longer be quote unquote a real man the was normalized and overtime you know society moved on from that and they felt that you know this is who I am and America's changing and that me what Obama is doing by moving you know soldiers into taxes because he's planning something or you know all these people crossing the border that you know or the deep state or all of this you're listening it means that I can't be who I am and when you have you know people who feel like they're being oppressed even if it's a misperception of they were because because it is no it is no longer acceptable in my view rightfully so to you know in America is to have you know the world in front of you but at the same time there was a group of people who felt like they couldn't be who they were and the pent-up sort of New York Times you don't see any of these things that are you know in your view actually happening in your country and you start to detached in you know who are very privileged in in many respects racially and and you know there's actual inflation and everything you know to be a straight white male unacceptable but rather that it's because you know Obama doesn't want you to have power anymore because we're giving the power over to the two women or two immigrants or whomever you know one of the things that I even told him as I said when you look at a tea party rally to me it sounds a lot like gay pride because you know they would have these flags so when Cambridge Analytica starts actually organizing events targeting people who already kind of bought in on facebook to the paranoia of oppression that's a really powerful force and Steve Bannon tapped into that out any tap into it be because if you give people racist feelings that they don't publicly express for fear that they'll be shunned as a result but if you give them an a an easy excuse you know not to say that actually the behavior that you want to you know exhibit at work or at a bar is there's nothing more powerful than a humiliated man and that you know when you looked at a lot of the the the narratives that emerged away their entitlements are being taken away and they feel like they're being oppressed and it affect closeted you know they will come out when you look at a tea party rally to create psychological profiles and then use those profiles to target pupil susceptible to disinformation racist thinking and conspiracy theories it's not me that's the problem it's done that's the problem and you know you if you if you have a group of people who feel like their privileges being taken shapes and sizes and we really wanted to illustrate that through the imagery that we use and through the way we even talk about women's bodies third love is meant to be week we'll talk more about the company's role in the trump campaign and Wiley will tell us why he became a whistle blower and then Ken Tucker will review the first solo album by Brittany brexit and trump campaign's he revealed how the company had harvested the information of tens of millions of facebook users and combine that with other data fresh let's get back to my interview with Christopher Wiley the whistle blower who revealed the role that the voter profiled company Cambridge Analytica played in the Cambridge Analytica then helped shape the disinformation narratives and push them out widely served as Cambridge analytic as research director for a year and That all the sudden you are now you now have a very easy justification I'm not I'm not a bad person struggling with like bad habits I'm actually in a example certain kinds of movie viewing right so if you look at movies with Adam Sandler in it not to Bash Adam Sandler artists needed to come out my guess is Christopher Wiley his new book is called Mind F- Cambridge Analytica and the plot to break America after a break half then quit in two thousand fourteen disturbed by the direction it started taking after Steve Bannon became a major player in the company while these new book is called Mind F- Cambridge Analytica and the plot to break America when we left off we were talking about how Cambridge analytica wanted to target people who had racist or I'd say don't tread on me don't get in my way let me be who I want to be and just get out of my way you look at a gay pride rally there's more glitter by the being oppressed and I now have a an easy explanation as to you know wh why why I feel this way and actually I'm angry about it because uh-huh guy gets girl it's very you know a very standard sort of formulaic relationship or some kind of formulate problem men walk up to the secretary and squeezer bum. It's no long you can't cat call you can't do things that for for these men when they were growing up if you think that children should be physically disciplined you're much more likely to engage or dabble with more extreme rightwing views than Howard the lead singer of Alabama shakes I'm terry gross and this is fresh air support for NPR and the following message come from third love working to create are exhibited in a certain way women are exhibited in a certain way you know that would be for example a clue how people engage with for example parents thing right so like you know one of the strongest predictors for all right nationalism was like your views on corporal punishment with children hour when they heard people in the trump campaign or trump himself expressing them so how do they know who to target so there's no sir a brand that all women can see themselves being a part of to find your perfect fit and get fifteen percent off your first order go to third love dot com slash look at millions of different features all the different possible combinations of things that you could you know like or click on or what have you so often times it was you know a constant people who would have those kind of you know like racist or sexist opinion to feel too and him inhibited to express them but felt sexist views but were afraid to reveal those views in public how did Cambridge Analytica know who to target who word to associate him in any way with the alright there were certain kinds of films for example where if you actually looked at the narratives within those film other people would there's there's no single thing that you you would look for and often times this is what an algorithm do because a single person couldn't possibly the thing is sort of a silver bullet like if you like this one thing on facebook that that means that you're going to be an outright target but there are certain common features you know for from whyy in Philadelphia I'm terry gross with fresh air today the whistle blower who exposed Cambridge analytic as role in the trump president same message and so you know part of this for him was to like an closet these people the you know these these racists in the all key you know you have the rise of extremist groups in in the United States it's just you don't call them that right you've got you know some very cultish followings bras and underwear that are comfortable for all women co founder and CEO. Heidi Zack explains why it was important to have real women as their models women come in all thanks Cambridge Analytica did one of its goals was to try during the two thousand sixteen presidential campaign to move people on the left to elation of things that would create a target profile but there were some some common features to it so you write in the book that one Uh after Donald Trump announced his candidacy in started rising in the in the polls I started hearing just like in news reports just these leases that I distinctly remember in reports that were sent within the company about phrasing or sort of Construct Arts Center Steve Bannon before trump announced his candidacy phrases like build the wall drain the swamp what was the first you heard of those phrases and we're really effective at winning over certain groups of people when people talked about immigration for example so often people would just say like the Steve when he started advising the trump campaign and speaking to the trump campaign even before donald trump had announced that he was running I suspect that this was something that got communicated because it's it's for me eerily similar those campaign narratives to some of the reports that we had internally within the company Cambridge Analytica not only helped shape the narrative for the trump campaign and helped the trump campaign salton that were hired on the campaign and even before that their business partners were former GRU officers the things like that and promoting essentially a mirror image of conspiracy theories I- certain kinds of progressive people who otherwise would support DEMOCR- progressive side of the spectrum who also were more prone scioto conspiratorial thinking you know things about chem trails or vaccines that's the Russian security services some of them were indicted later by Muller you know when we had some one of the things that the company started to unpack was just you know how much hurt and pain there are in all kinds of different groups in the United States there's a lot of Two Russian colleagues on the effectiveness of psychological profiling specifically in American political campaigns find people who would be susceptible to false information to fake news. The trump campaign was putting out at the psychologists on you know working on these projects going to Saint Petersburg Russia to give presentations how are the you know I I left the company because I didn't agree with what he was doing And so where those same psychologists were also working on state funded projects in Russia to look at psychological profiling. They're just you know taking you for a ride they want your vote than actually going to help you you know an or on the flip side you know identifying people on the UH of social media users with respect to you know bullying behavior trolling that sort of thing and then also when all of this work if I had people coming into my house I was just build a big fence or build a wall around it why aren't we just doing that and that got reported back to you to Steve Bannon I think the of resentment across the board in different groups and so you know when you for example target African Americans with you know narratives about how in the you're either Cambridge Analytica had connections to Russia can you give us a sense of what those connections were while some of the what's to support a a a a third party candidate to not vote because of it you started hearing things in the trump campaign that you knew Cambridge Analytica had tested including was being done we got approached by large Russian companies including oil companies that had no sort of clear purpose as to why they would want nineties you know Democrats had this idea or supported or some Democrats supported by this notion of superpredators put lots of African Americans in present or it's large American voter data sets but we're asking about you know what is it that the company has what is the capability of the company the the the clients that it had for example in Britain during the brexit campaign you know some of the largest funders of pro leave pro brexit when you were at Cambridge Analytica you met with executives from Lukoil which is I think the largest oil company in Russia and you later learned senses to what was happening both on the brexit campaign but also you know they were traveling to the United States and meeting with the trump campaign that got saints yo the of you know a large rushing company who is personal friends with Vladimir Putin you know when you look at some of for more information sharing agreement with the FSP which is Russian intelligence it's one of the Russian intelligence agencies and the same company had been involved in different that Lukoil it sometimes used as a front for the F. S. B. The Russian intelligence agency so you afraid that everything organizations and that by communicating capacity and also at the same time letting them know that some of the psychologists that are was first of all why does this Russian oil company need information on you know American voter data sets You know or what what the company is different fairly senior Russian officials that I found personally very concerning and odds that there was nine you know there's email correspondence where you know briefings that were put together on internal capacity you know how many American records were profiled doing in American politics but then also that you know this this company has a very deep relationship with Russian intelligence working on this project are also partly in Saint Petersburg Russia where they're giving very open presentations to Russians about the effectiveness of means of influence operations throughout Europe with with different European countries You know politics and so one of my concerns missile blower exposing Cambridge analytic as role in the two thousand sixteen presidential election in the US and in the Campaigns were simultaneously meeting regularly with the Russian Ambassador in London

Cambridge Analytica Donald Trump facebook Cambridge Analytica Alabama NPR Brittany Howard Cambridge Steve Bannon United States terry gross Saint Petersburg Russia whyy Philadelphia president Russia co founder Heidi Zack
 Blowing the whistle on Brexit

Today in Focus

25:42 min | 2 years ago

Blowing the whistle on Brexit

"Uh-huh. Today, we speak to Carol color and Shamir sunny a year after they exposed how vote leave had broken electoral law and don't foster on the by-election in labor held Brexit. Backing Newport west. Caroline, you bright one of the biggest stories of recent times, how important will whistle blowers to you. They were absolutely central and crucial to the whole thing. This more than a year since observer and guardian journalist, Carol cut Wola broke, the Cambridge Analytica story based on the testimony of a whistle blower. My name's Christopher Wiley. I'm data scientists, and I helped set up Khaimah John LUKA, Christopher Wiley, then introduced Carol to Shamir sunny who made explosive allegations about the British organization that had led the campaign for Brexit. I am Shamir. I'm a digital strategist focuses on social media content and messaging, and I was volunteered. Vote. Leaf Shamir said he had proof that vote leave her cheated. Not cheating is the core of what it means to be British staying true to the law is what it means to be British. He claimed the campaign group had used an illegal donation of six hundred seventy five thousand pounds to pay for the services of Africa. I kid a data company with links to Cambridge on Letica Shamir said vote leave was already very close to its seven million pounds spending limit for the referendum. And so it funneled the money through a secondary campaign group after the interview vote leave issued strong and persistent denials that continued even after the electoral commission concluded it had broken the law were you aware of that contribution being made? No. The lead wrought, it just isn't true. But what is everything by the book throughout the campaign by consciences free of any blemish on this issue last week but denials stop as the appeal against the allegations was suddenly dropped from the guardian. I'm initially Astana today in focus Shamir, sunny and Carol cut WADA the cost of whistle blowing. Can you? Remember the first time you met Shamir first match Schmidt in a wine bar extend when he was this. Nice young Tory man you worked for conservative or for it comes over. But it wasn't a tool. Seventy think tank that point out of I would very much put a big better pawn. You not coming forward. It was very very I mean, it was just it was it was kind of ridiculous. You've lost your job. You're speaking out against your boss, everybody you knew but at the same time, you would just starting to understand what had happened and you troubled by how would you found him? I hadn't found Chris Worley had found him. And he started talking about this friend of his this friend of his work been volunteer with vote leave. I introduce Shamir to people vote leave. And then I think what happens to me you met with Chris, and you told him some more didn't you Chris and I had been firms for world through the Casey. So when I graduated I was looking for work. And so he was the one who connected me to Stephen Parkinson who was national organiser div, and is now political adviser to the prime minister. And I started working. Vote. Even in Chris stayed connected. It was only a about a year after the referendum that I sort of started reflecting on what had happened. And I spoke to Chris when I had realized that something dodgy had gone on. And then he said, I think that was when he went to Carol what did you make of Shamir? Well, it was I mean say chest you conniving little Tory. Boy. I mean, she it was this. I mean, you know, he's this amazingly articulate and very principles person. And that came across the very first meeting. It was the beginning of this sort of process. It felt like where you a piecing together these bits of evidence about what happened and your role in it, and you know, being troubled by that and not knowing what to do about it. Say schmidt. What was it? Like it vote. Leave in magin our money things spent won't our priorities you can make this happen. This might be our last chance. So let's take back control. I started volunteering would vote Nieve and March twenty sixteen I was surrounded by the most powerful people within British politics Boris Johnson's voter CR baffled, boss, which is not funded by the tax by gov that the United Kingdom would be strengthened not weakened by our exit from the European Union hopeful prime ministers. It's quite incredible. It was excited. So I started working with vote div and March and then by April, I was told to start working on a specific outreach group called belief. It was a youth project a liberal progressive youth outreach group devoted at created. We spoke to a donor at vote leave who wanted to give us money. But apparently he couldn't. And so I created a proposal which was then sent to everyone vote leave by about a month about a month and a half before the referendum vote leave at figured out a way to get us money, and that was by us making believe into a separate campaign, and so lawyers the vote leave lawyers. Guided us told us what to do in terms of creating believe the separate campaign. So we create a believes the separate campaign and then received almost seven hundred thousand pounds, and we weren't allowed to touch the money. The money had to go straight to Accu aggregate IQ, we had no idea at the time that this was totally. Legal. When did you know that? When did I figured out that it was a legal about a year later urine Hof to that? I had seen all the articles that the first article that bussey dead in consecutive articles at the independent guardian all of these papers were doing, and we were consistently told, you know, I was being told by the most influential people within British politics, some of the most respected people in British politics that this is all remaining did they know it was a legal. I believe the did. Yes. Leave was later found to have broken electoral law, which led to a fine and to individuals being referred to the police the electoral commission said that it donation to the smaller group believe had actually been spent on joint project with vote leave. However, the official Brexit campaign failed to declare that which resulted in exceeding its legal spending. Limit by almost half a million pounds. Jimmy, what did you make of Carol when you first met her? She's the eccentric white lady that's super sweet. And that's what made me so comfortable was because her questions weren't coming from the perspective of a journalist. They were coming from the perspective of someone who is actually emotionally and morally obligated to talk about these things. And and I got from the first meeting, which is why that first meeting was when I decided actually I am going to come forward because when I had gone into that meeting. I had no intention of coming forward because I didn't trust anyone. How about persuading somebody to blow the whistle? I didn't dissuade. She man, that's all actually various points. I suggested that I really interrogated if he was up your pad for everyone did everyone, cuz I always worried about the impact that this could potentially have on Chemin. I particularly worried about the fact that he was in. An out with his sexuality. And I worried about the way that could be used against him. And you know, those fears were realized. Ahead of the planned publication of Shamir's interview, Carol sent right of reply letters, including to the campaigns director Dominic Cummings. He then tried to spoil the story by writing about it on his blog, and he included some personal details, including that Shamir was gay something that is timely didn't know, and that he had been in a relationship with Stephen Parkinson, a senior figure out vote leave who was by then to reason as political secretary. Stephen Parkinson issued a response in which he said that the pair had been dating when he was at vote leave and Shamir at believe Steven suggested that the advice and encouragement had given to his partner may have resulted in thinking that the lines were blurred between the two campaigns. The statement was initially issued in a private capacity, but a member of staff at Downing Street did pass it onto one journalist. So we immediately looked and then there's sort of shopping take of breath because he talks about Shamir being gay and having a relationship with Stephen Parkinson. And so, you know, this kind of panic because it, you know, it's kind of it's massively intrusive into Shamir's personal life. And the whole thing about is. She may had family in Pakistan, and he was just worried because because homosexuality is such to the and he thought that there could be retaliation upon his sister. And so we really taken it very seriously this threat of this happening, and so Thomson Allen who was Shamir's lure swung into action, and you know, contacted dominant Cummings, and he was very he was actually very civilized about. It wasn't he and he took it down. And he accepted that that's actually. Wasn't intrusion to fall, and I spoke to Chris on the telephone, and he was absolutely livid. I mean, he's I've never never heard him. So completely kind of furious and. And he was just because number ten had issued the prime minister's office had issued a statement, which essentially blamed Shamir for the whole thing if it was if there was some confusion about his relationship with Stephen Parkinson, then it was obviously something in his own mind. There was nothing inappropriate or illegal going on here. What was that like view personally? Would it be like for any Pakistani man that's been outed any Muslim man that's been outed. I think I was I always knew that it was there was that. There was a chance that people would bring this up. But I didn't think that the British press were that disgusting to make it a focus turns out they are. And I didn't think that my own government that the government of the United Kingdom would send out an official statement to whoever the hell it was it doesn't matter who the fact that they're sending out an official statement saying, I'm a bitter ex boyfriend, even though Stephen Parkinson was one of seventeen people he will working in the campaign was I every once bitter ex. Do you run the way you when you read that? Yeah. Nellie bines? My lawyer's offices. I remember to sort of it was like late like, what time was it like a level? It was and then and then what happened was there to other things which happened in quick succession Boris Johnson tweeted, and and said, this is the most ludicrous sort of Chris lies. And then what happened? I mean, the thing which really took my breath away. And and. I just could not believe was the front cover of the man on Sunday, which said PM's aid in toxic set. And it was even raise in parliament by LeBron p Ben Bradshaw. How is it remotely acceptable? When a young whistle blower exposes compelling evidence of lawbreaking by the leave campaign implicating staff at number ten that one of those named instead of dressing, the allegations made issues an officially sanctioned statement, outing the whistle blow as gay. By putting his family in on in dangerous. It's a disgrace prime minister sitting need to do something about it to he's responded. I mean, what did you make what she said? This is the most sort of awful thing was was seeing that. That response was that she lied in parliament saying that it was a personal statement statements issued where personal statements that were issued. She said, it was a personal statement. And she didn't say it once she said it three times the personal statements. Personal statements that were issued. I of course, recognize the importance of ensuring that we do recognize that for some being outed as gay is difficult because of the family and circus, and what I want to see a world. What I want to see is a world where everybody is able to be confident in this actually and doesn't have to worry about such thing. This is an extraordinary moment. Fear. What did your family say? My family is fully behind me. The moment that it happened. Because my family has like me has a strong sense of morality and Justice. And we grew up in Pakistan. We know what corruption is we understand that people can be evil. And so my family understood that what has happened to me was an attack on not just myself. But my family is well because my family's first thoughts were some of our family members might die. Like, I remember my childhood was literally seeing people die because they had committed gay ax. And I even myself was like, okay this happens. Like, that's what happens if you're get. And that is the kind of mentality of a lot of countries across the globe, a lot of people across the globe. And a someone who works in the home office to use Downing Street to out me who know how difficult it is for gays for for people. They'll community cross the globe. It was it was violence. And they knew this because because Stephen Parkinson and many people working votive have met my mum. I have talked about my sexuality to all of these people saying that I'm not out to my family. I entered use even Parkinson to my mom is my friend. And so these people are all were all aware that I wasn't out and you find from each help. Yeah. In a month after I was fired from my job from the tax pays alliance, which is a right wing think tank. Currently in the process of suing them that was when I really kind of went. Okay. I'm screwed cost. You everything. Even I'm sorta covering, you know, even I'm still I haven't paid last month. Right. And I have to pay this month. Right. Like, I have. And it's not because I'm not getting work. It's because I've been in such a state of trauma. And I I know I don't really like talking about it purely because it makes me seem like I'm like super self pitying and whatnot. And I'm not, but each time I talk about even if talking about Brexit is a instigation of that trauma. My entire experiences over the last year are triggered every day. Because I my story went to the heart Brexit what I was saying went to the heart of government. And every time I see the same people on the media. I see the same people that literally were saying Shami was always out like so what? So what if you go out to like, he's he betrayed his friends? So I. I don't know. I'm I'm I'm just I'm still navigating that Trump and like most whistle blowers to trauma that we face in comparible because you'd lose everything. Carol. How did you feel about all of this? So on the evening when that happened and seen the Boris tweet and the front page of the Mellon, Sunday, Iran, Chris and Shamir, you just spoken to your mom. You very very very very subdued. And Chris said, I sort of said what you what you do. Now in Chris said, we're going out clubbing clubbing. Chris you only come out once and this cannot be said, it's easy said you do understand this is an act of violence to out somebody against their will. And this cannot be Shamir's memory of this day. We are going out clubbing. So I kind of I just I was it was so kind of impressed and pleased birds, Gino know, sort of felt very responsible very guilty and very fearful in the days that followed Carol felt that Shamir's story was under reported. And if the story had been reported properly, it would then have been it would become a political story. It would have had more impact people might have been held to account. So I really think there is a a broader failure here. So how'd you respond to those who say it was actually the remain campaign but had an unfair advantage because it used? The apparatus of government to completely legally spent nine million pounds on a leaflet sent to every house in the country before the campaign. So that was fired. The key words that are completely legally. I mean, there's a question of fantasy as well as I mean, what people would argue that is they spent so much more. That leave still would've won. It doesn't it doesn't. It doesn't matter. It does matter because the fact is that. Yes, I agree. What the government did was unfair. That was a decision of that government, and they should be held to account. And if you want to investigate that then launch an investigation against that. But it is not illegal would vote. Leave did was illegal. It doesn't matter by how much are they won or lost? By how much the decide, Spence? If you do that sort of gerrymandering, then what's the point of the law like what's the point of following like sticking to strict democratic principles of like a votes won fairly and freely. This has been terrible fear you outed as gay you fed for the safety of your family. You aside from your job you'll still struggling now. Do you regret whistle blowing? Despite everything I know now that I have that. My soy had an impact on an int- in the conversation. I risked my life. Literally. I've wrist my financial stability my mental stability, I've literally given up everything to protect Britain and his on so bloody cheesy. But now at this point before I was like, oh, you I'm just doing this because people need to know, it's legal. But now, I know that what I did. I'm very proud of that I find solace in my in in that in that. I did what I know. No one around me could do family embraced your sexuality. My family Umbrian my the day that I was ushered. And we understand that sometimes. We are attacked for who we are. And my family loves me more than any British government spin. Carol shimmer. Thank you very much. Follow me on Instagram, Shamir UK and to my. This. When the electoral commission found that vote leave had broken electoral law as Shamir had alleged the Brexit campaign group described the ruling as wholly inaccurate and politically motivated last week vote leave dropped his appeal against the watchdog for Shamir, and Carol it is vindication after a traumatic here this weekend vote leave said it was confident that it would have won in court, but did not have the financial resources to carry forward. The appeal. It added that it had spent more than one million pounds fighting numerous allegations and conspiracy theories. Coming up Labour's, Brexit by-election. Now, the death of the much loved labor. MP pull Flint in February has meant a by-election in the Newport, west constituency in Wales today is the traditional labor see held by the party since nineteen eighty seven, but it also Brexit in the referendum. The guardians foster grew up in Newport. And looks ahead to a vote today. Newport, west is essentially a host industrial town originally named just came from a port which still concerns historically, then it became a big steel town. So Newport had a big steel works clothes while I was still at school. Also had a trend which I saw a lot around the UK of bigger heavy industries close and service industries coming in. It felt like a lot of the country outside of big cities in that way. So it's a smaller city, it's posted austral, and the economy's struggling massively. This going to be a by-election style because the labor MP poor Flynn tonight recently he'd been the M P E put west since nineteen Ninety-seven, and he was always hugely popular. So he was a really quite committed local and pay he was really serve and in trumping in local issues, Paul Flynn was a very very rebellious backbencher. He was very close to Corbin. When I was at school. Tony Blair was in power. And then when I was at university towards the end, Gordon Brown was in power. And I think a lot of people my age felt very taken for granted they felt quite alienated from the labor party, even they should have been traditional. Labour voters and Iraq will student fees were such big issues. They felt completely unmown from the party. And I've seen a massive virgins amongst my again amongst old classmates and people in Newport coming back lay party voting Jeremy tool been going out campaign in purely because they find the copen project on Jeremy copen, John McDonnell, quite inspirational and Innova find the the national labor party tallies with politics. A lot with the campaign is spoken to said that breakfast hasn't been a huge issue when you actually look at the breakdown of the vote in Newport, the balances almost flip I think that you have a huge diversity of opinion on the European Union from really diehard remains to really extreme levers, and then a lot of people in the middle who just all completely fed up of talking about Brexit. They want to look at schools they to look at the economy. They want look at the NHS. I think if labor when Nipah Wests conservatives will not really take much from it. It's traditionally bene- safe. See it will be interesting to see if the vote share lowest tool and a lot of people quite worry because poor Flynn was very personally popular. So even when labor were losing Vos nationally, his vote share Dibnah much smaller way than other candidates. Did it we instantly of conservative vote hose up they consensus. We hope in it rises lightly. But again, there is a risk that a lot of the conservative vote because people are so fed up with hard. Brexit has gone may slide Neil Hamilton for you. That was Don foster. My thanks to her anti Shamir sunny and Carol cut Wola. Today's episode was produced by Rachel Humphries, Elizabeth Kassian and Amy Walker sound design was by axel Cutie. The executive producers on coal Jackson, and Phil may not now why not tell a friend about today in focus. I'm please come back tomorrow.

Letica Shamir Carol shimmer Stephen Parkinson Chris Worley Brexit Brexit prime minister United Kingdom Newport Newport Boris Johnson Pakistan Schmidt European Union official Khaimah John LUKA Caroline Africa
Off The Hook - Jan 08, 2020

Off The Hook

1:01:43 hr | 1 year ago

Off The Hook - Jan 08, 2020

"Tifico radio has been compelled under california court order to consider amendments to its bylaws now these bylaws protect the democratic governance system system key to our mission of promoting peace and justice through our broadcasts the court order was initiated by pacific national board members donald goldmark from KPFA monster sabakh from KPFK and bill crozier from k. p. f. t. crozier was one of the board members who came same closed down WBAI on october seventh however in the opinion of a large majority of the pacific national board the proposed bylaws was amendments are destructive a slap in the face at all the activists who struggled for years to create a democratic governance structure for pacifica it would do away with our local station boards and replace them with a rubber stamp advisory boards that now dominate NPR stations it would put pacifica pekka under the absolute control of six transitional directors appointed by those who filed the lawsuit they would even have final say overall pacifica broadcasts including over WBAI i'm alec steinberg pro tem chair of the pacific national board and member of WBAI's local station board i urge all delegates and members to study these bylaws carefully and vote your conscience this this is WBZ new york i was gonna say that okay WBAI new york the time is just about seven seven o'clock time off the hook spring in a they would expect yeah okay uh-huh talk the event and a very good evening to everybody the program is off the hook emmanuel goldstein here with you joined tonight by alex evening rob t firefly applying good evening and kyle by well it's it's gonna be busy hour because we have a lot to talk about as expected iran ron is retaliating for the assassination by the united states and the first the first casualties websites it's hacked by iran cyber security group hackers this is only small part of iran's cyber ability we're always ready that was the homepage for the US federal literal depository library program on saturday evening i don't know what that is but they were taken off line pretty quickly after that and not eight people saw that and we don't even know if that anything to do with iran or just somebody who was bored but the federal the songs people a curious the federal depository library program was created to to provide the public with no fee ready and permanent public access to federal government information that includes bills statutes it's court opinions and a wide range material produced by the government senior US official involved cyber security matters confirm the incident but dismissed its importance this is nothing event that senior officials said a small under-resourced agency defacement the small times stakes small-time on steaks at is as nice that they admit that they don't get the resources they need so hopefully this incident will result in increased funding for the US us federal depository library program got some some good news out of all this the senior official added the hackers were likely sympathizers to the iranian regime but but not linked to the government itself more just people who feel the need to put out something on a website because that's how people tend to ah express themselves in various ways now rain hackers are likely planning social engineering and phishing efforts in retaliation to the for the US military's killing killing of iranian military chief chasm it's all money i kind of am i wrong and saying i kinda like these responses better cyber responses this is is is that is that naive alex no i don't necessarily think so i mean i think it gets dangerous when you combine a cyber based response with kinetic response you know if you start dr bombing then knocking critical infrastructure things get really scary when bombs are going off in the dark right but i'm more scared by infrastructure being controllable eligible by anybody on the internet doesn't have to be iran could be anyone and insecurity that's more frightening to me than than somebody getting angry and and looking at these hypothetical phishing attacks that are going to be forthcoming from iran you know it really depends on whom their fishing right if they're fishing industrial industrial control systems they're fi- fishing scout systems they get inside they can wreak havoc however i think it's very unlikely that they're going to engage agent brand new fishing campaign now to try to get access and figure out how this all works so that they can take down some critical infrastructure i think it's much more likely that the iranians if they are going to engage in any kind of cyber response is that they will use access that they already have access that they've already cultivated where they've made lateral real movements they understand the network they know how things work they can begin wiping data as they've done in the past or they can begin to turn things on and off breath and let us know that they're there i mean i've wiped more data of my own by accident it's it's you know this is something that is just i it's part of the rules as part of what happens when you use technology things can go wrong and you have to be prepared for that so if somebody calls you up and convinces you somehow to wipe your data or connects you to something that does that you should have a plan for that because whether or not it's you dropping a hard drive on the floor or somebody stealing your computer or it was somebody from iran calling you and convincing you to give you your password it's going to happen at some point i- experts are are are concerned about a possible flurry of social engineering attempts this and this goes piqued my interest aimed at compromising their credentials of employees in various agencies on social engineering typically involves gathering information about a target such as is what he does for a living or who her employees are and using that information against the individual and once this takes the form of a phishing email when she's the personal no details to convince the recipient to click on malicious link often that happens giving sender access to the victims files or other information from a CNBC the story about the the possible risks ahead you know i'm i for one would be okay if this was this was what war was i mean you know websites okay they're they were thing that exists but maybe if the president had say social engineered himself some credentials and then took down some iranian website whether than rather than going doing in commanding the murder of somebody i might actually like them a little more than a computer though i don't think i really don't think he he uses the best computers he has the biggest computers go on everyone else's computer yeah i think they're either kind of equal they have different affects some more immediate some creating sort of bodily really harm and the the sort of things you might expect from traditional warfare but i i would say these virtual environments have maybe slower effects or can persist persist for longer and and and then the combinations of them can maybe multiply their impact so i think it's it's all sort sort of can be terrible when you're at the effect of of some of this stuff well the ultimate to me would just be deleting his twitter account or hacking it and and and tweeting out some something that actually makes sense you know the opposite of what you do when you have somebody's twitter account and put out nonsense you go the other way and you you you start putting out sense and that would be the ultimate hack from me and i would accept that i would accept that as retribution as an appropriate retaliation but the thing is in this crazy easy world of ours that will be treated super seriously people would be threatened with prison for hacking a twitter account it's this is the world we live in but ever since we we started doing this show we've separated the virtual world from the real world and and encourage people to live in the real world and play around in the virtual world there's much as possible but just like you don't start a war of being kicked out of an IRC channel well some people will but you you don't wanna live in that kind of a world not real anyway virtual goal okay fine have a virtual war just no admin has ever like shed serious tears over like seeing their website come home in a zip file the flag over it not yet anyway and some admins that probably would fall right into that role but yeah so iran's retaliation could be hacking not bombs of course we all know it's somewhat been been missiles rather friendly missiles actually would show some restraint if that was intentional but as we've mentioned all kinds of hacks have already already taken place all kinds of compromise data is probably already accessible so it's just a question of calling in those favors or using those from those saved passwords and maybe we'll we'll we'll see something happened but the extent to what happens they set up what happens is based on the security that we we have right now if we have something that is is completely vulnerable to outside attack or to a disgruntled employee then we don't have a very good system and we need to find that out very very quickly and in a lot has been said over the last several days about watching iranian attacks how do we do this what are we looking for there are a lot of different abt groups advanced persistent threat groups that relate to iran ABT's i think thirty three through thirty five live we know that historically they've been interested in targets in the oil and gas sector in the energy sector heavy industry etc so all of those should be on high alert alert and then i guess it's also time to brush up on what's known as the t t p's as they relate to those APTV's TDP's being the tactics techniques and procedures of these around rounding threat actor groups but i think it's also important to mention that these are for the most part t t p's so all these tactics all these techniques techniques and procedures that can be attributed to iran can also be replicated now by opportunistic others sending up false flags that would otherwise indicate ron and again that's why i think excuse me why we're not likely to see things like passwords spraying which is known the known to be a technique of iranians trying massive amounts of passwords on particular loggins etc etc as as a technique from around right now i think i think what we're going to see as is what i said before which is leveraging the access that they already have or being inside and looking for lateral movement around your network non the novelist lateral movement in your network that could be an indication that you've got some kind of alien in there and if you work on an oil rig or earlier yeah some an unknown oh okay december say it that way yeah well it is that's why i said that way just to get you to to chime and make sure your mission accomplished yeah fantastic but if you see this anomalous activity from unknown persons or aliens inside your network obviously you've got a problem with iran maybe somebody else could be an insider three when we instead instead of instead of referring to people breaking the systems has call them aliens funds given alien in your system and elian ghost it changes the narrative a lot and makes it a lot of fun to illegal aliens cases well it depends on what they're doing i guess but anyway the department homeland security in january fourth terrorism advisory warned that home grown violent extremists i don't know why they had to be violent or even extremists we've homegrown does anyone really could capitalize on the heightened tensions to launch individual attacks iran maintains a robust cyber program in connect cise cyber attacks against the united states iran is capable at a minimum of carrying carrying out attacks with temporary disruptive effects against critical infrastructure in the united states that's very nice to iran they're they're they're saying giving them all kinds of ah props here in saying that the cable almost anything and maybe that's why they've held back so much because they really they kind of blushing they continue to be prepared for cyber disruption suspicious emails and network delays okay i get all three of those every day so what i'm supposed to blame iran now every time the network is slow or get a weird email or or something's disrupted come on already is like when kevin mitnick was it was in prison and everything that happened to the internet was his fault he must be doing something thing get this though iran small size and the fact that it's been relatively isolated from the import export market has served as an advantage to the country cyber iber capabilities that's right an advantage practical engineering skills to build original appliances applications at technology in lieu of supporting this tech have been coveted for decades that cades in iran in other words by being isolated by having sanctions put against them they have thrived in developing their own counter weapons bins as far as attacking systems that and their own systems because they can't import commercial industrial control systems things they've they've had had to become makers and make them themselves and those are very unique systems they become much more difficult to compromise in not really subject to supply chain type compromises whereas you know other other countries would be who weren't subject to sanctions but you know i think you raise a couple of interesting points here i think about iran iran but i think mostly what we should be really worried about is is wiping of data people coming inside wiping and data that kind of malicious wishes activity but again this is why we have things business continuity plans in place in a backup okay yeah but when you say that that makes me think that there's going to be all these people out there now sending sending out emails convincing to buy their products that will protect you against this sort of thing and that's that's where the real victimization comes in yeah well and let me tell you this too i mean we watch a lot of threat activity every day in the DNS with our our DNS intelligence platform that we have developed and we have seen a massive asif amount of targeting of the energy oil and gas sector over the last couple of years it was very very difficult to attribute it to any one particular group but we definitely are seeing being very high level of interest from what we believe are likely state-sponsored groups outside of the united states but this then raises a sort of interesting issue in an analog i think to the nuclear age whereas when we had nuclear powers that we're facing off against each other we had the policy of mad or mutually assured destruction the united states is also an a. p. t. in advance persistent threat to other nations and we are very very good what we do as a country in terms of compromising other nations industrial control systems getting into their critical infrastructure and so it's sort of a game of tit for tat that we have right now where other nations of course are going to be very interested in our critical infrastructure are oil and gas and energy sectors because they want to be able to demonstrate astray to us that if we attack their infrastructure they will attack our infrastructure and i think this is sort of a a cyber arms race so to speak i hate hate to even use that phrase because it sounds so hyperbolic but i think we are seeing a digital analogue right now of what we had in a nuclear age which is mutually assured destruction auction everybody is interested in everyone else's industrial control systems and all of their critical infrastructure and that's not going to change regardless of what kind of defensive posture any of these entities the thing at least the theory behind the mutually assured destruction was was deterrence where's the deterrent here while the deterrence is you know think about about when the lights went out on inexplicably here in new york last year right a lot of people think that perhaps that was a signal from another country tree that they were inside the new york city infrastructure and they let us know that they can shut the lights off so you shut our lights off then we'll shut your lights off that's that's the deterrent component of this you know if that's what the war what would the theme of the war is then let's i'm all for it turns the lights off have a UPS or something and and and have a backup system ready you know i'm not i'm not so much worried about the data wiping because you're gonna notice that you're gonna notice when your data has been wiped and if you have a backup okay you're all right a little bit inconvenient but you get all your data back i'm more worried about minor changes that can be made you know imagine just going in and changing a a couple of things that you're not gonna notice maybe for months or even years but it's going to mess something up at some point and you won't be able to recover from it because you won't be able to figure out what got changed or when it got changed that's a lot more a lot more subtle and i think a lot more dangerous yeah it is and you know anecdotally let me tell you something happened to me on the last election day i went to vote here in new york and they noticed middle initials changed something just trying to get your attention so something similar get praying nobody got hurt my name was changed in the voter database had no idea no knowledge of it actually was changing it took it took them about ten minutes to figure this whole thing out and luckily you know this wasn't a presidential election was very very few people voting and election day where where i live in the city and you know my awesome because i wanted to show him what voting was like democracy works yeah how were you know and then we're stuck there they can't find my name and somehow one one character in my name was changed and we figured it out by going through various books and looking at things and cross-referencing and it took about ten to fifteen minutes and me sitting there at the desk and we realized that somehow my name machines but i've been voting at this precinct for the last twelve years every single time my name was perfectly found was easily look up right right there there no there was no change somehow between last year's election and this year's election my name in that database was changed by one character character and this is the kind of minor change that could really wreak havoc this is exactly what i was talking about this i listened to this show went back in time and did that i mean he could just go to voter registration dot gov if you have the log in which is still suffered a default i believe everybody is registered in the country there you go in and you get administrator ministration accessing you simply change a bunch of names around all these people won't be able to vote imagine the cast that's going to cause well it'll be i think about a presidential election if every if you really wanted wanted to to mess with an election if you were to alter the voter database role by just deleting things the database is going to get smaller that's going to be some noticeable change range that assistant minister will probably figure out at some point but if you change one character and everybody who's registered as democrats name the database is going to stay yeah exactly the same when it's going to wreak absolute hell on the administrators when they're trying to look people up it's going to basically disenfranchise them because they nobody eddie will have the capacity to try to figure this out for thousands of people waiting on along the lines in in in the city to try to vote so that was a weird weird thing but i think it is exactly what what you're talking about these these small imperceptible changes over time and what we do know is that the iranians had stated that they are taking a long view of this the the missiles we know are are just a precursor perhaps a literal shot across the bow but they're taking the long view when iran says at taking the long view take them seriously because they've been around a lot longer than we have that is that is certainly true and i've been asked to clarify there is actually no voter registration dot gov out out there with everybody's name on it that i know of all right if there is a site it's a different address okay also this story just keeps going former australia coach they don't say what sport it is but darren lemon i by no that is his twitter account was hacked the hackers have been posting hosting derogatory messages against iran and the so if you're if you're following this this person who is is i guess the brisbane heat again i don't know what sports is is in the big bash league probably rugby right i don't know rugby or or or struggles football is is that the same thing maybe yeah crooked okay australia i i've never heard of that but okay well anyway the brisbane he tweeted high heat fans thanks for the messages we are aware coach darren lemons twitter account has been hacked and are working closely with twitter to rectify the situation we apologize for any offence caused this evening and yes the hackers have been abusing iran and their tweets while the accounts name has been changed to cousin sulejmani f- iran of course the name of the person who was assassinated by the united states the perpetrator so far used lemons account to promote anti messages and propaganda to his three hundred and forty thousand followers where's that is a way to get a message i guess that send out multiple explicit tweets regarding the country along with linked images and youtube clips relating to the suffering of the nation while it is cricket oh thanks for clarifying at okay the most important element of the of the story there sorry i just had to find them no good yes yeah i don't understand this whole thing working with twitter to resolve the situation it changed the password that's all you do twitter are are count and we're probably a verified account say take that seriously variously obviously it's been hacked turn it off you're not you take two minutes and there's probably other platforms that users on he could just like revert to that in in to let people know that way until they can get the other count- working and treat it like what it is a prank let's not get you know people federal investigators in prison terms involved call one eight hundred twitter and get it over with it there is no such phone number is one eight hundred twitter as far as i know but whatever the number is yeah yeah i mean it's a step to taking sort of your identity if your identity is wrapped up in that platform and personal information and so on is is helpful bowl especially if it helps you traverse different systems or authorities and so on so it it's potentially big but it shouldn't be immediately this visceral thing that we're we go to the highest level of concern there's there's always you know you know taking a break and and being offline for a while as as they had to do they were kind of push towards that but it shouldn't be devastating definitely should not be speaking of changing the narrative and making subtle changes and getting people to believe things that are not true this is actually taking place guard to the australian fires at are taking place pot and troll accounts are involved in a disinformation campaign that are exaggerating the role of arson in the in a bushfire disaster the fires burning across the nation accompanied by repeated suggestions of an arson epidemic arson emergency of false claims are in some cases used to undermine the link between the current brush bushfires and the longer more intense fire seasons out of brought about by climate change yeah the queensland university of technology a senior lecturer on social network analysis wow i want to see his door i queensland university of technology senior lecturer on on social network analysis doctor timothy graham examined content published on the arson emergency hash tag on twitter assessing one thousand three hundred and forty tweets tweets one thousand two hundred and three of which were unique published by three hundred and fifteen accounts using twitter bot detection tool he assessed a random sample for botlikh characteristics as preliminary luminary analysis found there is likely current disinformation campaign on twitter's arson emergency hashtag due to the suspiciously high number of botlikh and troll like accounts he also found a large number of suspicious accounts posting on the australia fire and bush fire australia hashtags australia suddenly appears to beginning swamped by a miss or a disinformation as a result of this environmental catastrophe and we are suffering the consequences in terms of hyped up polarization and increased difficulty and inability for citizens to discern truth claims about arson and the only falsehoods being spread on social media other patently false claims include that the government and has created the bushfire crisis to clear land for high speed rail another absurd claim is that somehow the islamic state is responsible that story coming to us from the the guardian this particular story mentions it but there was also there was also activity of wikipedia and such things being edited and there was this concerted effort for to make other brushfires in similar things that had happened in the past alter the data to make them seem more serious than they were just so the current brushfire doesn't seem like as huge a thing in comparison to everything that's come before it so they're they're they're basically a in another in another form of information just making it look like oh what's going on is not so so bad and really people are just getting all excited about nothing about nothing but gang excited about the wrong things i mean my theory theory on this brushfire disinformation campaign is sort of like you know this bushfires bushfires excuse me yes bushfire disinformation campaign is sort of you know the the physical an analog of this would be if you're a hypothetical terrorist and you leave a backpack in the subway with some wires protruding from and engage the response i mean i don't necessarily see a huge benefit to spreading disinformation and about the bushfire you know really coming to anybody except perhaps climate change deniers things like that but you know you could really really very easily think up a hypothetical militias actor who is now gauging the responses of social media companies to disinformation campaigns pains what are they doing how are they regulating this content you know how fast can we spread this content how fast can we spread this misinformation who's doing it you know our our networks being easily detected all these kinds of things can be gauged by a misinformation campaign to which everyone is paying attention and and obviously we have a two thousand twenty election coming up and this would be really great intel or a really great proving ground if that's what your intention was over the next nine ten months it's also really profitable for for people like this who verse behind it to get people get other people readers or or participants to fight each other to think that there's all this adversity going on when when there isn't any to get people afraid trade of particular a threat or particular religion or a particular race or nationality and i don't know if it's part of an experiment or if it's part of an agenda but it's it's not hard to do when when you get all your information from social media it's it's so easy to be manipulated manipulated it's sort of a familiar tactic i mean the adage divide and conquer comes to mind no absolutely and that's why i think we're we're seeing in here now in in kind of a related development facebook just banned deep fakes deep fakes are there the swab we're going to be exposed to over the next year with videos that are indistinguishable from from real videos with people saying things they never said misleading deep fake videos but there are loopholes deep fakes are as they're known are now banned on facebook and instagram which is owned by facebook they announced this two nights ago monday night right and the things that policy doesn't extend deep fakes meant as parody or satire which i think is fine nor does it ban other forms of doctored the videos made with less sophisticated software it also doesn't override facebook policy against fact checking politicians are repeat eight that facebook has a policy against fact checking politics doesn't mean politicians who are fact checking means they will not fact check politicians that means deep state deep fakes posted by apolitical candidate would not be removed in other words trump continues to do whatever he wants now while the new policy is being heralded as a step in the right direction misinformation watchdogs calling on facebook to do more basically this is something that there are huge loopholes you can you can drive through particularly if all you have to do is be a candidate hey if i if i steep fakes i'll just registered running some race someplace place you know pay the filing fee and hey i'm a candidate so i can post whatever i want now we should explain for people not familiar with the term deep fakes are basically when you when you use really advanced software for for the current time to make a video look like the participants are other people you put like the face of a celebrity or or political figure or someone onto the body of someone else and so then you have this it you have something that looks like the celebrity is doing and saying things that they didn't actually do it's basically basically what photoshop is to photographs where now we're not exactly sure on on first glance if we're looking at genuine material well you know the one that people might it'd be most familiar with is the nancy pelosi video where it was edited to make it look like she was slurring her words that's going to remain on facebook that i'm not sure why i'm not sure why that that's that that qualifies perhaps because it was posted by by trump or somebody but sorry may have become newsworthy the as a result of being outed as as having been doctored and thus is sort of uses an example and important for its place in history as as having been used that way but it's just a symptom of the media environment where all dealing with now where you know people got generally familiar with the idea of photoshop send basically now went you'll get a photo there's a chance it wasn't actually what it looks like but now now we're there with videos basically so if you see a video that really grind your gears arouse you up or something really extraordinary you now have to really consider the source and where you're getting it from yeah and i think also the sort of the the democratization of a lot of what was used in computer graphics for movie making and other areas where this kind of production had a lot of advancement evolutions of investment and and was of interest for the purposes of entertainment and and a lot of that technology is become a lot more affordable as computers and the the tools to create such things are more readily available sort of the average person right right and so the things that like say the movie forrest gump was doing twenty twenty five years ago that were a huge deal in the in the movie industry in the computer graphics world now you can do that on your desktop and separately i think from the company's standpoint you know this this to me is is it's a PR move you know it it's twenty twenty it's an election year either recently i believe some internal memoranda maranda or some leaked documents indicating facebook executives had made statements about their responsibility and getting trump elected etc etc life and now this is a a PR move saying we're not gonna tolerate this kind of misinformation on our platform and there's a big difference between making a broad policy policy statement and actually enforcing it i mean how is this going to be enforced if deep fakes are arguably indistinguishable from real videos i mean there must be some kind of digital title signature that we can recognize for a video that's generated as opposed to a video that was actually recorded we can do this with stigma graphic encryption technology we can detect when sticking is used we should be able to detect a deep fake but from facebook's perspective the more they regulate their platform the more likely it is that they are not going to fall under the auspices of immunity granted to them i'm under the communications decency act section two thirty of the communications decency act as an interactive computer service as essentially a platform where people interact and they have have no regulation over the content that's why they don't want to regulate facts stated by politicians because then they're regulating speech on their platform i'm that would place them much closer closer to losing that section two thirty immunity under the communications decency act and on that note you know this is a somewhat controversial position take i don't necessarily agree with them and this is something i always go back to which is we should be the guardians of our own minds we should be getting getting very well practiced like rob had mentioned at if something rows us up we should look into it i know we're all busy we have busy lives and we're flipping through instagram and then we go to facebook book and then we go to twitter but spend some time to actually think about it our brains are the best bulwark against misinformation that could ever have been devised because we we can look at the facts we can analyze them that is up to us i don't necessarily want to abdicate that responsibility of determining what is truth and what is false to some some executives in silicon valley i would rather have the responsibility myself but i also agree with alex about it really being a cosmetic policy because especially since the way that the policy has been drawn there loopholes in it you could drive a mack truck through and if they're going to be creating that kind of a policy i think then that their fact checking routines means and procedures needed change because given the amount of time that it takes to analyze weather it is in fact a fake but they've given the fact checkers these nearly impossible awesome quotas to meet your setting it up in a situation where nothing is ever going to happen because it's going to be physically impossible to do it so this is you know make fake aac policy win big prizes but nothing is really fundamentally going to change on if anything people are gonna say well this can't be faked because it's on facebook and it can't be fake if it's on facebook i have to believe yeah and there's a danger here facebook getting even more credibility by by having something like that on their on their yeah it must be true because it's been vetted headed and and and that's a good question to ask how will it be vetted if it's impossible to distinguish reality from fiction and perhaps what they will wind up doing is going into some other authority a governmental authority who will say no that's not true that didn't happen and the danger they of course is that maybe it did happen and now you're relying on somebody to tell you what's true and what is not so i agree with alex as far as that what i don't really see though is how our minds our brains for the brains of of many people are the resources source that we need that you have to feed those brands you have to you have to give them something to to access to consider that that brings some outside the confines of the the particular viewpoint that they're bombarded with twenty four hours a day how do you how do you mandate that somebody looking to alternatives without force feeding them well well that's a difficult question i think in in practice but i think training your mind to recognize logical fallacies to recognize propaganda and to be generally really skeptical is is a really good start and i think that these are things that are not taught anymore in school were not taught really how to think even in college even in higher education in the classics philosophy logic reason you things like that you know they're just sort of missed out on it i i really think that that's the fundamental bulwark against misinformation i i really agree but i don't want us to s- to slip into making this a media literacy problem because let's bear in mind that facebook is profiting from this this is a commercial strategy they're selling those ads they are making money from from disinformation so i just i'm i'm getting a little bit i mean let's yeah let's blame one another for not talking enough and not going going on walks in forests and whatever we're supposed to be doing to be better all burning edison's yeah i mean it is true we have to be able to discern that stuff and be practiced in that but i i would i wouldn't wanna go too far in saying that you know the voters and everyone just hasn't been doing enough for reading i think the companies need to be regulated and held accountable for what they have been making a lot of money off plus keep in mind that a lot of people don't want to hear another perspective they don't want to consider the possibility that maybe what they're hearing is fall so maybe they're wrong you know be bouncing off your to think excellent points manual and kyle another thing to think about why this is so difficult for is is because facebook is providing to advertisers knowingly massive amounts of psychological data about us that triggers slight triggers things whenever we're on facebook and we like something that gives them more psychological insight into what we like when we flip through an article when we go right back to facebook something that we don't like if we every time we spend a second on that platform they're gaining more and more information about uh-huh uh-huh about what triggers us what motivates us anytime we make a purchase with amazon they do the same thing at some things that are in your car and you and then you remove it all of this this is psychological insight that is then weaponized in the form of advertising and when we're talking about political advertising we are essentially talking about the potential for propaganda up again ah and misinformation to be bought and sold on that platform and knowing how well they know us if it can become extraordinarily difficult to fend that off and then secondarily it's another point that i'd like to make is it's goddamn twenty twenty the last time we were dealing with this was four years ago twenty sixteen and i don't see us having made any measurable difference in the state of things in two thousand sixteen as they as they were in the state of things in twenty twenty as as they are now we are still just as ripe for a misinformation campaign on all of our social media platforms as we were four years ago we think that the federal government government is slow look at facebook the reason that still exists is because it's profitable and and it's it's it's what what the people in charge want and they also the models that can be built based on likes no more about you than anyone else and i'll just read a section here you're basically ten likes what christopher wiley spoke about cambridge analytica ten likes a model model can predict a person's behavior more accurately than one of their co workers with one hundred fifty better than a family member and with three hundred likes model new person better than their own spouse this is in part because friends colleagues spouses and parents typically see only part of your life where behavior is moderated by the context of that relationship so they have all of this data and it is more than any business any co worker any other interaction you have in your life is being marketed by inc and there's there's so much more about your entire persona that can be gleaned from that data that we've brought cambridge genetic into this i believe for the first time so we define our terms what what who are they were they yeah they were a psychographic company setup in part by steve bannon and their predecessor was a british based group called SEAL which was involved in doing psycho graphics and end using that to influence in war zones sort of like information warfare tactics graphics yeah that's a term that's being tossed around a lot right now but it's it's basically using elements of psychology and building up profiles of people's personalities to use predictive modeling and the two thousand sixteen election being one of those one of those events that came janika is heavily involved in not what's happening right now actually occurring as we're speaking an explosive leak of tens of thousands of documents from that defunct firm cambridge analytic and they became defunct because they were exposed that those those leaks are basically revealing the inner workings of the company that collapsed after british newspaper the observer revealed that had misappropriated eighty seven million facebook profiles else misappropriated eighty seven million facebook profiles amazing more than one hundred thousand documents relating to work in sixty countries that will lay bare the global infrastructure of an operation use to manipulate voters on an industrial scale are set to be released over the next months is from the story in the guardian it comes as christopher i steal the ex head of am i six is russia desk and the intelligence expert behind the so-called steele dossier and the trump's relationship with russia said that while the company they had closed down the failure to properly punish bad actors meant that the prospects for manipulation of the US election this year or even worse i completely agree and i didn't know the statistics that kyle had cited with respect to the number of likes giving you that vast amount of psychological i just got got a notification from facebook yesterday that it was my thirteenth anniversary of being on facebook and if you think about thirteen years is on that platform how well they know me is slightly terrifying i'm sure better than i know myself and it made me think back to two thousand seven when i did register for this and and the reason why and the reasons why we're that it was the fear of missing out because i was getting ready to go over dachshund and all these things were being organized by the next student class for the p. c. l. the law degree i was doing over there through facebook everyone was on facebook and you got to meet your colleagues before you got there on facebook and it was a new platform everybody thought it was so cool i was a bit hesitant about any social media at the time but again we all got on there essentially because of the fear of missing out this whole foam all nonsense and you know i really don't think that if i deleted pleaded that that account i'd be missing out on much of anything anymore but that's still there yeah it is it is as it's frightening even if you try not not to be involved you get sucked into it somehow it's it's kind of scary the documents that are being released though being leaked via twitter they're on twitter account known as hindsight files h. i. n. d. s. i. g. h. t. f. i l. e. s. and they have links to material on elections in malaysia kenya brazil these documents were revealed to have come from one brittany kaiser an ex cambridge analytica employees turned whistleblower lower and to be the same ones subpoenaed by robert muller's investigation into russian interference in the twenty sixteen presidential election now brittany kaiser starting the netflix documentary great hack which kyle and i just saw the other day she decided to go public after last month's election in britain it so oh abundantly clear our electoral systems are wide open to abuse she said very fearful about what is going to happen in the US election later this year and i think one of the few ways of protecting acting ourselves is to get as much information out there as possible hard to disagree yeah yeah it's it's interesting turnaround especially for her when i gather of her story she basically was using a lot of the modeling in the systems or at at least promoting it on behalf of cambridge analytica and acting as a liaison between the republican party and thus the the current administration's team to exploit this for as much political gain as possible and that system in those models models had been devised by christopher wiley the person that i've been referring to who is also a whistle blower but worked early on in putting that that entire system together before it was shopped around to the campaign and then i think she worked on the campaign for about three years or so thereafter once it was sort of in effect well just a christian widely in the film in fact he made it very clear that britney nicole is not a whistle blower you want to go into what that's all about i yeah i have a couple of theories about you know the way he was portrayed in the film and the way that is presented graphically it's actually just basically a representation of a tweet that he made did i think in the timeline of events perhaps at a certain point of her journey to becoming as forthcoming as she is is right now and i think what he was saying is that you know she she has had a longer journey to to releasing what she knows a lot of what is being releases her own working documents and calendar stuff she was using on the campaign and i think what he meant is that she's her motives weren't from the beginning being in quite as pure like she realized kind of what was going on and how this was she she realized the import of of what they were doing more so and and was still okay with having worked when when you say she took a longer journey i i think what that means is she just did a lot of harm before she finally realized this is the wrong thing to do and i saw the film it's okay it's not the greatest film a lot of these little talking dialogues with text messages isn't things like that fine if you like that kind of thing but i fail to see what the great hack was this is the system this is what it is to start with i feel like they devoted way too much time time on on brittany kaiser and her slow-motion realization that all the spying and all this data collection manipulation is a bad thing okay we we knew that at the beginning of the film it's great now that we're finally getting the truth but you know what it might cost us quite a bit because what cambridge analytica and their ilk did in two thousand sixteen yeah i think specifically hack would be more around what we were getting out with the exploitation of facebook facebook data and specifically the lax policies that facebook had at the time around sets of data like this it was essentially through a windfall of cash from the mercer's and renaissance technologies early investors of cambridge analytica for steve bannon and rebecca mercer and her family basically contributed and that money was then used to negotiate with some academics who had access to the facebook data and wiley and guy name alexander kogan and and another guy named another person named kosinski were shopping this around with to a professor besser a professor knicks i believe oh no no i'm sorry that that was their CEO knicks was the CEO of cambridge analytica who sort of the wheeler-dealer of the operation shen but they met with cogan i believe i think he was at harvard or one of the universities and essentially they negotiated originally the professor a kogan found out about the twenty million dollars and they wanted royalties for access to the data but knicks knicks al knicks the CEO of cambridge analytica refused and the professor then sort of panicked that this project wouldn't wouldn't wouldn't really go forward so after came genetic rejected the cash demand he agreed to do it on original terms he would let them have the data and then and cambridge analytical would pay for it at the cost of of running surveys and because essentially they were selling they're paying people able to use an app and that was how they were building the data sets that were big enough to get profiles on all of america so and then he would be able to use the data for his research so sort of they basically negotiated access to the deal so that this large data set would be created and the academics would then be able to go use it for their own research as well and you're referencing chris wylie's book which is a word would we can't say well i wanna say it's mind f word mind frick well don lion and the thing is one of the problems uh-huh i have with the film i don't think they really did him justice because look we know about cambridge analytic we don't know about cambridge analytica because brittany kaiser we know about cambridge on let it go because is chris wiley because he was the whistle blower and what they what they said about him was that he only worked for nine months and he had it in for the company no he worked the months and he realized this is messed up and i got to tell people about it and he did and that's what everybody should do situations like this i i would just say i i agree with your take on that from this particular film i'm also not sure that this film y you know i'm not sure about the director of this film this maybe i don't know oh how many films have been done by this this group of individuals so maybe and also documentaries not like film you can't make everything perfect and going into it you you kind of have to deal with what's occurring so there's you know and you just may not have had enough to fill in some of the story and lastly it may be i would just consider i i think it may have been possible that it's a choice that christopher wiley wanted to speak to congress wanted to to write his words down but did not want to be on the big screen and as some big celebrity doing you know it going into who he was so that he could just be the subject of it i think he was more of a documentary can focus on somebody who's not in it as as ed important figure i just think he was dismissed too much i think way too much attention was put on his personal i agree i think it was too little too late that was like a minute that they basically just said yeah nine no he built the system and it would have been worth going into in more technical in greater detail but i think there may have been a choice there there may have been different venues that he wanted to contribute the more than this this particular one i will admit i haven't seen the movie yet which obviously puts me at a disadvantage but was there a point where this person was like hey he wrote a book i wanna i want to be part of this to kinda riding those coattails so you know she was more of the central figure because she gave them access in a way she sure did because yeah two thirds of the films is follow her around from airport to airport as she's revealing information to various people i just feel like no it's it's it's a film critic in the saying that i just think they could have made a lot more are interesting and relevant i i saw the film most of it i fell asleep i thought the same thing you know the film from the outset had a firm grasp on the obvious the the nacho obvious flip side of this though i think can be somewhat terrifying because we know these platforms have been collecting decades worth of data on all of us they don't make exceptions about whom they collect this data that means that are were politicians and in particular people like the president most of the united states are also giving away their data their psychological profile likes their dislikes their triggers every time you're scrolling through that early in the morning when they're sitting thing when he is sitting on the toilet thinking about his next tweet he's giving away massive amounts of information probably about his location his likes his his dislikes all of our politicians that are engaging in social media are giving away this information and in so doing we are implicitly trusting these platforms that have been subject to massive data breach after data-breach with this psychological profile data of our policy makers policy oh she makers that can assassinate foreign leaders launch missiles push the button on nuclear war this is what's really terrifying to me is that there is no distinction made about whom this data is collected and how it can be weaponized either now or in the future is something i really think we need to rethink its i mean it's bigger than that because yeah we can worry about data breaches but the way this is set up it's designed to be used in that way that's the biggest breach of all breach of our our trust but one of the one of the other major problems i had with the great hack the film is that they they left us feeling so helpless like there's nothing at the end a bunch of students are asked so how many of you log onto facebook everybody raised their hands but never was the solution presented well you know what you don't have to log onto facebook here's how to get off of facebook we we need options we need answers we need alternatives and not just feel like victims all the time like there's nothing we can do about it and all these evil people are going to have their way you know i i just i just like to feel a little bit empowered yeah maybe the question ought to have been you know how many of you would delete facebook and of course that it became a campaign after a lot of the whistle blowing about their involvement went and i think it's it's good not to forget i think based it's like going with alex was speaking it it was coming away from your thoughts reminded me of sort of what we felt l. after the revelations about the NSA that well okay this is what the telephone network is is capable of insofar as listening listening to us and i think it's good not to forget that these private entities have already like in you know whether it's its employees or whether they're allowing access and you know becomes exposed or exploited by third party that's one thing but we're still still kind of not speaking or acknowledging the elephant in the room at the same time which is all of these companies that have that capability like if facebook wanted a certain president or you know just start asking yourself those questions about how much private controller is if someone can use a service like this to do one thing what could the service itself be used for a good note to end on a right to us t h at two thousand six hundred dot com if you have any the thoughts or observations or leaks hey if you have leaks to our secure secure dropbox got our website twenty six hundred dot com you'll find it there we also had an announcement three we promised to give people about hope hope tickets will the final batch will go on sale next week dick by figuring out what day but if not not looking at dot net twenty six hundred dot com more details will be announced there in the coming days till then keep listening WBAI we'll see next week tonight alley out it paul sir in a lot the squad in uh-huh in radio the orleans

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Why We Keep Forgiving Facebook

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35:29 min | 2 years ago

Why We Keep Forgiving Facebook

"This message comes from NPR sponsor, indeed if you're hiring with indeed you can post a job in minutes set up screener questions then zero in on your shortlist of qualified candidates using an online dashboard get started at indeed dot com slash NPR podcast. This is one A. I'm Joshua Johnson. In Washington, you may have lots of friends on Facebook. But are you friends with Facebook? It's been fifteen years since a Harvard. Student named Mark Zuckerberg co created the social network in his dorm room, but like many teenagers. It's prone to misbehave and worry the grownups. Some of you seem to expect Facebook to implode before it turned Sweet Sixteen. Here's a sample of what you left in our inbox. My name is key Reed Richards, my wife Kyla, and I are from Tulsa, Oklahoma. And we have ended our relationship with Facebook just due to the negatively the false narratives. And so it doesn't it doesn't seem to make our lives any better Darcy from south bend five years ago. I gave book a reluctant try and just as I expected. I hated it. I found myself spiraled into the black hole of losing time enjoying my own life while I was. Reading what was going on with other people's lives? I'm John from Birmingham. By relationships is Facebook is as distant as possible, I use the messenger up for coordinating groups, but I'd say off of the main platform entirely, and it's because while Google Yahoo, Microsoft and other companies they so user data in order to make an advertising dollar base book. Does it so badly? They are just in the news every other week about how they have abused their consumers trust. And at some point, you gotta know when to walk away. And I think the consumer base of spoken, and we we're walking away from Facebook. Or at least I knew one intended Facebook to cause the problems that it's caused not Zuckerberg not the engineers, not the early investors or its advisors one. Former adviser is telling his story of how the company changed the world in unexpected ways, and in his view. Refused to do right by its users in times of trouble. Joining us in studio is Roger McNamee, a former mentor to Mark Zuckerberg and an early investor in Facebook. His new book is called Zuck waking up to the Facebook catastrophe. Roger welcome to one A Joshua. It is so much fun to be here. By the way. We did ask Facebook to provide someone for this conversation no-one responded in time for our broadcast. But the invitation stands let's begin with how your relationship with Mark Zuckerberg began how did you meet him? So Joshua matching this I started investing in technology in one thousand nine hundred eighty two when the space program was the thing that was happening. So by the time Marx started Facebook, I'd been doing technology investing for twenty two years. I met him for the first time in two thousand six he was twenty two years old one of his colleagues called me up and said, Roger my bosses facing a crisis. He needs to talk to somebody who is objective and not conflicted and is. Dinosaur who can give them. Good perspective that turned out to be me. I met Mark in my office and he comes in classic costume. And I before anything happens. I say Mark, you gotta let me tell you something. I said if it hasn't happened already Facebook is such an attractive business, either Microsoft or Yahoo is going to try to acquire you for a billion dollars. He had nine million in revenues at that time. So a billion huge number. I said they're going to try to quiet for being dollars. Everybody knows going to tell you to take the deal. I think you've created most interesting companies since Google I think you're going to be huge. It's can be very successful. If I were you I would recognize you won't get to do the second time keep it independent. It turned out. That's why he was there to see me that day and that began a three year mentor ship where in many ways, I just advised when a narrow set of business issues he had lots of other mentors at the same time. But I was able to introduce them to somebody important in his life Sheryl Sandberg who became the COO. So you connected. More executive organ. Cheryl sent that's true. What was it about Facebook that you saw EPA time that encouraged you to encourage him to stay independent. So Mark was an extraordinary young man that the meeting which I describe in the book was characterized by the longest silence I've ever had any one on one meeting if you've ever sat with one other person in a conversation, and they don't talk for fifteen seconds. It gets uncomfortable. He went for almost five minutes. And I thought I was gonna die because he was trying to decide if he trusted me right disaster. Toma thing before he tells me, well, here's the deal, man. You know, they've offered that's the thing. You're talking about his has happened. So Facebook had two things that made it unique. I is they had something that felt like authenticated identity. You could only be a member with an Email address from a university a high school or a certain small set of businesses everything we knew about large networks said that anonymity was the secret to creating trouble. It's what. Allows police to take over and trolls he had solved that problem. He also gay people legitimate control of their privacy. Those are two things that he later on after I stopped being involved. He relaxed those things and got rid of them. And that is where the problem can't come before we get into the problems. We should note that your advice, at least on dollars and sense level, was wise, if he had taken that billion dollar buyout. He may well have become very wealthy. Just looking at the stock price right now. Facebook's market cap is four hundred seventy nine billion dollars, the total value of all of the outstanding shares of Facebook almost a half trillion dollars to Jesuit get this. I looked at this. I thought it was going to be a successful as Google Google was then I went back after that me, I told my partners. This thing's going to be huge. I think they can get to one hundred million users right now, there's one hundred million there now two point five billion. But I in retrospect, I'm like, doctor evil in the Austin powers movie one on. Hundred million in those days that would have been such a humongous success and it one hundred million. He wouldn't have heard anybody. What was the first sign in your view that something wasn't quite right with Facebook on a deeper level, the the infrastructure the algorithm were there any early warnings were there were two early warnings that I did not wait heavily enough. The I was a product they had called beacon in two thousand and eight that essentially. Followed you in the real world, and whenever you made a purchase on a credit card in the real world. It would report it on Facebook and the scandal blew up because a young man bought an engagement ring on overstock or one of the other discount sites and Facebook put on his feet, and his that's how fiancee's found out he was going to propose everybody who knew found out about it. And they posted not just what he'd bought, but where he bought it in what he paid. And of course, that was a disaster. And it was a massive invasion of privacy. Because no one had any Billy to control that they didn't know Facebook was going to do that. They just it was b the overreached. So far they were slapped back the product was withdrawn after months, what made Facebook think that was a good idea. Well, Mark believes in these very idealistic about this. But he believes the connecting the whole world on one network is such a good idea for humanity that it justifies whatever means are necessary to get there. And so what what has been revealed last two years as a whole series of things. But at the time beacon was the first time, you could really see that kind of bad behavior. Let's talk about the presidential election. You reached out to Mark Zuckerberg and to the COO Sheryl Sandberg about a week and a half before the two thousand sixteen election as I understand it. You were concerned about the way that data could be used as we now know to try to influence the election. How did they respond when you raise this background on? This was that I had stopped being actively involved with Facebook in two thousand nine I just became a cheerleader. I was so proud of this company because it appeared that everything was going incredibly well, and then the beginning of two thousand sixteen I saw a series of things I related to the democratic primary where I saw Facebook groups that looked in authentic, and then there's a company that was using Facebook's advertising tools to gather data on people who are interested in black lives matter and they were selling it to police departments. And then. Brexit happened in the United Kingdom, it's the referendum on whether to leave the European Union and varied appeared to me the outcome was such a shock in the swing so far that maybe Facebook it played a role by essentially enabling inflammatory messages to outperform neutral messages. And then finally the department of housing urban development cited Facebook because it's advertising tools enabled discrimination in the housing market in violation the fair housing act, and I'm going things there's only one possible explanation of something wrong with the business model in the our lives. And so I wrote an op-ed to complain about this. But instead of publishing it I sent it to Mark and Cheryl their response was Roger we really appreciate you reaching out. But seriously, these things are just isolated. We've taken care of all nothing to see here. I want to hear more about the turning point after they realized there was something to see when we continue in a moment. I'm Joshua Johnson. Glad to be with you. And you are listening to one A from W AMU and NPR. Support for this podcast and the following message. Come from Babbel, have you always wanted to speak in new language, whether it's for travel, work or brain training. Babbel's ten to fifteen minute lessons will get you. Speaking confidently in your new language, choose from Spanish, French and more you'll learn through real life, dialogues, speech recognition and interactive trainers. And Babbel's space repetition method actually makes you remember what you've learned download the app or go to Babbel, B A B B E L dot com to try babble for free. When's the last time you had a really good workout? None of you vice apps, but if you'll brain I'm Sean Covey dot host of hidden brain listen every week. And flex your mind. This is one A. I'm Joshua Johnson discussing the impact of Facebook on our democracy our privacy, and our personal data Roger the title of the book zapped. What do you mean by that? I allow the reader to side what it means to them. So it sounds a little naughty. Well, you know, that's in your mind. And I'll let you go there dirty mock, that's your mind, Joshua. So the my lovely wife and came up with the title. I mean, it's really hard to name anything and in book publishing as with rock and roll bands, the shorter the name, the more powerful the idea, and this is also kind of funny. Hey, our name is two characters. It's one as yeah. And you got the Twitter handle, right? So that's what it's all about. And so the terms oct- was in the Franek Euler it, you know, in the urban dictionary. And all that. And it just seemed to me that that I'm trying to get people to wake up and recognize that their lives are being affected, even if they don't use Facebook or Google, right? These. Guys are massive surveillance business, and they control a lot of things. We don't know about Zach seem like a good way to get people's attention. Almost forgot to ask you Roger you were an early investor in Facebook. But you still invested in Facebook. I am I made a conscious choice that I didn't want anyone to think that my activism had financial and like sinking stock. So I have held onto a huge position. Facebook is by far my largest investment. My theory is I'm going to suffer from my activism alongside everybody else. Because my goal isn't to hurt Facebook. My goal is to change their business practices in their business model, and I feel like someone who participated in benefited on the way up I should be there with them as long as I'm speaking out. I appreciate the transparency. I imagine. Also, it gives you a little bit more of an end because you are an investor. You know, you're able to have a say at the table is shareholder s- being proxy like it should give you you would think. So. But in America, we now live in a time where? Where capitalism is in this really extreme position companies like Facebook and Google the founders have complete voting control. Nobody had Facebook has talked to me since February twenty seventeen and I haven't heard from market Cheryl since the thirtieth of October of two thousand sixteen. It is remarkable. I'm having to do my communications with him on one A. No, couldn't it be argued with regards to the impact Facebook, and I want to get more into the the potential dangers Facebook is something that we choose to engage with if you don't like what's on Facebook. You can ignore profile. You can block a profile. You can log off you can delete and account and just disengage with Facebook. What's wrong with that? There's nothing wrong with that in principle. But let me explain what's really going on the business of Facebook is getting to look at ads in order to do that they need to manipulate your attention. So you spend more time in order to that they appeal to the week is parts of the human psyche and their three things they do in particular, they appeal to our fundamental need for rewards with notifications and like butts and things like that. But they also appeal to fear and outrage because fear and outrage are contagious. So people share a lot, and it gets people to spend a lot of time because when you're either afraid or angry, you want other people to be afraid. Angry too. And so when they're using their algorithms, they tune them for those three things and that creates habits because the notifications and likes bring us back and the habits can evolve into addictions, and when you are addicted in a meaningful portion of Facebook's audiences addicted then you can be manipulated. And here's the test. I say to people, you know, they say, hey, how do I know if I'm a dick I go. Okay. How early in the morning to you. Check your phone is it before you pee or while you're peeing because I don't know anybody who waits until after they're done, right. As you say that my apple watch just vibrated. I've I'm trying so hard not to let one of the ways I advise people to to make their life better is to turn off the notifications. You can get them. But don't let them interrupt what you're doing. I agree with that. I started turning off notifications for Twitter at the very least. And like when I think to check Twitter than I check it. And I my heart is still beating I'm just. Fine. And it's remarkable. You discover. Oh, yeah. They're human beings in the world. I mean, I Joshua. I was addicted as any human being on earth at one time. I carried seven mobile devices on my body all the time. I mean, I looked like I had a utility belt Batman. Yeah. Just like that. And the thing is I was a fulltime tech investor. So there was some branding benefit and all that from it. But my whole life was mediated by technology. Well, but whose responsibility is that I mean is it Facebook's responsibility to control the way people behave online. I I'm actually very sensitive to that point. What I'm saying? Here is it's not a fair test because you make the first move you get on there and you start using it. But after that, they are doing everything in their power to manipulate your attention. And once you are addicted your ability to control is much less. I mean, think about people with gambling addictions. That's the directly analogous thing. They don't have the full ability to control their own. Thanks, and remember, they say you choose the people you follow. You choose the things you click on, but they control the menu. They edit their literally a million things Josh with it could be in your feet at any point in time. They pick the twenty that are best for their business. Not best for you. So my simple point here is not that you don't have any responsibility. But the notion that they are free of blame. Here is laughable, how directly can we draw a causal connection between Facebook and the treatment of Ruhango Muslims between Facebook and the UK pulling away from the European. So here's what I would say first of all it's about all of us being aware and getting involved in speaking out, so relative to the rowing go. If you don't know about this story, we're talking about me, and mar the former Burma in Asia country, a fifty million people, they had no telecommunications infrastructure, and no media until Facebook persuaded the government to lower the price of cellphones in exchange for Facebook, providing an internet infrastructure that was simplified form of Facebook. What happened was the leading Buddhist monks in the military decided to wage a hate speech war against the very tiny Rohingya minority in that country and the country the people in the country had no experience with news much less with this information. So they believed it and the result. According to the United Nations was a quote, classic ethnic cleansing unquote nine thousand people were killed confirmed and forty two thousand people are missing and presumed it now, the United States have believed lost fifty six thousand soldiers in Vietnam and ten years. This is potentially fifty one thousand in six months and the United Nations cited Facebook specifically in only Facebook for having enabled us because Facebook is the internet. It is all media. What is your sense of how Facebook views just to carry that example further few say the tragedy of the Rohingya Muslims is the company. Feel some responsibility. I don't want to presume how close you are with the inner workings of the company today. But what's your sense of the company sense of accountable? Let me give you an example in the United States. So a few years back. They introduced a protocol. Facebook live at allowed. Anybody was on Facebook to film, something and broadcast to all their friends. Some guy put on Facebook live and went and killed somebody and broadcast the killing afterwards. The one of the senior Facebook executives wrote up an all hands memo in which he said, this kind of stuff is going to happen. It is an paraphrasing here it is a cost of cheating, our growth objectives. You see? I think Mark and the company believed that the objective of connecting the whole world on one network is so virtuous so obviously the right thing to do that it justifies any means necessary to get there. And so it's not that they they don't you know, that they ignore the. Plate of the ROY hangar of the people were killed in Sri Lanka or the man who was killed on Facebook live. But rather that they accept that? They're huge. And this sort of thing is going to happen. And they don't have the at the time when this happened. They had almost no Burmese speakers at Facebook. They'd know cultural sensitivity at all and their immediate response after that was to try to hire fact checkers not to like, send a human being there or to take responsibility. I think they've been told and this I know in Silicon Valley, the culture shifted dramatically in two thousand and three right before Facebook was started to this libertarian notion that were all independent actors, and that were not responsible for the consequences of what we do. And there is a law in the United States that says that internet platforms like Facebook and Google are responsible for what third parties to and they believe this because one it's incredibly convenient and too. That's what they've been told. I think it's also worth noting that there are. A lot of people in Silicon Valley. Rich white guys like yourself who are down for the cause of Facebook because it's gonna make them a lot of money. And when you invest in a company in Silicon Valley, they're not trying to make their money back or make a profit. They wanna make fifty times their money back or one hundred times their money back. It's a big money trench with billions of dollars flowing and Facebook feeds what Silicon Valley wants, which is money and guilty as charged and I think it's actually worse than that. I think in the United States we have moved from capitalism to this predatory model that basically says the only consideration shareholder value. It used to be inside the time period of my career that we also valued employees we valued the communities in which they lived we've valued the suppliers we valued all kinds of other things and corporations took all of those responsibilities seriously. But this notion that only the shareholder counts. Essentially, justifies mistreating, your employees mistreating the communities they live in and mystery all the other constituencies in your world, the customers the suppliers and all of that. And I believe that is not really capitalism that's something else. And I think we have to change all of those things in a big part of what I'm trying to do Joshua is to get us back to something that would be better for everybody. Because in the system, we're only a fraction of one percent of the population benefits. I mean, that's that is not a good outcome in history says that those things always end in conflict, and I think I would like to fix this without the conflict, if we can before we had one more voice to the conversation let me get through a few of your comments Jake tweeted in this day and age there is no privacy only the illusion of privacy, interesting point. And that might be a good place to bring in our next guest to see now that we hear how Facebook got to this point where it might be going from here. Joining us from K Q E D public radio in San Francisco is Alexandra switch bass. Senior correspondent of politics technology and society at the economist, Alexandra welcome to the program. Thank you for. Having me could ask you to start by reacting to Jake's tweet that there is no privacy only the illusion of privacy is that so and did Facebook helped make it. So or is it a little more complex than that? Well, I think it's correct on the internet. Facebook has played a strong role in changing users perceptions of privacy twice as Roger mentioned earlier in the program users felt very safe. Posting things on Facebook because you ought to be authenticated. You use your real name? And you thought you were sharing things only with friends, of course, that proved not to be true because Facebook had looser privacy controls than it represented to users. But people initially were very comfortable. I think now people's perceptions of privacy are changing again this time in reverse where Facebook has made people much more cautious about sharing things online. And I think. That that backlash that we've seen start to develop is going to continue over the next few years, but you've been covering Facebook for about five years now as I understand it, which is ages in the tech world to fourteen was was so 2014 ago. What are some of the biggest changes you've seen with Facebook? Since then, I think the most important change is one of perception, I think even two years ago people were talking about Mark Zuckerberg, traveling around America and questioning when he would run for president of the United States, whether it could be as soon as twenty twenty that, of course, seems as far from plausible reality as we can get the question now is one he's going to next come back to Washington and testify before congress. So I think perceptions of Facebook have radically changed in the last few years. And I think internally at Facebook self perception has changed as Roger mentioned. The Facebook early on on its employees and executives thought that they were doing they were an unmitigated force for good in the world and doing God's work. And I think that that has changed internally where employees and top executives are leaving. And questioning whether Facebook is as toxic as big tobacco. I wanna talk more about when we continue with Roger McNamee and Alexandra switch bass will also get to some more of your questions, and we'll talk more about the future. Facebook sticklers. This message comes from NPR sponsor ADT, America's trusted home security company can help protect you against the break ins fires and carbon monoxide twenty four seven emergency response when you needed most more at ADT dot com, ever get the Friday look back on the week and say to yourself what just happened. I'm Sam Sanders. Check out my podcast. It's been a minute where every Friday, we catch up on the news and the culture of the week and try to make sense of it all listen on the NPR one app or wherever you get your podcast. Back now to our conversation with Roger McNamee, the author of zonked waking up to the Facebook catastrophe. We're also speaking to Alexandra switch bass who is a senior correspondent of politics technology and society for the economist quick, reminder, we did invite Facebook to take part, but no one responded in time for our broadcast. That invitation stands Alexandra one of the big scandals that befell Facebook in the last few years was the Cambridge analytic scandal. That's where the information of fifty million Facebook users was compromised. It was a turning point in this conversation about social media and privacy. Christopher Wiley was the whistle blower on Cambridge Analytica. Here's a clip of him speaking on Facebook's role in that data breach. I think that you know, it was a big mistake to use this methods. But why Facebook didn't make more inquiries when they started seeing that, you know, tens of millions of records were being pulled this way. I don't know you'd have to ask Facebook, but Facebook, at least in a technical sense facilitated the project because they they had -application that had these permissions in the first place that was Christopher Wiley who blew the whistle on Cambridge Analytica, Alexandra. Why would Facebook have this kind of capability built into its programming? Anyway, was an oversight. Was it intentional? Do even know Facebook has obvious skated dancer to that. They of course, this is what was revealed as entirely against their interests. They would never wanted the scandal. What they did want was for to drive engagement on answer. They were making a user information available to third party developers. The question now is what regulators are going to do about it. So we've had the the Cambridge Analytica scandal is what prompted congress to bring Mark Zuckerberg. And to be grilled. It's caused a privacy backlash. We have not yet seen action, but it's entirely possible. And it looks likely that what happened with Cambridge Analytica is in violation of their Facebook agreement with the Federal Trade Commission to properly reveal to users how their information is being shared and accurately represent privacy policies. So I think that we need to watch what's going to happen in Washington. And whether there's going to be a large fine or further regulation after this before we get to Washington, I wanna come back to that. In just a second by one has bring up a few stories that some of our listeners have shared with regards to the reach of Facebook and its ability to link people in ways that seem a little creepy. Several of you have shared stories like this one for example Kelsey emailed about Facebook overreach. One time I was at a concert in Washington state. I was sitting next to this lady that we became acquaintances together by the end of the concert. We exchange. Names. But that was it. We lived on different sides of the state, I came home and the next day on my Facebook. She was listed as a person that I may know will we have no friends in common, we exchange names. And that was it. Nothing was put into my phone or hers. No, phone numbers, etc. Her name that she gave me was completely different than her Facebook name. I have no idea how it happened. But I was so creeped out for months afterwards. Roger McNamee, I have had these things happen. And I know quite a few people who have had these things happen. This is exactly why we wanted Facebook on the air today because lots of us have had these incredibly creepy encounters. And we just want to know how the hell did you do that? Well, so remember, they're not just getting the data off Facebook. So they probably for the person who's at the concert. The cell phones were in the same place at the same time. They probably knew it was because they'd probably both purchased the concert tickets with credit cards and their holsters of. Other databases that would have revealed that they made have come to contact Facebook as guessing with people, you may know, when I look at my own list, most of the time, I don't know who the people are. But it's pretty obvious. We've been in the same place in the same time a lot of times. And so I find all of that not only deeply creepy but actually morally wrong, and I do think we have to set limits. There's some kinds of data and some kinds of uses shouldn't be allowed. So for example, Facebook was busted last week for creating a so-called research application that they circuited Apple's app store in order to spy on the people use the app now some of the people use the app where miners who are clearly not in a position to to to make their own judgments. And so that kind of behavior is obviously excessive, and I think preying on minors has to be a legal and they're already challenges with minors say buying things in games on their parents smartphone. Luke boxing prior week. They got busted for that. So my point here is Facebook tells us and they've said that this week. Week that you know, they've made all these changes, but the changes are superficial the problems are core to the business model, and I think Facebook is a lot like a chemical company or an energy company that they leave a lot of pollution in their wake. There are toxic spills that hurt people and just like a chemical company just like an energy company when you do that you have to be accountable and responsible economically. And I think that is the first piece of regulatory change. We need to say, let's talk about regulation and Alexandra. I love your sense of where this goes from here that Senate hearing that Mark Zuckerberg took part in was memorable for a lot of reasons. One of which being the fact that many of the senators did not seem to know how Facebook worked and fairly enough. There are plenty of parts of Facebook that are pretty opaque. But here's a little mash up of three senators from that hearing, here's Orrin Hatch of Utah. Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Deb Fisher also of Utah audience sustain business model in which users don't pay your service. Senator we run ads if I'm if I'm feeling emailing within WhatsApp does that ever, inform, your advertisers? No. We don't see any of the content and what's up. It's fully encrypted. Right. But is there some algorithm that spits out some information to your ad platform? And then let's say I'm emailing about Black Panther a within what's app. Do. I get a what do I get a Black Panther a banner ad, so how many dated categories? Do you store space bookstore on the categories that you clicked Senator? I'm not actually sure what that is referring to Alexandra. It may sound a little funny that Orrin Hatch doesn't understand that Facebook makes money on ads, but on the other hand Facebook and its ecosystem of apps are fairly complex, and we don't really have a clear picture of exactly how they work where do we stand now in terms of regulation on a larger level Washington? Had a lot of embarrassing moments in twenty eighteen but I think that Senate hearing. Was one one of the most embarrassing moments, pitting someone who knows a huge amount of about data and advertising and tech against people who do not and have no idea how to regulate it. I think there are some very simple things that need to happen. That can. And I think that voters should be pressuring their senators to see some of this happened in two thousand nineteen it's inevitable that we will have a privacy Bill. The question is what it looks like. And how strong it is. Some wanna see it modeled on Europe's GDP are California, the state of California where I am is pushing the envelope here because they have now their own very strong state Bill, the general data protection regulation, if you notice some websites that they give you a bunch of warning saying, hey, we use cookies is that okay with you that is for those websites to comply with the GDP are exactly. And that's now law in Europe. I'm so the question is will America. Adopt a law inspired by. GDP are I think it sh-? It should have happened a long time ago. I think that it may well happen in two thousand nineteen another thing that people are not talking about in America. But they should be is how to update the merger review guidelines for big tech deals. So Facebook has achieved its competitive position by hoovering up p small companies that would have grown into significant rivals. So we saw that with Instagram which about four billion dollars. We saw with what's up which offer for twenty two billion, and they were able to do this. Because the currently the anti-trust officials do not stop deals if they don't raise prices on. And if it's if it's hard to show from a market share perspective that it's decreasing competition. Of course, these are such young companies that they can't step in. So I think creep thinking creatively about how to update those rules for the twenty first century is a. Sation that needs to happen. In Washington, Alexandra Suuch bass, senior, correspondent of politics technology and society for the economist Alexandra, thanks for talking to us. Thanks for having me and Roger McNamee. The new book is called Zuck waking up to the Facebook catastrophe and also part of a band called moon Alice who's music will be ending with today. Roger thanks for talking to. It was a great pleasure today show was produced by Haley blessing game and edited by Miranda full more to learn more about them and the rest of our team. Visit the one eight dot org slash staff. This program comes to you from W AMU part of American University. In Washington distributed by NPR until we meet again, I'm Joshua Johnson. Thanks for listening. This is one eight. Support for this podcast and the following message. Come from Comcast business having the nation's largest gig speed network was just the start. Now, they're providing gig fueled apps and solutions that exceed expectations and help businesses perform Comcast business beyond fast.

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How Fashion Can Leverage the Audio Appeal of Clubhouse

The Business of Fashion Podcast

21:17 min | 3 months ago

How Fashion Can Leverage the Audio Appeal of Clubhouse

"The connection is an inherently human thing. We're wired to connect and voice is a very different. We were talking long before we were writing taking photos shooting videos but in the world of social media. It's a new thing and we find that allows people to connect in a different way. How does the fashion company communicate through sound. I for one thing canoe landscape to hear what brands about without the use of image without the jason to say a product within that image. What do you have to say that becomes compelling as a fashion industry when we can use our voice to create engagement. hi this zimmerman founder. And ceo of the business of fashion. And welcome to the podcast this week. You may have heard that elon. Musk who is now. The richest man in the world appeared on a social media app called clubhouse the media and venture capital worlds have been talking about clubhouse now for quite some time but along mosques appearance on the app has given clubhouse in new currency and visibility beyond the halls of silicon valley while back and voices twenty twenty. I had the opportunity to sit down with the co founder and ceo of clubhouse. Paul davison was speaking in public. For the first time about the app alongside virgil abloh one of the apps super users from the fashion industry given all the news about clubhouse this week we thought it was a good opportunity to share that on the podcast so here are paul davison and virgil abloh at voices. Twenty twenty and following the explosion and podcasting many entrepreneurs see that year as the next piece of real estate to go after the fight for people's time and attention earlier this year. Silicon valley became obsessed with a new app called clubhouse and audio bay social network where people can spontaneously jump into different chat rooms to together launched amid the pandemic since day one. The app has attracted the kind of funding controversy and hype that's ruffled feathers and made headlines. The social audio space is booming. Investors are piling in and recently twitter revealed that it's launching. Its own take on social audio space. That's currently being dominated by clubhouse one of is super users is none other than virgil abloh. Louis vuitton men's artistic director and creative director of off. White virgil joins us at voices twenty today from chicago alongside clubhouse founder paul davidson who is in san francisco. Welcome to you both. Thank you so much. Glad to be here liquors lurk whereas going and run. Get to see you again. Virgil i'm gonna. I'm gonna start with paul. Because i think everyone in the silicon valley world has heard of clubhouse but you know there are people watching who may not yet have understood what this is. So in the first instance. I'm gonna ask you the question you know. Why do we need another social media. What is it that clubhouse offers to the world. That isn't already out there. Yeah happy but that one slight correction the clubhouse house with my friend row on Clubhouse it's a new type of social network. That's based on voice where people around the world come together to talk. Listen and learn from each other about topics ranging from fashion to retail music and sports and social justice. It's sort of like hallways of this conference anywhere where it's all on your phone. There's no video but you can. You can reconnect with people you can learn or you can just be applying the wall and i think that connection is an inherently human thing. We're wired to connect invoice is a very different medium. We've seen it grow recently because of things like airpods and smart speakers an in-car integrations of this technology. But but it's it's in some ways the oldest medium in the world right. We were talking long before we were writing or taking photos or shooting videos but in the world of social media. It's a new thing and we find that allows people to connect in a different way you have all of the fidelity and authenticity and bids an asks an emotion. But you don't have any of things zaidi of video worrying about what you look like. Or how messy your houses and so it creates a different type of experience that is more about connecting with people in and having conversations than about getting likes or follows or projecting a certain view of yourself to the world. So we think it's a pretty different experience in what's out there right now. Burs let me let me turn to you. Because as i mentioned in the intro you've become a clubhouse super user and they might conversations of the. I know you're a busy guy. We were talking michael wolff earlier today. Who says like the average person is spending thirteen hours a day on their technology devices. You know why are you carving out time and you're very busy schedule to use clubhouse what do you get out of clubhouse. That's different from what you can get elsewhere. It's one of those things where i rationalize it like this. I'm in the design community. Which basically means that. I'm a part of the uber. Small percentage of people that get to dictate web pants. You wear next year. Look like you know like. I have an opinion. I'm in a part of a collective that decides. What the in like a trend for your car or your your interior of your home. They look like you know that's to me. Take that as a huge responsibility. This is like shelving away all the things like the fun side of the job or something like that. So i think it's a part of my responsibility of my craft to be knowledgeable to know what's going on in the world like if i locked myself in my studio and i sit in a place where i think from my sort of like shielded view of the world. This is what i think. The impact the lives of others. I think that's the wrong path. So when clubhouse comes around which i believe is a is a forward thinking concept from amazing people with great hearts and good vision. Like it's a no brainer. You know. And i project that out and so my friend told me adjust carballo from heist. Nobody was early user of clubhouse and he was like. Hey this is something i know you'd be into. You should try it out. And that's how. I became a user. An i've been a fan of the operation ever since two other quick. Things said that. I might add one. That because it's audio you can multitask and so it takes advantage of a lot of found time. it's not something where you're staring at a screen and just scrolling for hours and doing nothing else. People are using it while. They're walking while they're driving while they're in bed at night while they're folding laundry while they're doing all sorts of other things and the second thing i'd say is a big goal for us is to ensure that when people spend time on clubhouse it is time well-spent where were they can spend spend time on it enclosed the app at the end of the session feeling better than they did when they opened it because they deepen friendships. They've met new people they've learnt. It's a participatory different experience than than sort of scrolling screen purely consuming got it so virgil let me take it back to you for a minute. Your as you said your top designer in the industry now you can dictate what pants or as we'd call trousers in. Hey what you'd wear. Trousers wear next season. But what do you think. Fashion brand louis. Re tong could use or learn from clubhouse. How could fashion brands make use of this tool. They've found different ways to use instagram other other social media apps. But you know what could a fashion brand us clubhouse for you know. This is just something that i was just like reflecting on an essence. Obviously there's this in the fashion industry. There's hyper sort of like attention. Paid towards digital space. You know e commerce web impressions content photos videos data when at the end of the day. You know it's an extreme metric and tool to engage. And i think with the with the advent of clubhouse sort of refocusing on audio. It's it's an interesting case. Study and seeing like making sure that brands have something to say. You know you when you can't escape to creating an image that looks like fashion so then people consume it as fashion or a video. That looks glossy looks like moving. Image of fashion ambience. Like i for one. Think it's a like a new landscape to hear what brand about you know without the use of image or without that the the adjacency to say a product within that image. Like what do you have to say. And that becomes compelling as a fashion industry when we can use our voice to create engagement. Yeah that's that's really interesting because of course it's like second nature for the fashion industry to communicate through imagery. But how does how does a fashion company communicate through sound. I don't know paul if you have anything to add their think it's such an interesting contrast when you're talking about the fashion industry right. I mean extensively. Fashion is visual. It is curated. this is literally the opposite. You can't fake. You can't have a social media manager post the clubhouse right you're talking and the community aspect is a really big part of it. Because it's so participatory in your calling people from the audience here engaging with the people that care about your brand you have people in the industry sourcing creatives for shoots and and and talking about trends in what's happening in the news it's just a. It's a very different experience. So i love the fact that virgil has it enjoyed using the product because on its surface that contrast is just so fascinating to me like the division curated versus the the raw and intimate. Yeah all all the conversations that i have hosted or been part of on clubhouse related to fashion imron in a weird way. Have been more in depth than than interviews or sort of regular format sort of media. You know because the audience is getting to hear what they can't see on instagram too. Many characters to type. Obviously none of us are person like me. I'm not media trained to be able to like sound by. Have my ideas go through instagram. So that people exactly get the nuance and a medium like like clubhouse is where as a designer i can talk about the inspiration that i only usually talk about press with and i think that that's an like a new way of talking about inspiration talking about you know like how product came to be that i the it's a meaningful connection. Yeah the other thing. And i might add to. That is that i mentioned. That is the oldest medium in a in a lot of ways and we've had to learn how to create Short-form post had to learn how to had a take great photos. We have to learn how to edit videos. We have to learn how to produce a podcast. It's a lot of work but everyone can talk. And there are so many smart thoughtful funny creative brilliant people who have expertise in so many other people in the world who just want to hear them talk and being in a room with them is unique Intimate experience like anytime virtual comes up and starts talking. I had all these texts eight. Oh my gosh. this is incredible. It's a different type of experience. Neuralink different level of access to people. And as as you guys said it can't be faked you need a fake virtual or another person can't be virgil on clubhouse that they have to be blurred. But paul wanted to ask you about your plans for the future. Because i was reading up a little bit last night and wired magazine actually called clubhouse harder to get into then bergheim which is that like legendary nightclub in berlin so as you think about the growth of clubhouse as you think about expanding the community dot will present new challenges for you how do you scale clubhouse while also maintaining this human connection intimacy that we were speaking about earlier. Yeah well the first thing i'd say is that we are building clubhouse for everyone we haven't launched to the general public yet and so it's been growing through an invite system but we building it for everyone and that's what we aspire to to do and i think the way you do that is to evolve from being a single community a beta testers into a network of many different communities. We think about this concept of scaling intimacy all the time. Because i think you hit on a really really important point there. How do you scale that intimacy and the way that that we think you do it. Is you empower the moderators of the rooms. You empower that. The founders of clubs which are effectively groups within clubhouse to create their own spaces to gather that the people that they want to gather to set the rules that they wanna set and so it similar to the real world where you have everyone in the real world that people form their own groups. They formed their own rooms. They form their own networks. And and and it's really about building the tools that allow them to do that. I think you can do that. Then you can scale intimacy and have it be a network of many different communities other towns. Of course that will come with growth is moderation and i've been tracking clubhouse since you guys first launched early earlier during the pandemic and clearly. They've been a few issues there in terms of like the things that are said how they're said what's private what's public and you know we yesterday at voices twenty twenty. We were talking to roger mcnamee and to christopher wiley about the growing power of technology companies and they also have these companies so as you scale you're already facing some challenges around moderation and kind of what is what is what is right to be said and what maybe is inappropriate. How do you think about that challenge. Yeah well i think any time. You're building a social platform. You have to make moderation and trust in safety a top top priority. Because if you're building for everyone y- you need to recognize that people are people in there are bad actors in the world. You need to build a service that that can account for that in so As you might know from having us clubhouse and virtual probably tell you the conversations in clubhouse Absolutely amazing and it's a very very wonderful intimate space but they're going to be incidents and so you have to build systems that can detect those that can respond to those And and so. That's kind of the way we approach it. We say let's let's have the right people in place. Let's have the right policies in place to to make it clear what's allowed. What's not allowed. Let's build the right product features so that we can respond to that. And i think that if you do that you can create a space said that accounts for all the nuances this new medium right. It's it's not taxing photo. It's live group audio and live means things are unfolding in realtime group. it creates all these interesting dynamics. Like how do you think about locking someone. When when you're in a group maybe one person wants to block them from the room and the other person doesn't with audio. How do you think about intonation and and inflection and and all of those dynamics so i think what you need to do is recognize how this medium is different and create a system data acknowledges that humans are humans when people come together. Most of the moments can be wonderful but there will be times where we're incidents can occur. And and you have to constantly make it a priority says we've been trying to do We don't have that much time left. But i have some questions coming through from all around the world trevor in edmonton canada. Not far from where. I grew up. He's asking what that business model for cub is like. How are you planning to make money what we're really excited about. Is empowering other people to make money so I imagined that our business model will be based on direct monetization for creators. so so all of these conversations of you're talking about about fashion and retail and music and social causes are wonderful and we want those to continue and we also get excited about comedians and and and people talking about the markets in an armchair sportscasters musician singing into their phone at seven. Thirty on a tuesday night. And and i don't know if it's going to be subscriptions or paid membership fees for for clubs or paid advance or tipping or some other form but we really liked the idea of allowing all of these amazing creators. Who are out there to to host great conversations into be paid directly by listeners. Who be happy to pay for. That experience guarded. Virgil i'm curious to learn in your past. Few months of using club house. What has been the most interesting or explosive conversation. You had because clubhouses kind of building a reputation for maybe you know uncomfortable conversations that need to be had. Is there anything you can recall that that you would like to share with us. You know. I think the most sort of you know. Obviously it's worthy to note that this is all happening in the year. Twenty twenty you know a year that will forever remember for the multitude of issues. I think nothing. Of course there's been great conversations on fashion and design and the cool like music culture stuff but tracking the america or the the clubhouse users response during george floyd's untimely death in was almost like gravity. Conversation that i wished the whole world. Listen to you know. Because i'm not sure i obviously things were happening on. All of our instagram's they're happening. All throughout twitter sphere but hearing people's voice was incompatible. And this is why i love. Clubhouse is because i'm not filtering out just the people i follow and getting a fallen log a false sense of the world because once you do that you start being surprised why you know elections turn out the way they do or or why things happen the way they do you know for me. Being on clubhouse. I learn when i'm listening and i learned from Just different people's points of view so a very tough time about speaking about race and how we can all root out systemic racism. So that would catalog that okay. Well i think clubhouses. Obviously i space to watch. I look forward to seeing you both on clubhouse at some point. Thank you so much for your time today. And sharing a common experiences of what it's like to build this disruptive company and what it's like to be a super user on this new disruptive so thanks to both of you thank you so much excited to welcome everyone from the conference to clubhouse and continue the conversation. There people are interested of really. Appreciate your help me here today. If you've enjoyed this episode don't forget to subscribe give a rating and you might be interested in joining the business of fashion. Global membership community be a professional are members. Receive exclusive deep dive analysis. Regular email briefings as well as unlimited access to our archive of over ten thousand articles. Our new iphone app and all of the online courses and learning materials from education.

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Journalist Carole Cadwalladr on Facebook, Brexit, and "techno-fascism"

Recode Decode

1:17:15 hr | 2 years ago

Journalist Carole Cadwalladr on Facebook, Brexit, and "techno-fascism"

"Hi i'm care swisher editor at large rico you may know me as a self appointed chief justice of facebook's new supreme court but in my spare time i talk tech and you're listening to rico decode from the vox media podcast network today in the red share if someone i'm very excited have here carols cadwalader the reporter and writer for the guardian and the observer who really blew the lid off facebook cambridge analytica scandal last year earlier this year she also gave it amazing ted talks about silicon valley in fake news and she says that she has recently been sued by one the bad boys of brexit will talk about that and more karen welcome to rico decode larry thank you so much revolving assuming you're in in london england that he wrote i'm doing this i had come all the way here to get you on my podcast here for a few days and doing some a different podcasts with people here in also one of my favorite episodes but i really wanna talk to you you're the one person i really wanna talk to and we shall we start i don't quite know where to start i mean we talk about your background let's talk about how you got to where you got and why you started start writing about facebook and sort of and then will get into cambridge analytica and where it's going and you're tedtalk which was a worldwide sensation i think stuff we've been talking about and silicon valley a long time but it really set off a lot of talking and talking about sort of your time i'm here because as i understand it people are trying to say you're conspiracy theorists and as it turns out you're conspiracies through them anyway but let's start with that we talk about how you got to wear you out and why you started writing about tech stocks you'd rushing about take a long time ago i always you know i i was a year ago i used to say well i was just a feature writer and i stumbled across this story by surely the genesis go back a long time and that's i went to at ted conference in two thousand and five i think it was when it was still a secret kind of conference the millionaires and i would really you know i had to costa talk on from about how technology is gonna save the world and the crowd is gonna come together right we were gonna cure cancer and it was gonna be amazing that we've been going on for a while yeah it's it's kind of exposed to it then and i thought this is you know this is what did you i think when you were sitting there at these i've been to the millions of these talks it's crazy they like they went on and on and they also self congratulatory like are we there yet which you're in league is looming they see me at the time you know coming from somewhere else so you're saying exactly exactly police say you know i heard you know we could do is still sort of freshman year at felt at the time and jimmy wales stood up there and explained you know these magical thing overreacted you know be on you know something which we just haven't seen before and didn't seems like it would be possible answer if we did just sort of blew my mind and i just started you know getting interesting in it and stop it right here mind positively or negatively or positively very very squarely on that side in yeah i was actually tech utopia better living through at yeah it was just gonna it's gonna be amazing this bright new future and just sort of covering the topic but in very much on the feature writer i write and they would ian so i will never have never been inside the technology section wasn't the people who insist intact it was about that everybody you know the culture of the political implications of this kind of stuff and at the same time i don't want my other you know my normal job which was about to cross the newspaper and interviews and rebel taj and had some things but you know i i kind of we we've all been all not jenny move seeing the downsides of this kind of technology and getting concerned about the police of it and so i will say started covering that and so for example i went undercover in an amazon warehouse in wales per week maybe six seven years ago now and you wanna see what conditions were like there have been some reporting on conditions or just i mean it was just fascinating because i'm i'm sort of barbaric really don't bury the bruce who you know we're working twelve thirteen seen fourteen hour days wool king sixteen miles a shift and these people this is really jobs have lost resort and they didn't you this is this is in south wales which is very much the crucible of the labor movement but unions went inside the white house now no nobody really knew what was going on inside you know this thing of walking wholesome all you'll break have five minutes to sit down to go back to you what station and these were bringing jobs have lost result and and so i i you know that what you're sort of one aspect so they said in an obvious falling i you know when tach silicon valley several times in few people different stories and you know i've had the experience of google being fired call me sir i said i didn't interview with ray kurzweil living sorry cross about how great you explain who raised people wall is the is never gonna die he's never gonna die like he's a futurist he said to me once again no matter what is the line from 'em moonstruck then olympia caucus says to her husband was cheating on her he goes no matter what you do victor you're gonna die the only way you know right now discover the secret they say right where he needs he now what i got names before restarted wishes google news well they got very upset about something else came out he was working for them and they will sang the machine intelligence is gonna take human intelligence by i think twenty twenty eight thirty one of the things which was very pivotal in in how i started thinking about this particular issue of technology and democracy was i went to a tech crunch disrupt conference in guy i just met you know these thousands of entrepreneurs who all out to disrupt some interior another old somebody i remember meeting somebody who wants to disrupt so i never quite understood that but seeing how we know we've we've i've experienced myself the way the journalism is being disrupted it destroyed a bit technology destroyed the business model newspapers we still have disrupted the music industry and it was just sort of few weeks before the presidential election that i you know i just noticing this sort of constellation of different stories and thinking when you call really having election like used to hillary clinton's emails would be leaked right and so i did if i said well now we now know that incredibly strategically i never the first reports coming out of macedonia about these teenagers writing fake news articles profit and said i just thought was a technology is disrupting in politics and i thought well somebody must have written that somebody recently space and i googled it and i thought maybe has written the space so i just did it as a sort of short all had come in peace and and then we had deep you know the usa presidential election trump was elected and those are some moments of shock on the fist suggestions about use of technology in the didn't the platforms among the big thing is ludicrous feel i did that played any rose zero zero i think is the worst year ever know he doesn't know how to use or ludicrous go ahead and my mind is just so sad you know do a long beach piece on let's do a thing on this phenomena no fake news and just say that would you know two weeks off to the the presidential election two thousand november two thousand this year oeser fringes mark gave it was interviewed in an event and he said there is no there is zero chance there was any influence jaren chance and then they walk back to one point one percent irwin or the loop one zero one one percent of the law be saying it but then said any and i've just been basically i've been ever since that day i have slipping do that what got you know a lot of people didn't they the american certainly warrant and they were sort of following along they just accepted emails they they were you know people i've been writing about the social impact of technology on people's partisanship and stuff like that but is it'd being an outsider or what do you think is just dead obvious her cause of brexit here i think is well i do say covered one of the stories i sort of i could have done a big feet shrooms enormous and low fat kun and that whole when i was very there's one story particular kind of captured my attention although it turned out to be a red herring in some senses but that'd be just days before the presidential election the dds attack own nation state on a country they say say this hikers took down the entire internet for a cut i think sierra leone remember that and i just kinda that's astonishing isn't it ended there is a suggestion that this was a trial run so that you could actually trying to do this to ice state in america for example or or you know they are trying to do any talk country i mean it was just the way that sort of technology sit saying that shit the hulk all of these democratic systems and as i say the constellation of different stories and just having just reaching about the whole philosophy around your idea of destruction so it's this professor of business i think clay christiansen and he called it the mudslide hypothesis which is so a a kind of small change a school technological and found baltics yeah yeah can become this sort of sue nami on his over you know stop these industries his example would be so it's really the idea of well actually we've seen it happen we've seen it happen across all these industries and and it really does look like politics is is next and and that is is not you know politics tire democracy right no you know you talk about getting to cambridge analytic is that really should facebook for the most part of and saying well maybe there is a little he influenced maybe there was some russian person but they really weren't discussing it and i remember bothering him at the time and there wasn't and a lot of idea that there might have been a problem on the platform and i had been at the two thousand and eight event where he talked about third party information i remember that very vividly in thinking it's not a good thing for this idiot company to be getting information of what they base it wasn't very big at the time it wasn't as big thing but it wasn't and has as it wasn't two point six billion people to talk about how did you move to that say i mean the cause of the fish big piece i did which it's just a couple of weeks after the election with google actually and i you know kind of talk i do i always talk about it because it just is it stake important part of this is the thing about this when i started looking at a token i got really i just start doing a lot of google search actually work and so this playing around with it and putting in terms and this was this thing i pertain jews in the search bar making to question so i put all jews and the suggestion a goat what's all jews evil that was a tough one right and you even eaten his personal attorney just now you'll you in your result in automatic i mean hot page result and i didn't off stuck question google suggested a question and now it's on spring it and every single one of those officers well yes jews are evil and then at the ultimate said you know just suggestions what you want to search for next and the suggestion suggestion was did the holocaust happened right so it's like well okay let's click that link and i click that link every single result will say no the holocaust didn't happen the top result when the storm front mhm which the nazi website right so it just just kind of like trump to just be like said it was just sort of talking storming the vendor night and i kept my looking at here and i just me and say you know strong on different browsers trying different sections i could exactly the same thing with a whole range of searching keating women so when i did women and i put a women again i go all we mean evil and they see when google israeli says nifty on said like a hundred hundred percent certain pussy on say in bulk and save all we mean evil they put me in a box and it said yes we mean all evil because every woman contains a little bit prostitute inside that was from where where was the link it was from some crazy site solid one they suggested on any house screech of things and they want us and my thing and then my really lucky bright was a day and they sent me a day lights so i stumbled across the academic who is at dennis new school in united states jonasson albright and he had just started not paying trying to not they sort of ecosystem of default fall right website right and lincoln and what what humans discovering was he he he took a list that mr been published of like these website which publishing fake news articles and he used a tool which looked at all the links going in and out and then he knocks and well well he's still well any justin that when i got one the telephone and he was so freaked out because he was pretend you're saying it's like it's like he's like he's like account so you could see it sort of strangling all the mainstream sold right of news and information and it's sort of what type there's something systemic at work here when by eats it click saying well should be coming up because they're using it well you're gonna continue as they as they as they were architect but i always say there isn't there in architecture you couldn't in the beginning google is more context accuracy and be and then it turned into my reality speed engagement like or especially facebook same thing when you change the parameters city architecture you get different things and i think a lot of right wing the entities which had been sort of zeroed out of media in general sort of sidelined in mainstream media found you know everyone's everyone's like oh you know dictators don't like the internet i'm like no they like it like were they like it it's a huge opportunity for fringe groups the future opportunity for different music as they become on equal footing there are three right now one of the first things i can detach when i heard you janine more resolved talk about the way the you know you could shine coming batteries had discovered the internet with this great friend and there's like three everywhere air herkie everywhere you so you so you got got interested in how this was built which most people say hey it's just a benign platform that with their excuse hate were just putting this is what people search for yeah never say i did a google were trying to you know that responses to me they refuse to acknowledge visible very few signals of anything won't get any problem tool and when it's just a sex will people searching for right so yes they're made by walking which was insane you know there's a pastry organizing the world's information on geology of delivering quality result how could that i mean he he so how long these results being out there who is i i just i like i just thought of this sort of teenage kid in that bedroom just interest in here the nazis all you do is hit the evil then you go whole result saying that he will good guy well it's so interesting that this story up fast response google be well spent the last two and a half years dealing with the waitress this total lack of accountability the platforms this denial of responsibility and then the counterattack so the way they went ashley only attack against us though you know i just know what happened is i you know i i this is why did i write write these loan phone features i go into a topic i committed and then you know i moved on and when i published this piece i just thought surely the will just can't be you know say this is outrageous do something we've gotta fix this is being poisoned what is well see nights they sort of shutdown means that will not happen in google just by refusing to engage they studied heine changing some of the results kevin love just got to keep kind of writing about and so i just can't finish sort of five or six weeks i just carried on writing about it and i did things isn't this made some really incensed i took out an ad the used you saw how you change the results just say yes the holocaust happened i know takeout do glad so i took a google at the top of the search results and made some very furious and anyway and then they christmas eve one day after you publish on a on christmas day and that was the day you know google fenton this massive legal kind of complaint to the garbage in an sos dealing with that too with our loyal a pool pool puts a pinhead of legal at the gods in jail fillets who has been very instrumental in this whole story i do find it chilling in white alleging this just thinking of trying to shut the story that trying to shut the story dan you know by gang off to the reporter by gang off in the newspaper but to say to say david claiming problems with my reporting in claiming some inaccurate and you know if they pick up on a tiny detail to distract from the bigger story this you know but you persist yeah we purchased it but then well it's kind of funny what's that i see i see go away late because that was my cambridge analytical my case right so i was kind of i i've always wanted to go back to google and you are you cheap such just do something but in the meantime i started getting these crazy lessons from this company cambridge analytica and you just had mentioned in the piece and i said you know if the trump campaign in which he breaks it because that's what that you know the website sights set and that's what they obstacles it said and they said he rogers means no no no no that's that's not true we never would brexit so we saw two rushing by suicide well he's by you'll see you said you would leave campaign and he's by the leave campaign said but you hide them and they would like yes yes yes but that's not true any needs titan announcing correct but i'm talking about three times and it's like well there's there's going on here and and that she will then what happened is this all reid is that a tickle seemed like he was sort of like well that's how she just find out what happened and he got in touch with this guy could anti week more who worked on the leave campaign which nigel farraj just leave campaign and of him and he said yes we did you cambridge john lewis care and we just didn't haven and that's something that's kind of interesting 'cause that's kind of like a gif isn't enough i think you have to be declared right and i trusted off to go coffee with andy and that conversation became the basis but the my first big piece on cambridge analytica cambridge analytica and also robert missed the un steve bannon which is very it was just say interesting i mean i it was again it's the full that'd be any food 'em j anderson had big piece on the new yorker murders of wealthy donors they say well this is sort of key character he's his hedge fund billionaire and he had being the biggest donors trump anti had funded breitbart said that was said which is the falls garlic fall rights 'em news network which steve bannon was the editor in chief and she things he founded in one of these other things he'd fund is being cambridge analytica and cambridge analytica being very instrumental in the trump campaign and he would these guys saying yes and we use in in break say there is a nexus and they were all access and he said you and of course they won't you help us because breaks it was the petri dish the trump and that you know that very explicit isn't as good of course you know we were the same family were using the same techniques and steve bannon and nigel farraj a good friends you know it's all part trump and brexit at all part of the same thing anyway that was the sort of first big story i don't cambridge analytica and even then it turns out that you know this this this information about how cambridge analytica had somehow got hold of all this facebook's data when i looked at the cuts says this piece in the gods in december two thousand and fifty five gymnast cooled harry davies and he does he's he found that but at the time cambridge analytica wasn't working for trump is working the right head crews on facebook just states will detect companies do which is it just denied it and refused to comment and you know that was it so you're starting to see the links between the facebook data end cambridge analytic say yeah russians yes and they sort of you know this consisted of right wing attempt to disrupt the mainstream media will say fascinating events it bonding and miss hide you know these various different strategy which is all about disrupting the mainstream media system worked i'm you know there is another one which was they they they will say funded the thing the government accountability institute and not for example with that they did really deep research such into a hillary clinton and then they said those stories into the new york times among other places that it was so here you are with these pieces which you were gonna get back to when we get back we'll talk more about it you have these pieces of different things that they're doing it so that you were slowly working on but yeah what you would develop wasn't distrust of these companies in terms of yes that's what they were saying because they came out they were like we're just benign where we just have information anybody canoes that's i think that's pretty much there was just this thing which is in particular which was that nothing has any traction anymore so you know publishing this stuff about cambridge analytica facebook and everybody was like oh this is terrible and then the next outrage hit the news cycle point which meant to keep you exhaustive just which which is the point about what i'm gonna keep going right meaning do the story getting a different way i'm really and that and that was when you know that i had when i and christopher wiley right all right we're gonna get into that when we were jared carols cadwalader she's investigative journalist at the guardian observer she blew off facebook cambridge analytical scandal last year and we talk about that and more when we get back today's show is brought to you by ziprecruiter if you're a business if anything like are you need to hire people with a wide range of skill sets and you don't have a lot of time spent on the process of finding qualified candidates they used to be that hiring required visits multiple job sites pouring over sex rosemead on a confusing review process but now hiring can be easy and you only have to go to one place to get it done ziprecruiter dot com slash decode ziprecruiter sends your job to over a hundred of the web's leading job boards but they don't stop there with their powerful matching technology ziprecruiter scans thousands of residents defined people with the right experience and invites them to apply to your job as applications come in ziprecruiter analyzes each one and spotlights the top candidates so you never miss a great match ziprecruiter is so affective it four out of five and four years who post on ziprecruiter get a quality candidate through the site within the first day and right now our listeners can try ziprecruiter for free at this exclusive web address ziprecruiter rooter dot com slash decode that's ziprecruiter dot com slash d e c o d the dip recruiter dot com slash decode ziprecruiter the smartest way to hire hi i'm ric edelman and i'm hosting curbs new podcast nice try it stories about how people have tried to design a better world and what happens when those designed don't go according to plan season one is called utopian and it's about the perpetual search for the perfect place includes cannibalism fascist architecture polly emory hermetically sealed dome and courtney kardashians dining room chairs but you know not necessarily in that order new episodes of nice try come out every thursday subscribe for free on apple podcasts or in your favorite podcast app were here with carols cadwalader she's investigative journalist with a guardian observer and obviously so well known for dealing with issues around facebook and the election so you found chris wiley who is the whistle blower inside of i've gotta tell you i was just kind of just getting these dino's cambridge analytical just denying stuff face but with just annoying stuffed the leave campaign with just denying stuff happening the fish dodge collected on cambridge analytica which is great success in some ways it kicked off too big official investigations in person so it kicked a one investigation by the electoral commission into hot they cut everything from dying from vending dot dot investigation is not with the metropolitan police with the white thing all the you know the election we should've said no they didn't on but that's not police investigation is not in any other investigation which was kicked off was by a information commissioner's office that its investigation became this massive save inquiry into danger in politics which is is now the biggest atri investigation of all time they've had seventy fulltime people working on it is the one which is not find facebook's max nine to such so precipitated that but at the same time they would just say much more out there anyway so that's my thought writes i've got fined snakes employees i need to find somebody to me and say there is this kind of laborious process so if the pushing people in being ripped off the global innovation find somebody and he said when she's talking about facebook data he said well you need to find christopher wiley who's christopher wiley he said well this is this canadian guy and he's the guy called the facebook data and you know and then you know looks on the internet chris very small nothing to connect to cambridge analytica the parent company of seattle but i find i i talked to john and he'd been sort of white thing i think the way will find somebody defined in and he he was sort of surprised nobody had found him until then and you know it kicked off this the first telephone conversation i had with him he was in canada at the time it was about seven hours long i mean it was i salute you mind blown and he was one of the partners therefore he'd be the research directtv okay over the high ranking yeah yeah that's right he is and he's basically gave his idea to get this facebook's data and do this personality testing into a misuse the data which is what facebook's isn't they took state and misused it and they had facebook had no idea they would not followed the facebook rules that with facebook's excuse yes i think we we shouldn't be stronger than that because they know what they did was facebook has deemed the nation commissioner in britain has set you know has made the ruling that will face did with the legal in this allowed cambridge analytica to break its rules yet to break the law right i mean it break the law right i mean that's so it's not just daytrip you see illegal day sir abuse nothing is kind of important distinction and having amazing character and he had a very well to have somebody saying oh yes x lines that both can you prove any of them and they were like well yeah i've called the receipts right actually had the receipts for the facebook data and he had the contract he had the you know the founding contracts with cambridge analytica the company and then he just started you know we we started going three stuff just normal things came out he went back and looked emails and then found emails of alexander kogan who is the the the psychologist at cambridge university of utah state the data talking about the cambridge analytica news yes sir yes talking about his trip to russia at the time and then you know chris pulling out this pitch and you know discovered he's done this research fool which which cambridge analytical pitching to lukoil so they're pitching russian high to talk american voters right to the biggest russian oil company mean that's just didn't make any sense it was just super weird say yes it and you're the next article was in may two thousand seventeen it's called the great brexit robbery and it was really about the skiing of links between breaks it on trump and russia and how you could see the connections between these individuals on these companies and the data on the money i mean you know at that point you know we thought well christmas kind of interested in you know he we we'd already talking about coming forward is named whistle blower and but he breaking nondisclosure agreements say well it's difficult and it was legally complicated and immediately i published an article then came john is custody threatening the guardian says it was strange suicide but destination national damages justice in person on in america and this is i'm rolling this is the deepest puckett right right and it was tight you know we we really serious and you know really quite scary at all and i said like an existential level you know we sure do you mean but you know that's the thing i think we were all killed by the way that piece of teal took down guca you haven't you haven't ideologically motivated billionaire who took down a media organization and here i was writing the story about an ideologically motivated billionaire he backs trump right the vice president's of the company steve bannon at the time were eating in the white house hit the tide who's in the white house i mean it was really own kind of chilling and quite scary thinking about well you're up against at the time i know so much this'll be normalized and you know she finds no in the way that they were trying all over europe now in trouble but we we were looking at cambridge analytica had just one had contracts with the state department says it would be reports you said it was kind of a contract with the pentagon right they had all of this information two hundred and fifty million american voters using facebook data using these incredibly detailed profiles about some of the base hit pushback on you several times on these stories and it including right before you publish them say they just they call it the same strategy said this is exactly the same strategy they refused to comment on state pretended it didn't happen and this is why you know it became why i realized that sort of chris how this he will see sort of secret weapon because having eight person who could speak to it pissed about well he had seen right and somebody who is so i'll take he lives including fraying well these men and the dangers of it you just i just could see how that would that would just catapult this story into a different level of engine and so that was why she spent time next year own yet yet solidly fulltime you know all day everyday life working on that story together now one of the things that they some person they push back on you and threatening legal action say they did did not take it writer did not cause any way it cambridge analytic as the story like that's the company you're going after but facebook is i have no idea i mean i mean absolutely we kind of we always need a story it's gonna be devastating to cambridge on this guy had no idea of the scale of impact this would have and facebook's rini didn't see that coming up to and in many ways with the way that facebook's reacted in responded and it was the sort of killer i agree i kind of blew it cell cellphone outduelled their argument initially with aggressive and then it was like we didn't know like i think we did know is there basic are spent three days figuring that out say what was extrordinary with the all through this period i've been writing story off the story about my stories about cambridge analytica even lost some weight because they've they've carried on on wall street how destructive being sued we wrote a fifty five page legal laptop back to cambridge on it took our lloyd's a week i mean this is a huge effort from the guardian news organization to keep going with this story i at no point did facebook ever say oh well okay this is what happened we know this you know we saw it and then we just never comment and then you know we go through because our blood libel laws here off so much stricter it's so much more difficult to publish this stuff so we have that we go through you know i kinda strict practical full publication everything in writing to them so we put you in all questions owned among die and we hadn't agreement new york times until i also did the story ways on twitch channel four news that we put in all questions on the same day facebook they didn't respond three four days and then i got a cool from the and they said it'd be sending you a response a written response tomorrow but just let you know that we were very very category about this this is not a data breach justin but they kept saying they don't know when says it was i remember they called free no one said it was a breach i know i know i know we we're still figuring out what the headline was at that point so i got up the fight in my colleague i'm a gram harrison who i broke the news stories but she said what did they said well it just i think we did they said yeah we can write to you but that's very very clear it's not a data breach just laughing data breach yes so that headlock say any but then but then the next day we just couldn't believe it you know it'd be so hard to get through the catch the handles the cambridge analytica scandal dispositions published day before publication facebook having had this information now remember they spun moving two years in writes this league lead league in at least they heart these pharmacy lloyd's of london toronto selecta didn't do this in the new york times over and saying you know i thought she this is highly defamatory in you know we will take legal action if you participate and you know publishing these folks and united states spends went into another panic said the day before publication wearing these intense legal meetings where bringing me i see i well i could stand on this is ridiculous away like punching forward then what happens is if he's one o'clock in the morning the night before facebook of put out a press release in the middle of the night british time saying oh we're kicking cambridge analytica off all platforms so they tried to run a spoiler story that we kind of sounds like them honestly that's what i did if i were them but go ahead i the first thing going kind of exposing the new york times saying well we need to publish now like no we need to hold off we hold the line many to publish together we need stick to the plan anyway so we'll see we we just bring it forward if we if we published on the south today and we have that three day silence i it was it was sort of phenomenal in facebook's just went into this in ten titles spin yeah didn't know how to respond and and then eventually you know i think day for the book came out and said oh i'm so sorry yeah so so we've heard this before in the united states of america you've just got the seven year first i'm sorry my fiftieth so what do you impact let's see what has been the impact and then it went on and then as more showed it wasn't just it was cambridge analytic with a lot more it goes off in so many branches it goes into a fake news it goes into disinformation it goes into just ugliness that people real real feelings real racist and other things today there is a story of of the the customs and border patrol having facebook group which is just appalling now i'm not sure that's facebook's fault but i do know wouldn't exist without face you know what i mean like you can you blame american you say i'd had ongoing argument dumb you know they were like if you had a if you had a robbery would you blame the car i said you're the gun gun yes you are tells me is that thing isn't it yeah fed doesn't kill people people kill right exactly kind of thing and so we so often there's so many i am just going into debt of hacking to which they had an issue she would not just facebook but everyone in the internet it's dead hacking its privacy it goes off in so many different avenues off this one idea that maybe things are quite so kosher with how these things iran yes so where are we now well fast forward you had the tech pros saying to me former that old companies do this is nothing special about cambridge analytica it's just overlook and they coil right it was banned all school about this is like this is i just wanna get back into the special features of this which is a cat came in seattle the parent great minute treat tractor mckay propaganda which which afghanistan in iraq and this is no ordinary data and also i think the the different angle we had known as well is that the sort of technology reporters in san francisco reporting on technology funds which just came up the story from a different angle and coming from europe where we had lose it was the is this legal and we now know we now know actually wasn't legal but he's still unwinding so that just in terms of facebook's data which cambridge but just this bit of the story there were so many investigations going on so c f b i investigation the department of justice is investigating the federal trade commission is investigating the securities and exchange commission is investigating and not just in america we know in the states in the times in which we know the c d f t c is looking i mean it's been said that it's looking 'em falling into the billions i wrote a column saying they need to be fifty billion us and just this week but there's no laws we need a bagel not just this week it was announced in italy they imposed what's the indians year race now that one million years i've kind of scattered disney say crazy i can't even keep up with the you know the said that she's still very much unwinding that i find scc investigation into what facebook did with cambridge analytica fascinating fascinating because i think that's kind of scary ones in many ways number ones where directives get held responsible and what we've seen with facebook you know when i think when they didn't know how to respond to this they refused to say huge new wall when about cambridge analytica right that question to nyu wall when has no you don't said and i think that's one of the reasons why the big for example one income to britain announces rations of all legislators not clear that he has been invited by a different the mp's from different commissions and say it's just this thing i find totally scandalous and it's the mark zuckerberg has been of multiple times by our parliament to come in on the questions about facebook in particular by cambridge analytica and then what happened is because our parliament could get no traction and no says on facebook on these things then bonded together i think it's twelve of the country's say countries like canada and australia in a elgin tina and they filmed this grind international community and not just big has refused together and all the questions to them and i mean this is more than half a billion people being represented here they think credible just staying at the rest of the world essentially we just we just colonial subject for why where do you imagine going then 'cause the business is never been better people are leaving there's all kinds of different things going and going at the same time cftc is shown a little more teeth probably not enough what do you think the government a will get into that next at ten but i mean what what do you what direction they're going in this from this thing about it is is that i you know i was treated like a wild conspiracy he said yes yeah in this time here in britain absolutely here in person and then at ten oh it's true and it's ashley much was even then i riposted everything we find out about it is actually much was wiesel any person and you know my investigation has very much been also around these fall right figures and that links to russia on tuesday american fall right it's again i get treated like a crazy conspiracy theorists and if it's absolutely strategic because away all of attacking the story is to attack me right and this you know it goes on on a daily basis and it's you know it's really tough publishing landscape hit because i know i did it i did a great we did a good talk with maria rest of the same thing except in her case it's quite dangerous it's actually is a brutal dictator yeah hits to ruin your reputation and to make i think that you are you've got okay she was right about that but now she's gone too far yeah yeah and it's just it's it's relentless on his couple nights it and it's you know most of the prices very right wing here and we have national broadcaster and they've been very scared to cover the story in so many ways instead of being a sort of absence 'em on say much of this and we just have the resources genders and just doesn't have the resources here so this isn't a big team ecology and he's being this it's amazing organization which is sort of back story at the same time it just hasn't had the money and you write reporting right so this all right we're gonna talk about that and more 'cause killed did quite a talk at silicon valley at tad which is the thing that started all this i wanna talk about that and why she did that and more in where this is going when we get back today show is brought to you by honey book here's the thing about being a small business owner you wanna spend your time on things like brainstorming creative thinking and building relationships with clients plans but you have to spend your time on drafting proposal scheduling meetings sending invoices selecting payments it's tough to find that balance between creativity and function checkout honey honey book is online business management platform designed for creative small businesses with honey book every step of the way a streamlined zeke and create review and manage all in one place professional templates east signatures and built in automation keep everything on track and make you look good stick and even consolidate services you already use quickbooks google sweet excel and mail chimp say time and do more of what you love with honey book right now honey book is offering fifty percent off your first year with the promo code fico payment is flexible and this promotion applies whether you pay monthly or annually so the honey book dot com and use the promo code seats over fifty percent off your first year that honey book dot com promo code nico hi i'm ric edelman and i'm the host of nice try a podcast about utopia a place that is perfect and does not exist the season or traveling across time and space to explore seven different attempt to design a better world what happens when those designs don't go according to plan from jamestown the first permanent english settlement in north america and love at town a series of suburban developments built in the nineteen fifties sunday modernists indian city that also responsible for the chairs and courtney kardashians dining room and biased fear to an early nineties experiment that sought to create it completely enclosed self sustaining ecosystem and yeah some of them worked out better than others but they're all fascinating listen and subscribe to nice try it today on apple podcasts or on your favorite podcast app from curbed in the vox media podcast network we're here with carols cadwalader she is a journalist investigative journalist with a guardian observer she's the person who broke this original stories about basements involvement with cambridge analytica setting off a whole range of different things and directions sessions in reporting is so you you seem frustrated and and sort of here you are broken this thing and it doesn't as you said it doesn't get traction it doesn't matter i don't believe that i do think it abstraction i just don't know what kind of traction that pass right because what happens in the united states is there's one horrible thing trump says after another and you forgot the last one he said and that's the whole point of exhaustion is the whole point of social media so you give up at some point you become tired and exhausted and overwhelmed or you get impugned 'em in your case went crazy conspiracy theorist in my case she's such a bummer she's so mean and i don't know how you could be mean to billionaires i don't even get it i don't even get it's like there's no amount of maine that they shouldn't be able to take on some levels and so it's in personal terms mean a bummer negative overly negative doesn't don't you like tech i that's the kind of things i get which is interesting but i still tool to find fascinating i love your interview with talks about that offer him he's never gonna i thought every interview disaster it's really fascinating i think they're great action i don't think they're i think they're great for mark zuckerberg because he actually start you start to see the mentality right you know what i mean i don't think that's a bad thing that i just did that thing you the way i mean i just thought it was such a sort of amazingly telling moment when you try to press him on you austin about mine a right and you can you can spray timid how did that make you feel right and how many cats on all skinny right he kept don't being unable to on right right he i don't think he was by any means being disingenuous i think he couldn't answer like it was really interesting i i've been around people who were disingenuous i understand that like liars it's a very different level of he has no ability to take responsibility even though i think he's not the kind of again people i've covered event really she's awful people just not the same thing so it's really an odd thing to be sort of pressing someone who just can't even compute i don't know how it's it's just kind of i is it just says that the louis own so and you know and then you're like i see this is dissociation another thing which i find bryce the most chilling rashly of it which is the dino you have these people who call respond on a human level i mean i just call and how i mean how do you compete that you you know you're the head of this company right as you noted united nations is said the hugh helped cement you know the mass killing of people right and she's like no no do not have a reckoning with your self to no one's a make right amends well what happens is they in he's not he doesn't do it as much but a lot of them get into the victim mentality like hey you're a mic and become super aggressive like the people in the motivation and gotten super aggressive like you know who have no power by the way so i don't really care what they think and lots of ways but it's a really interesting reaction it's victimization it's if you don't fail you don't do things like suddenly all of a sudden the silicon valley is been shooting off tweets around face like you have to fail and only those to criticize don't create i'm like i create end i criticize nice to meet you like it's really interesting so talk about that for american this ted talk to you did they really got a lot of traction speaking of traction i think it really did it was i mean you're invited there had gotten their initial like wow tech is fantastic you're back there yet and i've i've been to you know because i've been i've been reporter it ted so i you know i need kind of what a big deal it was i i would say terrified of public speaking and i've kind of force myself doing this story to start doing panels and then but still attached to it with sort of a us another level of sort of terrifying this but i knew it was this opportunity to to directionally to the people who a in these companies making these decisions and who are responsible and so i really did well i think you you debt that inspired me in some ways but he was i you know i want you to break through to them as people people and ask people who've been responsible for creating this world that we have now found also saying i need to know the i mean you know we didn't set out to do so no party did but maybe maybe cambridge analytic yeah maybe cambridge on they absolutely come on yeah i mean they're they're an extraordinary company this still say much about cambridge on this which they would think a hundred and fifty four elections around the world we've had these scratching the if he's got no idea will came jones could beat trump well that's why you're never gonna find out that's the whole point i russian found some of the russian stuff you'll never be able to qualify and if you can't quantify it people say well it didn't switch the election hillary clinton was a was a batch like that why like maybe but it's also this you can't quantify i know but you know will this is where the power is kind of conscience and people people you know having a moral conscience is so important and not something i think i'm trying to appeal to because this you know we saw christopher wiley you have one person who decides to speak out has this incredible power there people all across silicon valley who knows stuff who not speaking about and like i say the thing of cambridge analytica these employees who worked on the trump election young europeans who has not spoken at i mean i just i you know i mean maybe this is one thing to say on you and you'll you'll poke cost it's listens people but you just listen by people in silicon valley and it's like you okay with this stuff i mean are you really a k with your company's leadership you release schule but they are doing everything they can because you know you should be trouble venue parts of it you all you all pulse of this yukon pretend you don't know you mean before we didn't know and i seeing employees need the full story but sherman clearing clara and it is deeply deeply troubling and the way the dc is the way i mean it is i think tech next fascism is one of the ways i kind of think about started thinking about you rarely which is that this technology favors populist authoritarians and that is what we're seeing all across the world and every day we see more of it and we see the way the debt communicating with each other and they're growing in strength in numbers and they are being facilitated by these technology companies in you employees apart at the as you see i just did it really interesting interview with c h w s a about facial recognition and it wasn't i dunno if you saw the reaction what he said we're not responsible for how people use are technology like yes you are and then it wasn't interesting again a terrific these successful executive lovely guy and it was really interesting i the the mentality of hey we just make stuff we can't be housing solutions do you find you did this you're you're speech was so impassioned and so you've got to have a conscience you've gotta have fx and it's something i've written about they need ethics and they need to take humanities courses they need to do this what do you think prevents it and what do you think some of this besides just constantly reminding minding them that what do you imagine the solution to be great reporting i think shame shame that's my job for years now it's not working what what do you imagine it to be when they decide shame the solutions oceans how do you educate a whole new group of technology people that this is not right they have the think really i think it's this i mean i think one of the things is being the it's just been technology kind of industry has existed within this bubble technologists creating technology and it says we need all sorts of other types of people we need philosophers and ethicists and more diversity we need the people who have being harmed by this technology she represented and i find it incredibly troubling days at one of the most troubling things i find is that one of the reasons that we were very grateful to you know pot and with the new york times for example as well and the story was a it's only the united states that can legislate against these companies in that sense and steal anything usa press that they pay any attention to and we did this big workshop with these journalists from bangladesh in india jaren sherline kevin pakistan who were telling me about the way that you know the technology is being used in that country they called chumps right of holding facebook and google account is this sort of you know embarrassing way we speak speak the same language and we have they shed culture in dog metro news media shed we had no child so that i feel there is this real responsibility in the united states to also press the case for the rest of the world wolf wolf who's going on with social media right rest of the story and what do you imagine should happen what would you if you could you know facebook has proposed is sort of it is true supreme court and look at their stuff which i think is just ridiculous you know we want you honor and they asked me but i'd be like no thank you it's not my company and i didn't know i didn't cause this mass and i'm not gonna clean it up for you but what do you imagine would work i mean i think i think there's an overlook the government's kundu one of the things things which i think became very clear joined the christ church massacre was the video going viral across see the will to platforms and they refused responsibility for it's just you know my i i said it's is it ten off the place if you can control what content is being up lated and i think full thing the platforms to take responsibility as publishes which person is making some moves tool it's a is a is a volatile sort of a stat that and get away with it i mean this is incitement to violence minutes incitements and we have laws against that and and so we need to enforce the laws we have and we need news so he's own us as citizens is well i mean this is one of the things i think it's on us as citizens to put pressure on our lawmakers and get rules changed and this is on us interesting is that trump and others demonstration are going after face have antipathy towards technology which is my best friend's friend between twitter and facebook you should like throw a party in the white house complete with mcdonald's hamburgers it'll be great like you know and by the way they liked that food so good luck but so what what do you make of that i mean it's just it's just interesting isn't it that way it's crusty oil now and i'm and i think a year and a half ago the biggest threat facebook so coming with europe and if that's true anymore i think united states will see do you think i think there were is super villain mile wide and deep as we ever were on everything this is hired all kinds of lobbyists they this stuff i'm seeing now is really interesting i'm spending a lotta time in washington going no every time someone i hear all their arguments and like that's not true i just sit there until legislators that's not that's not true and they need to look at this and they need to do their job and which is which is hard because of the journalist you're like why am i advocating but it's not advocating it's like don't have people lie to you about what they're doing and what's interesting is at the heart of it i think a lot of these things can be wonderful like can be great like a lot of the a lot of it i you know i love twitter i know you know i'd love for communication and what's fascinating is is is the pushback on weaken say anything we want like we should be it's the they they they tie themselves to the first amendment when this is nothing to do with the first amendment it doesn't mean that it's free speech free speech you don't have free speech and in you're not a public square and you're a private company and i tried to tell citizenship these people are billionaires off of your data it's not they're not helping you there helping themselves and and hurting you and so that's the message i think that's hard throat i mean which one is which was he came last week say one of the things which is a refund most painful human person is say a deputy prime minister nick collects tell me about i call them waiting by the phone nick coffee is yeah have you also you know i should i should say signing off before the interview last week i find that the new statesman k which is a niece left wing magazine hit their friends it's he'd done in interviewed this guy before friendly interview he's giving them an interview he's not gonna give the ladies are getting interviewed nick not like the ladies were real sweet were docile to my tool right personally yeah and it is a guy who attacked us before correct or than what i know he's a liberal democrat he sort of you know gave speeches against cleveland and the backstory to nick clegg is that he was in this 'em centrist party the liberal democrats and he helped david cameron he didn't get enough majority to form a government nick clegg polity pro team up and he would say well he moderated some of them harsha policies and others would say well actually he naval them to carry out this you know austerity programming and he'll say rene pulling all of his campaign any it devastated the lip dams the hugely lost their that their membership but anyway he loses seats in parliament and he you know he's he taught soft silicon valley to take this job i it's just sorry all right please call the cynicism over the cynicism over somebody and the reason he take to say posey took my tedtalk posts and they is because because you get plaintive tax there's something my colleague plaintive text from him but he ticket right past me because he's hit back i find this he he went on the bbc last week to spread actual misinformation nation because he kind of this panel event two weeks ago when i sat in your audience knows the question i know is it cheering the referendum facebook lost sight of multiple illegal acts that took place say these campaigns used facebook to break our laws so we we control monday in our elections that's one of the basics of a of our election laws but they discovered you spend any money on facebook and nobody will know and say we've we've got these investigations going on in the hour that she'll commission has completed that two campaigns break the law and breaks a little by a massive amount this is massive electoral fraud and into the big picture is of what exactly happened during the referendum and how much money was spent over who is targeted and and we walked odds etc is this a face but has all of that information and that's the thing is refusing to tell punishments and nick passionately anti brexit saturday all day somehow the company he's now schilling fool uncovering for as he somehow implicated he's just going on this sort of you know going on the defensive end when i you know i start asking about whether data raise and he said to me if i call please i do information commissioner have the data and i said no this isn't a question about cambridge analytica i'm not accusing cambridge analytica hijacking brexit no there's no suggestion minute with cambridge analytica is he just failing to but he's using that he's deliberately all through the question which hasn't being off by saying well there's some people who say there's some conspiracy theorists to say the cambridge analytica coldest brexit let me tell you this is absolute nonsense but he's saying that and but he lost week he was here in britain he said that's the bbc reports today and bingo you know they're using his money fence his both yeah he wrote an essay to those pretty sorry nick nick i open minded let's have lunch i'm always charmed by a british accent in any case case oh what you said i'm listen you know what always good to talk anyway i get these which is important see marks on a i don't think they'll be another though in that case what what do you imagine will happen now which one of these companies do you think needs most legislation and then will finish up in the united states 'cause you're right it has to be done in the united states have done you know she says it's reviewing oppose all kinds of things or marceca will never be able to come to britain or jack dorsey or the google geyser whatever it's just a little so terrifying i mean i so jack dorsey attend events a few weeks ago and you know so i asked him how do you feel about the you know the president's is united states looks like he might start a nuclear war on your platform how does that how do you feel about that right hand high in fat the he breaks your terms and conditions every single day and you don't do anything about it he's a news maker right that's their argument and having a religious says pretty difficult and they kind of emanate that is difficult in venice so what would you okay i mean that's what my final question carols you're running facebook slash twitter such google what would you do i mean it is just money you know the thing i find is that there's a lot of these big his publicist save big with training or la say one of the most compelling arguments i find with facebook is that one in seven people who working facebook's moderation wickham jim in content and that's because he jim and he'd never lose against hate speech and said they've got to enforce it now a colleague what touch that if you were to floyd german levels of content moderation globally it would mean it's a it's a half percent to face turnover something mean just totally more people pays improperly right and you did see casing in space on the content moderator they don't pay very well exactly and people probably given unprompted play yeah and you just have more of them it'd be working there is no argument there is no excuse that is just a both some lines i should say it's tight responsibility play more people same people that i think we we just don't trust them to do the right thing you're not sort of imperatives of legislators legislators are the ones who really have to step up i think and and again that's where i think it comes to us as people assistance and be paying attention to this cheryl tell me about being sued by at one of the bad boys of brexit is that's the reason thing which is got near yes so this is just this one stay within twenty four hours of me reporting about steve bannon's connections to the man he might be all future prime minister looks like he will be a future pop prime minister boris johnson i have a torrent of obstacles sickles about me unleashed on these right wing blogs and like i said legal letter from aaron banks who is he is nigel farraj is fund he's one of the guys including so the bad boys the brakes at it's incredible he's suing me the destination a threatened to sue me for my tedtalk wow so you starting to talk so i gave in public women's a tedtalk the one with this event called the convention and it's it's really chilling way burson his allegheny in as i said please stay two million as can try and silence generalists through litigation we had it with cambridge analytica facebook enough go by and aaron banks is not going off to the garbage in he's getting off the old hat he's getting off because he calmed isn't american organization he's going off to me as an individual and yes he sending me because i said in my tedtalk i said i'm not even here we go let's just say it again are you at this one of the bill i said i'd say banks used this is it with his connection to cambridge analytica that sort of set me off on this whole story and i subsequently offer i broke the big cambridge analytica story loft spring in the summer i did another big story about which says i got hold of a stash of emails and it was about how aaron banks had been making these trips to the russian embassy in london in the need to the referendum and he was all food gold and diamond deals by the russian ambassador and this is the russian ambassador he's named in robert muller's indictment as being a conduit between essentially communication channel between the trump campaign and the kremlin there's something just i just wanna get into very briefly off to the referendum aaron banks and nigel farraj continued traveling between london and then they were they were on the trump campaign and they were still getting into the russian embassy here cities connections between these brexit is between the trump campaign on between the kremlin a you know that in black and white two years off today would be making those visits to the russian embassy aaron banks lied about this he said he had one lunch with the russian ambassador so we published this stuff and i call him out and parliament's faith in in a in an official report also published all of this stuff so it's just intimidation just try and get him ation but you know it's still something i have to take seriously you have to have a law i mean it's it's insane and is just bullying i hadn't on and as i say it's in coordination with all these other elements to go after me in this with these like no sti attack stories even boris johnson he was finally off about this relationship with steve bannon and on this radio show he said oh it's complete called swollen it's complete called spoil it not so they call me my you know if they said the nikkei by cat from these people you've got a nickname if we believe in freedom of the press and we believe that it's important to have a free in functioning press you know we should all be horrified at the end it's just another example song exactly what trump is calling the press the enemy of the people that say just gonna say hello i'm the enemy of the people yeah excitedly enemies some people exactly say sort of litigation is extra weapon you can use on in person and you know this is a multiple ones but they seem particularly that they've just going off to me is an individual is just particularly no sti so killer you steal a tech you still love tack because it start it off that way i have so many attacks and it's been a really really tough couple of weeks but i get this amazing support on social media and that that has been you know the the using the resources social media to sort of to communicate this story has been really volley too so you know i i can see the utility of this stuff but he just scares me i mean i think i go back to that you know that that sort of law and i felt when and i find those now see results and they alarm i feel about what is happening dates today verson on in you know in america these other countries i mean we should all be really really chills of it's happening in the world and i care about that kind of i kind of feel the i'm in a position to try and do something about it so i feel this compulsion to try and do something but it is difficult and it has any personal toll on you know having all of these different people and individuals and companies coming off the me at this on this very personal vicious level is you know i i i get it i get it it's just hold hold any bots you know that many of whom but the here particularly the sort of punishes right wing media which i'll have to deal with this really tough but be out of that in the united states they represent american citizen now he made some i know something we've been immigrant rupert murdoch case you're interested in that game i mean this thing is we haven't even told if they connection the transatlantic lansing connections here is so strong and so multi multi cheating us ended up the money which plays between states between britain and the way that we're kind of bridgehead between the fall rice in america in the fall rice in europe and in on you know anti russia which supports the fall arrives in europe you know he says sort of really key aspects of this and we just see the way the brexit weakening all ties to europe making a move pray to trump's american your america is there any glimmer of hope do you think it's through legislation through march mary's i think i think i think that is i mean i think they're ripping says he get i saw knocked down the house that netflix documentary and that was the first thing which is that she left you can you know we can overcome some of this stuff but it really does tightly cd attacks on her look at look at those i know pb people those appalling to we need people to step up and we need people said yeah it's a take on the fight and i get why people don't wanna do that but she did this is where you know as i say like people in silicon valley we need to look inside so what's your next focus when it's still it's this i mean the links between the far i still say there's still so much of the cambridge analytica story would be reports of downed trees and in return this you know it's just me tights and changes boom said nigel farraj its new policy the brexit policy it's now using pay pal to try and circumvent the electrifying on throws on you know two weeks ago i didn't know of just every week one week ago i wrote i you know i did a story about boris johnson's link steve bannon i mean this stuff isn't stopping it's absolutely going on right now in real time and it is incredibly under reported hearing person i haven't felt able to sort of just step backing a captain my bit i brian i take it on team right so you will princess i have seen yeah until tonight yeah finally crackup lifestyle you're not gonna crack a thank you card that you are not hope you'll come you are great journalist and anybody who says different will have to go through q they don't wanna go through i know that's true you know me megamall tino have you're doing the militia averaged about that no it's lesbian demolish it got any right and you just come over here and kick the shit oh you got plenty of that will that way i appreciate you coming on the show your wonderful journalists you done amazing work and for those who are critical of her you better take a second look because what you're saying it's hunter percent truly and we really appreciate that speech you gave it with anything you hit a lot of people and it did not have a lot of traction in case you're interested anyway thank you for coming on the show you can follow me on twitter at cara swisher my executive producer eric anderson is at eric america my producer eric johnson is at hey hey here's jay cara lots of people find you probably twitter carol cut walla yeah find she's easy to find on the oak and sell it for you but it's up to you it seeing d w f l l hd are and she's at the guardian any observer if you like this episode which i did we really appreciate if you shared it with a friend and make sure to check out our other podcasts recode media pivot and land of the giants just search them on your podcasting app of choice thanks also to her editor joe robbie special thanks to david preston only morris at whistled down studios in london where i'm broadcasting from thank you for listening to this episode of rico decode i'll be back here on wednesdays stay tune in then hey this is cara swisher before you jump to next podcast i'm gonna tell you about a new event that's happening later this summer in brooklyn where i sometimes living it's called decatur young guns summit i'm gonna go it's a one day celebration of the best food curated by eater editors it's full of talks workshops tastings things cocktails and more you learn from some of the most inspiring people in the food world participate in workshops led by rising culinary stars and tastes amazing food from eaters favorite places across the country once again it's called the heater young guns

editor facebook reporter writer england cambridge analytica swisher rico vox media ted london fifty percent one zero one one percent hundred hundred percent one million years six seven years three four days fourteen hour five minutes
The Road to Real Change

The Business of Fashion Podcast

21:16 min | 5 months ago

The Road to Real Change

"The racism is not just about our individual feeling. It is about an experience that people have every single day. This just shows the differences in responses that communities to not wear the mass from your vantage point over in the us is your view of the way. european countries are addressing these issues. None of us are off the matrix of this and all of us on how once again either up in these systems or tearing be systems down new hi. This is imran. Ahmed founder and ceo of the business of fashion and welcome to the b. o. F. podcast at voices twenty twenty. We had the honor of having rashad robinson. The president of color of change one of america's leading social justice organizations. Talk to us about how we can turn awareness about systemic racism in the fashion industry into real action. I highly recommend this talk. Here's russia robinson at voices twenty twenty and there are common refrains. We've been hearing in the wake of the murder of george floyd. It's time to take action. It's time to dismantle these structures to take down the vestiges of slavery and colonialism. That have been hundreds of years in the making but how do we turn this awareness into action to answer that. I'm pleased to welcome roughshod. Robinson president of color of change over to you rashad in new york egg. You so much for having me to be with all of unions. A pleasure to talk about racial justice which is increasingly becoming a majoritarian issue. As more and more americans hopefully people around the world wake up to racial injustice and commit themselves to doing the work and color of change. We were founded almost fifteen years ago in the aftermath of a flood. Hurricane katrina she a little over fifteen years ago. Hurricane katrina was caused by bad decision makers in turn into a life walter disaster by back makers black folks were literally on their roofs begging for the government to do something and left dot no katrina illustrate a lot of things that people already knew geographic segregation generational poverty the impacts of what we've done to our planet and so many other issues but at the heart of it. No one was nervous about disappointing black people and you know part of the work. That color of change is translating presence and visibility into power translating the issues that black people face the awareness of our issues into the power to actually change the rules so this summer as more and more people woke up whether it was the killing of brianna taylor arbery the video of george floyd that video from central park with amy cooper giving us the strategy that we so often don't get to see there's a black man here he's threatening me that the all those videos wake people up but we recognize that presence alone doesn't actually translate change. You know the thing about presence ability of we mistake that for change. We think that we've done something that we have actually done. We will think that a black president means that we are post ratio. We will think america or maybe even the world loving black celebrities in black culture. Means that a miracle loves black. People is much as america loves. Black culture in america in love celebrate in monetize black culture in hate black people at the same time. Those two things don't have to be in competition and so part of what i hope to talk to. That is what we can all do to translate presence and visibility into power to change. The rules to translate are caring into action. And so you know part of this is really recognizing the sort of different world that we live in different ways and the different responses than white people will get and black people will get the same exact interaction that racism is not just about our individual feelings. It is about an experience that people have every single day. This just shows the differences in responses that communities did not wearing a mask in the us the ways in which racism undergirds in permeates every single aspect of our lives and the ways in which once again not simply are caring but the role of power whether it's the written rules of policy or the unwritten rules of culture sort of dictate the ways in which people engage. You know the other sort of way in which you know. I want to talk about this issue and talk about sort of where we're at is recognizing the role of power power being the ability to change the rules. Are we saw this summer. I'm not sure if my slides are coming up. Now we go one more. We saw mini. Changes are take place this year and the question that we have to ask our ask ourselves is were they real changes in the rules that affect people's lives where they changes. That actually made things differently. Mark cooperation saying black lives matter. We saw a celebrity speaking out and saw people donating money but once again we have to continue interrogate our role in sort of the way in which these issues impact people's lives these issues impact on the engagement. We have to start first and foremost by actually explaining talking about the problem. The right way far too often we talked about the issues of race in passive voice. We will talk about a communities impacted in active ways the systems in a pass away so we will say things like lack people are less likely to get hired in the fashion industry and the fashion industry excludes black people on one hand. We ended up with a whole lot of a mentor pipeline programs. That don't actually old industry accountable that tried to six black people and try to fix up people who have been excluded on the other hand we focus our energy on actually changing the structures in the systems that excluded people all of us and our day-to-day lives should be asking ourselves. How are we talking about the issues. Are we talking about it. In ways that lead to charitable solutions or are we talking about these issues in ways that lead to structural change on one hand when we talk about problems where the community vulnerable. We spend our time trying to fix the people when we talk about the systems in structures. We spend our time trying to fix those systems and those structures. All of this really does lead to how we tell stories when we tell stories. That are unfortunate. We talk about inequality injustice in racism. Almost like it's a car accident. I could sort of just happened. And when we talk about systems like that they're just we end up actually talking about justice in structural issues as a way in which we talk about the policing issues that black communities facing we talk about like just sort of happened. And there's another way we can talk about it and we talk about. How issues are manufactured. How choices have been made by government. How systems are structured and set up and are giving the results that they are designed to get in each of these situations. We are making choices about the stories that we tell ourselves stories that we tell the world and as a result the work that we end up doing to fix the problems that we're facing you know every single day cholera change. We're trying to face this head on. We're trying to face down the sort of ways in which these sort of impact people at a clear and structural level and this gets down to whether or not we see. Racism is individual or So you know what type of injustices is do people see. When they see a situation we can see a situation is individual. We can see a situation as sustaining when we see a situation. As individual we think about our role an compassion and empathy and yes many races situations are are individual. This is the incidence of ahmad. Arbery who was tracked down in georgia by white supremacist. And he was shot and killed. It was on video and and it was individual. Individuals had to do that action. But it was also structural. It was structural because for quite some time those individuals that killed him on arbery. Where let go free. They were not held accountable. The district attorney's in those jurisdictions decided that there wasn't sufficient evidence to charge with a lot of black people have been armed in hurt on video. There was not going to be justice unless community got involved and think about how lossing is the every single time. A situation hurt or harmed your community that you have to mobilize for some semblance of justice that doesn't mean you have justice in the end and so yes there's the individual action of a person believing that they can someone because of the color of their skin and his assistant situation in which jurisdiction our society believes. That life isn't worthy of fighting or defending. And if i bring this down to sort of the ways in which we think about our own individual businesses or our day-to-day lives there is the interpersonal of how we deal with. Racism in there's structural of having engaged with racism. And so i will sometimes here. A lot of people talk about empathy and compassion and those are incredibly important tools vehicles. We should all work to be empathetic. We should all were to be compassionate. But i think the question that we all have to ask ourselves is what doesn't empathetic society look like. What is a compassionate society. What is our empathetic business practices. Look like what are compassionate business practices. Look like if we say we are empathetic and we say we are compassionate but we are complicit every single day insistence structures that are harming people. Are we truly empathetic. Are we truly compassionate. And so. I think it's really important that we all recognize that our decisions. Each and every day do not exist outside of the incentive structures that keep racism ally. They are products of them every single day. We are making decision in our day to day. Work that is either breaking down racism in breaking down racist structures or we helping to keep them up. There is no neutrality. When it comes to racism we are either benefiting and holding up all we are actively working to tear it down and i think five ten fifteen years from now we can all look back on this time this moment what we did how. We stood up what we sort of contributed to making society better. And we have to ask our south dude. We use the tools and resources at our disposal to challenge the system structures. That put people in harm's way or were we complicit in holding them. There are some things that we have to continue to ask ourselves in terms of our actions. As part of that how you allow yourself to be pushed. I think about this a lot i think about this may be because Kobe has Made the sort of personal trading that kept me on act in Go away I needed that personal training to push myself to challenge myself to move move in ways that i may not move by if left up to my own devices and so when we set up the tables in our businesses when we set up the tables of advisors in our lives who are we putting around those tables that will push us. How are we asking ourselves that tough questions about the decisions that were making. Are we willing to have a uncomfortable conversation in allow ourselves to be evaluated not simply on the metrics that we hope people see but on the sort of things that people might not always tell us how those of us who have deep levels of our willing to put ourselves before communities to be able to question whether or not we are doing all that we can do. How are we allowing ourselves to be pushed. And if you are a person in power and you're not allowing yourself to be pushed on the ways in which change can happen. You are the person in the story that you don't wanna be. You are not the protagonist in the story of creating a more just world for all of us. You are not the protagonist in the story of how we make society better for all of us. And so i wanna in offering color change as a resource as an organization that can kim. You continue to sort of engaged challenge and work together on in this fight to change the rules. The reason why we talk about the difference between presence in power is because this summer we had unprecedented growth. Millions of people came to color of change but showed up to uprisings around the country. Many folks of raise their voices in a voter registration. Numbers went out. People turned out to vote. People recognize the role that we can all have if we come together to work together but the fight ahead. We'll be about removing the barriers. That far too often pop up in the way anytime change can happen and so all of us in this moment needs to close our eyes and ask ourselves the question when the movie when the documentary when the story is written about this moment. Who will our character. Who will we be. Who will we have flat for. What systems in structures we have. Upheld how will we use our power in our relative position to make a better world. We're all gonna want to be able to tell that positive story but whenever you are doing right now and whenever you wake up to do tomorrow in the service of a better tomorrow will be the story that actually gets told about your service. It's such a pleasure to be with you. All and i hope that we can continue to work together to build a more just in more freedom for world. Thank you roughshod That was a really rousing talk. It was always wondering how we were going to get that same level of conviction that we have in our physical talks but he did an excellent job. Thank you so much. I do have a few questions for you when you and i first started talking or a few months ago. We discussed how systemic racism and inequity are not issues confined to the united states over the weekend. I'm sure you saw french. Citizens were in the streets. After a damning video emerged. Three white police officers beating up block. Music producer. We were just talking to david lami in equality and racism here in the uk. I mean from your vantage point over the us. What is your view of the way. European countries are addressing. these issues. You know. I had a lot of conversations with europeans especially this summer about racism. Many non black folks reach out to me and talk about on the horrible things that were happening in the us. Many of them talking about the unique way that racism exists on. I had many europeans. Tell me that sort of racism is not the same in In europe and to the extent that racism is different in all places where racism exists. I can believe that. But i do think that folks sometimes what to tell themselves a story that they are not part of this age. Structures insists which have upheld capitalists which upheld a slaving which upheld all sorts of systemic oppression. And so you know when. I talk to black folks it for in europe. When i talked to many folks of color in religious minorities they will tell me. Stories of the systemic nature of inequality of the day to day individual abuse that they give the exclusion of lack of their of disability in conversation even four issues and so you know increasingly connected world. That's connected through technology. That's connected commerce. None of us are off the matrix of this and all of us have a role once again. Either up holding these systems or tearing me systems down and the fact of the matter is is that United states is a land of our a multiracial democracy or a multi-racial society of a relative strangers. People come from all different parts of the world that are trying to sort of make way together in that is challenging and that exist all over the world. And we're that exist. There will be hierarchies they will be systems of oppression and we cannot tear them down if we pretend they don't exist. We've we've just been talking to christopher wiley and roger mcnamee about the growing power of technology. Giants i'm curious and actually read someone. David lamb was talking about council culture and using social media to take people down what role does digital activism have to play in the battle for racial equity. Well you know. We increasingly live not just in geographic communities but virtual communities a allow us to connect with people of like minds they allow us to have 'em engagements with people. And so sometimes you can be way more connected with your virtual community than you can't be with the people who live in your neighborhood and that's going to be increasingly carcass. Society grows that challenge that we have with the platforms once again speaks to the ways in which inequality develops where. It's not. unfortunately a car accident it is manufactured it is by design and so these platforms which have been a built for growth in profit at the expense of safety integrity and security constantly sort of have incentive structures which allow for the sort of most hateful content to travel which allow for radicalization of some of the worst sort of ideas and the worst sort of strategies that white nationalist movements to be able to sort of gain steam. And so we see this on the platform. We've also been able to grow and reach. More people engage people throw activism in color of change started with a single email two thousand people and has grown to a boom in a seven point. Two million black folks and allies of every race and just like the telephone or the tv or any other technology that has been used in laboratory in the service of active it can also be using leverage in the service of keeping people down and so no technology once again is neutral and both in the design which is very important in the execution. We have to be vigilant about making sure that racial justice that civil rights protections that human rights protections are at the heart of how we think about these so that folks who are religious minorities gender minorities. Racial minorities are not under attack by technology that supposed to bring us into the future but as in so many ways designed to drag us into a past. Thank you so much for your time today really valued your contribution hope to meet you in person sunday. If you've enjoyed this episode. Don't forget to subscribe gave us a rating and you might be interested in joining the business. 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