Suing Google, Facebook and Twitter

The “SUFB’ crypto token on Steem-Engine represents a share in the potential damages in the case vs Facebook and Google.

It seems everyone I know is currently trying to sue one or all of the big tech giants. From my understanding most of the action is in the US and most of it makes a lot of noise but is unlikely to succeed. Almost all previous attempts to sue for viewpoint discrimination or arbitrary banning have not succeeded up to now.

So let me introduce a case that I actually do believe in. It’s a bit left field but that’s why I like it.

About a year ago all the tech giants took the somewhat extraordinary step of banning almost an entire industry from using their advertising services. As Google and Facebook (with Twitter desperately trying to keep up) are just vast advertising companies. Within weeks of each other all changed their terms and services (which you have no legal way to argue over) to exclude an entire industry from the most important advertising market on the planet.

Both Facebook and Google induce you to pump your information into their servers by offering you a “free” service. Once they have your data and your attention they then sell your data and your attention to the highest bidder: companies that want to advertise to you. You are their product and they sell you and your attention to become amongst the most profitable businesses in the world.

They claimed their ban on an entire industry built around a single technology most usually known as “blockchain” was because there were some scammers using this technology. It is as if they looked at some scam emails from Nigeria and decided, together, lets just take Nigeria off the internet. That would be good for everyone.

Now it turns out both Google and Facebook have reported teams looking at using blockchain technology themselves, this decentralised blockchain technology could well be a competitive way to win market share from these tech giants. Squashing an industry that might generate competitors is not allowed in certain parts of the world, especially when two companies (Google and Facebook) together control way more than 50% of the advertising spend in many countries (it’s as high as 80% in some places).

Andrew Hamilton (who I’ve known personally from his work with various pro-Israel groups like Shurat Ha’Din) is an expat Australian, now resident in Israel but with extensive legal experience in Australian competition law. He has done the work to figure out which laws these companies have broken, formed a company JPB Liberty and put a law suit together. He’s paid for independent legal advice to review his case and that’s been positive. He’s now moved into raising enough money to start the case which includes buying insurance against losing and paying the other sides costs.

Facebook and Google are very rich companies but they’ve broken Australian law and the potential scale of the damages are so big I won’t even type them. Within weeks of the advertising ban they both brought in the entire crypto currency industry suffered a monumental, public collapse in value. The crypto currency industry is one particular use of the blockchain technologies that Facebook Google discriminated against.

There are two ways to get involved, one is totally free and can even be completely anonymous:

Anyone worldwide who was adversely affected by the Crypto Ad Ban announcements on 30 January (Facebook) & 14 March 2018 (Google) and Google’s implementation of the ban in June 2018 including:

  • Persons holding cryptocurrency on or after 29 January 2018
  • Mt Gox Creditors
  • Owners of Crypto Industry businesses including
    • Crypto Exchanges​
    • Crypto Wallet Providers
    • Crypto Projects (pre and post ICO)
    • Crypto Miners
    • Crypto Advisories

Joining as a class member is no-win-no-fee. You don’t pay to join or pay any of the legal costs, if there’s a win you collect a share.

The other way is to join as a funder of the legal costs. For this you will receive a share in 25% of the damages of people who’ve signed up for the Class Action. This is a comparatively high risk, high reward investment: I’m not giving investment advice here, but it is also an ideological way to wage lawfare against these tech giants.

One of the most interesting parts of this is that should there be a win or a settlement, the intention is to pay out via crypto currencies. That would have a doubly good effect because it would pump money into these alternative currencies driving value up for those in the market already and to replace some of the losses suffered when the advertising ban was first instituted!

All the details are on the JPB Liberty website. If you wish to sign up, you can go to this link and be sure to tell Andrew you heard about this from Brian of London!

Finally I recorded a detailed interview with Andrew, you can watch that here and I previously mentioned this case here.

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Fighting the Modians at Patreon, PayPal and Mastercard

Beach Sunset Tel Aviv

The business model of Silicon Valley is to reap outsized profits by achieving a (temporary) monopoly. This is the premise behind Peter Thiel’s Zero to One. Instead of competition persisting over time, all the competition takes place in the startup phase, and the winner of this phase reaps all the profit. As a side effect, it creates a perfect environment for Modians to take charge, once the winner is declared. The effect is enhanced by the little-known (outside of Silicon Valley) truth that the best technology does *not* often win. Usually, it’s the best marketing.

David Boxenhorn, on Facebook

I watched YouTuber Law’s latest update on the letter he’s putting together about the deplatforming of Sargon of Akkad (and all the rest) by Patreon. His intention is to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission in the US rather than bringing a suit against any of the tech companies directly. That’s probably a smart legal plan (he knows much more than I do) but he will be fighting huge entrenched interests. His videos are below but I’ll sum them up: he’s building an ad hoc team of (highly skilled) volunteers and he thinks he has enough case law and evidence to get the FTC to start an investigation which would have much more power and weight than a collection of law suits. It would also be financed by government money.

If you haven’t already read Mundia and Modia, you may well want to.

I wanted to put some broader context around this and that’s why I quoted David at the start on how Silicon Valley and modern Tech business works. This all feeds into and flows from David’s thesis of Mundia and Modia. It also links up with the law suit I’m supporting by JPB Liberty against Google and Facebook for banning many different crypto based technologies from advertising on their platforms about a year ago.

The Federal Trade Commission is part of government. As such it will staffed by modians, people who are far removed from objective criteria of success in business or success in a technical and engineering field. This is a hugely important thing to remember when dealing with them.

Patreon, PayPal, Mastercard have all achieved a degree of market dominance in their fields. There might have been better technical competition but these guys are mammoths. As such the objective business criteria for their ongoing success are far removed from the day to day operations of the companies. Mostly their staff can do whatever they want: riding a wave of profitability they inherited from early engineering skills, excellent marketing and a healthy dose of luck. This will carry them along for a while.

The FTC is going to be staffed (especially considering Mundia Modia thinking and following 8 years of Obama) via the revolving door system between big business and the US government. Massive lobbying money has completely corrupted Washington DC. It is into this quagmire that YouTuberLaw’s letter will be sent.

As we’ve seen this week with the massive layoffs across Buzzfeed and Huffington Post, in some parts of the tech world easy profitability is going away. My belief is the entire advertising supported business model is stretched very thin and the numbers upon which Google and Facebook have grown are being understood to be grossly inflated. Everything downstream from them (and that includes “businesses” like Huffpo and Buzzfeed) which rely on web traffic and eyeballs flowing from social media sites will start to feel pain.

There has been a recent uptick in linking the brands of online advertising with the nature of user generated content it appears alongside. Today this is a modian idea to drive forward their “social justice” agenda but it was first done a few decades ago by figures like Mary Whitehouse in the UK and Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority in the US. It has been taken to new levels of effectiveness by the far-left today. Thinking this would help them fight against online competitors for your attention, the mainstream media (M5M) thought they’d ride the wave, they’re also getting caught in the destructive tsunami now too.

The promise of digital advertising was that it can be much more targeted, if that’s really coming true, every advertising based business, even Facebook and Google, the two most capable targeted advertising delivery systems, will do themselves out of business because advertising just shouldn’t be as big an industry as it is today and the entire media world that is built around it is probably a house of cards.

So returning back to the financial deplatforming of non-advertising supported media endeavours (like Sargon of Akkad, Alex Jones, Milo and even myself): advertising supported media is going to change dramatically. I still can’t see the future but I can tell the status quo is changing very fast. Everything that can be done to stop payment systems which bypass the advertising support model from capture by the far-left, cultural marxists must be done which is why I wish YouTuberLaw and JPB Liberty both every success in shaking up these industries.


My video with Andrew Hamilton explaining the JPB Liberty law suit:

YouTuberLaw videos, two updated:

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