My thoughts on Israel’s Memorial Day (Yom Hazikaron) and Independence Day (Yom Ha’atzmaut which passed this year. I also mention Tommy Robinson on the MEP campaign trail and the ongoing online censorship travails.
The deeper problem is the overwhelming concentration of technical, financial and moral power in the hands of people who lack the training, experience, wisdom, trustworthiness, humility and incentives to exercise that power responsibly.
Put simply Facebook and Google are individually and jointly too powerful to be run by those accidentally chosen to be running them. Arguably there isn’t a method of governance known to man which could safely control such power.
There are now a number of very credible reports that Facebook is gearing up to launch its own crypto currency for people to use within Facebook’s walled garden. You’ll be able to “buy” into Facebook’s own currency then send and receive crypto money with friends and, I’m sure, buy goods and services from hungry vendors.
A Wall Street Journal report says Facebook is recruiting dozens of financial firms and online merchants to help launch a cryptocurrency-based payments system with each staking up to US$1B. If the company can convince five partners to join them that would make Facebook’s coin one of the five most valuable coins by market capitalisation instantly based on current valuations.
Facebook has a team of about 50 boffins working on the project which is housed in a secured wing at Facebook HQ according to reports.
All the while, Facebook will take a cut of all transactions: 1% 2% or more. We don’t know their fee structure: they’ll be competing with the entire global credit card and payment processing industry and cracking the legs out from under giants like PayPal and their younger competitors. They’ll enter the field with gigantic scale. And I and many other wrong thinking people are ideologically banned from this field of commerce before it even exists.
But what’s really interesting is only one year ago, Facebook declared almost any business considering using the same technology that underlies their crypto-currency (the “blockchain”) is likely to be a scam business and too dangerous to be allowed to advertise on Facebook. Google imposed an identical ban at roughly the same time.
Here’s the effect those advertising bans had on a crypto based social media site and crypto currency called Steem which is a decentralised Facebook replacement and therefore a direct competitor.
Across all the entire blockchain and crypto industries the damages run to hundreds of billion of dollars!
Just so you understand the difference though, I can send and receive Steem to anyone for FREE. No FEES. Facebook will be charging fees somewhere for sure. That’s a feature of crypto currencies but it’s the one Facebook will exploit to make money from you. They’ve already had years selling your private information and your posts, now they want real cash from you.
Facebook is too dangerous to exist: it is the culmination of a century of dreams by totalitarian dictator musing on how to better spy on and control their populations. That so many willingly submit their most private thoughts to this monster in return for its “features” is a shame of our civilisation.
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 Wallet Providers
Crypto Projects (pre and post ICO)
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!
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.
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: