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Was The Department Of Defense Behind Facebook’s Controversial Manipulation Study?

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

I’ve spent pretty much all day reading as much as possible about the extremely controversial Facebook “emotional contagion” study in which the company intentionally altered its news feed algorithm to see if it could manipulate its users’ emotions. In case you weren’t aware, Facebook is always altering your news feed under the assumption that there’s no way they could fill your feed with all of your “friends’” pointless, self-absorbed, dull updates (there’s just too much garbage).

As such, Facebook filters your news feed all the time, something which advertisers must find particularly convenient. In any event, the particular alteration under question occurred during one week in January 2012, and the company filled some people’s feeds with positive posts, while others were fed more negative posts.

Once the data was compiled, academics from the University of California, San Francisco and Cornell University were brought in to analyze the results. Their findings were then published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. They found that:

For people who had positive content reduced in their News Feed, a larger percentage of words in people’s status updates were negative and a smaller percentage were positive. When negativity was reduced, the opposite pattern occurred. These results suggest that the emotions expressed by friends, via online social networks, influence our own moods, constituting, to our knowledge, the first experimental evidence for massive-scale emotional contagion via social networks.

You probably know most of this already, but here is where it starts to get really strange. Initially, the press release from Cornell highlighting the study said at the bottom: “The study was funded in part by the James S. McDonnell Foundation and the Army Research Office.” Once people started asking questions about this, Cornell claimed it had made a mistake, and that there was no outside funding. Jay Rosen, Journalism Professor at NYU, seems to find this highly questionable. He wrote on his Facebook page that:

Strange little turn in the story of the Facebook “emotional contagion” study. Last month’s press release from Cornell highlighting the study had said at the bottom: “The study was funded in part by the James S. McDonnell Foundation and the Army Research Office.”


Why would the military be interested? I wanted to know. So I asked Adam D.I. Kramer, the Facebook researcher, that question on his Facebook page, where he has posted what he called a public explanation. (He didn’t reply to my or anyone else’s questions.) See:


Now it turns out Cornell was wrong! Or it says it was wrong. The press release now reads: “Correction: An earlier version of this story reported that the study was funded in part by the James S. McDonnell Foundation and the Army Research Office. In fact, the study received no external funding.”


Why do I call this strange? Any time my work has been featured in an NYU press release, the PR officers involved show me drafts and coordinate closely with me, for the simple reason that they don’t want to mischaracterize scholarly work. So now we have to believe that Cornell’s Professor of Communication and Information Science, Jeffrey Hancock, wasn’t shown or didn’t read the press release in which he is quoted about the study’s results (weird) or he did read it but somehow failed to notice that it said his study was funded by the Army when it actually wasn’t (weirder).


I think I would notice if my university was falsely telling the world that my research was partially funded by the Pentagon… but, hey, maybe there’s an innocent and boring explanation that I am overlooking.

It gets even more interesting from here. The Professor of Communication and Information Science, Jeffrey Hancock, who Mr. Rosen mentions above, has a history of working with the U.S. military, specifically the Minerva Institute. In case you forgot what this is, the Guardian reported on it earlier this year. It explained:

A US Department of Defense (DoD) research program is funding universities to model the dynamics, risks and tipping points for large-scale civil unrest across the world, under the supervision of various US military agencies. The multi-million dollar program is designed to develop immediate and long-term “warfighter-relevant insights” for senior officials and decision makers in “the defense policy community,” and to inform policy implemented by “combatant commands.”


Launched in 2008 – the year of the global banking crisis – the DoD ‘Minerva Research Initiative’ partners with universities “to improve DoD’s basic understanding of the social, cultural, behavioral, and political forces that shape regions of the world of strategic importance to the US.”

SCG News has written one of the best articles I have seen yet on the links between the Facebook study and the Department of Defense. It notes:

In the official credits for the study conducted by Facebook you’ll find Jeffrey T. Hancock from Cornell University. If you go to the Minerva initiative website you’ll find that Jeffery Hancock received funding from the Department of Defense for a study called “Cornell: Modeling Discourse and Social Dynamics in Authoritarian Regimes”. If you go to the project site for that study you’ll find a visualization program that models the spread of beliefs and disease.


Cornell University is currently being funded for another DoD study right now called “Cornell: Tracking Critical-Mass Outbreaks in Social Contagions” (you’ll find the description for this project on the Minerva Initiative’s funding page).

So I went ahead and looked at the study mentioned above, and sure enough I found this:

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 2.21.45 PM

There he is, Jeff Hancock, the same guy who analyzed the Facebook data for Cornell, which initially claimed funding from the Pentagon and then denied it.

I call bullshit. Stinking bullshit.

So it seems that Facebook and the U.S. military are likely working together to study civil unrest and work on ways to manipulate the masses into apathy or misguided feelings of contentment in the face of continued banker and oligarch theft. This is extremely disturbing, but this whole affair is highly troubling in spite of this.

For one thing, although governments and universities need to take certain precautions when conducting such “research,” private companies like Facebook apparently do not. Rather, all they have to do is get people to click “I accept” to a terms of service agreement they never read, which allows companies to do almost anything they want to you, your data and your emotions. What we basically need to do as a society is completely update our laws. For starters, if a private corporation is going to lets say totally violate your most basic civil liberties as defined under the Bill of Rights, a simple terms of service agreement should not be sufficient. For more invasive violations of such rights, perhaps a one page simple-to-read document explaining clearly which of your basic civil liberties you are giving away should be mandatory.

For example, had Facebook not partnered at the university level to analyze this data, we wouldn’t even know this happened at all. So what sort of invasive, mind-fucking behavior do you think all these large corporations with access to your personal data are up to. Every. Single. Day.

The Faculty Lounge blog put it perfectly when it stated:

Academic researchers’ status as academics already makes it more burdensome for them to engage in exactly the same kinds of studies that corporations like Facebook can engage in at will. If, on top of that, IRBs didn’t recognize our society’s shifting expectations of privacy (and manipulation) and incorporate those evolving expectations into their minimal risk analysis, that would make academic research still harder, and would only serve to help ensure that those who are most likely to study the effects of a manipulative practice and share those results with the rest of us have reduced incentives to do so. Would we have ever known the extent to which Facebook manipulates its News Feed algorithms had Facebook not collaborated with academics incentivized to publish their findings?


We can certainly have a conversation about the appropriateness of Facebook-like manipulations, data mining, and other 21st-century practices. But so long as we allow private entities freely to engage in these practices, we ought not unduly restrain academics trying to determine their effects. Recall those fear appeals I mentioned above. As one social psychology doctoral candidate noted on Twitter, IRBs make it impossible to study the effects of appeals that carry the same intensity of fear as real-world appeals to which people are exposed routinely, and on a mass scale, with unknown consequences. That doesn’t make a lot of sense. What corporations can do at will to serve their bottom line, and non-profits can do to serve their cause, we shouldn’t make (even) harder—or impossible—for those seeking to produce generalizable knowledge to do.

If you read Liberty Blitzkrieg, you know I strongly dislike Facebook as a company. However, this is much bigger than just one experiment by Facebook with what appears to be military ties. What this is really about is the frightening reality that these sorts of things are happening every single day, and we have no idea it’s happening. We need to draw the lines as far as to what extent we as a society wish to be data-mined and experimented on by corporations with access to all of our private data. Until we do this, we will continue to be violated and manipulated at will.

For some of my Facebook critical articles from earlier this year, read:

The Chief Operating Officer of Facebook Wants to Ban the Word “Bossy”

How UK Prime Minister David Cameron Paid Thousands of Dollars for Facebook “Likes”

How Facebook Exploits Underage Girls in its Quest for Ad Revenue

This Man’s $600,000 Facebook Disaster is a Warning For All Small Businesses



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Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:07 | 4916442 motorollin
motorollin's picture

If you have a Facefuck account, you're just asking for it.

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:15 | 4916473 john39
john39's picture

Fraud book was CIA/Mossad/NSA from the beginning.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:19 | 4916666 erkme73
erkme73's picture

It took some doing, but I managed to get a pretty good facebook account: Mr. Whosteellusis Faysbook

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 01:03 | 4916753 Jack's Digestib...
Jack's Digestible Ideas's picture

If this study was funded by the DoD, then the Common Rule (that protects people from unethical experimentation) was absolutely broken.

Than again, who the fuck cares? Nothing's going to happen to any of these statist criminals, and they're just going to keep fucking with us until we're all dead.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 01:29 | 4916797 Oracle 911
Oracle 911's picture

Department of defense? More like department of war.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 06:19 | 4916961 negative rates
negative rates's picture

There must be an ivy league class on how many ways there are to lie and what to do about getting caught, resort to more lies.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 07:36 | 4917037 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

It's called law school. 

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 08:53 | 4917263 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

Sociopaths are born, not taught.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 08:56 | 4917276 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

correct. and then hired by professional HR companies that use psychological tests to find them for... banking. and no, I'm not joking

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 16:41 | 4919122 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

Wrong pyschopaths are born, sociopaths are the product of their environment.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 07:56 | 4917065 Sofa King
Sofa King's picture

It's amazing how everybody seems to forget the wonderful DARPA funded social experiment they tried out a few years ago with that low-flying 747 and the fighter escort in New York that they later claimed was a Air Force One photo shoot.

I would say its only a conspiracy theory but the results were published a few months later.

Bottom line...Nothing is free, if you want to use one of these bullshit services you have to pay for it with your soul.

Somebody once used the old poker analogy of "If you can't find the sucker at the table, then you're the sucker" to describe these services.  If you're a member of one of these services and you're not buying anything, then you're being sold.

Good Luck, Bitches.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 08:36 | 4917205 Milton Waddams
Milton Waddams's picture

How much is your subscription to ZH, bitchez?

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 08:56 | 4917275 Sofa King
Sofa King's picture


Wed, 07/02/2014 - 09:07 | 4917310 Ljoot
Ljoot's picture

That explains the negative ads I see on here.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 08:28 | 4917160 I woke up
I woke up's picture

Department of Offense

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 08:52 | 4917261 Government need...
Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

Ministry of Peace.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 09:36 | 4917418 general ambivalent
general ambivalent's picture

MiniPeace. Providing a new generation with double-plusgood unwar.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 16:18 | 4919063 IdiocracyIsAlre...
IdiocracyIsAlreadyHere's picture

No shit.  I wince every time I here the words "Department of Defense".  Defense of what?  Maybe if you are Israel, Saudi Arabia or a bankster it may be "defense" but not us proles.  The old name was at least intellectually honest.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 07:44 | 4917039 SameAsItEverWas
SameAsItEverWas's picture

You'd be correct if the people were "research subjects" used in an experiment of some sort.  The common rules were originally formalized for clinical studies of experimental drugs, where there is clear possibility of overt harm. 

Was anyone harmed here?  FB can try out variants of its algorithms on different cohorts, either homogeous or heterogenous, and then they can pay professional researchers to analyze the data.

The only thhing fishy about this story is that the Proceedings of the NAS published this crap.

Everyone knows that happiness is contagious, and also misery loves company.  So what.

Nobody was harmed by this "research," very unlike the work being done in my town on developing a hand-held "sound-cannon" with a sound-cancelling/shielding full-head helmet for the operator for a "non-lethal" weapon which can be used to incapacitate people in crowds as an alternative to tear gas, flash-bang grenades, etc. etc.

Yes, folks, they test those weapons on human subjects, and they do it right near where I live, in a place where I used to go visit sometimes for my work.   Most all of the experiments done there are not human experimentation, but there is no "animal model" they can use to test the effects of this new sound cannon weapon, coming soon to a riot near you.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 09:43 | 4917446 general ambivalent
general ambivalent's picture

Depends how you define 'harm'. There are different levels of violence. You can threaten communities with militants and then have them cannibalise the victims' organs, or you can send people a warm smile and a bottle of SSRIs which cannibalises the organs from inside. Is one really worse? I'd have to say the perversity of the big lie and killing with happiness is worse. They are attempting to create a society that is impossible to escape from, and that is perhaps the worst form of violence (as in The Prisoner).

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 01:27 | 4916795 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

You lost me.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 06:15 | 4916958 max2205
max2205's picture

When the balloon goes up and the SHTF, FB will have a $1 market cap

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:22 | 4916477 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

I don't have a Narcissist Book account, but this issue is larger than that.  We all have ZH accounts, for example.  We should not need to unplug.  This shit is supposed to belong to us.  And Facebook is a private corporation.  It has stock and everything.  By the way all of you pure Libertarians who post here, the internet is collectivist.  Or did you make your own?

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:24 | 4916504 thamnosma
thamnosma's picture

Collectivize this...

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:27 | 4916517 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Just did, responding to you here, on this collectivist internet that you did not create or have an iota of private control over.  

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:31 | 4916532 Omegaman2211
Omegaman2211's picture

Libertarians are just another breed of statist, they just feel really bad about it.

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:43 | 4916567 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

And they like the unelected variety.  I upvoted you as an expression of my freedom and control over this wild west thing we call the internet.  Oh shit, gotta pay my Verizon bill to keep it going.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:14 | 4916649 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

You had to feed your horse in the wild west to keep it going, no?   Otherwise you walked.  Collectivist is wanting it for free.  Actually, the Internet is the most individualistic thing there is, it's anti collectivist.  It's driven by personal benefit or gain and the collective benefits from this individual freedom.  It's very capitalistic, that's why it works, it's only a matter of time before the collectivist progressives try controlling the content and distribution.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:17 | 4916657 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

I fed my horse today, and then rode him to my private internet infrastructure.   I'll tell you what, windshield cowboy.  Prove to me that your internet is not collective.  Fence me out.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:25 | 4916674 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

A gov can block things and leave you "fenced out".  What does that have to do with the collective.  Interconnected communication allows greater liberty and acces to information, that's why it's controlled by all authoritarian goverments, for the good of their "collective".

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:38 | 4916706 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Which private company created the internet?

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:40 | 4916709 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

It wouldn't exist without Al Gore.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:43 | 4916717 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Nice Fox talking point.  Which private company created the internet?

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:47 | 4916724 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Don't know the name but it's rumored they were part of the MIC.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:55 | 4916732 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Then I feel better already with this freedomnet thing that you espouse as the shining example of libertarianism.  I'm droned into silence.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:58 | 4916745 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

I'm not espousing anything.  I'm only telling your there's nothing collective about the internet.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 01:05 | 4916750 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Freedomnet, created by .gov.  I get it now.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 01:08 | 4916766 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

.gov can't get a website to function.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 02:09 | 4916829 Slave
Slave's picture

I am unsure of what Rand's point is and beginning to think she doesn't know either and is just typing the first thing that comes to mind between sips of booze.

It is against human nature to have a "collective" just as it is against the internet's nature. The only way a collective is possible is through a central power structure. The internet has no such thing since it is a multitude of independent systems, like humanity. A central power structure with a collective would be more like cable news, where there is one version, no alternatives, and everybody who watches it and acts in it plays the same game. Humanity doesn't have a hivemind and it never will. The government may be manipulating the internet and trying to create a hivemind, but it will fail just like all their other attempts.

Either Rand just found out today that the government started the internet or she just truly has no idea how it works. Take your pick.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 05:53 | 4916949 Memedada
Memedada's picture

Human collectives have nothing in common with a hive. And the human mind only developed because of the collective NATURE of human existence. Humanity could not have survived as atomized individuals. We survived – and evolved – as a social animal. Language, empathy (not something that has to be learned – rather, in todays capitalistic society, it’s something that has to unlearned) and the ability to abstract thinking (including the ability to perceive time itself = plan for the future, and learn from the past) is all attributes of the evolution of the human (social) mind. We survived (during most of humankind’s history) because we gathered in tribes/or small groups. A single hunter could maybe catch a small mammal, but a larger group could hunt down the biggest ones (example: a Mammoth).

Collectives have to be voluntary of course (and in that I agree with your criticism of centralized power – being state- or market-based – today there’s no difference = we’re living in fascist times). Try and Google anarchism – that’s a social system that incorporate the free will of the individual with the need for collectives.

And by the way: do you not, personally, engage in any form of collectives (groups of friends, family, any form of organizations, political party, interest group)?

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 11:38 | 4917848 Slave
Slave's picture

Not all human groups are collectives, including your examples....

Humans never stop being individuals, with their own goals, working towards their own ends, even under communism. This is why this shit always fails.

collective is a group of entities that share or are motivated by at least one common issue or interest, or work together to achieve a common objective

What is the common interest or objective of the computers and people on the internet?

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 12:15 | 4918019 mccvilb
mccvilb's picture

Humanity does and did just fine as individuals,as do many lesser species of mammals , fish and insects. Collectives form to share and exchange knowledge and opinions and common interests and to discover better ways of doing things. One of the biggest reasons human collectives were formed was to create an effective defense against other human collectives, ie pirates, cartels, and armies. Members of a collective still see themselves as individuals first, whether they follow along blindly or not. And collectives aren't necessarily benevolent societies. Collectives have a tendency to take on the persona of their more sociopathic leaders. Not everyone is mentally strong enough or courageous enough to stand up to them or arbitrarily choose to cut his or her own path through life.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 07:07 | 4916997 Zero Point
Zero Point's picture

You're probably right, but using that to bash libertarians is like yelling NASCAR SUCKS at a bunch of red necks.

Cheap points.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 07:53 | 4917060 ebear
ebear's picture

"I'm droned into silence."

If only it were true.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 03:12 | 4916870 Seer
Seer's picture

Original funding was from DARPA.  It was ARPANET and initially linked a couple of universities.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:55 | 4916734 Thorny Xi
Thorny Xi's picture

Bolt, Baranek and Newman, under a .mil contract, did most of the work on TCP/IP.  Now known as BBN Raytheon.


Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:58 | 4916746 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Those guys all sound like they want me to me more free.  I take back my criticism of the windshield cowboy whisperer.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 06:51 | 4916981 WP45
WP45's picture

With my tax dollars!

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 09:53 | 4917490 general ambivalent
general ambivalent's picture

Foolishness. All you're saying is 'four legs good two legs bad'. Collectivism isn't wanting it for free. Nor is individualism wanting the best. The world isn't so black and white.

And the internet is far from individualist, it was created by the military and psyops. What does that tell you about individualism and its connection to militarisation? They are not completely disconnected. In fact, individualism may be the deepest form of collectivism. Make someone think they are free and they become totally loyal to the body social. Individualism was one of the major steps into biopolitics.

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:44 | 4916572 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Libertarians are well-intentioned people who think that aggressive cancers are bad, but slow growing cancers, like prostate cancer, are okay.

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:48 | 4916589 Omegaman2211
Omegaman2211's picture

I really, really, really like that one.

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:49 | 4916590 Omegaman2211
Omegaman2211's picture

Your analogy...not prostate cancer.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:38 | 4916705 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

The cancer is Progressive.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:44 | 4916718 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Conservative treatment will cure it.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:50 | 4916728 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

For once you're right :)

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 06:32 | 4916967 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

...divided you shall fall.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 01:07 | 4916761 FredFlintstone
FredFlintstone's picture

Actually most people in their 70's have some type of cancer in their body, albeit slow growing.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 01:21 | 4916785 IndyPat
IndyPat's picture

We all do.
SV 40 meet polio vaccine....
See parabolic spike in soft tissue cancers after we all got our vaccine.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 05:48 | 4916946 mc225
mc225's picture

saul, that's what i'm sayin'!

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 10:05 | 4917543 mastersnark
mastersnark's picture

Libertarians are well-intentioned people who think that cancer is mandatory, so we should all volunteer to get the slow stuff.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 23:16 | 4923814 Omegaman2211
Omegaman2211's picture

I'd love to see the downvoters put up a rational defense of government.

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:46 | 4916573 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

All prelude to the coming collapse.  They know damned well what we already know on ZH-when the Fed loses control the next downturn will be the widowmaker.  They know they're going to have to step in and apply "persuasion" on the broader population (of the subtle and not-so-subtle variety) to keep things under some semblance of control.

They know it's coming as much as we do.  They're preparing in their own way.  Prepare in yours.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 10:33 | 4917654 XitSam
XitSam's picture

Oh, I don't know, but I feel a lot better since this experiment!

At this point, what difference does it make?

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:47 | 4916579 Hobo Sapien
Hobo Sapien's picture


also, they tend to be loquacious

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 09:27 | 4917071 Memedada
Memedada's picture

Discussing libertarianism with a person ’educated’ in the USA is futile. For some reason (might it be decades of right-wing propaganda?) it is impossible to discuss (in an informed way) ideology or political paradigms with most Americans (from US).

It is only in US that libertarianism is a right-wing phenomenon. In the rest of the world the term is – most often – used in connection with anarchism (the left-wing – and, again, in most of the world the dominant – variant). Look here:

Ayn Rand – and the whole ‘Atlas Shrugged’-deal – is a joke. It’s take minimal intellectual capacity to see her and her ‘philosophy’ (ramblings) as unfounded, illogical and as pure rhetoric (to boost the – by consequence of the unfair fabrics of society – moral of the very rich).

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 09:58 | 4917511 mastersnark
mastersnark's picture

According to the number of downvotes, it appears they don't actually feel bad about it.

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:32 | 4916538 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture



the socialist principle of control by the people collectively, or the state, of all means of production or economic activity.
[1875–80; < French collectivisme]
col•lec?tiv•ist, n., adj.
col•lec`tiv•is?tic, adj.

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:41 | 4916550 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Please direct me to your private internet.  What is the charge?  At least is free, right?

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:15 | 4916653 Slave
Slave's picture

Put the booze on the ground and slowly back away.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 08:10 | 4917097 Memedada
Memedada's picture

Who have talked about ‘collectivism’?

Collectives are something else:

1 :  denoting a number of persons or things considered as one group or whole <flock is a collective word>

2 a :  formed by collecting :  aggregated

   b of a fruit :  multiple

3 a :  of, relating to, or being a group of individuals

   b :  involving all members of a group as distinct from its individuals <a collective action>

4 :  marked by similarity among or with the members of a group

5 :  collectivized or characterized by collectivism

6 :  shared or assumed by all members of the group <collective responsibility>


- Merriam Websters dictionary

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 09:26 | 4917395 Memedada
Memedada's picture

Nothing new there...


Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:25 | 4916676 OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

I do have more than an iota of control...I just chose to participate, it isn't a requirement, yet.  Once it's required, I'm outta here.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 10:04 | 4917540 general ambivalent
general ambivalent's picture

But that's what's required, thinking you have a choice to participate. They call that psychological manipulation, or public relations. Massive amounts of information force you to think you are free so you become a willing slave. Americans will have to figure this out if they are not to supplant the current individualist tyranny with another one. Modern democracy was always about diffuse forms of control and psychological manipulation. Do you really think it's an accident that democracy resulted in a deep state made up completely of spies?

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 02:25 | 4916849 goldsansstandard
goldsansstandard's picture

Voluntary socialism is a free market choice. Nothing wrong with that.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 09:29 | 4917152 Memedada
Memedada's picture

“Free market choice” is an oxymoron for all but the minority who owns everything – the rest (who serves the minority and gets tokens as rewards – fiat) can not ‘chose anything of importance’ (unless they free themselves from the market/state – becomes self-sustaining or joins a community that is). The market has nothing to do with freedom, unless you equate freedom with purchasing power. In that sense the ‘freedom’ of the market is equal to the power of the moneymakers ‘n havers…(again - not talking about real money, but the paper stuff currently passed as money...) 

Free market capitalism is the worst economic system in relation to the real needs of people and planet. To make man’s most shortsighted, primitive and basic attributes (greed, egoism) the goal and mean of a society is pure stupid.



Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:28 | 4916518 motorollin
motorollin's picture

Yeah, but you have to know where to draw the line. Good luck attaching my ZH name to me personally. I'm not Tall Tom, ok, you won't be receiving my address.

Just so you know, I didn't junk you.

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:32 | 4916533 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

ZH knows it, or at least knows your real email.  And if ZH knows it, so does NSA.  Which sucks, and I'm here despite that knowledge.   

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:45 | 4916575 CaptainObvious
CaptainObvious's picture

Who here registered with a real email?  This is why disposable email was invented.

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:48 | 4916588 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

So your disposable email was created out of the libertarian vapor, or did you need a real email at some point in the chain to create it?

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:59 | 4916621 CaptainObvious
CaptainObvious's picture

It is called  Look it up.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:07 | 4916633 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Oops.  I'm still here on your non-collectivist internet.  So this is a new version of hushmail that we all know is completely free from snooping from your internet provider and the NSA?

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:12 | 4916648 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

He's invisible. Know this.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 06:24 | 4916964 negative rates
negative rates's picture

Nope, all fake names, no problems, i have about 4 of them, sucks to be a truth teller don't it.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:28 | 4916680 OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

ZH knows my tertiary email address tht I scrupulously keep our of any other link.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 02:08 | 4916833 conscious being
conscious being's picture

IP address amigo.  If you use the same or even similar for all your activity, the borg can put it all together.  You could go to a proxy server, but for that to be effective, you'd have to believe the proxy is not compromised.

Still, by breaking it up the way you are you make them spend a few more cycles.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:32 | 4916692 kareninca
kareninca's picture

I always assumed that Zero Hedge was started and run by the NSA, to get malcontents to post in one place so they could keep an eye on them. Well, what can you do? At least if you post "fuck you NSA" here, you can be sure they see it.

Fuck you, NSA.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 01:20 | 4916783 EverythingEviL
EverythingEviL's picture

I'll join you.

Fuck you NSA

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 01:23 | 4916787 EverythingEviL
EverythingEviL's picture

I'll join you.

Fuck you NSA

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 02:11 | 4916835 conscious being
conscious being's picture

The term for that is "Honey Pot".

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 08:03 | 4917078 fallout11
fallout11's picture

The internet is, and always has been a "honey pot".

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 01:10 | 4916770 crazyjsmith
crazyjsmith's picture

The email address to this account is dead, but here I am ;)
Collect that !

And this whole internet being collectivist is a waste of an argument.
We all have different agendas, goals, for being here. It's totally free form And being part of a group doesn't mean you're a collectivist - these labels are just so weak, what r u, 10?

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 04:26 | 4916905 conscious being
conscious being's picture

Maybe, but if you pretty much use the same ip address or pattern of addresses, they can figure it out algorythmicly.  [Is that a word?]

If you kept perpetual travel from wifi to wifi could create a difficult trail to follow.  That's why they need GPS that you can not turn off in all these new gizmos that contain all your self-provided social info.

The social info you provide can be the bridge that ties your various threads on different IP together to get a more complete image of YOU.

Never use those stylus things to give them digitized hand writing samples.  That invites another whole level of intrusion.

Complicating your tracking may help retain some personal privacy, but it is also good for the team on many levels.

For example - the more samples they can gather, the more complete the model and therefore, the more complete the eventual prison, the mind prison they are constructing, can be.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 10:10 | 4917562 general ambivalent
general ambivalent's picture

No, it's a really important argument because many people here believe they are true individualists and oppose they state while they regurgitate McCarthyist propaganda. Fear the collectivists! The Russians are invading! Red Dawn!

Some smart people here, no doubt, but when it comes to understanding modernity, democracy, and collectivism/individualism many sound like a bad Hollywood propaganda film. All of the down arrows and instant swarming of anyone who sounds like a 'collectivist' or 'marxist' is just a diffuse and 'individualist' form of McCarthyism.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 01:20 | 4916777 boattrash
boattrash's picture


ZH knows it, or at least knows your real email.  And if ZH knows it, so does NSA.  Which sucks, and I'm here despite that knowledge. 


Why would you even give it a thought, in your collective eutopia? Just sayin'

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 04:39 | 4916910 conscious being
conscious being's picture

We are all here regardless.  Don't be cowered and you make space for others to stand up.

Now what is this term " your real email"?   I think if you go back thru the process, maybe you can come up with some new steps that reduce clarity for the all seeing eye.

To the degree you make yourself difficult to track, you increase the privacy space for everyone.  Not just that it takes more cycles. 

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 06:06 | 4916957 fredquimby
fredquimby's picture

Just got a UPS note saying my has arrived.

See ya goons!

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 08:20 | 4917129 Bemused Observer
Bemused Observer's picture

Me too, but I don't care anyway. The only thing 'out there' on me are my opinions. And I'm not trying to hide them. In fact, if anyone IS monitoring this, please, just use the contact info and ASK me. I'll be MORE than happy to tell you what I think on just about any topic you choose.

So, please guys, seriously. Save yourselves some time. Plus, it will give me a much-needed ego boost to think someone at NSA actually CARES what I think. In fact I might "latch on" to you in some needy way, emailing you day and night with new opinions on topics that come up during the day..."Hey guys! It's me again...I just found out that coffee makers are swapping out cheaper Robusta beans for the higher quality Arabica...Unbelievable! Enclosed please find my 27 page analysis of this and other 'tricks' being played on consumers these days..."

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 09:04 | 4917301 Took Red Pill
Took Red Pill's picture

You're right. We all should not care and not be afraid. Sometimes I think that's why they let the NSA spying story be all over the evening news. They want us to be afraid and not express ourselves.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 09:12 | 4917340 Bemused Observer
Bemused Observer's picture

Yes. Of course I just want to be clear, I'm NOT making light of the issue. It DOES matter that they are collecting the info. I just refuse to let them manipulate me with it. THAT is the real harm being done by all this, the self-censoring that people do out of fear or paranoia.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 01:00 | 4916749 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

Collectivism is a voluntary thing so libertarians should have no problem with that.  They collaborate all the time.

If we were forced to use the internet that would be entirely different.  Sounds like something you'd support.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 06:39 | 4916973 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Look a voice of reason. :-)

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 10:13 | 4917575 general ambivalent
general ambivalent's picture

We are being forced to use it, that's what so few seem to get.

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:21 | 4916494 Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day's picture

closed that account several months ago, never again....utter waste of time

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:20 | 4916668 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

I haven't logged in for probably 2 years.  I'm just going to leave the account and never log in again. 

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:46 | 4916723 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

I log in every year when my kids badger me to read my happy birthday message. They have found it is cheaper than a Hallmark card. It's always right above the happy birthday messages from the previous year.

I don't know how much money they spent on this study but they haven't gleaned much about me. Of course membership here has been a gold mine I'm afraid.


Wed, 07/02/2014 - 04:43 | 4916911 conscious being
conscious being's picture

?..but they haven't gleaned much about me.

M&M I think you underestimate your opponents.


Wed, 07/02/2014 - 08:56 | 4917273 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

You go on the list of those that don't want to join the party.

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:09 | 4916445 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Shall we call this the Facebook Effect? Coming soon to a website near you.

"Honey, you're always so negative." - Wife

"Not my fault. Facebook has been pounding me lately." - Husband

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:19 | 4916487 CaptainObvious
CaptainObvious's picture

Well, I think it depends on whether you see the news being fed to you by Facefuck as negative.  For example, a bankster might read about Dimon having throat cancer and think, "Oh, that poor man!"  I read the same news, call up all my friends, crack the seal on a 25 year old bottle of scotch, and start believing in karma.

Oh, and Dimon?   I hope you fucking die from your cancer, you assbag.  After lots of money spent, innumerable painful treatments that are doomed to failure, and a couple of nosocomial infections.  Karma is a bitch, and she's after your theiving bankster ass.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:17 | 4916658 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

You had me at fucking die.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 01:02 | 4916751 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

You always were the romantic one.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 01:42 | 4916816 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Thstop you're making me all mithsty.

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:11 | 4916456 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Mega-class action lawsuit when?

Human experimentation without constent is a HUGE FUCKING nono.

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:12 | 4916459 Four chan
Four chan's picture

since when?

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:23 | 4916500 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Since WWII and the atrocities committed by the Japanese and Nazis in the name of science.

We can't even collect spit from people without a six month long review by our IRB, and forms MUST be signed giving consent.

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:24 | 4916507 john39
john39's picture

Laws don't apply to umbrella corp.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 04:49 | 4916917 conscious being
conscious being's picture

john - somebody thinks rule of law did not go the way of the buffaloe and down voted you.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 08:51 | 4917259 Grimnir
Grimnir's picture

You must have forgotten. The main Nazis and imperial Japanese behind those crimes got away with it in exchange for the information gathered through them being turned over to the Americans.

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:23 | 4916502 john39
john39's picture

No shit, this is a people farm after all.

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:33 | 4916543 Omegaman2211
Omegaman2211's picture

Human livestock management

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:22 | 4916499 CaptainObvious
CaptainObvious's picture

It's only a huge fucking no-no if ya get caught.  I bet they already picked out a scapegoat for this.  Probably some nebishy little nobody turd will take the fall for this whilst the Pentagon/Faceplant fuckwits who dreamed it up just order some more caviar, hookers, and blow.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:09 | 4916646 Four chan
Four chan's picture

the pods who use facebook most likely will feel honored by the attention of being used and abused.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 04:52 | 4916918 conscious being
conscious being's picture

And then there will be a head crash and all relevant emails on all servers and backups everywhere will be destroyed.

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:35 | 4916505 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Take a close look at the Terms of Service agreement for Facebook. Basically they own you and all your 'information', including all images posted by you, and you consent to anything they wish to do to you. Cus it' duh.

"All your information and consent are belong to us."

When you clicked "I Agree" you consented.

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:47 | 4916581 pakled
pakled's picture

Yep. And take a look at the terms of service for cloud services, such as Amazon's. They own your data.

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:58 | 4916614 john39
john39's picture

only if you use it... massive usb back ups are pretty damn cheap right now.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:08 | 4916643 pakled
pakled's picture

Darn right. What many of the masses fail to understand about "the cloud" is that every once in a while clouds rain on you...

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 06:36 | 4916969 nmewn
nmewn's picture


If its worth having, its worth buying you're own storage and not paying for access to it over & over again. The

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 08:02 | 4917074 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture


not paying for access to it over & over again. The


Ain't that the truth. A former client was hell-bent on moving his law firm to the cloud. I tried to explain to said client that he wants to put all of his work product out on the cloud where confidentiality goes to die and then pay rent every month to access same. How does that make sense? Cue the infamous deer-in-the-headlights.

Someday, businesses that have never put their data "in the cloud" and kept it all in-house will have greater value because of that, even more so if that internal network was isolated from the Internet.


Wed, 07/02/2014 - 07:25 | 4917017 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

the cloud - lulz

it'll be a cold day in hell before i facebook or cloud anything bitchez

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:29 | 4916522 Omegaman2211
Omegaman2211's picture

Silly Michael, still believing that rights are not just some made up concept invented by statists to fool people into thinking they are getting a "sweet deal" out of their enslavement.

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:30 | 4916530 robnume
robnume's picture

Facefuck proves what a stupid and narcissistic nation of sheeple we are. I repeat, I wouldn't have a Facefuck account if someone put a gun to my head, which actually seems likely in the event that we allow this shit to continue unabated.

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:32 | 4916535 Rob Jones
Rob Jones's picture

Does anyone here get Facebook news feed? I'm wondering whether any reports about this experiment are coming through on it.

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:33 | 4916545 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

Yes and it's nowhere on there.

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:37 | 4916552 Rob Jones
Rob Jones's picture

"This is not the information you were looking for."

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:45 | 4916570 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

They totally control content. I bitched about them changing their security features one the last few hundred times and it was promptly taken down. I just use it for family. I know I know....I'm a narcissistic douche cuz I want Aunt Patty in LA and Granma in upstate to see pics of the baby and chime in "how cute".

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:31 | 4916690 OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

I use it to link ZH comments and personal rants.  I had a peak of 1480 strangers interested in my views...most discovered I'm merely an asshole so I'm down to 800 or so strangers.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 08:04 | 4917081 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

"This is not the information we think you were looking for."

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:47 | 4916578 john39
john39's picture

Kinda like how the msm ignored Putin's commentary today calling out western governments complicity in the Ukraine slaughter.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:01 | 4916626 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

Absolutely. I wouldn't have known of this story without Drudge and ZH. They have their little corralling of human thought and they push favor how they desire...funny thing is it doesn't work. Look in most comment sections and people call these fuckers out. They think they are curtailing angst yet they foment it.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 01:30 | 4916802 IndyPat
IndyPat's picture

...yet they foment it.

And log the result.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 06:45 | 4916976 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Can't create models without lots of data. 

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:32 | 4916536 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

I love it when folks get political on FagBook. They'll think they are all socially evolved and pass some regurgitated SuckPo meme around. Fagbook is for pics of your family and NSFW bullshit vids. Kittens attacking a puppy? Ok. Blathering on about Hobby Lobby? Fuck you shut up. I know I should delete the account, but I got too much family and friends I stay connected to with on there. I play music too and it's a necessity. I fully understand that FagBook is data mining for my file. I try to keep from getting political on there. Fuck You FagBook. I hope it gets Myspace'd and withers to not mattering.

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:48 | 4916584 CaptainObvious
CaptainObvious's picture

My family was raging at me for years to join Fuckbook.  And when Mr. Snowden made his revelations about Fuckbook, I was ever so pleased to call up all the family nags (on a land line, since I don't own a gubmint tracking phone) and chant I TOLD YOU SO at top volume.  Funny how all the nags shut the fuck up after that. ;)

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:56 | 4916611 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

It's all recorded and stored. I've known this for years. This is being recorded too. Your landline as well...They want all the information. Let them know I say FUCK YOU to their statist agenda. I figure the harder you try to hide the more they will seek you out. We get to "Night of the Long Knives" style FEMA camp building all this will be minutia. Cars have tracking, credit cards....enter a toll bridge? Stored. They want it all. Fuck em.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 05:18 | 4916930 conscious being
conscious being's picture

Right, the land line provides a location when you pick it up, but the mobile is always on duty, giving away your location, travel patterns, microphone always available for exploitation.

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 23:32 | 4916537 laomei
laomei's picture

Nothing new... 


SMISC, try mentioning it and see how fast your posts are censored and account banned. (really fast)

SMISC is, in layman's terms, a roll-your-own botnet controlled by the Pentagon for propaganda purposes. Thousands and thousands of accounts on social media with the intent to bury comments in noise, and to manipulate the tone and course of conversations. Facebook, twitter, Disqus, news sites, reddit, forums are the primary targets, and they are complicit as the activity is backed by National Security letters. It's not about monitoring, it's about countering things they don't like. It's also a tool that is used to get comment sections shut down on stories they don't like or stories which will prompt discourse they do not like. It's far from "tinfoil conspiracy". This "facebook experiment" was launched in 2012, SMISC was launched in 2011. The two are connected. An opposing view or opinion can be ridiculed to a point wherein a poster feels alone in their view, failing to obtain group support and discouraging further posting of it. As sites are complicit, on news items and such where the manipulation and targetting is obvious, any mentions of SMISC will be censored and accounts banned.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 01:33 | 4916806 IndyPat
IndyPat's picture

So that's where Top Gear was hatched.
Thanks for that. I knew the concept, now the dots are filled in.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!