Mark Zuckerberg

Zuck Needs Some Bucks


cjones08012018

Facebook took the biggest one-day drop in history last Thursday, losing $119 billion. Part of the reason is slow revenue growth along with criticism that the social media platform isn’t doing enough to regulate itself with fake news by Russian troll farms, abuse of privacy by third parties, politicians in Europe and the U.S. wanting some control, and user complaints that Facebook is limiting views to their content.

I have some experience with the limited views issue, and so do some of my clients. Previously, my cartoons would reach thousands of people. Now, on a good day, I might get a few hundred. After this cartoon is posted, I’ll receive an email from Facebook trying to entice me to spend money to “boost” the post so more people will see it. Do you get the idea? Facebook is limiting views, so we’ll pay for more.

A lot of conservatives are complaining that Facebook is discriminating against them and limiting their views. Conservatives, who love calling people “snowflakes,” just like to complain and pretend they’re being victimized. I can assure you, Facebook is doing it to everyone.

Facebook is finding other ways to make a few bucks. Now, the videos you didn’t ask to see in your news feed even contain ads in the middle of them. I was actually captivated by a video about anteaters when a Firestone ad popped up I was forced to sit through if I wanted to finish the micro-documentary about the ant suckers.

I don’t know what’s going on with Twitter since I never look at my news feed on that platform, and only pay attention to my notifications. But, Twitter saw its value plunge 20% after its earnings report said the number of monthly active users on the platform fell. That must be true as even a large portion of Donald Trump’s followers are bots.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took a huge hit also, as he personally lost nearly $17 billion in one hour on Thursday. According to one financial analyst, that’s nearly 1.7 times as much money as Donald Trump claims he’s made in his entire life. So, it’s probably about five times as much as Trump has made in his lifetime.

But, I have about as much concern for Zuckerberg’s wealth as I do over one of Betsy DeVos’ nine yachts being vandalized (did someone poop on her poop deck?). Zucko is still worth around $70 billion.

The good news for Facebook is that we’re getting closer to November’s midterm election, so Russian troll farms will probably increase their advertising spending.

Between cat and vacation photos, bullies who slut and fat shame, and your uncle being a Russian troll, I have faith Facebook won’t return its spot to MySpace.

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Tech Trouble


cjones04172018

Mark Zuckerberg was questioned by 44 senators during his first day of Congressional hearings. Even senators don’t want to talk to that many senators, especially when one of them is Ted Cruz.

But, Zucky did OK. While he was in the United States Capitol, Congress was on his turf. Facebook is a technology and the guys talking about regulating it are still trying to figure out how to set the clock on their VCRs.

Utah Senator Orrin Hatch asked Zuckerberg how Facebook can continue to stay in business since it offers its service for free. Keep in mind this hearing was about users’ data being breached by advertisers. Bill Nelson confused smartphones with tablets. Lindsey Graham thinks the difference between Facebook and Twitter is equivalent to the differences between Ford and Chevrolet.

Deb Fischer said she knows that Facebook’s 2.2 billion users are larger than the population of most countries. Good for her for knowing that except, no country has a population of 2.2 billion.

Then there was Brian Schatz who asked if he used WhatsApp to email about Black Panther if it would get him banner ads for Black Panther.

No wonder Facebook’s stock went up during the hearings. Investors may want Zuckerberg to go back.

Creative notes: I didn’t feel a need to cover this issue again, but I had this idea and I just wanted to do it. I usually take Saturday nights off, but I was out of ice cream and there wasn’t anything on TV.

Here’s the video.

Please consider making a donation to keep the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. Reader contributions, small and large, really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and liberty while those in power are doing all they can to suppress it. You can also support by purchasing a signed print for $40.00. Just look at the right of this page and click the PayPal button, or you can email and make other arrangements. Thank you!

Facebook Collusion


cjones03222018

Have you heard of Coca-Cola? Have you heard of Pepsi? Of course you have. Even if you’re not a soft-drink drinker you’re very familiar with Coke and Pepsi. You’re either a Coke person or a Pepsi person. You know what fast-food franchises sell which drink. They’re not just household words and a part of our culture, they’re ingrained into our psyches. You could be stranded in the most obscure, rural, backward place in a third-world country, and you will find a Coke or a Pepsi. And yet, they continue to advertise.

While it makes sense for Ford, Chevrolet, and Toyota to advertise as they change their product ever so slightly every year, Coke and Pepsi don’t (exception being that failed experiment Coke perpetuated upon us that nearly caused a nationwide riot in the early 1980s). They run commercials for a product with nothing new to add. Only Domino’s Pizza runs commercials saying their old pizza sucked, but now it’s better (and it’s not).

Why do these companies engage in advertising? Because they believe ads work. Advertising is meant to convince you to purchase their product. They’re designed to convince, persuade, and to put it more crudely, manipulate.

So, whenever I hear someone say Russian advertising and fake news on social media didn’t help Donald Trump win the presidency, I know that person is full of crap. How do you argue that the ads your campaign officially paid for worked, and the ads you supposedly weren’t responsible for didn’t?

Every political campaign coordinates an advertising campaign. It’s why the Trump campaign is running ads now for the 2020 presidential campaign. It’s why the Trump campaign worked with a firm like Cambridge Analytica, though now, they claim that company was not an influence on the election.

Cambridge Analytica (CA) is a data mining and analysis company that works on political campaigns. It was heavily involved in the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union, the Ted Cruz campaign, and then the Trump campaign. It’s partly owned by Robert Mercer, a very rich guy who supports extremely conservative causes and politicians. He’s been a major benefactor for Breitbart, and after the Cruz campaign failed, he switched allegiances to the Trump campaign and helped install Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway (who was on the Cruz staff) as heads of the Trump team. As you can tell, Mercer likes assholes.

Cambridge Analytica engaged in some very sketchy activities. The head of the company asked Wikileaks guru Julian Assange to help find Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 missing emails. The company may have used their microtargeting of individuals on social media to help Russia coordinate their propaganda campaign in favor of Trump.

Cambridge Analytica also collected personal data on individuals without their consent or their knowledge. Facebook was aware of this for two years but didn’t act on it until yesterday when they banned CA from advertising on their platform.  According to the Trump campaign, CA was working side-by-side with representatives from Facebook and Twitter on their digital campaign.

You wonder how much of an effect CA had as the presidential election was decided by fewer than 80,000 votes in three swing states and the EU referendum by two percent of UK voters.

Collecting personal data on social media users allows the company to learn who is susceptible to certain kinds of advertising and who can be manipulated. For example: Who can be tricked and conned by fake news, who only wants confirmation bias, and who will really believe Pizzagate and that the Pope endorsed Donald Trump? Russian ads and propaganda convinced millions of people the absurdity of Trump being more honest than Hillary Clinton, just like Coca-Cola ads have you convinced penguins and polar bears are on the same continent.

It gets worse. Alexander Nix, the CEO of Cambridge Analytica was caught on tape talking to who he believed were prospective clients (but were actually undercover reporters for the UK’s Channel Four), where he described strategies of filming opponents in compromising situations with Ukrainian sex workers. Mark Turnbull, the managing director of Cambridge Analytica Political Global, was caught explaining that plausible deniability was a crucial element and said it was vital that people seeing false rumors online never discovered where they were coming from. I discovered it doesn’t matter if people find out where it’s coming from. They’ll still post it and call you a liar when you point out the facts.

Turnbull said, “We just put information into the bloodstream of the internet and then watch it grow, give it a little push every now and again. Like a remote control. It has to happen without anyone thinking, ‘That’s propaganda,’ because the moment you think, ‘That’s propaganda,’ the next question is, ‘Who’s put that out?'” That sounds very similar to the Russian Troll Farm strategy.

Nix said on the tape, “We do incognito very well indeed, in fact we have many clients who never wish to have our relationship with them made public. We’re used to operating through different vehicles, in the shadows, and I look forward to building a very long-term and secretive relationship with you.”

Christopher Wylie, a whistle-blower with a guilty conscience from Cambridge Analytica claims CA had used a few hundred thousand people’s Facebook accounts to reach out and scale up through their social networks to touch “most of America.” The company used harvested information from the accounts ‘friends’ profiles as well as updates, likes, and in some cases private messages.

Investigators in the UK are now seeking warrants to enter CA’s offices and seize evidence, and Facebook personnel have been ordered to vacate those offices, and lawmakers are calling for investigations into both companies. The European Union, which has stronger laws about it, is also launching an investigation into the misuse of private data.

Facebook lost $40 billion yesterday as this news hit Wall Street and American lawmakers were demanding investigations.

I believe we make it easy for companies like Cambridge. We believe what we want to believe, thus making it easier to become trolls for a Russian troll farm. Conservatives are better targets as facts don’t support their beliefs to begin with, and people who spread lies associate with other people who spread lies. Facts are not important.  Conservatives don’t care if their beliefs are based on lies. They don’t care if spreading those lies makes them traitors. They just want their bias confirmed.

In fact, Nix said on the tape, “It’s no good fighting an election campaign on the facts because actually it’s all about emotion.” That’s true. No Trump supporter can tell you why Trump is doing a great job, just that he is. It’s all emotion and a lot of times, their emotions are hatred.

We’ve come down to fighting emotion with facts. I pride myself on only using facts, and I’m losing.  The liars and traitors are winning.

Here’s the video.

Please consider making a donation to keep the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. Reader contributions, small and large, really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and liberty while those in power are doing all they can to suppress it. You can also support by purchasing a signed print for $40.00. Just look at the right of this page and click the PayPal button. Thank you!

Facebook News


cjones05162016

When conservatives complain about the media being liberal, what they’re really upset about is the media reporting facts. Sure there’s bias in the media, but it’s not a massive agenda being carried out just because you’re not hearing what you want to hear, or believe.

The “mainstream” media is not liberally biased. If anything, the number one cable news network has a conservative bias, with that being Fox News. Here’s a news flash for those watching the news and whining that it’s not on their side: The media, cable news, newspapers, and websites, number one agenda is to make money. It’s all about ratings, circulation and advertising. If we’re to believe the media is actually biased then right now the media wants Donald Trump to become president. Only the political cartoonists actually want that to happen.

If you really want honest news then you would not demand more conservative or liberal news. You would demand news. Even if the media is biased one way or another, creating more biased media does not balance anything. Misinformation and lies doesn’t correct another source of misinformation and lies. I demand facts and comprehensive coverage. That’s what I use to form my petition.

This week conservatives are complaining about a report that Facebook is suppressing conservative news from trending. Trending is that thing on the right hand side of your Facebook page, which I know you have open right now. At this very moment what’s trending on my Facebook is: London mayor Sadiq Khan, climate activists protesting in Anacotes, Washington, Zika in Singapore, fishermen in Melville Island, Australia caught a cod with a snake in its mouth, the tiny Vaquita Porpoise, a missing 81-year-old man in Spotylvania County, Virginia (that one targeted me), Angry Birds the movie (maybe Facebook doesn’t know), world’s biggest plane lands in Australia and lands in a fish’s mouth (I made that last part up), Nevada Democratic Convention, and Facebook’s CEO delivers a commencement speech.

Unless that tiny dolphin is claiming Donald Trump made odd sexual remarks at her back in the 90’s, I’m not detecting a liberal bias in that list.

My main news source is Google News. I scroll there and click on articles from multiple outlets. It’s the best resource for me. I flip channels between CNN and MSNBC during the day and will occasionally watch Fox News to see how they’re spinning something. MSNBC is conservative in the morning, straight forward from midday to the evening, and at night liberally biased at night. CNN is straightforward and they balance their panels on their nightly shows. Fox News, where every female is required to be a blonde and they’re not allowed to wear sleeves,M is just always biased toward conservatives. The ONE America News makes Fox News look like the BBC.

Are you really complaining you’re not getting enough Breitbart and Daily Caller through Facebook? Do you know how to bookmark? Does your current news filter not provide enough racist comments that fit your agenda? Bookmark. Learn it. Use it. Shut up.

One fact is that a lot of people are getting their news from Facebook. Facebook doesn’t gather news. They share it. They don’t employ any political cartoonists, the bastards.

Facebook does select what’s trending and they target their readers toward their habits. Every time you click “like” on a photo (or a cartoon) or click on one of those sites that click bait you to inform you of your Jedi name or if your cat was Al Capone in a previous life, Facebook is gathering information about you. Each time you post a selfie, Facebook knows you’re a narcissist and attempts to sell you a selfie stick. Each time you post a food picture, Facebook knows you’re lonely and crying for help but directs you toward Taco Bell instead. Every time (Every. Single. Freaking time) you announce you’re a vegetarian, everybody already knows because you won’t shut up about it (and those food pics are about as alluring as that nude portrait of Trump with the tiny penis making the rounds. Oh you haven’t seen that? Do NOT go looking for it!).

Mark Zuckerberg is going to meet with conservative news leaders like Glenn Beck this week to talk about Facebook’s trending news. There’s nothing he’s going to say to the perpetual victims that will satisfy them so if I was him I’d rather just tell them to go suck a lemon.

Stupid, low informed people have a very low bar for their news source. Since Zuckerberg is attempting to appease them anyway, I suggest he tag all of them with memes.

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