Gray’s Economy being shadow banned by Twitter

Well it appears Gray’s Economy has joined the long list of sites shadow banned by Twitter.

Late last week I noticed traffic to the site from Twitter had dropped off a cliff. The numbers were startling and shows the power of distribution that CEO Jack Dorsey holds over many small publishers.

On an average day Gray’s Economy could get around 5,000 hits from Twitter. Yesterday’s post had THREE hits from Twitter. That’s how effective the shadow ban is.

Now for those not aware of what shadow banning is, here’s a definition:

Shadow banning essentially means that a user of Twitter or any other online forum is not actually banned outright. Instead, all of their posts are made only visible to themselves. For example, if a Twitter user was shadow banned, they would still be able to see their tweets but no one else would.

I am putting this notice out there on the small chance that some of my readers, who do not follow the site are informed of the ban and somehow comeback as followers to be notified of new daily postings.

I will try to get around this ban by creating a different Twitter channel, but the followers accumulated over time are more than likely lost for the short term.

Thank you for indulging me with this rant, simply because if blogs like mine, which are not inflammatory, can be banned, then we need to look into making these social media sites more accountable for their actions.

Does that mean Twitter, Facebook and the like need to be regulated like a utility such as the phone company? Perhaps. No one loses the right to have a phone, because of what they say.

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Silicon Valley shareholders take big hit for firms’ political partisanship

The Silicon Valley giants are getting knee-capped in the stock market as the premise of users privacy violations pile up on the largest social media firms.

Alphabet’s Google, Facebook and Twitter have all seen shares beaten up  over the last two weeks as they all announced user information was not protected and distributed to third-party vendors.

Third-party vendors is code for outfits like Cambridge Analytica, which take demographic data to target political and marketing advertising to users. These data mining firms make 100s of millions of dollars selling this data.

The data is still highly coveted by political campaigns despite the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal in the 2016 presidential election. While outrage at the actions was loud actual legislation was not forthcoming since both parties crave the information.

Google’s breach was so troubling that the company closed down it’s Google+ social media platform. The bigger problem was that Google hid the breach for months in order not to have the government bring further action against the company.

It’s reported that the government’s ears and eyes through the NSA have all the data that was compromised and where it was sold and to whom.

While most of the news coming out about draining the swamp is dealing with career political appointees operating outside the law within government agencies, this data has real-world, actionable ramifications. Public companies have shareholders, who suffer losses as these Silicon Valley firms get involved in partisan politics at the levels inferred by these actions.

Twitter’s bullhorn used effectively by Trump and Musk

What does it mean when you have the means to distribute information without all the filters involved.

Well we see it first hand with President Trump on almost a daily basis. No need to have speechwriters and policy wonks craft each word and phrase to parse out a nebulous statement, which may mean all things to all people.

No, just tweet a gut punch to the offending party with no ambiguity, but sometimes it has little context.

Well the stock market was hit with one of the latter Tuesday by Tesla Founder Elon Musk.

With little ambiguity and absolutely no context Musk tweeted: “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.”

Now you can see the similarities between Musk and the president and how they got to their positions. They don’t use focus groups or test marketing, they do it and will it into a success through bravado and showmanship. Whether it’s an electric car, a trip to space or constructing building across the globe with Trump on the top.

So the stock market did what it would do in the nineteenth or twentieth century when Musk tweeted — it halted trading to figure out what was going on.

After it was determined that Musk was not hacked and that the company may be exploring the idea of going private, shares were traded again. But the Street didn’t give Musk his $420 price upon re-opening.

No that will wait for another day when a more manageable news release comes out stating that the board is working with so and so to secure credit to take the company private.

While the means of mass communications is at the hands of these men and others, the reaction by the powers that be are still muddled in the last century.

I have a feeling that will change in the not too distant future with the President at least.

Facebook/Cambridge Analytica was a sale not a breach or hack

Here’s what Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook haven’t said in regards to the Cambridge Analytica data breach of 50 million users.

No one is saying Facebook was hacked, so why call it a breach? The Bergs — Mark and Sheryl Sandberg — sold that user information to Cambridge Analytica. This is the sneaky business model of all social media. Continue reading

Internet Bill of Rights coming to social media platforms

If we have learned anything coming out of the 2016 presidential election, it is that social media is neither social or media.

While the First Amendment protects Americans against government infringement of free speech, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube Snapchat, Instagram and the like have no obligation to protect your rights as a corporation. Continue reading