Facebook’s at it again

In November 2007, Prodicus made reference to Facebook’s censorial tendencies:

What Dizzy said. Excellent. But on the subject of anonymity on blogs, of more concern to me than the anonymous trolls discussed by Dizzy is the possibility that some libel specialist at Sue Grabbit & Runne, fired with missionary zeal and the prospect of his own entry in the legal text books, will persuade the high court or legislature of an important jurisdiction like the USA (or the EU — Prodicus spits) that anonymous libels of the sort that wash around the ‘sphere by its very nature, are inimical to the ‘human rights’ of his client who, accordingly, asks the court for relief and redress.

Then what price the long-term anonymity and freedom to blog of the perhaps righteously angry but arguably libellous blogger? Guido asks this and is protecting himself as far as possible by moving himself out of the UK and his IT kit out of the EU – and he’s no longer anonymous.

(Opinion is not libel, however rudely expressed. ‘Factual’ allegation can be. You can’t go to jail for calling Gordon Brown a cunt. You can if you say he steals old ladies’ purses when he doesn’t. No, don’t go there, not now.)

So, in the light of Ian Parker-Joseph‘s release about Natural News having its account suspended for this:


… there is the simple fact that Facebook have always been doing this, whilst playing fast and loose over privacy and gathering information on users as its prime directive. I’m not the first and certainly won’t be the last to post on this issue.

The topic of censorship of views is one of interest at OoL of late [whatever the whys and wherefores] and it is also a new topic of concern re Facebook. At least, it was always a topic of concern but hadn’t gone mainstream before.

So it might be worth a look at Facebook’s antecedents. Ian wrote at the time:

Just remember who funded the building of Facebook and why it is there. It was funded by DARPA’s Information Awareness Office, and is there to collect information about you and build a profile on you. That’s why they dont like pseudonyms.

That’s why I put no info about myself and don’t indulge in its silly games like poking and friending. In fact, in signing up all those years ago, on the strength of fellow bloggers doing so and it being he next big thing, it was immediately suspicious when they started this “what’s the story here” request next to each bit of info one filled in.

No thanks. The surveillance society has enough on all of us without volunteering for it.


In response to Greg’s question, I’ve just put up a new page at OoL for you to peruse if you wish:

Surveillance in the UK

5 comments for “Facebook’s at it again

  1. Greg Tingey
    January 1, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Thanks for that.
    Is the accusation of Arsebook being founded by someone from DARPA correct?

    I normally have no time for conspiracy-bollocks, but this isn’t a “conspiracy”; it is fraud & spying, if true.

    • January 1, 2013 at 9:16 am

      There is this:


      … but that’s just their page, it’s not about being founded by them. The official story Facebook gives is:

      So they were building it in 2003 in their dorm room and it launched in the beginning of 2004 . This 500,000 investment would also be in early 2004.That’s how they got the money to move out to California. Mark Zuckerberg gets a 500,000 dollar investment from Peter Thiel some big shot exec out on the west coast. With this 500,000 investment Peter Thiel became some thing like a 7-8% owner of Facebook.

      There is a second story:

      This huge investment of $12.7 million came from James Breyer who is closely associated with a venture capital company called InQtel established by the CIA in 1999 and he served on the board of BBN. InQtel deals in information technology and intelligence most notably “nurturing data mining technologies”.

      Dr. Anita Jones former Director of Defense Research and Engineering for the U.S. Department of Defense. While with D.A.R.P.A. her responsibilities included serving as an adviser to the Secretary of Defense. Dr. Jones was also served on the board of directors for InQtel and is now employed by BBN. This is the same board James Breyer sits on. He is also employed by BBN

      D.A.R.P.A. runs the Information Awareness Office whose task it is to collect data on as many people as possible. Their website is full of references to the war on terror, terrorism and terrorist. The IAO claims its programs are for identifying and responding to threats of terrorism.

      The IAO:


      That’s as much as I have at this time.

      UPDATE: I’ve just posted this as a page at OoL:


  2. John
    January 1, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Interesting in the context of this article that Mrs Dale is now insisting on Facebook or Twitter accounts in order to post comments at his blog.

    So that’s be two levels of moderation & approval over there if you want to comment on his blog from now on.

  3. Voice of Reason
    January 1, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    James – do you really have to fall for every half-baked conspiracy theory? Here is a brief history of the funding for facebook.com (notice that DARPA is not mentioned, although they invest in many ‘out there’ projects): http://www.crunchbase.com/company/facebook

  4. Furor Teutonicus
    January 2, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    It is the fact that people are worried the crap out of, because they think ANY information they give, has to be actually true, or acurate.

    Do they think it is some kind of jailing offence “giving false or inacuarate information to a web site?”

    This is another case of the general public being terrified of their own shadow these days.

    From “Was afraid the remark could be rascist”, to “The worlds going to end tomorow….or the day after….or… na, we have found a calander from obscure yak farming tribesmen that sais it COULD be a week next Tuesday…. just after “Crossroads” finishes on the box!”

    WHY does the modern “Joe Bloggs” appear to have an overwhelming NEED to have the shit scared out of him?

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