Facebook: Has the storm passed already?

A fast trip from ‘hair on fire’ to ‘whatever’


The follow up to the Facebook story can be summarized in a couple of headlines.

The Washington Post started walking back the Trump angle:


Of course, one had to read to the bottom couple of paragraphs for the revelation of who the “more” were.


Even WaPo had to concede (since many others had already reported) that the process of sucking data from Facebook for political purposes started with the 2012 Obama campaign:

In 2011, Carol Davidsen, director of data integration and media analytics for Obama for America, built a database of every American voter using the same Facebook developer tool used by Cambridge, known as the social graph API.

Any time people used Facebook’s log-in button to sign on to the campaign’s website, the Obama data scientists were able to access their profile as well as their friends’ information.

That allowed them to chart the closeness of people’s relationships and make estimates about which people would be most likely to influence other people in their network to vote.

We ingested the entire U.S. social graph,” Davidsen said in an interview.

“We would ask permission to basically scrape your profile, and also scrape your friends, basically anything that was available to scrape. We scraped it all.”

What? Trump’s campaign was just copying a practice that was revered when the Obama campaign initiated it.

The sound you hear is the air being sucked out of the story

“Violating people’s privacy” just doesn’t have the same resonance as “Trump is the devil”.


A headline from the Independent illustrates the quick morph back to “whatever”:


Punch line: This isn’t new news.

What’s everybody getting so excited about?


Point well taken says the Washington Post:


So what comes next?

Probably not much.


In WaPo’s words:

The consensus is dissolving with each successive drip of information about Facebook.”

.. especially if the “drips’ shift the spotlight to the Obama campaign.

Translation: “Whatever … let’s get back on point: Russian collusion”.

See, Say. Hear, DO !
Follow on Twitter @KenHoma

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