The Facebook data story

March 20, 2018 |

You’d think there would be enough in the news these days that really is shocking without seeing the stock market roiled by a giant wave of pretend shock over the “news” that details about users of social media platforms such as Facebook are mined and sold to companies that hope to persuade said users to do, buy or like certain things (for those who truly did just arrive here from the planet Antares, that’s known as “advertising.”) To use a reference from long before the birth of social media, all these shocked reporters and politicians are like the Police Chief in “Casablanca” who was shocked to discover gambling taking place at Rick’s Café, as the waiter brought him his winnings.


All social media platforms require huge amounts of money to get off the ground. They need highly-skilled staffs, computer equipment, massive amounts of bandwidth and many more things that all cost beaucoup bucks. They let you join for “free,” and even when their direct advertising income stream is barely a trickle, they go public on the stock market are suddenly valued higher than Reynolds Aluminum. Why? What is their product?

It’s your personal information, which you give them willingly when you sign up and every time you post about a restaurant you visited or something you bought or a trip you took, or when you click on an ad for something that interests you or “like” or follow a particular page. Everyone on Wall Street knows this is their business model. Now, there are precautions you can take: privacy settings you can click or do-not-track software you can add to your computer. You can simply avoid posting or clicking on things that are too personal. Or you can simply not join. But if you do join, it should be with the understanding that when you share information about yourself online, it’s no longer just between you and God. It’s now between you and the world and Mark Zuckerberg or whoever owns that particular site, and any advertisers they might sell it to.

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The current fake shock over the discovery that personal information was sold is because one company, Cambridge Analytica, allegedly extracted data improperly, by hosting a "personality test" that didn't disclose in its Terms Of Service agreement that your information wouldn’t be kept secret or sold. But think about it: even if they had included a line in their TOS Agreement, how many people actually read those reams of legal boilerplate that are longer than “War And Peace” before just clicking on “Agree”? For all most of us know, when we signed up for iTunes, we agreed to give Apple our first-born child.

The real cause of all the pretend shock is the same thing that’s made “fake news” the biggest cliché of the 21st century: Donald Trump became President. One of Cambridge Analytica’s clients was the Trump Presidential campaign. They used the data to help reach potential Trump voters. So now, we have to pretend to be “OUTRAGED!”™ again.

Never mind that the Obama campaign organizers of 2008 and 2012 were hailed as forward-thinking geniuses for mining social media for info on potential young Democratic voters and using it to target, contact and drive them to the polls. I’m sure Facebook would love for you to ignore its own employees who’ve admitted that the Democrats didn’t have to buy your personal data from a second party because they were on Obama’s side and just gave it to them. How many other big tech companies run by mega-bucks Democratic donors did the same? Do Democrats really want to pull at that thread?


Oh, but of course, this is totally different because Cambridge Analytica “improperly” took the data without permission. Unlike other data gatherers, they didn’t bury a line about that in the TOS Agreements nobody reads.

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Don’t get me wrong, the loss of privacy in the digital world is a serious problem that needs addressing (and one too many young people don’t even seem to understand is a problem). Maybe we need stricter laws to police TOS agreements and to limit data mining (although good luck enforcing them, as long as people continue to post personal information for all the world to see). This is especially urgent with people now putting devices into their homes that are equipped with microphones and cameras (who needs the KGB when we have digital assistants?) But to pretend that unauthorized data mining is some new, unexpected twist unique to Cambridge Analytica is as absurd as the Police Chief pocketing his winnings while expressing shock that he’s standing in a casino.

At the link below, a former IT official for Obama’s 2012 campaign shows off an article all about how effectively they mined your data to help reelect Obama. And what a surprise! She posted it on her Twitter page.



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Comments 1-27 of 27

  • Patricia A. McMahon

    03/24/2018 02:14 PM

    Surprise, surprise. They use our data. That's why you won't find me on face book or twitter. Besides the overwhelming involvement/addiction in this stuff; I don't want every Tom, Dick, or Harriet knowing my business. NO THANK YOU.
    Pat Buffalo, NY

  • Catherine Susinno

    03/23/2018 11:39 AM

    Thank you Mike! Your writings soooth my soul!??

  • Vickie Fiorentino

    03/23/2018 09:59 AM

    Most do not read the "user Agreement", which also states that any photo you post online "belongs to FB" so you cannot sue for royalties, etc, if they use a photo posted on your account.

  • Jody Robinson

    03/23/2018 12:12 AM

    I commented on this story earlier today on Facebook, and tonight I must be in FB jail since I can't comment on any story or even "Like" them. Zuckerberg's delicate ego must have taken a hit when I said he hadn't actually developed Facebook - just stole it from the guy who did. His wallet took a hit today, too, when hes stock dropped like a rock. If he keeps treating his customers like he's treating me his entire empire will come crashing down - can't be too soon!

  • Glenda Kee

    03/22/2018 09:49 PM

    Thank You Mr. Huckabee for this very informative article.

  • Vickie Lundberg

    03/22/2018 08:03 PM

    You are so funny!

  • Nancy D Willprecht

    03/22/2018 07:59 PM

    Thank You Mike,I didn't know what kind of things were going on. You also enlightened me about what is supposed to happen.

  • Emmitt Luttrell

    03/22/2018 07:48 PM

    Dear Mike,
    I'm sure the President is already working on it, but if he isn't, please let him know of the SES where they say they can't be fired because Obama appointed them. I don't believe that but it sure needs to be checked out. They say there are 9,100 to 10,000 of them 8,000 was appointed by Obama. They are the ultimate Deep State.
    Thank you
    Emmitt Luttrell

  • Carolyn Bell

    03/22/2018 04:39 PM

    I read your comment on my Facebook an my emails love reading your articles they keep me more informed than the news and you write it where I can understand what's going on
    Thank you

  • Don Frix

    03/22/2018 04:17 PM

    Right on Mike!! Thanks!

  • Robert McFate

    03/22/2018 04:10 PM

    The Libturds are just shocked that the Conservative have finally wised up and are using their own weapons against them!

  • Rose Howell

    03/22/2018 03:07 PM

    Should I be concerned about this ginormous budget the House is passing? Seems insane to me. How can you spend your way out of debt? I'm not able to do it :)

  • Dale Martinez

    03/22/2018 02:58 PM

    Everyone knows when you sign up for Facebook what you get. It’s ok for Obama but never for Trump! The amount of corruption that has been exposed is staggering but nothing happens!
    Now a huge spending bill....I give up!

  • E Laree Kreitlow

    03/22/2018 02:42 PM

    Keep speaking the truth Mike!


    03/22/2018 02:36 PM


  • Eric H. Read

    03/22/2018 02:30 PM

    For some reason the following quote is running through my mind: "A tempest in a tea pot." The Democrats would have it both ways. We didn't get what we wanted, so now we will have a "Hissy Fit" until we do. I grow weary of their Double Standards and verbal garbage.

  • Karen Edwards

    03/22/2018 02:19 PM

    Gov. Huckabee,
    I am beyond tired of Trump bashing by the media. Even though as a Christian, I believe affairs are wrong, whose business is it if it was prior to presidency? Clinton had an affair while in office and we did nothing. I have never seen so much garbage on a president in my lifetime. I believe the Democrats must be really scared of what President Trump can accomplish to keep this up. I hope that there are more Senators, Governors, and Congress that have some moral values other than Vice President Pence. I am so grateful that you are fighting for the truth.
    Thank you.

  • Dot Whitley

    03/22/2018 02:11 PM

    It would be a more pleasant world in which we live, at least a more pleasant America, if more people had your common sense. God gives that to us, but lots of people lose it ,because they trust too much in more and more education of the wrong kind. I enjoy your sense of humor, because it keeps us from taking the news too seriously to enjoy the good things in life.
    Take care of yourself.

  • Dawn R Fields

    03/22/2018 02:02 PM

    Great article! Very well articulated. I've not been totally clear what FB did that was all that wrong. It seems more than likely another way to get folks upset before all the facts have been presented. Also, another back handed attack to a certain side that refuses to accept "the will of the people ". The Left seem more relentless in their goal of discrediting our president. It frightens me. We're on a slippery slope. And besides, it's like listening to a child, when he's throwing a fit because he didn't get the toy he wanted, or in this case, the outcome that they feel like they "deserve".

  • Steven Armstrong

    03/22/2018 01:21 PM

    Where are the checks and balances on special counsels? Human nature hasn't changed - absolute power still corrupts absolutely.

  • H. Eberhard (Eb) Roell

    03/22/2018 12:52 PM

    Dear Mike,
    I'm a big fan of yours, so please accept my comments in that light. 1. I think some of your sentences are too long. Brevity and to-the-point is the name of the writing game. 2. Antares is a star, not a planet.
    Thanks for your work on behalf of an increasingly degenerate generation.

  • Rocky L Hale

    03/22/2018 12:51 PM

    Governor.. this is off topic but it's important to me. You were my first choice prior to your dropping out of the race. If only u were afforded the chance to respond to questions as much as other candidates. My question is, have u been offered any position in the administration and if so why didn't u accept it? If you haven't, would u accept if you were offered one? I am so disappointed.. you gave a speech recently in my home town of Bakersfield but I was unable to attend. My regards to you and your family. And that daughter of yours is such a wonderful compliment to the White House staff. I see a great future in politics if she so desires. I don't have cable TV but I am able to watch her press briefings on YouTube. She is terrific. Sorry for the length sir. I will wait hopefully for your response. Respectfully.. Rocky Hale

  • Louise Ord

    03/22/2018 12:02 PM

    Thank God there are still people left in this country who are rational thinkers. I agree with your statements 100%.

  • Amelia Little

    03/22/2018 11:30 AM

    As usual, it's one thing for conservatives to do something--GASP, the horrors!! The criminal element!!!! But, when it is noted that liberals have done the same thing, well, you know, that's a different story and they had no ill intent in mind and blah blah blah. It amuses me that every time msm or a liberal somewhere puts out a scandalous story about a conservative--mostly President Trump--what comes out is that liberals have done the same, maybe even worse. But, again, don't look at the double standard, don't pay any attention to the actions of liberals--we should only concentrate on the conservatives. Same story, 2,982nd verse!!!

  • Stephen Russell

    03/22/2018 11:25 AM

    Have all Tech firms up before Congress: MS, Google, Yahoo, CNET, Google+, Twitter, Spotify, etc IF warranted.
    Set up heavy fines, seize assets & charges, then see how Tech giants are then,
    See focus OFF We the Users to select elites in DC for "revenge"?? Watch your 6.

  • Alan C. Fitzgerald

    03/22/2018 11:24 AM

    I have always viewed "Facebook" as a "scam"! Seems like I must have been right!

  • Dana B Martin

    03/20/2018 01:58 PM

    Good stuff! Where are you living these days?