Coronavirus making Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg richer

This United States TV video says about itself:

GOP [Republican party] Senators Sold Stock After Secret Coronavirus Briefing | All In | MSNBC

Senators Richard Burr and Kelly Loeffler got a private briefing about the coming pandemic. Then they dumped stocks before the market tanked. Aired on 03/20/2020.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

For the time being, the coronavirus crisis brings financial benefits to the American software giant Microsoft [owned by Bill Gates]. In the past quarter, the corporation made a profit of nearly $ 11 billion, or 22 percent more than a year earlier.

Microsoft is mainly benefiting from the increased number of at-home workers. Eg, there was a much greater demand for products such as Teams and Skype, with which people can communicate.

Cloud services were also purchased more. “In a two-month period, there has been a digital transformation that normally takes two years,” said CEO Nadella in an explanation of the figures.


Another tech corporation, Facebook [owned by Mark Zuckerberg], also seems to take advantage of the fact that many people are at home. The number of active users of the social network has risen to 2.6 billion. That is 10 percent more than last year.

Facebook sales and profits have also increased.

How Facebook makes billions for boss Zuckerberg

This 14 September 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Facebook ‘Fact Checkers’ Include Science Denying Right-Wing Propagandists

Last year, Facebook announced that it would partner with The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine, to “fact check” news articles that are shared on Facebook. At the time, ThinkProgress expressed alarm at this decision.

The Weekly Standard has a history of placing right-wing ideology before accurate reporting. Among other things, it labeled the Iraq War “A War to Be Proud Of” in 2005, and it ran an article in 2017 labeling climate science “Dadaist Science”, and promoted that article with the phrase “look under the hood on climate change ‘science’ and what you see isn’t pretty.”

Read more here.

From the Marx Memorial Library in London, England, 19 April 2020:

Just how does Facebook make its profit?

Despite its tiny staff, the company has enormous wealth. This has as much to do with data-scraping its users as it has to do with another concept Marx detailed: religion

ONE of the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic has been a huge increase in social media use. Facebook alone has seen an increase in total messaging of over 50 per cent in countries most affected by the virus, and use of WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, has grown by 40 per cent.

Facebook isn’t a big employer. It has just under 45,000 employees in total — up from just seven individuals when it was launched 15 years ago. But its profits are vast — about $22 billion (£17bn) last year.

And that’s despite its $5bn (£3.8bn) fine for allowing Cambridge Analytica, consultants to President Trump’s electoral campaign, to harvest the data of its users.

Facebook censorship helping Buttigieg against Sanders

This 13 February 2020 video from the USA about Democratic party presidential candidates is called Facebook Censoring Reporting On Buttigieg Cheating.

AMY KLOBUCHAR CAN’T STAND PETE BUTTIGIEG Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s determination to portray Pete Buttigieg as artificial, incompetent and pretentious was striking during the debate. “You have not been in the arena doing that work,” the three-term senator said in response to pressure from Buttigieg over her record on immigration. “You’ve memorized a bunch of talking points.” [HuffPost]

BUTTIGIEG GETS FUNDRAISING FROM MAR-A-LAGO MEMBERS Pete Buttigieg is attending a fundraiser on Wednesday with a twist one only encounters in Palm Beach: The two hosts were longtime members of President Donald Trump’s private club, Mar-a-Lago.The public-facing invitation for the $500-to-$2,800 per head fundraiser does not mention a specific location, merely “The Island of Palm Beach.” [HuffPost]

Cambridge Analytica Facebook privacy scandal update

This 7 January 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

New details are emerging about how the shadowy data firm Cambridge Analytica worked to manipulate voters across the globe, from the 2016 election in the United States to the Brexit campaign in Britain and elections in over 60 other countries, including Malaysia, Kenya and Brazil. A new trove of internal Cambridge Analytica documents and emails are being posted on Twitter detailing the company’s operations, including its work with President Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton. The documents come from Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Brittany Kaiser, who worked at the firm for three-and-a-half years before leaving in 2018. We speak with Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, co-directors of the Oscar-shortlisted documentary “The Great Hack”; Brittany Kaiser, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower featured in “The Great Hack” and author of “Targeted: The Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower’s Inside Story of How Big Data, Trump, and Facebook Broke Democracy and How It Can Happen Again”; and Emma Briant, a visiting research associate in human rights at Bard College whose upcoming book is titled “Propaganda Machine: Inside Cambridge Analytica and the Digital Influence Industry.”

This 7 January 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Propaganda Machine: The Military Roots of Cambridge Analytica’s Psychological Manipulation of Voters

We continue our discussion of data harvesting, targeted advertising and voter manipulation — practices used by firms like Cambridge Analytica. The secretive data firm collapsed in May 2018 after The Observer newspaper revealed the company had harvested some 87 million Facebook profiles without the users’ knowledge or consent to sway voters to support Trump during the 2016 campaign. A new trove of internal Cambridge Analytica documents and emails are being posted on Twitter detailing the company’s operations, including its work with President Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton. We speak with Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, co-directors of the Oscar-shortlisted documentary “The Great Hack”; Brittany Kaiser, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower featured in “The Great Hack” and author of “Targeted: The Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower’s Inside Story of How Big Data, Trump, and Facebook Broke Democracy and How It Can Happen Again”; and Emma Briant, a visiting research associate in human rights at Bard College. Her upcoming book is titled “Propaganda Machine: Inside Cambridge Analytica and the Digital Influence Industry.”

Facebook workers expose their boss’ privacy scandal

This 7 November 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Zuckerberg OUTED By Facebook Employees

Mark Zuckerberg outed by Facebook employees. John Iadarola breaks it down on The Damage Report.

See also here.

‘Google, Apple, Facebook help slave trade’

This 26 September 2019 video about the USA says about itself:

Ex-Google/ex-Facebook TechLead exposes H-1B visa abuse in Silicon Valley, and his experiences working at Facebook.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Google, Apple and Facebook facilitate international internet slave trade says United Nations

2nd November 2019

THE INTERNET is being used to promote a modern-day online slave market, where women and children are being sold into domestic servitude. This is an extremely lucrative online business, facilitated by Google, Apple and Facebook who allow the adverts to be shown, the UN special rapporteur has alleged.

‘What they are doing is promoting an online slave market,’ alleged Urmila Bhoola, the UN special rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery.

‘If Google, Apple, Facebook or any other companies are hosting apps like these, they have to be held accountable,’ she added. The online human trafficking business is international.

Nine out of 10 Kuwaiti homes have a ‘domestic worker’. They come from some of the poorest parts of the world to the Gulf, aiming to make enough money to support their family at home.

Urmila Bhoola said: ‘This is the quintessential example of modern slavery. Here we see a child being sold and traded like chattel, like a piece of property.’

In most places in the Gulf, domestic workers are brought into the country by agencies and then officially registered with the government. Potential employers pay the agencies a fee and become the ‘official sponsor of the domestic worker’.

Under what is known as the Kafala system, a domestic worker cannot change or quit her job, nor leave the country without her sponsor’s permission.

One popular app promoting humans for sale is called 4Sale. The 4Sale app allows you to filter by race, with different price brackets clearly on offer, according to category.

African worker, clean and smiley,’ said one listing. Another: ‘Nepalese who never dares to ask for a day off.’ This is the true meaning of ‘free market capitalism’. Everything, including humans, is bought or sold to make a profit.

The northern states in the US all abolished slavery by 1804. Britain abolished slavery throughout its empire by the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 (with the notable exception of India). The French colonies re-abolished it in 1848 and the US abolished slavery in 1865 with the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution.

Capitalism today means a return to the barbaric practices of centuries gone by, using the most modern of technologies, the world wide web.

If there is any need for further proof that this system is rotten ripe for overthrow, then surely we need look no further than humans being trafficked into slavery around the world using the internet, with the big capitalist giants Google, Apple and Facebook allowing the adverts which promote this sickening business. The highest developments of science and technology are being used for the most backward and degrading exploitation of women and children.

This technology must be ripped out of the hands of the millionaires and billionaires and taken under the control of the people. This can only be done through socialist revolution.

Meanwhile, the rest of the capitalist world is locked into wage slavery. In this country, you have warehouse workers on zero-hours contracts and poverty pay, trying to keep up with robots which pack at three times the speed of humans, and collapsing of exhaustion in the process.

Ambulances were called to Amazon warehouses once every two days last year as workers collapsed and suffered broken bones. Eleven of the company’s 21 warehouses in the UK were attended by ambulances 606 times since 2016.

Tim Roache, the general secretary of the GMB trade union, said: ‘Behind the slick exterior lie working practices that owe more to Victorian workhouses than what we would expect of a reputable online retailer.’

All forms of slavery including wage slavery must be abolished and that means abolishing capitalism. It is through the victory of the world socialist revolution that science, technology and all the means of production will be expropriated, seized from the tiny minority who use it to enrich themselves, and put to work under public ownership where it can be used to enrich the whole of society.

Karl Marx called socialism the beginning of the real history of humankind. Everything before it will be considered a barbarous pre-history.

Facebook censors photography museum

At the Inland Sea, Japan, by Ed van der Elsken

This 1960 photo is At the Inland Sea, Japan, by famous Dutch photographer Ed van der Elsken. It used to be on the Facebook page of the Dutch photography museum. Until Facebook censored it; along with all photos of the museum. One of many cases of Facebook censorship: from a photo showing Vietnamese children burnt by United States napalm to whistleblowing on war crimes to criticism of Donald Trump’s xenophobia. Meanwhile, the Dutch Hitler-worshiping nazis of the Nederlandse Volks-Unie are welcome on Facebook.

Translated from Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad today:

Photo museum: Facebook page offline due to nude photo by Van der Elsken

A photo by Ed van der Elsken is supposedly offensive according to the social network. They then took the entire page of the museum offline.

By Chris Koenis

The Facebook page of the Dutch photo museum was taken offline by the social network on Wednesday. One of the works of the world-famous photographer Ed van der Elsken is said to be offensive and therefore contrary to the rules of Facebook. They prohibit the posting of “Naked Material or Sexually Tinted Content.”

That photo, entitled At the Inland Sea, Japan is part of the exhibition Lust for life in the Rotterdam museum. The photo was used on the museum’s Facebook page to promote that exhibition.

Museum director Birgit Donker is indignant about Facebook‘s action. “This is a beautiful work of art that is censored by Facebook. That is contrary to their own rules. ”When the museum discovered on Wednesday that the page was ‘grayed out’, the museum reported the matter, but received no response at first.

More and more art offline

Thursday morning, a Facebook spokesperson at last contacted the museum and the corporation said that it would reconsider the decision. Until then, the Facebook page is inaccessible. That Facebook message in which Van der Elsken’s photo could be seen was not placed as an advertisement but as a regular message, the museum says.

Facebook has taken artistic photos offline more often in the past. Last year, eg, the 17th-century painting of the Descent from the Cross by Peter Paul Rubens was removed because Christ -except for his loincloth- is depicted without clothes, just like the famous prehistoric fertility sculpture Venus of Willendorf.

Other social media also sometimes delete messages. Eg, the YouTube channel of the Alkmaar Regional Archive was taken offline in June because there were images from the Second World War on the channel.

YouTube is part of the Google corporation, which does much censorship. Not just at YouTube.

Facebook censors Dutch photographer Thijs Heslenfeld: here.

COMPANIES ‘USED FACEBOOK ADS FOR AGE, GENDER DISCRIMINATION’ Seven companies violated federal law when they excluded women and older workers from seeing job ads they posted on Facebook, according to the nation’s leading employment equality watchdog. [HuffPost]

WHATSAPP IS RADICALIZING THE RIGHT IN BRAZIL Facebook famously bolstered Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016 by serving as a force multiplier for wild rumors. But a different culprit (with the same corporate parent) propelled far-right authoritarian Jair Bolsonaro to victory in Brazil’s presidential election last year: WhatsApp. [HuffPost]

Sacha Baron Cohen Slams Mark Zuckerberg For Facebook’s Latest Policy [allowing politicians to tell lies]: here.

OCASIO-CORTEZ STUMPS ZUCKERBERG ON LYING Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg whether she would hypothetically be allowed to run political ads falsely saying that Republican candidates voted for the Green New Deal. ‘I don’t know the answer to that off the top of my head,” Zuckerberg responded. [HuffPost]

Britain: Editorial: Facebook and Twitter cannot be allowed to police our politics: here.

Facebook crypto-currency threatens privacy

This 5 July 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Facebook’s Libra Currency Monetizes Identity and Threatens Privacy

Bill Black discusses Feacebook‘s new proposed crypto-currency, called “Libra.” Facebook could use this technology to standardize identity and create a world of ultimate surveillance, and then profit from it, says Black.

Facebook censors advertisement on war crimes whistleblowers

This 11 August 2010 video from British daily The Guardian says about itself:

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange – ‘There appears to be evidence of war crimes

Iraq war: 10 years on

Thousands of leaked US military papers from Afghanistan contain evidence of possible war crimes that must be urgently investigated, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says at press conference in London.

By Alex Lantier in France:

Facebook blocks ad for PES meeting in Paris to defend Assange

22 June 2019

On Thursday morning, members of the Parti de l’égalité socialiste (PES) received an email from Facebook, stating that it was suspending a paid advertisement for the June 23 PES meeting in Paris calling for freedom for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

PES members campaigning for the meeting have met a warm response among workers, youth and “yellow vest” protesters in Paris. By Thursday, over 700 people had clicked “interested” on the meeting event page, a common form of expressing political solidarity with or support for an event. This points to the broad popular support in France for the courageous journalist and principled whistleblower, who have played central roles in exposing imperialist war crimes in Afghanistan, Iraq and beyond, amid growing working class opposition to President Emmanuel Macron.

Last week, Facebook had approved the purchase by PES members of advertising for the meeting’s Facebook page, which made the meeting’s page appear on the Facebook feeds of users who have expressed relevant interests. Yesterday, Facebook reversed course, blocking further purchases of ads for the meeting.

The notice from Facebook stated: “We have reviewed your ad more closely and have determined it doesn’t comply with our Advertising Policies. This ad will not be active any longer until you edit it to comply with policy.” This would require creating an authorized account, a process that can take 48 hours, during which time the advertising has been cancelled.

Under Facebook’s Advertising Policies, adopted after Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 US presidential elections, anyone posting a political ad is required to undergo an onerous authorization process. This includes submitting images of a state-issued ID, verifying their address and providing further personal information.

These events underscore that the fight to free Assange and Manning and prevent Assange’s extradition to the United States, where he faces 175 years in prison and threats of further charges carrying the death sentence, is the focal point of a campaign to defend the democratic rights of working people internationally against the growing danger of capitalist police-state rule.

Facebook now censors and manipulates posts of its billions of users around the world. Under orders from Zuckerberg to Facebook to push its users to have “personal moments” not political discussion, including by demoting “viral videos” because they are not “good for people’s well-being and for society”, a vast censorship campaign is underway. Facebook Artificial Intelligence algorithms and its army of thousands of “content reviewers” now scour social media for content to remove and report to police and intelligence agencies.

Apart from the US government itself, the French government is among the most closely tied to Facebook censorship. Last November, as “yellow vest” protests against social inequality began in France, Macron hailed France’s World War II-era fascist dictator Philippe Pétain as a great soldier and launched an unprecedented collaboration on social media censorship with Facebook. Countless “yellow vest” social media posts have been deleted since, as police detained over 7,000 protesters in the largest wave of mass arrests in metropolitan France since the Nazi Occupation.

On May 10, Zuckerberg personally met with Macron to review six months of this collaboration, in which French officials are invited directly into Facebook “content moderation” offices to monitor and examine posts culled from Facebook users’ feeds. The French state also issued a social media report co-written by Google France executive Benoît Loutrel, denouncing “unacceptable content” and “individuals pursuing political or financial objectives”, and calling for “struggle against content that is damaging for users and for social cohesion.”

Shortly after Zuckerberg’s visit to France, the 350,000-member France en colère (Angry France) “yellow vest” Facebook page was frozen for a day, during the European elections.

The decisions leading Facebook to reverse its approval of the PES meeting ad are shrouded behind a veil of corporate secrecy. But what is clear is that the company works intimately with the intelligence agencies of the US government who are seeking to destroy Assange and Manning. As for the French regime, it is so terrified of the workers that it sees all criticism of the despised “president of the rich”, including of its own acquiescence to US persecution of Assange and Manning, as a mortal threat to “social cohesion”—that is, to its enforcement of the banks’ austerity diktat.

The meeting organized by the PES is part of a worldwide campaign to free Assange and Manning and mobilize the vast social opposition in the working class against austerity and the growing threat of authoritarian danger and war. The PES appeals to its supporters to share the announcement of its meeting and its material in defense of Julian Assange and Manning, as well as the “yellow vests,” to discuss these issues broadly in workplaces and schools, and to attend its meeting in Paris:

Sunday, June 23, 3 p.m.


177 rue de Charonne, 75011, Paris

Métro: Charonne, Alexandre Dumas.

The author also recommends:

For a worldwide campaign to prevent Julian Assange’s rendition to the US!

[20 June 2019]

Last Thursday, lawyers for the courageous whistleblower Chelsea Manning issued a legal challenge to punitive fines that were imposed upon her by a federal district court judge last month. Her legal team has warned that the unprecedented financial penalties threaten her with imminent bankruptcy: here.

Last Thursday, without notice or explanation, Twitter arbitrarily suspended the account of @Unity4J, a platform dedicated to circulating information and advocacy for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. As of this writing, the account has been gone for two days: here.

FACEBOOK has been accused of censorship for deleting posts on social media platform Instagram that show support for assassinated Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani. Users of the Facebook-owned platform reported the removal of posts sympathetic to Gen Soleimani, who was killed by a US drone attack at Baghdad airport in January. At least 15 Iranian journalists have had their accounts suspended, according to the International Federation of Journalists: here.

In a major escalation of online censorship, Google, Facebook and Twitter have deleted accounts and removed social media posts on multiple platforms that are opposed to the criminal assassination of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani by the Trump administration in a drone missile strike on January 3. There are indications that these censorship moves have been carried out at the direction of the US government: here.