Is Facebook a Political Power?


In the global imagination, Facebook would be a responsible social network that allows everyone to sign up confidentially while censoring messages that violate local laws. In practice, it is quite different in everything.

Facebook as a Social Network

Facebook collects information about you for the NSA, censors your opinions, and also mints its own currency. Within a few months, this company has become one of the most influential players in world politics.

The most important political player on the Internet is the social network Facebook. On January 1, 2021, there were 2.85 billion monthly active users worldwide and 1.88 billion daily active users. The social network regularly censors messages, including nude photos or photos of sexual activity, harassment, hate speech, falsification, spam, terrorist propaganda, or violence using particularly crude and unfair artificial intelligence. It shuts down accounts it deems dangerous, either because they have been censored multiple times or if they are associated with enemies of the United States.

Facebook is a huge company that includes Instagram, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Oculus, Workplace, Portal, Novi. It employs more than 60 000 people.

Facebook as a Bank

Facebook now issues its own currency like a state, the Libra. It is composed of a currency basket of 50% dollar, 14% yen, 11% sterling and 7% Singapore dollar [1].

By becoming a bank whose currency is gradually accepted by Internet trading platforms, Facebook is building a virtual and global shadow economy larger than the economies of many states.

Facebook and its Users

Facebook appeals to its users to track down accounts that violate its rules. It opens a folder on each of its whistleblowers and gives them grades [2].

Facebook, which claims to treat every user equally, has secretly compiled a list of 5.8 million VIPs to whom its rules do not apply. Only they can say anything and show anything [3].

Cambridge Analytica and the NSA

The personal data of at least 87 million users were targeted and diverted by the British company Cambridge Analytica (of billionaire Robert Mercer and Steve Bannon) and its Canadian subsidiary AggregateIQ [4]. They were used at least:

  • for the 2014 election of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi [5],
  • for 44 local elections in the U.S. in 2014,
  • for Mauricio Macri in Argentina’s presidential election,
  • for Nigel Farage in the 2016 British Brexit referendum.
  • And especially during the US presidential campaign also in 2016, successively for Ben Carson, Ted Cruz [6],
  • And finally for Donald Trump and his campaign manager…. Steve Bannon.

According to The Observer, Cambridge Analytica employed numerous figures from the British military-industrial complex and MI6 propaganda services [7]. Perhaps this is just the tip of the iceberg: Edward Snowden revealed that Facebook had joined the ultra-secret electronic surveillance network PRISM, which allows the National Security Agency (NSA) access to the personal data of all its customers. But nothing has been revealed about the use the NSA is making of it.

According to Newton Lee, former researcher at the Institute for Defense Analyses, the PRISM network would be the avatar of the Total Information Awareness (TIA) project developed by Admiral John Poindexter under Donald Rumsfeld at DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) [8].

Mark Zuckerberg’s personal Commitment to Israel.

In 2011, in response to an Israeli request, Facebook censored accounts calling for an uprising in the Palestinian territories.

In 2012, Mark Zuckerberg became personally involved with Nobel Peace Prize winner, Shimon Perez. He oversaw the creation and promotion of the official website of the Israeli president and created a video campaign called “Be my friend for peace”, where you can also find Nicolas Sarkozy, David Cameron, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan or Queen Elizabeth II of England.

In 2015, Facebook declares Hezbollah and the Syrian Arab Republic “terrorist organizations.” It closes the accounts of several television channels, including Al-Mayadeen (then the most-watched news television in the Arab world), Sama and Dunia (two Syrian public television channels), and Ikhbariya (a private Syrian channel). At the same time, it provides trainers to the jihadists fighting the Syrian Arab Republic.

In this context, Facebook does not censor all hate or violent messages. Thus, it promotes the account of opponents of Syria who collect information (name, address, photo) of Syrian nationalists in order to be able to assassinate them.

Political Project

In 2010, Nature published a study on “An experiment of social influence and political mobilization of 61 million people” [9]. The researchers from the University of California show that political messages on Facebook during the midterm elections in the United States had a very large impact, not only on the users of the social network, but also on their friends and even on the friends of their friends.

In 2014, Facebook conducted a study without the knowledge of its subscribers, on “The experimental uncovering of a powerful emotional contagion phenomenon via social networks” [10].

In 2018, Facebook formed a partnership with the Atlantic Council, an influential NATO-subsidized think tank, to “promote U.S. leadership and engagement in the world with its allies.” The specific goal of the partnership is to “ensure the proper use of Facebook in elections around the world by monitoring foreign disinformation and interference and helping to educate citizens and civil society” [11].

Finally, in 2020, Facebook is getting involved in Africa’s colonial politics with its “2Africa” undersea cable project. This network will connect the main ports but will not penetrate the interior of the country [12]. The goal is only to serve the elites who participate in the plunder of the continent by creating their wealth to the West.

Internationally, Facebook’s PR director is Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg. He was deputy to British Prime Minister David Cameron. Facebook France is headed by Laurent Solly, former head of President Sarkozy’s cabinet, and then No. 2 of the private TV channel TF1. He is the husband of Caroline Roux, the star journalist at public broadcaster France2.

Facebook does not stand by the Democrats or the Republicans. It is a company that defends the interests of the “American Empire” using both its knowledge of its users and the feelings it spreads among them.

From this point of view, it is particularly interesting that in 2017 Mark Zuckerberg thought of becoming President of the United States without having to stand for election.

He had assembled a campaign team before then giving up. His plan was to lean on the Democratic Party to unseat President Donald Trump, then approach Vice President Mike Pence to cede him the seat if he automatically became president, and finally rely on Republicans to get Pence to resign and become President himself. [13].

Political Measure

In 2008, candidate Barack Obama relied on former Facebook spokesman Chris Hughes, director of My.BarackObama.com (MyBO) and developer of Obama’s Online Operation (OOO), to reach and mobilize five million voters through Facebook [14].

In 2010, Facebook censored Wikileaks, the organization that exposed Pentagon practices undermining the “American Empire.”

In 2010-11, the platform, officially supported by the U.S. State Department, experienced an explosion during the “Arab Spring” in the “broader Middle East.”

In 2018, Facebook banned the interstate television channel TeleSur, which included Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

In 2020, Facebook closed accounts associated with the French army in Central Africa and Mali. The latter ran a campaign that did not coincide with that of the Pentagon.

In 2021, Facebook closes the accounts of the two incumbent presidents of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, and the United States, Donald Trump.

Facebook and the Media

A British association, Full Fact, has created a coalition between the relevant ministries of the United Kingdom and Canada, on the one hand, and the information giants (Facebook, but also Twitter, Alphabet, and Reuters), on the other, to combat disinformation on the English-language Internet.

Facebook is not limiting itself to fighting Fake News. It has just created a program, “News Innovation,” to support print media. It has already been used in Canada, Argentina and Brazil. It has signed a contract for more than $10 million by focusing on media that support Justin Trudeau in Canada or are hostile to Alberto Fernandez and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in Argentina and Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil.

The Biden administration and Facebook

The Biden administration is worried – even before the people – about the rise of Facebook, which it perceives as a rival. This company sets its limits, makes police and justice in its network, and coins its own currency. It is currently in the service of the Pentagon, but it lacks only an army to transform itself into a state.

That’s why the Biden administration introduced whistleblower France Haugen to the Wall Street Journal and then to the Senate. The debate was about the harmful influence of Facebook on some children. It’s a way to put the social network back in its place without asking the political questions we just enumerated.

The only person in the U.S. today raising questions about the political influence of the digital giants is former President Donald Trump. He has just filed a complaint against Twitter, which shut down his account while he was still acting president of the United States. Mr. Trump relies on the confidences of Democratic senators who have bragged about putting pressure on Twitter. This, in his view, proves that this censorship is not a commercial decision, but a political one; that it violates the first amendment of the US Constitution on unrestricted freedom of expression. Its lawyers are digging in sharply: Twitter has never censored violent speech. It hosts an account of the Taliban government in Afghanistan.

Sources

1.  «Fed’s Brainard: Facebook’s Libra faces ’core set’ of regulatory hurdles», Reuters Staff, Reuters, December 18, 2019.

2.Facebook is rating the trustworthiness of its users on a scale from zero to 1”, Elizabeth Dwoskin, The Washington Post, August 21, 2018.

3. « Facebook Documents Reveal Secret Elite Exempt From Its Rules, Jeff Horwitz », The Wall Street Journal, September 14, 2021.

4.  Mindf*ck: Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America, Christopher Wylie, Randon House (2019). Targeted: The Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower’s Inside Story of How Big Data, Trump, and Facebook Broke Democracy and How It Can Happen Again, Brittany Kaiser, Harper (2019).

5. « Comment une cellule secrète de Facebook manipule les opinions publiques », par Shelley Kasli, Traduction Jean-Marc Chicot, Great Game India (Inde) , Réseau Voltaire, 28 décembre 2017.

6.Psy-Op Ted Cruz“, von Thierry Meyssan, Übersetzung Sabine, Voltaire Netzwerk, 8. Februar 2016.

7. «The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked», Carole Cadwalladr, The Observer, May 7, 2017.

8. « L’œil du Pentagone », par Thierry Meyssan, Réseau Voltaire, 18 novembre 2002. Facebook Nation: Total Information Awareness, Newton Lee, Springer (2012).

9. «A 61-million-person experiment in social influence and political mobilization», Robert M. Bond, Christopher J. Fariss, Jason J. Jones, Adam D. I. Kramer, Cameron Marlow, Jaime E. Settle & James H. Fowler, Nature 489, p. 295–298 (2012). doi:10.1038/nature11421.

10.Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks”, Adam D. I. Kramer, Jamie E. Guillory & Jeffrey T. Hancock, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNSA), Vol 111, #24, July 17, 2014.

11. «Announcing New Election Partnership With the Atlantic Council», Katie Harbath, Facebook, May 17, 2018. «U.S. think tank’s tiny lab helps Facebook battle fake social media», Joseph Menn, Reuters, August 7, 2018. «Facebook’s partnership with the Atlantic Council», Kevin Reed, World Socialist Web Site, September 8, 2018

12.Facebook umschließt Afrika“, von Manlio Dinucci, Übersetzung K. R., Il Manifesto (Italien) , Voltaire Netzwerk, 20. Juni 2020.

13.Mark Zuckerberg möglicher zukünftiger Präsident der Vereinigten Staaten“, Übersetzung Horst Frohlich, Voltaire Netzwerk, 4. August 2017.

14. «The Reason for the Obama Victory: It’s the Internet, Stupid», Betsy Schiffman, Wired, July 11, 2008. «Obama’s Wide Web», Jose Antonio Varga, The Washington Post, August 20, 2008. «How Chris Hughes Helped Launch Facebook and the Barack Obama Campaign», Ellen McGirt, Fast Company, April 1, 2009.