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Network news anchor, journalist, voice talent

Jean Cochran has been one of America’s most familiar voices to millions of radio listeners for decades as a newscaster on NPR’s Morning Edition.  Her newscasts have aired live on 849 member stations nationwide, heard by nearly 27-million listeners every week. For most of her 33 years at NPR, Cochran wrote 5-minute round-ups of world […]

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Why I’m Leaving the Facebook Party

By on March 22, 2018 in Uncategorized with No Comments

     On Sunday (MR 25), I’m deactivating my Facebook account. Down the road, I may actually delete it. Neither action precludes me from hopping on again, should I decide to. I’ve downloaded all my data. So nothing’s lost.
It’s a big, rockin’ party I’m leaving: 2.2 Billion people, worldwide. And we’ve all willingly shared information about ourselves, trusting that, okay-we’ll be hit with ads, but what we post on FB, stays on FB.
    Well, Zuckerberg calls it a breach of trust and it certainly is that. But, the revelation that came to light recently is, IMHO, a major DATA breach.  Fifty-million of us had our data weaponized by political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica to help win the 2016 election for Donald Trump.
Briefly, here’s how that happened: (Check Here) In 2014, FB gave that data to a Russian-American psychology Professor in London who wanted it for research. He eventually turned it over to C-A. The startling take-away from that is that for years, FB has GIVEN AWAY our data…to researchers, App developers and others. FB promised it would not SELL our data. It said nothing about giving it away. (well maybe..somewhere in the fine print we agreed to it. But who reads that!) It has been handing that data out, apparently never thinking that perhaps bad actors might get ahold of it. Talk about head-in-the-sand naivete!
   But indeed, C-A, with Steve Bannon on its Board and funded by wealthy GOP donor, Robert Mercer, went on to use that data to target FB users with ads and God-knows-what other kind of election propaganda. (Actually, some voters in Wisconsin know)
It is my firm belief that C-A is the inflection point of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. The trolls had the disruptive memes, ads, nasty stuff…Russia just needed to know where to direct it to be most effective. C-A knew exactly where it should go. Thus, the ‘data-driven election’ was taken to a whole new level. But that’s just my strong hunch. We’ll see what Mr Mueller has to say on the subject.
  SO: In the wake of this scandal, Zuck says he’s very sorry. But he’s not saying what he’ll do about it.
He has long clung to the notion that FB is simply a platform. Just a place for people to express themselves, like Speakers Corner in Hyde Park. And indeed, it may have been that in the beginning. (remember when all we did was write something? Then we got to add photos, then GIFs, next thing ya know we’re watching a Live Stream of a guy dying from a police gunshot. Yikes!)
   No…it’s way more than a platform now. A utility? A publisher? As of last August, Pew Research says,  45% of Americans get their news on Facebook. It’s some kind of media company.  And it’s used by so many that it’s Ma Bell reincarnated.
  Zuckerberg has to step up and decide what Facebook is.  And once he gets a handle on that, he has to make some moral and ethical choices about how his company wants to treat its product—US!
   He says he’s open to being regulated. But you can’t get lawmakers to agree on where to go for lunch let alone wade into the complex world of tech and figure out how to regulate it. No, no, no. It would be best if it came from him.
   Well, until he sorts that out, I’m going to express my disgust by leaving. I realize all too well that my info, my data is out there. The credit card companies have it, retailers, EVERYBODY!!  FB just happens to be the biggest collection of that data in one place. We’ve all made that grand bargain with the Interweb: giving away our info in exchange for convenience and overnight delivery.  We’re in an age where we have to be vigilant about our data. Go into Settings and reconfigure Privacy and Ads. It’s a lot of work!
   But actually leaving the FB party? We’ll see how it goes. There was life before FB…I think I can find it again. My relatives know how to email me. The cat (and dog and penguin and bear) videos are all on Youtube. I’ve become acquainted with a lot of people I’ve never met. And that’s been fun. But I’m letting it all go.
  I do expect to write more. On a variety of subjects. Watch this space. (Subscribe below)

/Jean

PS:  That’s Buddy.  I figured I’d get in more cat photos before dropping out.

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