By Dale Boyd
There is a group of people out there. They come to this country, they take from this economy and offer little in return.
They come from a foreign country with no regard for our rules, customs, laws and they use our infrastructure, our people, our government and send the money they make with our resources and from our consumers and ship it past our borders never to be seen again.
These people operate under a different ideology and they will forward this ideology at any cost even if it means dismantling our government, economy and way of life.
I hope you pass the racist test because I’m talking about Netflix, Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook.
People often say “shop local” and aim to eat organic foods grown nearby, but this mentality does not make the leap to local newspapers or entertainment media. Would you really be “shopping local” if a U.S.-based conglomerate set up a fruit stand in town, sent the profits to the U.S., didn’t pay taxes and used your customer data freely?
As a result of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook recently agreed to pay nearly $643,000 in fines after Britain’s Information Commissioner Office brought charges forward for improperly using private user data exposing it to developers without the knowledge of users.
The B.C. government recently said that Facebook is denying or rejecting recommendations from the province’s privacy commissioner.
“Facebook has spent more than a decade expressing contrition for its actions and avowing its commitment to people’s privacy,” B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Michael McEvoy said in a recent press release. “But when it comes to taking concrete actions needed to fix transgressions they demonstrate disregard.”
The fines given in London are a pittance of a penalty for a company estimated to be worth over $60 billion. On top of that, Facebook has conducted unethical psychological experiments on its users as well, toying with emotions for research purposes and unethically altering users’ timelines to see if it affects behaviour. Facebook has decided that Canadian and U.S. law is simply a debate to be had.
The painful irony is this column will get read more if I put it on Facebook and we news organizations use the platform to give important information to our audience while it simultaneously devours our revenues.
What is missing is boots-on-the-ground or in-depth reporting, and it is notable these groups often share and discuss local news.
They also fall into the trap of the local rumour mill. Information can be dangerous and there is an extra responsibility for reporters, less so on the public who won’t lose their job for spreading misinformation — a standard sorely missing from these local community pages at times.
So the next time you worry about Canada’s “milk and honey,” maybe focus on the people who are actually pilfering it while we press the “like” button.