The Weaponization of Social Media

Video Source: corbettreport

Now openly admitted, governments and militaries around the world employ armies of keyboard warriors to spread propaganda and disrupt their online opposition. Their goal? To shape public discourse around global events in a way favorable to their standing military and geopolitical objectives. Their method? The Weaponization of Social Media.

This is The Corbett Report. Full transcript and MP3:


How Can Your Instagram Username and Pictures Indirectly Improve Organic Traffic

By Karen Anthony

Several business owners are on Instagram for marketing and promoting their business. Though Google does not take social media into account when it comes to search engine ranks, being aware of the right social media marketing techniques enhance the SEO of your Instagram page indirectly. Unfortunately, most business owners are not aware of the way search engine optimization works for their business. Experts suggest you can incorporate the following two tips to increase organic search engine optimization for your business with your Instagram user name and photos to connect and reach out to more followers- 

  • Optimizing the user name of your business- Many business owners are not aware of the fact that the user name of their Instagram account can be searched online. It is a very important keyword that helps users understand what your business deals with. Experts say you should add your industry to your Instagram user name and think about what users will type in the search options when they want to find you. In case you do not wish to change the username that you use on Instagram in case your brand focuses on your first and last name, this can also be fine. You just need to change your Instagram name and optimize it to attract the target audience and improve search engine optimization indirectly. This name can be searched on search engines as well and make sure that you use it in your Instagram bio and make it bold. This, in turn, will attract followers for Instagram and expand your network.
  • Optimize the photographs that you use on Instagram- Instagram is a visual photo-sharing cum video platform, so most of your followers will come from the photos and the videos you share. You should always choose good photos to promote and market your brand. Make sure they are high in quality. However, when it comes to uploading photographs on your Instagram profile, ensure that you are creative and innovative. This helps you to create a stunning visual platform that makes you stand out from the crowd. Instagram uses a special technology known as image recognition, and this technology helps you to scan your photo to know what its subject is. 

Experts say that the best thing about this technology is it helps you to increase your Instagram account organically. It displays your photos to people who like similar content but have not visited your Instagram account as yet. This is a stunning feature as Instagram helps you to connect to users who are looking for the same kind of content you post without you making any effort at all. The trick here is to ensure that your photos are clean. Check out popular Instagram accounts to get an idea of how your photos and images should look to invoke SEO indirectly.

Therefore, when it comes to improving the organic traffic for Instagram, keep the above two points in mind. In this way, you can increase the number of Instagram followers online and establish your brand awareness in the market without hassles at all!

Author bio: Karen is a Business Tech Analyst. She is very responsible for her job. She helps marketers to achieve better results.

Instagram Stories Provide Social Media Benefits In Real Time With Correct Use

By Karen Anthony

The Instagram platform, if used correctly to share photos and videos for a product, can provide all the benefits of social media marketing in real-time. this holds true for any type of business but is more effective for those businesses that deals with art, fashion, beauty product, and travel.

However, as mentioned earlier, you will need to use this platform correctly, with all its features and tools that it comes with. 

  • Instagram as it is, has a large number of followers, 111 million to be exact, according to recent research reports. That means, there is an exceptionally large number of audiences waiting out there to be tapped.
  • This platform is especially designed to be used on mobile devices which means that you will be able to reach out to your target audience anytime. 

This means that Instagram has a huge potential and at the same time it can assure a higher reach and engagement from your users.

Use Instagram Stories enough

If you want to increase the traffic to your site by directing your social media followers, then Instagram can be just the channel you are looking for. However, you will need to use the Instagram Stories feature enough to ensure that, which sadly most of the business owners fail to do.

If you build on your Instagram Stories, you will gain a lot of followers for Instagram. This is ideally one of the most effective ways to really engage your users as well as get a lot of new followers. 

How to use Instagram Stories

You really do not have to be an expert to use Instagram Stories in the right way. This is because you do not necessarily have to shoot a live video for that matter, and even if you have to, it need not be as good as a video shot by a pro.

  • You can use still images as well and get equal effects.
  • You can also create text pages to tell a story and 
  • You may also use proper tags to make it more relevant to the right channels. 

However, you must remember at this point that it should not be all about the sale. In fact, the users may not get the feeling that you are pushing them too much to make a sale. Make it entertaining, engaging and even funny to make the users smile.

In fact, most of the businesses and marketers use the Instagram Stories feature as the most effective way to demonstrate the personality of their brand. You too should do likewise if you want this popular social media platform to be as productive as it is to your competitors and other businesses.

The best approach is to add special elements in your Instagram stories such as:

  • Fun videos
  • Visual contents of high quality and 
  • Videos of interviews as well.

Make sure that you show love to your users and ambassadors. It is also important to make sure that the content you create is exceptionally good and will make the people happy and interested enough to actually want to watch it, if not keep coming back for more. It is only then you will have a successful marketing campaign. 

Build a relationship

Your brand can do much better benefit by using Instagram Stories from the hyper-engaged social media community of Instagrammers all over the world if you build a relationship with them. This may not be as simple as it may sound and if you do not know how exactly you can do this, then instead of scratching your head to figure out the right ways, you will be better off if you defer to a creative agency for that matter to do the heavy lifting for you.

However, if you wish to go ahead solo, then be informed that the best way to build a relationship with the followers is by creating trust in them. This is the same way you build any relationship. 

Creating trust among users

Creating trust is very important as pointed out by a survey report by SurveyMonkey last year that 68% of the US adults admit that trust in a brand plays a significant role to influence their decision on whether or not they will make a purchase from that specific brand. There are ideally two ways in which you can foster trust in your target audience. 

  • First, let them in and allow them to see the real human parts of your brand. This will present your brand with a unique personality. Make sure that you are transparent and honest in using the images or videos and nothing is staged. It is better to share your raw and authentic self with them. This will build a connection and in turn, this connection will create trust. 
  • Secondly, give them first without expecting anything in return. This means you should focus first on what you can give to them before they ask for anything or you ask anything from them. Building trust is much easier when you do three things, give, give and give more if you know the pun.  

Once you are sure that you are doing or done the above correctly, a better idea is to gauge how correctly you have done it and the quantum of it as well. The best way to find this out is to ask yourself a question: whether or not you are creating value and whether or not your users will pay for what you are giving to them. 

If you find that the answer is affirmative, rest assured that your Instagram and social media marketing effort is moving in the right direction.

Summing it up

The key takeaway of the matter is that you should ensure that the ratio of your product promotion to value-driven content is ideally 1:4. This means for every four pieces of valuable and entertaining content there is one post that is for promoting your product or service.

This is what will ensure that you gain the benefits of Instagram Stories when it comes to your social followers. 

Author bio: Karen is a Business Tech Analyst. She is very responsible for her job. She helps marketers to achieve better results.

Can Anyone Stop Facebook from Poisoning Democracy?

By Timothy Karr | Common Dreams

Freedom (to lie) isn’t free. For the campaign to re-elect Donald Trump it costs $1.5 million a week. And that’s just last week’s tab.

In exchange, Trump’s team gets to spread false and misleading political ads across Facebook’s social network. This includes a 30-second ad that makes the unsubstantiated claim that former Vice President Biden used his influence to block an investigation of a Ukrainian energy company with ties to his son. CNN rejected the ad, noting it contained inaccuracies. But it passed muster with Facebook, Google, Twitter and YouTube, where it’s been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.

“Those naive enough to expect Facebook to do the right thing are ignoring the company’s long history of doing the exact opposite.”

The 2020 election cycle is shaping up to be very lucrative for all the leading tech platforms. Digital political-ad spending is expected to top $2.7 billion before Election Day, according to industry forecasts. Presidential candidates have already spent more than $70 million on Facebook and Google placements, according to data firm Acronym.

Facebook flip flop

All of this cash is great news for online platforms, which are going out of their way to accommodate the rush of campaign ads.

Last month, Facebook changed its policies against misleading ads to give politicians and their campaigns free rein to lie in ads posted on the massive social network. Why bother with fact-checking when there’s easy money in deceptive attack ads?

Under most circumstances, the FCC requires television and radio broadcasters to air political ads by federal candidates; they can’t make decisions based on the content of those candidate ads, whether they’re truthful or not.

Like TV and radio stations, online platforms have no obligation to truth-test political advertising. Yet Facebook once promised to do more than that, pledging that politicians must abide by the same standards as every other advertiser on its site, including the rule that “prohibits ads that include claims debunked by third-party fact-checkers.”

That’s changed, and Facebook is painting itself as a champion of First-Amendment freedoms to justify the switch.

“Our approach is grounded in Facebook’s fundamental belief in free expression, respect for the democratic process, and the belief that in mature democracies with a free press, political speech is already arguably the most scrutinized speech there is,” Facebook’s Katie Harbath explained to the Biden campaign after the company refused to take down the misleading Trump 2020 ad featuring Biden’s son.

But Facebook’s laissez-faire attitude toward political speech has more to do with politics and profits than principle. And it differs dramatically from an earlier commitment by founder Mark Zuckerberg, who told the Senate last year that Facebook wasn’t doing enough to prevent its technology “from being used for harm.”

“It’s not enough to just give people a voice,” he said. “We need to make sure that people aren’t using it to harm other people or to spread misinformation.”

To that end, Facebook has deployed A.I. tools that Zuckerberg claims do a better job of identifying accounts that may be trying to interfere in elections. He also pledged to put people first: “My top priority has always been our social mission of connecting people, building community and bringing the world closer together. Advertisers and developers will never take priority over that.”

Until they do, that is.

Facebook’s anti-democracy bias

Zuck’s words aren’t enough for Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has some of her own: “Facebook has incredible power to affect elections and our national debate,” the presidential candidate tweeted last Monday, noting that the company is taking “deliberate steps to help one candidate intentionally mislead the American people.”

Facebook’s policy change followed a White House meeting between Zuckerberg and Trump in late September. “What did they talk about?” Warren asks. Zuckerberg’s press office won’t say; neither will the White House.

In the meantime, that new and improved A.I. is blocking legitimate news.

Investigative journalist Judd Legum, who first uncovered Facebook’s policy reversal on political ads, last Tuesday reported that Facebook had buried newsworthy posts from a public-radio station in Juneau, Alaska. Facebook claimed that the headline to a post titled “Confused about Juneau’s municipal ballot measures? You’re not alone,” was clickbait, which it forbids.

Last year, Facebook blocked news reports about a hack of its users’ data. Many users found that they couldn’t share stories from legitimate news outlets including the GuardianSacramento Bee, and Associated Press.

Despite the chorus from the right claiming anti-conservative bias at the social network, Facebook has a disturbing habit of content-moderation decisions that disproportionately go against social-justice advocates and vulnerable populations. Last year, it blocked an event page for organizers planning a counter-march against a white-supremacist rally that took place in Washington, D.C. The company also removed a post about racism from a prominent Black Lives Matter activist and journalist, though Facebook later apologized and rescinded the block.

The platform has also helped advertisers discriminate. A 2016 ProPublica investigation found that a Facebook ad-targeting tool allowed realtors to restrict who could see housing-related ads based on their “Ethnic Affinities.”

ProPublica later reported that advertisers could use Facebook’s tools to target ads based on people’s self-reported jobs, even if the job was “Jew-hater.”

Facebook claims to have subsequently tweaked its tech to prevent advertisers from targeting groups or individuals in ways that could be considered discriminatory. Still, it has no problem with political-advertising content that targets vulnerable communities.

According to research by Media Matters, the company allowed the Trump campaign’s Facebook page to run more than 2,000 ads describing immigrants of color — particularly people from Central and South America — as an “invasion,” a term that white-supremacist groups in the United States frequently use in this context.

Poisoning the well

If all of this is leaving you angry and confused, you’re not alone.

Facebook’s promises to do better typically amount to little in practice. If things continue at this rate, one thing is certain: Facebook will play a significant role in poisoning the well of our democracy… again.

Sen. Warren has called for a new round of congressional hearings and an investigation so Facebook executives can explain what they’re doing to prevent a repeat of 2016 election interference and disinformation. But it’s difficult to see how this might result in new guidelines to curtail deceptive ads in time for it to matter. And existing legislative proposals, like Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s worthy Honest Ads Act, focus on disclosure of funders and preventing foreign meddling in U.S. elections. They would do little to stem the flood of misleading political ads coming from known, homegrown candidates themselves.

To date, Congress has advanced no privacy legislation that protects voters from having their online data harvested without their consent for targeting by dishonest political campaigns.

Unless Warren or others plan to introduce new legislation, containing provisions that no one has articulated clearly to this point, there seems very little of legal substance for Congress to discuss at an upcoming hearing with Facebook — certainly nothing that would effectively bar politicians from peddling lies online.

And while Facebook wraps itself in the banner of free expression and political speech, it serves more as a scrim to hide its continued spread of political disinformation to tens of millions of voters in advance of the 2020 elections.

Those naive enough to expect Facebook to do the right thing are ignoring the company’s long history of doing the exact opposite. Facebook now boasts nearly 2.5 billion active users; these users generate four new petabytes of data every day and click “like” 4 million times every minute. Facebook has become too massive to govern itself, and politicians seem too overwhelmed to step into the maelstrom.

But whether and how lawmakers even can step in without running afoul of other cherished principles and legal protections is debatable.

Beyond fixing Facebook

The only real solution to Facebook is one that billions of don’t seem ready to commit to leaving the social platform altogether.

In the interim, we must consider ways to help create its alternative: content-sharing platforms that don’t hammer at the foundations of democracy.

“Silicon Valley is incapable of cleaning up its toxic mess. More democratic media must help improve political participation, deepen discourse and increase voter turnout.”Earlier this year, Craig Aaron and I proposed a tax on the targeted-advertising revenues that are the economic engine fueling the most dominant online platforms. Proceeds from this tax, estimated at $2 billion a year, would go to a “public-interest media endowment” to support local, independent and noncommercial journalism. Additional funds would help incubate new ideas for gathering and distributing news content, preferably those that don’t rely on the clickbait economy and political-advertising budgets to survive.

All of us must think beyond fixing Facebook to a social-media solution of, by and for the people — not one that protects the powerful and spreads their lies. What we accomplish by the end of 2020 will help determine whether the future of our democracy brightens or dims and whether our media system becomes an agent of civic engagement or alienation.

To do this requires a dramatic change in the way online platforms work today. Silicon Valley is incapable of cleaning up its toxic mess. More democratic media must help improve political participation, deepen discourse and increase voter turnout. Transparency about political ads is a key element of this shift, but so are efforts to return working journalists to civic-minded beats and limit the damaging effects of disinformation.

These changes must be an intrinsic part of the broader movement to restore democratic norms. A part of that is changing business as usual at platforms that profit from deception.

Timothy Karr

Timothy Karr is the senior director of strategy for Free Press Action Fund, the advocacy organization that fights for everyone’s rights to connect and communicate. Follow him on Twitter: @TimKarr.

Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share it widely.

Read more great articles at Common Dreams.

Social Media Is Programming Us – Says the Creators of Social Media

By Truthstream Media | Activist Post

It’s one thing to think that something subversive is happening with social media, surveillance, and mind control. It’s quite another thing when it’s admitted to by the very people who created it. Melissa Dykes covers the wide range of effects that the pervasive use of social media is already having on society.

Aaron & Melissa Dykes are the founders of TruthstreamMedia.com, Subscribe to them on YouTube, like on Facebook, follow on Twitter, support on Patreon.

Watch their mini-documentary Obsolete here.

Read more great articles at Activist Post.

What Makes Instagram Stand Out in the Crowd Among All the Social Media Platforms?

By Karen Anthony

What is so special about Instagram that everyone is so fond of, especially when it comes to business? This is a question that every business owner asks themselves when they are advised to use Instagram for marketing and to promote their businesses online. Experts say that if you are a business owner and have not joined Instagram as yet, you are sure missing out on a wide range of marketing opportunities. Given below are the reasons-

Instagram and the reasons why it is indispensable for your business

The following are the key reasons as to why Instagram is an indispensable social media platform for your business and how you can get more likes on Instagram.

1. Instagram is growing daily 

Instagram is growing at an alarming pace. There are more than 1billion active users, and over 500 million people are on this platform daily. There are approximately 38% of this number that checks the portal many times in a day. This means if you are a business owner and not using Instagram for your business, you are surely missing out on a huge number of opportunities on this platform. 

2. The good news is that any business can thrive on Instagram 

Yes, this is true. No matter how small or large you are as a business, you can reach the sky with Instagram. There are established companies like Coca Cola, Nike, Adidas, etc. and lesser-known local shop brands that are equally thriving on Instagram. You just need to get started to get noticed and gain real Instagram likes for building awareness and brand visibility. There are over 1 billion users on Instagram and note- they are on this portal looking for you!

3. Make money directly with Instagram

Since Instagram has evolved drastically over time; there is an increased scope for every business to make money via product placement. This is one of the latest developments that Instagram has introduced in the USA and some other nations in the world- it is called shoppable posts. Here, businesses are permitted to add product tags with links that cover price, description of products, and the scope to “shop now.” Thanks to this new feature on Instagram, consumers can now shop directly from the platform giving businesses the scope to earn money from it directly. Therefore, if you are a business owner and you do not have a business profile on Instagram, it is prudent for you to get started right away – the positive results for success are hard for you to ignore!

Therefore, when it comes to Instagram for your business, you cannot ignore its role in creating awareness and brand visibility. Moreover, it brings you the scope and the opportunity to earn money directly from the site. This means you can get a faster checkout process, and the user does not even have to exit the portal. Instagram is one of the best platforms for every business. If you use it correctly, you are sure to taste the fruits of success soon and go a long way when it comes to becoming an established brand in the market with success!

Author bio: Karen is a Business Tech Analyst. She is very responsible for her job. She helps marketers to achieve better results.

Engage With Your Social Media Audience More To Influence Site Visits

By Karen Anthony

If you do not know your audience and your audience does not know you then even your best social media marketing efforts will prove to be futile. Therefore, getting engaged with your audience is primarily important. This will ensure a lot of things such as:

  • A better marketing result
  • A high volume of traffic to your site
  • A high rate of conversion and 
  • An increased prospect of sales and business revenue.

This is perhaps one of the most crucial aspects of social media management and marketers try out all possible ways to ensure that their audiences are highly and continuously engaged. 

According to the data of Sprout Social Index, it is known that brands that send more than 23 messages to only one consumer typically respond. This means the rate of engagement is far too low and there is too much self-promotion. Therefore, you will need to consider a lot of things that various reports suggest before you shrug off chatting to your audience. These things are:

  • When it comes to customer car 34% of people choose social media as their preferred choice
  • If people are ignored on social then 1 in 3 people go to the competitors 
  • When it comes to receiving replies from the brands only 11% of people receive it and 
  • Considering the Q1 2016 report it is seen that on an average 957 messages are required for a response which is 18% higher than Q1 2015.

Well, this does not mean that every day after you wake up and till the time you go off to sleep you will need to spend the entire time talking or answering to your customers. However, it is your duty to provide the most exceptional customer experience. 

One of the best and perhaps the simplest way to ensure exceptional customer service and to establish a connection with your customers is by replying back to your customer when they raise any questions or concerns.

Expert marketing analysts say that this is even more powerful and effective than if you buy real Instagram likes in vain effort to increase the volume of traffic to your site. The experts also say that if you want to increase your social media traffic you should start by managing all your social media channels and accounts more efficiently and effectively whether it if Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. This is because social media is just like a two-way street and therefore you will surely hurt your traffic if you make it a one-way strategy.

There are lots of social suites and social media management tools that will help you in more than one ways in this aspect such as:

  • It will provide you with the ability to stay on top of all social events
  • It will help you to know and manage the comments
  • It will help you to determine the best posts and contents to publish in your feeds with the help of a single-stream inbox. 

Since building your social media audience takes the time you will need to follow these steps more strategically and diligently to see a positive effect on your social media traffic.

Easily shareable content

Another significant way to engage with your audience more and in a better way is by making your content easily shareable. In these modern days, it is important for every marketer or business owner to know by now the importance of being mobile-friendly. According to the study report of ComScore, it is revealed that:

  • 65% of time spent on social media is through any type of mobile device and 
  • Almost 40% of all contents published are read on a mobile device as compared to a desktop.

That means this is the mobile age and living in this age means you must make sure that your content is not only easy to read but more importantly it is simple to share. It is the share buttons present on mobile devices that play a critical role in driving more social media traffic. That means if the audience finds that your content is harder for them to share, it is not only less likely that they will but will also leave you never to come back again. 

Social media plugins

Using social media plugins and buttons will also help you to get your readers engaged and help them to share your content. There are many different social media plugins that will come across and use to help you spread your content through social media in a much easier and faster way.

  • One of such avenues is by using click to Tweet. This will allow the readers to highlight the parts of your content that they want to share on social media without having to leave the page.
  • Secondly, you must also make sure that the social media buttons are also included so that your content is mobile friendly and does not distract the readers while they scroll down.

According to Slate and Chartbeat, you should first optimize as to where you want to place the social media buttons given the fact that most readers only make it halfway down the page. You can use useful tools like the free heat map plugins to see the exact place on your blog content where people are clicking the most. Once you have this idea and know the exact area of your blog with a high click volume you can add the social share buttons there. This will increase your site traffic immediately.

Improve SEO

Last but not least, you will need to focus on your search engine optimization, SEO and up the best practices. This will ensure that not only your content is easy for readers to share but it is also done correctly and effectively. 

Since digital marketing is an in-thing now and has grown immensely you have to integrate SEO best practices into your content. It will help you to improve online visibility and increase more social media traffic and eventually generate more sales and leads.

Author bio

Karen is a Business Tech Analyst. She is very responsible for her job. Integrating Instagram and other social channels, she helps marketers to achieve better results.

Is Capturing The Market The Main Motive of a Businessman?

By Karen Anthony

A business is theoretically seen as the trading of goods and services with a profit motive. With a platform of the internet, doing business has become easy, but challenging. In yesteryears, the scope of business was limited to a certain area, but now the scope of business area is worldwide as a business is carried out online, which means everyone and anyone can communicate with each other throughout the world. The strategies to promote the products has increased so much that new concepts are researched to capture the market. In a business perspective, yes, capturing the market should the main motive of a businessman. Only when he/she captures the market, earning of profits is possible.  Business is done with a profit motive and is not a social service. Even the usage of the social network is done to improve the business.   

How to capture the market?

1. Usage of Hashtags 

One of the most popular concepts applicable today is the usage of Hashtag.  A Hashtag plays an important and crucial role in the progress of any business.  You may have a doubt regarding the importance of a hashtag in the development of any business even though your promotion and quality of the product is the best.  This is a world of internet in which lots and lots of information is linked with one website or other. In so many posts of content, finding out the right information becomes very tough. So, it depends on the users to input the right keyword to get the right information.  But, from the point of the person posting the content, to link his posts, he has to use the hashtag (#) before the keyword. For example, if books have to be promoted, the posts should contain #Books in it. Too many hashtags also may disturb the fun of getting information. 

Inclusion of a hashtag with your post is one of the tips of developing a business as it helps to classify content based on your audience. It gives a chance for you to get noticed in social media, where people with the same interests interact with each other.  During this sort of conversations, it will be easy to establish a strong base for the growth of the business. Proper know-how of usage of hashtag will change the game in favor of the businessman. Some of the other tips which will uplift the business are:

  • Just creating a hashtag with a brand name along with it is not enough. People should know the keyword through which they can get information about you.  Your company, as well as profile, should be updated with the respective hashtag. You should give some care to get it printed on your invoices, receipts, in advertisements, and in case you are sponsoring some events, it should be mentioned on the banners or hoardings. By seeing the respective hashtag mentioned on the invoices, or receipts, etc., people will think of checking the content linked, which will definitely create interest in them when they see your product linked. 
  • Whenever posts are posted, the title should be catchy, and hashtag should be linked. The title mentioned should be short but descriptive. The creativity in making short but sweet, catchy lines is very much necessary.

2. Instagram Followers 

Social media is a group made by the people for the people.  So, the interaction between the members is quite common. One need not be surprised if they have Instagram Followers for their posts. If the posts have to be viewed by a larger audience, then using a hashtag will serve the purpose. The more views, the more leads you get to work on. Further, it proves to be very effective in building the brand image, thereby uplifting the Business. Getting Instagram Followers is not so difficult. You can even add free Instagram Followers in various ways.

Any post with good content and images with appropriate hashtags will always attract attention. The only thing that must be kept in mind is that the response to the Instagram followers should be very diplomatic but at the same time should not hurt anyone’s feelings. The businessman should be tactful in maintaining a balance between both and succeed in his motives. Nowadays, getting Instagram followers is also easy.  You can approach any good marketing consultants who will help you out with good suggestions. You can get Instagram Followers by paying some premium amount or for free. But that again depends on your consultant and his suggestion. Based on his experience, he is the best person to judge what sort of treatment your business requires to stick to the market.

3. Celebrities 

Checkout for the influential or people with celebrity status around your area.  Try to communicate with them and try to become one of their favorites. Once their followers come to know that you or your brand have become the celebrity’s favorite, people will start liking your product.  Well, this concept is used for many years. We can find many advertisements promoting usage of FMCG products like soaps, toothpaste, etc. being used by celebrities are the same is followed by the fans liking them.

4. Loyal customers 

By making your loyal customers as your brand ambassadors, you can increase business prospects as the new customers will believe the word say of the loyal customers than any of your promotions. This has a direct effect on their minds and hearts.  Further, they will be motivated by gaining the brand ambassador status by becoming loyal customers themselves. This, in turn, is a good sign of an increase in loyal customers of the brand. One more way of retaining loyal customers is by giving certain discounts or percentages of profits for promoting the brands.

For a businessman, earning a profit is the main motive. At the same time, maintaining the brand status is also important.  Getting a monopoly for the product is possible only till expiry of the copyright license. Once that happens, one can find an infinite number of alternate products working efficiently than the main product. The competition will be tough.  It becomes necessary to retain the product in the market, along with the competitor’s products and yet win the hearts of the users and make them your loyal customers. 

Author Bio 

Karen Anthony is a Business Tech Analyst. She is very responsible for her job. She loves to share her knowledge and experience with her friends and colleagues.

Antitrust Probe of Facebook May Be First Step Against Big Tech

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Source: TechXplore

A coalition of US states unveiled on Friday an antitrust investigation of Facebook, the first of what is expected to be a wave of action against dominant technology firms.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced the action on behalf of seven other states and the District of Columbia to probe “whether Facebook has stifled competition and put users at risk.”

The case may be the first in a series of antitrust actions against Big Tech firms and highlights growing “techlash,” based on worries about platforms which control the flow of online information and dominate key economic sectors.

“We will use every investigative tool at our disposal to determine whether Facebook’s actions may have endangered consumer data, reduced the quality of consumers’ choices, or increased the price of advertising,” James said.

Joining the action were attorneys general of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, and Tennessee, said, James.

Earlier this year the US Department of Justice said it would launch a “review” of major online platforms to determine if they have stifled innovation or reduced competition.

It was not immediately clear if the states would be working in coordination with federal officials.

Rising fears

Facebook offered no immediate comment, but in the past, it has claimed it is not a monopoly and that consumers have many choices for how to connect with people online.

The new probe “shows how unease with large tech companies is spreading beyond Congress and the federal government agencies to the states,” said Michael Carrier, professor of antitrust law at Rutgers University.

“With each passing day, there are greater fears about these companies controlling our online lives.”

Yet the legal basis for an antitrust action remains unclear, said Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University.

“It remains to be seen if the (attorneys general) has any merit to their complaints or if they will be conducting a fishing expedition hoping to find some damning evidence,” Goldman said.

“Companies as large as Google or Facebook probably have minor problematic practices the AGs could target, but I’m still waiting for any evidence that would support more structural challenges to the internet giants’ practices.”

More on Monday

A separate coalition of states was set to launch another antitrust initiative, with Google reportedly a target.

The office of the Texas attorney general scheduled an event Monday in Washington with a “broad coalition of states” to unveil a probe into “whether large tech companies have engaged in anticompetitive behavior that stifled competition, restricted access, and harmed consumers.”

Google confirmed Friday that the Department of Justice had asked for its records on previous antitrust probes.

“The DOJ has asked us to provide information about these past investigations, and we expect state attorneys general will ask similar questions,” Kent Walker, Google’s senior vice president of global affairs, said in a blog post.

He stressed that Google was “one of America’s top spenders on research and development, making investments that spur innovation” and pledged to work constructively with regulators.

What’s the remedy?

Maurice Stucke, a University of Tennessee law professor, said he expects one of the areas being investigated will be online advertising markets, which are dominated by Google and Facebook.

“This is a great area to look at because the market has been criticized as being opaque,” Stucke said.

Stucke said the investigations may go further by looking at how tech platforms control data, potentially examining “the intersection between competition law and privacy.”

Amazon and Apple may also be in the crosshairs. Critics have complained that Amazon wields too much power in online retail and that Apple may disadvantage rivals offering services in its .


Why You’re Addicted to Your Cellphone

Video Source: CBC News

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | mercola.com


  • The featured CBC Marketplace program, “Why You’re Addicted to Your Smartphone,” goes behind the scenes, talking to tech insiders about how cellphone addiction is manufactured, and the effects thereof
  • Internet addiction — the inability to unplug — has been shown to take a toll on cognition and focus, as it’s a constant source of distraction
  • The “Moment” app tracks the amount of time you spend on any given app, allowing you to see just how much of your life you’re frittering away
  • Silicon Valley companies use artificial intelligence and neuroscience to create more engaging and persuasive apps, maximizing the addictive potential of your smartphone
  • Commonly used habit-forming tools include pleasure hooks, variable awards, “the infinite scroll” and loss aversion techniques

This article will focus on the social addiction issue of cellphone use and does nothing to address the electromagnetic field (EMF) exposures, which I cover carefully in my next book “EMF’d,” slated for publication in early 2020.

As a lover of technology, it pains me to see what technological advancements are doing to the psychological health of so many, especially our youth. Children today cannot even fathom a life pre-internet — a life where school work involved library visits and phone calls required you to stay in one spot (since the telephone was attached to the wall).

Children and parents alike now spend an inordinate amount of time on their smartphones, communicating with friends (and possibly strangers) via text, on Twitter and Facebook, and work to keep up their Snapstreaks on Snapchat.

Even many toddlers are proficient in navigating their way around a wireless tablet these days. Smartphones have changed the way people interact socially, especially teens, and this has significant ramifications for their psychological health.

This is a topic covered in-depth in Jean Twenge’s book “iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy — and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood — and What That Means for the Rest of Us.”1

A majority of teens’ social life is carried out in the solitude of their bedroom via their smartphones, Twenge points out in a 2017 article2 adaptation of her book, published in The Atlantic, and this lack of face-to-face interaction has a steep psychological price: loneliness. Internet addiction — the inability to unplug — has also been shown to take a toll on cognition and focus, as it’s a constant source of distraction.

Your cellphone — A necessity or a convenience?

The featured CBC Marketplace program, “Why You’re Addicted to Your Smartphone,”3 goes behind the scenes, talking to tech insiders about how cellphone addiction is manufactured, and the effects thereof.

According to Marketplace, people use their cellphones for an average of three hours a day, and as shown in the footage, many are in the habit of perusing their cellphones while walking — completely oblivious to their surroundings.

Over their lifetime, teens will spend “nearly a decade of their life staring at a smartphone,” CBC reporter Virginia Smart writes in an accompanying article.4 If you frequently feel you don’t have enough time in the day to get more productive things done, perhaps your cellphone usage is part of the problem, siphoning off valuable time from each day.

Still, most agree their phone has become a “necessity” rather than a convenience. Forgetting their phone at home, or losing it, is frequently described as a disaster.

“My entire life is on my phone,” one man says.5 “I don’t know where I’d be [without it].” Just how did we get to this point? “It’s part of a plan you didn’t even know you signed up for,” CBC correspondent David Common says.

Variable rewards and other mind tricks

To investigate real-world usage, CBC Marketplace enlists an Ontario family of five in an experiment: An app on their phone will track each family member’s usage over a two-month period. The app, called “Moment,”6 tracks the amount of time you spend on any given app, allowing you to see just how much of your life you’re frittering away. Get a reliable internet provider and download this app.

Tracking the usage of all users, everywhere, is also being done by Silicon Valley companies in an effort to figure out how to make us use their apps even more. One of them is Dopamine Labs, founded by Ramsay Brown, which uses “artificial intelligence and neuroscience to track your usage, loyalty, and revenue.”7

As explained by Brown, they use AI and the science of the mind to “make apps more engaging and persuasive.” In other words, they use science to maximize the addictive potential of your smartphone.

The secret is rather simple. Apps that trigger pleasure become addictive. As noted by CBC Marketplace, it’s rather telling that the two leading creators of the smartphone revolution, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, both admitted limiting their children’s use of their revolutionary devices — probably because they knew something the rest of us didn’t.

We’re not really designing software anymore,” Brown says. “We’re designing minds.” Just how is this done? Some of the most commonly used habit-forming tools include:8

Pleasure hooks — This could be a notification of “Congrats!” or “Good job!” or a high-five icon after you’ve completed an action, for example. On social media platforms, getting “Likes” accomplishes the same thing. The ability to collect followers is yet another hook.

Variable rewards — As explained by Marketplace, a key method used to trick your mind into addictive behavior is known as “variable rewards.” In a nutshell, it means you’re never sure what you’re going to get. How many “Likes” will your post garner? How many followers or points can you get? How long can you maintain a streak?

As with other types of gambling, this uncertainty coupled with the prospect of a pleasant reward is what feeds the compulsion to keep going.

The infinite scroll — Another “hook” perfected by social media is that never-ending stream of content and commentary that can keep you going indefinitely.

Loss aversion — While starting out as a pleasurable activity, at a certain point, your continued usage morphs into a prison of your own making — you “can’t” stop using the app, or you’ll experience let-down and disappointment. Snapchat’s Snap streak is a perfect example of how apps cash in on loss aversion.

“Brain hacking” techniques such as these have led to 6% of the global population now struggling with internet addiction, according to a 2014 study,9 rivaling that of illicit drug use.10

The problems with overuse and abuse of cellphones lead to sleep disturbances, anxiety, stress and depression,11 as well as increased exposure to electromagnetic field radiation, which also places your health12,13 and mental14 well-being at risk.

Internet addiction is on the rise

Marketplace interviews Lisa Pont, a social worker at the Canadian Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, where people are now coming into the program because their smartphone usage has become a problem.

“Research is starting to show that technology has an impact on memory, concentration, mood, [causing] anxiety and depression; it has an impact on sleep, it has an impact on overall well-being,” Pont says.

Children, Pont stresses, are particularly vulnerable due to their innate lack of self-control, and really need parental guidance and limits on their device usage. “It’s too tempting at that age to mitigate their own use,” Pont says, pointing out that children’s brains are not fully developed, hence they lack impulse control and the ability to foresee the consequences of their behavior.

Cellphone use and depression

As noted by Twenge in her article15 “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” rates of teen depression and suicide have dramatically risen since 2011, and data suggest spending three hours or more each day on electronic devices can raise a teen’s suicide risk by as much as 35%.16

Spending 10 or more hours on social media each week is also associated with a 56% higher risk of feeling unhappy, compared to those who use social media less, and heavy social media users have a 27% higher risk of depression.17

“It’s not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades,” Twenge writes,18 adding that “Much of this deterioration can be traced to their phones …

There is compelling evidence that the devices we’ve placed in young people’s hands are having profound effects on their lives — and making them seriously unhappy.”

How much time are you spending on your phone?

After tracking Jackson, age 8, for two months, his average daily screen time came out to five hours and 32 minutes, but on some days, he spends nearly 11 hours on his tablet — basically the whole entire day. At his current pace, his projected lifetime screen time amounts to a whopping 15 years.

His mother admits being worried about her young son’s screen time, especially as she’s noticed he typically prefers spending time on his tablet over all other social interactions and activities. Meanwhile, the family’s 16-year old, Emily, trades her sleep for social media. She admits getting caught up in the infinite scroll; before she knows it, hours may have passed.

As noted by in Twenge’s Atlantic article,19 sleep deprivation among teenagers rose by 57% between 1991 and 2015. Many do not even get seven hours of sleep on a regular basis, while science reveals they need a minimum of eight and as much as 10 hours to maintain their health. Twenge writes about the habits of the teens she interviewed:

“Their phone was the last thing they saw before they went to sleep and the first thing they saw when they woke up … Some used the language of addiction.

‘I know I shouldn’t, but I just can’t help it,’ one said about looking at her phone while in bed. Others saw their phone as an extension of their body — or even like a lover: ‘Having my phone closer to me while I’m sleeping is a comfort.’”

Emily is no different, admitting that checking her phone is part of her morning and evening routines. It’s the first thing she does upon waking, and the last thing she does before bed. For Emily, a large part of her day revolves around Snapchat. She uses the app continuously to keep in touch with her friends — even when they’re sitting right next to her.

As mentioned, Snapchat uses a technique known as “loss aversion” to keep its users using. Emily has a Snapchat streak that has been going for nearly two years, and now she feels compelled to not break it, which is what loss aversion is all about.

On many days, Emily’s phone stays in use for nearly 7.5 hours. The Moment app clocked her picking up her phone up to 100 times a day during the monitoring period. On average, she spends 30% of her waking hours on her phone. Her parents are not far behind, each averaging about 21%.

Symptoms of internet addiction

Symptoms of the internet or cellphone addiction are similar to other types of addiction but are more socially acceptable. As noted in one study, internet addiction (IA) is:20

“[G]enerally regarded as a disorder of concern because the neural abnormalities (e.g., atrophies in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) and cognitive dysfunctions (e.g., impaired working memory) associated with IA mimic those related to substance and behavioral addiction. Moreover, IA is often comorbid with mental disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and depression.”

According to Psycom.net, conditions that can increase your risk of internet addiction or compulsion include anxiety, depression, other addictions, and social isolation or awkwardness.21 Common emotional symptoms of internet addiction include:22

Boredom with routine tasks Dishonesty and defensiveness Feelings of guilt, fear or anxiety; mood swings
Experiencing euphoria while online Procrastination; inability to prioritize tasks or keep schedules Avoidance of work

Physical symptoms of internet addiction disorder can include:23

Backache, headache, neck pain Carpal tunnel syndrome Dry eyes and other vision problems
Insomnia Poor nutrition; weight gain or weight loss Poor personal hygiene

Notifications take a significant toll on your cognition

If you’re like most, you probably have an array of notifications set on your phone. According to Marketplace, these notifications concern experts, who warn the constant pinging, beeping, and buzzing actually has significant consequences for your cognition.

Marketplace correspondent Commons visits Western University, where a lot of cognition research is being conducted. He participates in a test to evaluate his ability to focus and to see how distractions from his phone affect his attention and cognition.

First, Commons performs the attention test without his phone. For the next round of testing, his phone is left on, nearby. And, while he can’t see it, he can hear it — incoming phone calls, texts and the pinging of incoming social media notifications.

For the third part of the test, Commons has to recall numbers being texted to him. “It reflects how we normally interact with our phones,” the researcher explains. You might text details to a coworker, for example, or your spouse might ask you to buy milk on the way home.

Commons admits the distractions caused by his phone significantly interfere with his ability to concentrate on the task at hand. Even vibration without sound causes problems. Just how big of a problem? Commons’ verbal comprehension declined by nearly 20% when phone distractions were allowed.

One simple step that can eliminate many of these distractions is to simply turn off all notifications. Still, simply having your phone nearby can be enough to take your mind off what you’re doing.

A study24,25 using a group of more than 50 college students found that performance in complex tasks was worse when the participant could see a cellphone present, whether it was the study leader’s phone or their own, as compared to the performance of tasks when no cellphone was visible.

As noted by Brown, smartphones are here to stay, and app developers are getting increasingly sophisticated at capturing your attention. Smartphone users, therefore, need to become savvier and learn to make conscious choices about how they use their devices.

The question is, “Who do we want to be?” Brown says. Modern technology really requires you to shape yourself (or be shaped by software developers) and to use your devices in a way that helps you rather than hinders you from living your best life.

Read more great articles at mercola.com

Can We Bring Back the Old YouTube? An Overview of the FairTube Campaign

By Sophia Zaldivar | MCSC Network w/Niko House

Editor’s Note: You have no doubt heard numerous articles and read some articles about changes to YouTube’s handling of user content over the last 2 years. Very popular “Youtubers” have lost revenues through “demonetization” and have found that their ability to reach their current and targeted audiences have been adversely affected by their treatment in Google’s/YouTube’s algorithm, which determines rankings for the various videos on YouTube. Worse, some video channels have actually been taken down by YouTube. One problem with this phenomenon is that, for the most part, users do not even know why they have been demonetized or shut down. Some have also been concerned that some content is favored over other content. Even certain names will get a channel demonetized. Suspiciously, some of those words are “pizzagate”, “pedophilia”, “Epstein”, and “Tulsi Gabbard.” One group is taking action in this regard, a group in Germany, called Fairtube. The 2 videos below tell you more about this. Please spread the word, comment below, and get involved if you feel that this is an important issue for you.

Below is the video referred to in the above video:

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield, Massachusetts and New England (USA) & “virtually” the world. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.


Beware Facebook’s Libra: A Corporate Surveillance Leviathan With No Precedent Outside the Realm of Science Fiction

By Robert Weissman | Common Dreams

Editor’s note: On Wednesday, July 17, 2019, Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, was among those who testified before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee against Facebook’s Libra proposal. Read a statement from Public Citizen and Weissman’s full testimony to the committee here.

“Trust us.”

That’s the gist of what Facebook’s David Marcus repeatedly told lawmakers this week when defending Facebook’s proposal to start a new privatized global currency called Libra.

As U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) noted, Facebook “moved fast and broke our political discourse, they broke journalism, they helped incite a genocide, and they’re undermining our democracy. Now Facebook is asking people to trust them with their hard-earned paychecks.”

It would be foolish to trust Facebook about anything. It would be equally foolish to trust any giant corporation with the mission of creating a private global currency.

Maintaining a monopoly over establishing the currency and making new coins is a defining feature of national sovereignty. Facebook wants to abrogate that right to itself—and do so on a worldwide scale.

You don’t have to think too hard to see how horrible an idea this is. The combination of detailed transactional data involving hundreds of millions of people with Facebook’s already expansive data on billions of users’ likes, personal preferences, and intimate thoughts threatens to create a corporate surveillance leviathan with no precedent outside the realm of science fiction. The new currency would enable it to glean even more information about its users, so it can engage in even more troubling advertising targeting and manipulation of consumers.

Marcus repeatedly told lawmakers that the hand-picked group of megacorporations tapped to run the Libra system would be willing to be subject to regulation. But Facebook incorporated the Libra Association—the corporate group that will manage the new currency—in Switzerland. And there’s no amount of regulation that can solve the most serious problems with this proposal.

So many aspects of Facebook’s plan are dangerous that it’s hard to list them all. But here are a few more:

  • Facebook’s proposal would extend and deepen Facebook’s dominance in social media, hurting competition;
  • It would create financial systemic risks, but without the controls on financial institutions designed to protect against systemic risk;
  • It could give the company dramatically enhanced power over information flows and our economy, enabling it both to further commercialize our lives and to crush competitors;
  • It would threaten nations’ ability to maintain their own monetary policy and take measures to address currency crises—if people were worried about the stability of their currency in, say, a poor country, they could shift into Libra, potentially facilitating a run on the national currency; and
  • It would lead to tax cheats, organized criminal enterprises, money launderers, and others rushing to take advantage of the system that promises secrecy

The Libra ecosystem would be a welcoming home for hucksters and scammers who could escape consumer protection regulation. With an international platform using an international currency, it will be exceedingly difficult for regulators to crack down on bad actors who do business in the new Facebook currency. What happens when a lender in, say, Ukraine—perhaps failing to disclose where it is from—illegally tricks people into borrowing from them and then imposes improper fees, charges and super high-interest rates? How is a U.S. regulator going to do anything about that? Even more, what chance does a regulator in, say, Kenya have of preventing such abuses?

There are serious questions that don’t involve traditional scams, too. For example, will Facebook and its corporate partners be able to gain information enabling them to price discriminate against users? How might that exacerbate racial inequalities?

The Libra system would enable Facebook to pull consumers into a closed Facebook ecosystem that will disadvantage competitors and consumers. It’s easy enough to imagine Facebook and its partners disfavoring competitors, including by excluding them, offering discounts to Libra partners, or punishing those using alternative private currencies. If Facebook’s plans get to scale, then the exclusion of competitors would be utterly devastating.

Facebook says it’s creating a new subsidiary that will hold user’s financial data and not share it with other parts of Facebook. But it would be beyond naïve to credit those promises. The company has violated its own privacy policy over and over and over again, just agreeing to pay a $5 billion fine, 200 times larger than any previous privacy fine. Even worse, the pledges that Facebook makes now are voluntary, nonbinding and subject to change or simply being ignored.

This week’s hearings made this glaringly obvious: Facebook’s proposal is reckless, ill-conceived and a disaster in the making. Lawmakers and regulators should shut down Libra right now.

Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.

About the Author

Robert Weissman

Robert Weissman is the president of Public Citizen. Weissman was formerly director of Essential Action, editor of Multinational Monitor, a magazine that tracks corporate actions worldwide, and a public interest attorney at the Center for Study of Responsive Law. He was a leader in organizing the 2000 IMF and World Bank protests in D.C. and helped make HIV drugs available to the developing world.

Read more great articles at Common Dreams.

The Musical Coverup of the Century?: UMG Faces Suspicion Over Possible Loss of A Half Million Songs

By Robert G. O’Leary

listen to music

You’ve heard the old expression, “If a tree fell in a forest, would it make a sound.” For this next story, we could rephrase that question to ask, “If a fire occurred, affecting perhaps billions of dollars worth of potential revenues, would you hear (about) it? Well, it took 11 years for any of us to hear about a huge conflagration having occurred at a storage building in Hollywood CA, at Universal Studios Hollywood.

According to the video below, “almost all of the master recordings stored in the vault … including those produced by some of the most famous musicians since the 1940s, [likely including] masters” by the following artists were destroyed:

Billie Holiday

Louis Armstrong

Duke Ellington

Al Jolson

Bing Crosby

Ella Fitzgerald

Judy Garland

Chuck Berry

Aretha Franklin

Buddy Holly

John Coltrane

Ray Charles

B.B. King

The Four Tops

Joan Baez

Neil Diamond

Sonny and Cher

Joni Mitchell

Cat Stevens

Gladys Knight and the Pips

Al Green

Elton John

Eric Clapton

Jimmy Buffett

The Eagles


Rufus and Chaka Khan

Barry White

Patti LaBelle

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

The Police


Steve Earle


Janet Jackson

Guns N’ Roses

Mary J. Blige

No Doubt

Nine Inch Nails

Snoop Dogg



Sheryl Crow

Tupac Shakur


50 Cent, and

The Roots.

How many of your favorite artists did you find in the above list?

As a music consumer, this may not seem like a big deal. You can still go online or to the local music store, and buy the releases from your musical heroes. Yet this is still really important. This is because lost masters contain the mixed-down and post-mastered original recording(s) of each of these artists. They contain the result of many hours of careful fine-tuning and adjustment of all of the musical and vocal tracks that went into to creating each of the songs you, or someone around you, loves. Speaking of love, many of us are “around” because some of these songs were the romantic soundtrack of our parents’, grandparents’, or even great-grandparents’ lives and lovelives.

As you will hear in the videos below, there are important things to consider about the loss of master recordings. Some experts will legally argument that the loss of these masters amounts to Universal Music Group’s loss of the ability to prove its ownership over these recordings. If this is the case, who now would own these songs: the writer, the producer, or someone else? This would require a review of the contracts for each piece of music. It may amount to who owns or possesses the original track recordings which were used to create the masters.

UMG has tried to crisis-manage this news, as discussed in the following video:

As you might expect, there has been reaction to this news, as demonstrated in the below video:

Not only is the loss of these masters devastating, the way in which UMG has handled this tragedy is no less than shocking. One can legitimately call this a cover-up of more than a decade. Those with any claim on this music could also charge Universal Music Group with fraud, or an intentional misrepresentation of any of the facts surrounding the property lost in this inferno particularly considering that the UMG representative in this video did not indicate that there was any loss of masters at the time of the original incident back in June of 2008.

It would also be interesting to know the answer to such questions as “Why now?” and “Who decided to reveal the news?” or “Will the loss of the masters somehow diminish the value which each of these songs hold in terms of sale value in the future?”

I encourage you all to follow this story as it develops. We could conceivably see this story unfolding for years as the various artists, affected by this fire, sue Universal Music Group in court, and attempt to find some justice out of this tragedy.

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield, Massachusetts and New England (USA) & “virtually” the world. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.


10 Social Media Networks to Use Instead of Facebook

By Jake Anderson | The Anti-Media

(ANTIMEDIA) — The salient facts of the new Cambridge Analytica scandal are bad, and the optics are even worse for Facebook, which is already facing multiple battles both in legal courts and the court of public opinion. But this really is just the spilled pot of a long-boiling problem: growing discomfort within our citizen-consumer class over predatory data mining and the unaccountable shadow agencies and corporations being given access to our private lives via social networks. Big Brother has been privatized, and it may turn out to be far more dangerous than anything George Orwell predicted.

Typically, Facebook has been able to duck, dodge, juke, and jive its way out of such entanglements because of the sheer ubiquity of social media in our daily lives, the market value of the company, and its ability to manipulate public opinion. But this time is different. The company hit the politicized buzzsaw of the 2016 election, which is still grinding and sparking from accusations concerning the use of Facebook to spread propaganda (which in reality, of course, is nothing new). In other words, “Facebook’ is appearing in more and more paragraphs containing “Russia,” and in today’s climate, that is worse than a decade of privacy violations.

In Facebook’s meteoric rise, it flew too close to Trump on the wings of pilfered data.

With the #DeleteFacebook hashtag trending on social media and the Big Five — Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook — growing more untrustworthy by the day, we may soon see a sea change in public sentiment toward another relevant trend with incredible momentum: peer-to-peer, blockchain-based tech apps; tools that do not harvest user data and are not part of a monopolistic predator class of Silicon Valley tech elites hobnobbing with Washington policymakers. The masses may finally be ready to adopt the ethos of decentralized social media in their lives.

There are six primary reasons why we need our social media run through the blockchain technology: distributed consensus mechanisms ensure better security and privacy; blockchain eliminates censorship and safeguards freedom of speech by anonymizing user meta-data; in a blockchain, you aren’t the product (your meta-data is not harvested for commercial gain); by eliminating a central server, users have more control over their own content; blockchain’s tokens, coins, and smart contacts make transactions, payments, and peer-to-peer commerce smoother; decentralized networks sans external payment methods mean crowdfunding for startups is much easier.

The uses of blockchain continue to grow exponentially. Current projects are to blockchain’s future potential what steam was to energy production. In other words, this is only the beginning. With that said, here is a list of 10 new blockchain projects that could become the decentralized Davids to Facebook’s Goliath:

Steemit – Steemit is a kind of decentralized Reddit where users can earn the crypto coin Steem by posting and curating content. Steemit is one of the only blockchain-based social media platforms with hundreds of thousands of mainstream users, and it is one of the best examples of blockchain-as-backend and serverless architecture. Steemit is also viewed as a gateway coin that helps people who don’t know much about cryptocurrency get involved in the blockchain ecosystem.

OnG.social – OnG social is a blockchain social media dashboard for influencers and users. It is only the second company in history to run on two blockchains — Ethereum and Wave — which makes its encryption measures more stable and secure. In fact, the infrastructure is so promising that IBM has lent its support. Like others on this list, OnG social is a decentralized network and rewards users who post content with cryptocurrency. OnG social also supports two other important crypto projects: Golem, which aims to decentralize supercomputing power, and Storj, which distributes data storing nodes.

Sola.ai – Another next-gen decentralized social network that lets users monetize their content. Powered by the Sol utility token, Sola uses artificial intelligence algorithms and user reactions to “generate revenue from advertising, user payments, and partnerships.” The Sola ecosystem creates an internal market for its own community-developed apps and then splits the revenue with users. Its decentralized architecture makes it impossible to shut down, and the creators claim it is “immune to blocking and censorship.”

Mewe – Mewe is a “next-gen social network” that hashtags itself #not4sale. It is considered a possible Twitter substitute. Founded by online privacy advocate Mark Weinstein, MeWe has no ads, no censorship, and no tracking.

Obsidian – Obsidian is a possible replacement for Facebook Messenger, a proof-of-stake, Stratis-based blockchain that can bypass “cookie” censors and surveillance. The data is not used for analytics and advertising. Peter McClory, CEO of Obsidian, explains that the decentralized approach scatters the metadata across the globe. “Running a decentralized network doesn’t come for free, somebody has to pay to run the hosts,” McClory adds. “That’s why we needed a cryptocurrency that can pay rewards to node hosts so that they have a financial incentive to run decentralized messaging nodes. Which in turn takes the decentralization a step further, as this removes any financial incentive for the Company to run advertising or sell user data (if they had access to that, which they won’t).

Nexus – Nexus is a blockchain-based social media application where users can “make deals or exchange value through cryptographically-signed and executed contracts.” The decentralized system boasts secure authentication and anonymity for users worried about censorship by a repressive government. Founder Jade Mulholland says the goal is to “eliminate all invasion of privacy that large corporations are currently performing.” Mulholland adds that “Social, our cryptocurrency, can be used to do many things on the social network, such as buying and selling in the marketplace, purchasing ad space, and donating to crowdfunding campaigns.”

Indorse – Indorse is an Ethereum blockchain-based alternative to LinkedIn that promotes a “skills economy” with its own currency. This system is vaguely similar to Steemit’s in that it rewards users with its own tokens in exchange for helping them build the platform. According to Gaurang Torvekar, CTO & co-founder at Indorse, the use of Ethereum to complement other emerging technologies could lead to a social media revolution. “Combining the Ethereum Blockchain with payment channels opens up a gamut of features and autonomous abilities, aligned with financial incentives. Smart contracts paired with payment channels provide the computation and logic layer upon which the core engine of such a platform can be built.”

Synereo – Synereo and its native cryptocurrency, AMP, “offer blockchain-enabled Attention Economy solutions, allowing direct and platform agnostic monetization of original content posted anywhere on the net.” Synereo’s first tool, Wildspark, allows content to be monetized via “a distributed meta-layer on top of existing media hubs and social networks, where users are incentivized to reward both creators and curators directly with AMP, without the media hub, social network – or Synereo – taking a cut.”

Akasha – Akasha aspires to be a truly revolutionary platform where anyone from artists to mathematicians can communicate without fear of censorship. With a Twitter-like interface and its own tokens, Akasha is hard to pin down, but its creator, the founder of Bitcoin Magazine, describes their mission thusly: “By fusing Ethereum with the Inter-Planetary File System, we explore the implications and applications of a permanent Web in the context of freedom of expression, creative perpetuity, and privacy for a better home of Mind.”

Leeroy.io – Leeroy is referred to as a Twitter clone that tips you. Built on the Ethereum blockchain, Leeroy requires a MetaMask install and is expensive and hard to use. However, it “represents the complete disintermediation of Twitter and the death knell of the ad-driven business model…In the future, all social networks will be like Leeroy: a public utility that lives on the Internet, which leaves users in control of their data, fairly compensates content creators for their efforts, is agnostic and unopinionated as to the data that flows on top of it, fully community-owned and governed, and built for users.”

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YouTube Just Fired the First Shot in a New War on Journalism

By Emma Fiala | Activist Post

Wednesday morning, news began circulating warning that YouTube was about to delete thousands of accounts in the platform’s latest wave of censorship. This time, the massive video sharing platform claimed to be targeting hateful content, “supremacists,” conspiracy theorists and anything that promotes discrimination or segregation based on sexual orientation, religion, race, gender, age and more.

Upon hearing the news, regular consumers of independent media knew exactly what to expectCensorship. Corporate platforms use these vague terms that sound nice in theory to cast a wide net that also de-platforms independent, anti-war, and rational voices. Whether this is done on purpose or is a consequence of using artificial intelligence and algorithms to monitor content remains to be seen.

YouTube claims to have made the decision following a review of its own rules on hateful content. In a blog post, the platform wrote:

Today, we’re taking another step in our hate speech policy by specifically prohibiting videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status.

The announcement continued:

We will begin enforcing this updated policy today; however, it will take time for our systems to fully ramp up and we’ll be gradually expanding coverage over the next several months.

YouTube’s blog post continued:

The openness of YouTube’s platform has helped creativity and access to information thrive. It’s our responsibility to protect that, and prevent our platform from being used to incite hatred, harassment, discrimination, and violence.

We are committed to taking the steps needed to live up to this responsibility today, tomorrow and in the years to come.

According to YouTube, users should anticipate changes that will alter what content is populated in the “up next” sidebar and the ability for users to earn ad revenue by promoting harmful content. The platform also hinted that it will attempt to work with affected users who make content that is useful to researchers.

Shortly after news spread that a YouTube crackdown was on the horizon and the policy began taking effect, YouTube content creators swept up in the crackdown began receiving emails from YouTube and immediately sharing their frustrations—and their screenshots—on social media.

James Allsup, a history teacher from the British School of Bucharest, was banned for “hate speech.” According to a tweet, the teacher’s “channel featured around 120 historical clips I collated for teachers and students, covering various aspects of world history over the past 1000 years. The Nazi material made up around 10% of all videos.”

Deep Fat Fried Podcast, which calls itself “an educational show made by and for the uneducated,” was demonetized for “hate speech.”

According to Dan Dicks, Press for Truth was demonetized as well.


According to Buzzfeed, demonetized users included “James Allsup, Austrian Identitarian Martin Sellner, Swedish white nationalists Red Ice TV, and Swedish white nationalist bodybuilder Marcus Follin” as well as Jesse Lee Peterson, a conservative minister who created videos of Rep. Ilhan Omar and more.

Others had videos deleted, including “far-right personality Gavin McInnes and unsuccessful European parliamentary candidate Mark Meechan.” And still others, including neo-Nazi channels Thulean Perspective and The Great Order as well as history teacher Scott Allsop, had their accounts completely removed.

Also swept up in the chaos was a channel dedicated to documenting—without opinion or bias—some of the most important events currently happening in the United States. Immediately after being informed via email that his channel was demonetized and his livelihood ruined, News2Share’s editor-in-chief Ford Fischer took to Twitter to vent his frustrations.

Not long after—and on his day off to boot—News2Share producer Alejandro Alvarez got wind of the situation.

As a documentary journalist, Fischer did what he does best and began documenting the extensive history of News2Share along with evidence that the purpose of his channel is merely to document current events for the purpose of understanding those events and provide critical analysis.

While YouTube’s email to Fischer informing him of News2Share’s demonetization claims “our team of policy specialists carefully looked over the videos you’ve uploaded to your channel News2Share. We found that a significant portion of your channel is not in line with our YouTube Partner Program policies,” their other emails seemed to say otherwise.

The platform removed only two of News2Share’s many thousands of videos. According to Fischer, the first video was that of Jason Charter and Antifa activists confronting a Holocaust denier. The Holocaust denier, not unexpectedly, says things in denial of the Holocaust. At no time during the filming did Fischer agree with or promote those statements—instead he captured raw video of the interaction.

The second video flagged by YouTube was, once again, raw footage of an actual event with no additional commentary from Fischer that News2Share approved of or otherwise promoted what was being said. Fischer filed Mike Peinovich speaking at the event, footage that was eventually used in a PBS documentary that Fischer associate produced.

And what’s more, Fischer’s footage from that very same event was used in the Emmy-winning film White Right: Meeting the Enemy.

Fischer went on to list the many outlets, films and others that have licensed his work that they found, more often than not, on YouTube. In addition to News2Share’s footage and still images being used by local and national news outlets, the outlet’s footage has been used in the New York Time‘s documentary How an Alt-Right Leader Lied to Climb the Ranks, the Document Hate series on PBSBreaking Hate, and many more.

A quick glance at Fischer’s IMDB profile puts to rest any question of whether or not the work of News2Share is valid and necessary.

The Mind Unleashed had a chance to speak with Fischer about Wednesday’s events, the precedent it sets, and his next steps.

So you’ve been demonetized—how do you feel?

Bad. It’s totally unacceptable, and misguided. I honestly feel that YouTube may have taken a misguided and ill-informed step here. People on all sides of the political spectrum have been speaking out about the absurdity of the whole thing. Even those who want to see extremist content removed seem not to want it executed in a way that removes content that covers extremism.

Did YouTube give you any warning?

No, I was completely not expecting it. In fact, I believe YouTube actually told a lot of the mainstream media about this, with an embargo, because I saw a story published that said something to the effect of “many YouTube channels are about to go down.” And I saw it pretty much immediately when someone published it, and I actually posted it, not having any idea that I would be one such channel. And I captioned it something like “YouTube is about to do another purge. What do you think?” Again, I had no idea that it would be me.

So literally minutes later, after I refreshed my email I see that I have three emails from YouTube—Two emails declaring specific videos inappropriate and that they are deleted—unappealable, by the way. And a third one saying that you’re entire channel is no longer eligible for monetization.

I was not expecting that at all.

Have you been affected in the past by demonetization or censorship on YouTube?

Yes, my channel has already faced demonetization, mostly based on an algorithm, where individual videos would be demonetized based on keywords. I recently covered March to Impeach, it was some progressive, Democrat type activists that are saying, “We should impeach Donald Trump” and they’ve got a list of reasons why they think we should do that, and I’m just out there filming. Whether I think Trump should be impeached is irrelevant.

But then some MAGA people came out and started counter-demonstrating. Since there was so much content, I actually made two videos about the event—one was about the people protesting to impeach Trump, the other was “MAGA Activists Confront March to Impeach Trump.”

Interestingly, and I’m not necessarily accusing them here, YouTube automatically demonetized the MAGA one and allowed the monetization of the other one. Little did I know, it wouldn’t matter anymore because everything is demonetized now.

Does any of this come as a surprise to you?

I always believed that YouTube was going to tighten its grip and widen its algorithm to make more and more content demonetized, but I didn’t think I was going to have an outright monetization ban, where all of my content, even a video of Nancy Pelosi saying something like “let’s have more gun control”—the most uncontroversial, mainstream event… that every single video regardless of content would be demonetized. I didn’t anticipate that happening.

You’re documenting real-life events, YouTube is clearly wrong here. Is there an appeal process and, if so, do you plan to appeal their decision?

There isn’t. They’re giving me a month to “review” my content, see if I can figure out what the problem is, and reapply for monetization in a month as if I’m a new application. So it’s not appealing their decision, their decision is not appealable.

But if I figure out what they don’t like, just by guessing, and then delete it… if I can self-censor adequately by that time, then they would allow me to be remonetized. But there are no specifics.

Self-censorship… That’s interesting because that’s what we’ve all been dealing with on other platforms. We’re not getting any information or feedback about what has been done wrong—you just know that you get some sort of strike against your page and then you start self-censoring so it doesn’t happen again, even though you have virtually no information to work with. No one wants to self-censor, but we want to stay on these platforms, so you inevitably start self-censoring. It’s really frustrating and crazy that a company like YouTube cannot give you any more information.

Are you going to attempt to reapply for monetization?

Yes, I suppose that I will probably attempt to, but frankly, they haven’t offered any sort of guidance. They took down two videos but their email to me says that “a sizeable” portion of my YouTube channel is ineligible. So I don’t know what exactly they consider unworthy. Are pro-Trump activists inappropriate? Are my videos, literally raw footage of President Trump speaking, are those inappropriate?

Are you hopeful in the re-application process?

I will probably do whatever they offer, but unless they change something, unless the public outcry over this subject helps me in a significant way where YouTube actually does something, I’m not incredibly confident that I’ll be able to fix this.

That is a problem across all platforms—I’ve seen it commented on some of your posts today—that algorithms, that AI, is deciding what is right or wrong and there is no human part of the process.

Obviously, there are controversial things in your videos—you are documenting real life. You don’t have a show where you’re sharing your opinion, you’re just documenting. It’s extra maddening that it happened to you. You do a really great job of getting both sides of the very issue while not giving your own opinion. And honestly, that can sometimes be frustrating to your fans who do have a strong opinion on where you should be spending your time.

Something I want to emphasize is, even if the right-wing has sort of adopted big tech censorship as their issue, I do not consider myself to be right-wing politically. And also this is something that a lot of very very lefist and quite liberal journalists are kind of coming out in support of.

And, in fact, even the two people who were feuding with each other and actually caused YouTube to do all of this, Stephen Crowder and Carlos Maza, both of them tweeted saying I got caught in the crossfire. So these two people, who literally hate each other so much that they ruined the Internet, both agree that I am not the person who should have been punished for whatever was going on.


It’s maddening that companies as big as YouTube and Facebook can’t spend a few minutes to tell you what you’ve done wrong, or even warn you before going so far as to delete, demonetize, or shadowban. Back in October when pages and journalists were purged from Facebook, there was an appeal process but few people actually heard anything back. This is your livelihood, the fact that you cannot respond and don’t have an appeal process with YouTube is absurd.

It’s infuriating, especially because when Carlos Maza said that he wasn’t happy with what YouTube had done, YouTube replied to him! YouTube replied to his tweet saying “This is what Stephen Crowder specifically needs to do in order to get his monetization back.” But they’ve offered me no such human contact.

With only two videos flagged, how do you think News2Share got so caught up in this to have all videos demonetized?

Well, they haven’t taken my whole channel down. They don’t believe that it’s an extremist propaganda channel, or else they’d get rid of it. I think they basically had oversight or a mistake.

Your work has been featured in everything from professional documentaries to the nightly news. Do they find your work on YouTube?

Yes, they usually find me on YouTube. This is my business—it’s not just about demonetization. This is a step toward the outright loss of the channel. If they can do this very arbitrarily, what’s to say they wouldn’t go ahead and take down the whole thing? YouTube is critical to the licensing of my footage.

How big of a part of your regular income was from YouTube ad revenue?

As an independent news producer, I don’t have any salary whatsoever. I live in DC and travel the country covering activism because I think it’s important—especially in this political moment—to have raw documentation of everything that goes on. Licensing happens sometimes, but ad revenue is consistent—I’ve never had a day where somebody wasn’t watching a video of mine. Ad revenue has been the most consistent form of income I’ve had. And it’s gone.

Where can our readers find your content, besides on YouTube?

I post regularly on the main mainstream social media outlets because I believe in diversifying. If I put it in more places, more people have the opportunity to see it. So I do have FacebookTwitterYouTube—the mainstream ones. But the place that I’m relying on, from now on, that I’m going to basically put all of my content on, is Minds, which is an anti-censorship sort of equivalent to the functionality of Facebook and YouTube and, to some extent, Twitter.

How can our readers support you?

They can support me at Patreon.com/FordFischer or at Paypal via fordfischervideo@gmail.com.

It remains to be seen if YouTube will offer any additional information or a pathway to re-monetization for News2Share or other channels wrongly affected. But regardless of what happens next, it quickly became clear on Wednesday that both Ford Fischer and News2Share have supporters around the world who aren’t going to sit idly by as YouTube erases one of the best efforts that exists today when it comes to documenting the current state of the United States.




As of the writing of this article, at least one deleted YouTube channel has been reinstated. According to a tweet from James Allsup, his history channel is back, though some videos are not flagged and one was removed.

News2Share is an online media outlet based in Washington D.C. that documents real events in real time, giving just enough commentary on what is happening to let viewers know what is being recorded. Video from Ford Fischer has been featured on CNNFoxPBSMSNBCABCNBCBBC, and more. It is wrong of YouTube to do this.

The independent media needs Ford Fischer to continue documenting real world events, so let’s all support him before the next shots are fired in this war on journalism.

By Emma Fiala | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

Read more great articles at Activist Post.