RECOMMENDED: SECRETS OF THE MARKET
- August 15, 2018
SECRETS OF THE MARKET ARTICLES
Welcome. This is a resource page with all recommended secrets of the market articles those in business nowadays should read. Every link shared here was personally read by PETERSON TEIXEIRA, hence the commentaries, the highlights and screenshots so you can know beforehand what you’re spending your time on before you click and read. Naturally, this resource page will be constantly updated and/or corrected to prevent any misleading information and to maintain a good, reliable list of top business-related articles.
TARGET AUDIENCE: CEOs, Entrepreneurs
IMPORTANT: The majority of the articles here are recent, but you may find resources that date from 2013. Nonetheless,everything is extremely valuable if you intend to master the market. The goal is to provide all the HIDDEN information about the market published in these last few years, dirty truths about businesses and companies that influence society and business, so that you know what’s really going on behind the scenes. This is to remove that “blind trust” that many businessmen have in big corporations and deceptive companies. You may get shocked with what you see here, but that’s only because you’re putting high hopes in the market without remembering that the market is managed by…..people. And people make mistakes, steal, cheat etc.
Read all the other recommended sections:
- Recommended: Business Articles
- Recommended: Marketing Articles
- Recommended: Artificial Intelligence Articles
- Recommended: Cybersecurity Articles
- Recommended: Market Facts
- Recommended: Market News
LAST UPDATE: This page was last updated in February 08, 2019
THE SECRETS OF THE MARKET LIST
The list is decrescent, which means that the latest added article by PETERSON TEIXEIRA is the one in the top of the list. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the article’s publishing date is also recent because as said before, the objective is to collect all business-related secrets from the whole Internet. Finding the needles in the haystack is the goal, not be the news.
The Links below are just so you can jump straight to the article, its highlights and comments.
- Read #104: Many Popular iPhone Apps Secretly Record Your Screen Without Asking
- Read #103: Rising Instagram Stars Are Posting Fake Sponsored Content
- Read #102: The Humans Hiding Behind The Chatbots
- Read #101: How Much of The Internet is Fake? Turns out, a lot of it, Actually
- Read #100: ‘Everything is Fake’: Ex-Reddit CEO Confirms Internet Traffic Metrics Are Bullshit
- Read #99: Apple Disables Facebook Apps Following News of Shady Research Project
- Read #98: As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants
- Read #97: Facebook Wielded Data to Reward, Punish Rivals, Emails Show
- Read #96: Facebook Purged Over 800 U.S. Accounts & Pages for Pushing Political Spam
- Read #95: Google Workers Discussed Tweaking Search Function to Counter Travel Ban
- Read #94: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey: I Fully Admit our bias is more left-leaning
- Read #93: Google China Prototype Links Searches to Phone Numbers
- Read #92: The NSA Worked to Track Down Bitcoin Users, Snowden Documents Reveal
- Read #91: Google to Launch Censored Search Engine in China (Leaked Documents)
- Read #90: The Hard Truth At Newspapers Across America: Hedge Funds Are in Charge
- Read #89: Microsoft Supreme Court Case Has Big Implications for Data
- Read #88: Employers Are Monitoring Computers, Toilet Breaks, And Even Emotions
- Read #87: Your Collegues Are Probably Sharing A Secret Google Doc Right Now
- Read #86: Hey Alexa, What Can You Hear? And What Will You Do With It?
- Read #85: Facebook Gave Device Makers Deep Access to Data on Users and Friends
- Read #84: How Facebook Helps Shady Advertisers Pollute The Internet
- Read #83: What 7 Creepy Patents Reveal About Facebook
- Read #82: Facebook Uses A.I. To Predict Your Future Actions for Advertisers
- Read #81: Are You Ready? Here’s All The Data Facebook And Google Have on You
- Read #80: Ex-Facebook Insider Says Covert Data Harvesting Was Routine
- Read #79: Facebook Gave Data Access to Chinese Firm Flagged by U.S. Intelligence
- Read #78: The Chinese Government’s, Long, Sordid History of Data-doctoring
- Read #77: Survival of The Richest
- Read #76: China Presses Its Internet Censorships Efforts Across The Globe
- Read #75: Workers Are Getting Basically Nothing from The Corporate Tax Windfall
- Read #74: Facebook Closed 583 Million Fake Accounts in First 3 Months of 2018
- Read #73: Australian Regulator Investigates Google Data Harvesting from Androids
- Read #72: Amazon Patent Wants to Unmask Bitcoin Users, Sell Data to Law Enforcement
- Read #71: SEC Charges a 3rd Founder of Mayweather-backed Crypto With Fraud
- Read #70: Richest 1% on Target to Own Two-thirds of All Wealth by 2030
- Read #69: Thread: Your FB and Google Data Will Have You Reaching for Your Settings
- Read #68: Facebook Admits It May Collect Data About Your Calls And Text Messages
- Read #67: Cambridge Analytica Execs Caught Discussing Extortion And Fake News
- Read #66: Revealed: 50 Million Facebook Profiles Harvested for Cambridge Analytica
- Read #65: U.S. Companies Are Pressuring Their Workers on How to Lobby And Vote
- Read #64: The Follower Factory: Inside Social Media’s Black Market
- Read #63: The Secret Swag Resale Economy
- Read #62: Letter: Ex-employee Accusing Uber of Hacking Competitors And Wiretapping
- Read #61: World’s Richest 500 See Their Wealth Increase by $1TN This Year
- Read #60: How Corporations And The Wealthy Avoid Taxes
- Read #59: Australian Tax Office Says 36% of Big Firms and Multinationals Paid No Tax
- Read #58: More Than A Third of Big Companies Paid no Tax in 2014/2015
- Read #57: ATO Data Dump: Naming and Shaming The Nation’s Biggest Tax Cheats
- Read #56: These Were The Craziest Workplace Surveillance Stories of 2017
- Read #55: These Are The People Paying Journalists to Promote Brands in Articles
- Read #54: Inside The Group Chats Where People Pump And Dump Cryptocurrency
- Read #53: Is Your Vizio Television Spying on You? What to Know
- Read #52: Google and Facebook Are Watching our Every Move Online
- Read #51: That Game on Your Phone May Be Tracking What You’re Watching on TV
- Read #50: Hey, Mark Zuckerberg: My Democracy Isn’t Your Laboratory
- Read #49: Facebook is Censoring People The US Government Sanctions
- Read #48: The End of Food
- Read #47: This is What Bitcoin Scammers Trying to Defraud You Will Say on Phone
- Read #46: China’s Intellectual Property Theft Must Stop
- Read #45: Google Collects User Location even When Location Services Are Disabled
- Read #44: This City Hall, Brought to You By Amazon
- Read #43: I Asked Tinder for My Data and It Sent Me 800 Pages of My Darkest Secrets
- Read #42: Workplace Surveillance can Track Your Every Move
- Read #41: Twitter Admits It Accidentally Inflated User Growth for 3 Years
- Read #40: Nextblock CEO Cancels Plan to Go Public and Will Return Money to Investors
- Read #39: How Brands Secretly buy Their Way Into Forbes, Fast Company, Huff Post
- Read #38: We Asked Facebook 12 Questions About the Election, and Got 5 Answers
- Read #37: Nissan’s Top Marketer More Worried About Google Fixing Ad Fraud
- Read #36: Reddit CEO Admits To Editing Posts Made By Trump Supporters
- Read #35: George Soros Is Funding Facebook’s “Third-Party Fact Checking” Organization
- Read #34: The War To Sell You A Mattress Is An Internet Nightmare
- Read #33: Facebook’s Ad Platform Is Easily Gamed And Your Privacy Is Cheaply Bought
- Read #32: CEO Reveals a Startling Reality About Online Ad Spending
- Read #31: What it looks like when the NSA Hacks into your Gmail and Facebook
- Read #30: Facebook Slapped with $1.43 Million Fine for Violating Users’ Privacy in Spain
- Read #29: Confessions of a paid Amazon Review Writer
- Read #28: Amazon Reviews Have a Bot Problem
- Read #27: What We Don’t Know About What Facebook Knows
- Read #26: Verizon Wants Customers to Give Up Their Data for Targeted Ads
- Read #25: A Secret Silicon Valley plot to seize Control of The Internet?
- Read #24: Google Has a History of Silencing Messages It Doesn’t Like
- Read #23: Yes, Google Uses Its Power To Quash Ideas It Doesn’t Like
- Read #22: Joy Villa: YouTube Took Down My ‘Make America Great Again’ Song
- Read #21: Billionaire Porn King Reinvents Himself as Japan’s Startup Guru
- Read #20: Ad buyers Rate Facebook’s 10 Measurement Errors
- Read #19: Facebook to Refund Advertisers Following More Metrics Errors
- Read #18: Brands Are Now Blacklisting Mainstream News Sites, including Fox News
- Read #17: Twitter Is Using Account Verification To Stifle Leaks And Promote War
- Read #16: Online Ad Fraud is a ‘Widespread’ Problem, Google and Others Admit
- Read #15: Instagram Influencers use Comment Collusion to Game The Algorithm
- Read #14: Next Financial Crisis Will Hit with A ‘Vengeance’ and Canada is Vulnerable
- Read #13: Facebook Is Making It Harder to Reach Audiences Without Paying
- Read #12: Copyright Trolls 2.0: Image Sites Embrace Righthaven Tactics
- Read #11: New Algorithm-driven Instagram Feed Rolled Out to The Dismay of Users
- Read #10: Newspaper Chain’s New Business Plan: Copyright Suits
- Read #9: Facebook Using “NRA Approach” to Defend Its Facial Recognition Programs
- Read #8: Report: Brands are falling for fake Instagram influencers
- Read #7: Saving Face: Facebook wants Access Without Limits
- Read #6: The Future is More Content: Jeff Bezos, Robots and High Volume Publishing
- Read #5: Former Facebook Workers: We Routinely Suppressed Conservative News
- Read #4: Bad Reviews: How Companies Are Using Fake Websites to Censor Content
- Read #3: Reddit is Being Manipulated By Big Financial Services Companies
- Read #2: Google Wants to Track You in Real Life – Privacy Group says, ‘No way!’
- Read #1: What Should You Think About When Using Facebook?
HEADLINE: Many Popular iPhone Apps Secretly Record Your Screen Without Asking
PUBLISHER: Tech Crunch
COMMENT: Relax. This is not one of those Secrets of The Market cards where you get to see companies engaging in some wrongdoings on purpose. Instead, this is just a simple warning for those people who don’t know exactly what Apps might be doing behind the scenes — like recording your screens to see how you use their apps. It’s true that companies rely on this kind of session replay data to understand why things break inside the app, so they can improve the user experience later. In order for a piece of software to reach a “high-quality” status, developers need to test the app as many times as possible with user themselves, because humans are very unpredictable. However, once you know this happens, it’s also important to understand that these recordings may grab sensitive data — like banking data — due to the negligence of those responsible for the apps (or errors in the software). But if the apps were recording how you use your screen OUTSIDE of their apps, THEN this would be a pretty big deal! But since they’re doing it inside their own apps, no problem there (once you’re aware they might do it, of course). So this is why I’m recommending this article. Finally, a great suggestion: if you want to see what data the apps you have on your phone are actually capturing from you when you use them, just install App Charles Proxy. It captures the traffic going out from your phone. That way you can see whether an App is telling the truth or not regarding their data gathering allegations. Enjoy.
HEADLINE: Rising Instagram Stars Are Posting Fake Sponsored Content
PUBLISHER: The Atlantic
COMMENT: If you want the bigger picture on Influencers, I recommend you to read this card along with Marketing Article #95 and Marketing Article #94. I show you where all this Influencer trend is actually going next. It’s a warning for Influencers themselves too, so make sure to read it all.
HEADLINE: The Humans Hiding Behind The Chatbots
COMMENT: Alright, first of all, there are some truths to this article that people should know, but also, some exaggerations as well. It looks like Bloomberg was not as precise when portraying the reality of chatbot development or the reality of running a Chatbot-based business. Anyway, if you type on Google — today is February 3rd, 2019 — “the legendary chatbot” you’ll get this article: The Legendary Chatbot: A Powerful CEO’s Clone That Destroys Sales Objections, Educates, And Creates Relationships. Now, if you click to read the article, you’ll learn about a framework for building professional Chatbots that I created myself. Just read the article and you’ll HOW MUCH WORK is involved in building something that actually delivers a great experience. Trust me, it’s a tough job. And a very frustrating one too because you need to try to anticipate human behavior you’ve never seen, implement it the right way, and prevent your bot from saying the wrong things WHILE trying to force people to keep talking to your bot so you can gather more human behavior data to evolve it. All at the same time. Summarizing, the problems with Chatbots are basically two: 1) Managing to address every single way humans request for the same thing or an unknown thing; 2) If your chatbot fails two or three times (in a row or not) while talking to a customer or lead, it will be misjudged as a crappy, low-level chatbot by people on the spot. This puts you in a position where you can’t miss, because if your chatbot makes a mistake with a human, he’ll likely not return to talk to it again and then you have no data to evolve your bot anymore. This is why China has a better shot in dominating the A.I. landscape, because they have 2 billion people to test-and-fail and test-and-fail for a long time. Get it? Those are the really hard-to-solve problems you’ll have when building chatbots. That said, we all know that any of these startups are mostly being run by millennials in an effort to get to the next wave of innovation soon enough, so they can succeed in a financially destroyed business world. “Wait, Peterson! Are you defending them?!”. No. What I mean by that is: Some entrepreneurs are actually just trying to do their best to provide value, survive, and thrive. All at the same time in an Era where Capitalism is clearly under heavy attack and big platforms are teaming up with the government to kill the smaller businesses. They’re building an airplane while selling travel tickets. That’s what I meant. Plus, there’s also the mantra of “fail fast and break things” in software development that Facebook made popular, which is basically “standard procedure” nowadays. This is not new because even the Internet itself had many flaws when it became popular. The good hackers — cybersecurity experts — WARNED the government that the whole Internet, was insecure (back in 1998!). Did they listen? Of course not. Economic progress is all the rage baby! Who cares about developing something robust before unleashing it to the market, and making it the foundation of businesses and a country’s infrastructure?! Surely not the corrupt government nor greedy corporations. So, that said, it’s important to know that building a real, powerful chatbot that delivers a great experience is incredibly hard and it demands tons of resources in the first 2+ years (if not more) just to get to a beta maturity-level. For perspective, Facebook shut down its own chatbot — Facebook M — because it demanded too many resources from them for too long, without giving any serious business advantage in return. Facebook! And they have very talented people there. Microsoft also shut down its own chatbot — Tay — because twitter users managed to teach it racism (!). So you see, if even the biggest companies in the world, with the biggest budgets and personnel are struggling, therefore, smaller startups are too (obviously). So why is this in the Secrets of The Market section, Peterson?!” Simple: because you do need to know that there are human workers pretending to be bots behind the scenes in order to sell a business as a next-level A.I. service, when they’re clearly not. But remember: there are two sides of a coin on this matter, and one is not being told right — the technical side — hence why the big explanation. Got it? Now make sure to read this.
HEADLINE: How Much of The Internet is Fake? Turns out, a lot of it, Actually
PUBLISHER: New York Magazine
COMMENT: DEFINITELY A MUST-READ. Too many truths and industry secrets in this article, which a lot of people don’t know about these days. Read this!
HEADLINE: ‘Everything is Fake’: Ex-Reddit CEO Confirms Internet Traffic Metrics Are Bullshit
PUBLISHER: Zero Hedge
COMMENT: Are you surprised? Don’t be, my friend. The business world is nasty sometimes and you can bet that when there’s way too much dominance, there has to be something fishy going on behind the scenes. This is a very important article for businesspeople who have no idea that they’re being deceived by big platforms for years straight. And definitely a must-read if you’re running a digital business 24/7, caring too much about your metrics all the time, and shooting for short-term goals such as more clicks / views / shares, instead of long-term goals like Branding. It’s time to take the red pill, baby.
HEADLINE: Apple Disables Facebook Apps Following News of Shady Research Project
PUBLISHER: New York Magazine
COMMENT: Yes. One more great article proving how Facebook actually conducts its business — you know the drill, right?. Read this.
UPDATE – February 07, 2019: Looks like Google is also joining the gang: Apple blocks Google from running its internal iOS apps: “Google’s private app was designed to monitor how people use their iPhones, similar to Facebook’s research app. Google’s app also relied on Apple’s enterprise program, which enables the distribution of internal apps within a company…There’s growing evidence that a number of companies are using Apple’s enterprise program to distribute apps to consumers. iOS developer Alex Fajkowski has discovered that Amazon, DoorDash, and Sonos all distribute beta versions of their apps to non-employees”.
HEADLINE: As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: DEFINITELY A MUST-READ.
HEADLINE: Facebook Wielded Data to Reward, Punish Rivals, Emails Show
COMMENT: DEFINITELY A MUST-READ. And find some time to read the 250-page confidential document with email exchanges from Facebook, including Mark himself, that is now under the control of the UK Parliament.
HEADLINE: Facebook Purged Over 800 U.S. Pages for Pushing Political Spam
PUBLISHER: The Washington Post
COMMENT: One more piece of hard evidence that Facebook is deciding what news should people in a whole country see — slowly killing democracy — since Facebook has huge market dominance and control over what people read or not. This is very serious, because Facebook only named less than 10 pages when it deleted over 800 (!). Although many pages clearly violated Facebook policies, it looks like many other pages were punished for nothing. Read this.
HEADLINE: Google Workers Discussed Tweaking Search to Counter Travel Ban
PUBLISHER: The Wall Street Journal
COMMENT: Obviously Google denied the allegations of political bias in search results because no company would say: “Hey, you know what? We do act based on political bias! That’s your problem.” — especially if you own 90% of the search market…globally. However, the reputation Google has been building up lately on the media does not sustain the image of a trustworthy company anymore. Just check out the previous cards with the word Google on its headlines. So do your own research. Read everything in this section with the word Google on it. Finally, another important point: there’s the worry that Trump will unleash an antitrust investigation against Google and other big tech companies, but Business Insider published that White House officials denied that. But it’s Trump we’re talking about. A very unstable, unpredictable and harmful president. I don’t doubt that Trump is going to attack all these big tech companies that move the global market (Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft) with heavy regulations (which in turn will kill many medium and small businesses as collateral). That’s probably what will eventually happen since Trump has been destroying the world economy and even people from my side — right-wings — are too blinded by the Left vs Right debate, and forgetting to check out the facts. The truth is: both statements are not trustworthy at all.
HEADLINE: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey: I Fully Admit our bias is more left-leaning
PUBLISHER: The Hill
COMMENT: If you have a project or cause or business that leans to the right, and you want to promote it on Twitter, then get ready to face resistance from Twitter itself. There are countless testimonies from ordinary people to high-end people complaining that they’ve experienced some sort of sabotage or censorship in some degree — myself included — while using the social network, like reported by The Hill: ‘Prominent Republicans, including multiple members of Congress and the chairwoman of the Republican Party, have seen their Twitter presences temporarily minimized in recent months, due to what you have claimed was a mistake in the algorithm,” he continued. …Dorsey admitted that the company made a mistake by pulling the video. He also addressed problems with algorithms that saw conservative accounts removed from drop-down search results. – SOURCE: The Hill. Being a right-wing myself, this doesn’t bother me that much. I understand that they need to do such things in order to create a level playing field. Kids these days…cute.
HEADLINE: Google China Prototype Links Searches to Phone Numbers
PUBLISHER: The Intercept
COMMENT: I know, shocking isn’t? When you think you’ve seen it all, there’s always more. This article directly connects with another publication by The Intercept about the very same subject which exposed this news for the first time. I recommend you to read that one first. Now ask yourself this: If you are a business owner and you’re putting tons of money — via Google Ads — into a company who is now responsible for supporting censorship, do you really think this reality is too far away or too absurd to believe? Definitely not. Because now it’s more than obvious that there’s no point in trusting Google anymore since they’re now going after any money available without a moral compass in place. They’ll ignore any principles they once had just to make a profit. We all know that when companies begin to take down this road, you just know you have to get ready for the worse. So if you still think Google is trustworthy by now then no evidence will probably convince you. That’s for sure.
HEADLINE: The NSA Worked to Track Bitcoin Users, Snowden Documents Reveal
PUBLISHER: The Intercept
COMMENT: Read this.
HEADLINE: Google Plans to Launch Censored Search Engine in China
PUBLISHER: The Intercept
COMMENT: This is something I briefly mentioned in this other card not too long ago. Make sure to read this if you want to understand more about Google’s true business/political relationship with China.
HEADLINE: The Hard Truth At Newspapers Across America: Hedge Funds in Charge
COMMENT: Ok, first of all, today’s professional/independent/investigative journalism — a key chunk of a True Democracy — is being too concentrated in fewer hands, which is obviously a big problem because you can control what a whole society reads. However, manipulating the information of a whole COUNTRY is a completely different monster. But don’t worry, because America is not alone as you can see next: “The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has issued a warning that Trinity Mirror and Newsquest may form a newspaper duopoly over the regions of the UK due to the rate that they are acquiring newsbrands. The declaration comes in response to Newsquest’s impending takeover of the CN Group, an independent Carlisle-based group that publishes two regional dailies and five weeklies including The Mail in Barrow -in-Furness, the Carlisle News & Star. Newsquest, owned by Gannett, boasts more than 165 newsbrands in addition to 40 magazines. Chris Morley, Newsquest NUJ co-ordinator, said: ‘The rate of takeover of independent newspaper operators is speeding up with apparently just two big players in the market – Trinity Mirror and Newsquest.'” – SOURCE: The Drum. Well, isn’t that nice? Newsquest even published a Press Release about the acquisition and since Trinity Mirror can’t be alone in this, they too confirmed another acquisition recently: “Trinity Mirror has laid its cards firmly on the table after confirming that it is has entered into negotiations with Northern & Shell with a view to acquiring 100% of its publishing assets – ending discussions to obtain a minority stake in a new spin-off company comprising these assets.” – SOURCE: The Drum. Journalism looks promising, huh? But since I’m the agent of bad news — because the business world is a mess — I’m afraid there’s a little bit more to reveal to you. You see, the keyword here is hedge funds. If you’re a serious reader of the Market Mastery cards, then you probably already know that hedge funds are struggling to make a profit because “dumb money” is disappearing (read the pretty link to the article) while some very important ones are simply closing doors after sustained poor results. Now, if newspapers are depending on hedge funds, and hedge funds are depending on ridiculous margins and closing doors…what do you think will happen to Journalism?! See? That’s how you connect the dots. “But Peterson, can’t the journalists from those newspapers start a new newspaper from ground zero online? It’s very easy to start a business today”. Of course they can, but they’ll have to face The Online Media War where even established, famous brands are fighting for a buck just as much as the hedge funds. So, are your eyes open now? What a cool info, huh? Please stop reading these cards because it’s too depressing. Go watch some cartoons.
HEADLINE: Microsoft Supreme Court Case Has Big Implications for Data
COMMENT: Funny how things that are really serious people tend to wait for when it’s about to explode to talk about. The article from Wired shows how people may be bombed (indirectly) by other countries legal requests as if everything was interconnected, creating ultimate chaos (especially on privacy). The United States has a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with Ireland, as it does with over 60 other countries and the European Union. Now, that’s a lot of countries if you ask me, but let’s see which countries are in this Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty system: “Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs) allow generally for the exchange of evidence and information in criminal and related matters. In money laundering cases, they can be extremely useful as a means of obtaining banking and other financial records from our treaty partners. MLATs, which are negotiated by the Department of State in cooperation with the Department of Justice to facilitate cooperation in criminal matters, are in force with the following countries: Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dominica, Egypt, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, the Kingdom of the Netherlands (including Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten), Nigeria, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, St. Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom (including the Isle of Man, Cayman Islands, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Montserrat and Turks and Caicos), Uruguay, and Venezuela.” –SOURCE: US. Department of State. Well, I think we have almost all top countries of the world here, don’t we? So this is already basically a global thing. So what happens if some country begins a crackdown on cryptocurrency holders and label it as a money laundering case? Isn’t that part of the excuse big banks have been giving to the public after many of them banned people from buying crypto with credit cards? Yes, I know there’s the volatility issue which is a risk to banks and that taxpayers are desperate because they lost the money to pay their 6-digit taxes, but the point is that cryptocurrency gets labeled as a money laundering scheme pretty easily. But forget that for a minute. Maybe a country can request the content of some emails from top researchers of a company under criminal grounds, and steal lots of Intellectual Property in the process? Is that possible? Definitely. There are endless negative outcomes and surely this doesn’t end well. That’s for sure.
HEADLINE: Employers Are Monitoring Computers, Toilet Breaks, And Even Emotions
PUBLISHER: The Guardian
COMMENT: Welcome to corporate stupidity. This is an article for you to read in order to learn how NOT to treat your employees. Especially in Amazon’s case. For starters, a guy worked for Amazon — undercovered — just to see if what employees said about Amazon was true, and here’s what he heard while on the job: “Language was policed as thoroughly as every other aspect of the working day. Bloodworth’s supervisors told him he should not call the warehouse ‘a warehouse’. It was a ‘fulfilment centre'”. – SOURCE: The Guardian – Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britan. A “fulfilment centre”, huh? That’s very cute. Here’s an anonymous employee talking about the fulfilment centre with Gizmodo: “I’ve been with Amazon for a little over a year and you can count my experience in the Ugly category. This soulless machine looks down on employee work-life balance as ‘weak’ and ‘uncommitted to the customer’. I’ve got to hand it to them though. Amazon does put the customer first. Many other huge corporations make the same claim, but this company backs it up. The problem is that it comes at the expense of the employees, their health and their families. Everyone is so tired, all the time. Dark eye circles, muttering under yawns, all. There could never be ‘lifers’ here. Not at this pace anyway. When there are so few long-lasting employees around, it kind of goes unsaid that other…” – SOURCE: Gizmodo- Amazon Treats Its Employees Like Shit. Read the article because his take is a little bit long — and it gets more depressive — but you got the picture. Companies think that monitoring employees is the way for ultimate productivity. It’s not. You have a kingdom based on fear, and fear alone. Back in the day when I used to be a project manager, I’d treat both the customer and my subordinates the same way, with the same level of care and respect. I even got into some fights with some customers because they’re abusing my team. The result? I had zero worries with my team. They would embrace their respective workloads by themselves, and discuss things between them when I wasn’t around to check their work. They knew that I wanted everyone happy, so they got my back when I needed them. Years later, one of them even helped my business by coding for free a few things, as a “thank you”. Moral of the story: when you treat people right, and take care of them, they’ll treat you right and take care of you. There’s no need for surveillance at work. You just need real leadership skills.
HEADLINE: Your Collegues Are Probably Sharing A Secret Google Doc Right Now
COMMENT: Employees will always find a way to bypass or avoid normal channels if those channels are not actually helping them anymore. That’s a rule. There’s another new trend regarding job seeking that show this reality, but involving Slack: “When Zach Schleien, analyst and business technology leader at Johnson & Johnson, wanted to get feedback on a Facebook ad he made for his side business Lift Protein Muffins, he turned to Online Geniuses, a Slack community with more than 11,000 digital marketers. ‘It was amazing. I instantly got five people who critiqued it,’ said Schleien, who has used Online Geniuses daily for the past year and a half. Now, he is in the process of hiring one of the people who critiqued his ad to manage his company’s Facebook ads.” – SOURCE: Digiday – Slack is the new place for marketers to network and find jobs. Why do you think people are doing both of these things now? Simple: because companies are not to be trusted anymore. Employees don’t trust their companies nor “proper channels” with their job interests because everything has a marketing layer hiding the truth. And with companies fighting The War for Talent, things couldn’t be worse. Make sure to read this. Enjoy.
HEADLINE: Hey Alexa, What Can You Hear? And What Will You Do With It?
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: This is definitely a must-read. Definitely. Here are some scary highlights from the 15-pages long research the article mentions: “A system for recommending products based on furnishings observed by a smart home security camera. A particularly troubling patent application describes how Google could use video feeds from smart devices to determine users’ behaviors and characteristics, including ‘gender, age, fashion-taste, style, mood, known languages, preferred activities, and so forth.’. The patent application describes smart devices that target advertisements based on the title of the book by a user’s bedside, the presence of a guitar or basketball in the room, and the face of a famous actor on a user’s t-shirt. A method for inferring users’ showering habits and targeting advertising based on that and other data. Dozens of patent applications for Google’s smart home devices detail scenarios in which Google may share data from smart home devices with third parties, including businesses, who can then use the data to make inferences about users’ sleeping, cooking, entertainment, and showering schedules. These inferences, Google says, ‘may help third-parties benefit consumers by providing them with interesting information, products and services as well as with providing them with targeted advertisements’. Third parties can also access data from smart devices. A recent study found that hackers could easily access insecure wifi-enabled ‘smart’ toys and talk to children. Law enforcement has also begin to subpoena data from smart devices in criminal investigations” SOURCE – Consumer Watchdog. Nice, right?! That’s what people are putting inside their houses. Moreover, this article connects with another one I mentioned in the Secrets of The Market #81 comment about Google providing free phone calls via its Google Home speaker devices. The truth is that Big tech companies are all after your most intimate data. No limits. No rules. The good news for them is that people are incredibly stupid because people are paying for surveillance devices to watch them (!?). Who could predict that a few years ago?
HEADLINE: How Facebook Helps Shady Advertisers Pollute The Internet
COMMENT: I’m all about criticizing Facebook, but this headline is not exactly precise, to be honest. It’s not really fair. This article shows how ad scammers, people who sell scam products like “grow your penis” pills and similar “products”, use Facebook Ads to find victims on autopilot, thanks to Facebook’s Ad platform. Not much work needs to be done on their side nowadays — according to these professional scammers — because they just have to set up ad campaigns and use a legit software to show different ads to Facebook ad reviewers than the ones that are being shown to people. There is, however, the reality that Facebook is taking scammers money to some degree (since Facebook can’t catch all scammers), but I digress for now. Very interesting article to see how one more corner of the internet works. Read this.
HEADLINE: What 7 Creepy Patents Reveal About Facebook
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: Read this and the previous card to connect the dots and have a better idea of the bigger picture of Facebook. There’s also Facebook’s brand new way to predict your social economic status which was recently reported by the Observer, and you can see a summary-image here to understand its basic decision tree. You can notice how they know a lot about us just by crossing other chunks of personal information they already have.
HEADLINE: Facebook Uses A.I. To Predict Your Future Actions for Advertisers
PUBLISHER: The Intercept
COMMENT: This is definitely a must-read. It will give you a pretty good idea about where Facebook is going next when it comes to merging A.I. + Advertising. Also, make sure to read Secrets of The Market #74 to understand Facebook’s true business goals and how it’s affecting businesses all over the world already. Enjoy.
HEADLINE: Are You Ready? Here’s All The Data Facebook And Google Have on You
PUBLISHER: The Guardian
COMMENT: This article is a complement to this one from Mashable. Both will give you a very good idea about how much data you actually give Google and Facebook on a daily basis. And one more thing, why do you think Google is now providing FREE phone calls in the UK through its Google Home Speaker? Read this: “Google has started offering free voice calls through its Home smart speakers to UK landlines and mobile phones, bringing it in line with US offerings. Following an update rolling out this week, Google’s Home and Home Mini smart speakers will be able to place calls to ordinary UK numbers over its wifi connection, for hands-free phone calls. It doesn’t need a mobile phone to work, unlike some rival systems. Google Assistant will be able to call any number in your Google Contacts, as well as millions of businesses. Assistant is able to recognise the voice of up to six different users, giving them access to their own personalised contacts, meaning a command to “call mum” should call the right mother.” – SOURCE: The Guardian – Google to provide free UK phone calls through Home smart speaker. They all want all your personal data, including what you say inside your home.
HEADLINE: Ex-Facebook Insider Says Covert Data Harvesting Was Routine
PUBLISHER: The Guardian
COMMENT: This is where you get to see beyond those stupid PR statements that businesses and people don’t believe anymore. A must-read.
HEADLINE: Facebook Gave Data Access to Chinese Firm Flagged by U.S. Intelligence
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: This is something I quickly mentioned in this previous card. It’s worth a read because it gives you a view on how today’s top tech companies are playing ball with China, and what they’re doing, in order to have access to the chinese market. Check it out. And in case you really want to have a deeper look at Facebook, then read Secrets of The Market #74 where I connect the dots for those who are still blind to the business reality of Facebook. There’s a lot of stuff under the hood that businesses, agencies, marketers and entrepreneurs don’t know about. And of course, don’t forget this one article below. Everything is worth a read.
HEADLINE: The Chinese Government’s, Long, Sordid History of Data-doctoring
COMMENT: This is a MUST-READ. A pivotal article for you to understand how China may be hiding its real numbers about several areas, ranging from its economy and up to its military budgets. What if China’s debt and military budgets are both MUCH bigger? Can we really trust chinese data about themselves? Definitely a must-read.
HEADLINE: Survival of The Richest
COMMENT: If you want to know where the world is really going, pay attention to what rich people are doing because they have a view of the bigger picture, and they know information ordinary people don’t know about, and that mainstream media takes too long to deliver. This is one of those things that proves that highly successful people have enough evidence to believe that something extremely chaotic is coming our way. They’re not wrong, chaos is surely coming (if you read most Market Mastery cards you’ll notice the same thing). But this is what many of them believe: “The book’s 400-odd pages of near-hysterical orotundity can roughly be broken down into the following sequence of propositions: 1) The democratic nation-state basically operates like a criminal cartel, forcing honest citizens to surrender large portions of their wealth to pay for stuff like roads and hospitals and schools. 2) The rise of the internet, and the advent of cryptocurrencies, will make it impossible for governments to intervene in private transactions and to tax incomes, thereby liberating individuals from the political protection racket of democracy. 3) The state will consequently become obsolete as a political entity. 4) Out of this wreckage will emerge a new global dispensation, in which a “cognitive elite” will rise to power and influence, as a class of sovereign individuals “commanding vastly greater resources” who will no longer be subject to the power of nation-states and will redesign governments to suit their ends. This was the first I’d heard since coming here of an actual bunker being built. From the point of view of the modern apocalypticist, the whole appeal of the country – its remoteness and stability, its abundant clean water, its vast and lovely reaches of unpeopled land – was that it was itself a kind of reinforced geopolitical shelter, way down there at the bottom of the world. He himself had sold land to one very wealthy American client who had called him on the night of the presidential election. ‘This guy couldn’t believe what was happening. He wanted to secure something right away.'” – SOURCE: The Guardian – Why Silicon Valley Billionaires are preparing for the Apocalypse in New Zealand. There’s some truth to that. Some. However, the real answer lies in The Book of Daniel, The Book of Isaiah, some pieces of The Gospels, The Book of Revelations and Jesus Prophecies. Practically all this money and effort will render useless, for several reasons and the other side is already explicitly mocking you in your face (!). Due to a lack of spiritual knowledge, even the rich are lost.
UPDATE – February 16, 2019: This is ANOTHER MUST-READ I found while gathering additional evidence while writing The Global Financial Crisis Manifesto: “He is less focussed on a specific threat—a quake on the San Andreas, a pandemic, a dirty bomb—than he is on the aftermath, “the temporary collapse of our government and structures,” as he puts it. ‘I own a couple of motorcycles. I have a bunch of guns and ammo. Food. I figure that, with that, I can hole up in my house for some amount of time.’……………A forty-year-old former Facebook product manager living in San Francisco, bought five wooded acres on an island in the Pacific Northwest and brought in generators, solar panels, and thousands of rounds of ammunition. ‘When society loses a healthy founding myth, it descends into chaos’ he told me. The author of ‘Chaos Monkeys’ an acerbic Silicon Valley memoir, García Martínez wanted a refuge that would be far from cities but not entirely isolated. ‘All these dudes think that one guy alone could somehow withstand the roving mob’ he said. ‘No, you’re going to need to form a local militia. You just need so many things to actually ride out the apocalypse.'”……………‘I think people who are particularly attuned to the levers by which society actually works understand that we are skating on really thin cultural ice right now.’……………One member, the head of an investment firm, told me, ‘I keep a helicopter gassed up all the time, and I have an underground bunker with an air-filtration system.’ He said that his preparations probably put him at the “extreme” end among his peers. But he added, ‘A lot of my friends do the guns and the motorcycles and the gold coins. That’s not too rare anymore.’……………Long before the financial crisis became front-page news, early signs appeared in user comments on Reddit. ‘People were starting to whisper about mortgages. They were worried about student debt. They were worried about debt in general.'”……………Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn and a prominent investor, recalls telling a friend that he was thinking of visiting New Zealand. “Oh, are you going to get apocalypse insurance?” the friend asked. “I’m, like, Huh?” Hoffman told me. New Zealand, he discovered, is a favored refuge in the event of a cataclysm. Hoffman said, “Saying you’re ‘buying a house in New Zealand’ is kind of a wink, wink, say no more. Once you’ve done the Masonic handshake, they’ll be, like, ‘Oh, you know, I have a broker who sells old ICBM silos, and they’re nuclear-hardened, and they kind of look like they would be interesting to live in.’ ”……………He noted the vulnerabilities exposed by the Russian cyberattack on the Democratic National Committee, and also by a large-scale hack on October 21st, which disrupted the Internet in North America and Western Europe. “Our food supply is dependent on G.P.S., logistics, and weather forecasting,” he said, “and those systems are generally dependent on the Internet, and the Internet is dependent on D.N.S.”—the system that manages domain names. “Go risk factor by risk factor by risk factor, acknowledging that there are many you don’t even know about…………….I could see the outline of a vast concrete dome, with a metal blast door partly ajar. I was greeted by Larry Hall, the C.E.O. of the Survival Condo Project, a fifteen-story luxury apartment complex built in an underground Atlas missile silo. The facility housed a nuclear warhead from 1961 to 1965, when it was decommissioned. At a site conceived for the Soviet nuclear threat, Hall has erected a defense against the fears of a new era. “It’s true relaxation for the ultra-wealthy,” he said. “They can come out here, they know there are armed guards outside. The kids can run around.”……………Some survivalists disparage Hall for creating an exclusive refuge for the wealthy and have threatened to seize his bunker in a crisis. Hall waved away this possibility when I raised it with him over dinner. “You can send all the bullets you want into this place.” If necessary, his guards would return fire, he said. “We’ve got a sniper post.” — SOURCE: New Yorker
HEADLINE: China Presses Its Internet Censorships Efforts Across The Globe
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: This is something people don’t usually know because it’s not easy-to-find information. Chinese censorship is crossing borders, reaching democracies all over the world and controlling what information we see about China, since a few massive companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook are the gatekeepers of information in today’s modern society. Whether you are in Europe, America, Africa…it doesn’t matter. Because a few companies get to decide what you see, or what apps you can use. And those companies have a lot of room to grow in China. For instance, Google plans to launch a censored search engine in China in case you don’t know, so it’s only obvious to assume that Google wants to play ball with the chinese government in exchange for access to their huge market. That’s pretty obvious already. Apple is starting to put sensitive encryption keys in China, shifting the iCloud accounts of its China-based customers to a local partner’s servers. Just look at what Mashable says: “Fast forward to today: China Telecom, a government owned telco, is taking over the iCloud data from Guizhou-Cloud Big Data. This essentially means that a state-owned firm now has access to all the iCloud data China-based users store, such as photos, notes, emails, and text messages.” – SOURCE: Mashable. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. And here’s Reuters about the relationship between Facebook and Chinese companies: “The social media company said Huawei Technologies Co Ltd HWT.UL, computer maker Lenovo Group, and smartphone makers OPPO and TCL Corp were among about 60 companies worldwide that received access to some user data after they signed contracts to re-create Facebook-like experiences for their users. ‘The news that Facebook provided privileged access to Facebook’s API to Chinese device makers like Huawei and TCL raises legitimate concerns, and I look forward to learning more about how Facebook ensured that information about their users was not sent to Chinese servers,’ Warner said.” – SOURCE: Reuters – Facebook confirms data sharing with Chinese companies. Connect the dots. Democracies are falling.
HEADLINE: Workers Are Getting Basically Nothing from The Corporate Tax Windfall
PUBLISHER: Fast Company
COMMENT: This is an article employees should read because unfortunately, nowadays, lots and lots of companies out there do not care about their employees anymore. Many are treated as “slaves”, “working machines”, expendable people (especially in corporations). Wages haven’t been growing for a long time now and workers themselves know that’s the harsh truth. This resource explains why there hasn’t happened any real change for most of them. The truth is that we’re in an Era where men are incredibly selfish, too materialistic, too focused on “things” and only thinking about themselves. As a result, businessmen are always competing among themselves just to see who has the biggest jet or house, the better office or car, while their employees are struggling to pay rent, health and food. That’s today’s world. The Tax windfall is only maximizing this reality and nothing more because we have few entrepreneurs left who really care about people. Employees will only see a real raise once their bosses start caring. Period.
HEADLINE: Facebook Closed 583 Million Fake Accounts in First 3 Months of 2018
PUBLISHER: The Guardian
COMMENT: Time to go to school baby. This article is of major importance, although it doesn’t seem so if you just consider it alone. However, it’s when you put all the pieces together that the reality appears. So let’s begin, shall we? First, fake estimates: Facebook made you believe it can reach more young people in the United States with advertisements than are actually alive. That alone is pretty serious if you ask me because you’re inflating your true value, but let’s continue. Ready? Well, I don’t know if you know this, but Facebook had 10 Measurement Errors (!), and some stayed that way for two whole years (well, at least it was good for the stocks). Hmmm ok, interesting…but let’s forget that many agencies rely on this to showcase their results to customers. So nevermind. All is good. So what’s next? Then Facebook flipped a switch and suddenly became harder for brands to reach audiences without paying. Nice! Brands were happy here! But wait, there’s more! Then, out of nothing, Facebook completely changed its news feed for businesses so it can better achieve the “Meaningful Interactions” metric, a famous and professional metric that only the best marketing experts use. Something not for amateurs. Next, if you’re a bit old in the online marketing landscape, you probably already know that Facebook is running out of ad inventory meaning it doesn’t have any more room to show ads to people anymore. Impressive. Great stuff. So, if Facebook has ALL these achievements unlocked, and 1/4 of its user base is just fake accounts, do you really think brands aren’t feeling all these negative factors when all is put together!? Oh, they sure are. Especially because in one of the latest algorithm tweaks, Facebook’s ad cost spiked. You see, if you go after the ultimate meaningful interaction metric, it obviously means two things: 1) fewer ads available on a user’s news feed; 2) businesses have to pay more because there’s less room available. Naturally, it also means that you just manipulated the supply and demand law, magically increasing ad costs and forcing businesses who still have a lot of money available to transfer those dollars to Facebook! Therefore, the business strategy is actually correct. Why? Because of this. Therefore, Facebook is coming after those with big money, before it crashes due to lack of real value. Of those real users, how many actually log in daily to see some ads? And do you really think they purged all fake accounts? What if half of Facebook users are fake accounts…? Well, that’s for you to think about. So what comes next? Definitely a pay-to-get-in social network. Without a doubt.
HEADLINE: Australian Regulator Investigates Google Data Harvesting from Androids
PUBLISHER: The Guardian
COMMENT: For a more complete view on Google data-harvesting capabilities, you better read this article together with this other one. It will give you a pretty good idea of how deep the rabbit hole goes. Also, let’s not forget that Facebook admitted it may collect data about your calls and text messages. So if you have both Apps installed on your phone, you’re now aware of “the costs”.
HEADLINE: Amazon Patent: Unmask Bitcoin Users, Sell Data to Law Enforcement
PUBLISHER: Digital Trends
COMMENT: The rule is simple for our current days: don’t trust companies that are too tight with The Government. Period. You already know what I say about cryptocurrencies and who are the top two enemies of today’s entrepreneurs and business owners. People tend to forget that cryptocurrencies are anti-government and anti-banks, and it exploded especially because both the government & banks destroyed our global economy back in 2008 opening our eyes and showing that we need to trust only ourselves with our own money. So if a company is siding with those against us, especially a big tech company, that’s something to think about. And in case you’re wondering how Amazon can help the government, just read this article: “In the text of the patent, the notion of corroborating bitcoin transactions is explicitly mentioned as a potential functionality for subscribers of the now-approved service: ‘[A] group of electronic or internet retailers who accept bitcoin transactions may have a shipping address that may correlate with the bitcoin address. The electronic retailers may combine the shipping address with the bitcoin transaction data to create correlated data and republish the combined data as a combined data stream. A group of telecommunications providers may subscribe downstream to the combined data stream and be able to correlate the IP (Internet Protocol) addresses of the transactions to countries of origin. Government agencies may be able to subscribe downstream and correlate tax transaction data to help identify transaction participants.’” – SOURCE: Bits Online.
HEADLINE: SEC Charges a 3rd Founder of Mayweather-backed Crypto With Fraud
COMMENT: It’s a Business Rule. If you have lots of eye balls looking at a new trend — like cryptocurrency — you can surely bet there will be scams and fake stuff fooling almost everybody. Because believing that every single thing that you see “blowing up”, has true hard work and true value behind it, is just too naive. Remember when The Outline discovered that people were paying journalists to secretly promote brands on mainstream media? Remember when The New York Times revealed that even celebrities, actors and investors from Shark Tank bought followers on social media? That’s our business world. That’s the real world. There are true players, and people looking for shortcuts. And those looking for shortcuts know what influences people to their favor more easily. Welcome to one more piece of evidence showing this ugly reality.
HEADLINE: Your FB and Google Data Will Have You Reaching for Your Settings
COMMENT: Just so you have an idea, the Twitter thread is 30-tweets long. You’ll see too much evidence showing how they REALLY know you thanks to all the meticulous data they possess about you. The part about Google knowing even how many steps you’ve taken in all places you’ve been in the last years is astonishing by itself. But there’s way more. Read this.
HEADLINE: Facebook Admits It May Collect Data About Your Calls And Text Messages
COMMENT: Priceless article. This gives ANOTHER reason for you to worry if you’re trusting Facebook too much when it comes to your personal data. Just like Google collecting user location even when location services are disabled, Facebook has its own ways to abuse people’s trust. Your phone records becoming property of Facebook? What else is left?!
HEADLINE: Cambridge Analytica Execs Caught Discussing Extortion And Fake News
COMMENT: Oh boy…just READ THIS article. Read it.
HEADLINE: Revealed: 50 Million FB Profiles Harvested for Cambridge Analytica
PUBLISHER: The Guardian
COMMENT: You know…writing about Facebook here gets tiring eventually. But hey, that’s part of the job so here we go once more: First of all, “data breach” is clearly an unfair expression. Facebook KNEW what it was doing by sharing precise personal data with other companies. That’s for sure. They’ve been profiting for years before the market found out that their ad metrics were wrong. And remember how Facebook decided not to answer 7 out of 12 election-related questions from The New York Times? But there’s much more. Just search for Facebook-related cards in this section and you’ll see the light. Facebook is not to be trusted anymore (especially this time). So as a PR move, Facebook decided to put the blame of this monstrous scandal on Cambridge Analytica and the whistleblower (Christopher Wylie) since it made Facebook stocks fall by 14% (and very quickly). Naturally, the bleeding had to be stopped. Following the guilt-shifting move the next step is standard PR procedure: “we will stop everything and investigate all Apps now”. Obviously. Then Mark Zuckerberg’s official post about the scandal also delivered a worrisome statement regarding cutting down access to user data for Apps: “Second, we will restrict developers’ data access even further to prevent other kinds of abuse. For example, we will remove developers’ access to your data if you haven’t used their app in 3 months. We will reduce the data you give an app when you sign in — to only your name, profile photo, and email address”. If this involves the data that feeds the insights platform, and if it cuts down access to data from past months, then App-based companies will have to 10X their efforts to keep as many users engaged as possible to avoid losing insightful data over a semester (for example). Just imagine going back 3 months in a Google Analytics report to check for new patterns in user behavior just to get a report 80% different comparing to the original because you just lost access to user data you used to have. Get it? Finally, there’s another point: Facebook is now prioritizing Local News globally. Now, the article by Tech Crunch claims this is a “response to its existential threat” — which is something I talked about already — but it’s weird how the TIMING is incredibly precise, isn’t it? You see, if you prioritize local news in the News Feed it’s highly unlikely that you’ll hear about this huge scandal. Just in the U.S., 67% of American adults get their news from Social Media so you can imagine how uninformed many will be about this. Worldwide. Plus, the world is more globalized than never before in history and knowing what other countries are doing, how the market in Europe is going and other important facts will be oblivious to many. People may lose critical news about other economies, job opportunities, the global stock market, trade wars, nuclear wars, new laws etc. Does that sound like a better deal for users? Of course not. So this is ANOTHER PR MOVE to protect the bleeding from getting worse. That’s my conclusion. You make your own. Enjoy the article.
HEADLINE: U.S. Companies Are Pressuring Their Workers on How to Lobby And Vote
PUBLISHER: The Washington Post
COMMENT: It seems that some American companies are using their workforce to influentiate politicians to their favor. Now, if the goal here is to educate people about laws for business, taxes, and other topics that have a great impact on the economy, that’s great. However, since we know how the world REALLY works — have you read this whole Secrets of The Market section?! — I have zero doubts that lobbying will join the skill set necessary for people to land a job in the future. Companies want to “squeeze” employees (which companies tend to view just as “resources”) as much as possible now that we’re entering a global economic crisis, since the majority of people will be selfish in such times (because we’re WAY less likely to collaborate in bad economic times). And once again, THIS will become even harder for people. So make sure to read this.
HEADLINE: The Follower Factory: Inside Social Media’s Black Market
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: ALWAYS remember this article whenever you see celebrities, politicians, entrepreneurs, actors and businessmen with a huge following on social media. Always. Because very few today are playing by the rules and using smart marketing and hard work to achieve their results. That’s reality. Welcome to the Era of Fakes, my friend. Read this.
HEADLINE: The Secret Swag Resale Economy
COMMENT: This is a good article to exemplify why those working with PR and with influencers need to think twice before considering putting any effort into gifting as a marketing strategy. If the one getting gifts is either living on a low paycheck or already receives tons of gifts, then it’s not a good idea. Here’s a quote from this very article: “A former Ralph Lauren employee, on the other hand, says her team would “put a lot of work into gifting, and at an in-house level, you see the value of these items, so knowing it was ending up on the resale market was a stab in the back.”. And here’s another point also from this article: “Sometimes it isn’t all that hard to trace things back to editors. The Racked editor who sells at Buffalo Exchange says she never sells things that were personalized or made for her out of fear that brands will catch on “and stop sending stuff.” (This is why many editors opt to use a site like The RealReal as opposed to something more traceable like Depop or Poshmark, the Racked editor notes.)”. Get the idea? Careful when gifting. This is a must-read.
HEADLINE: Letter: Ex-employee Accusing Uber of Hacking Competitors/Wiretapping
COMMENT: Companies think they’re being smarter than the competition by making such despicable moves, but at the end of the day, no matter who you are or what connections you have, everything comes to light. Make sure to read the full letter.
HEADLINE: World’s Richest 500 See Their Wealth Increase by $1TN This Year
PUBLISHER: The Guardian
COMMENT: Just look at this. There are less than 5000 individuals who combined have 46% of the world’s wealth. Am I against rich people? Of course not. I met many people with money who deserve it due to hard work and sheer persistence. However, as you can see below, many of those wealthy individuals manipulated things on the market along with the government without caring about anyone else (as you can see in this documentary). It’s also important to notice that from a business perspective this is key, because money is being concentrated in fewer hands and in order for a business to grow, it has to provide value to those who have money. That’s how capitalism works. Therefore, at the same time, such levels of wealth inequality kills the ability of good businesses to exist because not every business will target the rich and there’s obviously less money on the table for all other businesses to fight for on the market. Read this.
HEADLINE: How Corporations And The Wealthy Avoid Taxes
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: A priceless, well-explained resource about Tax Evasion operations made by big companies on a daily basis. Very very good article. The article explains what happens behind the scenes in the current market, showing the professional legal loopholes companies use all the time. A must-read.
HEADLINE: ATO Says 36% of Big Firms and Multinationals Paid No Tax
PUBLISHER: The Guardian
COMMENT: Another must-read if you already read ATO Data Dump: Naming and Shaming The Nation’s Biggest Tax Cheats and the previous card.
HEADLINE: More Than A Third of Big Companies Paid no Tax in 2014/2015
PUBLISHER: The Guardian
COMMENT: Read this.
HEADLINE: ATO Data Dump: Naming and Shaming The Nation’s Biggest Tax Cheats
PUBLISHER: Michael West
COMMENT: This is a good article for you to understand how the world actually works in practice when it comes to business. The current system was designed to help the government, banks and the rich. Richer people pay far less taxes and they have legal ways around it to bypass the system. So if you’re a small business owner or an entrepreneur, please understand that the game you’re playing now was made to avoid new players and new competition just like you. Because the more competition there is, the higher the probability of large companies losing their stable life doing little effort. This is why many big companies have corrupt alliances with the government behind the scenes. Because it helps prevent new folks take away everything from them, while the working class maintains their lifestyles with taxes and monthly consumption. Just try starting something like a telecom company nowadays and you’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s a game with the odds completely against you. Now, am I saying every company mentioned in the article below is a bad company? Negative. Because in the current rotten system, smart entrepreneurs who are not seeing their tax money going back to their community (poor people, hospitals, education etc) will use the very same legal holes bad companies use, to save and use their own tax money to do something themselves for society since most politicians today are liars and thieves etc. DO NOT get me wrong: I support the duty of all citizens and businesses paying taxes, but if your taxes are going to dictators overseas, or to organized crime, or to the bank account of a corrupt politician, then it’s a whole different picture. Anyway, read this.
HEADLINE: These Were The Craziest Workplace Surveillance Stories of 2017
COMMENT: A quick read that adds a few more crazy points to what another resource recently published by The Guardian revealed, named: Workplace Surveillance can Track Your Every Move. Stupid companies are caging employees in a surveillance culture instead of doing proper hiring. Give more freedom and make sure workers understand their responsibilities and goals while working for your company, and you don’t need to track anyone. Who wants to be tracked at this level? More freedom for employees to have a good life is what generates growth because they’ll be thankful to you and thus, will work harder to maintain their lifestyle which translates into helping build your business faster. Anyway, expect this trend to go viral as businessmen face serious issues in a market that’s about to crash. And with all the problematic scenarios involving employees in today’s marketplace, selfish businessmen (the majority of our market) will obviously choose to protect themselves as much as possible. As you may imagine, that means only one thing: more workplace surveillance.
HEADLINE: These Are The People Paying Journalists to Promote Brands in Articles
PUBLISHER: The Outline
COMMENT: Another must-read. This is another round of shocking revelations made by The Outline that started right here: How Brands Secretly Buy Their Way into Forbes, Fast Company, and Huff Post. Welcome to the Market. Enjoy.
HEADLINE: Inside The Group Chats Where People Pump And Dump Cryptocurrency
PUBLISHER: The Outline
COMMENT: A warning for crypto maniacs: pay attention to this trend because it’s getting more people by the day. Buzzfeed published something similar, and next, I highlight a key paragraph: “McAfee is still viewed by some as a cryptocurrency sage; he was touting bitcoin as the currency of the future long before its recent gains. And — for some — McAfee shilling for GVT was good reason to buy it, a premonition of future buying frenzies and a soaring valuation. So they bought. And they bought without noticing the additional “L” in the Twitter username or the missing verification check that distinguished the bogus McAfee account from the real one, @OfficialMcAfee. When the tweet was first broadcast at around 3 p.m. ET, GVT was bought and sold on the market at $30. By 3:04, it was at $45, and trading volume had doubled. But by 3:19, GVT’s price had fallen back to $30.29. The smart money — the early money —had gotten out, leaving the late money holding a bag of now-diminished value. (SOURCE: Buzzfeed)“. Read both articles to have an idea how scammers work. Remember: There’s no such thing as “easy money”.
HEADLINE: Is Your Vizio Television Spying on You? What to Know
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: A must-read. Very few people are aware about this today.
HEADLINE: Google and Facebook Are Watching our Every Move Online
COMMENT: There’s a good reminder here in the last two highlights: “alternative digital realities”. Since Rank Brain was introduced by Google and confirmed as the 3rd most important ranking factor, Google search results are giving you links based on your personal data. This means that John may see different results if compared with Sara for a search like “best winter clothing lines”. Although it may help when it comes to shopping, the same thing is not as beneficial when you’re searching for political content for example. John may see Fox News links while Sara may see BBC for the exact same query. Those are “alternative digital realities” and maintain the illusion that a person is right, without giving the full picture from both sides on a given subject. See the point? And last but not least, reverse engineering google queries for marketing purposes (like SEO) become a problem since deconstructing search results won’t provide accurate data because Google search results are becoming more personalized by the day (link #1 / link #2). Quick recommended read.
HEADLINE: That Game on Your Phone May Be Tracking What You’re Watching on TV
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: Although I work with Marketing and using personal data is great to achieve results, certain things need to be crystal clear for users in a way they know about the choices they’re making when installing or using a website/app/service. However, in practice that’s not how the market works. Very few businesses are letting the customer know what kind of data is being captured. Something buried in the Terms of Service shouldn’t count since T&S are usually written in legal language. Read this to be aware of how companies can capture additional data about you while you’re watching TV.
HEADLINE: Hey, Mark Zuckerberg: My Democracy Isn’t Your Laboratory
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: This is a very important article. Just take a look at the countries where “the test” happened. Only countries with a weak democratic state. It’s like the Cryptocurrency vs The Government + Banks war, certain things you’ll only notice by observation. Although today, problems are much more explicit. Yet, people still fail to recognize the growing threat social networks are becoming to democracy and society as a whole. Even after these must-read articles were published: Facebook’s Ad Platform Is Easily Gamed And Privacy Is Cheaply Bought, Facebook Fined with $1.43 Million for Violating Users’ Privacy in Spain, What We Don’t Know About What Facebook Knows and — the especial cherry — George Soros Is Funding Facebook’s “3rd-Party Fact Checking”. If you read everything I wrote in the last link I just mentioned, you’re probably connecting the dots right now. There’s no reason to trust anymore in a company that is doing all those things. People need to wake up to the recent red alerts being given by bold journalists, businessmen, and entrepreneurs. Time’s up. Democracy is clearly under attack. You better be careful with your personal data and your marketing budgets because what you’re now feeding, is something else. Read this.
HEADLINE: Facebook is Censoring People The US Government Sanctions
COMMENT: Sometimes I wonder how many more Facebook-related articles I’ll have to promote here on this page. I have nothing to add to this, except that I make Sam Greene’s highlighted section my words. Democracy is clearly at stake once we’re going towards this scenario.
HEADLINE: The End of Food
PUBLISHER: The New Yorker
COMMENT: Quick story. I was at my desk calmly reading this article until its author wrote the following: “Still, those who do work for startups are promised that they will get rich but will see instead that the life is absurd. Some startup workers are starving themselves (but calling it ‘biohacking’ instead). Others are taking LSD or using blood transfusions and meal-replacement drinks. Still more drink a daily drug cocktail. (SOURCE: The Drum)“. Well, that starving part got me thinking because I never heard anything about it before, so I digged a little deeper to doublecheck his statement and see whether or not that was true. The result? It’s not true. The author made a mistake (probably because he’s not into fitness that much). What he was referring to was something called intermittent fasting (IF) which was popularized by the leangains website and its founder Martin Berkhan. In case you’re not aware, intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you only eat in a 8-hour window. The rest of the time (16 hours), you fast. Such eating pattern forces your body to use fat as its source of energy, while maintaining muscle mass at the same time (research shows that the body only “eats muscle” after a 72-hour period of fasting). This is why the author said “entrepreneurs were starving themselves”. Actually, Hugh Jackman used intermittent fasting to achieve that shredded look in his roles as The Wolverine. I personally used it A LOT in my first 2 years while building this business, not because of the trend though, but because I used to read a lot of bodybuilding articles years ago so I decided to use it as a productivity tool. It saves you tons of time because you don’t have to stop to cook/eat often. It also increases concentration and testosterone levels (which is great for training). If you’re an entrepreneur/businessman and want to know more, I recommend The Science Behind Intermittent Fasting (14 Studies) [VIDEO] from a guy I like to watch, Jeff Nipad (he has great content). Within 6 minutes you’ll understand the core arguments. Anyway, the author was wrong about that whole starvation thing which is ok, but what about the other points? After all, he was saying something worthy of The Secrets of The Market section. So the next thing that caught my eye was “meal-replacement drinks”. That part was true. In the article below you can see why. So why am I sharing this here? Because it’s a very good hack. Personally, I think every entrepreneur who likes to get things done much faster should know about this “productivity hack” because we all know how doing the work of 12 months in 4 months is priceless. The more you can get done in less time, the better (assuming you’re producing high-quality work of course). Elon Musk says the exact same thing. True entrepreneurs know how spending 10 minutes cooking or going to the bathroom feels as like you’re wasting too much time for nothing. Every minute counts. Because we want to fast forward the work that needs to be done to see the results faster. We are sick people. Therefore, meal-replacement drinks can be a good solution for entrepreneurs out there who like to test things in practice that help boost productivity, without sacrificing muscle and nutrition. Productivity fanatics, give this article a good read.
HEADLINE: This is What Bitcoin Scammers Trying to Defraud You Will Say on Phone
PUBLISHER: The Times of Israel
COMMENT: Read this to know how bitcoin scammers work.
HEADLINE: China’s Intellectual Property Theft Must Stop
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: Chinese people are amongst the smartest people in the world, from my perspective. Maybe it’s because China has billions of people competing against one another on a daily basis, obviously pushing them all towards innovation and continuous sheer effort. I respect chinese people a lot (plus, I love Kung Fu and Bruce Lee) and I have some great chinese friends. However, the country is communist at its core. And as all well-educated minds know, communism only results in extreme poverty. Zero innovation. Zero motivation to build businesses. Absolutely nothing improves in a communist society. Therefore, China had to start from a “higher ground” because starting from ground zero wouldn’t have resulted in China being The World’s 2nd largest economy so fast. That’s where Intellectual Property theft comes in. By taking other countries’ years of work and technology advancements, China was able to fast forward its progress tremendously. It’s far easier to start a new Operating System (ex: Windows, Mac OS) if your starting point is Linux’s source code, right? That’s the only way you can set a crystal clear agenda, when you have certainty about the progress you’ll be able to make. Back in 2009, The Guardian wrote about China stealing IP from Germany: “He said while Russia only had ‘hundreds of thousands of agents’, compared to China’s million, it had ‘years more experience’.Opfermann estimated that German companies were losing around €50bn (£43bn) and 30,000 jobs to industrial espionage every year.’China wants to be the world’s leading economic power by 2020,” Opfermann said. “For that they need a speedy and intensive transfer of high-level technological information which is available in developed industrial lands, if you can get your hands on it’ (SOURCE: The Guardian).” If you pay attention, you’ll notice China’s 2020 goal (and that was published in 2009!). Am I saying China is only where it is today thanks to intellectual property theft? Of course not. They have serious entrepreneurs there, for sure. Besides, a lot of the game-changing technology available today was widely distributed years ago, enabling progress everywhere. Put such things in the hands of very smart people in an extremely competitive landscape, and without a doubt, you’ll see progress. But you bet that a great deal of China’s progress is ALSO thanks to IP theft, allowing the country to jump years ahead in the race for economic domination. And now this is also becoming a pain point for America as China has a serious chance of becoming the world’s leading economic power and thereby, a real threat. Check out the article.
HEADLINE: Google Collects Users Location When Location Services Are Disabled
COMMENT: Read this.
HEADLINE: This City Hall Brought to You By Amazon
PUBLISHER: The Seattle Times
COMMENT: Here’s a nice reality-check for entrepreneurs and businessmen who think that they’re sometimes competing against just a company. Unfortunately, businesses form corrupt and unfair alliances with the government which puts additional, massive competitive pressure on businesses who are playing by the book and following the rules. Welcome to the game.
HEADLINE: I Asked Tinder for My Data. It Sent Me 800 Pages of My Darkest Secrets
PUBLISHER: The Guardian
COMMENT: This is a reminder for those who have no clue about the amount of personal data you’re giving away to a simple smartphone app when you install it in your phone. Read this. Seriously.
HEADLINE: Workplace Surveillance can Track Your Every Move
PUBLISHER: The Guardian
COMMENT: Instead of hiring employees who will give sweat and tears for your company in return for a job they praise and love, certain businesses are choosing to monitor employees 24/7 while at work by checking their messages, their apps, their browser history and even their face-to-face conversations (!). Would you enjoy working in such places? Probably not. Follow this guy’s lead: He restrained working hours to 5 hours per day so his employees could have a life outside the office. When you hire the right people and give them a good life, they’ll work like crazy for you and maintain and grow your business. Stupid marketplace.
HEADLINE: Twitter Admits It Accidentally Inflated User Growth for 3 Years
COMMENT: Like I said about Facebook in the Secrets of The Market #20, a company is measured by its numbers which have direct impact on the company’s stocks. Valuation relies on results, and results are only measured by the company’s numbers. Although coming forth to admit your mistakes is a valuable and honorable move, and I respect those in business who do that, it’s very hard to believe that this was a genuine mistake. Nonetheless, make your own assumptions and conclusions.
HEADLINE: CEO Cancels Plan to Go Public and Will Return Money to Investors
PUBLISHER: Bitcoin Magazine
COMMENT: I’m obviously not listing this resource here because of Alex or his business, but rather because of some startups deceptive tactics being used lately, faking their companies supporters in ICOs and using big names in the industry without their approval to boost their marketing efforts. Once again, don’t always believe what you read and what people are selling to you. Read this to know what some brands are actually doing in the ICO world.
HEADLINE: How Brands Secretly Buy Their Way Into Forbes, Fast Company, Huff Post
PUBLISHER: The Outline
COMMENT: Don’t always believe what you read. This article exposes some of the dirt happening behind the scenes in some major publications that many CEOs, Entrepreneurs, and Marketers read daily. Sometimes is not the brand’s fault when corruption installs because employees have free will and some level of power and clearance to do whatever they like. Nonetheless, some marketing messages about “business success” are being delivered to you not by professional merit but because weak entrepreneurs and businessmen know they need some cute corruption to win. Therefore, when considering tools, services and partners for your business, remember this article.
HEADLINE: We Asked Facebook 12 Questions About the Election, and Got 5 Answers
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: A.W.E.S.O.M.E article by The New York Times! Just awesome. Some very smart questions, congrats to the reporter. Seriously. I’m not even putting the answers here, I’m only highlighting key points that I bet anyone would find very very interesting instead. As you’re about to see, Facebook spokespeople stopped talking (obviously). Fun stuff!
HEADLINE: Nissan’s Top Marketer More Worried About Google Fixing Ad Fraud
PUBLISHER: The Drum
COMMENT: The current absurd amount of ad fraud in the market seems to be a secret to companies nowadays, and I constantly notice that many brands are not even aware of the Methbot adfraud, which is rather problematic. Nevertheless, here’s a reinforcement from Nissan’s top marketer to remind companies all over the world that a good piece of their $2 BILLION dollars 2016 budget (yes, 2 billion!) was wasted on ads due to ad fraud. JP Morgan & Chase had ads on 400,000 websites, now they have only on 5,000 and got the same results. Time to wake up. And demand transparency from all big ad platforms.
HEADLINE: Reddit CEO Admits To Editing Posts Made By Trump Supporters
PUBLISHER: Zero Hedge
COMMENT: Once again, I’m not a “Trump supporter”. The focus here is quite simple: A CEO of a major social network is editing other people’s comments without people’s consent. This is just more proof that trusting 100% in all today’s dominant social networks is a mistake. Big mistake. We’re now getting tons of news, facts and revelations from many brands and also from normal users about the dirt hidden in social media. That’s an environment where many companies are putting money and see as the last resort to get people’s attention. But how good are your ad dollars if a sneaky CEO is editing your social activity because of his own personal political view? Add that to Forum Shilling (Secrets of The Market #3) and you got yourself a broken social network. And by the way, if you want to go deep into this subject, Recode interviewed Reddit CEO about this. But personally, a few parts of the interview obviously seem a PR move to fix his reputation. Nonetheless, make your own conclusions.
HEADLINE: George Soros Is Funding Facebook’s “3rd-Party Fact Checking”
PUBLISHER: Zero Hedge
COMMENT: “I CANNOT and DO NOT look at the social consequences of what I do” — George Soros. Now, if you watch the whole interview, and especially THIS MOVIE, you’ll see the figure who is behind the fact-checking agenda on Facebook. Just to help in your research, here are a few complementary resources: The Trade of the Century: When George Soros Broke the British Pound (great article), How Beijing and Hong Kong sent billionaire George Soros packing the last time he attacked Asian markets. There’s a lot more than this, just do your own research to see who is this guy who’s now putting money on Facebook’s fact-checking project, which is something that will basically decide what information deserves to be seen by almost 2 billion people.
HEADLINE: The War To Sell You A Mattress Is An Internet Nightmare
PUBLISHER: Fast Company
COMMENT: This is another example of how companies are really doing things behind the scenes, exploring bloggers/influencers who worked hard to build a brand and stabbing them in the back at the moment they have an opportunity. Here you’ll see a fight between a skinny hard-working blogger who built a Youtube Channel with tons of followers, an authoritative website, and became a reference for those wanting to buy mattresses online. A real-life business story. You can see how Casper CEO changes his talk as the story goes on, going from “the best friend in business” to “blogger crusher”. “Business is a combination of war and sport.” – Andre Maurois
HEADLINE: Facebook’s Ad Platform Is Easily Gamed And Privacy Is Cheaply Bought
COMMENT: Do you want to know what REALLY can be done via Facebook Ads to violate someone’s privacy using a few ads? Then read this. I’m not commenting. Just read it and watch the video as well.
HEADLINE: CEO Reveals a Startling Reality About Online Ad Spending
PUBLISHER: Business Insider
COMMENT: JUST READ THIS.
HEADLINE: What it looks like when the NSA Hacks into your Gmail and Facebook
PUBLISHER: Business Insider
COMMENT: “Facebook is not and has never been part of any program to give the US or any other government direct access to our servers.” — Mark Zuckeberg, Facebook CEO. Well, that’s cute. By one image alone, the NSA deconstructed tons of information from Tony Fullman’s Facebook and Gmail accounts which revealed incredible nuggets of personal data, like what IP uploaded his profile picture, what brand and type of camera took a picture of his car, in what album it was stored on Facebook etc. Make sure to check out all images in this article. Have fun.
HEADLINE: Facebook Fined with $1.43 Million for Violating Users’ Privacy in Spain
PUBLISHER: The Hacker News
COMMENT: Yes, once again Facebook makes the headlines. And not in a good way. The government of Spain realized Facebook’s generic terms when it comes to collecting personal data from its users, which frankly, is a little bit late for that. Nonetheless, some justice was applied here and now it’s proved once more that the social network does violate people’s privacy over and over. Some people don’t even know that Facebook allows you to download all personal data you feed to the platform. But there’s a way, just do these steps: 1) Go to the upper right arrow; 2) Click on Settings; 3) Click on “Download a copy of your Facebook data”. This data provided by Facebook about you also includes all your Messenger conversations besides all uploaded images, videos and more. Therefore, who knows what else they’re collecting on you?! We discover through lawsuits that make the news. With all this data in Facebook’s hands, there’s also the problem of who is viewing your data. For example, did you know that Facebook employees don’t need your password to access your account? And that NSA obviously doesn’t (meet Xkeyscore) as well? Also, there’s the problem of having at least the option to control your data, because Facebook did remove the “Delete Post” option from the Desktop version, blocking desktop users from deleting posts, nor letting them edit it to be blank. Yes, I know. This is way too much information constantly proving that PRIVACY via Facebook is just like Santa. Doesn’t exist. Therefore, you can only conclude one thing: DO NOT feed the social network if you don’t want some stranger’s eyes checking out what you’ve published.
HEADLINE: Confessions of a Paid Amazon Review Writer
COMMENT: Now let’s flip things around, leave Amazon alone, and check out what companies are doing AFTER Amazon’s policy change. Just so you have a glimpse of what the market really is behind the scenes. A Good article for entrepreneurs, business people, and customers in general. Welcome to the real world where businesses are putting their efforts into cheating.
HEADLINE: Amazon Reviews Have a Bot Problem
COMMENT: Amazon’s reviews are a major influential force when it comes to purchases, and people even went to Reddit to ask what a heck is happening with fake bots pumping amazon reviews. There’s one comment provided by HelenMirselou that points out a few interesting reasons for these bots to exist: 1) It’s a pricing bot scam to run down competitors’ prices and then buy them up — forcing them to either sell at a loss or cancel and suffer all sorts of repercussions; 2) Hacked accounts; 3) Wreaking havoc on Amazon’s system…wasting their time, resources, and money…and hurting their brand. Don’t forget that if this is just competitors being nasty, then the very same actors may be putting the same effort to improve their company’s positive side, giving good reviews instead. The truth is this only tends to get worse if brands don’t fix this problem, because a few researchers trained AI with YELP data to write fake restaurant reviews, indistinguishable from the real ones. Did you read that? Indistinguishable. If this level of AI gets into the hands of those bad actors, businesses will suffer a lot more.
HEADLINE: What We Don’t Know About What Facebook Knows
PUBLISHER: The Atlantic
COMMENT: I’m thinking about “estimating” my marketing strategies’ reach to 10 billion people (more people than we have on the planet). Or maybe estimating my track record to 30 million people. I bet it will help in my business for sure. Ridiculous. Well, you read Secrets of The Market #20 in this very page, right? That’s exactly the logic.
HEADLINE: Verizon Wants Customers to Give Up Their Data for Targeted Ads
COMMENT: Remember the rollback made by Trump on FCC’s privacy rules for ISPs? Good. But here’s the important part, my friend: Comcast and Verizon came forward to state that they don’t currently sell customer’s browser history and say they have no plans to do so. If you take a look in the 2nd link, you’ll realize that only Comcast said “we have no plans to do so”, to be fair with Verizon. Nonetheless, now you have Verizon openly stating a “data-for-goods program” to its customers. There’s nothing wrong with Verizon’s approach, actually. If customers are giving consent to ISPs to sell their browsing history, then OK. The problem is selling this kind of data without your explicit consent. In Verizon’s case, you’ll find that in the “What Information is Used?” question to what data you’re giving consent. But the fact is that this is now happening and will keep happening. Because don’t think this new ISP trend will only be a business move in America. Negative. EVERY major company knows that they need extremely personal data on customers to survive in today’s market. The more data about you, the better. With the right data, you can avoid those who don’t have any money, those who don’t like your product, get people’s attention at the right time and with the right medium etc. Show me your data and I’ll show you who you are and what you would like to consume.
HEADLINE: A Secret Silicon Valley plot to seize Control of The Internet?
PUBLISHER: The Sun
COMMENT: I’m not a “Trump supporter”. But I’m always seeking information that reveals how the market REALLY works. Although I read and heard about The Sun being an “untrustworthy news source”, based on everything I published and what I already know, it’s pretty obvious that the internet is being controlled by big companies. Do you want to market your business? Here are your “no-brainer” options: Linkedin, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Google Ads etc. Do you want to search for a product, or information, or papers published by experts? Then, GOOGLE. If I say to you I’m watching videos online you’ll either assume I’m on Facebook or Youtube. That’s the point. Those are the FACTS. The Internet is being controlled whether we like it or not through simple market dominance. Now, is The Sun completely accurate? I don’t know. But this makes you think on the matter IF you are doing your research on how the market and its social networks…are actually behaving.
HEADLINE: Google Has a History of Silencing Messages It Doesn’t Like
COMMENT: Sometimes people need other sources to believe in something. Well, now you have it. Another reinforcement that censorship does occur in Google’s search results. The Secrets of The Market #23 has more info on this subject. There’s no need for me to be repetitive. But here’s something new, the article that Forbes took down (syndicated): Stick Google+ Buttons on Your Pages, or your Search Traffic Suffers.
HEADLINE: Yes, Google Uses Its Power To Quash Ideas It Doesn’t Like
COMMENT: Here’s the truth: A company is always made of people, and people can be unfair and do nasty things, whether in business or not. This is just another example of how censorship DOES happen even in Google. If you think Google’s search results aren’t biased, then think again. Here’s what Harvard Business School found out about Google’s search results, and here are some additional revelations given by Yelp. And those are just TWO discoveries. Who knows what else is out there? It’s not by human error that Google Was Fined A Record $2.7 Billion in E.U. Antitrust Ruling. Unfortunately, “biased” is becoming a very common word online. Brands need to be aware of this reality. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with your marketing agency or your consultant. Maybe the problem is the very company ranking websites.
HEADLINE: Joy Villa: YouTube Took Down My ‘Make America Great Again’ Song
PUBLISHER: Fox News
COMMENT: Welcome to the Era of Social Media Censorship. Just check out this short article and enlarge Villa’s document in which she’s asking for consent. You’ll see that there’s no infrigment of policy in her case, and yet, Youtube diminished her views and then took down her video anyway. Neutral social media companies? Such thing does not exist.
HEADLINE: Billionaire Porn King Reinvents Himself as Japan’s Startup Guru
COMMENT: Seriously, what’s happening to this market?! First you see Kim Kardashian being interviewed on Forbes as a “businesswoman” and now we have Porn Kings giving business advice?! If a person abandoned its actions and THEN built a respectful business, then, awesome. Congratulations. But this is different. It’s just a quick example of what values the market has been embracing lately, it’s like it doesn’t matter how you made it, as long as you’re rich in the end of your journey. Welcome to the “business world”, my friend.
HEADLINE: Ad buyers Rate Facebook’s 10 Measurement Errors
COMMENT: With all those inflated metrics, and some of them getting inflated FOR TWO YEARS, how did it affect Facebook’s stocks? Just think. If you have brands seeing fake (but good) results in your platform all the time, and you have a bigger audience than the actual population in the country, and tons of inflated metrics, how do you think businesses will respond with their money? They’ll BUY more ads, of course. If your business is based on inflated numbers and results, most companies will give it a try to see what happens. Now here you can see all 10 Facebook’s Bad Metrics that Media Directors “love”. And to be fair, Facebook is trying to fix all bugs. But there’s little reason nowadays to put trust again on Facebook.
HEADLINE: Facebook to Refund Advertisers Following More Metrics Errors
PUBLISHER: Australian Financial Review
COMMENT: Facebook is losing its users’ trust a lot lately, with a researcher finding out that Facebook’s Ad Reach for a few demographics in the U.S. is LARGER than the actual population itself (by over 10 MILLION people). How can you have at least 24% margin of error?! Organic reach blocked, several metrics errors, inflated audience in the millions…what comes next in this jungle?!
HEADLINE: Brands Are Now Blacklisting Mainstream News Sites, including Fox News
COMMENT: The goal here in sharing this article is not to incite a political discussion, or to defend a right-wing or left-wing position. Instead, it’s to prove that businesses will always have a political view behind the scenes, and it influences business and marketing decisions at the end of the day. Always be transparent with your brand, what you represent and what you believe, this way you avoid wasting time with the wrong brands/customers. Remember that you only have one life. Why waste a portion of it with those you don’t want to associate with? Pick your customers.
HEADLINE: Twitter Is Using Account Verification To Stifle Leaks And Promote War
COMMENT: Do you want to laugh a lot? Then watch the girl’s video embedded in this article! YOU CAN CLEARLY SEE that she is reading something written to her, tailored to deliver a manipulated message. The worst part is: Twitter seems to be promoting bad stuff like War propaganda whilst denying to legitimize a real, public figure (like Julian Assange). What social networks can be trusted these days? It’s unbelievable. Now, it seems that “trolls” forced Twitter to Halt the whole Verification Process temporarily. Well, such verification process doesn’t verify people anyway. There’s not much difference for users. The funny part?People still think all these big social networks are neutral. That’s cute.
HEADLINE: Online Ad Fraud is a ‘Widespread’ Problem, Google and Others Admit
COMMENT: Quick read. Check the facts in this article. And check out everything about the Ad fraud and Bot traffic subjects in the Marketing section. Watch where you’re putting your money.
HEADLINE: Instagram Influencers use Comment Collusion to Game The Algorithm
COMMENT: Agencies, be careful with your budget when hiring Influencers. All fakeness has spread accross the whole advertising industry impacting the options to reach audiences. And because of stupid Instagram algorithm updates, many partners like influencers are seeing their whole business shrink which is pushing them to take deceptive measures as well.
HEADLINE: Next Financial Crisis Will Hit with A ‘Vengeance’ and Canada is Vulnerable
PUBLISHER: Financial Post
COMMENT: This had to be put here (instead of here) because it seems like everybody else is tripping, imagining unicorns, assuming everything is fine and that The Avengers will come to save the day if something bad happens. There’s NOTHING fine if you pay attention. All these signs in the economy prove that “secretly” (you just have to do your research, there’s no secret actually) the market and the economy are going to crash and in extents far worse than the 2008 crisis. We now have several countries with enormous debts (USA’s debt is $20 TRILLION dollars and its GDP is just $4 TRILLION dollars without considering money borrowed by the American government, Italy is already broken etc), we have massive layoffs happening globally in small/medium/large companies, we have Artificial Intelligence getting ready to kill many jobs, with factories in China already replacing 90% of human labor with robots, and a lot more. A simple switch will make the world’s economy crash, and you better be ready because almost no one is telling you the reality.
HEADLINE: Facebook Is Making It Harder to Reach Audiences Without Paying
COMMENT: I constantly see many businesses putting way too much effort on their Facebook Pages, but without knowing that Facebook’s plan is to make you pay to play. You can see that the very same thing is happening with Instagram, with organic reach being cut and key changes being rolled out on its algorithms, like scrambling your feed’s chronological order to mess up with any possible marketing strategies, to prevent you from reaching your audience without paying. Welcome to the reality of Social Media Marketing. That’s the new game. But here’s what social media users are saying in response.
HEADLINE: Copyright Trolls 2.0: Image Sites Embrace Righthaven Tactics
COMMENT: Copyright trolling is not going away, as you can see once again. It seems that some chimps got inspired by Righthaven cute “business model” and decided to go for it. If you’re a content producer, be wary of these monkeys. Fight back. Don’t forget that now you have The Defense Against The Dark Arts of Copyright Trolling published by the law experts at the Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and this HUGE lawsuit Library provided by the experts at the ExtortionLetterInfo, with subjects ranging from Copyright trolling up to Hollywood extortion lawsuits. Protect your business. Because the next financial crisis will push many people to make money through hideous ways.
HEADLINE: New Algorithm-driven Instagram Feed Rolled Out to The Dismay of Users
PUBLISHER: The Guardian
COMMENT: You think all big social networks are to be trusted these days? From this article alone you can realize the following: 1) Big Social Networks are controlling attention, for normal people and businesses; 2) Every major social network is shifting to a pay-to-play scenario. This is another key warning to businesses because it doesn’t matter the quality of your work, and how smart you are online, if the guys behind the platform are purposely crushing distribution of content. Did you take a look at these CRAZY numbers of Social Media Marketing? They’re way too huge. And too many people are relying on social media for information. CRUCIAL information, whether that’s from brands, newspapers or simply the people who want about something. Now ask yourself: What happens to brands if all these numbers start to disappear after a “small” algorithm update? Simple: Good businesses can’t reach customers anymore and normal people have all information fed to them, controlled by few.
HEADLINE: Newspaper Chain’s New Business Plan: Copyright Suits
COMMENT: Monkeys. This is one of the best examples to show those in business how MANY “companies” are operating in the market by taking advantage of weak links in the system to make a profit. The business model? “Let’s mess up with those who don’t have any money to go to court”. They aren’t entrepreneurs and not even businessmen. They’re just monkeys. So here’s a gift so you can get rid of all of them for good: Defense Against The Dark Arts of Copyright Trolling – by Chicago University.
HEADLINE: Facebook Using “NRA Approach” to Defend Its Facial Recognition
COMMENT: It’s always good to reinforce that big tech companies like Facebook are constantly attacking privacy, and using lame excuses to avoid real argumentation on the matter. Facts, links, stats, lawsuits…what more do you need to read to realize that our privacy is seriously at stake and that most big tech brands betrayed their users and customers?
HEADLINE: Report: Brands are falling for fake Instagram influencers
COMMENT: You think companies are smart, and know how to perceive value but it seems that they’re being easily fooled by bot-driven social media accounts with inflated social media numbers. After you read this Digiday’s resource, check out the whole Mediakix’s business story and see pictures of those fake Instagram accounts (both fake accounts cost around $1000). It may help you open your eyes a little. Welcome to the Era of Fakeness, my friend.
HEADLINE: Saving Face: Facebook wants Access Without Limits
PUBLISHER: Public Integrity
COMMENT: Read this. Once you see all the lobbying activity and most privacy-related bills failing, you’ll see why Facebook is not to be trusted anymore.
HEADLINE: The Future is More Content: Jeff Bezos and High Volume Publishing
COMMENT: Google is constantly rewarding with tons of traffic the brands who choose to produce lots and lots of content instead of those who choose to go with a low-volume agenda, but with a high-quality content approach. This is A WEIRD fact because it makes no sense at all. A brand that has more economic power to produce more content should win the content war against a smarter company, that knows what its customers and readers want to consume and delivers well-researched, top quality content!? Isn’t Google’s goal to deliver the best possible answer? Why favor those with more money to inject in content production, even if they’re losing in quality? Nevertheless, that’s the reality that caught MANY EXPERTS by surprise, including me. You just have to produce lots of garbage to “win”.
HEADLINE: Former Facebook Workers: We Routinely Suppressed Conservative News
COMMENT: This is A MUST-READ if you’re using Facebook, whether as a business or as a consumer. Gizmodo clearly gives us two conclusions: 1) Facebook’s political view may suppress your marketing efforts; 2) EVERY company has a political position, even if they aren’t explicit about it to the market. This also makes you realize that the media IS corrupted. It’s pretty rare to find brands that remain 100% honest and faithful to their own core values (that they promote) these days. “The algorithm decides this and the algorithm decides that”. Sure, kid.
HEADLINE: How Companies Are Using Fake Websites to Censor Content
COMMENT: Once again, companies let their fear of having bad reviews hurting their business be an excuse to be dishonest with customers. If you’re about to buy something online and you’re doing your research, sniffing around on forums and websites you found through a quick Google search, please remember this article. Never forget that if YOU found reviews and content about a particular company, the company knows about it. And if it’s bad advertising, they’ll rush to remove everything they can as fast as possible. For business people, this also tells that your competitors are cheating. Welcome to the world of business my friend.
HEADLINE: Reddit is Being Manipulated By Big Financial Services Companies
COMMENT: You expect competitors to be honest in business, but this is another reminder that the game isn’t fair and weak businesses have to use other means to win. What can we say? Monkeys like to cheat. With all this massive competition, not many brands believe in what they can do honestly. Is this problem going away? Obviously not. It only tends to get a lot worse because all brands/forums suffering from Forum Shilling, are not putting 100% of their efforts into fixing this issue. They need to worry about advertising revenue, laws and other major problems instead. This is left to the user. This is why sharing this is important. The smarter you are, the less likely you’ll start a marketing project and put money into it thinking everything is sunshine and rainbows. Next time you enter Reddit or other forums to promote your brand, remember that what you see is being manipulated as well. Not everything you see “working” is a real marketing strategy when it comes to getting results online. People cheat. Therefore, companies cheat.
HEADLINE: Google Wants to Track You in Real Life – Privacy Group says, ‘No way!’
PUBLISHER: Naked Security
COMMENT: A company wants to track you even offline but denies to share what third-party partners it’s using, blocking independent investigations and fact-checking. Do you trust this kind of business behavior, especially with your financial data? Red alert, folks. Privacy is serious business.
HEADLINE: What Should You Think About When Using Facebook?
PUBLISHER: Github (Vicki Boykis)
COMMENT: Do you think just because you’re not on Facebook, it doesn’t have any data about you? Do you think that once you delete a post, comment, or an unpublished status update, Facebook actually deletes it? Think again. This is A VERY IMPORTANT article on Facebook and how it collects personal data from its users. Many important links that you should check out as well, like Who At Facebook Has Access to your Account Details and What Happens to Snoopers? and Facebook Wants to Know Why You Didn’t Publish that Status Update you Started Writing, and finally: Facebook Shadow Profiles: A Profile of You That You Never Created. Enjoy.