Facebook Turned Over Messages in Disturbing Abortion Case Against Teen and Mom. - Daily Beast
How does Facebook make billions from selling information on its users to advertisers? What is surveillance capitalism? How did this get a mother and her teenage daughter prosecuted? Who sets Facebook policies that allow guns to be advertised but not abortion pills? What are the connections between former Republican operatives at Facebook and the Supreme Court? What can you do to protect your privacy and help restore the freedom to choose when and with whom to have a family?
Follow the money and connections with this map
Facebook provides private messages leading to prosecution
"Nebraska Mom Accused Of Helping Teen Daughter Induce Abortion After Authorities Uncover Facebook Private Messages. Authorities say 17-year-old Celeste Burgess was around 23 weeks pregnant when her mother, Jessica Burgess, allegedly instructed her in private Facebook messages to take two abortion pills to end the pregnancy. The prosecution comes on the heels of the Supreme Court's overturning of federal abortion protections.
A Nebraska mother is facing felony charges for allegedly helping her teen daughter induce an abortion after authorities discovered Facebook messages between the pair discussing taking an abortion pill and the teen’s desire to be free of the pregnancy. Jessica Burgess, 41, is now facing five criminal charges after authorities say she helped her then-17-year-old daughter Celeste Burgess, who is being tried as an adult, abort the pregnancy at around 23 weeks, then burn and bury the fetus outside of town, according to the Lincoln Journal Star.
Madison County Attorney Joseph Smith told the paper it’s the first time he has filed charges for illegally performing an abortion in his 32 years as the county’s prosecutor. Nebraska passed a law in 2010 restricting abortion after 20 weeks, but state-level abortion bans weren’t enforceable in the country until the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June." - Oxygen
This Is the Data Facebook Gave Police to Prosecute a Teenager for Abortion
In June, the state submitted a search warrant to Meta, Facebook's parent company, demanding all private data—including DMs—that the company had for the Burgesses. According to an affidavit submitted along with the search warrant, Ben McBride a detective with the Norfolk, Nebraska Police Division had been investigating the alleged abortion. The family told him that Celeste had unexpectedly "given birth prematurely supposedly to a stillborn child." Facebook DMs obtained by law enforcement were then used as the main basis for a second search warrant, in which 13 laptops and smartphones were seized from the Burgesses; 24 gigabytes of data including images, messages, and web histories from their phones was extracted for the case. - VICE
Do you work at Facebook? Do you know of any other cases where Facebook or another tech company has provided information about an abortion to law enforcement? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or securely on Signal: 202-505-1702
Facebook makes billions selling your privacy to advertisers
$115 billion advertising revenue - from data collected on people. "According to parent company’s 2021 financial report released by parent company Meta, Facebook’s ad revenues in 2021 hit $115 billion, crossing the $100 billion mark for the first time in history. This is nearly $31 billion more than the previous year and represents a 36.6% annual increase. From 2015 to 2021, ad revenues grew at an average annual growth rate of 36.7%. The largest year-over-year increase was registered in 2016 when Facebook’s ad revenues soared by 50%. In comparison, at 20.8%, 2020 saw the smallest increase." - Oberlo
The number of Facebook Messenger users in the United States has been on a steady rise in recent years. As of 2022, there are 138.1 million users of the app." - Oberlo
Unfortunately, Jessica and Celeste Burgess were two Facebook Messenger users whose private messages Facebook shared leading to their prosecution.
Handmaid's Tale - Republican edition
"Control of women and children has been a feature of every repressive political regime on the planet and throughout history. The Handmaid’s Tale describes a toxic world in which misogyny and environmental degradation has turned the US into a totalitarian theocracy. The fictional republic of Gilead has enforced a system of gender-based violence, enslaving the few women capable of bearing children to serve as “handmaidens” to the ruling class. In Gilead, lesbians and “gender traitors” are hanged. Citizens are tracked, watched, and spied upon. Women are not permitted to read. Children are torn from the arms of their birth mothers. There are deadly skirmishes at the borders, as refugees attempt to flee." - Margaret Atwood in The Conversation
Use the map to see how a group of Republican operatives have stacked the Supreme Court with forced birth zealots and set policy at Facebook leading to a real world HandMaid's Tale.
Republican war on women
How the Republican war against women compares to Handmaid's Tale? The list compares twelve actions and uses specific Republican bills and statements to illustrate the GOP attacks. Full list available here. This map was created with the free Kumu app using images from Handmaid's Tale from Hulu.
Joel Kaplan - Facebook VP Global Public Policy
Joel Kaplan is a political advisor and former lobbyist working as Facebook's vice president of global public policy. Previously, he served eight years in the George W. Bush administration. Within Facebook, Kaplan is seen as a strong conservative voice. He has helped place conservatives in key positions in the company, and advocated for the interests of the right-wing websites Breitbart News and The Daily Caller within the company. He has successfully advocated for changes in Facebook's algorithm to promote the interests of right-wing publications, and successfully prevented Facebook from closing down Facebook groups that were alleged to have circulated fake news, arguing that doing so would disproportionately target conservatives. - Wikipedia
Kaplan and Kavanaugh both worked for the Bush Administration.
"Kaplan was a policy adviser on George W Bush’s 2000 campaign. He went on to work in the Bush administration, serving in different roles throughout both of President Bush’s terms. Kaplan started out, in 2001, as the Special Assistant to the President for Policy. By 2006, he was Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy. Kaplan was “responsible for the development and implementation of the Administration’s policy agenda. He framed strategic decisions on a full range of policy matters and integrated the execution of legislative, communications, and external outreach and policy strategies on behalf of the President and Chief of Staff.” Brett Kavanaugh served in the White House Counsel’s office during the Bush administration and was actively involved in the nomination of Justice Roberts to the Supreme Court. George Bush has been a steadfast supporter of Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court." - Heavy
Supreme Court has three lawyers who worked on Bush v. Gore
Justices Clarence Thomas voted to suspend the vote count in Florida that ended up with George Bush Jr. as president. Three other justices worked on the Bush team including John Roberts, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Comey Barrett. All three were later appointed to the Supreme Court! Roberts was appointed by Bush. Kavanaugh and Barrett by Trump. - Supreme Political Payback
- John Roberts flew to Florida in November 2000 to assist Bush's legal team. He helped prepare the lawyer who presented Bush's case to the Florida state Supreme Court and offered advice throughout.
- Brett Kavanaugh was in private practice in 2000 and helped the Bush legal team. He wrote on a 2018 Senate questionnaire that his work related to recounts in Volusia County, Florida.
- Amy Coney Barrett wrote on the questionnaire she submitted to the Senate for her Supreme Court confirmation review, "One significant case on which I provided research and briefing assistance was Bush v. Gore." She said the law firm where she was working at the time represented Bush and that she had gone down to Florida "for about a week at the outset of the litigation" when the dispute was in the Florida courts. - CNN
Federal Trade Commission
Commercial surveillance is the business of collecting, analyzing, and profiting from information about people. Technologies essential to everyday life also enable near constant surveillance of people’s private lives. The volume of data collected exposes people to identity thieves and hackers. Mass surveillance has heightened the risks and stakes of errors, deception, manipulation, and other abuses. The Federal Trade Commission is asking the public to weigh in on whether new rules are needed to protect people’s privacy and information in the commercial surveillance economy. - FTC
- Factsheet on Commercial Surveillance and Data Security
- Factsheet on Public Participation in the Section 18 Rulemaking Process
- Participación Pública En El Proceso De Reglamentación De La FTC Conforme a La S…
Takeaway: #DeleteFacebook. Encrypt your communications. Send data privacy feedback to the FTC. #VoteProChoice.
Image credit: Ann Telnaes, Washington Post
DISCLAIMER: ALTHOUGH THE DATA FOUND IN THIS BLOG AND INFOGRAPHIC HAS BEEN PRODUCED AND PROCESSED FROM SOURCES BELIEVED TO BE RELIABLE, NO WARRANTY EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED CAN BE MADE REGARDING THE ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS, LEGALITY OR RELIABILITY OF ANY SUCH INFORMATION. THIS DISCLAIMER APPLIES TO ANY USES OF THE INFORMATION WHETHER ISOLATED OR AGGREGATE USES THEREOF.