How much money are the various Wikimedia Foundation affiliates
getting from Google, Facebook, and other major Internet behemoths? And
what is the Wikimedia Foundation trying to do in Brussels, Washington
DC, and elsewhere to counter the threat of what Harvard Social
Psychology Professor Emeritus Shoshana Zuboff calls, "The Age of
A variety of recent publications have reported that political
polarization has been increasing within the US and many other countries,
because Google, Facebook, and other Internet companies make money by
selling clicks -- changes in audience behaviors -- to advertisers.
Their AI software learns each individual's hot buttons and exploit that
in ways that is increasing political polarization worldwide. These
Internet companies aggressively lobby governments in Washington,
Brussels, different states in the US and probably elsewhere, to protect
their revenue streams against efforts to limit the threats all this
poses to democracy and world peace.
The 2021 United States Capitol attack was almost certainly a
product of the funding model for Google and Facebook. If this trend
towards political polarization continues on its present course, where
will it end? This reminds me of the 1982 Falklands / Malvinas War,
where, at least according to some versions of the story, weak political
leaders in Argentina and the United Kingdom went to war in an effort to
improve their respective political situations. Might something like
this happen in the not-too-distant future between the US and China?
Former US Secretary of Defense William Perry has suggested a computer
virus like Stuxnet could lead senior military and civilian leaders in
the US to believe they are being attacked and must themselves initiate a
nuclear response. Dan Ellsberg has claimed that the result would almost
certainly be a nuclear winter lasting a decade during which 98 percent
of humanity would starve to death if they didn't die of something else
sooner. My research on this issue suggests that such a nuclear war and
nuclear winter are likely but not certain, and the risks are
Surveillance capitalism is distorting academic research. In 2017, a
researcher for the New America Foundation and his staff of 10 were fired
after publishing a report praising the EU’s historic decision to levy a
$2.7 billion fine on Google as the result of a multiyear antitrust
investigation. “Google is very aggressive in throwing its money around
Washington and Brussels, and then pulling strings”.
 Shoshana Zuboff (2019) The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The
fight for a human future at the new frontier of power (PublicAffairs,
esp. pp. 54-55, 139, 84-86), available for free in PDF at:
Former President Trump continues to insist that the 2020 election was
stolen from him. Only two Republicans in the US House have publicly
opposed that claim, and Republican election officials in multiple states
have received death threats.
 See references cited in:
 Zuboff, p. 86.