Facebook Has Played Us All

first_img Podcasts Are TV Shows Now With ‘Limetown’ Trailer7 Icebreakers for Facebook’s New Dating Service Remember that Mark Zuckerberg covers his laptop camera and microphone.….and that phone in your pocket or bag, has a microphone and camera on it too !! pic.twitter.com/TZjJjsSjeD— Telomere (@ChrisDarroch2) March 27, 2018It has been said countless times — if the product is free, then you are the product. We’ve known this. We’ve ALL known this.How many times have you looked up a product and then saw an ad for that thing or something very similar pop up on Facebook or Amazon moments later? When we agree to buy into modern social media, or vast segments of the internet, we are being served content for free. That money doesn’t come from nothing. It comes from the data you provide by participating. That’s the role of cookies, that’s the role of trackers, etc.We are already living in a cyberpunk dystopia. It’s practically inescapable at this point. If, for instance, you want to cut Facebook out of your life as I am now wont to do, you have to grapple with all the apps and services you’ve connected to the platform. If you want to keep in touch with all the folks you had in your digital address book… good freaking luck. Few other platforms are as centralized or as dominant. Amazon and the like are no easier, and trying use the internet at all without interacting with a Google-owned service is basically impossible.But, that’s just it. These services wouldn’t have become so dominant if we didn’t ask for it. We wanted easier log-ins. We wanted more content to scroll through our never-ending #content binges. We signed up for this. If anything, that’s the most terrifying thing about all this. This is a hell of our own making.It’s hard to be sympathetic for the lion’s share of… well, people, because I was just as guilty as anyone else. I gave Facebook everything, curtly dismissing concerns of privacy, (foolishly) thinking, “What have I to hide?”Truth be told, I still have very little to hide. I’m fairly open about my life, and I don’t mind people knowing about me. Where it gets a little dicey, though, is when that data gets put into a giant bin, processed and analyzed to hell, then spat back out as a precisely engineered mechanism that will cause me to spend more money, recklessly. Or, perhaps worse, keep me trapped in an endless loop of media consumption. Not to pacify me or anything truly nefarious, but to keep me plugging more data into the algorithms so that I keep consuming.We’re all complacent victims. And, with precious little recourse, there’s not much to do. Besides, unplug.Orrrrrr we could make peace with our real-world cyberpunk dystopia and take the express route to our collective corporatist nightmare. Heyyyyy, that reminds me… Have you seen this puppy video?For more on how to protect your privacy from Facebook visit our sister site PCMag. So the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica data “leak” is bad. Real bad. And it’s also pushing a lot of ourboundaries for how we, as a society describe and discuss data and privacy. This wasn’t a leak per se, as CA technically acquired user data as the system was designed. There were no hacks, breaches, or abused vulnerabilities. The system was working as intended. And we all should have known that.There’ve been more than a few armchair culture critics who have pointed out Zuck’s own rather infamously stringent privacy precautions. He’s appeared in public with his laptop, as well as snapped in more than a few shots, with devices that have had their microphones and cameras taped over — a common tactic for those looking to avoid unwanted snooping. And these sort of things tie into this broader narrative that Zuckerberg knew what he was designing and did foresee at least some of these privacy concerns and continued to push Facebook as a platform regardless.And that narrative is an easy one to follow because that’s precisely what happened.Okay, sure, perhaps Z didn’t see this particular scenario, but the push for big data has always been about exactly this scenario — hyper-targeted advertising that pulls from as many different sources of info for you as it can.center_img Stay on targetlast_img

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