Why I don’t use Facebook unless I have too

I’ve seen some nasty stuff on Social Media, but nothing as insidious as the innocuous looking quizzes on Facebook that people take and share with
their friends.

On the surface, these quizzes look like simple fun.

screenshot of a set of Facebook quizzes
What Star Wars Character are you?

You take a quiz about the kind of super power you think you have and
the quiz tells you something flattering about  yourself.

But multiply these quizzes by hundreds with hundreds of differently
phrased questions, and researchers can a build an exact profile
of who you are, what you believe, and which arguments are most
likely to sway you.

This is the use of advanced psychological profiling for political
warfare. And Facebook did nothing to stop this.

Louise Mensch is a must follow on Twitter.

She’s done some investigative work and discovered how the data
gathered by these quizzes are used.

And this is why I only use Facebook when I have to. I will not support any
company that exposes the people I love to danger.

Screenshot of an innocent looking Facebook Quizz
What Classic Sitcom are you?

 

 

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14 thoughts on “Why I don’t use Facebook unless I have too

    1. There was always a dark side to the evolving internet and I recall how fiercely the early innovators fought the commercialization of internet access when the first web browsers developed.

      We the people had already been sliced into ‘demographic groups’ by traditional marketing research and our status as citizens downgraded to ‘consumer’ before the development of ‘social media’. It was only a matter of time before some group of sullied souls would get together and figure out how to use our implicit trust of this new technology to our disadvantage.

      There is no such thing as an innocent psychological test, at least not to a trained researcher.

      Which character do you prefer? Luke Sky Walker or Superman?

      The answer to that simple question make speak volumes about your fantasies, your willingness to fight for your beliefs or even your sense of personal safety and comfort. Do you wish you were invulnerable and unable to feel pain?

      My problem is not with Facebook My problem is with the fact that
      when we are invited to use a product that makes a man wealthy we enter into a contract with the implied expectation that our rights as individuals will be treated with respect.

      If what I’ve learned is correct, Facebook violated the trust of its users.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. How can we ever trust that our trust is not violated? It is difficult because the possibilities modern technology provides are far more than we might know! So again, we need to be careful and even then… you never know!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think what we have to question everything we see, make it a habit to look for sources, see who is funding the media we’re reading.

        Everything we produce on our blogs and in our interactions with people is data for someone so we have to be comfortable with what we’re saying
        and consider how others might use what we say.

        And we can’t control everything.

        I am not responsible for how someone might choose to misinterpret what I say.

        As for the constant stream of Russian propaganda we have to be as fastidious about what we put into our minds as we are about the food we eat.

        We live in a world of junk media and if we’re not careful we might end up voting for an announced sexual predator because some sleazy guys in Russia decided to conduct a precisely targeted smear campaign against the more competent candidate who would have held them in check.

        It’s astonishing to consider how easy it was for the Russian Government to use Facebook and Twitter to convince so many Americans to believe the most disgusting of lies.

        And now Putin is targeting Germany and France.

        He won’t rest until he creates a global oligarchy.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That’s very true! We need to be clear about the message we want to spread here and everywhere actually. As you said, everything can be used in a bad way and it happened… been there. But that can also happen and happens in real life too. So we simply need to be true to ourselves and do our best!
        People are so easily convinced when they are controlled with fear. Many are not used to make their own opinion and just follow… I hope at least the majority learned from it!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The problem is that it’s hurting the users and it’s hurting the nation. One can argue disingenuously that people are responsible for verifying sources and for knowing what it means to answer thousands of revealing questions for people you don’t know, but that’s not how life works.

      I’m under no illusions about what I’m doing when I write about my mental health on a public blog but I’m making an informed decision.

      That’s very different from innocently providing data so a Russian dictator can play with my head in a more targeted and subversive way.

      On some level the guy who is using Facebook to buy a piece of Hawaii needs to take some responsibility for the power of of his creation.

      Liked by 2 people

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