Tag Archives: Facebook

Facebook Employees Asked Mark Zuckerberg If They Should Try to Stop a Donald Trump Presidency 

Another reminder: Facebook is not an open forum. Facebook actively monitors, adjusts, and (possibly) censors your Timeline as they see fit. Your information, likes, wants, and interests are goods to be traded without your benefit. There is a distinction between a social network where the information is disseminated in a bottom-up fashion and a newspaper where information comes from top-down. This distinction can (and does) affect the perception of the network’s users (the “Echo Chamber” effect), so, despite the politics implied, morality and ethicality dictate that Facebook should leave the Timeline meddling to certified Gallifreyans–even when politics are (not) involved.

This week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared to publicly denounce the political positions of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign during the keynote speech of the company’s annual F8 developer conference.

Source: Facebook Employees Asked Mark Zuckerberg If They Should Try to Stop a Donald Trump Presidency 

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Instagram Hates The Internet

I have long spoken and written about the problems with the “walled garden” approach of social media companies. The danger lies in depending on a single platform that you do not own, and relinquishing ownership of your materials to the platform for the financial gain of its owners. Take control, folks! Own your data! Keep an eye on this space for more projects aimed at democratizing social media. My goal is that, with a minimum of effort and learning, you too can claim your own space much like we had back in the heyday of the personal web site.

This was the business model of Compuserve. And AOL. And then a little thing called The Internet got popular for a minute in the mid 1990s, and that plan suddenly didn’t work out so well for those captains of industry.

Source: jwz: Instagram Hates The Internet

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Facebook is censoring links to competitor social network Tsu and deleting old mentions

The problem, of course, is that Facebook is not only blocking links to that domain, but also links to articles talking about it. You probably can’t even see this post on Facebook.

Source: Facebook is censoring links to competitor social network Tsu and deleting old mentions

Early Facebook Commercial (1995)

Call now and get 10 free hours to try The Face Book!

Inadvertent Algorithmic Cruelty

I know a few people in my timeline that fell victim to Facebook’s latest ill-conceived attempt to shoehorn itself into our lives. I saw these popping up in December, and decided against opting in–then I saw that they built one for me and shoved it in my face with a prompt to post.

Bad form, Facebook. “Opt-In” is ALWAYS a better marketing strategy when dealing with people’s private lives and personal data, especially in this era of increased concerns over privacy. This is just another reason to flee the walled gardens for the freedom of the World Wide Web.

I know they’re probably pretty proud of the work that went into the “Year in Review” app they designed and developed, and deservedly so—a lot of people have used it to share the highlights of their years. Knowing what kind of year I’d had, though, I avoided making one of my own. I kept seeing them pop up in my feed, created by others, almost all of them with the default caption, “It’s been a great year! Thanks for being a part of it.” Which was, by itself, jarring enough, the idea that any year I was part of could be described as great.

Read the rest

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Facebook will have to face lawsuit over scanning of users’ messages

People are starting to figure out just how much of our souls we sold for “free” access to social media.

Facebook will have to face a class action lawsuit alleging it violated users’ privacy when it scanned the content of messages for advertising purposes, U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland ruled on Tuesday.

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This Is What Your Face Looks Like to Facebook

Sterling Crispin’s “Data Masks” are haunting portraits that don’t actually depict any one person. Instead, they use raw data to show how technology perceives humanity. Reverse-engineered from surveillance face-recognition algorithms and then fed through Facebook’s face-detection software, the Data Masks “confront viewers with the realization that they’re being seen and watched basically all the time,” Crispin says.

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The Online Identity Crisis

The Googles and Facebooks (GoogleBooks?) of the world want to aggregate all of these personas into a single identity. They want to do this, not because they think this is good for users or because this is how they think society works, but rather because it helps them monetize user interactions. However, this type of aggregation is a very bad deal for users.

Read the rest at WIRED

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Battling the Datenkraken’s Business of Surveillance

Facebook has a long history of pushing the envelope when it comes data privacy and user rights, and one of the most egregious examples was its research on “emotional contagion,” where user news feeds were manipulated to study their reactions to negative posts. It may have sounded innocent enough to the data scientists in Menlo Park, CA, but the reality was that this Web overlord distorted its customers’ emotional states in order to better understand how to profit from them.

More at WIRED

Facebook’s First Priority Is To Screw With Its Users

Here is more reason to leave Facebook for other social networks or, in my case, one’s own domain: Facebook has engaged in immoral psychological experimentation without its users’ expressed consent, and seeks to continue the practice for further financial gain. Marcus Wholsen at WIRED has the story. Here are a few key excerpts:

The idea that Facebook isn’t a content-neutral communication medium like the phone or email seems to generate constant surprise and outrage.

Facebook has every reason to manipulate the News Feed to optimize for whatever user engagement metrics correspond to the best returns for advertisers, which in turn correspond to the best returns for Facebook.

Most conspicuously absent from Schroepfer’s post is any suggestion that users can opt into or out of experiments like the emotional contagion study.

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